Texas Genealogy Trails

Lubbock County, TX
Biography News


Probably one of the best known and most universally esteemed gentlemen engaged in the cattle industry of Texas is Samuel C. Wilks, a resident of Colorado City and a native Texan, born in Travis County in 1854.
     His father, William Wilks, was a native of Tennessee, a mechanic, who married and settled, early in 1841, in Travis County, at a time when the town lots of Austin, the present capital city of the State, were being laid out and put upon the market. He married Miss Susan Walker, a daughter of Charles Walker, and resided in that locality until 1880, when, his health failing, he went to his son's ranch in Scurry County, where he died in 1881. He was the father of five children: Frank, residing in Scurry County; Mary, the deceased wife of L. P. Glasscock; Samuel C.; W. J., and Sudie, wife of John Nunn, both the latter residing in Colorado City.
      Samuel C. Wilks married Miss Mattie Elkins in 1879, and is the father of three children: Mary S., aged fifteen; Wm. A., aged thirteen; and Samuel L. M., aged twelve. His mother, who resides with her children, is seventy-six years of age, hale and hearty, and a woman of remarkable activity and mental qualities.
      At a very tender age Samuel C. Wilks began life in the saddle and became conversant with the work and vicissitudes of ranching. He commanded a good salary when a boy, and saved enough money in a few years to commence business for himself. In 1879 he moved to Hays County and began buying and selling on a large scale. He married in the same year, and in 1880 moved to Scurry County with 125 head of cattle, locating his ranch at the head of the Clear Fork of the Brazos, where he also engaged in raising cattle on shares. He remained there six years, and increased his individual holdings to 1,000 head. He went into partnership with the Nunn brothers, and they soon became the largest cattle raisers in that region, having at one time over $200,000 worth of stock. In 1884-85 they bought the C. C. Paul herd of 21,000 head. The great crisis of 1887 swept over Texas, and they, with many other large dealers, were financially stranded.
     But Samuel C. Wilks was not made of the stuff that gives way under adversity. When the storm had passed he began life anew and, undismayed, determined to retrieve his lost fortune. He moved to Colorado City, where his children might have the advantages of the schools, bought 700 head of cattle on credit, which still remained good, notwithstanding his losses, and established a ranch in Lubbock County. He has the satisfaction of seeing his fortunes again on the rise, and it is only a question of a short time when he will again assume his old position among the leaders of the cattlemen of Texas.
      His integrity and ability are universally known and recognized. He is cordially liked by all who know him, and with those qualities that turn defeat into success, he is destined, at no distant day, to be classed among the "cattle barons" of the plains. (Source: Historical and Biographical Record of the Cattle Industry and the Cattlemen of Texas by James Cox, Published by Woodward & Tiernan Printing Co, St Louis, 1895 - Transcribed by Veneta McKinney)


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