Ima Hogg Made Major Contributions for Historical Preservation and The Arts
No one is quite sure what Governor James Stephen Hogg and his wife Sarah Ann Stinson were thinking when they named their baby girl — born July 10, 1882 — Ima Hogg. Rumors were there was another daughter named Ura but at least that is untrue.
What is true is that Ima Hogg was born in Mineola and, despite her unfortunate name that was a part of Texas folklore, she became one of the world’s greatest philanthropists and patrons of the arts.
She was affectionately known as Miss Ima for most of her long life. She never married.
Miss Ima started playing the piano at age three. She was eight years old when her father was elected governor and spent much of her early life in Austin. After her mother died of tuberculosis in 1895, Ima attended the Coronal Institute in San Marcos, and in 1899 she entered the University of Texas.
In 1901 she went to New York to study music. Her father’s illness drew her back to Texas in 1905. After his death in 1906 she continued her music studies in Berlin and Vienna from 1907 to 1909. She moved to Houston then and gave piano lessons and helped found the Houston Symphony Orchestra.
She became ill in late 1918 and spent two years in Philadelphia under the care of a specialist in mental and nervous disorders.
Around this time the family came into oil money and by the late 1920s Miss Ima was involved in a wide range of philanthropic projects. They include the founding of the Houston Child Guidance Center and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. She worked to establish symphony concerts for school children, to get equal pay for teachers regardless of gender or race, and to set up a painting-to- music program in the public schools. In 1948 she became the first woman president of the Philosophical Society of Texas. She donated art and antiques, called The Bayou Bend Collection, to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Miss Ima restored several of the Hogg homes in Texas that are now state historical sites and those locations are used for learning Texas history and holding arts festivals.
In 1969 Quitman established the Ima Hogg Museum in her honor at her restored parents’ home there. It is part of the larger
Jim Hogg City Park. Three museums are on the property including the Stinson house (where Ima’s maternal grandparents lived); The Honeymoon Cottage, the early home of the Hogg family with original furnishings; and the Ima Hogg Museum with Northeast Texas and family memorabilia. For more information visit quitmantx.org or call 903.763.4045.
Miss Ima received numerous awards for her work in historic preservation not only from state organizations but for the nation. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed her to the committee for planning the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Jacqueline Kennedy asked Miss Ima to help search for historic furniture for the White House. She received numerous awards and acknowledgement for her contributions to America’s cultural heritage.
On August 19, 1975, at the age of 93, Ima Hogg died of complications from a traffic accident. She is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.