Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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was a very wealthy man.

Of the four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Whisler,
one Enid Marguerite, died at the age ol thirteen. The
living are: Benjamin Hudson, who is employed at
Texas City; Florine Dillard, and Norma, both at home.

Mr. Whisler came to Rosenberg September 12, 1892,
and began service as joint agent for the Galveston. Har-
risburg & San Antonio, the New York, Texas & Mexico,
and the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Eailroad. He held
that position for ten and a half years, after which he
was engaged in the mercantile business at EosenbSrg,
until December 8, 1911. On the latter date he estab-
lished his office in real estate, insurance and loans, and
has been very successful along that line. WMe he sells
all kinds of property, he deals chiefly in farm lands, and
has also some large ranch tracts in Mexico. Mrs. Whis-
ler adds to the resources of the family in the occupation
of millinery.

In 1904, Mr. Whisler was chosen by the citizens of
Eosenberg as mayor, and by reelection he was retained
in this important municipal office for six years. For
twelve years he was a member of the school board.
While not a member of any church, he is active in the
International Bible Student Association. Fraternally
he is a Mason and is master of the local lodge, and also
a past master of Richmond Lodge. He has membership
in Eiehmond Chapter of the Eoyal Arch, and is one of
the board of managers of the Woodmen of the World.
He has affiliations with the Modern Order of Pretorians,
of which he is past recorder. Mr. Whisler owns consid-
erable land in Fort Bend county, and much city real
estate. His wife is one of the prominent social members
of Eosenberg, and a member of the Ladies Afternoon
Bridge Club. Her brother, Thomas D. Fisher, has been
the moving spirit in the development of the well known
Texas Coast city. El Campo.

Jeff T. Kemp. The present efficient incumbent of
the Milam County Clerk's Office needs no introduction
to the citizens of this section, whose representative he
has been and whose interests he has so ably conserved
during a period of ten years. Born in St. Helena par-
ish, Louisiana. March 29, 1869, he is a son of Dempsey
and Mattie (Taylor) Kemp. His father was also a native
of that parish, where he was born March 19, 1845, was
reared there, and entered the Confederate army at the
age of sixteen, becoming a member of the Twenty-seventh
Louisiana Eegiment, which took part in the siege of Vicks-
burg. After the war he became a merchant and farmer
in Tangipahoa parish, Louisiana. In 1881 he came to

Texas, locating at Cameron. At this time he lived at
Houston, where he is a member of the clerical force of
the Texas Company. He comes of an old and honored
family of St. Helena parish, which was founded there
by Jonathan Kemp, the great-great-grandfather of Jeflf
T. Kemp, who fought as a Eevolutionary soldier in the
battle of Bunker Hill and afterwards went to Louisiana,
where he took up a farm which is still owned by mem-
bers of the family. Mattie (Taylor) Kemp was born
in Washington, District of Columbia, in 1842, and passed
away in 1910, having been the mother of eight children,
of whom seven survive; Ada, who married C. P. Dodge,
secretary of the Texas Company, at Houston ; Rosa, who
married F. L. Adams, a lumberman of Eunice, Louisiana;
Moe, who niarri.-.l Milton J. Tu.kor, a salesman of Hous-
ton; Deniniic M., \\]u< is a land lnolior at Eugene. Ore-
gon; Louis W.. iiianauiT of tlio [lavin- .lopartment of the
Texas Coni|iany at Houston; Lu'-ille, who is engaged in
teaching school at Burlington, Texas; and Jefif T., the
subject of this sketch.

Jeff T. Kemp was given good educational advan-
tages in his youth, first attending the schools of his
native state, "then the public school of Cameron, and
later Southwestern University, at Georgetown, Texas.
After leaving the latter institution, at the age of
twenty-one years, he became a bookkeeper in the mer-
cantile establishment of his father, and was thus en-
gaged for a period of fifteen years, or until elected
County Clerk of Milam county, in 1904. He subse-
quently received re-election in"l906, 1908, 1910, 1912
and 1914, and his entire service has been characterized
by conscientious devotion to duty and a, high regard
for the responsibilities of public office. Mr. Kemp is
the owner of a residence and of some valuable farm
lands in Milam county. He is a stalwart Democrat, and
among the leaders of his party is recognized as one of
the county's most influential men. his first puVdic service
being as president of the Hogg Democratic Club, organ-
ized in 1892 to promote the interests of the illustrious
patriot, James Stephen Hogg. Fraternally he affiliates
with the Masons, belonging to Temple Commandery and
Hella Shrine, of Dallas, and is also a member of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of
Pythias, the Woodmen of the World and tlie Knights of

:an.'e tlirouirhout the
lio s,(.ii'. Mr. Kemp
!st Kpisro|,al church
the .liunli in many
as superintendent of
nember of the Quar-
a regular attendant
e and served as an

the Maccabees. He has an acqiiain

county and numbers his friends liy r

has been a member of the Metlioil

South since 1885 and has served

capacities. For thirteen years he w

the Sunday school and has been a i

terly Conference since 1S90. He is

upon the Texas Annual Conferenc

alternate delegate to the General Conference in 1914,

which met in Oklahoma City.

Mr. Kemp was married at Cameron, December 25,
1894, to Miss Lina Eeed Eogers, daughter of Jefferson
C. and Martha (Eeed) Rogers, and five children have
been born to this union: Dempsey, who died December
16, 1912, at the age of sixteen ; Jeff Thompson, Jr. ;
Ruth Rosemary, and two others who died in infancy.

Mrs. Kemp was educated in the public schools of
Cameron and graduated from Baylor Female College of
Belton in 1891. She taught school until her marriage
in 1S94. Since her marriage she has taught in the pub-
lic schools of the county and served as Deputy County
Clerk and oflS.ce assistant to her husband.

Jefferson C. Rogers was a native of Lawrence county,
Tennessee, and as a young man went to Tippah county,
Mississippi, where he enlisted for service in the Ameri-
can army during the Mexican war. He returned to his
home after the expiration of his term of service, and
in 1852 came to Milam county, Texas, and located on
the Sneed farm on the Brazos river, where he soon
became well known as a man of worth. In 1854 he
was elected Sheriff of Milam county, a position which
he held for four years, and in 1858 was made District



was the first sheriff.
Houston 's army

Clerk of the county, holding that position until 1860.
At the outbreak of the Civil war he cast his sympathies
with the South and became the organizer of the Milam
County Greys, of which he was elected captain, the com-
pany being assigned to the Fifth Texas Eegiment,
Hood 's Brigade. His service during the struggle be-
tween the North and South was notable for its gal-
lantry, and his deeds of valor on a nuiiiln r cif |.rhi(ij>:il
battlefields of the war won him proumtii'ii lii^i t.. tli.'
rank of major and later to that of litMii.iiMiii r.^ldncl.
While serving in the latter capacity, in cliiiryi' (it liis
regiment at the battle nt rhirkiiinauHa, ho received a
severe wound. At the il'i-r nt ili.' war he returned to
Milam county, and in isiiii was elixir. 1 County Clerk, but
owing to conditions brouglit almut by the war was not
allowed to serve. In 1S72 he was ok-ctril tn tin' lii'iidi
as Chief Justice, and .served as sach until Is;,!, wlini
he was again elected County Clerk, ami .milimu-d in
that offii-c until l^^^ii. Colonel Kogers died in ls85,
when Miliiui county lost a citizen whose life had done
much to jooiii.ii,' Its interests in every way.

Martha looil l;oi;(is ivas born in Brazos county,
Texas, in 1^11, Iht imi.'nts liomy' pinncor settlers of

Texas, rnniin- tiom To -siv to Toxi.s with Kobert-

son 's I'olonv iiinl lator sottlin;; on i^ittlo ri\of, in what
is now Bell' cniiity. of hor f.-itlior, William Eeed,
Her father was a meinlier of Sam
1S36. She still survives Colonel
Eogers and makes her home at Cameron with her son-
in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Kemp.

JIadison James Poole. The incumbent of the office
of sheriff of Falls county since 1906, Madison James
Poole, has established an admirable record, both be-
cause of his fearlessness as an officer and his high
executive talents, and through his services has proved
markedly the value and necessity of long practical train-
ing for the higher officials of county government. Al-
though born in Alabama, he is by long residence and
training a thorough Texan, with all the energy and
practical ability which that name implies.

Sheriff Poole was born in Lauderdale county, Ala-
bama, August 20, 1870, and is a son of James M. and
Josephine (Garner) Poole. His father, also a native
of Lauderdale county, born in 1836, moved to Tennessee
in 1873, and there passed the remainder of a long and
useful career in agricultural pursuits. His death oc-
curred in 1902. The mother was born in Tennessee in
1839, and died in 1900, there havino boon niiio rhildreu
in the family, as follows: Minnio, wlio is -.i ir-idint of
Ardmore, Oklahoma; Mtolison .l:iiiio<, of tlii^ ir\iow;
Lula, who is the wife of \V. Whito, marslial of Mtms
field, Oklahoma; Ida, who married W. S. Rogers, a pros-
perous farmer of Mansfield, Oklahoma ; George, who is
a salesman and resides at Gulfport, :Mississippi ; Hattie,
Bennett and Lillian, who are deceased ; and Nellie, who
is the wife of E. T. Cain, a dairyman, and resides at
Dallas, Texas.

Until he reached the age of seventeen years, Madison
J. Poole attended the public schools of Tennessee, to
which state he had been taken by his parents as a child
of three years. He then spent- three years in agricul-
tural pursuits, and when twenty years of age came to
Texas and located on a farm in Bell county, in which
vicinity he continued as a tiller of the ^oil for one
year. Mr. Poole then accepted a position woikint; on
the county roads, and after four years' cNpoi ionn. in
Bell countv was placed in charge of a con\ n t ro:i,| yimg,
in Falls, where he had his first experioiu .• m iliiilmLC
with criminals. He was thus employed tor tin viiiis,
and in 1896 came to Falls county. His roiintation as a
man who could accomplish results had preceded him,
and here he was given entire charge of the grading crew
and of the convicts of Falls county, and for ten years
acted in the capacity of deputy sheriff. His faithful,
fearless and efficient service in this office won him uni-

versal commendation and in 1906 he became the suc-
cessful candidate of the Democratic party for the office
of sheriff of Falls county. Re-elections have since been
given him in 1908, 1910 and 1912, and he has always
shown himself the kind of an officer to be depended
upon in the solving of knotty problems, of which he has
taken lioM with determination, vim and bravery. Sheriff
Po,,],' is III, urti\(' tiihl oiiorui'tii- Democrat, and a hard
wnvkrv III the iiiiiks i,f his |i.-iity ill Falls county. His
lititoriiiil rioiii.M tioiis arc iMtli tlio Benevolent and Pro-
torfivo (Ji.lof of KIks, tlio l.i.lopendent Order of Odd
Fellows and the Knights of I'ythias, and he has a large
acquaintance and many friends throughout this section,
among men of all ranks and conditions of life and of aU
political parties. ir(> owns his own residence at Marlin,
.■mil liiis alwtiys sii|.|ioitod beneficial measures, taking
ail toiivo intorost in liiisincss affairs as a member of
the Cluiiiil.oi nt Coinui.ov,.. When he takes a vacation

from lii^ ani is .lulios. Iio Is usii.-illx ;ir ,.;,iiir,| by

his tisliiiii; i.mI or Ins yini, iiiol ,1 , . 1.;.,,., :I,;,| he

'" i^y

ried at
was an
,— Gar-

L. M. Ballowe. Not yet thirty years of age, Mr.
Ballowe has achieved a position which reflects credit
upon his steadfastness of character and purpose. He is
a young man of able qualities of mind, and has the
courage of his thought. Coming of an old and illustri-
ous family on both sides of the house, his career gives
promise of being in accord with that of his fathers and
others whose names and eft'orts have been identified with
much that is wortliy in the Texas past.

Leigh Milli'aii I '.a Hour was born in Brazoria, Texas,
October 14, lss|, ,iii,| ,s the son of John A. and Lillian
Milliean Ballowe. both parents being natives of Texas.
The paternal grandfather, Sanniol Leonard Smith Bal-
lowe, was one of the early sottlns uf Itrazoria county,
and a prominent figure in his . oininunity. He was pres-
ent at the first Masonic meeting e\er hciil in Texas. He
was a veteran of the Mexican war, and subsequently
served throughout the Civil war with the rank of cap-
tain. Til Fort Bend count.y, he was owner of a large
lilaiitat ion. and operated with slave labor. The paternal
inn, .St IV is of English origin, and a large estate in the
riollowr name is now and for many years has been in

retains Irom im ,-x



of the W Is nl Ml

,,;|||, SI

ion If 1'

tified with tlio It;

Mitlst c'll

llivli, t

which he lias bo,. II

a libniil


On August I'll,

lllMll. Sll

I'M If !■

Lott, Falls ,-ounlv

, to M.S.

, .Matti

orphan. To this i

miou the

re has

ner C.

limond attor-

North I'liroliiKi. ]\r wnit oxoil 1 to ( ■,•,] ifnrnia in '49,

and reiii.-iiiicci on tl o:ist fin- four or fi\i' years digging

gold. He returned to Texas, and another side of his
experience was in driving cattle along the famous Chis-
holm trail. He was very successful in his operations,
both in mining and in the cattle business, and finally
settled on a large plantation in Brazoria county, where
he was engaged in the raising of fast horses' and in
farming with his large retinue of slaves. He bred and
raised on his estate the famous running mare. Queen
Esther, who broke the world's record" in the early
eighties. He was elected county treasurer of Brazoria
county, during the reconstruction era. His death
occurred in 1897. C. C. Milliean was a direct descend-
ant of Col. Andrew Milliean of Eevolutionary fame, and
one of seven brothers who came to America from Scot-
land, and founded the family on this side of the Atlan-
tic. These brothers were all members of the noted
Scotch clan of Milliean. The maternal grandmother's
father was named Spencer, and was a very large slave
holder in Texas during the war, and three hundred of
his negroes were released by the emancipation act.



John A. Ballowe, the father of L. M. Ballowe, was an
attorney during his active years and one of the best
known in his part of the state. His ability in private
practice brought him prominently to the front in public
affairs. In his youth he had taught himself to a great
extent since his father's death had caused the burden
of caring for his mother to fall upon his shoulders, and
he had to contribute to the education of three younger
brothers and a sister. In 1885 be was elected judge of
Brazoria county, and served four years. After that he
moved to Richmond, where he was engaged in law prac-
tice with Col. E. P. Peareson. During the administra-
tion of Governor Hogg, he represented Fort Bend
county in the legislature serving two years. In 1895
he was elected county judge of Port Bend county, giv-
ing an excellent administration during four years, and
dying towards the close of his term of oiBce. He was
one of the men who drafted the original constitution of
the Jay-Bird Democratic Association of Fort Bend
county. Fraternally he was a Mason and had member-
ship in the Episcopal church.

In the family of the parents were five chUdren, four
now living, the others than L. M. Ballowe being men-
tioned as follows: Annie Masterson Ballowe, who is a
member of the Daughters of the American Revolution
and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and who
was married in June, 1913, to E. L. Lancaster of Dallas;
John Adriance Ballowe, who is private secretary to John
M. Moore, congressman for the eighth district, and is
also a lawyer by profession, now practicing law in
Houston; Philip Pearson Ballowe, who is a member of
the Law and the Art graduating class of the State Uni-
versity of 1913, and was quiz master in the Law Depart-
ment in 1914, and Elmo Ballowe, who died in infancy.
Leigh Millican Ballowe, attended the public schools
of Richmond, then at St. Edward's College in Austin,
and later the law department of the State University.
Prior to his regular law course he read in the offices of
D. R. Peareson, and S. C. Russell at Richmond. Having
been admitted to the bar he began the practice of his
profession in Richmond, August 11, 1908, and has
always practiced alone. While he enjoys an extensive
and growing practice in all courts, he prefers the crimi-
nal branch of the law and is specializing in this line.
From his early manhood, he has been active in Demo-
cratic politics, and at the present time is secretary of
the Jay-Bird Democratic Association of Fort Bend
county. In 1912 he made a strong race for the office of
district attorney of the twenty-third judicial district,
being defeated by only a small margin. Mr. Ballowe
was a member of the board of school trustees of the
independent district of Richmond, and while in that
position he took a prominent part in the election and in
the business negotiations connected with floating the
bonds for the erection of the splendid new school build-
ing in Richmond now in course of construction. Mr.
Ballowe did all the work connected with this enterprise.
He resigned from his place on the school board, in order
to make the race for district attorney.

On November 24, 1910, Mr. Ballowe married Miss
Sue May Gregg, only daughter of Hon. A. W. Gregg,
congressman for the seventh congressional district with
residence at Palestine. Their two children are Mary
Sue Ballowe and John Gregg Ballowe. Fraternally Mr.
Ballowe is a Royal Arch Mason, and he and his family
belong to the Episcopal Church. He at one time was
superintendent of the Sunday school, and was also for
several years choir director in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. He takes much interest in music, dating from
his college days, when as a member of the College Male
Quartette he traveled all over the state after his gradua-
tion from university. In 1908-1909 Mr. Ballowe was
editor of the Texas Coaster at Richmond, and in April 1,
1910, bought and established his ovi-n paper, the Rich-
mond Eomet. He gave up the publication of this jour-
nal while making his campaign for district attorney.

In January, 1914, he removed to Cuero, Texas, and is
now engaged in the law practice at that place.

Hon. James B. Gibson. One of the most prominent
men in the business and political world of Pecos, Texas,
is the Hon. James B. Gibson, the present mayor of that
place. He is one of the prominent lawyers of Reeves
county and has been a resident of Pecos for many years.
He comes of pioneer stock, bis ancestors having not only
been early settlers in Texas, but further down the line
they were early settlers in the central states and stiU
earlier in the history of the country were pioneers when
the known western hemisphere was a narraw strip along
the Atlantic seaboard. Mr. Gibson was himself born in
Texas and is therefore even more deeply interested in the
welfare of the state than are most of her citizens. As a
public official he has given great satisfaction and he has
shown that he possesses no small amount of executive

The father of James B. Gibson was Robert A. Gibson
and he was a native of Tennessee. He came to Texas in
1845 and joined the army of General Taylor, serving
in his command throughout the war with Mexico. After
the close of the war he located in Burnet county and
was there married. He engaged in stock raising and
farming there until 1861, when he moved to Gillespie
county. Here he followed stock raising for a time but
when the call to arms was issued by the Confederate
government, Mr. Gibson, although he was fifty years of
age at the time, volunteered his services and joined a
battalion of frontier troops, serving with them until the
end of that war. Just after the close of the war he, with
a band of twenty-five men, crossed the border to Mexico,
and here they were arrested as spies and thrown into
prison. After much cruel treatment, such as being put
into stocks and chained in their prisons, Mr. Gibson
who was a fluent speaker of Spanish, managed in some
way to make his escape. . Although he was handicapped
by a ball and chain be was almost safe, but in attemtit-
ing to cross the Rio Grande he was shot and killed by
a Mexican soldier.

The mother of James B. Gibson was Celestine (Banta)
Gibson, and she traces her ancestry back over a ptriod
of three hundred years. Her forebears came to New
Jersev from Amsterdam and the banks of the Zuyder
Zee, and these sturdy Hollanders were among the first
settlers of the new colony to the south of New York.
"When this part of the country became pretty well set-
tled up, some of the family emigrated to Kentucky,
making the long journey on horseback and on foot, set-
tling near Boonesborough, over one hundred years ago.
Later they made their way into Indiana and there set-
tled near Bloomington. Mrs. Gibson, mother of J. B.
Gibson, was born in Indiana, at Bloomington, and she
remembers very well how as a child of eleven years she
walked beside the oxen drawing the heavily loaded emi-
grant wagons in which her mother and father were
moving their household goods to Texas. They had their
milch cows and all their property that was movable and
the journey was a perilous one. Upon their arrival
Mr. JBantatook up six hundred and forty acres of land
in Fannin county, and here they settled. It was in
the days when Indian uprisings were frequent and the
Banta 'family endured many of the trials and dangers
that their ancestors had suffered in the days when civi-
lization was blazing the trail across the Alleghany
mountains. Mrs. Gibson comes of a family that has
given a number of prominent men to this country, among
whom may be mentioned an uncle, David Banta, who
became dean of the law department of the University
of Indiana. Mrs. Gibson is living today in Reev.-s
county, Texas, and although aged eighty-two is as bright
and courageous as she was in the early days which she
remembers so well.

James B. Gibson was born in Burnet county, Texas,
on tlie 23rd of December, 1857. He was the oldest of





the four children of his parents, the other three being
Eoxie, who is the widow of James Sharpless and is now
postmistress of Lagoona, Texas; Conn Gibson, who was
two years younger than James Gibson, was a railway
contractor and was shot to death at Carlsbad, New
Mexico, in 1894; Mary Louise Gibson died at the age
of nineteen years. James Gibson received his education
in the common schools of south Texas and since means
for an education were limited, both on account of the
scarcity of money and the lack of good schools, he went
to work at the age of sixteen. His first pay was earned
as a cowboy and at this early age he drove cattle across
the state of Texas and into Kansas. He then went to
farming in Kerr county, Texas, in which he was engaged
for about three years. The old military spirit which
had iusi'irr.l the t^iilicr now began to show in the son
and he jom.M tlic Ininfii-r battalion, becoming a member
of Compaiiv ( , \\hicli was under the command of Captain
G. W. Arriugiou, aud was stationed at old Fort Griffith,
in Shackelford county. In 1878 the company was trans-
ferred to the headwaters of the Brazos river in Blanco
canyon, where there was plenty of active work. James
Gibson was promoted over the heads of older companions
to the rank of second sergeant, both for bravery and
efficiency. He did frontier duty for three years and
during this time endured untold hardships, such as going
without water for forty-eight hours and without very
much in the shape of food for three days, during which
he and his companions were pursuing Indians who were
on the warpath. In 1886 he resigned from the command
aud returned to his home and mother.

They now sold their home in Gillespie county and
removed to Pecos, in Eeeves county. For two years
Mr. Gibson was engaged in ranching and stock raising

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 108 of 177)