Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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for. The mother was born in Tennessee, and in that
state she was married. She was a devout Christian
woman, long an active worker in the Methodist church,
and she labored faithfully to rear her young children
following the death of their father. She died in 1890
and is buried near Honey Grove, Texas.

Of the seven children born to Dr. Nelson Reed and
his wife, Allen T. Reed is the sixth child and the
youngest son. In the public schools of Honey Grove
and vicinity he gained his early education, and up to
the age of nineteen he continued at home. He then
set out to plan for his own future, and for two years
he devoted himself to farm work, saving every penny
of his earnings in the meantime. He then entered the


Missouri Medical College at St. Louis, Missouri, and
after a two-year course of study there he went to the
Kentucky School of Medicine," from which he was
graduated in 1890, with the degree of M. D. The first
years of his practice were confined to Honey Grove,
"his old home locality, and he continued there in all
success, but in 1912 "he decided to move to Byers, and
here he has since continued in active practice. Dr.
Reed may well be regarded as the leading physician
of the city and of these parts, where his standing is
of the most excellent order and his practice a large
and lucrative one.

He has kept well alireast of the times in his studies
and has taken [mst i^iaduate courses from time to time,
both in till' I'l'-t liiiii.- of New Orleans and Chicago'.
He is the -111^,011 tnr the Wichita Valley and Fort
Worth & Demrr llailrniids at that point, and has mem-
bership in the Xorthwestern Texas Medical Associa-
tion and the state medical association. Dr. Reed is a
Democrat, but not an active participant in politics, and
he has membership in the Masonic order with Blue
Lodge and Chapter afliliations, and he is also a member
of the Woodmen of the World.

In 1889 Dr. Reed was married in Fannin county,
this state, to Gersham A. Cravens, the daughter of
W. H. Cravens of Fannin county. Four children were
born to them. Gertrude and Willie are deceased, while
A'elma and Annette were spared to them.

J. Wed Davis has been connected worthily with
the city of Teague since its incipient stages of exist-
once, coming to the place in a day when the Teague
townsite was nothing more than a eottonfield, in
striking contrast to its present day appearance of
metropolitanism with its sturdy lines of brick build-
ings lending dignity and solidity to the streets. Mr.
Davis came here first from Elgin, in Bastrop county,
this state, where he went as a settler from Ripley, Mis-
sissippi, in 1883. He is a son of John Davis, only son
of another of the same name, who was a Revolutionary
soldier, and was discharged at Cowpens, South Caro-
lina, after the war. It is worthy of mention that the
field on which that battle was "waged was a part of
Grandfather Byars' land, and it was there that General
Lord Cornwallis lost his watch, which was subsequently
found and turned over to the Smithsonian Institution
at Washington. John Davis, grandfather of the sub-
ject, was born in Pennsylvania, and he died at Spartans-
i)urg. South Carolina, his only child being John, father
of J. Wed Davis of this revi"ew.

John Davis 2d was born in South Carolina, and he
died in Hopkinsville, Mississippi. He was educated in
mechanical engineering and was a recognized authority
on that subject. He was largely engaged in excavation
work on a large scale, changing the courses of streams
and other allied engineering tasks that require skilled
men in their performance. Mr. Davis and his two eld-
est sous entered the first company that "was organized
in Spartanburg county, and stayed in the service
through the entire war, up to the surrender of General
Lee. He took part in the heavy fighting of the Army
of Northern Virginia and was in the engineering de-
partment. He passed through the war without being
once wounded or captured, but one of his sons was a
prisoner in a northern prison at Elmira, New York, for
many months. After the war Mr. Davis returned to
his profession, and he met his death while engaged in
<hanging the course of a river in Mississippi.

Mr. Davis married Miss Elmira Byars, a daughter of
Earl Byars, a German farmer and stockman of South
Carolina. The wife and mother died in 1898, and it
should be stated here that she was his second wife, he
having first married a Miss Jones, who became the
mother of nine children, here mentioned briefly as
follows: Lawson B., of North Carolina; Marshall T.-,
of Elgin, Texas; Letha; Mildred, who married J. B.

Greenway, of Hamlin, Texas; ,Iohn A., of Elgin, Texas;
Martha, who married M. T. Humphries and died at
Elgin; Benjamin F., who died at Elgin in 1899, leaving
a family; Sarah, of Monroe, Louisiana. The children
of the second marriage are J. Wed of this review;
James P., who died in St. Louis, Missouri, leaving a
family, and Mary, who married T. L. Potts and died in
Teague in 1910.

J. Wed Davis had only a common school education,
and when he first started out independently he did so
in connection with the Calcasieu Lumber Company,
remaining with that concern for fourteen years. When
he withdrew from that firm he came direct to Teague,
finding it in the state that is mentioned in the opening
paragraph. He came here in association with the
South Texas Lumber Company, originally the Teague
Lumber Company, and he started the first lumber yard
the place knew. He was manager of the yard for
four years, after which he engaged in the real estate,
loans and investment business, under the firm name of
J. _Wed Davis & Company. Mr. Davis was connected
with the real estate business both as a broker and
dealer, and his chief work has been as a broker in farm
lands. He placed more than a hundred new families
in the Teague district in two years, and it should be
stated that he built the first home that was erected in
the city. He has been largely identified with
the actual building of Teague, for he was con-
ui'itrd ]ir(pniinently with the building of ten of its
bii.k ^^IM.• structures. He is the owner of a large
quantity nf farm lands, and he has been especially
a<ti\i' in disposing of land to desirable settlers and
getting them started in the community.

Mr. Davis served as president of the Commercial
Club of Teague for six years, and he was postmaster
of the city for five years. He had his appointment
from Theodore Roosevelt as president and has identi-
fied himself actively with Republican politics, for
though he comes of a stanch old Democrat family, he
has absorbed his political principles from his business
associations with Republicans. He has served on many
occasions as a delegate to state conventions and to
congressional and other conventions as well.

Mr. Davis is a Mason with Blue Lodge and Royal
Arch associations, and was secretary of Elgin Lodge
for many years. He is also a Pythian Knight and has
been Chancellor Commander in the local lodge for
several years. He is a Baptist and a member of a
number of insurance orders of fraternal nature.

The first marriage of Mr. Davis took place in 1888,
when in November Miss Elizabeth Standfield became
his wife. She was a daughter of C. W. Standfield, of
Alabama, and when she died she left two children.
.1. Melvin is associated with his father in business and
is married to Lucile Anderson, and Modene married
John Mosbauh, of Teague. The second marriage took
place in 1899, when Miss Lulu Brown, of Lee county,
became Mrs. Davis. The children of this second mar-
riage are Carl, Hubert, Mary Frances, Garland, Mar-
garet, J. Wed, Jr., and Lula Brown. Garland Davis,
it should be said, was the first male child born in

Dr. William P. Kelly. A practicing physician in
Tennessee and Texas for many years, Dr. William P.
Kelly retired from active practice in 1912, and is now
filling the office of city recorder. In addition to that,
he is identified with" the real estate business and
operates on a large scale in this section of the state.
He is one of the best known men in Clay county,
Texas, and numbers his friends by the score, among
those who have known him both in his professional
and his private capacity, as well as a business man of
ability in later years.

Born in Lawrence county, Tennessee, on January 17,
1849, Dr. William P. Kell'y is the son of John J." and





Susau Kelly, both of whom passed their lives in the
state of Tennessee and are there buried. He gained
his early education in the schools of Lawrence county,
Tennessee, and when he had finished the high school
course of his home town he entered the Nashville Uni-
versity, and there his medical training was secured.
He engaged in medical practice in his native state
ujion his graduation, and until 1893 he continued there,
in that year coming to Texas and locating in Ellis
county. " For ten years he practiced successfully in
Ellis county, and then moved to Clay county, where
he has maintained a continuous residence ever since.

In 1912 Dr. Kelly virtually retired from medical
practice and became city recorder of Petrolia, and he
gives but little attention to medical affairs. Though
he disclaims to be in practice, there are times when
the demands of old friends are so insistent as to over-
come his decisions, and he goes forth to serve as in
former years. His attention, however, is chiefly con-
fined to' his ofiSce and to the real estate business, in
which he has been successful and prosperous. He has
extensivi' ]iin].rrty iiitrrcsts in the state ami especially
in and aLout l-;i.'rtia. an. I is linowii fnv one- of the
finaurially in.lrjiiMidriit ni.Mi nl' tin' (-(ninty. A citizen
of the tiist (.i.l.r, 110 nion- piiMic sj.iritrd man could
be fouu.l in the community than Dr. Kelly. He is
concerned about the future of Petrolia and does all
that can be done for the advancement of the best in-
terests of the place by a man in his position. He will
be found at the forefront of every movement designed
to further the best interests of his home city, and
any assistance he can lend in snch causes is always forth-
coming at the right time.

Dr. Kelly has membership in the Cumberland Presby-
terian church of Petrolia, and he is a Mason, with
Blue Lodge and Chapter affiliations. He is worshipful
master of Petrolia Lodge No. 592, A. F. & A. M., also
High Priest of Henrietta Chapter 161, R. A. M., Hen-
rietta, Texas, and is also a member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows. Few men have a greater fond-
ness for out-of-door life than has Dr. Kelly, and his
chiefest pleasures are to be found in the pursuit of
sports of that nature.

Twice has the doctor been married. He was first
married at Port Gibson, Mississippi, to Miss Olive O.
Thompson, of that place. She died in 1897, and is
buried in Ellis county, this state, then the home of the
family. She was a member of the Baptist church and
a devout Christian woman of the most worthy char-
acter, and she left a son and a daughter. William P.,
Jr., the eldest of the two, is married and makes his
home in Electra, Texas, and Olive Louise is also mar-
ried, the wife of Ira C. James. She lives at Reserve,

The second marriage of Dr. Kelly took place in Fort
Worth, Texas, on April 5, 190.5, when Miss Tina
Quarles became his wife. She is a daughter of J. R.
Quarles of Fort Worth, a well known resident of that
city, and she was one of the prominent and popular
young women of the place.

Dr. Kelly and his wife enjoy a leading position in
social circles of the city, and they have a host of good
friends in the city and county, who know them for
their many excellent cjualitie's of heart and mind.
They have taken a prominent place in public affairs
since they established a home in Petrolia, and have
contributed their full quota to the upbuilding of the
city along lines of civic and moral growth and pros-

WiLLi.\M R. Craxe. Five consecutive terms of service
in any office, of whatever nature, indicates undeniably a
measure of efficiency and popularity on the part of the
man who is thus distinguished and gives him a high
place in his community. William R. Crane has won that
distinction as sheriff of Kaufman county. He began

his first administration with a condition existing that
was most alarming in a community of this nature, and
his careful analysis of the manifold elements entering
into the development of sia ]i a state of affairs as here
was dominant, and the rcinoily lio appliod for the bring-
ing about of normal conditions. Inn.' ai.nki'il him broadly
as a public servant whose capaciti.- u .; li, lii.s might
not well be overlooked Ijy his conn I - gratify-

ing to note that the jiublic he son. : > \. i\v fit to
restore him to his office at each siir, ini;^ Kimnial elec-
tion, and he is now in the tenth consecutive year of his
service as sheriff of the county.

Mr. Crane, it may be said, is all but a native Texan,
for he was brought to Kaufman county by his parents as
an infant of two years. His birth occurred in Tippah
county, Mississippi, on March 6, 1867, and he is the son
of Calvert and Susan (Nelms) Crane, both in DeKalb
county, Alabama, and Tiippali i-oiiii(y, Mississippi, re-
spectively. Concerning tiir liatnnal aiarsliy of Mr.
Crane, it should be said hero tliat i'al\(it I'l-iii,. was one
of the four sons of Isaiali I'laiio, fho otliiTs l.cing Wil-
burfi, Reulien and Shrell. Hut little is known definitely
of the grandfatlier of the subject beyond the brief fact
here stated, t'alvert, the third son of his parents, mar-
ried Susan Xclnis. who was a dauErliter of William
Nelms of 'ri|i].ali .•mintv. \| i^sissj|,|,i. i >n .-oniing to
Texas, in I )o,-,.iiili,.r, lsi;o, r:,\,..n i lanr s.iilod in the
northern jian of tin- .■ouiit>, Ins faniilv was reared,
and he .'out inu.'.l to be enyayed in a^;! i.ulliiial activities
until do:itli .laiined him, in 1S84. In addition to his
farm woik, Mv. Crane was a local preacher of the Meth-
odist Tliough of a slender eduoation. he was a
constant stn.l.nt. and. Iiciiiy railv r.oivcitod to the doc-
trines of .MnlhMlis,,,. |„. n;i. ,,)d':nnr,| lo |irra.-li at the
age of twoiitv sr\oii \rai-. |iist :it tlio .-los,. nf tile Civil
w'ar. He s.ox.'.l .iiirl,,:; i lir ihtomI of uailaiv as a sol-
dier of tlio l'o.if,M,.iar\, was r;,|,tniv.|, an. I .'s.a|.c.l from
f...l.M:,l iiiM ,11 tin,,, t., s:n,. ),,„,.,. If a con-
tinn.M ,i,.:,,.-.i:.,,.,i, .0, .1 ,is.,,i 's Islaii.l, ii. Lake Erie.
Mr. c'r:,,i..'v ,111, list, .|-,,il ,1,11 II, i\oic mainly performed in
tia. Miral .■on, ,,: ii ,i it i.., ;,n.l w.-re carried on largely in
c.iiiii.'.t i..ii Willi Ills w.,rk as a farmer. His religious ex-
am], lo III .It i/iiislii], was ;, iii.,st worthv one and one that
never fail.'.l i.. iiii|.r.-s with a knowledge of
his mt.LjMtx an.l w li..l.'s.niie sincerity, while the
influence tliai In, \\l'<- -I,.,! al.r.ia.l was .alwavs a credit
to him an.l an ,ii,.|..i,ial.l.. I...|i,.|it to his community. His
cliil.hcn w. !.■ ii\.. in nnmber, and are here named in the
or.lir ot til.., I l.irth: Ehert is a farmer of Kaufman
.■oiiiit\ ; \\ iMiaiii R., of this review; Mollie, the wife of
Leo Hill ail. I now deceased; Mattie, the wife of Leon
Fry of Wills Point. Texas; and Lela, who married B. M.
Coon of Kaufman. Texas.

William R. Crane was denied in his youth the pleas-
ures and advantages of an education, and he had passed
his mapority before he learned aught beyond the work
of the home farm. At the age when other young men
were finishing their education he began to acquaint him-
self with the first rudiments of book learning — a fact
which in itself tells more of the innate character of the
man than could a more wordy eulogy ever hope to con-
vey. In 1894 Mr. Crane was appointed a deputy sheriff
by Sheriff Keller for the Elmo community, and" he per-
formed the duties of that office in conjunction with his
farm work, as well as serving later as constable of his
precinct. He resigned from the latter office in the fall
of 1S97 to accept the superintendency of the county
farm, and he continued successfully at the head of that
institution until 1904, when he voluntarily relinquished
the post and moved back to the farm. In the same year
he entered the race for the office of county sheriff, enter-
ing the list against a most formi.lable array of Well-
known and popular candidates for the idace. His elec-
tion followed, and he succeeded F. W. Henderson as
sheriff of Kaufman county.

As has been intimated in a previous paragraph, Mr.



Crane 's new ofBce was no sineeure and held out no
promise of that nature to candidates for its duties. A
survey of conditions in which he found the courts at the
first sitting of that judicial body convinced the new in-
cumbent of the sheriff's olBce that a remedy was needed
to reduce crime in Kaufman county and that a general
cleaning-up process was next in order of performance.
There were seventy-eight felony cases listed on the
docket, of which more than seventeen were murder
charges. At the first term of District court seventeen
special venires were summoned to try these cases, a con-
dition that meant the quartering of a body of several
hundred men at the county seat, to be maintained at a
large expense while their jury service was being per-
formed. Ml'. Crane discovered, through the attorneys
for that army of prisoners and by observation, that the
illicit sale of intoxicants entered largely into the pro-
duction of this unhealthy state of affairs in the county.
The saloon had departed from the limits of Kaufman
county before Mr. Crane took oflice, but its devotees and
hangers-on were still present and everywhere exerting
their unwholesome influences about the so-called "ffosty
joints " which were permitted under the law to do busi-
ness. ' ' Frosty ' ' in itself was deemed a harmless bever-
age, but its close kinship to Inger beer created a situa-
tion that was decidedly .Iplic.-ite for a mere peace officer
to cope with and still abi.le within the domain of his au-
thority. "Frosty" was ke]it in stock by these places,
but beer and other intoxicants were sold to the fre-
quenters of the places under the name of the more inno-
cent beverage, and the effect, on the whole, was even
more harmful than had been that of the open saloon.
Men drank "frosty," so-called, and under the influences
of its fumes committed crimes for which the county was
put to the expense of prosecuting them. ' ' Frosty ' ' paid
no revenues to the county and thus bore no part in the
enormous expenses of the court when dealing with the
criminal. So it came about that Sheriff Crane decided to
make his fight on this seemingly innocent drink, and he
did it with so much success that he rid the county of the
"frosty joints" during his first term, reducing "the cap-
ital offenses fifty per cent and cutting the court expenses
for the term just in half. During the ten years of his
incumbency he is known to have saved the county, as
court expenses, a net sum of forty thousand dollars as a
result of his activity.

As might well be expected, Mr. Crane has, because of
his well-waged war upon lawbreakers and that ilk, earned
the ill will of an element of citizenship that manifests its
unfairness and displays its anger by opposing him stead-
fastly at each opposing election. But, notwithstanding
the merit of the man who is usuallv chosen to enter the
lists against him. Mr. Crane usually comes out of the
fray with a majority of about two to one — proof posi-
tive that Kaufman county knows where her best interests
lie and when they are best protected. In all the years
he has been in office Mr. Crane has been a' member of the
Sheriff's Association of Texas. In 1912 he was elected
vice president of the association, at Fort Worth, and
was elected president of the association the succeeding
year, which position he now holds. His effort to make
Kaufman county a clean and wholesome rural community
has cost him infinitelv more than the fees of the office
have aggregated while the work was being actively
pushed, and a remembrance of this fact is uppermost in
the minds of the v..;ri; nf 11,,. coimty when they are
called upon to chou-, ' , , n iKiiii time to time." Mr.

Crane is one of V. ili , 1111,4. but earnest and
withal vigorous men -h. -, -. i,-r ,,f riglit and justice is
ever uppermost, and lie do,<s wliat he believes to be the
part of duty and justice, and nothing more. He has
never struck a man or had trouble with any one during
the whole of his life. His popularity is one" of the most
apparent things in the county, when political matters are
uppermost, and so long as he evinces a desire to be :

of Kaufman county there is little doubt but the voters
of the county will give him little opposition, and none
that will be effective against him.

On December 2~, 1S94, Mr. Crane was married in
Kaufman county to Miss Jennie Eiissell, a daughter of
J. 0. Eussell and Mattie (Stewart) Eussell, both natives
of Mississippi, where they spent their lives in the farm-
ing industry. Mrs. Crane is one of the six children of
her parents, they being here named in the order of their
birth, as follows": Mis. MoUie Hill of Oklahoma; James,
who died in 1901; Mrs. Crane, who was born in 1875;
Charles, of "Wichita Falls, Texas; John, of Haskell,
Texas; and Naomi, the wife of Ben Jones, of Kaufman
county. To Mr. and Mrs. Crane were born sis girls —
twin daughters whom they have named Arrah and Aerah,
and Bertie, Guylia, Elsie and Jonnie. Mrs. Crane is a
member of the Baptist church, while Mr. Crane adheres
to the church of which his father was a minister. They
are pleasantly situated in Kaufman and enjoy the friend-
ship and esteem of a wide circle of friends throughout
the county.

Dr. I. David Eussell. As the leading physician of
Petrolia, Texas, Dr. I. David Eussell, who has been
engaged in practice here since 1907, is especially de-
serving of some mention in a historical and biograph-
ical work of this order. Dr. Eussell proved himself
one who had the courage of his convictions, and even
after he had learned a trade and worked at it for
some years with good success, he decided that the
medical field was his proper sphere, and took action
accordingly. His excellent success in the five or six
years of his active practice have amply proven that
"he was well fitted for that profession," and that his
decision was a most excellent one and one that will
doubtless be of great benefit to humanity, as indeed it
has already proven.

Born in Sulphur Springs, Texas, on March 14, 1875,
David Eussell is the son of Isham and Mary (Gibson)
Eussell, both natives of Alabama, and concerning
whom brief mention is here made as follows: Isham
Eussell came to Texas from Alabama while yet a boy,
and he was a man who was prominent in public life
for many years, holding many political and other of-
fices, and being generally known for a faithful official
and an excellent and worthy character. He was a vet-
eran of the Civil war, having served throughout as a
Confederate soldier, and he was for twenty years post-
master in Winsboro, Texas. He was a devout Christian
gentleman, a member of the Methodist church, and a
prominent Mason. He died in 1911, aged eighty years,
and is buried in Wood county, Texas. His wife, whom
he married after he came to Texas, was also a member
of the Methodist church, and a woman of a most esti-
mable and lovable character. She died in 1898, when
she was about sixty years old, and is buried beside her
husband. They were the parents of seven children, and
of that number Dr. Eussell of this review was the
fourth child and the youngest son.

Vp to the age of eighteen years I. David Eussell
attended the public schools of Winsboro, Texas. He
then took a position in a jewelry store in his home
town, and he continued in the work in the jewelry
repairing department for about six years, coming out
as a full-fledged jeweler and watchmaker. He soon
after engaged in the drug business, which he followed
with success for about four years, and he then took up
the study of medicine, entering Baylor University at
Dallas, and he was graduated from the medical depart-
ment in 1902 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
He went to Edgewood to initiate the practice of his
new profession, continuing there until 1907, when he
came to Petrolia and here established himself in gen-

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 115 of 177)