Houghton Brownlee

State Senator Houghton Brownlee run against US President, Lyndon Baines Johnson in the Texas’ Tenth Congressional District in 1937.

The photos are of a “Vote For” card, which was distributed for Johnson, aged 28 years, during the 1937 campaign. On the back you will see a list of Johnson’s opponents in the race, each one marked out leaving only Lyndon Johnson.

In an interview with Gordon Fulcher, the publisher of an East Texas newspaper at Atlanta on 22 November 1968, Fulcher said the following when talking of Houghton and the 1937 campaign: “Houghton Brownlee of Austin was from one of the older Austin families and a successful lawyer and former state senator. One of his brothers was a doctor here and, well, I would say, and I mean no disparagement at all to a very fine friend of mine - which he was - he just wasn't able to bring an appealing political campaign to the people at that time.”

“Now, when Lyndon B Johnson had this emergency operation for appendicitis, according to the information that I've received from Mr Lee, the operation was performed by Dr Joe Thorne Gilbert who at this time (1968) is still practicing in Austin, and it's my understanding through what I have been told by others, that Johnson requested that Dr Gilbert be assisted by a brother, or at least a relative, of Senator Brownlee in order that there would be no question about it being, you know, some put up job or something.”

“It is my recollection that it was Senator Houghton Brownlee's brother - I believe that his name was C. R., or something like that, I don't recall right now, but anyway, his nickname was "Happy" - Dr "Happy" Brownlee, and I am satisfied that he actually did participate in the operation and assisted Dr Gilbert in it. I remember, writing a note to Johnson saying to him, so to speak - I don't remember the exact words - "Go on and get operated on. The only thing you're going to have to worry about is what kind of tie you wear for your swearing-in ceremonies." He took a great fancy to that and through the years has mentioned it many, many times.”

Front and back view of "How to Vote" card for Texas’ Tenth Congressional District in 1937

See also Katherine Houston Brownlee wife of Houghton Brownlee Jr.