Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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time he returned to Texas and located at Huntsville, but
moved from there to Waco and from the latter place
to Navasota in 1867. This city continued to be his
home until the time of his death, twenty-one years
later. It had been an opportune time for the young
professional man to enter business in this growing coun-
try. Dentistry had not yet fallen into the hands of spe-
cialists. The nicer operations for preserving the teeth
and replacing those lost or decayed, by artificial means,
were quite unknown in the region. Doctor Goree "s
patronage in Navasota was not merely a local one, for
the reputation that he had acquired for skill and dex-
terity brought patients from all the surrounding coun-
try to obtain the treatment that was not yet accessible
near their country homes. He became regarded as a
master of his profession, and, not content with the knowl-
edge which his early study had given, he kept his eyes
open to the progress of the art and adopted every im-
provement that the advancement of dentistry introduced.
He was a member of the State Dental Association of
Texas, and devoted himself whole-heartedly to his call-
ing, not being interested in business nor industrial af-
fairs. In politics he was a Democrat, and was also
known as one of the most zealous and earnest prohibi-
tionists in the state. He belonged to no church, but
was a Knight of Honor.

Doctor Goree was married at New Waverly, Texas, to
Miss Fannie Wood, who was born in 1850, in Walker
county, Texas, and there educated, and died in May,
1911. She was a daughter of Green M. Wood, a farmer
who came to Texas from Montgomery, Alabama. Doctor
and Mrs. Goree were the parents of the following chil-
dren : Dr. Langston James, of Navasota ; Robert B., of
Orange, Texas; Edwin, who died single; Eloise, who died
in childhood; Sue Willie, of Denver, Colorado, who mar-
ried C. W. Seay; Mary, who died as Mrs. John Prine,
without issue; and Fannie B., the wife of Will Thomas,
of Navasota.

Dr. Langston James Goree III, of Navasota, a lead-
ing member of the dental profession, was born Decem-
ber 9, 1873, grew up in this city, and received his early
educational training here. He next attended the Agri-
cultural and Mechanical CoUege at Bryan and received
his professional education in Vanderbilt University,
Nashville, Tennessee, from which institution he was grad-
uated in February, 1895. He at once established him-
self in practice at Navasota, and has continued therein
to the present time, commanding a goodly share of the
city's representative practice and enjoying prestige
among his professional brethren. He belongs to the
Texas State Dental Society. Doctor Goree is connected
religiously with the Methodist church, and belongs to
the board of stewards. As one of the developers of
Navasota, he erected his own handsome home, as well
as the Goree business house, where he now has his office.
His fraternal connections include membership in the
Woodmen of the World, in which he is past consul; the
Knights of the Maccabees, in which he is past chan-
cellor commander, and the Knights of Pythias.

Doctor Goree was married in Navasota, in March,
1897, to Miss Anna Trotter, a daughter of Marion L.
Trotter, a teacher in the public schools and an ex-
Confederate soldier, who married Anna Gooch. Mrs.



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Goree is one of three children. Two sons have been
born to Doctor and ilrs. Goree, namely: Langston
James IV and Eobert Tillman.

Hugh Hamill Wilson. The Wilson family of Grimes
county has been conspicuous for the useful service and
activities of its members and has occupied an honored
place in citizenship for fully sixty years. It was founded
by the late Hugh Hamill Wilson, who lived in Grimes
county from 1855 until his recent death. In the second
generation as sons of this honored business man and
citizen, are several men in the professions, including
Dr. Walter T. Wilson, one of the most prominent physi-
cians of Grimes county.

The late Hugh Hamill Wilson was born in Belfast,
Ireland, January 9, 1838. His father, John Hamill
Wilson, was a ship-supply contractor in Ireland, and
had several vessels engaged in the trans-Atlantic trade,
and it was on one of these boats of his father that Hugh
H. Wilson gained his first experience on the sea, in the
meantime attending school and partly finishing the course
of the high school in Belfast. He had made several voy-
ages and when a lad of fifteen and on his third trip to
the I'nited States landed from the boat at New York
and went to Xew Orleans. At New Orleans news came
to him of his father's business failure. From there he
proceeded to Houston, Texas, and then learned of the
completeness of the misfortunes which had overtaken his
father, involving even the sacrifice of the old home to
the interests of his creditors. Thus deprived of his
father 's resources, Hugh H. Wilson went to Anderson, •
Texas, and found work as a typesetter in a printing
oflRce, and continued that occupation until the outbreak
of the war. Mr. Wilson enlisted in Company D in one of
the regiments comprising Walker's Division, and was
commissioned a lieutenant of his company. In the Trans-
Mississippi Department, during the campaign following
Banks' invasion of Texas, he had a prominent part in
the battle at Mansfield. He received the surrender of
a Federal colonel who had been surrounded by Confed-
erates and refused to surrender to anyone not of his
own rank. Mr. Wilson, who was barefooted and whose
trousers were worn off almost to his knees, declared him-
self to be Colonel Wilson, and succeeded in imposing
this bluff on the Federal officer and after receiving
his sword kept it almost to the time of his death. He
was himself wounded in that engagement, but soon recov-
ered and continued in the war until the end, being mus-
tered out at Hempstead.

Following the war Mr. Wilson began business life as
a merchant at Anderson, and became associated with
his brother, John H., under the name of J. H. Wilson
& Company. Soon afterwards the town of Navasota was
established at the terminus of the Houston & Texas
Central Eailway, and he was one of the pioneers on the
ground at the beginning of that now flourishing city.
The firm had a large trade over an extensive territory
about Navasota, and continued to prosper until meeting
misfortunes during the '70s, when Mr. Wilson turned
his stock over to his creditors and gave notes for the
balance of his liabilities, and eventually cleared off every
incumbrance to his financial integrity. In 1871 Hugh
H. Wilson engaged in the warehouse business at Nava-
sota, and that was his chief line of enterprise until his
death. After a long and successful career of more than
forty years at Navasota he died after fulfillng the best
ideals of a worthy business career on December 24, 1913.
Besides his warehouse business he was identified with
fire insurance and other minor enterprises.

His political career was also an important fact in the
community where he lived, and in 1878 he was elected
city alderman, and was subsequently city tax assessor
and collector for many years. Early in life he joined
the Masonic Order, in Anderson Lodge, No. 3, before the
war, and subsequently affiliated with the Eoyal Arch
Chapter, and for twenty-five years was secretary of



Navasota Lodge of Masons. About 1S73 he became iden-
tified with the Presbyterian church, and was deacon of
the Navasota church and at one time declined the posi-
tion of elder.

At Anderson on December 13, 1866, about the be-
ginning of his independent business career, Hugh Hamill
Wilson married Miss Maggie O. Martin. She belonged
to one of the oldest families of Grimes county, and her
relationship by blood included the noted name of Travis
and of other Texas patriots. The children of Hugh H.
Wilson and wife were as follows: Arthur H. of Nava-
sota; Dr. Walter T.; H. Baylor of Dallas; Dr. Hugh
M. of Navasota; Miss Carrie, the oldest daughter and
living iu Navasota; Miss Margaret, of Navasota; Mrs,
Ethel Jones, wife of Milton Jones of Navasota.

The late Hugh H. WUson was a man of remarkable
intellectual faculties, and it is not out of place to refer
briefly to some of his interests and avocations. He pos-
sessed a wonderful memory, was a persistent searcher
after truth along historical and scientific lines, and as a
reader of history he had followed the fortunes of nearly
every section of the civilized world, especially the dynas-
ties of Europe. He had a ready acquaintance through
the pages of history with all the notable men of Europe.
History of wars was especially his forte, and having
participated in the Civil war of the United States and
from his individual experience having stored his mind
with the stories from the lips of his comrades and the
pens of chroniclers for fifty years, he was regarded as
an almost infallible authority on every important inci-
dent of war times. He was" a student of Mexican af-
fairs, and had a close knowledge of the real situations in
that country at a time when most Americans dwelt in
ignorance and unconcern about the barbarities perpe-
trated under the name of a civUized government. It
was no uncommon thing for the late Mr, Wilson to
become so absorbed in his reading as to forget to go to
bed, and to be aroused by the family in the morning and
apparently awake with a start and inquire "is it morn-
ing?"

Dr. Walter T. Wilson, son of the late Hugh H, Wil-
son, has made a worthy record as a physician and is
one of the leading business men of Navasota, He was
born in that city October 12, 1871, was educated in the
public schools and began the study of medicine when a
lad of only fifteen years under the direction of Dr, A,
E. Kilpatrick of Navasota. He was employed in the
office of several different physicians in the city and
had many unusual opportunities to acquire a practical
knowledge before he went away to school. Dr. Wilson
graduated in 1891 from the Memphis Hospital Medical
College and after a year's work as an interne in the
City Hospital of Memphis returned to Texas and prac-
ticed at Edna until 1893. That year marked his return
to his home town, and for the past twenty years he has
enjoyed a practice and a prestige as a physician and sur-
geon second to none in that vicinity. A man of alleged
intellectual interests similar to his father's, Dr. Wilson
has pursued post-graduate work in nine courses at the
New York Polyclinic and one course in Chicago. He
is active in organized professional affairs as a member
of the County and State Medical societies and the
American Medical Association, Dr. Wilson is also phy-
sician and surgeon to the Houston & Texas Central Eail-
way at Navasota, the Mexia cut-off, the main line of
the International and Great Northern, and Madisouville
branch, and also to the Santa Fe Eailroad. For eight
years he served as city physician of Navasota. finally
resigning his office, and during his residence at Edna was
county physician in Jackson county.

Dr. Wilson is well known in business affairs at Nava-
sota, having organized and having since held the office
of president of the Planters' Cotton Oil Company of
that city, and is a stockholder in several local banks
and other financial enterprises. He is affiliated with
the Knights of Pythias and the Presbyterian church,



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but outside of his profession, home aud business, has
little part in political or fraternal affairs. He belongs
to the American Geographical Society, and has great
interest in Texas pioneer history.

Dr. Wilson was married December, 1897, to Miss Stella
Ogilvy at Palestine, Texas. Her parents were Thomas
C. and Ada (Horlock) Ogilvy, who had four daugh-
ters. Thomas C. Ogilvy was a compress man and came
to Texas from Alyth, Scotland. The children of Dr. and
Mrs. Wilson are: Walter O., Charles O., and Walter
Travis.

Stephen J. Walker. As a builder of material pros-
perity and a promoter of individual success few citizens
have a record that compare favorably with that of
Stephen J. Walker of ^'avasota, who has lived in Texas
since 1870, when he came to this state from Jefferson
eountv, Florida. Mr. Walker is a man of self-attain-
ments, began at the bottom, was a worker for wages
and at almost anything he could find to do during his
first years in Texas, and by his industry and applied
ability has gained recognition as one of the successful
men in his part of the state.

Stephen J. Walker was born in Jefferson county,
Florida. April 4, 1847. He grew up on a plantation.
His father, David Walker, was born in Barnwell Dis-
trict, South Carolina, March 23, 1819, had a fair edu-
cation, spent his career as a farmer and planter. Grand-
father Joel Walker, who died in Florida before Stephen
J., his grandson, was born, moved his famUy to Florida
in 1833. His children were : Jesse, James. Berry, David,
Joel and Jane, all of whom died in Florida and left
large families. The daughter Jane married Stephen
Lightsev. David Walker died during the war, and was
a Confederate soldier serving in the same company as
his son Stephen. He married Miss Caroline Goodman,
whose father, Eev. Jesse Goodman, was a Baptist
preacher who lived in Lowndes county. Georgia, until
moving to Florida, and his daughter Caroline was born
in Georgia. Caroline Walker followed her son Stephen
to Texas after an interval of about two years, and died
at Navasota in 1886. Only three of her eight children
reached maturity, the oldest being Stephen J. Emma
married William Farquahr and lives in Xavasota; and
Eosa, who married Eobert Moore, died in Navasota and
left a family of seven children.

Stephen J. Walker had an exceedingly limited edu-
cation. This was due largely to the fact that the war
came on when he was about fourteen years of age,
and the vears which most boys spend in school were
devoted by him to the service of the South. The family
were all ardent upholders of the Confederacy, and al-
though he was too young for life as a soldier, he en-
listed in November, 1861, for three months. He was in
an independent company which did guard duty on the
coast at St. Marks, and his captain was William J.
Bailey. His time expired in February, 1862, and he
was out of the service until 1864. when he re-entered as
orderly sergeant in Company F of the First Eegiment
of Florida Eeserves under Captain Barwick and Colonel
J. J. Daniels. This regiment was engaged chiefly in
guard duty in the eastern part of Florida, and was
at Madison, Florida, guarding prisoners when the war
ended.

Mr. Walker was still a young man of only eighteen
years when the war closed, and he resumed civil life as
a farmer. He had been brought up under the institu-
tion of slavery, when all the heavy labor was per-
formed by black men, and it was not easy to adapt
himself at once to the new economic situation. When
nearly twenty-three years of age he decided to come to
Texas, and on February 14, 1870, left home, making the
trip by a Havana steamer from St. Marks to New
Orleans, thence proceeding by rail as far as Morgan
City, and thence by boat to Galveston. He was alone,
had no capital, and was master of no trade except such



as a man of intelligence and with capable hands could
perform. He finally arrived in Navasota, and used his
trunk to insure his payment of lodging and board at
the hotel until he could establish a foothold. For a
time he did what work he could find in the town, and
then drifted into a lumber camp in Montgomery county.
After a year he found emplojinent at logging and con-
tinued to be profitably identified with the lumber busi-
ness for about four years. He next moved to Wash-
ington county, spent ten years as a farmer in that
section, and from there on December 31, 1883, came to
Navasota and was employed a year as a clerk for J. M.
Shaw & Company in a cotton warehouse. He continued
in the same business as a partner of J. W, Eodes
under the style Eodes & Walker for four years, and after
that the firm was known for seven years as Eodes, Owen
& Company. This house did a large general mercantile,
implement, and warehouse business, and when the part-
nership was dissolved Mr. Walker took the warehouse
and has continued in that line ever since. In the mean-
time he had also once more resumed extensive activities
as a farmer, and now owns a splendid estate of five
hundred acres on Spring Creek, and through his cultiva-
tion of corn and cotton crops gives employment to
about eleven families.

His part in public affairs has not been without benefit
to his community, and while serving as alderman for
two different terms the schoolhouse and city hall were
constructed. He is a Democrat, and his only fraternal
affiliation is with the Knights of the Maccabees. He
■was brought up in the faith of the Baptist church.
Mr. Walker was married in Washington county, Texas,
on January 17, 1872, to Miss Josephine Farquhar, whose
father, James L. Farquhar, was a Mississippian, who
became a pioneer of Texas. Mrs. W^alker died April
20, 1892. Her two children were : Annie, who is the
wife of Dr. Lewis of Navasota, and has two children,
Jessie and Thaddeus; and Miss Euby Walker, who is
unmarried. On March 28, 1893, Mr. Walker married for
his second wife Mrs. Mary Bassett, of Anderson. Her
father was Dr. G. M. Patrick, one of the foremost men
of influence and pioneers of Grimes county. Mrs.
Walker died without children March 16, 1910.

Hal J. Palmer, M. D. This energetic gentleman,
who, at the age of seventy-eight years, with the vigor-
ous step and active mind of a man of sixty, stiU attends
to the details of his large professional interests, and
keeps himself abreast in knowledge and sympathy of the
new generation amongst whom he survives, first came
to Texas in 1857 and has been identified with the medical
fraternity of this state in the main since that time.
Now, in "a hale old age, he is en.ioyiug the fruits of a
busy and well-ordered life and sharing the wonderful
progress which has been made in this phenomenal com-
monwealth, almost under his own eyes.

Dr. Palmer was born September 20, 1836, and comea
of a Southern family and of secession sympathy, and
his father, John Palmer, who still survives at the age
of one hundred and one years, is "fighting the Civil
war yet. ' ' The latter was born in the city of Eichmond,
Virginia, in September, 1813, and is a college graduate
and a member of the Eclectic school of medicine. He
went to Kentucky from his native state when a boy,
and after spending some years at Danville went to
Bowling Green, where he married Miss Hannah Curry,
the daughter of a big planter of that county. Later he
moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and then to Montgom-
ery, in that state, and has since made that his home.
His' only child is Dr. Palmer of this review.

Hal J. Palmer took up medicine first in New York
City, as a student under the preceptorship of Dr. John
Sneed, right across the street from the Little Church
Around the Corner, Plymouth, and there began the
practice under his preceptor when he was a lad of but
sixteen years. His first medical education was in the



TEXAS AND TEXANS



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Eegular school and he piaL'ticed Allopathy for twenty
years, then taking Homeopathy at the Hahnemann Medi-
cal College, Chicago, and graduated there in 1869. Sub-
sequently he attended a course of lectures in the medical
department of the University of Missouri, in 1872, and
annually for years took post ^l.■ldu;ltl■ \vc.rk in different
institutions both of the Nortli ;iii.| tli, s.nth. He began
his career as a specialist riylit nrt. i tlu- Civil -n-ar, trav-
eling extensively through tin- Simtlicin states, treating
cancers and chronic diseases of women and children.
His special studies have been chronic diseases and dis-
eases of females, especially those of the genital organs.
After the death of Dr. Sneed, Dr. Palmer returned to
the South and to Texas, in 1860, and located in Burleson
county, where he was located at the time of the out-
break of the Civil war. He at once enlisted as an as-
sistant physician and surgeon with Hood 's Brigade,
serving under Chief Surgeon Cantrell in and about Gal-
veston, where he was present at the capture of that city
by the Federal troops. Following the close of hostili-
ties, he began a tour of medical practice which took
him to Little Rock, Arkansas, thence to Fort Smith
and out into the Choctaw Nation, and practiced among
the Indians at Muskogee. He went then to New Or-
leans, and subsequently practiced at different points in
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas until 1870, when
he returned to Texas. At that time he established him-
self at Tanglewood, Burleson county, and he has since
jiracticed at Houston and Galveston, at different points
in Harris county, and in Johnson county, and has spent
many years at points in Grimes county. During a por-
tion of his long career he has been interested in in-
firmary work at Brenham with Dr. H. C. Weeks, and in
a private sanitarium at Plantersville. He is now estab-
lished in another at Navasota, and has been eminently
successful in his work. He has had no time for politics.
His step is still lively, and his energy youthful, his am-
bition still active and his love for his profession as con-
suming as in the early years of his practice. He has
firmly established himself in the confidence and esteem
of the people of his community, and his professional
standing is equally high.

^Vllile a resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, Dr. Palmer
was married to Miss Mary Lewis, who died in Palestine,
Texas, leaving a son, Charles W.. of Oklahoma City,
a jeweler, and married. Dr. Palmer was married at
Navasota, July 16, 1898, to Miss Minnie Meinike, and
a son, Albert Whitworth, has been born to this union.

General Webster Flanagan. Of the surviving
"elder statesmen" of Texas, none is better known and
entitled to more distinction for his past services than
General Webster Flanagan, of Henderson, Texas. He
is one of the few remaining public men of the old regime
of republicans in the Lone Star state, and a character
among the active and forceful participants in state
affairs from and after the Civil war until his recent re-
tirement from a federal office. He is the only brigadier
general now living appointed by Sam Houston. General
Flanagan belongs to the era of pioneer settlement during
the republic, was a participant in the events that filled
Texas history during the Confederacy, espoused Repub-
lican policies when the war ended because of the prin-
ciple of protection, entered actively into reconstruction
politics, sat in the law-making bodies of the state as
a representative from his section during the military
and republic rule following the war, has been the recip-
ient of favors from the various Republican national ad-
ministrations in federal ofSces and has been a delegate
to more national conventions of his party than any
other man in the United States. As one' still living
from the old times. General Flanagan merits special
recognition in these pages, but at the same time the
memorial of history should be extended to include his
father, who was in his time hardly less prominent as
a factor in larger politics.



Webster Flanagan was born in Breckenridge county,
Kentucky, January 9, 183i, and was eleven vcars old
when he came to Texas with his father. Major .lames W.
Flanagan in 184.3. In 1844, the family home was estab-
lished at Henderson. Grandfather Charles Flanagan
made a i.'rmd of i\)iirli later generations are proud, as
:i sni.liir ,,t tlir K'rMilutionary war, and was at one
till!.' Ill rli;iiL;,' c.i :i supply train for the colonists. In
Kciitui ky ;ittri tlic \\:u\ he was a blacksmith at Clover-
port, and a tiatlxiat man, and on the return home on
one trip down the Mississippi River he contracted
cholera, and died in 1840.

Major James W. Flanagan was born in Alliermarle
county, Virginia, September 7, Imi-I, ami in ls\r, ac-
companied his father, Charles to Kentufky, svitliii;: ii.
Boonesboro. A few months of his Ipoylidocl was spent ;i
attnndaiicp .nt the "Old Field Schools," but after that
liis edii.alinii was of a practical business nature and
si'lt -ar.|iiir('d. For a few years after reaching man-
hdod. )»■ was a horse dealer along the line of Virginia
and Kentucky, subsequently opened a stock of mer-
chandise at Cloverport, doing a successful business, and
finally engaged in the river transportation industry
which in that era before railroads was one of the most
important undertakings to which men of enterprise



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 132 of 177)