Texas Genealogy Trails

BIOGRAPHIES

 

CRAVENS, N. A.
Private Secretary To the Governor
Was born at Franklin, La., September, 1854, the son of Rev. N. A. and Mrs. Elizabeth C. (Goodwin) Cravens, both now deceased. His father was a minister of the M. E. Church, South and is well remembered as a man of zeal, piety, and learning in the States of Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana, where, during a long lifetime, he labored effectively in the cause of Christ.
     Judge Cravens completed his literary education at Homer College, Louisiana; came to Texas in 1874; was admitted to the bar in 1876; was chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Executive Committee for nearly twenty years prior to 1899; was chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of the first Congressional District from 1884 to 1886; served with distinction as a member of the House of Representatives of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Legislatures; was elected county judge of Montgomery County in 1866 and re-elected in 1888 and 1890; and in 1899 was tendered, and accepted, the position of private secretary to Governor Sayers.
     Judge Cravens married Miss Mary E. Mather at Houston, Texas, September 25, 1878, and has eight children, six daughters and two sons. He and his wife are active members of the M. E. Church, South, in which he has served at various times as Sunday school superintendent, steward, and trustee.
     He resides at Willis, where he ranks as an able and successful lawyer, is esteemed as a public-spirited citizen, and is beloved as a kind neighbor and friend. He is an exceptionally good forensic and popular speaker (both as regards delivery and the substance of what he says) and the audience must be unresponsive indeed that does not warm to enthusiasm as he expounds a theme.
It has been said that there has never been a really good man who did not have a good mother. It may be said with equal truth that there has never been a really good Governor who did not have a good private secretary. An incompetent man in the position would be such a hampering impediment to success that the most capable statesman would find it difficult to make a creditable record; a competent one, however, would render the task easy. The genial private secretary of Governor Sayers is generally conceded to be of the most efficient who has ever filled the position. [source: Year Book for Texas; Caldwell Walton Raines; Gammel Book Co. (1902) - tr. by Judy Ziesmer]

DAFFAN, LAWRENCE A.
Lawrence A. Daffan, of Ennis, was born in Conecuh county, Alabama, April 30, 1845. He came with his parents to Texas in 1859, locating in Montgomery county. Upon the outbreak of the war in 1861 he enlisted in the 4th Texas regiment that became a part of Hood's brigade, and went to Virginia. He participated with the brigade in the following battles: Seven Pines, Thorouhfare Ga., Suffolk, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. After the war Mr. Daffan entered the service of the Houston and Texas Central R. R., and in 1888 became division superintendent of same, and in 1904 he was promoted superintendent of transportation for the entire system. January 23, 1872 he was married at Brenham to Miss Mollie Day. Their six children are all living and prominent in the life of Texas. Their daughter, Miss Kate Daffan, has been president of the Daughters of the Confederacy of the entire state. Mr. Daffan died January 28, 1907, at his home in Ennis. [Source: Texans Who Wore the Gray, Volume I; by Sid S. Johnson; transcribed by FoFG mz]

KONE, ED R.
ED R. KONE, farmer and lawyer, Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, son of Samuel R. and Mrs. Rebecca Sylvira (Pitts) Kone, was born on his father's farm in Montgomery County, Texas, March 15, 1848, and was reared on the farm in Hays County, where his parents located when he was an infant, and has since resided in that county. He was educated in schools at San Marcos and Bastrop, attending the Military Institute located at the latter place. His father, uncles and relatives (some of whom gave their lives for the cause) fought in the Confederate army through the war between the States. When fifteen years of age he reported to a Confederate camp of instruction for enlistment for service in the field and was drilled for a time; but much to his disappointment was, with other boys, sent home, and older but not more ardent volunteers sent to the front.
He was admitted to the bar at San Marcos in March, 1870.
     When the news was flashed at San Marcos in 1874 that Governor E. J. Davis proposed to override by fraud and force the will of the people and prevent the inauguration of Coke and Hubbard, he drove to Austin in three hours (killing a fine horse) and enrolled himself in, marched to the Capitol with, and did his full part as a member of the body of armed citizens that ousted Davis, secured the installation of Coke and Hubbard, brought to an end the alien and corrupt radical regime that had cursed the State, and restored in Texas rule of the people, and, with it honest, accountability and efficiency in office.
As a lifelong Democrat he has been an active worker for good government and for party success in every contest, local, State and National, believing that the practical application of its principles would bring the highest prosperity, advancement and happiness to all. As such, he has been a delegate to county, district, State and National conventions from early manhood. He has twice been a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee.
     He practiced law at San Marcos in co-partnership with W. O. Hutchison three years; with H. B. Coffield two years, and with L. H. Browne two years. Later, between two periods of service as County Judge, he practiced alone for four years. As a lawyer he was counsel in a number of the most important cases tried in Texas, and some in Kansas. He was elected County Judge of Hays County, Texas, in 1878; served as such for twelve years thereafter, then voluntarily retired from the office for a period of four years; was again elected County Judge in November, 1894, and filled that office by successive re-elections for fourteen years-until appointed and later elected by the people Commissioner of the newly-created Texas Department of Agriculture. The department was created by statute in 1907, and Colonel R. T. Milner was appointed Commissioner to serve until the next general election, viz., in 1908. He was formally nominated for the position by the State Democratic Convention in the summer of 1908. Subsequent to that action, he was tendered and accepted the position of President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The State Democratic Executive Committee nominated Kone for the position, to fill the vacancy, and placed his name on the ticket. Whereupon, Governor T. M. Campbell appointed him Commissioner, pending the election, and he qualified as such September 12, 1908. In November following, he was elected at the polls. He was nominated and re-elected in 1910 and 1912.
He is a member of the M. E. Church, South.
     He became a Mason when twenty-one years of age, and during the next six months went through the Blue Lodge and became a Royal Arch Mason, going through all the chairs. He is a member of the Blue Lodge, Council and Chapter, A. F. & A. M. Has represented his lodges in the Grand Lodge of the State.  He has been a member of the Knights of Honor for the past thirty-seven years, and member of the Grand Lodge of that order for the past thirty-seven years, and is one of the present representatives to the Supreme Lodge. He is also ex-Grand Dictator.  He has been a member of the Knights of Pythias for the past twenty-one years, and has filled all the chairs in his lodge, and frequently represented it in the Grand Lodge.  He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for thirty-one years. He has filled all of the chairs in his lodge, and frequently represented it in the Grand Lodge.  He is a Red Man.  He has been an Elk for seven years.
     He is a member of the Texas Farmers' Congress, Texas Industrial Congress, Farmers' National Congressional Association of Southern Agricultural Workers, President of the Texas Conservation Congress, Texas State Farmers' Institute, and Southern States Association of Markets, and ex-President of the Texas Volunteer Firemen's Association.
     He married in 1872 Miss Lula H. Martin, of Hays County. They have four daughters, all married.
     When Commissioner Kone took charge of the Texas Department of Agriculture, it was tottering in its infancy, and it seemed doubtful if it could make good. It was said by some that difficulties in the way of its success were insuperable, and it was freely predicted that unless it met expectations it would be abolished by the Legislature (at its next session) declining to make an appropriation for its support. Instead of being depressed by these circumstances, Commissioner Kone was inspired to the vigorous, courageous and determined exertion of all the intellect and energy that could be brought to bear on the difficult problem that confronted him, solved it and has built up a Texas State Department of Agriculture that is in a flourishing condition and daily increasing in power and effectiveness; that has saved millions of dollars to the people, published and distributed a great quantity of literature of practical value to farmers, and been otherwise serviceable at home, and that has won a reputation throughout the United States as one of the best in the country.
     The Legislature, representing the taxpayers, has not been insensible of these facts. The first appropriations made for the Department were in 1907 by the Thirtieth Legislature, as follows: $17,038 for the year ending August 31, 1908, and $16,858 for the year ending August 31, 1909.
     The Thirty-first Legislature assembled in January, 1909. It was the first that met after Kone became Commissioner. He had not had time to more than get under partial headway the policies and results that have since borne such excellent and abundant fruit. However, that which had been done was such an earnest of what would follow that the Legislature appropriated for the department $30,178 for the year ending August 31, 1910, and $25,178 for the year ending August 31, 1911. The Thirty-second Legislature gave larger appropriations.
     The Thirty-third Legislature was still more appreciative and liberal; but, exigencies of the State's financial condition caused the Governor to veto items that crippled the work of the Department during the year of 1913. It, however, made a grand showing during that year and in 1914 more than resumed its rapid onward course, when the pressure was removed.
An act of the Thirty-first Legislature, approved April 21, 1909, provided for the location and establishment of additional State Agricultural Experiment Stations by a board consisting of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner of Agriculture, who were allowed wide discretionary latitude. Commissioner Kone devoted painstaking care and labor to this task, to which fact was largely due the admirable selections made. The new stations are at Denton, Temple, Beaumont, Angleton, Spur, Lubbock and Pecos, making Texas have, with the three older ones at College Station, Troupe and Beeville, ten experiment stations in all.
Under the law, the board could have established only four stations if it saw fit; but it so wisely handled the funds entrusted to it that it gave the people twice the number, to the benefit of every part of the State.
     Believing that farmers' institutes are capable of being made one of the most potent factors for agricultural uplift that it is possible to devise, Commissioner Kone, from the time he became head of the Department, has endeavored to cover the State with them, and, although when he started there were not over two or three in Texas, and he had almost no funds to operate with, his efforts have been rewarded with a measure of success full of bright auguries for the future and that enabled him to perfect a statewide organization known as the Texas State Farmers' Institute, and that undoubtedly has ahead of it a career of expanding practical usefulness. Copies of all bulletins published by the Department are sent to the Institutes, as well as to other persons who ask for them.
     An important feature of the work of the Department has been the organization of baby beef clubs as auxiliaries of the farmers' institutes and which it is prosecuting with great vigor and success under his direction.
     The work of the entomological and nursery and orchard inspection divisions, as conducted by him, have saved the agriculturists of the State millions of dollars.
     The cotton bureau has also rendered good service.
     Labors full of promise that he has conducted are those he has assiduously discharged in the interst of the better marketing of farm, orchard and garden crops, and that he is pushing toward completion and that will be of vital and far-reaching benefit to growers.
     He has attended National gatherings of agricultural commissioners and workers and studied every printed work and inquired into every fact that could broaden his knowledge and more thoroughly equip him to serve the people of Texas as Commissioner of the Department.
     The Department has answered thousands of letters from all parts of the United States and the world asking about Texas, and has developed into a most efficient bureau of information. It has corrected a multitude of false impressions about Texas, made its advantages known, and contributed a telling share to the economic upbuilding of the State.
     It has received thousands of letters from farmers over the State asking for information or advice, and has invariably answered them fully and satisfactorily, to the great advantage of the inquirers, and, incidentally, of Texas agriculture. Under his direction, it has proven itself equal to its mission, and is pursuing it with bravery, faith and success.
     At this writing (in 1914) he is an aspirant for the Democratic nomination, and subsequent election for Congressman-at-large from Texas, and has issued an address to his "Fellow-Democrats of Texas," asking their support, in the course of which he says, among other things:
      "I have so built, from the ground up, and developed the Texas Department of Agriculture, so buttressed it in the confidence and affections of Texas' citizenship, and so mapped and initiated right lines for its future expansion and mounting upward that there is no special need that I should remain at the head of it and that under the direction of any other competent Commissioner, who will pursue a constructive and not a destructive policy, it may go forward from achievement to achievement and there be no excuse for its failure to accomplish all that it is possible for it to do; and I confidently expect that it will, that the right sort of man will be selected as my successor, and that the people will see to it that the axe shall not be successfully laid at its root to fell it to the ground, and that it will abide, flourish and be the powerful instrumentality, in their hands, for the development of Texas agriculture, that they intended it should be when they created it over artful and determined opposition and that I have made it, as far as could be done, during the six years it has been in my charge.
      "It is my desire that the present National administration shall be so successful that the party will stay in power for as long a period as it did before the war (and, God willing, longer) and that it will add as many and as glorious pages to the Republic's history and the history of righteous and successful government of the people, by the people and for the people, and, as Congressman, I would work, mind and heart and hand, with the other members of the Texas delegation and the other Democratic members of the Congress to that end.
     "I believe that I can be of greater service to the people as a member of Congress that I could be as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture, and than any other gentlemen who are candidates. That is the reason I am offering for Congressman instead of Commissioner. I trust that such is also your view, and that you will vote for me and give me the opportunity to serve as faithfully and efficiently in this new field, as I have done wherever else you have placed me and directed me to labor for the common wealth and the honor of the Democratic party."  (Source: The Book of Texas, A Newspaper Reference Work, published by the Austin Statesman (1914) transcribed by Susan Geist)

MARTIN, JAMES P.
Figuring prominently as one of the early settlers of Montgomery County, Texas, and occupying a foremost place among its successful farmers, James P. Martin is entitled to no small recognition in a biographical record of the representative men and women of his day and place. He descended through both paternal and maternal ancestry from German stock, and in his make-up are found many of the sterling traits of character which distinguish the German race: -- industry, integrity, good judgment, and a frank, open manner.  These elements combine in his personality are strongly marked and have contributed t his success, or, rather have won him success.
     On a farm in Autauga County, Alabama, Feb. 22, 1832, James P. Martin first saw the light of day, his parents being Lewis and Mary (Riser) Martin, both natives of South Carolina. Lewis Martin's father, Jacob Martin, came to America in the colonial days, was a participant in the war of the Revolution, and after that war ended settled in South Carolina, where he resided for some years, and hence he removed to Alabama. He was by trade a blacksmith, but the greater part of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits. His favorite pastime was hunting, in which he excelled, and for which he was noted far and near. James P. Martin's grandfather on his mother's side was Bijah Riser. He was a native Germany, and on coming to this country settled in South Carolina, where he became a prominent planter and slave owner. Lewis Martin was reared in Alabama, in which state he married and settled down to the life of a planter, being prosperous in his operations and becoming the owner of a number of slaves. In the year 1860 he removed to Texas and settled in Montgomery County, buying a farm and on his passing the closing years of his life, he died there in 1866. His advance age barred him from serving in the Civil War, but his family was well represented in the Confederate Army, his five sons donning the gray and marching to the front. Of his children we record that Mariah, widow of Thomas Moore, is a resident of Montgomery County, Mr. Moore having died while serving in the army; James P. the next in order of birth, is the subject of this article; Emeline and her husband, a Mr. Mets, are deceased; William Crockett; Francis M. died at Little Rock, Arkansas, during the war; and Zachariah T. residing in Montgomery County. Two of the five sons lost their lives in the army and the other three escaped with only slight wounds.
     James P. Martin passed his boyhood and youth on his father's plantation, remaining with his parents until reaching his majority, and when he started out in life on with his own responsibility it was in a Louisiana sawmill. From milling he turned to rafting logs down the Washita river, he was engaged in rafting for several years, until he came to Texas, in 1859, and since coming to this state has been identified with farming interest. His first location in Texas was in Montgomery County. There he bought a tract of wild land remote from civilization, the nearest settlement on one side of him being eight miles distant and in another direction there being a stretch of thirty miles of uninhabited country. He was twenty-eight miles from Houston. The work of opening up his land to cultivation and making a home occupied his close attention, and while he toiled on, he endured many privation and hardships, meeting and overcoming every obstacle, however, with that good grace and steady nearve that have characterized his whole life.
James P. lived in Montgomery County nine years, including his three years in the war; and at his point we would speak further of his war service. It was 1863 that Mr. Martin enlisted, as a member of Company K, Elmore's infantry, and his service extended from that time until the close of the war. This command operated on the coast of Texas and Louisiana, from the mouth of Brazos to New Orleans. Among the engagements in which he was also in a hotly contested battle with negroes. During his three years of army life he was never captured by the enemy and he was only slightly wounded. At the time of General Lee's surrender, J. P. Martin was with his command at Galveston; from there they went to Houston, where they disbanded, and he immediately returned home and resumed farming.
     James P. is a man of family. He first married in 1857 to Miss Louisa Metts, a beautiful redhead, and a native of Georgia, there marriage being consummated Louisiana. She was one of a large family of children, her father being Zachariah Metts, a native of Georgia who moved first to Louisiana and in 1859 came to Texas, settling in Montgomery County. Mr. Metts died in Montgomery County. He was a member of the Baptist Church and was a man who stood high in the estimation of all who knew him. Mrs. Louisa Martin died in 1864, leaving two small children. In March, 1866, James P. married Miss Indiana Cagel.
     Politically, Mr. Martin was in early life a Whig, in 1856 he became a Democrat and ever since that date has remained true to his party and its principles; and while he has taken a commendable interest in public affairs he has never been an aspirant for office of any kind. He is member of the Christian Church.  ["Erath County, Texas History" pub. 1896; Submitted by Bertha Teague McAleese; tr. by Dale Donlon]

MORRIS, A. W.
Montgomery
Thirty-eighth district, Montgomery, Waller and Trinity counties; Democrat; farmer and stock raiser; born in Newton County, Texas, January 10, 1846; served as a soldier in the Confederate army, first in Terry's Rangers and afterwards in Capt. R. S. Pool's detached company; has served as Sheriff of Montgomery County: is president of the Carson-Morris Company, doing a general mercantile business at Montgomery; married; committees: Finance, Insurance Statistics and History, Stock and Stock raising, and Penitentiaries.  (Source: Texas State Government: A Volume of Biographical Sketches and Passing Comment, E. H. Loughery, McLeod & Jackson, 1897 - Transcribed by sd )

VAUGHN, THOMAS SOLOMON
Thomas Solomon Vaughn, a pioneer settler of Texas, now living on his fine farm near Pottsville in Hamilton County, was born on the 28th of February,1836, in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, and is a son of John and Malinda Reed Vaughn, who brought their family to Texas in the fall of 1837, location first at Cedar Creek Washington County, but on account of the Indians they went to Montgomery County three years later. Their next move made them residents of Brazos county, whence they went to Robertson county, and later across the line to Rogers' Prairie in Leon County. The father died September 4, 1850, at the age of forty-five years. He was a native of Virginia, and Having lost his parents when a very small child he was reared by an uncle, The maternal grandfather of our subject, John Reed, was of Irish descent, and in his family were the following children: Hester, Nancy, Malinda, Lucy, Betsy, Mary who wedded Mr Miley, George, Amanda and Solomon.
     Shortly after the death of his father, Thomas S Vaughn started out in life for himself, first driving a team between Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and other points, and during that time made his home in Leon County. After a few months he became owner of a couple of teams and engaged in the freighting business. He next began dealing in cattle, having a heard of one hundred and fifty. His personal interests were interrupted, however, by the breaking out of the Civil War, and on the 22d of May, 1862, he entered the Confederate service as a member of Company B, Gould's Battalion, Walker's Division. He served in the cavalry for six months in Arkansas and Louisiana, taking part in all the engagements in which his command participated.
     The war over, Mr. Vaughn returned to Leon County and explored the central and western portions of the state looking for a location, and at length pre-empted land east of the Leon River, about four miles from Jonesboro. He afterward exchanged that land for other lands and added to it until he had four hundred and eighteen acres, eighty of which was under cultivation, some of the improvements haven been made upon the land before he purchased it. Later he enhanced this for a cotton gin at Pottsville and a farm of two hundred and forty acres on the Hoover Branch up Cowhouse, exchanging with E Manning. On the 22 th of November 1875, he bought of T. J. Rosser and wife his present place comprising tow hundred and forty acres, and the following November removed thereon. He also purchased seven hundred and ninety-two acres of land adjoining. He cotton gin was operated and another party and finally sold to J. C. C. Martin & Son, Mr Martin being his son-in-law. During the early day he experienced much trouble with the Indians, having at one time five head of horses taken by them. In 1873 he sold his stock of cattle, numbering at that time nine hundred head. From September 1874, to March 1895, he was in the sheep business, at times having as many as twenty-four to twenty-six hundred head. At present (summer of 1896) he has a little over town hundred head of horses and mules. He also owns and operates a cotton gin at Indian Gap.
     On the 20th of May, 1858, at Rogers' Prairie, Leon County, Mr Vaughn married Miss Eliza Clark, who was born in Arkansas, September 1, 1837, and is the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Pierce) Clark. Her father emigrated to Texas in 1842, location first in Hopkins county, but his last days were passed in Leon County, but his last days were passed in Leon County, where he died Aug, 1866, at the age of eighty years. He was a native of Tennessee, whence he removed to Nebraska, later to Arkansas and Missouri, and finally became a resident of the Lone Star State. In the war of 1812 he served under General Jackson, participating in the battle of New Orleans. At the early age of nineteen years he became a minister of Missionary Baptist Church, and was the first missionary sent to Missouri by the Board of American Baptist Missions. On arriving in Texas he spent some time in the Red River Association, and in 1852 became a member of the Trinity River Association.
     The family of Mr. & Mrs Vaughn Comprise the following Children: Theodocia, born July 25, 1859, died at the age of three months; Owen, born July 28, 1860, died December 14, 1888; Thomas Lewis, born December 13, 1862, Married Katie Walton, by whom he has 3 children, --Austin, Viola and William,--and with his family now resided in Coke County, Texas, where he is engaged in farming and ginning cotton; Julia Ann, born June 29, 1865, married J. C. C. Martin, now of Comanche, Texas, by whom she had five children--Solomon Taylor, Lorena, Grover Cleveland, Georgia Bell and Orelia; Malinda Aryella, born September 7, 1868, died September 4, 1873; Mary Emeline, born July 2, 1873, is the wife of G. P. Pierce, and they have four children,--Louella, Esther Ethel, Nora Vida and Thomas Marcus; Francis Marin and James Monroe, twins, born October 7, 1875, are engaged in farming in Cooke County, Texas; and Martha Lulu, born September 14, 1879, is at home.
     Mr Vaughn is a type of the old stockman of his section of the state, which is now becoming extinct, and has taken a prominent part in the affairs of the locality. He cast his first vote in support of the Know Nothing Party, but is now an ardent Democrat. He joined the Masonic order at Jonesboro in 1872, and how holds his membership in Rock House Lodge, No 417, F. & A. M., of Hamilton; joined Sycamore Grange, when organized, of the he became the treasurer, and also belongs to the Farmers' Alliance. He is a conscientious Christian gentleman, of the strictest integrity, and for twenty-seven years has been an active member of the Baptist Church.  [History of Texas, Central Texas Vol I, Pub 1896 -- Transcribed by: Gene P]

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