November 29th, 2011
Listomania: Historic Houston Mayors with Nickname Potential
Houston’s a fairly young city. It’s got limited years, 176 to be exact, when compared to the 387 of New York or the 1,968 of London. Even at its young age it’s managed to establish an identity, all be it to the lazy eye, industry dominated or by its great hero, General Sam Houston (that’s Hústun, not Howstun, that’s to you, New York). In that 176 years, this identity has been molded and shaped by 61 different mayors. Each bringing something (or nothing) different to the office.
Sure, actions speak loudly, but a good nickname has stamina. Tricky Dick’s actions are forgotten by a younger generation while his name perseveres. The same might be said for the gum chewing Ice Man in Top Gun or the turn of the 20th Century Bull Moose, T. R. I’ve heard the names, but what have they done? And so now, we give you some Houston mayors with nickname potential.
George W. Lively (1839)
Nickname(s): Loins Lively, G-Wang, G-Live and Distinguished Au Jus
He was only lively for so long, Charles Bigelow, defeated him just six months after his contested election was actually certified. His frequent trips to New Whorelands*, as it was known in those days, did not go well with the pious Houston population.
Named in his honor: Lively Lane
*No proof that we could find, definitively states that he got down in Nola—it’s pure speculation.
Charles Bigelow (1840)
Nickname(s): Male Gigolo, One Year Wonder, Chucky Teaz
Mayor Bigelow put the locomotive wheels in motion for the City of Houston’s official seal. You know the one, it has a choo-choo and an ancient piece of farm equipment. According to HoustonHistory.com, good things happened the year after Bigelow’s occupation of office. For instance, duals were deemed ungentlemanly.
Named in his honor: Bigelow Street
Horace Baldwin Rice (1844)
Nickname(s): Horse, Booorace, The Eldest Baldwin, Mayor Creepy
Mayor Baldwin acted on behalf of Houston for just a year, not unlike the two on this list before him. Under Baldwin’s watch, Cotton went BOOM with the city’s first compress and ships went rabbit in her bayous. Speaking of rabbits, if Baldwin had one thing going for him, it was good genes. Brown. Rice. Allen.
Named in his honor: Baldwin Park exists, but was named for his daughter, Elizabeth
Cornelius Ennis (1856-1857)
Nickname(s): Pennis, Corny-Corn, Tap, Han Solo, Ennass
Two years in office! He brought to fruition the Houston Tap Rail Road and a temporary end to thieving along Houston’s import routes. When he wasn’t mayoring it up, he was running contraband through Union blockades, expanding rail lines all over the state of Texas, and purchasing ironclad steamers.
Named in his honor: Ennis Street
Thomas Howe Scanlan (1870-1873)
Nickname(s): Tom Radical, The Scan Man, Howe D’ya Do, ThomNess
Three years! Scanlan, a feisty Republican mayor, pushed the American Reconstruction through Houston’s infrastructure, stressing anti-corruption when it came to city contracts. Placing Blacks in various government roles got him pinned as a radical. He was eventually voted out of office on accusations of wasting government revenue. Surprise.
Named in his honor: The Scanlan Building
Isaac C. Lord (1875-1876)
Nickname(s): The Law, HI-C, I See Lord
We’re back to a two-year termer. Did names doom these men to short terms in office? Mayor Lord saw the formation of HPD under his tenure. Win. He then required them to wear wool, in Houston. Fail.
Named in his honor: Nothing, people figured there were already enough instances of Lord in Houston’s churches
Henry Scherffius (1890-1892)
Nickname(s): Scherffius the Impervious, Shirking Scherffius, Sassafrass, Oh Henry
Scherffius watched over the annexations of Pasadena, the Heights, South Houston and Deer Park. He was also the first mayor to celebrate Labor Day. Working hard or hardly working. Am I right?
Named in his honor: Nothing, I cannot imagine favor for Scherffius Hospital, Scherffius Park or anything Scherffius public for that matter
Orin T. Holt (1902-1904)
Nickname(s): Holty Tolty, Over Time, Outside, OrSin
In a roundabout way, he was involved in the death of William Marsh Rice and the establishment of Rice University—both (http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/ourparks/baldwinpark.html) of which took place before his two years as mayor. His mayoral accomplishments aren’t worth mentioning next to this post-Victorian era gossip.
Named in his honor: Holt Street
Andrew Jackson (1904-1905)
Nicknames: AJack, Not the Prez, New Hickory
J. J. Pastoriza (1917)
Nickname(s): JoePa, Zweite-J, Pastor the Tax Master
Before he took the big office, he was the city’s Tax and Finance Commissioner. His tax plan did away with the taxing of cash in all forms, releasing money that people held in private for fear of it being taxed. He than only taxed tangibles at 25% of their cost. Construction, like Cotton in the “first” Baldwin’s term, went BOOM. Mayor Pastoriza, unfortunately died only one year after taking office.
Named in his honor: Nothing
Almeron Earl Amerman (1918-1921)
Nickname(s): Hammerin’ Amerman, Amer-ican-Man
A.E. Amerman was a mayor of Houston. That’s about all we can say. He was chosen only for his “Hammerin’ Amerman” nickname potential. If you know anything about his term, fill us stupid “I only know what I can find while googling names” people.
Named in his honor: ???
Oscar F. Holcombe (1921–1929, 1933–1936, 1939–1941, 1947–1952, 1956–1957)
Nickname(s): Ye Old Gray Fox (the Chronicle came up with that one), Mr. Popular
He broke more records than Cing Keenum. He had twenty years in the big seat thanks to five terms in office. Earlier in his mayoral monopoly he pushed for public works; streets, sewage, libraries and the like. He also worked on fair tax distribution and established the Houston Independent School District.
Named in his honor: The Boulevard down around West U and the Medical Center, you know the one
Roy Hofheinz (1953-1955)
Nickname(s): The Hof, Astro, Radio Roy, The Judge
Roy was one of the driving forces behind Houston’s acquisition of a MLB franchise. We’re showing how grateful we are by shipping the team that was once the Colt .45s to the AL West, but still… At least we have baseball thanks to The Hof. Not only that, the development of the entire Astrodome area came courtesy of the man who held positions as State Rep, Harris County Judge and Mayor.
Named in his honor: Hofheinz Pavilion at University of Houston
Fred Hofheinz (1974-1977)
Nickname(s): Junior Hof, The Second Coming
Fred is still alive and kicking as a lawyer in town. For that reason alone, we’re going to pass on speculating on his term as mayor. We like our site and we don’t want it sued away from us.
Named in his honor: Nothing daddy didn’t do