This Georgian revival style home is located in the Old Enfield area and was originally owned by Dan Moody Jr., The home was built in 1938 by the Page, Sunderland firm. Dan Moody Jr. was the son of Texas Governor Dan Moody. Dan Moody, Jr was an Austin lawyer that was known as a very talented chess and card player. Governor Dan Moody was a close friend of Peter Mansbendel and gave the eulogy at Mansbendel’s funeral in 1940. Over 400 attended the furneral. The carvings and woodwork in this home are attributed to Mansbendel.
Daniel J. Moody was born on June 1, 1893, to Daniel James Moody and Nancy Elizabeth Robertson Moody in the then-fast-growing railroad town of Taylor, where he would spend his childhood. He attended The University of Texas from 1910-14, where he was a member of the Hildebrand Law Society and later vice president of the Cofer Law Society. Without completing his law degree, he left school, passed the bar exam, and formed a law partnership with Harris Melasky, a childhood friend, in Taylor. Moody developed a good reputation as a lawyer. During World War I, he recruited a company of soldiers. They were training in Arkansas when the Armistice was declared. Moody returned to his practice. The year 1920 marked two important events in Moody’s career. He began his political career when, at age 27, he became the youngest person ever to serve as Williamson County attorney. It also was the year the Ku Klux Klan entered Texas.
How Dan Moody Destroyed the Klan in Texas
Imagine 170,000 hate-filled Texans organized into a secret, very powerful society. A society that openly preached white supremacy and hatred for blacks, Jews, Catholics, and immigrants. A society so powerful that its members and friends controlled local and county politics, dominated the Texas Legislature, and elected a U.S. senator. A society that kidnapped and beat those who disagreed with them and, because they controlled local law enforcement, did so without fear of prosecution. That nightmare was reality in Texas in 1922. The Ku Klux Klan controlled politics, committed vigilante violence with impunity, and was poised to take over state government from the governor’s office on down in the 1924 election. Now imagine Governor Pat Neff just appointed you district attorney of Travis and Williamson counties. Your predecessor resigned mid-term in frustration over his inability to obtain an indictment against Klansmen who had openly committed a murder in downtown Austin. Oh, and the Travis County sheriff and Austin police commissioner, both known Klansmen, had been held in contempt of court for impeding that murder investigation. That is precisely the situation that confronted Dan Moody in 1922. He became the Texas’ youngest governor at age 33.