MEHARG, EMMA GRIGSBY
MEHARG, EMMA GRIGSBY (1873–1937). Emma Grigsby Meharg, the first Texas woman secretary of state, was born on August 14, 1873, at Lynnville, Tennessee, the daughter of Jasper N. and Mary Amanda (Calvert) Grigsby. In 1883 the family moved to Italy, Texas, where she attended public school. She graduated from Southwestern Normal College in 1895. She married Samuel W. Meharg, a native of Anniston, Alabama, on June 24, 1902, and went as a bride to Plainview, Texas, where her husband became principal of the public school. Mrs. Meharg also taught school both in Italy and Plainview. The couple had two children.
Emma Meharg was appointed secretary of state by Governor Miriam A. Ferguson and served during 1925 and 1926. In her official biennial report she made a number of recommendations for changes in laws relating to corporations, securities, administration of the secretary of state's office, and the institution of a civil service system for state employees. Subsequent legislatures enacted into law many of her proposals. She strongly recommended that the office of the secretary of state be made an elective rather than appointive office because the duties of the office were of a more public nature than at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of 1876. She also advocated adoption of a constitutional amendment to raise the salary of the secretary of state from the $2,000 per year set by the Constitution of 1876. During her administration as secretary of state many historical records were taken out of storage, restored, and processed for easy reference and exhibit.
Mrs. Meharg was a leader in civic, cultural, church, and political affairs. She served on the Plainview board of school trustees and on the board of regents of Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) from 1932 to 1937. She died at Plainview on September 4, 1937, and was buried there.
Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Dallas Morning News, December 26, 1926.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Elora B. Alderman, "MEHARG, EMMA GRIGSBY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fme07), accessed February 07, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles