Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 174 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 174 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

the care of an uncle with whom I could not agree; on
becoming of age, and free to follow my own inclinations,
drew from the bank there the money left me by my par-
ents and came to the city of New York. Not being satis-
fied there, I came to Natchitoches, Louisiana, there pur-
chased a horse and took the king's highway from that
place in the direction of Nacogdoches, Texas. A few
miles out, the horse sickened and died. The remainder
of the journey to Nacogdoches I walked, carrying my
bundle across my shoulders, arriving there in good health
and spirits and stayed there."

Colonel Horton, speaking through a newspaper article,
said: "When the volunteer soldiers from San Augustine
Municipality arrived near Nacogdoches they were joined
by the young men of this jdace, including Charles S.
Taylor, and together attacked the .'Spanish troops doing
garrison duty and routed, driving them to the Angelina
river in the direction of San Antonio, whore they, four
hundred strong, surrendered. This was in aid of Mex-
ican independence against Spain."

Charles S. Taylor met Mary Eouff, a daughter of John
E. Rouff, an immigrant from Wuertemberg, Germany, at



her sister 's home in Nacogdoches, the latter having mar-
ried Hon. Adolphus Sterne. He married her and en-
gaged in the mercantile trade, with Mr. Sterne as a
partner, but quit that trade and with his wife weat over
and lived on Ayish bayou in or near the town of San
Augustine. There he became an alcalde under the gov-
ernment of CoahuUa and Texas, and in all trials by jury
and convictions had with the death penalty this alcalde
had the sentence executed accordingly without delay.

Charles S. Taylor returned to Nacogdoches and was
appointed under a decree of the legislature of the Mex-
ican State of Coahuila and Texas a land commissioner to
issue titles to the colonists, his official place of business
being at Nacogdoches, and he collected frpm the colonists
quite a sum of money, which he dispersed by direction of
the Committee of Vigilance and Safety at Nacogdoches,
and adjunct to the government of the Eepublic of Texas,
and to the collectors appointed by the Consultation in
1835. His work in this department is now embodied m
a printed pamphlet as collected and preserved by himself
and copied verbatim by his son, Lawrence S. Taylor.

Charles S. Taylor with Sam Houston, Thomas J. Eusk
and John S. Roberts represented the Municipality of
Nacogdoches in the Constitutional Convention of 1S36,
and at "Washington on the Brazos river signed the Decla-
ration of the ludepedence of Texas.

Charles S. Taylor, with others from that place, joined
General Houston's army and participated in the battle
at San Jacinto. His wife and three children remained at
Nacogdoches until Santa Anna's army reached the vi-
cinity of San Jacinto battlefield, when she with her
small children joined in the historical ' ' Runaway Scrape ' '
in 1836, and fled across the Sabine river into the State
of Louisiana, U. S. A., where all her children died from
the exposure and hardship of this flight for safety. She
always remarked to her children born to her afterwards
in a sad way: "I shall surely stay at home with you
should another 'Runaway Scrape' occur hereafter."

Charles S. Tavlor was appointed by the Congress of
the Republic of Texas as the first Chief Justice of Nacog-
doches county, and in conjunction with county commis-
sioners under a law then in force, settled by sale all laud
titles to lots within the old corporate limits under Mex-
ican and Spanish law and claimed by the new govern-
ment as vacant domain as the successor to those goverii-
ments. Now, we have a "Constitutional" or "Princi-
pal" square, and a church (Catholic) square or plaza.
On the front of the village church are dedications to
the people at large, and are so recognized by the gov-
ernment and the judicial tribunals of Texas as successors
to the Mexican government.

Charles S. Taylor was appointed District Attorney
for the district including his home county, Nacogdoches,
and did good work in protecting the public domain of
Texas from the numerous "land sharks" so-called at
that time, as also from the other criminals large and

Charles S. Taylor was appointed by the State of Texas
a commissioner to investigate and report the legal status
of land grants on the border Rio Grande, and after his
return from that border, he sent two of his sons, Charles
Irion and Milam (named for Ben Milam) to that border
as rangers in the service of the State of Texas, and they
chased Indians there in 1860.

Charles S. Taylor was Chief Justice of Nacogdoches
county during the war (Civil) and attended to that office
with its many additional burdens by reason of the war.
Charles S. and Mary Taylor 's sons, Charles I., Milam,
Lawrence S., William and Adolphus, joined the Confed-
erate army. William died in the service and was buried
on the bank of the Atehafalaya river in Louisiana,
Lawrence S. was wounded at the battle of Mansfield,
Louisiana, and was reported at home as killed, but his
father, Charles S. Taylor, came to the hospital at Mans-
field and brought him home alive, and not badly hurt,
only disabled in both legs. And now let me at this

time, January 15, 1914, draw the line distinguishing the
Confederate soldiers from the Mexican soldier as relates
to conduct and procedure with wounded and captured
adversaries in war. Lawrence S., as stated, was wounded
and disabled at Mansfield, and while waiting his turn for
his wounds to be dressed, the captured Federals were
marched quite near and this Confederate soldier ob-
served a wounded Federal soldier by the blood flowing
from his body, and called to him to fall out of the march-
ing line and lie down beside him, and asked the surgeon
to give this wounded man attention in his turn as he
could wait and the other could not. Soon darkness came
over the field and obliterated all but the groans of the
wounded, and I never saw again this friend in distress,
and I am not wrong in saying this was not a single in-
stance of this kind, but was a general rule of conduct
with Confederates under like circumstances. Our Cap-
tain, H. C. Hancock, a northern born and reared man,
lately from the north, was of this kind, and taught his
soldiers mercy by his own example. This captain was
killed at Mansfield and his soldier boys will remember
him until called to join him, as we hope, not in hell, as
Sherman would say as a preferable place to Texas, but
in the shade and in a cool place.

In concluding this sketch I will say Charles S. Taylor
named his son Milam to do honor to Ben Milam, the pa-
triot who lost his Ufe in battling for the independence
of Texas. I, Lawrence S., also named a son Milam for
the same reason, that the name Ben Milam be in this
way remembered in our family. His mother (Mrs. Law-
rence S. Taylor) was Harriet D. Irion, a daughter of
Dr. Robert A. Irion, who was Secretary of State under
Gen. Sam Houston, and Anna Raguet, the latter a pio-
neer family previous to 1836. Some of the brothers and
father took part in the early history of Texas, as also in
the Confederacy, and as appropriate here, my son Robert
Irion Taylor, joined the United States army in the late
war with Spain, and thus obliterated in a measure the
old Mason and Dixon line between the north and south.
Now I am past seventy-two years, and have lived and
learned that war is pretty near ' ' hell ' ' as General
Sherman said, and do hope that our president, Woodrow
Wilson, and Congress will not involve us in a war with
Mexico at this time. I guarantee the truth of the facts
stated herein. — L. S. Tavlor, Nacogdoches, Texas, Jan-
uary 15, 1914.

Bob Ryan Mason. Long familiarity with the cotton
gin as a salesman of cotton gin machinery made it pos-
sible for Bob Ryan Mason to engage in jausiness on his
own responsibility in that line of enterprise. In 1913 he
organized the Texas Gin Company, and today, less than
a year from the date of organization, the company oper-
ates twelve gins in the state. The young firm is already
well established and is enjoying a tine success, under the
management and direction of Mr. Mason.

Bob Ryan Mason was born in Robinson county, Ten-
nessee, on September 12, 1868, and is a son of Monroe
O. and Melissa (Taylor) ilason. both born in Robinson
countv, Tennessee, 'in 1840. The father is a retired
stockman and farmer and he now makes his home at
Hopkinsville, Kentucky, while the mother died in 1898.
Thev were the parents of nine children, named as fol-
lows: Harlety O. ; Joseph F.; Bob Ryan; Ruric; June
L. ; Musa; Hope; Dorcas and Jessie G. Mason.

Bob Ryan Mason was educated in Robinson county,
Tennessee, in the district schools, attending at such odd
season as he found freedom from the work of the home
farm, both in Tennessee and in Texas, after the family
moved to this state in 1881. They settled in McL^-nnan
county, and in 1887 Mr. Mason came to Waco, where he
secured employment as a traveling salesman in the im-
plement business. He traveled in that capacity for five
years and then changed his line to furniture, continuing
as a salesman for another four years, when he reverted
to machinery again and entered the service of the Inter-



national Harvester Company. His next service was with
the American Hound Bale Gin Company, and he was with
that concern for five years. He then, in 1903, became
identified with the Continental Gin Company and con-
tinued as traveling salesman for that firm until June,
1913, when he organized the Texas Gin Company, with
a 'capital stock of $10,000. The firm is prospering and
bids fair to become one of the leading establishments of
its kind, already operating twelve gins in various cities
of the state.

Mr. Mason is prominent and popular in Waco, where
he has long been known, and he is identified with numer-
ous fraternal and other societies that have furthered his
popularity and extended an f\ or \\ i.lfuing acquaintance
from year to year. Auiuhl; tlicsr :iri' the United Com-
mercial Travelers, with uhirli lio lia> licen afiiliated for
the past twenty years; the Travelers' Association,
of which he is vice president; and the Young Men's
Business League of Waco, one of the valuable and pro-
gressive organizations of the city. He is particularly
fond of hunting, and that sport constitutes his chief
recreation. Generous of heart and mind, Mr. Mason
finds a wholesome pleasure in extending timely aid to
children and aged people who have need of friends, and
he has brightened many a life by his timely assistance
along these lines.

A Democrat, he has done good work for the party in
the county, and his influence is a worthy one in political
circles. He has never been an office seeker. He is a
property holder in Waco and also owns property in other
parts of the state.

Mr. Mason has been twice married. His first wife
was Minne Lee Boyd, whom he married in 1894, and
she died in 1909, leaving one child, — Herbert M. Mason.
On November 26, 1912, he married Ida Clare Renfro, at

Herbert Mason is a student at Daniel Baker College
in Brownwood.

Mr. and Mrs. Mason are members of the Presbyterian
church, and he is an elder in the church.

Amos Manson Curtis, M. D. One of the oldest active
practitioners of medicine and surgery in McLennan
county is Dr. Curtis, who attended his first patients and
earned his first fees in that county nearly forty years
ago. Dr. Curtis has throughout this time had a high
standing in the local profession, and during the greater
part of his practice gave his attention to a general cli-
entage. A few years ago, however, in associating with
Dr. Witte he established a sanitarium, the second of its
kind in McLennan county, and an institution which has
done much to keep this section up to the best standards
in facilities and methods of treating disease and injury,
and the establishment has many times justified itself not
only in the patronage insured to its proprietors, but also
in its effective service to the general public. The sani-
tarium contains fourteen rooms, three trained nurses are
regularly employed, and this number is occasionally in-
creased to meet the demand.

Dr. Curtis was born in Clay county. North Carolina,
January 5, 1854. His father, Watson Curtis, who during
his long career acquired prominence in his locality, was
born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, in 1813, and
died in 1898, at the age of eighty-five. He was a farmer
by occupation, but after his removal to Clay county was
elected treasurer and sheriff, and had a very important
place in public affairs. The mother was Elizabeth Jones,
who *was born in North Carolina in 1822, and died in
1862. Her children were: Mary, Sarah, William J.;
Columbus W., deceased; Amos M. ; Julius; John, de-

ceased : Martha and Lillie.

Dr. Curtis until he was eig
school in Clay county, and

entered the Atlanta Medical College at Atlanta, Georgia,
where he was graduated M. D. in 1875. Coming to Texas
in the following year, Dr. Curtis established himself at
Waco, and lived and prospered as a general physician and
surgeon up to 1909, when he concentrated his attention to
the sanitarium in association with Dr. W. S. Witte.
The building is located at Eighth and Washington
streets, and is conducted under the firm name of Curtis
& Witte.

Dr. Curtis has never married, and in the absorbing
work of his profession, in extended travel, and in the
many interests which come to a man of his abilitv and
standing, has found sufficient reward and attraction to
balance the joys of domestic life. He is a stockholder
and director in the National City Bank of Waco, a stock-
holder in the Waco Savings Association, a stockholder
and medical director in the Texas Life Insurance Com-
pany, afiihates with the Knights of Pythias, belongs to
the McLennan County Medical Society, "the Central Texas
District Medical Society, the Texas State Medical Asso-
ciation and the American Medical Association. For one
year he served as County Physician, and in politics is a
" ■ Democrat.

teen years of age, attended
aen went across the moun-

tains into East Tennessee and studied medicine for two
years with Dr. L. W. Duncan at the town of Philadel-
phia. After this study under a private preceptor, he

A. E.4ND0LPH Wilson. With the organization of the
Amicable Life Insurance Company, of Waco, March 8,
1910, A. Eandolph Wilson came to this city to accept
the positions of secretary and assistant actuary, capaci-
ties in which he had had wide and varied experience in
the East. He has since continued among the business
men of Waco, and has firmly established his right to be
accounted one of the progressive and energetic men of
this progressive and energetic city. Mr. Wilson is a
native of Richmond, Virginia, born February 28, 1882,
a son of George M. and Mary F. (Thweatt) Wilson.
He is a direct descendant of Captain Francis Eppes, an
immigrant to Virginia in 1625 from England, and Henry
Randolph who immigrated to Virginia in 1643 from
Northamptonshire, England.

George M. Wilson was born on the Brierfield planta-
tion, in Amelia county, Virginia, January 13, 1842, and
has spent his entire life in the Old Dominion state, where
he is prominent in business circles as secretary and treas-
urer of the Tidewater and Western Railway Company.
He married May F. Thweatt, who was born on the Ep-
pington plantation, in Chesterfield county, Virginia, in
185.5, and she died at Richmond, Virginia, in 1908, the
mother of six children, as follows: Minnie, who is now
Mrs. J. G. Robert, of St. Louis, Missouri; Richard T.,
of Richmond, Virginia, secretary of the State Corpora-
tion Commission ; Georgia M., who is now the wife of W.
T. Harris, of Richmond, Virginia; Florence E., who is
the wife of LeRoy Roper, of Petersburg, Virginia; A.
Randolph, of this review; and Eilw.trd L., of Waco,
clerk of the Texas National Ex, Inn-,'

A. Randolph Wilson was grai . ■ , ' clucational
advantages in his youth, attcii,: _ ■ In and high

schools of Richmond, and tlim nriiti- tlic Virginia
Polytechnic School, from which he ivas graduated with
the degree of Bachelor of Sciences, in mechanical and
electrical engineering. After completing his studies he
entered the employ of the Virginia Passenger and Power
Company, as switch and motor tester, and after one year
went to New York with the Gray National Telautograph
Company, as inspector, in 1904." When he resigned his
position with that company, three years later, he had been
advanced to the position of manager of the Cleveland
(Ohio) office. His next connection was with the Life
Insurance Company of Richmond, Virginia, where he re-
mained in the actuary department for two years, and
he then became secretary and actuary for the Eastern
Life Association Company of Virginia, at Norfolk, for
one year. On March 8, 1910, he accepted his present
position with the Amicable Life Insurance Company
when it was organized at Waco, and at this time he is
a stockholder and director in the company. From the



time of bis youth Mr. Wilson has sradually progressed
until he now" stands as one of the directing heads of an
enterprise which figures prominently in business circles
throughout the Southwest, and he owes his advancement
to the fact that he has thoroughly mastered every task
devolving upon him, the readiness with which he has rec-
ognized and grasped opportunities and to his adapta-
tion of new conditions evolved in business life to the
needs of the present day. He enjoys fishing and hunting,
and has always taken a keen interest in mathematics,
but aside froni these diversions his business and his home
keep him fullv occupied, both of which bear testimony of
his careful consideration. His home is located at No.
1919 Columbus street, in addition to which he is the
owner of some valuable real estate in Waco. Mr. Wil-
son is independent in his political views, and has had
no desire to seek public office.

On February 28, 1910, Mr. Wilson was married at
Christianburg," Virginia, to Miss Gertrude H. Spindle,
daughter of E. B. Spindle, of Christianburg, a whole-
sale and retail grocery merchant. Two bright and in-
teresting children have been born to this union: Gertrude
H. and Mary E.

WiLLl.\M H. Brooks. A very successful architect,
whose business headquarters are in Waco, but whose
practice has extended into many diverse quarters of the
state, is William H. Brooks, who has been a permanent
resident of the state during the last thirty years and
has devoted most of his time to building construction and
to his profession as an architect.

William H. Brooks was born at Tehuaeana, in Free-
stone eountv, Texas, November 9, 1862. His father,
William Brooks, born in November, 1832, came to Texas
when a voung man, about 1858, and before the war was
a ranch "man and after the struggle between the states
was engaged in merchandising. During the war he
fought on the Confederate side as a member of a Texas
regiment, and when the Southern troops returned to their
homes he moved from Texas to Butler, Alabama, locating
at Greenville, where he was an enterprising merchant up
to 1879. His health failed in that year, and his oldest
son William, then had to leave school and take charge of
the store until 1884. The father passed away in 1888,
having been fairlv successful as a business man and leav-
ing a worthv name to his descendants. The mother was
Mrs Annie "E. McCann, who was born in Butler county,
Alabama, in 1844, and who died in 1907. Then- six
children were named William H., Charles L., Louis, Ld-
lian, Edward and Hubbard, both of whom died in in-

W"illiam H. Brooks was three years old when the fam-
ily returned to Alabama, and his schooling was acquired
in Butler county of that state until he was seventeen
years old. He continued a resident there until 1884,
having for several years had the actual management of
his father 's store. On his return to Texas at the age of
twenty-two, he located in Falls county, and spent the first
five v'ears in agricultural pursuits. The designing and
planning and construction of buildings has been a nat-
ural gift and almost a passion with him since childhood,
and at the end of his farming experience he entered
actively upon his profession, and has made of it an ex-
cellent" success. His headquarters were at Marlin, Falls
county, up to 1903, in which year he moved to Waco.
In that city he was employed by other architects until
1911, when" he set up in business for himself, and now
enjovs a good practice and a growing reputation. He
has "been commissioned as architect for a number of
public and business structures in outside cities and towns.
He drew the plans for the courthouse, the First Baptist
church and the high school building at Anson, in Jones
county. Mr. Brooks is a single man, is affiliated with
the Woodmen of the World, a member of the Methodist
church, and in politics a loyal Democrat. Besides some
property in Waco, he owns his former residence in Mar-

lin, Falls county. With him his business is his chief
interest, and he occasionally takes his pleasure in a fish-
ing or hunting trip.

CoRXELius MoxROE Hearx. When Mr. Hearn first
became a resident of Kaufman county in 1868, he was a
boy of about fourteen, and the remainder of his youth
was spent in the then pioneer condition of this section
of Texas. He eventually became a farmer, a successful
one at that, and from prosperity as a tiller of the soil
and producer of crops gradually extended his enterprise
to local industry and business," and is now one of the
leaders in the co'mmunity of ilabank in Kaufman county.

Mr. Hearn belongs to" a very old and prominent family
in southern history. There is sufficient data to prove the
family line in consecutive order back to the year 1066, in
English history, the date when William the Conqueror
beat down the ancient Britons and established a new era
in the life of the English Isles. A number of genera-
tions later, one of the descendants immigrated to Amer-
ica, and established a home during the colonial epoch.
Elijah Hearn, the great-grandfather of the Mabank
business man, had a family of children at the time the
war for independence was fought. Elijah Hearn died in
Morgan county, Georgia, the father of sixteen children.
He was nearly one hundred years of age when his death
occurred, and thirteen of his children reached mature
years and spent their lives in Georgia. William Hearn,
the grandfather, was born in Essex county, Maryland, in
1791, was married in W>st Moreland county, Virginia,
and early in his married career settled in Georgia, where
he died in 1851, in Alabama. He was the youngest in
the large family of sixteen children just mentioned, and
took part in the war of 1812 in General Floyd 's com-
mand. He lived a quiet and industrious life, was de-
voted to agriculture on the one hand, and to the min-
istry of the Methodist church on the other, until his
death. William Hearn married Martha Stephens, who
died in Autauga county. Alabama. Their children were
Malinda, who married Jephtha Yarbrough, and died in
Autauga county, Alabama ; Zina, who married D. L.
Bunn. and spent her final years in Eandolph county,
Alabama ; Elizabeth, who married W. E. Thompson, and
died near West Plains, Arkansas; Martha, who
married Jackson Harris, and also died in the
same locality of Arkansas ; Jon C, who died in Au-
tauga county, Alabama ; Thomas S., who died in Geor-
gia: Elijah, who died in Alabama; William, who died in
Arkansas near West Plains; Benjamin, who died in
Georgia; Eachel, who spent her last years in Autauga
county, Alabama ; James Henry, father of the Mabank
business man; Sarah A., who died in Georgia as Mrs.
Johnson; Lucy Jane, T\ho married Samuel Ware, and
died in Autauga county. Rev. Hearn, the father of
these children, married for a second time Catherine Snell,
who had one son, Joshua, whose whereabouts since the
war between the states have not been known.

James Henry Hearn, one of the venerable citizens of
JIabank, whose active life as a farmer only closed with
ripening old age, was born in Favette county, Georgia,
December 25, 1835. He brought" his family to Texas
from Elmore county, Alabama, after the Civil war. He
was reared in his native county of Fayette in Georgia,
and his education came from the old log sehoolhouse of
the primitive times. His boyhood was spent in Ala-
bama in comfort and without special incident until

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 174 of 177)