Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Lewis Keen, Willie Adelaide, Elwin and Yancy Daly.
Mrs. Meriwether is a most popular figure in the social
activities of her home city, is a devout member of the
Baptist church and is a successful teacher of music in
her home city, as she has received the best of cultiva-
tion in the " divine art, ' ' for which her natural talent
was of high order.

William M. Garrett, M. D. The entire professional
career of Dr. William M. Garrett, a leading physician
of Crandall, Texas, has been passed in Kaufman county,
where he entered upon his career as a practitioner of
Forney, in 1886. His antecedents on both sides were
among, or compatriots of, those who laid the foundations
for Texas greatness and bared their breasts to the dan-
gers incident to military strife or to the savagery_ of
the native tribes opposing the advance of civilization.
Doctor Garrett's father was Julius N. Garrett, who was
born at Greenville, South Carolina, and grew up in

North Carolina, whence his father moved when a young
married man.

The paternaljfirandfather of Doctor Garrett was Mat-
thew Garrett, "whose father was an Irish immigrant to
the Colony of South Carolina and subsequently joined
the forcesof the revolution and fought at Eutaw Springs
and Cowpens, in which latter engagement he was
wounded. He accompanied his children to North Caro-
lina late in life and there passed aAvay. Matthew Gar-
rett was one of General Jackson's soldiers in the battle
of Horseshoe Bend, where the backbone of the Cherokees
was broken in 1814. He spent his life as a planter and
died in North Carolina in 1868, when past ninety-eight
years of age. He married a Miss Dill, and their children
were: A. B., who died at Gatesville. Texas; Mrs. Hill;
Mrs. Sarah Anthony; Julius; Mrs. Hight, and William,
who left a family in North Carolina at the time of
his death.

Julius N. Garrett was born in 1815, and in 1844
left Macon county. North Carolina, for Texas, going
down the tributaries of the Mississippi to the mouth
of the Ohio river, and down the Mississippi river to
New Orleans, the pioneer route to this far western coun-
try. He flat-boated it to New Orleans and made his
way through the interior of Louisiana to Nachitoches,
Louisiana, crossing the Sabine at the old "Military
Crossing. ' ' Settling in Shelby county, Texas, he was
there married to Miss Mary Minerva Truit, whose Eng-
lish ancestors spelled the name "Truitt. " She was a
daughter of Hon. James M. Truit, who came out of
North Carolina in 1838 and entered actively and con-
spicuously into the affairs of the Republic.

The history of the American Truits starts with three
brothers, who left England for the American Colonies
and settled among the people of the south, where they
seem to have amalgamated and their blood was mixed
with the new race of men who inspired the contest for
liberty and equality and whose posterity fought the bat-
tles of independence and laid the foundation for the
first Republic of the New World. Col. J. M. Truit was
born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, in 1790. De-
veloping a strong mind in a strong body, he entered
life with a liberal training, was elected sheriff of
Buncombe county about 1830, and. therefore, brought
with him a political experience to Texas. He served in
the lower house of the Texas Congress and early in the
history of statehood was elected to the Senate. He was
a man of fire and spirit and his blood and that of his
sons rose at the sound of military conflict. His family
was mixed up in the East Texas feud known as the
"Regulators" and the "Moderators," and Capt. A. M.
Truit, one of his sons, was in command of a company of
the "Moderators," which had for its object the regu-
lation of the "Regulators," and which put an end to
the neighborhood disturbance.

Captain Truit was subsequently elected captain of a
company and went to Mexico with one of the regiments
under General Taylor, operating along the Rio Grande.
In the battle of Monterey he distin.guished himself by
disobeving orders and was commended by the command-
er-in-chief for his act, a fact hitherto unrecorded m the
annals of that engagement. Being ordered to hold a
certain position during that battle. Captain Truit saw
it menaced by Mexican artillery, so threatened with
destruction as' to necessitate the capture of the battery
or see his little command swept from the earth. He
had no time to ask for other orders, so issued a com-
mand for the capture of the deadly battery, which was
accomplished with no casualties, and when the incident
was reported to General Taylor, the latter invited him
to his headquarters and apprised him of his conduct
in the face of specific orders. This the honest Captain
admitted and said he was ready for his punishment.
To his surprise and gratification. General Taylor stated
that he had only to commend him for his foresight and
bravery and complimented him upon the particular serv-


ice he rendered the army. His brother, J. H., who lives
at Center, Texas, now in his eighty-sixth year, and An-
drew J., who is deceased, were soldiers in that war, and
all took part as Confederates in the war between the
states, Captain Truit being a major, and dying in the
service in 1863. The other children of Col. J. M. Truit
besides the sons mentioned above and Mrs. Garrett were :
Caroline, who became the mother of Congressman John
H. Stephens, of Texas; Mrs. Clara Stephens, and Mrs.
Cynthia Rushing, of Joaquim, Texas.

Julius Garrett passed an uneventful life as a farmer,
and passed away in 1883, his wife having died ten years
before. Their children were: Alfred M., of Logansport,
Louisiana, died March 19, 1914; James A., who died
unmarried at Center, Texas, in 1878; Dr. William M. ;
Julius T., who died in 1886, at Center, Texas, and left
a family; Eobert E., of Timpson, Texas; L. M., who
served Shelby county, Texas, as sheriff, and died in
1898, with a family ; John H., of Sego, Texas ; Mrs. 8. J.
Harris, of Center ; Mrs. Mary S. Fonville, also of Center ;
and Missouri M., wife of W. F. Price, of Nacogdoches,

William M. Garrett was born June 26, 1853, and came
up in a home without the means to provide even the
rudiments of an education, never learning the multiplica-
tion table until he came of age. He possessed a robust
physique, a desire to know, and an ambition far and
away beyond what his father believed could ever be
realized. He was born with industry oozing from every
pore, and early learned how to he useful at ehoring and
common labor, and having heard of young men passing
through college with just such a capital as he possessed,
felt sure that what was possible for them was not im-
possible for him to accomplish. Accordingly, he en-
tered school at Waco as a preparatory student of Baylor
and made an arrangement to "work his way through
school. ' ' He left home with sixty-five dollars, and the
practice he secured while giving value for his tuition
and board made him an expert at sweeping, wood-chop-
ping and as a hostler and garden-maker. He made his
grades with the class and passed his examinations with
regularity, graduating in 1880 with the degree of Bach-
elor of Arts. His commencement day filled the parental
heart to overflowing, and the ease with which he had
acquired a college education made him feel a pardon-
able pride in himself.

Having finished his literary course. Doctor Garrett
applied himself temporarily to teaching for two years
while getting his bearings for a professional career.
He chose medicine and read the subject with Dr. J. H.
Eodgers, of Center, one year, and then entered the Uni-
versity of Louisville, Kentucky. After two years of
work he passed successfully the examination required for
a certificate to practice and did his first work as a
doctor ■ at Center, Texas. After a few months he re-
turned to college and graduated in 1883. He opened
an oflSee in Overton, Texas, at that time and practiced
for three years, and then came out to Forney, and was
there located from 1886 to 1912, when he moved to
Crandall. During his practice, Dr. Garrett has visited
post-graduate schools for eleven courses, chiefly at Tulane
Polyclinic, New Orleans, and has maintained himself
in harmony with the Regular school by the society affilia-
tions of the county and state. For forty years he has
been a consistent member of the Baptist church.

On August 15, 1882, Doctor Garrett was married to
Miss Laura V. Dodson, a daughter of John M. and
Harriet J. (Doyle) Dodson. His wife died at Forney,
Texas, July 3, 1901, without issse, and on September
16, 1903, Doctor Garrett was married to Miss Mary
D. Reading, of Mineola, Texas. Six children have been
born to Doctor and Mrs. Garrett: Mary L., a promis-
ing and intellectual student and book-lover of the grades
in the public schools; Eunice B.; William M., Jr.;
Julius R.; Arthur R., who died January 19, 1914; and
Alfred P., who was born February 23, 1914. Doctor

Garrett has been a Mason since 1885, when he joined
the order at Overton, Texas, and is a member of Brook-
lyn Lodge, at Forney. He has no record in politics
fave as he stands for Democracy unhampered by poli-
ticians. He has neither held nor aspired to office.

George N. Gibbs. In the history of Kaufman county,
the Gibbs family has figured conspicuously from the
earliest days. It is of interest to know that James W.
W. Gibbs, father of the above named, assisted in the
erection of the first house in Kaufman, and his license
to marry was one of the first issued after the organiza-
tion of the county. George N. Gibbs, who represents
the third generation of the family in this section of
Texas, has for many years been prominent as a planter
and business man, and is now cashier and active man-
ager of the Citizens National Bank of Crandall.

The Gibbs family was settled on the bleak prairies of
Kaufman county in the winter of 1846, when Stephen O.
Gibbs, grandfather of George N., brought his wife and
children to this locality. Stephen 0. Gibbs, who became
one of the early sheriffs of Kaufman county, was born in
Tennessee, and afterwards left his native state and
settled in the state of Mississippi. He married Lurana
Wells, and about 1848 continued his journey toward
the Rio Grande with a colony of Texas settlers com-
prising forty-six families for the Mercer colony. All
of these colonists, it is declared, returned to Mississippi,
because of dissatisfaction with the conditions confront-
ing the settlers. The history of the Mercer enterprise
shows that there were many sound reasons for dissatis-
faction, on every hand. Stephen O. Gibbs had attained
prominence by service in the legislature of Mississippi.
He made arrangements with the Texas authorities, on
the basis of so much land for every settler, to bring a
company of immigrants to the state. Stephen O. Gibbs
and wife were the parents of: James W. W. ; John G. ;
Newton ; Donnie ; Mrs. Sarah Hill of Kaufman, Texas,
and Mrs. Frazier Hatch of the same city. Stephen O.
Gibbs died at Jefferson, Texas, during the war.

James W. W. Gibbs, who was a stockman and success-
ful farmer, was born in August, 1831, acquired only a
meagre education, and on coming to Texas, in early
youth, selected his half section of land, given him as a
member of the Mcn-er colony, east of Kiiufnian. This
tract he subsequently tradeil for land one mile west of
Crandall townsite, where he continued to make his home
and where his material achievements as a farmer and
stockman were perfected. His thrift led him to the ac-
cumulation of one thousand acres of land, which he
distributed among his children, after having extended a
life of effort in Viringing the broad piairie into produc-
tive fields, and dotting the landscape witli modest homes
for his industrious men in the field. During his earlier
career he served as Confederate soldier, as a member
of Captain Michaux's company of Texas cavalry. He
participated in the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and
Yellow Bayou, and went through the war without per-
sonal injury or capture. The late James W, W. Gibbs
assisted in promoting the Citizens National Bank of
Crandall, which ranked twenty-ninth among National
Banks with a capital of less than fifty thousand dol-
lars. He was a director of the institution until his death.
He expended no energy in politics, and yet was always
esteemed a useful factor in his community. He was a
Methodist. His death occurred in Septemlier, 1911, and
his wife, who was born in December, 1831, died in
1909. James W. W. Gibbs was married during the fif-
ties to Miss Mary Augusta Sawyer, a daughter of George
Sawyer, a native of Northboro, Massachusetts. To this
union were born : William N., a merchant of Crandall,
Texas; Lucy, wife of John DeVlaming, of Kaufman,
Texas; Stephen O., who died at the age of. twenty- four,
and who married Julia Crandall, leaving no children;
and George N., the youngest.

George N. Gibbs grew up on the farm where he was



born in 1866. He completed his schooling in the Ben
Allen high school at Kaufman, and then continued with
his father dealing in stock and farming until ten years
after his marriage. Among his first services after leav-
ing school he was engaged in teaching, his several terms
being spent at Blacli Land, Craudall, Prairie, Chappell,
and New Hope schools. He then engaged in farming,
but left off his active work in that direction in Novem-
ber, 1901, in order to become cashier of the Citizens
National Bank. However, his interests in farming have
not fallen off since he became a banker. He owns at
the present time, six hundred and seventy acres of
land, of which five hundred and seventy-five acres are
under plow, and highly improved. He is a progressive
farmer, and has done much to reclaim his land from
the seasonal overflows. He has some two hundred acres
protected with dam and levee, and the fertility of this is
now subject to reliable and constant cropping.

The Citizens National Bank was organized in August,
1901, with a capital of twenty-five thousand doUars.
Its officers have been: J. K. Brooks, president; J. A.
Crawford, vice president, and George N. Gibbs cashier.
The surplus and undivided profits are fifty-two thou-
sand dollars, with furniture and fixtures of the bank
charged off.

In January, 1889, occurred the marriage of Mr. Gibbs
to Miss Lizzie Crawford, a daughter of J. A. Crawford.
The one child born to their marriage, Owen Crawford,
died in childhood. Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs are active church
people, he a Methodiet and his wife a Presbyterian.

William Furneaux. Although nearly thirty years
have passed since the labors of William Furneaux were
cut short by death, the work which he founded and
to which he gave the active years of his career is still
being carried on, remaining a monument to his industry
and business prowess. As an agent for foreign interests,
he was most active in successfully guiding the affairs
of large corporations, and his complete and rapid com-
prehension of business propositions as they were pre-
sented to him seemed to be intuitive and marked him
as one of the able men of his time. Mr. Furneaux was
a native of Devonshire, England, and was born in 1840,
a son of John and Maria (Hamlyn) Furneaux. His
father, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal faith, la-
bored long in the service of his Master, and died in his
native England. The iiinthi r Mirvi\ed and lived in Texas
for many years, whoiic.' slir li,i.| , dim/ some years after
the arrival here of lici' ^.m. Willi.ini. She died on the
ocean on her return tiiji t<> llii^ilaiid and was buried
at sea. There were five children in the family: Samuel,
who was educated for the medical profession, but died
when but twenty years of age; William; John, who still
resides in England, where he is connected with a large
woolen mill, and Eliia and Mary S., who are both

William Furneaux was eighteen years of age when
he came to the United States, having at that time just
completed his education in the English schools. Locat-
ing in Dallas, Texas, he took up the vocation of farmer,
subsequently engaged in stock-raising operations, and
eventually began negotiations for foreign capitalists in
handling and developing land. A shrewd understanding
of men and their probable motives made him strikingly
successful in his chosen field, and during his career he
accumulated in the neighborhood of 4,000 acres of
land. Throughout his life he was a man of marked
liberality and public spirit. He was ever looked to by his
associates for counsel, leadership and guidance, and his
word had a value above parchment or legal formalities.
In his death, which occurred in 1884, his community
lost a man who in no small degree had assisted in the
development .of the great Southwest. He was a Demo-
crat in his political views, but, while he took an active
interest in public matters as they affected his com-
munity, he was no politician. His religious faith was

that of the Baptist church, and he ever lived according
to its teachings. During the war between the South
and the North he served as an enrolling officer.

Mr. Furneaux was married in Texas in 1861, to Miss
Fannie Jackson, also a native of Devonshire, England,
and a daughter of John and Mary (Amery) Jackson.
Her father was a farmer and stock raiser in his native
country, and on coming to the United States, in 1848,
settled on land which he had purchased before leaving
London, and which was located fifteen miles north of
the present site of the city of Dallas, which place at
that time boasted of one small store and a blacksmith
shop. A man of more than ordinary business ability,
Mr. Jackson was successful in his ventures, and succeeded
in accunralating a handsome property and in becoming
one of the leading stock raisers of his section. His
death occurred in 1866. During the Civil War, all of
his sons enlisted in the Confederate service, and all
emerged therefrom with gallant records. His children
were as follows: John, who is now deceased; William,
deceased, who rose to the rank of captain in Colonel
Darnell 's regiment in the Confederate service ; George,
deceased; Frank, who was wounded while serving as a
soldier, and now is the operator of the old homestead
fifteen miles north of Dallas; Mary Ann, who is de-
ceased; Fannie, who is now Mrs. Furneaux, and Susan,
the wife of James H. Mathis, of Dallas, an active mem-
ber of the Confederate Veterans of Texas.

To Mr. and Mrs. Furneaux there were born four chil-
dren: Joseph H., of Dallas; William C; Mary Maria,
and John L.

Mrs. Furneaux, who still survives her husband, re-
sides at Ko. 390.5 Worth street, Dallas, and presides
over her beautiful home with dignity and capable exe-

Judge W. J. Oxford. Judge of the twenty-ninth ju-
dicial district of Texas, an office which he has capably
administered for the past fourteen years, Judge Oxford
represents the pioneer citizenship of Erath county, of
which he is a native son, and has been a member of the
bar at Stephenville upwards of twenty-eight years. As
district judge he has tried all kinds of cases, both civil
and criminal, and the Bench and Bar of Texas give him
credit as one of the ablest trial judges in the state.
A'^Thile his record proves his successes as a judge and
lawyer, it should also be mentioned that in personal
character he represents some of the best ideals of Ameri-
can manhood, has lived a life of exemplary sobriety
and honor, and has guided his entire career on the prin-
ciples which are the most fundamental and necessary
to the continued physical and moral health whether of
state or nation.

W. J. Oxford was born on a farm nine miles north-
east of Stephenville, Erath county. May 11, 1861, and
the first twenty-one years of his life were sjient on a
farm and ranch. His parents. Brink and Mary A.
Oxford, were substantial farming people, and both con-
sistent Christians, members of the Methodist Episcopal
church. They were among the early settlers in what
was at the time the western frontier of Texas, and they
not only suffered the hardships common to all frontier
communities, but also had to fight the Indians and
struggle with the forces of both nature and man in
order to maintain a home. Judge Oxford himself has
a vivid recollection of dodging and hiding from Indians
when they came in the vicinity of his father 's home
on raids for the purpose of stealing horses.

His early educatioa was quite limited, owing to the
dearth of schools in Erath county, and he took two
years of study in the old Add-Ean University at Thorp
Springs in Hood county. One source of his livelihood
came from teaching country school two years, and he
then took up the study of law and was a'dmitted to
the bar at Stephenville October 18, 1886. As a young
man he was sober and industrious, and his life on the

^ -L.^^^ U^ ^^-T^i/ A^O -






ranch and farm until he reached his majority was the
means ot hardy physical training which has proved ex-
tremely useful in his busy professional career. In his
earlier" years Judge Oxford could ride a bucking bronco
on tlie "range along with the best of horsemen of that
day, but along with his interest in outdoor life, which
has never left him, he also combined a fondness for
the reading of good books, and his practical work as
a lawyer and judge has always been characterized by
an exceptional intellectual interest and breadth of culture.

His public career began with his election as county
attorney of Erath county in 1888, and re-election to the
office in 1890 and in 1892 gave him abundant oppor-
tunities for experience in the courts and in connection
with a great variety of litigation. After his six years
as county attorney he made an unsuccessful r;u-e for the
office of district attorney of the twenty ninth judicial
district, and then engaged in a gem practirc of law
at Stephenville. In 1900 he wa's ei.'.t.'.l jii.lur of the
twenty-ninth district, and by re-eleitioii in I'.Mll, 1908
and 1912 is now in the midst of his fourth consecutive
term. A Democrat both by training and principles,
Juilge Oxford in 1892 was one of the loyal supporters
of James Stephen Hogg for governor against George
Clark. In his polities he has alwnys combined an un-
qualified opposition to the li.|ii(ir ti.illir in any form,
anil believes that the govern iit nl Inith state and na-
tion should use its powers tn [.roliihit the manufacture
and sale of liquor and should juotect the rising genera-
tion from its contaminating influence. In 1911 he went
out over the state in an active campaign for the cause
of state-wide prohibition, and is now supporting Tom
Ball for governor on the Prohibition-Democratic ticket.
In government as well as in private life he stands for
good moral ideals, and believes in the rigid enforce-
ment of all laws.

For more than twenty-five years Judge Oxford has
been affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fel-
lows, with the Knights of Pythias for more than twenty
years, has been a member of the Rebekahs ten years,
and of the Woodmen of the World and the Woodmen 's
Circle for six years. His membership in the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, covers a period of twenty
years, and Judge Oxford is a firm believer in the teach-
ings of the Bible and the Christian religion. In religious
matters he holds tliat this life is only a preparatory
stage for the next, and holds that the Christian doctrine
and the church are the greatest forces in the universe
for the suppression and lessening of crime and for the
elevation of society.

In 188.3 Judge Oxford married Elizabeth B. Hale of
Stephenville. She was the daughter of a poor widow,
and proved a most capable and faithful wife during
the twenty years of their married companionship. At
her death on June 4. 190.",, she left f.nir rhiLlvrn : Nape
B., a son, born Octnl im- It. I'-^t; l-Milli, l.niii Septem-
ber 15, 1886; Ina, Imii, in Am^mm. Iss^; :(i,a K-t;i, born
in June, 1890, and ,lir,| M.-,v :;. lull. Tli,' ,,tlici .hildren
are all living and well established in the world. On May
28, 1909, Judge Oxford married Lulu G. Dalton of
Palo Pinto, who died thirty days after their marriage.
On December 28, 1911, he married Myrtle Martin of
Palo Pinto county. The one son by this marriage is
W. J. Oxford, Jr., born December 26, 1913.

Egbert Fulton Campbell. Until death claimed him
May 24. 1905, in the sixty-ninth year of his life,
Robert Fulton Campbell was one. of El Paso's citizens
whose names have been most prominently associated

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 154 of 177)