Born: Oct. 5, 1907 in Lufkin, Texas
Died: Jan. 14, 1985
Robert Allan Shivers graduated from Port Arthur High School in 1924 and attended Port Arthur College in 1925. He dropped out of college to work in the railroad shops but later returned to the University of Texas where he became president of the student body. He began his law practice at Port Arthur in 1931. Three years later he entered Democratic politics by winning the election to the State Senate from the fourth District.
At 27, Shivers was the youngest member to sit in the Texas Senate at that time. He married Marialice Shary in 1937 at her father's house in Sharyland, near Mission, Texas. During World War II, Major Shivers served in military government in the U.S. Army. He received five battle stars and the Bronze Star for his service. In 1941 Shivers purchased Magnolia Hills from his uncle Clarence Shivers. In 1945 he was chosen to succeed Lieutenant Governor John Lee Smith. Beaufort Jester won the gubernatorial election. When Jester died on July 12, 1948, the 41-year old Shivers was sworn in as governor at Magnolia Hills. He defeated Caso March and five others to retain the office in 1950.
Although a Democratic governor, Shivers assumed leadership of Eisenhower's successful 1952 Republican effort in Texas because Ike promised to deed the "tidelands" to the states. As a member and chairman of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission, Shivers had long opposed Federal claims to title over these submerged marginal oilfields. In 1952, Shivers was listed on the ballot as a nominee of both parties in the gubernatorial election and was once again elected to the office.
As governor, Shivers expanded mental health, educational, and prison administration services. After serving a record 7 ½ years, Shivers was succeeded by Price Daniel. Shivers then took possession of Woodlawn, the former Austin home of Governor E.M. Pease, who had been the first occupant of the Governor's Mansion in Austin.
Outside his political career, Shivers operated Western Pipe Line, Inc.; was on the board of directors of several corporations, Texas banks, and civic organizations; and was a partner in the law firm of Shivers, Clayton, and Kirkland from 1931 to 1949.