Ima Hogg

I found this story on Futility Closet, here.


"In 1882, when Texas governor Big Jim Hogg had a daughter, he decided to name her after the heroine in an epic Civil War poem that her uncle had written.

Unfortunately, the heroine was called Ima.

“'My grandfather Stinson lived 15 miles from Mineola and news traveled slowly,' she wrote later. 'When he learned of his granddaughter’s name he came trotting to town as fast as he could to protest but it was too late. The christening had taken place, and Ima I was to remain.'

"Contrary to local legends, she did not have a sister named Ura."

Apparently Missouri newspaper invented another sister named "Hoosa". Poor lady. Unsurprisingly, she signed her first name illegibly, had her stationery printed with "I. Hogg", preferred to be called "Miss Hogg", and started going by her middle name, Imogene, before her death.


Normally I would never lament a strong, adventurous lady deciding not to marry, but man, that might have made her life a lot easier. Unless she married someone whose last name was worse: the US Census has even more embarrassing names starting with "Ima" recorded: Ima Pigg, Ima Muskrat, Ima Nut, Ima Hooker, Ima Weiner, Ima Reck, Ima Pain and Ima Butt.

Ima became, in time, a very powerful and well-respected lady in her own right. She undoubtedly had to learn grace and good humor living with a name like that. She was a philanthropist, musician, and patron of the arts who, after studying music in Vienna in her early 20s, came back to Texas to found and manage the Houston Symphony Orchestra. She worked on the Houston School Board where she helped to lessen race and gender inequalities for students. She also opened a guidance center to provide counselling to children and families suffering from mental health issues, WAAAAY ahead of her time.

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One Response to Ima Hogg

  1. Pingback: BizarreVictoria: Celebrating 3 Years | BizarreVictoria

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