Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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a Mr. Meacham, and together they bought the Siebold
Hotel, which they modernized in every detail from cellar
to dome, making of it a strictly first class hotel. Its
cafe is known to be the rendezvous of the best people in
Fort Worth and if one should wish to locate a business
man in the city during luncheon hours one 's first guess
is Siebold 's Cafe — and one need go no further as a rule.

Mr. Clopton enjoys the genuine confidence of the
public and he has a host of friends in the city, where
he is known to be one of the most popular men of the
community. He is a Mason of the thirty-second degree,
with affiliations in the Shrine, and he is an Elk and an
Odd Fellow as well.

Miss Alma Craft became the wife of Mr. Clopton,
she being a daughter of John Craft of Mineral Wells.
They have two children: Marion Elizabeth, born in
Mineral Wells, September 20, 1907, and Julian Campbell
Clopton, Jr., born in the Siebold Hotel, Fort Worth, on
.Tanuary 31, 1913.

Joe C. Kerbey, Jr. One of the leading factors in
the development and progress of Travis county is the
land and investment firm of Joe C. Kerby & Company,
which, although founded only seven years ago, has grown
rapidly into a recognized force in its particular line.
The directing head of this business, Joe C. Kerbey, Jr., is
one of Austin 's progressive and energetic young men
of business, who has won a place for himself among
the substantial men of his community by his inherent
ability, his enthusiasm and his wealth of modern ideas.
Mr. Kerbey was born at Waukesha, Wisconsin, Septem-
ber 4, 1883, while his parents, Joe C. and Maria (Mc-
Fall) Kerbey, were making a trip to the North. His
father, born in Pennsylvania in 1822, left home as a boy
and for a time lived in Arkansas, but in 1854 came to
Texas and resided in different parts of the state until
the outbreak of the war between the states. At that
time he became connected with the quartermaster's de-
partment of the Confederacy, with headquarters at Tyler,
Texas, from which point he was engaged in getting
supplies for the army and attending to the forwarding
of the same. After the war he became connected with
the firm of C. E. Johns & Company, in their land busi-



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TEXAS AND TEXANS



neas, and remained with this concern until January 1,
1872. Mr. Kerbey at that time practically retired from
active business affairs, although he superintended the
management of the lands which he had accumulated.
His death occurred in 1907, when he was eighty-five
years of age. Mr. Kerbey was married in Tennessee
to Maria McFall, who was born at Columbia, that state,
and she still survives and is now making her home in
Austin. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs.
Kerbey, namely: Joe C, Jr.; McFall, born in 1SS.5,
educated at the University of Texas, where he was
graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1908,
and now at Washington, D. C, being connected with the
Washington Herald, was married in January, 1911, to
Miss Elizabeth Waite of Yonkers, New York, and has
one daughter — Elizabeth; and Mary Louise, who is the
wife of Arthur L. Skelley of Austin, has one daughter —
Mary Louise.

Joe C. Kerbey, Jr., received his early education in
the public schools of Austin, following which he entered
the University of Texas. Upon his graduation there-
from he entered the banking business as clerk of the
Capitol Bank & Trust Company, but resigned his posi-
tion at the time of his father's death, and in 1908 em-
barked in the real estate and investment business,
specializing in realty at Houston, El Paso and Austin.
He has been successful in building up a large business
and his standing in realty and financial circles proves
that he is worthily representing the honored name which
he bears. He is a member of Hill City Lodge, No. 465,
A. F. & A. M.; Lone Star Chapter, No. 6, R. A. M.;
Austin Council, No. 2, B. & S. M., and Fidelity Lodge
of Perfection, No. 4, A. A. & S. E., and also holds mem-
bership in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Mr. Kerbey is
unmarried. He maintains well appointed offices at Nos.
809-810 Scarborough building and resides at No. 2610
VVhitis avenue.

John Cornelius Florea. A lawyer by profession
and one of the leaders of the Fort Bend County bar,
former superintendent of the county schools and also
honored with other county ofSces, the owner of a large
amount of property in which he is interested as a de-
veloper, Mr. Florea is for these substantial reasons and
for many others one of the best known and most enter-
prising citizens of Fort Bend county. He has had an
interesting and varied career and first came into Texas
as a school teacher, an occupation which he followed
with much credit for some years.

John Cornelius Florea was born in Adams county,
Ohio, in November, 1866, a son of Hamilton and Adeline
(Peterson) Florea, his parents being natives of the same
county. How the family got established in Ohio would
make an interesting story if told in detail. The outline
is as follows: The original ancestors of the Ploreas
were French Huguenots, who fled from France during
the era of persecution and settled in America. The
founder of the American branch was Jacob Florea, who
was the great-great-grandfather of the Richmond lawyer.
He was not only an early American settler, but helped
the colonies fight in their struggle for independence
against Great Britain. His son Joshua, the next in the
line of ancestry, went over the Alleghany Mountains into
Kentucky along with Daniel Boone and other pioneers
of that territory. It was in Kentucky that Grandfather
John Florea was born. The father of John had received
a grant of land in Ohio in what was then called the
northwest territory, and, on coming of age, John Florea
located upon this land and thus established his family in
Adams county. Grandfather John Florea had all the
characteristics of a true pioneer, was a man strong and
rugged physically and possessed all the hardy virtues of
the best men of his time. He reared fourteen children
to maturity and he himself died when eighty-seven years
of age. Hamilton Florea, the father, spent all his life



as a farmer and lived and died on the original grant of
land in Ohio. During his younger days he taught school
and was always a hard worker, but a quiet unassuming
man who performed his duties without any ostentation.
His wife 's people were of Danish stock, although resi-
dents in America for several generations.

The Richmond lawyer has one sister, Ehoda Ellen, the
wife of J. il. Wisecup of Highland county, Ohio. Mr.
John C. Florea up to the time he was of age lived on his
father 's farm and learned all of its duties. Many a
day he drove an ox team and became accustomed to the
hardest kind of work, and no doubt the energy and
thriftiness thus installed were largely responsible for
the success he has achieved in professional and business
life. The common schools afforded him his early educa-
tion and he attended them about six months each year.
For one year he taught his home school and then worked
his way through the Academy at North Liberty, Ohio.
It was in Missouri where he and three other young men
were trying an experiment by themselves and kept their
own house while doing the work involved. The death
of his father recalled Mr. Florea from Missouri and he
returned and settled up the estate, ne then entered the
noted educational institution known as the Holbrook
School at Lebanon, Ohio, and by hard work paid his way
through that school and was graduated with three
degrees. In the meantime he had been engaged as a
teacher of summer normals and soon afterward came
to Houston, Texas, where he was principal of one of the
public schools for one" year.

In 1893 Mr. Florea married Miss Jessie Dunlop of
Houston. She is a daughter of Andrew and Ella Dunlop,
who were early settlers of Texas, her father having
served from this state in the war as a Confederate
soldier. Somewhat later Mr. Florea left Houston with
his wife and settled in Port Bend county, where he
bought four hundred and thirty-eight acres of land. He
still owns this handsome property and during the first
seven years was engaged in cultivating it as a practical
planter. Being an educator of experience he was next
honored with election to the office of superintendent of
county schools and supervised the county school system
in this capacity for four years. In the meantime he
had taken up the study of law and was admitted to
the bar, since which time he has had an office in Rich-
mond and has enjoyed a splendid practice. In 1908 he
was elected county attorney and held office four years
and during his residence on the farm had served as a
justice of the peace. Mr. Florea is identified with
varied interests in this section of Texas. About the
time he was admitted to the bar he bought the newspaper
known as the Terns Coaster, a weekly paper, in which
he still retains a half interest. He is a member of the
Richmond Development Company and is giving much
attention to the improvements of his own property In
this county. The five children of himself and wife are
mentioned as follows: Louise Adeline, tlie "ife of
Joseph Austin of Richmond; Nellie is in school at
Denton, Texas; Minnie, George Dunlap and Jesse Mer-
riam are all at home. Mr. Florea and wife are active
members of the Christian church, he is affiliated with
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights
of Pythias, and Mrs. Florea is a member of the Daugh-
ters of the Confederacy. Mr. Florea is a keen student
of men and affairs and whether in official capacity or
as a private citizen has always maintained a deep in-
terest in educational activities. He is regarded as one
of the brightest men in Fort Bend county.

Joel R. McGee, M. D., of New Boston, Bowie county,
Texas, belongs to one of the pioneer families of the
"Lone Star State."

He was born in Bowie county, two miles south of the
present town of New Boston, in 1870, son of J. Tom and
Elizabeth (McCright) McGee. J. Tom McGee was born



J




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TEXAS AND TEXANS



1695



near Eome, Georgia, in 1846, and in 1849 came with
his father, Joel MeGee, and other members of the fam-
ily', to Texas. The family settled in Cass county, which
was their home until 1859, when they moved to Bowie
county. This has been their home ever since. J. Tom
McGce, at the age of eighteen, enlisted in the Confed-
erate army, and saw one year of active service. He mar-
ried soon after the war, and with the passing years seven
children and fifteen grandchildren were given to them,
all of whom are still living, with one exception — a
grandchild was claimed by death in September, 1912.

Joel E. JVIcGee attended the common schools of his
native county and the New Boston high school, and he
also pursued a course of study at the Sam Houston
Normal School at Huutsville, of which institution he is
a graduate with the class of 1894. Then for nine years
he taught school in Bowie county. Meanwhile he de-
cided to enter the medical profession. He prepared him-
self for this work at the University of Tennessee, at
Nashville, where he graduated from the Medical Depart-
ment in 1903. Immediately following his graduation,
he opened an office for the practice of medicine at New
Boston, where he has since continued, meeting with
that success which his thorough equipment and earnest
efforts merit.

Dr. McGee, like all progressive, up-to-date members of
his profession, has identified himself with numerous fra-
ternal organizations. He is a member of the Bowie
County, Northeast Texas, Texas State, and American
Medical Associations.

He married, in Bowie county, Miss Carrie Eliza Ellis,
a native of Illinois, and they have four children: Lillie,
Joel E., Jr., Mildred, and Ellis.

Thomas M. Anderson. One of the pioneers of Goree,
Texas, and one of the men whom every one respects and
Ukes, is Thomas M. Anderson. He has given of his time
and energy for years in the effort to build up this section
of the state and is one of the most valuable citizens
Goree has ever owned. As a farmer and rancher in this
section Mr. Anderson early realized the opportunities
which th^ country offered to settlers, and he has been
indefatigable in his efforts to aid in its development.
He is now engaged in the real estate and loan business
and has made a decided success of this business.

Thomas M. Anderson was born in Gilmer county,
Georgia, on the 4th of April, 1869. He grew up in his
native state and received his elementary eilucation in the
public schools of Georgia. He then took a course in
Cumberland College, in Murray county, Georgia. When
he completed this work he was only sixteen years of age,
but he was mature for his years and a fine student, so
he was oft'ered a position as a teacher in Marion county,
Tennessee. After one year as a teacher he returned to
his home in Georgia, but only remained there for a
short time before he went to Kansas. He followed farm-
ing and the cattle business in this state for a few
months and then came to Texas. After coming to the
latter state he taught school for seven terms and then
settled down to farming and cattle raising in Knox
county, where he had been teaching school. It was in
1885 that he came to Texas, at a time when this section
was in a very crude and undeveloped state, and he has
lived here ever since, and has been one of the leaders
in the marvelous development that has taken place. He
has followed farming and stock raising during all these
years, and now operates a farm three miles from Goree.
In 1908 he established his present office and is now doing
a prosperous business in real estate, insurance and loans.

Mr. Anderson is a member of the Democratic' party
and has always taken an active interest in polities where
local matters have been concerned. He was Justice of
the Peace for eighteen years and for four years was a
member of the board of county commissioners. In re-
ligious matters Mr. Anderson leans toward the Metho-
dist Church, but he is a supporter of all denomina-



tions. In the fraternal world he is a member of the In-
dependent Order of Odd Pellows, being one of the
charter members of this order in the county. He is
also a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the
Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. As a member of
the Commercial Club his judgment and experience have
been of much benefit to the work of this organization.

Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Nolle Gilliland, a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Gilliland, of Knox
county, on the 3d of October, 1907, the marriage taking
place in Knox county. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have two
children, both of whom are girls, namely, Montie and
Tommie.

E. L. McMeans, M. D. Now regarded as one of the
best physicians in Amarillo in point of ability and extent
of practice. Dr. McMeans has been identified with his
profession in this state for about twenty-four years.
His success has been due to hard study and application
of all the energies he possesses, and from the first he
has aimed at the highest ideals of professional service.

Dr. McMeans was born at Palestine, Texas, Septem-
ber 9, 1866, a son of James L. and Alexena (Eicks)
McMeans. His father, a native of Alabama, came to
Texas in 1854, locating in Anderson county, where he
followed with considerable success the occupation of
farmer and stock raiser. His death occurred in 1895
at Palestine, when he was seventy-five years of age, and
he was buried at that city. The mother also a native of
Alabama received her education and was married in
that state and is now living with her son in Galveston,
Judge S. A. McMeans of the court of civil appeals.
Ten children comprised the family, of whom the doctor
'was the youngest.

He attended the local public schools during his boy-
hood and at the age of seventeen left home and has
since fought his own way to the top. He finally on means
acquired by his own efforts entered the Beaumont Medi-
cal College of St. Louis, where he was graduated M. D.
in 1889. The first five years of his professional career
were spent in the railway hospitals at Palestine and
Tyler, Texas, and he established himself in general prac-
tice at Piano, where he remained for twelve years. In
1906 he came to Amarillo, and since that time has en-
joyed an excellent genera! practice. The doctor is a
member of the county and state medical societies and
the American Medical Association, and is lecturer in
the nurses' school of St. Anthony's Sanitarium of
Amarillo, and at the present time is serving as county
physician of Potter county.

Dr. McMeans is a Democrat, and a member of the
Methodist church. He is prominent in Masonry, having
taken all the degrees in the York Eite, including the
Commandery and Shrine, Hella Temple, Dallas, Texas,
and is also affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks and the Woodmen of the World. At
Childress, Texas, in July, 1904, he married Miss Annett
H. Harris, whose parents are now living in San Antonio.
Dr. McMeans is a director of the Amarillo Bankers &
Trust Company. He is fond of outdoor life and recrea-
tion and has a broad acquaintance throughout Potter
county.



James G. Wright, M. D. A successful practice as a
physician and surgeon at Big Springs for the past
twelve or thirteen years has made Dr. Wright one of
the leading citizens of that place and aside from the
duties connected with a large medical practice he is a
valuable worker in the community, and maintains a
public spirited attitude toward all undertakings for the
general welfare.

Dr. James G. Wright was born December 8, 1867, at
Searcy, Arkansas. His parents were Thomas D. and
Mary Elizabeth Wright. On the father 's side the an-
cestry is Irish, and on the mother's German, and the
father belonged to an old southern family which o^vned



1696



TEXAS AND TEXANS



slaves and large estates before the war. Thomas D.
Wright was a native of Tennessee, whence he moved to
Searcy, Arkansas, and spent more than forty years at
Searcy, in the practice of his profession as a physician
and surgeon. He had moved to Searcy when he was
about twenty-one years of age, and continued there a few
years when he came to Texas where he lived until his
death, at 66 years of age. There were seventeen chil-
dren in his family, twelve by the first marriage and five
by the second, and Dr. James G. was the eighth in order
of birth, among the first family. At the present time
there are five of the first family, and three of the sec-
ond still living. The family moved from Arkansas to
Texas in 1S74, spending one year in Johnson county,
and in the fall of 1875 moving to Brownwood, Texas,
where the parents both died.

James G. Wright had his education chiefly in the
public schools of Texas, and early turned his attention
to the profession which his father had followed with
such distinction and success. He completed his medical
studies in the University of Tennessee, in the medical
department located at Kashville, where he was gradu-
ated in 1896 with the degree of M. D. He is a pro-
gressive physician and has never been entirely satisfied
with his attainments and is the kind of man who would
never lose ambition for higher accomplishment in the
line of his profession. Since taking his regular medical
degree, he has studied as a post-graduate in the Post
Graduate School of Chicago, in 1899, and in 1905 pur-
sued further courses in the Chicago Polyclinic. His first
practice was at May, Texas, where he remained from
1893 to 1900, and in the latter year located at Big
Springs, where he has enjoyed a large practice to the-
present time.

The doctor has been a staunch Democrat since easting
his first vote, and is alBliated with the Masonic Order,
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Wood-
men of the World. At Brownwood, Texas, Julv IS,
1891, Dr. Wright married Miss Sarah 0. Carter, daugh-
ter of J. I. Carter. Her father was a substantial farmer
of Brown county, and is now deceased. Her mother
lived in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Wright and is seventy-
three years of age, yet well preserved and a cheerful old
lady. Dr. Wright and wife have four children, whose
names are Altus, Vivian, Inez and Ona. The children
in age range from twenty to fourteen years, and all are
in school except the second boy, who is now a drug clerk.

William Lucius Adkins. By more than thirty-five
years of successful practice as a lawyer and by varied
and important relations with local affairs, William L.
Adkins is one of the best known citizens of Colorado
county, and both for his own career and that of his
family it is appropriate to give some place in these
biographical annals of Texas.

William Lucius Adkins was born on the Colorado river
in Colorado county, October 18, 1859, a son of Dr. W.
L. and Susan (Munn) Adkins, the father a native of
Georgia and the latter of Alabama. Great-grandfather
Daniel Adkins came to the Georgia colony with James
Oglethorpe, and his name appears on the records of the
Second Baptist church of Georgia as deacon in 1779.
Through the various generations have appeared many
men successful as planters, doctors and Baptist preach-
ers. Grandfather John F. Adkins followed his son to
Texas, bringing his slaves, and was known through the
rest of his life as a leading planter.

Dr. W. L. Adkins, father of the Columbus lawyer, was
one of the pioneer physicians of Texas, having come to
the Republic in 1837 and settling at LaGrange in Fay-
ette county. After a number of years' practice in that
locality, ill the early fifties he moved to Colorado county
and spent the rest of his days there. He was a man of
wealth, at one time owned forty-five thousand acres of
land in Colorado county, and was one of the largest
planters. Though a slave holder, he did not believe that



human slavery could result in ultimate good, and also
believed in the integrity of the Union, and accordingly
voted against secession. During the Mexican war he had
enlisted with a regiment from Texas. Dr. Adkins died
in 1861, about the beginning of the war, and his wife
survived him about ten years.

William L. Adkins was educated in the local schools
of Fayette county and in the Military Institute at
Austin. In early manhood he married Miss Jeannie
Bowers, who was born at Columbus, a daughter of Dr.
John H. Bowers.

The career of Dr. John H. Bowers deserves more than
passing notice. Born in Alsace, then a Province of
France, he died at Columbus, Texas, when almost ninety
years of age. While a student at Mulhausen University,
he was one of the students body delegated to attend
the funeral of Marquis de LaFayette in 1834. At the
age of eighteen he left France, traveled in India and
China, and while in the Orient had considerable experi-
ence in treating Asiatic cholera. He brought with him
to Texas a chest of medicines, which had been presented
him by an English military officer, and these medicines
proved an invaluable aid to him while treating the
cholera epidemic in Texas in 1851. Dr. Bowers landed
at New York in 1836, and traveled around by sea to
Galveston. In his professional capacity his services
were given to many of the most prominent early Texans,
including General Sam Houston and the second Mrs.
Houston, besides many other notable characters of the
era of the Republic. He made the acquaintance of
General Santa Ana and Col. Almonte while they were
prisoners in Texas, and Gen. Santa Ana some years
later invited Dr. Bowers to visit him in Mexico City.
Dr. Bowers was a fine type of the pioneer physician, dis-
regarding all personal inconveniences and hardships and
dangers in attending his patients, and it is said that
in the early days he made several trips between Galves-
ton and Brownsville, at a time when the greater portion
of that distance was a wilderness and infested with
Indians and outlaws. He had arrived in Texas shortly
after the battle of San Jacinto, was attached to Hous-
ton 's army for a time, and also saw service in the Mex-
ican war.

After his marriage Mr. Adkins was engaged in the
drug business for several years at Columbus, and studied
law in the offices of Ma.ior Ford and AVells Thompson.
Admitted to the bar in 1887, he began practice at
Columbus, and has for many years had a position as one
of the leading lawyers in his part of the state. He has
also given political service, having served as county
chairman, as Democratic Congressional chairman, repre-
sented Columbus county in the Twenty-second Legisla-
ture, was presidential elector on the Alton B. Parker



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 33 of 177)