Gov. Jimmy Allred turned governor of Texas in a determined time for Texas. The Nice Despair created many hardships for households and crippled state funds. Although he had met with a number of defeats and reverses in his life, Allred’s persistence guided Texas in a tough time and cemented lasting modifications for the state.
James V Allred, affectionately often called Jimmy to family and friends, was born within the small Montague County group of Bowie in 1899. His childhood was uneventful, and he graduated from Bowie Excessive College in 1917. He headed to Houston to enroll at Rice College. He ran out of cash, which derailed his preliminary try at increased training, however he regrouped and pressed forward.
The United States had entered World Struggle I by this time, and Allred enlisted within the navy. After the conflict, he discovered a job as a regulation clerk in Wichita Falls. Impressed to renew his training, he enrolled at Cumberland College in Tennessee and obtained a regulation diploma in 1921.
Allred returned to Wichita Falls and opened his personal regulation agency. A revered lawyer, Gov. Pat Neff appointed him as district lawyer for Archer, Wichita, and Younger counties in 1923. Allred delighted within the position as a fighter for the widespread man, typically taking up corrupt companies and the Ku Klux Klan. He ran for lawyer basic, shedding a detailed race in 1926. He rebounded, targeting his regulation agency and marrying Joe Betsy Miller of Wichita Falls in 1927, with whom he would have three kids. Allred re-entered politics and have become lawyer basic in 1930.
Because the Nice Despair deepened in Texas, Allred turned more and more fashionable for his actions taking up monopolies and corrupt enterprise practices that harm shoppers and staff. Because of his success, he ran for governor in 1934, searching for to switch the controversial Gov. Miriam A. Ferguson. In what turned an uncommon race for Texas, all three main candidates for the Democratic nomination have been from Wichita Falls: Allred, Tom F. Hunter, Charles McDonald. Allred got here out on prime and received the overall election simply.
Allred made combating the Nice Despair the main focus of his administration. Unemployment was excessive, and farms have been failing. He created the Texas Planning Board as an advisory fee to the state legislature to assist decide how federal help by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal packages ought to greatest be utilized. Hundreds of Texans have been put to work by Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps tasks, constructing new parks, setting up faculties and different public buildings, and paving streets and sidewalks. With these tasks, the worst results of the Despair have been alleviated as many have been capable of put meals on the desk once more.
He pushed by reforms to the state’s Prohibition legal guidelines, permitting local-option alcohol elections.
He reorganized regulation enforcement within the state. He consolidated the Texas Rangers and the freeway division into the Division of Public Security in 1936. Due to issues over the issuing of pardons by earlier governors, a constitutional modification required all new pardon functions be reviewed by a particular board first. The state additionally celebrated its centennial of independence in 1936, which included not solely public observances – a welcome diversion throughout the Despair — but in addition the development of monuments and museums throughout Texas. He additionally established the Interstate Oil Compact Fee to cooperate with different oil-producing states.
Throughout his governorship, the household welcomed a brand new addition. In 1937, Joe Betsy Allred gave beginning to a wholesome son on the governor’s mansion within the Sam Houston Bed room within the Sam Houston Mattress. He was one of many few kids born within the governor’s mansion. Naturally, the son was christened Sam Houston Allred.
He had been stymied by the legislature in earlier makes an attempt to ascertain a pension system for the aged, however he pushed once more after the Social Safety Act was handed by Congress in 1935. In 1937, Allred enacted reforms to training, which included a pension for academics and expanded funding for faculties and college students. New packages for the poor and aged have been additionally enacted, largely paid for by new taxes on oil, gasoline, and liquor.
Allred was appointed a federal choose by President Roosevelt in 1938, a place he took after his second time period as governor ended. He made yet another try at workplace in 1942, resigning his place as federal choose to run for U. S. Senate in a shedding bid in opposition to fashionable Gov. W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel.
In 1949, President Harry S. Truman reappointed Allred to the federal bench, and the household moved to Corpus Christi. In 1959, Allred was presiding over a trial in Laredo when he halted the proceedings, complaining he was not feeling properly. Just a few hours later, he collapsed and died on the age of 60. His spouse returned to Wichita Falls some years later, a revered, motherly determine in the neighborhood who lived a comparatively quiet life till her passing in 1993. In 1995, the state opened a brand new jail, the James V Allred Unit, between Wichita Falls and Iowa Park, naming it within the governor’s honor.
Ken Bridges is a author, historian and native Texan. He holds a doctorate from the College of North Texas. Bridges will be reached by e mail at [email protected]