Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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man and later to Missouri, in which state he arrived in
time to take up a homestead direct from the govern-
ment in La Fayette county in 1836. That continued to
be his home until his death in 1873 at the age of fifty-
seven. The mother was born in Tennessee, was edu-
cated and married there, and after marriage she and
her husband fitted out a wagon drawn by ox-teams, trav-
eled across the country, crossing the Mississippi at St.
Louis in a ferryboat, that being many years before the
first bridge was constructed, and thence continued on to
the central portion of the state. An incident of that
journey still preserved among the family traditions is
that the father and mother stopped at St. Louis and

bought supplies for the rest of the journey, and one of
the articles purchased was matches, then a rare com-
modity, and for which they paid five cents apiece. The
mother died at the Missouri home in 1891 at the age
of sixty-eight.

Luther F. Cobb, the third of seven children, when a
boy attended the Missouri schools, but at a very early
age, when no more than twelve, began working in the
fields of a Missouri farm, receiving wages of fifteen
dollars per month. He continued in that way up to his
twenty-fifth year, when he moved to Odessa, and en-
gaged in the grain business and as a dealer in mules.
He has had from early years rare judgment in this
line of business, and developed a "large trade with
Odessa as his headquarters.

Selling out his interests in Missouri in 1906, Mr. Cobb
came to Texas and established an elevator at Hatty.
This elevator he subsequently sold, and when the rail-
road was built into Tulia he was in advance of enter-
prise by establishing an elevator there in association with
his son-in-law, Mr. Elliott. Since then the firm has
been known as Cobb & Elliott, and they are among the
lai-gest grain dealers in the Panhandle country. With
the development of the business they built another ele-
vator in Plainview, in Hale county, and still another at
Lockney. The elevator at Plainview has a capacity of
twelve thousand bushels, and that of Lockney has eight
thousand bushels capacity, and the one at Tulia five
thousand. In connection with the ' Plainview business,
the firm has extensive coal yards and engages in milling.

Mr. Cobb is a member of the Masonic bodies in the
York Rite through all the degrees, and belongs to the
Shrine. He also is a member of the Modern Woodmen
of America, and in politics is a Democrat. His church is
the Presbyterian.

In his home county of La Fayette, Missouri, he was
married November 21, 1883, to Miss Lulu Hughes, who
died at Odessa in 1895. Her father was Colby Hughes,
of La Fayette county. Mr. and Mrs. Cobb have two
children — Mrs. Elsie Elliott, born at Odessa in 1885,
married John F. Elliott, a member of the firm of
Cobb & Elliott, already mentioned. Their home is at
Plainview. The one child of Mr. and Mrs. Elliott is
Carl Finley Elliott, born at Plainview, Texas, in 1910.
The second child of Mr. Cobb is Mrs. Opal Hocker, who
was born at Odessa in 1888, is now a resident of Kansas
Citv, and has one daughter, Elizabeth B. Hocker, born
at Kansas City in 1909. Mr. Cobb resides in the home
of his son-in-law and daughter at Plainview.

Hox. Fayette Batliff. The attraction and force to
be found in biographical reviews of those men who,
through individual ability, have attained merited dis-
tinction in American law, commend them to every sound
thinker. It is but natural to feel an interest in tracing
the footsteps of those who have reached elevated posi-
tions in public confidence, and have wielded their influ-
ence for public good ; who have undeviatingly followed
the dictates of truth and integrity. Such records are
calculated to raise the ministrations of law in public
estimation, and are guides for the junior members of
the profession in their pursuit of reputation, distinction
and position. Among the distinguished members of the
Carson county bench is found the Hon. Fayette Ratliff,
judge of the county court, the soundness and equity of
whose decisions have been rarely questioned, a man of
high scholarship, with a well-poised mind, ever ready
with his legal knowledge. He has occupied his present
position since 1910, and has demonstrated his fitness to
maintain the best traditions of the Carson county bench.

Fayette Ratliff was born March 20, 1874, in' Murray
county, Tennessee, and is a son of Noah W. and Martha
(Vernon) Ratliff, also natives of the Big Bend state.
His father, a well-known southern planter, came to Texas
in 1881, locating near Lewisville, Denton county, where
he was engaged in ranching and farming for some years.




He is DOW living a somewhat retired life in Johnston
county, Oklahoma, being fifty-eight years of age. His
wife, who also survives, has likewise reached her fifty-
eighth year, having the same natal day as her husband.
The second in order of birth of his parents' nine
children, Fayette Katliff received his early education in
the schools of Parker county, Texas, and w'as graduated
from the high school at Springtown in 1897. During
this time he had spent his spare time in working at
various employments, and, when he could find the oppor-
tunity, in reading law. In 1897 he entered the office
of Henry M. Farman, an attorney of Fort Worth, Texas,
and after several years was admitted to the bar and
formed a partneiship with his brother, J. S. Ratliff, at
Tishomingo, where he remained until 19U7. In that
year Mr. Eatliff came to Panhandle, where he opened
offices, and this city has since been the scene of his
professional endeavors. He at once took rank among
the best citizens of the progressive community, his pro-
fessional and personal excellencies having made him a
leader of sagacity and worth. As a lawyer none had
a higher ideal than his of what was due the clients
whose cause he undertook and his well-balanced and dis-
cerning mind made him almost infallible in the solution
of numerous legal complexities. These qualities made
him the logical choice of the Democratii- jiarty in 1910
for the office of county judge, to which he was elected,
and the people of Carson county voiced their apprecia-
tion of his conscientious services during his first term
when he was re-elected in November, 1912. Judge Rat-
liff is a valued memlier of the Texas Bar Association.
His fraternal connection is with the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, and at this time he is serving as secre-
tary of his lodge.

On December 25. 1898, Judge Eatliff was united in
marriage with iliss Myrtle McCoy, at Springtovpn,
Texas. She is a native of the Lone Star state and a
daughter of the Eev. J. M. McCoy, a pioneer Methodist
Episcopal minister now located " at Deertown, Texas.
Her mother i? now di. ra^cil. Six children have been
born to Mr. ami Mis. h'.iiliri'. namely: Adele, born at

Eu?sett, Oklal a, AiuuM l.". 1900, now attending

school at Panliaii.lli' ; |)(,u;;la*s, born September 10,
1903, at Manersville, Oklahoma, also a public school
student here; Elois, born at Tishomingo, Oklahoma, July
5, 1906; Grady, born at Panhandle, Texas, February 1,
1909; and twins, Elwin and Ysleta, born August 10,
1911, at Panhandle. With his family. Judge Eatliff
attends the Baptist church. He continues to be an
earnest and assiduous student, is fond of literature of
the better class and delights in imparting his knowledge
to the young. A man 's man, strong in his convictions
yet appreciating the rights and opinions of others, he
has won a secure place for himself in the esteem of men
of all classes and political creeds.

W. C. M.\THES. A prominent attorney and vice presi-
dent of the First National Bank of' Plainview. Mr.
Mathes is one of the nl.ii-st incinliers of the bar in Hale
county, having praitind luar runtinuously for the past
seventeen years. He \\:is nnc ul the men who during
the '90s had sutKciciiT faitli in the future develop-
ment of this section of the West to remain through- the
season of trial and discouragement, and the rewards
have come to him as they have to practically all others
who had the courage of persistency as early settlers.

William C. Mathes was born in Limestone county,
Texas, June 1, 1869. His parents were W. M. and M. C.
(McCarver) Mathes, the former a native of Tennessee
and the latter of Texas. The father came to this state
during the early '50s, locating in Parker county,
where he was a merchant for a number of years before
the war. and subsequently moved to Limestone county
and later to Coryell county. Finally he took up his
residence in Oklahoma, where he now" resides at the ad-
vanced age of eighty years. During the Civil war he

was one of the Texas volunteers to the Confederacy and
much of his service was in the warfare against the In-
dians, and also partly in some of the regular campaigns
of the war. He went through without wound, and re-
turned as a veteran to take up the pursuits of civU life.
The mother, who was reared and educated in Texas, died
in Coryell county in 1882 at the age of thirty-five. Of
their four children, William C. was the second.

He grew up for the most part in Coryell county, where
he attended school. He gained his admission to the bar
by hard study in the offices of practicing lawyers, the
principal firm under which he studied being Wordemaa
\- White, at Gatesville. From there he moved to Stephens
county, where he was admitted to the bar in 1892, but
after a short time went to Plainview in 1896. Due to
his ability and his long residence in this county, he has
from the first enjoyed a select share of the litigation in
the courts of this vicinity.

Mr. Mathes has been honored with election to the
office of county judge of Hale county four terms. He is
a director and vice president of the First National
Bank, and is otherwise identified with business affairs.
Politically, he supports the independent ticket as a rule,
and was himself elected county judge on such g, ticket.
His church is the Methodist.

In Stephens county, June 13, 1894, Judge Mathes
married Miss Mai Burke, daughter of Dr. Burke, of
Stephens county, now deceased. Mr. Mathes and wife
are the parents of five children, namely: Burke, born
in Stephens county in 1896 and now in the Plainview
high school; John, born at Plainview in 1899 and also
a high school student; W. C, Jr., born at Plainview in
1901, and in high school; Curtise, born at Plainview in
1904. and in grammar school, and Maurine, born at
Plainview in 1906.

JoHX C. Hooper. In November, 1912, the citizens of
Hale county selected from among their well-known and
popular farmers and ranchmen John C. Hooper to fill
the office of sheriff for the succeeding term. An effi-
cient officer who has a full sense of his duty to the pub-
lic, in this important position Mr. Hooper, by his busi-
ness career and his long residence in west Texas, has
well deserved all honors that can be paid to him by his
fellow citizens.

A native of Cooke county, Texas, John C. Hooper was
born August 2, 1867, the third in a family of eight sons
and one daughter. Janu-s 1T.i(i|ici. the father, was born

in North Carolina, was .-il t rii;lit,',.ii years old when

he came to Texas, and finally lnratr.l in Cooke county,
where he was a farmer and stock raiser. In 1892 he
moved out to Hale county, which was his home and
where he engaged in farming and stock raising until his
death in March, 1909, at the age of eighty-six years.
He was one of the last survivors among the Mexican war
veterans in the state, and about fifteen years after he
had returned from the victorious passage at arms be-
tween the United States and Mexico, he entered the
Confederate army and went through the Civil war. He
married a Texas woman and she died in Hale county in
1900 at the age of fifty-two.

Mr. John C. Hooper during his early youth attended
the schools of Cooke county and then began work on his
father's farm. During his twenty-second year he took
up farming and stock raising on his own account, which
he followed in his native county until 1898. He then
moved to Hale county, and in the past year was placed
on the Democratic ticket as candiaate for sheriff, to
which position he was elected by a good majority.

Mr. Hooper was married January 23, 1890, to Miss
Addie L. Pierce, of Cooke county. The five children of
the marriage are : Clara B., born in Cooke county, Janu-
ary 26, 1894, and a graduate of the Plainview high
school ; Alva H., born in Cooke county. April 17, 1896,
and attending high school; James Kelly, born in Cooke
county, January 4, 1898, and a pupil of the Plainview



schools; Eobert and Ruth, twins, born at Plainview,
April 14, 1904, and both now in school.

When Sheriff Hooper first came out to Hale county
there was very little in the way of substantial develop-
ment in this "part of the state. He has seen both the
town and country prosper and grow, and it is his con-
viction that this development will continue until west
Texas becomes the most prosperous farming and stock
raising country in the world. He owns his own home in
Plainview and other city property, and is a prosperous,
well-known citizen, with many influential friends in
different parts of the state.

Egbert Lee Joiner. One of the leading enterprises
of its kind in Northwestern Texas is that of the Joiner
Printing Company, of Amarillo, whose founder and
present proprietor, Robert Lee Joiner, has been a resi-
dent of this city since 1907, and of the state of Texas
all his life. For some years ilr. Joiner was well known
to the journalistic world of the Southwest as the pub-
lisher of a weekly newspaper, but has of late years de-
voted himself entirely to his present business. He was
born September 26, 1876, on Galveston Bay, Harris
county, .Texas, and is a son of Robert Hansel and Mary
(Hotchkiss) Joiner.

Eobert H. Joiner was born in North Carolina and
came to Texas during the latter '50s, settling in Harris
county, where the greater part of his remaining years
were spent in mercantile pursuits. During the Civil
war he enlisted as a soldier in the Confederate army and
had a brave and faithful military record. Mr. Joiner
married Miss Mary Hotchkiss, a member of an English
family that emigrated to New York and thence to Texas,
born in Nacogdoches county, Texas, daughter of Charles
Hotchkiss, a pioneer of Texas and brother of Archibald
Hotchkiss, who was provisional governor of Texas prior
to the establishing of Texas independence. Two chil-
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Joiner — Jessie, who died
in 1890, and Eobert Lee.

Eobert Lee Joiner attended the public schools until
he was sixteen years of age, at which time he was ap-
prenticed to the trade of printer and for some time
served in the offices of newspapers in Waco and other
cities of Texas, until 1897, when he entered the news-
paper business on his own account as the editor and
puijlisher of the Caldwell Kews-Chrotiicle. a weeklv pub-
lication, with which he continued eleven years, but in
1907 came to Amarillo and organized the Joiner Print-
ing Company, of which he has been the directing head
to the present time. Mr. Joiner is a printer who has
ample facilities to undertnko nvnry work. Inroo or smnll;
a printer who has had tlio rxjii^'i.-ii.-,. and whri ii'ronnizps
his patrons' own needs ns tlmi nn^Mv :is tln'v tlu'in-^i'lves
do. He is prepared to dcsiun tin' mpy, lav it diir, piiiit.
bind and deliver it, all under one roof and one manage-
ment, and is doing this for many large and most exact-
ing advertisers. In politics Mr. Joiner is a Democrat,
but he has not taken an active part in political matters
since coming to Amarillo, although during his newspaper
days he was active in the support of his party.

Mr. Joiner was married at Caldwell. Texas, in 1902,
to Miss Alma Lampkin, a native of Burleson county,
Texas, whence her parents had come from Virginia at
an early dav. and to this union there has come one
daughter — Alma Lee, born January 27, 190.5. The pleas-
ant faTi'ily home is situated at No. 806 Fillmore street,
while the offices and shop of the Joiner Printing Com-
pany are located at No. 317 Polk street, Amarillo.

Allen N. Weems. Few examples could be found that
better illustrate the fact that jierseverance, industry and
determination, wisely directed, will eventuate in success,
than the career of Allen N. Weems, proprietor of the
Electric Gin, at Cameron. When he arrived in Cameron,
some twenty years ago, he was a man of family, and
was possessed of a cash capital of less than a dollar.

but was not discouraged by his prospects, disheartening
as they might have seemed to a man of less courage and
strength of character. Content to start upon the lowest
rung of the ladder, he steadily worked his way upward,
and today occupies the proud position of one of the lead-
ing and influential business men of a community which
is in no way lacking in strong, forceful men. His life
should prove an encouragement to those who feel them-
selves handicapped by the lack of financial resources.

Mr. Weems was born in Cherokee county, Alabama,
April 4, 1868, and is a son of Allen and Martha
(Powers) Weems. His father, born July 3, 1827, in
Polk county, Georgia, was a farmer by vocation, went
to Alabama in young manhood, and in February, 1895,
came to Texas, where he died in August of the same year.
Mrs. Weems was born in Union District, South Carolina,
December 23, 1827, and survived her husband six years,
dying in Texas in 1901. They were the parents of ten
children, of whom five are living: Joel C, Jake H.,
Starlin, Acie A. and Allen N. There was nothing in the
boyhood of Allen N. Weems which would tend to give
him an advantage over the other youths of his day. From
the time he was able to do the simplest duties he worked
and worked hard, and his education was obtained when
he could be spared at odd times from the farm. How-
ever, it is often under the most adverse circumstances
that our latent abilities are developed and this early
strenuous training may have had much to do with Mr.
Weems' later success in life. When he was nineteen
years of age he left the parental roof and accepted a
position as a railroad laborer, later became a worker
in a blast furnace, and subsequently accepted whatever
honorable employment presented itself until 1893, when
he decided to try his fortunes in the rapidly growing
community of Cameron. In the meantime he had been
married and become the father of four children, and
had been unable to save from his earnings more than
enough to pay the family railroad fare to his new field
of activity. As a result he arrived in Cameron with
the princely sum of ninety cents, but was willing and in-
dustrious and almost immediately secured employment as
a farm hand on the farm of W. T. Watts, in Milam
county. Later he became a clerk in the Gaston-Sprinkle
Mercantile Company's store, at Cameron, and in 1908,
in company with J. B. Cavitt, built a cotton gin, and
continued to operate it in partnership imtil 1913, in
which year he purchased Mr. Cavitt 's interests, moved to
his present place, and erected the new Electric Gin, at
a cost of $18,000. This now has a capacity of 100 bales
for a day of twelve hours and is constantly growing in
scope and patronage. While his rise has been rapid
and has been marked by the grasping of every oppor-
tunity, Mr. Weems has never taken advantage of the
misfortune of another, so that his standing among busi-
ness men is exceptionally high. His gin occupies a tract
of eight and one-half acres, in addition to which Mr.
Weems owns a half block in Cameron and his own resi-
dence and two others which occupy an entire block in
this city. His straightforward dealing, his strict in-
tegritv, "his fidelity to every engagement and his willing-
ness to assist others to the" success which he has himself
attained have gained him the confidence and good will
of all who know him, and few men have a wider circle
of stanch friends. Fraternally, Mr. Weems is associated
with the local lodge of the w"oodmen of the World. He
has been ton busily engaged with his business interests
to enter till' jinlitic-al field, but has ably discharged aU
the diitirs nf .itizciiship. With his family he attends
the Mi'tlu.dist rliuich.

On Feliruary 17, 1886, Mr. Weems was married to
Miss Margaret Josephine Shuffleld, daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Newton Shuffield, of Marshall county, Alabama, and
to this union there have been born twelve children, as
follows: Melvin, engaged in business with his father,
married Ellie Moore, and has had four children, Lillian,
Bruce, Eva and Melvin; William, deceased; Roy, an



engineer and machinist, married Etta Phipps; and
Maudie, Audell, Owen, Louis, Oma, Robert, Martha,
Alefine, and a baby.

Benjamin Floukkot Te.4GUE. To no small degree
the prestige and strength of the Brenham law iirm of
Mathis, Teague & Embrey is due to the long and varied
experience of its second member, Benjamin F. Teague,
who has practiced law for twenty years, but has spent
much of his time in public affairs, especially in the
state comptroller 's oflSce at Austin, and that training
gave him an unusual equipment for many of the respon-
sibilities which he has since assumed in his private

Benjamin Flournoy Teague was born February 16,
1872, in Cleburne county, Alabama, a son of Elijah
Arnold and Rebecca (Poole) Teague. His father, an
Alabama planter, moved to Texas in January, 1883,
settling in Lee county, where he continued his career as
an agriculturist. Besides the well known Brenham
lawyer another son is D. E. Teague, who since 1890 has
served continuously in the oflfice of sheriff of Washington

Benjamin F. Teague acquired some of his early edu-
cation in Alabama, was eleven years old when the fam-
ily moved to Lee county, and was a student in the
schools of Giddings and" in 1893 graduated from the
Blinn Memorial College at Brenham. His education
for the law was also acquired at Brenham, chiefly by
reading in the ofEce of Ben S. Rogers, until admitted
to the bar in 1894. In 1895 Mr. Teague became asso-
ciated with his present partner, J. M. Mathis, in the
law firm of Mathis & Teague. This firm dissolved part-
nership in 1900 and in the following year Mr. Teague
moved to Austin and began his service in the state
comptroller "s department, of which he subsequently be-
came chief clerk. Mr. Teague handled many of the
most responsible duties of the office, and was identified
with that department of the state government from 1901
to 1911. During that time he continued his training
for the law by special courses under Judge J. C. Townes
and Judge I. P. Hildebrand. In 1910 Mr. Teague was
an unsuccessful candidate for the office of state comp-
troller, being defeated by a small number of votes by
W. P. Lane. Returning to Brenham in 1911 he again
resumed his relations as a partner with J. M. Mathis,
and in 1913 the firm of Mathis & Teague was extended
by the admission of W. J. Embery.

Mr. Teague is a believer in the principles of fraternal
orders, and has membership in the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men and
the Woodmen of the World. In 190-t he was married
to Miss Virginia Gaddy, daughter of Rev. W. M. Gaddy,
who was born in Mississippi and for a numbet of years
was minister of the Baptist church at Houston. Texas.
Mr. Teague and wife have one son, William Flournoy

John M. Mathis. A member of the Texas bar for
the last twenty years, and since 1895 in practice at
Brenham, Johii M. Mathis is regarded as one of the
ablest representatives of his profession, has for years
enjoyed a successful practice both in criminal and civil
litigation, and as a citi2en has performed a useful and
honorable part in his community and state. During the
past ten years little litigation either in the criminal
or civil courts of Washington county has not had the
services of Mr. Mathis as counsel on one side or the
other, and he has performed his work with a rare skill
that justifies his present reputation and standing in
the Texas bar. As an orator his eloquence has been a
factor in many political campaigns, and he has spoken
for some of the principal candidates in almost every
section of the state. Mr. Mathis is senior member of
the firm of Mathis, Teague & Embrey.

Born in Smith county, Texas, in 1870, John M. Mathis

is a son of Rev. John S. and Aurelia (Jones) Mathis.
His father, a native of Tennessee, who came to Texas

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 130 of 177)