Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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in Louisiana. He was born in Greene county, Georgia,
of rural pepole, and was there reared to years of
comparative maturity, being yet under legal age when
he went to Alabama, there joining a company of Con-

federate troops and serving through the Civil war. When
the long conflict was at an end he left Alabama, where
he had already married Sarah Ann Kinard, and going
to Louisiana, he settled on a farm, but death claimed
him in April, 1866. His widow survived him until 1902,
when she died in Louisiana, where she had long made
her home. They were the parents of seven children,
briefly mentioned as follows: Mary, who married J. A.
Abercrombie, of Louisville, Texas; Mattie J., the wife
of D. L. McKenzie, of Homer, Louisiana; Eobert L., of
Haynesville, Louisiana; Melissa, the wife of George
Duncan of Kaufman county, Texas ; Lou, who married
John Stratton and lives near Texarkana, Arkansas; '
Charles, who died in St. Louis, and George G., who is
the immediate subject of this necessarily brief review.
• George Shaw passed through his youth on the farm
his father settled upon in the hill country near Claiborne
and there his widowed mother saw to "the nurture and
rearing of her young brood. A country school education
was his, and when he came to Texas in 1884 he was a
youth of eighteen years, fitted only for farm labor. He
reached Kaufman on November 11, when the election of
Grover Cleveland to the presidency was being celebrated,
and with his brother Charles, who had accompanied him,
engaged in farming in the south end of the county.
Despite Mr. Shaw's lack of training, he possessed suf-
ficient courage to undertake the teaching of a country
school in Henderson, Texas, and he succeeded so well
on the first venture that he was induced to perform
the same duties the next season. It was about that
tiijie that Mr. Shaw determined to make something of
his life other than to devote it to the farming industry,
for which he had no strong penchant, and he chose
the law as a fitting career for one of his endowments
and inclinations. He lost no time in beginning a sys-
tematic course of study under the direction of Woods
& Gossett, local attorneys, and he also took a course
of lectures under Capt. Manion, Judge Green J. Clark
and Judge Dillard, all of them being men who stood
high in the legal profession in the state. In 1891 he
was admitted to practice before Judge Anson Eainey,
and he inaugurated his career with a civic suit in a
justice court, to reach which he was forced to swim a
swollen stream. He represented Schoolcraft & Company,
suing one Jones for debt, and he won his suit, losing
no time in collecting the judgment awarded. Mr. Shaw
has a general practice, rather than along any specific
lines. In 1908 he was licensed to practice in the su-
preme court of Texas, and while at the inauguration cere-
monies of President Wilson in Washington in 1913 he
went before the United States Supreme Court and se-
cured license to practice before the Federal Courts.
His law library is a splendid one, representing a judi-
cious selection" of authorities and reference works and
is the most extensive in the city.

In 1896 Mr. Shaw was elected to the office of Mayor
of Kaufman, and he served without a break in that
office for twelve years. When he took up the duties of
his new office, public spirit was at a decidedly low ebb
in the citv, and a movement was sadly needed to stir
up the sleeping civic pride which the people later proved
themselves to possess. Needless to say, the election of
Mr. Shaw was the impetus needed to arouse the slum-
bering city and bring it to a realization of its comli-
tion. The first reform was that of the city water
supply. The question of a new water plant was launched,
and agitation followed sufficient to bring the matter
to a vote, with the result that Kaufman today has a
pure water system unsurpassed in Texas, with a chem-
ical test of better than ninety-nine per cent pure, and
with an adequate service for doniestic supply and fire
protection. Mr. Shaw retired from the office for the
first time in 1908. but was returned to the office after
an interval of two years, and he left the public service
in the spring of 1912 with a completed water service



and r. splendid new high school accredited to his ad-

Some twenty years ago he associated himself with
Wool Xash in the insurance and real estate business un-
der the firm style of Shaw & Nash. Five years later
Temjile Nash was introduced into the firm, and the
present firm of Shaw, Nash & Nash dates from that time.
Thairs is one of the most active and alert firms of
its kind in the city, and they control a generous pro-
portion of the real estate and insurance business of
the city.

In politics Mr. Shaw is a stanch Democrat, but his
connection with political campaigns has been rather of
a local nature. He acquired some slight acquaintance
with conventions and convention men as a delegate to
state conventions and in 1912 he was chairman of the
Kaufman County Central Committee, aiding Governor
Colquitt with whatever influence he had at his com-
mand in his re-election.

Mr. Shaw is a Master Mason, and is affiliated with all
the Masonic bodies in the York and Scottish Eites. He
was Grand Marshal at the laying of the corner stone
of the Widows and Orphans Masonic Home in Fort
Worth in 1900. A member of the Knights of Pythias,
he was Outer Guard of the Grand Lodge of Texas in
1912, and is Inner Guard for the year of 1913.

On January 26, 1895, Mr. Shaw was married in Indi-
anapolis, Indiana, to Miss Ethel L. Ellis, a daughter
of Samuel Ellis, of that city. Mrs. Shaw passed away
on February 23, 1902. Mr. Shaw has been identified
with the Christian church as a member since 1882, and
he has been clerk and treasurer of the church for many

William Temple N.\sh. Prominent among the men
of Kaufman county, Texas, whose activities along vari-
ous lines of endeavor are contributing materially to
the progress of this section of the Lone Star State is
WUliam Temjile Nash, of Kaufman, who is ably main-
taining the family reputation for financial ability and
business prowess that has ever characterized its mem-
bers. He is a son of the late financier, Herbert Temple
Nash, of Kaufman, who proved himself one of the able
and successful men of affairs of his state.

William Nash, the paternal grandfather of William
Temple Nash, came to Texas from near Franklin, Ten-
nessee, before the outbreak of the war for independence,
and settled at San Augustine. His brother, John D.
Nash, or "Jack," as he was familiarly known, who
had accompanied him, placed his signature to the Texas
declaration of independence and removed, finally, to
Bastrop county, while William came to Kaufman county
in 1851 and was here poisoned by two ex-slaves close up-
on the close of the war. He was a prosperous planter and
owned much slave property, and was still in the prime
of life when he passed away. William Nash married
Miss Louisa Temple, a family of prominence and local
renown about Nashville, Tennessee, and she survived
her husband many years, passing away at Kaufman dur-
ing the 'eighties. Among their children were the fol-
lowing: Dempsey, who died a single man at San
Augustine, Texas; Llewellyn T., who died in Kaufman
county, leaving a family; Charles Cornelius, vrho served
Kaufman county as its treasurer and spent his life
as a merchant and stockman ; Lucy, who became the
wife of Augustus Gardner and passed her life in Kauf-
man county; Napoleon B., who left a family here at
his death r Herbert T.; Mrs. Dr. Pyle, and Dora, who
became the wife of Henry Boykin. The Nashes were
ever a pastoral and agrarian people and were conspicu-
ous as stockmen and farmers from the time of their
advent in Texas.

Herbert Temple Nash was born at San Augustine,
Texas, March 9, 1841, the youngest of his father's chil-
dren. He was approaching closely upon his majority
when the Civil War made soldiers out of all red-blooded
Vol. n - 29

men of sound body, and he entered the service of the
Confederacy, in General Eoss' Brigade, as a member of
Captain Hardin's company, of the Sixth Texas Cavalry,
Colonel Stone, and was in the Confederate service from
early in 1861 until the end of the war. He took part
in the engagement with the Indians of the Territory at
Chnstenola, was in the engagement at Elkhorn Tavern,
Arkansas, and his command was dismounted at Desark
and sent, with other troops of Price's army, by boat to
Memphis, Tennessee, to aid the Confederates operating
against the forces of General Grant. He subsequently
was in the battles of Corinth, luka, Farmiugton, the
Holly Springs raid, Thompson's Station, the service in-
cident to General Johnston's efforts to relieve Vicks-
burg, fought Sherman 's army across Mississippi to
Meridian, then into the Atlanta campaign, where for
100 days there was continuous fighting and skirmishing,
and was with his regiment as a part of General Hood 's
army which went back into Tennessee after the fall of
Atlanta and fought at Franklin, Second Murfreesboro
and back into Mississippi, where the command sur-
rendered to General Canby 's department in April, 1865.
With the fighting organization of the Waco general,
Mr. Nash took part in as many as 100 different en-
gagements and was admired by his comrades and
respected by his officers as a brave and gallant soldier.

When resistance was made useless at Appomattox, Mr.
Nash resumed his place as a citizen of the Eepublic of
the United States, where he had grown up. Following
the local troubles of the negroes soon after the war, he
was pursued with others by the authorities for a year
or two under suspicion of being implicated in the
slaughter of some of the freedmen, but was released upon
a hearing and went about the serious affairs of life in
a manner which promised success. Mr. Nash manifested
a penchant for land. He was such a believer in the
future of Texas land that he set about acquiring valu-
able tracts in various counties until his possessions em-
braced thousands of acres. While he assailed Nature
and made the wild grasses yield their place to cotton, he
liked the native turf and seemed to regret its passing
when settlement demanded the opening of new farms.
He reached a position of financial independence within
a decade after the war that enabled him to abandon
active farming and devote himself to business affairs in

Although for some time embarrassed by the lack of
a liberal early education, he overcame this by experience
in the affairs of the world which taught him the funda-
mentals of business. In 1881 he established a private
bank in Kaufman, and conducted it with marked suc-
cess, and in 1888, associated with some of the leading
men of his town, chartered the First National Bank,
with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and was made
president of the institution. He remained in that office
untU his death, March 26, 1912. During the life of its
charter — a period of twenty years — the management
doubled the capital of the bank, paid annual dividends
of ten per cent for nineteen years, and a dividend of
thirty-one per cent the last year, besides a surplus of
twenty-five per cent on its capital and surplus, amount-
ing to twenty-five thousand dollars. In February, 1910,
the bank was reorganized with a one hundred thousand-
dollar capital and a twenty-five thousand-dollar surplus,
and has continued its record-making dividend career.

Mr. Nash so displayed his ability as a financier that
his services were called for by p'lblic institutions need-
ing a strong and able guiding hand. When the old
Texas Trunk railway became embarrassed and went
into the hands of the court, he was appointed receiver
of the road and rehabilitated its affairs, and when Gov-
ernor Eoss made up his board of managers for the
North Texas Insane Asylum he chose Mr. Nash one of
its members and he gave that institution four years
of wise administration in harmony with his colleagues
on that body. His activity in politics carried him into



convention work of the state and made him well known
for his Democ-ratic adlierenoe. Mr. Nash was a large
holder of the original stock of the Kaufman Oil Mill,
erected the first residence in the county to cost twenty
thousand dollars, and in the construction of the home
of the First National Bank built the first brick business
house in the county to cost thirty-four thousand dollars.
After his children were all grown and some of his grand-
children had passed through the Kaufman schools, he
urged the raising of the school tax materially to aid
the schools to do more efficient work, demonstrating his
willingness that the public school should enjoy any bene-
fits which his capital could reasonably provide. He
exemplified his fraternal side as a Knights Templar
Mason and as a Knight of Pythias. For thirty years
he was a consistent member of the Baptist church. He
was of fine physique, standing six feet one inch in
height, and weighing 265 pounds.

On January 5, 1870, Herbert Temple Nash was mar-
ried to Miss Louisa Jane Shannon, a member of a
pioneer family of San Augustine, Texas, and to this
union there have been born the following children:
Allie, the wife of Congressman James Young, was edu-
cated in Nash College, Sherman, and in Hollins In-
stitute, Virginia, married Mr. Young in 1892, and is
the mother of Herbert E., a Bachelor of Arts graduate
of the University of Texas, class of 191.3, when under
nineteen years of age, Imogene and James; 'William
Temple, of this notice; and Jack A.

Jack A. Nash was born in 1878, attending Bingham
Military Institute, North Carolina, after the public
schools, and then took a course in Bethel College, Eus-
sellville, Kentucky. He began life with the affairs of
his father as assistant cashier of the First National Bank
at Kaufman, subsequently built the old mill at Athens,
Texas, and has since been associated with his brother
in the conduct of their vast agricultural interests, in the
development of farms and in the multitudinous matters
in the management of possessions equal to a baronial
estate. He is one of the directors of the First National
Bank of Kaufman. Mr. Nash was married at Athens,
Texas, to Miss May Eichardson, a daughter of Ed Eich-
ardson. a lawyer of Henderson county, and they have
been the parents of three children: Jack, Jr., Janie
Catherine and Franklin.

William Temple Nash was born while the family were
still farmers, June 22, 1873. The public schools of Kauf-
man educated him liberally as he grew to manhood,
and he subsequently attended the Bingham Military In-
stitute. North Carolina, the University of Texas, and
the Poughkeepsie Business College, New York. When
he left school, he spent a few years in the First Na-
tional Bank, and then turned his attention to farming,
aiding actively in the overseeing of the development work
going on upon the family estate. Four-room bungalows
with fourteen feet-square rooms on every 150 acres, with
good barns, mark the character of their improvements,
and their clearing of the "green briar" lands of the
Elm Flats of Kaufman county marks an epoch in farm-
making in that region. They have under cultivation m
Kaufman county twelve hundred acres and seven hundred
acres in Navarro county. The brothers carry on the
larsest mule business in the county, at Kaufman, and
William T. is a director of the Kaufman Compress Com-
pany and one of its promoters, as well as a director in
the First National Bank. During the eight years Mr.
Nash was a member of the Kaufman City Council nu-
merous improvements were made in the city, these in-
cluding the installation of the city water works and the
filtration system. The father and brothers have ever
been firm believers in the church as a great factor in
civilization and have contributed liberally to all de-
nominations and creeds.

On December 8, 1898, William Temple Nash was
united in marriage with Miss Bettie B. Erwin, a daugh-
ter of Henry and Nancy (Spikes) Erwin. Two chil-

dren have been born to
Jane and Belle Temple.

lion, namely: Nancy

Te.mple S. Pyle, president of the First National Bank
of Kaufman, is a son of Dr. William H. Pyle, who es-
tablished the family in Texas a few years before the
outbreak of the Civil war, and who thereafter became
conspicuously identified with the professional, business
and political affairs of Kaufman county. For a brief
period after his advent into the state Dr. Pyle main-
tained his residence in Eush county, but he came to the
vicinity of Kaufman in its infancy and spent the re-
mainder of his life in its midst. Dr. Pyle was easily
one of the foremost men of his time in Kaufman county,
and in a work of the character of which this publication
partakes, omission of a fairly complete account of his
life and work would render the publication most in-

William H. Pyle was born at Eichmond, Ohio, June 9,
1833, and died February 9, 1891. He was a son of Dr.
Eli M. Pyle and his wife, Mary McMurray (Shields)
Pyle. The mother was a daughter of William and Eliza-
beth Shields, of Jefferson county, Ohio, and she was
born January 7, 1807, her death occurring at Eichmond,
Ohio, on August 1, 1895. They became the parents of
the following children: William Hamilton, father of
the subject; Eoxana; Elizabeth; Mary; Margaretta;
Thomas H. ; Samuel M. ; Sheridan B. ; Annie E. ; Pau-
lina, and Emma M.

Dr. Eli M. Pyle moved to Ohio and in 1831 located
in Eichmond, and there, save for a year spent at
Mount Pleasant, Iowa, he lived out his remaining years.
He was an intimate friend of Secretary Stanton, Mr.
Lincoln "s War Secretary, and at the age of sixty years
he tendered his service as a volunteer surgeon of the
Union Army. Mr. Stanton acknowledged this patriotic
offer in a letter stating that his age would probably
preclude him from the opportunity of serving in the field,
but that as soon as he found an opening in a local ca-
pacity he would be pleased to reeogni7e the offer of his
old friend. He was a strong supporter of the Union
cause, and lent his moral support to the overthrow of
the Confederacy, for whose support his son, William H.,
was ardently striving. Another son, Thomas H., served
in the Eightieth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, while his
oldest son was Brigadier Surgeon of General Carter's

Dr. William H. Pyle was graduated from Eichmond
College in 1850 and "in 1851 was graduated from Wash-
ington College, in Washington, Pennsylvania. He com-
pleted his medical studies in the old Miami Medical
College of Cincinnati, Ohio, and came west with a
mental training and endowment that augured well for
his future success. At the inception of the Civil War,
though of Northern birth and education, he espoused the
cause of his adopted country, and in 1S62 joined a Texas
regiment, being commissioned surgeon of his command.
His regiment formed a part of General Walker's Di-
vision of the Trans-Mississippi Department and he took
part in the prominent field operations around Mansfield,
Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou, Jenkins' Ferry and others,
where he ministered to the sick and wounded so long
as hostilities continued. With the fall of the Confed-
eracy he dropped back into civil life, accepting there
his "fhare of responsibility in local affairs.

In the year 1869 Dr. Pyle was elected to the senate
of Texas, representing the counties Kaufman, Ellis and
Navarro, and he was a member of the never-to-be-
forgotten Twelfth and Thirteenth legislatures, which
have their prominent place in history, though few live
today who actually participated in them. Included in
his committee work of the senate. Dr. Pyle was chair-
man of the committee on Contingent Expense and re-
ported out the bills carrying a recommendation for
appropriations for the senate contingent fund. He allied
himself with the influences at work for the development



of the state by railroad aud other corporation interests,
and the legislation of those years helped to prepare
the political soil for the germination and growth of
interests which are today being strenuously opposed as
monopolies, and as inimical to the healthy condition of
commomvealth affairs. Thus is apparent the change in
sentiment wrought by a few decades in these first days
of fast developing enterprises.

Dr. Pyle was a personality of rare mould in his com-
munity. He was large of mind as he was of fame, and
he loomed high above the average citizen of his period
in every phase of life. He possessed a generous fund
of information upon all live topics, was a Ijrilliaut aud
ready conversationalist, and ever an entci taiiiiii;^ s|M';ik('i.
In the later years of his life he licinii.^ :iiiil .Hi^l witli
the Baptist church, though he was iwmi :i 111:111 in iiiakr
much of a profession with regard tu uiailcrs jHrtaiu-
ing to the church. In the later yeais of his life Dr.
Pyle was engaged with his sons in the drug business in
Kaufman, and he was for some years one of the directors
of the First National Bank of Kaufman of which his
son, the subject of this review, is president.

On January 26, 1S60, Dr. Pyle was married to Miss
ilary Xash, a daughter of William Nash, one of the
pioneers of Texas and one whose family is now one of
the most numerous and prominent of Kaufman county.
Mrs. Pyle survives her husband, at the age of seventy-
one, and is the mother of six children, briefly mentioned
as follows: Laura, who died unmarried; Sallie, who
died here as the wife of E. J. Haddock; Temple S.,
of this review; Charles B., of Kaufman; Fannie, the
wife of W. A. Boggs, of Okema, Oklahoma; and Anna
Pauline, the wife of Dr. H. W. Hoffer, of Kaufman,

Temple S. Pyle was born in Kaufman, on February
27, 1866. He was educated in the public schools of this
place and began life as an associate of his brother in
the drug business. After some twenty years of success-
ful activity in that enterprise they sold the business
and Temple Pyle engaged in farming and stock rais-
ing, carrying on a gradual development work that
tended toward perfection in improvement and cultiva-
tion, and introducing into their community registered
Jersey cattle and handling it to the highest advantage
of the dairy interests of the county.

For many years prior to his official connection in his
present capacity, Mr. Pyle was a member of the Board
of Directors of the First National Bank of Kaufman,
and his worthy achievements in business commended him
favorably to the directorate of the bank as one in every
way fitting and appropriate to fill the post of presi-
dent, when a vacancy occurred in that office. He was
elected president of the bank in May, 1912, as the suc-
cessor of H. T. Nash, deceased, and his record thus far
is one of the highest order.

Save as a consistent voter of the Democratic ticket,
Mr. Pyle has no political record, for he has devoted
himself rather to business than to polities of the county,
and his accomplishments have been as heavily fraught
with good to the community in the field he has occu-
pied as they could have been in any other quarter.

In March, 1888, Mr. Pyle married Miss Lee Echols,
a daughter of J. D. Echols, a farmer who came to
Texas from Tennessee after the war. Mr. and Mrs.
Pyle have three children : Mary, the wife of E. H.
Carlisle, of Kaufman ; Adeline and Biehard.

Mr. Pyle has a membership in the Knights of Pythias,
but has no other fraternal affiliations.

Judge Ephrai^i C. Heath. Probably no other family
has more distinctive associations with the earlv history
of what is now Rockwall county than the Heaths. A
prominent representative of the name is Judge Ephraim
C. Heath, who was born in what is now Eockwall county,
was at one time county judge, made a record in the
state legislature, and was one of the pioneers iu the

temperance movement in Texas, aud has done as much
as any other leader in furthering the cause since it
received its first practical expression through the p,-^..ple
nearly forty years ago. Judge Heath was also one of
the organizers of Eockwall county. Although a very
young man at the time, he circulated a petition during
the winter of 1872-73 for the creation of the new county
The organization took place in 1873, and he was one of
the board of registrars of voters.

Judge Kpliiaiiii ( '. Heath was born November 4, 1850,
at what IS iiMU tlir tuttu of Heath in the southern part
of KockHiill ruiinty, tlien a portion of Kaufman county.

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 145 of 177)