Governor Oscar B. Colquitt Mural

Oscar Colquitt was born in Georgia in 1861 to Thomas Jefferson Colquitt and Ann Elizabeth (Burkhalter) Colquitt. His family had a long tradition of political service, and two of his uncles served as U.S. Senators, with one of them, Alfred H. Colquitt also serving as Governor of Georgia. Colquitt’s father served in the Confederate States Army as an officer, and after the Civil War, he attempted to farm using freed slaves as laborers. The weather destroyed the family’s crops, and they lost everything. The family then moved to Daingerfield, Texas.

In 1881, Colquitt became a “printer’s devil” for the Morris County Banner and learned the printing trade. Several months after beginning his job, his employer opened a new paper in Greenville and Colquitt worked there until he purchased his own paper in 1884, the Pittsburgh Gazette. Within two years Colquitt had purchased two newspapers in Terrell and combined them into one newspaper, the Times-Star.

He also founded the First National Bank of Terrell, was a member of the Texas Senate (1895-97), a Texas State Revenue Agent in 1898 and Texas Railroad Commissioner, (1903-11). In 1911, he was elected as a Democrat as the 25th Governor of Texas, serving until 1915. His achievements during his terms in office included completion of state prison system reform, increased appropriations for the state’s educational institutions and labor protections. After Governorship, he became involved in the petroleum industry in Dallas and served on the U.S. Board of Mediation from 1935 until his death at age 78 in Dallas, Texas.

Governor Colquitt had moved to Terrell in 1886. His official home remained in Terrell until he left the Governor’s office, when he moved to Dallas.

This portrait of Governor Colquitt was painted by Charlie Bullock.