Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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time one of the highest institutions of learning in the



state, being conrlucted by tbe well-known Professor
W. F. Mister and Professor T. G. Harris. Following
one term in that school he soon thereafter took up the
study of law and January 15, 1895, was admitted to
the bar, and at once took up the practice of his pro-
fession at Piano, which has since been his field of
endeavor. It has been said that in the legal profession
there is no royal road to promotion, its high rewards
are gained by diligent study and long and tedious at-
tention to elementary principles and are awarded only
to those who develop, in the arena of forensic strife,
characters of integrity and moral worth. In that most
difficult and perplexing of professions, the mere occuga-
fion of distinguished position argues for its possessor
solid ability, signal skill, sound learning, untiring in-
dustry and uncompromising integrity. It has been
through the possession of these qualifications that Mr.
Cottrell has risen to his present high position at the
bar of Collin and the surrounding counties. His career
has been aided by no happy chance or circumstance.
Each step has been carefully planned and energetically
worked out. Among his professional brethren he is
known as a man who thoroughly respects the unwritten
ethics of his calling and he has also succeeded in gaining
that most difficult of acquisitions — public confidence.
A Democrat in his political views, he has ever been
an earnest and zealous worker in the ranks of his party
and on frequent occasions has been called to offices of
high responsibility. He was the youngest alderman
ever elected to the city council of Piano, and while in
that capacity was called upon to act during two terms
as mayor pro tem. He also served one term as city
attorney and four years as assistant county attorney, and
in 1902 was elected a member of the Twenty-eighth
Legislature of the state. His work in that body earned
him re-election to the Twenty-ninth session, and during
the latter term was a member and chairman of a num-
ber of important committees. Since that time he has
served an additional term as city attorney. In 1912,
through the earnest solicitation of his friends, he be-
came a candidate for Congress, but after the start of
the campaign his health failed and he was forced to
withdraw from the race. Since that time he has de-
voted his entire attention to his law practice. Mr.
Cottrell has few interests outside of his profession and
his home, but is appreciative of the enjoyment of com-
panionship with his fellows and is a popular member of
the Knights of Pythias.

On March 25, 1891, Mr. Cottrell was married at Cuero,
Texas, to Jliss Josephine Cook, daughter of Fred Cook,
an early settler of DeWitt county, Texas, who became
a large farmer and stockman, and is now deceased. Two
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cottrell, of
whom one is still living: Travis Josephine Cottrell,
born May .31, 1895, a graduate of the Piano High School,
and now attending the Southwestern University at
Georgetown, Texas.

Since coming to Collin county thirty-one years ago
Mr. Cottrell has witnessed a marvelous change in ma-
terial development here. At the time of his arrival
but one railroad passed through the county and one
small bank was able to handle all the business of the
county. Land was to be secured for ten dollars an
acre that now demands from $1-10 to ,$150 an acre. He
has been a promoter of the movements which have com-
bined to develop and advance this part of the Lone
Star state and has prospered with its prosperity, thus
establishing his right to a position among Collin county's
representative men.

.1. F. Harrington. Although he is numbered among
the more recent acquisitions of the legal profession in
Collin county, J. F. Harrington has already won a firmly
established position in the ranks of his calling here, and
the confidence in which he is held by his fellow-citizens
was given expression in 1913, when he was elected city

attorney of Piano, a position which he now holds. He

of this city, and was born August 29

parents being John H. and Mary Frances


( Mathews )" Harringt on

Mr. Harrington is of Scotch-Irish descent, his great
grandfather having emigrated to this country from Scot
land at an early day. His maternal grandfather, E F
Mathews was a drummer in a Coufederate regiment dur
mg the Civil war. A. Harrington, his paternal grand
father, was a slave holder before the Civil war was one
of the early settlers of Collin county, Texas, and was the
first person to be buried in the Rawlett Creek Cemetery
m this country. John H. Harrington was born in the
yicmity of Piano, whence his parents had come from
Kentucky and was reared a farmer, a vocation which
he has followed throughout his life. At this time he is
carrying on successful operations on a tract of land
taken up from the state by his father. He has led a life
of industry, and has been successful in his ventures bein.r
known as one of the substantial men of his community. He
married Mary Frances Mathews, also a native of Collin
county, who also survives, and they have been the parents
of four sons and three daughters, of whom four sons
and one daughter still survive: S. Walter, who is en-
gaged in farming in Collin county; Mattie M., who is the
widow of Thomas A. Eobertson and a resident of Piano-
Clint A., a student of the Piano High school: J. F • and
Bchoof '^''° '^ ^^^° ^ ^*"'''^"t °^ the Piano High

When he had completed the curriculum of the pubUe
schools of Piano, J. F. Harrington entered the Univer-
sity of Texas as a student in the law department, and
was graduated therefrom in 1910, shortly after which he
was admitted to the bar. He at once tbok up the prac-
tice of his profession at Piano, and here he has continued
in the enjoyment of a large professional business, having
on his books the names of some of the most prominent
people and -leading business houses of the city. He is
known as a careful, painstaking, conscientious and pro-
found lawyer, and has been retained at one time or an-
other as general or special counsel in leading cases of
lunsprudence in Collin county, thus becoming more or
less a familiar figure in the courts. In political matters
he IS a Democrat, and is a great admirer of President
Wilson and an advocate of his policies, especially in re-
gard to the Mexican situation. In April, 1913, at the
earnest solicitation of his friends, he consented to be the
candidate of his party for the oflSce of city attorney and
his subsequent election gave evidence of "his true worth
and widespread popularity. Aside from the organiza-
tions of his calling, he belongs to the Masons and the
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in which he
has numerous friends, as he has, in fact, in all walks of
lite. He IS a consistent member of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, South, and a member of the linard of trus-
tees of the Fanny Harrington Chapel of that denomina-
tion at Piano, named in honor of his mother

On October 23, 1913, in the Walnut Grove Presbyterian
church, Collm county, Mr, Harrington was united in
marriage with Miss Mytte E, Harris, daughted of the
Eev, M. C. Harris, a minister of the Presbyterian church
and pastor of the Walnut Grove church of that faith
Eeverend Harris came to Collin county from Arkansas
about the year 1870 and during his long years of labor
here has become widely known to the people as an earnest
and zealous minister of the Gospel.

Thomas E. Craig. The manager of the McKinney
Compress Cnmpnny is an electrical and mechanical en-
gineer by in.ili-^ii.ii. .-ind has had a very successful
career botli in liis piotV^sicn and in business. Mr. Craig
has given sci\ ire ns construction or consulting engineer
in connection with a number of Texas enterprises, in-
cluding railways and electric power plants, and still a
young man has a career of great promise in the future



as well as a record of successful performance up to the
present time.

Thomas E. Craig was born March 3, 1S75, in Hopkins
county, Kentucky, a son of J. L. and E. V. (Owens)
Craig. The family is of Scotch-Irish stock. His par-
ents were both natives of Mississippi, came to Texas in
186S, locating in Hopkins county, where the father was
a farmer and merchant until ill health compelled him
to retire, and his death occurred in Sherman in 1911.
The mother is now living at Kingsville, Texas.

Mr. Craig, who is the oldest of four living children,
graduated from Austin College at Sherman and ac-
quired his technical education in the University of Ten-
nessee, where he completed a course in both the elec-
trical and mechanical engineering departments and
graduated Bachelor of Science. The following five years
were spent in the employ of the General Electric Com-
pany at Boston and New York, at the end of which
time he joined the engineering staff of the Dallas Inter-
urban Railway Company during the progress of this con-
struction work. In 1907 Mr. Craig erected the plant of
the People's Light Company at Corpus Christi, and re-
mained in charge of its operation for some time. His
home has been at McKinney since 1911, in which year
he bought stock and became manager of the McKinney
Compress Company. Besides his local business he still
continues practice in mechanical and electrical en-
gineering, and his services are chiefly employed in the
erection of electric light plants and water works, and as
consulting engineer in the preparation of reports on
public utilities of that kind. The McKinney Compress
Company is a stock company of local capital, incor-
porated at fifty thousand dollars capital.

Mr. Craig has always been a Democratic voter, affili-
ates with the Masonic Order and from boyhood has been
a member of the Presbyterian church. On November
2, 1910, at McKinney occurred his marriage to Miss
Kathryn Heard. Her father, S. D. Heard, is a prom-
inent "McKinney capitalist and business man. Their
home is on W. Hunt street in McKinney.

Jonas Knight, D. O. At McKinney one of the phy-
sicians who can claim a patronage of exceptional
numerical strength and value is Dr. Jonas Knight, who
is one of the ablest exponents of the osteopathic school
of medicine in north Texas. Within the past twenty
years the practice of osteopathy, starting in restricted
localities and hampered by prejudice, has spread from
coast to coast, and has won its place with older schools.

Dr. Jonas Knight was born April i, 1884, at Com-
merce, Texas, the son of John T. and Susan E. (Wil-
liams) Knight. The family is of Scotch-Irish stock and
Dr. Knight was the youngest of twelve children, eight
sons and four daughters, eight of whom are still living.
All his near relatives live in the state of Texas except-
ing one sister, Mrs. S. T. Patterson, of Eoswell, New-
Mexico. The five brothers are all at Commerce or in
that immediate vicinity, namely: John Knight, now
retired from active business and president of the
Farmers' State Bank of Commerce; Thomas Ingram
Knight, also retired from business; Lemuel Lee Knight,
a farmer; Amos Knight, city marshal of Commerce, and
Ira Knight, a farmer. The family are characteristic
for their excellent health and their fine physical con-
stitution and longevity is a trait of the people of that
name. The father is a native of Alabama and the
mother of Mississippi, and they came to Texas about
1850, first locating in Wood county. The father was
a farmer and stock raiser, and during the war served
for two years in the Confederate army. He took part
in some of the historic battles of the war and was
slightly wounded in one engagement. His occupation
as a farmer and stock raiser continued from the end
of the war until his death in 1907, and his wife passed
away in 1909.

Dr. Knight received his early training in the public

schools of Hunt county, later attended the East Texas
Normal College at Commerce and in 1902 entered the
American School of Osteopathy at Kirksville, Missouri,
from which he was graduated in 1904 with the degree
D. O. His first practice was at Greenville, Texas, but
in a short time he went to his old home town of Com-
merce and was in practice there four years. Following
a post-graduate course at Kirksville in 1908 at the
American School, Dr. Knight returned to Texas and
located at McKinney, in which vicinity he has built
up a large practice since 1909.

Dr. Knight is a Democrat in politics, affiliates with
the ilasonic Order, the Chapter Degrees, with the Benevo-
lent and Protective Order of Elks and is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church South at McKinney.
On January 17, 1906, at Butler, Missouri, was solemnized
his marriage with Miss Lorena Lampton. Her father.
Dr. W. E. Lampton, was a physician of the Osteopathic
school and is still in practice in Missouri. Mrs. Knight
died July 12, 1911. Dr. Knight has his office in the
Foote building in McKinney.

D. W. Smith. Milling occupies an important place
among the thriving industries of Northern Texas and
many of the most successful business men of this sec-
tion are concentrating their energies on this branch
of activity. The progressive men of Grayson county
have not been slow to reali?e the advantages offered
by their locality in this direction and some of the
most important enterprises of this kind are to be found
in Whitewright, among which may be mentioned the
Womack Milling Company, much of the success of which
may be accredited to the progressive methods of its
capable secretary, treasurer and manager, D. W. Smith,
a man of broad business experience, who has brought
to his labors an enthusiasm that is rapidly bringing
his concern to the forefront.

Mr. Smith was born at Dakota, Stephenson county,
Illinois, August 22, 1872, and is a son of Samuel and
Virginia Smith, the former a native of Pennsylvania
and the latter of Virginia. The father, who spent
life as a carpenter and contractor, died in January,
1888, the mother passed away in May, 1910. D.
Smith received his education in the public schools of
the Prairie state and he early took his place among the
world's workers, as his father died when he was sixteen
years of age. He came to Texas in 1S94, locating in
Whitewright, where he secured employment in a livery
establishment and also clerked in a grocery store. Sub-
sequently he became bookkeeper for the Whitewright
Oil Mill and then received his introduction to the grain
and feed business, as proprietor of a venture of his own.
He was thus brought into connection with other enter-
prising and progressive business men here, and in 1912
was offered and accepted his present position. The
Womack Milling Company was founded in 1898, as a
stock company, and since its inception has enjoyed a
steady and healthy growth. The product consists of
flour and meal and the firm also deals in seeds and
grain of all kinds, the trade extending all over the
Northern and Northeastern sections of Texas. The
capacity of the mill is 250 barrels of flour per day, a
grain elevator is operated in connection and twelve
men are employed. In the management of this b
ness Mr. Smith has shown himself capable and thorough,
a master of every detail of the business and a man of
acumen, foresight and sterling judgment. He has the
unqualified confidence of his associates and is widely
known in the trade throughout this section. He has
always been a Republican in his political views and has
at all times supported the interests of his party, but
has not sought preferment, his only public service being
in the capacity of city secretary for one term. He is
a member of the United Commercial Travelers' Associa-
tion and the Knights of Pythias and his religious affilia-
tion is with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He



is known as one of the enthusiastic "boosters" of his
section, with a firm belief in its future development
and the ability to inspire that faith in others.

In February, 1906, Mr. Smith was married at Bryan,
Texas, to Miss Emogene Martin, daughter of the late
James Martin, a successful farmer for some years and a
veteran of the Civil war, through which he served as a
soldier in the Confederate army. He died in 1903. Mr.
and Mrs. Smith have one daughter, Vivian, a bright
child of four years.

Charles W. Bryant has been a resident of the com-
munity of Whitewright for a period of fifty-eight years
and is now living retired from business cares save for
the supervision which he gives to his invested interests.
He is a man of excellent business ability, of genuine
personal worth and of strong and admirable traits of
character, and well deserves mention in this work as
one of the representative men of Grayson county. He
is a native of this county, born near the present site
of Whitewright, September 6, 1856, and is a son of
Anthony M. and Susan S. (Binkley) Bryant, being of
Irish and French descent on his father's side of the
family and of German ancestry on his mother 's side.

Anthony M. Bryant was born in Kentucky and was
there married to his first wife. He came to Texas with
his two children in 1S52, they being a daughter, Mariah,
who died in 1859, and a sou. Judge David E. Bryant, who
was a prominent lawyer of Sherman for many years,
served as federal judge of the Eastern District of Texas
for twenty years, his first appointment to that position
coming from President Harrison, and died in February,
1911. Anthony M. Bryant married for his second
wife Susan S. Binkley of Tennessee and they became the
parents of four children, of whom three are now living:
Charles W., of this review; C. B., president of the First
National Bank of Whitewright, and Mary, the wife of
W. H. King, who has been postmaster of Whitewright
for the past twelve years, and at this time is a director
of the First National Bank. On coming to Texas the
father settled in Grayson county and here continued to
be engaged in farming and stock raising up to the time
of his death, October 3, 1889, the mother passing away
April 11, 1900. He served as county judge of Grayson
county for two terms and at all times took a great in-
terest in matters pertaining to the welfare of his state
and county, being known throughout this section as a
helpful and useful citizen, as a man of the highest per-
sonal integrity and probity and as one who had the
regard and esteem of those with whom he came into

Charles W. Bryant has spent his entire career in agri-
cultural pursuits and has made a success of his ventures.
He was educated in the public schools of his native
county and as a youth adopted the tilling of the soil as
his field of labor, and in later years has had no reason
to regret his choice of occupations. He has been an
eyewitness to the wonderful advancement of his com-
munity, where he has lived for more than a half a cen-
tury. He remembers the founding of the town of White-
wright, about the year 1880, and recalls the time when
goods were freighted by ox teams from .lefferson and
Galveston to this point. But few families resided in the
community and land sold at from five to fifteen dollars
an acre that now commands from .$120 to $135 an acre
and is steadily advancing in value. He has prospered
with the prosperity of his section, through hard and
energetic labor, and is now living in quiet and comfort-
able retirement in his handsome Whitewright residence,
a modern structure worth in the neighborhood of $8,000.

Mr. Bryant is a Republican in politics, but is liberal
in his views and often votes rather for the man than the
party. He has served efficiently as mayor of the city
and his administration was marked by consecutive ad-
vancement and progress. Fraternally he belongs to the
Masons, in which he has attained to the Knight Templar

degree. With his family he belongs to the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, of which he has been a member
of the board of stewards for twenty years.

On December 15, 1881, Mr. Bryant was married in
Grayson county to Miss S. F. Fitzgerald, daughter of
G. S. Fitzgerald, formerly of Virginia, and later of
Grayson county, where he served as county commissioner
for a number of years. He died in 1893. Mr. Fitzgerald
in the Confederate army, served on the western frontier
during the Civil war up to the time of General Lee's
surrender. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant have had seven chil-
dren, of whom six are now living: James Monroe, who
has for two years been engaged in the drug business at
Whitewright; Albert and Alberta, twins, tie former a
farmer and the latter the wife of E. F. Everhart; Mrs.
Fannie Fielder, who died in November, 1912; George
Fitzgerald, aged twenty-one years, who is engaged in
farming in Grayson county; Charles W., Jr., aged seven-
teen years, in the Carlyle Military Academy at White-
wright, and Marvin B., aged sixteen years, also a student
in that academy.

After a long period identified with the best interests
of his county, Mr. Bryant is now enjoying a well-merited
rest, well merited because it has come to him as a direct
result of his own labors, his close application and his
careful business management. His clean and wholesome
life and his many sterling traits of character have at-
tracted to him a wide circle of warm friends and ad-
mirers, and few citizens of Whitewright stand in higher
general esteem.

Thomas B. Wilson. There passed away at his
beautiful home, a short distance north of McKinney, on
September 3, 1913, one of the best beloved of Collin
county. Thomas B. Wilson had lived in north Texas
since boyhood and since pioneer times, had fougnt with
the Confederate troops in the great war, spent his busi-
ness career as a farmer and stock raiser, acquired a
generous prosperity and used his ample means in many
ways to promote the happiness of others and to develop
the resources of his community. His life was extended
beyond the time of three score and ten, was filled with
kindly deeds and energetic accomplishments in every-
thing he undertook and it was in the spirit of sincere
affection and esteem that so many hundreds of his old
friends and neighbors gathered to pay their last tribute
to his memory at the time of his death.

Thomas B. Wilson was born November 22, 1840, in
his seventy-third year at the time of his death. His
birthplace was at Gallatin, Tennessee. His parents were
Addison and Ann (Moore) Wilson. His father was a
Tennessee farmer, held slaves before the war and in
1849 made the long overland journey with wagons and
teams across the country to Texas. At that time Thomas
B. Wilson was nine years of age and had a very distinct
recollection of the many incidents of the journey. The
family located in Collin county, which was then on the
northern and western frontier of civilization and in
developing a farm they performed a pioneer service in
the progress of that locality. The father lived there
until his death on December 28, 1868.

The late Thomas B. Wilson grew up in Collin county
on the old farm six miles north of McKinney and, as
might be expected from the conditions which prevailed
in that part of the state during its period of early
settlement, his education was very limited so far as
school attendance was concerned. It is said that he
attended a country school for only three months. How-
ever he had a mind of unusual capacity, was eager for
knowledge, spent all his leisure time at home in study
and was what is called "a graduate of a pine knot
college. " A self-made and self-educated man, he
rendered himself capable in many ways, was a practical
man, and while prospering himself did not neglect his
duties to his home and state. During the war, while in
the vigor of his young manhood, he served a short time



in the Confederate army, but was discharged on account
of ill health. By practical experience he prepared him-
self for the profession of surveying and served for
twenty years as county surveyor, first appointed by
the governor of the state and later by the people 'of
Collin county. Later for about the same length of time
he was deputy sheriff of the county. In the meantime
he had applied himself with his characteristic energy
and with marked success to the business of farming and
stock raising and acquired large possessions and was
regarded as one of Collin county's most successful men.
For a number of years during the latter part of his
life he was in the abstract business at McKinney and
that business is now continued by his son, A. G. Wilson.

The late Mr. Wilson from the time of his majority

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 39 of 177)