Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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1912 he became his party's candidate for the county
judgeship of Hale county, and was successful in the
election which followed, being also chosen superinteml-
ent of schools. He still continues to hold these offices,
and in the discharge of his official duties has shovm him-
self fair, impartial and conscientious, winning alike
the respect of the members of the bar and the confi-
dence of the general public. Although the greater part
of his time is demanded by the duties of his office,
he has outside interests, being a director in the Na-
tional Temperance Life Insurance Company of Dallas
and having large holdings in cattle in Hale county. He]
is a member of the County Judges and District audi
County Clerks Associations, holds membership in the
Chamber of Commerce, and attends the Baptist church.

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His fraternal connections are with the local lodges of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen
of the World, the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks, the Pretorians and the Knights of the Maccabees.

On July 31, 1904, Judge Lewis was married in Jones
county, Texas, to Miss Ola McLaughlin, who was born in
Arkansas, daughter of E. B. McLaughlin, at present a
resident of Dickens county. To this union there has
been born one child: Juanita, born November 19, 1905,
at Abilene, Taylor county.

Alexander B. Phillips. One of the ablest men in
the fire insurance field of Texas is Mr. Alexander K.
Phillips of Dallas, the special agent for the German
American Insurance Company of New York. In 1S97,
when just out of school, and a boy of seventeen, he was
given his opportunity. This opportunity consisted in
subjecting himself to the demands and requirements that
might be made of a general office boy in an insurance
office. He did about everything an office boy would be
asked to do, and at the same time was learning the in-
surance business. At the end of three years he had
advanced to the place of special inspector and rate-clerk
for the Hartford Fire Ins. Co. He then became special
agent of the Springfield Fire & Marine Insurance Com-
pany of Massachusetts. He remained with that com-
pany four years, and then became special agent of the
Insurance Company of North America. While with the
latter concern, the disastrous conflagration at Houston
occurred, and he was one of the adjusters that handled
these losses. Mr. Phillips was with the Insurance Com-
pany of North America for eight years, and resigned
in order to accept the special agency of the German-
American Insurance Company of New York. His ofBces
at Dallas are in the Insurance Building.

Alexander E. Phillips was horn in Waco, Texas, Febru-
ary 8, 1880, a son of George P. and Florence E. (Min-
ney) Phillips. His father was one of the early settlers
in North Texas, locating first at Sherman and then in
Dallas and from there becoming a pioneer of the west
Texas town of Abilene, where he erected the first frame
building which adorned that town. He continued his
residence in Aliilpne until 1893, then moved to Dallas.

Alexander R. Phillips, as a boy, was educated in the
pulilic schools of Dallas, and at the Dallas Academy,
being graduated from the latter institution in 1897 and
almost immediately entering upon his practical business
career in the insurance field. He stands very high in
all insurance circles, and in 1910 was selected as one of
the special committee to formulate the general insur-
ance schedules used throughout the state. The adoption
of this new schedule of rates was an important event
in fire insurance history in Texas, and the schedules then
adopted are the ones now regularly used in all otfices.
Mr. Phillips is also an active member of the Texas Fire
Prevention Association. He is one of the prominent
laymen of the Southern Presbyterian Church being an
elder in his home church. Jlr. Phillips, on February 4,
1903, married Miss Anna Garlington, a daughter of
M. D. Garlington of Dallas.

Hakrt E. Gordon. As president of the Texas State
Society of Public Accountants Mr. Gordon both oiE-
cially and through the prestige of his acknowledged abil-
ity occupies the leadership in this important department
of commerce. Mr. Gordon is a thoroughly trained pub-
lic accountant, and a year or so ago came from New
York City to Dallas where he rapidly became acknowl-
edged as one of the most capable and successful in his

Harry E. Gordon is a native of the historic old town
of Haverill, Massachusetts, where he was born on the
twenty-first of July, 1880. His family belongs to the
old New England ancestry. His parents were Jamea
W. of state of New Hampshire, and Sarah (Matthews)
Gordon, of the state of Maine. James W. Gordon, the

father, was for fifty-two years a carriage manufacturer
in Massachusetts and when he retired from his long
years of business he was a wealthy man, and moved from
Massachusetts to New Hampshire to spend his declin-
ing years. This branch of the Gordon family is directlv
descended from the Scotch Clan of Gordons, probably
the most noted in Scotch history, and from the viewpoint
and judgment of many capable historians, it was the
Gordons, who, with their money and their bravery and
their enterprise really established Scotland as a nation.
Mr. Gordon's mother belonged to the old colonial Amer-
ican stock and she has membership in the Daughters of
the American Revolution and she is a niece of Major
General Wilkes West, who was a major in the Revolu-
tionary army.

Mr. Harry E. Gordon received his education, accord-
ing to the standards of his New England rearing, and
subsequently took up the practical work of accountancy.
In 1910 he graduated from the New York University as
an accountant, and in August of the same year located
in Dallas where he established an office as a public
accountant in connection with Peter & Company. On
November 1.5, 1911, he organized the present firm of H.
E. Gordon & Company, public accountants, with offices
in the Wilson Building. Mr. Gordon was elected presi-
dent of the Texas State Society of Public Accountants on
the 22nd of May, 1912, and he is also auditor of the
Advertising League of Dallas. He is a member of the
college fraternity of Delta Sigma Phi of the New York
University. Mr. Gordon was married at St. Louis, Mis-
souri, September 26, 1912, to Miss Fannie Schnittker.

Robert W. Eaton. As an exemplification of the high
position to which a life of industry, perseverance and
well-directed effort may bring an individual, the career
of the late Robert W. Eaton is an interesting study.
Early thrown upon his own resources by the death of
his father, with but ordinary advantages of an educa-
tional nature and no financial assistance, he persistently
worked his way to the front ranks of business meii,
and at the time of his death, September 26, 1910, was
widely known in county politics. Mr. Eaton was born
at Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1855, and was a son
of Wesley and Nancy (Drake) Eaton, the latter being
directly descended from Sir Francis Drake. Mr. Eaton 's
parents, natives of Kentucky, are both deceased. There
were eight children in their family, as follows: Sarah,
who is the wife of Theodore Dishman, still a resident of
Kentucky; Catherine, deceased, who was the wife of
Daniel Price, also deceased; Newton, who has passed
away; Robert W.; Belle, who is single and a resident
of Kentucky; Fannie, who is the wife of John Jones,
of Bowling Green, Kentucky; Rochester, who is a resi-
dent of Dallas, Texas; and Wesley, who is deceased.

Robert W. Eaton was reared upon the old Kentucky
homestead place, and, his father being a farmer, he
was brought up as a tiller of the soil. His educational
advantages were somewhat limited, as the death of his
father necessitated his going to work when still but a
lad. but he was intelligent and ambitions, made the most
of his opportunities, and managed to gain a good prac-
tical knowledge of the important things in life. The
mother managed to keep her little brood about her, and
taught them habits of industry and honesty and en-
deavored to fit them for the positions they were to fill in
life. Mr. Eaton remained in Kentucky until 1880, in
which year he migrated to Texas, and settled on a farm
in the vicinity of Dallas. He remained thereon for some
eighteen years, meeting with signal success in his farm-
ing and stock-raising operations, and in 1898 came to
Dallas, which was his home up to the time of his death.
For years Mr. Eaton had been an active worker in the
ranks of the Democratic party in Dallas county, and in
1898 he became his party's candidate for a position on
the board of county commissioners, to which he was
subsequently elected and served two terms. He then



made the race for sheriff of Dallas county, but met
with defeat, and again became the nominee for county
commissioner. He was again returned a victor, and
was serving in that capacity at the tmie of his death.
Mr. Eaton 's public record was one of conscientious serv-
ice to Ins irlh.w lit i;ins. He had a high regard for the
respousiliilitics c.r )iiililii- office and it was ever his object
to furtliti till.-.' iiiiiviMuents which made for progress,
education, iiinr;iliiy :iiiil good citi2enship. In both pub-
lic and iiri\,iic III.' he was highly esteemed, and his
death n \r.| Ikhh Dallas one of its most zealous and

public-sjiinli'.l cil I, rllS.

Mr. iiaton »as married to Miss Mera Dishman, a
native of Mississippi and a daughter of Jerry and Bettie
(Woodard) Dishman. Mr. Dishman was a carpenter by
occupation, and came of a family of Kentuckians, while
his wife's people were from Georgia. There were five
children in the Dishman family: Mera, who became Mrs.
Eaton; Ella, who is the wife of John Harris, of Eobie,
Texas ; Cora, who is the wife of Frank Darnell, of Abi-
lene, Texas; Jerry, a stockman of that city; and Bettie,
who is the wife of Ben Harwood, of Abilene. Mr.
and Mrs. Eaton were married in 1880, and became the
parents of these children : May, who is the wife of
Tom Marsh, of Dallas county, and has one child, —
Thomas; Benjamin, who is single and resides at hoine
with his mother; Robert, a well-known business man
of Dallas, who has two children, — Wilkin and Robbie;
and Beulah, who is the wife of Earl Lynn, of this city.

Mr. Eaton was brought up in the faith of the Method-
ist Episcopal church, and was a liberal supporter of its
various religious and charitable movements. He was
known as a generous, big-hearted man, and one who
never refused aid to worthy enterprises. Fraternally,
he was connected with the local lodges of the Woodmen
of the World and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
in both of which he was very popular. Since his demise,
his widow has resided at No. 4:204 Ross avenue, Dallas, in
the vicinity of which location she is widely and favorably

Stephen A. Dougl.\s. As an institution for the pre-
paratory training of young men and young women the
Douglas Select School of Waco has a record during
seventeen years, not only of progressive growth and
prosperity, but of broadening and increasing efficiency
and usefulness. Already many successful men, in the
professions and in business and affairs, credit that school
with having furnished them encouragement and a good
start on their career.

The founder of the school, Stoiilieu A. Douglas, was
born in Downington, Meigs ccinnty, Ohio, November 27,
1866. His father, Henry M. Ii(ui'nlns, lioru in the same
part of Ohio in 1839, retired from farming in 1900 and
spent the closing years of his long life in Texas, where
he died in 1913. The mother, whose maiden name was
Sarah A. McCullough, was born at Boston, Massachu-
setts, July 7, 1844, and now resides in Waco.

Stephen A. Douglas was educated in the public
schools and attended the pioneer institution of higher
learning in Ohio, the old Ohio College at Athens, grad-
uating in 1889 as Bachelor of Pedagogy. After some
years' experience in teaching in Ohio, he came to Texas
in 1896, and in the following year established what is
now the Douglas Select School at Waco. Beginning with
nine pupils, and an equipment of one room with two
tables and nine feet of blackboard, the institution has
flourished, necessitating removal from time to time to
larger and botti'i- .iirirtcrs. .■nnl ;ir tlir ]iri'spiif tiiiu^ its
average enrolliiicni is Inin.liv.l :iihl lili >■ ).u|iils, tlmiiuii
as many as t^n liinnlrnl :iihl Imti Imn -(-Imliiis li:i\c :it
one time eiijo.ycil tlic mstrun imi innl iiilliieii.T of the
school. It has a high raid< among Texas preparatory
institutions, and many of its graduates have made cred-
itable records in colleges and universities. Professor
Douglas is an excellent type of the modern educator, pro-

gressive in his methods, purposeful and determined in his
attitude toward his calling, and is not only an instructor
but possesses the rarer and more useful gift of imparting
inspiration to his pupils.

Mr. Douglas is affiliated with the Independent Order
of Olid Fclliiws and the Knights of the Maccabees, is a
Deuninai in pnlitirs .inil a member of the Presbyterian
cliuirli. lie lias siiirrcilcil well as a liiisiness man, and
besiilrs nwning the property in which his school is con-
ducted, on grounds 125x212 feet at 91 Washington
street, he is a stockholder in the Southern Traction Com-

Mrs. Douglas, his wife, is a member of an old and
prominent Southern family. On May 28, 1910, Mr.
Douglas was married at Waco to Miss Mattie H. Hill,
daughter of W. S. and Maggie T. (Davis) Hill. Mrs.
Douglas was one of ten children, as follows: Hugh B.,
Louis L., Sam D., O. T., Fannie M., Read W., Altie L.,
Mattie H. and two who died in infancy. Her maternal
uncle, Sam Davis, was a scout under Colonel Coleman
of the Confederate army and when captured by the Union
troops in 1863, -Mr. Davis refused to divulge any infor-
mation concerning the Southern army, and his last
words before his execution were: " If I had a thousand
lives to give I w^ould give them all before I would betray
a friend of my country." W. S. Hill, father of Mrs.
Douglas, was born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, in
1842, and died April 20, 1910, at Waco, was a promi-
nent man in his locality in his home state, and after
the Civil War located on a farm in Coryell county,
Texas. Mrs. Douglas was born in that county. By a
former marriage Mr. Douglas has three children : Sarah
C, Stephen A., Jr., and Dorothy i^Iae. Mr. Douglas and
family reside at 904 Washington street, Waco.

Thomas Stallworth Henderson, youngest of the
seven children of Thomas S. and Harriet (Red) Hender-
son, was born near Washington, on the Brazos, on the
12th of January, 1859.

His i^arents were natives of South Carolina, and with
their household and slaves, emigrated over land to
Texas in 1848. settling in Washington county, where
the father was a successful planter and influential citi-
zen. The mother died in 1859, and some years after
the war the father removed to Marshall, Texas, where he
died in 1900. Of their chihlreu Jolm N., lawyer and
judge of the Conit of Criniin.-il A] i":il- -: li \as. died
at Dallas m lim;; Saininl I;.. I:- i: Bryan

in 1908; Mis. I.i>zir ( ■IkmiiIIim- In. ;, \i i; Mrs.

Alice Fowler at Lampasas; Mrs, UoMi-m K'.-l.- at Nav-
asota and Miss Ada and the subject of this sketch re-
side at Cameron, Texas.

He attended the country schools of his native county
and afterwards Waco (now Baylor) University, where
he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts and
the honor of his class in 1877.

In preparation for his chosen profession, the law, he
entered St. Louis Law School, St. Louis, Mo., where he
pursued his studies until licensed to practice in 1879.

On the 19th of June, 1879, he located at Cameron,
Texas, where he has since resided.

By industry and diligence he has established a repu-
tation as an able and successful lawyer.

A broad minded and progressive citizen, Mr. Hender
son has contributed much to the development and up-
building of his community. He is president of the
Cameron Water, Power & Light Company; of the Ice
& Cold Storage Company; of the Milam County Abstract
Conipaiiv; vice president of the Citizens National Bank;
ami nioinlier of the Board of Directors of the Texas
I'iilrliiv i Bimding Company, of Waco, and of the
National Temperance Life Insurance Company, of Dal-
las, Texas. His office building recently completed is one
of the handsomest law offices in the state and is for
the exclusive use of the law firm of Henderson, Kidd,
Gillis & Henderson, of which he is the senior member.





He inherits the family love of farm life aud has ex-
tensive farming interests.

He is a democrat and is a loyal and effective advo-
cate of the principles of his party. He was County At-
torney of Milam county, 18S0-82; District Attorney of
the 20th Judicial District, - 1882-86 ; City Attorney and
member of the Board of Aldermen of Cameron; and in
1893 represented his county in the 23d Legislature. He
served as a member of the Board of Regents of the
University of Texas, 1895-11, being chairman for six

He attends the Baptist Church, of which denomina-
tion his wife is an active member. His fraternal affilia-
tions are with the Knights of Honor, the I. O. O. F.,
■Woodmen of the World and the Praetorians. He is also
an active member of the State Bar Association and the
State Historical Association of Texas.

He was married at Marshall, Texas, in 1884, to
Minnie Agnes Burns, daughter of John H. and Mary
E. Burns, of Caddo Parish, La. Their union is blessed
by six children, Thomas S., Jr., now a member of the
above mentioned law firm ; Eleanor, Mary Lake ; John
Burns; Harriet Ada, and Agnes Red.

Judge G. Evans Covv'An has been much in the public
service in Franklin county. His life, in a business way,
has followed the channel of lands, titles and surveys, and
in the execution of his jiublic duties he has come to be
regarded as one of the real landmarks of the county.
He has held the office of County Surveyor for some-
thing like 20 years at various times, and a perusal of
the record would seem to indicate that he has been
returned to office of county surveyor on every occasion
when his public service in other quarters did not pre-
clude the possibility of his serving in that capacity.

Born in Cass county, Texas, on Dec. 11, 1856, G.
Evans Cowan is the son of William J. and Harriet
(Evans) Cowan. The father came out of Kentucky
into Arkansas as a young man and in Clark county he
met and married Miss Evans. He was distinguished
for having built the first house in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.


the seventh
ion regard-
in was tick-

ing" the ,l,stMll,.s nl~-:rv,'lllll -Mliv. .I.hI^;.'
eted with the iiifkniiiiie "Dor; " liiit 1
have made an error in his case, for he never evinced
anght of desire to embrace the medical profession for
his own. Of the other children of William J. and Har-
riet Cowan, William and Albert lost their lives while
serving in the Confederacy around about Richmond,
Virginia. Thomas died in Arkansas during the rebel-
lion; James died in infancy, and John met his death
in 1880 at Searcy, Arkansas." Two survive, — George W.,
a resident of Mineola, Texas, and G. Evans Cowan, of
this review.
■ Judge Cowf
Sebastian com
in 1860 left li
tinned to lie :
until he rear
hardly might

reared chiefly in Clark, Polk and
l,,ii.-,iv. The death of his parents
I :^t a helpless age, and he con-
! r- in those Arkansas counties
sixteenth year. His education
gnated by that name, so scantily
had he been instructed, and when he assumed charge of
his own affairs at the age of sixteen he was meanly
enough fortified by knowledge. Taking affairs into his
own hands at this juncture he took service with a farmer
at a small wage including three months' board in the
summer months, while he expected to attend school, and
the very fact that he set about in this way to mend
his lack augured well for his future. It was along these
lines of procedure that he brought his training up to
that point where he was qualified to instruct others.
In 1876 he returned to Texas, working as a farm hand
and attending school intermittently until he was twenty-
three years old, when he managed his affaiis in such a
way that it was possible for him to continue in school
for the full sjace of a year. Then, after teaching one

term himself he attended the college at Thorpe Springs
and finished the normal course there. He then entered
regularly into the work of teaching aud continued for
six years in that work in Wood and Franklin counties,
during which time lie iHc'ii]iiril himself in spare hours
with the stipl\ of >in\.'\iii-. .iii.l thus prepared himself
for later \\(iil% hIiIi iIk' r,iin|i:i-^s and chain. Before he
finished his i-arrer a^ a tiarliei. .l\ulge Cowan was elected
County Surveyor of Franklin county in 1882, and al-
though he has held that office much of the time since,
he actually made the run for the place but that one
time. Because of his familiarity with land lines and
surveys in this section of Texas, his services have been
invited by adjoining counties in settling disputes and
establishing corners, and otherwise unraveling the tangles
into which many tracts of land have been involved from
time to time.

In November, 190S, he was elected county judge, and
again was called to the office in 1910, and when he turned
the office over to Judge Walker, his successor, he as-
sumed the duties of surveyor, to which he had been
chosen on the same ticket. While serving as county ,
juilge the question of the jiower of the county court to

The court's order
the people, eujoini
submitted to the


counties have built an
in the same manner.

The Franklin county
Crete and were erected
warrants to the amoui;
ning twenty years an(
The court 1

to llll

Id a new

lial 1

feet, pro-

for tl

e purpose.

in th

name of

est ion

could be



f th,

state for


Hire with

mill V

thus set-

llrl, 't

ime other



irt house and jail are of eon-
nijilete, with furnishings, for
f .•f(5-"i.nno, the warrants run-
rawing five jiercent interest.
; two stories with basement, Grecian
massive white pile, pleasing to the
eye :iih1 a!tiarti\e from every point of view. Its con-
stnirtioii vt;,iHN as a monument to the court that built
it ami to tlie iiiteority of those who executed the contract '
under its eve.

Judge Cowan qualified for the practice of law while
serving as county judge and was admitted upon examina-
tion liefnie the district board of Texarkana. in January,
19l:;. ]\« lir-t .-■::-,■ in roiivt rnilie to Inni from the
Four Si:,;, s l.ifr I iimi , :i ii,-,- ( oiii | ,o in'. liiii l,i- .'liief aim
is to !"■ al I,' lo a|i| ii, suits iii\,,l\iii- :itl,'> aii,l to do
jirobate work. His entry into the .il.stiact field of
Franklin county adds another competent factor to the
record-searchers of Franklin county, and in this venture
as an abstractor he is assi.iiated with .Tudge H. W. Hunt.
Aii,iil,,'i lioMii i,i til,' ,-i,',i;i ,,r .Tiiil'o' Cuvan is his
s,.|:. , ,._ , . : ., . .. -,,.., tlir l„n],|ing and

Inni, ' ■ I \'r: !• •'., :i Ir iiU'ial v i-onCCm

uIm,-Ii 1- .1 - ,1111, li t.i iMiliaih,. il,,' ;:,n,Tal welfare of

the town.

Jtulge Cowan was married in Franklin county, on
January 4, 1881, to Miss Beatrice Wylie, a daughter of
W. B. and Sarah A. Wylie, people of sterling Scotch
lineage. Mrs. Cowan is the only daughter among the
four children of her parents, the others being Dr. J. H.
Wylie, of Winnsboro, Texas; H. A. Wylie. of Franklin
county, and Alvin P., who died young. The judge and
Mrs. Cowan have a family of six children. Delia aud
Jessie are residents of Jlount Vernon and Wichita Falls,
respectively; Clinton is a farmer in Franklin county,
and is married to Electra Shearer; Leslie is a resi-
dent of Mount Vernon; Wylie is a student at the Deaf
and Dumb Institute of Austin and Raymond and Otis
are the remaining members of the family.

Glancing back over the early life of .Judge Cowan, one



can not fail to be impressed with the fact that out of a
neglected and untutored boyhood, he has made possible
so magnificent a success of his life, and there may be

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 23 of 177)