Mildred Paxton Moody

First Lady of Texas, 1917

Mildred Paxton Moody was born April 20, 1897, in Abilene, Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Simmons College in 1917. While a student at Simmons she helped to start the campus newspaper, The Brand, and served as its first editor. Following her graduation she attended the University of Texas and earned a Master of Arts degree in English. Returning to Abilene she taught journalism at Simmons and also worked as the first formal woman’s page editor for the Abilene Reporter-News. She left Abilene to attend Columbia University in New York where she completed a master’s degree in the School of Journalism.

On her birthday in 1926, Mildred Paxton married Texas Attorney General Daniel J. Moody, Jr. Their twilight wedding was one of Abilene’s grandest occasions. Six months later Dan Moody was elected as the youngest Governor in the state’s history. At the age of 29, Mildred became First Lady of Texas.

She was instrumental in the establishment of a board of regents to manage the preservation and decoration of the Governor’s Mansion. Governor Sterling later appointed Moody to be the head of that first three-person board. Mildred Moody served on the HSU Board of Development and was active in the Austin Junior League, Red Cross, United Fund, and the Settlement Club.

Mildred Paxton Moody died March 1, 1983, and is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin.

Hardin-Simmons University proudly honors the life of Mildred Paxton Moody.