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Death of Governor Jester


WillowBend56

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Governor Beauford H. Jester died on the overnight train to Houston from Austin in 1949. Some acccounts will tell only that much. Truth is that he died in the amorous embrace of a woman. When discovered by a railroad employee, the woman was allowed to detrain outside of Houston and the governor's body taken on into Houston.

Not quite Murder on the Orient Express!

http://www.txgenweb6.org/txnavarro/biographies/j/jester/index.htm

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Governor Beauford H. Jester died on the overnight train to Houston from Austin in 1949. Some acccounts will tell only that much. Truth is that he died in the amorous embrace of a woman. When discovered by a railroad employee, the woman was allowed to detrain outside of Houston and the governor's body taken on into Houston.

Not quite Murder on the Orient Express!

http://www.txgenweb6.org/txnavarro/biographies/j/jester/index.htm

I have not heard this account ANYWHERE else. Where did you hear this? Any links to a website that talk about it?

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Governor Beauford H. Jester died on the overnight train to Houston from Austin in 1949. Some acccounts will tell only that much. Truth is that he died in the amorous embrace of a woman. When discovered by a railroad employee, the woman was allowed to detrain outside of Houston and the governor's body taken on into Houston.

Not quite Murder on the Orient Express!

************************

I've read a lot about the lives of Texas governors, and never seen or heard this story either. I don't believe it, and you will have to produce incontrovertible proof from a credible source to get me to believe it.

Just saying it's something you heard second or third hand a long time ago from your grandfather or some other friend of the family won't cut it. Only a credible verifiable source will suffice in a story like this.

Edited by FilioScotia
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(He was actually en route from Austin to Galveston, but died in his sleep before the Houston station.)

Beauford H. Jester was my grandfather, and I can assure you that that this is indeed a false rumor.

But it certainly is a hoot to think that anyone would think of him as a ladies' man!

Where on Earth did you get this story? I love it! My mom and I are dying to know.

Alice Jester Berry

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Doubt you'll find much in the press of the time. It would not have been widely published in Texas.

I found one reference that mentions the incident (in the first long paragraph by Mr.Patterson):

http://www.laits.utexas.edu/txp_media/pr/speaker_series_files/transcripts/200810_patterson.html

I doubt you will find anything in any press to substantite this because it simply isn't true. Mr. Patterson claims that the Governor lived like a bachelor in Austin while his family lived in Corsicana. This is not true. His family was living in Austin and Governor spent the previous day with his family and staff on Lake Austin. Governor Jester had been ill for several days prior to this trip with food poisoning and had been convalescing. Governor Jester was on his way to Galveston to visit a heart specialist for a check-up before spending several days fishing. The article claimed he was in his late 40s. He was 56. The story is full of inaccuracies that could have easily been checked.

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Thanks, isuredid.

I wondered about several of Patterson's bits. Granddad was indeed not in his 40's, nor living a bachelor life! Mom says she remembers already being in bed upstairs at the governor's mansion when her father was saying goodbye to her mother downstairs that fateful night. She decided not to get out of bed to say goodbye, because she'd be seeing him soon. I'll have to ask her about the food poisoning; she's never mentioned that to me.

And he was in fact 55 or 56, not late 40's.

People love a scandal, don't they?

(Of course, I'm guilty there too.....)

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Thanks, isuredid.

I wondered about several of Patterson's bits. Granddad was indeed not in his 40's, nor living a bachelor life! Mom says she remembers already being in bed upstairs at the governor's mansion when her father was saying goodbye to her mother downstairs that fateful night. She decided not to get out of bed to say goodbye, because she'd be seeing him soon. I'll have to ask her about the food poisoning; she's never mentioned that to me.

And he was in fact 55 or 56, not late 40's.

People love a scandal, don't they?

(Of course, I'm guilty there too.....)

I have a subscription to www.newspaperarchive.com and I was using that service to read several of the stories from around the state on the day of his death. Several of them mentioned that he had been suffering the effects of food poisoning during the closing days of the legislative session, but seemed to have recovered. Who knows if that was a contributing factor to his death. The fact that he was going to see a heart specialist in Galveston tells me that he must have suspected something. The doctor was to have met him at the train and then from there staight to the doctors office for a complete physical. The doctor's name was Dr. Edward H. Schwab and he claimed that he had examined the Governor previously and found no heart ailments.

Jan 12, 1893 - July 11, 1949

1949

-1893

------

= 56

Edited by isuredid
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You know, my father died in his sleep after having not felt well (flu-like symptoms) for a day or two. It appears to have been a heart attack.

I wonder if in retrospect Beauford's "food poisoning" was actually an oncoming heart attack?

Purely conjecture, of course.

isuredid, that news service sounds like a [nerdy] gold mine!!

I could lose myself for days in something like that.

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You know, my father died in his sleep after having not felt well (flu-like symptoms) for a day or two. It appears to have been a heart attack.

I wonder if in retrospect Beauford's "food poisoning" was actually an oncoming heart attack?

Purely conjecture, of course.

I'm sorry for the loss of your father, and that was the first thing that occurred to me, too. There's no way to know now, but I'll bet it wasn't "just" food poisoning.

On the other hand, the sickest I've been in my life were two bouts of food poisoning. Wonder if that could trigger a heart attack if someone was already on the brink?

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You know, my father died in his sleep after having not felt well (flu-like symptoms) for a day or two. It appears to have been a heart attack.

I wonder if in retrospect Beauford's "food poisoning" was actually an oncoming heart attack?

Purely conjecture, of course.

isuredid, that news service sounds like a [nerdy] gold mine!!

I could lose myself for days in something like that.

COMING TO ISLE

The governor, gray and worn from days and nights of work, had

been en route to Galveston for a routine medical check-up and a

few days of rest and quiet. His noticeable fatigue had been

a cause of growing alarm among members of his immediate staff.

However, he was believed to. be in reasonably good health.

Dr. Howard L. Evans of Houston, summoned to the railroad

coach, said the governor died of a coronary occlusion.

The doctor explained that a blood clot apparently reached the governor's

heart, probably while he slept. Death, he said, apparently came instantly.

Went on Picnic

The governer, despite his evident fatigue, shook off his weariness yesterday to join

his family and some 20 members of his staff on a Sunday afternoon outing.

With his 10-year-old son Beauford Jr, the governor swam, played softball and capped

the afternoon by leading a sing-song as the party returned by boat across Lake Travis.

Bill Youngblood, a member of the governer's staff, said that he "apparently felt fine."

However, it was noticed that he ate little of the evening picnic meal, and later complained

of being "very tired."

The governor accompanied by Mrs. Jester and his family, returned to the mansion shortly

before 10 p.m. He was there long enough to pack his back for the trip to Galveston.

Less than an hour later he left for his last trip.

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That "story" Jerry Patterson included in his remarks to that group had all the earmarks of an urban legend that's probably been floating around around Austin since Jester's death. It sounds exactly like something someone would make up about a Governor who was not popular in the Austin area. Recall Jester served on the UT Board of Regents in the 30s and was remembered as a solid conservative figure. When he ran for Governor In 1946 one of his opponents was Dr. Homer Rainey, the former UT President who was fired because of his fights with the Regents over academic freedom.

Here's what a member of the Texas Historical Association wrote about that election.

"That election originally featured fourteen candidates for the Democratic nomination. The most controversial contender was Homer Price Rainey, former president of the University of Texas and also an ordained minister who had earned a Ph.D. Rainey’s "former" status really meant fired, because he had opposed the university’s board of regents over firings of faculty and banning books from its library. Tactics of Rainey’s opponents included men-only meetings featuring readings of portions of the banned books. Jester, who stayed above the fray, then claimed that he was the only candidate "without mud on his hands," and he won."

Austin has always been more liberal than the rest of the state, and in those days Austin liberals suffered through one conservative Democrat governor after another. Homer Rainey was one of their heroes, and I'm willing to bet they never forgave Jester for beating him in the '46 governor's race. Libs love to ridicule conservatives, so how would you heap ridicule a man with a reputation for being a family man? Make up a story about him dying in the arms of a lover.

We know that story has been around for years. That's just my theory on how it may have started. Absolutely nothing that happens in Texas politics can surprise me.

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That "story" Jerry Patterson included in his remarks to that group had all the earmarks of an urban legend that's probably been floating around around Austin since Jester's death. It sounds exactly like something someone would make up about a Governor who was not popular in the Austin area. Recall Jester served on the UT Board of Regents in the 30s and was remembered as a solid conservative figure. When he ran for Governor In 1946 one of his opponents was Dr. Homer Rainey, the former UT President who was fired because of his fights with the Regents over academic freedom.

Here's what a member of the Texas Historical Association wrote about that election.

"That election originally featured fourteen candidates for the Democratic nomination. The most controversial contender was Homer Price Rainey, former president of the University of Texas and also an ordained minister who had earned a Ph.D. Rainey’s "former" status really meant fired, because he had opposed the university’s board of regents over firings of faculty and banning books from its library. Tactics of Rainey’s opponents included men-only meetings featuring readings of portions of the banned books. Jester, who stayed above the fray, then claimed that he was the only candidate "without mud on his hands," and he won."

Austin has always been more liberal than the rest of the state, and in those days Austin liberals suffered through one conservative Democrat governor after another. Homer Rainey was one of their heroes, and I'm willing to bet they never forgave Jester for beating him in the '46 governor's race. Ridiculing conservative politicians is a cottage industry in Austin, so how would you heap ridicule on a man with a reputation for being a family man? Make up a story about him dying in the arms of a lover.

We know that story has been around for years. That's just my theory on how it may have started. Absolutely nothing that happens in Texas politics can surprise me.

Edited by FilioScotia
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Thanks for that background, Filio! That seems very plausible, especially that the story was politically motivated.

What doesn't seem plausible is the idea of a guy recovering from food poisoning, who thinks he may be having heart trouble, trying to have an illicit sexual tryst. As bad as it sounds like he was feeling, he probably wasn't exactly in the mood.

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LOL, marmer! Quite true!

Regarding the politics, Filioscotia, my mom always said that Beauford never carried Austin, which was always more liberal than he (and the rest of Texas) was. Indeed, a smear like that (fabricated love affair) would be the perfect one for a man like him.

It's funny too, because his stance of separate-but-equal education, while appalling today, was back then quite progressive. And he was the one who signed for Texas Southern to be chartered. It was and is a fine school; he really did mean equal.

This is really funny/weird discussing my family with strangers on the Internet! I'm on a a few forums, but I'm friends IRL with the bulk of the members. But I appreciate all of y'all's desire to discuss/find the historical truth of any and all topics, while admitting (and enjoying) the rumors. That the rumors exist is part of the history too, no?

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  • 4 weeks later...

(He was actually en route from Austin to Galveston, but died in his sleep before the Houston station.)

Beauford H. Jester was my grandfather, and I can assure you that that this is indeed a false rumor.

But it certainly is a hoot to think that anyone would think of him as a ladies' man!

Where on Earth did you get this story? I love it! My mom and I are dying to know.

Alice Jester Berry

Hello Alice,

I'm not sure that you are still watching these posts, but my Grandfather was L.M. Barrett, who was a Pullman Company Exec, and Tyler of Reagan Lodge ( AF & AM ). He was assigned to ride this train, and stated that the Governor was very ill, and they kept a close watch on him. My Grandfather tried to wake him as they approached Houston, but found him dead in his sleep, and there was no woman, no porter, or anyone else assigned to watch him but my Grandfather. If you are familiar with what the Tyler does at the Masonic Lodge, you'll know why my Grandfather, alone, was chosen to look out for him. When they pulled into Houston, someone had sent out the news, and though the Pullman Company had tried to keep everyone away, reporters had jumped the fence, and were running through the train, as my Grandfather described, " They were like wild Indians, and were pushing, and shoving each other down - even trying to take the window out of one coach to get on the train for photos". My Grandfather always carried a .45 Colt, ( 1901 Army issue from WWI. I still have the pistol ), in the front of his waistband, and finally pulled it to defend the Governor's body. He actually fired a warning round into the roof of the Pullman Car to get them off. According to my Grandfather, "They ran like Hell after that - I wasn't fooling". There was not much real coverage to be had, because my Grandfather quelled every attempt. He guarded the Governor's body until the Houston Police arrived. If I'm not mistaken, he stated that Houston Police Sgt. Babe Sears took control of the scene, and Harris County Sherriff, C. V. " Buster " Kern arrived as well with several deputies, accompanied by A.C. Martindale from the Harris County Morgue, and the hearse that was used was from Ray Duvall Funeral Home. It should be noted that all of these men were Masons from Reagan Lodge, and considered this a most serious, and honorable duty. I heard these men talk about the Governor's detah as a tragedy all my young life growing up. I can tell you that they were emotionally tied to this event as if it had just happenned, and they lost a personal family member.They were good men in those days. There was no conspiracy, or cover - up ... just honorable men, trying to keep the press from scavengering the death of a good man.

If you respond, please contact me on my e - mail @ jim@writeemcowboy.com I would love to hear from you.

Very Best Regards,

Jim Hodges

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Jim, you have now confirmed for me that the internet is THE BEST THING EVAR!!

Seriously, everyone, how funny/great is that - that the grandchild of the deceased (and slandered) governor could hear from the grandchild of the Pullman man (and Tyler) who guarded his body!!

It's an honor to hear from you, Jim. I thank you for this amazing story.

(How did you stumble upon this little exchange here?)

alice b

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Jim, you have now confirmed for me that the internet is THE BEST THING EVAR!!

Seriously, everyone, how funny/great is that - that the grandchild of the deceased (and slandered) governor could hear from the grandchild of the Pullman man (and Tyler) who guarded his body!!

It's an honor to hear from you, Jim. I thank you for this amazing story.

(How did you stumble upon this little exchange here?)

alice b

Good Afternoon Alice,

I do swear that the Internet IS remarkable. I'm very pleased that this story added some excitement, and disclosure to the memory of your Grandfather. I'm sure you enjoy the history that your Grandfather entrusted, and relayed to you, as I did with mine. In answer to your question, we had just celebrated my Mother's 92 nd birthday this past weekend. During the accompanied family reunion, I overheard my Father ( 89 y.o.a.) telling this story to my brother - in - law, so I joined in. My Father didn't remember the intricate details so I threw in what I knew. The discussion was precipitated by my older sister, who gave me a recently discovered Pullman Company towel that belonged to my Grandfather. My Grandfather was my room mate until his death, the brother I never had, and a mentor of monumental stature as well. So were all of his Masonic friends, who dominated the Harris / Galveston County area in those days - ALL from mainly one lodge, and that was Reagan Lodge.

After we returned home, I just thought that I would just check in on the story, and see where history ( Or the lack thereof ) had taken it. I was reading through tidbits of information on different websites, all of which had just a casual mention of the event. Then, I stumbled across your post, and comment, noticing your name, and the revelation of this being your Grandfather. What a nice coincidence, and rewarding result! I felt compelled to square this up, even if it wasn't important to others, it is important to me.

Thank you for your response,

Jim Hodges

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So this is the Reagan Lodge (a great old building) on Heights Blvd?

I live very close to there and walk by there often.

Suppose there are any members now who'd have known our grandfathers?? (Or at least know who they were?)

Makes me want to poke my head in there sometime.

ab

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So this is the Reagan Lodge (a great old building) on Heights Blvd?

I live very close to there and walk by there often.

Suppose there are any members now who'd have known our grandfathers?? (Or at least know who they were?)

Makes me want to poke my head in there sometime.

ab

Yes Alice, that is the Lodge. It is beautiful on the inside with wood paneled walls, and lots of photos in the den area. My Uncle, J.S. Barrett went there until he died just about a year ago at 95 years old. My entire family was involved heavily, but some died, and my parents moved, leaving my Uncle the last of our direct family to actively attend. My Grandfather that I outlined in my story was the Tyler for 26 years, and my Father ran a radio & TV repair business, so we knew everyone. My Grandfather's picture is in the foyer, and also by his tyler station upstairs. In answer to your question, I don't know how many old timers are left, but I would guess that not any of them are still around that remember them, as they would be pretty old. The Hieghts was THE place to be in those days. Some really grand memories, so thanks for allowing me to share them.

Jim

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Just saying it's something you heard second or third hand a long time ago from your grandfather or some other friend of the family won't cut it. Only a credible verifiable source will suffice in a story like this.

My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw the governor with a hoochie that night. Guess it was pretty serious.

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Hello Alice,

I'm not sure that you are still watching these posts, but my Grandfather was L.M. Barrett, who was a Pullman Company Exec, and Tyler of Reagan Lodge ( AF & AM ). He was assigned to ride this train, and stated that the Governor was very ill, and they kept a close watch on him. My Grandfather tried to wake him as they approached Houston, but found him dead in his sleep, and there was no woman, no porter, or anyone else assigned to watch him but my Grandfather. If you are familiar with what the Tyler does at the Masonic Lodge, you'll know why my Grandfather, alone, was chosen to look out for him. When they pulled into Houston, someone had sent out the news, and though the Pullman Company had tried to keep everyone away, reporters had jumped the fence, and were running through the train, as my Grandfather described, " They were like wild Indians, and were pushing, and shoving each other down - even trying to take the window out of one coach to get on the train for photos". My Grandfather always carried a .45 Colt, ( 1901 Army issue from WWI. I still have the pistol ), in the front of his waistband, and finally pulled it to defend the Governor's body. He actually fired a warning round into the roof of the Pullman Car to get them off. According to my Grandfather, "They ran like Hell after that - I wasn't fooling". There was not much real coverage to be had, because my Grandfather quelled every attempt. He guarded the Governor's body until the Houston Police arrived. If I'm not mistaken, he stated that Houston Police Sgt. Babe Sears took control of the scene, and Harris County Sherriff, C. V. " Buster " Kern arrived as well with several deputies, accompanied by A.C. Martindale from the Harris County Morgue, and the hearse that was used was from Ray Duvall Funeral Home. It should be noted that all of these men were Masons from Reagan Lodge, and considered this a most serious, and honorable duty. I heard these men talk about the Governor's detah as a tragedy all my young life growing up. I can tell you that they were emotionally tied to this event as if it had just happenned, and they lost a personal family member.They were good men in those days. There was no conspiracy, or cover - up ... just honorable men, trying to keep the press from scavengering the death of a good man.

If you respond, please contact me on my e - mail @ jim@writeemcowboy.com I would love to hear from you.

Very Best Regards,

Jim Hodges

Mr. Hodges, Ms. Berry ... what an awesome story y'all have added a layer of cool to! Thank you so much for comin' here to tell that.

I'm the first generation of native Houstonian in my family, so I don't have connections as deep as y'all do, so I find stories like this fascinating.

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Mr. Hodges, Ms. Berry ... what an awesome story y'all have added a layer of cool to! Thank you so much for comin' here to tell that.

I'm the first generation of native Houstonian in my family, so I don't have connections as deep as y'all do, so I find stories like this fascinating.

Hello Krisitin, and thank you for your comments. As you will find, the Houston area has some unique, and fascinating history, especially the Hieghts. I grew up there, and rode horses with my other Grandfather ( Father's side) all over the area. It was a city of it's own, and J.B. Marmion's dad was the last mayor of the Hieghts. I'm sure you've seen Marmion Park. J.B. was a really great man, who had an interesting history as well. Unfortunately, as history goes, it DOES become word of mouth, as truthful documentation is poor, and almost non - existent. The Horace Greely's take care of twisting the real event to "Read better". I love to hear, and tell these stories as well - they make my heart warm, and reaffirms to me that the world is O.K.

Very Best Regards,

Jim Hodges

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I figured the Houston newspapers would have the most thorough coverage since Govenor Jester's death was discoverd here. I went to look at the articles from that day and the next. One of the articles actually mentions L.M. Barrett so I can verify that he was indeed on that train. The funeral home was the Houston Funeral Home. I don't think the Ray Duval Funeral home existed yet in 1949. No mention in any of the articles of C.V "Buster" Kern. There was one photo of "large crowds" of friends of the Governor and reporters in the Southern Pacific Station, but they appeared to be clustered in groups and milling about talking. Here is the most pertinent Chronicle article from July 11, 1949. The day the Governor died.

Porter Discovers Governor Dead in Pullman Berth

Maes Says He Believes Executive Died About 3 a.m.;

Shriver Gets Word on Farm Near Woodville

Beauford Halbert Jester, who had been governor

of the State of Texas since Janurary, 1947 died of

an apparent heart attack early Monday morning in his

berth aboard a Southern Pacific train en route to

Houston.

An Inquest verdict of death due to natural causes

was returned by Justice Tom Maes, who with Southern

Pacific Hospital doctors conducted the medical

investigation.

Justice Maes placed the time of death at about 3 or 4

a.m. Mondy while the governor slept in his berth.

Governor Jester was lying on his back when his body was

discovered, and death apparaently came peacefully.

His hands were folded across his stomach, police said.

The governor was dressed in pajamas.

He was the first Texas governor to die while in office.

While two state highway patrolmen formed an honor guard over the governor's body in the Houston Funeral Home, funeral

arrangements were being drawn up in Austin.

With the governor's death, Lieutenant Governor Allan Shrivers immediately assumed the state's top executive position.

Shrivers received word of the governor's death while on his farm near Woodville.

The body of the 56-year-old governor was discovered by Charlie Jimmerson of 1202 Ruthven, negro porter in Governor Jester's

Pullman. Jimmerson had gone to awaken him about 7:30 a.m.

First word of the governor's death was received when railroad officials at the station telephoned Homicide Lt. W.P. Brown

of the Houston police department about 7:55 a.m. Monday.

The lieutenant immediately dispatched three homicide detectives, Lloyd Barrett, L.L. Watts, and Frank Murray, to the station to begin

an investigation.

The governor occupied a lower berth on the Pullman "Berkley", part of the Southern Pacific night train from Austin.

The train left there at 11:30 p.m. Sunday and arrived here at 5:15 a.m. Monday.

Travelling alone, the governor was en route to Houston where he was to be met by state highway patrolmen who were to escort him to

Galveston friends said.

He had planned to remain in Galveston for a few days to rest up and fish. The governor decided on the short vacation because of a

"strenuous legistative session" the friends added.

According to the porter, Governor Jester boarded the train about 11:15 p.m Sunday in Austin, and began to retire for the night about five minutes later.

The porter summoned the train conductor, C.D. Pierce of 451 Dubarry Lane, after efforts to awaken the governor at 7:30 a.m. failed.

Jimerson pointed out that the governor had left a call for 7:30 a.m. When the effors of the conductor and the porter failed to awaken Governor Jester,

State Highway Patrolman W.B. Hawkins, who had been waiting at the station since 7:05 a.m. to pick the governor up, was summoned.

The patrolman went into the berth and called to the governor, at the same time shaking the mattress to try and rouse him.Governor, Governor, this is

Hawkins. Don't you know me? the patrolman called.

Hawkins, when the governor did not respond to the call, pushed open Governor Jester's eyelids, then said:

"The governor is dead."

C.M. Blackburn of 2612 Greenleaf, the station master notified the Houston police department of the governor's death.

The Austin Train comes into the station on Track 1 and remains there about 15 minutes before it is shunted to Track 2. There the train stays until the

Pullmans are cleared.

However, when the governor's death was discovered the rest of the train was pulled away and the governor's Pullman remained on Track 2.

Justice Maes, after an examination of the body with Dr. H.L. Evans, a surgeon on the staff of the Southern Pacific Hospital here, expressed belief that

the governor, at about 8:19 a.m. had been dead about "four or five hours"

The doctor, who prounounced the governor dead at 8:18 a.m., refused to talk to reporters about the possible cause is believed to be coronary occlusion.

Robert W. Henderson, who served as the governor's campaign manager in Harris County, contacted Mrs. Jester in Austin to make funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Jester instructed Henderson to tell the funeral home attendants to embalm her husband's body and hold it at the funeral home pending further disposition.

"Don't let anyone see the body" she told Henderson to tell the attendants.

"I don't know why Governor Jester came to Houston" Henderson told reporters. "I knew nothing of his plans or of any illness from which he might be suffering."

Mayor Oscar Holcombe, who was called to the station by E.A. Craft, executive vice-president of the Southern Pacific Lines in Texas and Louisiana. arrived at

the depot after the body had been removed from the Pullman berth.

Mr. Craft had been a passenger in the Pullman but left the train before learning about the Governor Jester's death.

This is from the Houston Post on July 12, 1949. This is just a portion of this article:

The last man to see Governor Jester alive was Pullman Porter Charlie Jimmerson, 66, of 1202 Ruthvan, the porter on

duty in the Pullman which the governor boarded at 11:15 PM Sunday night.

The governor was alone. Jimmerson took the governor's bags while the governor went back to the station and exchanged

his reservation slip.

Jimmerson last saw Governor Jester at 11:25 PM when the governor was sitting on the edge of Lower 5 taking off his shoes.

Governor Jester instructed Jimmerson to call him at 7:30 AM. The train pulled into the Southern Pacific station here

at 5:15 AM.

A state highway patrolman, W.B. Hawkins of 7330 Dixie Drive, who was instructed by Capt. Glenn Rose to meet the governor

at 7:30 AM, came in the car about 7 AM and checked with the conductor. C.D. Pierce of 4515 Dewberry Lane. At 7:30 AM

sharp Porter Jimmerson shook the curtains of Lower 5 several times then called to the governor. Getting no response

Jimmerson called Conductor Pierce and Patrolman Hawkins.

Patrolman Hawkins parted the curtains and called to the governor a number of times. Then he shook him and found that

the governor's body was cold. A Pullman employee. L.M. Barrett, went to call the police and met Homicide Detective

L.L. Watts, who was at the station to meet a friend. Detective Watts went immediately to the governor's berth, verified

the fact that the governor was dead, and telephoned Homicide Lieutenant W.P. Brown, his superior. Lieutenant Brown

assigned Detectives Frank Murray, J.G. Irwin, and Lloyd Barrett to the case.

A physician, Dr. Howard L. Evans of 302 Hermann Professional Building was called. He pronounced Governor Jester dead

at 8:18 AM. Doctor Evans said Governor Jester had been dead at least four hours, which would place his death at about

3:30 AM.

Detectives Murray and Irwin stripped the governor's body, under the supervision of Justice of the Peace Thomans M. Maes,

and examined it thoroughly. There were absolutely no marks of violence, and the unrumpled condition of the berth indicated

the governor died peacefully in his sleep. The body in pajamas was on its back the hands folded over the stomach. The body

was taken to the Houston Funeral Home.

A Houston attorney, Roy I. Arterbury of 1612 North Boulevard occupied the berth directly across from that of Governor

Jester.

Mr. Arterbury was in his berth before Governor Jester got on the train and didn't know the governor was across from him

until morning, when the porter told him.

Mr. Arterbury said he was awake several times during the night and heard nothing from Governor Jester's berth.

"When I left the car Governor Jester's berth was still curtained." Mr. Arterbury said. "and I thought to myself that he

was sleeping rather late."

Mr. Arterbury and Governor Jester were classmates at the University of Texas.

Actually, the governor at the time of his death was on his way to Galveston for an appointment at 10 AM Monday with two

heart specialists, where he had Dr. Edward H. Schwab and Dr. William L. Marr. But from what the doctors said, there had

been no cause for alarm. The checkup was routine for a man of the governor's age after months of strenuous work.

Dr. Schwab and Marr talked to the governor by telephone Sunday night just before Governor Jester left the capital.

"I'm feeling fine" the governor told his doctors.

Dr. Schwab said that previous examinations had shown the governor had no heart ailment

Sunday the governor spent a busy day or rather a strenuous day. He gave an outing for members of his executive staff

and his son Beauford Jr. He swam for an hour in the middle of the afternoon, went for a motorboat ride, and then played

softball for about an hour.

The group ate a picnic supper about 8 PM. After the supper, the governor led a sing-song. By 9:30 PM the governor admitted

he was tired and called it a day.

Governor Jester was a tireless traveller--by whatever means of transportation were at hand. Probably no other Texas governor

has travelled so much during his term of office as Governor Jester.

The passenger miles he had flown in planes must be in the hundreds of thousands. And he traveled without serious mishap, although

within the past year he and Mrs. Jester had some anxious minutes when a private place in which they were flying had to

make an emergency landing with its wheels up at the Austin Airport. Governor and Mrs. Jester were returning at the time from a

barbeque Which Lieutenant Governor Shriver had given at Mission.

Mayor Oscar Holcombe learned of the governor's death shortly after the body was found. The mayor went to the railroad station

shortly after 8 AM, but the body had been removed from the Pullman and taken to the funeral home.

Edited by isuredid
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I figured the Houston newspapers would have the most thorough coverage since Govenor Jester's death was discoverd here. I went to look at the articles from that day and the next. One of the articles actually mentions L.M. Barrett so I can verify that he was indeed on that train. The funeral home was the Houston Funeral Home. I don't think the Ray Duval Funeral home existed yet in 1949. No mention in any of the articles of C.V "Buster" Kern. There was one photo of "large crowds" of friends of the Governor and reporters in the Southern Pacific Station, but they appeared to be clustered in groups and milling about talking. Here is the most pertinent Chronicle article from July 11, 1949. The day the Governor died.

Hello Isuredid, I suppose you ( Sure )did... do your homework on this story, that is. I can't thank you enough for your effort here to bring some facts to the table. I believe the last time I heard this story was in 1962...whew ! Time does fly. I'm going to the bank, and get the gun from the safety deposit box, and post the photo here for anyone interested to see. I'm also going to call my Father tomorrow, and check the names listed in the article. I'll post his comments as well. Your post sure brought a flood of memories back, with all the names - especially about Mayor Holcombe - what a great man. I'll post the other information in a day or two. Thank you again, for caring about history, and more importantly, trying to get the story right.

Porter Discovers Governor Dead in Pullman Berth

Maes Says He Believes Executive Died About 3 a.m.;

Shriver Gets Word on Farm Near Woodville

Beauford Halbert Jester, who had been governor

of the State of Texas since Janurary, 1947 died of

an apparent heart attack early Monday morning in his

berth aboard a Southern Pacific train en route to

Houston.

An Inquest verdict of death due to natural causes

was returned by Justice Tom Maes, who with Southern

Pacific Hospital doctors conducted the medical

investigation.

Justice Maes placed the time of death at about 3 or 4

a.m. Mondy while the governor slept in his berth.

Governor Jester was lying on his back when his body was

discovered, and death apparaently came peacefully.

His hands were folded across his stomach, police said.

The governor was dressed in pajamas.

He was the first Texas governor to die while in office.

While two state highway patrolmen formed an honor guard over the governor's body in the Houston Funeral Home, funeral

arrangements were being drawn up in Austin.

With the governor's death, Lieutenant Governor Allan Shrivers immediately assumed the state's top executive position.

Shrivers received word of the governor's death while on his farm near Woodville.

The body of the 56-year-old governor was discovered by Charlie Jimmerson of 1202 Ruthven, negro porter in Governor Jester's

Pullman. Jimmerson had gone to awaken him about 7:30 a.m.

First word of the governor's death was received when railroad officials at the station telephoned Homicide Lt. W.P. Brown

of the Houston police department about 7:55 a.m. Monday.

The lieutenant immediately dispatched three homicide detectives, Lloyd Barrett, L.L. Watts, and Frank Murray, to the station to begin

an investigation.

The governor occupied a lower berth on the Pullman "Berkley", part of the Southern Pacific night train from Austin.

The train left there at 11:30 p.m. Sunday and arrived here at 5:15 a.m. Monday.

Travelling alone, the governor was en route to Houston where he was to be met by state highway patrolmen who were to escort him to

Galveston friends said.

He had planned to remain in Galveston for a few days to rest up and fish. The governor decided on the short vacation because of a

"strenuous legistative session" the friends added.

According to the porter, Governor Jester boarded the train about 11:15 p.m Sunday in Austin, and began to retire for the night about five minutes later.

The porter summoned the train conductor, C.D. Pierce of 451 Dubarry Lane, after efforts to awaken the governor at 7:30 a.m. failed.

Jimerson pointed out that the governor had left a call for 7:30 a.m. When the effors of the conductor and the porter failed to awaken Governor Jester,

State Highway Patrolman W.B. Hawkins, who had been waiting at the station since 7:05 a.m. to pick the governor up, was summoned.

The patrolman went into the berth and called to the governor, at the same time shaking the mattress to try and rouse him.Governor, Governor, this is

Hawkins. Don't you know me? the patrolman called.

Hawkins, when the governor did not respond to the call, pushed open Governor Jester's eyelids, then said:

"The governor is dead."

C.M. Blackburn of 2612 Greenleaf, the station master notified the Houston police department of the governor's death.

The Austin Train comes into the station on Track 1 and remains there about 15 minutes before it is shunted to Track 2. There the train stays until the

Pullmans are cleared.

However, when the governor's death was discovered the rest of the train was pulled away and the governor's Pullman remained on Track 2.

Justice Maes, after an examination of the body with Dr. H.L. Evans, a surgeon on the staff of the Southern Pacific Hospital here, expressed belief that

the governor, at about 8:19 a.m. had been dead about "four or five hours"

The doctor, who prounounced the governor dead at 8:18 a.m., refused to talk to reporters about the possible cause is believed to be coronary occlusion.

Robert W. Henderson, who served as the governor's campaign manager in Harris County, contacted Mrs. Jester in Austin to make funeral arrangements.

Mrs. Jester instructed Henderson to tell the funeral home attendants to embalm her husband's body and hold it at the funeral home pending further disposition.

"Don't let anyone see the body" she told Henderson to tell the attendants.

"I don't know why Governor Jester came to Houston" Henderson told reporters. "I knew nothing of his plans or of any illness from which he might be suffering."

Mayor Oscar Holcombe, who was called to the station by E.A. Craft, executive vice-president of the Southern Pacific Lines in Texas and Louisiana. arrived at

the depot after the body had been removed from the Pullman berth.

Mr. Craft had been a passenger in the Pullman but left the train before learning about the Governor Jester's death.

This is from the Houston Post on July 12, 1949. This is just a portion of this article:

The last man to see Governor Jester alive was Pullman Porter Charlie Jimmerson, 66, of 1202 Ruthvan, the porter on

duty in the Pullman which the governor boarded at 11:15 PM Sunday night.

The governor was alone. Jimmerson took the governor's bags while the governor went back to the station and exchanged

his reservation slip.

Jimmerson last saw Governor Jester at 11:25 PM when the governor was sitting on the edge of Lower 5 taking off his shoes.

Governor Jester instructed Jimmerson to call him at 7:30 AM. The train pulled into the Southern Pacific station here

at 5:15 AM.

A state highway patrolman, W.B. Hawkins of 7330 Dixie Drive, who was instructed by Capt. Glenn Rose to meet the governor

at 7:30 AM, came in the car about 7 AM and checked with the conductor. C.D. Pierce of 4515 Dewberry Lane. At 7:30 AM

sharp Porter Jimmerson shook the curtains of Lower 5 several times then called to the governor. Getting no response

Jimmerson called Conductor Pierce and Patrolman Hawkins.

Patrolman Hawkins parted the curtains and called to the governor a number of times. Then he shook him and found that

the governor's body was cold. A Pullman employee. L.M. Barrett, went to call the police and met Homicide Detective

L.L. Watts, who was at the station to meet a friend. Detective Watts went immediately to the governor's berth, verified

the fact that the governor was dead, and telephoned Homicide Lieutenant W.P. Brown, his superior. Lieutenant Brown

assigned Detectives Frank Murray, J.G. Irwin, and Lloyd Barrett to the case.

A physician, Dr. Howard L. Evans of 302 Hermann Professional Building was called. He pronounced Governor Jester dead

at 8:18 AM. Doctor Evans said Governor Jester had been dead at least four hours, which would place his death at about

3:30 AM.

Detectives Murray and Irwin stripped the governor's body, under the supervision of Justice of the Peace Thomans M. Maes,

and examined it thoroughly. There were absolutely no marks of violence, and the unrumpled condition of the berth indicated

the governor died peacefully in his sleep. The body in pajamas was on its back the hands folded over the stomach. The body

was taken to the Houston Funeral Home.

A Houston attorney, Roy I. Arterbury of 1612 North Boulevard occupied the berth directly across from that of Governor

Jester.

Mr. Arterbury was in his berth before Governor Jester got on the train and didn't know the governor was across from him

until morning, when the porter told him.

Mr. Arterbury said he was awake several times during the night and heard nothing from Governor Jester's berth.

"When I left the car Governor Jester's berth was still curtained." Mr. Arterbury said. "and I thought to myself that he

was sleeping rather late."

Mr. Arterbury and Governor Jester were classmates at the University of Texas.

Actually, the governor at the time of his death was on his way to Galveston for an appointment at 10 AM Monday with two

heart specialists, where he had Dr. Edward H. Schwab and Dr. William L. Marr. But from what the doctors said, there had

been no cause for alarm. The checkup was routine for a man of the governor's age after months of strenuous work.

Dr. Schwab and Marr talked to the governor by telephone Sunday night just before Governor Jester left the capital.

"I'm feeling fine" the governor told his doctors.

Dr. Schwab said that previous examinations had shown the governor had no heart ailment

Sunday the governor spent a busy day or rather a strenuous day. He gave an outing for members of his executive staff

and his son Beauford Jr. He swam for an hour in the middle of the afternoon, went for a motorboat ride, and then played

softball for about an hour.

The group ate a picnic supper about 8 PM. After the supper, the governor led a sing-song. By 9:30 PM the governor admitted

he was tired and called it a day.

Governor Jester was a tireless traveller--by whatever means of transportation were at hand. Probably no other Texas governor

has travelled so much during his term of office as Governor Jester.

The passenger miles he had flown in planes must be in the hundreds of thousands. And he traveled without serious mishap, although

within the past year he and Mrs. Jester had some anxious minutes when a private place in which they were flying had to

make an emergency landing with its wheels up at the Austin Airport. Governor and Mrs. Jester were returning at the time from a

barbeque Which Lieutenant Governor Shriver had given at Mission.

Mayor Oscar Holcombe learned of the governor's death shortly after the body was found. The mayor went to the railroad station

shortly after 8 AM, but the body had been removed from the Pullman and taken to the funeral home.

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I noticed that one of the detectives assigned to go to the train station was also named Barrett - Lloyd Barrett. Do you know if he was a relative?

I still have the Houston Press account to type up. It doesn't add much, but it contains a few additional details.

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Here is the Houston Press account:

Body Undetected For More Than Two Hours in S.P. Rail Station

The Southern Pacific's Austin-to-Houston train roared through the night on an apparently routine trip. Aboard it was

Gov. Beauford H. Jester--dead.

Sometine around 3:30 a.m. today Gov. Jester died in his sleep of coronary occlusion--in layman's language, a blood clot

in the heart.

At that time the train was going through Washington County.

Not until a Negro porter tried to wake up the governor at 7:30 a.m., two hours after the train pulled into Houston's

Grand Central Terminal, was the governor's death discovered.

Gov. Jester's death, attributed to natural causes by Justice of the Peace Tom Maes and Dr. Howard L. Evans, automatically

made Lt. Gov. Allan Shriver chief executive of the state.

Burial will be in Corsicana Wednesday. The body was to be flown back to Austin this afternoon aboard a National Guard

plane, with some 25 other state planes providing aerial escort. Governor Jester will lie in state in the Senate Chamber

for four hours Tuesday.

No One Knew He Was Coming

The governor made the trip alone.

Not even his most intimate friends, including Cotton Man Bob Henderson, his boyhood friend in Corsicana and his Harris

County campaign manager, knew he was coming to Houston.

A State Highway patrolman had been notified to meet the 56-year-old chief exectutive of Texas at the Houston station.

"It was a secret trip--we knew nothing of the governor's plans" said Capt. Glen Rose of the Houston area of the Texas

Highway Patrol.

From what police gathered, the governor, worn by the recently concluded session of the Legislature, plannd to meet an

unidentified Houston friend and the two were to spend a few days resting at Galveston Bay. It was later ascertained that the

Governor's Houston friend who knew about his plans to get away for a few days rest was Lumberman Jim Rockwell.

Mr. Rockwell had engaged a fishing boat and place for the governor to stay on Galveston Bay. State Highway Patrolman

W.B. Hawkins was to meet the governor and either he or Capt. rose was to have driven him to Galveston Bay were, away from

telephone, the governor planned to relax,rest and fish.

Verdict Was Natural Causes

Capt. Rose was called to the depot by Patrolman Hawkins, who was the officer assigned to meet the governor.

E.A. Craft, Southern Pacific executive vice-president, rode from Austin on the same Pullman with the Governor, but didn't

know Gov. Jester had died until after he reached the station in Houston.

Word of the governor's death, broadcast by newspaper extras and the radio, brought a number of the governor's friends to

the railroad station. Among them were Mr. Henderson, who notified Mrs. Jester and went to Houston Funeral Home to view

the body. Rep. Jimmy Pattison of Fort Bend County, Mayor Holcombe and City Attorney Will Sears.

The mayor immediately ordered all public flags at half-staff.

"I've known Beauford since we were boys together at Corsicana" said Mr. Henderson. "I never knew he suffered from heart

trouble." He was always a hard rugged hard-working individual who didn't spare himself.

"The strain of the session killed him" said Rep. Pattison.

The governor got on the train alone at Austin at 11:25 and went directly to Lower Berth Five on the Pullman "Berkeley"

He donned light blue pajamas and retired immediately after leaving word to be aroused at 7:30 a.m. in Houston.

Porter Tried to Wake Him Up

At 5:30 a.m. the train arrived at the Grand Central Station on Washington and was switched from track 1 to tract 2.

At 7:30 a.m., Pullman Porter Charles Jimerson, 66, of 1202 Ruthven, went to wake up the governor.

"It's time to get up" he said softly.

He repeated this several times.

Then Jimerson shook the governor by the shoulders.

"I knew something had happened and called the conductor." related the porter.

Pullman Conductor C.D. Pierce and Patrolman Hawkins went to the lower berth, which was directly in the center of the

car facing north.

"I turned on the light and pulled the curtains apart." said Patrolman Hawkins. "The governor's expression was calm, but

it was apparent he had been dead for some time. There was no pulse. I opened his eyelids and remarked, "Gov. Jester is

dead."

As Patrolman Hawkins notified Captain Rose, Conductor Pierce told the news to D.R. Kirk Jr. 7016 Texarkana, assistant

train master, and S.R. Hay, assitant special agent for Southern Pacific. They in turn notified Station Master C.M. Blackburn

of 2612 Greenleaf, whose dispatcher put in a call to police.

The time of the notification was 7:45 a.m.

Justice of the Peace Maes and Dr. Evens made their medical examination at 8:19 at which time Dr. Evens said Gov. Jester had

been dead four or five hours. The justice of peace concurred.

Railroad officials barred everyone but the doctor and the justice of the peace from the train.

The body was taken to the Houston Funeral Home, where Mr. Henderson and Rep. Pattison got in touch with the governor's family

in Austin.

Mr. Henderson was at home when he heard a radio broadcast, and Mr. Pattison was 15 miles from Houston, driving when he heard

the newscast.

City Detectives L.C. Watts, Lloyd Barrett,John Irwin, and Frank Murray investigated the death.

Mr. Henderson said the governor told him he was tired physically from the strain of the legislative session in two conversations

one six weeks ago and the other just two ago.

"He Was a Good Governor"

"But none of us knew he had any heart trouble." said Mr. Henderson. "We knew he had colon trouble. What a shock this is. You know,

Beauford Jester always wanted to be governor. He was a good governor, and a good man. He never wanted to hurt anybody's feelings."

Rep. Pattison said in recent weeks, Gov. and Mrs. Jester and he and his wife had started taking square dance lessons.

"The governor was a square shooter." said the Fort Bend County representative, who with the aid of the governor suceeded in getting

legislation through that will greatly assist the state's eleemosynary institutions.

In Austin, Mrs. Jester was described as "too stunned yet to know anything." She is at the governor's mansion and remained in her

upstairs room after being notified of her husband's death. With her were two of the three children, Beauford Jr, and Joan. A third,

Barbara (Mrs. Howard Burris) was in New York.

Had Boat Ride Yesterday

The governor took a boat ride on Lake Austin yesterday with his family and staff, the United Press reported. At that time Gov. Jester

complained of being tired.

Just a week ago, Gov. Jester suffered an attack of food poisoning and was confined to the mansion for most of the day.

He worked last Saturday on legislation piled up on his desk as a result of the 51st Legislature's final adjournment.

The flag of Texas was lowered to half-mast at the capitol.

Governor Jester's funeral procession began today in Houston. His body will go from Houston Funeral Home to Ellington Field, escorted

by members of Headquarters Battalion, 41st Artillery of the Texas National Guard. commanded by Brig. Gen. Lewis Thompson of Houston.

The arrival at Ellington is set for 4 p.m.

The governor's body will be taken aboard his favorite plane, a craft named in honor of his beloved state's flower, The "Blue Bonnet" is

a National Guard C-47, flown in from Austin today shortly after the tragic news was released. It is from the 181st Fighter Squadron of

San Antonio. The pilot will be Brig. Gen Harry Crutcher of Dallas, commanding officer of the 63rd Fighter wing. Texas Air National Guard,

and the co-pilot, Lt. Col John B. (Bill) Nottingham of Houston.

A flying escort of 25 F-51 fighter planes will go from Ellington to Austin, their numbers drawn from the 111th Fighter Squadron in Houston,

the 181st of San Antonio, the 182nd of Dallas--All Texas Air National Guard squadrons.

The body was to be accompanied by Adjutant General K.L. Berry.

The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Senate Chamber at the capitol. Brief funeral services will be held

at 2 p.m. and the body then will be taken to Corsicana where services will be held on Wednesday.

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The last three lines:

"The body was to be accompanied by Adjutant General K.L. Berry.The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Senate Chamber at the capitol. Brief funeral services will be held

at 2 p.m. and the body then will be taken to Corsicana where services will be held on Wednesday."

Gen. K.L. Berry is my other grandfather!

The two men were in First Officers' Training Camp in WWI and had been friends for years when Berry was head of the National Guard in Jester's term.

I can't remember which suggested it, but the two men set up their kids (my mom and dad) on their date.

And it worked ;)

Alice Jester Berry

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Anyone know where the Southern Pacific Hospital mentioned in article was located?

SPhospital.jpg

Edit: Never mind I did a little research and apparently it was also called the Sunset Hospital and is now the Thomas Street Health Center on Thomas St. just North of downtown. It was the first I had heard of a Southern Pacific Hospital in Houston. 

Edited by LunaticFringe
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Anyone know where the Southern Pacific Hospital mentioned in article was located?

SPhospital.jpg

Edit: Never mind I did a little research and apparently it was also called the Sunset Hospital and is now the Thomas Street Health Center on Thomas St. just North of downtown. It was the first I had heard of a Southern Pacific Hospital in Houston.

Thomas Street Health Center now.

post-8551-12560681377945_thumb.jpg

post-8551-12560681620219_thumb.jpg

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The last three lines:

"The body was to be accompanied by Adjutant General K.L. Berry.The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Senate Chamber at the capitol. Brief funeral services will be held

at 2 p.m. and the body then will be taken to Corsicana where services will be held on Wednesday."

Gen. K.L. Berry is my other grandfather!

The two men were in First Officers' Training Camp in WWI and had been friends for years when Berry was head of the National Guard in Jester's term.

I can't remember which suggested it, but the two men set up their kids (my mom and dad) on their date.

And it worked ;)

Alice Jester Berry

I was going to ask that question...you beat me to it..thanks!

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I was going to ask that question...you beat me to it..thanks!

Well, I hope you will all join me in wishing my grandfather, "Happy Birthday"!! Today was his birthday...born in 1884, and passed away in 1966. I talked to my Father today also, so here's some more info :

Did you note in the Houston Press article the accent on the gov's trip as a secret mission. Who better than the Tyler of Reagan Lodge to keep a secret ?

Also, same article, " Railroad Officials barred everyone but the doctor and the Justice of the Peace from the train". Note the word, " Barred". I will go to my grave knowing that my Grandfather, "Barred" them from the train, and the old Colt .45 blast was the real attention getter. My Grandfather always said, "By grab! " whenever he was ready to fight. Got that phrase from WW I. He wasn't a man to fool with, and that would not be the first time he pulled that gun in defense of someone else.

My Father stated that he also remembered my Grandfather talking about A.C. Martindale being there - man, he was every where in the city. He drove a big car with several big antennaes, and lots of guns in it. **Sidebar : My Father stated that A.C. Martindale hung out with Houston oil man, "Silver Dollar" Jim West. West used to ride with Martindale with several of his guns on, and while showing off a new pistol, accidentally shot Martindale in the foot !

The old Southern Pacific Hopsital was a good find. My Uncle was in there ( Switchman for S.P.), and we went to visit him several times. reminded me of the old Jeff Davis Hospital, and I didn't like it much for that reason.

My Father stated that LLoyd Barrett was not related to us, however he was, as most all in this story, a member of the Masonic Lodge, namely Reagan Lodge. He lived on 16th Street right across the street from "Pop" Sewell's Grocery Store.

Frank Murray, Mason, Reagan Lodge. His son played in the Reagan High School Band with my sisters ( Hieghts High will shine tonight, Hieghts High will shine...sorry, I got swept away in the fight song! ).

Ray Duvall Funeral Home was right next to J.B. Marmion's Sinclair Service Station, 19th & Yale. If his funeral home wasn't there yet, he was at the scene for some reason, maybe to pay his respects.

My Father corrected me on the spelling of Babe's name, it was actually spelled, "Seres", but pronounced, "Sears". He was the, "Bumper Morgan" of the Hieghts, and he used to give me nickels to play the table juke box at Sammy's Cafe on 19th Street. Carried a beautiful Colt Government .45 auto, with silver hand carved grips. Also a Mason, Reagan Lodge.

My Grandfather would be 125 years old today. I still miss my," Brother I never had", 43 years later, it still seems as yesterday I was rolling Bull Durham for him with one hand to show off. Anything for his very special love, and attention to a young man struggling his best to measure up.

I couldn't make it to the bank today, but I'll try tomorrow, and post the photos of my Grandfather's pistol for those interested.

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My Father stated that he also remembered my Grandfather talking about A.C. Martindale being there - man, he was every where in the city. He drove a big car with several big antennaes, and lots of guns in it. **Sidebar : My Father stated that A.C. Martindale hung out with Houston oil man, "Silver Dollar" Jim West. West used to ride with Martindale with several of his guns on, and while showing off a new pistol, accidentally shot Martindale in the foot !

Bryan Burrough wrote about "Silver Dollar" Jim West and A.C. Martindale in "The Big Rich." A.C. Martindale was a police Lietenant and West rode with him often apparently. West and Martindale were cruising one night when they spotted a burglar breaking the window of a sporting goods store on Dowling and stealing a shotgun. They got out of the car and yelled "Halt" The thief opened fire with the shotgun and Martindale (and apparently West) shot back. The thief was hit, but so was Martindale in the shoulder and ankle. Ballistics showed the wounds did not come from the burglar. The book implied that it was West that shot Martindale, but Martindale claimed to have shot himself to cover for his friend.

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It's heartwarming to see the folks sharing such cherished memories of their relatives. Happy birthday and much honor to your grandfather, the Governor's faithful Tyler. I'll be interested to see that Colt. I have one inherited from my father that is probably much like it.

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It's heartwarming to see the folks sharing such cherished memories of their relatives. Happy birthday and much honor to your grandfather, the Governor's faithful Tyler. I'll be interested to see that Colt. I have one inherited from my father that is probably much like it.

Thank you for your very honorable birthday wish, and the relation of your feelings for others. It speaks highly of a man. All the posts here are authored by such caring people, and what a thrill to hear from Alice! What a great, and honorable man her grandfather was. That's not a political statement, that's a factual statement. If they only made them like that nowadays. As you gaze on the pistol your father left you, the emotions are certainly relative. As stated, I have posted the photo of the old Colt for all to see. My grandfather used it to protect many 'a person in peril, and never asked for anything in return. He was issued this 1901 Colt in WWI, and the Army used to let them take them home when discharged, which he did. There are, "RA" ( Regular Army ) #'s on each piece of the gun, and they all match, which indicates the parts were never changed out. Also, it still has the military lanyard ring on the butt. It is a six shot revolver, and shoots a .45 Long Colt bullet, which throws a 255 grain lead bullet at @ 950 feet per second - like getting hit with a baseball bat! You can see one of the bullets in the photo laying next to the pistol. It is in remarkably good shape, and I take it out occassionaly and shoot it with some hand loaded black powder loads. It roars like a cannon when discharged, and belches black - gray smoke for several feet. My grandfather never practiced with it, and didn't have much interest in guns. When I asked him about that, I got some in - depth advice. He told me that if you need a sight on a pistol, then you'd better get a rifle, and not position yourself to get in trouble at close range, and, " Stay out of the way of men that won't hesitate to spit lead, and get the job done". As he stated many times, " A handgun is just a tool to get you on the respectful side of evil people, other than that, it should be on a man at all times, in the quiet and ready ". My grandfather was, in every sense of the word, an outstanding gentleman, and a peace loving man, who avoided trouble in any way possible. Marmar, I would be interested to know of this pistol is similar to your father's.

post-8886-12561735861157_thumb.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Marmar, I would be interested to know of this pistol is similar to your father's.

Thank you for sharing the picture of the pistol and your memories of your grandfather. Looks like his gun is a double-action Model 1901. Fine weapon, that. Dad's is a Single Action Army from 1897, right on the cusp of the smokeless powder transition. I'm sorry it took so long to take pictures, but here they are:

4120664273_01cb9055e6.jpg4120663995_8f60412e0b.jpg

In honor of both of our grandfathers' WWI service, and in recognition of Armistice, now Veterans', Day, here are some items of WWI memorabilia that belonged to my grandfather:

Letter home to his mother on thin American Red Cross stationery:

4121436766_29b63001a9.jpg

One-franc note, 10-coupon note from the divisional fair during the Occupation of Germany, German five-mark note:

4120663063_051b6a4616.jpg

German belt buckle with "Furchtlos und Trew" (fearless and true) motto; 30-06 cartridge, Remington Arms 1918 headstamp:

4120663873_eac6d7b62c.jpg

German Iron Cross 2nd Class (possibly a late-war reproduction or souvenir):

4120663491_49593b7e6d.jpg

Divisional and Corps history books:

4121437526_83c72e6117.jpg

Grand-dad's personal service record, written in beautiful fountain pen handwriting:

4121437570_7bbca386ec.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you for sharing the picture of the pistol and your memories of your grandfather. Looks like his gun is a double-action Model 1901. Fine weapon, that. Dad's is a Single Action Army from 1897, right on the cusp of the smokeless powder transition. I'm sorry it took so long to take pictures, but here they are:

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In honor of both of our grandfathers' WWI service, and in recognition of Armistice, now Veterans', Day, here are some items of WWI memorabilia that belonged to my grandfather:

Letter home to his mother on thin American Red Cross stationery:

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One-franc note, 10-coupon note from the divisional fair during the Occupation of Germany, German five-mark note:

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German belt buckle with "Furchtlos und Trew" (fearless and true) motto; 30-06 cartridge, Remington Arms 1918 headstamp:

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German Iron Cross 2nd Class (possibly a late-war reproduction or souvenir):

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Divisional and Corps history books:

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Grand-dad's personal service record, written in beautiful fountain pen handwriting:

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Hello Marmer, I am back, however, under a different name. This is some beautiful stuff, and I know you are very proud of your grandfather, and father. It is a pleasure reading this, and sharing memories of days gone by, and history that should never be ignored.

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  • 3 years later...

I see this was years ago, but I was just told today by my grandfather that i may own the ONLY picture of his procession from my Grandparents Funeral Home back to the Train after he was Embalmed.. Only one was taken and only once copied, no one claimed them and after my gandmother passed i was givin her hope chest.

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  • 6 years later...

What are these allegations I'm hearing about Governor Jester died in the company of his mistress ? I've never read any of those details anywhere at all.

 

Whoever was spreading those allegations must be from FAKE NEWS.

Edited by Blue Dogs
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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2009 at 12:24 PM, isuredid said:

Here is the Houston Press account:

Body Undetected For More Than Two Hours in S.P. Rail Station

The Southern Pacific's Austin-to-Houston train roared through the night on an apparently routine trip. Aboard it was

Gov. Beauford H. Jester--dead.

Sometine around 3:30 a.m. today Gov. Jester died in his sleep of coronary occlusion--in layman's language, a blood clot

in the heart.

At that time the train was going through Washington County.

Not until a Negro porter tried to wake up the governor at 7:30 a.m., two hours after the train pulled into Houston's

Grand Central Terminal, was the governor's death discovered.

Gov. Jester's death, attributed to natural causes by Justice of the Peace Tom Maes and Dr. Howard L. Evans, automatically

made Lt. Gov. Allan Shriver chief executive of the state.

Burial will be in Corsicana Wednesday. The body was to be flown back to Austin this afternoon aboard a National Guard

plane, with some 25 other state planes providing aerial escort. Governor Jester will lie in state in the Senate Chamber

for four hours Tuesday.

No One Knew He Was Coming

The governor made the trip alone.

Not even his most intimate friends, including Cotton Man Bob Henderson, his boyhood friend in Corsicana and his Harris

County campaign manager, knew he was coming to Houston.

A State Highway patrolman had been notified to meet the 56-year-old chief exectutive of Texas at the Houston station.

"It was a secret trip--we knew nothing of the governor's plans" said Capt. Glen Rose of the Houston area of the Texas

Highway Patrol.

From what police gathered, the governor, worn by the recently concluded session of the Legislature, plannd to meet an

unidentified Houston friend and the two were to spend a few days resting at Galveston Bay. It was later ascertained that the

Governor's Houston friend who knew about his plans to get away for a few days rest was Lumberman Jim Rockwell.

Mr. Rockwell had engaged a fishing boat and place for the governor to stay on Galveston Bay. State Highway Patrolman

W.B. Hawkins was to meet the governor and either he or Capt. rose was to have driven him to Galveston Bay were, away from

telephone, the governor planned to relax,rest and fish.

Verdict Was Natural Causes

Capt. Rose was called to the depot by Patrolman Hawkins, who was the officer assigned to meet the governor.

E.A. Craft, Southern Pacific executive vice-president, rode from Austin on the same Pullman with the Governor, but didn't

know Gov. Jester had died until after he reached the station in Houston.

Word of the governor's death, broadcast by newspaper extras and the radio, brought a number of the governor's friends to

the railroad station. Among them were Mr. Henderson, who notified Mrs. Jester and went to Houston Funeral Home to view

the body. Rep. Jimmy Pattison of Fort Bend County, Mayor Holcombe and City Attorney Will Sears.

The mayor immediately ordered all public flags at half-staff.

"I've known Beauford since we were boys together at Corsicana" said Mr. Henderson. "I never knew he suffered from heart

trouble." He was always a hard rugged hard-working individual who didn't spare himself.

"The strain of the session killed him" said Rep. Pattison.

The governor got on the train alone at Austin at 11:25 and went directly to Lower Berth Five on the Pullman "Berkeley"

He donned light blue pajamas and retired immediately after leaving word to be aroused at 7:30 a.m. in Houston.

Porter Tried to Wake Him Up

At 5:30 a.m. the train arrived at the Grand Central Station on Washington and was switched from track 1 to tract 2.

At 7:30 a.m., Pullman Porter Charles Jimerson, 66, of 1202 Ruthven, went to wake up the governor.

"It's time to get up" he said softly.

He repeated this several times.

Then Jimerson shook the governor by the shoulders.

"I knew something had happened and called the conductor." related the porter.

Pullman Conductor C.D. Pierce and Patrolman Hawkins went to the lower berth, which was directly in the center of the

car facing north.

"I turned on the light and pulled the curtains apart." said Patrolman Hawkins. "The governor's expression was calm, but

it was apparent he had been dead for some time. There was no pulse. I opened his eyelids and remarked, "Gov. Jester is

dead."

As Patrolman Hawkins notified Captain Rose, Conductor Pierce told the news to D.R. Kirk Jr. 7016 Texarkana, assistant

train master, and S.R. Hay, assitant special agent for Southern Pacific. They in turn notified Station Master C.M. Blackburn

of 2612 Greenleaf, whose dispatcher put in a call to police.

The time of the notification was 7:45 a.m.

Justice of the Peace Maes and Dr. Evens made their medical examination at 8:19 at which time Dr. Evens said Gov. Jester had

been dead four or five hours. The justice of peace concurred.

Railroad officials barred everyone but the doctor and the justice of the peace from the train.

The body was taken to the Houston Funeral Home, where Mr. Henderson and Rep. Pattison got in touch with the governor's family

in Austin.

Mr. Henderson was at home when he heard a radio broadcast, and Mr. Pattison was 15 miles from Houston, driving when he heard

the newscast.

City Detectives L.C. Watts, Lloyd Barrett,John Irwin, and Frank Murray investigated the death.

Mr. Henderson said the governor told him he was tired physically from the strain of the legislative session in two conversations

one six weeks ago and the other just two ago.

"He Was a Good Governor"

"But none of us knew he had any heart trouble." said Mr. Henderson. "We knew he had colon trouble. What a shock this is. You know,

Beauford Jester always wanted to be governor. He was a good governor, and a good man. He never wanted to hurt anybody's feelings."

Rep. Pattison said in recent weeks, Gov. and Mrs. Jester and he and his wife had started taking square dance lessons.

"The governor was a square shooter." said the Fort Bend County representative, who with the aid of the governor suceeded in getting

legislation through that will greatly assist the state's eleemosynary institutions.

In Austin, Mrs. Jester was described as "too stunned yet to know anything." She is at the governor's mansion and remained in her

upstairs room after being notified of her husband's death. With her were two of the three children, Beauford Jr, and Joan. A third,

Barbara (Mrs. Howard Burris) was in New York.

Had Boat Ride Yesterday

The governor took a boat ride on Lake Austin yesterday with his family and staff, the United Press reported. At that time Gov. Jester

complained of being tired.

Just a week ago, Gov. Jester suffered an attack of food poisoning and was confined to the mansion for most of the day.

He worked last Saturday on legislation piled up on his desk as a result of the 51st Legislature's final adjournment.

The flag of Texas was lowered to half-mast at the capitol.

Governor Jester's funeral procession began today in Houston. His body will go from Houston Funeral Home to Ellington Field, escorted

by members of Headquarters Battalion, 41st Artillery of the Texas National Guard. commanded by Brig. Gen. Lewis Thompson of Houston.

The arrival at Ellington is set for 4 p.m.

The governor's body will be taken aboard his favorite plane, a craft named in honor of his beloved state's flower, The "Blue Bonnet" is

a National Guard C-47, flown in from Austin today shortly after the tragic news was released. It is from the 181st Fighter Squadron of

San Antonio. The pilot will be Brig. Gen Harry Crutcher of Dallas, commanding officer of the 63rd Fighter wing. Texas Air National Guard,

and the co-pilot, Lt. Col John B. (Bill) Nottingham of Houston.

A flying escort of 25 F-51 fighter planes will go from Ellington to Austin, their numbers drawn from the 111th Fighter Squadron in Houston,

the 181st of San Antonio, the 182nd of Dallas--All Texas Air National Guard squadrons.

The body was to be accompanied by Adjutant General K.L. Berry.

The body will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Senate Chamber at the capitol. Brief funeral services will be held

at 2 p.m. and the body then will be taken to Corsicana where services will be held on Wednesday.

Thank you very much for giving us full detail on Jester's funeral services. I read that when the public viewing was held inside the TX State Senate Chamber of the TX State Capitol, they had an open casket with the flag-draped US flag draped on it.

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It's strange that the Post would misidentify the Lt. Governor, Allen Shivers.

 

"Gov. Jester's death, attributed to natural causes by Justice of the Peace Tom Maes and Dr. Howard L. Evans, automatically

made Lt. Gov. Allan Shriver chief executive of the state."

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 2:03 PM, Specwriter said:

It's strange that the Post would misidentify the Lt. Governor, Allen Shivers.

 

"Gov. Jester's death, attributed to natural causes by Justice of the Peace Tom Maes and Dr. Howard L. Evans, automatically

made Lt. Gov. Allan Shriver chief executive of the state."

I have a question, who was the person that swore in Shivers as the 37th Governor ?

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On ‎2019‎-‎05‎-‎06 at 2:24 PM, Blue Dogs said:

I have a question, who was the person that swore in Shivers as the 37th Governor ?

I became curious since you asked the question, Blue Dogs. I wasted a bit of time looking for the answer and even consulted copies of the Texas Almanac but I could not find out who swore in Gov. Shivers. I assume you meant at the time he was sworn in upon the death of Gov. Jester.

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