Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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across the border near Seven Elvers, New Mexico. In
the fall of 1888 he was elected to the office of county
and district clerk of Eeeves county, aud his services in
this office were so satisfactory that he was re-elected for
seven terms, serving fourteen years in the office. During
this time he took up the study of law and in 1890 was
admitted to the bar.

Now begins a new phase in the life of Mr. Gibson.
He was elected to the office of attorney for Eeeves
county and served for two terms. He has been prac-
ticing law since that time, giving part of his time,
however, to his ranching interests. He is a member of
the firm of Gibson & Wilson, and they have one of the
best practices in the county. He purchased his present
ranch in 1892, in partnership with his brother-in-law,
George Mansfield, and they engaged in stock raising on
a large scale in Eeeves county. This partnership con-
tinued for six years and then Mr. Gibson sold his inter-
ests for the sum of seventy thousand dollars. He in-
vested this money in real estate in Pecos, owning both
residences and business blocks, his own home, which is
worth about ten thousand dollars, being his property.
Mr. Gibson was elected mayor of Pecos in April, 191:^,
and is filling this office to the satisfaction of the citizens
of Pecos.

In 1894 Mr. Gibson was married to Miss Ney Mans-
field, who was born in the southern part of Texas, and
is a daughter of George T. and Amalda (McKinney)
Mansfield. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Gibson, but they have adopted little five-year-old Leo
Ney McDaniel, and it is their chief desire to bring her
up and educate her as though she were their own child.

William A. Bates, M. D. Since establishing him-
self as a physician in the Purdon community of Nevarro
county Dr. Bates has been one of the men of most
service to the community, not only professionally but
through his kindly helpfulness and ready enthusiasm
for all that mean uplift and advancement. Dr. Bates
is a real pioneer of the west, has spent many years in
Texas, and his experiences led him throughout" the north-

. IV— 22

west during the years when that country was fiercely-
contested by the Indian tribes. His home has been in
Navarro county since 1887, and the previous year was
spent in Breckinridge, Texas, where he did his first med-
ical practice in this state.

Dr. Bates came to Texas from Arizona, where for two
years he was a physician at Quijotoa. Previous to his
Arizona residence he had been in California, working
as a prospector and looking out for a permanent loca-
tion. In Montana he had spent several years, going
out in 1876 and finally reaching Miles City in 1879, and
was in different parts of that country until 1882, when
he went to Fort Benton and crossed into the Canadian
northwest, following: up the Saskatchewan river, and in
that vicinity first did prospecting as a part of his pro-
fession. He was with an expedition of some twenty
persons, and altogether spent two years on the Canadian
side. From there he moved to California, thence to
Arizona, and finally to Texas.

Before going to Montana Dr. Bates spent a year in
the mining region of Deadwood, Dakota, and was with
some of the freighting outfit from Cheyenne, Bismarck
and Fort Pierre on the Missouri river. This account
brings Dr. Bates back to his first residence in Texas,
where he spent a portion of his early manhood. He
had gone north from Sherman, Texas, passing through
Indian Territory and Kansas over the old Chisholm trail
with a number of cattle men. At Ogalalla, Kansas, he
parted company with the cattle men, and continued his
journey with a freighting outfit of a dozen persons to
Deadwood, passing through Cheyenne. On this journey
while in the Spearfish locality of Dakota he met a hay-
maker who was cutting grass with his Winchester rifle
strapped to his machine. At that time the Sioux In-
dians, with Sitting Bull at their head, were on the war
path. Mr. Bates went back and forth between shipping
points of the Missouri river and Deadwood with various
trade outfits, and as a physician had a great deal of
professional practice along the way, since there were
very few resident physicians in that country. At Fort
Meade he saw the old Dun horse with thirteen bullet
wounds in the bod.y that escaped from the Custer battle-
field on the Big Horn river. He also was acquainted
with Johnny Bruerierre, a half breed Sioux scout, the
only man who made his escape from that horrible mas-
sacre. Although the red men were still on the war path
while Dr. Bates was in the northwest, he never had
personal encounter with the followers of old ' ' Kain in
the Face," "Gaul," and "Yellow Dog," the big chiefs
of the tribe under Sitting Bull.

Dr. Bates had first come to Texas in 1870, and worked
as a cowboy in different parts of northern Texas until
he started on his trip to the north. He was born in
White county, near Sparta, Tennessee, April 17, 1852.
From the age of three until sixteen he had lived in
Arkansas, ' ' water bound, ' ' to use his own words, in
Sharpe county. His early education came from the
country schools of Arkansas, and he was of school age
while the Civil war was in progress. His father was
Dr. James H. Bates, who died soon after the war at his
home some twenty miles north of Pocahontas, near old
Walnut Hill. The senior Dr. Bates was a native of
Georgia, and had married in Tennessee Louisa Johnson,
who died in Arkansas. Their children were : Madison,
who lives in Arkansas; Mary A., who married Henry
Smith of Arkansas ; Dr. William A. ; Sam H., of Arkan-
sas; Thomas and Eugene, who both live in the old
home locality of Arkansas. Dr. Bates is the only one
living in Texas.

It was while in Montana that Dr. Bates took up the
study of medicine, and practiced without a license, a
course which was then legal and professional in that
new and frontier community. During 1876 he spent a
few months in the Missouri Medical College at St. Louis,
and received a license to practice in Texas from the
Brownwood Medical board. During 1898 he was a stu-



dent in the Fort 'Worth Medical College. On locating
in Navarro county Dr. Bates practiced on a certificate
from the State of Texas. Professionally his career has
been extremely successful. He has a natural talent for
surgery, and has acquired a reputation as a cancer spe-
cialist and has performed many successful operations.
In obstetrical cases his fame is widespread, and his
services have been employed by two generations of moth-
ers in this community.

When Dr. Bates came to Purdon there were only two
stores and only a few homes on the south side of the
raUroad. His part has been a valuable factor in the
upbuilding of the business section of the town, where he
for some years had a general mercantile and drug store.
Since 1902 he has served as postmaster of Purdon, and
a part of his success has also come from his work as a
practical farmer since 1900. He takes both pleasure
and profit from the raising of thoroughbred Duroc hogs,
having obtained the nucleus of his stock from the herd
at Morgan and the Belcher ranch at Whiteright.

Dr. Bates was married at Quijotoa, Arizona, Decem-
ber 16, 1885, to Miss Hattie I. Jones. Her father, Leon-
ard Jones, came from Ohio and lived at Tombstone,
Arizona. Leonard Jones married Eebecca Lawrence.
Their children besides Mrs. Bates were Ed T. of
Tucson, Arizona, and Phebe, wife of Will Pierce, also
of Tucson. The children of Dr. and Mrs. Bates are:
Alva May, the wife of J. A. Mitchell of Purdon; and
Winifred, wife of D. E. Dickson, of Dawson, Texas, who
has a daughter Betsy Jane.

Dr. Bates aflSliates with the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows, and has passed all the chairs of his lodge
at Corsicana. His church is the Presbyterian. So far
as known Dr. Bates is the founder and" active spirit in
the maintenance of the only small girls' singing class in
the United States. Though not a musician himself,
his enthusiasm and management have brought his class
to a high standard of proficiency, so that it has won
prizes over other advanced singing classes in the county.
His work in this direction is only one of the many kindly
and disinterested services for which his community has
good reason to be grateful for the presence of this
pioneer and excellent doctor.

De. Egbert Fletcher \Ve.\therseee, M. D. There
are few active Texas physicians who combine the ex-
perience of the pioneer doctor with the modern ac-
tivities of the profession in a more interesting
manner than Dr. Weathersbee, who for nearly
fifty vears has been identified with medical prac-
tice in this state, and since 1883 has held a
high place both as a physician and citizen at Bedias
in Grimes county. When he located in Bedias more
than thirty years ago the place had only three small
stores, and was thirty miles from a railroad. All the
physicians with whom he consulted and associated in
those early days have since passed away, and he is now
the dean and veteran of his profession in that part of
Texas, and although venerable in years still has the
confidence and esteem of a large practice and is as
proficient as many younger men.

Dr. Robert Fletcher Weathersbee was born in Martin
county. North Carolina, June 19, 1839, and before tak-
ing up the successive stages of his own interesting career
it would be well to refer briefly to his family. His
grandfather was Thomas Weathersbee, and it is an un-
usual distinction that Dr. Weathersbee had only one
grandfather on both maternal and paternal sides. Thomas
Weathersbee was born also in North Carolina and died
there between sixty-five and seventy years of age. He
married Sarah Hyman, and of their sixteen children all
grew up and reared families, and their posterity is
now scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from
the Canadian line to the Gulf of Mexico. The men of
the family have devoted themselves to farming, and
since the war practically none of them have appeared

prominently in political affairs. The father of Dr.
Weathersbee was John T. Weathersbee, a farmer, who
was born in Martin county, North Carolina, in 1818,
and in 1844: moved to Mississippi and spent his remain-
ing years as a prosperous farmer and planter at Canton
in that state, where he died in 1849. He was brought
up on a plantation of slave-holders, and never became
identified with public affairs. He was a Methodist in
religion. John T. Weathersbee married his cousin,
Eosalie F. A. Weathersbee, a daughter of grandfather
Thomas Weathersbee already mentioned. She died at
Bedias, Texas, in 1885, and Dr. Weathersbee is the only
son and child.

Dr. Weathersbee was five years of age when his par-
ents moved to Canton, Mississippi, in the fall of 1844,
and he there grew to man's estate. His literary educa-
tion was acquired in that vicinity, and he began the
study of medicine at Camden, Mississippi, under Dr. T.
L. Cotton. Subsequently his preparation was advanced
by a course of lectures in the Kentucky School of Medi-
cine at Louisville, and he was graduated in 1860 from
the New Orleans School of Medicine, an institution which
became extinct during the war. After a brief practice
in Lawrence county, Mississippi, Dr. Weathersbee re-
sponded to the call of patriotism and entered the Con-
federate army as a private soldier in Company G of
the Eighteenth Mississippi Infantry under Captain Me-
WiUie and Colonel Burt. The regiment was attached
to General Barksdale's Brigade in McLaw's Division
of the Virginia army. It reached Virginia in time to
take part in the first great battle of Manassas, and
also fought at Leesburg. Soon after the latter engage-
ment Dr. Weathersbee was discharged on account of ill
health, returned home, and having recuperated rejoined
the army, but this time in the cavalry wing. He was
in Company G of Colonel Wirt Adams' Eegiment, and
thereafter fought with the Tennessee army in the great
campaigns of Alabama and Georgia and Tennessee.
His most arduous experience was in the Atlantic cam-
paign, which began at Lookout Mountain and engaged
him in almost constant fighting for a hundred days, in-
cluding the battles at Resaca, New Hope Church, Dalton,
Peach Tree Creek, and both the heavy engagements be-
fore Atlanta. After the fall of Atlanta his command
was sent back under General Hood into Tennessee, and
there took part in two of the severest struggles of the
entire war, at Franklin and Nashville. Following the
latter battle Dr. Weathersbee was placed on detached
service with his company as an escort to General Loring,
and then rejoined his regiment. His command was
disbanded in Alabama in the midst of the woods and
received its parole from General Canby.

Dr. Weathersbee did not remain in Mississippi long
after the war, and in 1866 came to Texas and settled
near WoodvUle in Tyler county. He practiced his pro-
fession there and at Cold Springs in San Jacinto county
until 1883, when he moved to Bedias, and has since
given his services as a capable and faithful family
physician to a large number of people in the northern
part of Grimes county. His profession has been his
sole vocation and ambition, and through it he has ful-
filled his destiny and done much for the cause of

Dr. Weathersbee was married near Cold Sprmgs, Texas,
in 1869, to Miss Fannie Stocking, daughter of Eev. E.
A. Stocking, who came from Mobile, Alabama. Mrs.
Weathersbee died at Bedias in 1900 and the seven chil-
dren of their marriage are briefly mentioned as follows:
Mrs. Cora Bishop, of Bedias; Walter E., of Del Rio,
Texas; Mrs. Pearl Mclntyre of Navasota; Robert Eugene
L., of Bedias ; Mrs. Vera Moore of Sayers, Texas ; Lamar
of Electra, Texas; Mrs. Ethel Bullard, of Madison
county. In 1908 Dr. Weathersbee married at Bedias
Mrs. Ella Merrett, a daughter of Col. Richard H. Har-
rison, one of the pioneers in this section of Texas. She
is a sister of two well known physicians of Bryan, and



the Harrison family lineage and history will be found
in a sketch of one of these physicians. Mrs. Weathers-
bee has two children: Mrs. Hattie Speer, of Louisville,
Texas; and Percy Merrett of Bedias.

Dr. Weathersbee has fraternity relations with Hanni-
bal Boone Camp of the United Confederate Veterans,
and at one time was surgeon of the camp and is one of
the few surviving members who still respond to roll
call. He is also active in Masonry, having aiiiliation
with the Jerusalem, No. 3, the Lodge, Chapter and
Council and the Eastern Star, and is a Past Master of
Bedias Lodge, No. 651. In religion he is a Methodist,
has served his church as trustee, and to his community
of Bedias besides his work in his profession has con-
tributed service as a trustee of the public school.

Dk. Bev Harbison. How the enterprise of one man
stimulates and upbuilds the economic and commercial
resources of a community is well illustrated in the case
of Dr. Bev Harrison, who formerly practiced medicine
but is now engaged in farming and stock raising and
other activities at Bedias in Grimes county.

Born in Grimes county in 1874, Dr. Harrison is still
living on the same farm where he grew up and got his
education. After attending the local schools he followed
his ambition to enter medicine by beginning the study
of that science in 1895 in Nashville University in Ten-
nessee, and was graduated in medicine there in 1897.
For two years he practiced at Stone City in Brazos
county, spent one year in the city of Bryan, and then
returned to his old home locality in Grimes county and
n-as actively engaged in practice for seven years, when
he abandoned his profession to take up his more im-
portant interests as a farmer and stock raiser. Mr.
Harrison is now one of the largest feeders of cattle in
Grimes county, and the importance of Bedias as a market
is largely influenced by the forty or more carloads of
cattle which every season are shipped out of this section
as a result of his enterprise. In his business relation
he is associated with M. M. Hall under the firm name
of Harrison & Hall. Not alone in creating a market at
Bedias has he been influential, but has performed much
important work in creating permanent resources along
agricultural lines. Dr. Harrison has a thousand acres
under cultivation in this section, and gives empolyment
to twenty-five families, who produce cotton as a chief
crop. Due to his management and his capital some
eight hundred acres of timberland has been cleared up,
and he has constructed and provided fifteen houses for
his tenants. His farms lie between Madisonville and
Bedias Roads and the lola and North Zulch Roads.

Dr. Bev Harrison was the youngest child of the late
Richard Harrison, who settled in Grimes county in 1854,
coming from Tennessee. He brought his little family of
wife and children across the country in a wagon from
Davidson county. He was a native of Virginia, but
grew up in Tennessee and married there Miss Lucy
Bishop, a daughter of Edmund Bishop. Edmund Bishop,
who died just before his widow and children emigrated
to Texas, was born in Lunenburg county, Virginia, about
1776, had a very limited education, served from Virginia
as a soldier in the war of 1812, and left his home state
in 1835 to locate in Tennessee. He married Miss Sallie
Bowers, a daughter of Giles Bowers of Lunenburg county.
Their children were: Elvira, who died near Bedias
as Mrs. George Harrison ; George T., who died in Ten-
nessee; Caroline E., who married Atlas Phillips and died
in Northern Mississippi; Lucy G., who is the widow of
R. H. Harrison and lives at Bedias; Benjamin F., a
farmer near Bedias; Sarah C, who was four times
married and is now Mrs. Frank Ellington of Belton,
Texas. Edmund Bishop was a son of Edmund Bishop,
Sr., who was born in Ireland and came to America before
the Revolutionary war. His children were Jerry, who
moved to Georgia and died there; Joseph, who came

to Texas in 1836; and Edmund, the grandfather of Dr.

Richard Harrison after his marriage and removal
from Tennessee located in Grimes county at a place
within view of his son. Dr. Harrison 's present place.
He was about two miles from what was then known as
Bedias store now the town of Bedias. There Richard
Harrison reared his family of ten children, all but one
of whom grew up, and became a stock man and farmer
and one of the large property owners in that section.
He was never active in politics, and confined his par-
ticipation to voting. During the war he proved a faith-
ful and efficient soldier of the Confederacy, and attained
the rank of colonel before leaving the army. He was
identified with no church, and had only one fraternal
relation, that of the Odd Fellows.

Dr. Harrison among other interests is a stockholder
and director in the Bedias Hardware Company, and is
president of the Citizens Bank (unincorporated) of
Bedias, which has a capital stock of fifteen thousand
dollars. Business has proved his forte and the means
by which he contributes his benefits to the community,
lie votes the Democratic ticket, but has attended few
political meetings in his time. He is a member of the
Masonic lodge at Bedias, the Royal Arch Chapter at
Madisonville, No. 242, and the Trinity Commandery, No.
19, K. T., at Huntsville. He is also affiliated with the
Knights of Pythias at Navasota. Dr. Harrison was mar-
ried in his home locality, December 8, 1901, to Miss
Zula Isbell. She is one of the seven children of Samuel
A. and Martha (Upchurch) Isbell, who came to Texas
from Rome, Georgia. The six children of the Isbell
family who reached maturity are named as follows:
Tilman, who died unmarried ; Mrs. Harrison, who was
born November 14, 1881; Aaron, a farmer in the vicinity
of Bedias ; Kieffer, of Jones county, Texas ; May, wife
of Edgar Allen of Mexia ; and Fred of Bedias. Dr.
Harrison and wife have two children: Lucy Loree and
Willie Tonne.

Aubrey Rodgers. In the flourishing little community
of Rockdale Aubrey Rodgers has a place of usefulness
and of distinction as a man who in a few years has built
up a fine business in the tinning, roofing and plumbing
line, and is also now serving ns firn marshal. A worker
in sheet metal, Mr. RoiIljim^ ]iiMli,il,lr has no superior in
his part of the state, and liv Ins ilimonuh competence in
his trade, by business that have commended his
work to the public, though he starred in life without re-
sources, he is now at the head of a good and growing

Aubrey Rodgers was born at Farmington in Grayson
county, Texas, January 10, 1871. His father, Albert W.
Rodgers, born in Arkansas in 1836, held a commission
as captain in the Confederate army under General Ca-
bell, was for many years a minister of the Presbyterian
church, and now lives at Suljihur Springs. The mother,
whose maiden name was Elizabetli Bush, was born in
Virginia in 1843. Her father, Michael G. Bush, born in
Virginia in 1802, after niup yoavf^ of rnsidoncp in Illinois
came to Texas in l^.'l, l.rin-ln- liis witV and four chil-
dren, three dan-inrrs and ,in,. smi. ,Mirliii,d G. Bush
was one of the aldc^t iinini.cns .d' Noitlicrn Texas, and a
man whose leadership was evident in many ways. He
owned the first machine for the cutting of grain or grass
and drawn by horse power. By profession he was a
surveyor, and in that capacity laid oft' the first town
site at Sherman, and was also employed with the en-
gineering corps of the Houston and Texas Central Rail-
way and did much surveying and engineering supervision
for that road. Albert W. Rodgers and wife had five
children: Aubrey, Anna, Maggie, Minnie and Lillian.

Aubrey Rodgers grew up in Grayson county, graduated
from the high school at Farmington in 1888, and for
three terms was a student in the Fort Worth XTniversity.
His early experiences were as a cowboy, and he spent



three years on the great cattle ranges of Western Texas.
Choosing a more stable occupation, he learned the traile
of tinner, and worked as a journeyman at various locali-
ties, and under different employers until 1908. That
year Mr. Rodgers opened a shop at Eockdale, in Milam
county, and now supplies his tinning and roofing service
to a large territory surrounding that town.

At Korman, Oklahoma, in 1899, Mr. Eodgers married
Willie May Lyster, daughter of A. J. Lyster, of Childress,
Texas. They are the parents of three children: Fred-
erick Lyster, King Abbott, and Aubrey Lund. Mr.
Eodgers has a good residence at Eockdale, and is one of
the popular and public-spirited citizens. He is a Demo-
crat in politics, is serving as tire marshal, and is elder
of the Eockdale Presbyterian church. His fraternities
are the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Woodmen
of America, the Knights of Pythias and the Knights of
the Maccabees.

James W. McCaever, M. D. It is only stating a
fact to say that the medical profession as a class have
always been alert in their vigilance and energetic in their
practical efforts to improve the human welfare. While
medical practice has been largely a matter of individual
service, there has never been lacking those physicians,
who, while best with particular cases, have also stood
on watch over community wholesomeness, and when the
enemy of disease has swarmed over the gates, have de-
voted themselves to the battle with all the zeal of old-
time military heroes. There are today hundreds of con-
scientious doctors, who, placing the interests of the
whole above their immediate material concerns, are ren-
dering invaluable service as leaders and workers in the
public health movement.

In Brownwood and Brown county, the services of Dr.
McCarver have been directed not only to attending a
large private practice, but also the public health, and he
has a record in that field which is distinctly creditable.
For eight years he served as health ofiicer of Brown
county, and it was largely due to his practical advice and
efforts that the city of Brownwood in 1912 won the first
prize as the cleanest city under ten thousand population
in Texas. The contest, which was statewide, was inau-
gurated and much of its work carried on among the
school children. Dr. McCarver did much to stimulate the
zeal of all the children in Brown county over the motto
' ' Clean and Keep Clean, ' ' and led the work through all
its phases during the period of the contest. Largely due
to his activities, the Brown county schools in 1910
adopted the individual drinking cup, and in 1912
seventy sanitary toilets were installed in the different
schools throughout the county.

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 109 of 177)