Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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perseverance and progressive ideas no section will move
out of the rut of mediocrity; outside capital will not be
attracted to it, and property will find little incentive for
increasing in value. It is invariably found that with
the advent of an enterprising, experienced man, well
versed in the realty business and realty values, comes a
growth that is remarkable. Many years have passed
since the initial work in this line was done in Waco, but
the needs of this growing city have made necessary a
constant expansion of the outlying territory, while a
maintenance of the value of property already built is
extremely important. So it is that the work of the realty
dealer is counted as being among the potent factors in
the life of this city. One of the men who have been
most prominent in this work of recent years is Mr. Eowe,
who is widely known as a business man of energy and

John F. Eowe was born at Camphill, Tallapoosa county,
Alabama, June 24, 1S61, and is a son of John F. and
Elizabeth (Heard) Eowe. His father, a native of For-
syth county, Georgia, was born in 1828, and was reared
in a rural coninnmity, wIumc he early adopted the voca-
tion of agricultun-t.' At tli.' nntbr.-':ik of the Civil war
he enlisted in tlio oiii.v. hot su-kness in camp,
and died in AuKn-<t. iMil. Mrs. Kowe was born at Da-
derville, Alabama, aliout the year 1831, and survived her
husband for many years, her death occurring May 29,
1911. Thev were the parents of three children, as fol-
lows: William E., Alfred A., and John F., of this

The public schools of Daderville, Alabama, furnished
John F. Eowe with his preliminary educational training,
but at the age of sixteen years he entered West Point
College, in Lee county, Alabama, and there he spent two
years. On leaving this institution he found it necessary
that he make his own way in the world, and he accord-

ingly entered the brokerage business at Atlanta, Geor-
gia, thus receiving his introduction to an occupation in
which he was later to meet with his greatest success.
After two years spent in Atlanta, in -1882 he came to
Texas, and here, having decided to take a venture into
the vocation of agriculture, rented a farm. After two
years he decided that the stock business offered lietter
opportunities for his abilities, and accordingly for the
next five years he was engaged in raising cattle and
mules, with some degree of success. Following this, he
embarked in business as a merchant, opening a general
store at Elm Mott, McLennan county, but after three
years disposed of his enterprise at that place and re-
moved to Montcalm, Hill county, where he also engaged
as a merchant. Four years later Mr. Eowe sold his
Montcalm establishment and made his advent in Waco,
here engaging as credit man for the Eotan Grocery Com-
pany, a concern with which he remained until October 5,
1912. During his connection with this business he was
constantly advam-ed because of his fidelity, his energy
and his industry, and when he resigned he "was acting In
the capacity of secretary, a position which he had held
for several years. Mr. Eowe then again entered the
brokerage and real estate business, and in this has con-
tinued to the present time, making a specialt}- of lands,
brokerage and mercantile jobbing. Mr. Eowe's abilities
are of much more than ordinary character, and are ver-
satile in their nature. Among" his associates he is ac-
counted shrewd, far-sighted and level-headed, instantly
conscious of the presence of an . opportunity — openly
alert to grasp it. He has various extensive business con-
nections in Waco and elsewhere, and is secretary and
manager of the F.iniicis Investment Company of this
city and a stockliol-lri ninl director of the First National
Bank of iloiitr:iliii. lli' is the owner of his own resi-
dence, a modorn stnutuie at Fourteenth and Bernard
streets, and here finds his greatest pleasure, although he
is distinctively a "man's man," enjoys the companion-
ship of his fellows, and is a popular member of the
Knights of P.vthias, the Masons and the Woodmen of the
World, as well as several social organizations. Along
the line of business, he belongs to the Commercial Club
and the Youug Men 's Business Club. His realty holdings
are large, including 1000 acres in Bosque county, 819
acres in Hill county, 293 acres in the southern part of
McLennan county, fifty acres in the northern part of
that county, and 20,000 acres of plains in different parts
of the state. In political matters he is a Democrat, but
public life nas not tempted him, and he has been too busy
with his private affairs to enter the political field, al-
though on numerous occasions he has proved his good
citizenship and willingness to promote the welfare of
the community. With his family he is connected with
the First Baptist church, where he is serving as a dea-
con, and as superinteudent of the Sunday school. For
twelve years he has been a tiiistee of Baylor University.
On March 30, 1888, Mr. Eowe was married at the
home of the bride, in McLennan county, to Miss Addie
L. Eice, daughter of .lonathan Eice, a farmer of that
county, and to this union there have been born two chil-
dren, "namely : Herman, a successful practicing attorney
of AVaeo, w"ho married Nonie Jones and has one child,
JIabel E. ; and John F., Jr., who is studying medicine
at A'anderbilt University, married Ethel Alexander.

Akthur iI.\cARTHUR Prescott. As chief of the Waco
fire department since December 10, 1886, until the present
time, ilr. Prescott has a record of public service probably
not excelled for length of years nor for efficiency in the
state, and there are few parallel cases anywhere in the
country. He belonged to the old vidinifciT fire depart-
ment years ago, when the apii.n.itns was .|la^Ml Ky hand,
and has witnessed and been iiiilni'iiti:il in iTistiillint; the
many successive improvement? liy wlii.h tlio rxiicditious
handling of fire has been brought to a maximum of ef-
ficiency. The Waco fire department has no superior in
Texas, either in the personnel of its members, or in in-



dividual and organized effectiveness. This fact is well
illustrated by the records of insurance rates prevailing
at Waco, which are as low as any to be found in the
state, and indicate a minimum of fire losses.

As organizer and present chief of the modern fire de-
partment of Waco, Mr. Preseott has a civic and personal
record that belongs in any history of the state.

Arthur MacArthur Preseott was born in San Antonio,
Texas, February 27, 1S54. His parents were William and
Eachael (MacArthur) Preseott. His father, who was
horn in Lancaster, England, in 1818, came to America;
was one of the pioneer settlers in Florida, where he was
granted land from the government, and saw active serv-
ice during the Seminole war in that state. About 1847
he moved west and settleil at San Antonio, Texas, which
was then on the extreme ?oiitli\vestprn frontier, and con-
tinued to live in Tex;is until liis .i.'ath, on December 10,
1888. The mother, wlm \\:i- Iimiu ;,t Paclev, Scotland, in
1822, died in 1899. TIumi (iw rliil,|ien are mentioned as
follows: Aransas, wh,. died m liMn'; William, who died
in ISSS; Mary, who .lied in 1911; Arthur; and Albert.

Arthur MacArthur Preseott, like many southern boys
of his age, had very limited opportunities to train for
life except through the most practical schools of expe-
rience. The period of the Civil war covered some of the
years of his boyhood, and altogether his school training
might have been comprised within a few months. During
the progress of the war he and his brother were kept to
work ' ' pinching cartridges ' ' for the Confederate army,
and received a very meagre wage for the work. After the
war for one year he was employed in a pliotngrnphic
shop; then learned the tinner's trade, and nlnHit two
years later went out to the frontier ami Ii.n ,iinr :i limue-
steader and settler for nine years. Mr. 1 'i .-.,•. ,ti lias
lived in Waco since 1876, and is really ont- nt the oldest
residents of this thriving central Texas metropolis. While
cultivating a tract of land in McLennan county, he was
also a member of the volunteer fire department of that
time, and was honored with all the positions in the vol-
unteer service up to 1886, when he was elected chief of
the Waco Fire department. Mr. Preseott is now in the
twenty-eighth year of his continuous service as chief, and
his interesting recollections of experience as a fire fighter
would fill many pages.

In 1876, at Waco, Mr. Preseott married Fannie Hart,
who died in 1898. The six children of their marriage
are: Mary L., now Mrs. Eipley Hendricks of Waco;
Aurora, now Mrs. .John Flemister of Dallas; Arthur
MacArthur Jr., who is a printer at Waco; Thomas H.
Preseott, in the printing business at Fort Worth; Wil-
liam W. ; and Francis L.

Mr. Preseott is prominent and well known in fraternal
and social circles. ' His affiliations are with the Benevo-
lent and Protective Order of Elks, the Fraternal Order
of Eagles, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the
Knights of the ilaccabees. He attends the Episcopal
church and is a Democrat in politics. He is a member
of the International Association of Firemen Engineers,
of the Texas Volunteer Firemen's Association, and the
National Firemen 's Association. He is the owner of a
comfortable residence in Waco, and is a stockholder in
the Cotton Palace Association. Mr. Preseott has made
of his official service his chief enthusiasm in life, and
practically all his time and interests are divided between
the headquarters of the fire department and his own

D. W. Odell. As a principal in each of three distinct
law firms, D. W. Odell is easily one of the busiest at-
torneys in Fort Worth and vicinity. His career in law
has been one of unusual brillance and has brought him
into touch with much of the important legal business
that has been transacted in this section of the state, as
well as introducing him into the politics of the state and
rendering him a force to be reckoned with in the legis-
lative body and in political circles generally. He has
been acting counsel for some of the big interests of the

state, as well as for the state itself, and in all his pro-
fessional activities, has carried away the honors by
reason of his consummate skill, his far-reaching legal
knowledge and his adroitness in managing his cases in
all their varied aspects. Xo more successful lavryer of
public men might be mentioned in this section of the
state than Mr. Odell, and his achievements are in every
way worthy of him.

D. W. Odell was born in Crockett, Houston county,
Texas, on December 30, 1867, and is the son of J. M.
and Arabella (Murchison) Odell, both natives of Ten-

In the public and private schools of Cleburne, Texas,
young Odell received his early schooling, but his train-
ing did not extend so far as graduation from the high
school of the place. He left school to enter the office
of Judge Eamsey at Cleburne, where he gave himself up
to diligent and telling study under the direction of the
worthy .iudge, there continuing for some years. He was
admitted to the bar in 1890, and very soon thereafter
began the practice of law on his own responsibility, his
long experience with Judge Eamsey fitting him for in-
dependent practice as soon as he had obtained the
necessary license. In 1892, he was elected county at-
torney for Johnson county, and served one full term ;
he w'as re-elected to succeed himself and when his
second term of two years was within a year of expiring,
he resigned at the solicitation of Judge Eamsey and
formed a business partnership with that gentleman, who
was loth to dispense entirely with the association of
the younger man in his practice. This union, it is need-
less to say, was a most successful one, and endured
for twelve years, during which time Mr. Odell was elected
to the State Senate in four years and served four years
in that important capacity. Thereafter he had an im-
portant place in the political activities of the district,
and was delegate-at-large, to the Kansas City Demo-
cratic Convention at Chicago in 1900, District Delegate
to the National Convention at Chicago in 1896 and
served as president pro tern in the state senate.

Mr. Odell is a member of the following law firms:
Odell & Turner, of Fort Worth and of Odell, Johnson &
Harrell, at Cleburne.

Mr. Odell has been employed as counsel in a great
many important connections during the past fifteen
years. In 1907 he was counsel fm' rnii.>.[ ^::,ir. s,mi:i-

tor Bailev of Texas, in the inv, . i . i.i tIm-

Texas State Legislature. He was mi ■, , ^ i ,, \\:ilri.-

Pierce Oil Company in the Pen.-illy .iii.I UnM.r -iiit in-
stituted by the state, and he represented the House Com-
mittee in' the Jake Walters Contempt proceedings be-
fore the Texas legislature in 1911. He was counsel for
the st.itp of Texas in the celebrated Sneed trial for the
ninidir nf Allnnt G. Boyce, and was counsel for the Eev.
Di. \miii-. (,t I'ort Worth, charged with the burning of
his nwii rliiiicli. These citations comprise a few of his
more noted legal activities, and will serve to indicate
in some measure the prominence he has in the state as
legist, as well as legislator.

On December 31. 1S93, was solemnized the marriage
of Mr. Odell to Miss Birdie G. Murchison, daughter of
D. M. Murchison. of Houston county, Texas, where the
family is one of the best known in that vicinity. To
them have been born four children, as follows: Arabella,
Mary, Francis and Weldon.

The family is one that is accorded the highest regard
of all who share in their acquaintance, and they move in
the most select circles of society in the city.

John B. Young. No one, perhaps, knows and under-
stands the west as well as those early pioneers of civili-
zation, the locomotive engineers, who served in the days
when the iron horse traveled for hundreds of miles
through country desolate of human habitation. Many
memories of these days are hoarded in the mind of John
B. Young, of Toyah, Texas. Although he is now a mer-



chant and the most successful in his line in the town of
Toyah, yet for years he was a railway engineer, and the
life of the road still holds its appeal for him.

John B. Young was born on the 4th of October, 1861,
in Canada, the son of the Eev. Thomas A. Young
and Charlotte L. (Monk) Young, both of whom are now
deceased. The Kev. Mr. Young was a clergyman of
the Episcopal church, and devoted his life to the work of
the church in Canada. He died at Coteau Landing, in
Canada, at the age of sixty-four years, and now lies
buried in the cemetery at Quebec. Mrs. Young died at
the age of sixty-one and is buried in Hamilton, Ontario.
There were nine children born to the Eev. Mr. Young
and his wife, two of whom are deceased.

Of the living children of his parents' family, John B.
Young is the fourth. He was educated in the Bishop 's
College at Lenoxs-ille, in the Province of Quebec, but left
school at the age of sixteen to enter the business world
as a check clerk in a railroad office. As a youngster he
had had as his pet ambition that of becoming a railway
engineer, and he had at no time relinquished this plan, so
new he determined to enter the brotherhood. He first
obtained a position as a fireman and then was promoted
to that of engineer. He received his first engine while
an employe of the Jvew York and New England Rail-
road, and after years of service with this road he came
west. Here he entered the service of the New Mexico
and Arizona Railroad, running out of Benson, Arizona.
This was in the pioneer days and life was not the routine
for the locomotive engineer that it is toda.y. His last
service as an engineer was in the employ of the Texas
and Pacific Railroad, in the years from 1S84 until 1908.
During his entire service as an engineer he never had an
accident until the month of July, 1908, when he re-
ceived a broken limb in a wreck at Midland. Texas.
After this accident persuasion was brought to bear on
the veteran engineer by his wife and friends and he was
persuaded to give up his seat in his beloved engine.

In February, 1909, Mr. Young therefore entered the
mercantile field, as the proprietor of a small dry goods
and notion store in Toyah. With the assistance of his
wife he has succeeded in building from this modest be-
ginning the largest business of its kind in Toyah. The
pleasant manner and genuine worth of the proprietor
has helped to make this store the most popular in Toyah
and everyone is a friend of Mr. Young's. He owns a
pleasant home in Toyah and is also the owner of four
sections of fine Reeves county land.

In the fraternal world Mr." Young is a member of the
Masons, belonging to the Knights Templar and also being
a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. He has been made an
honorary member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive En-
gineers. In religious matters, ilr. Young is a communi-
cant of the Protestant Episcopal church. He is a Demo-
crat, politically, and takes a keen interest in local poli-
ties, being a member of the aldermanic council.

Mr. Young married Miss Agnes Van Gieson, who was
born in New York state, a daughter of Virginius Van
Gieson, her father serving in the Federal army as a lieu-
tenant during the Civil war.

McClellaxd Vv\\lker, M. D. Many of the
men in the medical profession today are devoting them-
selves to the prevention of disease, as well as its cure.
They are endeavoring to persuade people to use better
methods and are spending their time in the search for
more satisfactory methods of handling disease. Among
this class of medical practitioners in Texas is Dr. Walker,
of Amarillo, who in his position as city health officer
for the past five years has Iseen able to accomplish much
for the improvement of public sanitation and the health
and welfare of the community. Dr. Walker is a suc-
cessful young physician, who has been a resident of
Amarillo since 1904 and enjoys a large and distinctive
private practice in this city.

Robert McClelland Walker was born in Jlontgomery,
Grant county. Louisiana. April 25, 1S71, being the second

in a family of three children born to Henry Clay and
Emma (McCain) Walker. His father, who was born in
Louisiana, has been a merchant for many years in that
state and is still in active life and a resident of Homer.
He is a veteran of the Civil war, having served with the
Ninth Louisiana Infantry, going in as a private when
only thirteen years of age, and during the great part of
his service, which continued from the beginning to the
end of the war, he was a courier. He has been successful
as a business man and now enjoys a competence. In
politics he is a Democrat and is a member of the Meth-
odist church. His wife, also a native of Louisiana, died
in 1876 at the age of twenty-one.

Dr. Walker attained his early schooling in the public
institutions of Louisiana, and between the ages of four-
teen and seventeen was engaged in clerking in his
father 's store, an occupation from which he had occa-
sional time to attend to his school studies. He early
learned to rely upon himself and to make the oppor-
tunities and the means for his advancement along the
lines indicated by his ambition. When he was seventeen
years old he began studying medicine under the preeep-
torship of Dr. H. V. McCain, who was first cousin at
Montgomery, Louisiana. After two years, when he was
nineteen years old, he entered the medical department of
Tulane University, and completed his medical course at
Memphis, Tennessee, where he was graduated M. D. in
1894. He practiced for about three years at Duson,
Louisiana, and after leaving medical college at Memphis,
came out to Texas and for nine years was located at De-
catur, in Wise county. In 1904 he established his office
in Amarillo and has been in continuous practice here
ever since. The doctor is a member of the county and
the state medical societies and at the present time is
secretary and treasurer of the Potter Count.v Medical
Society. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks and is a member of the
Methodist church.

At Decatur, Texas, on November 23, 1898, he married
Miss Emma Miller, a daughter of Captain William A.
Miller, who was a veteran of the Civil war and a member
of a Louisiana regiment. Mrs. Walker was born in Ar-
kansas, but was reared and educated in Wise county,
Texas, having come to this state when a baby in her
mother's arms. One daughter born to Dr. Walker and
wife is Willena, who was born in Decatur, January 11.
1903. The family residence in Amarillo is a beautiful
bungalow at 1310 Harrison street. This home and his
excellent practice and many other evidences of material
prosperity and popular esteem are the fruits of a career ,
in his profession from a beginning some twenty years
ago with only thirteen dollars of cash capital besides a
horse and bridle and saddle. Dr. Walker used his horse
and riding equipment in order to attend his first patient,
and had to use most of the capital before he received
his first fees.

Cyrus Arthur Wright. As one of the most success- I
ful as well as one of the most brilliant attorneys of the
Panhandle region of Texas, Cyrus Arthur Wright is
widely known. Mr. Wright has resided in Amarillo for
four "years, during which he has been engaged in the .
general practice of law and has been uniformly successful. I
Upon learning something of Mr. Wright's family history I
one can not help but be impressed by the strength of , ]
heredity. Mr. Wright is descended from some of the
oldest families of the southern aristocracy, and tracing
his ancestry back the men have been brilliant scholars
and brave soldiers, while the women of the type that
made the women of the Confederacy. With such stock
as this it is no wonder that Mr. Wright has been suc-
cessful, and yet when we see many men with just such
ancestries, of no worth to the world, we must give Mr.
Wright much credit, for the use to which he has put his

The father of Cyrus Arthur Wright, il. U. F. Wright,
was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia. When the



Civil war broke out he immediately entered the Confed-
erate service, although he was under age. He enlisted in
the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, as a substitute for a cousin
whose father had just died, and when his cousin re-
turned a month later, he continued, and served through-
out the war. After the surrender at Appomattox closed
the chapter, he returned to the old home place and is
still living in the old home which was built by mechan-
ics brought over from England for the purpose. This
house was erected by the founder of the Wright family
in this country, William Wright, who settled in West-
moreland county, Virginia, in 1725. He brought many
slaves and lived the life of an English country gentle-
man. When the Eevolutionary war broke out, the men
of the Wright family were l)iave meniliers of the Colo-
nial forces and later some of them served in the War of
1812. The family was originally of the Anglican or
Episcopal faith, but M. T. !'. W riLjIii is a member of the
Methodist church. He ha- lu,ii :, |.|,nii,r all of his life
and is a member of the 1, i :ith iniuy. He married
Eliza Harding Coles, a natiir of Vir-^mia and the daugh-
ter of Thomas Richard Coles, who was a soldier in the
Confederate forces. Her grandfather, James Coles,
fought during the War of 1S45, with Mexico, as a colonel.
Thomas Richard Coles, who was major of the Forty-sev-
enth A'irginia Infantry, C. S. A., married a Miss Harding,
who was directly related to Commodore Perry. Eliza
Coles Wright died at the old home in 1890 at the age of
thirtv eight. Five children were born to her union with
Mr. Wright and of these Cyrus Arthur Wright is the
eldest and the only one who is a resident of the state
of Texas.

Cyrus Arthur Wright was born in Westmoreland
county, Virginia, on the 27th of August, 1873. He re-
ceived a splendid education, first attending the famous
old college of William and Mary, at Williamsburg, Vir-
ginia, and later entering the University of Nashville,
from which institution he was graduated in 1898, with
the degree of B. A. He entered the latter institution on
a scholarship which he won through competitive exam-
ination and his record in college was a brilliant one.

After leaving the university he taught school for a
time, in Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas. He came

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 165 of 177)