Biographies of Travis County, Texas
The subject of this sketch, Osceola Archer, is a native of Maryland. He was born in the beautiful village of Port Deposit, built against a bluff of the Susquehanna river, a few miles above Havre de Grace, where the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad Company spans that stream, and which will be remembered by all travelers to the Eastern cities.
Osceola was the third son of John and Anna Laura Archer, and came to Texas with them in 1846, and settled in Western Texas, were the family has resided ever since. His father, Judge John Archer, graduated at West Point, the United States Military Academy, in the class of 1827, and after serving in the army with his old friend and classmate, the lamented and gallant General Albert Sidney Johnson, resigned his commission for the purpose of entering into the occupations of civil life. He afterwards read law, and at the advanced age of seventy years was admitted to the bar with the design of engaging actively in the practice of that profession, but soon thereafter he was elected and served as County Judge of Karnes County for six years. He still resides in that county, and is now in the eighty-fourth year of his life.
Osceola Archer from early boyhood has had a great thirst for knowledge, and availed himself of all the facilities offered in his locality to obtain an education. He spent the last two years of his scholastic life at the old Aranama College in Goliad, and by close application, which habit he has not forgotten, he acquired a good English education, and in addition a fair knowledge of the classics, Latin and Greek.
In 1861 he left Aranama College and determined to prepare himself for the practice of law, but being without sufficient means to attend a law school and relying upon his own resources, he began life as a school teacher at Oakville, where he read law at night and at all leisure times when he was not engaged with his school, but he was not content to remain thus long.
In 1861 the call to arms of every Southern patriot arousing the native ardor of young Archer, he abandoned the birch rod of the pedagogue for the saber of the soldier, and volunteering in the Confederate States service he joined the celebrated Terry Rangers at Houston, and served throughout the war as a private in that gallant regiment. He participated with his command in most of the great battles fought by the army of Tennessee, including the battles of Shiloh, Perryville, Kentucky, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Knoxville and Bentonville, besides being engaged with his regiment in hundreds of cavalry charges and skirmishes which rendered the Terry Rangers so famous and so terrible to the enemy, in all of which young Archer bore himself with marked spirit and gallantry.
When the war closed, he returned to Texas, August, 1865, and taught school in DeWitt County for five months, resuming and continuing his application to the study of law in all his spare time. Finally he gave up school teaching, and at his father's home in Karnes County, he devoted all his attention to the completion of the study of the text books of the law, and upon a rigid and thorough examination was admitted to the bar at Helena, Karnes County, Texas, on the sixteenth day of October, 1866. It cannot be regarded as extraordinary that he obtained a license to practice law so soon after the war, when it is remembered that for some years previous to the war he had been a close student of law.
In 1867 Mr. Archer was appointed County Attorney by the Commissioners' Court of Karnes County, in which capacity he served for eighteen months, when he resigned, in order to give proper attention to his general and increasing civil practice. In March, 1869, Judge Archer formed a partnership in the practice of law with Major A. H. Phillips, a prominent lawyer of Victoria, Texas. The firm located an office in Victoria, with Major Phillips in charge, and another in Indianola, with Judge Archer in charge. The partnership existed until 1870, when Judge Archer was appointed District Attorney for the Sixteenth Judicial District, composed of seven counties, including Victoria, Calhoun and Nueces. In this office he served until 1871, when he took the stump for the Hon. John Hancock, the Democratic nominee for congress, against the Republican, Ed. DeGeneres, Esq., and the consequence of this political action was his removal from office by Governor E. J. Davis. In June, 1872, a Democratic Convention was held in Victoria for the nomination of District and County officers. The candidates for District Attorney were the Hon. Wm. H. Crain, now a member of Congress from that district; Judge W. W. Dunlap, and Judge Osceola Archer. On the first ballot Archer was nominated, but owing to the delicate health of Mrs. Archer he was compelled to leave the Gulf coast, and before the election was held he declined the nomination and moved to Austin, Travis county, arriving in that city on the 25th of November, 1872, where he has resided ever since. He immediately took a high position at the Travis county bar as a thorough gentleman and reliable attorney.
As a citizen he has proved himself to be public spirited and useful. Governor Ross appointed Judge Archer a member of the Board of Managers of the State Lunatic Asylum, located at Austin, in June, 1887. At the first meeting of the Board he was elected President. He was reappointed by Governor Ross to the same position in 1889, and was re-elected by the Board as its President for the next two years. To this difficult duty Judge Archer has given the strictest attention, fully appreciating the condition of the unfortunate class dependent upon the wise conduct of that institution for either a recovery or as comfortable a life as possible in their sad mental condition. He has discharged these duties most conscientiously and without fear of personal criticism from any quarter.
Judge Osceola Archer was married to Miss Nannie Wildy on the 30th of November, A. D. 1871. They have six children, five girls and one boy. He has a very comfortable homestead in the city of Austin, and is surrounded by all the comforts and many of the luxuries of life, and with his young and growing family he dispenses the hospitalities of his home with all the cordiality and refinement of his native Maryland. He is an active member of the Protestant Episcopal church, having become a member in 1879, and has been a vestryman in that church since the following spring. He is also treasurer of the Espicopal Endowment Fund and the Fund for Aged and Infirm Clergy and Widows and Orphans of the Clergy. He has been elected to the position successively since 1881.
At the Episcopal Council for this Diocese, held in Tyler, Texas, in April, 1889, Judge Archer was elected delegate to the General Council of the church in the United States, to be held in New York in October. He is conscientiously attentive to his duties as a member and officer of the church. He served for five years as Superintendent of the Sunday-school of the church at Austin.
As a lawyer Judge Archer is a close student and has acquired a comprehensive view and wide range of the science of the law. He is regarded by all who have dealings with him, as a lawyer and citizen, as perfectly reliable, and has been entrusted with the settlement of large interests and the investment of large sums of money. He is a man of method, answers letters and makes remittances promptly. His practice is growing solidly and remuneratively, and by close attention to his business he has accumulated a competency and acquired some valuable real estate in the city of Austin.
In personal appearance Judge Archer is of Saxon type; large, compact person, large round head, high forehead, bright hazel eyes, prominent and intelligent features, and genial and social in disposit1on. He is an easy and graceful speaker, distinguished more for sound logic and argument than metaphor and tropes. He is especially vigorous and strong upon the argument of a legal question, while also his pleasing and courteous address wins the attention of the jury. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
Joseph Baker was a native of Maine. He came to Texas in 1834. He was second judge of the municipality of Austin, was chief-justice of 1Bexar District, was representative in the congress of the republic from Bexar, in 1837. He was first sergeant of Captain Mosely Baker's company in the battle of San Jacinto, and was familiarly known among his friends as "Don Jose." In 1835, he, with Gail and Thomas H. Borden, established at San Felipe de Austin the first permanent newspaper in Texas, the Telegraph. Joseph Baker was for many years Spanish translator in the General Land Office. He died at Austin in 1846. [A Texas Scrapbook Made Up Of The History, Biography, and Miscellany of Texas And Its People, compiled by D. W. C. Baker, 1875, transcribed by Cathy Danielson]
BELL, PETER HANSBROUGH
BELL, Peter Hansbrough, a Representative from Texas; born in Spotsylvania County, Va., May 12, 1812; attended the public schools; moved to Texas in 1836 during the war for Texan independence; participated in the Battle of San Jacinto; assistant adjutant general of the Texan forces in 1837 and inspector general in 1839; served in the Mexican War as captain of the Texas Volunteer Rangers in 1845 and 1846 and as lieutenant colonel of mounted volunteers; colonel of a Texan volunteer regiment in 1848 and 1849; Governor of Texas 1849-1853; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1857); was not a candidate for renomination in 1856; moved to North Carolina in 1857 and settled in Halifax County; died in Littleton, Halifax County, N.C., March 8, 1898; interment in City Cemetery; reinterred Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Tex., 1930. (Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present; transcribed by A. Newell.)
BRYAN, GUY MORRISON
BRYAN, Guy Morrison, a Representative from Texas; born in Herculaneum, Jefferson County, Mo., January 12, 1821; moved to the Mexican State of Texas in 1831 with his parents, who settled near San Felipe; attended private schools; joined the Texas Army at San Jacinto in 1836; was graduated from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in 1842; studied law, but never practiced; engaged in planting; served as a private in the Brazoria company, under the command of Captain Ballowe, during the Mexican War with the Texas Volunteers on the eastern bank of the Rio Grande; member of the State house of representatives 1847-1853; served in the State senate 1853-1857; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1856; chairman of the Texas delegation in the Democratic National Convention at Baltimore in 1860; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1857-March 3, 1859); was not a candidate for renomination in 1858; during the Civil War served as volunteer aide-de-camp on the staff of General Herbert and afterwards as assistant adjutant general, with the rank of major, of the trans-Mississippi Department; established a cotton bureau in Houston, Tex., in order to escape the blockade along the Gulf; moved to Galveston, Tex., in 1872; again a member of the State house of representatives in 1873, 1879, and 1887-1891, and served as speaker in 1873; moved to Quintana, Tex., in 1890 and to Austin, Travis County, Tex., in 1898; elected president of the Texas Veterans Association in 1892 and served until his death in Austin, Tex., June 4, 1901; interment in the State Cemetery. Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present Contributed by A. Newell
ELLIS, COL. L. A.
The grandfather of Colonel Ellis, Ambrose Ellis, and his uncle, Richard Ellis, are closely identified with the early history of Texas. They were signers of the Declaration of Texas Independence. His father, Henry Ellis, was married to Miss Virginia Murray, and was one of the early settlers of Mississippi. The subject of this sketch, Littleberry Ambrose Ellis, was born in Hinds county, Mississippi, on the 19th September, 1827, and is therefore nearing his scriptural term of years. After having received as good an education as was afforded by the State in that early time, influenced perhaps by association, for the bar at Mississippi's capital at that time was studded with stars of the first magnitude, his first ambition w 7 as to become a celebrated lawyer; accordingly he began a course of reading with General D. C. Glenn, one of the most brilliant lights in the legal firmament at that time; but it became irksome, and after practicing law for awhile he came to Texas, in 1851. He then engaged in merchandising and followed this pursuit up to the breaking out of the war of 1861-5. He promptly entered the Confederate service and was on detached duty with Cheatham's division and the artillery of Wheeler's corps during the entire war. On the restoration of peace he again engaged in merchandising, arid followed it up to 1868. In co-partnership with Colonel E. H. Cunningham, he leased the Texas penitentiary for a period of ten years. Since that time he has been engaged largely in sugar planting. He has been eminently successful as a planter, and is one of the wealthiest men in Texas. His investments in planting and otherwise are estimated at $600,000.
On coming to Texas in 1851, he settled at Jefferson. In 1855 he was united in marriage to Miss Pink Owen. There were three children born of this marriage, to- wit: Marcus Oliver, who died in 1870, W. O. Ellis and Pink Owen Ellis. On the death of his wife he married again in 1865. He has five children by this last marriage. The oldest daughter, Sartartia V. Ellis, is the wife of Judge Eugene Williams, of Waco. The others are Caswell G., Emmett A., India M. and Leigh Ellis.
Colonel Ellis has never sought nor held any political office; though being a staunch Democrat he has never participated in any political canvass. For reasons satisfactory to himself, he has never connected himself with any church or secret society. Hehas always taken, however, and continues to take, an active interest in public affairs, and is considered one of the most public spirited of our citizens.
In 1877-8 when capital was very timid of investment in Texas, and railroads were new, he was one of seven to project and build the East Line and Red River railroad from Jefferson to Sulphur Springs. He has pursued a quiet life, and for the last ten years has devoted himself principally to planting. As a sugar planter, he may be considered a pioneer, and has done much to develop the sugar interest in Texas. He is a man of substantial build and weighs about 165 pounds, is six feet in height, florid complexion and keen gray eyes. The finger of time has silvered his hair, though he seems to be still in the prime and vigor of healthy mature manhood. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
GAINES, WM. BAXTER PENDLETON
Colonel Gaines is a native of Abbeville District, South Carolina, and was born September 17, 1808. He is the son of Benjamin Pendleton Gaines, a native of Virginia, and distinguished in the war of 1812 for services as a surgeon and physician, and whose attainments in medical and surgical science being of a high order, gave him a wide celebrity, and Elizabeth Ware, also a native of Abbeville District, South Carolina, and a sister of Major N. A. Ware, of Mississippi, and at one time an extensive owner of Texas lands, well known in this State during the earlier days.
Colonel Gaines, the subject of this sketch, was reared in Abbeville and Lawrence Districts until his sixteenth year, and was trained to habits of industry and morality. In 1826, he accompanied his mother and brother, Edmond Pollard Gaines, to Mango county, Alabama, where he taught a private school for several years. In 1832, he embarked in business as a merchant, in Demopolis, Alabama. This he conducted successfully until 1835, when he accepted a proposition to go to Texas in the interest of a number of capitalists, who had invested heavily in Texas lands. He left Alabama in July, 1835, and arrived at Nacogdoches, Texas, on the 6th of August following, making the trip in a private conveyance. At Nacogdoches he met Generals Rusk, Logan, Houston, and others, to whom he had letters of introduction. Nacogdoches was made his headquarters during his operations in the interests which brought him to Texas.
In October, 1835, Texas was invaded by the Mexicans, under General Cos, and active preparations were at once begun to meet and repel the invasion. Accordingly w General Rusk, whose talent and ability were well known, and being recognized as a leading man of the times, was empowered to raise a company of one hundred men; for the purpose of equipping this command, Colonel Gaines and others furnished him liberally with money.
The destination of the troops was San Antonio, which place had already fallen into the hands of the Mexican invaders, under General Cos. Of this company, Colonel Gaines was appointed Commissary and Quartermaster. They arrived in San Antonio oil the morning after the battle of Concepcion, which occurred on the 28th of October 1835. Stephen F. Austin was present, in command of a goodly number of men; but there was a general dissatisfaction pervading the ranks, Austin, being a civilian and inexperienced in war, failed to inspire confidence in his ability as a commander. He at once offered to resign, and it was determined to reorganize the army. Pending the choice of a successor to Austin, many of the men returned to their homes, and the army was well nigh broken up. On the 28th of November, Colonel Austin sent in his resignation, and the volunteers who had remained faithful at once elected Edward Burleson to succeed him as the commander. In the mean time. Colonel Gaines had been appointed Deputy Paymaster General under General Logan, and, at the suggestion of General Rusk, returned with General Logan to Nacogdoches to prepare further for the campaign, as a long struggle with Mexico was anticipated. He accompanied General Logan from Nacogdoches to New Orleans, and after transacting important business, started on the return trip to Texas; but General Logan, falling sick on the route, stopped at Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he died. At this point, Colonel Gaines fell in with General John A. Quitman, an old friend from Natchez, Mississippi, then on his way to Texas in command of Mississippi troops, and joining him, conducted the expedition to Nacogdoches. Here they found General Mason stationed, with power from General Houston, Commander-in-Chief, to stop troops enough to protect families who were fleeing from the Mexicans and Indians. After a few days detention, they marched on, and joined General Houston a few days after the battle of San Jacinto had been fought (April 21, 1836).
Colonel Gaines was then promoted, by appointment, to the rank of Paymaster General of the Texas Army. This position he held from the 30th of May to the 3rd of August, 1836, about the close of hostilities, under General T. J. Rusk, Commander-in-Chief of the Texas army. (It will be remembered that General Houston was severely wounded at San Jacinto; after the battle, he went to New Orleans for treatment, resigning the command of the army to General Rusk.)
Upon leaving the army, General Gaines settled in Galveston, and read law under the instruction of John B. Jones and Judge Waters, and in 1840 was admitted to the bar. In 1842, having acquired a large number of negroes, he settled in Brazoria county, and engaged in cotton and sugar planting until 1868. That year he leased his plantation, and for several years engaged in buying and selling cotton at Calvert, Galveston, and other points. In September, 1872, he retired from active business, and settled in Austin, where he now resides with his son, Colonel Wm. P. Gaines.
In the war between the United States and Mexico, in 1846, he served with distinction as an officer, in Colonel Jack Hays' Regiment of Volunteers, under General Zachary Taylor, participating in several of the famous battles of that period. His gallantry during the four days fighting at Monterey attracted attention, and was recognized by Brigadier General Worth, who in commemoration thereof presented him with a handsome sword.
When his term of enlistment expired, he returned to his plantation in Brazoria county. In 1855-56 he was elected to the Legislature to represent Brazoria and Fort Bend counties in the lower house, and was recognized as one of the leading men of that session, taking an active and prominent part in all discussions and questions of legislation coming before that body.
In politics Colonel Gaines has always been a firm and consistent Democrat of the Calhoun school. The political teachings of that profound and sagacious statesman early impressed him as being eminently correct, and the principles he enunciated have ever been held by the subject of this sketch as the true exposition of what a republican government should be.
When Texas seceded from the Union on the 23d of February, 1861, and cast her lot with the Confederate States of America, Colonel Gaines, although beyond the age for military duty, tendered his services to his State, and at an election held in the counties of Brazoria and Fort Bend on the 3ist of August, 1861, he was elected Colonel of the Second regiment of the Sixteenth brigade, Texas militia; and on the 18th day of September following, was commissioned as such by Governor Edward Clark. He had great faith in the cause of the South; and not only rendered valuable personal services in the army, but contributed largely in money and cotton to the fund required for war purposes. His services, his home, his private means were all at the disposal of the Confederate cause, and were freely used. He was a large planter and slave-holder, and like all others of that class in the South, his loss by the result of the war was very great. The accumulations of years were swept away, and he was compelled to begin life anew.
In 1850 Colonel Gaines was married to Miss Eugenia Gratia Harris, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and from this marriage there were five children, to-wit: Wm. Pendleton, Celeste, Percy Orville, Aimee, and Beauregard Percy. William Pendleton is the only one of the five now living. Mrs. Gaines was a beautiful and accomplished woman, a daughter of Jonathan Harris, and a granddaughter of James Harris, a Colonel in the revolutionary war, a firm patriot, and one of the framers and signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence; and, on her mother's side, a great-granddaughter of Colonel Alexander- also a soldier of the revolution, a leading spirit in the Mecklenburg Convention, and a signer of the famous declaration. She died in December, 1867.
Colonel Gaines for forty years or more has been a consistent member of the Presbyterian church; he is a man of indomitable will and energy, and of the strictest honor and integrity; and in his character are combined all the elements of a true gentleman. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
HAMBY, WILLIAM ROBERT
Texas is truly cosmopolitan; her citizens, the majority of them, and especially a large element of her business men, being natives of other States, children of almost every civilized nation on the globe. The subject of this sketch represents the best blood of loyal old Tennessee, a State distinguished for the honest integrity of her men, and the amiability and loveliness of her women. He was born in the city of Paris in that State July 24, 1845, and is the only child of Robert J. and Louise V. Hamby.
Upon the death of his father, which occurred when William was only 8 years old, Mrs. Hamby came to Austin to reside. Here her son went to the primary schools, until the breaking out of the war, when, although only a lad in his sixteenth year, he enlisted under the Confederate banner. The company in which he served was afterwards known as Company B, and was part of the Fourth Regiment of Texas Infantry, Hood's Brigade, which made so glorious a record as a part of Gen. Lee's army of Northern Virginia; it was the first company that left Travis county to defend the Confederate cause. He made a faithful soldier, and a record for bravery, daring and devotion to the cause which few excelled. Notwithstanding he was a mere boy he soon became a veteran soldier, performing every duty, whether in camp, on the tiresome march, or in the heat of battle, always cheerfully and without a murmur. He participated in all the battles that made Hood's Brigade so famous. It is said of him hat in a command where every man was a hero, young Hamby vas even distinguished for his courage and unflinching discharge of a soldier's duty. What higher encomium could adorn a patriot's life or embellish his tomb?
Returning to Austin at the close of the war, June, 1865, he remained till the Spring of the following year, when he went to Lebanon, Tennessee, and entered the Cumberland University. Here he remained two sessions.
Soon after leaving this institution of learning he embarked in journalism in Tennessee, and was one of the charter members of the Tennessee Press Association. He was made Presidential Elector for the Eighth Congressional District on the Democratic ticket, and was Adjutant-General of the State of Tennessee two terms. While in that position his native element he originated and carried to successful issue the first of the series of competitive drills that have since become so popular throughout the South.
In 1882 General Hamby returned to Austin, and subsequently became editor of the leading paper, the Daily Statesman. He filled this position for some time, and resigned to engage in other business. He had from an early age a fondness for politics, and upon reaching man's estate, naturally participated in it, taking an active interest in both local and State politics. He was in the Democratic Convention of Travis county in 1888, and received the nomination as one of the two candidates of the party for the Legislature. His canvass, made jointly with his colleague the late Hon. Felix Smith, was memorable in that he conciliated the disaffected in the Democratic ranks. He advocated unity and co-operation amongst the members, as essential to the perpetuity of the party organization. He was elected by a large majority, and filled his seat in the House of Representatives of the 2ist Texas Legislature with distinguished ability. Notwithstanding it was his first service as a legislator, the Speaker recognized in him qualities which eminently fitted him for the Chairmanship of the Committee on Military Affairs a just tribute to his war record. Having filled that position with credit to himself and the State, he also served on the Committees of Finance, Education, Constitutional Amendments and other House and joint special committees during his term. He introduced and carried through the House bill which provided for the leasing of the temporary capitol to the Confederate Home for ten years at a nominal rental of $5 per annum. He was the author also of the following measures, prepared and introduced in the 2ist Legislature, to- wit: An act amending the election laws, so as to require the body of printed election tickets to conform to the heading thereof. To create a State railroad commission. To regulate the control and management of public free schools in corporate towns and cities.
To define and prohibit trusts, pools, etc., and prescribe a penalty. To amend the public school law, by extending the scholastic age of the population. To amend the Sunday law, by modifying the present rigid restrictions. To separate State from Federal elections. And several local bills. Also a joint resolution requesting our Senators and Representatives in Congress to urge upon that body the importance of a first-class deep water port upon the coast of Texas.
After his time of service expired, he became a stock-holder and part owner of the Statesman, and for some months served as general manager of that paper. He is actively interested in all that pertains either to the glory, welfare, prosperity or advancement of his adopted State and city. As a citizen he is most exemplary, and is recognized as a man of untiring energy, and of great public spirit. He holds a position on the Board of Directors of the Confederate Home, for the 'Cause' is still dear to him and he cherishes its memory still; is a Director of the Austin Board of Trade, and is also a Director and Cashier of the American National Bank of Austin, an institution which was mainly organized and put into operation through his efforts and influence.
General Hamby was married in Tennessee. His wife was the daughter of Hon. Michael Burns, of Nashville. They have four children. Living in a comfortable and happy home, in the lovely city of Austin, the most generous hospitality is dispensed and friends made welcome by them, in true Southern style, cordial but unostentatious.
A singular and interesting coincidence has occurred in Gen.
Haniby's career on the numeral 6. His wife was born on the sixth of the month;
they were married on the sixth of the month; they reached Austin to make that
city a permanent home on the sixth of the month; General Hamby was elected to
the Legislature on the sixth of the month, and in drawing for a seat in the
House of Representatives he drew desk No. 6, and finally the Twenty-first
Legislature, of which he was a member, adjourned at 6 P. M., on the sixth day
General Hamby is a handsome man, near six feet high, heavily and compactly made, open face, prominent and intelligent features, genial and cordial manners and highly social in his disposition and a fortiori popular. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
HARDEMAN, WILLIAM P.
William P. Hardeman, one of the brave soldiers who served Texas in every military struggle from her first permanent colonial settlement, was born in Williamson county, Tenn., Nov. 4, 1816. His father, Thomas J. Hardeman, served several terms with marked distinction in the Congress of the Republic of Texas, and was the author of the resolution which gave the name of "Austin" to the capital of the state. His mother was the daughter of Ezekiel Polk, a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in North Carolina. The subject of this sketch reached Texas with his father's family in 1835, just as the colonists were preparing for unequal war with Mexico. In the spring of 1836, when Travis hemmed in with his men appealed from the Alamo for help, young Hardeman then not twenty years old, responded with alacrity and started for San Antonio with twenty-one men. Houston, who had heard of the massacre at the Alamo, fell back from Gonzales. Hardeman and his men were not as fortunate, for knowing neither the fate of Travis nor of the retreat of Houston, they rode in upon the Mexican pickets and narrowly escaped capture. His uncle, Bailey Hardeman, the Secretary of the Treasury of the Republic of Texas, now requested him to raise a company for permanent service with the army, which he did. In 1837 he ranged the frontier with Deaf Smith for four months. On Feb. 22, 1839, he was with Col. John H. Moore in the fight with the Comanche Indians at Wallace's Creek, seven miles above San Saba. In April, 1839, he was in the Cordova fight under Gen. Burleson, near Seguin. During the Mexican War, 1846-47, he was a member of the celebrated mounted company of Texans commanded by Ben McCulloch, and was soon afterward offered a commission in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Texas secession convention in 1861; and upon its adjournment became senior captain in the regiment commanded by Col. Riley, in which William R. Scurry was lieutenant-colonel and Henry Raguet was major. For distinguished gallantry at the battle of Val Verde he was promoted on the field to be major. He was painfully wounded in this battle. At Peralto he saved the day by coming with his regiment, of which he was in command, to the aid of Gen. Tom Green. He was in the battle of Galveston with the land forces Jan. 1, 1863, when the Federal boats were taken or driven from the harbor and a Massachusetts regiment captured. When Col. Riley fell at Iberia the department commander, Gen. E. Kirby Smith, ordered Hardeman back to command his own regiment. He participated in the disastrous night attack on Fort Butler, being wounded in this action. He commanded Green's brigade in the battle of Mansfield in which nearly every company officer of his regiment was killed or wounded; and he again distinguished himself in the battle of Pleasant Hill. He was now commissioned a brigadier-general, and in the engagement at Yellow Bayou he was in command of a division. After the war Gen. Hardeman became a planter. In 1874, at the time of the inauguration of Gov. Coke, which E. J. Davis and the military were resisting, the Speaker of the House appointed General Hardeman, Col. John S. Ford and Col. W. N. Hardeman as assistant sergeants-at-arms. In open session of the legislature the Speaker, Hon. Guy M. Bryan, in swearing in the three said: "You love Texas, you have seen much service in her behalf during three wars, you are experienced and accustomed to command men. A great crisis is upon Texas, she never needed your services more than now." For eight days and nights the three were at their posts. The capitol grounds swarmed with armed negroes, who were influenced by corrupt whites greedy to retain power. When the crisis had passed these three brave men were again called before the legislature, where the Speaker in thanking them for the people of the commonwealth, said: "But for you, Texas might have been drenched in blood and remanded back to military rule. This calamity you largely contributed to avert by your tact, courage and patriotism." Gen. Hardeman was inspector of railroads until 1887, when he was made superintendent of public building and grounds, in which capacity he served until his death a few years ago. He lies buried in the state cemetery in Austin. Source: Texans Who Wore the Gray, Volume I; by Sid S. Johnson; transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title
HURTH, REV. P. J. ,
PRESIDENT OF ST. EDWARD'S COLLEGE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.
The Rev. Peter J. Hurth, C. S. C., President of St. Edward's College, furnishes one of the many brilliant examples of men who by their superior talents, culture and administrative ability, have been pushed into prominence very early in life, and have earned an honorable distinction among their fellows. If, as Pliny observes, "true glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, in writing what deserves to be read, and in so living as to make the world happier and better for our living in it," then certainly will the subject of this sketch deserve a niche in the temple of fame.
Born on the 3Oth of March, 1857, Rev. President Hurth is not yet thirty-four years old, but during the comparatively brief span of his very active life, he has filled many responsible positions, and established for himself an enviable reputation as a pulpit orator and educator. Kind, sympathetic, cheerful, open-hearted, he is a man on whose genial and open brow the Almighty has set the stamp of truth, frankness, and generosity. In him, the gravity of the Christian and the scholar are blended with the navet and frank openness of youth; and with the grand material edifice that he is erecting in our midst, he is building for himself in the hearts of his friends and pupils a monument that shall not crumble beneath the touch of the icy fingers of Time. Genial, sociable, few men better enjoy a bonmot or pleasantry between more engrossing cares, and he is never happier than when he meets with those whom he deems more agreeable and free-hearted than himself. Hence, probably, the expansive and resilient force within, which furnishes the media of quickly responsive action. As a college president, Rev. Father Hurth, like Dr. Arnold at Laleham and Rugby, endeavors to give an intense earnestness to school life, to make each of his pupils feel that he is an especial object of regard, and that he has serious work to do, upon the doing well of which will depend his future happiness. Each of his pupils, the dull of intellect as well as the most talented, feels assured of sympathy in his efforts. The former is as much an object of interest as the latter, and is not allowed to suppose that because he is not endowed with brilliant talents or expansive powers, there is no sphere of usefulness open to him. Pupils of the most different natures are thus keenly stimulated by the kindly but ever watchful eye that is upon them, and the ever ready token of encouragement or admonition that awaits them.
As a pulpit orator, the eloquent young President of St. Edward's College is well known in various parts of Texas, and will not soon be forgotten in the North and East, the scenes of his earlier labors. The clear, strong, mellifluous and firm tones of his voice seem a true index to his character. His religion is evidently a cheerful one, a religion that enlarges the heart and fills the lives of those around him with sunshine, a religion at once dogmatic and condescending, that wins as well as governs, that believes in doing good from a supernatural motive, and not from any material benefit that may be derived from it. To such a religion is united a cause sincerely at heart, with heart and cause so closely united that they seem to form one with his innermost nature. His language, therefore, is that language of the heart To which the answering heart would speak."
Rev. Father Hurth's education, begun in Europe, was finished at the celebrated University of Notre Dame, Indiana, which he entered as a student in 1874, at the age of seventeen. Early convinced that "True bliss is to be found in holy life, In charity to man in love to God," he entered the Congregation of the Holy Cross, one of those benevolent orders of the Catholic Church which has covered Europe and America with colleges, schools, hospitals, and asylums. Previous to his ordination he was made Director of the Mechanical School at Notre Dame on the 2ist of November, 1877, and filled the position with such signal ability that in 1879 he was appointed Vice President and Director of Studies at St. Joseph's College, Cincinnati. Ordained priest by the Archbishop of Cincinnati in 1880, his superiors elevated him to the Presidency of the College in that city in the same year, at the age of 23, being probably the youngest College President in the United States at that time. In 1884 he was given the Presidency of St. Edward's College, at Austin, a position which he fills with distinguished ability. Since his incumbency the college prospered wonderfully, so much so that new buildings had to be erected, and these have since been extending their capacity every year. During the past year 125 students were in attendance, and it is thought that, funds or no funds, the new building must be speedily pushed to completion to accommodate additional students next year. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
JOHNSON, FRANCIS WHITE
In a sketch written by himself Johnson says that he was the son and only child of Henson and Jane Johnson. He was born October 3, 1799, near Leesburg, in Loudoun county, Virginia, and one of his most vivid recollections of childhood was that of marching up and down the streets of Leesburg with the local recruits for the War of 1812. He attended the "Old Field" schools of his neighborhood, and was ready to enter an academy when his father moved to Tennessee, in 1812. Here academies and colleges were not so numerous as in Virginia, but after three more years at the "Old Field" schools he was sent to "a private or select school," where he was "instructed in geometry, mathematics, surveying, and English grammar." The last he "floundered through, understanding but little more at the end than at the beginning." "It is doubtless a good, a necessary thing," he said, "in its way, but it is not at all to my taste"; and in this he seems to have told but the simple truth, for he persisted in saying "I done it" to the day of his death. At the age of eighteen he was ready to set up for himself as a surveyor, and chose the northern part of Alabama as the field of his first operations, going there with letters of introduction to General Coffee, the surveyor general of the territory. He was promised an appointment as a government surveyor, but before receiving it changed his mind and determined to go to Illinois. At Augusta, Madison county, Illinois, he established himself, after a brief visit to St. Louis, and tested various occupations. For three months he taught school, then clerked in a store, and finally opened a "grocery store" of his own, his stock consisting of "whiskey, sugar, coffee and salt." The business did not prosper, and in 1821 he went to St. Louis county, Missouri, whither his father had just moved from Tennessee. Here he became for a time constable of the precinct in which his father lived, and captain of the Independent Rifle Company (militia). In 1824 he worked in the lead mines near Herculaneum, and quit this in 1826 to carry a cargo of produce down the Mississippi to New Orleans on a flatboat, or "broad- horn," as such boats were called.
Apparently he had no thought of going to Texas, but the voyage down the river revived a case of malaria from which he had suffered intermittently for several years, and a physician at New Orleans recommended a sea voyage to Texas. Johnson had known Col. Green De-Witt, one of the prominent colonizers of Texas, in Missouri, and had recently met him at Natchez and heard from him glowing accounts of the opportunities that Texas offered, and being by this time, as he said, somewhat indifferent about the world and its surroundings," he decided to make the trip. With the proceeds of the goods that he had brought from Missouri, he and his cousin, Wiley B. White, bought a stock of whiskey, sugar, coffee and tobacco, and set sail toward the end of July, 1826. An account of the voyage to Texas, and of Johnson's movements there down to 1834, is given in considerable detail in Chapter IX of this volume. Incidentally it presents an interesting picture of social and economic conditions of that period in Texas.
Briefly, Johnson was, during this period, surveyor of the Ayish Bayou district in East Texas in 1829, one of the leaders in the attack on Anahuac and the expulsion of Bradburn from that place in 1832, secretary of the convention which met in October of 1832 to petition the general government for the separation of Coahuila and Texas and for other reforms, and during 1833 and 1834 surveyor in the "upper colony" of Austin and Williams west of the old San Antonio Road.
Early in 1835 he became one of the more active leaders of the war party which promoted the revolution, and when the fighting began in the fall of 1835 he was among the volunteers that marched to the siege of San Antonio. He commanded a division of the force that stormed the town (December 5-9), and after the death of Milam succeeded to the full command. After the surrender of General Cos on December 9, Johnson and Dr. James Grant began preparations for an invasion of Mexico, the contemplated point of attack being Matamoras. The expedition was opposed by Governor Smith, but the General Council of the Provisional Government authorized it and appointed Johnson and James W. Fannin, Jr., to the command. Before the expedition got under way Santa Anna invaded Texas, in February of 1836, and Johnson's force was surprised at San Patricio by General Urrea and destroyed, Johnson and three or four others alone escaping. General Houston was at this time encamped on the Colorado a short distance above Columbus, and Johnson says that he joined some fifteen or twenty others and started for headquarters, "but being met on the way and informed that the army was retreating to the Brazos, we returned home. I took no further part in the struggle. I was thoroughly disgusted with the scramble for office, civil and military. I retired to the Trinity, where I remained quietly until 1839. and then visited the United States, having been in Texas thirteen years."
After his return to Texas Johnson made his home chiefly at Round Rock and at Austin. His business was that of a surveyor and land agent, but for many years he employed his spare time in collecting material for this history of Texas. He died at Aguas Calientes, Mexico, April 8, 1884. At the time he was president of the Texas Veterans' Association, and two weeks later he was re-elected by his comrades, who had not yet heard of his death. A movement was immediately begun for the return of his body to Texas, and on March 31, 1885, a joint resolution of the legislature was approved authorizing the governor to request permission from the Mexican government for its removal. The petition was granted and the remains were transferred to the state cemetery at Austin. He was a man of force and character and was honored by all who knew him. [HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS 1914, submitted by Barbara Ziegenmeyer]
JONES, JOHN B.
John B. Jones, of Austin, was born in Fairfield district, S.C., December 22, 1834. His father, Col. Henry Jones, came to the Republic of Texas in 1838, and for many years was prominent in public affairs; he commanded a regiment in the young republic when Gen. Lamar was president, taking part in the fights at Brushy and Plum creeks. He was in command at Austin in 1842, and prevented the removal of the archives at the time of the invasion of the Mexicans, who came as far as San Antonio. The subject of this sketch was educated at Matagorda and Independence, and after was graduated from Mount Zion College in his native state. He was living the life of a Texan planter when the tocsin of war sounded in 1861. Repairing early to the scene of action in Virginia, he enlisted under the brave Col. Terry and was on duty in Kentucky when he received the appointment of adjutant of the Fifteenth Texas Infantry and entered the Trans-Mississippi department. He was in all the battles and skirmishes of Gen. Dick Taylor in Louisiana, and was adjutant-general with the rank of captain in the brigade commanded successively by Gen. Speight, the Prince de Polignac and Gen. Harrison. He fought until the surrender, coming out with a major's commission, and then returned to his Texas plantation, and later began the practice of law. He was called by a vote of the people to a seat in the legislature in 1868, but was counted out by the returning board. Without any solicitation on his part he was appointed by Gov. Coke in 1874 the major of the frontier battle of Texas Rangers and during the succeeding years they made history. No command of its size has contributed a more romantic chapter in the story of American valor than this one recruited from the plains of Texas. It guarded the state from the incursions of Indians, the raids of Mexican banditti and the pillage of cattle thieves. Of the many engagements with the Indians that with the celebrated Kiowa chief "Lone Wolf" is most noted. With thirty-seven men Major Jones defeated and drove back into the Indian Territory a hundred and fifty well armed warriors. He was appointed by the President of the United States in 1878 one of the commissioners, along with officers of the regular army, to investigate the El Paso troubles with Mexico in that year. He was, Jan. 25, 1879, made the adjutant-general of Texas, through still retaining the direct command of the Rangers. We quote here from the Houston Telegram a notice of him at that time: "Major John B. Jones is by birth and education a gentleman, by profession a lawyer. This daring chief of the border, as he appears on our streets and as a guest in our most cultured homes, is a small man, scarcely of medium height and build, whose conventional dress of black broadcloth, spotless linen, and dainty boot on a small foot, would not distinguish him from any other citizen, while in his quiet, easy manner, almost free from gesticulation, his soft and modulated voice, his grave but genial conversation, one would look in vain for marks of the frontier bravo." Major Jones was broadly well read, a frequent contributor to standard periodicals, and was on occasions an effective speaker. He was for thirty years a prominent Mason, being grand high priest in 1872, and grand master in the state in 1879. He was married in Austin, Feb. 25, 1879, to Mrs. A. H. Anderson, widow of the late Col. T. J. Anderson, of Robertson county. Major Jones died July 19, 1881, mourned by the state he had served so gallantly. Source: Texans Who Wore the Gray, Volume I; by Sid S. Johnson; transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title
The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is, like many of the subjects in this work, a Texan by adoption; and like them, is as true a Texas as if "to the manor born;" if a deep and abiding interest in the welfare of the State, and a devotion to her institutions are indications of the patriotic fervor. He is at present taking a leading part in the development and prosperity of the fair Capital City. It was his genius that gave impulse to the one grand enterprise which is now looked to establish the independence, wealth and power of Austin; to pat her on a footing with other metropolitan cities of this phenomenal young State; it was his patient investigation and calculation that first satisfactorily demonstrated to the people of Austin the practicability of harnessing the wild waters of the Colorado to the machinery of progress, and thus developing a mine of wealth at our doors. With the dam project his name is indissolubly united; and it has already, in anticipation, been bestowed, by an appreciative and grateful community, upon the lake-that-is-to-be, when his idea shall have been consummated.
For some fifteen years a resident of Austin, he has in his own quiet way gained upon public opinion; and they have come to recognize in him qualities of head and heart to which they have paid tribute by entrusting him, by, practically, a unanimous vote, with the administration of their municipal affairs. He was elected Mayor of Austin, in November, 1889 over the then incumbent, a gentleman of great wealth and former influence, by an overwhelming majority. They saw in him a pure man, a public spirited citizen, and a sagacious, go-a-head, pushing business man, and that was the kind of a man the}' wanted to handle the destiny of the capital city.
Mr. McDonald is of Scotch parentage, as the name clearly indicates. His father, Philo F. McDonald, emigrated to New York in early times, and here John was born, in the little town of Norway, in Herkimer county, December 18, 1834. Hence he is yet in the prime and vigor of mature manhood, being 56 years of age.
He is tall and spare built, and from habit stoops some in his gait. He is over six feet in height, and has very dark complexion, doubtless acquired from long residence in a semi-tropic country he having spent many years in Jamaica; black eyes and hair. His hair is not yet gray, nor his beard; but as black as if the frosts of fifty odd years had not passed over them. He is a man of a retiring disposition; but in company with friends, is of a genial and companionable turn. He lives in the retirement of his suburban home, surrounded by an interesting family, consisting of his wife, four sons, grown up young men, and a refined, cultivated, and talented young daughter, Miss Grace. This young lady is the possessor of a high order of talent as an artist and it has found expression in a number of landscapes, figures and portraits which have been pronounced by competent judges highly creditable, and breathing the true artistic genius.
He did not have in early life such educational advantages as are thought necessary to fit a young man for a successful career in life; in fact, his schooling was limited and rudimentary. He attended the public schools in his boyhood in his native State; and again in Ohio, whence he removed early in life. At the age of 18 he chose the profession of contractor and builder, and is skilled as a machinist.
In 1874 he immigrated to Texas, settling at Paris, Lamar county. Here he pursued his avocation, with some success. During his residence there he acquired some property, and much reputation as a builder, and was the originator and builder of some residences which, evidencing a high order of talent in their design and construction, have been much admired. The next year he came to Austin. By the outcome of certain events on which he had calculated to speculate the investment of his entire means was lost, and he was left a stranger in a strange city, comparatively without means, and in debt. But he had talent, energy, skill and was master of his profession. As a machinist, he had made a reputation, and was regarded as a master workman. In this dilemma he was offered a railroad position as master machinist, at $5000 salary; but he refused it. He stuck to Austin, having an abiding faith in her future; and by hard work and close attention to business, he has fully recuperated his broken fortune. Several contracts for building, which were awarded him, proved remunerative; and at the same time certain investments in real estate panned out well, and he has now accumulated a modest fortune.
At the age of 18 he went to work, and is still a hard working man, and not ashamed of it. He has lived in several States in the Union. He took no part in the war.
In politics he is a Republican; but has never taken an active part in Texas politics. His election to the Mayoralty was without solicitation on his part, and was altogether on personal grounds; politics had no part in it, for Austin is overwhelmingly Democratic; this fact makes the compliment more brilliant.
As a church man and a Mason he is eminent and zealous; he is a member of the First Presbyterian church, and a Master Mason. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar. In the former order he holds the exalted position of Grand King of the Royal Arch Chapter of Texas, and in the latter Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Commandery of the State.
His wife, to whom he was married in 1857, was Mrs. G. C. Kent, of Clear Water, Minnesota.
Since his election to the office of Mayor he has necessarily been thrown more in public than formerly, and has made some speeches, which while possessing few or none of the charms of oratory, were replete with good practical sense, and sound logic. Not being in any other sense a public man, of course he has no record as a writer, speaker or office holder. But few men have so strong a hold upon the respect, confidence and esteem of the community where their lot is cast as John McDonald has upon the good citizens of his adopted city Austin. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
PEELER, A. J.
J. Peeler of Austin, was born in Harris County, Georgia, April 22, 1838. When he was ten years old his family residence was changed to Florida, where he was reared and educated. Before he reached his majority he was admitted by special act of the legislature to practice law in all the courts of Florida, and two years later was chosen clerk of the supreme court, an office at that time of considerable importance, which under the constitution was required to be filled by joint ballot of the two houses of the legislature. He continued in this office until the outbreak of the war in 1861, when he entered the Confederate Army and served first under Gen. Bragg and afterwards under R. E. Lee in Virginia until the battle of Gettysburg, where he was wounded and taken prisoner. He was in the battles of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg and other fights in Virginia, coming out with the rank of Captain. When hostilities ceased he began the practice of law in Florida, was a member of the Constitutional Convention and later of the legislature, and in 1868 a delegate to the National Democratic Convention. Early in 1873 he removed to Texas locating in Austin, and early won distinction as a lawyer before the state supreme court and Federal courts. In 1875 he was made assistant attorney-general of Texas and after a conspicuous service resigned in October, 1876, to resume private practice. Mr. Peeler for many years practiced before the United States supreme court, and was known as one of the most learned and successful lawyers in Texas. His work "Law and Equity as Distinguished and Enforced in the Courts of the United States" was commended by bench and bar and had a wide sale. Mr. Peeler possessed all the qualities of an eminent lawyer and a good man and his death several years ago was lamented by all. His son, Col. J. L. Peeler, is the able representative of Travis county in the 30th Texas legislature and is a lawyer of recognized ability. Source: Texans Who Wore the Gray, Volume I, by Sid S. Johnson; transcribed by Elaine Goodwin
PHELPS, EDWIN M.
Edwin M. Phelps, of Austin, was born at Vincennes, Ind., August 30, 1842, at the home of his maternal grandfather. His father, Hon. Truman Phelps, was an able lawyer and a colleague of Judah P. Benjamin in the Louisiana legislature. He was a later member, too, of the Texas legislature. The subject of this sketch at ten years of age came with his parents to Texas and grew to manhood here. He was educated in Aranama College. When war was declared in 1861 he promptly volunteered as a member of the Eighth Texas Cavalry, better known as Terry's Texas Rangers. He was promoted to a lieutenantcy in Co, G, in 1863, and was acting adjutant of the regiment at the close of the war. After the surrender he returned to his Texas plantation. He was a member of the county commissioners' court of Victoria county from 1874 to 1882, inclusive; and was a representative in the eighteenth Texas legislature, where he achieved an enviable reputation as a law maker; being especially strong in committee work. He was in 1885 appointed United States collector of customs at Del Rio, serving four and a half years. For many years he has been the assistant adjutant-general of Texas, and his services in this important post have been of the greatest value to the state. Col. Phelps is a devoted member of the Mason fraternity. He was united in marriage Oct. 1, 1868, to Miss Mary Bickford, of Refugio county. Source: Texans Who Wore the Gray, Volume I; by Sid S. Johnson; transcribed by Bobby Dobbins Title
ROGERS, CURRAN MICHAEL
Curran Michael Rogers, the subject of this brief sketch, is a native of Alabama. He was born in Coosa county, that State, on the 23d day of July, 1841. At the age of eight years he came with his father to Texas, and the family settled in Smith county (1849). He was placed at school at McKenzie College, in Red River county, Texas, where he received a thorough education in all the English branches; and being a young man of strong religious convictions, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. On attaining his majority he felt it his duty to preach the gospel of Christ, and accordingly he entered the pastorate of that church, after a course of study to fit him for the arduous labors of his chosen field. He begun the life of a minister in the M. E. Church in 1866, and for fourteen years labored faithfully in the cause, being a member of the West Texas Conference. In 1880 he retired, however, from active labors as a preacher, and engaged in agriculture and stock raising, participating occasionally in the political canvasses of his section from time to time. This he did because it was congenial to his taste; and being a man of fine attainments and good education, and, more-over, being accustomed to active life, he was not content to live in the utter seclusion of farm life; he entered into politics without any desire, hope or expectation of office, but he could not long conceal his light under a bushel; his friends recognized in him qualities of head and heart that rendered him eminently suited to represent them in the halls of legislation, and accordingly, being urged by the most influential of his friends and neighbors to become a candidate for the lower house of the Legislature, he consented, and was elected to the Eighteenth Legislature to represent the Eighty-fifth Representative District. This district is composed of the counties of Nueces, San Patrico, Bee, Live Oak, McMullen and L,aSalle.
As a member of the lower house, he served on a special committee of twenty, to whom was referred the subject of the lawlessness of the State arising from the antagonism on the part of certain cattle men to the introduction of the wire fence, and the practice of fence cutting, which prevailed at the time. Through the suggestions and recommendations of this committee, such legislation was effected as to restore harmony throughout the State, and the wire fence came to stay, all parties having now become reconciled to the inevitable.
In 1885, he purchased a fine estate near Austin, and erected a magnificent residence thereon, removing, with his family, to Travis county. He has resided there to date, making Austin his home, practically. He is still engaged in his favorite pursuit, stock raising, and the breeding of high grades of cattle. He also carries on extensive farming operations, on choice lands. His farm, or ranch, is situated within twenty miles of Austin, and consists of 24.000 acres of the best land in the county. It is well improved and all under a substantial fence, the pastures being separated by cross fences, and stocked with graded and improved cattle and horses.
Col. Rogers has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Price, of Collin county. His present wife was Mrs. Martha A. Rabb, of Nueces county, a wealthy cattle raiser. He has a family of six children.
As we before said, he takes an active interest in public affairs, though not an aspirant for political preferment. He manifests great interest in everything connected with the welfare of his State he having been raised in Texas, claims to be a Texan. Especially is he interested in the advancement of its agricultural and stock raising interests. Being possessed of ample fortune, he is in position to gratify a characteristic propensity to aid and encourage worthy young men who are struggling against adverse currents in life. He is practically charitable raid benevolent, and contributes largely to all humanitarian schemes that seem to him sound and practical, for the elevation and ennobling of his fellow man.
He is a man of large sympathy, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Deaf and Dumb Institute of Texas, a position which he had held for several years, he finds a congenial field for the exercise of his faculties; he takes a deep interest in the welfare of the unfortunate inmates of the Asylum, and although he is occupied with his own weighty private affairs, he finds time to look after their wants and necessities. In the work of the Board, he displays great zeal. The institution is a handsome edifice on a commanding eminence overlooking the city, and surrounded by handsome grounds. Everything that money, taste and benevolence can do has been done for the amelioration of the condition of this large class of unfortunates, and their happy condition and cheerful life is a source of much gratification to their patron C. M. Rogers. It was through his influence largely that an appropriation was made by the Twentieth Legislature for additional buildings. Under the wise and humane management of its efficient Superintendent and the Board of Directors, the institution is in. a most flourishing condition, and is filled with these unfortunates of both sexes from all parts of the State. As a member of that Board, Mr. Rogers finds much satisfaction in knowing that he is contributing to their enlightenment and happiness. It is his hope that in time the State may offer free education to every deaf and dumb child in Texas.
In personal appearance, Colonel Rogers is an uncommon man. He is a man of commanding presence, with an open, honest and intelligent face, and posseses a remarkable command of language, which, in conversation, makes him very interesting. Few men, especially comparatively new comers to the capital, have such a hold upon the respect and confidence of the people as he. He is rather quiet and retiring in his manner, but amongst friends he is the soul of geniality and good fellowship. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
For about sixty years the name Schweke has been one of useful and honorable idenitifcation with the thrifty Austin community of Postoak Point. A son of the pioneer settler in that locality is William Schweke, whose various activities as a business man and farmer have made him widely known.
On the farm that he now owns and occupies William Schweke was born May 3, 1856 . His father is Dietrick Schweke, who is still living and a resident of the locality where he settled and married in young manhood. Dietrick Schweke was born in Oldenburg, Germany, in 1825, and started life with a good education. He served an apprenticeship at the carpenter and ship builders trade and came to America at the age of eighteen, alone so far as his own family or friends were concerned. Landing in Galveston, from there he proceeded to Houston and went into the interior by the transportation then in vogue, ox teams, and did his first work as a pioneer settler at house building. His active career after coming to America was largely in connection with the carpenter trade and building and operation of gins and mills. When he was ready to settle down on a permanent home, he bought the land which his son now owns and constructed a log cabin. He did that work at night, after working during the day for Charles Fordtran, driving his pony back and forth between home and the work. He built a fire inside the cabin at night in order that he might see the roof while at work. After getting settled on the farm, he built a horse gin in partnership with Daniel Find, his brother-in-law, but subsequently sold his interest in that to Mr. Find and erected another horse gin for himself, which burned down some time during the first year it was built, but immediately he built up another horse gin for himself and ran it some years after the war. After the war steam was substituted for the horse power, and he continued in the gin business many years as an independent operator, Later, in partnership with Adam Wangemann he built an oil mill and store on his farm. The oil mill, the gin and the store were in operation all at the same time, and these combined activities made his farm one of the lively centers of trade and business and social intercourse. In the early days he hauled his cotton seed oil to Alleyton, then the railroad center for his district, and the cotton seed cake in square pieces just as they came from the press, was shipped in bags. At that time the hulls were thrown out and wasted. In 1875 he broke up partnership with Mr. Wangemann and again built a gin and mill for himself, which is still in running order. Dietrick Schweke made his influence felt as a business man, and with increasing prosperity bought more land in the Pettes League, and at the climax of his business career owned about nine hundred acres. He parceled this out among his children, and for the past six years has been unable to give attention to business.
Dietrick Schweke soon after coming to America took out his naturalization papers, but has interested himself to a very little extent in politics. He has been a practical, hard working citizen, and has practiced sobriety and right living in almost an extreme degree. He never used tobacco nor any kind of intoxicants and while never a church goer, was a financial supporter of church enterprise and has always stood for the moral betterment of his fellow men. He was known as a man of few words, but when he did speak he gave positive expression to well considered sentiments. During the war between the states he ground corn for the government and for the wives and children of Confederate soldiers, and was in sympathy with the Confederate cause.
He was married in the Postak Point settlement to Miss Phillipina Find. Her father, Ernest Find, was a farmer and came to Texas from Germany some years after Dietrick Schweke. Mrs. Schweke died March 11, 1901 . The children were: Henry, a farmer; William; Ernst; Louisa, who married Charles Heinsohn, of Bartlett, Texas; Emma, wife of Reinhold Glaser of the Postoak Point community; and Louis, also a farmer in that vicinity.
William Schweke has always called the vicinity of his birthplace his home and his legal residence. His early boyhood was spent during the trying period of the war, and he has known his section of Texas intimately for fully half a century. His education was obtained at High Hill, and his principal teacher was Professor Heyer. He became a useful man about the farm after leaving school, and worked at driving teams, farming, in the mill and gin, and learned the operation of the stationery engine before he was tall enough to reach the throttle or steam valve. After his marriage he succeeded to this part of the old family estate. After 1879, the year he was married, he farmed for himself until 1906. In that year he entered into the gin business again, finally abandoning it in 1911, since which time he has retired from active business and devotes himself to looking after his private affairs. His chief work as a farmer has been in the raising of cotton and corn. He now owns 419 acres of the Pettes League, and his farm has a reputation beyond the boundaries of the county on account of its fine dairy herd. He milks on an average ten high grade Jersey cows, and the revenue from the cream is an important feature of the general income.
Mr. Schweke is a live and intelligent citizen, particularly in those matters that concern the local community. He has served as trustee of district schools and is a democratic voter. Without lodge affiliations, he is a member of the Lutheran Church .
December 27, 1879, he married Miss Wilhelmina Heinsohn, daughter of Gerhardt Heinsohn, and a sister of August Heinsohn of Fayetteville. (Source: A History of Texas and Texans; American Historical Society (1916) pages 1601-1602 - Transcribed by Marla Schweke Zwakman)
SILLIMAN, C. H.
Charles Herbert Silliman, the subject of this brief biographical sketch, is a descendant of a race of men whose independence of character and spirit of adventure and enterprise has given this government its stability and developed its vast resources. Partaking of the character of his people, Charles H. Silliman was not content until he attained the largest field for usefulness, and until he found the kind of occupation that opened before him an opportunity to become a factor in the subjugation of a vast body of productive wild lands to the furrow of the plow and the wheels of the mowing machine.
After extensive travel, both at home and abroad, and an intelligent study of different localities, he located in Austin, Texas, and making arrangements through his wife's relatives in England, to obtain funds for investment in mortgages on Texas lands, be opened his office in Austin, and the Land and Mortgage Company he represents has for some years been lending its aid under his intelligent supervision to stocking and opening up farms in Texas.
He is a native of New York, and was born January 30, 1852, on the shores of Lake Ontario, in Monroe County, New York. His father and mother were of sturdy New England stock. Lafayette Silliman, his father, was a relative of Professor Silliman, of Yale College, and emigrated to New York from Fairfield county, Connecticut. His mother, Caroline Porter Silliman, was a daughter of Samuel M. Porter, one of the early Waterbury manufacturers. His grandfather on the maternal side, was an officer in the war of 1812-14, and both families from which he descended were active participants in the revolutionary struggle for independence.
When young Silliman was only twelve years of age, in 1860, his father moved to Rockport and engaged in manufacturing farming machinery, where the young man received a mechanical training in his father's shops, and good educational training at the Rockport Academy, which became one of the State normal schools in 1866.
Mr. Silliman graduated with the honors of his class at this institution in 1869, and delivered the first graduating oration in the institution, on the subject of "Men the World Demands"; and then and there he indicated the type of American manhood, a model which he has striven to illustrate.
In 1870 he was employed in teaching in the public schools at Albion, Michigan, and in 1871 he went to New Orleans, Louisiana, and after teaching there in the model schools, he entered a competitive examination, and won the chair of natural sciences in the boys' high school in that city.
He spent the summers of 1872 and 1873 to Texas, and but for a spell of malarial fever, would have settled in Dallas when that city was a small town, but as he then thought, with bright possibilities.
For the purpose of restoring his health, he went to California, and when he recovered he again engaged in teaching, and during his residence in the Golden State he held important and responsible positions in the educational institutions of the State.
The first year he filled the chair of mathematics, in Santa Barbara College. At the close of the session he returned to New Orleans, on a mission of love, not of business, and married Miss Elizabeth A. Kirk, of that city, transplanting this fair flower of the Crescent City to the Pacific Slope. On his return to California with his bride, he located in the beautiful city of Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco, and became an instructor in the California Military Academy, and for the next four years he was a teacher in the boys' high school of San Francisco.
In 1881 he resigned his position in this school in order to devote himself to the practice of law. For three years while teaching he had taken the course of legal reading at Hastings College of Law, and received the degree of ILL. D., with the first graduating class of this department of the University of California.
He located in San Diego, California, and began the practice of his profession, but his active temperament became impatient in the irksome waiting, to which every professional man has been subjected, and in answer to demands of an active disposition, he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and after one year's experience he was found so admirably adapted to business that he became the managing partner in one of the largest and most prosperous mercantile firms of that city. At the same time he was Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and was most active in all public enterprises.
In the fall of 1884 he sold out his mercantile interest at a considerable profit, and having acquired several thousand acres of land in Texas, while residing in California, he came back to the State to look after his lands, and the great future of Texas became so plain to him that he determined to settle in the State.
He had visited England several times, and through his wife's relatives there he organized business connections that have supplied him with abundant means to invest in Texas farm mortgages, and to-day the Land Mortgage Bank, of which he is manager, is one of the most prosperous institutions of the State, and through this bank the agricultural interests of the State have been largely benefited and developed.
Mr. Silliman belongs to a peculiar class of enterprising and adventurous men. He does not attempt to take a community by storm and flourish for a few days ostentatiously. He is quiet and unassuming and impresses his individuality upon those around him by his genuine worth and reliability. Although he had all the advantages of an early training for the ordinary affairs of life, he was too large to fit in a local groove in an old and finished country, and breaking away from his surroundings he adventured into the very heart of enterprise in a country having two inviting advantages. In the first place, its condition was undergoing a vast change in its affairs and character of thought; and in the next place, it was new and at the same time conservative. Mr. Silliman thought he would fit well in such a groove, and with tenacity of purpose and alertness he watched his opportunity, and when it ripened he was not slow to take advantage of it.
Really he is a self-made man, notwithstanding his educational advantages. He has had to think for himself and that thought was concerned with things far beyond the routine of an old slow town.
He has made money from the time he entered into business in 1869, and he has never had a reverse of any nature. This is not the result of accident, but of sound judgment and fixed and fair business habits. He has never allowed a bill or draft to be taken back from his office, when presented, if it was just and due. In all his business transactions he has never violated his rule of promptness and dispatch. With him each day has its duties, and each day closes with every duty fully discharged. He never postpones anything, but attends to it at a proper time.
He has won his way silently, but effectively, into the confidence of the people of Texas. His character is solid and built up to a high standard of strict integrity. He has traveled largely, at home and abroad, and no "pent up Utica" restricts his views. He is broad in his political and religious opinions, tolerant and personally generous to a fault. He was an active member of the Masonic fraternity on the Pacific coast, and is now (1889) Senior Warden of Lodge No. 12, A. F. & A. M. He is a member of the Lone Star Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Colorado Commandery, Knights Templar, and of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
DR. R. M. SWEARINGEN -- lengthy bio on a separate page
VINSON, REV. ROBERT E. , D.D.
As one of a family that has been distinguished by its services in the Presbyterian ministry, Rev. Robert E. Vinson, D.D., LL.D., has especially gained prominence in the work of the church, not only through his activities in a ministerial capacity, but as president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, to which office he was elected in May, 1909, after seven years of work in the seminary as an instructor in various branches.
Robert E. Vinson was born in Winnsboro, Fairfield County, South Carolina, on November 4, 1876, and is a son of John Vinson, a South Carolina merchant and cotton buyer, born in that state in Sumter County, in 1839. Andrew P. Vinson, grandfather of the subject, was a Virginian by birth, who moved to South Carolina when a boy, and who was a very promincnt lawyer in the Ante Bellum days. He died in 1846. John Vinson served in the Confederate army under General Beauregard. He enlisted at the beginning of the war from Citadel Academy where he was a student, and served throughout the entire four years. He was taken prisoner at Fort Sumter, but barring a few months imprisonment, was active in the service throughout the entire period of hostilities.
The Vinson family, it should be said, is one of the oldest in America today, the first of the name to settle on American soil having come from France in company with General LaFayette and they rendered valiant service during the revolutionary war.
John Vinson, father of the subject, married Mary Brice, who was of Scotch-Trish descent, her people having come originally from the North of Ireland, settling in the Piedmont section of South Carolina. Two of Mrs. Vinson's brothers fought under General Longstreet throughout the war, and two brothers of John Vinson also gave service to the South during that unhappy time. Walker Vinson was killed in Pickett's Brigade at Gettysburg and the other, A. P. Vinson, still lives in Sumter, South Carolina. Ho served with the rank of Major during the war, and is still known by his military title. Another brother, W. D., was for twenty years a professor of mathematics in Davidson College, North Carolina.
To John and Mary (Brice) Vinson were born the following children: Walter H., a lawyer of St. Paul, Minnesota; William A., also a lawyer, engaged in practice in Houston, Texas; John W., missionary to China; T. Chalmers, a missionary in Luebo, Belgian Congo. Africa; Mrs. W. J. Culver, of San Antonio, Texas; Mrs. W. A. McLeod, of Austin, Texas; Miss Brice Vinson, teaching in the public schools of San Antonio; and Rev. Robert E. of this review.
Robert E. Vinson came with his father's family to Sherman, Texas, in 1887. He had his education in the public schools, followed by attendance at Austin College, from which he took his B.A. degree in 1896. In 1899 he had his B.D. degree from Union Theological Seminary of Virginia, after which he became Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Charleston, West Virginia, continuing until 1902 in that connection. In 1902 Rev. Vinson took a special course in Hebrew and Archaeology in the Divinity School of Chicago University, under Dr. Harper, and in September, 1902, he came to Austin, Texas, as professor of Old Testament languages and Exegesis. In 1906, at his own request, he was transferred to the Chair of English Bible and Practical Theology, which he still holds, and in May, 1909, he was elected president of the Seminary, his present office.
In 1905 Austin College conferred upon him the degree of D.D., and in 1910 the degree of LL.D: was conferred upon him by Southwestern Presbyterian University of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Too much credit cannot be accorded to Dr. Vinson for his work along educational lines in the state of Texas. In 1909 he formulated the plan under which the Presbyterian Church in Texas has since operated its educational work, and he has been chairmen of the executive agency of the Synod since 1909. This commission has under its jurisdiction seven schools in the state, and Dr. Vinson has been field secretary since that time, raising all the money for the support and equipment of the schoolsa work that has won for him especial prominence in the church and out of it.
Dr. Vinson was married on January 3, 1901, to Miss Katherine Kerr, of Sherman, Texas, a daughter of John S. Kerr, a nurseryman who has been prominently identified with the horticultural and agricultural interests of the state of Texas for the past quarter century. The Kerrs came originally from Scotland, as the family name would inevitably indicate, and they made their first settlement in Mississippi. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Vinson was one of the earliest settlers in Collins County, Texas, and that district is still the recognized seat of the family. Her maternal grandfather, of the family name of Murray, was a pioneer Presbyterian Missionary to the Trans-Mississippi country of Arkansas and Texas, and her maternal grandmother was a Rutherford, also of Scotch descent, and a native of South Carolina.
The children of Dr. and Mrs. Vinson are Elizabeth, born December 26, 1901; Helen Rutherford, born July 9, 1906; and Katherine Kerr, born April 5, 1911. [A history of Texas and Texans, Volume 4 by Francis White Johnson, 1914 Transcribed by AFOFG (TK)]
WALTON, GEORGE S.
George Sublett Walton was born in Austin, Texas, January 16, 1856. He is a son of George L. and Matilda Walton, and is related to Colonel W. M. Walton, W. G. Walton, N. S. Walton and Mrs. M. Jackson. He was early placed at college at Bethany, Brook county, West Virginia, and subsequently at the University of Louisiana. At the former he took a scientific course and Latin, and studied law at the latter college. After graduating from Bethany College he engaged in planting cotton in Concordia Parish, Louisiana one year then studied law at Vidalia, Louisiana, with Mr. O. Mayo. He graduated in law from the University of Louisiana, in 1880, May 12. Subsequently he managed his father's affairs till 1883. When George was about one year old his father left Austin and settled in Concordia Parish, Louisiana. He resides there still, but his son returned to Austin in November, 1883. Before leaving Louisiana, however, he filled the position of Postmaster at Bongere, Louisiana (1880 to '83). In 1888 (Nov. 6), he was elected County Attorney of Travis county, Texas, and holds the office still (April, 1890). In politics he is a Democrat, and takes, as he did during his residence in Louisiana, an active part in the campaigns, both State and national. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, but for his own reasons, has never connected him self with any secret society.
In physique he is an average man; being five feet, nine and one-half inches high, and weighs 160 pounds; has fair complexion, gray eyes, black hair and beard, and is compactly built.
His father was a member of the Louisiana Legislature for eight years, four years in the lower house, and State Senator four years, during which time he was President of the Senate and ex-officio Lieutenant- Governor.
Mr. Walton's wife was Miss Emily A. Palm, of Austin, a daughter of C. G. Palm, Esq., and a niece of Hon. Swanty Palm, Sweedish Consul at Austin, and also of Mrs Eugene Bremond. They have no children.
He is regarded as one of Austin's best and most useful citizens, universally respected for his courteous manners and genial warm nature. (Source: Types of Successful Men of Texas, by Lewis E. Daniell, Publ. 1890. Transcribed by Carolyn Carter)
WARD, THOMAS WILLIAM
Thomas William Ward was a native of Ireland. He was one of those gallant spirits who came to Texas at the breaking out of hostilities in 1835. He was a member of the first company of "New Orleans Greys." He was captain of an artillery company at the storming and taking of San Antonio, under the gallant Colonels Johnson and Milam. In this action he distinguished himself for gallantry, but suffered the loss of a leg, which was shot off by a cannon-ball. Colonel Ward was nearly all his remaining life in Texas in one way or another occupied in public affairs. He was commissioner of the general land office under the Republic of Texas, and some four years after it became a State. In firing a salute at Austin on the anniversary of Texan independence in March, 1841, he lost his right arm. Thus maimed, he still continued in active life, and occupied several positions of honor and trust. His conduct as a public officer was marked by promptness and fidelity. He was United States consul at Panama in Buchanan's administration. Colonel Ward was a generous and warm-hearted man, and a true and unswerving friend to those who possessed his confidence. He died at Austin on the 25th day of November, 1872. [A Texas Scrapbook Made Up Of The History, Biography, and Miscellany of Texas And Its People, compiled by D. W. C. Baker, 1875, transcribed by Cathy Danielson]
HOME BIOGRAPHY INDEX
Copyright by Genealogy Trails
All Rights Reserved