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7.    George C. Pendleton

George Cassety Pendleton (1845-1913), state representative, lieutenant governor, and congressman, was born to Ned E. and Sarah (Smart) Pendleton in Warren County, Tennessee, on April 23, 1845. In 1857 the family moved to Ellis County, Texas. Pendleton enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army after the beginning of the Civil War and saw action with the Nineteenth Texas Cavalry in the Trans-Mississippi Department. After the war he returned to Texas and enrolled in Waxahachie Academy, but was forced by illness to withdraw. In an effort to regain his strength through work, Pendleton accepted a job as a traveling salesman for a Dallas implement company. He remained with the firm for ten years. In 1870 he married Helen Embree of Belton, Texas. The couple raised five children. During 1881 and 1882 Pendleton lived in Bell County, first in Old Howard, and later, after the Santa Fe Railroad bypassed that village, at Pendleton, where he was involved in various business pursuits for a short time. His experiences as a farmer apparently drew him to the activities of the Grange for a time. In 1882 he moved to Temple, where he entered the land abstract and title firm of his brother-in-law, William E. Hill, and A. M. Monteith.

Pendleton was selected as state representative of the Twenty-fourth District, which included Bell County, and retained office for the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth legislatures; he served as speaker of the House in 1886. Between 1883 and 1890, while a member of the state legislature, he held a number of positions within the state's Democratic party, including chairman pro tem of both the antiprohibition state convention of May 1887 and the state convention on 1888. The 1890 state convention, likely cognizant of Pendleton's Granger past, nominated him as gubernatorial candidate James S. Hogg's running mate on a platform designed to appeal to the state's agrarian voters during this period of farmer activism. Following Hogg's victory Pendleton served as lieutenant governor of Texas from 1890 through 1892. In 1892 he successfully sought election to Congress from the state's Seventh District, which included Bell, Falls, McLennan, Freestone, Limestone, Milam, Brazos, and Robertson counties. He served two terms in Washington and was a delegate to the Democratic national convention in Chicago in 1896.

After returning to Temple in 1897, Pendleton entered banking and studied law in his spare time. He was admitted to the bar in 1900 and practiced law until his death. He also remained active in Democratic politics during his later years, serving as a chairman pro tem of the state convention in 1902 and holding a seat on the committee on platform and resolutions in 1904. In the latter position he presented a minority report that encouraged state control over interstate corporations operating in Texas. He also called for an investigation of Senator Joseph W. Bailey's relationship with the Standard Oil Company. After the election of Woodrow Wilson to the presidency in 1912, Pendleton was to be appointed postmaster of Temple, a post no doubt intended as a reward for his long service to the Democratic party. The appointment was never made, however, for he died on January 19, 1913, after suffering a stroke.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Biographical Directory of the American Congress. John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Dallas Morning News, January 20, 1913. Members of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1962 (Austin, 1962). Presiding Officers of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1982 (Austin: Texas Legislative Council, 1982). E. W. Winkler, Platforms of Political Parties in Texas (Austin: University of Texas, 1916).

Brian Hart

Reprinted with permission from the Handbook of Texas Online, a joint project of the Texas State Historical Association and the General Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin. © 2003, The Texas State Historical Association.

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