Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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ticket in 1904, and was a delegate to the Democratic con-
vention which nominated William J. Bryan the 'second
time. Mr. Adkins is the owner of a large amount of
land in Colorado county.

Mr. and Mrs. Adkins are the parents of one son, John
Bowers Adkins. With his wife Mr. Adkins has mem-
bership in the Baptist church, that denomination having
claimed the representatives of the Adkins family for
many generations.

Major James Shepherd Grinnan. When Ma.ior Grin-
nan died in Terrell a few years ago, it was said that no
other contemporary had done so much to enrich his com-
munitv in those elements which make for civic whole-
someness and material prosperity. Such a citizen was
an honor to Texas history, and the brief synopsis of his
genealogy and career in suceeding paragraphs, is but a
meagre memorial to one whose life left much that was
practical in its accomplishments and inspiring in its

Although a Texan by adoption, Ma.ior Grinnan was a
Virginian by birth, born near the historic town of Cul-
pepper, January 2, 1838. Major Grinnan 's grandfather,

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Daniel Grianan settled in Culpepper county in 17Gi on a
farm purchased from Governor Spotswood. "With hi3
son John he fought in the Bevolutionary -svar, taking
part in the battle of Guilford Courthouse. This same
Dan Grinnan was a surveyor of Culpepper county, and
in one of his surveys was associated with George Wash-

Major Grinnan was the son of William Stewart Grin-
nan and Mary Edmondson Welch. His father was twice
married, the first time to Miss Shepherd, a niece of
President Madison, the marriage taking place in Mont-
pelier, Madison 's country home. To this union were
born two sons, James and Shepherd, after whom Major
Grinnan was named, and a daughter Frances. To his
second wife, Mary Edmondson Welch were born eight
sons and one daughter. The only ones besides the major
to live and marry were Mary Elizabeth Grinnan Nelson,
and William Welch Grinnan.

Three of Major Grinnan 's brothers gave their lives a
willing sacrifice to the south and her rights. In 1860,
even before the Confederacy was organi2ed, James S.
Grinnan as a private soldier joined the Culpepper min-
utemen, the same company in which his great-grand-
father served during the Bevolutionary war. He served
under General A. P. Hill, was with General Stonewall
Jackson at Harper's Ferry, and also served under J. E.
B. Stuart. After Stuart's death he was appointed, by
the secretary of the Confederacy, Col. Crump, receiv-
ing the indorsement of the Confederate Congress, to a
position in the secret service; it being his duty to keep
open the communication between Lee's army and the
Trans-Mississippi department. In this capacity he acted
as messenger, financial and agent in touch
and communication with the army and cabinet of the
Confederacy. In the discharge of these duties, lie made
thirteen trips across the Jlississippi river and back,
.twenty-six trips in all, carrying money and dispatches
from President Davis' headquarters. He also made
two trips through Texas and into Mexico. At the time
of the surrender he was on his way to Mexico again, but
went to New York and sailed for Europe instead, where
he remained eight months.

Early after the opening of hostilities his keen busi-
ness foresight caused him to remove the earnings of his
young manhood from the dangers and uncertainty of his
surroundings to the Bank of England, and it was for this
reason, as well as to watch developments in the first
days of reconstruction that he went abroad.

On his return, having in his trip through Texas been
impressed with the bright future in store for the Lone
Star state, he settled in Texas. He located at Tyler, go-
ing into business with his brother Welch Grinnan, who
remained there until his death in 1898. In 1868 Major
Grinnan moved into Jefferson, Texas, where he went
into business with Mr. Wayland, afterwards Senator
Wayland. In 1872 Major Grinnan engaged in the bank-
ing and cotton commission business in Galveston, the
firm being known as Grinnan, Wayland & Duval. In
1878 he removed to Kaufman county, where he resided
until his death .luly 29, 1907, in Terrell.

A great advocate of public education, he was foremost
in the organization of the Terrell Public Schools, and
was president of the first board. It was perhaps more
to his efforts than to any other's that Terrell secured
the location of the North Texas Hospital for the Insane.
He served on the board of directors of that institution
as president through the Ireland, Boss, Culberson and
Sayers administrations, and was also on the board under
the Lnnhain administration. Major Grinnan acted as
vestryman of the Church of the Good Shepherd from the
date of its founding until a few years before his death.
He was also a member of the Masonic Order. During
his residence in Galveston he was offered the nomination
of state senator by the Democrats of the district, the
Eepublicans offering to make no opposition if he ac-

the request of his wife

cepted the nomination, but,
declined the honor.

He was a man of strong and forceful personality, with
a keen sense of humor, a Chesterfield in manner, and
public spirited. During the thirty years prior to his
death there was scarcely a movement of a public nature
in which he did not figure conspicuously. As a leader in
public matters, his sound judgment and unselfish spirit
always won for him the full confidence and support of
his own community. His zeal, enthusiasm and intelli-
gent public effort did more for the advancement of the
town in which he lived than could be credited to any
other one citizen. Always liberal, he responded promptly
to every public need. Major Grinnan was known through-
out the state, where he was respected and revered as he
was at home. High in moral standing, firm in his be-
lief of what was right, he was tender, devoted, and
lavish in his home. Though sorrow touched him uiany
times, he always maintained the same calm, dignified
bearing and the same cheerful outlook for the future.
He died confident in his God and resting in His jiromises.
During his residence in Tyler, in 1868, he married
Miss Disha Belzora Ham, a native of the town and the
eldest daughter of Frederick Jourdon Ham and Lueinda
Wells Ham. Mr. Ham was born in North Carolina, but
moved to Texas in the early days. He was a man of edu-
cation and refinement, fond of reading, of quiet bearing,
but of the most unflinching courage. It was said of him
that "his word was as good as his bond." He was a civil
engineer, and accumulated a comfortable fortune Ju tlie
pursuit of his profession. He died on his plautation,
near Tyler, in 1855. Mrs. Ham died in 1914 at the age
of eighty-six at the home of her daughter, Mrs. P. C.
Coleman of Colorado, Texas, formerly Miss Lucy Ham,
one of Texas' most noted belles. Mrs. Ham is the
daughter of Colonel Eice Wells, a banker of Brandon,
Mississippi. He was a colonel in the war of 1812, fight-
ing the battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson.
He moved to Texas during the Eepublic, settling in Har-
rison county in 1842, afterwards moving to Smith county.
He died in Starville, and has a great number of descend-
ants in this state.

Mrs. Grinnan died at Broadlands, the country home,
in 1895. She left eight children to mourn her loss:
Libbie, Mrs. L. E. Griffith (nfiw deceased), who was the
mother of Mrs. Janie Belle and Libby Lueinda Griffith;
James Shepherd, who married Miss Bertha Dollahite of
Terrell; Lucile, now Mrs. William H. Lyon; Frederick
Ham and Helen Benners, both of whom died in 1904;
Belle Shortridge, now Mrs. Frank Martin, who had two
children, Frank and James Grinnan; Louis Porter, mar-
ried to Miss Genevieve Manning; and Kate Nadine, who
died in 1910.

The two sons are engaged in business in Terrell.
James, like his forebears, responding to his country's
call, took part in the Spanish-American war and went
to Cuba with Hood's Immunes. He is a vestryman of
the Church of the Good Shepherd, a member of the Asy-
lum board, and also a member of the executive commit-
tee of the Democratic party of Texas, and is a thirtv-
seeond degree Mason. Louis is also a thirty-second de-
gree Mason, is prominent in social circles, and is a
noted globe-trotter.

J. B. Irvine. In the death of J. B. Irvine, which oc-
curred during a temporary residence at Mineral Wells
on September 13, 1911, the city of Sherman and Grayson
county were deprived of a citizen whose influence and
character they could ill afford to lose. He had for many
years been a business man and farmer ,'ni<l stockman in
the vicinity of Sherman, but his success in material di-
rections was perhaps less important to his fellowmen
than his devotion to civic ideals and service, and his
unflinching integrity in every relation with society, com-
munity and church.

J. B. Irvine was born at Timber Bidge, Virginia, July



30, 1853, and was fifty-eight years of age when he died.
He came to Texas in 1883, first locating at San Marcos,
but a year later moved to Sherman, locating in the Fair-
view addition to that city. For some years he was
identified with the packing house market business in
Sherman, and later turned most of his attention to the
supervision of a large farm west of the city. He was
the youngest in a family of five daughters and two sons,
whose parents were William F. and Christiann (Berry)
Irvine, his father a native of Pennsylvania and his
mother of Virginia. The Irvine family has for a number
of generations been established in America, and has
furnished a number of prominent names, including a
general of colonial troops during the Revolutionary war.
The late Mr. Irvine 's father was a Pennsylvania farmer.
J. B. Irvine was reared and educated in Virginia and
was married in that state to Miss Ella Wilson, whose
parents were Robert T. and Eliza (Ingles) Wilson. Her
parents were both natives of Virginia, and the Wilson
and Ingles families had settled in that old colony at a
very early date and secured their land direct from the
Indians. In 1850 the Wilson family moved to Knox-
ville, Tennessee, where Mrs. Irvine was born March 13,
1853, being the fourth of nine children, six daughters
and three sons. Of these, besides Mrs. Irvine, the only
survivors are: Mrs. Ida Fultz, of Rockbridge county,
Virginia; Mrs. W. F. Bonds, of Quay, New Mexico, and
Miss Nora Ingles Wilson, a trained nurse living at
Roanoke, Virginia.

To the marriage of Mr. Irvine and wife were born
the following children: A. Percy, born at Lexington, Vir-
ginia, March 22, 1876, is unmarried and is a prospector
living at Glendale, Arizona. Sid H., born at Lexington,
Virginia, September 8, 1877, is unmarried and is man-
ager for the N. K. Fairbanks Company at Atlanta,
Georgia. John Kyle, born at Lexington, Virginia, on
August 30, 1879, died as a result of injuries received in
the cyclone at Sherman in 1896. Janie Ingles, born
May 13, 1881, at Timber Ridge, Virginia, was married
December 14, 1904, to W. R. Greer, a merchant at Bowie,
Texas, and they have one son, Rudy Irvine, now five
years of age. Maggie S., born at San Marcos, Texas,
January 21, 1883, was married March 22, 1905, to Dr.
C. J. Colling, lives in Sherman and has two children,
Margaret and Beverly. Ross A., born April 22, 1885,
at Sherman, married November 14, 1907, to Gertrude
Barthlow, a native of Sherman. Nellie Joe, born Janu-
ary 13, 1887, at Sherman, was married December 27,
1913, to Guy Bounds, a rancher of El Paso county and
a son of Ed Bounds proprietor of the Circle Ranch.
Marv M., born December 5, 1888, at Sherman, was mar-
ried" April 20, 1912, to Osgood Campbell, ticket agent
and rating clerk for the Missouri Kansas and Texas
Railroad at Sherman, and they have a daughter, Eliza-
beth Berry, born July 14, 1913. Robbie, the ninth child,
died in infancy. Charles W., born April 19, 1891, now
farmer and managing his mother 's atf airs, was married
September 25, 1913, to Miss Mattie Miller, a native of
Sherman. Miss Bess, born April 12, 1893, at Sherman,
lives at home. Miss Euth, the youngest, was born the
twelfth child on the twelfth day of the twelfth month
in 1897 and is now a student in the Sherman High School.

While the business relations of the late Mr. Irvine
were of a successful character, the more important fea-
ture of his career was his attitude toward eommvmity
and the moral and religious affairs. After his death a
tribute came from Mr. P. W. Home, at one time super-
intendent of the Sherman schools, and now at the head
of the public school system of Houston, and from his
letter, published at the time, will be found the most
salient characteristics of this sterling Sherman citizen :

"During the seven years that I had the privilege of
being superintendent of the city schools of Sherman,
there was no man who stood by me more faithfully than
did he, or who contributed more to the educational
upbuilding of Sherman. Mr. Irvine always stood for

the thing that he believed to be right. Like all the
rest of us, it was at any time possible that he might
be mistaken; but, if he believed a thing to be right and
just, he had not the slightest hesitancy in saying so in
unmistakable terms. He had the courage of his convic-
tions, he was not afraid to fight, if need be, for what
he considered the right. More than this", he had a
kindly, sympathetic heart. If any question arose in the
administration of the schools, he always leaned toward
the side of kindness and of mercy. » » * When he
thought that a certain course would stand for the moral
and religious upbuilding of his town, he stood for that

' ' He was a devoted member of the Presbyterian
Church and loved his church dearly; but he never al-
lowed a sectarian influence to bias his vote on any
school question. He had his political views, but what
they were no one could ever have decided by a scrutiny
of his school record. As a member of the board he
stood for the entire town and not for any one portion
of it.

' ' It has been my pleasure in the last twenty years to
know a number of good, strong men who made excellent
members of a board of education, as well as a very few
who did not. In all this number I never knew one who
surpassed J. B. Irvine in his unfaltering devotion to the
duties of his office and to the welfare of the children
under his charge. In this particular he has had a few
equals, but no superior. « * * j£e will be missed in
his community, in his church, and most of all in his
family. He will be deeply missed by many men scat-
tered over a wide extent of territory, and among these
latter I am one. ' '

Ripley H. Huntek, M. D., one of the well-known and
successful physicians of Bullard, has practiced his pro-
fession in Smith county, Texas, for more than a quarter
of a century, and is identified with some of the county's
industrial and financial institutions, being president "of
the Citizens' State Bank of Bullard and also of the
Bullard Lace Leather Company. He was born near
Farmington, Marshall county, 'Tennessee, December 20,
1858, a son of James N. and Cynthia (Hayes) Hunter.
His paternal great-grandfather came from Ireland at
a comparatively early day and settled near Charleston,
South Carolina, and his grandfather, Ephraim Hunter,
was one of the first generation descended from this Irish
emigrant. Ephraim Hunter married a Miss Bishop, and
their children were James N., who was born in 1815;
Thomas, Jasper, Henry, and Lizzie, who became the
wife of Pope Dryden. Dr. Hunter 's maternal ancestry
can be traced back to one of the pioneer families of
North Carolina.

James N. Hunter was a man of modest ambition, a
quiet, unassuming citizen, who engaged in farming and
mercantile pursuits at Farmington, Tennessee, where he
died in 1889. For many years prior to his death he was
a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and took
a commendable interest in promoting its good works.
His widow is still living, at the advanced age of eighty-
seven years. Their children were Virginia, who married
W. C. Adams and died at Farmington; Sallie, who is now
the wife of W. K. Long of that place; Dora, who died
in Farmington as the wife of T. G. Slate; Alice, who is
now the wife of J. H. Culbertson of Farmington; Dr.
Ripley H. ; Etta, who married a man named Roberts and,
after his death, became the wife of Nicholas Boren, is
now deceased; Lula, who married L. M. Bell and died
at Louisburg, Tennessee.

In his boyhood and youth Dr. Hunter enjoyed the ad-
vantages of both country and town life, his early years
being passed on his father's farm and in the little city
of Farmington. After acquiring an academic education,
he taught for some time in the country schools, and then
began the study of medicine under the preceptorship of
Dr. W. C. Ransom at Farmington. Here he was pre-



pared for entrance to the medical department of Van-
derbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, where he was
graduated with the degree of M. D. in 1883. Upon re-
ceiving his degree he began the practice of medicine in
his native town, where he remained until in 1S86, when
he decided to try his fortunes in the great state of Texas.
In that year he located at Selman, among strangers, and
practiced there for ten years. In 1896 he removed to
Bullard, where he built and opened the first drug store,
which he conducted in connection with his professional
duties as a physician. He is still engaged in the drug
business; was one of the organizers of the Citizens'
State Bank, in 1907, of which he is now president, and,
as above stated, he is also the president of the Bullard
Lace Leather Company. However, Dr. Hunter is first of
all a physician, and his connection with other enterprises
has never prevented him from attending to his piitients.
In his profession, he has kept fully abreast of the prog-
ress of medical science, and is recognized as one of the
progressive doctors of Smith county. He is a member
of the Masonic fraternity, and he and his family belong
to the Methodist Episcopal church.

Dr. Hunter has been twice married. In September,
1887, he married Miss Jessie Bone, daughter of Dr. R. D.
Bone of Selman, Texas, and to this iniion were born
two children^Annie May and Mina. The former is now
the wife of L. F. Kay of Bullard, and the latter is Mrs.
S. P. Barclay of Beaumont, Texas. Mrs. Jessie Bone
Hunter died in 1892, and in October, 1893, Dr. Hunter
married Miss Bernice Jones, daughter of John Jones of
Busk county, Texas. To this second union have been
born six children — Lula, Mary, Eush Q., Ripley H., Bon-
ney and Sara. Lula and Mary are students in Kidd-Key
College, at Sherman, Texas, and the other children are
at home with the parents.

James E. Cotter. Mayor of Port Aransas, leading
real estate dealer of the place, and the proprietor of the
Famous Tarpon Inn, celebrated the world over for the
excellency of its cuisine, James E. Cotter takes his place
as one of the foremost or, indeed, the foremost man of
the place. He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1876,
and spent his early boyhood in Topeka, Kansas, whence
he came to Texas in 1892, settling first at Port Aransas,
then known as Ropesville, afterwards changed to Tarpon.

Port Aransas in those days was the only town on Mus-
tang Island, and since the name was changed from Tar-
pon it has become widely known for the great work the
government has carried on there in building jetties,
dredging and deepening the harbor of Aransas Pass.
It is now a place of regular call for cotton-carrying
steamships, and there is also a regular line of oil-
carrying steamers between Tampico, Mexico, and Port
Aransas. The town is situated directly upon the har-
bor and is receiving the benefit of its most fortunate
situation in the building of large warehouses, oil tanks,
cotton compresses, etc. It is also an important center of
the fish industry of these parts.

When Port Aransas was newly incorporated, James E.
Cotter was elected mayor of the city, in 1910, and, by
subsequent election, has served continuously in that of-
fice. He is a capable and efiBcient official and has done
excellent work in the office of chief executive of the city.

For several years Mr. Cotter has been the owner and
manager of the famous Tarpon Inn, known all over the
world for its cuisine of fish and other sea food, as well as
fur being the headquarters of the greatest tarpon fishing
waters in America. The Tarpon Club holds forth at this
hotel, and the most expert devotees of this rare sport are
regular summer visitors at Mr. Cotter's hostelry, as well
as large numbers of guests who come season after season
for the pleasures that may be derived on extended holi-
days in so delightful a spot. In addition to these enter-
prises, Mr. Cotter is also the leading real estate dealer
in Port Aransas, and finds himself one of the busiest

McDonald Meachum. Lawyer and a former promi-
nent member of the Texas State Senate, McDonald
Meachum, with law offices at 1004-5-6-7 Union National
Bank Bldg., Houston, Texas, has won a successful place,
both in his profession and in the public life of his state.
His individual record has been in keeping with the ster-
ling and useful activities of his forebears, for he repre-
sents one of the old families of South Texas.

McDonald Meachum was born in Anderson, Grimes
county, August 5, 187G. His parents were Col. W. W.
and Mary E. (McDonald) Meachum. His father, a na-
tive of North Carolina, emigrated to Texas during the
fifties, settling in Grimes county, where he is well kuown
as a member of the pioneer bar of that county, and dur-
ing the Civil War, in which he enlisted as a private, was
promoted for gallantry and served with official rank in
a Texas regiment. The mother was born in Texas, a
daughter of General James G. McDonald, who came to
Texas from Nashville, Tennessee, during the early days
of the Republic, settled near Anderson, in Grimes county,
and for many years was a leading member of the bar
of that section. District Attorney and State Senator in
the early days of Texas History, and was a close and
intimate friend of General Sam Houston.

McDonald Meachum was reared iu Grimes county, ed-
ucated at the Anderson High School, and in 1894 entered
the law department of the University of Texas, where he
was graduated LL. B. in 1896. During his last year at
the University he was president of the Senior Law Class.
With the conclusion of his studies and his admission to
the bar, he began practice at Navasota, in Grimes
county, in the month of November, 1896. It was in that
community that he attained rank as a successful lawj'er
and won his most conspicuous honors in public life.

In 1902 Mr. Meachum was elected to the legislature
as a representative, serving during the 1903 session.
After one term in the house, in 1904 he was elected to
the senate, and sat in that body from 1905 to 1911. In
the latter year he resigned in the senate and moved his
home and law office to Houston, where he has since prac-
ticed. While in the senate, Mr. Meachum attracted at-
tention for his ability, both as a debater and originator
of practical and useful legislation. He took a part in
practically all the important discussions over public mat-
ters during his official term. He was either a member
or chairman of some of the most important committees
in the senate, including chairmanship of judiciary com-
mittee number one. For a time he served as president
pro tem of the senate. It was Senator Meachum who
prepared and introduced the bill providing for the build-
ing of a monument at state expense over the grave of
General Sam Houston, at Huntsville. That bill, by
unanimous consent, passed both houses, and at the dedi-
cation of the monument, on April 21, 1911, Senator
Meachum shared the platform honors of the day with
the Hon. William J. Bryan.

Mr. Meachum has membership in Navasota Lodge, No.
299, A. F. & A. M.; B. P. Wilson Chapter, No. 125,
R. A. M. ; Ivanhoe Commandery, Knights Templars, and
El Mina Temple of the Mystic Shrine, at Galveston; is
[last grand of I. C. Stafford Lodge of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, at Navasota, having passed all
the chairs and being a past representative of the Grand
Lodge of Texas. He is also affiliated with various fra-
ternal orders.

On December 5th, 1899, Mr. Meachum married Miss
Lucile Shaw, daughter of James M. Shaw of Navasota.
Her father was one of the early settlers in Grimes
county; for twenty years was cashier of the First Na-

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 34 of 177)