Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Sej'tember 15, 1S4S, a son of John M. and Sarah Jane
Gass. His father, a native of Tennessee, came to Texas
in 1811 and settled on a ranch in Collin county, where
he became a leading stockman. Subsequently he opened
the first store at Millwood, but sold his interests in that
enterprise about 1851 and erected the first meal tread-
mill in the state of Texas, continuing to operate this
until 1S56. Shortly thereafter, in his forty-first year,
he passed away. Mr. Gass was the first commissioner
of Collin county, and was a man widely and favorably
known. He was married in Collin county, his wife hav-
ing come to Texas with her parents, and she survived
him until 1906, when she died in her seventy-fifth year.
They became the parents of two children, of whom
David E. was the elder.

David E. Gass received his preliminary education in
the little primitive log schoolhouse in the vicinity of his
birthplace in Collin county, and later supplemented this
by attendance at the high school. He remained with
his mother until he attained his majority. He then mar-
ried and farmed on his own account for fourteen years
in Eockwall county. In 1882 he entered the mercantile
business and conducted a store there until September,
1885, then going to Haskell, Texas, where he con-
tinued in the same line for the following seven years.
December, 1892, found him established in business at
Hale Center, Texas, but one year later he went to Tulia,
and in 1898 he came to Hereford and erected the first
store at this place, being engaged in general merchandise,
but afterwards he split up the business and sold the
hardware department, also the grocery department, con-
tinuing the dry goods, in which business he took his son
into partnership. During the fifteen years that he has
resided at Hereford, ilr. Gass has seen the little hamlet
grow and develop into a flourishing, prosperous city, the
center of large commercial interests, an enlightened,
educated community, and the home of good citizenship.
He has devoted himself energetically to advancing its
interests along every line, and has erected many of the
buildings here, a number of which he owns. No move-
ment for progress has been complete until it has had his
name on its list of supporters, and he has withheld his
co-operation from no beneficial enterprise. His success
in life may be accredited to his ow-n eiforts, for when
he embarked upon his career he was a poor boy, without
influential friends or monetary influence.

On July 1, 1869, Mr. Gass was married to Miss Emma

McEeynolds, a native of Collin county, Texas, daughter
of J. M. McEeynolds, a pioneer of the Lone Star state.
Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Gass,
namely: Charles, born July 21, 1870, in Eockwall
county, a business man and banker at St. Joe, Texas,
and the father of three children; Claude L., born Oc-
tober 25, 1873, in Eockwall county, cashier of the First
State Bank of Einggold, Texas, and the father of one
child; Nester E., born February 9, 1877, in Eockwall,
now associated in business with "his father at Hereford ;
Mrs. Beulah Hutchinson, born June 15, 1881, at Tulia,
Texas, wife of a prominent stockman and the mother of
three children, still living at Tulia; Mrs. Brissy Mc-
Intyre, twin of Beulah, born June 15, 1881, at Tulia,
now the wife of a well-known druggist of Canyon, and
the mother of one child; Mrs. Ima Anthony, born Sep-
tember 1, 1886, at Haskell, Texas, the wife of a dr\ig-
gist of Canyon and the mother of one child; Miss
Dipple, born July 29, 1892, at Haskell ; and Miss Mabel,
born February 1. 1895. Mr. Gass is a Democrat in his
political views, but has had no aspirations for public

EiCHARD Coke Hopping. The career of Eichard Coke
Hopping, sheriff of Parmer county, Texas, has been
one replete with experiences of an interesting, and some-
times hazardous, nature, with obstacles overcome and
barriers of discouragement surmounted. He was left
an orphan at a tender age, and his uoyhood struggles
were hard and unceasing, but he never lost courage and
his persistent eiforts have finally brought him a well-
merited success. Eichard Coke Hopping was born Au-
gust 20, 1875, at Granbury, Texas, and is a son of Wray
and Susan (Nutt) Hopping, natives of Alabama. His
father, a well-known Southern planter, came to Texas
at an early period and engaged in farming, especially
cotton raising. He later left home and has not been
heard from for fifteen years, but if still alive would be
in the vicinity of seventy-five years of age. His wife '
died at Granbury, in 1878, aged thirty-eight years. Of
their three children, Eichard C. was the youngest.

Eichard Coke Hopping was but three years of age
when his mother died, and at that time "he became a
ward of an uncle, Jacob Nutt, with whom he made his
home at Granbury. There he spent his school days, his
vacations and all spare time being passed in the hard
work of the farm from the time he was large enough
to reach the plow -handles. When his education was
completed he began farming and cattle raising for Mr.
Nutt, but in 1901 went to Portales, New Mexico, and
for five years was engaged in the cattle business on his
own account, but in 1906 disposed of his interests there
and came to Parmer county. Here he has since been
the owner of a fine ranch and is known as one of the
leading stockmen of his district. He is a member of the
Panhandle Stock Eaisers Association, of which he has
been inspector during the past two years, and has de-
voted himself assiduously to furthering the interests
of this influential and progressive body. A Democrat
in politics, Mr. Hopping has ever labored faithfully in
the ranks of his party, and in 1910, when a strong man
was needed to make the race for the office of sheriff,
Mr. Hopping was the choice of his party and his sub-
sequent election left no doubt as to his popularity. He
received the re-election in 1912, and has continued to
discharge the duties of his office in an able and efficient
manner. He has been called upon at times to officiate
in his official capacity on occasions when he was forced
to display a high order of courage, tact and discre-
tion, and at no time has he failed to vindicate the con-
fidence placed in him. He belongs to the Masonic Blue
Lodge at Farwell, and is also a member of the Baptist

On January 15, 1892, Mr. Hopping was married in
Hood county, Texas, to Miss Lelia Jones, daughter
of the late Luke Jones, but reared in the family of



John B. Jones, a well-known pioneer of Hood county.
Seven children were born to this union: La Verna, born
in December, 1894, at Graubury, Texas; Flora Best,
bom in 1897, at Granbury, and now attending school
at Milford, Texas; Jacob, born in 1900, at Granbury,
and now attending school at Farwell ; Earl, born in 1903,
at Portales, New Mexico, and now attending school at
Farwell; Sidney, born in 1906, at Texico, New Mexico,
also a student in the Farwell public schools; Lillian,
born in 1908, at Farwell; and Pattie, the baby, born
at this place in 1911.

B. E. Nobles. Among the conmierelal houses of
Parmer county which have added to the business pres-
tige of this section of the Lone Star state, that of B. E.
Nobles & Son Grocery Company, of Farwell and Texico,
holds jjrominent place. The founder of this business,
B. E. Nobles, is widely known in Texas, belonging to
that class of self-made men who value their success all
the more because it has been self-gained. His business
operations extend over a wide area, and have Ijrought
him into contact with a great number of people, repre-
senting all spheres and conditions of AVtestern pioneer
life. Fertile in resources, the reverses with which he
has met from time to time have proved but temporary
embarrassments, and every new undertaking has been
prosecuted with a zeal and energy which has merited,
and usually attained, success.

Mr. Nobles was born in Henderson county, Tennes-
see, January 20, 1859, and is a son of W. A. and Eliza-
beth P. (Mann) Nobles. His parents, natives of Ten-
nessee, were married in that state, and prior to the Civil
war Mr. Nobles was one of the well-known planters of
Henderson county. When the struggle between the
North and the South broke out, he enlisted in the Con-
federate service and met a soldier's death at the battle
of Perryville, Kentucky, in 1864, being but thirty-seven
years of age. His widow survived him for a long period,
passing away in 1904, when eighty-tour years of age,
having been the mother of five sons and one daughter,
B. E. being the fifth child in order of birth.

B. E. Nobles attended college at Spring Creek, Ten-
nessee, but left that institution prior to his graduation
and returned to his mother 's home, where he remained
until his nineteenth year. At that time, in 1878, he
came to Texas and first settled in Kaufman county,
where he was engaged in farming for three years. He
then made removal to Lamar county, and there estab-
lished himself in the mercantile business, remaining
there until 1907. At that time he came to Farwell and
established the firm of B. E. Nobles & Son Grocery Com-
pany, which has continued to carry on business under
the same firm style to the present time. Starting in a
small way, it has been gradually developed into the
largest business of its kind in Farwell and Texico, and
the management of this enterprise has left Mr. Nobles
with little time for other pursuits. He has given his
thought and attention to his business, but has found
leisure to discharge the duties of citizenship, being at
this time a member of the board of county commission-
ers, and under this administration numerous improve-
ments have been made, including the building of roads
from the Mexico line to the end of Parmer county. He
has found time, also, to indulge in the social intercourse
and charitable work of the Masonic order, in which he
has passed aU the chairs in the Blue Lodge and is now
a member of the Chapter and also holds membership in
the ■'STDodmen of the World in Lamar county. He has
also been active in the work of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, Farwell, where he has served for some time as
superintendent of the Sunday school.

Mr. Nobles was married first in Kaufman countv,
Texas, October 20, 1881, to Miss Mattie E. Daniel, who
was born in that county, daughter of Dr. T. J. Daniel,
and she died in October, 1885, having been the mother
of two children — Lola E., who was born in 1882 in

Kaufman county, and now resides at Deport, Lamar
county, and J. 0., born in 1884, in Kaufman county,
now a member of the wholesale house of Nobles Broth-
ers, at Dalhart, Texas. In May, 1S87, Mr. Nobles was
married iu Lamar county, to Mary Josephine Baught,
daughter of G. C. Baught, of Tennessee, now a well-
known resident of Deport, Texas, and two children
have been born to this union— Mack D., born August 1
1889, in Lamar county, in business with his father, and
""^'^ Estelle, born in 1894, in Lamar county, and now a
of Farwell.

John M. Dorraxce. There are few men in the country
who have had a longer and more diversified experience
as cotton buyers than John M. Dorrance, head of the
firm of Dorrance & Company, cotton exporters at
Houston. Mr. Dorrance got his first experience as a
cotton buyer nearly fifty years ago, when a boy of about
fourteen. There have been very few interruptions to his
continuous identification with that line of business since
1866. During a residence at Houston of more than
twenty years Mr. Dorrance has extended his activities
and influence beyond the strict lines of his private busi-
ness, and has associated himself influeutially with many
concerns and movements which are of a public or semi-
public nature.

A New Englander by birth, John M. Dorrance was
born at Webster, Massachusetts, in 1852, a son of George
W. and Eliza (Bartello) Dorrance. His father held the
rank of chaplain iu the United States Navy and saw
service throughout the Civil war. His death occurred
m 1887. The mother was a native of Washington, D. C.
After a common school education, John M. Dorrance
started to work at the age of fourteen in the cotton
business with the firm of E. T. Wilson & Company of
New York City. Later Murchison & Company of New
York City sent him as their representative to Ealeigh,
North Carolina, and he later located for the same com-
pany at Greenville, South Carolina. His work continued
in South Carolina up to 1880, when he was compelled
to resign on account of ill health, and since then his
home has been in the middle west and southwest. He
lived at St. Louis until 1884 and in that year first came
to Houston, Texas. After a short time he went to
Bryan and had his headquarters as a cotton buver in
that city until 1890. Since the latter year his" home
has been in Houston, and most of his business activi-
ties are centered in this city. In 1897 was established
the cotton firm of Dorrance, Neville & Cairnes, which
later became Dorrance, Cairnes & Company, and finally
took its present form of Dorrance & Company. Mr.
Dorrance was one of the vice presidents of the Commer-
cial National Bank of Houston untU 1908. He then
took a similar position with the South Texas National
Bank, of Houston, and in 1912, with the consolidation of
the South Texas National and the Commercial National
as the South Commercial National Bank, he became one
of the vice presidents of the new institution and stUl
continues in that office. There are numerous other con-
cerns and organizations which might be mentioned as
having profited by the relations of Mr. Dorrance with
them. Mr. Dorrance has also served as president of the
Standard Compress Company from 1898 to 1912, until
the plant was burned in the latter year. In 1913 he
organized the Shippers Compress of Houston, and is
president of this company. He is also president of the
Brazos Tde & Brick Company, of Eosenberg, and his
financial interests extend to some of the important dis-
trict dredging undertakings in this section of the state.

Mr. Dorrance has membership in the Houston Cotton
Exchange, of which he was at one time vice president;
also a member of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange,
and an associate member of the Liverpool Cotton Ex-
change. Socially, he belongs to the Houston Club, the
Houston Country Club, and the Thalian Club of Houston.
Mr. Dorrance and family reside in Courtland place,



Houston. In 1886 occurred his marriage with Miss Ada
Knapp. Her father, Col. John Knapp, of St. lK)uis, was
one of the founders of the great newspaper, the St.
Louis Beiuiblic. To the marriage of Mr. Dorrance and
wife have been born four children, the tirst two at
Bryan, Texas, and the second two at Watch Hill, in
Ehode Island. Their names are: Virginia E., John
p, Margery, and George TV.

Hon. James 0. Luby. San Diego, Texas, has no
more highly esteemed citizen than the Hon. James 0.
Luby, ex-county .iudge of Duval county, who first came
to Texas as a soldier in the Confederate ranks. To the
great struggle between the south and the north the state
of Texas is indebted for some of its foremost men in
all ranks of life — men who in all probability would
have rounded out their careers in other sections of the
country, but whom the fortunes of war caused to seek
new fields in which to recuperate their losses and to
begin again lives that had been all but shattered in the
support of the ' ' lost cause. ' ' Here in the new and
developing southwest they gathered together the broken
threads of life and gallantly fought the battles of peace,
eventually forgetting the misfortunes of the past in the
successes of the present. Judge Luby identified himsell
with one of the counties of Texas which at the time was
in the isolated borderland of south Texas, and performed
a valuable individual share in the development which has
since brought Duval material wealth and substantia] civil
and industrial order.

Judge Luby is an Irishman born in the city of Lon-
don, of Irish parentage, in 1846. He lost his father
when he was a baby and in 1854 accompanied his mother
to the United States, the family first settling in New
York, where he received a public school education. From
an early age his fortunes became varied and brought
him into interesting parts of the western world and into
the dangers of military life. In 1861 he was on the
Island of Cuba and in April of the same year went to
New Orleans, and enlisted in the Confederate army, be-
ing mustered into Col. A. H. Gladden 's First Louisiana
Infantry on April Sth. His regiment was sent to Pen-
sacola, Florida, next into Tennessee, and participated in
many of the more important engagements in the middle
west. Following the battle of Shiloh in 1862 Mr. Luby
received his honorable discharge, but re-enlisted as a
member of the Fourteenth Louisiana Infantry. His
service with this command was soon afterwards inter-
rupted by capture, and after getting his parole in
September. 1862, he went to the Mexican border at
Brownsville. There he joined Col, J, S. (Eip) Ford's
famous command, and continued with that frontier
branch of the Confederate army until the last battle of .
the war, fought at Palmetto ranch in Texas, close to
the scene of the first battle of the Mexican war. This
engagement took place May 13, 1865, and resulted in
a victory for the Confederate army.

At the close of his military career. Judge Luby joined
the Mexican Liberal army under Gen. Serrando Canales,
serving with the rank of captain until 1867. That year
saw his removal to San Diego, in Duval county, which
city has since been his home. Judge Luby took an
active part in the progress and development of the early
Duval county, and has witnessed a great transformation
since the days of the open range until now San Diego
is a center of commercial, industrial and educational
activities, and the name of Judge Luby has been iden-
tified with many enterprises which have contributed to
its growth and improvements. After a few years he
read law and was admitted to the bar in 1878.

During his term as county judge of Duval county,
numerous improvements and great advancements took
place, and he was one of the county's most popular and
efficient officials. He has a wide acquaintance among
men of note in Texas, and many of them are his per-
sonal friends. During the administration of President

Arthur, Judge Luby served as collector of customs at
Brownsville, and in 1900 was supervisor of the census.
Judge Luby was married in Corpus Christi to Miss
Mary J. Hoffman. She was born near Karlsbad, Bo-
hemia, Austria, but was reared in Nueces county, Texas.
Her father, Kletus Hoffman, brought his family to
southwestern Texas in 18.57. Her sister. Miss Annie
Hoffman, became the wife of the late Norman G.
Collins, who at the time of his death was one of th
wealthiest men of southwest Texas. Judge and Mrs.
Luby have four children: John M. Luby, a graduate
of the Annapolis Naval Academy in 1894, serving with
the rank of commander in the United States navy ;
James; Mrs. Adelaide Whitman; and Mrs. Kate L.
Shaffer. Judge Luby is the owner of two handsome
homes, one in San Diego and the other in San Antonio.

Judge J.\mes D. Hamlix has the distinction of hiv-
ing laid out the townsite of Texico and also of Far-
well, the county seat of Parmer county, and for the
past seven 3-ears has served as county judge of Parmer

James D. Hamlin was born in Louisville, Kentucky,
August 5, 1871, a son of James M, and Mary J. Ham-
lin, who are both now living in Parmer county. Texas.
The father, who is seventy years of age, has been a.
rancher for many years, and in his early life was a
soldier of the Union army. The mother is seventy-eight
years of age, and she was married in her native state
of Kentucky. They were the parents of two children.

Juilye Hamlin, the older of the children, attended
school in the Louisville high school, and in the Unversity
of Kentucky, at Lexington, where he was graduated
B. A. in 189.5. He then entered the St. Louis law school,
and during his studies there was engaged in newspaper
work with the St. Louis HepuMif. In 1896 he came to-
Amarillo to take the presidency of Amarillo College, an
office which he held for two years. He then engaged in
practice at Amarillo. where he remained until 1905 and
ser\-ed one term as prosecuting attorney. Judge Hamlin
was legal representative of the Capital Company in its
vast landed interests in the Panhandle, and in this con-
nection started the town of Texico in 1905 and that of
Farwell in 1906. In November, 1912, he was elected
county judge of Parmer county and has since given a
very capable administration of the fiscal affairs of this

The Judge is a member of the Masonic Order and of
the Kappa Sigma College Fraternity. He is a Demo-
crat and a member of the Christian church. At Hutchi-
son, Kansas, in 1906, he married Miss Kathryne Nichols,
a native of Texas and daughter of W, H, Nichols, her
parents are still living. Judge Hamlin is well known
in the Panhandle and is a man of broad ideas and di-
versified activities.

Paul Whitfield Horx. Probably no educator of
Texas has more nearly realized the ideals of civic lead-
ership than Professor Horn, the superintendent of the
Houston public school system. Professor Horn is a
teacher with many years of successful experience in the
practical duties of the school room. Since 1904 he has
made a splendid record in building up and developing
the Houston system of public schools, and that the local
school system has ranked and excelled any of the South-
ern cities is chiefly due to Professor Horn 's superior
ability as a manager and director. Aside from this work
directly connected with his profession, however, Pro-
fessor Horn has been almost equally well known as a
citizen of Houston, one of the leaders whose influence
and counsel are considered necessary in all the larger
community undertakings, and whose name properly be-
longs in that group of public spirited men and women
who have done most to create and develop the larger
and fuller life of this city.

Paul Whitfield Horn is a native of Booneville, Mis-





souri. His father was born in Logan county, Kentucky,
and the mother at Booneville, Missouri. Rev. George W.
Horn was for many years a Methodist minister and the
scenes of his pastoral labors were chiefly in Missouri and

Completing his literary education at the Central Col-
lege in Fayette, Missouri, where he graduated in 1888
and subsequently attained the degree of A. M., Professor
Horn taught one term of rural school before his gradua-
tion, and then, from 1889 to 1892, was teacher in the
Pryor Institute in Jasper, Tennessee. During the last
three years he was president of the institute. Coming
to Texas in 1892, he spent one year as teacher in VaUey
View, in Cooke county, and for two years at Belcher-
ville, in Montague county, after which he took the prin-
cipalship of the high school at Sherman. Professor Horn
is highly esteemed in Sherman, where he spent nine
years as an educator and upbuilder of the public school
system. He was principal of the high school from 1895
to 1897, and then became superintendent of the city
schools, continuing in that position until 1904. In the
latter year he came to Houston as superintendent and
will soon have entered upon his tenth year as head of
the local schools.

From 1905 to 1912 Professor Horn, with the excep-
tion of the summer of 1911, was one of the teachers in
the summer school at the University of Texas, at Austin,
and during 1911 taught in the summer school of Tulane
University, at New Orleans. He has contributed nu-
merous articles to, newspapers and reviews on educa-
tional subjects, and has often written concerning civic
problems. ' With Mr. A. N. McCallum he is author of the
"New Century Spelling- Bonk," published in 1908; with
Mr. W. S. Siittnii, )-; niitlini .if ■•School Room Es?eii-
tials," publislh.-i 111 lull. :iinl i< .iiithor of "Best Things
in Our Schouls, ' ' |,l m IHM. Professor Horn has
membership iu the National Eilm-ational Association, in
the Southern Educational Association, in the Texas State
Teachers ' Association, of which he was president in
1910, and is a member of the board of directors of the
Carncyii' Lilirinv :it Houston, of the Houston M'lsic As-
sociation, ami lit' the Houston Art Leat;ne, His church
is the -Mrthoili^t •■111.1 he has membership in the Houston

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 128 of 177)