Statue Of Texas Gov. James Hogg That Was Removed Last Year Will Return To UT Austin's Campus
Last year, the statues of three Confederate figures were brought down from their pedestals on the South Mall of the University of Texas at Austin campus.
A fourth statue, memorializing Texas Gov. James "Jim" Hogg, was also taken down, with plans to possibly reinstall it on campus.
Thursday, UT Austin President Greg Fenves said that time has come. Later this month, the statue depicting Hogg, the first native-born governor of Texas, will make its way back to a prominent position on campus between the Main Building and Will C. Hogg Building — named after the governor's son.
With no connection to the Confederacy, Hogg's statue was spared much of the controversy that its neighbors, like the Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis statues, faced.
Dr. Octavio Martinez Jr., the executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at UT Austin, chalked the relocation of Hogg's statue up to "aesthetic" reasons.
"The statues were all one exhibit, and leaving just one of them erect would have been unsightly," Martinez wrote last year.
When Fenves announced the removal of the four statues in August of 2017, he noted the Hogg statue would be considered for reinstallation at another site on campus.
The other statues, of Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John Reagan, were added to the collection at the Briscoe Center for "scholarly study," Fenves said at the time.
Even though Hogg, who served as governor from 1891 to 1895, was a child during the Civil War, as governor he allowed a law to pass that reinforced segregation in railroad cars.
" ... That provided the legal basis for segregated facilities and services that would usher in the Jim Crow era in Texas," Fenves wrote Thursday, describing Hogg's legacy as "complicated and nuanced."
A "champion of public and higher education," Fenves said the governor's children and descendants became benefactors and leaders at UT Austin.
"Governor Hogg and his descendants made many contributions to UT Austin and to the state," the university president said. "His statue has been part of the campus for more than 80 years and will continue to represent the legacy of the Hogg family in its new location."