Price Daniel

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Price Daniel : biography

October 10, 1910 – August 25, 1988

Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel was a descendant of Margaret Lea Houston and Sam Houston, through the Houstons’ daughter Nannie Elizabeth. Nannie married Joseph Clay Stiles Morrow. Their daughter Margaret Houston Morrow was in attendance and introduced as "Mrs. Robert A. John" during Price Daniel’s election as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Margaret and Robert’s daughter Jean Houston John married Franklin T. Baldwin, and they were the parents of Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel.

Governor Daniel died of a stroke August 25, 1988. He is buried at the family ranch in Liberty County. His wife died December 14, 2002 and is buried with him. Price III died in 1981 and is also buried in the family cemetery.

Texas state House of Representatives

In 1938, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He was subsequently re-elected twice, serving in the 46th, 47th and 48th legislature from Jan 10, 1939 until Jan 9, 1945. Daniel opposed Texas adopting a sales tax.

Committees served on during the 46th legislature (January 10-June 21, 1939)

Judiciary
Oil, Gas and Mining
Privileges, Suffrage and Elections (Vice Chair)
Public Lands and Buildings
Committees served on during the 47th legislature (January 14-July 3, 1941 and Sept 9-Sept 19, 1941)

Judiciary
Privileges, Suffrage and Elections
Public Lands and Buildings (Vice Chair)
Revenue and Taxation

He was elected Speaker of the House for the 48th legislature (January 12-May 11, 1943).

Governor

Then U.S. Senator Daniel was elected governor in 1956. Thereafter, Daniel’s chief intraparty rival Ralph Yarborough went on to succeed Daniel (after a temporary appointee, William A. Blakley of Dallas) in the Senate in a special election held in 1957. Also in the 1956 Democratic primary was a flamboyant former Republican, the historian J. Evetts Haley, who pledged to support segregation, remove price controls from natural gas, and halt the activities of South Texas political boss George Parr of Duval County. Haley returned to the Republican Party in 1964.

As Governor, Daniel saw legislative fruition of his proposals to reorganize of the State Board of Insurance, passage of an ethics code for lawmakers and other state employees, regulation of lobbyists, an improved structure for state archives, and a long-range water conservation plan.

Daniel was reelected governor in 1958 and 1960. In 1960, Daniel won renomination over Jack Cox, an oil equipment executive from Houston. Daniel then prevailed in the general election by a much larger margin than that obtained by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson as the Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees. Daniel received 1,637,755 votes (72.8 percent) to Republican William M. Steger of Tyler, who obtained 612,963 ballots (27.2 percent). Yet Kennedy and Johnson barely won the Texas electoral votes over Richard M. Nixon.

In 1961, the legislature passed a 2-cent sales tax, Texas State Historical Association which Daniel allowed to become law without his signature so the state would remain solvent. After the passage of the sales tax, Daniel’s popularity waned, and he failed at his attempt to be elected to a fourth term in 1962. He lost the Democratic nomination to former Navy Secretary John B. Connally, Jr. Other 1962 Democratic candidates included highway commissioner Marshall Formby of Plainview, state Attorney General Will Wilson, a future Republican convert, and Major General Edwin A. Walker, who made anticommunism the centerpiece of his campaign. Connally went on to defeat Jack Cox, who had switched to Republican affiliation, to claim the right to succeed Daniel as governor.

Organization memberships

Price Daniel was a member of the following organizations:

  • American Legion
  • Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
  • Freemasons
  • Pi Kappa Delta
  • Rotary International
  • Shriners
  • Sigma Delta Chi
  • Woodmen of the World
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars