Miriam A. ('Ma') Ferguson


Miriam A. Ferguson was Texas' first woman governor. She served two terms, 1925 to 1927 and 1933 to 1935. She first ran in 1924 on the platform of vindicating her husband, former Governor Jim Ferguson, who had been impeached. Jim Ferguson had been one of the nation's strongest opponents of woman suffrage only a few years earlier, but actively promoted his wife's candidacy. Mrs. Ferguson defeated a candidate backed by the Ku Klux Klan, which was making a comeback in Texas in the 1920s. As governor, she issued many pardons and paroles, backed economy in government and pushed an anti-Klan bill through the legislature. In her second term, during the Depression, she backed loans for cotton farmers and "bread bonds" to assist mothers with starving children. Regulation of the oil industry began under her administration, and she proposed a tax on oil to benefit schools and roads.

Biography Source Information

Biographies are reprinted from the Foundation for Women’s Resources (now Women’s Resources), Dallas, Texas. They originally appeared in "From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women," video study guide, Austin: The Foundation for Women's Resources, 1997. Death dates have been added where needed.