Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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has been the object of his most ambitious work. He
organized the Titus County Oil & Gas Company, of
which he is manager, being associated with Mr. A. Eeed.
This company has under lease about twenty-five thousand
acres of land in the county, all situated in what is con-
sidered the oil and gas belt. In 1912, under the direction
of Mr. Sanders, his company began drilling an oil well J
on a portion of its holdings some three and a half miles
south of Mount Pleasant. Drilling in other locations
has since then been inaugurated. Mr. Sanders married
Miss Nannie Edwards, a native of Titus county. Their
one daughter is named Hazel Sanders.

Mr. Sanders is affiliated with several fraternal orders
and is a member of the Baptist church.

E. E. Pennington, who has won substantial recogni-
tion of his fine legal attainments, his fidelity to profes-
sional duties, and his careful conservation of all inter-
ests entrusted to his care, is well known to the bar, not
alone in his own locality of Brenham, but throughout
the state, as a careful, painstaking, profound, and con-
scientious lawyer, a thorough scholar, and a dignified and
accomplished gentleman, whose connection with impor-
tant cases has made him a familiar figure in the courts
of the state, as well as the highest federal tribunal — the
United States Supreme Court. He is a native of Texas,
born at Brenham, May 13, 1865, and is a son of Elijah
and Ellen (McAllister) Pennington.

Elijah Pennington came to Texas with his father,
Biggs' Pennington, from Galesburg, Illinois, and crossed
the Brazos river on the old ferryboat at Washington in
December, 1836. He was a Texas veteran and participated
in Gen. Alexander Somerville's campaign in 1842, while
during the Civil War he served four years in the Con-
federate army. Mrs. Pennington was born at Hot
Springs, Arkansas, and it was there they were married,
in 1845, the trip to Texas being made through a wild
country, with no blazed trails part of the way. The jour-
ney was made on horseback and consumed three months.
Making their home at Brenham, these people attained
the advanced ages of ninety and eighty-seven years, re-
spectively, and all their long and useful lives were citi-
zens who did much good, in a quiet way, for the people
about them, and their honorable and upright careers won
them universal respect and esteem.

After completing the currit-ulum of the Brenham public
schools, E. E. Pennington attended the Agricultural and
Mechanical College, from which he was graduated in
1884 with the highest rank, "Senior Captain," and with
the degree of Bachelor of Science. He then took up the
study of law in the office of Poindexter & Paddleford,
and later in the office of Savles & Bassett, at Brenham,
and was admitted to the bar of Texas in 1888. He at





once entered practice at Brenham, and in 1898 was ad-
mitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Pennington was city attorney of Brenham for ten
years, from 1890 to 1900, and was county attorney of
Washington county for four years. He has become
prominent in his profession, and, in addition to a large
general practice, has been attorney for the First Na-
tional Bank of Brenham for twenty years. He has been
connected with many of the prominent civil and criminal
cases which have been tried in this part of Texas, in one
of which he successfully conducted the case of Mrs. Ad-
die E. Kelley against Charles Dillingham, receiver for
the H. & T. C. Railroad, an action for damages, and
which he contested successfully in the district and state
courts and in the Supreme Court of the United States.
He has also been eminently successful in many other large
and important cases, both civil and criminal. Mr. Pen-
nington has always been a Democrat and strictly in line
with his party's principles, and for a number of years
he served as chairman of the county Democratic execu-
tive committee. He has always been a friend of educa-
tion, and for six years was a trustee of the Brenham
public schools. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity,
to Elks Lodge No. 979 of Brenham, and to Brenham
Lodge No. 10, Knights of Pythias; has been prominent
in the affairs of these orders and has passed through the
various chairs of the lodges. Mr. Pennington is a good
man in every broad sense that the word implies.

On July 6, 1891, Mr. Pennington was married to Miss
May Williams, daughter of H. E. and Isabel Williams of
Louisiana. They have no children. Mrs. Pennington's
family originally came from London, England, to Rich-
mond, Virginia, prior to the days of the War of the Rev-
olution, in which members of the family participated.
Subsequently the family moved to Louisiana. Mrs. Pen-
nington has always been a Democrat and strictly in line
Daughters of the American Revolution of Houston,
Texas, and of Brenham Tom Green Chapter, Daughters
of the Confederacy. Her religious connection is with
Giddings Memorial Methodist Church. Mrs. Penning-
ton has been doing literary work for ten years and in
May, 1914, was elected a member of the Texas Women's
Press Association. She is widely and favorably known
for her writings, all of which have appeared in the
Galveston News among them being: "History of
Washington County's Dead Towns," "The History of
Old Washington on the Brazos," "The History of the
City of Brenham," "The History of Dr. Richard F.
Brenham," "The History of the Mai Fest," and a book
of poems entitled ' ' Penn Poems. ' ' Some copies of this
beautiful book were illustrated by Mrs. Pennington, who
is not alone skilled as an authoress, but has decided
*alent as an artist. Her life has been an active and
Lonspieuous one and her labors have ever been directed
toward the forwarding of Brenham 's interests. A
prominent figure in religious, educational, charitable and
ial movements, she has gained a wide acquaintance
among people of culture and refinement, and in her home
he displays the graces of gracious hospitality to her
any friends.

Gen. John S. Griffith. In that galaxy of brilliant
stars whose effulgence yet lights the memory of the
'ong struggle between the North and the South none
-hine brighter or with a steadier glow than that conse-
crated to the name and fame of John Summerfield
GrilEth. Where gallant soldiers contended for the
plaudits of fame and when individual heroism was the
daily rule, it would seem invidious to make distinctions.
But all the honors that are due to this gifted son of
exas may well be accorded to him, with disparage-
ment to none. His personality represented a man of
unselfish characteristics, of patriotic impulses and a
brave commander and a sagacious military counsellor.
" lacked, it is true, the strength of body to endure
prolonged hardships of war, and he resigned his

commission at the moment of his greatest success and
brightest promise. He ever demonstrated a real genius
for military plans and the courage and audacity for
their execution. He was the central figure in many of
the leading activities of the war, and gave to the South
a service that none of her sons could excel in patriotism
and gallantry.

Gen. John Summerfield Griffith was born in Mont-
gomery county, Maryland, on June 17, 1829, and is a
son of Michael B. Griffith and a grandson of Capt.
Henry Griffith of the Revolutionary army, and a lineal
descendant of Llewellyn Griffith, who came from Wales
to this country prior to Revolutionary days. Michael B.
Griffith devoted his life to mercantile pursuits for the
most part, but misfortune pursued him and he was re-
duced gradually from a state of comparative affluence
to almost indigency by the time he reached Texas. He
left Maryland in 1835, stopped in Jefferson City, Mis-
souri, thence to Portland, Missouri, and at both those
points his funds steadily were dissipated. When he
reached Texas in 1839 he possessed only a thousand
dollars. He settled at San Augustine, and there the
three sons and three daughters of the family grew up.
Mr. Griffith married Miss Lydia Crabb, a daughter of
Jeremiah and Elizabeth Crabb. She was a lady of rare
attainments and dominating her were those qualities
needed for the rearing of a family in adversity on the
frontier. Her culture and accomplishments were not
mere outward show, but were a part of herself, and
were stamped indelibly upon her children. Her hopeful
view of things under dark and foreboding conditions
was a strong factor in surmounting the many obstacles
the family encountered in those lean years, and to her
many excellent qualities General Griffith attributes what-
ever of success in life he has himself achieved.

John Summerfield Griffith received his education
chiefly in the home of his parents, and he entered life
with a knowledge of the English branches equal to a
common school education of today. In 1850 he became
a clerk in San Augustine and the next year he engaged
in business for himself at that place, borrowed capital
making possible the venture. He prospered, to state the
matter briefly, and in 1859 he moved to Kaufman
county, there established himself in merchandise at
Rockwall, and identified himself in the live stock in-
dustry as well. He continued in active business until
the opening of the war in 1861, when he sprang to the
defense of the Confederacy, becoming Captain of Com-
pany B of the Sixth Texas Cavalry, commanded by Col.
Warren B. Stone. His company was raised at Rockwall
and was tendered to Colonel Greer of the Third Texas
Cavalry, but was declined, although the Captain offered
to bear the expense of the company for three months
on condition of acceptance. Upon the organization of
the Sixth Regiment, Captain Griffith's company was ac-
cepted, and he was elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the
organization. The first real engagement occurred with
Federal Indians at Chustenahalah, where Colonel Griffith
was in command of a battalion of his regiment. Colonel
Mcintosh placed the Sixth on the right of the line and
ordered its commander to await further orders, but, see-
ing the opportune moment for striking the enemy, he
moved his troops against the enemy without orders,
charged over a deep gulch and was the first man to
engage the Indians in a hand-to-hand encounter with
pistol and sabre. Three times this charge was repeated
by Colonel Griffith before the stubborn enemy fled the
field, and an inventory of his own casualties showed the
Colonel to have received a blow on the head from an
Indian 's gun, a horse shot under him, a tuft of beard
shot from his chin, and his clothing perforated with
minie balls.

With the battles of Oak Hills and Elkhorn, the Texas
troops formed a part of the army ordered to Corinth,
where the Confederate forces were in need of reinforce-
ments, and Colonel Griffith's genius soon made itself felt
against General Grant, then pressing hard toward Vieks-



burg. The Texans were dismounted in Arkansas and
their horses sent back to Texas, a move that proved un-
popular with the troops, and it was decided to remount
them while operating about Holly Springs, information
to that effect reaching the men and subsequently caus-
ing a serious situation in the army. The delay in the
arrival of the horses aggravated the men and at Lump-
kin, Mississippi, they showed a mutinous disposition
when ordered to march by shouting "Horses! Horses!"
without offering to move. Colonel GrifBth took in the
situation and addressed his Texans, appealing to their
patriotism, their honor and their sense of duty, until
every man, save one, yielded, and the ugly situation
cleared up as if liy magic.

The transfer of the main army to the East gave Colo-
nel Griffith greater opportunity to display his aliility.
He studied the location and disposition of Grant 's'forces
and conceived a plan of campaign against the enemy's
rear which met with the endorsement of his co-ordinate
officers and resulted in the Holly Springs campaign, with
the capture of its garrison and immense stores and sup-
plies. This success not only refurnished the Confederate
troops, but it disarranged the plans of General Grant
and thereby relieved Vicksburg from immediate sack.
This campaign was undertaken under the direction of
General Van Dorn and was made with the approval of
General Pemberton. The service rendered by Colonel
Griffith proved so arduous that his naturally delicate
physique threatened a breakdown and a few weeks later
he felt impelled to resign his command and return home.
Upon his return to Texas, Colonel Griffith, as a brevet
Brigadier, was elected a member of the Tenth Legisla-
ture, where he became chairman of the committee on
military affairs. On March 1, 1864, he was appointed
Brigadier-General of state troops by Governor Murrah,
for District No. 2, which embraced practically all of the
counties along the Brazos and Trinity rivers and east
to Van Zant county. In the discharge of his duties in
that capacity he elicited the commendation of the Gov-
ernor of the Eleventh Legislature, and he continued in
command of the district until the end of the war.

In 1876 General Griffith was elected a member of the
Fifteenth Legislature and he aided in putting the new
state constitution into operation. He was made chair-
man of the committee of public printing, where he
earned the reputation of a tireless worker, and where he
proved to be a veritable "watch dog" of the treasury.
Several laws bear the impress of his legislative hand,
among them being the statute making drunkenness m
office a misdemeanor, and which might be regarded as a
pioneer effort toward prohibition in Texas.

In 1873 General Griffith came to Terrell and was here
engaged in the merchandise business for a time. He
was a large stock raiser before the war, and in later
years he identified himself once more with that industry,
but he was retired from ;utivf< business for many years
before his death, t-nk j.l.n-,. August 6, 1901.

In his citizenship Ciinnl Cntlith showed forth a
personality that towered liiL;li :ni.l which had few su-
periors. His address was pleasing, his mind was active,
acute and penetrating, and his judgment was clear and
unfailing. He was a man inclined to deeds of impulse,
but seldom did rashness characterize his moods, and he
was always just. He lived down among his fellows, and
no material' success in life, however great, lifted him
above the common people whence he came. His restless
energy and his indomitable will urged him on contmu-
ally, and from his very nature he could not have occu-
pied a humble station in life, spite of the fact that
humility characterized his personality. In business he
proved himself a very Napoleon of finance, both before
and after the war, for he made a modest fortune m each
period. No matter what the enterprise, he threw his
whole soul into the work, as he did when at Holly Springy
and Oakland he matched military wit and courage with
General Grant, and when be died a man of achieve-
ment and worthy of emulation, was laid to rest.

That the service of the General was of the highest
order during his military activity is amply attested by
the possession of a letter from General W. H. Jackson,
upon the retirement of General Griffith from the Con-
federate army.

' ' Headquarters First Cavalry Corps.
' ' Spring Hill, Tennessee.
"May 8, 1863.
"Lieut-Col. J. S. GrifiSth:

' ' Colonel : Permit me to offer the testimonial of my
high appreciation of you as a gallant, competent and
meritorious officer of exceptional mora] character. It
affords me great pleasure to refer to the valuable serv-
ices rendered by your command at Oakland, Mississippi,
in repulsing and routing a superior force of the enemy,
advancing upon General Grenada and thereby saving our
retreating army; also the gallant and signal service of
yourself while we were together and commanding sep-
arate brigades on the raid to Holly Springs and West
Tennessee. Please accept the assurance of my highest
consideration, and with many regrets that your con-
tinued ill health compels you to leave this corps, and a
wish that you may soon regain your health sufficiently
to enter the service again, I remain, very respectfully,
" W. H. Jackson,
"Brigadier-General Commanding Cav. Corp."
General Griffith had brothers and sisters as follows:
Crabli, the eldest of the family, served in the Mexican '
war and was a merchant in Farmersville, Texas, later
moving to Terrell, and there retiring. He died in 1912,
leaving a family by his wife, Grace (Price) Griffith,
comprising two sons and two daughters. Elizabeth
Griffith married Frank Powell and died in Shelbyville,
Texas, without issue. Joseph served for a time in the
Confederate army and later became a merchant in
Farmersville; he married Lucy Roberts and left three
sons and a daughter. Matilda married William Mc-
Daniel and lives at Sulphur Springs, Texas. She has
three sons and two daughters.

On December 8, 1851, General Griffith was married to
Miss Emily Simpson, a daughter of John J. and Jane
(Brooks) Simpson. The marriage occurred in Nacog-
doches county, Texas. The father of Mrs. Griffith came
to Texas from Kentucky, his native state, where he was
born in 1788, and he died in Nacogdoches county in 1833.
He spent his life as a planter, and was always a large
slave holder. His family included children as follows:
Mary, who married William Buford and spent her life
in Sulphur Springs, leaving a family of four children
at her demise. William married Letitia Buford and was
a boatman and captain, who did a considerable trading
in lands and died at San Augustine. Caroline married
Albert Nelson and died in Nacogdoches with three
daughters and three sons. John died at the age of
twenty-one in Nacogdoches. Victor was a farmer near
Nacogdoches. He married first Harriet and then Nannie
Arnold and died on his farm. Fannie married Conda
Reguet and lived in Nacogdoches, where her husband
carried on mercantile operations. When she died she left
three daughters and a son. Sarah Emily, the wife of
General Griffith, was born on November 20, 1833. Flor-
ence married Augustus Edwards and died in Terrell,
leaving two daughters and a son. Augustus married
Emma Kyle and spent his life as a miller and farmer in
Garrison, Texas; he died there, leaving five sons and
three daughters.

Mr. Simpson was a man of plain but liberal educa-
tion, and he came to Texas in about 1829, entering
heartily into the hardships incident to those pioneer
days in the history of the Republic. Their life was
marked by all the stress and strain of existence in a new
and wild "country, and many a long night did the wife
and mother spend sleeping in the brush to keep herself
from the Indians while her husband was out with others
defending the community against the marauding red-



skins. He became a large landholder in his vicinity and
came to be a man of importance in the community. A
member of the Methodist Church, he was a man of the
highest integrity and the stanchest religious convic-
tions, and he reared his children in that faith.

To General and Mrs. Grilfith were born a goodly fam-
ily, those who reached years of maturity being: William
Crabb, of Terrell, where he is engaged in real estate. He
is a business man of many and varied interests, and is
known to be one of the potent business factors of the
city. He married Miss Georgia Charlton and they have
children: Lydia, Charlton, Summerfield, Guynn and
Max. Miss Lydia has studied voice culture in London,
Paris and Berlin, and is an especially talented young
woman. Charlton Griffith is a real estate man in Ter-
rell; Summerfield is a farmer and is married to Miss
Nell Mason; Miss Guynn is at home, and Max is a stu-
dent at the K. M. I. Augustus B. Griffith married Miss
Nannie Harmon, and they have one child, Emily. Emma
married Matthew Cartright Eoberts, and they have five
children : Emily, Annie Ruth, Summerfield, Matthew C.
and lone.

After the death of her gallant husband, on August 6,
1901, Mrs. Griffith continued to reside in Terrell until
her death, December 30, 1913, after a short illness. She
was a gracious and whole souled lady and had a host of
stanch friends in the community where she passed so
many years of her life and where she was long identi-
fied with the church and social activities there carried on.

Julian Campbell Clopton. Long years of identifica-
tion with the hotel business have given to Julian Camp-
bell Clopton a reputation as a host with the traveling
public that is indeed enviable, and his own native busi-
ness ability has been the cause of his excellent success.
He has owned and operated a number of hotels in Fort
Worth and in other parts of the state and has seen
misfortune in his day, but he is at the present time re-
garded as one of the most successful and prosperous men
of the city and there is every reason for that belief.

A Kentuckian by birth, Julian Canijibell Clopton was
born at Jordan Station, Fulton county, Kentucky, on
May 28, 1875, and he is the son of B. M. and 'Sally
(Clopton) Clopton, both of Mississippi. The family,
it should be stated, is one of the oldest of English ones,
dating back in this country to 17.57, when the first of
the name came to these shores. The great-great-grand-
father of Mr. Clopton, Eeuben Clopton, was the son of
William and Elizabeth (Hales) Clopton, who were the
direct descendants of Lord and Lady Clopton of Eng-
land, where the family had its origin in the fourteenth
century, the first mention of the family in history being
in the year 1437, and members of the house of Clopton
being oft found named in the pages of the early history
of the kingdom.

Julian Campbell Clopton attended the public schools,
but did not complete his high school course. He was
deflected from that as a result of a diflference of opinion
with his father, which ended in the boy leaving home, and
he first came to Texas in 1889, locating at Fort Worth,
which he has made his home ever since. His first enter-
prise here was in selling papers in the streets, the Fort
Worth Gazette being his stock in trade, and lie soon estab-
lished himself as a reliable business boy, with a paying
route, the largest in the city. He saved money at this
business, continuing for eighteen months, when he took a
position as messenger with the Santa Fe Railroad. He
remained thus occupied but a short time, then went to
East Texas and worked in a saw mill at Montgomery
for the firm of Montgomery & Bantley. His next move
took him back to the employ of the Santa Fe road, in
the building department, and he was thus employed in
the construction of bridges for about two years. Fort
Worth at this juncture again claimed his notice and here
he took employment with the Metropolitan Hotel as a
night clerk, in which capacity he served for two years.

then becoming chief clerk of the same hotel. This was
his first introduction to hotel life and from then until
the present time he has been continuously identified thus,
with the exception of one year, when he terminated his
connection with the Metropolitan Hotel and going to
.St. Louis worked for the E. J. & E. Shoe Company. On
his return to Fort Worth he again took a clerkship at
the Metropolitan Hotel, remaining for a year, when he
bought out the Harris Hotel at Terrell, Texas. He was
without capital and went into the deal largely on his
nerve, as the saying goes, but he made money and met
his obligations promptly as they fell due, and in a few
years sold the same at a profit and went to Mineral
Wells, where he built the Oxford Hotel. This hotel was
destroyed by fire, the disaster finding Mr. Clopton with-
out insurance, and when the smoke cleared away he
found himself at the bottom of the ladder again with a
cash capital of thirty-five dollars in his pocket and a
wife and baby looking to him for maintenance. He
wasted no time in vain regrets, however, as many a less
enterprising man might have done, and he secured em-
ployment for the time being in Watson's Cafe in Fort
Worth, remaining there only a short time.

Mr. Clopton had a host of good friends in the city
among the best business people of Fort Worth and with
the backing they brought to his aid he built and equipped
the Modern Terminal Hotel opposite the Union station
in Fort Worth. It should be said to his credit that in
three years' time Mr. Clopton had met and cleared away
every obligation against his property, leaving him sole
owner of the place, and in 1910 he sold the property to
J. E. Hutt & Company, after which he joined forces with

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 32 of 177)