Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 170 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 170 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


still survives. Their children are: A. S., a merchant at
Calvert; Dr. R. T.; Mary, wife of J. W. Leggett, of
Moscow; Benjamin M., of Minden, Louisiana; Dr. M,
B., of Jacksonville, Texas; and Mrs. Nellie Victory,
of Keltys, Texas.

Dr. R. T. Canon got liis lilcraiy education in the high
school at Moscow, ami xiiniicl imMlicine in Galveston,
and later in the Jefi'i'ismi Alclnal College at Philadel-
phia, one of the oldest and iiiosi .listinguished medical
schools in America. His graduation at Jefferson came in
1893, and possessing his degree of M. D. he began
practice in Moscow, which city remained his residence
until 1908. In that year he came to T.nfkin, after tak-
ing a post-graduate course in tlii> Clmai^o I'olirliiiir, and
a course in surgery at the Mayo llospilal m K'in lioster,
Minnesota. The doctor has iiloiit ilicd hiinsclf with local
medical society work, wherever he has practiced, and
has been honored with the office of president and secre-
tary in the societies of both counties. On March 13,
1895, Dr. Canon married in Moscow, Miss Ruby, a
daughter of J. H. Johnson, of Long View, Texas. Her
brothers and sisters are: J. P. and J. E. .Johnson, of
Staples, Louisiana; Pearl, who married Dr. M. B. Canon,
of Jacksonville, Texas; Mrs. Addie Vickery, of Grove
ton; Miss FaiiTiio and A. T. Johnson, ofLong A'iew,
Texas; .-iikI Mm. .lames Goodman, of Woodville, Texas,
Dr, an. I Ah-. (;moii have the following children: Otis,
Maurine, an,l Mildie.l, Outside of his practice as a
physician, Dr, Canon 's public service has been in the
capacity of trustee of the Lufkin public schools. The
new thirty-eight thousand dollar high school, completed
in 1913, stands as a monument to the public spirit of
Lufkin, as well as to the taste and business acumen of
the board of education, one of whose members is Dr.
Canon, He has taken degrees in both the Scottish and
York Rites of Masonry, belongs to the Galveston Con-
sistory, and was Grand Visitor for a time and is past
master and past high-priest of Blue Lodge and Chapter
respectively at Moscow and Lufkin.

Alfred H. Easterling, M. D. Worthy ambition and
definite purpose have characterized the career of Dr.
Easterling and have resulted in making him a physician
and surgeon of broad and accurate scientific knowledge
and a practitioner whose success is on a parity with his
recognized ability, the while his genial and kindly nature
has further fortified him in popular confidence and es-
teem. He is one of the representative mendiprs of his
profession in Athens, the judicial center of Henderson
county, where he has resided since he was twenty years
of age and where his status is sin-li as to ivmloi' most

consonant his recognition in tins imliliciii lie is a

broad-minded, libera! ami imM'r s|,iiit,.,| iiii/m, and is
thoroughly appreciative of and loyal to the state of his
adoption.

Dr. Easterling was born in Walker county, Georgia, on
the 9th of August, 1865, a son of James M. and Georgia



2118



TEXAS AND TEXANS



(Eeid) Easterling, botb of wbom passed the closing
years of their lives in Athens, Texas, where the former
died in 1886, at the age of seventy-six years, and where
the latter was summoned to eteinal rest in 1910, at the
venerable age of eighty-five years. Mrs. Easterling, a
woman of most gracious and gentle personaUty, was
born in Whitfield county, Georgia, and was a daughter
of Alfred B. Keid, a prominent and substantial citizen
of that state'. Mrs. Easterling came to Athens when the
native timber was being removed of its present county
court house, she having been one of the first white women
to become a resident of the now thriving and at-
tractive little city which is the judicial center of the
county. She was twice wedded, her first husband hav-
in^T been C'vrus B. Meredith, who was a resident of Hen-
derson count V at the time of his death. The children
of this union were: A. W. Meredith, who is a promi-
nent banker and man of affairs of Willis Point, in Van
Zandt county, where he was a county official for many
years; James T. Meredith, who was a resident of Athens,
this state, at the time of his death; and Mrs. Palmyra
Graham, of Athens, Texas. James McQueen and Georgia
(Eeid) Easterling, who were married in 1S60, became
the parents of two children, of whom the elder is Dr.
Easterling, of this review, and the younger, Eula Lee,
who is the wife of John A. Murchison, of Athens.

James McQueen Easterling, the father of the Doctor,
was born at Monroe, Watson county, Georgia, his father
having been one of the most extensive planters and influ-
ential citizens of that section of the state. He was a
son of Henry Easterling, who was born in Georgia, of
Irish lineage, and whose wife was of Scotch ancestry,
her maiden name having been McQueen. Henry Easter-
ling died shortly before the inception of the Civil war,
and his will made a careful provision of the distribu-
tion of his estate, which included a large number of
negro slaves. Of his several children nearly all remained in
Georgia untU their death. James McQueen Easterling
become one of the substantial and representative planters
of Walker county, Georgia, and was the owner of a con-
siderable number of , slaves within the period of the
patriarchal old regime of the South. As may well be sup-
posed, he was vitally loyal to the cause of the Confed-
eracy when the Civil war was precipitated on the na-
tion, and he was commissioned captain of his company
in a Georgia regiment that was commanded by Colonel
Culbertson and that was assigned to duty with the
Army of the Tennessee. He participated in the great At-
lanta campaign and lived up to the full tension of the
great conflict, though he was signally favored in that he
was never captured or wounded. He was a man of
strong mentality and impregnable integrity of character,
was well fortified in his views, but had no predilection
for the turmoil of practical politics, though he gave un-
qualifieil allegiance to the Democratic party, whose every
presidential candidate he supported from the time of
Polk to that of Cleveland, save during the period of re-
construction in the South, when he, in common with other
citizens, was disfranchised. He was aflSliated with the
Masonic fraternitv, and was a citizen who ever com-
manded the high regard of aU who knew him. He t-anie
to Texas in 1SS4 and passed the closing years of his life
in Henderson countv, as previously noted. He was twice
married, and the mother of his son Alfred H. was his
second wife. Of the children of the first union two
sons, Edward and Archibald H., were valiant soldiers



Georgia regi



iient in the Civil war, and both



ficed their'lives m the cause of the Confederacy. While
with the Army of Northern Virginia they were captured
bv Federal iforces in Maryland, where the younger
brother received a fatal shot in the head. Rather than
leave his wounded brother, Edward Easterling submitted
to capture, and he was imprisoned at Funktown, Mary-
land, where he literally died of starvation, both he and
his brother having been buried at that place, honored
martyrs to the cause to which their loyalty was of the



highest type. Of the daughters of the first marriage,
Mrs. Mary Little died in Hardeman county, Tennessee;
Mrs. Addie Little is a resident of Walker county, Geor-
gia; Mrs. Sallie Jones resides at Wolfe City, Hunt
county, Texas; and Mrs. Hunda McDinald maintains
her home in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. There is
also a brother, Joel C. Easterling, a resident of Mt.
Vernon, Texas.

Dr. Easterling was reared to maturity on the old
homestead plantation in Walker county, Georgia, where
he waxed strong in mind and body, but where his early
educational advantages were confined to the somewhat
ineffective country schools of the period following the
close of the Civil war. He was thus far behind other
members of his class in the matter of specific scholarship
when he entered the old Joseph E. Brown University at
Dalton, Georgia. The president of this institution had
appreciation of the ambition and restricted opportunities
of the young student, and gave him full latitude for ap-
plication and scholastic advancement. The ambition
and close application of the Doctor at this time are indi-
cated by the fact that at the close of his first year in
college he was found to have compassed fully and ef-
fectually the work of both the Freshman and Sopho-
more years.

Dr. Easterling was twenty years of age at the time of
the family removal to Texas, and for a time he was em-
ployed in a dry goods establishment at Athens, where
he was later identified with other lines of business activ-
ity, though he earl_v formed a definite ambition to enter
the profession in which he has attained to marked suc-
cess and prestige. In consonance with his ambition he
was finally matriculated in the medical department of
Tulane University, in the city of Xew Orleans, and in
this admirable institution he was graduated as a member
of the class of 1897. After thus securing his coveted
degree of Doctor of Medicine he established an office
at Athens, and here his novitiate was of short duration,
as he proved himself admirably fortified for the exacting
work of his profession, and his personal popularity further
augmented his success, with the result that he has long
controlled a large and representative general practice,
besides which he is known and honored as one of the
leading physicians and surgeons of Henderson county.
He is an influential member of the Henderson county
Medical Society, oi which he served as president and of
which he is now secretary and treasurer, and he is also
actively identified with the Texas State Medical Society
and the American Medical Association.

Loyal and progressive as a citizen and vitally inter-
ested in all that touches the social and material welfare
of the community. Dr. Easterling is unwavering in his
support of the generic cause of the Democratic party,
and in the furtherance of social welfare he is implaca-
ble in his opposition to thejiquor traffic and its dele-
terious influences. He affiliates with the Masonic frater-
nity, the Knights of Pythias and the Order of the Aztecs,
in which last mentioned he is supreme medical director of
the state organization, the headquarters of which are
maintained in the city of Fort Worth. Both he and his
wife are popular factors in the leading social activities
of Athens. , „ , . „ ,

At Cuero, Dewitt county, Texas, on the 12th of Feb-
ruary, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Dr. Easter-
ling "to Miss Mitchell M. Wofford, whose '
Wofiford, a native of Wharton county,
citizen of distinctive prominence and influence in Dewitt
county. Dr. and 5Irs. Easterling have two children, Mar-
garet'and James McQueen.

William Benjamin Wynne. For more than thirty-
five years William Benjamin Wynne has been an active
member of the Wills Point bar, and by his learning, in-
dustry, ability and character has held a high rank m his
profession, while he is no less valued in the community
as a liberal minded and enterprising citizen. * '^"t'"-



father, John T.
state, is a



distin-



TEXAS AND TEXANS



2119



guishetl Texas family is represented in his person, and
the Wynnes have been prominent in law, military affairs
and in business in Texas since the family was established
here by William Benjamin Wynne, Sr., in 1841. The
senior Wynne came to the state from Jackson county,
Tennessee, in an ox wagon, bringing his family with him.
He was born in Jackson county in 1816, was reared there,
and his education came from the country schools of his
home community, where his father, whose name was
also William Benjamin, was a slaveholder and merchant.
There were five sons in the family of grandfather Wynne,
namely: James H., Robert H., B. J., Thomas L. and
William Benjamin. Of these, James H. and William B.
came to Texas, the others remaining in their native
state.

William Benjamin Wynne, Sr., on coming to Texas,
settled at Old Belleview, in Eusk county, a community
later known as Pyrtle, but he located his headright, or
government land, "in San Augustine county, although he
never occupied it. In 1879 he moved from Eusk county
to Van Zandt county, and died at Wills Point on March
4, 1904. His active car.vi- »,is d.-voted to agriculture,
and before the war he ar.|iiii. d nnirh ^lave property. In
church matters he was a .M.rliiidi-r ;Mid (|uite prominent,
a diligent student of tlio I'.iMr and of sacred history,
while in politics he was first a Whig and later a Demo-
crat. A secessionist, three of his sons shared in his
convictions and gave service in the Civil war as soldiers
of the Confederacy. William B. Wynne, Sr., married
Miss Mary E. iloore, a daughter of James Harrison
and Mary E. (Harrison) Moore. She died April 3,
1858, the mother of Colonel Richard Wynne, distinguished
as a Texas lawyer, soldier and politician, who was super-
intendent of tlie Confederate Soldiers' Home at Austin
when he died in 1913. Colonel Wynne was a gallant
soldier, and during the war was with Proctor's Brigade.
James Harrison Wynne, the second son, served four years
in the Confederate gray with General Thompson's Bri-
gade, and a member of the same organization was Dev-
ereau S. Wynne, who is now a farmer in Kaufman county.
Thomas L.' Wynne, fourth of the family, died in Palo
Pinto county. The next in order of the children is the
lawyer, William Benjamin. Mary A. married W. A.
Williams and lives in Greenville, and Dionitia E. mar-
ried J. E. Frisby, of Dallas. The father of these chil-
dren subsequently married a second wife.

William Benjamin Wynne, or ' ' Buck ' ' Wynne, as he
is more generally known, was born April 3, 18.58, grew
up about Pyrtle, in Eusk county, to the age of eighteen,
familiarized himself with the ' ' wagoning ' ' business of
the early seventies, driving a team from Hallville, then
the end of the Texas & Pacific Eailroad, to Henderson.
Much of his education was acquired while thus engaged,
and at the same time he gave instruction to a young
negro. ^Miile a vouth in his teens he began the study
of law with his brother. Colonel E. N. Wynne, in Hen-
derson, and in due time was admitted to the bar before
Judge A. J. Booty, in 1878.

Mr. Wynne entered practice in a desultory sort of
manner, making a few collections here and there, and for
a year doing a little work in the courts. His first case
was in the defense of J. P. Morgan, a farmer, who was
being prosecuted for malicious mischief. Jloving to
Wills Point in 1879, his own legal career started prac-
tically with the inception of the town, so that he has been
the leading lawyer in that community while it was grow-
ing to its present importance. Jlr. Wynne early mani-
fested an inclination for criminal eases, and as the ad-
vocate of those charged with crime came into a consid-
erable reputation. This branch of the law was gradually
made his specialty, although civil business of a cor-
porate nature has also claimed his attention. Of the one
hundred and eleven men he defended when their lives
were at stake, but four verdicts were returned against
him, and eight years was the longest term of penal servi-
tude given any of his clients. He has always represented



the shippers as against the railroads and has established
precedents in a great many cases. Never in all the years
of his legal activities has Mr. Wynne rej^resented a cor-
poration, except in the instances of one corporation ap-
pearing against another. For twelve vears he was a
member of the firm of Wynne & Eussel'l, Judge Gordon
Eussell going into congress from their office. Mr. Wynne
has lately taken his son, Angus Wynne, into the office
with him, and they maintain an office in Kaufman as
well as in Wills Point. The firm represents practically
all the corporate interests of Wills Point, including the
banks, oil mill and light plant.

In polities Mr. Wynne has never sought an office, nor
ever held one. He has been an active Bailey man, has
sat in many state conventions, and is a man of some
influence in the party in his locality. At the present
time Mr. Wynne gives little attention to office affairs,
rather devoting himself to the business of recuperating
after a nervous breakdown. He fell exhausted at the
close of his argument in a case of unusual importance in
May, 1913, a collapse due to a continuous activity in
his profession for a period of ten years without a rest
or vacation. He is regarded as one "of the noted lawyers
of Van Zandt county, and his success has been "well
merited.

Mr. Wynne 's identification with church affairs began
when he settled down and established a home and fam-
ily years ago, since which time he has taken a leading
part in the work of the Methodist Episcopal church of
Wills Point. For some years he was superintendent of the
Sunday school and at different times has been a dele-
gate to church conferences.

In Marshall, Texas, on September 25, 1879, Mr. Wynne
married Miss Margaret Welch Henderson, daughter of J.
B. Henderson, a Virginian by birth and a farmer. The
children born to them are: 'Minerva, wife of Eussell
Montague, a Wills Point merchant ; Angus G., a gradu-
ate of literature and law of the Texas University, and
now law partner of his father, who married Miss" Mena
Shellmore, daughter of Dr. Shellmore, of Dallas, and
they reside in Kaufman, where the son looks after the
practice of the firm in that vicinity; Margaret W. is the
wife of Will Harrison, of Fort Worth; Benjamin J. is
a graduate of the Wills Point schools and a student in
the University of Texas; and Toddie L., Nancy Jud-
son, Ada K. and Gordon Russell are the younger m'embers
of this family.

The family home of the Wynnes, located in a most at-
tractive residence portion of the city, is one of the most
charming to be found at Wills Point. Its magnificent
lawn, with every ornamentation in the way of shrub-
bery and flowers that the landscape gardener 's art could
insure, is a feature of the place, and the box hedge and
cedars that line the road from house to gate attract the
attention and admiration of every stranger in Wills
Point.

Hon. William E. H.iwkixs, associate justice of the
supreme court of Texas, is a worthy representative of
the dignity and greatness of the state in the domain of
the law which he has honored for twenty-seven years.
He comes of a family whose members have long been dis-
tinguished at the bar and on the bench, especially in
Tennessee, where an uncle, Alvin Hawkins, served three
terms as a member of the supreme court, and later was
governor of the state ; another uncle, Albert G. Hawkins,
was for many years chancellor of the district including
Carroll county, Tennessee, while a third uncle, Jo Hawk-
ins, was circuit judge and afterward for many years a
practitioner at Huntington, Carroll county, Tennessee.

Judge Hawkins was born at Greenwood, Caddo parish,
Louisiana, September 26, 1863, and is a son of Rev.
Samuel J. and Emmeline (Burke) Hawkins. His father,
a native of Tennessee, was a minister of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, and as such came to Texas in
1865, here helping to organize the North Texas Confer-



2120



TEXAS AND TEXANS



enee, as the Trinity Conference, at Sulphur Springs in
that year. He was presiding elder of the Sulphur
springs district, associate editor of the Texas Christian
Advocate, and curator of Southwestern University at
Georgetown, at the time of his death at Sulphur Springs,
in 1888. An extremely pious man, thoroughly devoted to
the work of his Master, his life was one of usefulness
to his fellow men, and his influence, always for good,
was felt in whatever community he was located. The
mother, who was born in Ohio, of Virginia parentage,
still survives at the age of seventy-eight years, and is
making her home with her son in Austin.

William F. Hawkins secured his education in various
schools of Texas, his father's calling making it neces-
sary that the family frequently move from point to
point. He later attended the tJniversity of Louisiana
(now Tulane University), and tinished his collegiate
course at the Southwestern University at Georgetown,
where he spent two years. He then taught school in
Dallas county and afterwards in the city of Dallas. He
was the first teacher of mathematics in the Dallas high
school. Being financially unable to attend the law school
of the University of Texas, he read law under the pre-
ceptorship and in the offices of Shepard & Jliller, of
Dallas, the firm being composed of Judge Seth Shepard,
now chief justice of the Uniteil States court of appeals
in the city of Washington, an.l the late T. S. Miller.
With this excellent prei>aration, Judge Hawkins was
admitted to the bar at Dallas in 1SS7, and in that year
began practice in that city as a member of the firm of
McKammy & Hawkins. Subsequently with his brother,
he formed the firm of Hawkins & Hawkins, and still
later became associated with John E. and C. P. Haynes,
under the firm name of Hawkins & Haynes. This latter
association continued until 1905, when Judge Hawkins
was appointed first assistant attorney general of the
state of Texas, under attornev general K. V. Davidson,
and held this positiun until December 31, 1909, when he
resigned. Shortly thereafter he was appointed commis-
sioner of insurance and banking of Texas, and retained
that ofBce until July, 1910, when he moved to Browns-
ville, Texas, and became associated with Frank C. Pierce,
in the general practice of law, under the firm style of
Hawkins & Pierce, this partnership continuing until
September, 1912.

In Jul.v, 1912, while living at Brownsville, Judge
Hawkins was nominated in the state Democratic primary
for the office of associate justice of the supreme court
of Texas, by a majority which was officially reported as
exceeding eighty-nine thousand, and in November, 1912,
was elected to the position for the unexpired term of
two weeks, and qualified January, 1913. There has
never been cause for anyone to question Judge Hawkins'
mental breadth and strength, or his determination, reso-
lution and steadiness, in whatever field of activity he
has elected to enter. As a jurist his decisions have indi-
cated a strong mentality, careful analysis and a thorough
knowledge of the law, and although personally a man of
positive views, it has yet to be found that, as a judge,
he has ever been influenced by his private inclinations.
He possessed that self-control so requisite to the true
judicial temperament, the power to put aside all personal
feelings and prejudices in order that he may impar-
tially dispense justice. Judge Hawkins is a member of
the Masonic order and the Kappa Alpha fraternity, as
well as the Town and Gown Club of Austin. His re-
ligious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, of this city.

On November 11, 1886, Judge Hawkins was married
to Miss Ella Dickason, a native of Tennessee, but a resi-
dent of Dallas, and daugliter of John S. and Mary L.
Dickason. To this union there have been born five chil-
dren, four of whom are living, as follows: Lyndsay D.,
of Dallas, a member of the legal fraternity, who re-
cently returned to Texas from Phoenix, Arizona, where
he was in partnership with his uncle, ex-Texas State Sen-



ator Albert S. Hawkins; Evelyn, who is the wife of Staf-
ford G. Helm, a stockman and merchant of Dundee,
Archer county, Texas; and two unmarried daughters,
Marion and Eudora, w^ho reside with their parents at 212
West Forty-third street, Austin.

William A. Watkixs, M. D. With a name honored
and distinctive through nearly eighty years of Texas
History, Dr. Watkins represents the third generation of
the family in the republic and the state, and has for
forty years been prominent as a physician and citizen.
During most of his professional activities his home has
been at Kemp in Kaufman county. In the family mem-
bership will be found doctors, ministers of the gospel,
farmers, soldiers, judges and lawyers, and all have made
useful records in their relations with state and society.

The grandfather of Dr. William A. AVatkins was Dr.
Jesse T. Watkins, likewise a physician, born at Murfrees-
boro, Tennessee, and established his residence at Nacog-
doches, Texas, about 1S36. He was a man of strong in-
tellect, of virtuous purposes and righteous life, and was
selected by General Houston to make treaties with the
Indians whose hunting grounds were adjacent to the
white men on the Texas frontier. In 1836, he set out
from Xagodoches on this mission, with a pack train of



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 170 of 177)