Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 20 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 20 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

thirty years has been janitor of the courthouse at Port
Stockton. In 1911 he retired from business and is now
living quietly at his home.

Mr. Valentine was married in Austin, Texas, June 6,
1874 to Maggie Wilcox, daughter of O. W. Wilcox of
Austin. Mrs. Valentine is one of the worthy Texas
women and is the mother of a large family of sons and
daughters, who do her credit for their careful training.
The twelve children, five sons and seven daughters, are
as follows: John W. and Thomas J., both deceased;
Mary, wife of John Griffith; Edwin P., who is married;
Maggie, wife of Thomas Pope; Lizzie, Alma, Maud,
Ozwin W., all at home; Myrtle, wife of Peter Paul; and
Sylvanus B. and Jewell Z., both at home. Mr. Valen-
tine is a Catholic in religion and his wife belongs to
the Christian church. He is a Democrat, but has taken
no active part in political affairs.

Henry Chandler Crie. The publisher of the Lynn
County Neios has been a Texan about as long as he can
remember, knows the country and its people and the
fundamental activities of the state through long and
active experience, and in the newspaper field has built
up a successful business and is a factor of no small
influence in his home county.

Henry Chandler Crie was born at St. Louis, Missouri,
December 15, 1868, a son of Edward H. and Carrie
Isabell (Griswold) Crie. His father was born in Port-
land, Maine, and his mother in Connecticut. After his
marriage at Portland, the father came to Texas in 1877,
and was followed by his wife and son in 1879. He
first located at Fort Worth, where he was employed as a
bookkeeper up to 1884, in which year he moved to John-
son county, and had his home there until five years ago,
when, after his wife 's death, he moved to Tahoka, and
now lives retired with his son Henry. From 1884 to
1900 he was engaged in the sheep business in Johnson
county, and then was made postmaster at Godley, an
office he held until his removal to Tahoka. During his
earlier career, and while living in the state of Maine,
he enlisted in the Seventeenth Regiment of Volunteer
Infantry from that state, going out as a private, and
at the end of four years service was mustered out as
captain of Company I. He went into the army when
seventeen years of age, and is one of the honored veterans
of the great struggle between the north and south. Of
his three children, one died in infancy.

Henry C. Crie got his early education in the common
schools, being eleven years of age when he came to
Texas. He was with his father in the wool business



until thirty-three years of age, and on leaving the farm
spent two years working at the carpenter 's trade, at
Floydada, and then moved to Tahoka, his present home.
Here he bought the local printing plant, and at once
established the Lynh County News, the first issue of
which came from the press June 2, 1905. It is a well
edited local newspaper, supplying a medium for business
advertising and news and comment on all matters of
local concern, and its influence is for the upholding of
everything connected with the progress and improvement
of the community.

Mr. Crie affiliates with the Masonic Order, with
Tahoka Lodge No. 350, Knights of Pythias, with Tahoka
Lodge No. 653. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and
also with the Eebekahs, with Camp No. 1306 of the
Woodmen of the World. On June 12, 1890, Mr. Crie
married Mits Mattie Julia Adair. The marriage cere-
mony was held in Bethany Church in Johnson county.
Her five children are: Julia Lincoln, born March 9, 1891 ;
James Griswold, born October 9, 1893; Elizabeth Hard-
ing, born May 20, 1896; Isabelle Sidney, born December
16, 1898; and Eichard H., born March 22, 1901. Mrs.
Crie is a daughter of Eev. E. H. and Elizabeth (Harding)
Adair. Her father, who came to Texas from Louisiana,
was long a well known Methodist minister in Johnson

Samuel J. Brown. Among the merchants of Amarillo
is one who has succeeded against heavy odds, but by
years of hard work and the application of honest business
methods Samuel J. Brown has attained success. Al-
though he is now one of the city officials of Amarillo,
and has served as secretary and treasurer for many
years, yet it is as a merchant that he made his success,
and it is in the mercantile line that most of his life as
a business man has been spent. Mr. Brown is one of
the most popular men connected with the city govern-
ment, for the lesson which he learned as a merchant,
that honest dealing is the only way to handle any
business, has given the people of the city the greatest
confidence in him and in his ability.

Samuel .T. Brown is descended from the early Scotch-
Irish settlers of the mountains of Virginia, that hardy
race that settled in the ridges of the Alleghanies and
along the Piedmont slope and during the Eevolution
formed the backbone of the fighting forces of the colonies.
His father, Enoch I. Brown, was born in Virginia, and
became a tailor by trade. He died in Virginia in 1865,
at the age of fifty. He was a Whig previous to the
war and after its close was a Democrat. In religious
matters he was a staneli l;;i|itist. He married Elizabeth
Smith, who was also a luit i\r nl' Xiiyinia and a descendant
of a long line of Virginia .•nHcstois. Among her ances-
tors were the Calverts, a uutcd family in the early days
of Virginia. Mrs. Brown died in the early fifties,
leaving six children.

Samuel Brown was born in Eappahannoek county,
Virginia, on the 21st of July, 1848. He received his
education in the schools of Virginia, attending until he
was thirteen years of age. Then the Civil war effectually
prevented any more schooling for a time, for school-
masters had to take up the musket, and in many cases
their pupils went with them to the front. Mr. Brown
was among the youths who took up arms, and he was
only thirteen years of age when he entered the service.
He was inside the line scouting, etc., for two years in
Mosby's territory, and was in the regular service under
Mosby's command. After the war, at the age of seven-
teen, Samuel Brown went to work, for his father's death
left him an orphan. He first went into farming on a
Bmall scale in his native state, but after five years under
the discouraging conditions which prevailed after the
Tjar he gave up agriculture and removed to Missouri,
where he settled in Mexico. There he began as a clerk
in a mercantile establishment, working for the small

of twenty-five dollars a month and hii

He spent two years in Mexico, but not finding any
opportunity for advancement he, together with a friend,
Jack Marshall, determined to try their fortunes else-
where. In 1872 they set out on horseback for Texas.
They made the entire journey in this way, and with
the exception of the usual hardships to be encountered
in such a wild country as Arkansas and Texas was at
that time, they reached Grandbury, Texas, where they
separated, with no adventures to recount. From Grand-
bury he went to Jefferson, Texas, to join an old comrade
and schoolmate, J. C. Millan, and here took a steamboat
bound for New Orleans. From that point he vrent up
the Mississippi to St. Louis and thence to Mexico. Again
becoming a clerk, this time in the employ of Callaway
Harrison & Company, he followed that line of work
until the fall of 1873, and then the attractions of Texas
once more looming large before his eyes he determined
to return to the state.

He located in Bell county, at Howard, and engaged
in clerking for Pendleton & Embree. His homesickness
for Missouri did not come over him again, and since
that time he has considered Texas the finest state in the
Union. After eight years spent in the employ of this
firm he went into partnership with a younger brother,
and borrowing enough money to buy stock they estab-
lished a general mercantile business. They continued in
this occupation until 1891, with a fair amount of success,
and in that year Mr. Brown sold his interests and in
June of that year came to Amarillo, Texas, where he
again engaged in mercantile pursuits. He thus con-
tinued, with ever increasing success, until 1904, when
his election as secretary and treasurer of tlie city forced
him to give up his business in order to carry on the
work of his office. He has filled this position with much
success since that time, and to the entire satisfaction
of the people.

Mr. Brown has always taken an active share in poli-
tics and civic affairs wherever he has been. He is a
member of the Democratic party, and an active party
worker. He has served on the school board of Amarillo
' and also as an alderman of the city. In fraternal
affairs, too, he has taken a lively interest, and is a
member of the Masons, belonging to the Chapter, the
Commandery and the Council, and is a past eminent
commander in the Commandery and is also treasurer.
For twenty years or more he has been a member of the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Mr. Brown married Miss Pauline A. Moore in Bell
county, Texas, in 1878. She is a native of this com-
monwealth, born in Bell county, a daughter of the Hon.
J. W. Moore, who was a very prominent member of the
Bench of Bell countv. Five children have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Brown. J. Kirby, the eldest, married
Miss Orvill Berkley, a native of Texas, and thev live in
Amarillo. The other children are Daisy, Edna, May and
Henry, all of whom were born in Texas.

Ltnne p. Atmar. Among business men of east Texas
few have accomplished more in so few years than Lynne
P. Atmar of Groveton. Mr. Atmar, who is thirty-five
years old, is president of the First National Bank, is an
executive officer with several of the larger business and
transportation corporations in his part of the state, and
has a position in the business community which would
be considered a handsome reward for almost a lifetime
of patient and consecutive endeavor.

Lynne P. Atmar was born at Pennington, Texas,
December 26, 1878. The first eighteen years of his life
were spent in his native village, and while there he
attended the high school and coming to Groveton began
his business career as a drug clerk for John E. Collins.
During the three and a half years spent in the Collins
store, he learned pharmacy and became a skilled pre-
scription clerk. He gave up the drug business in 1901



to take the position of bookeeper with the Farmers &
Merchants Bank, a private institution owned by Judge
George W. Riddle of Dallas. Mr. Atmar soon proved
his ability to Judge Riddle, was closely associated with
that well known financier, and rapidly advanced from
the position of a minor clerk to an executive official.
The Farmers and Merchants Bank was nationalised as
the First National Bank of Groveton on July 17, 1902,
with a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars. The
first officers were : Judge Riddle, president ; A. B. Ives,
vice president ; L. R. Fife, cashier, and L. P. Atmar,
assistant cashier. In September, 1903, Mr. Atmar was
made cashier, and in 1906 became active vice president
and cashier on the retirement of Mr. Ives. Mr. Atmar
in 1908 was elected president, and the other officers were
Hayne Nelnis, vice president, and R. R. Robb, cashier.
In 1908, after paying an annual dividend of ten per
cent on the capital stock from the date of the charter,
the surplus earnings were used to increase the capital
to sLxty-five thousand dollars. Since 1908, under the
continued efficient management of Mr. Atmar, the bank
has paid a twelve per cent dividend on the increased
capital. In 1901 the deposits aggregated thirteen
thousand dollars; at the present time, twelve years later,
the average deposits are three hundred and fifteen
thousand dollars, while the bank has a surplus account
of thirty-five thousand dollars and an undivided profit
account of ten thousand dollars.

Besides his connection with the First National Bank
of Groveton, Mr. Atmar helped Judge Riddle in promot-
ing the Newton County Bank. He is vice president and
treasurer of the Groveton, Liifkin and Northern Railway
Company; he is treasurer of the Groveton Light and Ice
Company, and president of the Groveton Telephone Com-
pany. He is also interested in agriculture, and has been
the means of bringing under cultivation seven hundred
acres of land adjacent to Groveton, and devotes his farm
to the usual crops of this section. He has also erected
several business houses in Groveton, and is closely identi-
fied with all the affairs of that community. He is a
member of the finance committee for the handling of
county bonds for the erection of a new courthouse and
also of the road district bonds for district No. 1 in
Groveton precinct. Mr. Atmar is unmarried, and frater-
nally is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is »
Baptist in church relations.

The father of the Groveton banker was the late Dr.
Eichard M. Atmar, who died at Groveton in 1898 at the
age of sixty years. Dr. Atmar was a South Carolina man,
grew up in that state, and in Mississippi, and came to
his majority at Crockett, Texas. His literary education
was liberal and he graduated in medicine from Tulane
University. Throughout the war between the states he
was in the Confederate service, was wounded in the battle
of Valverde, New Mexico, and subsequently served with
the surgical corps. He was in Col. D. A. Nunn's regi-
ment, and throughout the war was in the Trans-Mississippi
Department. All his active career was given to medicine,
and his practice in Trinity county covers a period of
thirty-tive years. A Democrat, he was not active politi-
cally, had no ambition for political position or public
honor, and did his duty to the world throuch his practice
as a physician. He was a member of the Baptist church
and a Master Mason. Dr. Atmar was married in Hous-
ton county, Texas, to Miss Laura Nelms, oldest daughter
of Col. Thomas H. Nelms. Mrs. Atmar died March 22,
1895. The children were: Robert Nelms Atmar, of
Westville, Texas, who is in charge of the West Lumber
Company office at that place; Jessie, who married John
E. Collins, and died at Groveton ; Richard L., a dentist
at Huntsville, Texas; Lynne P.; Dr. T. R. Atmar of
Crockett; Miss Ninon, cashier of the Citizens Bank &
Trust Company at Palacios, Texas; Mary, wife of W. C.
Best, of Palacios; J. W., assistant cashier of the First

Bryant Allen Platt. For a period of over thirty
years Mr. Platt has been closely identified with those
activities which constitute the business and civic life of
a community, and which in the aggregate have made
Texas one of the most progres^sive sections of the great
Lone -Star State. Mr. Platt may well be termed one of
the builders of his present home town of Groveton, since
he was there when it was nothing more than a country,
or rather a sawmill settlement, and has given his influ-
ence and energy to every subsequent phase of its
improvement. He has been identified with the commercial
life of the town since November 1, 1889, when he gave
up sawmilling, which had been his vocation for seven
years, and started selling goods. Mr. Platt came to
Trinity county, on October 3, 1882, as a young married
man, and following the trade of sawyer. He had been
at Beaumont, where he was foreman of the Centennial
mill. He began his lumber career there with tliat mill,
and went up from a common laborer, at a dollar and a
quarter a day to a foremanship which paid him one
hundred and forty-one dollars per month.

When he came to Groveton he became sawyer of the
mill of the Trinity County Lumber Company. In that
capacity he sawed all the flooring which went into the
present State Capitol at Austin. The contract embraced
about a million feet of "riff-sawed" lumber, and other
special dimension stuif, used in the construction of the
state house.

When Mr. Platt came to Groveton the settlement
comprised the mill shed, commissary, two boarding houses
and a saloon. The townsite was simply ' ' on the map, ' '
and pine trees were occupying what is now the main
street of the little city. Some years later when he went
into business for himself, there were several good stores,
and he now has the distinction of being the oldest
merchant in point of continuous service, and the only
one left of his competitors twenty-five years ago. He
began doing business on the lot which his present store
occupies, and his stock of goods was displayed in a two-
story frame house. That was subsequently destroyed by
fire, and its wooden successor shared the same fate.
In 1902 he erected a permanent brick building, one
hundred and ten by thirty feet, and has continued with
more than ordinary success as a general merchant.

His work has not been confined entirely to the prosecu-
tion of his private business affairs, and he has been
equally a factor in promoting the town as a moral and
prosperous center of population. He contributeil to the
building of all the churches to be found in Groveton,
the school house, and has erected a number of residences.
His own home is one of the best in Trinity county, and
he owns a number of business places. Much of his
surplus profits have gone into wild lands of Trinity
county, and from year to year he has been opening up
new farms. Several families now prospering have grati-
tude to Mr. Platt for his encouragement in furnishing
wire and other goods and stock at a time when these
families needed just that amount of material capital in
order to realize and to make effective their ambitious
endeavors. Mr. Platt is vice president of the First Na-
tional Bank of Groveton. For many years he has been
one of the moral forces, as well as a business leader.
A prohibitionist, he led the forces against whiskey, and
brought about local option throughout Trinity county.
As a boy he was brought up under Methodist influence,
and still gives his support to that church. He has
membership in none of the fraternal orders, and in
politics is a Democrat.

Bryant Allen Platt was born in Miller county, Georgia,
April" 17, 1859. His father was Francis Marion Platt,
whose original home was at Colquitt, Georgia, and who
died in Groveton, Texas, in 1901, at the age of sixty-
six years. Grandfather Platt married Piddle Mosely,


and their eleven chiUlren were : Anthony ; Mary, who
married James Mock, and died in Georgia; Lucy, who
married Eiehard Mocli, and died in Georgia; Mrs.
Toliver, of Georgia ; James, who was killed while in the
Confederate army; Nancy, who married a Mr. Bush of
Georgia; Frances M. ; Civility, who married Charles
Jaines of Appalachicola, Florida ; W. W., of Blakely,
Georgia, and one that died unmarried.

Francis Marion Piatt was born in Dooley county,
Georgia, where all his active career was spent in mer-
chandise. During the war between the states he was a
Confederate soldier, and saw service from the beginning
of the struggle to the end. He was of Scotch and Irish
stock, the grandson of a native Irishman. Francis
Marion Piatt married Amelia B. Sheffield, a daughter
of Bryant Allen Sheffield. She died in 1874 in Georgia,
leaving two children: Bryant Allen, and Siddie S., wife
of Dr. W. J. Stevenson of Groveton. Francis Marion
Piatt for his second wife married Caledonia Sheffield,
whose children are Frank and Caledonia, the latter the
wife of I. Friedman of Groveton. Mr. Piatt for his
third wife married Fredonia Singleton. The children
by that union were: Hoyt, who died in Shreveport,
Louisiana, with a family; Beatrice, who married Sam
Stein of Blakeley, Georgia; Mittie, who married Harry
Stein of Colquitt, Georgia; and Sherry L., of Groveton,

Mr. B. A. Allen grew up in Georgia, and received a
common school education, chiefly from the old "blue
back" spelling book. When he was eighteen years old
he left home and came to Texas to find employment and
to make a practical beginning of a career which had
subsequently led him to the positions of success. He
first stopped at Crockett, where he spent two years as
a clerk in a store, and then went to Beaumont, and
became a day laborer in the Centennial mill. From
that point his career has already been traced. Mr. Piatt
was married April 23, 1882, in Beaumont to Miss Felicia
Miguesse, daughter of Louis Miguesse, a Frenchman.
That family originated in New Iberia Parish, in Louis-
iana, where her father was a sugar planter and slave
owner. Mrs. Platte died in 1884, leaving one son, John
Arthur, born April 17, 1884. He was given a liberal
education in the Peacock School for Boys, took the law
course in the University of Texas, having won first
honors at the Peacock Military School, and has been
in the active practice of law since 1904. He married in
October, 1913, Miss Maud Dudley, a daughter of J. E.
Q. Dudley. On June 25, 1885, Mr. B. A. Piatt married
Miss Maggie Jones, a daughter of David Jones, who
came from Great Britain and was a native of Wales.
The children of the second marriage are: May, wife of
E. C. Chinn of Groveton; Hazel, a teacher in the Grove-
ton high school, and a graduate of the Southwestern
University at Georgetown, Texas.

Hon. Arthur B. Duncan. In 1884, when northwest
Texas was still the paradise of range cattlemen, with no
railroad to bring in the small farmer and settler, Arthur
B. Duncan was one of the pioneers in that section of the
state, and with his family was the first settler in Floyd
county. He has been there now for thirty years, since
the spring of 1884, and there is perhaps no citizen more
widely known and honored in that vicinity. His place in
the popular regard is probably best evidenced in his po-
sition of county .iudge, with which he has been honored as
often as he would accept.

Arthur B. Duncan is a native Texan, born in Hopkins
county, August 12, 1862, the son of Dr. William B. and
Elizabeth (Vaden) Duncan. The father, born in 1800.
was a Virginian by birth, born in the town of Culpepper,
the county seat of Culpepper county. He was a gradu-
ate from the Medical Department of the University of
Pennsylvania at Philadelphia with the class of 1830, and
was one of the old-time physicians. After graduating
in medicine he came to Arkansas, where he practiced

for fifteen years. In 1845 he moved to Texas, locating
in Hopkins county, where he again took up and con-
tinued for many years the practice of medicine, and ren-
dered many timely services in that capacity to the early
settlers in that vicinity. He was one of the first reg-
ular physicians in Hopkins county, and remained there
in practice for a number of years. After being retired
for some years, in 1869, he removed to Grayson county,
where he died in 1874 at the age of seventy-four years.
The mother, who was born in Tennessee, came with her
parents to Texas in 1849, her family locating in Hop-
kins county, where she was reared and educated and mar-
ried. After the death of her husband in 1874, she went
out to Hale county, where she was living at the time of
her death in 1892, at the age of fifty-nine.

Judge Duncan, who was the fifth of nine children,
during his early life attended the country schools of
Hopkins and Grayson counties. On leaving his school
books he took up practical work as a farmer and stock
raiser in Grayson and Montague counties, work which he
followed until 1884. In that year he moved to Floyd
county, which was then, as already stated, a portion of
the vast cattle range which extended from Fort Worth
to El Paso. In 1900 he was first induced to praetermit
his close attention to business and accept public service.
He was nominated for judge of Floyd county and elected.
At the end of the first term he was again nominated and
elected, and served nine successive terms, until 1906, at
which time he felt an obligation to retire. Then in 1912
he was again prevailed upon to take the place upon the
Democratic ticket, and was elected county judge and is
now filling that important office in Floyd county. After
he left office in 1906 he became identified with the real
estate and abstract business, in which he still continues.
He owns the only complete abstract of land titles in the

Judge Duncan has always taken a lively interest in
the welfare of Floyd county. He was president of the
school board of Fl'oydada from 1908 to 1912, at which
time he resigned that position on account of his re-
election as county judge. He was also vice president of
the First National Bank of Floydada, but sold his in-
terest, believing that he could not consistently continue
as an officer and stockholder of the bank while judge of

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 20 of 177)