Moody Museum

Dan Moody

Governor Dan Moody was sworn in on January 18, 1927 and served two terms in office (1927-1931) before retiring from public life and starting a private law practice in Austin. He lived in Austin until his death in 1966 and is buried in the State Cemetery.

“The Ku Klux Klan (in Texas) is ‘as dead as the proverbial doornail’.”

Gov. Dan Moody, Time magazine, July 11, 1927


The year was 1926 when young Dan Moody, then 33 years old, declared his candidacy for governor of Texas on March 6. One month later on April 20, 1926 he married Mildred Paxton of Abilene.

After formally opening his campaign for governor on May 8 in his hometown of Taylor, he and his bride set out to campaign across Texas. The sign on the back of his car read “Vote for Dan Moody He is your friend.” In the first 30 days of the campaign he made more than 200 speeches. Wearing his straw boater (now on display in the museum) he set out to beat five opponents including incumbent Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson.

Moody’s campaign slogan “Dan’s the Man” led him to a huge victory with Ferguson coming in a distant second some 126,000 votes behind the popular young politician who had built a reputation as a crusader for justice.

With a passion for justice Dan Moody, then District Attorney for Travis and Williamson counties, was the first to successfully prosecute a case against the notorious Ku Klux Klan. He is credited with having “broken the back” of the Klan in Texas by sending several Klansmen to prison in 1924. According to author Ken Anderson in his book Dan Moody, Crusader for Justice “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.”

At the time of the Ku Klux Klan trial, Dan Moody was the youngest District Attorney to have served in Travis and Williamson counties.


Campaigning 1926 Style

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