Notable Texas Pythians

Governor of Texas Patrick Norris Neff


(November 26, 1871 – January 20, 1952) was the 28th Governor of Texas from 1921 to 1925, ninth President of Baylor University from 1932 to 1947, and twenty-fifth president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1944 to 1946.

Early life

Born on his family ranch in Station Creek in Coryell County near McGregor, Texas, Neff attended McGregor High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Baylor University in Waco before spending two years teaching at Southwestern Academy in Magnolia, Arkansas. While in Magnolia, Neff taught Harvey C. Couch, who would later become a successful entrepreneur in Arkansas.

Upon returning to Texas, he received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. There, he developed a close friendship with future U.S. Senators Tom Connally and Morris Sheppard of Texas. On May 31, 1899, he married his Baylor classmate Myrtle Mainer in her hometown of Lovelady. He served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1899 to 1905, including a term as Speaker. After returning to his law practice in Waco, Neff was for six years the assistant county attorney and county attorney for McLennan County. In 1901, Pat and Myrtle Neff had a daughter whom they named Hallie Maude.

Public Office in Texas

Considered a progressive Democrat, Neff defeated former U.S. Senator Joseph Weldon Bailey, a former populist, in the party primary in 1920 and effectively ended Bailey's political career.

Neff was a strong supporter of prohibition and was instrumental in the development of the Texas State Parks Board. Neff and his mother, Isabella Neff, donated the land which would become the first state park in Texas, Mother Neff State Park. During the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan during his administration, Neff was criticized for not taking a stronger stance. Neff is notable for his pardon of folk singer Lead Belly in his last days as governor.

In 1921, the West Texas Chamber of Commerce supported legislation passed by both houses of the Texas Legislature to establish a West Texas A&M College. The bill was vetoed by Governor Neff, who said that the state could not afford another state college designed for thinly populated West Texas. He also defended his veto on grounds that the proposed college was not included in the 1920 Democratic state platform. Neff's veto stirred up a political firestorm; two years later he was prepared to sign similar legislation co-authored by State Senator William H. Bledsoe of Lubbock. The result of the new legislative mission, with a $1 million appropriation, was what is now known as Texas Tech University.

Neff was reelected in 1922 but did not seek a third term in 1924. At the time, it was "understood" that no governor should run for a third term though Texas has never had official term limits for the office. Neff was succeeded as governor by Miriam Wallace "Ma" Ferguson, wife of controversial former Governor James E. Ferguson, who defeated a stronger-than-usual Republican nominee, George C. Butte, an American jurist who had opposed James Ferguson's line item veto of the 1917 University of Texas appropriations bill. After leaving the governorship, Neff served on the Texas Railroad Commission. Governor Ross Sterling appointed Ernest O. Thompson of Amarillo to succeed Neff when he left the position to become President of Baylor University. Thompson served on the panel for thirty-two years and developed a reputation as an expert on petroleum issues.

President of Baylor University

After the death of Samuel Palmer Brooks, Neff was nominated to replace him as President of Baylor University. He resigned the post of President of the Board of Trustees, a position that he had held since it was vacated by B. H. Carroll in 1907, upon the nomination as President.

President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Neff was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1944 to 1946.

Knights of Pythias of Texas

Pat Neff was a member of Cowan Lodge # 77 and served as Grand Chancellor from 1918 to 1919.


Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court Andrew Jackson "Jack" Pope


Jack Pope, son of Dr. A.J. and Ruth Taylor Pope, was born in Abilene, Texas April 18, 1913. He died in Austin, Texas on February 25, 2017. He graduated from public schools in Abilene, earned a BA degree from Abilene Christian College in 1934 and a law degree from the University of Texas in 1937 after having been the editor of the Texas Law Review. While in Austin he met a recent graduate, Allene Nichols. They married June 11, 1938 and began a loving partnership that lasted 66 years.

Jack and Allene moved to Corpus Christi where he started practicing law with his uncle, W.E. (Uncle Elmer) Pope. He volunteered to fight in World War II like so many patriots. He was 32 with a two year old and another baby on the way when he became a Navy sailor. The timing was a double awful if you were hedging on your safety. The Axis before D Day had the momentum in Europe and the fighting in the Pacific was escalating. Jack and Allene expected he would ship out with his fellow sailors after boot camp to the Pacific but Jack was ordered to Washington D.C. to decode enemy telecommunications as a cryptologist. When the war ended he was back in Corpus Christi again. Governor Coke Stevenson appointed him Judge of the 94th District Court. Then in 1960, Jack was elected to the Fourth Court of Civil Appeals in San Antonio and again elected in 1964 to the Texas Supreme Court. Governor Bill Clements appointed Judge Jack Pope in 1982 as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His 38 year service is believed to be the longest service of any Judge who has served on Texas' highest court. There he worked for law reform, initiated new procedures for handling grievances against attorneys, changed venue rules, in many instances, two trials for one case and promulgated the Texas Rule of Judicial Education. He got computer technology in all state appellate courts, wrote the first "Jury Handbook" which is given to those called to jury duty, sponsored the creation of the State Law Library, helped draft the first Judicial Code of Conduct and became a charter member of the Texas Center of Legal Ethics. As Chief Justice, he and others established a program (IOLTA) which provides legal service to over 100,000 poor families a year in civil matters like wrongful foreclosures, domestic violence and veterans who have not received their earned benefits. The money comes from Texas lawyers and not from taxes. Governor Rick Perry in 2012 recognized him and the IOLTA program with the signing of the "Chief Justice Jack Pope Act." A testimony to dedication and hard work he wrote 1032 opinions. No judge in Texas history ever wrote this much law.

Legal scholars recognize Jack as the expert of his times on matters of water laws of Texas and southwestern states where Spanish, Mexican, and English understanding of water rights sometimes differ yet still must be considered. James Michener in his book "Texas" felt that water and those who controlled it had a greater influence on Texas history than oil or longhorns. While he wrote "Texas" he and his secretary twice went to the Judge's home to discuss these water matters and the law. A sidebar to their meetings in Jack's library, Michener allowed, "authors love names like Jack to remember." True to his words, James Michener in his next book "Space" introduced his fictional test pilot John Pope.

Jack was made Outstanding Alumnus at Abilene Christian University as well as The University of Texas School of Law.

Joys and concerns of the family were always uppermost and a good example was when his father-in-law had his first stroke. Jack brought Allene's parents to San Antonio to care for them and to make it work he built on to his house. Grandpa Nichols could not speak but on so many occasions he thanked Jack with a smile and tears.

He was as comfortable outdoors as he was lecturing in the summers at NYU School of Law. His first visit to Austin was when he was eleven and he was with his Scout troop 2 camping on the banks of Barton Springs. When he was older and still the camper at heart Jack would amaze everyone with more rope tricks than Will Rogers. He played a mean harmonica at night and then in the morning he could awake you with a bugle call. The Longhorns filled him with happy memories like the TCU game in the 60's when his shoes froze to the floor at Memorial Stadium. As hard as he worked as a judge, he never forgot family. The family visited all the national parks but three by 1960. Before there was the Hike and Bike Trail around Zilker Park, Jack and Allene jogged there often. There is a tree in Zilker Park he would point to and say, "I got my first kiss from Allene under that tree." That would have been in 1938. He was still walking by that tree in 2013 at age 100.

After Jack retired he developed the Pope Fellows at ACU, which give scholarships to students interested in a career in public service. In 2010 the State Bar of Texas awarded him the Lifetime Achievement Award. On his 100th birthday all the living Presidents and their wives sent letters thanking the Judge for his life of service and one of giving.

His ancestors received land grants in Atascosito (Liberty) from Mexico before there was a Texas and some are named on the Honor Roll at the Battle of San Jacinto. He edited a family history "John Berry and His Family."

Jack was an incorporator of the Supreme Court Historical Society. The Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge gave him their George Washington Award. The Supreme Court Society published "Common Law Judge" in 2014. The book is a collection of essays, opinions and a biography of this uncommon man.

Judge Pope is survived by two sons, A.J. Pope III and his wife, Carla, of The Woodlands, Texas; Allen Pope and his wife Karen of Castle Pines, Colorado. He had three grandchildren, Drew Pope, Ryan Pope and wife Erin and Billie Pope Locke and husband Jeff Locke and four great-grandchildren, Dylan and Peyton Locke, Carinn and Caitlin Pope; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank his friends, neighbors and members of his church, University Church of Christ. They also would like to remember his long-time secretary, the late Peggy Littlefield. A special thanks to his caregivers and to their supervisor Lauren Barrett. Jack affectionately referred to his team of caregivers as the "Little United Nations" and even wrote a book about them and their ideas on caring for the elderly.

Pope was a member of Miramar Lodge # 135 and life member of Midlothian Lodge # 50.  Jack Pope served as Grand Chancellor of Texas from 1947-1948.

U.S. Senator from Texas Tom T. Connally


CONNALLY, THOMAS TERRY (1877–1963). Tom Connally, United States senator, was born on a farm in McLennan County, Texas, on August 19, 1877, to Jones and Mary Ellen (Terry) Connally.  Tom, the only surviving son of the couple, took a law degree from the University of Texas in 1898 and was elected to the state House of Representatives unopposed in 1900 and 1902. He was a progressive in his opposition to monopolies and to the powerful Senator Joseph Weldon Baileyqv. Connally declined to run for a third term. He practiced law for several years in Marlin and married a local belle, Louise Clarkson, in 1904. He was Falls County prosecuting attorney from 1906 to 1910 and was in and out of local politics for the next decade, while building up a prosperous law practice and establishing himself in the Methodist Church and several fraternal orders.

In 1916 Connally ran for the vacant Eleventh District seat in the United States Congress, a jurisdiction centered in Waco. After defeating two opponents without a runoff, he was elected and placed on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He became something of a foreign-policy spokesman for the Democrats in the 1920s, urging the Republican administrators to settle their differences with Mexico and to cease invading Caribbean republics. In 1928 Connally ran against United States Senator Earle B. Mayfield, a Klansman who had been elected during the heyday of the Ku Klux Klan. Connally successfully urged voters to "turn out the bedsheet-and-mask candidate" and in his first term fought President Herbert Hoover's efforts to raise the tariff, levy a national sales tax, and aid business and mortgage holders at the expense of consumers and homeowners.

During Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term as president, Connally was a stalwart New Dealer, seldom differing with the administration. Like any senator he looked after the largest interest groups in his state, writing relief bills for cattle ranchers, cotton farmers, and oilmen. Connally first parted significantly from Roosevelt when the senator opposed the president's attempt to change the United States Supreme Court, the court-packing plan of 1937. The measure failed in the Senate. Also in 1937 Connally led the filibuster against the anti-lynching bill and fought diligently for the southern differential in the wage and hour law.

Connally was a traditional southern internationalist who resisted the isolationist tide and the neutrality acts of the middle and late 1930s. He led the Senate battle for the arms-embargo repeal in 1939 (the Cash and Carry Act) and for the Lend Lease Act of 1941. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1941 to 1947, he was one of the handful of Americans who devised the United Nations and its charter. Together with Arthur Vandenburg, he helped to determine bipartisan foreign policy during Harry Truman's administration, including the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He served another stretch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1949 to 1953.

Senator Connally was a member of Marlin Lodge # 16 and was a Past Grand Chancellor of Texas from 1913 to 1914

Served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; lawyer; member of Texas state house of representatives, 1901-04; Falls County Prosecuting Attorney, 1906-10; U.S. Representative from Texas 11th District, 1917-29; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1920, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, 1956; U.S. Senator from Texas, 1929-53


Texas Attorney General Vincent Waggoner Carr


CARR, VINCENT WAGGONER (1918 ~ 2004). Vincent Waggoner Carr, member and Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and Attorney General of Texas, was born October 1, 1918, in Fairlie, Hunt County, Texas to Vincent and Ruth Carr. Following the closure of the family's bank during the depression, the Carrs moved to Lubbock in 1932, where Vincent worked at a seed company.

Not wanting his children to experience the financial hardships that he did, Vincent pressed his children to go to college. Carr, after graduating from Lubbock High School in 1936, attended Texas Technological College, now Texas Tech University, where he and his brother, Warlick, were top ranked debaters. Also at Tech, he met Ernestine Story, whom he married on December 21, 1941. Together they had one son, David.

After receiving a degree in political science in 1940, Carr enrolled in the University of Texas Law School, but put his legal education on hold when the United States entered World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as an Army Intelligence Branch specialist, an Aviation Cadet and, by the end of the war, was flying B-25s.

After the War, Carr returned to Austin and resumed his legal education and graduated from the University of Texas in January 1947, with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Soon after, he and Ernestine returned to Lubbock, where he and Warlick open a law office. From 1947 to 1948, he worked as an assistant district attorney, until his election as Lubbock County Attorney. He held that position for two years and in 1950, successfully campaigned for the District 119 seat in the Texas House of Representatives.

Taking his oath of office on January 9, 1951, he served ten years, 1951 to 1961. In his last four years, he was elected to two consecutive terms as Speaker of the House, a distinction achieved by only two others before him.

As Speaker, Carr focused on several key issues: water, tourism, industrial development, and the establishment of a code of ethics for legislators and lobbyists. Living in arid West Texas, he knew the importance of water and worked to adopt a constitutional amendment to create the Texas Water Development Board. After its creation, the Board issued $200 million in bonds to fund local water projects.

Carr also took the lead on several other issues - the creation of the Texas Youth Council, the recodification of Texas juvenile laws, updating the worker's compensation statutes, reorganizing the State Insurance Board and passing legislation to authorize the financing and construction of a new State Library and Archives building. In 1960, he left the Legislature to run for Attorney General, but lost to incumbent Will Wilson.

Undeterred by his previous loss, Carr ran again in 1962 and was elected. As Texas' chief law enforcement officer.  Carr had breakfasted with Pres. John F. Kennedy, in Dallas, Texas, on the morning of his assassination, November 22, 1963, and he took part in the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination of President. He also founded the Attorney General's Youth Conference on Crime, for which he was credited with the reduction of juvenile crime in Texas.

After serving his second term as Attorney General, Carr sought to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John Tower, but was unsuccessful. Two years later, in 1968, he ran against Lieutenant Governor Preston Smith and a host of other Democrats for Governor, but failed to garner enough votes to make it to the run-off.

After leaving public office, Carr went into private practice and eventually joined the Austin law firm of DeLeon & Boggins. In 1969, Governor Smith, a fellow Texas Tech graduate, appointed him to the Texas Tech Board of Regents. He held that position until 1971.

After his political career, Carr, who was a Mason, continued to practice law in Austin and remained active in several state and local groups. He served as State Commander of the American Legion, Department of Texas, and as Chairman of the American Air Power Heritage Foundation, Commemorative Air Force. He also chaired the Action for Metropolitan Government Committee for the City of Austin and Travis County and was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to serve on a citizens' commission examining the Texas Judicial System. In 1993, he published his second book, Texas Politics In My Rearview Mirror.

Carr was also honored throughout his career with many awards and special commendations. In 1966, he was named the outstanding attorney general, by the nation's 50 state attorney generals and received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from McMurry College. In 1968, he was named a distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University and, because of his work with Texas' youth, he received special commendations from the Texas State Juvenile Officers Association, the Optimists, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs of Texas, the Texas State Coaches Association, the DeMolays of Texas, and the Texas Safety Association.

Served in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II; lawyer; Lubbock County Attorney, 1948-50; member of Texas state house of representatives, 1951-61; Speaker of the Texas State House of Representatives, 1957-61; Texas state attorney general, 1963-67; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1964


Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court Calvin Maples Cureton


Calvin Maples Cureton was born September 1, 1874, near Walnut Springs in Bosque County, Texas, where his father was a successful rancher. His mother died when he was five years old, and he was raised by his father and grandparents. He attended rural one-room schools and learned to love the out-of-doors growing up on his father's cattle ranch. He attended Central College in Walnut Springs for four years and then worked for his father beginning in 1889.

Cureton attended the University of Virginia from 1892 to 1893 and then returned to Texas, his education cut short by the economic depression that began that year. Back in Texas, he became involved in state politics and ran a monthly magazine, the Southern Arena, with his brother. He also studied law privately, and was admitted to the bar in 1897. He began his law practice that year in Meridian. When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, Cureton enlisted as a private in the Third Texas Volunteer Infantry. He was married in 1901; the couple had no children.

Cureton began his long career as a public servant when he was elected to represent Bosque County in the Texas Legislature from 1909 to 1912. He co-authored Banking Laws of Texas, published in 1912. He served as first assistant Texas attorney general in 1913 and was elected Texas attorney general in 1918. He was reelected in 1920 and held the post until December 1921, when Gov. Pat Neff appointed him chief justice of the Texas supreme court following the resignation of Nelson Phillips. He was subsequently elected to the position four times beginning in 1922, and served nineteen years as chief justice. While on the bench he wrote many opinions concerning water and irrigation rights and development of natural resources, and he was known for his even temper and courtesy. At the time of his death he was the longest-serving chief justice in the history of the Texas Supreme Court.

Cureton died in Austin on April 8, 1940, of a heart attack. His body lay in state in the supreme court room for two hours the following day. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

Connally served as the Grand Chancellor of Texas from 1913-1914 and was a member of Marlin Lodge # 16.

Served in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War; lawyer; member of Texas state house of representatives, 1909-12; Texas state attorney general, 1919-21; chief justice of Texas state supreme court, 1921-40


U.S. Representative from Texas Ovie clark fisher


FISHER, OVIE CLARK (1903–1994). Ovie Clark Fisher, attorney, congressman, and author, was born in Kimble, twelve miles east of Junction, Texas, on November 22, 1903, to Jobe Bazilee and Rhoda Catherine (Clark) Fisher. He grew up in Junction, graduating from Junction High School in 1921. O. C. Fisher married Marian E. DeWalsh on September 11, 1927. They had one daughter, Rhoda.

He attended the University of Colorado and the University of Texas. He took his LL.B. from Baylor in 1929, and was admitted to the Texas Bar that year. He practiced law in San Angelo from 1929 to 1931 then served as county attorney in Tom Green County for two terms from 1931 to 1935. He was a member of the Texas legislature in the House of Representatives from 1935 to 1937. He was district attorney for the 119th District from 1937 until he was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives from the Twenty-first Congressional District in 1942. He served in Congress until his retirement in 1974.

At the time of his retirement Representative Fisher was the second ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and the ninth ranking member of the House. Throughout his life he was a conservative Democrat who favored states' rights, conservation and water control, a large and powerful defense establishment, and was dedicated to national fiscal responsibility. He actively opposed big government, big spending, the New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, and the Great Society. He sponsored the Three Rivers dam at San Angelo, the Brady Creek Dam and Brady Reservoir at Brady, and the Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande at Del Rio.

The old San Angelo Dam and San Angelo Lake (now the O. C. Fisher Reservoir and Dam) in Tom Green County and the federal building in San Angelo have been named in his honor. His papers are deposited in the O. C. Fisher wing of the Kimble Library in Junction and at Baylor University. Over his many years in Congress, O. C. Fisher published a long running series of newsletters (Our Washington Newsletter) to the people of his district. He was a prolific author and published many books relating to his Texas heritage and his experiences during thirty-two years in Congress. They include: New Deal to Watergate (1980), Cactus Jack (John Garner) (1978), It Occurred in Kimble County (1937), The Speaker of Nubbin Ridge: The Story of the Modern Angora Goat (1985), King Fisher: His Life and Times (1964), The Texas Heritage of the Fishers and the Clarks (1963), Political Miscellany (1980), and Great Western Indian Fights (with others) (1960).

After retirement from Congress he resided in San Angelo where he died December 9, 1994. He is buried in the Junction Cemetery alongside his wife Marian.


governor of texas daniel james moody, jr.


MOODY, DANIEL JAMES, JR. (1893–1966). Dan Moody, governor of Texas, was born at Taylor, Texas, on June 1, 1893, the son of Daniel James and Nannie Elizabeth (Robertson) Moody. He graduated from Taylor High School and attended the University of Texas from 1910 to 1914, taking law courses during the last two years. He was admitted to the bar in 1914 and began practice in Taylor with Harris Melasky. His early career was interrupted by service in World War I, during which he served as second lieutenant and captain in the Texas National Guard and second lieutenant in the United States Army. He returned to his practice after the war and in 1920 entered upon a period of public service. He was the youngest elected to several successive public offices: county attorney of Williamson County, 1920–22; district attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District, 1922–25; attorney general of Texas, 1925–27; and governor of Texas, elected for two terms, 1927–31.

A letter from T.M. Burgess, a radio listener in California, to Daniel Moody, Jr. on the question of supporting prohibition. Image courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

During his term as district attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District, which included Williamson and Travis counties, at the peak of Ku Klux Klan agitation, he prosecuted a group for criminal activities allegedly connected with the Klan and sent some of them to prison. He achieved statewide recognition for these prosecutions and, despite Klan opposition, was elected attorney general at the start of the first administration of Governor Miriam A. Ferguson. State highway-contract scandals developed within a few months, and the attorney general prosecuted cases to set aside "unconscionable" highway contracts. After these cases were won, he became the likely candidate to oppose Mrs. Ferguson when she sought a second term. The campaign has been characterized as one of the most spectacular in Texas history. Moody's platform supported prohibition, woman suffrage,qqv and other anti-Ferguson positions. After winning the first 1926 primary with 49.9 percent of the vote, Moody defeated Ferguson 495,723 to 270,595 in a runoff. He won renomination for the governorship in the first Democratic primary of 1928 with a clear majority. In the presidential campaign of 1928 the state Democratic party was rent with dissention on the prohibition and Catholic issues. Despite Governor Moody's appeals for support of the Democratic slate from top to bottom, Herbert Hoover won Texas.

As governor, Moody pursued a strong reform program. He halted a liberal convict-pardon policy initiated by the Fergusons; he also inaugurated a reorganization of prison management. He instituted a complete reorganization of the state highway system, including a program for a connected network of roads; the cost of highways was cut by almost half from that under the Ferguson administration. The office of state auditor and the auditing of state accounts were begun during his administration. Although his proposals were in accord with the thought of the progressive forces of his time, he was not successful in changes he proposed in the Constitution and laws, such as a strong civil service law, the reorganization of the state government, the authorization of the governor to appoint executive officers elected under the Constitution of 1876, and constitutional change to permit the legislature to enact laws separating the subjects of taxation. He also wanted to relocate all state prison properties in a central penal colony near Austin.

In 1931, when he retired from the governorship, he remained in Austin and again entered private law practice. At the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, he served as special assistant to the United States attorney general, in charge of prosecuting income-tax-evasion cases in Louisiana. He represented Texas in State of Texas v. New Mexico, a boundary dispute, and represented the governor of Texas in cases involving the right of the governor to declare martial law in the mid-1930s. He last entered active politics in the primary of 1942 as a candidate for the United States Senate against former governors W. Lee O'Daniel and James Allred.qqv Moody came in third in the race. It was his only political defeat.

He became a recognized leader of opposition to the New Deal and the renomination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. Although most of the conservative "Texas Regular" delegates in the convention walked out, Moody, an organizer of this anti-Roosevelt movement, did not. He stayed on and cast half of the Texas nominating votes for a conservative presidential aspirant; then he stayed within the Democratic party in the general election. He represented former Governor Coke R. Stevenson in his unsuccessful legal challenge to Lyndon B. Johnson's narrow victory over Stevenson in the controversial 1948 United States Senate election. Although a Democrat, he supported Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower for president in 1952 and 1956 and Republican Richard M. Nixon in 1960.

Portrait of Daniel Moody, Jr. and his wife, Mildred Paxton. Image courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Moody served on numerous committees of the State Bar of Texas. One that he chaired was the special committee to study all phases of the lawyer-client relationship when the lawyer is a member of the legislature. The University of Texas School of Law honored him in 1959 by dedicating its Law Day activities to him. He served as a trustee of the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Moody married Mildred Paxton of Abilene on April 20, 1926, and they had two children. He died on May 22, 1966, in Austin and was buried in the State Cemetery.

Lawyer; served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Williamson County Attorney, 1920-22; District Attorney, 1922-25; Texas state attorney general, 1925-27; Governor of Texas, 1927-31; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1928, 1944, 1948, 1952; candidate in primary for U.S. Senator from Texas, 1942.


U.S. Representative from Texas Choice Boswell Randell


RANDELL, CHOICE BOSWELL (1857–1945). Choice Boswell Randell, attorney and congressman, was born to James L. and Louisa Amantha (Gartrell) Randell near Spring Place, Murray County, Georgia, on January 1, 1857. He was educated in public and private schools in Georgia and attended North Georgia Agricultural College. He left school in 1878 to study law and was admitted to the Georgia bar in that year. After practicing for a short time in Georgia, Randell moved to Denison, Texas, in January 1879 and established a law practice there. In March of that year he received an appointment as captain of the Gate City Guards and subsequently became a colonel in the Fourth Texas Regiment of the state militia. He married Anna Marschalk on October 29, 1879, at Natchez, Mississippi. The couple raised one son, Andrew. Randell was elected city attorney of Denison in 1881 and Grayson County Attorney the following year. He held the post for six years.

In 1901 Randell was elected to the United States House of Representatives, which he served for the Fifth District from 1901 through 1903 and, following redistricting of the state, for the Fourth District. He was reelected five times. In 1902 he cosponsored a bill with John Morris Sheppard asking for federal money for a survey to determine the feasibility of making the Red River navigable from Fulton, Arkansas, to Denison. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee during his last six years in office, Randell was instrumental in the passage of bills appropriating federal funds for the construction of public buildings in a number of northeast Texas towns, including Denison, Sherman, Gainesville, McKinney, Greenville, Bonham, Honey Grove, and Commerce. He also gained notoriety as the author of the Randell Anti-Graft Resolutions, designed to prevent members of Congress from receiving gifts or fees from corporations or individuals interested in legislation before Congress.

After an unsuccessful campaign for the United States Senate in 1912, Randell retired from Congress and returned to his law practice, which since 1883 had been located in Sherman. He was a Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Woodmen of the World, and the Presbyterian Church. He died in a Sherman hospital on October 19, 1945, and was buried in West Hills Cemetery in Sherman.

U.S. Representative from Texas, 1901-13 (5th District 1901-03, 4th District 1903-13)


U.S. Senator from Texas John Morris Sheppard


SHEPPARD, JOHN MORRIS (1875–1941). Morris Sheppard, United States senator and champion of the Eighteenth Amendment, son of John Levi and Margaret Alice (Eddins) Sheppard, was born at the family farm near Wheatville, Morris County, Texas, on May 28, 1875. His father served in the 1880s and 1890s as a district attorney and district judge, and from 1898 to 1902 as a member of the United States House of Representatives. Morris, the oldest of seven children, was named after an ancestor of his mother's, Robert Morris, who helped finance the American Revolution and signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. After attending both public and private schools Sheppard enrolled at the University of Texas in 1891. There he excelled in a variety of academic, oratorical, and extracurricular activities. In 1895 he earned a bachelor of arts degree and registered in the university law school. While in law school in Austin, Sheppard joined the Methodist Church. After graduation in 1897 he attended Yale University and earned a master of laws degree in 1898. From that time until 1902 he practiced law in his father's firm, first in Pittsburg, Texas, and then in Texarkana. He also worked for the Woodmen of the World.

In 1902 Sheppard ran for Congress and won the seat previously held by his recently deceased father. He then journeyed to Washington to begin what became a ten-year career in the House of Representatives, most of that time in the minority Democratic party. As an admirer and friend of William Jennings Bryan, he worked unsuccessfully on legislation to insure small bank deposits, to provide other forms of low-cost credit for low-income groups, and to prohibit the shipment of alcohol into dry areas. But perhaps as important as legislation, by 1912 he established himself as a renowned orator. Whether delivering speeches to the House on subjects of political concern or traveling around the nation supporting fellow Democrats, he commanded respect as one of the most entertaining public speakers of his era. Since his seat in Congress was relatively safe, he spent election years raising money for his party and votes for his colleagues. Still another accomplishment of his time in the House was Sheppard's mastery of the tariff issue. He participated in the significant debates on the issue, in which he supported the traditional position of the Democrats-lower rates. In 1913 Sheppard collected enough support to win the United States Senate seat recently held by Joseph Weldon Baileyqv. From that time until 1921 he worked much more successfully than he had earlier, largely because Democrats were in the majority and Democrat Woodrow Wilson was in the White House. Sheppard consistently supported Wilson's policies on tariff reductions, on solutions to border conflicts associated with the Mexican Revolution, on war preparedness, and on the League of Nations. He also continued to sponsor progressive reform legislation promoting rural credit programs, child labor laws, and antitrust laws. Throughout this time he was also an advocate of woman suffrage. But Sheppard increasingly devoted his legislative time and talents to prohibition, an issue he had strongly promoted and been identified with since his early days in the House. In 1913 and 1914 he introduced an unsuccessful amendment to ban the sale of liquor. In March 1917 he authored an act that abolished the sale of liquor in the District of Columbia. Then on April 4, 1917, the day Congress declared war on Germany, Sheppard introduced the prohibition amendment, which was debated throughout the summer. Finally the senator negotiated a tactical move by offering to limit the time for ratification in order to get a vote on the amendment. His maneuver worked. By the end of 1917 the measure passed the House, and by 1919 the Eighteenth Amendment gained the requisite number of states for ratification. For the rest of his life, Sheppard gave an address on the anniversary of ratification.

In 1920, the same year in which prohibition went into effect, Sheppard witnessed the victory of the Republican party in the presidential race and in many of the congressional races. He continued his work, however, and achieved some success in a politically more conservative atmosphere through his membership in the nonpartisan agricultural bloc that subsequently became the progressive bloc. In a little-known but significant piece of legislation, Sheppard actually passed a reform law in 1921. The Sheppard-Towner Act provided for maternal and pediatric clinics and for an investigation of infant and maternal mortality. Although the law lapsed in 1929, the ideas found expression again in the Social Security Act of 1935. Within his own party he progressed when he gained a seat on the steering committee, and then in 1929 he became the Senate Democratic whip. In 1932 the economic crisis of the Great Depression brought significant political and social changes that affected Sheppard. His party captured both houses of Congress and put Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House. Just as Sheppard had believed that the government was obligated to protect human welfare through the Eighteenth Amendment, he now believed that government must act to preserve American institutions. He supported the president on every issue of the New Deal except the repeal of prohibition. Some Texans even criticized Sheppard for being a rubber stamp for the administration, especially when he spoke for the president regarding the attempt to pack the Supreme Court with Roosevelt nominees. In 1934, the year in which Sheppard became the most senior member of Congress, he also added to the New Deal with a piece of his own legislation, the Federal Credit Union Act. In spite of major administration opposition, he maneuvered this law through the legislature. But in his last term in the Senate his major contributions were in the field of foreign affairs. As chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, he worked on increasing spending for defense, especially for the air force. He also supported bills to aid veterans and to increase the number of cadets at West Point. Then, in response to the war in Europe, he fought for the passage of the Selective Service Act and Lend-Lease. Soon after his work on this last measure, he suffered a brain hemorrhage, from which he died on April 9, 1941. He was survived by his wife, Lucile (Sanderson), whom he had married on December 1, 1909, and three daughters. President Roosevelt remarked that Sheppard "was my friend through many years." Later Gen. Douglas MacArthur told Mrs. Sheppard that her husband had been the first casualty of World War II.

Lawyer; U.S. Representative from Texas, 1902-13 (4th District 1902-03, 1st District 1903-13); U.S. Senator from Texas, 1913-41; died in office 1941


Texas Pythians awarded the Knight of the Golden Spur

Floyd Seward                                 Austin Lodge # 34                                   1965

W.E. Biggs                                       Banner Lodge #86                                   1966

W.F. Fiveash                                   Abilene Lodge #42                                   1967

Dewey Wright                               Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                            1967

B.B. Altman                                    Pampa Lodge # 480                                1968

N.B. Greenwood                           Pythian Lodge # 26                                 1969

Russel S. Hardin                           Lubbock Lodge # 486                             1970

T.L. Wells                                         Pythian Lodge # 26                                 1971

Weylon C. Frasier                        Waco Lodge # 484                                     1972

S.A. Reynolds                                Pythian Lodge # 26                                  1973

John M. Hobaugh                         Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                    1974

John H. Ellis, Jr.                             Eureka Lodge # 2                                     1975

John Drake                                      Pythian Lodge # 26                                 1976

Joe Witherspoon                          Lone Star Lodge # 4                                 1977

Willis R. Moore                              Abilene Lodge # 42                                  1978

Max Williams                                 Pythian Lodge # 26                                 1979

Fred Walker                                    Lone Star Lodge # 4                                1980

Doyle Hutcheson                         Lone Star Lodge # 4                                 1981

Roy Stone                                       Pythian Lodge # 26                                  1984

Norman Jones                               Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                     1985

Merritt Gibson                              Pythian Lodge # 26                                  1986

James R. Daniels                           Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                      1987

D.A. Benton                                     Pythian Lodge # 26                                  1988

Robert Mustade                            Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                             1989

Elmer Hanson                               Pythian Lodge # 26                                   1990

Gerald Valentine                          Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                      1990

Albert H. Brandt                           John Tarleton Lodge #227                       1991

Jimmy Simmons                           Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                              1992

Walker Cobb                                   Tom Green Lodge # 46                            1993

Grover Watson                               Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                              1994

Joe Davis                                           Pythian Lodge # 26                                  1995

George Fox                                       Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                             1995

Gene Talbot                                     Oak Cliff Lodge # 80                                1998

Cecil Holifield, Jr.                           Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                    1999

Arthur L. Fort                                  Pythian Lodge # 26                                 2002

Ed Talbot                                           Oak Cliff Lodge # 80                              2004

Jim White                                          Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                            2005

Bill  Finley                                         Pythian Lodge # 26                                2006

0scar Choate                                    Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                   2014

Bud Hutton                                       John Tarleton Lodge # 227                  2017

Don Whisenhunt                            Mineral Wells Lodge #212                    2017


Texas Pythians awarded the Knight Exemplar Award

Raymond Brown                            Abilene Lodge # 42                              2008

Walter S. Choate                             Mineral Wells Lodge # 212                2008

George Fox                                       Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                         2008

Granville Hott                                 Lone Star Lodge # 4                             2008

Lawrence Hull                                Lubbock Lodge # 486                           2008

Lee Smith                                         Lubbock Lodge # 486                           2008

Roy Stone                                         Pythian Lodge  # 26                              2008

Billy Tully                                         Lone Star Lodge # 4                              2008

Horace Tuttle                                  Pythian Lodge  # 26                              2008

Don Self                                            Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                           2009

John Bard                                         LaNana Lodge # 106                              2010

Barry Carter                                    Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                           2013

Roger Fangman                               LaNana Lodge # 106                             2016



Texas Pythian of the Year

Robert L Warren                                  Baird Lodge # 47                                              1958

Lewis F. Berry                                       Austin Lodge # 34                                            1959

W.F.  Fiveash                                          Abilene Lodge # 42                                          1960

George A. Handler                               Eureka Lodge # 2                                             1961

W.R. (Bill) Long                                     Elm Lodge #30                                                  1962

W. Porter Rice                                       Red Cross Lodge # 14                                     1963

Roy Stone                                                Pythian Lodge # 26                                        1964

Albert Madewell                                    Eureka Lodge # 2                                            1965

T.L. Nells                                                   Pythian Lodge # 26                                        1966

B.B. Banner                                             Banner Lodge # 86                                          1967

H.F. (Bob) Hatch                                    Pythian Lodge # 26                                         1968

B.B. Altman                                             Pampa Lodge # 480                                        1969

Weylon C. Fraiser                                 Waco Lodge # 484                                            1970

John Drake                                              Pythian Lodge # 26                                          1971

John Drake                                               Pythian Lodge # 26                                        1972

S.M. Creamer                                           Banner Lodge # 86                                          1973

Bobby Clarey                                          Mineral Wells Lodge #212                              1974

Willis Moore                                            Abilene Lodge # 42                                          1975

B.B. Altman                                              Pampa Lodge # 480                                         1976

Henry Bradford                                       Elm Lodge # 30                                                 1977

James R. Daniel                                      Mineral Wells Lodge #212                              1978

Walker Cobb                                             Tom Green Lodge # 46                                   1979

Weylon C. Fraiser                                    Waco Lodge # 484                                            1980

Lee R. Smith                                              Dublin Lodge # 107                                          1981

George Fox                                                  Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                    1982

Ruby Hardin                                              Lone Star Lodge # 4                                        1983

Merrit Gibson                                            Pythian Lodge # 26                                         1984

D.A. Benton                                                Pythian Lodge # 26                                          1985

Gene Talbot                                                Oak Cliff Lodge # 80                                       1986

Cecil L. Holifield, Jr.                                 Mineral Wells Lodge #212                             1988

Gerald Valentine                                       Mineral Wells Lodge #212                             1989

Tom Miller                                                   Lone Star Lodge # 4                                       1990

Roy C. Kelly                                                  Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                    1991

John Drake                                                   Mineral Wells Lodge #212                            1992

Douglas Liles                                               Mineral Wells Lodge #212                            1993

Walter Choate                                             Mineral Wells Lodge #212                             1994

Don Whisenhunt                                        Mineral Wells Lodge #212                             1995

Dennis Rigley                                               Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                    1996

Bud Hutton                                                   John Tarleton Lodge #227                             1997

J.R. Kiser                                                         Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                   1999

Jimmy White                                                 Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                   2000

Joe Bennett                                                    Pythian Lodge # 26                                        2001

Bob Mehalick                                                Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                    2002

Sonny Adkinson                                           Pythian Lodge # 26                                        2003

Walter B. Choate                                          Mineral Wells Lodge #212                             2004

Mark Helm                                                      Ft. Worth Lodge # 101                                    2005

Roger Fangman                                             Pythian Lodge # 26                                        2006

Gary Dillehay                                                 Eureka Lodge # 2                                             2007

Jimmy Fears                                                    Pythian Lodge # 26                                        2008

DeWayne Wood                                              Banner Lodge # 86                                         2009

Jason Sheppard                                               Texas Lodge # 1                                              2010

Ronald Sharp                                                   Midlothian Lodge #50                                  2011

Wayne Knutson                                               Midlothian Lodge #50                                  2012

Ronnie Northcutt                                            Texas Lodge # 1                                              2013

Randall Northcutt                                           Pythian Lodge # 26                                       2014

Doyle Karg                                                         Lone Star Lodge # 4                                      2015

Chris Watson                                                     Lone Star Lodge # 4                                      2016

Robert Paty                                                        LaNana Lodge #106                                      2017