Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislature:

An Inventory of Records of the Central Investigating Committees of the House and Senate at the Texas State Archives, 1917-1918



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature.
Title: Records of the Central Investigating Committees of the House and Senate
Dates: 1917-1918
Abstract: Records consist of stenographic reports, letters, statistics, financial/auditor's reports, testimony, committee reports and recommendations, and draft legislation compiled and/or written by the various subcommittees of the Central Investigating Committees of the Texas House and Senate in 1917 and 1918 during the course of their investigations of all Texas state departments, agencies, and institutions.
Quantity: 3.77 cubic ft.
Language English.

Agency History

The Texas Legislature's Central Investigating Committees of the House and Senate were formed in 1917 to investigate every state department and institution in Texas. The investigation was an outgrowth of general public suspicion and distrust of state government, aggravated by: the entry of the United States into World War I and the resulting distrust of German-Americans; the impeachment of Governor Ferguson earlier in 1917; and charges of corruption and collusion made against officials and employees associated with or appointed by Ferguson.

On September 5, 1917, during the 3rd Called Session of the 35th Legislature, 11 representatives offered an unnumbered simple resolution calling for a statewide investigation and providing for a steering committee to formulate recommendations and procedural plans for conducting that investigation. Shortly later, the steering committee offered an unnumbered supplemental resolution proposing the creation of the House Central Executive Committee. The Committee was to be composed of 10 House members who would be divided into 10 subcommittees and investigate a group of agencies and institutions. Each of the subcommittees was to be assigned a second House member. The Committee was to receive clerical assistance, and submit a final report to the House and to the Governor. The Central Executive Committee members included: Representatives Bryan, Cope, Fairchild, Fly (the chair), Johnson, McMillin, Sentell, Spencer, and Tillotson. The additional appointees included: Sackett, Seawright, Terrell, Pillow, Davis of Grimes, Holaday, McDowra, O'Banion, De Bogory, and Hudspeth.

At about the same time, a similar resolution was passed in the Senate (Senate Resolution 18, 35th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 1917), appointing 10 members to an investigating committee. The Senate committee members were authorized to sit and cooperate with any committee or subcommittee of the House that had been created for similar purposes. Senate members included: Westbrook (the chair), Clark, Lattimore, Decherd, Alderdice, Hopkins, McNealus, Hudspeth, Smith, and Buchanan of Scurry.

The Senate Investigating Committee first convened in Dallas on October 26, 1917 and decided to act in conjunction with the House Committee, to meet jointly on October 30 in Austin, and to begin investigations on November 1st. The House Committee first convened in Austin on October 25, 1917 and asked Governor Hobby to come before the Committee with any suggestions he might have concerning the investigations. Governor Hobby suggested that: each department be audited; each institution be visited; units of the prison system be visited; inquiries be made regarding the scope of work of each department, to determine the extent to which the work could be combined and consolidated with a view toward eliminating as many offices and positions as possible; the efficiency of the financial management practices of each department be investigated; and bookkeeping and accounting procedures be investigated to develop recommendations for improvement.

The final organizational meeting on November 1 determined that the Senate Committee would, like the House, have 10 subcommittees. Working jointly, the House and Senate subcommittees composing any one group were to be distinct and independent entities, but were to work together as a unit in the investigation of any department or institution when there should be agreement between them. In the case of disagreement, each subcommittee would conduct the investigation independently and in its own way, making its own report to its own Central Committee. After all subcommittee reports were submitted to the Central Committees, the Central Committees were to act jointly in the creation of the general reports and recommendations to the Legislature and Governor. (See the series descriptions for the composition of each subcommittee and the list of departments/institutions they were to investigate.)

Subcommittee reports were issued to the Central Committees on January 7, 1918. The Central Committees met jointly, reviewing the subcommittee reports and creating the final reports, until January 27, 1918 - on which day the sessions of all committees were concluded. The joint report of the House and Senate Central Committees was printed and filed on February 1, 1918. The reports, excluding the testimony before the subcommittees, were published in 1918/1919.


Scope and Contents of the Records

Records consist of stenographic reports, letters, statistics, financial/auditor's reports, testimony, committee reports and recommendations, and draft legislation compiled and/or written by the various subcommittees of the Central Investigating Committees of the Texas House and Senate in 1917 and 1918 during the course of their investigations of all Texas state departments, agencies, and institutions. Though the information was gathered in 1917 and 1918, statistics were compiled from data ranging in date from 1893 to 1917. In their evidence gathering, subcommittee members paid particular attention to each institution's fiscal responsibility and accounting procedures, the quality of and need for the services provided to the public, and qualifications and loyalty of the officials and employees of the State of Texas.

The record of the subcommittees is incomplete. Portions of the stenographic reports of several subcommittees are missing or were removed shortly after the reports were created. All record of the activities of Subcommittee 2 is missing. Subcommittee 2 was composed of Representatives Fuller and Holiday and Senator McNealus and was to investigate: Auditor of Prison System; Board of Pardon Advisors; State Prison Commissioners and Prison System; and State Prisons and Prison Farms.

Some of the records, particularly the subcommittee reports to the Central Committees and the auditor's reports, have been published (see Related Publications, below). The testimony, exhibits, and some of the financial data and other information gathered by the subcommittees, however, was not included in the publication.

The records were originally organized into "Books," as reflected in the indexes to record contents found within the documents. The "Books" are numbered 1 to 9 and correspond to the numbers of the subcommittees (though the record of Subcommittee 10 appears in the latter half of Book 1). In this finding aid materials are described by subcommittee, with a small series of general records. Each series begins with the stenographic report of the subcommittee in page number order and ends with any additional exhibit material that may exist.

All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Organization of the Records

The records are organized in 10 series:
Records of Subcommittee 1, 1917-1918, 0.1 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 3, 1917-1918, 0.31 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 4, 1917-1918, 0.25 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 5, 1917-1918, 0.13 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 6, 1917-1918, 0.18 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 7, 1917-1918, 0.24 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 8, 1917-1918, 0.77 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 9, 1917-1918, 1.6 cubic ft.
Records of Subcommittee 10, 1917-1918, 0.18 cubic ft.
Assorted, 1917-1818, fractional cubic ft.

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

None.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Subjects:
Legislative oversight--Texas.
Legislative bodies--Texas--Committees.
Governmental investigations--Texas.
Finance, Public--Texas--Auditing.
Loyalty.
Places:
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950.
Document Types:
Reports--Governmental investigations--Texas--1917-1918.
Letters--Governmental investigations--Texas--1917-1918.
Statistics--Governmental investigations--Texas--1917-1918.
Drafts--Governmental investigations--Texas--1917-1918.
Testimony--Governmental investigations--Texas--1917-1918.
Functions:
Investigating Texas politics and government.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
For related material on agencies investigated here, see the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's online catalog and the finding aids in the Archives reading room.
Publications
Reports of Subcommittees of the Central Investigating Committees of the House and Senate: Third Called Session of the Thirty-fifth Legislature of Texas, Including Audits. Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Austin Tex., [1919?].
Texas. Journal of the House of Representatives of the Third Called Session of the Thirty-fifth Legislature of Texas. Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Austin Tex., 1918.
Texas. Journal of the House of Representatives of the Fourth Called Session of the Thirty-fifth Legislature of Texas. Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., Austin Tex., 1918.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Records of the Central Investigating Committees of the House and Senate, Texas Legislature. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1963/058, 2000/157

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Secretary of State and/or the Texas Legislature in 1963 and at an unknown date. One set of records has been assigned a modern accession number for purposes of control.

Processing Information

Nancy Enneking, June 2000


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Records of Subcommittee 1, 1917-1918,
0.1 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, reports, budgets, and financial and expenditure reports comprise the evidence gathered by Subcommittee 1 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees (1917-1918). Subcommittee 1 was composed of Representatives Spencer and O'Banion and Senator Lattimore. It was to investigate: College of Industrial Arts; Fuel and Public Printing; Girls' Training School; Governor; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Lieutenant Governor; State Inspector of Mines; State Mining Board; Naval Board; State Expert Printer; State Printing Board; Secretary of State; State Inspector of Masonry; Industrial Accident Board; and Bureau of Child and Animal Protection.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-1 Index record of Subcommittee #1
Report to the Central Committees on multiple agencies (including Governor's Office, Lieutenant Governor's Office, State Mining Board and State Inspector of Mines, State Naval Board, State Printing Board and Expert Printer, Inspector of Masonry, Bureau of Child and Animal Protection, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Industrial Accident Board, College of Industrial Arts, and Secretary of State)
Expenditures of Executive Department
State Mining Board
Expert Printers
State Masonry Department
Labor Department
Industrial Accident Board
Girl's State Training School
Secretary of State audit
Secretary of State (unnumbered page)



 

Records of Subcommittee 3, 1917-1918,
0.31 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, hearing transcripts, testimony, and reports (1917-1918) comprise the evidence gathered by Subcommittee 3 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 3 was composed of Representatives Fly and Terrell and Senator Hudspeth. It was to investigate: Attorney General; Assistant Attorney General; Dairy and Food Commissioner; State Board of Health; State Health Officer; State Board of Pharmacy; Pure Food Commissioner; State Rangers; Tuberculosis Colonies and Commission; Tuberculosis Sanatorium; State Board of Dental Examiners; State Board of Embalming; and Home for Lepers. The records do not document the investigation of several of the above agencies.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-1 List of members and committee responsibilities
Index record
Notes
Reports:
Audit report on the Pure Food and Drug Department
State Board of Pharmacy
Adjutant General's Department
Auditor's report on the Adjutant General
State Embalming Board
Hearings:
Attorney General's Department, hearing:
November 18, 1917
November 28, 1917
November 30 and December 1, 1917
State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Carlsbad, Texas
State Health Department, hearings:
November 7, 1917
November 20 and 21, 1917
November 30 and December 1, 1917
December 4, 1917
December 5, 1917
Pure Food and Drug Department, hearings:
November 7, 1917
November 27, 1917
State Board of Pharmacy
Adjutant General's Department:
November 9, 1917
December 4, 1917
January 4, 1918
box
2000/157-2 State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, testimony and exhibits



 

Records of Subcommittee 4, 1917-1918,
0.25 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, financial data, reports, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the research performed by Subcommittee 4 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 4 was composed of Representatives Fairchild and Pillow and Senator Smith of Henderson. It was to investigate: State Banking Board; State Fire Insurance Commission; State Fire Marshal; Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission; Department of Insurance and Banking; Pilot Commissioners; Employers' Insurance Association; and State Juvenile Training School.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-2 Subcommittee assignments
Index of subcommittee records (for all subcommittees)
Subcommittee #4 index
Report of State Department of Banking and Insurance
Testimony and evidence:
Department of Insurance and Banking
[2 files]
Fire Insurance Commission
[2 files]
Texas Game, Fish, and Oyster Commission
[3 files]
Reports:
Fish Hatchery at Dallas
Pilots Association
Sabine River Pilots
Reports and testimony:
State Institution for the Training of Juvenile Boys at Gatesville
Employer's Insurance Association
box
2000/157-2 Report on Sabine River Pilots



 

Records of Subcommittee 5, 1917-1918,
0.13 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, reports, financial data, exhibits, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the investigation performed by Subcommittee 5 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 5 was composed of Representatives Sentell and Hudspeth and Senator Hopkins. It was to investigate: State Depository Board; Legislative Reference Librarian; State Library and Historical Commission; State Library; State Board of Nurse Examiners; Railroad Commission; Southwestern Insane Asylum; State Treasurer; State Highway Commission; and the Legislature. Any investigation of the State Depository Board is not documented by these records.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-2 Subcommittee responsibilities
Notices of missing and removed material
Index record of Subcommittee #5
Reports:
Railroad Commission
Board of Nurse Examiners
Library and Historic Commission and the Legislative Reference Library
[Unidentified document]
Treasury Department
State Highway Department
Testimony and evidence:
Texas Library and Historical Commission
Railroad Commission
Southwestern Insane Asylum
State Treasury Department
box
1963/058-3 State Highway Department



 

Records of Subcommittee 6, 1917-1918,
0.18 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, reports, financial data, summaries, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the investigation performed by Subcommittee 6 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 6 was composed of Representatives Childress and Sackett and Senator Alderdice. It was to investigate: Comptroller of Public Accounts; State Pension Department; State Revenue Agent; State Tax Board; State Tax Commissioner; and the State Automatic Tax Board.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-2 Subcommittee assignments
box
1963/058-3 Summary of reports
Report on State Revenue Agent
State Revenue Department evidence
Pension Department evidence
Report and evidence on State Tax Board and Texas Commissioner's Office
Report on Comptroller's Department
Comptroller of Public Accounts, evidence
[3 files]



 

Records of Subcommittee 7, 1917-1918,
0.24 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, financial data, reports, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the information gathered by Subcommittee 7 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 7 was composed of Representatives Bryan and Bogory and Senator Buchanan. It was to investigate: Board of Appraisers; State Cemetery; Public Buildings and Grounds; State Parks; Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds; Commissioners of Deeds; Gonzales State Park Commissioners; Judiciary Department; General Land Office and Commissioner of the General Land Office; Board of Legal Examiners; San Jacinto State Park; Water and Light Board; and State Board of Accountancy.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-2 Subcommittee assignments
box
1963/058-3 General index to entire record (all subcommittees)
General recommendations
Courts of Texas
[2 files]
General Land Office
[2 files]
Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds and General Land Office
box
2000/157-2 Auditor's report on the Office of Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds
Supreme Court of Texas



 

Records of Subcommittee 8, 1917-1918,
0.77 cubic ft

A stenographic report, testimony, reports, financial data, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the information gathered by Subcommittee 8 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 8 was composed of Representatives McMillin and Seawright and Senator Westbrook. It was to investigate: Confederate Home; Confederate Women's Home; State Deaf and Dumb Institute; State Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institute for Colored Youths; State Epileptic Colony; State Farm Colony for the Feeble-Minded; State Pasteur Institute; State Purchasing Agent; State Purchasing Agency Board; State School for the Blind; North Texas Hospital for the Insane; State Orphans Home; State Lunatic Asylum at Austin.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-4 Subcommittee assignments
Index record of Subcommittee #8
Reports:
North Texas Hospital for the Insane
State Lunatic Asylum at Austin
Pasteur Institute
Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youths
State Purchasing Agent
Orphan's Home
The Confederate Women's Home
The Confederate Home
State School for the Deaf and Dumb
Texas School for the Blind at Austin
State Farm Colony for the Feeble-Minded
State Epileptic Colony at Abilene
Accountant's report to Subcommittee #8
Hearings and testimony:
Epileptic Colony
North Texas Hospital for the Insane
State Lunatic Asylum
Pasteur Institute
Farm Colony for the Feeble-Minded
Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youths
State Purchasing Agent's Department
[2 files]
State Orphan's Home
Confederate Women's Home [File 1 of 2]
box
1963/058-5 Confederate Women's Home [File 2 of 2]
Confederate Home
[6 files]
Texas School for the Deaf
[2 files]
State School for the Blind
[2 files]



 

Records of Subcommittee 9, 1917-1918,
1.6 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, exhibits, financial data, reports, and letters, 1917-1918, document the investigation undertaken by Subcommittee 9 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 9 was composed of Representatives Tillotson and Davis and Senator Clark. It was to investigate: Agricultural and Mechanical College; Main Agricultural Experiment Station; Agricultural Experiment Substations; John Tarleton Agricultural College; Hospital for Crippled and Deformed Children; John Sealy Hospital; Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College; State School of Mines and Metallurgy; University of Texas; Board of Regents and Board of Visitors; Anatomical Board; and Grubbs Vocational College at Arlington.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-5 List of members and responsibilities
Testimony:
University of Texas:
Applied Mathematics Department
Department of Biology
Department of Business Administration
Business Manager's Office
Chemistry Department
English Department
General Literature
Germanic Languages
School of Greek
School of Government
School of History
Home Economics Department
School of Industrial History
School of Music
box
1963/058-6 School of Latin
School of Journalism
School of Philosophy and Psychology
School of Physics
School of Public Speaking
School of Pure Mathematics
School of Romance Languages
School of Zoology
School of Agricultural Education
Department of the Art of Teaching
Educational Administration
History of Education Department
School of Architecture
School of Civil Engineering
School of Drawing
School of Electrical Engineering
School of Law
Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds
School of Law
(continued)
School of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Physical Training for Men
Physical Training for Women
Law Department
School of Economics and Sociology
Philosophy of Education
Business Manager's Office
School of Home Economics
Drillmaster
Business Manager
Dean of Law Department
Bureau of Economic Geology and Technology
Department of Extension
Library Department
Extension Department
Committee on Teachers
Student Life Staff
Extension Department
Student Life Staff
box
1963/058-7 Non-academic departments
[5 files]
Board of Regents
[2 files]
Medical Department
Texas A&M:
December 7, 1917
December 8, 1917
[2 files]
December 11, 1917
[2 files]
December 12, 1917
Grubbs Vocational School
box
2000/157-1 Exhibits and information not included in the stenographic report:
List of exhibits
Exhibits A thru H-1
Exhibit I-1
Exhibits J-I thru U-1
John Tarleton Agricultural College
University of Texas:
University of Texas
[2 files]
Extension Department, course syllabi
School of Geology
Information
Payroll
Stenographic bureau report
Salaries
Medical Department information
Galveston Medical School financial information
Magazine officers
Bank statements
Texas A&M exhibits [File 1 of 2]
box
2000/157-2 Texas A&M exhibits [File 2 of 2]
Prairie View Normal and Industrial College information



 

Records of Subcommittee 10, 1917-1918,
0.18 cubic ft.

A stenographic report, testimony, reports, financial data, and indexes, 1917-1918, document the investigation performed by Subcommittee 10 of the Texas House and Senate's Central Investigating Committees. Subcommittee 10 was composed of Representatives Johnson and McDowra and Senator Decherd. It was to investigate: Commissioner of Agriculture; State Chemist; State Entomologist; State Forester; State Livestock Sanitary Commission; State Reclamation Engineer; State Veterinarian; State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners; State Warehouse Board of Supervisors; State Board of Water Engineers; North Texas Normal College; Board of Revision of Textbooks; Sam Houston Normal Institute; Southwest Texas State Normal College; West Texas State Normal College; East Texas State Normal College; State Superintendent of Public Instruction; State Board of Examiners; State Textbook Board; and State Board of Education.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are in page number order.
box
1963/058-8 Index record
Summary of recommendations
Reports:
Department of Agriculture
State Forester and State Chemist
State Entomologist
Pure Feed Control
Board of Water Engineers and Reclamation Department
Marketing and Warehouse Department
Public Weighers
State Livestock Sanitary Commission and State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
Supplement to reports
State Board of Education
Testimony:
Department of Agriculture
State Forester
Department of Agriculture
Board of Water Engineers and Reclamation Department
Warehouse and Marketing Department
Public Weighers
Federal Bureau of Animal Industry regarding the Livestock Sanitary Commission
Livestock Sanitary Commission
Southwest Texas Normal School
North Texas State Normal College
Sam Houston Normal School
State Normal Board of Regents and Normal Schools generally
Department of Education



 

Assorted, 1917-1918,
fractional

Records consist of draft legislation, an index, and loose pages from stenographic reports, 1917-1918, resulting from the work of the Central Investigating Committees of the Texas Legislature's House and Senate. The loose pages are from undetermined locations in the stenographic books of the subcommittees. The draft legislation was written by several of the committee members, following a review of several departments of the state government. The legislation proposed the adoption a civil service system for state employees.
All records date from October 1917 to January 1918.
Arrangement
Records are unorganized.
box
1963/058-5 General index of entire record
box
1963/058-6 Assorted loose pages from the stenographic reports
box
2000/157-2 Report on civil services by the chairs of Special Investigating Committees, January 10, 1918