Saturday, December 13, 2008
Once there were two large Anglo families in Duval County, but an upset left George Parr in control. Parr did not have a sense of humor. He ruled Duval County by force. This became a news issue in 1948 when Lyndon Johnson was elected a U.S. Senator and carried Duval County by all of the votes. When I asked Lyndon about it he replied: "I have never been in Duval County in my life." I do not know who was the go-between, but someone talked to Parr. At that time Parr was under a conviction and needed help to avoid a prison sentence. One thing I do know. Lyndon and Sam Rayburn got on the train with President Harry Truman as he was passing through Kansas on his way back to the White House. Truman agreed to pardon Parr. This was not unusual for Truman because it helped him control Congress. Parr went back to Duval County in a stronger political position. In those days in Texas there were several counties indeep South Texas who joined together to exert power. Kleberg County, for example, and Webb County and Duval County. George Parr had a group of Mexican-Americans whom he put in office and they helped him run the county. All this was well known in 1948, but that was a long time ago and few Texans remember all this.