Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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dren of Dr. Smith survive, that one being a banker of
Southwest City, ilissouri. Mrs. Gray passed away on
September, 19, 1899, as the mother of four children,
concerning whom brief mention is here made as follows:
Mabel, the eldest of the four, is the wife of F. N. Hall
of El Paso, Texas; Harry E., also of El Paso, is mar-
ried to Miss Louise Brownlee and is occupied in civil en-
gineering; Carey A. Jr. is a farmer of Fannin county, and
the youngest is Miss Lucile, who makes her home with
her father, in Bonham.

The doctor is prominent socially as well as profes-
sionally, and has membership in the Masonic Order as a
Knight Templar, in the Knights of Pythias, and the
Elks. He has no churehly affiliations, but his life has
manifested the better qualities of citizenship.

James Thomas Jones. As county collector of Lamar
county, James Thomas Jones is among the youngest of
the native sons of his county to achieve so responsible a
position in the service of the public. He was born a*few
miles from Paris on September 22, 1880, where his pa-
ternal grandfather, Jefferson Jones, settled in 1851. The
family is one that came to Texas from the state of
North Carolina, and its pioneer head passed his life as
a farmer. During the Civil war he was a mail carrier for
the Confederate States of America, that constituting the
only public service of an official nature ever rendered by
him. Not until fhe dawn of the twentieth century did
the family enter the field of politics, and the first of the
name to enter into political activity was Jacob Jones,
the father of James Thomas Jones of this review.

Jacob Jones was born at the point of the settlement
of his father in Lamar county, on November 2, 1856, and
reached mature years without more of education than
that afforded by the public schools of his native com-
munity. He became a farmer here, and continued in this
vicinity until he removed to Hardeman county, in 1904,
where he is now engaged in carrying on his agricultural
activities and is one of the commissioners of the county.
He is the fourth child of his parents, his mother being
Margaret Long, a daughter of one of the pioneers of
Lamar county, whose posterity has maintained a family
prominence in the business and professional life of Paris.
The other children of his parents, Jeff and Margaret
Jones, are Charles I. ; James, who died just following
the battle of Shiloh, as a soldier of the Confederacy;
Mary, who married Douglas Bullington and resides in
Lamar county; George, who passed away in Oklahoma,
and Robert E., a resident of Paris, Texas, at the present

Jacob Jones married Margaret, a daughter of Pinek-
ney and Nancy (Brown) Mayfield, who located in this
district from the state of Tennessee. They became the
parents of eight children, named as follows: James
Thomas; Laura, the wife of J. W. Peace of Hardeman
county, Texas, in which county also reside George W.,
Joseph, "Duncan, Jesse, Luella and Ruby.

James Thomas Jones was a pupil in the rural schools,
and also in the public schools of Paris, and he continued
in farming until he had passed his majority. He then
came to Paris and secured a position as a salesman and
bookkeeper in a grocery concern, serving in that capacity
until bis appointment as deputy in the office of John T.
Bullington, county collector of the county of Lamar. He
later served under John F. Williams in the same office,
and succeeded that service by making the run for office
on his own responsibility, but suffering defeat at the
polls. During the two years that followed he engaged in
the grocery business, and was then nominated for the
office of county collector on the Democratic ticket. He
was nominated against three competitors and drew two-

thirds of the popular vote at the election, in 1912, and
assumed the duties of his office on December 1, 1912, as
the successor of Collector Dennis.

On December 22, 1908, Mr. Jones was united in mar-
riage with Miss Lenna Knowles, a daughter of Henry
Kuowles, a contractor of Blossom, Texas, where the
marriage ceremony was solemnized. She was one of the
four children of her parents, the others being Brenna,
Floyd, and Fletcher. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have one
daughter, Janice, now three years old.

The Jones family holds to the faith of the Missionary
Baptist church, and the Knowles people to the Methodist
church, but the family of James Thomas Jones maintain
no church relations.

George F. Beannon. The arduous tasks that formerly
confronted every housekeeper are being revolutionized in
large degree by modern methods which have arisen from
a demand for science in the homely labors of life as well
as in the fields of industry and trade. Answering this
call, the modern laundry has become recognized as one of
the most helpful of institutions, and, conducted along
sanitary lines, gives relief from the hard household labor
and produces results more generally satisfying than those
possible to attain in the ordinary home. Prominent
among the Texas industries of this nature is found the
McKinney Steam Laundry Company of McKinney, a ven-
ture that entered upon its business life under modest cir-
cumstances, but which, under the directorship of an able
management, has grown and developed until it is ac-
counted one of the thriving industries of a thriving city.
The proprietor of this business, George F. Branuon, a
man of enterprise, progress, and practical views, is emi-
nently worthy of the title of self-made man. When he
started upon his career he had but little capital, and less
experience, but, what was better than either, he had a
stern and unflagging determination to succeed, and his
present firmly-established position among the business
men of his community is sufficient evidence of the grat-
ification of his ambition.

Mr. Brannon is of Irish and Holland descent, and was
born in May, 1878, at Heflin, Cleburne county, Alabama,
a son of J. F. and Mary E. (Vaughan) Brannon, the
former a native of Georgia and the latter of Alabama.
His father, formerly -a farmer and cotton grower of Ala-
bama, came to Texas in 1892 and located at Sherman,
where he continued in agricultural pursuits and stock
raising up to the time of his death, in September, 1908.
Mrs. Brannon still survives her husband. Of the eight
sons and five daughters of J. F. and Mary E. Brannon,
nine are now living. George F. was the fifth in order
of birth.

George F. Brannon commenced to attend public school
in his native state, but the latter part of his education
was secured in Texas, his training finding its completion
in a course in the Metropolitan Business College of Dal-
las. His first venture of a business nature was in writing
insurance, a line in which he continued for two years
with a fair measure of success. For some time he had
been possessed of the idea of establishing himself in the
steam laundry business, and in 1899, in partnership with
his brother, C. M. Brannon, founded the McKinney
Steam Laundry Company, becoming its first manager, a
position which he has continued to hold to the present
time. His brother is now president of the Ideal Laundry
Company, at Dallas, Texas, in which George F. also is a
stockholder; and, in addition, with Mr. W. I. Dungan,
they own the laundry at Ennis, Texas, which is under
the able management of W. I. Dungan.

When the McKinney Steam Laundry Company was
first founded, it commenced operations upon a small
scale, in a poorly-equipped building, and with a small
though promising trade. In several years it was found
necessary to enlarge the quarters and to improve the
equipment, and, as the years have passed, the plant has
constantly been made larger and the latest machinery



has been

At this time this is one of the few

plants operating its own Corliss engine, in addition to
having its own deep well for its water supply. Twenty-
five people are employed in its work, the trade of Mc-
Kinney is controlled, and about sixty per cent of the
business comes from outside the city. In addition to the
regular laundry department, special work is done in the
way of dry cleaning, dyeing, and hat work. Mr. Bran-
non has been prudent and conservative, and, while enter-
prising in projecting his plans, he has never speculated,
although he has ever been quick to see an opportunity
and courageous to grasp it and carry it through to a suc-
cessful conclusion. A man of genial, courteous personal-
ity, his popularity has done much to add to the volume
of his business, while his straightforward and honorable
methods have contributed toward giving him a high
standing in business circles of his adopted city. In poli-
tics a Democrat, he has not found time to enter actively
into political life, but takes a keen interest in those
things that affect the welfare of McKinney. He has a
firm belief in the future of this part of the state, and it
is but natural that he should feel grateful to the locality
in which he has attained such a decided success. Frater-
nally, he is a Mason, in which he has attained to the
Eoyal Arch degree, and also holds membership in the In-
dependent Order of Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks. He is a consistent member of
the Baptist church, to which his wife also belongs.

Mr. Brannon was married November 2, 1901, at Mc-
Kinney, to Miss Florence Johnson, a daughter of John
Johnson a real estate owner and renter of this city. Two
bright and interesting little daughters have been born
to Mr. and Mrs. Brannon: Annette, aged eleven years,
who is attending the graded schools, and the baby,
Charlsey May, aged six years, who is just beginning her
school experience. The family is widely and favorably
know^n in Northern Texas, and, in addition to Mr. Bran-
non 's family and that of his father, he has four nephews
here, who came from Alabama and Georgia, and three
aunts on his mother's side— Mrs. Dungan, Mrs. Keid, and
Mrs. McDowell.

Eeuben S. Morrison, county attorney of Archer
county and a practicing attorney of Archer City since
1908, is one of the best known men in the legal fra-
ternity in these parts, and one who enjoys a generous
measure of success in his chosen profession. He has been
prominent in public service for several years, always m
the line of his profession, and gained a name for him-
self in that department of activity as well as in private

S. Morrison is the son of J. G. and Mary (Carson) Mor-
rison, natives of South Carolina and Alabama, respec-
tively. The father removed to Mississippi in early life
and died at Enterprise, Mississippi. He was a soldier m
the Confederate army during the Civil war, serving
under General Lee, and passing through the entire period
of the war. He was in later years identified with me-
chanical pursuits, having a decided gift for mechanics,
and he died at Enterprise when he was sixty-two years
old. The mother died at Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in 1881,
aged sixty-one years. They were the parents of a large
family of fourteen children, and Eeuben S., of this re-
view, was the ninth in order of birth. Following his
high school days, Mr. Morrison read law under H. C.
Conn at Hazelhurst, Mississippi, and in 1883 he was ad-
mitted to practice, beginning his life work at the same
place. Mr. Morrison continued there in practice for six
years, when he went to Vernon, Texas, and was there
busy with the practice of law until 1897. In that year
he removed to Warren, in Greer county, Oklahoma, where
he remained until 1908, when he came to Archer City,
and here he has been in constant practice since that
time. He received his appointment to his present office
while still in Oklahoma. This is very unusual, but

nevertheless true. Owing to his prominence as an attor-
ney he was induced to accept his position in Texas
while a resident of Oklahoma, and he has served con-
stantly since that time, being twice re-elected since he
began his service as county attorney of Archer county.
WhUe a resident of Wilbarger county, in 1888, he was
assistant county attorney for two terms, and in that
and in his present office he has given an excellent ac-
count of himself in his ofiScial capacity.

A Democrat, Mr. Morrison has given splendid service
to the party wherever he has been. He is a member of
the Baptist Church and of the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows and the Homesteaders' Association.

On February 28, 1883, at Jackson, Mississippi, Mr.
Morrison was married to Miss Cora Antoinette Wheeler,
of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
E. B. Wheeler, a well known family of planters of that
state. Twelve children have come to them: Sylvester
Weldon, superintendent of the Tipton High School at
Tipton, Oklahoma, married, and the father of three
children ; Mrs. Eeuby Anderson, living in Tulsa, Okla-
homa, the mother of two children; T. E. Morrison, a
student of the Central Business College at Sedalia, Mis-
souri; John G., born in Vernon, Texas, now attending
schqol same place as his brother, T. E.; Ethel, also born
in Vernon, a student in this city; Emma Joto, born in
Warren, Oklahoma ; Claude, Hazel, Percy and Maggie
all were born in Warren, Oklahoma, and are now at-
tending school in their home town; Mary Belle is de-
ceased, and Bessie, who was born at Hazelhurst,
sissippi, is also deceased, her death occurring at Harrold,

This goodly family has taken its place in the leadin^
social and other worthy activities of Archer City since
it became identified with the community some years ago,
and enjoys the esteem and friendship of an ever widen-
ing circle hereabouts. Mr. Morrison is regarded as one
of the ablest attorneys in the state, and enjoys the re-
gard of a number of the most influential men in the
state, prominent among whom is Senator Joseph Bailey,
with whom Mr. Morrison has been intimately associated
since boyhood and for whom he entertains the warmest

Jacob H.vyxe Harrisox. In the long and varied
career of Jacob Hayne Harrison there is found much
material of an interesting nature. School teacher dur-
ing the seventies, public oflScial through a period in
which the Southwest was experiencing an era of unrest,
editor and publisher as a pioneer in journalistic work
in several sections of the state and finally identified
with some of the leading loan, abstract and mortgage
companies of Texas, his life in the Lone Star state has
been an unusually active one. Yet, however well he
has become known in other fields of endeavor, it is as
Jake H. Harrison, Texas poet, that he has endeared
himself to the people and established a reputation
author of verse that has the ability to touch the heart
through the sentiment in it rather than through mere
superficial quality.

Jacob Hayne Harrison was born in Eockingham
county, Virginia, April 2(1. 18.51, and is a son o^ Daniel
and Huldah B. (Hayne) Harrison, members of prominent
Virginia families. His maternal grandmother wag a
Duke, of Hanover county, Virginia, and his grandfather
was a relative of "Tippecanoe" Harrison, the Presi-
dent. In 18.57 Mr. Harrison's father and family left
Virginia and moved to Tennessee, locating first in Jef-
ferson countv and later in Greene county. This was the
heart of the' Tennessee country that furnished so many
volunteers to the Union cause in the Civil war and Mr.
Harrison's older brothers enlisted in the ranks of the
blue. He himself can remember as a boy some of the
noted characters of that day who were friends of the
family and frequent visitors at his father's home, in-
cluding "Andy" Johnson, "Parson" Brownlow and

:e I




other members of the Brownlow family. In the fall of
1868 the family moved to Carroll county, Missouri, and
Mr. Harrison 's father died there. In 1874 Mr. Harri-
son came to Texas alone, and, locating in Hill county,
secured employment as a teacher in the early schools.
He recalls tliat during that period he played the "fiddle"
for the weekly Friday night dances of the neighborhood,
at which congenial occupation he earned more money
than he did at teaching school. In 1878 Mr. Harrison
was elected justice of the peace for that precinct of
Hill county of which what is now known as Hubbard
City was the center, an office which he held for six
j-ears, and during two years of that time was also county
commissioner, in addition to which he had charge of the
postoffice at Hubbard City. For about one year he was
editor and publisher and issued the initial number of
the Hubbard City News, which was the successor of the
Herald. In the fall of 1SS3 Mr. Harrison removed to
Hillsboro, the county seat, and there founded the Uilh-
boro News, of which he was editor and publisher until
the office was destroyed by fire, and at that time he
retired from the field of journalism. Later he was
appointed city tax assessor and collector of Hillsboro, a
[josition which he held for about one year, and at t
same time began abstract work at Hillsboro for the firm
of Tarlton, Jordan & Tarlton. In connection with his
abstract work he began loaning money for the Texas
Loan Agency of Corsicana, but in the spring of 1886
removed to (3!atesville and purchased and controlled the
entire abstract business of the county. Eighteen months
of hard and unremitting labor destroyed his health, and,
being compelled to give up inside work altogether, he
went on the road as traveling inspector of loans for the
Texas Loan Agency and moved to Corsicana with his
family in the fall of 1889. Since that time he has been
engaged in the capacity of inspector, or securities man,
for the Texas Loan Agency, Francis Smith & Company
of San Antonio, and the British & American Mortgage
Company of Dallas, the latter having been his position
since 1899, since about which time he has made his home

ilr. Harrison, as said before, is best known as a poet,
his verse having attracted wide attention and won the
commendation of some of the best critics in the country.
One of the most beautiful things that have come from
his pen, "The Yellowhouse Canyon," appears in the
work, Library of Southern Literature, but his beautiful
thoughts have usually been given to the public through
the medium bf the newspapers and magazines, and have
reached their widest and most appreciative circle of
readers through the columns of the I>aUas News and the
Texas Farm and Banch. Mr. Harrison took up verse writ-
ing at first merely to occupy his thoughts and time while
waiting for trains during the early days of his travels, but
took courage from the fact that the publishers recognized
merit in his work, and from that time his poetry has stead-
ily grown in power, in finish and in interest. Most of his
verse breathes the spirit of the free outdoors, of hunting
and fishing and life on the great prairie stretches of the
west, over all of which he has traveled in connection with
his business. Other poems, however, are purely of a
domestic nature. The poems published in connection
with this review show, perhaps, as well as any of his
others, the high character of his work.

Mr. Harrison has been twice married, the first time
September 28, 1878, to Miss Theodosia C. Powell, of
Limestone county, Texas. She died in March, 190.5, the
union having been blessed by the birth of three children:
Claude N. Harrison, Judge Harrison and Miss Dixie
W. Harrison. On August 21, 1910, Mr. Harrison was
married to his present wife, who before her marriage
was Miss Lillian Kendrick Byrn. She was brought to
Texas in early childhood by her parents, who settled
in San Antonio, in the schools of which citv she received

the major part of her education. Here, amid the pic-
turesque semi-tropical beauty of the sleepy old city,
she grew into an intimate sympathy with all that per-
tains to real history, real achievement of noble ends;
and with the growth of the present hustling metropolis
came the expanding of her own perceptions which fitted
her for the literary work that she was later to under-

During her high school years her poems and stories
began to attract attention and she was the winner of
several literary competitions. After the death of
her father, Lucas Haynes Byrn, descendant of an
Irish settler of the first Virginia colony, she taught
for several years and continuing her studies also, ob-
tained literary degrees from the State Normal Institute,
Museo Nacional de Mexico and University of Chicago, at
which latter institution she specialized in anthropology
under the noted explorer, Frederick Starr. Making
teaching the means of travel. Miss Byrn covered the
greater part of Mexico, studying its history, ancient and
modern, its customs, literature and resources, and writ-
ing a great many magazine articles and brochures on
these subjects.

Opportunity for editorial work came in Boston, where
she was associated in the editorship of Home and Abroad,
a magazine devoted to travel and study. Following this
she went to Nashville, Tennessee, where, as literary edi-
tor of the Sob Taylor's Magazine, and after the con-
solidation, of the Taylor-Trotwood Maganne, she became
a potent factor in the upbuilding of a broad journal
worthy of the magnificent field it represented. A period
of two years spent in travel in Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ar-
gentina and Brazil gave her wide opportunities for
acquaintance with the social life of our neighboring con-
tinent, and in the extensive ruins found all over South
America, she accumulated a vast amount of literary and
scientific material.

Her marriage, in August, 1910, to Jacob Hayne Harri-
son, of Harrisonburg, Virginia, then as now a resident
of Dallas, brought her again to a residence in the Lone
Star state where in their Dallas home they dispense a
hospitality typical of their Virginia forbears.

As an oflScer of the Dallas Pen Women, a member of
the National Pen Women 's League, The National Geo-
graphical Society and the Eoyal Anthropological Insti-
tute (London), Mrs. Harrison, although devoting her-
self to the career of home-making, continues her interest
and to some extent her activities in literary work.

Mrs. Harrison is a daughter of Mrs. Jennie Kendrick
Collins, of San Antonio, who after the death of Lucas
Haynes Byrn, married James E. Collins.


I long for a whiff of the desert air.

For the scent of the desert sand.
For the spreading reach of the billow hills

In that sea of the rolling land ;
For the fiery glint of the western sun

And the feel of the pulsing heat —
The crunch of the carpet of glinting grit

I would sense with my weary feet.

I long for the fan of the desert breeze

When stars are alight in the skies.
The shadows that fall nn the pn'itprn hills

As a rest for men's \\r:\T\ r\r^.;
For the dew that sprinkl.-i ili,. v|r, |iint; face

When the curtain of iiiL^lir is ihiiwn.
And the glory that glows in the smiling east

When the day brings back tlie dawn.

You may have the city with all its [lomp.

Have its wealth and its mansions fine,
Its tables that groan with the richest food.

And its goblets of sparkling wine;



But give me the measureless solitude

Of the sand, and the desert air,
With the trackless plain and the cheerless scene,

And the feeling that God is there.

— Jake H. Harrison.


The wagon, gray with grime and dust,

Stands with its front toward the south,
A sun-burnt plainsman, lithe and tall,

Sits smoking in its cavern mouth;
A pile of saddles, ropes and guns

Lie to the right upon the ground.
And blankets damp from recent use,

Left there to dry, are spread around.

A fire of ' ' chips ' ' and grease-wood brush

Is burning on an open place.
And over this a "Greaser" bends

With active hands and leathern face;
Intent upon the meal he cooks,

For it is nearing supper time,
And coffee, beans and broiling meat,

Send far abroad aroma prime.

There on the mesa to the left

The horses crop the stunted grass,
Nip tender shoots of dwarf mesquite.

And sniff the "loco" as they pass;
While on that rocky point beyond,

A lonely "lobo" keeps his ward,
And watches all the movements here

With baleful eye and keen regard.

The sun, a blood-red, blazing orb,

Winks at the world froni out the west.
While Nature seems to stretch and yawn.

As half inclined to go to rest ;
Dry winds alive with acrid dust

Go sighing by as if in pain.
While ghosts of ages dead and gone

Cast phantom shadows on the plain.

A do?en deep and angry yelps.

Succeeded by a hungry howl.
Tell where not far toward the east

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 36 of 177)