Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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His parents were John O. and Martha Ann (Jones)
M.aili, both now deceased. The Heath family was es-
t.-il'li-licd in New England in the early colonial days,
iiihI iiiiiung the earlier members who gained distinction
uas General William Heath, who was born in Massa-
chusetts and died in that state in 1814 and who served
with gallantry as an officer in the Continental army dur-
uig the American Eevolution. The Heaths are a family
of pioneers, and almost every generation has seen its
removal into new territories of settlement, or its mem-
bers have taken part as advance couriers in social and
civic movements identified with the welfare of humanity.
In the earlier days their strong and courageous men
helped to conquer the wilderness and blazed the way
for the coming generations. Ephraim Heath, the grand-
father of Judge Heath, was born in Prince George
county, Virginia, March 13, 1790. In 1816 he crossed
the mountains and found a home in Kentucky, locat-
ing m Simpson county. From there he moved to Calla-
way county in the latter part of 1818. About that
time he went back to his old home in Virginia, a dis-
tance of sis hundred miles, accompanied by his young
wife, who carried her baby, John O. Heath, in her arms.
The entire distance was accomplished on horseback.
When the family located in Callaway county, Kentucky]
twelve families, including the Heaths, comprised the en-
tire citizenship of that vicinity.

John O. Heath, father of Judge Heath, who was born
in Simpson, Kentucky. January 30, 1818, in his turn
became a pioneer in Texas. He made the journey in
a wagon, with his wife and one child, a daughter, in
1846, and instead of locating in the older portions of
the state, established his home near the present town of
Heath, which was named in his honor, on the east fork
of the Trinity river in what is now Eockwall county.
The country was then in the jurisdiction of Nacogdoches
county, afterwards Henderson and then Kaufman and
now Eockwall county. It was all a wilderness, and
was practically on the border of the frontier line of
civilization in northern Texas. About half a dozen other
families settled in the same vicinity in the same year.
John 0. Heath's settlement and the survey of his land
preceded all others. The first postoffice ever established
in what is now Eockwall county was kept in his cabin
home. He was the first postmaster, receiving his com-
mission to that office in 1849. At that time the postoffice
was known as Black Hill, and it retained that name
until the office was transferred to Eockwall in 1855.
During the administration of Gov. J. Pinckney Hen-
derson, 1846-47, John 0. Heath was commissioned by
the governor as captain of militia for Henderson and
Kaufman counties. Beginning in 1862 John O. Heath
served until the close of the war as first lieutenant of
Company K. B. Warren Stone's Second regiment in
the Trans-Mississippi department. He went all through
the Eed Eiver campaign, and his record as a soldier
is one that will always be prized by his descendants.
In 1856 he moved with his family to the town of
Eockwall. and there spent the remainder of his life.
He was the first person to join the Methodist Episcopal
Church. South, in that town. His death occurred in 1897.
John O. Heath was a fine, strong, upright character, a
man of power and influence, and possessed the bone and
sinew and intellect of which nations are made. His wife



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TEXAS AND TEXANS



was born in Callaway county, Kentucky, and married
December 24, 1844. She died in 1854.

Judge E. C. Heath received a good education in local
private schools, notwithstanding the fact that his home
was in a new country and the entire south was dis-
tracted by the events of the war during his youth.
From early manhood until 1890 he was engaged in the
mercantUe business in Eockwall. From that time until
January, 1914, he did a large business in the abstract
and title work at Eockwall. Judge Heath has a beau-
tiful home and a fine farm of eighty acres about a mile
north of Eockwall, where he and his family enjoy all
the comforts of good living.

It is in his public career that the life of Judge
Heath has been particularly noteworthy. In 1882 he
was elected county judge of Eockwall county, was re-
elected in 1884, and held the office until 1880. It was
an able, efficient and economical administration of pub-
lic affairs in his county. In 1886 he was elected flo-
torial representative to the state legislature for the
district embracing Eockwall, Dallas and Tarrant coun-
ties. He was a member of the session of 1S87, and
during that time was a leader in causing the submis-
sion of the state-wide prohibition amendment. Also
in the same session he was chairman of the conmiittee
on roads and bridges. Judge Heath since early youth
has been an ardent advocate and a courageous and
energetic supporter of all temperance and prohibition
movements. Following the adoption of the constitution
of 1876, which contained the local option provision, Judge
Heath circulated what is understood to have been the
first local option petition in Texas. He was a delegate
to the great temperance convention held in New York
City in 1890, at which addresses were made by Gen. Neal
Dow and other prominent figures in the temperance cause.
Also in 1890 Judge Heath undertook the leadership of
a forlorn hope as candidate of the Prohibition party for
the office of Governor. He made a speaking campaign
over the entire state, and though he failed of election
his campaign had some valuable results. The campaign,
it will be remembered, followed the depression of pro-
hibition sentiment caused by the defeat in 1887, and
students of the fluctuating movements of state politics
give credit to Judge Heath's vigorous conduct of his
campaign for keeping alive the prohibition sentiment
and paving the way for the present era of almost uni-
versal prohibition in this state. It was in 1SC9 or 1870
that Judge Heath became identified with the first tem-
perance movement organized in the south, mil t^i many
years he was an active member of the Gn,u] T>in]ilars
organization. He is a member of the ]Metlin.li^^t Kpisco-
pal Church, South, as all his ancestors have been. He
is also a member of the A. F. & A. M.. and has taken
all the degrees of the Chapter of Eoyal Arch ilasons.

In 1881 at Eockwall Judge Heath married Mrs. Ida
A. (Collins) Carter. She was born at Paulding, Jasper
county, Mississippi. By her first marriage she has a
son, Ernest C. Carter, of Henrietta, Texas. Judge
Heath and wife have three children: John O. Heath,
who is living in Kansas City and is married and has
one child; Mrs. Katherine Neville and Miss Mary Heath.

John A. Holmes. A career that has been marked
by rapid advancement and brilliant achievement is that
of John A. Holmes, county attorney of Eoberts county,
Texas, and one of the leading members of the younger
generation of legal practitioners of this part of the Lone
Star State. Although he has been engaged in practice
for something less than five years, Mr. Holmes has ably
demonstrated his ability, his thorough knowledge of law
and jurisprudence and his inherent inclination for his
profession, and since his advent in Miami, his present
field of endeavor, has not only won a recognized position
in the ranks of his calling, but has thoroughly estab-
lished himself in the confidence of the people. Mr.
Holmes is a Mississippian, and was born at Sallis, At-



tala county, January 20, 1886. His father, Thomas S.
Holmes, was born in Holmes county, Mississippi, a mem-
ber of an old and honored family of that section, and
for many years has been well known in commercial cir-
cles as a prominent and wealthy merchant. He has also
taken an active participation in affairs of a public na-
ture, and at this time is mayor of Sallis. He is now
sixty-two years of age. He married Miss Mary E. Sal-
lis, who was born in Attala county, Mississippi, and edu-
cated in Woodworth College, and she died in 1895, aged
thirty-five years, having been the mother of four chil-
dren, namely: T. W., who is now a resident of Stark-
vOle, Mississippi; John A., of this review; W. E., whose
home is in Laurel, Mississippi; and Miss Bessie S., of
£allis, Mississippi.

John A. Holmes was given the advantages of an ex-
cellent educational training, his preliminary studies being
pursued in the public schools of his native place, follow-
ing which he attended the Mississippi Agricultural and
Mechanical College for four years. After his graduation
from that institution, in 1906, he came to Texas and en-
tered the State University, where he received his degree
in law in 1909. In June of that year he entered upon
the practice of his profession at Bonham, Fannin county,
but in the following September changed his headquarters
to Miami, and here he has since continued in the enjoy-
ment of a constantly increasing professional business.
He has been connected in one capacity or another with a
number of important cases where his talents and abilities
have been proven, and the prominence thus gained has
brought to him some of the most profitable business that
can fall to the lot of a young lawyer. In November,
1909. he became the candidate of the democratic party
for the office of county attorney of Eoberts county, was
subsequently elected thereto, and since that time has
been twice re-elected, and his entire administration has
been of such a nature as to justify the confidence and
faith placed in him by his fellow-citizens,

Mr. Holmes's only social connection is with the col-
lege fraternity of the University of Texas, he being a
member of the Delta Sigma Phi, although he is very
popular with the younger set in Miami and the adjacent
country where he has a wide acquaintance. He has
achieved success through constant application and per-
severing ambition, for his only assistance from home
came in the form of an education. Whatever else he has
accomplished has come through his own efforts. He is
a "booster" of the most enthusiastic order for this sec-
tion of the state, and has an interest in several enter-
prises here, among them the Miami Bank, in which he is
a stockholder. Personally, Mr. Holmes is a man of good
habits, studious and energetic, and extremely foud of
hunting and fishing when the duties of his office and his
extensive practice allow him a vacation. He has never
married.

JtTDGE Henry M. Wade. The Eockwall countv bar
includes among its leading members the native Texan
whose name introduces this sketch.

Henrv M. Wade was born in Hunt county, Texas,
June 21, 1864, son of Henry W. and Elizabeth J.
(Kuykendall) Wade, the former a native of Kentucky
and the latter of Mississippi. Henry Wade was born in
Callaway county, Kentucky, of Kentucky parents, and
made that place his home until 1850, when he came to
Texas and settled in Upshur county. In 1859 he moved
to Eockwall county, where he remained until 1866.
Meanwhile he had sent his family to Hunt county and
in 1860 he joined them 'there and they settled on a farm,
twelve miles southeast of Greenville, where he spent the
rest of his life, and where he died, January 7, 1912,
Throughout the Civil war he served in the Confederate
armv, as a member of Company B, Sixth Texas Cavalry,
Eoss's Brigade. He was also a member of the Constitu-
tional Convention in 1876 from Hunt county. His widow,
Mrs. Elizabeth J. Wade, was a representative of one of



TEXAS AND TEXANS



2045



the earliest pioneer families of Hunt county — the Kuy-
kendalls — whose settlement there dates back in 1843.

Henry il. Wade was educated at Sam Houston Normal
School, Huntsville, where he graduated in 1888. Until
he was twenty-five years of age he lived on his father's
farm, dividing his time between farming and school
teaching. He taught school several years in Kaufman
county. In the meantime he took up the study of law
and was in due time admitted to the bar. In 1896
he moved to Eoyse City, Eockwall county, and from
there, in 1900, he came to Eockwall, having that year
been elected County Attorney. Eockwall has ever since
been his home. In 1906 he was elected County Judge,
a position he filled six years, up to 1912, when he was
again elected County Attorney, the oflSce he is now
filling.

Judge Wade maintains fraternal relations with vari-
ous organizations, including the M. W. of A., the K. of
P., and B. P. O. E., and the A. F. & A. M. His re-
ligious creed is that of the Methodist church, of which
he is a worthy member.

Mrs. Henry M. Wade was formerly Miss Lulu Mickey.
She was born and reared in Kaufman county, Texas,
and is the mother of seven children, namely: Eobert
N., Eeese D., Mart, Joe C, Oscar C, Carrie, and
Nona A.

Egbert B. Myers, M. D. Since the year 1893 Dr.
Myers has been in active practice at the town of Kemp,
an able physician and surgeon. Of well trained and ex-
perienced ability. Dr. Myers has done his work well in
that community, and both as a citizen and a doctor
stands high in Kaufman county. His family has lived
in central and western Texas from a period before
the Civil war, and its various members have been ranch-
ers, farmers, millers, and merchants, and otherwise iden-
tified with those activities which are most important in
maintaining the general welfare of any locality.

Eobert E. Myers was born at Lancaster, Texas, July
12, 1867, a sou of Jasper C. Myers. The father died
at Golston Eanch, now Big Springs, Texas, in May,
1875, when about forty-three years of age. He was
one of the earliest ranchers to locate in the vicinity of
what is now the thriving city of Big Springs, having
gone there before the war, and he ranched with head-
quarters at the old Golston Eanch at Buffalo Gap. Dur-
ing the war he was in the employ of the Confederate
government, driving beef cattle to Shreveport, for the
army of the south. Jasper C. Myers, who came to
Texas when a young man, married at Palo Pinto, Texas,
Miss Allen, whose father, Anderson Allen, ran a grist
mill at Palo Pinto during the war times. Anderson
Allen was a native of Tennessee, and first moved to
Missouri and later to Texas. He had two sons and one
of them served with the Texas rangers against the In-
dians during the Civil War. Anderson Allen died at
Fort Worth, at the age of eighty-one, and is buried at
Old Birdsville, once the county seat of Tarrant county.
Shortly after his marriage Jasper C. Myers established
his home at Lancaster, and his home was the chief resi-
dence and place of hospitality, an open house, where
friends and strangers were entertained with equal hos-
pitality and whence emanated many influences and prac-
tical charities in the community. In that home Mrs.
Jasper C. Myers died in ISSS, and it was in the vicinity
of the old homestead that her children started their
careers. The children were: Eobert E.; Thomas C,
who was killed in a railroad wreck on the Missouri,
Kansas & Texas Eailroad near Denton, and Miss Emma
Myers, a teacher of music in Fort Worth.

Dr. Eobert E. Mvers engaged in business as a mature
youth with such education as Lancaster provided for its
young people, and began his work as a clerk for the
well known townsman Eena P. Henry, who was then a
local merchant. When Mr. Henry retired from business,
Mr. Myers entered the firm of Gibson, Lyon, and Com-



pany, and afterwards was with N. B. Johnson. After
several years he left the trade to take up the medical
study, entering the medical department of the University
of Nashville, Tennessee, where he was graduated M. D.
in 1893. In the same year he opened his office at Kemp,
where he attended his first patient, and where he soon
attained recognition as a skillful and reliable doctor.
Dr. Myers belongs to the different medical societies,
the Kaufman County and the State Societies, the Amer-
ican Medical Association. At different times since the
beginning of practice he has attended school for brief
periods, pursuing special courses and thus keeping in
touch with the advance in science and medicine.

Dr. Myers in politics is a Democrat, and was pioneer
in the Wilson cause at Kemp. When the campaign
started he advocated the New Jersey educator as the
ablest statesman on the Democratic side, and his per-
sonal influence had much to do with the practical sup-
port later accorded the new president of the United
States.

In Kaufman county, in November, 1906, Dr. Myers
married Miss Edna Jackson, a daughter of C. Q. Jack-
son of Kemp. The village was named by J. C. Watking
in honor of his wife, Kempy, a near relative of Mrs.
Myers. Jlr. C. Q. Jackson was an early settler in Kauf-
man county, was a trader, and now resides at Austwell,
Texas. The only child of Dr. Myers and wife is Mary
Emmett Myers.

James M. Still, M. D. The family to which Dr.
Still, of Kemp, belongs, has been notable for its promi-
nent relations and activities in the profession of medi-
cine and the ministry, and has numerous representatives
in Kaufman county, and other sections of Texas. The
?ettlement of the Stills in Texas dates back to about
the close of the Civil war, and previous to that time
the family had been prominent in Tennessee and Arkan-
sas, and physicians and ministers of the name are known
in many sections of the union.

Dr. James M. Still, who was born at Palestine, Texas,
March 8, 1869, is a son of the venerable retired physi-
cian. Dr. Abraham J. Still of Kemp. The family record
goes back to the great grandfather Still, who enlisted
from Virginia, his home colony, and was an officer during
the Eevolutionary war. This American soldier married
a Miss Lidy, and among their children were: Dr. An-
drew, grandfather of Dr. James M. ; Hev. Abraham StDl,
a physician and a Methodist preacher, who spent his
life in Tennessee and Kansas, dying in the latter state;
James and Dr. Isaac, who both died in Tennessee; Dr.
Henry, who died in Arkansas; Keziah, who married first
a Phelps, and later a Eodgers, and died in Tennessee.

Dr. Andrew Still, the grandfather, was born in Vir-
ginia, and moved across the mountains into Tennessee,
where he was among the early settlers. He studied medi-
cine, and was long a successful physician. He married
Miss Sallie Bryant, who died in 1833. Her people
belong to the pioneer farmers of Tennessee. Dr. Andrew
Still and ^ife were the parents of: George, who died
in Tennessee, as did his sister Martha, who never mar-
ried; Mary, who married John Greenway. and spent
her life in Tennessee; Dr. Abraham J., and Elizabeth,
who died in Kaufman county, Texas, as Mrs. Soger
Gibson.

Abraham Jefferson Still, father of James M. Still,
came out from Henderson county, Tennessee, and located
at Palestine, Texas, in 1868. He was born in Decntur
county, Tennessee, July 30, 1829, and was left without
parents when a lad of fourteen. He secured education
as the neighborhood schools afforded, and at the age
of eighteen went to Henderson county, Tennessee. Fol-
lowing the family inclination and practice, he decided
on medicine as a calling, and at nineteen moved to
Marion, Arkansas, to study under his uncle. Dr. Isaac
Still. Subsequently he took lectures in the Memphis
Medical College, graduating in 18.57. His first office and



2046



TEXAS AND TEXANS



practice were in the country clientage in the county of
liis birth, and he maintained an extensive country client-
age during his residence in Tennessee. During the war
between the states, Ur. Still was in the employ of the
Confederate Government as assistant surgeon under Dr.
West at Columbus, Mississippi, for a short time, until
failing health caused him to abandon the work and
return home. He was one of the most vigorous advo-
cates of the southern cause, and his attitude alienated
many of his old friends during the war, and he subse-
quently suffered disfranchisement by the Federal govern-
ment. On moving to Texas he took up practice at
Palestine, where he lived until 1870, when he made his
final move and settled on a farm at Kemp. This farm
was subsequently selected as the site of the new town,
and is now largely covered by the homes and business
houses of the village. At what was known as the ' ' Old
town, ' ' he opened a store and engaged in merchandis-
ing, at the same time continuing his medical practice
until 1S89. Dr. A. J. Still joined the first medical so-
ciety organized in Kaufman county, and since early
manhood has been a member of the Baptist church, and
a Democrat in politics. He was filled with the spirit
of opposition to military and carpet-bag rules in Texas,
when he first came to the state and although denied
suffrage for a few years he aided in the movement which
eventually placed the reins of local and state govern-
ment in the hands of Texas people.

Abraham Jefferson Still was married in Decatur
county, Tennessee, December 17, 1859, to Miss Mar-
garet Graves. Her father was a professional account-
ant, whose birthplace was South Carolina, and who
married a Miss Mackey, of Virginia. Their children
are: Eugene, an accountant of Dallas; Mrs. E. W.
Mason of Brazoria county, Texas; Dr. Benjamin F., a
graduate of the Osteopathic Medical Schools founded and
maintained by Dr. Still, a relative, at Kirksville, Mis-
souri, and now a resident of Elizabeth, New Jersey;
George, who is a traveling salesmnii in Texas: Dr. James
M. ; Arthur Jefferson; Reagan, win, i-^ «itl. tlio Independ-
ent Telephone Company at Tvl.i. :iihl Mrs. Eldred
Thompson, wife of a minister at K'ci;iiioko, Texas. Arthur
Jefferson Still, named in the alcove list of children, was
born on the townsite of Kemp, January 14, 1872, was
educated in the local public schools, lived on the farm
until he was nineteen years Of age, then clerked for W. A.
Bnggs, in Kaufman, and later for Mr. Stewart, in Kemp,
and became a bookkeeper in the Mason Bank, at Kemp.
When the bank failed he engaged in the real estate and
loan business, and has since built up a large clientele.
He also represents the Texas Life Insurance Company
as an agent for the loaning of their funds, and the
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company of
Boston, and the Union Central of Cincinnati. Arthur
Jefferson Still married in Dallas in June, 1905, Miss
Bessie, a daughter of Stephen Moore, and they have no
children.

Dr. James M. Still received a country training, and
has many reasons to be grateful to the surroundings and
influence' of his youth in addition to the vigorous phys-
ical manhood which he obtained as a boy on a farm.
From the country schools he went to Baylor University
at Waco for two years. He read medicine two years
under his father and attended his first lectures in the
Memphis Hospital Medical College. From there he went
to "Marion Sims," the ancient and honorable old school
of medicine in St. Louis and graduated from there in
1892. For three years Dr. Still practiced at Noble,
Oklahoma, after which he returned to the scenes of his
childhood and has given this community his presence
and his skill since that time.

In 1905 he took a post-graduate course in the Chicago
Polyclinic. He aflRliates with the county and state so-
cieties. Dr. Still has no record in politics except as a
voter with the majority party.
Dr. Still was married in Kaufman county, December



29, 1892, to Miss Mary Moore, a daughter of C. C.
Moore, a former commissioner of the county, and an
ex-Confederate soldier, who settled here from Mississippi.
Dr. Still and wife have children : Miss Virginia, a stu-
dent in the Milford School for Girls, and Miss Maurine.
Dr. Still is a past chancellor of the Knights of Pythias,
and is a Master Mason in Lodge No. 528 at Kemp.

Albert A. Blasingame, M. D. Manager of the
Barnett Drug Company at Kemp, Dr. Blasingame has
been in business at this point for over ten years, and
has now practically given up his medical practice. For
many years he was well known as a physician in Kauf-
man and Van Zandt counties, and represents a family
which has been identified with this section of Texas for
sixty years or more.

Dr. Blasingame was born in Kaufman county, August
16, 1866, a son of Silas A. Blasingame, and a grandson
of Wade B. Blasingame. The grandfather brought his
family to Van Zandt county, Texas, in 1852, lived there
as a farmer for many years, and died in 1891, when
about eighty years of age. He fought Indians in the
Florida Indian war of the thirties, and though too old
to serve as a soldier in the Civil war sent two of his
sons to the aid of the Confederacy, one of them being
lost during the war. Wade Blasingame was born in
Tennessee, and married Mahala Smith, who now sur-



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 146 of 177)