Monday, November 18, 2013

Mohler Devore Temple (1891-1971)

From the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, August 25, 1946.

   Today's write-up takes us to Texas and highlights the life of one Mohler Devore Temple, long prominent in Republican circles in the county of Lubbock. Bestowed a rather "toothy" sounding first name (a misspelled version of "molar", if you will), Mr. Temple resided in Kansas, New Mexico and California before his resettlement in Lubbock, Texas, where he was active in business circles and politics, being a three time Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas in 1946, 1948 and 1950.
   Born on October 6, 1891 in Pawnee County, Kansas, Mohler Devore Temple was one of eleven children born to David Devore and Mary Serena Mohler. Given the unusual names "Mohler Devore" in honor of his mother's maiden name and his father's middle name, Temple spent a good majority of his childhood moving around the southwestern United States with his family. The Temple Genealogy website gives note that he resided in Enid, Oklahoma and New Mexico during his youth and in the late 1910s is recorded as a corporal in the New Mexico National Guard. In addition to his National Guard service, Temple helped with construction of the Elephant Butte Dam in El Paso, Texas and was a veteran of the First World War, this according to his 1971 Lubbock Avalanche obituary. 
   Mohler Temple married his first wife Myrle J. Davis around 1918 and the couple later had one son, Earl Davis, who died a few weeks after his birth in January 1920. Myrle Davis Temple died sometime prior to 1923 and shortly afterward Temple remarried to Lula J. Goode (1893-1975), with whom he had two daughters, Jane (birth-date unknown) and Sally Temple Whiteley (1925-2010).  The early 1930s saw Mohler D. Temple residing in California where he was a "grape products distributor" and around 1936 removed with his family to Lubbock, Texas, where he would reside for the remainder of his life. Based as a real estate agent in Lubbock for many years following his resettlement, Temple is also listed in his obituary as being the owner and operator of the "College Inn," a dormitory for the Lubbock Red Raiders football team. 
   Active in politics in the Lubbock County area in the late 1930s, Temple held the position of Chairman of the Lubbock County Republican Committee for a number of years and later served as a member of the Texas Republican State Executive committee. In August 1946 Temple announced his candidacy for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas's Nineteenth district. As the Lubbock Avalanche Journal noted in its August 25th edition, Temple's congressional candidacy marked "the first time in history that the Republicans have had a candidate for congress from this district" and that 
his candidacy "was based solely on the desire for a large GOP vote over the area in the fall election." Running as a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, Temple faced off against popular five term incumbent George H. Mahon (1900-1985) and on election day lost in a landslide by a vote of 6,608 to 357.

                                           From the Texas State Alamanac and Industrial Guide, 1949-50.

    In spite of such an overwhelming loss Temple pressed on and in 1948 launched another campaign for Congress. His Democratic opponent was once again George Mahon and on election day 1948 Mahon again triumphed, with the electoral results being even more lopsided than they were two years previously, 58, 585 to Temple's total of 2, 724. The congressional election of 1950 brought more of the same, with Temple losing for a third time to Mahon, who coasted to an easy victory with 17, 828 votes to his opponent's 1,162. Following this victory George Mahon would go on to serve a further fourteen terms in congress, serving a total of 44 years in all (1935-1979) and retired from office in January 1979.
   Following his defeat for Congress Mohler Temple continued to be a leading Republican figure in Lubbock, even being selected to serve as part of the Texas delegation to the 1948 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia that nominated Thomas E. Dewey for the Presidency. In the last year of his life Temple is remarked in his obituary as being in a state of impaired health, and he died at the Lubbock Methodist Hospital on January 31, 1971 at age 79. His wife and two daughters survived him and both Mohler and Lula Temple were interred at the Resthaven Memorial Park in Lubbock following their deaths.


From the February 1, 1971 edition of the Lubbock Avalanche.

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