Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 137 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 137 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

known and highly respected families. His father, almost
from boyhood, was a prominent planter and farmer,
and up to the time of the outbreak of war between the
N'orth and the South worked his vast cotton fields with
slave labor. Like thousands of others of his fellow-
southerners, the close of the war found him stripped of
his fortune, a martyr to the great Lost Cause, and he
decided to locate in a new country and there endeavor
to rehabilitate his fortunes. The bitterness and pre-
judices engendered by the great struggle made it un-
desirable for him to cross the Mason and Dixon line,
and accordingly he set his face toward Texas, and after
a long and tedious journey, the greater part of it over-
land, arrived in Hamilton county, in September, 1S69.
Here he found many neighbors from his old home, who
like himself had lost everything, and being a clever
mechanic he took up the occupation of carpenter and
assisted in building many of the homes necessary to
accommodate the emigrants. Subsequently he moved to
Johnston county, and there he continued to reside during
the remainder of his life, his death occurring in his
forty-ninth year, in 1880, at Cleburne, where his re-
mains now repose. He was married in Alabama to
Tilitha Baxter, who was born October 20, 1835, in that
State, and reared, educated and married there, and she
survives her husband and is now making her home with
her daughter at Miami.

In his youth, Thos. M. Cunningham attended the pub-
lic schools of Cleburne, after leaving which, like many
other young men of the great Southwest, he took up the
stock business. For several years he followed the life
and fortunes of a range rider, or cowboy, his skill as a
horseman and in the use of the lariat enabling him to
easily secure profitable employment. However, he had
aspirations and ambitions far above those of the average
range rider, and it was not long before his hard work
and careful saving made it possible for him to embark
in the cattle business on his own account. His first ven-
ture was in Johnston county, where he took up stock rais-
ing and farming, but subsequently he moved to Tarrant
county, thence to Dallas and Hill counties, and finally to
Eoberts county. As he made each move he increased
the size of his holdings, and now owns two ranches in
Roberts county, comprising many thousands of acres
of fine grazing ground, which he has leased out to re-
liable parties. On his retirement from active participa-
tion in stock raising, Mr. Cunningham came to Miami,
and here became one of the organizers of the Bank of
Miami, which he has since been president, a substantial
financial institution of this city, whose stockholders
and board of directors all make their home here. He
has interested himself in various other enterprises of
an extensive nature, and his activities have been es-
sentially of a business and financial character, although
he has not neglected the duties of citizenship, and has
served three terms of two years each in the capacity of
county .judge of Eoberts county, where he has displayed
his ability to handle the affairs of public life. His
political affiliation is with the democratic party, and he
has ever been stanch in his support of its principles and
candidates. With his family, he attends the Baptist church.

Mr. Cunningham was married at Archer Citv, Texas,
in October, 1S84, to Miss Fronie Cooley, daughter of J.
W. Cooley, also an early pioneer of Texas, now de-
ceased. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have had no children.
It is but natural that Mr. Cunningham should have a
deep-rooted faith in the future of Texas, for the mar-
velous development that has gone on under his eyes has
been of such a nature as to inspire confidence. Many
of the prosperous and flourishing towns and villages that
are now great centers of industrial, commercial and
educational activity have come into being since he
rode the ranges in the sombrero and chaps of the ' ' cow-
puncher, " while the productiveness of the farming
country has been brought to a state where it promises
great things for the future. He has never hesitated
to express his views along these lines, and by word and
pen has done much to encourage settlement in the State
of his adoption,

Walter Wippeecht stands in a varied relationship
with the business and public community of Bryan
and Brazos county. In 1904 he was elected to "the
office of tax collector of the county, and has since been
re-elected four times, a fact which indicates the confi-
dence reposed in him by the people of that section. Mr.
Wipprecht is an expert cotton man, and acquainted
both with the scientific and the practical side of agri-
culture. He is general manager of the Bryan Press
Company, and as president of the Bryan Telephone Com-
pany has directed the affairs of that public utility with
much profit to the stockholders and increase of good
service to the community.

Walter Wipprecht was born at Sisterdale, Kendall,
county, Texas, January 3, 1864. A scholarly man him-
self, he is a son and is descended from a line of scholarly
ancestors. His father was Eudolph Wipprecht, who died
at Seguin, Texas, in 1891, when sixty-seven years of
age. The elder Wipprecht was born in Saxony, Ger-
many, at the town of Eudelstadt, where the family name
had been for many generations. He left Germany in
1849, coming to Galveston and thence to the old town
of Indianola, w'hose history and existence came to a
termination with the disastrous flood of many years ago.
Eudolph Wipprecht was a graduate of Jena University,
and was especially proficient in the Spanish language,
and some of his Spanish translations done after com-
ing to Texas are now to be found in the State Library.
In Texas he taught school for a number of years, and
in Germany had been in the customs service. Eudolph
Wipprecht was married in Kendall county to Miss Kapp.
Her father, Ernest Kapp, who came from the town of
Minden, Prussia, was an educator and the author of sev-
eral philosophical works, who died in Duefifeldorf, Ger-
many. Ernest Kapp married a Miss Cappel. The chil-
dren of Eudolph Wipprecht and wife were: Ida,- wife
of I. Japhet of Houston ; Paul, who is connected with
the department of agriculture at Austin ; Walter and
Elsbeth, of Bryan.

Walter Wipprecht has lived in Brazos county almost
continuously since ISSl, when he entered the Agricultural
and Mechanical College. After graduating in the class
of 1884 he took the first post-graduate course ofi'ered
by that institution in 1885, receiving the degree of Bach-
elor of Science, and for two years was an instructor,
being assistant in chemistry and physics. Subsequently
he went abroad, and was a student in the University of
Jena, Germany, where his father had previously gradu-
ated. He took special courses in chemistry while abroad,
and remained in the prosecution of his higher studies
from 1SS7 until 1889. After returning to Texas Mr.
Wipprecht was appointed to the position of the first
chemist for the Texas Ex-periment Station, and was en-
gaged in that important work for about two years. He
then went to the Louisiana Sugar Experiment Station at
Audubon Park, near New Orleans, and opened a chem-
ical laboratory under the state government. Eeturning



to Bryan he was engaged in the drug business as junior
member of the lirm of James & Wipprecht, his partner
being M. H. James. After a few years in that line Mr.
Wipprecht engaged in the cotton compress worlc, and
in 1897 was one of those who organized the Bryan Press
Company, of which he has since been manager. In 1906
the plant of the company was destroyed by fire, but
owing to the prompt and energetic business methods of
its managers, a new press was in operation within ninety
days from the date of the disaster. The company's
facilities are equal to one hundred bales of cotton per
day, and during the season is run at its full capacity.
Mr. Wipprecht is interested in farming in his rich agri-
cultural district, carrying on a general and diversified
plan of operation, and has spent much time and money
in the improvement of his building, and in increasing the
soil value of his estate. He is also one of the directors
of the Parker-Astin Hardware Company of Bryan.

Mr. Wipprecht first entered the field of local politics
in 1904, with his election to the ofifiee of tax collector,
as the successor of J. J. Adams. He is a stront; believer
in higher education, and has deciili'd r.nnirtmiis as to
the principles of maintaining all st;it.> mstii iit ions upon
an independent basis, and free fnun [...litL^rl i.v other
prejudicial influence. In line with tins policy he was
chairman of the committee appointed to defeat at the
polls the senate joint resolution No. 18, which threatened
the independence of the Agricultural and Mechanical
College at Bryan. He was sent to Austin by the city
of Bryan to bring the legislature of 1913 on a visit of
inspection to the college. Mr. Wipprecht affiliates with
the Sons of Hermann, and supports the Lutheran church

On June 15, 1892, he married Miss Ethel Eead, a
daughter of Dr. R. W. Eead of Texarkana, Texas. Their
children are: Miss Ida, a student in the Texas State
University; Eead, Carl and Walter.

Joe B. Eeed. A resident of Texas since 1S70, Joe B.
Reed first came to the state in 1869, and for a brief time
prospected at Galveston, and subsequently located in
Corsieana. For nearly forty years Mr. Eeed has been
a resident of Bryan, was connected with the cotton busi-
ness at that point for a number of years, and has been
in the insurance business ever since. The life and acci-
dent insurance agency conducted by him represents some
of the oldest and best known companies, and enjoys
a large share of the business credited to similar agencies
in this part of the state.

Mr. Eeed is a native of Massachusetts, and came to
Texas from New York City. He was born at Hub-
bardston on December 31, 1847. The first sixteen years
of his life were spent in his native state, on a farm, and
his schooling was obtained at Canadaigua, New York,
and later in the Eastman's Bnsinrs"! Cnlleco nt Pnufrh-
keepsie. A year and a hnlf w.-i^ spoilt in Xcw "S'ork
City as a clerk, and when .-i vmhh- man willj rdnsidovalilr
business experience and ability In- st.iiti',1 nut tn larve
his own fortune in the world, lie turned his eyes toward
Texas. His old New York employer. C. W. Adams, was
located in Galveston, and it was that fact which caused
young Eeed to consider Texas as the field of his future
operations. After locating at Corsieana, he was in the
dry goods business a year, and in July, 1871, moved to
Comanche, where he was in general merchandising busi-
ness a year and a half. Moving from there to Rockdale,
which at that time had recently become the terminus of
the I. & G. N. Railroad, he started in business there as
a furniture merchant, and subsequently was projirietor
of a hotel and restaurant. Mr. Reed moved to Bryan
in 1874, and became associated with his father-in-law.
Col. A. C. L. Hill, in the cotton business. Colonel HOI
was a commission merchant, who did business all along
the line of the Houston and Texas Central, and was one
of the prominent business men of Bryan from the time
it first sprung into prominence as a commercial center.

with the completion of the Houston and Texas Central
Railway to that point. The cotton business continued to
be the line in which Mr. Eeed was chiefly interested for
eighteen years. He then started in the life insurance
work, at first with the Mutual Reserve Life Company,
and subsequently became representative for the South-
western Life of Texas, his present company. He is one
of the pioneer agents of the Southwestern Life, and the
first policy he wrote for the company was number two

Mr. Eeed is well known in fraternal affairs; 1881 at
Bryan he joined the Ancient Order of United Work-
men and the Knights of Honor and is stiU with both,
and has lieen Grand Eecorder of the Ancient Workmen in
Texas and Supreme Eepresentative to the Grand Lodge.
He has represented the Knights of Honor in the State
Meeting, and was an officer of the Grand Lodge. In the
Knights of Pythias Mr. Eeed has represented the order
in the Grand Lodge of the state, and is master of
finance for his own lodge. He is the record keeper for
the Knights of the Maccabees, and has also been in
the Grand Lodge of that organization. For many years
he has been clerk of the Woodmen of the World, has rep-
resented it at the head camp of Texas. In both Odd
Fellowship and Masonry he has served as secretary of
his own lodges, and is secretary of the Eoyal Arch Chap-
ter. Mr. Reed was brought up under Democratic influ-
ence, has supported that party regularly, but has never
been an aspirant for any public position. His parents
were Unitarians, and Mr. Eeed was at first of the same
faith, but since living in Texas' has been a member of
the Christian church. He is one of the leading men of
Bryan, is a member of its commercial club, and at one
time served as collector for the club. Governor O. M.
Eoberts, during his administration, commissioned Mr.
Eeed as major in the Texas militia. During all the years
of his residence at Bryan he has interested himself in
every movement for the betterment and improvement of
the city, and not only as a public spirited individual
for the larger phases of civic work has lie been promi-
nent, but his practical charities and helpfulness to the
poor and those who need counsel has been almost with-
out limit, and no record could be made of the thousands
of kindly acts he has performed for his fellowmen.

Mr. Eeed was married in Corsieana, Texas, in June,
1870, to Miss Carrie Hill, daughter of Col. A. C. L-
Hill, who came to Texas from Arkansas, where he was a
planter and slave holder, but who was born in the State
of Maine. Colonel Hill died in Bryan during the nine-
ties. The maiden name of his wife was Sarah Manley
who died at Bryan. Mrs. Eeed, who died in June, 1904,
without children, was one of five children, as follows:
Frank, Helen, Lillie, Daisy, and Mrs. Eeed.

The family to which Mr. Reed belongs is of Revolution-
ary stock, and came from old England to the New World.
1 1 lain I father Reed was Micajah, of MaFsachusetts, and
a tanner by occupation. Major George W. Reed, father
nf tlic Bryan business man, was born in Petersham. ;\Ias-
sachusetts, was a farmer, and married Lydia Smith, a
daughter of Samuel Smith of Barry, Massachusetts, a
pioneer New Englander in lineage, and a farmer by call-
ing. Of the Reed family Mr. Joe B. Reed is the last of
the line. c\cii t'luin Mi.-ajah Eeed, his grandfather. Major
Reed ha. I tlic tnllnuMii^ children: Frederick, who was
the first tn -I'.w n]! and who spent his life and died at
Hubbardsluun, ilassuehusetts; Charles H. F., who early
went to sea, became a captain of a vessel, subsequently
engaged in brokering and as a speculator in New York
City, and spent his last years in California, dying in
San Francisco.

Albert Wadswoeth Wilkerson. The cashier of the
City National Bank of Bryan is preeminently a business
man, has devoted all his time and energy to banking
since he was a boy of seventeen, and his success is due
to this concentration and to his exceptional capabilities



in that field. Mr. Wilkerson came to Bryan in 1902 and
assisted in the reorganization of the old Merchants &
Planters National Bank into the City National Bank,
and since that date has held the post of cashier. Asso-
ciated with hini in the ivork of reorganization were G. S.
Parker, Ed Hall, and E. H. Astin. Mr. Wilkerson came
to Bryan from Austin, where he had been for thirteen
years identified with banking, and had entered the
City National Bank at the age of seventeen, and was
assistant cashier when he left. A. P. Wooldridge was
president of the bank during Mr. Wilkerson 's connection

AJbert Wadsworth Wilkerson was born in Eobertson
county, Texas, September 28, 1870, a son of Jonathan
G. Wilkerson, and a grandson of E. Archie Wilkerson.
The latter was born in County Clare, Ireland, while his
wife was from Dublin. After coming to America they
lived in Alabama, and reared a large family of chU-
dreu. Jonathan O. Wilkerson was one of the early-day
merchants of Hearne, a member of the pioneer firm of
Brown & Wilkerson. His death occurred in 1873, at the
age of twenty-six, just at the beginning of a promising
business success. He was born in Wilcox county, Ala-
bama, came to Texas before the war as a runaway boy,
stopped at Matagorda, and while there enlisted "in the
army, and was one of the boy soldiers of the Confed-
eracy. He was a member of the Methodist church. He
was married in Matagorda to Miss Sarah H. Wadsworth,
a daughter of Albert Wadsworth, who at one time was
an officer in the United States Navy, was an early settler
of Texas, and a merchant and justice of the peace.
Mrs. Wilkerson died in Hearne in 1912, and her children
were: Albert W., and Warren A., a lumberman of
Hearne, in the lirm of Wilkerson Brothers.

Mr. Albert W. WUkerson belonged to the Episcopal
church. He was married in Austin, July 16, 1895, to
Miss Mary Clare Weeden, a daughter of F. T. Weeden
of Austin. The children of their marriage are three:
Clare Aubrey, and E<rward A. and John W., twins.

James L. Fountain, a real estate dealer of Bryan,
Texas, has been identified with this place since 1875,
when he came here from Dallas county, Alabama. He
was born there, in Carlowville, on February 5, 1853, and
is a son of James Alexander Fountain, who brought
h^s family to Texas in the year 1872, locating at Bryan.
It should be said here that the Fountains are of French
origin and ancestry, this family springing from one of
three brothers who settled at Eacine, Wisconsin, in the
early days of that place, and whose posterity scat-
tered from there to the south and other parts of the

.l:iiiH's AliNander Fountain was a farmer by birth and
tr.iiiiiiit; ;iii.| he followed that occupation after coming
to Texas. He died in 1900 when he was seventy-two
years of age. He was a slave-holder in the early days
and as a resident of Alabama he was a well known and
prosperous planter. The Civil war reduced him to almost
penury, and he left his native state broken in fortune,
here to spend his remaining years of life. He was a quiet
man, not given to political activity, though a stanch
Democrat, and he was a member of the Baptist church.
He was a man of considerable education, having been
a graduate of the University of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa.
He married Miss Maey Lily, a daughter of Dr. Thomas
Lily, of Mississippi. She died at the age of sixty and
her children were as follows: Dr. Thomas L., who died
in Bryan in 1876, unmarried; James L., of this review;
Charles P., professor of English in the Agricultural and
Mechanical College of Texas; Lily, the wife of J. W.
Eagsilale, died at Bryan; Nellie, unmarried; Dr. Henry
L., of Bryan; Edmond J., of Bryan; Rosa, wife of W.
S. Howell, who died in San Antonio; and William C, of

James L. Fountain gathered what might be termed a
pick-up education during the war period, his boyhood ex-

perience being similar to that of the average country
youth, barring the flavor of military activity that per-
vaded the years of his early boyhood. He began life as
a clerk in Selma, Alabama. He later studied dentistry
and took a course of training in the New Orleans Dental
College, after which he practiced his profession in Dallas
county, Alabama, coming to Texas in 1875. He followed
his profession in Bryan for twenty-five years, after which
he abandoned it and turned his attention to real estate
pursuits, in which he has since been engaged.

In 1900 Mr. Fountain associated himself with his
brother, Edmond J., and together they conduct a general
farming and real estate business, which is exceedingly
prosperous. They buy and sell lands and are the pro-
moters of the Brazos County Development Company of
Bryan, a thriving enterprise of the city. Mr. Fountain
was active in securing the location of the Allen Academy
at Bryan, and he has served as a trustee of the school
He has also served in a similar capacity in the public
schools, and he is now a member of the Board of Trus-
tees of the Bryan Baptist Academy. His interest in
educational work is a live and healthy one, and he has
done good work in the various posts he has held along
those lines.

Mr. Fountain is a Democrat by birth, and in 1876 he
cast his first presidential vote for Samuel Tilden. He
has since voted for practically every regular nominee of
the party. He has played a fairly active part in local
and district politics, and in 1901 was elected to the
lower house of the state legislature, serving as a mem-
ber of the 27th assembly. He later served from the
same district as a member of the 28th, 29th, 32d and
33d legislative bodies. When first a member Mr. Foun-
tain was assigned to the appropriations committee and
the educational committee, and he was active and help-
ful in legislation favorable to the A. & M. College.

In 1886 Mr. Fountain was married in Bryan to Miss
Mary Calhoun, who came to Texas as a child and the
niece of Colonel Yarborough of Grimes county. She died
on November 17, 1892, the mother of Frances, now the
wife of Edwin P. Price, who is a resident of Chicago
and has one son, Edwin P. Price, Jr.

Marx Marcus. A business man of North Texas, who
during his career at Wichita Falls and elsewhere gained
the respect and confidence of the entire community, and
whose public spirit was as notable as his success, was
the late Marx Marcus, who came to Texas about forty
years ago, and from modest beginnings created a large
and prosperous business.

Marx Marcus was born in Poland, and in his native
land married Pauline Mittenthal. In 1869 when both
were quite young they emigrated to the United States
and first located in New York City, but in a little
while went west and lived in Peoria, Illinois, until
1875. In that year they came to Texas, and located at
Tyler, in Smith county, where Mr. Marcus was in the dry
goods business. He afterwards moved to Gainesville,
and was in the same line of trade, and in 1882 came
to Wichita Falls, where for sixteen years he was one
of the successful merchants. In 1898, though still
keeping his home at Wichita Falls, he extended his
enterprise to the operation of a large ranch in the
vicinity of Amarillo, and was in the cattle business there
until 1904. In that year at Wichita Falls, he established
the plant of the People's Ice Company, of which he was
president, and which he lived to see established upon a
substantial basis.

The late Marx Marcus died at Wichita Falls, May 12,
1905, when fifty-four years of age. He was a man of
exceptional enterprise, of an ambitious spirit which had
carried him successively through all the vicissitudes of
business experience, and together with industry had a
character as a man of conviction and sterling ideals of
honor. After coming to America he was patriotic and
public spirited in all his relations with civic affairs, and



in his death his community lost a man whose place was
hard to fill. He took a keen interest in Wichita Falls, and
during his long residence in Texas gained and retained
numerous friends. His widow, who still survives, is a
resident of Dallas, Texas, and is now sixty years of
age. They were the parents of seven children.

Maeion O. Nix. There is no one official of Falls
county to whom the community is more indebted for
practical and permanent improvements in county affairs
than to Marion O. KLx, county treasurer. His earnest-
ness, honesty and unassuming ability have retained him
in office during two terms, and the final result of his
faithful and progressive service is not only to firmly es-
tablish him in the confidence of the local public, but to
give him a place among the men who may be named as
the builders of the great commonwealth of Texas. Mr.
Nix was born in Dallas county, Arkansas, April 15,
1848, and is a son of Isham J. and Fiances W. (Berry)
Nix. His father, a native of Franklin county, Georgia,
was born August 28, 1822, and in his native county was
for a number of years engaged in farming. Subse-
quently he migrated to Arkansas, where he resided for
some years, and in 1877 came to Texas, this state being
his home from that time until his death in 1898. He
devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits, and was
known as an industrious workman and a public-spirited

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 137 of 177)