LYNCH DAVIDSON, retired Lieutenant Governor of Texas, and author of the widely known "Lynch Davidson Plan" for the permanent rehabilitation of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad, chairman of the Board of Managers of the State Railroad, former member of both Houses of the Texas Legislature, and one of the largest lumber manufacturers and retailers of the Southwest, is truly one of the most widely known, progressive and helpful citizens of the Lone Star State. In 1897 he moved to Houston and organized the Continental Lumber Company. Later he also organized the Mardex Lumber Company, a lumber manufacturing concern owning large timber land properties, sawmills and railroad in Polk County, Texas, and the Southland Lumber Company, a retail yard business operating twenty-five lumber yards in Texas and Oklahoma. In 1921 all of these companies representing the interests of Mr. Davidson, were consolidated in one corporation, Lynch Davidson and Company, with an investment of more than $2,000,000.00. During the World War Governor Davidson was very active in war work, and it was during these activities that he became impressed with the need of business men of ability and vision in affairs of government, and his election to the State Legislature in 1918 marked the beginning of a meteoric rise in public life and affairs. Before the expiration of his term, he was elected to the State Senate; and then as Lieutenant Governor, defeating the incumbent for his second term, a thing unprecedented in Texas politics. He retired voluntarily in January, 1923, with a record of never having been defeated for office. During the period he served in the House and Senate, he championed many measures for the good of the people and the State, among them being a vast amount of constructive work done; the salvaging and saving for Texas of more than $1,000,000.00 on its erstwhile dilapidated State Railroad; the treating of the drainage problem intelligently; the appropriation to rural schools, which was to the limit of the State's financial ability and the helping hand reached out to the farmer in an effort to eradicate the pink boll worm by legislation and appropriation. During this period, a penitentiary program was outlined, that had it been followed would have been helpful in the solution of problems with which Texas has been afflicted for many years. As Lieutenant Governor, he served with uniform courtesy, impartiality, general good humoi and fairness combined with wide comprehension of the business and proceedings of the legislative department of the government and the problems affecting the general welfare of the people. One of his last acts in the office of Lieutenant Governor was to refer the Senate to the question of saving the State from losses in the penitentiary system and to give their attention to practical matters. His work to rehabilitate the "Orient" Railroad was done in behalf of the people of Texas, and immediately in behalf of those along the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad, and ultimately in behalf of the people of the whole United States in the continuance of the operation of this line of railroad.
A native of Louisiana, Governor Davidson was born at Boyce January 3, 1873. His parents removed to Groesbeck, Texas, when Governor Davidson was an infant and his father, Lieutenant Neal Davidson, died there when Governor Davidson was five years of age. His mother (deceased since January, 1923), was Miss Laura Cecelia Lynch. She was born in Washington County, Texas, in 1847. Her father, Capt. Joseph Penn Lynch, came to Texas from Kentucky in 1810 when he was seventeen years of age, and was one of the Texas patriots, having engaged in the fight for the independence of Texas at San Jacinto April 21, 1836. Her two brothers, William and Joseph Lynch, enlisted in the Confederate Army in Terry's State Rangers in April, 1861. Both fought throughout the four years of the war between the States with excellent records. She was educated at Fairfield Seminary, in Freestone County, . one of the oldest institutions of the kind in the South. Mrs. Davidson resided up to a few years prior to her death at Groesbeck, where she always maintained her home. In the success of her son, Lynch Davidson, she enjoyed the pleasure and satisfaction which can come only to a mother. Governor Davidson's maternal and paternal grandparents were among the very early settlers in Texas and endured all the privations and hardships of the pioneers. Governor Davidson spent his childhood and early school days at Groesbeck, where he finished high school when fifteen years of age.
After finishing high school, Governor Davidson immediately embarked on his career as a lumberman by securing a place as a "roustabout" in a sawmill at Groveton to aid in the support of his widowed mother. After having learned the fundamentals, he graduated into the selling end of the lumber trade, and when twenty-three years of age he opened his own business at Laredo, which was the beginning of the great lumber director, known throughout the ends of this State.
Governor Davidson was married to Miss Katie Calvert in June, 1897, They have three daughters, Mrs. Marion Davidson Smyth, and Misses Lois and Katie Lynch Davidson. He is a member of the Houston Club, Houston Country Club, Lumbermen's Club, Kiwanis Club and the B. P. O. E., and the religion of the Methodist faith. Never tiring in his efforts to assist his State and people, he is advocating the solution of the problem of prison operation in Texas and achievement of the humanitarian purposes of penal incarceration by the rehabilitation of the State Iron Foundry at Rusk. Governor Davidson is a member of the Methodist Church, which faith comes to him as a direct heritage from many generations of Methodist forbears, both paternal and maternal. Having tasted poverty in his earlier years, Governor Davidson is in sympathy with those who toil. Having risen from the ranks, he has the deepest interest in the man who aspires to better his condition, and he is always ready and willing to render helpful service to his fellow man. Governor Davidson expects to arrange his business affairs and return to politics in 1926, as a candidate for the Governorship of Texas, where he is regarded as one of his State's most popular, progressive and publicspirited citizens.