Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Carr had two children, namely:
Harry, twenty-five years of age, and now engaged in the
grocery business at Fort Stockton, Texas; and Mrs. Ella
Sherman, wife of L. A. Sherman of El Paso.

Albert Steves. In a commercial center like San
Antonio successful business men are not rare. The city
itself is a monument to business enterprise, and its cre-
ators are those whose collective energies have concen-
trated the huge volume of trade and industry at this one
point. With a permanence which is proved by nearly
half a century of successful existence, and with a scope
and volume of trade relations which make the name fa-
miliar throughout the state, the firm of Ed Steves &
Sons, wholesale and retail lumber dealers and manufac-
turers, have probably contributed as much as any other
single industry to the commercial prestige of the Alamo
city. As it is a business of no ordinary importance, it
is not merely a material achievement, but at its founda-
tion will be found the rugged integrity and unfailing en-
terprise of men. The members of three generations of
the Steves family have contributed their resources and
ability to the founding, maintenance and extension of
this splendid Texas concern.

Edward, who was always known as Ed, Steves, the
founder of the business at San Antonio, was born in
1829 at Barmen, Prussia, and came to Texas when a
young man in 1848. He was one of the German col-
onists of that period who located at New Brauntels, in
Comal county, and his first work was as a farmer on the
Guadalupe Eiver above New Braunfels. Subsequently
his farm and stock ranch were moved to Cypress Creek,
in Kerr county, between the present towns of Comfort
and Kerrville. Until some years after the Civil war,
that district was one of the most exposed to Indian raids,
and the Steves family in those years had their full share
of frontier hardships, dangers of hostile red men, and
the difficulties of pioneer life. In 1857 Ed Steves mar-
ried Miss Johanna Kloepper, who was born in Hanover,
Germany, and is still living in San Antonio. Their
three sons, Ed Steves, Jr., Albert and Ernest, all of
whom subsequently became closely identified with the
lumber industry, were born on the Cypress Creek Eanch,
in Kerr county. It should also be mentioned that Er-
nest Gruene, an uncle of these sons, recently died (April
2, 1914,) at the age of ninety-five. He had long occu-
pied his old homestead, a fine farm on the Guadalupe
river a few miles above New Braunfels, in Comal county,
and was a splendid type of the sturdy early German col-
onists in southwest Texas. Mr. Gruene was born at
Nette, Germany, and settled in Comal county in 184.5,
having spent nearly seventy years in that locality.

The late Ed Steves was a man of exceptional energy
and enterprise, and a prominent figure both in the com-
munity of Kerr county and of San Antonio, and his
name is associated with other things than the lumber
business. He had the distinction of introducing the
first threshing machine into his part of the state. The
machine was landed at the old port of Indianola early
in 1861, only a short time before the Texas coast was
blockaded by the Northern navy. For a number of years
his threshing outfit was relied upon over a district cov-
ering many square miles for all the threshing, and it did
much to lighten the burdens of farm life during the war
period. During the period of the war Ed Steves helped

7^^^^^ ^^:^^^^




to guard the Texas frontier against Indian raids as a
member of the Home Guards.

When Ed Steves came fo San Antonio in 1866 he es-
tablished a lumber yard at the corner of Blum and Bon-
ham streets, at the rear of the Menger Hotel. It was
subsequently moved to Alamo street, on the site now oc-
cupied by Joske 's department store. That was its loca-
tion during the years when San Antonio was isolated
from railway connection with the outer world. On the
completion of the Southern Pacific lines to San Antonio
in 1877, Mr. Steves moved his yards to the old Southern
Pacific depot on Walnut street on a block of ground
bounded by Hayes, Walnut, Lamar and Cherry streets.
The completion of the International & Great Northern
railway to San Antonio in the spring of 1880 caused Mr.
Steves to establish his yard and business on the west
side of the city, at the corner of Buena Vista and South
Medina streets, near the depot, where it is still located.

The business as first established was for some years
conducted under the name of Ed Steves. In the Sufn-
mer of 1S77 Albert Steves and Ed Steves Jr., the two
oldest sons, entered the employ of their father, and in the
following year Ernest Steves, the other son, also joined
the staif. When Ed Steves retired from the heavier re-
spdnsiliilitics uf tlic business in 1882. the lumber yards
were c.iiiti.imd uihli-r the firm name of Ed Steves &
It title. Subsequently Ed Steves Jr. also
Albert and Ernest Steves in the active
In 1906 Ernest Steves was elected presi-
dent of the Texas Lumber Men 's Association.

The most important and largest addition to the Steves
lumber industry was completed in 1913, and consists of
the sash and door plant, located on a block of ground
bounded by South Medina, Frio, Monterey and Mata-
moras streets, in the adjoining block of the west side
lumber yard on the International & Great Northern
railroad. This mill manufactures sash, doors, interior
finishings, and millwork of all descriptions, on a very
large scale, and is one of the largest industries in South-
west Texas. The two-story mill building is of concrete
.fire-proof construction. Adjoining it is the new whole-
sale building of the same construction and also two
stories with basement. The dry kiln, wholesale lumber
sheds, and other facilities of the business are also to be
found on the west side, while, as already stated, another
yard is on the east side near the Southern Pacific Depot.
From the wholesale department of Sash, Doors, Blinds
and Mouldings more than one hundred and fifty lumber
yards throughout Southwest Texas are supplied with
their material, and this fact better than anything else
indicates the extensive scope of this business. The
Manufacturing & Wholesale Sash plant is in charge of
Albert Steves Jr., with Mr. Ernest Steves as manager
of the I. & G. N. Railroad Yard and Albert Steves Sr.
having charge of the Sunset Yard on East Converse St.

The death of Ed Steves on April 20, 1890, bereaved
the city of San Antonio of one of its ablest business men
and citi?ens. During the seventies he had served as an
alderman, and his public spirit was always ready to back
up any worthy new enterprise for the improvement of
his home community. Among those men who during the
last half century did most to promote San Antonio com-
mercially and as a civic center, the name of Ed Steves
should always have a conspicuous place.

The senior member of the firm of Ed Steves & Sons,
Albert Steves, was born in Kerr county. Texas, and
through practically all his career has been identified with
the city of San Antonio. The noted old St. Mary's Col-
lege afforded most of his education, while a boy, and his
Alma Mater is the Washington & Lee University of
Lexington, Virginia. For more than thirty-five years he
has been one of the men chiefly responsible for the
growth and development of the great business of which
he is a part, and among lumber merchants of the South-
west his record has few equals.

The energy and skill which have characterized his busi-

ness relations have also been brought into public affairs
for the corresponding benefit of loi'al welfare. In May,
1911, Mr. Steves was elected an alderman-at-large, taking
otfice in June of that year. In April, 1913, on the death
of JIayor A. H. Jones, the city council elected him as
mayor to fill the unexpired term. Again in the regular
city election of May, 1913, he was re-elected to the office
of alderman-at-large for another two years. Both as
alderman and mayor Mr. Steves has discharged his duties
with splendid ability and unselfish concern for the public

By his marriage at San Antonio to Miss Fannie Baetz,
Mr. Steves has four children: Albert Jr., mentioned
above as one of the active members of the firm ; Estella ;
AValter; and Edna. Mr. Steves has many associations in
his home city, belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, the
Casino Association, the Beethoven Singing Association,
is an honorary member of the Turner Society, and is a
member of the San Antonio Rifle Hub, the Travis Club
and the San Antonio Club and the O. D. H. S., No. 172,
Friedrich Ludwig John or Turner Lodge.

Robert Stillman. Excelling in achievements, and
commanding success in his special lines of endeavor,
Robert Stillman, of Brownsville, has won prestige in
the agricultural and business circles of Southern Texas,
not only as one of the more active and prominent ranch-
men and stockmen, but ns a member of the famous Still-
man family, who iv,.r,', pvii.t irnlly, the founders of
Brownsville, Texas, nih] nf Ali.t.nnoras, Mexico. A son
of the late Cornelius Snllrnun, lie was born, in 1853, in
Cleveland, Ohio, of honureil New England stock.

His grandfather. Captain Francis Stillman, was born
and reared in Wethersfield. Connecticut, the New England
state in which his immigrant ancestor settled on coming
to America from Holland, in early colonial days. En-
gaging in seafaring pursuits when young, he s.iiled the
seas as master of a vessel, and eventually established an
.extensive business in the mercantile marine service, own-
ing a fleet of sailing vessels engaged in trade in England
and other foreign ports. Sometime during the 40 's he,
as captain of one of his own vessels, sailed into the port
of Bagdad, Mexico, at the mouth of the Rio Grande
river, on a trading expedition. That was an adventurous
experience of his. as he knew absolutely nothing about
the country, it being in fact so perfectly isolated that it
had never' been explored. The venture proved highly
successful, and Captain Stillman was so pleased that he
withdrew his ships from foreign ports and put them in
the Mexican trade. He established a large commercial
house at Matamoras. ilexieo, then a mere hamlet, and
subsequently induced his four sous, Charles, Cornelius,
Chauncey and Frank, to join him in Matamoras, where
they all took part in the condu.-t of the business. Cap-
tain Stillman afterwards opened a branch house in
Brownsville, Texas, just across the river, making Charles
Stillman its manager. Thus it was in reality the business
enterprise of the Stillmans that elevated Matamoras and
Brownsville to positions of commercial importance, mak-
ing them the founders of the two towns. The Stillmans
likewise acquired vast bodies of land in the southwestern
Texas territory contiguous to Brownsville, principally in
Cameron, Hidalgo and Nueces counties, these lands form-
ing the nuclei for several of the noted ranches of this
part of the state, among which are the Lauralas and
•Kennedy ranches, purchased from the Stillmans. Re-
turning" North in his later years, the Captain established
a home in New York City; but his death occurred in In-
dianapolis, Indiana, while he was visiting a daughter in
that city.

Charles Stillman, the eldest of the Stillman brothers,
and who for many years was extensively engaged in com-
mercial and cattle enterprises in Brownsville and vicinity,
was the father of James Stillman, a cousin of Robert
Stillman, the subject of this sketch. James Stillman
was born in Brownsville, but reared and educated in


Xeu- York. For several years he vfas president, and is
now chairman of the Board of Directors, of the National
City Bank of Xew York, one of the strongest financial
institutions of America, Mr. Stillman ranking with the
leading financiers of the world.

A native of Wethersfield, Connecticut, Cornelius Still-
n, foreseeing the possible advantages in a newer coxm-

try, went as a young

to Ohio, locating in Cleveland,

fhere he built up a large business as a wholesale grocery
merchant. In 18-52 he joined his father and brnther^ in
Brownsville, Te.xas, and was here succes-it'nlly iMiurii;od
in mercantile pursuits for many years. Wlii'ii ii';nlv tn
retire from business life, he returned to the nl.l stilliii,-iii
home in New Y'ork City, where he resided until his
death, in 1S94. His wife, whose maiden name was Jane
Eobertson, was born in Connecticut, of Scotch ancestry.

As a boy and youth Robert Stillman attended school
in Massachusetts, and later was a resident of Xew
York City, where he was connected with the well-known
importing house of Fairfield & Trask. Since 1SS3 he
has resided in Brownsville, Texas, where he is managing
the extensive interests of himself and the other members
of the Stillman family, having charge of two very fine
and very valuable cattle ranches lying in Cameron and
Hidalgo counties, these forming the basis of his activities
in the industrial and commercial world.

Mr. Stillman married Miss Kate Case, of New Jersey,
and they have two sons, Lucius Stillman and Joel Stiil-

Albert G. Joyce, one time postmaster of Dallas, is a
member of one of the oldest families in the state of
Texas. He was born in San Antonio, in 1872, and is a
son of Eev. "William J. and Laura (Mitchell) Joyce, both
of whom are living. The mother is a daughter of Asa
Mitchell, who was among the first American settlers in
Texas. He was a member of Austin 's colony and was
among the prominent pioneer American citizens of San
Antonio, where he was a large property owner. His
name is intimately interwoven with the early history of
that city. Mrs. Joyce was born at Old Washington,
Washington county, the first capital of Texas.

Albert G. Joyce was educated in Coronal Institute in
San Marcos, where he was reared and spent his boyhood
days. In 1891 he came to Dallas, and this city has since
been his home. In the year 1893 he entered the Dallas
postoffice as a clerk under Postmaster John S. Witwer.
Later he became assistant postmaster under W. M. C.
Hill, who is elsewhere mentioned in this work, and he
also served in a similar capacity under Mr. Hill 's suc-
cessor, Major William O'Leary. On the death of Major
O'Leary, in May, 1903, Mr. Joyce became acting post-
master, and served as such until he was succeeded by
David A. Eobinson on July 17, 1904. He was in the
postoffice for twelve years of continuous service, and has
been highly commended for the praiseworthy service he
gave to the city in those years. Since 1904 Mr. Joyce has
been in other lines of business in Dallas.

In Dallas, in 1900, he was married to Miss Nancy El-
liott, of this citv, a daughter of James T. Elliott, a pio-
neer citizen of Dallas.

L. L. Laoet, M. D. A Texas physician and surgeon
whose practice extends over forty years, and whose life
and services have placed him in the front ranks of the
profession, is Dr. L. L. Lacey, whose earlier career wae
spent in Eusk county, who for some years was located
at San Antonio, and for the past fifteen years has lived
in the capital city of Texas — Austin. While enjoying
a very extensive and profitable practice, Dr. Lacey has
always been an originator and a progressive factor in
his work, has done much to promote the welfare of the
profession at large, and his influence for good has not
been confined entirely within the technical limits of his

Born near Selma, Alabama, April 29, 1852, Dr. Lacey

is a son of Andrew Franklin and Margaret (Aiken)
Lacey. His father, who was one of the early manufac-
turers of cotton gins, came to Texas and settled in Eusk
coiintv in Decemlier, 18.52, when Dr. Lacey was seven
months old. In that section of the state his father ac-
quired large landed possessions, became an influential
planter, and for several years filled the office of sheriff
of Eusk county. The mother belonged to the prominent
family of Aiken, for whom the town of Aiken in South
Cnrolina was named. She is now living with her daugh-
ter. Miss Luella Lacey, at San Antonio, Texas, and is
ninety-four years of age. Andrew F. Lacey died in 1888
when seventy years of age.

The schools of Henderson, Texas, gave Dr. Lacey the
foundation of his literary training, and immediately
after his graduation with the degree Doctor of ^ledicine
from the Tniversity of Virffinia in 1874 he entered Belle-
vue Hospital :Medical College of New York City for
post-graduate work. His general practice began at New
SSlem, in East Texas, and after six years his office was
moved to Henderson, both places being in Rusk county.
His patronage grew rapidly from the start, and extended
over a large section of Eusk county. During his first
year Dr. Lacev had a practice which netted him more
than five thousand dollars, and for fifteen years he stood
in the front of his profession at Henderson. For nine
years after leaving Henderson Dr. Lacey practiced at
San Antonio, and for the past fifteen yeais has hail his
home in Austin. His nromiiienre in the |irefession caused
him to be one of tlie first iln,t.n-< iifiininted on the State
Examining Boiir.l. He has ine'iibersliin in the American
Medical Association, the District Medieal Association,
and all the local medical societies.

In 1874 Dr. Lacey married Miss Alice Meredith of
Lawrenceville, Virginia, an accomplished young lady of
an old and distinguished Virginia family." The last fif-
teen years of her life were saddened by invalidism, and
her death occurred at San Antonio in 1S93. Dr. Lacey
was devoted tn his companion through all those years,
Lie.itesf sorrow of his life." Be-
!ier Christian character he was
-' Kpiscopal church soon after
■•■i|nently persuaded twentv-four
■rsnn to follow his example. In
red in marriage with Miss Forney
one of the prominent church
is the center of a gracious

and her deatl; ' '^ Mn
cause of the ; '
led to join ]'■ ■ - <
their marriiiu, . m .' -
business men of Hem
1894 Dr. Lacey was ur
L. Beaumont of Austi
and elnb women and her hon

hospitality which is extended to a large social circle.
She was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. G. N. Beaumont.
Dr. Beaumont was born in Ohio, but was a southern sym-
pathizer and served as surgeon in the Confederate Army
and practiced his profession many years after the war,
but for more than twenty years before his death was
connected with the General Land Office of the state.
Mrs. Beaumont 's father is a member of the Lacey house-
hold. To this marriage have been born four sons, Lewis,
Bryan, George and A>rnon, now being educated and
growing up towards promising careers of usefulness.

Dr. Lacev is affiliated with the Masonic Order, the In-
dependent "Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of
Pythias. In 1878, with Dr. Swearingen and Dr. iian-
ni'ng. Dr. Lacev was one of the Texas jdiysicians ap-
pointed by the "Howard Association to go to the relief
of sufferers of the yellow fever plague at Memphis, Ten-
nessee, and bravelv risked his life in a service that was
as hayardous as that of the army in time of war. Dr.
Lacey has recently invented a sanitary mouthpiece for
the telephone, which has been patented and is regarded
bv the scientific world as an invention certain to be of
great service lr\ jireventing communicable diseases that
may be placed to the present common mouthpiece, and
it is the first successful invention of the kind ever made.
Dr. Lacey has four brothers who are residents of Texas,
namely: J. S. and Calvin, whose homes are in San An-
tonio;" Telephus, in Henderson, and Samuel Houston
Lacey, of Dallas. Calvin and Telephus we

both sol-



diers in tlie Confederate army, Calvin being with the
army of Lee in Virginia. Dr. Laee.y 's home is at 2211
Speedway, and his office at 700 Congress avenue.

Col. Patrick Andrew McCaktht, civil engineer and
•builder of railroads and one of the best knovi'n men in
Texas in engineering circles, was born in Champaign
county, Illinois, on March 3, 1859. He is a son of Daniel

nd Oatlie
killed b,
boy, an

(Fitzgerald) MeCi

thy, both natives of

Till' fiitluT was a railioa.l contractor, who was

itiiiiiL; III l.s7i), \\licii tlir sul.jeet was a young

> li.' H.-is tliiuwii ii|Miii Ins own resources at

Mtlii'r lioys are l.ieiny ruicfnlly looked after

(cil. Mif .irtliy got a start toward his profession by
Will km- :i- a youth for the engineers who were engaged
in liuilJing the old Indianapolis, Decatur & Western
Eaihvay across Illinois, and for several years he worked
on lailroad and bridge construction in Indiana, Illinois
and Minnesota. He located in Lufkin, in Angelina
county, in 1901, and this place he has since designated
as his home. He has done much of the railroad engin-
eering that has made Lufkin a notable railroad center in
East Texas, particularly in the construction of the East-
ern Texas, the Groveton, Lufkin & Nortlicni :iii.l tlie

Texas Southeastern Eailroads. He was lity ini^ ci nf

Lufkin for six years, and the engineer of l.nt km 's srwir
system, consisting of nine miles of mains aii'l hiteials,
with two aseptic tanks, which plant was completed in
1913. For two years Col. McCarthy was consulting en-
gineer on new railroad work in Houston territory, and
he has surveyed several projected lines throughout Texas,
Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. For some time
he has been engaged in the investigation of a very ex-
tensive new trunk line project, aggregating about one
thousand miles in length, for the Interstate Development
Company, of which he is consulting engineer. He is also
examining and consulting engineer for financial interests
located in both London and Paris.

A man of immense popularity, he is known every-
where as Col. McCarthy, deriving his title through his
connection with a semi-military organization in 1902.

Col. McCarthy was married in Minnesota to Miss Mar-
garet T. O'Donvan in 1884, and they have three sons
and one daughter. Frank McCarthy, the first-born son,
now engineer for the Magnolia Oil Co., was formerly
district engineer of the Texas & Pacific Railronfl at
Shreveport, Louisiana; Joe McCarthy is r,,ii-i rmi inn
engineer in interurban lines for Stone iSr \Vrli<:, r, aihl is
now located at El Paso, Texas; George, the ynnn^rsi sun,
is associated with his father at Lufkin, and will in time
take his place among the engineers of the district, as
his brothers have already done. The daughter, Agnes,
makes her home with her parents.

E. T. Canon, M. D. The medical profession of east
Texas has one of its ablest representatives in Dr. R. T.
Canon of Lufkin. Dr. Canon is a man of broad expe-
rience, widely traveled, and splendidly equipped profes-
sionally, has acquired success and high standing in Lufkin
and as a citizen is a loyal believer in the greatness and
possibilities of his native state. One fact that makes
his career of unusual interest is that he is the third phy-
sician in as many successive generations of the Canon
family, and all of these have practiced in Texas.

His grandfather. Dr. John Canon, not only practiced
medicine, but preached the gospel as a Methodist minis-
ter, and died in Polk county, Texas, at the veneralble
age of eighty years. He married a Miss Weining, and
their children were: Val C, of Plainview, Texas; Dr.
John J.; Robert, who died during the Civil war; and
Edward, who resides in Polk county.

Dr. R. T. Canon is a son of Dr. John J. Canon, who
settled in Polk county, Texas, in 18.58, coming from
Florida, where he spent his childhood, and was married.
He was born in Georgia in 1S34, was educated largely

in the city of Macon, took his courses in medicine at At-
lanta, and began practice in Florida. On coming to
Texas he settled at Big Springs, in Polk county, aud^as
in practice there until 1872, when he moved to Mosrow,
and spent the remaining years of his active career there
His death occurred in Lufkin in 1910. Dr. .lohn J.
Canon was in the Confederate army, and at the close of
his service held the rank of lieutenant colonel. At Vicks-
burg he was wounded, and was again marked for Yankee

bullets during the Ma
as a veteran of the \v;
at Moscow. He lived
eitiieu voted the Dcni'
religiors convictions a




ist. ()
■ ^f

was in the Masonic fialn miy. ami lie served as district
deputy grauil master of the order, and also belonged to
the Knit;lits Teniiilar Commaudery. He married Mary
Schmidt, a daughter of Patrick Schmidt, and his widow-

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 169 of 177)