An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Nine

Above, Proceedings of Investigation Committee, House of Representatives Thirty-Fifth Legislature: Charges Against Governor James E. Ferguson, Texas History Collection, Austin History Center via Portal to Texas History

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Eight

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, September 1917

“Farmer Jim declines to name his friends, as he calls his wealthy saviors who leapt forward to lend him more than $150,000 to bail him out of debt in the nick of time to rescue his pig farm. He says the people have no right to know details of his private business affairs. Hogwash.”

Fannie sniffs. “It smells as malodorous as that offensive pig farm down the road.”

“We doubt he was acquainted with any of these friends before he ran for governor. Upon repeated questioning by several senators, the closest thing to an answer he has given is: ‘It is perfectly simple if you knew all the facts, but I cannot tell you the facts.’ And he can’t tell them because he promised his friends he wouldn’t reveal their names.”

“I should think, Thomas, these so-called friends wouldn’t care if their names were made public if this transaction was above board.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Nine”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Eight

Above, 1917 advertisement for La Perla that appeared in the San Antonio Light

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Seven

Andrew Stevens, August 1917

“Andy,” says the Colonel, “be on your guard in the coming days and weeks. I’m not asking you to break any laws, but I have wind that there are some pesky State Senators planning on trying to serve me with a subpoena. I would prefer that effort fail.”

“Yes, sir. I will reveal your whereabouts to no one and decline to admit anyone without an appointment.”

“Thank you, Andy. And whenever you call for my automobile, perhaps it’s best if the boy brings it around to the back door.”

“Well, well, Colonel,” bellows John as he strides into the office. He places his hand on the Colonel’s forehead. “No fever that I can detect. Yet you are here, and the House is still in session for another day or two.”

“One can never be too careful with one’s health. I thought it best if I were not present to vote on the question of passing the impeachment matter up to the Senate. Where? What? From whom? The continuing peppering of Governor Ferguson with questions about the origins of his $156,000 loan were striking closer to home than I desired.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Eight”

An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Five

an ostrich-plumed hat

Begin with Chapter One ~ Return to Chapter Eighty-Four

Former Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell, February 1916

“The breweries didn’t admit their guilt to one single thing. Not to paying poll taxes for poor Antis. Not to making illegal use of their assets to further their political agenda. Not to violating anti-trust statutes. They claim to be as innocent as babes in the woods when they are as evil as those zeppelin airships slipping in at night to deposit deadly bombs on civilians in England and France.”

“The Attorney General did whack them with the third largest judgment ever rendered in the history of the state,” says his son-in-law Clarence Dilley.

“Two-hundred and eighty-thousand dollars? That’s chickenfeed to them. Barely a slap on the wrist. In 1911 alone, the San Antonio Brewing Association contributed more than $100,000 to the Texas Brewing Association to defeat the Prohibition Amendment.”

Continue reading “An Ostrich-Plumed Hat: Chapter Eighty-Five”