Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Edited and Brought to Date by



With the Assistance of



To which are added Historical, Statistical and Descriptive Matter pertaining
to the important Local Divisions of the State, and biographical ac-
counts of the Leaders and Representative Men of the State
in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities.







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Charles H. Moose. The great American lumber in-
dustry, in all its ramifications, owes more to the New
England states for its active personnel than to any
other section o€ the country. It was in the old pine
tree state of Maine that Charles H. Moore of Galveston
had his origin. Among lumber manufacturers of the
south, few have been longer or more prominently con-
nected with the industry than Charles H. Moore. He
was one of the first to establish a factory for lumber
products in south Texas, after the war. Forty years of
his career were devoted to the varied enterprises of
lumbering and manufacture, and he is still connected
officially with four large industrial companies. Charles
H. Moore was born at Freeport, Cumberland county,
Maine, August 10, 1842, a son of Ira and Martha (Doe)
Moore. His father was also born in Maine, as was
likewise the mother, and was a farmer and school
teacher. His death occurred in 1865, while the mother
passed away in 1869.

It was in the country and village schools of York
county, Maine, that Charles H. Moore received his first
training for life. For a short time he followed In the
footsteps of his father and taught school, but his am-
bition was for a more active career in the industrial
and commercial life which absorbed the energies of
Americans during the latter half of the nineteenth cen-
tury. From the extreme northeast he went clear across
the eontment, and in 1862 located in California, where
he became an employe of his uncles, B. and J. S. Doe,
manufacturers of sash, doors and blinds. This was his
real introduction to lumber manufacturing. When ready
to engage in business for himself, he chose as a location
the southern belt of the great American forest areas,
and thus located at Galveston in March, 1867. There,
under the name of C. H. Moore & Company, he estab-
lished a factory for the making of interior woodwork,
and, as already stated, was one of the first manufac-
turers of lumber materials to go into business at Gal-
veston after the resumption of normal conditions fol-
lowing the war. The first factory was a small one, but
its proprietor possessed the ability and enterprise suf-
ficient to develop the undertaking on a large scale, and
for a number of years his firm was an important factor
in local manufacturing circles. Now for more than forty
years Mr. Moore has retained a large share in the lumber
industry of the south, and credit is due to him for a
share in the pioneer development of lumbering, especially
in Texas and Louisiana.

The firm of C. H. Moore & Company continued actively
until 1876. Mr. Moore then engaged in the general
lumber business in the firm of W. F. JStewart & Com-
pany, and, selling out his interests with that firm in
1880, he joined A. J. Perkins of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
A. J. Perkins & Company continued until the death of
Mr. Perkins in 1893. The firm then became Moore &
Goodman, and that name is still prominent among lumber
circles of Texas. Mr. Moore retired from active par-
ticipation in the firm in 1907, and his sons, Kilburn and
Bartlett D., have since taken his place, in association
with Mr. Goodman.

The activity of Mr. Moore in business affairs is indi-

cated further by his connection with the following con-
cerns: Vice president of the Lock-Moore Company,
president of the Edgewood Land & Logging Company,
vice president of the Texas Bank & Trust Company, vice
president of the Texas Gulf Steamship Company, vice
president of the American Indemnity Company, director
of the First National Bank of Galveston, director of the
Doe Estates Company of San Francisco, and a member
of the firm of Guyton & Moore, fuel oil dealers. In
politics Mr. Moore is a Democrat, and is affiliated with
the Lumbermen 's organization, the Hoo Hoos, and the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks at Galveston.

In 1871, he married Miss Ida Kilburn, daughter of
Wells Kilburn of Napa, California. Their two children
are Kilburn and Bartlett D. Moore. The Moore home in
Galveston is at 2722 Avenue H.

John McBlvy. A Confederate veteran, whose home
is now in Rosenberg. Mr. McElvy returned from a long
and arduous service in the war to take up the active life
of farmer, a vocation which he followed with much
success for more than thirty years, and is now enjoying
the fruits of his well spent life, during which he has
obtained a fair share of the world's goods and provided
well for his family.

John McElvy was born in the state of Arkansas July
27, 1847. His parents were George E. and Martha
(Webb) McElvy, the former a native of Georgia and
the latter of Tennessee, their marriage occurring in
Arkansas. The ancestry is Scotch-Irish and on the
father's side were a number of doctors and lawyers
of prominence in their profession and in politics. The
father himself was a lawyer, also a skillful surveyor
and an active planter and stock raiser. He belonged
to one of the first families in Georgia. Grandfather
John McElvy was a Baptist minister. A man of superior
education and culture, George R. McElvy died in Texas
in 1860. His brother, E. L. McElvy, was a member of
the Florida legislature. The maternal grandfather
Webb was one of the pioneer planters of Texas and
owned a number of slaves before the war. Mr. John
McElvy was one of four children. His sister Fannie
lived in Dallas and the other two children, Lawson and
Harmon, are both deceased.

As a boy John McElvy spent his years on a farm
and had limited educational advantages, chiefly owing
to the fact that his father died when he was about
fifteen or sixteen years old. The family moved to Texas
in 184-5, settling on the Angelina River, near the old
.John Durst Bridge on the San Antonio Road, the noted
thoroughfare over which all the early commerce between
Mexico and the United States passed. The father
entered land in that vicinity of east Texas and lived
there until his death. In 1861, on the outbreak of the
war, John McElvy was seventeen years old and enlisted
in Rigsby's Company, Ford's Infantry Regiment, re-
cruited locally to capture the Federal fort at Browns-
ville. After the evacuation of that post Mr. McElvy
returned home and then on February 8, 1862, enlisted in
Company F of the Eighth Texas Infantry, a regiment
commanded by Colonel Overton Young. Their first



destiDation was at Little Eock, Arkansas, but after a
short time they began active participation in that long
and desultory warfare which characterized the fighting
west of the Mississippi Eiver. There were almost con-
stant expeditions and counter expeditions, skirmishes and
battles all over Arkansas and Louisiana, and that con-
dition of affairs continued until near the end of the
war. Mr. McElvy was a member of what was known
as the Walker Greyhounds, in Walker 's Division. Among
the more prominent battles in which he took part were
the bloody engagement of Mansfield, that of Pleasant
Hill and Jenkins Ferry. His company was finally dis-
banded at Hempstead, in Waller county, and he had
gone through from the beginning to the end without
wound or capture, although exposure brought on a long
spell of pneumonia.

After the war Mr. McBlvy was a substantial farmer
■for thirty years in Milam county. Then on November
25, 1894, he moved to Fort Bend" county, and since then
has lived more or less retired in Rosenberg. He owns
a fine farm in the county, has property in Eosenberg
and investments in other enterprises.

In 1862 Mr. McElvy was married to Miss Eliza
Henderson, a native of Texas, whose death occurred a
few months after their marriage. Later he married
Ann Sehafer, whose maiden name was Ann Vernon, and
who was born in Manchester, England, and came to
Texas in 1845. Of the six children born to their union
Fannie, Laura, William and Harry are now deceased.
Thomas J. McElvy lives in Wallis, Texas, and Richard
H. in Wharton, Texas. Mr. McElvy is an intelligent and
well informed man and has been interested in educa-
tional progress, having served for a number of years
as school trustee of Milam county. He is a loyal old
Confederate and a member of Clem Bassett Camp of
the Confederate veterans at Richmond. Mrs. McElvy is
a member of the Christian church.

Taylor Ray. Leaving home at the age of thirteen,
beginning his career in the far west as a grocery clerk,
finally at the age of seventeen arriving in Texas, Taylor
Eay has been a resident of this state nearly thirty years
altogether and is one of the oldest men in the express
service. At Rosenberg, where he has been a citizen for
nearly twenty years, he is one of the most popular and
prominent menand had the distinction of being selected
as first mayor under the commission form of govern-
ment in that little south Texas city.

Tavlor Ray was born in Wabash, Indiana, December
S, 1863, the' son of Jefferson and Faraba (Cox) Eay,
both of Indiana. The family is of Irish descent and
Grandfather Ray was born on the Isle of Erin and
located at Indiana among the pioneers. Jefferson Eay,
the father, was also a man who was identified with early
enterprise in the Wabash Valley and owned one of the
first sawmills in his part of Indiana. After operating
that mill for some years he became employed in the
general carjienter and contracting business, which he
followed both in Indiana and later in Missouri, to which
state he took his family in 1870. He was a man of
exceptional thrift and industry and lived a very useful
and unselfish life. For many years he served on the
school board in Indiana and was always interested in
education. Although born in the north, his sympathies
were with the South, and when the war broke out between
the states he enlisted as a Confederate soldier and fought
for the southern cause, seeing constant service from the
beginning to the end of that struggle, with the excep-
tion of furlough time. His death occurred in Carthage,
Hissouri, and his wife is also now deceased. There were
fourteen children in the f.-imily and the only two now
(lead are Annie and Bertha. Among those living the
following are mentioned: Joseph, of Chicago; Warren,
of Wichita, Kansas; Barton, of Olathe, Kansas; Alton,
of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Charles and Orson, of
Seattle, Washington; Eliza and Maude, of Webb City,

Missouri; Lena, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Grace, of
Oronogo, Missouri.

As a boy Taylor Eay attended common schools in
Carthage, Missouri, and later while at regular work and
in order to make up for the deficiencies in his early
training he was a student in night school in Kansas
City and in Sherman, Texas. When he left home at the
age of thirteen he made his first pause in his wanderings
in the state of Colorado, where he was employed for a
time as clerk in a grocery store at LeadviUe. After that
lie was messenger boy in Denver for a while and during
the following four years wandered about from one place
to another, visiting many western states and getting
such work as he could find. When seventeen he landed
in Sherman, Texas, where he was given a job in a
grocery store and later promoted to shipping clerk. With
the firm of Cullers & Henry he remained for two years.
After that he began work for the old 'Texas Express
Company, an organization long since defunct. He con-
tinued as driver for that concern for one .year. That
was the beginning of his long service in the express
business. After leaving the Texas cotnpany he worked
for the Pacific and the Wells, Fargo & Company Ex-
press, much of the time as clerk on trains and his labor
took him from San Antonio on the south as far north
as Chicago and west to Denver and southeast to New
Orleans, and he was in many other points all over this
vast territory. He also travelled over nearly all the
railroad lines in the South, including the Southern
Pacific, the Iron Mountain, the Missouri, Kansas &
Texas and the International and Great Northern. In
September, 1894, he was assigned to a permanent posi-
tion at Eosenberg as agent for the Wells-Fargo Com-
pany, a place in which his fidelity to the company 's in-
terest has kept him ever since. Aside from being a
successful man of business Mr. Ray is doubly rich in
the hosts of loyal friends who give him their esteem.
He is a man big in body and character, genial and
kindly, and is always ready to do his part. From 1901
to 1910 he served on the board of aldermen of Eosen-
berg and from 1900 to 1910 was secretary-treasurer of
the school board, being president of the board during
the last two years. He served as city secretary and
clerk and as already stated was the first mayor of Rosen-
berg under the commission charter.

On March 25, 1891, he married Miss Mattie Newton
of Des Moines, Iowa, daughter of Henry Newton. Of
the six children born to their marriage two are deceasea,
George and Arthur, and the others are: Edith, Nita,
Walter and Robert, aU of whom are at home and in
school. Mrs. Ray is a woman of superior culture and
refinement and takes a prominent part in all social
uiatters. She is an earnest worker in the Baptist church,
in which her husband is also active, having lioen a
deacon for the past ten years. Mrs. Ray organized the
first Philathia Class in the city and has been president
of the Ladies' Aid Society for twelve years and also
n teacher in the Sunday school. She has membership
in several social clubs, is worthy matron of the local
chapter of the Eastern Star and one of the women of
Rosenberg who are depended upon to take the lead
in many matters for improving social and civic condi-
tions. Mr. Ray is fraternally identified with Rosenberg
Lodge, No. 881, A. F. & A. M., of which he is past
master, and is also past m.ister of the Masonic Lodge
at Richmond. He has for a number of terms served
as clerk and treasurer of his camp of the Woodmen of
the World. He and his family reside in one of the
attractive homes of Rosenberg and he owns considerable
other real estate.

H. A. Meyer. In the direction of home-seeking popu-
lation and disposition of capital for permanent invest-
ment, various agencies have played a large part and
broueht about a tremendous development of Texas' ma-
terial resources in recent years, but no one factor has been



more important than the real estate operator, whose
specialty has consisted in promoting the sale and coloni-
zation of the vast tract of land, hitherto either left
waste or imperfectly employed for grazing. The lower
Brazos and Colorado Valleys have been a notable field
for this work in recent years and one of the men who
may properly claim a good share of the credit for re-
sults obtained is Mr. H. A. Meyer, who is head of the
Meyer-Forster Land & Loan Company of Kosenberg.
Mr. Meyer is also prominent as the present mayor of
his home city.

Only a few men are privileged to achieve such suc-
cess as Mr. Meyer has attained to so early in life. Not
yet much beyond thirty-five he has gained a fortune and
true friends and is regarded as a prominent and reliable
citizen by all who know him and one of great value to
the community in which he lives. Coming of hardy Ger-
man parentage he has been honest and industrious and
these qualities have won for him the enviable position
he occupies.

H. A. Meyer was born in Austin county, Texas, August
27, 1875, and is a sou of Benjamin and Louise (Shultz)
Meyer. His father was born in Minden, Westphalia,
Germany, and came alone to Austin county, Texas, at
the age of fourteen years. The mother and her parents
wefe born in Austin County, Texas, but her grand-
parents were all natives of Germany. They were part
of Austin 's colony. Only one of the old line, John
Stern of Austin county, is now living. Landing in
Texas without money, IJenjamin Meyer, the father, at
once began working "for wages of forty-five dollars per
year and his board. In spite of this meager compensa-
tion his untiring industry and frugality finally produced
sufficient capital for him to buy a farm, to which he
added until he was one of the large and prosperous
land owners in Austin county. He was well known
as a raiser of fine blooded driving horses. In that
vicinity he lived and labored until four years ago, when
he moved into Eosenberg, where he and his good wife
live a life of ease and comfort. He is the owner of
considerable land over the county of Fort Bend and
his position is an exceedingly creditable one, especially
in view of his having come to this state a young foreigner
without money and having begun entirely on the labor
of his hands. Although he had but few educational
chances he has lived a very successful and useful life.
In the mother 's family her father and aU her uncles
were soldiers of the Confederate army. The present
mayor of Eosenberg is one of ten living children, being
the oldest in the line, and the others being mentioned
as follows: L. H., who is postmaster of Eosenberg;
O. C, auditor of the Bond Lumber Company at Eagle
Pass; Mrs. F. A. Shawe and Mrs. Clara Kiekee, both
of Eosenberg ; Mrs. Laura Nippling of Granada, and
Mrs. Henrietta Havla of Cost, Texas; Norma, Selma
and Louise at home in Eosenberg and Emma and Benja-
min, both deceased.

H. A. Meyer as a boy attended the country schools
in Austin county, after which he took a literary course
in the Lutheran College at Benham, and finally com-
pleted his preparation for his business career in Toby's
Business College of Waco. He continued at home work-
ing on the farm until he was twenty-three years of age
and then moved to Fort Bend county, where he was en-
gaged in farming for one year. In the fall of 1897
he bought a farm of his own and has since been one of
the big land owners of the county and also possesses
much valuable city property. In 1899, with a partner
named Brown, he opened a general store in Rosenberg.
A year later he sold out his interests and was appointed
postmaster, a position in which he did capable service
for seven years. In the meantime he had been engaged
in the insurance and real estate business and in 1904
became associated with Mr. A. E. Pleak, a relationship
which was maintained until 1910. In that year Mr.
Pleak sold out to Mr. Forster, thus making the present

firm of Meyer-Forster Land & Loan Company. This
company specializes on land for colonization and has
peopled a number of large tracts with industrious and
thrifty homeseekers. The company also loan a large
amount of money on real estate. They have been one
of the most successful firms in this line in south Texas.
Up to March 24, 1913, their books indicate transactions
covering Fort Bend and adjoining counties to an aggre-
gate volume of fifteen million dollars' worth of land. In
February, 1912, the partners organized the Meyer-Forster
Realty Company of Ganado, Jackson county. This firm
has also prospered. Mr. Meyer has made a thorough
study of Texas soil and products and his judgment has
come to be accepted as thoroughly reliable and has been
a big factor in promoting the success of his business
organization. His company was the agent for the dis-
posal of the lands of the Houston & Texas Central Rail-
road and has represented several other large interests
in the state.

In September, 1S9S, Mr. Meyer married Miss Emma
Windell of Texas, a daughter of Captain C. W. F.
Windell of Caldwell, Texas, and a veteran of the Con-
federate war. The one child born to Mr. and Mrs.
Meyer died in infancy. While Mr. Meyer has never
aspired to office he has been selected out of the body of
Eosenberg citizens to the office of mayor and is giving
a very efficient administration. Fraternally he is
affiliated with the local lodge of Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, is a Eoyal Arch Mason, also a member
of the Eastern Star and belongs to the Woodmen of the
W^orld. Mrs. Meyer has membership in the Order of
Eastern Star and is a member of the Methodist church
of Rosenberg.

Judge H. T. Compton. A veteran of the war between
the states, in which he saw a long and arduous service
until his wounds compelled him to retire from the front,
Judge Compton has been a resident of Texas for sixty
years and since the war has been closely identified with
public affairs in Wharton county.

He was born in Montgomery county, Tennessee, De-
cember 23, 1841, one of a family of five children born
to W. T. S. and Sarah (Newell) Compton. His father
was from Maryland and his mother from Alabama.
The father was a merchant and a slave holder before
the war and settled in Texas in 1853, coming from Ten-
nessee and stopping awhile in Louisiana. In 1849 he
had joined the California forty-niners and had at first
a successful experience as a gold seeker, but later lost
all he gained while on the gold coast. He returned to
Tennessee, after about four years in California, and
soon afterward moved to South Texas, locating in
Matagorda county. There he was engaged in farming
and in other pursuits and his death occurred in Colum-
bus, Texas, at the age of sixty-five. The Newell family
on the maternal side were ironworkers in Tennessee and
also planters in that state. Judge Compton 's mother
died in 1858 soon after the family came to Matagorda
county. The father was a man of more than ordinary
educational equipment and both he and his wife were
devout members of the Episcopal church. Of their
children only one besides the judge is now living, J. P.
Compton of La Porte, Texas. Those deceased are
E.lward, Nannie and Albert. Judge Compton has two
half-sisters living in Wharton county — Mrs. A. E.
Hudgins and Jlrs. S. G. Perviance; also a half-sister,
Mrs. H. B. Otto of La Porte.

As n boy Judge Compton attended private schools in
Texas and was not yet twenty years old when the war
broke out and threw its shadow across every peaceful
pursuit. In April, 1861, in the first weeks of the war
he enlisted at Richmond, Texas, in Tom Mitchell's
Company F of the Twenty-Fourth Texas Cavalry. This
regiment was afterward dismounted in Arkansas and
thereafter served as an infantry regiment. At Arkansas .
Post he was captured and sent a prisoner to Camp



Butler, Illinois. After three mouths he was exchanged
and then joined Johnston's army in Tennessee. He
left the Federal prison ill and therefore did not join
his command until the eve of the battle of Chattanooga.
Afterward he participated in the battles of Chickamauga,
Missionary Eidge, Ringgold, New Hope Church, Peach
Tree Creek and the many other fights leading up to
Atlanta. At Peach Tree Creek he was severely wounded
by a bullet which shattered his left arm and passed
through his left hip. Gangrene set in and for days his
life was despaired of. This severe wound totally in-
capacitated him for further military service.

At the close of the war Judge Compton located in
"Wharton county, where he took charge of his uncle's,
John D. Newell 's, plantation. After two years in that
work he was elected tax assessor of Wharton county
and filled that office with fidelity and efficiency for ten
years. Following that office he was chosen magistrate of
precinct No. 1 and has presided over this precinct court
to the present time.

In 1887 Judge Compton was married to Miss Emma
Hooker of Texas and a daughter of George Hooker, one
of the old settlers of this state. Mrs. Compton is living
and also her five children, namely: Pearle, Margie,
Carrie, Harry and Newell. All have homes in Wharton
and were educated in the local schools. Mr. and Mrs.
Compton are active members of the Methodist church
south. The judge is a charter member of Buchel Camp,
No. 228, U. C. v., at Wharton and is now adjutant of

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 1 of 177)