- Maribelle Stewart appears to be the first wife to complete her husband's term in the Texas Legislature following his death. W. Lacy Stewart (Senate, 50th Legislature) passed away on March 22, 1947. Maribelle won a special election to fill the vacancy, but she resigned her seat representing Senate District 16 in 1948 when she remarried.
- Persis Henderson (House, 51st) succeeded her husband, A. Robin Henderson (House, 49th-51st) in representing House District 61 when he died on March 15, 1949. Persis won a special election to fill the seat (running as Mrs. A. Robin Henderson); she announced for reelection to a full term but withdrew her candidacy, citing low legislative pay and the high cost of living in Austin.
- Sue Hairgrove (House, 60th) won a special election to succeed her husband, Jim Hairgrove (House, 60th) for the House District 20-F seat when he passed away on April 12, 1967.
- Lou Nelle Sutton (House, 64th-70th) succeeded her husband, G.J. Sutton (House, 63rd-64th), following his death on June 22, 1976, and her special election win to represent House District 57-E on August 7, 1976. Lou Nelle went on to be reelected to the 65th-70th Legislatures.
- Myra Crownover (House, 76th-84th), in a May 2000 special election, succeeded her husband, Ronny Crownover, (House, 76th) following his death on March 26, 2000. She continued to represent House District 64 for nearly two decades.
- Valerie Corte (House, 79th, 81st), Cheri Isett (House, 79th), and Melissa Noriega (House, 79th) were selected by their husbands to serve as temporary acting representatives during military deployments. Frank Corte (House, 73rd-81st) was called to military service during his legislative service twice; Carl Isett (75th-81st) and Rick Noriega (House, 76th-80th) were each called once during their time in the House.
- Neveille Colson (House, 46th-50th Legislatures; Senate, 51st-59th Legislatures), the first woman to serve in both chambers of the legislature, was elected to represent House District 27 a couple years after her then-husband, Nall Colson (House, 43rd-44th), lost the seat. The couple divorced in 1938, before Neveille took office in 1939.
- Betty Denton (House, 65th-73rd) represented McLennan County, House District 35-A, following her husband, Lane Denton (House, 62nd-64th), who resigned the House District 35-1 seat to run for the Texas Railroad Commission. Redistricting meant that while they represented the same county, the district was different.
- Sam Harless (House, 86th) appears to be the first husband to fill a seat formerly occupied by a wife. He was elected in November 2018 to serve House District 126; Patricia Harless served the district from the 80th-84th Legislatures.
- Angela Paxton (Senate, 86th-87th), elected in November 2018, serves Senate District 8, the same seat that her husband, current Attorney General Ken Paxton (House, 78th-82nd, Senate, 83rd), occupied.
- Frances Rountree and Cora Strong were the first widows of legislators elected to serve in the Texas Legislature, both serving as representatives in the 42nd Legislature. Cora's husband, N.R. Strong, died while representing House District 55 during the 41st Legislature. Cora was elected to the seat for the following session. Frances' husband, Lee J. Rountree (House, 37th-38th), died at his desk in the House chamber in 1923. In 1930, running as "Mrs. Lee J. Rountree," Frances was elected to the House; however, redistricting in the intervening years changed the House District number for Brazos County from 22 to 26.
Leading up to Halloween each year, we gather stories of supernatural and strange happenings in the Lone Star State. Below you'll find tales of epidemic, treasure, a curse, feuds, and more. You can find these and more stories on our Capitol Spirits Pinterest board.
From the Legislative Reference Library, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween!!
The environs of Shoal Creek have been the scene of many happy and hard times. Early settler Gideon White was killed along the creek by Indians in 1842. His daughter's husband, Edward Seiders, developed a popular recreation area there in the 1870s. General George Custer's troops camped by the creek during Reconstruction; some of the men died due to a cholera epidemic and were buried nearby. Perhaps their spirits still remain…
Shoal Creek Treasure
Abner Cook's bricks
Woodlawn Mansion was built in the 1850s by Abner H. Cook for James B. Shaw, Texas Comptroller. Shaw sold the house after the untimely deaths of his wife and young daughter. Along with other Cook buildings such as the Governor's Mansion and the Neill-Cochran House, the Woodlawn Mansion is associated with sad events or ghostly sightings. Could they carry the Shoal Creek curse through the energy imbued in their bricks that were created from clay and a kiln near the creek? [Photo credit: Austin History Center].
Columbus County Feud and Senator Marcus Harvey Townsend
Marcus Harvey Townsend served in the Texas Legislature representing Colorado County, first as a representative in the 18th Legislature and then as a senator in the 21st and 22nd Legislatures. He and his family gained notoriety with their violent feud with the Stafford family and then with their inter-family trouble known as the Colorado County Feud. These violent events occurred around the town of Columbus, Texas, which perhaps explains why it has been described as "profoundly haunted."
In 1836 Robert M. Coleman established Fort Colorado in Eastern Travis County. His tenure as commander was short-lived, either due to a dispute with Sam Houston or the death of a Ranger under his command. However, legend offers another story: Coleman was meeting secretly with a Comanche medicine man to bring about peace when the medicine man was shot by a soldier. Coleman was relieved of duty and drowned within a year. Are the ghostly figures seen on foggy nights Coleman and the medicine man, still discussing peace?
Bertram Store / Clay Pit
Rudolph Bertram ran a thriving wholesale grocery, saloon, and general store on Guadalupe Street in the 1880s. Business was conducted downstairs, with living quarters up above. The space now houses the popular Clay Pit Restaurant, but diners may share the space with previous inhabitants. Is the apparition of a small child Bertram's young son who died of typhoid fever? And are the upstairs party noises an echo of wild times at the brothel that was joined to the saloon through a basement tunnel?