Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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This brother was William Benjamin Munson, now one
of the leading capitalists of North Texas, the other
brother and sisters being: Mrs. Louisa E. Douglass, of
Tecumseh, Nebraska; J. T., a resident of Denison,
Texas, and a member of the large real estate firm of
Munson & Brother; and the Misses M. G. and T. M., of
Point Loma, California. In 1870 Thomas V. Munson
was married to Miss Ellen Scott Bell, of Lexington,
Kentucky, and to this union there were born seven
children: William Bell, of Denison; Mrs. A. A. Ache-
son, of Hugo, Oklahoma; Eoscoe W., of Denison, Texas;
Miss Neva, of Denison; and Mrs. N. C. Calvert, Mrs.
W. C. Green and Miss Marguerite Munson, all of



Shortly after his marriage, Dr. Munson removed to
the vicinity of Lincoln, Nebraska, from vphence he came
to Denison, and here all of his industrial, scientific and
literary work was done. He established one of the most
famous vineyards in the South, besides building up a
reliable and well-k-nown nursery business. He became
the acknowledged authority on the native wild grapes
of North America, and Bulleton No. 3, Division of
Pomology, United States Department of Agriculture,
"Classification and Generic Synopsis of the Wild Grapes
of North America," which "he wrote and which was
published in 1890, is one of the most painstaking pieces
of botanical work ever done in this country. It made
the wav for his later and greater work. "Foundations of
American Grape Culture." His horticultural and sci-
entific work in hybridizing and perfecting the American
Vitis won for him a diploma from the French Govern-



ment in 1888 and the decoration of the Legion of Honor,
with the title of ' ' Chevalier du Merit Agricole, ' ' for the
aid he had rendered France in viticultural matters. He
was a member of the American Academy of Science, the
National Agricultural Association of France, vice presi-
dent of the American Pomological Society, member of
the American Breeders' Association, the Association for
the Advancement of Science, and president of the Texas
Horticultural Society. In 1903-4 he was a member of
the Texas World's Fair Association. He was a member
of the jury of awards at the St. Louis Exposition in
1904, an honorary member of the American Wine Grow-
ers' Association and also a vice president of the Society
for Horticultural Science. The most complete botanical
display of the whole grape genus ever made was pre-
pared by Professor Munson and exhibited at the World 's
Columbian Exposition, Chicago, in 1893. This collec-
tion, now in the United States Department of Agri-
culture, will ever be a sterling record of Dr. Munson 's
wonderful patience, painstaking care and skill. His
splendid book, ' ' Foundations of American Grape Cul-
ture, " is regarded as the most practical, complete and
satisfactory account of the American grape yet issued,
and is a lasting monument to his zeal, energy and sci-
entific investigation. Such, in brief, is a cursory review
of the life and some of the achievements of a man who
has left his impress indelibly stamped upon the annals
of science, literature and the hearts of his fellow men.
It does not become the biographer unfamiliar with the
science to which Professor Munson devoted his long and
useful life, however, to write of his attainments. Such
a task is more fittingly accomplished by one whose
labors were conducted along the same lines, and for this
reason we are allowed to quote from an article written
for the Texas State Horticultural Society, which, in
part, said as follows:

' ' Professor Munson is with us no more, and we sadly
miss him. It is with mingled feelings of pleasure and
regret that I respond to the assignment to present to
the members of the Texas State Horticultural Society
the short memoir of our friend and co-worker, the late
T. V. Munson. Of pleasure we delight to revert to and
honor his memory, who was a great man in natural en-
dowments, in application and in grand achievements, a
distinguished life member and one of the founders of
this society, a true and faithful friend and a noble and
useful citizen. Of regret because of his departure from
life.

' ' The ordinary extravagances of eulogy do not ex-
press our feelings and are not proper on this occasion,
■but the sacred converse of the life labors and of the
departure of our near and dear friend, co-worker and
benefactor. AU of you who enjoyed the acquaintance
and friendship of Brother Munson will bear me out
that it was a rare pleasure to have known him in his
beautiful home, in his remarkable trial grounds, or-
chards and vineyards, in our many horticultural and
other conventions' and in every form of intercourse. It
was a rare treat indeed to walk with Mr. Munson in his
trial grounds and have him unfold the fascinating, yet
intricate, work of originating and improving the many
thousands of new varieties which he has given to the
world. The impression he made was of one thoroughly
at home among his new creations, of one easily the
complete master of the laws and knowledge of plant
selection and reproduction. Not only was he a master
of his line, to his great abilities were added the higher
qualities of a courteous and cultured gentleman, kind
and wise husband, warm and loyal friend and useful
and broad-minded citizen.

' ' Mr. Munson was a deep and thorough student, going
to the bottom of the subjects which he studied and prac-
ticed. We may well class him as a student and investi-
gator with such men as Huxley, Agassiz, Tyndal, Joseph
Cook. Professor Bailey and the like, going further
really than they in that he utilized his knowledge of




c^^l-^ — ^



TEXAS AND TEXANS



1723



the deep things of nature in the production of new arid
rare plant creations, creations which should combine
the best traits of the various parent plants which he
chose to utUize in hybridization and in cross-pollina-
tion.

' ' The love for pomological experimentation and the
achievement dominated the life of Professor Munson,
and our horticulture of the present day and of all fu-
ture time has received a great blessing in his life and
labors. We are fortunate indeed that Mr. Munson
chose horticulture as his life work, rather than the pro-
fessions or finance, in any of which he might have
shone with distiaction.

' ' The fullness of the life and labors of Professor
Munson wiU probably never be fully known. His great
mind was a rare storehouse of knowledge. His library
is rich, a treasurehouse. His observations and writings
would fill volumes, which, while they would make a rich
heritage for the horticulturists of cominig generations,
may never be published.

' ' These productions have been carefully classified and
filed by him, with the aid of his son, William B. Munson.
The writer has been accorded the privilege of entering
the sacred precincts of his study, his great workshop,
and of examining these treasures which he left. And
let me suggest here that the Texas Horticultural So-
ciety, of which he was a founder and president for
many years, combined with the American Horticultural
Society, of which he was a life member, and the Ameri-
can Pomological Society, of which he was vice president
for many years, would do well to appoint a joint com-
mittee to confer with his family as to the practicability
of formulating such a biography of this great man
which should contain or utilize much of the unpublished
life work of Mr. Munson. One volume especially upon
which he spent a great deal of time and careful thought
and investigation is a thesis prepared on the "Native
Trees of the Southwest," and which was done under
the direction of the Department of Agriculture at Wash-
ington.

' ' Mr. Munson "s life work was, however, well done.
He stated at his death that he was well satisfied with
his life work. He had no regrets; he was ready to go.
The results of his labor are a rich heritage to our horti-
culture. They constitute a monument to his great life
more enduring than shaft of marble or granite, and
increasingly blessed as time goes on. Thousands of
carefully bred new varieties have been given to the
world, especially of grapes, but also of many other
fruits and ornamental plants, by him.

' ' Mr. Munson 's last book, ' The Foundation of
American Grape Culture,' is a fit and characteristic
product of his life. It is a gem of classic literature, as
well as rich and valuable to the viticulturist. It should
be in the library of every home in the land. The writ-
ings of Mr. Munson are gems of deep thought and of
exquisite culture, and are much sought after by the
leading journals, both domestic and foreign.

' ' On account of great services done by Mr. Munson in
producing and furnishing phylloxera — resistent stocks
with which to restore the phylloxera infested vineyards
of Prance — and for other valuable services rendered the
viticulture of France, he was given the highest honors
that could be awarded, viz., membership in the Legion
of Honor, with the title of Chevalier du Merit Agri-
cole. Eeally, there is scarcely a vineyard in the world
that is not now or will some time be benefited by the
work of Mr. Munson. On account of the thesis on the
'Forests and the Trees of Texas,' as has already been
mentioned, the Kentucky Agricultural College in 18S3
conferred upon him the degree of Master of Science.

' ' Professor Munson was for many years an active
member and honored officer of the American Pomological
Society, of the American Horticultural Society, a mem-
ber of the Texas State Horticultural Society, the So-
ciety of Horticultural Science, of the American Breed-



ers' Association, and other scientific and useful organi-
zations, and was everywhere highly esteemed for his deep
learning, his philanthropic spirit and his practical utility.
Everywhere Professor Munson will be greatly missed,
for his words were those of wisdom.

"In his home life and in his own community, Mr.
Munson shone with greatest lustre. In his own family
he was loved to devotion by his wife and seven chUdren,
all of whom survive to honor his memory and lament
his absence. In his own community Mr. Munson, while
naturally retiring, never desiring any political prefer-
ment, yet had decided opinions in all public matters,
and was always found on the side of conservative ad-
vancement, especially in matters of higher education.
He was a valued member of the Denison school board
for eight years. ' '

At the time of Professor Munson 's death numberless
expressions of admiration for the man and his work,
and regrets for his departure, were sent by mail and
telegraph from all parts of the world, the press all over
the country paid him eulogies, and his funeral was one
of the most largely attended that Denison or adjoining
cities has known. From the beautiful suburban family
residence just south of the city of Denison, the body
was borne tenderly to the spacious auditorium of the
XXI Club, which had been donated by his brother,
J. T. Munson. There the funeral services were held
before a congregation that filled the auditorium to over-
flowing. The services were simple and brief. Mr. E. L.
Legate, a warm personal friend of the deceased, read
the funeral oration, " Philosophius ' Funeral Oration,
Made Over His Own Grave," which had been written
by Professor Mt^nson when still in good health, and
which he had requested to be read at his funeral. From
the auditorium the funeral train moved to Fairview
Cemetery, where Mr. W. B. Munson, brother of the
deceased, read the following beautiful tribute, with
which we shall close this all too brief sketch:

"Dearest Brother: We now surrender you back to
the bosom of the great universe into whose mysteries
during life you so loved to delve. Your life has been
an inspiration to your family and friends, and will be
an example to all as the happy results of a life weU
spent. You fell asleep like a child on its mother's
bosom, without a struggle, your every feature indicating
the satisfaction of having earned the plaudits of your
f ellowmen. ' Well done, thou good and faithful servant. '
"Your heart was as loving and tender as the flowers
you grew; your resolution in the discharge of duty as
strong as the oak and as firm as steel; your energy was
tireless, your patience most wonderful; your character
and conduct spotless and clean ; your love" of nature was
only surpassed by your love of man. You found your
greatest happiness in the bestowment of lasting benefits
upon your fellowmen.

"You will live in the moral fibre of your posterity,
in the impress your life has made upon those who knew
you, in the finer fruits of vines you created, and in the
wider intelligence your writings have wrought. The
world wiU be better and happier for your having lived.
"Eest in peace."

J. Bex Stegall. As cashier of the Texas State Bank
of Farwell, Parmer county, and as a large cattle owner,
J. Eex StegaU is in close touch with the activities of his
locality and is representative of the youno-er sons of
the "Lone Star State."

Mr. Stegall was born at Vernon, Wilbarger county,
Texas, September 8, 1889, and is a son of John A. arid
Mary E. (Lafferty) Stegall. On the paternal side he
comes of Scotch Irish descent. The Stegalls were early
settlers of Tennessee, and J. J. Stegall, the grandfather
of J. Eex, was a veteran of the Civil war, having ren-
dered service in the Confederate Army. John A. Stegall
was born in Tennessee, spent his e'arly years in that
State, and in 1877 came to Texas and settled down to



1724



TEXAS AND TEXANS



ranching. For seven years he was general manager of
a ranch. During that time he gained a wide acquaint-
ance throughout Ford and Wilbarger counties and
proved himself to be made out of the kind of material
they needed for sheriffs. As the choice of the Democrats,
he was elected Sheriff of the counties of Ford and Wil-
barger, both at that time being under one government,
and for eight years he filled that responsible position,
with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of
his constituents. On his retirement from public office,
he engaged in the live stocli business on his own account
in Ford County, and he is stUl identified with this in-
dustry, now being the leading and controlling spirit in
a company composed of twenty-six members. This com-
pany owns seventy-six sections of land besides having
large leased holdings. They have approximately 30,000
head of live stock. The mother of the subject of this
sketch, Mary E. (Lafferty) Stegall, is a native of Texas
and a daughter of J. A. Lafferty, a pioneer settler of
Hall county, this State. She is the mother of eight chil-
dren, of whom J. Rex is the second. The parents are
identified with the Methodist Church and have reared
their children in its faith.

The educational training of J. Eex Stegall was re-
ceived at Clarendon, Texas, and Fayetteville, Arkansas.
He spent his boyhood vacations on the range, where he
thoroughly learned the stock business, and following his
graduation at Clarendon College, he engaged in the cattle
business on his own responsibility. He is still interested
in the business and is the owner of a herd which num-
bers no less than 2,300 head. In the mean time, in
April, 1907, young in years but with training and ability
to match the work, he became cashier of the Texas State
Bank, of which he is a stockholder, and this position he
has since filled.

Politically, young Stegall has followed in his father's
footsteps, and ever since he has been a voter he has taken
an active part in Democratic politics in his locality. He
has a membership in the church in which he was reared,
and he enjoys fraternal relations with the B. P. O. E.
and the F. and A. M., his work in the Masonic Order
including the Eoyal Arch degrees. Mr. Stegall is un-
married.

Cecil A. Keating. In the life of affairs of Texas as
a whole, Mr Keating 's name is best known as a whole-
sale dealer in agricultural implements and as a manufac-
turer of plows, having for many years been head of one
of the large industries of Dallas, and he is also well
known for his work, continued for more than twenty
years, in connection with the great pro.ject of canalizing
the Trinity river and converting it into a navigable
stream from Dallas to the Gulf.

A resident of Dallas for nearly forty years, Cecil
A. Keating was born at Halifax, Nova Scotia, March
20, 1850, and comes of English and Scotch families
long prominent in the military and civil life of England
and her colonies. Mr. Keating 's ancestors were at dif-
ferent times stationed in India, Ceylon, the West Indies,
South America, Central America, Canada and elsewhere.
William Henry Keating, his father, was born September
26, 1807, in Manchester, England, a son of John and
Ann CHall) Keating. John Keating was a son of Cap-
tain John Keating, of the British army, who in 1758
was married in North Carolina to Mary Wayne, whose
uncle was Anthony Wayne, the brilliant American sol-
dier. Grandfather John Keating was a merchant in Eng-
land, and in 1812 started with his family on a sailing
vessel for Philadelphia, but before reaching his destina-
tion war broke out between England and the United
States, and the vessel turned south and went to Surinam
in South America, where John Keating died of yellow
fever on October 22, 1813. William Henry, his son,
was sent to England to receive his education, while his
mother remained at Surinam and married Captain Alex-
ander Johnston of the British army. Some years later



Captain Johnston took his family to Halifax, Nova
Scotia, where he served with his regiment and died in
1849.

William Henry Keating studied law at Lunenburg,
Nova Scotia, was admitted to the bar in 1828, for a
number of years held the office of judge of probate in the
county of Yarmouth, also master in chancery, represented
the United States government as consular agent, and in
1839 was appointed deputy provincial secretary at Hali-
fax, filling that place with distinction until 1863. He
then was made Kegister of Deeds of Halifax, an'd con-
tinued a man of prominence in public affairs in Nova
Scotia until 1887, when he moved to California and died
in that state in 1898.

At Yarmouth, July 17, 1837, William H. Keating mar-
ried Eliza Walford Forbes. She was born February 25,
1819, at Gibraltar and died in California, December 15,
1902. Her father. Captain Anthony Somersall Van
Crosen Forbes; born in 1792 at St. Kitts in the West
Indies, and educated in England, was given a commis-
sion in the English army, was stationed at Annapolis
Eoyal in Nova Scotia, later was ordered to Europe to
take part in the campaign against Napoleon, and after
the battle of Waterloo returned to Nova Scotia, and was
later in command at Gibraltar, where his daughter Eliza
W. was born. He finally returned to Nova Scotia, and
after retiring from the army became collector of cus-
toms at Yarmouth, where he died in 1838. The Forbes
family ancestry is traced back to Salvathius Forbes, who
married MoravUla, daughter of Gregory the Great, King
of Scotland. Captain Forbes was married in Nova Scotia
in 1815 to Susan Gloriana Davoue, a daughter of Fred-
erick Davoue, a British citizen of Huguenot descent,
who had come to America and settled in New Y'ork, but
being a Eoyalist his farm was confiscated during the
American Revolution and he emigrated to Nova Scotia.
In this connection it is of interest that his farm was
given by the state of New Y'ork to Thomas Paine as a
reward for the latter 's services to the American colonies.

The enterprise displayed by his forefathers as soldiers
and in civil affairs was transmitted to Cecil A. Keating.
His youth was spent in Nova Scotia, among the scenes
made famous by Longfellow in his ' ' Evangeline ' ' and
for a time he followed the sea. In 1870 he went to
Chicago, was there during the great fire of 1871, and as
an emplo.ye of a large implement factory received his
first experience in the business which he made the found-
ation of h'is success in Texas. Mr. Keating came to
Dallas in 1875, soon after the first railroad had reached
that city, and engaged in business under the name of
Stone & Keating in a canvas tent at the corner of Elm
and Jefferson streets, where subsequently arose the large
buildings housing his implement company. In 1882 he
bought out his partner and continued the business under
the name of C. A. Keating until 1884, when it was in-
corporated as the Keating Implement and Machine Com-
pany, for many years the largest establishment of its
kind in the southwest. In 1905 Mr. Keating retired from
the active management and his brother, H. S. Keating,
assumed the personal supervision of the company's af-
fairs. Mr. Keating was also the founder and president
of the Texas Disc Plow Company, organized in 1894,
to manufacture and put on the market a type of plow
then new and known as Disc plows, for which he bought
the patent. It was the Disc plow that revolutionized
plowing in the dry lands of Texas, and made plowing by
steam or other than horse power practical and success-
ful. The business grew rapidly, and the demand for
the Disc plows caused shipment all over the United States
and many foreign countries. In 1898 northern plow fac-
tories appropriated the disc principle, and Mr. Keating
had a long drawn out litigation in the United States
courts to defend his rights under the patent laws. Mr.
Keating withdrew also in 1905 from the active manage-
ment of the Disc Plow Company, which also came under
the active control of his brother.



TEXAS AND TEXANS



1725



As a business iiiau and employer Mr. Keating came
into direct personal relations with bis subordinates and
the estimation in which he was held was well evidenced
when he retired from the management of the Keating
Implement house. His old employes, some of whom had
been under him for almost thirty years, presented him
with a handsome silver loving cup as a token of their
admiration. Mr. Keating is a widely known, jjublic-
spirited citizen, and for many years has been a foremost
figure in the growth and development of Dallas as the
commercial metropolis of the southwest. He took an
active part in the Dallas Fair, was vice-president of the
association and in 1904 became president. That was a
critical year in the association's history, but with his
own financial backing established the Fair on such a
secure basis that during the following year it returned a
profit, and has ever since been one of the {;i'''3t instit\i-
tions of the southwest. In Dallas he is especially w^ell
known for his long years of unselfish work and financial
aid in connection with the Trinity river navigation pro-
ject. With Commodore Duncau and T. W. Griffiths he
was the leading spirit ju the operations of the Trinity
Eiver Navigation Company, organized in 1891 to pro-
mote the improvement of that stream as a waterway.
He was honored as president of the company year after
year until it was no longer necessary to keep up such
an organization by reason of the United States govern-
ment having taken active charge of the improvement.
Through the efforts of this organization the plan re-
ceived approval from Congress in 1902, and since that
time about a million dollars has been appropriated for
the deepening and canalization of the Trinity river
channel. When this work is finished it will convert the
Trinity river into a canal throughout a distance of five
hundred miles from Dallas to the Gulf, so as to afford
water transportation to cities lying along that stream
giving them the advantage of lower rates, due to the
possession of a navigable water course.

In 1877 at Kankakee, Illinois, Mr. Keating married
Miss Nellie C. Joy. Their son, William, died in Colora:do
in 1908, at the age of twenty-two, and the two living
children are: Cecil Phillips and Miss Eliza C. Mr.
Keating was married in 1914 to Mrs. Ruth Evelyn Shaw,
of Covington, Kentucky, widow of Judge William McD.
Shaw, and devotes his time to his real estate and other
investments and in traveling.

Horace G. Johnston. Through his long ofScial con-
nection with the American Well & Prospecting Company
of Corsicana, Mr. Johnston has been a very prominent
factor in the oil regions of the southwest, particularly
in Texas. He is president and general manager of the
company, which is one of the largest concerns of the
kind in the world, and its connections and operations are
world-wide, Corsicana being only the business head-
quarters for operations which extend to different sections
of this country, and to practically all the continents of



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 42 of 177)