Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Humphreys illustrates most forcibly the possibilities



1982



TEXAS AND TEXANS



that are open to a young man who possesses sterling
business qualifications. It i^roves that neither wealth
nor social position, nor the assistance of influential
friends at the outset of his caieer, are at all necessary
to place a young man upon the road to success. It also
pruvcs th;it ^iiiiliitiniiv perseverance, steadfastness of pur-
pose ;iiiil iiel. i;iti^:iM. industry, combined with sound
bu-iiM^s j.nih i|.lr-. will be rewarded, and that true
surnss follows I II' 1 1 \ h lual ett'orts only. Mr. Humphreys
was liorn at Gilmer, Upshur county, Texas, June 17,
1872, and is a son of Benjamin T. and Elizabeth
(Eogers) Humphreys.

Benjamin T. Humphreys was born in Alabama, and
there was engaged in farming until the outbreak of the
war between the states, when he enlisted for service in
the Confederate army, in the ranks of which he fought
valiantly throughout that struggle. He participated in
numerous hard-fought engagements, but succeeded in
going through the entire war without being wounded
or captured. When peace was declared, he sought a
new home in the growing Southwest, choosing Upshur
county, Texas, as his field of endeavor, and being one of
the organizers of that county. He engaged in stock
raising and became fairly successful, and was well and
favorably known among his fellow-citizens who elected
him sheriff of his county for two terms. His politics
were those of the Democratic party, and his religious
faith that of the Baptist church. His death occurred
when he was seventy years of age, in 1S96. at Dallas.
Mr. Humphreys married Elizabeth Eogers, who was
born in Mississippi and came to Texas during the early
sixties with her parents. She still survives her hus-
baml and is a resident of Dallas, being the mother of
six children, of whom Elwin H.. is the next to the oldest.
Elwiu H. Humphreys was given but meager educa-
tional advantages, the greater part of his education hay-
ing been obtained in tlie schools of hard work and ex-
perience, as he was liut seven years of age when he
commenced to make his own way in the world. At that
tender age he secured a position as cash boy in the
store of Sanger Brothers, at Dallas, Texas, his salary
being at that time $2.50 per week. At the start he
showed himself ambitious, faithful and quick to learn,
and as his services were recognized and appreciated, he
was promoted and given a larger salary. During the
years that followed he went from position to position
and from one establishment to another, always better-
ing himself, and applying himself conscientiously to
his work, thus perfecting himself in every detail of
the mercantile business, which he had chosen for his
life work. Mr. Humphreys had ever been .aieful with
his earnings, knowing well from persomil exuei unre
the value of a dollar, and by the time he «n^ twenty
years of age he was able to realize his :iiiilotioii of
being the proprietor of an establishment of his own,
opening a grocery at Colorado City, Texas. The young
merchant met with success from the start, the excel-
lence of his goods, his evident desire to please, and the
progressive and original manner in which he placed his
goods before the public, all combining to attract a
large and paying trade. He continued to carry on this
business at Colorado City for ten years, and then, receiv-
ing an advantageous offer, disposed of his interests
there and came to Plainview. Here he became finan-
cially interested in the Donohoo-Ware Hardware Com-
pany, where he was influential in increasing the capi-
tal "from $20,000 to $100,000. and two and one-half
years later this business was incorporated. Since 1906
he has been secretary and treasurer of the firm, of which
TV. H. Fuqua, of Amarillo, is president. This is the
largest business of its kind in this section of the state,
employing eight salesman, and occupying a new and
modern building, 7.5x120 feet, built especially for this
enterprise. Mr. Humphreys' close attention to and
sagacious management of this business, has insured its
success, and he has become widely known and regarded



with confidence as a man fair and honorable in his
dealings and true to all obligations ; a safe man, whose
operations are reasonably sure to succeed. He has con-
nections with a number of commercial enterprises and
has invested heavily in land. Mr. Humphreys is a mem-
ber of the Plainview Commercial Club, and his fraternal
connections are with the Elks, the \Yoodmen of the
World and the I'retorians.

In 1895 Mr. Humphreys was married at Colorado
City, Texas, to Miss Jennie Bix, who was born in Wis-
consin, daughter of J. L. Eix. Two children have come
to them: Jennie Eix. born September 6, 1897. at Colo-
rado City; and Elwin H., Jr., born June 18, 1910, at
Plainview.

Pierce P. L-\n-gford. One of the men who has done
a big part in the building up of Wichita Falls from a
small and inconspicuous village to one of the leading
fommercial centers of the state is Pierce P. Langfonl.
who has spent nearly thirty years in this locality, and
from a clerk in a wholesale house has become promi-
nent as an executive and official in half a dozen or more
financial and business institutions.

Born at Newberry, South Carolina, October 24, 1861,
he was twenty-four years old when he came to Wichita
Falls in 1885. His first position was as bookkeeper in
the wholesale grocery house of Kemp, Stinnett & Mall.
After four years with that firm his services were trans-
ferred to public ofBce, when he was elected county treas-
urer of Wichita county. He was kept in that place by
re-election for four successive terms of two years each.
Then in 1898 he became identified with the City Na-
tional Bank as cashier. From that time to the present
he has been one of the best known bankers of North
Texas. He acted as cashier of the City National from
1898 to 1911, and was then chosen vice president and
director, an oflice which he still holds. Mr. Langford
is a director in the First National Bank at Burlcbur-
nett, of the First State Bank of Eleetra, of the First
State Bank at Newcastle, and also a stock holder and
director in nine other banking institutions in Texas Snd
Oklahoma. He is president of the Wichita Ice Company,
which is one of the important local manufacturing in-
stitutions of Wichita Falls. He is a director in the
Wichita Southern Life Insurance Company, in the Wich-
ita Falls Investment Company, the Wichita Falls Bot-
tle Manufacturing Company, and his name is connected
in some capacity or other with many other important
enterprises in this city.

The parents of this well known Wichita Falls busi-
ness man were Asa and Sarah (Sawyer) Langford. The
father was born in South Carolina, and before the war
was a large land owner and possessed many slaves and
was accounted one of the prosperous stockmen and
planters of the vicinity. He was greatly impoverished
by the war, and gave his life for the cause of the Con-
federacy. He enlisted and fought in many of the bat-
tles of Virginia, and died during the siege of Eichmond
at the age of forty-eight years. The mother was also
born in South Carolina, was reared, educated and mar-
ried in that state, and belonged to an old and dis-
tinguished southern family. Her death occurred in
South Carolina in 1898 at the age of seventy-one years.
There were four sons and three daughters and Pierce P.
was the youngest of the family. He never saw his father,
who died away from home a year or two after the birth
of this son. As a boy he attended the public schools of
South Carolina, and also graduated from the Newberry
College. Owing to the unsettled condition of the war
times and the years following, and the losses it inflicted
upon his family, he had to begin work when a very
young boy, in order to help support the household, and
has been' a hard worker all his life. From such be-
ginnings he has finally reached a position where he may
be properly regarded as one of the leading men in influ-
ence and wealth in his section of the state.




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Mr. Langford is affiliated with the Masonic Order,
having attained the various degrees of the York Kite
and being a member of the Mystic Shrine, and is affili-
ated with the Kjiights of Pythias, the Improved Order
of Eed Men, and the Benevolent and Protective Order
of Elks. In politics he is a Democrat, and his church
is the Methodist, in which his wife is a very active
member. At Huntsville, Texas, October 17, 1907, Mr.
Langford married Miss Lula Hyatt, a daughter of Major
Ben and Elizabeth Hyatt. Her father was one of the
well known early settlers of this section of Texas, en-
listed and made a gallant record in the Confederate
army, and is now deceased, while his widow lives in
Wichita Falls. The three children born to Mr. and
Mrs. Langford are: Pierce P. Langford, Jr., born at
Wichita Falls, August, 1908; Ben Langford, born in
September, 1909; and Sarah Elizabeth, born in No-
vember, 1912.

Charles Houston Veale. The Veale family has
been prominent in the Texas bar for many years. Judge
Veale is one of the leading lawyers of Amarillo, and
his son named at the beginning of this paragraph is now
identified with the Floyd county bar, and one of its
ablest junior members.

Charles Houston Veale was born in Breckenridge,
Texas, October 3, 1S88, a son of John W. Veale, for a
number of years has been one of the leading members
of the Potter county bar. Judge Veale represented his
district in the forty-first and forty-second state legis-
latures, and has been one of the leaders in Democratic
politics and civic aifairs. He also served on the district
bench. The maiden name of the mother was Lucy Lee
Crutcher, who was born in Texas, a daughter of Bev.
Crutcher, an old settler of Stephens county, and long a
Baptist minister. The mother died in 1891 at Brecken-
ridge. There were three children in the family, namely:
Lottie May, wife of Joe A. Wheat of Seymour; Charles
H. ; and Lucile, wife of H. J. Houser of Amarillo.

Charles Houston Veale was reared in Amarillo, where
he attended the grade and high schools, graduating from
the I.Tttor in 190.5. He then entered the University of
Texn'i. wliprp he spent two vo.Trs .as n <;tndent, and com-
plet.Ml Ins l:iv\ stiiai.'s ill hih f.'itlirr's niliri.. He was ad-
mitti'.l In prmtirr .Inly '>. linn. ;iii(| \\;is at once taken
into parliiri'^lnp in his tiithiMs linn, known as Veale,
Davidson & Veale. In Sejitemlier. 1911, he left to take
up his residence and begin independent practice in
Floydada. Mr. Veale is a Democrat and a worker in
party and civic affairs. He is affiliated with the Ma-
sonic Order and the Modern Order of Pretorians, and
belongs to the Potter county bar association, and the
state and American Bar Association. His church is
the Baptist. On December 18, 1912, Mr. Veale was
married in Kansas City, Missouri, to Miss Pattie Irene
Easling. a native of Bonaparte, Iowa, a daughter of
H. L. Easling. During his residence in Amarillo, Mr.
Veale served in the Texas National Guards, holding the
place of sergeant in his company.

George A. Webster, born at Lime, New Hampshire,
January 11, 184.5, was the second son of Daniel Noble
"Webster and a direct descendant of Hon, John Webster,
who came to Hartford, Connecticut, with the tirst set-
tlers, a member of the General Court in 1637, a JNIagis-
trate in 1639, Deputy Governor in 1655 and Governor
of Connecticut in 1656. His father was a prominent
merchant and banker of Conneaut, Ohio, and his boy-
hood days were spent there and at other points on Lake
Erie until he enlisted at Greenfield, Huron county, Ohio,
August 15, 1862, as a boy soldier in the war between
the north and the south. During the war he took part
in nine hard fought battles and numerous skirmishes.
He was taken prisoner at Winchester in Juno at the
time of Milroy's defeat, and was placed in Libby prison
but was later transferred to Belle Island. In July of



the same year he was paroled. At Berryville, Shenan-
doah Valley, Virginia, September 3, 1864, he was again
taken prisoner and was held until February or March
of the following year, was at Lynchburg and Salsbury,
North Carolina. He was sergeant of Company C, 123rd
Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and at one time was given
charge of his company, but his youth prevented him
from being commissioned as captain. He was mustered
out at Camp Chase, Ohio, June 12, 1865. He was a
member of the Richard J. Oglesby Post, No. 6, G. A.
E,, of Dallas, Texas. His mother, Lois (Swain) Web-
ster, was his father 's second wife ; she afterwards be-
came the wife of G. C. Wright, and the last years of
her life were spent at Norwalk, Ohio.

After the close of the Civil war Mr. Webster engaged
in the insurance liusiness at Alliance, Ohio, where he
met Miss Mary Fianci's Caiiison. a native of Ohio and
the daughter of .laim'^ \\ . and Amanda (Rhodes) Gar-
rison, and in .July, l^ii:i. ilayv were married at Pitts-
burgh, Pennsylvania. Her father was an able writer
and editor and fur many years was a prominent pub-
lisher and well known and an active worker in the ranks
of the republican party in Ohio, being a close friend
of President McKinley and enjoying the distinction and
honor of having nominated him for his first public
office.

Mr. Webster 's identification with Dallas and the Loan
Star state began in 1875. He had sold his insurance
business, and was then representing a very prominent
company who were the large manufacturers of fire-
arms and sewing machines in the east, when the.y sent
him to Texas from St. Louis to represent them in this
large territory where every one was supposed to own a
six-shooter or some other kind of gun. The state soon
afterwards passed laws prohibiting the carrying of
pistols and as the merchants then stopped buying very
large bills of such goods, Mr. Webster devoted his entire
time to the sewing machine business for a number of
years, having T.'xas and north Louisiana as his terri-
tory, with Ins \ira>h|iiarters at Dallas. Afterwards he
embarked m ilie mnsical merchandise business together

with sewin- mad supplies, etc, but soon returned

to the roail, representing a St. Louis firm of manufac-
turers of jail cages or cells, with whom he was con-
nected for fourteen years prior to his death. He died
at Robert Lee, the county seat of Coke county. Texas,
while on an important trip in the interest of that com-
pany. June 10, 1907. and was laid to rest in Oakland
cemeterv in Dallas, Texas, with Masonic honors, June
13, 1907.

Mr. Webster was a well known and progressive citi-
zen, jiopular with business men and the traveling fra-
ternity, public spirited and a stanch Democrat, often
urged to enter the field as a candidate but always
refused.

As a Mason, he was a member of Tannehill Lodge,
No. 52, A. F. & A. M.; Dallas Chapter, No. 47, Royal
Arch Masons: Past Eminent Commander of Dallas
Conmiandery, No. 6. Knights Templar; at the time of
his death w'as High Priest and Prophet of Hella Tem-
ple, A. A. O. N.^ M. S., which office he had held for
about twenty years.

To Mr. and Mrs. Webster were born six children,
three sons and three daughters. Two of the sons are
living, both married and have children. They are:
Daniel G., employed in the general offices of the Texas
&- Pacific Railway Company, and John L.. a teller in
the American Exchange National Bank. Edward
Thomas, the third son, died in W^aco, Texas, September
9, 1910, at the age of twenty-six years, having been
married only three months. He was well known in
insurance circles. The daughters are Fannie, Helen
and Mary Esther and live with their mother at 1916
South Harwood street, Dallas, Texas.

An extract from the resolutions on the death of Mr.



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Webster from Tamiehill Lodge, Xo. 52, A. F. & A. M.,
Trill show the respect and esteem in which he was held:
' ' Xone knew him but to love him. He always met
his associates, no matter what the circumstances or con-
ditions were, with a smile and a hearty handshake. He
■was a man broad and liberal in his ideas and without
a selfish motive in his nature. He was without an
enemy and was ever ready with his purse and council
to assist and encourage those in need or in
In short, he measured up to the full standard of i



Clakence Smith. Postmaster at Hereford, Clarence
Smith has been a resident of this city since 1905, and
was appointed to his present ofBce towards the close of
Eoosevelt's administration. He is one of the progressive
and public-spirited citizens of Deaf Smith county, and
his individual influence goes to support every movement
and enterprise which may secure the greater welfare of
this section of Texas.

Mr. Smith is a Missourian by birth, having been
born in Mercer county, that state, November 22, 1864.
His father was Wjlliam Smith, a native of Putnam
county, Indiana, whence he moved to Missouri in the
spring of 1864. Grandfather Joseph Smith settled
in Mercer county in 1854. The father was a farmer
■who enjoyed moderate success and prosperity and is now
living in" Dimmit, Castro county, Texas, still active at
the ngo nf soventy-three years. He still has a farm and
is pii:;:il;.',| m ^Tnck raising. He came to Texas in 1899.
Hf '- ;i I,'''|iiiMican in politics and a member of the
Chnstimi rlmrrli. The maiden name of the mother was
Martha Jane Ciardner, ■n'ho was also born in Putnam
county, Indiana, and died in 1897 in Mercer county,
Missouri, when fifty-six years of age. The seven chil-
dren are all living, Clarence Smith being the oldest.

As a hoy he attended the public schools of his native
county and until twenty-one years of age lived on the
home farm. When he started out for himself, the first
five years were spent in farming, after which he got
into the mOling business in Mercer county, and has
been a miller or identified with that industry in some
capacity for thirty-five years.

On January 31, 1905, Mr. Smith located at Hereford,
and the first two and a half years were spent in the
service of the Santa Fe Eailroad Company. In July,
1907, he was appointed postmaster at Hereford, and has
administered the office to the benefit of its patrons and
local business for the past six years. Mr. Smith is one
of the active Republicans of the Panhandle. He is
affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and the Yeomen, and is a member of the Methodist
Church South. In Mercer county, Missouri, November
6, 1886, he married Miss Minnie Crew, a native of Penn-
sylvania, and a daughter of Jacob Crew. Their three
children are: Leslie E., born in Mercer county; William
J., born in Mercer county; and Ealph, also a native of
the same county.

David L. McDonald. The sight of four hundred wind
mills in and about the town of Hereford, each one
pumping water for domestic uses, led D. L. McDonald,
about six years ago, to the conviction that what could
be done on a small scale, such as a forty-foot garden
patch, could be applied to a quarter section of land.
The only requirement was to increase the power of the
wind-driven machinery by several hundred times, and
this could easily be done by installing large fuel con-
suming engines, and centrifugal pumps. Mr. McDonald
saw aU these facts during a temporary residence at
Hereford and other parts of Texas, aiid in 1910 re-
turned to put this plan in operatinn and has the dis-
tinction of having installed the first successful irrigat-
ing plant in the Texas Panhamlle.

Mr. McDonald had his first well sunk on some land
he owned two miles south of Hereford, and put in a
centrifugal pump with a capacity of one thousand gal-



lons ot water per minute. All of Deaf Smith county,
as well as a great portion of the entire Panhandle re-
gion, is underlaid, as those who have even a cursory
knowledge of geological formations in northwest Texas
understand, with what appears to be an inexhaustible
supply of water bearing sand, and though hundreds
of wells have been sunk since Mr. McDonald's initial
enterprise in the vicinity of Hereford, many of which
pump as much as eighteen hundred gallons per minute,
this subterranean water supply has never been dimin-
ished or shown the slightest sign of failing. A result
of all this is that hundreds of irrigated farms have now
taken the place of the old drought-stricken area which
was formerly subject to the inconstant seasons and ir-
regular supply of natural rain falls. It is an interest-
ing fact that Mr. McDonald's enterprise was first put
into successful operation during a year which was con-
sidered one of the dryest and hottest in recent Texas
history, and since the pumping plant went night and
day with no diminution of water, is conclusive evidence
that this sub-surface method of irrigation wiU prove
permanently successful.

Mr. McDonald as the pioneer developer of irrigation
farming in Deaf Smith county and the Panhandle has
spent two or three very busy years in development work
and promoting the success of his irrigation plans to the
farming region about Hereford. He is a member of
the Edwards-McDonald Company, composed of himself
and Mr. Ed. B. Edwards. Mr. Edwards is president of
the First State Bank & Trust Company of Hereford,
and is a banker of wide experience and well known for
his conservative judgment and action. This company
controls large amounts of land about Hereford, and is
installing as rapidly as possible irrigating plants on
every farm subdivision, these plants being constructed
under the personal supervision of Mr. McDonald. The
company guarantees results, every contract of sale hav-
ing a clause which guarantees delivery of enough water
to irrigate every acre of the soil, otherwise the purchaser
need not pay. The firm is interested in banking, farm-
ing, real estate and general development work and has
done much to build up a community of homes in the
rich and productive country about Hereford.

David L. McDonald, who started out in life with no
resources to speak of, and made his way by relying upon
his resourcefulness and ability to encounter every propo-
sition as it came up, was born in Franklin county,
Pennsylvania, at the town of Concord, November 26,
1872. " His father, David L. McDonald, was born in
Pennsylvania, and was a physician and surgeon by pro-
fession. He also served in the Civil war as a member of
Company I of the Forty-Ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.
His death occurred in Pennsylvania in 1900 at the age
of sixty-seven. The mother was Margaret Eobertson,
born in Pennsylvania, and now a resident of Philadel-
phia. There were five children, of whom David L.
was the oldest.

He received a public school education at Greeneastle
up to the time he was seventeen and on leaving school
learned the business of pharmacist, and for ten years
was engaged in the drug trade. As already stated, he
first came to Texas some six or seven years ago. and
in May, 1910, located permanently at Hereford, where
he has since been in the real estate and irrigation de-
velopment business. Since the beginning he has placed
water on more than five thousand acres of land, all
within a few miles of Hereford, and in time he plans
to irrigate two hundred thousand acres. He owns a
thousand acres of farming land of his own, and pro-
duces mixed crops every season.

He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member
of the Lutheran church. On December 12, 1900, at Van
Wert, Ohio, he married Miss Anna K. Bupright, who
was born in Ohio, a daughter of John Eupright. Three
children have been born to their marriage, namely:
Mary, David and John, all of whom were born in Ohio.




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Andrew Jackson Lipscomb. Cashier of the Western
National Bank at Hereford, Mr. Lipscomb has been
identified with this section of the Panhandle for a num-
ber of years as a rancher and as a cattle raiser in Deaf
Smith county, and more recently has taken an active
part in financial and business affairs at Hereford.

Andrew Jackson Lipscomb was born in Wood county,
Texas, March 29, 1866, and the family was among the
pioneers of that county. His paternal ancestors came
from England and settled in the colony prior to the
Eevolutionary war and one or more members of the
family served with the Virginia troops in that and
other early wars of the nation. The maternal ancestors
were of Irish stock, and among the early settlers of
Georgia.

David Thomas Lipscomb, father of the Hereford
banker, was born in Georgia, and came to Texas with



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 126 of 177)