Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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kansas campaign. He was a participant in the battle of
Elkhorn and followed orders of the army to proceed to
the aid of the Confederates on the east side of the INIis-
sissippi river. He took part in the engagement at
Corinth, became a part of Bragg 's army in the invasion
of Kentucky and helped to fight the Bichman and Perry-
ville battles. In the engagement at Murfreesboro, where
he was in the thick of the fight, as usual, he was shot
through the leg, captured and sent to Camp Morton, In-
diana, as a prisoner of war. He was among the ex-
changed prisoners at City Point, Virginia, on May 12,
1863, and was furloughcd home from the South Carolina
hospital. When he recovered sufficiently of his wound



to take his old place in the line, he rejoined his command
at Dalton, Georgia, on the Atlanta Campaign. General
Jo Wheeler was in command, and when Atlanta fell he
was on the retreat in front of Sherman 's army to Savan-
nah, back north into North Carolina, where the battle of
Bentonville was fought and the surrender of General
Johnston 's army soon took place.

The final collapse of the Eebellion served to throw
many of the Confederate officers into an apparent panic
to escape the possible consequences of their attempt to
disrupt the Union, and among the number was General
Wheeler. He proposed to bring the Texas soldiers home
with the band of refugees he expected to muster for
flight into Mexico, but the cordon of Federals was so
tightly drawn about the troops in the latter part of the
activities of the war that escape was impossible, and when
the news of the capture of Jeff Davis, Wheeler and Rea-
gan spread abroad, no further effort toward an organized
expedition was made, and the command dissolved like the
mist. Men chose companions for the lonely journey to
saddened homes, and the activities of actual war were

Mr. Grant fell in with Lieutenant Barry of Eed Eiver
county, and they faced their diificulties together. They
sold their horses in Mississippi, fearing their feter loss
to the Negro troops patroling the country along the
river, and when they struck the big river they boated to
the mouth of Eed Eiver and reached home by way of
Shreveport, on June 2, 1S65.

Although soldiering had been the business of Nathan
Grant for more than four years, he had by no means
formed the habit of war, as one might say, but was
rather willing than otherwise to exchange the sword for
the more or less prosaic tool, the plowshare, and he lost
little or no time in gathering up the threads of his aban-
doned vocation. During the war he had purchased a
tract of land, and this he proceeded at once to bring
under cultivation and to improve to the best of his abil-
ity. He was a bankrupt in all but courage when he
donned the garb of a citizen, and his financial condition
had not improved when he decided in 1866 to marry.
His fiancee, he tells, came nobly to the rescue with the
necessary five dollars with which to defray the cost of
a license and a pair of gloves for her husband, and he
actually borrowed the boots and the suit of clothes in
which he took the vows of matrimony. These facts, let
it be known, had no power to mar their happiness, and
neither ever regretted the courage that prompted them
to such a step at a time when the man of today would
hesitate and then retreat precipitately from a matrimo-
nial alliance under such conditions. They went to house-
keeping in a Texas cabin with the conventional puncheon
floor common to the cabins of the day, and here his
young wife carded and spun the wool that entered into
the making of his garments as well as her own, and it
was her own hand that fashioned and sewed these gar-
ments. He added his share to that part of the duties of
the home by making the family shoes for two years. He
was not a shoemaker by trade, but he recognized when
face to face with the old truth that "necessity is the
mother of invention," and the part of a shirker had no
place in his makeup, or in that of his faithful wife.
In his farm work, he engaged in a systematic campaign
of corn and cotton raising, and year by year stretched
■his slender credit to acquire more land. His appetite for
that commodity, be it said, grew faster than did his abil-
ity to purchase, and when he reached the zenith of his
career his tax list showed him to be the owner of eight
hundred acres of the fertile black soil adjacent to Deport
that is the pride of Texas, and in that vicinity is his
present home.

While he was building up his modest fortune, Mr.
Grant was also bringing up a family, and he has con-
sistently shared his material prosperity with those who
aided him in the achievement and in the twilight of his
life, the strenuous work of earlier years is reflected in

the possession of every comfort, and in the unalloyed
friendship of a whole community of citizens.

Mr. Grant has passed through life without a visible
effort toward a political career. He has acted with the
Democratic party since he cast his first vote, and has
ever taken a deep interest in the Veterans' movement,
finding a genuine pleasure in attending the national en-
campment of the Confederate Veterans. Notwithstand-
ing his advanced years, these scenes seem only to reju-
venate him, and his step today shows the spring of early
life and his heart beats quick in unison with the martial
strains of other days, while his still sturdy lungs gladly
return the lusty shout that greets him from comrades
who are living over the incidents of the never-to-be-for-
gotten oonfiict. Mr. Grant has taken a considerable in-
terest in affairs in the community of Deport, and is a
stockholder in the First National Bank of Deport, and in
the same institution in Detroit, Texas. Eeligiously he
holds to the doctrines of Presbyterianism, and his life
has given expression to a very worthy desire to serve
others while his own mission on earth was being fulfilled.

Mr. Grant has been twice married. His first marriage
occurred on February 22, 1866, when Mary Dickson, a
daughter of James and Abigail Dickson, became his wife.
She passed away on March 30, 1894, the mother of six
children, concerning whom mention is briefly made as
follows: John D., the eldest, died unmarried; Minnie
Abigail is the wife of Frank Bell of Deport, Texas;
William S. also lives here; Gertrude, now deceased, was
the wife of J. C. Mason of Deport; Charles lives in this
community; Archie D. died in 1905, leaving one child.
On February 4, 1896. Mr. Grant married Mrs. Laura
Cxrant, the widow of his deceased brother, Stephen
Grant. She was a daughter of Leander Bell, and her
first husband was L. C. Thomas, by whom she was the
Tnother of three sons— E. G., W. M. and L. C. Thomas.
Two children were born to her and Mr. Grant, Euby and
Lee, both of whom died in childhood.

John M. Davis. One of the sterling citizens who
have been prominently identified with the development
of the admirable agricultural resources of Kaufman
county, where he has maintained his home for fully forty
years, is John Moses Davis, one of the honored pioneer
citizens of the village of Forney. He has been one of
the extensive and successful agriculturists of this sec-
tion of the state. Within the decade following the close
of the Civil war Mr. Davis disposed of his farm in the
state of Alabama and came to Texas in search of a more
inviting and broader field of endeavor in connection with
the great basic industry which had previously engrossed
his attention. He made a preliminary investigation of
Wise, Collin, Denton, and Jack counties, in search of a
favorable location, and finally purchased a tract of fine
black land on the rich and undulating plains about the
present thriving little city of Forney, Kaufman county,
his original purchase comprising seven hundred and
twenty-five acres and the place being situated four miles
northeast of Forney.

After the lapse of more than two score years the
wisdom of Mr. Davis' choice of location has been amply
justified. He reclaimed the virgin soil to cultivation
and in the earlier years of his career as a Texas farmer
he utilized his land almost entirely in the raising of
grain, which at first yielded most bountifully, but which
eventually proved inadequate in results to assure a due
financial profit, under which conditions Mr. Davis showed
his fertility of expedient and his good judgment by re-
sorting to the raising of cotton, of which line of in-
dustrial enterprise he has long been one of the foremost
exponents in this part of the state. In a retrospective
way it may be noted that Mr. Davis plowed the first
furrow on the original tract of land which he pro-
cured in the pioneer days, and that his modest dwelling
was the first building erected on the tract, for which he
had paid $4 an acre. His vigorous campaign of industry



was not denieil a gracious fruition, as his progressive
and Tvell ordered operations have given him place as one
of the substantial capitalists of Kaufman county, be-
sides contributing much toward the civic and material
development of the county. He now owns a finely im-
proved and most valuable landed estate of 1,250 "acres,
and virtually the entire tract is under effective cultiva-
tion, ready to ' ' bring forth its increase ' ' and to ex-
emplify annually the marvelous productivity of the soil.
Kxcellent buildings have been erected on the estate by
its owner and among these are the several homes of
the. various tenants who assist in the cultivation and
management of the fine rural demesne. The residence of
Mr. Davis stands on an eminence and affords a fine view
across the valley and to the village of Forney. The
homestead is unique, in that it is practically a collec-
tion of cottages that are so joined as to afford con-
venient accommodations and to give the impression
of consistency as well as substantial permanency, be-
sides offering a suggestive picture of the picturesque
pioneer days.

Mr. Davis came to Texas from Butler county, Ala-
bama, where he was born on the 25th of August, 1837.
His early educational advantages were those afforded
in the common schools of the locality and period and
he was a child at the time of the family removal to
Loundes county, Alabama, where he was reared on the
homestead plantation of his father and early gained
experience in the directing of the labor of the few
negro slaves. When the Civil war was precipitated on
the nation he was loyal to the institutions under the
influence of which he had been reared, and his loyalty
forthwith found definite expression. On the 4th of
June, 1861, he enlisted in Company G, Ninth Alabama
Infantry, and with the same went forth in defense of
the cause of the Confederacy. His regiment was as-
signed to the Army of Northern Virginia and arrived
too late to take part in the initial battle, at Manassas,
but with this regiment Mr. Davis participated in the
engagement at Williamsburg, the Seven Davs' battles,
Second Bull Run. and Sharpsburg. In September, 1862,
he and other members of his regiment were captured by
the enemy while they were defending themselves be-
hind a stone pile, and all were removed to the military
prison at Fort Delaware, in the immediate vicinity of
the city of Baltimore, Maryland. There Mr. Davis was
held a prisoner of war during the period through which
the great conflict between the North and South con-
tinued, and he was not paroled until several weeks after
the war had closed. He was released on the day mark-
ing the fourth anniversary of .that on which he had
left his home and started forth as a valiant young sol-
dier of the Confederacy, and from New York City he
was transferred to New Orleans, on the steamship
"Mariposa." From the Crescent City he proceeded by
boat to Mobile, and from there by rail to Greenville,
Alabama, and upon arriving at his home he girded him-
self to meet the requirements anil exactions incidental
to reviving the prostrate industries of the South and
the winning of the noble victories which peace ever has
in store. He found conditions at home better than he
had anticipated. His father had succeeded in saving his
mules from confiscation by the Federal soldiers and had
saved suificient grain for the propagation of a crop.
During the few succeeding years in Alabama bountiful
harvests were garnered by the Davis family, the finan-
cial condition of which improved with each successive

To Mr. Davis a definite and distinct appeal was
made by the new country of the great Southwest, with its
unbroken prairies and fertile soil. The land was to be
obtained at a low price and the lure of Texas proved
such that Mr. Davis could not resist. Accordingly, in
the early spring of 1872, he set forth to number him-
self among the pioneers in a thinly settled section of the
Lone Star state. Near the headwaters of the Trinity

River he made investment in land, and here he has
maintained his home during the long intervening period
of forty years, which have brought in their Itrain
opulent prosperity and definite independence to the as-
piring young soldier-citizen who thus had the courage
of his convictions and was ready to endure the vi-
cissitudes that ever fall to the lot of the pioneer. His
loyalty to Texas is of the most intense and appreci-
ative order and he is proud to call the state his home.
He has made occasional visits to the place of his na-
tivity, has indulged in a brief sojourn at the home of
his elder son, in New Mexico, and has attended various
reunions of the United Confederate Veterans' Associa-
tion, through afiSliation with which he perpetuates the
more gracious memories of his army career, but at all
times his interests have centered in Kaufman county,
Texas, where he is known and honored as a representa-
tive citizen of progressive and public-spirted attitude.

Mr. Davis was one of the organizers of the Farmers'
National Bank of Forney and is a director of this sub-
stantial and well conducted institution, besides which he
is a stockholder in several cotton-ginning companies and
also in the Forney Cotton, Oil and Gin Company. Hia
political allegiance has been given without reservation
to the Democratic party, but he has had no desire for
the honors or emoluments of public oifice. Both he and
his wife are devoted members of the Christian church
and they are held in affectionate regard in the com-
munity that has represented their home for many years.
In December, 1866, was solemnized the marriage of
Mr. Davis to Miss Julia Peagler, who was born and
reared in Alabama, where her father, Artemus Peagler,
was a representative agriculturist and highly esteemed
citizen. Concerning the children of this gracious union
the following brief data are given: Bessie is the wife
of John Portwood, of Houston, Texas. By a former
marriage there is one son, Mose Elder. Jennie is the
wife of M. U. Finley and a resident of Eoswell, Chaves
county, New Mexico, where he is engaged in farming
and horticulture, and they have a son, Davis T., and
two daughters, Elsa and Tinie. Polly A. remains at
the parental home, and James, who is a cashier of the
Farmers' National Rank of Forney., wedded Miss Lucy
Jones; they havr a wiiisnine little daughter, Helen.

He to whniii tlii> i.\ ii'w is dedicated is a son of James
L. and Elizali.tli (I'.itton) Davis, both of whom con-
tinued to reside in Alabama until their death, the
father having passed away in 1874 and having survived
his devoted wife by seven years. James L. Davis was
born in Edgefield district. South Carolina, in 1808, and
was a scion of a sterling colonial family. He was a
man of inflexible integrity and had enlarged his mental
ken through effective reading and other self-discipline
which supplemented the meager educational advantages
of his youth. His entire active career was one of close
identification with agricultural pursuits, though he
never conducted his plantation operations on an extensive
scale. He was a son of John and Esther (Little) Davis,
and their children were: James L., Adam, Moses, Bettie
(Mrs. Daniel Smith), Elliott (Mrs. James Perdue), Nar-
cissa, and Melissa, twins, the former becoming the
wife of a man named Skaines and the latter the wife
of George V. Thaggard; and Andrew, Jack, Robert, and
Caroline, the last becoming the wife of Peter Roach.

The wife of James L. Davis was a daughter of John
Patton, a planter and slaveholder of South Carolina,
and concerning their children the following record is
perpetuated : Jane, who became the wife of S. B.
Earnest, died in Alabama. John M. is the immediate
subject of this review. Rebecca, who became the wife
of William Garrett, continued a resident of Alabama
until her death. Matthew P., who was a gallant sol-
dier of the Confederac.y, died in Alabama. Frances,
who died in the same state, was the wife of George W.
Peagler, and Zack, the youngest of the children, was a
youthful soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war,

/^ .""^^ . ^^.f^H'-c^ a^ /^fe^



after the close of which he continued to reside in his
Dative state, Alabama, until his death.

Murphy M. Morrison, M. D. Both in the broad field
of citizenship as well as in the more specific interests
of his profession. Dr. Morrison has a notable career as
a physician and surgeon at Denison.

Born March 17, 1872, at Dandridge, Tennessee, he is a
son of John M. and Nancy (Kilpatrick) Morrison, both
of whom were born in North Carolina, and located i)i
Tennessee in 1865. The family is of Scotch-Irish an-
cestry. The father was a mechanic and during the Civil
war built the wagons for the Confederate government.
He continued to follow his regular trade up to the time
of his death, in January, 1913. The mother passed
away in 1912. There was a large family of children,
the doctor being one of the younger, and he has one
sister and one brother in Texas. The latter is Dr. T. A.
Morrison, a physician, in Grosvenor, Texas.

Dr. Morrison managed to secured the equivalent of a
liberal education in his youth. He attended the district
schools of Tennessee, studied medicine at Chattanooga,
and was graduated M. D. in 1893. He began practice
in Cocke county, of his native state, and in 189.5 moved
to Van Alstyne, in (irayson co\inty, and in 1905 located
in Denison, 'Ti', wliriv lif has enjcyed tlie n-w;irds
and the finer .li^t mrt ions nt |iintessional life. In 1900
Dr. Morrison tnuk post yUMliuito work in New Orleans.
He has membership in tlie county and state medical so-
ciety, and the District iledical Association. His fra-
ternal affiliations are the Knights of Pythias, the Wood-
men of the World, and the Improved Order of Red
Men. A Democrat in politics, ]\v lias at iliH'erent times
entered into the active work of (-miii.-nyii-, but less for
partisan purposes than for tlir :hl\ :iiir,.iiirnt of good
government and the education nt' the pcnplo along the
higher planes of political thought.

Dr. Morrison was married in Cocke county, Tennessee,
in August, 1892, to Miss Emma Thompson, a daughter
of Bansom P. Thompson, for many years a school
teacher and now living retired in Tennessee. The doctor
and wife have eight children : Ralston. Anna May,
Murphy M., Winnie Bell, Elliott H., Mattie, Thomas and
Eugene Morrison, the ages of these children ranging
from four years to twenty.

Dr. Morrison owns a comfortable residence . in the
suburbs of Denison and finds rest and recreation from
his professional work in the cultivation of small fruits
and vegetables. He is in the citizenship of Denison
what might be called an all-around man, able to give
practical assistance in many ways, and in the promotion
of movements which concern the more wholesome and
better life of the community. He has often become a
civic leader, and is skillful on the stump, in presentation
of advanced political tliought. In 1912 lie cntprcil the
political field as a candidate for Congress in his .listrict.
more for the purpose of getting certain ininniilrs iMtnre
the people and to educate them, than witli nn rxjieita-
tion of election to office. A few extracts from one of
his speeches during this campaign will illustrate his
general views, and also the earnestness with which he
expresses his convictions as to political theory and
practice : ' ' My fellow Democrats, beware of the seduc-
tive strain of "the siren 's song. The principles of .just
government are eternal as God himself. The same In-
terests that engrafted on this government the policy of
protection — the policy that enriches a few and enslaves
a multitude — are the" identical interests that are today
advising us against all propositions looking to the good
and betterment of humanity, the establishment of equal
opportunities and the promotion of human happiness.
The trust masteis and their satellites oppose all remedies
of legislation. They oppose the abandonment of the
tariff; they oppose a revision of the tariff. They oppose
the creation of a department of public health and hy-
giene. They oppose the enforcement -of the pure food

and drug act. .They oppose campaign fund publicity
legislation. They oppose the enactment of laws pro-
hibiting bribery and official corruption. They oppose
the initiative. They oppose the recall. They oppose
the referendum." These sentences are but a few taken
at random from one of his addresses, and show the
aggressive and outspoken character of Dr. Morrison, who
has for years observed the trend of public affairs and
has been an uplifting factor in his own community.
Personally he is a man of much charm of manner, and
his thorough intellectuality makes him a pleasing com-
panion to all who enjoy the privilege of his aequaint-

TiMOTHY R. Stump. The editor and publisher of the
Kocoiia News, in Montague county, is in the third gener-
ation of the Stump family residents in Montague county,
with which section of North Texas the name has been
identified from the earliest pioneer days. Mr. Stump
is an unusually aggressive and successful' newspaper man,
conducts an influential and up-to-date journal, and though
still a young man has prospered far above the average
of men of his age and of his profession.

Timothy E. Stump was born in Montague county,
Te.xas, October 4, 1880, and with the exception of four
years, three of which were spent in Oklahoma in farming,
and one year in New Mexico on a cattle ranch, has lived
all his life in Texas. The founder of the Stump family
in Montague county was Reece B. stuni|i. ^;i;inil father
of the Nocona editor. Reece B. Stiini|i srtilr.l in that
part of Texas in 1856, at a time «Ii,mi ilir , nt)ir north
boundary of Texas was exposed to th,> ronstant hostile
raids of Indians and outlaws. For many yenrs lie lived
on the frontier and bore a prominent jiart in the early
history of that section. His death oiiiirre.I in Decem-
ber, 1913, and he was buried at Dnvin, Oklnhniiia. The
father of Timothy E. Stump was I;. stiiiii|,. born
in the state of Iowa, and moving; tn 'r,.\:is witli the
family in 1856. During his early raici'V lii> fallowed
school teaching and was also a farmer. He was active
in politics, held several important offices, and was a de-
vout worker in the Baptist church. His death occurred
in December, 1910, at the age of about fifty-seven years,
and he is buried in Montatini' ii.iinty. The maiden name
of his wife was AImi' \'. Waircn, who was born in
Texas, and was manicd in Mnntnyue county. She is an
active member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church,
and has her home in Montague county. There were nine
children in the family, of whom Timothy E. was the

During his boyhood he attended the public schools, also
the high school at Nocona. and afterwards took a com-
mercial course at Ardmnre, Oklahoma. Leaving school
at the age of eighteen he started out to battle his own
way through life. He worked on a cattle ranch in New
Mexico for one year, after which he returned to Nocona,
and found work as a bookkeeper in a mercantile house.
After about four years he bought out the Xocaiia News
and has since been its owner and editor. This is a well-
equipped printing establishment and he does much job
work in connection with the printing of his paper. The
News has a large circulation and a very wholesome in-
fluence over a large territory not only in Montague
county, but across the river in Oklahoma. The circula-
tion has increased thirty-five per cent during the last
year. Mr. Stump through his paper advocates every
cause for the advancement and develoinuent of his lo-

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 105 of 177)