Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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prominent lawyers of East Texas. His admission to the
bar came in 1897, and in September of the same year
he took up the active practice of his profession, the
county seat of Shelby county, which has since been his
home. For six years Senator Carter served as county
attorney, from 1900 to 1906. He was elected state sen-
ator in 1910 for the regular term of four years, and has
represented his district ably and faithfully. In the ses-
sion of 1911 he was vice chairman of the judiciary com-
mittee No. 1, and in 1913 was chairman of the committee
on cities and towns. He has been a working member of
various other committees. As a lawyer Mr. Carter has
made a very successful record, and is senior member of
the firm of Carter & Walker, engaged in both civil and
criminal practice.

Fraternally, Mr. Carter has membership with the Ma-
sonic Order, the Knights of Pythias, and the Woodmen
of the World. He was married in Center to Miss Ernie
Crawford, who was born in Shelby county. They are
the parents of one daughter, Iris.

John W. Willis. A merchant of Plainview who
has conducted his business with an excellent combina-
tion of conservatism and progressiveness, who is
thoroughly familiar with the wants and desires of local
patronage, and who takes pride in maintaining the best
stock and the best store in the drug business in the town
or county, is John W. Willis, the well-knovrn druggist
and citizen of Plainview.

John W. Willis is a native of Memphis. Tennessee,
where he was born on Christmas day. 1873. His parents
were E. F. and Margaret (Cox) Willis, the former a
native of Virginia, and the latter of Mississippi. The
father came to Texas from Tennessee in 1880, settling



in Eobertson county, where lie has been a farmer and
stock raiser for many years, and is still living there at
the age of seventy-tivo years. During the Civil war
period he went to the front as a Confederate soldier,
and as a member of General Longstreet 's division fought
in Virginia aud Maryland, was wounded at the battle
of Antietam. and, after his recovery, rejoined his regi-
ment and fought until the final surrender. The mother,
now sixty-eight years of age, was born in the northern
part of Mississippi, and her children comprise seven
sons and one daughter, of whom the PlainvJew merchant
was third.

John W. Wdllis as a boy attended school at Franklin,
Texas, and had one year of tuition at Paris, Texas. A
clerkship in a drug store at Franklin, which he began
when a youth, proved to be the route along which his
career would be directed during his business life. He
remained in the employ of one firm for eleven years, an
exceptional record for a drug clerk, and then worked in
various places for four years. He a.(|uin'.l a thorough
knowledge of pharmacy and the CdiiiiinTi ial si^le of the
business, and when he came to Plainview, in 1908, he
was thoroughly equipped for conducting a successful
business. In this town he joined Mr. WyckofE, and they
established the store which has been conducted to the
present time. It was under the joint proprietorship for
three years, at the end of which time Mr. Willis bought
out the other interests and became sole proprietor. In
the compounding of his drugs and prescriptions he em-
plovi iiniio but expert pharmacists, and accuracy and
caiv aii.l rrlialillity he has made the mottoes of his^linu'iit. hi connection with the drugs he carries
an uptii ilati> line of jewelry and stationery. Mr. Willis
is a Democrat in politics and his fraternal affiliations
are with the Knights Templar Masonry and the Mystic
Shrine, with the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks and the Knights of Pythias. At Franklin, Texas,
February 12, 1896, he married Miss Eva Marris, a daugh-
ter of John M. Marris, of an old family of Eobertson
county. The one child of Mr. and Mrs. Willis is Mar-
guerite, born in Franklin, September 7, 1901. and now
a student in the Wayland Baptist College at Plainview.
Mr. and Mrs. Willis 'reside in a pleasant home of their
own in Plainview and he is the owner of other property
in the city.

William J. B. Adams. Sixty-five years has come and
gone since William J. B. Adams was brought to Jasper
county a child of four years. He is one of the greatly
esteemed pioneer citizens of the county, and his nu-
merous friends consider him a part of the county's in-
teresting history. His early life was spent among the
pioneer conditions, and before he reached manhood he
was a dashing cavalryman in the service of the Con-
federacy, and later for a long period of years held a
foremost position in local trade and commerce.

William J. B. Adams was born in Thomas county,
Georgia, in 1845, a son of Abel and Elizabeth (Para-
more) Adams, both of whom were also natives of
Georgia. In 1848 the family accomplished its removal
westward to Texas, locating in Jasper county. There
has been the home of William J. B. Adams ever since,
and the parents also spent the remainder of their lives
there. Their home was about three miles south of Jasper
on a farm, and it was in such an environment that the
son was reared to manhood.

He was about sixteen years old when the war broke
out, and some time later he enlisted for service with
Company E of the First Texas Legion, in Eoss ' Brigade,
Jackson's Division of Cavalry. Towards the close of
the war he was in Forest's Cavalry. His service was
largely in Mississippi, Georgia, anil Tennessee, and he
was in the great Atlanta campaign, after which his
brigade covered Hoods' retreat from Atlanta to Xash-
ville. WhDe he was a soldier he participated in some of

the most sanguinary and hard-fought battles of the en-
tire war.

A few years passed away after the war during which
he was chietly interested in farming, and about 1872 he
got a start in the mercantile business at Jasper, the
county seat. For many years he was one of the town 's
most 'prominent and successful merchants. Since about
1910 he has practically retired from active affairs, al-
though he still conducts a store on the public square,
but more for the purpose of a restful occupation than
with the object of making money. Besides other inter-
ests and investments, he has a nice farm south of town,
that being a portion of the homestead on which he was
reared, and he is president of the Citizens' National
Bank of Jasper.

Mr. Adams married Miss Matilda Scurlock. Their
seven children are named John B., Mrs. Mary Hart, Mrs.
Alma Stone, Will J., Mrs. Matilda Jolly, George T., and
Miss Lulu.

Alfred D. Armstrong. The Armstrong Transfer and
Storage Company is the only establishment of its kind
in Amarillo and has been built up by a specially ener-
getic young business man, who left a position as travel-
ing salesman about six years ago and entered into com-
petition with others who were then occupying the field
at Amarillo, and has since outdistanced all competi-
tors and now commands the situation.

Alfred D. Armstrong is a Tennessean who came to
Texas and found in this state, and particularly at
Amarillo, the opportunity to satisfy his ambition. He
was born in Columbia, Tennessee, April 9, 1870. His
father was Elias J. Armstrong, also a native of Ten-
nessee, who died in 1905 at Clearwater, Florida, at the
age of fifty-seven. He was a farmer by occupation, a
Democrat, and a Presbyterian. During the Civil war he
had given four years of service in the Confederate army.
The maiden name of the mother was Elizabeth Walker,
daughter of Thomas C. Walker, and a native of Ten-
nessee. She is now living at Clearwater, Florida, and
became the mother of seven children.

The second in the family, Alfred D. Armstrong, re-
ceived his education at Columbia, Tennessee, in the
common and high schools, graduating from the latter
in 1891. His early life was spent on his father's farm,
and, on leaving high school, he took up his career as
clerk in the hardware firm of Dobbins & Ewing, at
Columbia. Four years of this experience fitted him
for his next move in life, and he then came to Texas,
first locating in Dallas in 1895 and becoming a travel-
ing representative over this section of the Southwest
for the McCormick Harvester Company. He remained
on the road until 1907, and then abandoned traveling
life to locate in Amarillo. On September 1, 1907, he
established the Armstrong Transfer and Storage Com-
pany, starting on a small scale, with only a few wagons
and with inadequate storage facilities. He has in-
creased his business steadily, and now occupies the field
alone. In December of 1912, due to the increasing
growth of his enterprise, he erected on the corner of
First and Lincoln streets a large and commodious ware-
house and storage plant covering a space 100 by 140
feet, of two stories and basement, thoroughly fireproof
and equipped with elevators and all other facilities for
this line of business. At the side of the warehouse is
located trackage connecting with all the railroad lines at

Mr. Armstrong is a Democrat in politics and is now
a member of the city council. He is affiliated with the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the United
Commercial Travelers, and the Amarillo Chamber of
Commerce. His church is the Presbyterian. At Fort
Worth, on October 28, 1908, he married Miss Frances
King, a native of Texas, born in Fort Worth, and a
daughter of Porter King, of an old Texas family. Their
home is located at 800 Tyler street.



FiNLET Holmes. The ability to become a success-
ful merchant often runs in one family just as the ability
to become a lawyer or doctor, and this would seem to
be true in the case of the leading merchant of Toyah,
Texas, Finley Holmes, for his father was a merchant be-
fore him and all of his brothers are making successes in
mercantile lines. Mr. Holmes is the owner and manager
of the largest mercantile establishment in the town of
Toyah, and he began this store in a very moclest way,
its growth being entirely due to his business ability and
to the energy and perseverance with which he managed

Finley Holmes was born at Dumas, Arkansas, on the
21st of March, 1872. His father was Abercrombie
Holmes and his mother was Lethia (Pickett) Holmes,
buth of his parents having been born in Mississippi. His
fatliiT was a leading business man in Walnut Lake,
Arkansas lur many years, later removing to Dumas,
where he spent the last thirty-five years of his life. He
was a soldier in the Confederate forces during the Civil
war, serving in the army until the close of the struggle.
He was a man of fine character and highly respected
in the conmmnity. His death occurred in 1S91, his wife
having died in 1886, and both of them are interred in

Four sons were born to Abercrombie Holmes and his
wife, of whom Finley Holmes is the eldest. Abercrombie
Holmes, the second son is a prominent merchant in Lind-
sey, Oklahoma, and Burke D, Holmes is associated with
his brother, Paul K. Holmes, in the mercantile business
in Maysville, Oklahoma, where they own the leading
mercantile establishment.

Finley Holmes went to school in Dumas, but he left
school at an early age, and going to Pendleton, Ar-
kansas, he went to work as a clerk in a store. He re-
mained in this town for four years, clerking in various
stores and acquiring a thorough knowledge of the mercan-
tile business. He then went to Little Rock, Arkansas,
where he began to clerk for C. J. Kramer & Company,
one of the large mercantile establishments in the city.
He proved so valuable to the firm that he was made
bookkeeper and later general manager. He remained
here for eleven years, and then, in 1899, the western
fever crept into his bones and he determined to try his
fortunes in the new western counties of Texas that "were
then being opened up.

He came to Pecos, Texas, in 1899, and here secured a
position as bookkeeper for the Pecos Mercantile Com-
pany, remaining here until 1902. At this time, having
carefully laid away as much of his salary as was pos-
sible, he found that he had enough to go into business
for himself. He therefore came to Toyah, and here
or;;aniii'.l tlir Reeves County Mercantile Company, be-
CdiiiiiiL; Its s,-. ri'tary and manager and one of its prin-
ci|ial ^t.H-klidlili'rs. It was only a modest beginning, but
it has yiuwii into the leading store in Toyah. It is not
only a retail establishment, lint Mr. Holmes has a large
wholesale business also. Seeing the need of more bank-
ing facilities in Toyah, Mr. Holmes next organized the
Citizens State Bank in 1907, being made vice president.
In 1913 this institution was consolidated with the First
National Bank of Toyah, assuming the affairs of the
latter. Mr. Holmes is" the owner of considerable valu-
able property in Toyah and also owns his handsome res-
idence. He has the entire confidence of the community
and is one of the most influential business men in the

Mr. Holmes is a member of the Baptist church and
is active in church work, being a deacon. He belongs
to the Woodmen of the World. On the 6th of June,
1901, he was married to Miss Josephine Bunting, a
daughter of Alphonse S. Bunting, and a native of the
state of Texas. Five children have been born to this
union, as follows: Joseph Finley, Margie Lee, Annie,
Sidney and Ruth.

Mr. Holmes has great faith in this section of the

country, believing that a boom is destined to come be-
fore long, on account of the cheapness of the land and
the oil and mineral resources which when developed will
make this section one of the most valuable parts of the

M.\Rvix P. Garxer. One of the severest tests of the
manner in which a public official 's services are re-
garded by his fellow citizens is made when he becomes
a candidate for re-election, for it is then that hia record
is brought into prominence, his abilities and discrep-
ancies are weighed in the balance, and the voters are
called upon to judge whether he has kept his promises,
taken advantage of his opportunities to further the in-
terests of his community, and faithfully discharged the
duties of his office. The confidence and high regard in
which Marvin P. Garner is held by the people of Ran-
dall county, Texas, was emphatically demonstrated on
July 27, 1912, when he was re-elected iciuiily ilcik by
a majority the size of which left nn .ImhI,i' a- {•> liis
popularity and standing in the comnuiiiily. Mi. (iarner
is a native of Texas, born in Montague riiiiiitv, D.tober
15, 1881, and is a son of William Louis aiid Ursula
(Palmer) Garner.

The parents of Mr. Garner were born in Tennessee
and came to Texas durint; the early '70s, settling in
Hunt county, where William 1,. (Earner was engaged ill
farming and stock raism-. I.atn in life he removed to
Eandall county, where he now lesi.le.s, having reached
his sixty-fifth birthday February 11, 1913. Mrs. Garner
died April 18, 1909, aged sixty years, having been the
mother of seven children: J. A., W. F., T. M., Marvin
P., Mrs. M. V. Gibson, Mrs. Fannie B. Gates, and Mrs.
Kate C. Boykin.

Marvin P. Garner was given only the advantages of
a public school education in Montague county, after
which he came to the Panhandle country and engaged in
farming and stock raising. He was thus employed in
1908, at the time of his first election to the otiice of
county clerk on the Democratic ticket, and on the strength
of his admirable services during his first term he was
made his party's iMiiiiiiiee for the same office in 1910,
when, as before -laie.l. he su.eeeded himself as the in-
cumbent of tlii^ iv-| -ilile I'osition. Mr. Garner has

formed a wide a.^iiianiuaiee throughout the state, and
it is a saf.' as^eitimi to make that few men are more
popular with ih.iv,. who know them. He has ably dis-
charged eM'iy responsibility imposed upon him and is
an excellent type of the self-made Western man. He
has taken a pride in the achievements of his adopted
community and has done much to forward the interests
of Canyon, where he makes his home, believing that
the great development of this section in recent years
is sure to continue. He is a valued member of the
local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
and his religious affiliation is with the Methodist Episco^
pal church.

Mr. Garner was married at Canyon, Texas, December
24, 1905, to Miss Ethel Cochell, daughter of Theodore
Cochell, a well-known citizen of Hereford, Texas, and
to this union there have come two children : Vesta Loure,
born November 11, 1906, who died at the age of six
months, and Weldon M., born June 12, 1908, in Randall

Thom-\s D. Loveladt. A business man, rancher, and
public-spirited citizen, Mr. Lovelady has had a varied
and interesting career, most of it spent in El Paso, and
from a beginning as a salaried workman has reached a
position of independence.

Thomas D. Lovelady was born in Bell county, Texas,
August 16, 1870, being the third of ten children born to
Thomas H. B. and Delilah (Brown) Lovelady. His fa-
ther located in Texas in the early sixties and was a farmer
and stock raiser, and is now a resident of Arizona, being
still active in ranching. He served as a Confederate sol-



dier during the Civil war from the beginning to the end
of hostilities. The father was born in Missouri and is
now living on his ranch about twenty-six miles out of
Douglas, Arizona, at the age of sixt.y-seven.

Mr. Lovelady attained his early education in the
schools of Bell county; his early career was spent on a
farm, where he worked regularly from the age of fifteen
to twenty-two, and then left home and began life for
himself. He learned the barbers ' trade, and followed that
occupation for eight years. At the same time he con-
ducted a grocery business at Eock Springs, Texas. Selling
out his interests there in 1900 he came to El Paso, and
spent the first three years as clerk in one of the mercan-
tile establishments of this city. During the following
six years he was a building contractor, and built many
of the residences erected during that time in El Paso
and vicinity. In February, 1911, Mr. Lovelady became
manager of the Houston Ice & Brewing Company and
the San Antonio Brewing Association and still holds that
position and has succeeded in building up a very large
trade in El Paso for those manufacturing concerns. Mr.
Lovelady is also proprietor of a ranch of three hundred
and twenty acres in Cochise county, Arizona. He has al-
ways taken an active part in Democratic polities and
during his residence at Eock Springs, in Edwards county,
this state, he served as deputy sheriff for five years.
Fraternally he is affiliated with the Benevolent and Pro-
tective Order of Elks, the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, the Woodmen of the World, the Loyal Order of
Moose, the Improved Order of Bed Men, is a member of
the Cactus Club and belongs to the Christian church.

On June 5, 1S92, at Eock Springs, Texas, he married
Miss Mary Lee Cargill, a daughter of Thomas Cargill.
the family having been among the early settlers of
Texas. Four daughters and two sons comprise the house-
hold of Mr. and Mrs. Lovelady. The family residence
at the present time is at 3304 Hueco St., El Paso.

Nathan Grant, long a resident of Deport, and a man
honored and esteemed among his fellows, is the last of
his race of the pioneer Grants who founded the family
in Lamar and Eed Eiver counties. His age and his use-
fulness to the community well serve to place him among
the old patriarchs of his time, and his unalloyed citizen-
ship and patriotic performances entitle him to a living
distinction beyond the generation in which he has lived.
It is therefore but fitting that mention of him and his
family of an earlier generation be given space in a work
of the nature and purpose of this publication.

Born in Madison county, Tennessee, on January 6,
1832, Nathan Grant is the son of parents who were hon-
orable and upright in their lives, although not blessed
with an undue share of material wealth. Spencer Grant
was his father, and his grandfather was John Grant.
The latter was born in Virginia, there reared, and there
he passed many years of his life. He married the daugh-
ter of a Mr. Martin, and later took up his abode in Hen-
derson county, Tennessee, where he died. His children
were named Nathan, John, Stephen, Tabbie, Lottie and
Ann. Tabbie became the wife of William Massey, while
Lottie married Claiborn Henry, and Ann died as Mrs.
Carrington. Spencer, the progenitor of the subject of
this review, was the first-born of the family. He mar-
ried Polly Stark, a daughter of John Walter Stark of
Eobertson county, Tennessee, where she was born in
1797, and the children of their union were Susan, who
married Oliver Green and died in Eed Eiver county,
Texas; Eliza, the wife of Stephen Massey, died in Madrid
Bend, Missouri; Stephen, who came to Texas in 1842,
lived for a time near Clarksville, and died in Lamar
county in December, 1889, aged sixty-eight years. He
was the first of the family to reach Texas, and he passed
his life as a prosperous farmer and ginman. He mar-
ried Margaret Dickson for his first wife. James, who
was older than Stephen, followed him to Texas in 1845
and settled in Tutus county. He married Ezivair, a

daughter of Joseph Bead of Alabama. James was born
in 1814 and died in 1866, leaving four sons and three
daughters in Lamar and Eed Eiver counties. Archibald
came to Texas among the later emigrants of the family,
and married first Abigail Spain and then Amanda Pen-
dergast. John married Jane Day and died in Eed Eiver
county. Mary A. married Alexander Munns and died in
Lime Stone county, Texas. Nathan is the subject of this
review. . Spencer, who became a doctor, married Mar-
garet McCullough and died in Erath county. Nancy
married Esom Dooley and passed her life in Eed Biver
county. William was the third of the family to come to
Texas, and his advent into the state was marked by the
year 1848. He joined the Sims, a surveying party, in
that year, and was killed by Indians in Bastrop county.
The mother of this goodly family of pioneers came out
to Texas next and settled in Eed Eiver county, where she
died in 1880.

The father of the family, Spencer Grant, had died in
Henderson county in 1850. He had been a veteran of the
war of 1812, in which he volunteered for service with his
father, John Grant, and served in Jackson 's army of
riflemen. He was in the battle of New Orleans on Jan-
uary 8, 1815, and when the war had ended he was still
in fighting mood. His fighting spirit was not quenched
until he had given service in Florida against the Creeks
and Seminoles and under "Old Hickory" did his full
share in the matter of breaking up the trouble upon
which these warriors were bent. When the war was
over, Spencer Grant retired to his farm in Tennessee, and
there passed the remainder of his life.

So much for the family of Nathan Grant. The infor-
mation concerning these sturdy people is all too meager,
but it will sufiice as it stands to show something of the
fine spirit that characteriied the men of this fine old

In the country schools of his native community in Ten-
nessee Nathan Grant got a smattering of learning, the
three E 's constituting the main subjects to which the
youth of his day were introduced in the pursuit of edu-
cation in the country districts. He was twenty-two years
old when in 1854 he joined a party of three other young
Tennesseeans bent upon a wagon trip to Texas. Young
and enthusiastic, with an ambition to see something out-
side the border limits of his state, Mr. Grant, with his
friends, crossed the Mississippi river at Memphis, took
the Military road to Little Eock, Arkansas, and came
into Texas at the mouth of the Mill Creek, where tliey
crossed Eed Eiver. They were twenty-four days out
from the old home before they saw the faces of those
who had preceded them and become Texans in earnest,
and the first serious act of Nathan Grant's life in Texas
brought him into actual contact with a farm. While he
devoted himself diligently to his farm, he watched with
growing apprehension the gathering of the war clouds
as the controversy over the slave question then up for
discussion in CongreFS became more heated and liitter,
and when the call to arms came he had long since reached
his decision, and was ready to do a soldier's part in the
defense of the southland.

Mr. Grant joined the Eleventh Texas Cavalry under
Colonel "Bill" Young, rendezvoused two months at Fort
Washita, now in Oklahoma, and then prepared for an Ar-

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 104 of 177)