ALLEN, RILEY HARRIS
ALLEN, RILEY HARRIS, newspaper editor, Honolulu; born Colorado City, Tex., Apr. 30, 1884; son of Riley Harris and Anna (Beck) Allen; directly related to Richard Stockton, signer of Declaration of Independence, also to Commodore Stockton; educated, grammar school, Kentucky and Seattle, Wash., Seattle High School; University of Washington, two years; University of Chicago, 1905, Ph. B., Lit.; married Suzanne McArdie in Seattle, Wash., Sept. 6, 1910. Began regular newspaper work with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1905; joined reportorial staff, Honolulu Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, T. H.; returned to staff of Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 1, 1906; editor Washington Magazine (monthly) 1907-08; newspaper work, Post-Intelligencer, 1908-10; city editor Evening Bulletin, Honolulu, and on amalgamation of Bulletin and Hawaiian Star, July 1, 1912, became editor of Honolulu Star-Bulletin; served as lieut. col. American Red Cross in Siberia during world war; returned to Honolulu Star-Bulletin as editor, 1921. Is a short story writer, being contributor to Collier's, McClure's, Saturday Evening Post, and others. Member Honolulu Ad Club, Rotary Club and Beta Theta Pi (college fraternity). [Source: "Men of Hawaii", vol 2, Edited by John William Siddell, 1921; tr. by Rhonda Hill]
EARNEST, JOHN DAVID
Texans are proud of the cattlemen of their State, and always point with pride to such men as John David Earnest, of Iatan, Mitchell County. Born in Arkansas in 1858, his parents came to Texas while he was yet so young that he is almost as thoroughly Texan as if native to her rolling prairies.
His father, Wm. McLain Earnest, was a Tennessean of German descent. He was married three times, his first wife being Rachel Bird, who died while her son John Davis was yet an infant. His second wife was Mrs. Winton, of Texas, and the third, Rachel Ghon, of Arkansas. He was the father of ten children. Those surviving are: L. B., residing in Menard County; Fred. W., residing in Indian Territory; G. L., residing in Mason County; W. A., residing in Howard County; Mary, wife of W. T. Patterson, residing in Mitchell County. He was a farmer and mechanic.
John David Earnest married Miss Florence Chalk, daughter of W. R. Chalk, a mechanic of Belton, Texas, and is the father of five children: David Pool, Mamie E., Joe Porte, Wm. Ellis, Richard Ware.
At the early age of eleven he commenced the battle of life, with the consent of his parents, by hiring to a neighbor for 37 1/2 cents a day and his board. His daily work was to herd on foot a small bunch of native cows in Hood County. At this he worked so faithfully that at the end of eighteen months his wages were raised to $20 a month, and he was transferred to the Colorado River in McCulloch County. Here he was given a pony and he was thus merged into a full-fledged cowboy. He enjoyed the privilege of being classed as a man, though he had to perform a man's duty to pay for it.
In 1876 he came to the North Concho River, taking a position with W. J. Holland, and with him went to the head of the same river, where they established the U ranch. It was the first ranch started west of San Angelo, and at that time nothing but buffalo, wild animals and Indians inhabited the country. During the three years he was on that ranch the Indians stole their ponies seventeen times. For protection, the ranch was divided into three sections or headquarters, one on the Concho, one at the mouth of Sterling Creek, and one at the head waters of Sterling Creek. They were twelve to twenty-five miles apart.
In '80 he joined Company B of the State rangers, but this life did not suit him, and he served only three months, returning to the stock business. While in this service, he was once scouting on the plains, under Lieutenant Dick Ware, when a fog came up and they lost their course, while their pack horse also strayed away and was never found, the party going seven days with nothing to eat but raw antelope meat. He took service with W. F. Lewis, on Hackberry Creek, and did range work for eight years. In 1886-'87 he began ranching for himself, locating in Glasscock County with 1,000 head of the 2 T H brand. In 1891 he took the management of the Mallett Cattle Company, of Gaines County, N. M., and handled their herd until sold to August Schuster, of Missouri, in the summer of 1894. After this deal, he moved his herd of 500 high grade steers and forty saddle horses to his 10,000 acre ranch on the west line of Mitchell County, where he now resides.
While ranching at the head of the Concho, he, with ten others, trailed a band of sixteen Indians who had raided the camp for ponies and overtook them just at dark at the foot of some hills, and pursued them so close that the Indians abandoned their ponies and took to the ledges. It being dark and the savages so well fortified, they left them, killing one horse and taking away fifteen Indian ponies as trophies of the fight, and returned to the ranch, two miles away. During the night the Indians fired at them at long range but did no damage, and the following night stole a horse each from one of the neighboring ranches and left. The redskins were not disposed to leave them at peace, and returned next moon and stole all their own ponies and sixty-eight head of picked cow ponies to boot.
In the same year, on July 4th, he and four cowboys and six rangers were trailing six Indians that had raided their headquarters. There was a large body of the savages when the attack was made and several ponies were stolen. The six separated and took a course that led toward Midland County, while the main body, with the stolen horses, took a different direction, as was afterwards ascertained. After following the trail for two days and nights without change of horses or food, they came in sight of the thieves some miles ahead and gave chase and gained rapidly. The Indians disappeared over the hill, near where Midland is now located, dismounted, and with their knives and tomahawks dug holes in the ground in which they buried themselves, leaving only head and shoulders exposed, their ponies going on. When the pursuers dashed over the hill the Indians were nowhere in sight, but a few seconds later they were met with a volley out of the ground. One man and three horses fell. The surprise was so demoralizing that the corporal could not control his horse, and his men being without orders, followed their leader and left the cowboys to fight or run as suited them best. The latter fired several volleys and, without waiting to see the effect or the condition of the enemy, followed the rangers. The Indians, apparently, were content to remain masters of the field, for nothing more was heard of them. Returning the next morning they found the body of Private Angling, stark and cold. They rolled it in a blanket, dug a hole and laid it away, and the stone they erected marks his lonely grave there in Midland County to this day.
John David Earnest is a pushing, energetic, self-made man, bright in conversation, active in business, and highly esteemed by all. He owns a spacious and elegant home, valued at from $5,000 to $6,000, with modern improvements and all comforts that make life worth living. (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)
EVANS, GEORGE WESLEY
George Wesley Evans was born October 12, 1849, in Fayette County, Texas, being the son of W. M. Evans, who was born in the State of Michigan, in 1820, of Quaker parents. There were several brothers in the father's family who came to Texas while it was under Mexican rule and agitation for the independent government was at its height. Although having the Quaker principles of peace deeply instilled into them, they sympathized with the oppressed, and, when the crisis came, readily took arms to help in throwing off the Mexican yoke. The elder Mr. Evans and two brothers served in the war of Texan independence, the father being present at the battle of San Jacinto and the capture of General Santa Anna. Vincent E., the eldest of the brothers, was in the famous massacre of the Alamo and shared the fate of his brave comrades. Musgrave E., the second brother, was a member of the Mier expedition, and when the drawing of the beans that was to decide the fate of every tenth man was made, he was among the fortunate ones to draw a white bean and secured his freedom, but it is supposed he perished in the desert or swamps in his effort to reach home, for he has never since been heard from.
There were five children in the family including G. W., three brothers and two sisters, as follows: Samuel, Kate, Mary, George and Thomas. Kate died in 1865 and Thomas was killed by the Mexicans while attempting to recapture a number of stolen horses. The others are all living and are prosperous citizens of the State of Texas. The mother's maiden name was Annie Maul, born in New York State in 1822, of German descent.
The marriage of Mr. Evans to Miss Kate Means took place in Lampasas County, Texas, July 24, 1878. His wife was the daughter of Frank and Berlinda Means and was born in that county in 1861. She has two sisters and four brothers, all living. Six children have been born of this marriage, all boys, William, Joseph, Lee, G. W., Jr., Reuben and Elbridge.
When George was quite a small boy his father moved to the town of Uvalde, which at that time could be justly classed as the "wild west." This was about the time of the breaking out of the war, when the father and elder brother, Samuel, enlisted in Hood's Brigade and went away to fight the battles of the Southern cause, young George being left at home to take care of the family. So many of the heads and older members of families being away, and the settlements being left in a defenseless condition, the Indians and Mexicans were greatly emboldened and made frequent raids, driving off horses and cattle, and they at one time invaded the village, taking possession of the church, which they converted into a stable to shelter their horses. The family had moved to town in order that the children might have the benefit of the schools, but even here these advantages were meagre, as a three months session during the year was all they were able to secure. One instance in particular of this part of his early life, will serve to show the precarious condition the defenseless people of the Southwest were placed in during these exciting times. A gang of thieves had been operating very successfully in the neighborhood, carrying off horses and other property, and a posse made up of men too old and boys to young for service in the war was organized to pursue the robbers. Young George was among them and after a sharp struggle, the thieves were captured and brought back to be disposed of as it should be decided. There was no law at the time, and in order to stop further thieving, it was unanimously decided to hang them, which was accordingly done, and young George, though a lad of but fourteen, assisted in adjusting the noose about their necks. He became at this early age an active member of the community, upholding the right and condemning the wrong.
When the war closed, the father's property was all dissipated, and George, the only boy left, found employment on a neighboring ranch. The qualities of self-reliance and determination he had cultivated in a large degree during the perilous times of the war, and when he commenced for himself, was well equipped for the struggle of life. For his first work he received a cow pony, worth $40, as his wages. This he traded for four cows and calves, and soon after obtained a steady position at $12.50 per month. By energy and close attention to business, he won the esteem of his employer, who continued to increase his wages until he was receiving the excellent salary of $100 per month. His earnings were invested as fast as collected, after deducting sufficient to support the family, in additional cattle until the year 1873, when he found that his own holdings were large enough to enable him to start in business for himself. He worked for years with his own herds, when, receiving a favorable offer from Winfield Scott, he sold out his entire holdings in Mitchell County, on one and two years time, and purchased other cattle with the money as it came due. He moved to Jeff Davis County in 1884, and has since that time devoted his whole attention to increasing his herds of cattle and horses, until at the present time he boasts of one of the best stocked ranches in the West.
Mr. Evans life has been a checkered one. He has always lived on the frontier and is a typical Texan noted for his true Texan hospitality, and has a host of warm personal friends. He knows nothing of any other life than that of the cattle business, but is thoroughly acquainted with that in all its phases. A man of strict integrity he is respected by all who know him, and with his wife is a consistent member of the Baptist Church.
This sketch would be incomplete if no further mention was made of Mr. Evans' six sons. It is an erroneous opinion that ranches produce nothing but bronchos, steers and rattlesnakes, for it is in the rearing of their fine family of six boys that Mr. and Mrs. Evans take their greatest pride. Although the advantages of schools are not as good as in the older States, the sons of Mr. Evans, under the care and guidance of the loving parents, have been well educated, and are as quiet, modest and gentlemanly boys as can be found anywhere. Mr. Evans has always been fond of hunting and is one of the most successful followers of Nimrod in that part of the State. He has killed over 500 bears, the greatest number in any one year being thirty-two. He has also killed an endless number of deer and antelope, and keeps a fine pack of hounds. There is no place in the whole West where a few days from the cares of city life could be more pleasantly and profitably spent than on the ranch of Mr. Evans among the Davis Mountains.
Besides a ranch well stocked with all the conveniences of home life, every fall Mr. Evans moves his family to his home in Pecos for its school and social advantages. He desires to give his sons a better start in life than he had himself. Nothing is wanting in his home that can add to the pleasures and comfort of his happy family. It is an ideal place where love and peace reign supreme and where the weary passer-by will always find a hospitable welcome. (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)
GALBRAITH, D. G.
D. G. Galbraith is known throughout Texas as a breeder of high-grade Durhams and Herefords, and though he has not been many years a resident of the state, he has given satisfactory proof of his ability by the readiness with which he has taken hold of the business, as well as by the results gained through his energetic management and methods. He is of Scotch-Irish parentage, and possesses all the determination and push of the one nationality with the latent enthusiasm so characteristic of the other.
John R. Galbraith, his father, was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, in 1821, and married Miss Esther Haglar, a native of the same State. There were eight children by this marriage: Three died in infancy; Benjamin J. died in September, 1885; John R. Jr., resides in Hancock County, Illinois; D. G., the subject of the present sketch, lives at Colorado City, Texas, and James A. and Anna P. are living on the old homestead in Illinois. The elder Mr. Galbraith was a stock farmer, following the business successfully in Tennessee until the outbreak of the war, which put an end for the time being to industries of all kinds. At the commencement of hostilities he served in the Home Guards under Captain Tom Butler until the country was occupied by the Federals, when he joined Longstreet's corps, and later on was with General Morgan on his raid through Tennessee and Kentucky. He was once captured by the Federals and held in Huntsville Prison for about six weeks, when he was exchanged and re-entered the army, serving until the close of the war. Upon his return home he found that his property had been swept away, and that his years of toil had been practically without result. He began looking about him for a new field of action, and finally removed to Hancock County, Illinois, where he followed farming until his death, in 1891. His wife died three years later. John R. Galbraith was a brave soldier, a good citizen and a conscientious man, and though he never sought public office of any kind, was an earnest politician, holding strongly by his honest convictions.
David G. Galbraith first located in Texas for the purpose of superintending the settlement of his brother's estate; but his first visit to the State had been made some years before. He was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, in 1855, and as the war began at about the time that he should have entered school, and the family's removal to Illinois followed immediately after its close, he was given but small opportunity for securing an education. It was an era of hard work and privations all over the country, and the Galbraiths found ample employment for every available pair of hands in making for themselves a new home. D. G. Galbraith labored with the rest of the sons on his father's farm, attending the neighborhood school for a few months during each winter; but after he had reached his majority he decided that the advantages of an education could not be overrated, and spent two years in college in Carthage, Illinois, and at the Gem City Business College, Quincy, Illinois. He was preparing to return to Carthage for the third year, when, through the entreaties of his brothers, Benjamin and J. R., he was prevailed upon to leave school and try life in Texas. He remained in the Southwest but a short time upon this occasion, though he was very well pleased with the country. His inclinations were then more for agriculture or office work than cattle raising, and as he found both brothers ill, and was himself taken with a slight illness, that detracted from his enjoyment of the trip and its accompanying sights and experiences, he became of the opinion that the climate of Texas was not healthy, and decided to return to Illinois.
He had taken a commercial course in a business college, expecting to take up book-keeping as an occupation, but he afterward made up his mind that the confinement of office work would not be to his fancy, and bought a farm, with the crop already made and ungathered, borrowing the purchase money from a bank. His parents did not approve of this investment, but Mr. Galbraith retained the crop, cultivated the farm for one year, and then sold both crops for a large sum.
A more intimate acquaintance with the cattle business, gained while settling his deceased brother's affairs, convinced Mr. Galbraith that it could be pursued with profit, and as his energy and talents were readily recognized by the members of the Llano Live Stock Company, he was elected general manager in 1890, a position which he still holds. Under his able direction the affairs of the company prospered, and it was one of the few large cattle-growing organizations which were not shaken by the hard times of the last few years. The "curry comb" brand of the company is now worn by 8,000 head of cattle, all being of high grade Durham and Hereford cross; the ranch itself consisting of about 128,000 acres.
D. G. Galbraith is a man of decided opinions and unswerving determination, and his rapid and complete success in the cattle business is in a great measure due to the possession of these qualities. He is decidedly popular with his associates and employees, and his promptness to catch at and improve any situation that may arise has thoroughly satisfied one and all that he is decidedly the right man in the right place. He is ingenious and inventive, and no tasks are too difficult for him to attempt and, generally, to carry through. In former years he has given much thought to perfecting a process for the manufacture of artificial silk, and believes that this problem has been satisfactorily solved; but he is now so thoroughly engrossed in the cattle business that he is compelled to let this, with other matters of importance, stand in abeyance for the time being. Though his time is principally spent on the Llano Live Stock Company's ranch, he still retains the Illinois farm previously mentioned, and makes frequent visits to the friends and familiar surroundings of his old home. He was married December 27, 1894, to Miss Nannie L. Lockard, an attractive and talented young lady of Meridian, Mississippi, the marriage occurring at that place. Their home will be at Colorado City, where Mr. Galbraith has resided for some time past. We bespeak for the newly married couple as much of happiness as the groom has heretofore won of financial success. (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)
HAFER, C. W.
An excellent type of the hardy stock which has built up the western portion of Texas,which has grown and developed with its growth and development,and which has prospered with its prosperity, is found in the person of C. W. Hafer, of San Antonio, who has watched the transformation of this part of the country and taken an active part therein from the days of the open range. At the present time he is the owner of extensive interests in San Antonio, to the direction of which he devotes his attention.
Mr. Hafer was born at Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, September 8, 1868,and is a son of J. A. Hafer. His father, born in Germany, came to the United States at the age of twenty-one years and for several years resided at Keokuk, Iowa, but in 1871 removed with his family to Texas, locating at Luling, Caldwell County. In his late years he engaged with his sons in the cattle business in West Texas, and his death occurred in 1885, in Hamilton County, Texas, while he was on a visit there to one of his children. C. W. Hafer lived at Luling, where he received an ordinary country school education, until he was fifteen years of age, at which time he began his career in the cattle business as a cowboy, spending some years on the open range. He was engaged in the cattle business for several years in West Texas,living for most of that period at Colorado City, in Mitchell County,and for about two years at Roscoe, in Nolan County. He went through all the varied experiences and hardships incidental to the dangerous life of the cowman in the early days of the open range,and handled successfully large herds of cattle both on the range and on the trail. For several years he was connected with the outfit of Col. C. C. Slaughter, who at that time had headquarters at Colorado City.
In 1902 Mr. Hafer left West Texas and located at Corpus Christi, where he lived for about ten years, then spending nearly two years in Southern California, having property at Riverside. Early in 1914 he returned to Texas and established his permanent home at San Antonio, his residence being on the Corpus Christi Road, adjoining the city on the south, where he owns valuable property in a section that is in the path of the progress and growth of the city southward. He also owns a ranch of 8,000 acres in Terrell County, where he continues to be engaged in the cattle business, with large holdings.
Mr. Hafer was married at Roscoe,Texas,to Miss Leona Lagow, daughter of the late William Lagow, who was a pioneer settler and large land owner of Dallas,Texas. Two children have been born to this union,a son, Charles Augustus,and a daughter, Rosa Lee Hafer. (Source: A History of Texas and Texans, Volume 3 By Francis White Johnson, Published by American Historical Society, 1914)
HALL, Q. D.
McLean county, Illinois, was the birthplace of Q. D. Hall, and Colorado City, Texas, is his present residence. He was born in the year 1857, and in February, 1878, married Miss Laura Adamson, of Jacksboro, Texas, daughter of Judge L. P. Adamson, and has two children, Ida Maud and Harry T.
His father, Moses T. Hall, was born of English parents in Ohio, and married Mary J. Riggs, of German-English parentage, in Illinois, in 1836. They had two children, Q. D. and Ida May, widow of C. T. Wescott, residing at Hitchcock, Galveston County. He is a stock farmer and moved from Illinois to Jacksboro, Jack County Texas, in 1875, and in 1882 moved to Mitchell County, where he now resides.
Q. D. Hall was bred on a farm and received a fair education. He came with his parents to Texas in his eighteenth year, and with his father went into the stock business in Jack County on a small scale. In 1883 he moved to Colorado City, opening and managing the Hall Hotel until 1887, when he embarked in the sheep business, beginning with 5,000 head. In 1889 he sold out and re-engaged in the cattle business, locating a ranch of 44,000 acres in Lynn and Lubbock Counties. Here he carries 2,000 head of cattle and fifteen saddle horses. His own brand is "M. H.," while his wife's is "H a l l." He pastures, feeds, and buys and sells stock. He is one of the rising cattlemen of that part of the State, a conservative and shrewd trader, and has the confidence and esteem of all with whom he comes in contact. (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)
JOHNSON, Captain FRANK
A former captain of the Texas rangers, and with a long record of official service in west Texas. Captain Johnson is a son of a Confederate soldier, and is in many ways typical of the strong and rugged character of the older generation of Texans. He has traveled extensively, has come to know men and affairs, and has recently settled down as a prosperous business man of Weatherford. Frank Johnson was born February 8, 1869, in Hartsville, Tennessee, a son of N. B. and Sarah Johnson. His father was a printer and newspaper man, and for more than twenty years served as postmaster at Weatherford. He moved from Tennessee to Texas in 1870, and his residence was at Weatherford up to the time of his death in 1901. During the war he enlisted from Tennessee, became a soldier in General Morgan's famous troopers, and served from the early months of the war until its close. His widow is still living, being now about seventy years of age, with her home in Weatherford. There were seven children, two daughters and five sons, two of whom are now deceased.
Captain Johnson the oldest of the family, had a public school education in Texas. His first important position was that of deputy sheriff of Dickens county, after which he was deputy sheriff in Kent county, and was a special ranger under Captain McDonald, who is now United States Marshal for the northern district of Texas. During his service as ranger Captain Johnson was inspector for the cattlemen's association of Texas, and also inspector for the live stock sanitary company several years. In 1901 came his promotion by appointment as sheriff and tax collector of Mitchell county, Texas. In March 1908 he was appointed captain of the Texas rangers, giving valuable service in making an excellent record with the state military organization until his resignation in November 1910. His career as captain of the rangers was followed by his taking a position as inspector for the live stock sanitary company, during which time he was located at Wichita Falls. In September, 1912, Captain Johnson went to South America to oversee a ranch in that country. On his return to Weatherford in May, 1912, he established an automobile transfer business, and has conducted it successfully to the present time. His support has always been given to the dominant political party in Texas, and he is one of the stanch admirers of the present administration of President Wilson. Fraternally he has taken thirty-two degrees of Scottish Bite Masonry, is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is very popular in both fraternal and all other circles" of west Texas citizenship. Mr. Johnson was married in March 1894 to Miss Mattie Durrett of Weatherford, a daughter of Anderson and Malinda Durrett. Her father was one of the early settlers of Parker county, having moved from Illinois in 1871, and had been a Confederate soldier, seeing service from the start to the end of the war. Both her parents are now deceased. The captain and wife have two children, a son and a daughter, namely: Miss Dott, aged twelve, and Boy, aged nine, both in school. ["A History of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) by Francis White Johnson]
JOHNSTON, J. S.
Ill health and the advice of physicians to seek the climate and the sturdy life of the plains and mountains have been the making of many of the great cattlemen of the State. J. S. Johnston was born in Ohio in 1844, and learned a trade early in his teens. This was done to enable him to work his way through college and study law. In his seventeenth year, his health failing, he was advised by the physicians to go west and lead a rough life in the open air in the mountains. He engaged in mining and contracting very successfully in Colorado and New Mexico, and in 1870 came to Comanche County, Texas, where he also engaged in contracting for four years. He formed a partnership with D. C. Byrne and Wm. Martin in 1876, under the firm name of Martin, Byrne & Johnston, which is one of the largest contracting and building concerns in the State. They make a specialty of building court houses and other public buildings. In addition to contracting they have invested heavily in ranches, which are under the direct supervision of Mr. Johnston, and are located in Mitchell and Sterling Counties. One is of 8,000 acres and carries 800 cattle, and the other 43,000 acres with 3,500 cattle, all high grade Herefords, principally steers, and sixty saddle horses. Their brand is 1. 7. 2. Messrs. Byrnes and Johnston reside in Colorado City, and Mr. Martin has his home in the city of Victoria, Texas.
Mr. Johnston is an excellent business man and the architect of his own fortunes. He is accustomed to large transactions, is whole-souled and liberal spirited, and has made money in all his undertakings.
His father, George Johnston, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, was born in Virginia in 1802, and married Marguerite Simpson, of Pennsylvania. They were the parents of seven children, only one of whom, the subject of this sketch, cast his fortunes in Texas. (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)
LOONEY, HON. R. H.
From cowboy to affluence and positions of trust and honor is the story of the life of Hon. R. H. Looney, of Colorado City, Texas. He was born in Dallas County, Arkansas, and lived amidst luxurious surroundings until his father's fortune became scattered by the devastations of the late civil war.
His father, Samuel Looney, was one of the large and prosperous planters of the State, his wealth consisting of plantations and slaves. The war set the negroes free, the plantations depreciated in value for the want of cultivation, and the once opulent planter degenerated into an ordinary farmer struggling for meat and bread. The field was substituted for the school room, and the plow and hoe took the place of books, yet young Looney did not lose sight of the importance of acquiring an education. He attended school when he could, and as soon as qualified divided his time alternately as student and teacher, and in this way completed his education. He continued in his chosen profession until 1872, when sickness and confinement had so impaired his health that his physicians prescribed, as the only remedy, change of climate and outdoor life. He came to Texas and taught school in Milam County for one season. Then he joined a party on a hunting and fishing expedition, and spent the winter at the head of Llano River, hunting, fishing and eating wild honey for which that section was noted
The second winter all the party returned to the settlements except himself, and he engaged two hunters to stay with him the balance of the season. They carried out their contract by stealing his money, deserting him, and, afterwards, playing "Indian" on him, took his horse and saddle and left him penniless, afoot, and alone in the wilderness, to get back to the settlements if he could, or, what was more probable, to fall a victim to some predatory band of Indians who would finish the work they had begun. He commenced the pedestrian feat with good courage, and walked back to Mason County.
Here he obtained employment with a surveying corps that was engaged in locating lands in that part of the State, being assigned to the position of ax-man. The fact that he had studied surveying soon became known, and he gradually worked up to the compass. Subsequently he was appointed Deputy Surveyor of the Bexar Land District, and remained in that position for ten years.
In 1876, while he and two associates were returning from a surveying trip, they were followed by a band of fourteen Indians, who kept them in sight all day. The surveyors camped at night as though unsuspicious of danger, but as soon as it became dark muffled their horses feet and moved a considerable distance very cautiously, and re-established camp unseen by the Indians. They were off by starlight next morning, and during the forenoon met a party of rangers, whom they informed of the suspicious acts of the Indians. The rangers went in pursuit, but, failing to strike the trail, stopped to feed and rest. Two of the party, sallying out to reconnoiter, saw the red skins following the trail of the surveyors. They fired and ran back, and the Indians, giving chase, were led direct into the Texans' camp. The rangers at once gave battle. The Indians turned to flee, but were so hotly followed that ten of them were killed and one captured. The other three ran into a cave over which the rangers stood guard three days and nights. They then decided that the savages must be pretty well starved, and entered to capture them, but were chagrined to find another opening leading into a valley through which their prey had flown. The Indian captured was sent to the penitentiary for life, but the refinements of civilization proved too much for his untamed nature, and he soon drooped and died. The fight was known as the Lost Morris battle.
In 1877, Mr. Looney was elected surveyor of Concho County, and in 1881 moved to the projected line of the Texas & Pacific Railway in Mitchell County. In March he was elected county judge and served two years. In 1882 he was married to Miss Bettie Prude, the charming and accomplished daughter of John Prude, a stockman of McCulloch County.
During his term as county judge he studied law, and at its expiration was admitted to the bar. Since then he has given his chief attention to the practice of law, but not neglecting his cattle ranches, which he started in 1877, in Jeff Davis and Scurry Counties, where he owns about 3,000 acres of land and leases 12,000 more, on which he carries 1,200 stock cattle, twenty-five saddle horses, and thirty head of stock horses. In 1889, he leased, in Mitchell and Scurry Counties, forty-two sections, on which he pastures about 1,000 head of stock. His brand is T E.
Mr. Looney is now one of the foremost lawyers of Western Texas, and has a large and lucrative practice, which, combined with his stock interests, renders him a comparatively wealthy man. He possesses a beautiful home in Colorado City, valued at from $8,000 to $10,000. His charming wife and family of six children, Cora, Robert, H. J., Isla Bess, Aileen Juliet and Marguerite, make a domestic life as successful as has been his business career.
He is a fair type of the men who have made the Texas of today. His life, from early manhood, has been passed upon the frontier. Now, in the prime of life, surrounded by all that makes life enjoyable, possessing the esteem and confidence of his fellow men, he can look back with satisfaction on a well spent, active life, and forward to new hopes, honors and happiness. (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)
The merchandising and business enterprise of Big Spring has no larger and more prosperous establishment than that of the Rix Furniture & Undertaking Company. The members of the Rix family connected with this company have shown themselves to be business builders of remarkable ability, and have not only established a large concern, but have carried it through all the preliminary difficulties to permanent prosperity. The business supplies furniture, house furnishings, musical instruments of all kinds, and practically everything that goes into a home from cellar to garret as permanent furnishings, and a separate branch of the business offers the most complete undertaking service and equipment to be found in all this part of Texas.
Harvey L. Rix, the active head of the business, was born in Cedar Creek, Wisconsin, on January 30, 1880. His ancestry is full blooded American, the first members of the family having come from England in 1645, and through the many generations have furnished men of prominence in affairs and business. The parents of Mr. Harvey L. Rix are Barnett and Eliza M. Rix, of Washington county, Wisconsin. His father was engaged as a farmer in that county before coming to Texas, and he brought his family to this state in 1887, first locating at Colorado in Mitchell county, and in 1890 came to Big Spring. While in Mitchell county he was engaged in stock raising and on coming to Big Spring opened a stock of hardware, which in 1896 he sold and then in 1905 joined his son Harvey in the furniture and undertaking business.
In 1910 the business was incorporated under the name of the Rix Furniture & Undertaking Company with a capital stock of $20,000. The stock of goods carried by the firm values at from eighteen thousand to twenty thousand dollars, and three buildings are occupied with the stock and the display rooms, besides the barns and other houses for the horses, hearses, vehicles and other equipment. One of the buildings was constructed especially for undertaking, and all the goods of that class are kept in that special building. Among other features of its equipment it contains a reception hall and chapel and morgue, and as undertakers the Rix Brothers control nearly all the business for a distance of one hundred miles about Big Spring. Both Harvey L. and his brother J. A. Rix are licensed embalmers.
Mr. Harvey L. Rix received his early education in the public schools and subsequently attended the Metropolitan Business College at Dallas, where he was graduated August 28, 1896. In politics he has always voted the Democratic ticket, and fraternally is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World, and the Modern Order of Pretorians. His church is the Methodist South. On June 15, 1904, he married Bertha Deats of Big Spring, daughter of L. T. and Elizabeth Deats. Her father is now mayor of Big Spring and a well known financier, being vice president of the First State Bank of the city. Mr. Rix and wife have five children, three sons and two daughters, whose names are Ralph W., Lewis R., Paul A., Elizabeth Maywood and Lorena Lucile, whose ages range from eight to two years. (Source unknown)
ROBERTSON, A. B.
A. B. Robertson resides at Colorado City, Texas, and is a native of Indiana, born in 1855. He is familiarly known as "Sug" Robertson. His father, A. B. Robertson, Sr., was of Scotch-Irish ancestry and married Miss Rachel Jewell, a Kentucky lady, of English descent, and they had seven children: R. P., resides in Colorado; Elizabeth, deceased, formerly Mrs. John Wylie; Kate, died in infancy; W. C., resides in Nolan County; A. B.; G. J., resides in Nolan County; J. P., resides in Colorado City. A. B. Robertson, Sr., was a practicing physician and moved from Indiana to Mississippi, then to Arkansas, and finally to Texas in 1861, and located in what is now Hood County, where he followed the practice of his profession. He is now a resident of Louisiana.
A. B. Robertson, Jr., married Miss Norah Smith, a native Texas lady, of Nolan County, at Coleman City, Texas, on May 30, 1877. Four children were born of this marriage: Augustus L.; Gerty, died in infancy; Pinkie, and A. B.
At the early age of nine years, with the consent of his parents, he hired to R. K. Wylie for $10 a month to do ranch work, and was given a pony and set to "cow punching" on the range, in which employment he remained for ten years on a slightly increased salary. In 1865 he was taken, with the cattle, into what is now Runnells County, the Chisholm ranch being the outpost. The new location was near the present town of Ballinger, where he herded cattle during the day and took turn about with the other cow-boys guarding the ponies, which were hidden at night, from the thieving Indians. As a boy of ten, he followed a life that few grown men had the hardihood to undertake. But the times became too perilous here for even personal safety, let alone that of the cattle, so that the herds were driven back nearer to civilization. Young "Sug" stuck to the cattle through thick and thin, and acquired that thorough knowledge of the business which proved of such great advantage in after life. Having had but six months schooling, he learned to read by the light of the camp-fire at night, and learned to write by using his boots to practice upon.
During his career, the adventures and hardships he experienced were many and novel. It was necessary, during the buffalo season, to mount at break of day and ride for miles down the line, driving the immense herds of these animals off the range. Their numbers were so great that they would destroy the grass for miles and scatter the cattle. With Indians he had many lively experiences, but was never injured. It often became necessary to chase Indians long distances to recover stolen ponies. His last brush with Indians occurred in 1875. He and H. C. Wylie were out to kill a buffalo for meat. They had hitched their horses in the bed of a creek, and were creeping up a ravine which led out from the creek, so as to get in range with some buffaloes on the ridge above them. Happening to look back, "Sug" saw five Indian bucks beyond the creek and coming toward the horses. He and Wylie rushed back, unobserved, mounted their horses and charged on the Indians. After a chase of two miles, the redskins entered a thicket, having left their horses behind, and eluded their pursuers. "Sug" and Wylie captured the horses, took them back to the ranch and found they were the property of a neighbor. Four or five days later when "Sug" and an employee were alone on the ranch, the Indians came at night and stole every horse on the place, but, not to be outdone, "Sug" and his companion, though afoot, struck out to overtake the thieves and recapture their horses. After traveling many miles they came across two jaded horses dropped by the Indians, and mounting them, continued their pursuit. Some distance further on they came upon five horses which had escaped from the savages, which they caught and commenced to retrace their steps homeward with a "mount" of seven horses. Being bareback and with only a rope for a bridle, riding was somewhat uncomfortable, but "Sug" soon had an opportunity to prove that he was equal to any emergency, for, coming upon a herd of buffalo, he dismounted, stood upon the end of his rope to hold his horse, killed a buffalo, and, with its hide, he and his companion improvised a A combination saddle and saddle-blanket upon which they rode home.
At nineteen years of age, having saved some money, he went into partnership with his employer and bought 5,000 head of cattle, giving notes in part payment, which was his first business transaction. About this time he took the management of the Wylie ranch in Runnells County, receiving a salary for the management of Wylie's cattle, while he managed his own in connection therewith. He sold his interest to Wylie for $8,000, in 1879, and bought a ranch and 2,500 cattle on the Pecos river, at Horsehead Crossing. This he named Robertson TX ranch and held it for three years, selling, in 1882, to John Dawson, and moving to Colorado City. This city was then the cattlemen's headquarters for Northwest Texas and New Mexico. With the proceeds he opened a ranch on Silver Creek, in Nolan County, of 19,000 acres, all but 3,000 of which is his own property. He has 3,000 cattle here and another ranch in Eddy County, New Mexico, twenty miles square, on which are 8,000 cattle and 150 saddle ponies. He is a director in the Colorado City National Bank and has a handsome $10,000 city residence.
During his residence in Colorado City he has also been engaged in the cattle commission and shipping business, and within the last ten or twelve years has bought and shipped more cattle to Northern markets than any other man, in the same time, in Texas.
Mr. Robertson was a range rider in the tender years of childhood when other lads were in school, worried only with jack knives and marbles; he had no education except as he gleaned it unaided and alone by the camp-fire's uncertain light, yet he has risen to be one of the foremost men in the State, a leader in the cattle business, with home and friends, a genuine son of the plains, big-hearted, true to a friend, kind and affectionate in his home, which is a contrast to the blanket bivouac of early life, with the blue vault of heaven for a roof. Shrewd, aggressive, and successful in commercial circles, "Sug" Robertson, the ten year old cowboy, has attained a position which may be the envy of, as well as the incentive to, aspiring young men. (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)
SCOTT, W. T.
Successful as a stockman and contractor, and occupying a prominent position among Texan financiers, the gentleman whose name heads this page has gained for himself a position of affluence, in spite of reverses, which have led him to facetiously assume the title of an "unfortunate cowman." There are different sorts and qualities of success, and it is probable that most men would feel comparatively comfortable if surrounded by the "unfortunate" circumstances which Mr. Scott is pleased to deplore.
W. T. Scott is a native of Louisiana, having been born in New Orleans, in 1858. His father, William Thomas Scott, was, for years a citizen of Texas, and held important positions under its government, both before and after its annexation to the United States. He was a member of the last Congress of the youthful Republic, and was one of the members of that body who favored the annexation proposition by which Texas threw in its lot with its sister Republic and transferred its giant "Lone Star" to a place of honor in the constellation of States. Elected a member of the State Senate, he served a term or two, until forced to resign by reason of failing health, but after a brief period for rest and recuperation, his constituents once more returned him to the legislative halls and his services in the State Assembly were continued from time to time, until encroaching age and feebleness rendered the continuance of official cares and labors impossible. His wife, Mary Rose, born in Washington Parish, Louisiana, January 23, 1819, came from a family, which, like the Scotts, were prominent in the early history of Texas, both in the days of the Republic, and after it had achieved the dignities and honors of the American Union. Nine children from this match are still living, namely: Buckner Harris, Preston Rose, Eric S., Ella S., Mary Elizabeth, Ripley Rose, Susan Gill, William Thomas, Jr., and John Pinckney. All of them have prospered in their chosen pursuits, legislative and professional, and in the great cattle industry, upon which this work more generally treats.
Mr. Scott was strongly impressed with the value of a thorough education, and accordingly, at the age of thirteen, W. T. Scott was sent, with a younger brother, to Toronto, Canada, where he entered school. He remained here until 1876; afterwards spent two years in the Emory & Henry College, in Virginia, and then, his education concluded, returned to Texas and embarked for a time in merchandising.
This was in 1878. In 1883 he decided to turn his attention to a wider and more pretentious field of operations. Railroading was then becoming an important business throughout Eastern and Northern Texas, and in contracting he saw a chance for the development and use of those traits of character and brain which have since aided so materially in the building of his fortunes. For several months he was busied in furnishing ties and lumber for the New Orleans Pacific Railway, rapidly gaining experience and making considerable money.
In 1884 and the year following, he built the city street railway in Denison, Texas, and also one in Gainesville, selling the latter as soon as built, but holding the Denison road and operating it for two years. Selling this line in 1886, he constructed seventeen miles of the Marshall, Paris & Northwestern Railway, a contract which consumed considerable time, and rendered necessary the employment of a great many men. Unlike the prosecution of similar tasks in older States, railroad construction in Texas, and particularly at the time mentioned, was pushed through with eye-opening rapidity; but Mr. Scott easily "kept up with the procession," and managed and completed his contract in a creditable manner.
In Texas there is never a lack of opportunities for a live man of business, and, tiring of any particular line, he can, at all times, find an opening elsewhere for his surplus energy. It is one of the advantages of life in a new and but partially developed country, that the man who feels the want of an opportunity can make one for himself and improve it to the extent of his capabilities. Weary with the labor and monotony attendant upon contracting, W. T. Scott removed to the westward in 1887, and embarked in the cattle business in Mitchell County, locating his ranch twenty-five miles southwest of Colorado City. Here he secured a tract of desirable land, containing 50,000 acres, upon which he now carries a stock of some 4,000 head of cattle, with seventy-five saddle horses for the use of himself and employees. His brands, "Lazy A" and "H. S.," are well known throughout that region, and the cattle bearing them are usually of a superior grade. Recognizing the folly of perpetuating the old "long horn" stock, which at one time was accepted, the world over, as being distinctively "Texan," he has by judicious infusion of Durham and Hereford blood brought his herd to a point of uniform excellence, and his graded stock is largely sought after by purchasers of beef cattle.
W. T. Scott was married in November, 1891, to Miss Minna Chalk, the charming daughter of R. L. Chalk, a prominent lawyer of Belton, Texas. Their only child, a boy, bears the names that have been so honorably worn by his father and grand sire, and, in the Texas of the future, may wreathe them anew with laurels of success. To Young America everything is possible, and mountain tops, once surmounted, are ever inviting adventurous footsteps upward.
As cashier of the People's National Bank, of Colorado City, Mr. Scott has now opportunities to make use of his able business qualifications; and the knowledge of mercantile pursuits, and other lines in which he has achieved success, has aided in intensifying the quickness of perception and firmness of purpose which are so essential to a man occupying a position of trust. He is a heavy owner of realty in and around Colorado City, and besides, has interests in different sections of the State. Combining conservatism with enterprise, his investments have been judiciously made, and will yield golden results in the future. Successful in the past and present, he can look forward upon a certainty of success to come. He entered life fully equipped; for in addition to natural abilities, which have been a predominant family characteristic for generations, he had been given an education more than ordinarily complete. Reverses that come to him, as they come at times to all, have seemed to serve him as a stimulus rather than a discouragement, and he has plunged the more ardently into business enterprises, achieving success under circumstances which seemed to argue certain and disastrous failure. A leader among men, he has always disclaimed political aspirations, preferring to pursue his regular avocations and enjoy the quiet happiness of a domestic life, undisturbed by the endless worries that beset even the most successful of politicians. His great popularity with the people of his section of the State, would doubtless secure for him any office in their power to bestow, but the knowledge of their good will suffices, without putting it, needlessly, to the test. (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)
SHANNON, J. M.
Mr. Shannon has been engaged in the cattle and sheep business in Texas for about twelve years. When he came to the State, in 1883, he had exactly $2.65 in his pocket, and from this he has worked up step by step until he is now one of the wealthiest and most successful stockman of Western Texas.
His father, Wm. K. Shannon, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1792. He followed farming during the period of his residence in Ireland, and was married there and had five children by his first wife, all of whom were boys. His second marriage took place in Ireland, just on the eve of his departure for this country. On coming to America, he settled in New Orleans, and before the war became an extensive planter in that State. He fought on the Confederate side, and died in 1866, soon after the war was over. His wife died in Australia in 1878. There were five children born of this last marriage also, as follows: James, Wm. K., Edward, J. M. and Thomas, only two of whom are living, J. M. our subject, and Thomas, who resides in Australia, where the mother was living at the time of her death.
J. M. Shannon was born in New Orleans May 15, 1846, and attended the common schools of that city for six years. When his school days were over he worked for his father on the plantation until the breaking out of the rebellion. He had become old enough to carry a gun in 1863, and he accordingly enlisted in that year and served for the balance of the war. As a result of the war the father's plantation was destroyed and the family was reduced to poverty. The boys all started out to make their fortune, and the whole family, with the exception of J. M., went to Australia. He drifted as far West as California, where he worked at whatever he could find to do until he became interested in the sheep business.
He stuck to this steadily until 1881, when he went to Scotland, and was married to Miss Marguerite E. Campbell at Ayer, in that country. She was born in Aberdeen, and moved with her parents to New Zealand when quite a young girl. Mr. Shannon first made her acquaintance on board an Australian ship from New Zealand to Edinburgh, and the friendship thus started resulted in their marriage. He had accumulated quite a comfortable fortune in the sheep business in California, and immediately on his return from Scotland with his bride made his home in Kansas City, Missouri, and engaged in the real estate business. A very short time was sufficient for him to lose-in real estate and going on another man's bond as security-all he had made in sheep raising. In 1883 he started for Texas, reaching Colorado City April 25, with the $2.65 which has been before referred to.
He had, however, a large stock of determination, and having thoroughly mastered the art of sheep shearing while he was engaged in the business in California, he soon secured work at this employment, and in two months had made enough money to send for his wife. He sheared sheep and took contracts for fencing the range, until he had secured enough money to establish himself again in his favorite enterprise. The contract which helped him most was the one he secured to build 600 miles of wire fence for the X. I. T. syndicate, which operates the largest ranch in the world. With the profits of this contract, and other money that he had made, he embarked once more in the sheep business, and has met with wonderful success. He added cattle handling to his sheep interests in 1890, and has been quite as successful with them.
Mr. Shannon spends most of his time on his enormous ranch in Crockett County, and attends to the details of its management himself. He attributes his success to his careful management, and unless he is away on a pleasure trip he can always be found on his ranch as actively engaged as any of his employees. His ranch in Crocket County contains 400 sections of land, or 256,000 acres, which is stocked with 5,000 sheep and 8,000 head of cattle, besides a large number of horses. He has a large amount of real estate in Colorado City, where he resides, and scattered throughout Mitchell County, and a small fortune in money loaned out in his part of the State. He is a straight Republican in politics, although he has never run for office, and always exerts his powerful influence in behalf of his party. (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)
SLAUGHTER, JOHN B.
Wherever a Texas steer is bought or sold the name of John B. Slaughter, of Colorado City, is well known. He was born in Sabine County, in 1848, and though young, has had a life of singular success and thrilling experience.
His father, G. W. Slaughter, was of German-American ancestry and married Miss Sallie Mason, a young lady of Irish descent.
John B. Slaughter is a cattleman by birth and education. Born on the frontier in Sabine County, as soon as he could ride a pony he was kept at work on his father's ranch, with occasional intervals devoted to rounding up cattle. This he followed until his seventeenth year, when he went on the trail, driving for his father and brother, C. C. Slaughter, and received $15 a month. This, with the little herd of thirty or forty head his father had given him, was his start in life. The trail to Kansas and the range of West Texas were his field, and the saddle and "slicker" his home. His father and brother located their ranches in Palo Pinto County in the days when Indian raids and outlawry demanded that every one should be a ready and fearless marksman and carry with him at all times sufficient arms to defend his life and interests. Encounters with Indians, who would swoop down like hungry wolves, were neither rare nor novel. Their desire for ponies was never satiated, and a scalp now and then, as a trophy, was always in order. These were the dangers he had been born to and reared in, and the hand to hand battles and running fights he took part in in Palo Pinto, Jack and Young Counties only a few years ago, seem almost incredible. Where now nestle quiet little villages and rich farms, with their broad green hedgerows, covering the face of the country, were once scenes of hot pursuit of marauding bands or hasty retreats from overwhelming numbers of savages, in which he always took part.
In the spring of 1871, when preparing for the season's roundup with his father and the other hands, the ponies were placed in a corral, an enclosure made of cedar pickets set close, to prevent Indians from stealing them. Going out to the corral before daylight to look after the ponies, on the morning they were to start, he found a hole in the fence. At the instant he discovered the gap an Indian sprang up from the ground, almost at his feet, and fired, the ball entering his right breast and coming out at his back. He did not fall but ran back for his rifle, but the Indian joined his band, which was near by, and escaped in flight. Though shot through the body, in six weeks he was in the saddle again and on the trail to Kansas. The following season he went through on the trail again with cattle for his father and brother, which were in charge of a Mr. Adams. At Victoria Peak, in Montague County, the cattle were stampeded by a storm one night and scattered over the country. The following morning the cowboys set out in twos to gather them up, Mr. Adams and a young man going west. At nightfall all returned except these two. As the Indians had, the day before, raided Bob Stevens' ranch at Victoria Peak, near by, and stolen all his ponies, the men, believing Mr. Adams to be killed, after a short search thought it useless to look further for him, but were prevailed on by John and one of the hands to continue the search. John took charge of the herd, and, three days later, attracted by a swarm of vultures, they found the bodies of Adams and his young companion scalped and mutilated. The breast of one was cut open and his heart drawn out and laid on his stomach; the other had parts of his person cut off and placed in his mouth. They rolled the bodies in their blankets and buried them under the bank of the creek where they had made their stand for life.
They were again attacked near Lookout Mountain, in the Indian Territory. Fifteen Comanches stampeded their ponies, which were driven in a separate herd, and ran them off, leaving them with 2,000 head of cattle to handle with one pony each. Yet they did it, arriving at Abilene, Kansas, on foot, where the herd was sold.
Returning the next spring, he went to Weatherford and purchased of Couts & Hughes J2.500 worth of ponies, and went with his men to Jack County to receive a herd of cattle his father had purchased of J. C. Loving. On the night of their arrival, while he and one of his hands were standing guard over the ponies which had been hidden in a valley, they were surprised by a volley of shots, 5 ells, and flapping of red blankets. The Indians seemed to come out of the ground, and, like a whirlwind, swept off every horse, leaving them on foot. He was almost in touch with the red brutes, shooting and being shot at. The cattle were scattered also, and while they were being gathered up he returned to Weatherford for a new supply of horses.
In 1877, he and W. B. Slaughter, with a combined capital of $6,000 entered the business together, buying steers and driving them through to market, continuing until 1880, when he established a ranch in Blanco Canyon, on Catfish River, on which he placed 2,000 cattle and remained five years. He then moved to Socorro County, New Mexico, and, in 1886, sold to an English syndicate for $124,000 and went to Utah, establishing a ranch on Green River and remained two years. Returning to New Mexico, he located near the Texas line and kept this ranch for three years. In 1889 he moved to Glasscock County, Texas, where he now has 160 sections of land and 5.000 to 6,000 cattle and 100 saddle horses. He also has leased 36 sections on the east line of Mitchell County where he runs 1,200 cattle, and is Vice-President of the People's National Bank of Colorado City.
He is one of the best known cattlemen in the State, and his superior judgment and thorough knowledge of the cattle industry has resulted in success for him where others have failed. He is loved by all his men and highly esteemed by all who have his acquaintance. He was married in July, 1880, to Miss Belle May, of Dallas. (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)
WILKS, SAMUEL C.
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)
MOOAR, JOHN W.
The life of the pioneer of the plains is often checkered with hardship and fraught with excitement, yet few have had a more interesting and varied experience than John W. Mooar, a native of Vermont, born at Pownal, in 1846, and now a resident of Colorado City, Texas.
His father, John A. Mooar, was born of Scotch parents in 1815, at Pownal, Vermont. He married Miss Esther Wright, of the same place, born in 1818, of English ancestry, and both are still living on the old home place. They had four children: Fannie L., wife of John W. Combs, residing in Northampton, Massachusetts; John W.; J. Wright, who resides on the ranch in Scurry County, and Inez, who died in her fourteenth year, the only death in the family in fifty years. John A. Mooar was, in the prime of life, a merchant, and speculated in the wild lands of Michigan and Illinois, owning at one time large tracts and several smaller farms. He was stricken with apoplexy in his fortieth year, which left one side paralyzed.
John W. Mooar married Miss Maggie McCollum, of Newburgh, New York, in 1885, and they have two children: John Combs, aged eight, and Lydia Louisa, aged seven years. In his fourteenth year John W. Mooar began life in New York City as errand boy for Randall H. Green & Son, 98 Wall Street, on a salary of $2.50 a week, working odd hours for another firm for his board and lodging. A little later he took a position with E. K. Scranton & Co., Brooklyn, remaining with them nine years, and accepted a position in 1868 with J. J. and J. M. Richards, 182 Broadway. During this time, his brother, J. Wright, had located at Fort Hayes, Kansas, then a military outpost. At that time limitless herds of buffalo were constantly crossing the country and he conceived the idea of turning them to good account, and has the distinction of killing the first buffalo ever slaughtered for their hides. He shipped fifty-seven green hides to J. W., at 182 Broadway, New York, which were the first ever seen in market and created a great deal of curiosity.
After considerable trouble John W. succeeded in selling them to two Pennsylvania tanners, who bought them as an experiment, paying $3.50 apiece. The tanners soon found the hides to be as staple as greenbacks, and thus began the great buffalo hide and meat industry. John W. at once resigned his position and joined his brother at Fort Dodge. They hired two men and with two pairs of horses and wagons they began the business and were soon followed by others until buffalo hunting almost surpassed cattle raising. They commenced in Kansas in 1870, and were the first buffalo hunters to cross the plains to Texas from the former State. The train consisted of five outfits, averaging six men each, and started in 1873. They crossed the Arkansas River, coming down with the buffalo through the western part of the Indian Territory. The brothers followed this business ten years or until the bison became extinct, their last camp being on Round Lake, twenty miles west of Double Lakes, on the summit of the tableland known as the Staked Plains, in what is now Lynn County. They shipped from Denison and Dallas, making two trips a year, a distance of 475 miles. Wright had charge of the camps and hunters, while John managed the wagon trains and with twelve wagons hauled about 60,000 pounds each trip, making a total of 5,000 hides and 50,000 pounds of meat each year.
No cattle were found at that time west of California Creek, in Shackelford County. Buffalo, wild horses, deer, antelope and Indians were the only inhabitants. The latter they found hostile in Texas, but the same bands and tribes, when met on the Cimmarron River, in Kansas, were very friendly.
In 1876 Wright Mooar killed the only full white buffalo ever seen. He found it on Deep Creek, in Scurry County, and the hide is now on exhibition in a fur house in New York City and is the only one in the world.
In 1874 John Goff brought the first cattle upon the buffalo ranges, locating them around his camp, in what is now Haskell County. In 1876 Mooar Bros. bought the Goff cattle, 500 head, which they located at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek, in what is now Fisher County. Here they were held until 1885, when they moved into Scurry County, where they still have their ranch.
In 1876 J. D. Reed brought the next herd into this region, consisting of 15,000 head, and located them near the Flat Mountains, in Jones County. Then came Merrell Bros. & Pumphreys, of Austin, after which they came from all directions to locate upon the rich buffalo ranges.
On Mooar Bros, ranch, in Scurry County, which is managed by Wright, are 1,500 head of stock cattle, 30 saddle horses, and 100 stock horses. They also run a splendidly equipped livery stable at Colorado City which is managed by John.
It is partially due to Mooar Bros, that the famous buffalo range was opened to cattlemen. Prior to the time they began slaughtering buffalo for their hides they overran the State, stampeding cattle and causing great loss, notwithstanding the unceasing watchfulness of the line riders. Both men are now well-to-do citizens, known all over the cattle country and familiar with every foot of the range. They are highly esteemed, popular, upright, pushing business men. (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)
JOHNSTON, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Born to the trail and range, Mr. Johnston has known no other life, and by sticking to it he has made his fortune. He resides at Midland; born in Navarro County in 1856.
His father, Gideon C. Johnston, of Scotch-Irish descent, was born in North Carolina, and married Miss Ellen Estes, of English ancestry, born in Newton County, Missouri. He came to Texas from North Carolina, where he continued the vocation of stock farmer in Navarro County, and later moved to McLennan County, where he died in 1870. In 1873 his widow married R. Crane, of McLennan County, and now resides in Kendall County.
C. C. Johnston was the eldest of a family of seven children. He married Miss Nannie Anderson, daughter of B. J. Anderson, a cattleman of Mitchell County, in 1881, and seven children have been born to them: Gideon, Joseph E., Beulah, Wade, Hazzard, Francis and Roger Mills, ranging in age from sixteen months to twelve years. He worked on the farm for his mother, going to school at intervals until his seventeenth year, when he came to Brown County, going to work for John Brown as herder at $25 a month, furnishing his own pony and saddle. He remained with Mr. Brown two years, then bought a wagon and team, and freighted from Austin to Brownwood for two years. He traded his horses and wagon for a pre-emption claim in Brown County, and traded the claim for ten cows and calves, and moved them to Mitchell County. Here he worked for wages at $20 a month until 1880. Then, with his little bunch of cattle, which had increased to 110, he, with B. J. Anderson, established a ranch in the same county with about 300 head of cattle. In 1884 he moved to his present location, in Gaines County, with 250 stock cattle from which his present ranch has grown. There are 40,000 acres in his ranch, on which he pastures 2,000 head of graded stock cattle and twenty-five head of saddle horses. His brand is C C J. He also has a pasture of 9,000 acres near Midland, where he fattens beeves.
In 1879, while searching for cows in Mitchell County, with Bud Smith, they came upon a fresh horse trail and following it up soon sighted two Indians driving fourteen cow ponies. They gave chase for ten miles, firing at the redskins with such effect that they abandoned the ponies to save their lives. The ponies were gathered up and returned to the owners. While camping in Runnels County in 1873, a bunch of Indians charged the camp, firing and yelling and waving red blankets, and stampeded the ponies and cattle, running off fifty-nine head of saddle ponies. The men took the trail as soon as daylight came next morning, but neither overtook the redskins nor recovered the ponies.
He does not speculate in stock, but prefers the safer and more conservative method of raising cattle and buying and feeding for market. (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)