Devember 6, 2018
Dear UT Community,
Later this month, the university will reinstall the statue of Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg. It will be located between the Main Building and the Will C. Hogg Building, which is named for Governor Hogg’s son, who was a supporter and advocate for The University of Texas.
The Hogg statue was removed from the South Mall in 2017, along with three statues of Confederate figures. As I stated in my message at the time, the university’s intention was to consider reinstalling the Hogg statue elsewhere on campus.
James Hogg was a child during the Civil War and would go on to become the first Texas-born governor, serving for four years. Governor Hogg has a complicated and nuanced legacy. He was a champion of public and higher education, and he defended the economic interests of citizens by passing anti-monopoly laws. He also created the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Governor Hogg was passionate about battling what he called “mobocracy” — lynchings and other violent acts against those accused of crimes — and he proposed some of the nation’s first anti-lynching laws to the Texas Legislature. But, he also allowed a law to pass that reinforced segregation in railroad cars — legislation that provided the legal basis for segregated facilities and services that would usher in the Jim Crow era in Texas.
After Governor Hogg’s death, his children and descendants would go on to become benefactors and leaders at UT Austin. Will C. Hogg endowed professorships, served on the Board of Regents and founded the Texas Exes. Ima Hogg established the Hogg Foundation, which has been a leading force in mental health care in Texas since its founding at UT Austin in 1940.
There are statues, names and inscriptions throughout the Forty Acres that tell the story of Texas. Governor Hogg and his descendants made many contributions to UT Austin and to the state. His statue has been part of the campus for more than 80 years and will continue to represent the legacy of the Hogg family in its new location.
Gregory L. Fenves