Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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that, having saved some money, he bought the paper on
which he had served his apprenticeship, and conducted
the plant with success, and finally sold it at a good ad-
vance on the purchase price. He then bought the
WeeUy Feview. which jiroved disastrous, owing to a hie
which consumed the building and destroyed all its equip-
ment There was little or no insurance, so that Mr. Dow
was practically nt th. iH-u^iniiing of his career once more
He was then ,n,|,l..v ,.1 -m.o time on the Merkle_ Mm!

and the Bro\^I)^^ 1 /.'"//'"'. He persevered, and finally

with his savin's lu' nmM'd to Lubbock and became
foreman and associate e.l.tor with the Avalanche Publish-
ing Company. After two years he bought out the es ab-
lishment. and since April, 1908, has conducted the Aia-

if the incorporati(
argest interest. He is
I if the Avalanche Pub-
■Iie has a weekly issue,

laiiche as a paper with a very large circulation, a strong
list of advertisers, and a news gatherer and publisher of
exceptional influence and ability. The mechanical plant
has few equals among the country papers of Texas. Mr.
Dow has improved it from a three thousand dollar plant
to one in which twelve thousand dollars is invested, that
rejiresenting the capital sf "

which Mr. Dow imiiinls
president, editor ami man
lishiug Company. Tlic .li
a twelve to sixteen page jiaper, and the offices and ma-
chinery are housed in a new and modern structure
twenty-six by eighty feet in ground dimensions. The
company has introduced the best and latest machinery
and does a large amount of business in job work.

Mr. Dow is a Democrat in politics and has always in-
terested himself in local affairs and in promoting good
government. He has never sought any public office, and
at the present time, as a member of the school board, is
filling about the only public place he has ever been will-
ing to accept. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the
World, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Woodmen
Circle, the Modern Order of Pretorians, and the
Knights of Pythias. He belongs to the Lubbock Cham-
ber of Commerce and is a member of the Jlethodist
church and Superintendent of its Sunday school.

On May 1, 1905, in Mitchell county, Mr. Dow married
Miss Lila Dorn, a native of Alabama, but reared in
Texas from childhood. Her father was J. M. Dorn of
Mitchell county. The two sons born to their marriage are:
James Eankin Dow, who was born in Sweetwater, Texas,
June, 1906; and Melvin Nisbett Dow, born at Lubbock,
March 10, 1908.

J. H. Smith. During a quarter century's residence
in El Paso, Mr. Smith has witnessed the growth of
this city from 9,000 population to 50,000 and cor-
responding development in every direction. Mr. Smith
has been a very prosperous and enterprising business
man during this time, and in later years has handled
a large amount of the real estate transactions in this
vicinity, he having the distinction of being the third
oldest real estate man in El Paso.

ilr. J. H. Smith conies of an old Missouri family,
and was born in Randolph county, that state. May 21,
1849, a sou of Robert and Martha J. (Dameron) Smith.
Both iiannts iM/ir natives of North Carolina and their
resHMiiM' taniila-s 1 i-rame residents of Randolph
cdu'ntN-, Mi^snnii. in thi' early thirties, during the pio-
neer rpnch iif that state. The father, who was long a
prosperous farmer, died in Missouri, January 2, 1889,
at the age of eighty years. The mother died in 1870
at the age of fifty, aiid she was married in Missouri.
Seven children were born to their union, Mr. J. H.
being the third in order of birth.

His early life was spent on a Missouri farm, and in
the meantime he received unusually good educational
advantages, attending the public schools, and subse-
quently Pritchett Institute, one of the best known
schools of central Missouri. On leaving school, he en-
tered the mercantile business for himself in Randolph
county, and for eighteen years was a merchant of his
native county. He was then associated with his father
on the farm until October, 1888. at which date he
moved to Texas and located at El Paso, then a com-
paratively small city with only a tithe of the industry
and business which it now possesses. In El Paso he
was first engaged in the fuel and feed business, and
after four years became actively identified with public
affairs, serving for eight years as city collector and
as city treasurer for two years. At the end of this
political service he established himself in the real estate
business and now handles general transactions in that
line. Mr. Smith is also treasurer and vice president
of the Consumers Ice Company of El Paso. During


the period of his other service for the city, he was
also a school trustee, and has always been active in
local politics and has been a public spirited citizen
always ready to give his aid and earnest work for the
betterment of local institutions.

In polities he is a Democrat, and his wife is a mem-
ber of the Rnptist .luirch. His fraternal affiliations
are with tli,' 1 ihlciKinl.'iit Order of Odd Fellows and
the Wod.liiiri) of I 111' Wuria, and he has filled all the
chairs in the O.l.l l-Vllows Lodge. On May 18, 1885,
in Kandolpli county, Missouri, he uunric.l Miss Lelia
Seals, daughter of Alfred Sears, nf ;i w.ll known old
family of Missouri. The seven cliililrcn Immh to their
marriage are named as follows: Ji'iiiiii'. lioin in 1886,
died in 1S89 in Randolph county ; Grover Cleveland,
born in Randolph county August 25, 1885, is a gradu-
ate of the El Paso high school and was a student in
both the Missouri and Texas State Universities, and is
now in business with his father; Lucile, born in Ran-
dolph county, February, 1887, is a graduate of the
El Paso high school, and is now engaged in teaching;
Juan and Juanita, twins, born in Fort Worth in 1890,
and the son is a graduate of the Uiversity of Texas
and of the El Paso high -school, and is now a practicing
attorney ; Robert, born in El Paso, July, 1892, is a
graduate of the Agricultural and Mechanical College
of Texas, and is employed in the Rock Island Rail-
road oflices.

Thomas Albert Thurston. The leading firm of pub-
lic accountants in EI Paso and west Texas is that which
was established in the spring of 1907 by Mr. Thurston.
The profession of accountancy is comparatively modern
in its ]iresent features and scope anil yet has been de-
veloped to be one of the most important adjuncts of
modern commerce. Mr. Thurston has a splendid equip-
ment and expert knowledge of his business, and it has
been reinforced by a long and varied experience in
business affairs.

Thomas Albert Thurston was born at Quincy, Illinois,
April 2.3, 1869, being the oldest of four children born
to Eugene and Emma A. (Butts) Thurston. The
father was born in New York State and the mother in
Ohio, and they moved to Illinois at a very early time.
The father, whose death occurred at the age of fifty-
two in 1898, was for many years a successful railroad
man and became a resident of Tennessee in 1883. The
mother is now living in New York Cit.y at the age of

Mr. Thurston attended the public schools of Kansas
City, being a student of the high school in that city
and also of Palmer Academy. After leaving school
he followed in the footsteps of his father by taking
up railroad work, and for five years was clerk in a
railroad ofiice in Tennessee. Subsequently for several
years he was with a livr stork rommission company in
Kansas Citv; he tliin iiiuiiui-^l in lousiness for himself,
with Mr. H. T. \',vu,r :is partner, and they carried
on an extensive ili'.-iling in horses and mules.
His connection with that enterprise continued for twelve
years and at the end of that time in March. 1907, he
located at El Paso and established the offices and be-
gan practice as a public accountant. He now has four
assistants and a large force of office employes.

Mr. Thurston is prominent in Masonry, having at-
tained the thirty-second degree of Scottish Rite, hav-
ing also passed through the grades of York Rite, and
is a member of the Mystic Shrine. His other fraternal
affiliations are with the Woodmen of the World. In
politics he is a Democrat and is a member of the
Volunteer Firemen Association of El Paso and the Busi-
ness Men's Club of Memphis. At Memphis, Ten-
nessee, June 7, 1892, he married Miss Fannie W. Palmer,
who was born at Crystal Springs, Mississippi. The
two children born of their marriage are Eugene B., born
at Memphis, Tennessee, November 5, 1896, and now a

Viil. IV- 2 4

Student in the high school at El Paso; Charles A.,
born at Memphis, October 18, 1899, and also attending
school in this city.

William Elmer Dameron. A young college man who
has found large opportunities for work and public serv-
ice in Deaf Smith county, Mr. Dameron is now serv-
ing as county attorney, also as city attorney, and is
one of the leading lawyers of Hereford.

William Elmer Dameron is a native Texan, born
at Bloomfield in Cooke county, Fcliniaiy L's, IssT. His
father was a settler in Cooke i-oimiy in iho laitor six-
ties, and is now living retired aftor a Ion;; aii.l sin-
eessful career in Hereford. William I'.ruio liauuion,
the father, was born in North Carolina, and after lo-
cating in Cooke county was engaged in the mercan-
tile business until July, 1900, when he came out to
Hereford in Deaf Smith county. For several years
in this Panhandle county he was engaged extensively
in stock raising, and is still a man of large property
interests. He is a Democrat, and a member of the
Christian church. His ancestry was Scotch-Irish, and
the first of the name settled in Virginia, before the
Revolutionary war, later moving into North Carolina.
Sarah Elizabeth (Barnard) Dameron, the mother, who
was of English descent, was born in Cooke county,
Texas, a daughter of Gilbert Barnard, one of the
pioneers of that vicinity, and a large planter. The
mother is still living and six of her seven children sur-

William Elmer Dameron having the advantages of a
good home and reared in prosperous circumstances, at-
tended the public schools of Gainesville and of Here-
ford, and also the Hereford College. He later went east
and was a student at Washington & Lee University at
Lexington, Virginia, until his graduation LL. B. in
1908. He later entered the State University of Texas,
but his election as county attorney of Deaf Smith county
in 1911 proved an interruption to his studies, so that
he lacked several months of completing his course. He
was re-elected county attorney in July, 1912. Besides
his official duties, he has a private satisfactory prac-
tice, and for the past two years has r.epresented the
city of Hereford in a legal capacity. He is also di-
rector and attorney for the Panhandle Oil Development
Company. Since his college days he has been a vig-
orous worker in the Democratic interests, and is a broad
niiniled student and observer of the course of modern
liolitii-s and rivir affairs. He has inenilieiship in the
roiintv Har Assonation and in llerelonl Loil^re, A. F.
.^ A. M., and is sei-retarv to the lioanl ot Klders and
Deacons in the Herefonl Christian ehnreh. During his
second year in the Washington &: Lee College he was
chosen president of the Washington Literary Society and
was anniversary orator on Washington's birthday.

In April, 1908, he was a member of the Washington
and Lee debating team which debated with the University
of Tennessee. His chief recreation is tennis, and he has
been very skillful in this game since his college career.

J. W. Woods. A law firm with a large and repre-
sentative practice, and regarded as one of the ablest
combinations of legal talent at Houston, is that of Woods
and Harris, well known attorneys with offices in the
Lumberman's National Bank Building. J. W. Woods,
the senior member, has practiced in Texas since 1896,
and formerly served as county attorney and county judge
of Robertson county. Judge Woods, who represents an
old Texas family, located here since the days of the
Republic, is a successful man through his individual
efforts. He earned a living b.y teaching school, and
studied law at the same time, and having effected an en-
trance into the profession, has pursued the goal of his
ambition steadily and with marked success.

Born in Robertson county, Texas, December 11, 1873,
he is a son of James A, and Fanny (Parker) Woods.


Both the father and mother were born in Texas, and
Grandfather John Woods was a native of Ireland, came
to Mississippi as a young man, and during the closing
years of the Texas Eepublie emigrated to this frontier
country, settling at Wheelock, in Bobertson county. He
was one of the earliest settlers in that locality, and was
for many years a general merchant. The father, who
was born and reared in Eobertson county, gave his
active career to agriculture and stock raising.

J. Will Woods received his education in the common
schools, and qualified and taught school in his native
county, at the same time carrying on his studies in the
law, beginning in the office of Hon. C. F. Cohron. Ad-
mitted to the bar in 1896, he began practice at Bremond,
and was there until 1900. His election as county attor-
ney of Robertson caused him to take up his residence
at Franklin, the county seat. He was county attorney
until November, 1904, when he was elected county judge
of Eobertson county, and administered the duties of
that position until November, 1908. In the fall of 1908
he was one of the presidential electors on the Demo-
cratic ticket. At the close of his official term, in Novem-
ber, 1908, he moved to Houston, and has since been a
popular member of the Harris county bar. Upon moving
to Houston he formed a partnership with Guy Graham,
making the firm of Woods & Graham, which continued
until January 1, 1911, when Mr. T. J. Harris became
a member of the firm, which then became Woods, Graham
&- Harris. Since October 15, 1912, the firm has been
Woods & Harris.

Mr. Woods is a member of the Masonic Fraternity,
Knights of Pythias, and the Woodmen of the World. He
was married February 12, 1899, to Miss Lena George,
daughter of W. R. George of Robertson county, who
was born in this state, and was a substantial farmer in
Eobertson county. To their marriage have been born
three children: Roy Woods, Bessie Woods, and Joe
Worth Woods. The family reside at 1101 Cortland street
in Houston Heights.

W'lLLiAM A. Taylor. For many years a successful
merchant and farmer of Kaufman county, William A.
Taylor of Kaufman is now living a somewhat retired
life, although" his financial interests still bear a close
relation to merchandise and banking, in addition to
which he is extensively connected with agriculture. He
came to Kaufman county in 1872, a young man of
twenty-three years, with a poor education and only the
experience in business secured on the farm. He was in
company with his brother, George B. Taylor, and the
twain drove through in a buggy from East Texas, seek-
ing a place to engage in business where their small cap-
ital would win some favor and be able to compete suc-
cessfully in the marts of country trade. They selected
Prairieville, in Kaufman county, as suitable "for them,
and there opened a store with three hundred dollars'
worth of goods, the business being established under the
style of Taylor Brothers.

It was not long before the brothers discovered that
their limited means were a source of embarrassment to
them, and for a few years the utmost faith in their sue
cess seemed not to lie in the patrons of their community
It was impossible for them to buy everything the people
needed and called for, and this tended to poi>iilarize
their competitors there or elsewhere. But they did
tablish a standing for good intentions which was worth
much more, and the economy they practiced enabled
them to reach a point where a full stock could be carried
and all the wants of the neighborhood supplied. From
that time forward their success was assured. Their first
stock was housed in a building 18x20 feet, which prem-
ises gradually lengthened to ISO feet by the year 18S5
and housed a stock that was a satisfaction for the
lirothers to contemplate.

The success of their merchandise venture led the Tay-
lor brothers into the cattle business, and after a number

of years they gathered together a bunch of cattle for the
free grazing adjacent to their location. The gradual
expansion in this industry led to the purchase of the
cheap grass lands about Prairieville, and they became
dealers and traders as well as growers of beef, and ulti-
mately shippers to the St. Louis market. This branch
of the brothers' business was encouraged, and continued
until 1886, when they curtailed their business and in-
vested their profits in lands and in the expansion of their
business interests in Kaufman.

In 1886 the brothers moved their stock to Kaufman,
Texas, and subsequently erected the business house on
Houston street in which W. W. Baird & Company are
now doing business. They continued business until 1895,
when they sold to Erwin, Spikes & Company. After
three years of rest, Taylor & Company engaged in busi-
ness and witnessed another prosperous business era of
seventeen years, when they sold their interests to A.
Miles & Company and retired to a less strenuous life
with the management of their personal affairs.

The influx of settlers into Kaufman county necessi-
tated the abandonment of grazing and the opening of
farms, and Taylor Brothers entered upon a period of
farm-making which has not j'et been finished, although
a large amount of their former pasture is now producing
cotton and grain. They have under cultivation two thou-
sand acres, with ample provisions for tenants, and are
buying and selling lands from time to time. The thirty
families which do the work involved in the proper care
and cultivation of such a domain as theirs forms a pop-
ulation sufficient for a healthy country school, and the
situation is in agreeable contrast with the "old-time"
cow ranch of which the lands of the brothers were once
a part.

William A. Taylor is himself a director of the First
State Bank of Kaufman and was one of the organizers
of its predecessor, the Citizens' National Bank, which
came into existence in 1890 and continued until 1910.
He is a member of the mercantile firm of W. W. Baird
& Company. His home, on Houston street, the popular
and exclusive residence street of the city, was erected
by him and his brother, and George owns an elaborate
modern home of his own planning and building not far

William A. Taylor was born in Marshall county,
Texas, August 27, 1849. His father, B. P. Taylor, went
there as a boy from the state of Mississippi in 1838.
The latter was a ' ' runaway ' ' youth, and eventually ac-
quired capital sufficient to engage in mercantile pursuits
fourteen miles west of Marshall. He became the pos-
sessor of a farm there, and owned more than twenty
negroes, which exempted him from service in the Con-
fecierate army during the war. He won financial inde-
pendence, but permitted his good nature to allow him to
endorse for others, and died in 1865 minus his former

E. P. Taylor was born in 1818, possessed unusual na-
tive ability, had a fair education, and was one of six
children of his parents. He had a half-brother, James
F. Taylor, who spent his life as a farmer six miles east
of Marshall and who was once a member of the Legis-
lature. He left a family of five children. The children
of James F. Taylor were' as follows: Sallie. who married
Eugene Horton" and resides at Shreveport, Louisiana;
and Ophelia, the wife of Capt. W. W. Fields of Haskell,
Texas. The sons of Mr. Taylor were: Dr. Howard, of
Marshall, Texas; ami HoUis and Lewis, also of that city.

William A. Taylor was married in Prairieville, Texas,
November 1, 1875, his wife being Miss Florence Anglin,
whose parents came to Texas from Louisiana and died
leaving two daughters: Florence and Mattie. Mrs.
Taylor grew up in the home of Capt. E. B. Shaw, one of
Texas' nobleman farmers and merchants, of Prairie-
ville, once sheriff of Kaufman county, and for four years
a Confederate soldier. His life impressed itself upon
bis community indelibly and was an example worthy of




emulation. Mrs. Taylor was eJiicatetl as Captain Sbaw 's
own child. She and her husband have been the parents
of the following children: Eddie G., who is the wife of
C. B. Harton, of Kaufman, and the mother of the fol-
lowing children : Jean, Carolton and Bill Taylor, Gladys
and Xina are the younger children. Mr. Taylor has kept
away from political entanglements. He has been a
member of the Methodist church for forty years, doing
his duty as a lay and oflSeial member thereof.

George B. Taylor was born in Harrison county, Texas,
April 26, 1851, and was given the same educational ad-
vantages as his brother, whom he has accompanied
through all the vicissitudes of a long and honorable
business life. His mother was Almeda Sanders, daughter
of Richard Sanders, and passed away before her hus-
band. Their children were as follows: Mrs. Frances
King, whose death occurred at Weatherford, Texas;
Mrs. Virginia Cole, a resident of Hallville, Texas; Mrs.
Eugenia Lee, who makes her home at Gilmer, Texas;
Mr;;. Nona Davis, a resident of Longview, Texas; Robert
P. who died without issue; and William A. and George
B. of Kaufman. Robert P. T:iyl,.i, Sr.. the father of
the foregoing children, mairii-.l .Ifiiiiir P.ird for his sec-
ond wife, and she now resides in Grei;g county, Texas,
and is the mother of Eugenia and Nona.

George B. Taylor was married in Prairieville, Texas,
in 1876, to Miss Mattie Anglin, who was reared to wom-
anhood in Louisiana, The children who have been born
to this union are as follows: Cornelia, who became the
wife of Gregg Powell, of Terrell, Texas; Miss Alma,
who resides at Kaufman; Essie, who is the wife of Paul
Bond, of Terrell ; and Robert Paul, who died at the age
of eleven years.

Like his brother, Mr. Taylor has eschewed practical
politics, giving his support to democratic policies with-
out much ado. He has ever been affiliated with church
work as a Methodist, and has served the congregation in
Kaufman many years as a steward. He is a Master
mason and a member of the Chapter, and Past Noble
Grand of Oddfellowship.

George A. Stambaugh. The death of his father when
George A. Stambaugh was about five years of age made
it necessary that the latter should devote a large por-
tion of his early youth and young manhood to provid-
ing for his widowed mother and other members of the
family. He has therefore ex])erienced neressity and hard-
ship from an early age, ami frnm th;it early experience
of doing more than was ai-tiially ncrssary for his own
support, has derived a splendid (lisri|iliiic and practice
whieh has no doubt been largely responsible for his
present position as head of the largest mercantile house
of Hereford in Deaf Smith count.y.

George A. Stambaugh was born in Collin county,
Texas, April 1, 1864. His father was Jacob R. Stam-
baugh, a native of Penns.vlvania, who came to Texas in
1852, from Illinois, where he had been a resident for ten
years, and was one of the pioneer settlers of Schuyler
county. Farming and stock raising was his occupation
and he en.ioyed a fair success. He was a Democrat and
member of the Methodist church. During the Civil war
he was exempt from service owing to ill health. His
death occurred in 1869, when forty-one years of age.
The maiden name of his wife was Mary Ann Hopkins,
whose father was Dr. G. V. Hopkins, a native of Ken-
tucky, from which state he moved to Illinois, locating
in Fulton county, where Mrs. Stambaugh was married
in the town of Astoria, in 1851. She is still living, being
now seventy-nine years of age and residing on the old
home place in I'Mllin cnuiitv. Of the seven children, one
died in infan.v lir .ith.-is are still alive. The paternal
ancestry of Mr. si:ii,iliaii-h was German, the first mem-
bers of the family liavirij.; located in Pennsylvania. On
the maternal side the grandfather was a Kentuckian
and the grandmother a native of Ohio.

George A. Stambaugh was the fourth in the family

of his parents. When a boy he attended school in Collin
county. As already stated, he was at work from almost
the earliest time he can recollect, and from the age of

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 119 of 177)