Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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the time of his death. He was the oldest in the family
of John and Catherine (Henderson) Caruth, who were
natives of Virginia, and at an early day settled in Ken-
tucky, where the father was a farmer and merchant. The
father came out to Dallas county, Texas, in 1858, and
died there in 1868. His wife survived some years.

Walter Caruth was reared and educated in his native
county and his merchandising experience began early in
youth. After his arrival in Dallas, in 1852, he estab-
lished a store and was active in its management until
1881. In that year he became owner by purchase of a
large farm of nine hundred acres, partly improved, the
previous owner of which had been Judge Patterson. Mr.
Caruth during the succeeding years gave much of his at-
tention and personal management to the improvement of
his place, and made of it one of the finest rural home-
steads in Dallas county. At the same time he owned and
occupied with his family a beautiful residence in the city.

In 1861 Mr. Caruth entered the Confederate army, in
Col. X. H. Darnell "s regiment, holding the ofiiee of com-
missary for one year, after which he was quartermaster
in Colonel Stone 's regiment. In 1865 he became quar-
termaster at Tvler, Texas, and held that post until the
end of the war!

In 1865 Mr. Caruth was married in Dallas to Miss
Anna Worthington, who was born in Mississippi, a
daughter of Thomas and Eebecca (Hort) Worthington.
Her parents were natives of Kentucky, but settled in
Mississippi at an early day, and afterwards moved to
Texas, where her father owned several stores. Her father
died in Mississippi, and the widow afterwards came to
Dallas county, where her death occurred. In 1892 Mr.
Caruth took up his residence on his farm near Dallas
and lived there until his death. At the time of his death
he was also owner of a mercantile establishment and
possessed a great deal of land and stock. The children
are mentioned as follows: Mattie, wife of X. A. Mc-
Millan, who is president of the St. Louis Trust Com-
pany of St. Louis; Walter died at the age of twenty-
seven and had been in the mining business in Nevada;




ifUe^L'fl^^^



TEXAS AND TEXANS



2081



William is a mining man at Joplin, Missouri, and is mar-
ried; Eaymond P., a real estate operator, is married.
The late Jlr. Canitli, who was a Democrat, was often
offered political honors, but never accepted. With the
aid of his brother, William Caruth, he built the Caruth
Chapel, on the Caruth farm, for the benefit of his
tenants. He was always devoted to his home and was a
good man in every sense of the word.

Gregory Oberly. Among the men who have con-
tributed materially to the advancement of Dallas as a
great commercial center of the Southwest may be men-
tioned the late Gregory Oberly, who will perhaps be re-
remembered only by "the older generation of business
men, but whose activities left their impress upon the life
of the community. For many years 'Sir. Oberly was the
directing head of the Oberly Couiht.-i-o Company, an
enterprise which he built u]i ti'in Mii.lc'-f beginnings to
become one of the largest I'li^in.-^^ \iiitmes of its line
in the state, and to which lie i;a\e flie .irtive years of a
long and useful career, ilr. Olierly was a native of
Switzerland and was born in 1831, a son of John and
Mary Oberly, both born in that country. In their native
land the parents of Mr. Oberly were prominently known
as large wine growers and had an extensive and profit-
able business, but in 1848 decided to try their fortunes
in the United States, and accordingly disposed of their
interests and embarked for this country. First settling
in Cincinnati, Ohio, they remained there until 1851, and
in that year made removal to Missouri, where they lo-
cated near Commerce, in Scott county. After coming
to America, the elderly Oberly was engaged in agricul-
tural pursuits, and continued to be so employed to the
time of his death. He was a man of industry and in-
tegrity, laboring faithfully to make a home for himself
and family, and ever displaying a commendable spirit
of loyalty to his adopted land. He and his wife be-
came the parents of sixteen children.

Gregory Oberly received his early education in the
schools of his native land, and was seventeen years of
age when he accompanied his parents to this country. He
began to learn the trade of cooper in Cincinnati and,
after serving his apprenticeship, worked at that vocation
for some time, although while a resident of Missouri he
was also engaged in mercantile lines. Having heard of
the wonderful opportunities for business success in the
Southwest, Mr. Oberly came to Texas and in 1876
founded the Oberly Cooperage Company, of which he was
directing head during the remainder of his life. It was
not surprising that Mr. Oberly 's career proved a suc-
cessful one, for he had all tlie essi'iiti:il characteristics
which go to make for success in tlii> .nmiuercial field.
Far sighted, possessed of acnmi'ii. jn.l^iii.'ijt and inherent
ability, he also had the somewliat cnutra.li.'tory traits of
conservatism and courage in the grasping of opportuni-
ties. Those who had business dealings remember him
as one in whom the utmost faith could be placed, and
to whom many of his contemporaries in the business field
went to for advice and leaderehip. His success never
made him forgetful of the days when he was fighting his
way step by step over the numbers of obstacles which
harass the young man seeking financial independence, and
he was at all times ready to lend a hand to aspiring youth.
Having served in the Union army during the Civil war,
he was a member for many years of the Grand Army of
the Republic, in the work of which he ever took an ac-
tive and helpful interest, and he also belonged to the
Pioneers' Association. He was reared in the faith of
the Catholic church and lived up to its teachings through
life. A stanch Republican, he earnestly supported the
candidates of his party, and, although never a seeker for
public preferment, was sincere in his desire to assist in
the development and advancement of his city. In his
death, December 19, 1890, Dallas lost one of its best

On June 20, 1856, Mr. Oberly was united in marriage



in Missouri with Miss Sophia Heisser, who was born in
France, one of the ten children of Michael and Monica
(Stobler) Heisser, who came to this country when Mrs,
Oberly was a child of eleven years. They became farm-
ing people of Missouri, and in that state" passed the re-
mainder of their lives. Nine children were born to Mr.
and ^Irs. Oberly, as follows: Mary L., who is deceased;
Victoria, who is also deceased; Mary Magdalen, who has
also passed away; Pauline, who is single and resides at
the old home, at Xo. 3116 Ross avenue, Dallas; John N.,
who is deceased; Carrie E., who is the wife of Wiley T.
C. Jones, of Los Angeles, California, and has one child,
Claud T.; Joseph M. and William J., both single and
residents of Dallas, and Hattie, single and a music
teacher, living at the old home place in Dallas.

Robert E. Huff. President of the First National
Bank of Wichita Falls, and one of that small group of
men who in every city are controlling factors in business
affairs, Robert E. Huff is a lawyer by profession and
has practiced law and has been closely identified with
civic and business affairs in Wichita Falls for more than
thirty years. He was one of the pioneer members of the
local bar, and it has been his privilege to witness and
to bear an important part in all the development of the
town from its village days until it is now one of the best
and most vigorous commercial centers of the northern
section of the state.

Robert E. Huff is a native of Virginia, born at Leb-
anon, January 31, 1857, a son of William and Martha
(Johnson) Huff'. His father was born in Virginia and
after the Civil war moved to Tennessee, where he spent
the remainder of his life, dying in Bedford county of
that state in 1898 at the age of seventy-four. During
the war he was chaplain in a Virginia regiment. By
profession he was a minister of the Baptist church and
was devoted to the cause of religion and humanity. The
mother, a native of Tennessee, in Carter county, was
reared and educated in that state and after her marriage
accompanied her husband ta Virginia, She is now living
at the age of seventy-five with her children in Wichita
Falls. There were seven in the family, of whom the
banker and lawyer was the oldest.

As a boy he had the privileges of the country schools
of Tennessee, in which state he was reared from about
the time he was eight years old. He afterwards entered



rtmeut and was
was in Shelby-
I to seek a new
s resolution he
82. Thirty



Cumberland Un
graduated in 1879. His lii^i
ville, but after two ye:irs 1„- ,
field in Texas. In fnllon in-
arrived in Wichita Falls on ^I:

ago Wichita Falls was a very small town, situated on
the newly constructed railroad, and the railroad and the
fact that it was the prospective county seat were the
chief advantages and promises of great things for the
place. In a short time Mr. Huff became one of the
leaders in the local bar, and for many years has been
notable for his ability and success as a civil lawyer.
He has confined liini^olf iiitircly to civil practice and
has never accepted ,i niniinal ••ase in all the years he
has practiced iu Wiiliita I'nlls. The success which he
gaini'il ns a l.nvyer in its material reward he converted
biiLji'lv iiiid li.ink stock, and in 1888 became interested
in iIm' I'liM Xntional Bank of Wichita Falls. He was
eln tcl |iii'sid.'nt and has managed the affairs of this
bank to tiio present time. The First National Bank
was organized in ISS-t and its present capital stock is
$100,000.00, with surplus of $140,000,00,

In the earlier years of his residence, Mr. Huff was
esjiecially active in Democratic politics, and was elected
and served for a term as county attorney when Wichita
county was organized. He was a delegate to the national
Democratic conventions in 1904 and in 1912. He is a
member of the County Bar Association, belongs to the
Baptist church and since 1908 has been president of the
Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, This chamber of



TEXAS AND TEXANS



commerce is regarded as one of the strongest aggrega-
tions of live business men in Texas and Mr. Huff has
given much of his time as president to the broad work
planned and carried out for the greater development
and betterment of the city.

On May 13, 18S5, at Bowie, Texas, Mr. Huff married
Miss Elizabeth Burroughs, a daughter of Eev. H. M.
Burroughs, a well known Baptist minister, whose home
was in Montague county. Her mother is deceased. The
four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Huff are: William
E. Huff, born in October, 188S, at Wichita Falls;
Arthur Huff, born in 1889 at Wichita Palls and is now
married and lives in Wichita Falls; Robert E. Huff, Jr.,
born in 1893 at Wichita Falls and attending the North-
western University in Chicago, Illinois; Marshall Huff,
born in 1902 at Wichita Falls and attending school. Mr.
Huff during his boyhood was not surrounded by affluent
circumstances and has had to work his way and gain his
success largely through his own efforts. He has accom-
plished much more than the average man either in the
law or in business and occupies a very important and
influential place in his home community.

Louis S. Floteau, Jr. The death of Louis S. Floteau,
Jr., which occurred December 25, 1912, cut short a career
of brilliant promise in the field of business. During the
comparatively short time that he had identified himself
with the aft'airs of Dallas, Mr. Floteau had gained a
wide reputation and high standing among realty men of
the Southwest, and his early demise was sincerely
mourned by those who had been associated with him in
every walk of life. He was born at Pittsburg, Camp
county, Texas, July 31, 1876, and was a son of Louis S.
and Ella (Potts) Floteau, the former a native of France
and the latter of the Lone Star state. He was one of a
family of seven children: Kate, who became the wife of
T. T. Eatcliffe, of St. Louis, Missouri; Louis S., Jr.;
Lotawona, who is the widow of Mr. Ellis, of Dallas;
Lula, the wife of Thomas C. Gooch, of Dallas; Winnie,
the wife of G. C. Long, of Hartford, Connecticut ; Henry
C, of Dallas, and Sadie, who is single and resides with
her mother.

Louis S. Floteau, Jr., attended the public and high
schools of Pittsburg, Texas, and when sixteen years of
age took a post-graduate course in the latter institution.
Following this, he went to Louisiana, where he took
charge of his uncle's sugar plantation, but after two
years came to Dallas, where he entered the employ of a
large implement house. Starting in the capacity of office
boy, his ability and faithful application gained him such
rapid and steady promotion that at the end of two years
he found himself in charge of the buggy department of
this great concern. He continued in the employ of this
enterprise for nine years, and then embarked in business
on his own account in the line of real estate, and at
the time of his death owned extensive properties in vari-
ous parts of Texas, as well as a large orange grove at
Eedlands, California, the latter, however, having been
since sold. His career was one of constant industry and
rapid advancement, and his operations at all times were
marked by the most conscientious devotion to the strict-
est integrity. His contribution to the growth of Dallas
is found in the modern Floteau Building, one of the
city's handsome business structures, and in various ways
he assisted in the development of the varied interests of
his adopted place.

In 1903 Mr. Floteau was united in marriage with Miss
Euth Bryan, a native of Texas and daughter of J. H. and
Sophia (Clark) Bryan, the former a native of Texas and
the latter of "rennessee. Mr. Floteau was a member of
the Methodist Episcopal church. He was a Democrat in
his political views, but found no time to enter actively
into the struggles of the political arena. For some years
he was a member of the State Militia, in which he rose
to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, but pressing business
obligations caused his resignation. His widow, who



survives him, resides at No. 2620 Maple avenue, Dallas,
and is well known in social circles of the city. She is
a member of the Apostolic faith.

Charles Augustus Bohny. A former business man
of Dallas, Charles Augustus Bohny lived in this city for
a number of years, and his family, consisting of widow
and children, have their liome here at the present time.

Charles Augustus Bohny was born in Germany in 1854,
a son of Joseph and Caroline (Hauck) Bohny. The
father, who was a winegrower and manufacturer, died
in Germany when Charles Augustus was a child, and the
mother brought her family to America when he was six
years old, first locating in Nashville, Tennessee, where
the mother died. Of the six children in the family only
one is now living, namely, Josephine, the widow of Paul
Melms, of San Diego, California. The late Charles Au-
gustus grew up and received a public school education
in Nashville, and his mother died when he was fourteen
years old. At the age of nineteen he began an appren-
ticeship in the pattern- making trade, and followed that
for a few years. He worked in that line at Dallas when
first arriving here, and from this city moved to Denver,
Colorado, where he spent four years in the employ of a
large furniture house. Eeturning to Dallas, he estab-
lished himself in the liquor business, and followed that
until his death in 1911. He was a good business man
and left a large property, now owned by his widow.
She and her family reside in a large house at 2727 Live
Oak street, and she also owns a dwelling which she rents
and a ranch of one hundred and forty acres near San
Antonio. The late Mr. Bohny was a member of the
Catholic faith, belonged to the Knights and Ladies
of Honor, and was a Republican in polities.

In 1883 he married Miss Catherine Hamberg, who was
born in Marshall, Texas, and was of German parentage.
Both her parents are now deceased, and Mrs. Bohny is
the only one now living of their six children. The six
children born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bohny
are mentioned as follows: Otelia, wife of L. S. David-
son, a traveling salesman of Dallas, and they have one
child, Katherine; Viola is unmarried and lives at home;
Frances is a business woman and also lives at home;
Leontine, Charles J., and Laura Marie are all attending
school.

Arthur Geex. The journalistic world of Texas has
never been called upon to suffer a more severe loss than
that occasioned by the death of "Major" Arthur Geen,
who for practically a quarter of a century was a valued
member of the forces of the Galveston ■Drl^.^s Xeirs.
While not known to the public at lar:^.' ns .-i ( nutrilnitor
to the daily news sheets, it is doubtliil it' tli.iv «:is an
employe of the News in either Dallas or Ciilvi'M.ni who
did not hold him in the greatest esteem and affection,
and the memory of his kindly disposition, his great-
heartedness and his whole-souled devotion to what he be-
lieved to be the right will long remain as a cherished
memory wherever Texas newspaper men foregather. He
was born November 2, 1852, at Topsham, England, a
son of William H. and Elizabeth Geen, natives of that
country. Jlr. Gpcii 's father, a florist by vocation, died
in England, "liilc liis iimther still survives and makes
her home at stnk.' niiTr.iit. There were eight children
in the family, ;is lolluws: Arthur; John, of Galveston,
Texas; Emily, unmarried and a resident of England;
Fred, who is mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, England ; William,
who is deceased; Elizabeth, single and living in Eng-
land; Annie, who is also unmarried and lives in her na-
tive land, and Alfred, who is deceased.

Arthur Geen received ordinary educational advantages
in the schools of England, and as a youth of fifteen
years emigrated to the United States locating at once
in Galveston, Texas, where he secured employment with
J. Eeymershoffer, a wholesale dealer in crockery, in whose
home he resided. He subsequently became an employe



I



TEXAS AND TEXANS



2083



of the Galveston postoffice and rapidly rose in the service
through various positions in the money order depart-
ment to the office of assistant postmaster, and at one
time was acting postmaster. He was assistant post-
master under J. S. Witwer in 1885, when he resigned
his position to accept that of chief bookkeeper and
cashier of the Dallas News, a capacity in which he acted
up to the hour of his death. In 1906 he was elected a
director of the corporation of A. H. Belo &' Company,
publishers. In an article written at the time of his
death by one who had labored with and loved him, the
writer said of Mr. Geen in part as follows : ' ' Men
who work long together in a newspaper office grow to
have an affection for each other not commonly appre-
•ciated. And of all those who have had a part in the
history of the Xcas, none emjoyed to a greater degree
than Mr. Geen the respect and esteem of his associates.
in their affection they called him ' Major, ' and all his
younger associates were ' Sonny ' to him. Always
cheerful and courteous and never under any circum-
stances indulging in criticism of others, he made and
kept many warm friends. The authority he exercised
over those subordinate to him was more paternal than
otherwise. He had been with the News practically a
quarter of a century and his affection for it extended
beyond the men who helped make it to the very furniture
in his office. When the News left the old building on
Commerce street and moved into its present quarters,
he declared that it was with a genuine pang that he
parted with the desk at which he had worked daily for
many years. Since the removal he had become attached
to another desk, principally because the lock of this one,
like the one on that in the old building, did not work
well. • '

On September 12, 1874, Mr. Geen was married to
Miss Elizabeth Smith, of Kirkaldy, Scotland, whom he
met while on a visit to his mother in England. She was
a daughter of Eobert and Elizabeth (Watson) Smith,
of Scotland, whose other children were: Robert, Wil-
helmina and W^illiam, all of whom are deceased. Mr.
and Mrs. Geen were the parents of eight children: Wil-
liam, who is deceased; Arthur H.. employed in the News
composing room, Dallas, who has one child, Helen; Eliza-
beth, who died in infancy; Eobert S.. secretary of the
Dallas Trust and Savings Bank, who has two children,
Elizabeth and Robert; Douglas H., who is single and
engaged in the banking business at Houston, Texas;
John, who died in infancy ; Emily, who is single and
resides at home; Alfred H., a graduate of Texas Uni-
versity, and now a student at Yale College, studying
electrical engineering.

Mr. Geen was a Republican in his political views, but
aside from his positions in the postal service, never
sought official office. He was a very faithful worker,
nbt only for the Central Congregational Church, but for
the Colonial Chapel, and his life was in keeping with
the teachings of this faith. His death caused universal
sorrow in that those who had known him realized that
from their midst had gone one whose place it would be
almost impossible to fill. One of his ex-employes wrote
of him: "As a valued employe of the News he was
truly incomparable. His efficiency, his winsome smile,
his pleasant voice, his nobility of character, are now a
thing, or memories, of the past. Never will I forget
Major Geen's hearty handshake and pleasant conversa-
tion on my return from a trip on the road during the
five years of my work with the News. As an ex-employe
and as a friend of Major Geen I extend to the News
sincere sympathy. They have sustained a loss which I
know is and will be felt by every member of the force.
I never saw the Major angry. I never heard him speak
a sharp word, and I never heard any one speak any-
thing but good of the Major. This is the greatest
tribute I can pay to his memory. ' '

On the day following his death the Employes' Asso-
ciation of the Dallas News met and adopted these resolu-




tions: "Bowing to the will of our Heavenly Father,
we, the members of the News Employes' Association,
mourn the loss of our departed brother and fellow-
worker, Mr. Arthur Geen, a lovable Christian character
and one who coniliined in his jiersonality many virtues
and the noble .itt rilmti's nf liis i:ne. A man of splendid
II lii^ lirlil, lir WHS conspicuous for his
. liK iiarlii\ to 'Inly, his loyalty to his
Imw wuikcrs. uutalily SO as to those who
iiiMrtcd with the News, from the lowest
1 Mill. A model of faithfulness, of cour-
nl cheerfulness, whatever the difficulties,
it, it can be truthfully said of him that
he was one who would 'Hear no evil, see no evil, speak
no evil.' For the erring brother he found excuse; of
him no one that we can recall spoke evil. His was an ex-
ample of good which has left its impress and will endure.
Sensible of our great loss in his removal, we tender to
his bereaved family, so much more losing, these expres-
sions as a weak token of our heartfelt sympathy."

In closing this all too inadequate review of a man
who so lived as to win the love of his fellows, the biog-
rapher will quote from the resolutions unanimously
adopted by the Dallas Press Club : ' ' We have lost a
good friend in Arthur Geen, we members of the press,
and with his going has gone what has always seemed a
cheery ray of sunshine, brightening us when we were
sad and making us even happier when we were happy.
Others may have been influenced by the worries or vari-
ous troubles that come in the newspaper profession, but
not Mr. Geen. To us always he was cheerful, kindly and
considerate, and although he was modest and retiring al-
most to the point of self-effacement, those of us who
knew him felt the cheer of his presence when we would
chance to meet him, and had grown to count upon it.

"The youngest boy, the oldest writer, the young re-
porter and the veteran newspaper man were all one to
him in his greeting. The Press Club, realizing these
things and feeling the loss to the jiress as it must, can
form some idea of the grief of his family, and to them
it extends its heartfelt sympathy, and asks them from
the hearts of its members to share this one thought:
He was content always with what God gave him, and
now he has been called to receive the reward the Creator
bestows on those who have done his will on earth, and



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 158 of 177)