The Crusader - Texas Governor Series LbNA # 56702
|Placed Date||Dec 1 2010|
Daniel James Moody, Jr., the 30th governor of Texas, was born at Taylor, Texas, on June 1, 1893. He attended the University of Texas from 1910 to 1914, taking law courses during the last two years. He was admitted to the bar in 1914 and began practice in Taylor. His early career was interrupted by service in World War I, during which he served as second lieutenant and captain in the Texas National Guard and second lieutenant in the United States Army. He returned to his practice after the war and in 1920 entered upon a period of public service. He was the youngest elected to several successive public offices: county attorney of Williamson County, 1920-22; district attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District, 1922-25; attorney general of Texas, 1925-27; and governor of Texas, elected for two terms, 1927-31. His term as district attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District, which included Williamson and Travis counties, was at the peak of Ku Klux Klan agitation. The 1920s Ku Klux Klan was a nation-wide secret organization that openly preached white supremacy and hatred for blacks, Jews, Catholics, immigrants and law-breakers. At its peak in 1925 and 1926, it had up to three million members. It was active in all 48 states. The Klan controlled state government in Indiana, Oregon and Colorado, it had a strong presence in Chicago (up to 50,000 members), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Los Angeles. There was enough Klan power to deadlock the 1924 Democratic National Convention and at the height of its national power, Klansman marched 40,000 strong down Pennsylvania Avenue. Dan Moody was the first district attorney in the nation to successfully prosecute members of the 1920's Klan. After beating them in the courtroom, he engineered a massive electoral defeat of Klan candidates in the 1924 Texas elections. Moody took Texas from being the number-one Klan state at the beginning of 1924 to the most anti-Klan state in the country by the end of 1924. As the first state to deal the Klan a setback, Moody and Texas inspired anti-Klan opponents throughout the United States in their eventually successful attempts to destroy the 1920's Klan elsewhere. Moody also fought the public corruption of the Ferguson administration and, ultimately, was elected Texas' youngest governor. Because of his zealous prosecution of the KKK, he was known as The Crusader for Justice. He died in 1966 and is buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
Going north from Austin on I-335, exit Georgetown/Andice and turn right on Williams. Turn right again on Business 35, which is Austin Ave. After crossing the San Gabriel River, turn right on 3rd St. until it dead-ends into Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Turn right on MLK and go to where it dead-ends into Scenic Drive. Turn left onto Scenic Drive and notice the cemetery on your right. Drive to the next street on your right, which has been closed off to thru traffic (there is a pipe gate) and park there. Walk back to the historical marker and read it. It has nothing to do with Gov. Moody, at least directly, but it reflects the times in which he lived.
To the box:
Go back to the gate and stand at its left end, facing the cemetery. Look a little left at 325 degrees for a white rectangular grave marker and walk to it. The marker is for E. P. Huffman. From the marker walk 22 steps at 305 degrees to a pile of rocks. The box is behind the rocks covered with more rocks.