Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 172 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 172 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Texas. Dr. Saunders is chief surgeon of the Fort Worth
&- Denver Eailway, of the Trinity i- Brazos Valley Rail-
way, the Wichita Valley Eailway, and local surgeon for
tlie Texas and Pacific, the International and Great
Xorthern, the St. Louis & Southwestern, and the Gulf,
Colorado and Santa Fe. He is consulting medical di-
rector of the Fort Worth Life Insurance Company. Dr.
Saunders is essentially a professional man and has no
political aspirations. He is a director in the American
National Bank of Fort Worth, president and director of
the Commonwealth Bonding and Casualty Insurance Com-
pany of Fort Worth, a director in the International Fire
Insurance Company of Fort Worth. He has never been
indifferent to the duties of citizenship, and at all times
has taken an interest in matters that affect his home city
or its people. Dr. Saunders was one of the founders
and an ex-president of the North Texas Medical Associ-
ation; is an ex-president of the Texas State Medical So-
ciety; is a former official of the International Eailway
Surgeons ' Association, and is a past vice president of
the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Society, a body
whose membership is restricted to those who have at-
tained acknowledged skill in surgery. The greater part
of his local hospital work has been done as surgeon in
charge of St. Joseph's Infirmary in Fort Worth. Dr.
Saunders among his professional associates has always
been noted for his enormous energy and vitality, and
those constitutional resources have stood him in good
stead in the long and arduous practice to which he has
devoted himself for more than twenty years.

On October 31, 1877, Dr. Saunders was married to
Miss Ida Caldwell, a native of Tennessee, and the daugh-
ter of Eev. Tillman A. Caldwell, who located with his
family at Bonham, Texas. Mrs. Saunders was one of the
women members of the Texas World 's Fair Commission in
1904. They are the parents of two children: Eoy F., who
has followed in the footsteps of his father, and is a rising
young physician and surgeon of Fort Worth; and Linda
Eay, who married Mr. Charles D. Eeimers, president of
Exiine-Eeimers Company of Fort Worth.



Paul DeWitt Page. A member of the Bastrop county
bar since 1S96, Judge Page has gained prominence both
as a lawyer and as a business man, being president of
the Citizens State Bank of Bastrop. His fellow citizens
have further shown their confidence in his ability and
integrity in choosing him again and again for positions
of honor and trust.

Paul DeWitt Page was born at Evergreen, Conecuh
county, Alabama, in 1868, a son of Patrick Donovan and
Anna DeWitt (Mitchell) Page. His father, a native of
Alabama, was educated in that state for the profession
of law, was married there, and in 1872 moved to Texas,
settling in Bryan, Braios county, where he successfully
practiced law until his death in 1880. The mother died
at Bryan in 1885.

Judge Page was four years old when he came to
Texas, received his early education in the schools of
Bryan, was a student at the University of Texas, and
read law in the office of Orgain & Garwood in Bastrop,
where he was admitted to the bar in December, 1896.
He at once began the practice of his profession in part-
nership with E. F. Higgins, who is now associate justice
of the 8th court of civil appeals at El Paso. This firm
was Page & Higgins, a partnership which continued
with mutual satisfaction until 1899, when Judge Hig-
gins removed to Houston. In 1898 Mr. Page was elected
county attorney of Bastrop county, and consented to
continued service in that position for three successive
terms or six years, until 1904. In that year he was
elected county judge of Bastrop county, and looked
after the fiscal administration of the county for two
terms until 1908. In 1900 Judge Page joined in part-
nership with J. H. Miley under the firm name of Page
& Miley, and they were partners in a large practice until
1909. Thereafter Judge Page was alone until April,
1913, when he and James S. Jones made the firm of
Page & Jones.

Judge Page in a quiet way has had a very prominent
part in politics and civic affairs, it being a character-
istic of his to perform much public service but in such
inconspicuous manner that he attracts less attention
than many men of less ability. In 1908 he served as a
delegate from the Ninth congressional district of Texas
to the Democratic national convention at Denver; was
a member of the Texas state Democratic executive com-
mittee in 1910, serving until 191i ; and since 1909 has
been chairman of the Bastrop county Democratic execu-
tive committee. At this writing, in 1914, he is a can-
didate for state senator from the Nineteenth senatorial
district. Judge Page has been president of the Citizens
State Bank of Bastrop since its organization in 1909,
and is also president of the Bastrop Abstract Company.
Fraternally he has aflnliations with Gamble Lodge No.
244, A. F. & A. M.; Bastrop fhiiptcr, K. A. M. ; Smith-
ville Commandery, K. T. ; El :\lni,i Tmipl,.. Onloi of the
Mystic Shrine; the WoodnuMi nf ilir WdiM ,iiii| the
Knights of Pythias. In July, l^'.l'.), „r,uric.i Ins mar-
riage to Miss Blanche Garwood, daughter of Major C.
B. Garwood, of Bastrop, and sister of H. M. Garwood,
of Houston. Mrs. Page died in April, 1911, leaving two
children: Paul D. Page, Jr., and Wilmer Garwood
Page. On April 16, 1913, Judge Page married Miss
Mary E. Higgins, daughter of W'. T. Higgins, of Bas-
trop, and a sister of his former law partner. Judge E. F.

Walter W. Jenkins. Descended from old and hon-
ored families of Virginia and North Carolina, William
W. Jenkins, county auditor of Williamson county, Texas,
has displayed in his character and his public service
many of the traits which made the Jenkins family
prominent in the various avenues of life in which their
activities were maintained. Mr. Jenkins was for a num-
ber of years identified with educational work, in which
he disjilayed a high order of ability that commended him

to the people as one fitted for public service. He has
never betrayed the trust placed in him by his fellow-
citizens, and is today accounted one of the popular and
efficient public servants of his part of the state.

Mr. Jenkins is a native son of Williamson county, his
parents being Byron and Eashel (Jolly) Jenkins. His
father was born March 10, 1838, in Lincoln county. North
Carolina, and is a son of Ben and Fannie (Ehodes) Jen-
kins, whose family settled in Virginia at an early period
and subsequently moved to North Carolina. Byron Jen-
kins came to Texas with his mother, his father having
passed away before, in 1849. His maternal great-grand-
father, Elisha Ehodes, had come from North Carolina to
Webberville, Texas, in 1844, and in 1849 returned and
brought his family, including Byron and his two younger
brothers and his mother to Texas, settling twelve miles
north of Austin. Of the thirteen who came at that time,
Byron Jenkins is the only one now surviving, and he with
his wife now makes his home on the farm near George-
town. The children are: Walter, of this review; Jennie,
who is the wife of L. P. Ehodes, of Marble Falls, Texas ;
Ben, who is a farmer near Bartlett, Texas ; Albert, a farm-
er near Georgetown; Julia, who is the wife of T. U. Sid-
ings, of Hughes Springs, Texas; and Nannie, who lives
at home with her parents. Byron Jenkins joined the
Texas Eanger service under Captain Dalrymple, and
continued in the service on the frontier from six months
prior to the Civil war until after its close. _Mrs. Jen-
kins is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Jolly, who
settled in Texas in 1850. Her mother is still living at
the age of eighty-eight years, near Eound Eock, Texas,
while her father is dead. A blacksmith by profession, he
served throughout the Civil war in the Confederate army,
being in charge of an engineering corps, and in after
years was one of the builders of the first Methodist church
in Austin.

Walter W. Jenkins, after completing the curriculum
of the common schools, entered the Southwestern Uni-
versity. Subsequently he graduated from the Texas
State Normal School. He began his work as an educator
in 1891, and continued to teach public schools until 1905,
and from 1898 until 1910 was an instructor in the South-
western University Summer Normal School. He was
elected county superintendent of public instruction in
1905 and served in that capacity until 1910, when he
resigned during his third term in office to accept the
position of county auditor of Williamson county, and
from November of that year until the present has ably
discharged the duties of office. A man of the highest
character he has fulfilled every expectation of the peo-
ple who have imposed n|ii.ii liim tlie trust of public office.
The affairs of his .l,'|i;u tnunt ;ire being managed in a
thorough and busim-^lik,. iii.nnier. and his courteous
manner has won him ti irmis iimoiig all classese of people.

In 1901 Mr. Jenkins was married to Miss Blanche
Mason, daughter of Neal Mason, one of the pioneers of
Texas, who came here from North Carolina and is now
deceased. Mrs. Jenkins' mother is still living. One
daughter, Euth, has been born to Jlr. and Mrs. Jenkins.
Mr. Jenkins is interested in fraternal matters, being a
Chapter Mason and a member of the Woodmen of the
World. He belongs to the Presbyterian church.

Professor Henry F. Triplett. One of the foremost
educators in Texas is the present city superintendent of
schools at Beaumont, Professor Henry F. Triplett, who
has been continuously identified with the work of the
school room and the supervision of schools in Texas for
the past twenty-one years. He is doing much to give vital-
ity and increased efficiency to the school system of Beau-
mont, and is an important contributor to the modern
progress of education in his part of the state. Prac-
tically all of his active career has been spent in educa-
tional work and in affairs of scholarship. Henry F.
Triplett was born in Loudon county, Virginia, in 1854, a



son of Thomas Mason and Viauua (Silcott) Triplett.
Both parents were members of old-time families of Vir-
ginia. His father served throughout the war in the
Confederate army, was by profession a musical director,
but his practical work was in the field of stock raising
and farming. In 1870 the father brought his family to
Missouri, locating near Sedalia, in Pettis county.

Henry F. Triplett, until he was sixteen years of age,
lived in Loudon county, Virginia, and accompanied the
family on its removal to Missouri. There he grew to
manhood on a farm, and in 1S80 was graduated witl) tlio
degree of B. Pd., from the state normal college at War-
rensburg, and has been almost contiiuiously ideiitiiied
with educational activities since then. Throughout his
career he has been speeiali2ing so far as possible in
science, and he studied in the Missouri School of Mines
and Metallurgy at Eolla, and in the Illinois Medical
College at Chicago, specializing in bacteriology and
chemistry. His home has been in Texas since 1893, and
during his residence in this state he pursued his studies
in the Fort Worth University, where he received the de-
gree of B. S. in 1900, and the degree of M. S. in 1903.
Before coming to Texas, he had been superintendent of
the city schools at Sweet Springs, Missouri, for seven
years, and for three years at Harrisonville, Missouri. In
1893 he became superintendent of schools at Ennis, Texas,
a position he held for ten years, and since that time has
been superintendent of schools at Beaumont. He is an
ex-member of the State Board of Normal Examiners and
of the State Board of Examiners, and was an instructor in
the Texas University Summer School several sessions. As
superintendent of schools Professor H. F. Triplett has
done a large and distinctive work. He has kept up the effi-
ciency of the school system to its very highest mark,
and has made the schools the co-ordinate factor in the in-
stitutional life of the city. During this decade the local
school system has improved in every way to a greater
degree than could be claimed by any previous decade.
There has been a notable increase in the school popula-
tion and in the school facilities. There are now seven
school buildings for white pupils and four for colored
children. The four latest buildings, completed in 1910,
are the Pennsylvania Avenue School, the George O'Brien
Millard School, the Averill School, and the Fletcher
School, all of the most modern construction, and among
the best of their kind anywhere. The school attendance
for the year 1913-14 was 4,450.

Professor Triplett has membership in the Texas State,
the Southern, and the National Educational Association.
He is a former president of the State Association, and
has been a member of its executive committee since 1904.
He is the author of several books, among them being
"Civics: Texas and Federal," the adopted text on civics
for the schools of Texas, 1914-1920.

Eeligiously he belongs to the Methodist church, and is
prominent in Masonry, having taken the Knights Tem-
plar degrees in the York Eite, thirty-second degree of
the Scottish Eite, and is affiliated with Galveston Con-
sistory, and with El Mina Temple of the Mystic Shrine
in Galveston.

Mrs. Triplett before her marriage was Miss Amanda
Wheeler, who was born in Loudon county, Virginia.
Her family came to :\nssniiri at the same time with the
Tripletts in 1870. The four children in the family of
Professor and Mrs. Trijilett are: Mrs. Lena Milam,
Mrs. Olive Brock, Mrs. Juanita Alexander, and Mason
Triplett. Mason Triplett, the only son, is engaged in
the lumber business at Beaumont.

Temple Doswell Smith. The standard of every com-
munity is measured by the character of its financial insti-
tutions, for unless they are stable, the credit of the munic-
ipality and its people is impeached. The Bank of Fred-
ericksburg, Texas, is an institution which grew out of the
needs of its locality, and was organized by a man of ex-
ceptional standing, whose interests have been centered in

it, and whose honor and personal fortune are bound up
in Its life. Under such desirable conditions, a bank is
bound to maintain a high standard, and make money
for its stockholders, and at the same time to safeguard
the interests of its depositors. For more than a quarter
of a century, Temple D. Smith has been one of the lead-
ing financiers of Gillespie county, Texas, and has lieen
president of the Bank of Fredericksburg since he organ-
ized that institution in 18S7. He is a native of Hanover
'oiinty, ^"iiyiiiia, wlinc his liirth occurred August L'li,
l^lii. nnl IS ,1 s,,,i ,ii ,1. Siicllson and Paulina Thilman
(li(i^Mrll) Siiiitli. 'I'll,' iniiiicr was a son of Snellson
Siiiitli, ttliij married M:nfli:i liickerton Lewis, a member
of the eminent Lewis family in Virginia. The Smith
family is of English ancestry. Mr. Smith's father was
a planter in Hanover county, Virginia, prior to the out-
break of the struggle between the Xorth and the South.
In 1860 he removed with his family to Marion county,
Indiana, establishing a home near Indianapolis. Hia
wife was a member of a prominent Virginia family.
She was a daughter of Paul T. Doswell, a son of James
Doswell, wlin «:is II ( :iptain of infantry during the Eevo-
lutionaiy wav aiwl who married Jane Thilman. Paul
T. Doswell iriarned Fannie Gwathmey, of Welsh ances-
try, and Major Tom Doswell, his brother, was also a
prominent member of this family.

Temple D. Smith was fourteen years of age when the
family moved to Marion county, Indiana. Later he ac-
cepted a business position in Indianapolis. The early
part of his education was secured mostly in the public
schools, then under the tutelage of his father, who was
educated at Eandolph-Macon College and the University
of Virginia, he continued his studies. In the Indiana
capital, Mr. Smith received his introduction to the mer-
cantile business, and for some years was connected with
a wholesale iron nnd steo] concern, filling positions in
both the olti.r :iiiil uii tin- nr.ul and becoming thoroughly
familiar with cieiy .lrt:iil nt the trade; later he was as-
sociated with tlie niir,. noted heavy hardware firm.
Fowler & Sous, of Buffalo, X. Y.

In 1884 he made his advent in Texas, going into the
banking and mercantile business in Jones county, in the
western part of the state. He came to Fredericksburg,
Texas, in 1SS7, and here established the Bank of Fred-
ericksburg, of which lie has remained the president
and principal owner to the present time. This is a pri-
vate institution, and enjoys a place of the highest stand-
ing, not only at home but in the financial centers of
the East. Mr. Smith is also president of the First Na-
tional Bank of Carthage, Texas, and of the Cotton Belt
State Bank, of Timpson, Texas, which institutions he
organized in 1894 and 1807 respectively. He has di-
rected the policies of the three banks in a safe and con-
servative manner, tlioroughlv gaining and holding the
full .•.iiifidfiire of the publi'.'. A fact worthy of most
nv.lii:il.l.- iii.ntiMii I,, rniiii,M-tion with Mr. Smitht 's

r: I' IIS 11 liiiiikn. IS iliiii nil three of his banks, during

the liii.iiiciiil piiijir of 11HI7, jilaced no limit whatever on
withdrawal of deposits; the banks carried on their busi-
ness during the crisis, paying all valid checks when pre-

Mr. Smith was married to Miss Atary Alice Francis, who
was born at Ijawn'iirolmi i^, lihiiiinii. and one daughter
has been born to rln^ inih.n. \|i~s l-lstelle Francis Smith,
who, after receiving juopm nioiy iiniiiiiijj in Mulholland's
School in San Antonio, Texas, was sent to Wellesley
(Massachusetts) College, where she took a B. A. degree,
and now resides with her parents. In public matters,
ilr. Smith has always evinced a commendable spirit of
willingiK-s to iissist 111 all iniini'is iiiiikin-: for progress.
Thus ho r-|,rriiilly Milii:,l.!o soiMrcs iiiid dis-
played Ills i.iilili.' spirit. 111 I'.ii::. vUir.i Ilr rniitnlaited
liberally and helped to raise the bonus fur securing a
railroad line to Fredericksburg. For himself he has
never desired public ofifice, but his support and influence



are much sought by those running for positions of
preference, and he is known as a man who will loyally
adhere to and courageously tight for the principles which
he deems just. Essentially a finam-ier, he has found his
chief pleasure in his business ventures, but he has not
been indifferent to the social amenities, and in a wide
acquaintance is able to boast of a number of sincere
friends. For the past fifteen years Mr. Smith and
family have divided their time between their home in the
south and New York city.

John Smith Saundeks, M. D. As already stated, Dr.
Bacon Saunders is the son of an eminent pioneer Texas
physician, and some notice of his career is appropriate
in "this connection. John Smith Saunders, -who was one
of the best of old-school physicians, was born at Glas-
gow, Kentucky, and in 1S57 came to Dallas, which was
then situated almost on the frontier. As a pioneer doc-
tor in that city, in the years immediately preceding the
war he became known over a wide surrounding territory.
His visits across the sparsely settled country, bearing
cheer and healing to the isolated families, often pene-
trated into Tarrant county. To the easy-circumstanced
dweller of city or town of the present day, imagination
alone must picture the hardships which the good doctor
encountered on these horseback journeys with his medi-
cine packed in his saddle-bags, or the joy with which he
was hailed by the suffering who had perhaps awaited his
coming for days, whereas in this age the same number
of hours would seem long, and who would not see him
again on his rounds for several weeks. Filling the place
of friend, counselor, and helper, his part in the life of
that historical epoch is none the less important because
it was unostentatiously performed. He thus continued
to practice at Dallas until the war came on. A Ken-
tuckian, it is not strange that his admiration for his fel-
low citizen, Henry Clay, made him an adherent of old-
line principles, and when the question of secession came
up for settlement, though a firm believer in state rights,
he opposed the separation from the Union. But, like
Lewis T. Wigfall, whom he so admired, and like
hundreds of conspicuous and eminent southerners, his
loyalty to Dixie, when the issue came to settlement,
aligned him without hesitation with the Confederacy.
Enlisting in 1862. he was appointed brigade surgeon on
the staff of General E. M. Cano, and as such served
until the close of the war. On his return to Dallas he
decided to give up the practice of medicine, and for sev-
eral years during that period of industrial prostration
took a prominent part in business affairs. He built and
operated the first steam mill at Dallas, and was also in
the mercantile business until the failure of his health
obliged him to retire. His children were then at the
age when they needed better educational facilities than
were afforded" at Dallas, and this was the prime consid-
eration that induced him to move to Bonham in 1869.
There he built up a large general practice and lived
until his death in 1891. His wife was Sarah Jane Clay-
pool, who was born at Bowling Green, Kentucky.

At one time Dr. John S. Saunders served as president
of the North Texas Medical Association, following his
son in that position. Noteworthy and successful though
he was as a physician, his character was such that men
were more interested in the man than in his work. Of
firm and positive conviction, he commanded respect and
wielded influence among men as a leader, although he
never used the qualities for any kind of political prefer-
ment, and the most important position he held was as
brigade surgeon during the war. In the Christian church
he took a very active part, and was a devoted member
unta his death. Though his energies were almost con-
stantly directed to serious affairs, yet he possessed the
social qualities which attached men to him through af-
fection as well as respect. He was an engaging story-
teller, and was especially fond of pointing a serious prin-

ciple with an illustrative anecdote. Schools of a primi-
tive time supplied him with only the barest fundamentals
upon which later study and observation reared a most
intimate knowledge of literature, men and events. His
love for the classics in literature never deserted him, and
even in camp, when surrounded by all the stern realities
of military life, he was wont to read his Shakespeare
aloud to his fellow otfieers, and such was his sympathetic
acquaintance with that author that it is said he knew
half the plays by memory.

Dr. W. Neal Watt. No family in Texas today, per-
haps, has a wider family record for military activity
through several generations than has the Watt family,
of which Dr. W. Neal Watt, of Austin, is a representative
member. Dr. Watt first came to Texas in 1SS2, and in
the year 1894 he identified himself with this city in his
professional capacity, since which time he has bee"n active
and prominent in his work. Dr. Watt was born on
December 31, 1856, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and
is a son of Eev. J. B. and Louisa A. (Neal) Watt.

The ancestry of Dr. Watt is a most interesting one,
and though lack of space will not permit any great detail-
ing of the family, it may be said that members of the
Neal and Watt families have played important parts in
the making of American history, from Colonial days
down to the present time.

Eev. J. B. Watt was for a number of years pastor of
the Steele Creek Old School Presbyterian church, and he
was a son of James Watt, who lived at Winnsboro,
South Carolina, for years, and was a very successful
farmer there. He was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and a
direct descendant of James Watt, the inventor of the
steam engine, the family having emigrated from Scotland
in the sixteenth century. Members of the families from
which Dr. Watt, of this review, conies, namely, — the
Neals, Watts, Griers and McDowells, figured prominently
in the Eevolutionary war as participants, and Dr. Watt
is especially ]iroud of the fact that he is a native son of
Mecklenberg county, where the Declaration of Inde-
pendence was first voiced on May 20, 1775.

General W. H. Neal, the maternal grandfather of the
subject, owned and operated a number of cotton and

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 172 of 177)