Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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the Chamber of Commerce. In polities he is a Republi-
can of the progressive brand. At Denison in June,
1910, occurred his marriage to Miss Phyllis S. Heath, a
daughter of Milton Heath, who is sales manager for
W. D. Collins, manufacturer of bank fixtures. Dr.
Stevens and wife have two children; Earl, born April
6, 1911, and Irene, born June 24, 1912. Their home is
at 408 West Day street.

Marcellus E. Kleberg. It has been well said that in
the American state the great and good lawyer must
always be prominent, for he is one of the forces that
move and control society. Public confidence has usually
been reposed in the legal profession, and no political
preferment, no mere place, can add to the power or in-
crease the honor which belongs to the pure and educated
lawyer. A great and true lawyer in every sense of the
phrase was the late Marcellus E. Kleberg, of Galveston.
To conspicuous ability and services in his profession he
added the distinction of a fine and disinterested public
spirit, and a remarkable talent as an orator. Through a
career of forty years in the law he directed an effective
influence in behalf of the city in which he had his resi-
dence for a long period of years, and among those to
whom most honor is due in supporting Galveston during
its era of ' ' sturm und drang, ' ' the name of Marcellus
E. Kleberg must always be prominent.

Marcellus Eugene Kleberg was born in Meyersville,
DeWitt county, Texas, February 7, 1849. The Kleberg
family was among the earliest of the German colonists
in Texas. Their arrival is set some ten years before
the great immigration of the early forties. The parents
of the late Mr. Kleberg were Robert Justus and Rosa
(von Roeder) Kleberg. R. J. Kleberg was born in 1803
in the town of Hertselle, Westphalia, Kingdom of Prus-
sia. He graduated from the Gymnasium of Holzminden
and received his degree of Bachelor of Laws from the
University at Goettingen. Being a man of democratic
ideas, and not an admirer of monarchical government,
he emigrated to America in 1834. In the fall of that
year he married Rosa von Roeder, and they with some of
her brothers and sisters came to America. At New
Orleans they chartered a boat and sailed for Brazoria,
Texas. Caught in a storm, they were shipwrecked on
Galveston Island. Here Kleberg left his people, and
with a few men went exploring the land. After reach-
ing the mainland of Texas they went on foot to San
Felipe, where they met Captain Moseley Baker, who
informed them that their advance party had settled at
Cat Springs, which was not fourteen miles distant.
Kleberg on his arrival at Cat Springs found that two of
his brothers-in-law had died. After a few days he re-
turned to Galveston, and encountering a stormy voyage
up the bayou, landed with his company at Harrisburg.
The city of Houston had not yet been established and
Harrisburg was one of the most prominent centers in
that section of Texas, and soon afterwards became for a
brief while the capital of the province. After living a
few months at Galveston, the Kleberg party went to
Cat Springs to start their little settlement. Not being
able to move all of their furniture at once, a great many
valuable articles were left in Harrisburg. These about
a year later were burned when Santa Anna and his Mexi-
can army arrived at Harrisburg.

As soon as the news of the fall of the Alamo reached
the settlement at Cat Springs, Kleberg's patriotism was
stirred, and he went to join the Texas forces. He be-
came a member of Captain Moseley Baker's company.



It was a hard and trying moment in his life, for he had
to leave a young wife and child to suffer the perils of
the vengeance-seeking Mexicans. From that time on he
was engaged in Houston 's campaign, and fought in the
culminating battle of San Jacinto. He was also in
Rusk's command, following the Mexican army as it re-
treated beyond the Rio Grande. When the family parted
at San Felipe, Mrs. Kleberg mounted her pony, and
taking her infant in her arms, started on her journey
of safety, thus participating in what is known in Texas
history as "Runaway Scrape."

When the war was over the family returned to their
settlement at Cat Springs. In 1848, with his family,
Mr. Kleberg moved to Meyersville, DeWitt county. Some
years later the Civil War began. At that time he was
too old to go into military service, but he showed his
loyalty to his state by organizing a militia company. He
died a soldier, a hero, a patriot, at his home near York-
town, Texas, October 23, 1888. He held many offices
of honor, and wa's a noble husband and father. His
wife. Baroness Rosa von Roeder, one of Texas' noblest
women, died in July, 1907, in her ninety-fourth year.
Both are buried in the family burial ground near York-
town.

Marcellus Eugene Kleberg received his early education
from a private tutor. There were no public schools
available during his youth. When he was twelve years
of age the Civil War 'began. Thus it fell to him to help
take care of the farm, as his older brothers went to war,
and his father had official duties to perform. During
this period he herded the sheep, and whOe thus acting as
shepherd, carried books with him and read and studied.
Later he attended Concrete College, situated thirty miles
from Meyersville. His college career had to be dis-
continued owing to financial misfortune which overtook
his father. Eighteen years of age at the time he went to
Indianola, where for two years he was engaged in teach-
ing school. After borrowing money and adding this to
what he had earned as a teacher, he set out for Lexing-
ton, Virginia, and studied law at Washington and Lee
University. There he made a three years' course in two
years, and was graduated with honors in the law class of
1872.

Returning to DeWitt county, he established himself
as a lawyer. Soon afterwards he was urged to go to the
legislature, and was elected to represent his county in
the thirteenth legislature of Texas. When his term of
office expired he moved to Bellville, Austin county, where
he practiced law in partnership with Mr. B. T. Harris.

On October 24, 1875, Mr. Kleberg married Miss Emilie
Miller, a daughter of Mr. H. Miller, a well-known mer-
chant of Austin county. After his marriage Mr. Kle-
berg located in Galveston, and in a short time became
recognized as an able lawyer, and one of the influential
citizens. He was a member of the law firm of Street &
Kleberg, then of Hume & Kleberg, then Kleberg &
Neethe, then Kleberg, Davidson & Neethe, and lastly
Kleberg & Neethe. Outside of his large practice as a
lawyer, he was almost continuously identified with some
form of public service. He served as a trustee of the
public schools of the city, and for eighteen years was
president of the school board. He was president of the
board at the time the great storm of 1900 demolished
the school building, and it was through his efforts that
the New York City public schools gave a large sum of
money to help rebuild the local school houses of Galves-
ton, and the example of New York was followed by
other public schools throughout the United States.

Resigning his office with the schools, Mr. Kleberg
accepted the appointment of city attorney of Galveston
in January, 1904, and served the city most nobly in one
of the most important and trying periods of its history.
During his term of office, when the citizens were about
to give up the idea of protecting Galveston from over-
flows, on account of the lack of funds, his profound
knowledge of constitutional and municipal law cleared
all objections to the bond that had been issued. He



1630



TEXAS AND TEXANS



weut to New York, and succeeded in selling a large
quantity of the issue. Some years before he had been
one of the chief supporters and advocates of the com-
mission form of government. How the community esti-
mated his civic service is well stated in summary form
by the Galveston Tribiaie of December 31, 1909, which
spoke of him as the "Pilot of the Municipal Ship of
State. He is the strongest man in the city government.
His value to the city cannot be overestimated. ' ' With
his work as a public servant accomplished, Mr. Kleberg
resigned his position of city attorney in July, 1911, to
devote his time to his large private practice.

The late Mr. Kleberg was one of the charter mem-
bers of the State Bar Association of Texas, and was the
first president of the Galveston County Bar Assoeiation.
At the 1912 State T^ar Convention, held in Galveston, in
the summer ot tli:it yr:ir, lie was elected as one of the
delegates to tlie Niitinnal Bar Association, which con-
vened in Milnauki'f, W isi-.msin. Mr. Kleberg served as
a regent of the University of Texas, dtiring the governor-
ship of Mr. Lanham.

That the late Mr. Kleberg was one of the most elo-
quenl and forceful orators of Texas and the nation has
been abundantly testified. His influence as a speaker
was increased by his fluency in the German as well as
the English language. One of his first great speeches
was that on the "Review of the Bloody Battles of the
Xexas-Mexiean War, ' ' a speech delivered in Galveston
April 21, 1896. It was at the time, and has since been
referred to as a masterpiece of oratory. He was not
only noted for his formal addresses in commemoration
of historic deeds and great events, but used his ability
many times to move and mould public opinion in behalf
of current needs of hi; ' '

state, he made i lie api'

Democratic ('(nu.iii

that occasion lie disjilaye.l sii.li i-ln

vote was taken on the question i

oppose it. On March 2, 1902, Mr.

address to the students of the Uni

that was regarded as a peeuliarly

oratory. His pciwei in tlii^ .lirertK.n was rercirniz,.,] mueh
Ills IhHiie -late. Tlie riiiiin League
,i;r,| liini te make tlie address on
ay el liilli. The cheering and ap-
f Ills speech were said to have been
an lia.l greeted any speaker in the
•n Aiiditnrium. It'was on that day



state and

surely iii.


citv.

nle.l


When

the hell

ell lam

Ills ;,,|


Galves-

nf the
L'lit the
Iress on



of



beyond the lin
Club of Chi.-i
Washington 's
plause at thi'

history of the
he established
Marcellus !■:
of sixty-four,
Robert M. Kle
judge of Ru



Ma



if the nation.
:;. at the age
ren, namely:
lierg, county



i county; Walter Kleljerg, physician and
surgeon and present city health oflScer of Galveston ; and
Misses Rosa, Emilie, and Alice Kleberg.

The late Mr. Kleberg was a patriotic citizen, a knightly
gentleman, devoted to his family and friends. He was
distinguished as a lawyer, a man of philosophical and
high ideals which placed him at the head of his profes-
sion. His wonderful intellect and intelligence made him
a benefactor to his city, above what he accomplished in
its behalf through his professional capacity. He was a
patriot, orator, and legislator of first rank, and his name
and good deeds are fitly honored in any history of his
home state.

William Jackson Fleshek. A member of the Canyon
City bar since 1909, Mr. Flesher has been successful iu
practice, has been honored with official promotion, and
is one of the enterprising and public spirited men of
Randall county.

William Jackson Flesher was born at Reedy, Roane
county, West Virginia, September 14, 1882. On his
father 's side his ancestors came from Germany, and his
mother 's ancestry was Irish. The father, Andrew L.



Flesher, was a native of West Virginia, and his grand-
father John Flesher was an old West Virginia farmer,
and when the Civil war came on, enlisted with Brecken-
ridge 's mounted troopers, and served from the West
Virginia campaign, early in the war, until the sur-
render of Lee at Appomattox. His death occurred
soon after the war, partly a result of the wounds and
hardships which lie had undergone as a soldier. Andrew
L. Flesher, the father, who now resides at Rock Island,
Texas, brought his family from West Virginia to Mis-
souri in 18SS, and in 1900 came to Texas. He is a con-
tractor and builder, and in politics is a Democrat. The
family are Methodists in religion. The maiden name of
the mother is Henrietta Sunmierville, who was born in
Jackson county, West Virginia, and has been the mother
of seven children, three deceased, and the four now liv-
ing being residents of Texas.

William Jackson Flesher had his early schooling in
Sullivan county, Missouri, and spent one year in the
Kirksville Normal in that state. When eighteen years
old the family came to Texas, and from 1902 to 1904
he was a student in the Texas State Normal School'
at Denton. His early career was spent on a farm and
in the fall of 1900 he filled his first regular position
as a teacher. He taught a country school in Colorado
county for three years, resigning to enter the State Nor-
mal at Denton, and from there moved out to Mason
county, Texas, where he was elected superintendent of
schools. He filled that important office for three years.
He had depended upon his own exertions to advance his
education, and early in his career it was his ambition
to become a lawyer. With the means acquired as a
teacher he finally entered the law department of the
Universitv of Texas, and after studving two years was
admitted'to the bar in the f.all of 1908. In June, 1909,
he opened his oftice in Canyon City, and was soon recog-
nized as one of the rising young attorneys of the Ran-
dall county bar. In November, 1910, he was elected
to the office of county attorney, and by reelection in
1912, still holds that office. Mr. Flesher is also a stock
holder and director of the First State Bank of Canyon.
In politics he is one of the workers for Democratic
support. During the recent campaign, he was one of
the active advocates of the amendment to the state con-
stitution, providing for state-wide prohibition, and while
the campaieii \vas" iiiisiieressfiil -reat headway lias been
made, ami with a vieu u. s,.,.,,rinu tlie final elniihiation
of the lii|iier trallir fium Texa- M i-, |-|esli,a' determined
to devote iiiueli time ami lalmr tn extemling the work
which was so well liegun previous to the last election on
that question. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Ma-
sonic order, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and
the Woodmen of the World, also belonging to the East-
ern Star. He is a trustee and steward in the Methodist
church and one of the teachers of the Sunday school.

On December 25, 1910, he married Miss May Ballard,
who was born in Texas, a daughter of J. W. Ballard.
Her father was one of the old settlers of Wise county,
having come across the country with an ox team to that
region. For the past twenty-two years he and his fam-
ily ha\e iisided in Swisher county, Texas. To Mr. and
liis. rieslni liave been born one son and one daughter:
William .lames. .Jr., born September 21, 1911, and Hen-
rietta May, Imiiii June 6, 1913.

William C. Blanks. Since 1907 a prominent member
of the San Angelo bar, William C. Blanks has been a
Texas lawyer for twenty years, and has made a very
successful record in his profession.

William C. Blanks was born August 24, 1873, in
Maysville, Arkansas, the oldest of the five children of
R. A. and M. A. Blanks, both of whom were natives
of Virginia. On the father's side the ancestry is
Scotch-Irish, and French on the mother 's. Before the
Civil war both families were large planters and i
holders in Virginia, and the maternal grandfather



J



TEXAS AND TEXANS



the owner of about two hundred slaves, so that the result
of the war was especially disastrous to his property.
In lS7-t the parents moved out to Texas, locating at
Gainesville, from there to Wills Point. At the latter
place the father was engaged in the mercantile business,
and lived there untU his death in 1902. The mother
passed away in 1910 at the old home in Sherman. Pre-
vious to his removal to Texas, the father went through
the war as a Confederate soldier. He was wounded in
the first battle at Manassas, but after a furlough re-
turned to the army and continued thiough many other
engagements until the final surrender. He was a busi-
ness friend and associate of Stonewall Jackson.

Mr. William C. Blanks attained his education in the
public schools of Texas, having been a resident of this
state since he was one year of age. He subsequently
was a student in the Battle Ground Academy in Frank-
lin, Tennessee, and during 1892-93 was a student in the
law firm of Judge Gordon Eussell and W. B. Wynne at
Hills Point. His entrance to the bar followed in 1S93,
when he was only twenty years of age. He began prac-
tice in Wills Point, his old home, and remained there
until 1907, at which date he established his ofiice in San
Angelo.

Mr. Blanks has always been a stanch Democrat and
has spoken and contributed in other ways to the success
of his party and to good government in his community
and state. He is aflSliated with the Knights of Pythias,
and the San Angelo club, and belongs to the State Bar
Association. His religious membership is in the Method-
ist church south, of which he is a steward. On June
12, 1875, Mr. Blanks married Miss Julia Gilchrist, daugh-
ter of A. J. Gilchrist of Wills Point. Her father was
for a number of years a merchant at Wills Point, hav-
ing come to Texas from Missouri many years ago.
Her mother, Mrs. Kate Gilchrist, is now living at the old
home, but her father died about 1887. The four chil-
dren of Mr. and Mrs. Blanks are two girls and two boys.
Miss Euth and Miss Mary are both in school, and the
boys are William, aged ten and Olin, aged six, the former
also being a school boy. Mr. Blanks has been well pleased
with conditions in west Texas since he took up his resi-
dence here, and as it is the portion of the state which
will have the greatest development within the next
quarter of a century, it is his purpose to identify him-
self closely with its progress and assist in every capacity
to promote the substantial welfare of San Angelo and
all other sections of the state.

Judge Milton Mays. Many years of experience in
legal work has won for Judge Milton Mays of San
Angelo, Texas, a wide reputation as a lawyer'of wisdom
and aliilitv. (if ):itp y.>ius the .iudge has devoted his
attenti^'i' ' ■ i ■- lit^^ m< ;i member of the bench, and
his siir- , I , .,il rapaiity was no less than was

expei-ti'] in-iM iin i,,Mi,| h,. made as an attorney. Judge
Mays ii:is also i.iken an active part in politics and in
fact has entered actively into every phase of the life of
the communities in which he has made his home.

Judge Milton Mays was born in Madison county, Ten-
nessee, on the 7th of November, 1840, the son of John
M. and Sarah (Pulbright) Mays. John il. Mays was
a farmer of Madison county and a member of a well
known Tennessee family. The Mays family were pros-
perous planters before the war, being land owners and
slave holders. John M. Mays came to Texas in 184'9
and located in Eusk county where he farmed and raised
stock. Here he lived until his death in 1887 at the
age of seventy-five years. He was justice of the peace
for a number of years in Eusk county and was a prom-
inent citizen. His wife died in 1880. There were twelve
children in the family, six boys and six girls, an even
division and a similar coincidence occurs in the fact that
six of the children, three boys and three girls were
born in Tennessee, while the other six were born in Texas.
Of these children Judge Mays was the fourth. Their



ancestry was German and Scotch, and characteristics of
both these strong races may be seen in the person oi
the judge. Milton Mays first attended a private school
in Tennessee and then upon the removal of his family
to Texas he continued his education in private .^choids
in the latter state. He next entered the Cumberland
Presbyterian College at Daingerfield, Texas, remainiug
there from 1857 to 1860.

When the storm cloud of 1860 broke, however, young
Milton Mays would have no more of school. He enlisted
in the Confederate army, being a niemljer of Company
F, of the 7th Texas' Cavalry in Sibley's Brigade.
He took part in a number of battles, among them being
those of Valverde and Glorietta in New Mexico. He
served all through the war and in addition to the larger
battles he was in hundreds of skirmishes.

With the surrender of General Lee and the conse-
quent close of the war Judge Mays again became a pri-
vate citizen. He returned to Texas and taught school
for a time, spending his spare moments in reading law.
He later studied under Colonel William Stedman Hen-
derson and in 1870 he was admitted to the bar. He
fiist began to practice in Rusk county, Texas, and in
1872 he located in Brownwood, Texas. He remained
here for ten years and then, in 1882, he came to San
Angelo. He has been engaged in the active practice
of his profession here ever since and has built up a
large and lucrative practice. He has held the oflSce
of county judge for the past fourteen years, being one
of the most widely respected of the judges of Tom
CJreen county.

Judge Mays has always been a member of the Demo-
cratic party and has worked for the success of the party
in every election. In 1896 he was one of the electors
on the Democratic ticket. His sole fraternal allegiance
is with the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.

Judge Mays was married in 1866 to Miss Mary San-
ford, of Eusk county, Texas, and his second marriage
took place in 1882, his wife being Miss Aline Standen-
berg, of Brownwood, Texas. The judge has two daugh-
ters, Mary and Hermione.

James E. Grimland. A long and steadily prospering
business career has been that of James E. Grimland of
Sonora, and along with success in merchandising he has
been honored with official position and places of trust
which indicate the confidence of the community in his
ability and integrity.

James E. Grimland, who is a Texan both by bjrth and
by preference, was born in Prairieville in Kaufman
county, March 3, 1866. His parents, Yern and Inger
(Holversou) Grimland, were both natives of Norway,
whence they came to Texas as young people and were
married in this state. The father has been a resident
of the state since he was sixteen years of age. During
his younger years he followed farming and is now
retired. He has always taken an active part in public
affairs, and has been licuinriNl witli various public offices.
He is a very -influential iiiciiilicr of the Lutheran church,
and his wife is a nicuilier nf the Methodist Episcopal
church. Mr. and Mrs. Grimland celebrated their golden
wedding anniversary on July 13, 1912. They not only
prospered in the material sense, Init reared a fine family
of fourteen children, all of whom consider Texas as their
permanent home.

James E. Grimland had his education in the public
schools and after leaving high school finished at a busi-
ness college. Until he was twenty-one yenr* of age he
lived at home on the farm, and was tliiin'UL'Mv familiar
with all its duties. He then went int^ :i ~;..ir ;,v a clerk,
and followed mercantile lines for twcutx li^' .vais in the
employ of various firms and at different jilaces. He has
been a resident of Sonora in Sutton county for a number
of years, and in April, 1911. he established there his
present business. He has a first-class store and carries
a good stock of men 's furnishing goods, shoes, hats and
other wares, and does an extensive retail business.



1632



TEXAS AND TEXANS



• In Bosque county, Texas, on New Year 's Eve of 1899,
Mr. Grimland married Mis3 Lucy Wallace, daughter of
S. J. Wallace of Bosque county. Their family of seven
children, five sons and two daughters, are named: Fred
C, Lucile, Winona, Eoy, Wade, Jack and Lawrence.
The son Fred is a graduate of Byrne's Commercial Col-
lege at Tyler, and Lucile is a teacher in the Sonora Pub-
lie Schools. All the family are active members of the
Methodist church. Fraternally Mr. Grimland is a Blue
Lodge and Chapter Mason, being secretary of his lodge,
and is also one of the local commanders of the Knights
of the Maccabees. He has membership in the Sonora
Business Men 's Club.

Politically he is considered one of the most active men
in the Sutton Democracy. As a citizen and as a business
man the people have shown their confidence in him by
electing him five successive times to the office of county
treasurer, and he is now serving his fifth term. On two
elections he had no opponent for the office. Among the
avocations of life Mr. Grimland gets a great deal of
pleasure out of music, and is proficient with nearly every
instrument.

Hon. Asher Eichardson Smith, of Laredo, Texas, is



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 12 of 177)