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 Beauford Halbert Jester

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Beauford Halbert Jester

  • Birth 12 Jan 1893 Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, USA
  • Death 11 Jul 1949 Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, USA
  • Plot End Of Row With Flag Pole, 19th St Entrance
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 18084

36th Governor of Texas. Born in Corsicana, the seat of Navarro County in east Texas, attended the University of Texas and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He later studied law at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His studies were interrupted by World War I. He attended the First Officers' Training Corp., at Leon Springs. As a captain of Company D, 357th Infantry, in the 90th Division he took part in several battles including St. Mihiel and Argonne, two of the bloodiest battles of the war. After the war, he spent six months on occupation duty in Germany. In 1919, he resumed his law studies at the University of Texas, from which he received his LL.B in 1920. He returned to Corsicana to practice law, and was president of the Navarro County Bar Association for many years. Jester also served as director of the state bar association from 1940-1941. For many years, Jester was a member of the University of Texas Board of Regents, and from 1933-1935 was the youngest man to ever serve as president of that body. From 1942 to 1947 he was appointed, then elected, to the state Railroad Commission. As governor (1947 to 1949), Jester created the Board of Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools, the Youth Development Council, and reformed the state prison system. His administration witnessed passage of the Gilmer-Aikin Law, which established state funding for public education, adoption of state assistance for rural roads, and other reforms. He also increased funding for state hospitals and orphanages, enacted strong right-to-work laws, and supported civil rights legislation and an anti-lynching law. Jester was easily re-elected to a second term in 1948, but died of a heart attack in 1949 sustained while he rode a railroad train from Austin to Houston, (although some sources say he was en route to Galveston), on his way for a physical check up by his cardiologist. He is said to have been ill from food poisoning during the last days of the legislature and was planning to rest a few days while the legislature was adjourned. He is the only governor of Texas who died while still in office. In 1964, Jester Park was dedicated by the City of Corsicana in memory of him and in 1968, the Jester Center on the University of Texas campus was named after him.

Bio by: H M G

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18084
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Beauford Halbert Jester (12 Jan 1893–11 Jul 1949), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18084, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .