Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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seventeen, and dnring that time attended the public
schools and was also a student in Webb 's Institute, in
that state. After coming to Texas, he followed the lines
of work already indicated, and in 1885 was granted a
certificate to practice medicine, and began his practice
at Whitt, in Parker county. He also entered the Uni-
versity of Tennessee, in the medical department, and
was graduated M. D. in 1892. He then continued his
practice at Whitt, where he was a physician for fifteen
years. In 1900 he moved to Bridgeport, Texas, where
he continued in practice until 1906, and in that year
established himself at Chillicothe. The doctor is now
serving as city health officer and is a member of the
County and State Medical Society, the American Medical
Association. In polities he is a Democrat. He has
served as master of his Masonic Lodge three times, and
is also a member of the Eoyal Arch Chapter. His other
fraternal affiliations include the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows and the Woodmen of the World, and he
and his family worship in the Methodist Church.

At Whitt, in Parker county, on March 14, 1SS5. Dr.
Johnson married Miss Margaret J. Buster, a daughter
of John and Katherine Buster, both now deceased. The
Buster family came from Arkansas to Texas in 1878.
No children have been born to the marriage of the
Doctor and wife. In 1903, Dr. Johnson attended the
post-graduate medical school of Chicago and he is a
physician who seizes every opportunity to advance his
attainments and render his services more useful to his

Fraxk M. Smith. The story of the success that has
rewarded the efforts of Frank M. Smith, of Brown-
wood, is an interesting narrative, the chapters of which
mark the way from a little Indiana farm to the head of
a great lumber enterprise. Starting from a humble
clerkship in a bank, he has reached his present posi-
tion by methods which in these days of higher criticism
of business practice have never been assailed. Jlr. Smith
was born at Acton, Marion county, Indiana, April 20,
1861, and is a son of John S. and Pauline (Doswell)

The parents of Mr. Smith were natives of A'irginia,
and following their marriage in that State removed to
Marion county, Indiana, where they settled on a farm.
There they resided from 1860 until 1871. in which year
they came to McLennan county, Texas, and purchased
farm lands two miles from the city of Waco, although
this property is now included within the corporate lim-
its of that city. In 1881 they disposed of their interests
there and came to Brown county, the mother dying here
two years later and the father in 1902. There were ten
children in the family, of whom four are deceased, the
survivors being: E. C., a prominent farmer and public
man of McCordsville, Indiana; Temple D., president of
the Bank of Fredericksburg, the Bank of Timpson and
the Bank of Carthage, Texas ; Brooke, president and
owner of the Brooke Smith Bank of Brownwood; Frank
M. ; N. L., a resident of Los Angeles, California ; and
Alice L., widow of J. J. Bainey, of Brownwood.

Frank M. Smith received only meager educational ad-
vantages in the country schools of Marion county, In-
diiiiia. and the W^co city schools, and at twenty years
ot .'iL''' rninnii^nred his career as clerk in the private bank
,.i hi, 1 iMtliri. Brooke, of the firm of Smith & Steffens,
;il Alil'Mi,'. In 1S82 he first came to Brownwood, with
liis ].,iri iits. and for one vear was in the emplov of the
Rrouiiwooil Bank of the same firm. Smith & Steffens. In
1884 he organized the Bank of Anson, in company with





another brother, Temple D. Smith, and this firm also
engaged in merchandising at Anson for twelve years.
In 189G Frank M. Smith removed to Timpson, but two
years later went to Nacogdoches county, where he re-
sided until 190S, and still owns 1,000 acres of farm lands
in that county, although he has disposed of all of his
other interests. From 1903 until 1908, he was engaged
in the sawmill business there, but in the latter year,
owing to ill health and the advice of his physicians to
seek a higher altitude, he returned to Brownwood, which
city has since been his home. In spite of the fact that
Brownwood already had several lumber yards, owned Ijy
large corporations, Mr. Smith was courageous enough to
open an establishment of this unfure of his own, on an
independent li;isis, and tliis. like :ill ..( liis other under-
takings, has |iiii\,.| iiKiik.'^il, M. -' I lie is today
the largest shi|i|ii'r m liiml < i ■ , i ' . -in^s in Brown

county, and i-anicv d.Mil li> ili i stock of any

concern of this kind here i; -in with large

affairs makes him one of tin i^iness men of

this section, and he is uiii\ri _ ,.ed among his

tes as a man whose ani.iir- ;n. . untributing to
Itavi' and advancement of his adopted community.
,'\rv sli(.\\ii confidence in the future of the South-
iiid, liilir\iiig that opportunities await men of
.11 and (Il(•r^y liere. has at all times been willing
sHrh III Ini mat lull as is ai lii^ rniiiniand in regard

lltlolis III till- |iall III tlir I Star state.

«as united in mar-

the w


(In 1 L'7, IMI.. Mr. Sinilli

ila;:c uitli .Miss MatUe J. Broun, iit Knitiirkv, dan-l.tor
of lir. M. II. I'.nuva, who is now retiird aial a rrsidml
of ll.iiikiiisMllr, Kentucky. Six childivn Iki\-.' k.^ii I". in
to this niiinn: I'rank M., Jr., a student nf tlie Brnun-
wood High School, aged nineteen years; Fannie L., who
is fifteen years of age; William T., aged thirteen years,
and Brooke D., the baby, who is three years of age.
Two children are dead. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are mem-
bers of the Christian church, in the faith of which all
their children have been reared. In political matters he
is a Democrat, but has never cared for public office,
although on one occasion, while a resident of .Tones
coiintv, he i-Miisiaited to become his ]iart\'-^ raii.lidafc fur
county tii'asiii.M-, and served acceptalily in tkai oili, -
one trnii. Iiiuiiit; his long residence in \aiaiiis j.aits i.l'
Texas he has formed a wide acquaintance, in which he
has numbered many warm jjersonal friends.

Addison Yancey Gunter and Willi.vm W.\shington
GUNTER. of Sivills Bend, Texas. Tlir lives of these two
men could not be written sepaiatily any inure than could
those of Damon and Pythias: Im all their lives they
lived together, and their mutual lo\<> and devotion was
as great as anv faklrd licroes of antiquit.v. Their par-
ents, l.rnniid (iiiiitir and Kebecca Williams Gunter, re-
moved trnni Ka-lcrn .\i.itli Carolina early in life and,
having lost their all in yold mining in the North Caro-
line foot-hills, they settled near Jamestown in that state.
Here, on April 3,' 1820, William Washington Gunter was
Ijorn. Addison Yancey Gunter was born at the same
place on January 17, 1833. These men were only two
of a large family, their brothers being Levin, Laertis,
Shubert, Abner, Isaac, Harper, Jot, Charles, and Henry,
all now deceased; Jesse, who is a retired farmer and
lives near Victoria, Texas, and Martha, wife of John
Childers, of Abilene, Texas.

Their father, finding life very difficult in North Caro-
lina for a farmer with a large "family, decided to try his
fortune further west, and, followinu the easiest rnnto,
went south into Geor^'ia. wlirn. Iir was indinrd tn settle
in Troupe county, near l-'ianklm. Ilnr hi- smi, William
Washington, entered the general inurLhaudise store of
Mr. Wilkinson in the capacity of errand boy. His in
dustry, affability, and intellect in a few years won him
a partnership in the store, when he at once took in his
younger brother, Addison Yancey, as a clerk, and from
that time on they were never separated for long, and

their business interests were always interwoven. An
older brother having gone to Eastern Texas in 1854,
the rest of the Gunter familv decided to join him in a
year or two and rnter the mercantile field in the new
country. After an ardimus jnuniey to New Orleans and
up the Red River t.. ,[,riris,in, Texas, they located in
Quitman, Wood cuimty, Texas, where thev opened a
^(■iimal m..|.-liaudise store and (|iiirkl\- amassc.l a con-
>i'l' i-'I'l'' li'itiine, though under i^iea'i diliimlties. All
.1^ i^ •-■'' '" l->st and North Trxas mm,, n,, l;ed River

"-■ ;'" -'■-'■■'I inMiiili-. that he could not ship his goods
I ' •' ' 'i ' Alexandria. There he chartered a small
I " : ■ - , iiL'ia lares enough to pay for her hire,

'"'''' '' ~ ~ )" alinani, though the insurance companies

camelled all his protection, and started for Shreveport.
Cholera broke out among the deck hands and so many
died that the passengers had to load woou and do many
other menial tasks. Finally he reached his destination
ami wa- Mtfmed a profit of $20,000 on his goods by mer-
iliaiiis III sliicveport who had not been able to. get their
g.Hids lip ,11, a,-count of low water. Refusing this, he
.jnnine.ved by stage to Marshall, Texas, where he found
the saddle horse he had left just six months before, and,
after a couple of days on horseback, reached his home in


s l;


s 1,1, ike out the six
I, I, 'I arms for the
t,,n Gunter and his
I, , Tiaitli Texas Cav-

!,,■ at til,, sie-v of

Corinth, the battle of Franklin, an, I ik,. I-:, m
paign, W. W. Gunter reached tin- ,:llll^ ,,t ,:i|,i:iiii. l,iit
the last year of the war he was iii\ nl i,k [ I mum,' ami mmli"
conscript officer and tithe i^atlai, i. Hi- imiImm Inn- ,lis-

charge of his duty in tin- ,-a|,a,ii\ hmmI,, kim ,,imm s

among the renegades of ik,, .,,Mniiv ami ,aii-,,,| Imii
ninrdi troulde during the reconslriieliun period.

.\.|,lisou Yancey Gunter, being in very poor health at

til Ill, leak of the war, acted under the advice of his

|,l|^-,,,all an.l went to South Texas, where he joined

men who lia,l Ixa-n terrorizint; Central Texas.

At the close of the war a! Y. and W. W. Gunter, as
the firm had been named, found their comfortable for-
tune had vanished and their total available assets to be
sixteen bales of cotton collected during the war and
saved because of no shipping facilities.' The proceeds
from this cotton enabled them with their unimpaired
credit to open a business in .Teft'ersnn, where they did
an extensive jobbiiiLr l,ii-im-s tn slnrman, Dallas and
other North Texas |,,,iiit-. ll,,H,\,a, reconstruction
troubles, dull times, an, I tli, li.alili ,,t the family de-

Gnlit.a- t,, e|^,, „,, the ekxa ,,! | li,iiie km, f,,r which

lie lia,l |,ri-|,ar,,.| liim-,'lf ,|ir,,il\ Mt!,,r tk,. war. Buying

meat of farming on a large scale, ultimatelv accumulat-
ing some 7,000 acres of land.

The lure of the merchant, however, tempted them again
and they opened a big general store in Gainesville, the
idiiiity seat. All went well till the panic of 1872, which
wil,e.| mit all their assets except their farm and gave
tliem vears of labor and trouble to readjust and pay
tluir ilelits. However, the firm of A. Y. and W. W.
Gunler payed dollar for dollar and kept their name un-
tarnished, as they did their cattle brand, the well-known
Di.'imond Y. Their first agricultural success was raising
oats for the government troops at Ft. Sill, to which place
they sent long trains of ox wagons loaded with grain



through the unsettled Indian Territory. Later they -nere
particularly known as horse breeders and cotton planters.

Progressive in all things, they brought the first blooded
horse to the county for breeding purposes, succeeding so
well that the Diamond Y horse (which was a cross be-
tween a Kentueliv thoroughbred and the native Spanish
mustang) was known all over North Texas for his speed,
endurance, and natural saddle gaits. They introduced
aud used the first riding plow-, reaper, cultivator, and
thresher that ever came to Cooke county. In conjunc-
tion with their father-in-law, they raised cotton and es-
tablished one of the first gins in the county. Bringing
the seed from Eastern Texas, they set out extensive
orchards and gardens. By giving away wagon loads of
fine peaches they proved to the skeptical that good fruit
could be raised' in a county that has since taken many
horticultural prizes. They were also the first to ex-
tensively use barbed wire, thus fencing a big pasture.
Believing above all things in education, they established
a good school, two churches and a Masonic lodge in their
community. In 1885 Addison Yancey Gunter was a
member of the state legislature. -V life l^iiu Pemocrat,
both he and his brother ever took :ni :uti\,. intelligent
interest in polities. Both A. Y'. and W. W. Cnnter were
men of more than ordinary ability, iiKi-n.-siv.iiess, and
energy. Bringing to this new country the old ideal of
hearty Southern hospitality, they kept open house for
all comers. Their plantation was where the most east-
ern branch of the big cattle trails crossed Bed Eiver and
was known as a place of good cheer for all men on the
trail, while many were the busy men of affairs who made
the long trip over rough roads to partake of their hos-
pitality and enjoy their rich humor, swift repartee, and
deep insight into the affairs of the day. To them the
bonds of family and friendship were stronger than bonds
of steel. No member of the family or friend ever called
on them in vain in time of need. Money, time, labor,
and often personal safety were readily sacrificed for a
brother in distress in these troubled times.

Addison Yancey Gunter married Miss Betty Ligon,
daughter of Dr. Samuel Seth Ligon and Ealinor (Dun-
can) Ligon. Dr. Ligon, a native of Eichmond, Virginia,
emigrated first to Clay county, Missouri. He had made
the trip across the plains in 1849, acquiring a consider-
able fortune in the gold mines of California. He moveil
his familv and slaves to Sivills Bend, Texas, in 1859,
where he lived all during the war, regardless of Indian
raids, having thrown a stockade around his house. He
had four children, namely, Mary, James, and Eosa, all
deceased, and Betty- (Elizabeth), the widow of Addison
Gunter. Two daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs,
Gunter— Lillian and Eosa, the wife of Isham Beasley,
of Gainesville, Texas, and the mother of one son, Isham
Jackson Beasley.

William Washington Gunter was twice married. His
first wife was Miss Eosamond Geer, a native of Georgia.
They had six children — Julian, Nat, and Margeret, and
three that died in infancy. Julian Gunter now lives in
Sivills Bend. At one time he was one of the foremost
cattle men of his district. He married Miss Valeria
Fitch, of Sherman, and has three children — LucDle, the
wite of Adrian Melton, of Chickasa, Oklahoma; Gladys,
wife of Ira Jonson, of Minco, Oklahoma, and Nat, the
only son. W. W. Gunters' second son Nat, now deceased,
was a well-known lawyer of Sherman, Texas, and Mar-
geret, the third child, also deceased, was married to
Clarence Stewart, of Grapevine, Texas. In 1868, W. W.
Gunter married Miss Eosa Ligon, who bore him four
children and died in 1880. She was a sister to Betty
Ligon, the wife of his brother, A. Y. Gunter. Her eldest
son, Horace Gunter, married Lillian Neal and their four
children are Horace, Jr., Samuel, Jr., Phillip, and Edna.
The second son of W. W. Gunter 's second marriage,
Samuel Ligon Gunter, married Mabel Giddens, who has
borne him two sons — William Washington, Jr., and Ad-
dison Yancey, Jr. Mabel Gunter, the only daughter of

W. W. Gunter and Eosa Ligon Gunter, married E. M.
Field, of Gainesville, Texas, and has one child, Josephine,
Addison Y'ancey Gunter died in August, 1894, greatly
beloved by all who knew him. William Washington
Gunter died in June, 1911, having witnessed in his long
life most of the clianges that go to make up our present-
day civilization. The families of both A. Y. and W. W.
Gunter have been identified with Cooke county and her
upbuilding since 1866, having held continuous residence
there since that date.

John Huxtek Thompson. A seeming chance led John
Hunter Thompson to abandon the profession for which
he had fitted himself and in which he has already ac-
complished a considerable in the way of public achieve-
ment, and to identify hiii:self with the life insurance
business, which resulted not long after in his organiza-
tion of the Guarantee Life Insurance Company, of which
he is vice president aud general manager. This com-
jiany, organized as recently as 1906, is today admitted
to be one of the greatest life insurance concerns in the
Southwest, and is rapidly forging ahead to take its
proper place among the foremost insurance institutions
of the country.

John Hunter Thompson, organizer and founder of the
company of which he is today vice president and gen-
eral manager, was born at NelsonviUe, Texas, on Octo-
ber 22, 1872, and is the son of Dr. Eobert W. and Vir-
ginia (Minton) Thompson. The father was born in
Dallas county, Alabama, in 1842, and with his parents
came to Texas in 1848, settling in Austin county, where
he was reared and established in life. He came to be
a prominent physician of his city aud county, and in
addition to his professional attainments, gained a high
place in state politics, serving at one time in the state
legislature from Austin county. Dr. Thompson is still
living in Houston, though retired from professional and
pubUc life. The mother of the subject was born in
Austin county and comes of a well-known Texas family.
Her grandparents were among the earliest settlers of the
state, coming hence from A'irginia in the days before
Texas came to be a Eepublic.

John Hunter Thompson was educated in the grade
schools of Belleville and in the high school of that place,
receiving his training there under the direction of Pro-
fessor Trenckmann, well knewn in educational circles
of these parts at that time. He then attended the Agri-
cultural and Mechanical College and his law course he
took at the University of Texas. In 1899, Mr. Thomp-
son was admitted to the bar of the state, and soon
thereafter he was appointed county attorney of Austin
county, to fill an unexpired term. After one year of
service he was duly elected for the regular two-year
term, and he thus served three successive years in the
office, from 1899 to 1902. Following his retirement from
that office, Mr. Thompson resumed the practice of law,
but his health began to fail to such an extent that he
deemed it unwise to confine himself to an office, the
result being that he took up life insurance soliciting as
a means of getting out into the open and ridding himself
of the injurious effects of too close confinement to an
office. It was this experience that opened his eyes to
the latent possibilities offered by the insurance world,
and he was not long in formulating plans for the fur-
therance of his new ideas. In 1906 he moved to Houston,
and there he was instrumental in bringing about the
organization of the Guarantee Life Insurance Company
of Texas, becoming upon its organization vice president
and general manager of the new concern, and afterwards
acquiring a controlling interest in the stock of the com-
pany. In that vear the business was incorporatetl with
a capital and surplus of $125,000. Today (1913) it has
assets of more than $1,000,000, with over $20,000,000
of insurance in force, a most remarkable record for a
company so young as this one. The concern is doing
a constantly increasing business in the states of Texas,



Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, and is ever widen-
ing the scope of its operations.

Mr. Thomi^son is prominent in social and fraternal
circles, having membership in the Houston Club, the
Houston Country Club, and the Thalian Club, of Houston,
while he is a member of the Masonic order of long stand-
ing, his affiliations in that order being with Belleville
Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Belleville Chapter, Eoyal Arch
Masons; Brenham Commandery, Knights Templar, and
El Mina Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine.

On December 20, 1899, Mr. Thompson was married to
Miss Tummie Paires, daughter of E. O. Faires, of Fre-
donia, Texas. Mr. Faires w.ts a lieutenant in the Con-
federate army under Captain Killough, whose daughter,
Miss Eliza KilloiiLili. Ii.' iimiiio.l. Three children have
been born to Jlr. mh^I ?\Ir-. Thompson — Fairy, John
Hunter, Jr., and l.'nliert J'aues. The family residence
is located at 3804 Main street.

Walter C. Moore, president of the Hardy Oil Com-
pany, has an office at Houston, Texas, but maintains his
residence at San Antonio. Mr. Moore's activities have
touched various lines of endeavor, and many important
Texas enterprises have received his support. To him
belongs the distinction of fathering the rice industry
in this state. A detailed account of his identity with
this one industry alone would fill a volume. As in a work
of this character only generalities can be dealt in, the
biographical record of Mr. Moore can be presented only
in succinct form.

Walter C. Moore was born in Harris county, Texas,
October 8, 1857, son of Pleasant and Kezia A. (O'Hara)

Pleasant Moore was born in Virginia, a representative
of a family whose residence in the Old Dominion dates
well back into the seventeenth century. The paternal
great-grandfather of Walter C. served under General
Washington in the Braddock campaign of the French
and Indian war. In 1849, Pleasant Moore came to Texas
and settled in Harris county, on the Buffalo Bayou,
where he was a farmer and stock man and where he
was also for a time engaged in contracting and building.
During the war between the states he served in the
Confederate army, with the commissary department, and
was materially useful to the cause by operating grist
mills and by providing fuel and other necessaries for the
support of the armies in the field. He died in 1902.

Kezia A. (O'Hara) Moore was born in Ohio. Her
grandfather, Francis O'Hara, was a Revolutionary sol-
dier under General Washington and was of that number
who spent the winter at Valley Forge. She was also
related to Theodore O 'Hara, the poet, and to Charles
Carroll of CarroUton, Maryland, one of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence. It was in 1850 that
i-he came to Texas, and her marriage to Pleasant Moore
took place on the plantation of Jonathan T. D. Walters,
south of Richmond, on the Brazos River, in Fort Bend

Walter C. Moore attended school in Harris county
until he was fourteen years of age, after which his
education was carried forward in the broad and practical
school of experience. At fourteen he entered the em-
]doy of the Western Union Telegraph Company, at first
as a messenger boy, afterwards as a delivery clerk, and
still later as cashier, and he remained in their service
for a period of five years. Then he accepted a position
offered by the Texas & New Orleans Railroad Company.
From 1878 to 1881 he was operator and station agent
at Dayton, Texas, and this service was followed by a
year in the same capacity at Liberty, Texas, and three
months as train dispatcher at San Antonio for the G. H.
& S. A. R. R., and a year for the same company at
Spofford Junction, Texas. In 1883 he entered the em-
ploy of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad Com-
pany and became agent and operator at Valley Mills,

Texas, where he remained until 1890. From 1890 to
1892 he was relief agent for the Texas & New Orleans
Railroad Company, and while serving in this capacity
his duties frequently called him to Southwestern Louisi-
ana and gave him opportunities of observing and com-
paring industrial and agricultural conditions in differ-
ent sections of the Southwest. At that time rice culture
was in its infancy in Soiilhwrsin ii l,nin-i:iiia, and had
not extended beyond tlir s.-ilnn,. l;,.,!. ,\|]'. Moore real-
ized that the lauds nl s,,iit Im:i-: ,iii.[ Southern Texas
were as well adapted fur lln.s c lup as Ihusc in the adjoin-
ing state, and he was the liist to make this fact the
basis of practical busiuess enterprise. Up to this time
the prairies of Southeast Texas had been almost entirely
unprofitable, and were cnu.sidered worthless from a stand-
point of productive enterprise. Mr. .M.jere not only saw
the opportunity for iiitrodu.Mug the .iiltivation of rice
in Texas, but also he fathered tlio industry in this state.
His first move in this direction was his contribution of
articles on the subject to the uewspapcrs of Houston
and Galveston, and to the Farm niul lUimli and other
agricultural papers, urging the introiluction of rice

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 101 of 177)