Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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During the early years of his operations in what are
now Mitchell and Sterling counties there was no settle-
ment at Big Spring, although the springs attracted sev-
eral cattle outfits to that vicinity. After the railroad
station was established there in 1881, Mr. Brown became
one of the first permanent settlers of the town. He aft-
erwards sold out his interests in that locality, then trans-
ferred his operations to the panhandle and to New
Mexico, but finally returned to west Texas and located
in Howard county in 1897. From year to year his busi-



ness grew in magnitmle, and his herds increased until
he running from i.oUO to 25.000 head of cattle
orer his various ranches in Howard. Sterling and Ector
counties. Mr. Brown recalls the fact that he bought full
grown cows in Texas some vears ago at $6.25 per head,
■while at the present time he is paying $31.00 per head
for calves. In an experience of thirty years he has
weathered all the ups and downs of stock raising, and
in the final result has acquired such a success as few
men in the state can exhibit as a result of their life's
work. Mr. Brown is now the owner of eight thousand
acres of land in Ector county and five thousand acres
in Howard county.

As already stated, Mr. Brown has been a leader in the
upbuilding of Big Spring. He organized the west Texas
National Bank in 1903, and was the principal member
of the company which constructed the finest bank and
office building "in the city, a modern fireproof structure,
steam heated, and a credit to the city. Mr. Brown has
been president and the largest stockholder in the bank
since its organization and is also a large stockholder in
the bank of Coahoma. He and his family enjoy the
comforts of a beautiful home in Big Spring.

Mr. Brown is a Royal Arch Mason, has been affiliated
with the order for some fifteen years, and is also a
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He
was married in El Paso, April 18, 1888, to Miss Eddie
Lee, who was born in Lampasas county, daughter of
Andrew Peter and Matilda (Masters) Lee. Her father
was a native of Missouri, and her mother of Texas.
Mr. Lee, her father, now deceased, was one of the old
stockmen of west Texas, and during the time of the
Indian wars served as captain of a company of minute-
men. The three children of Mr. and Mrs. Brown are as
follows: Burton, who has already taken his place as
one of the leading stockmen of Ector county, with resi-
dence at Odessa; Ethel, who is a student in the Texas
Christian University; and Eula, also a student in the
same university.

Hon. J.vmes E. H.\eper. The first public office that
Hon. James E. Harper ever held was that of Justice of
the Peace, to which he was elected in 1S92, and which
office he held for one term. Since that time he has filled
numerous offices calling for a higher quality of service,
and today is serving as Chief Justice of the Court of
Civil Appeals of the Eighth Supreme Judicial District,
with J. F. McKeniie and E. F. Higgins as associate

Judge Harper was born in Jacksboro, Texas, on May
28, ISfifl, and has liveil in his native state all his life.
He is the son of William E. and Sarah Elizabeth (Ayres)
Harper, natives of Illinois and Kentucky, respectively.
The father came to Texas from Illinois in the early
fifties, here engaging in the business of farming and
stock-raising. He was a carpenter and builder by
trade, and though he gave some little attention to the
work in Texas, he achieved his greater material pros-
perity as a result of his acquaintance with the soil
and with the stock business. He died in 1871 and is
buried in Jacksboro. Texas. His widow survived until
1904, and is resting by his side. They were the parents
of six children, and of that number James E. Harper
of this review was the fifth born child and the younge.^t

. James E. Harj^er received his early education 'u tho
public schools of Denton county, the same being followeti
by a course in the LTniversity of Texas where he took
the junior course in law. LTpon leaving college he fe-
turned to his home town and there resumed the study
of law, gaining admittance to the bar in 1890, when he
came to El Paso and took up the practice of his profes-
sion. El Paso hns from that day represented his home
and the scene of his principal legal activities and he has
gained a name and fame far in excess of' that which
is accorded to the average aspirant for legal honors.

Two years after locating here .Judge Harper was
elected to the office of Justice of the Peace, in which
he continued for one term. In 1896 he was elected
county Judge, in which ofltice he served until 1902. He
was in the latter year chosen for the office of District
Attorney, in which he continued until September, 1904,
when he was appointed District Judge to fill an unex-
pired term. He was elected to the office of district judge
at the succeeding election, so well did he acquit him-
self in the discharge of his duties, and served until
December 1, 1912, when he was appointed to the post of
chief justice of the court of the Eighth Supreme Judi-
cial District, again to fill out an unexpired term. This
appointment resulted in his election to the office at the
next election, and he is now serving on the bench as
Chief Justice of the district. In his various offices Judge
Harper has dispensed a quality of justice that has ad-
mitted of no questionings, and he has proven the calibre
of his judgeship to be of the highest order.

As a Democrat, stanch and true, he has taken an active
interest in local and state politics, and has been fore-
most in the political battles that have been waged in
his district since he came to be a voter and a man of
affairs. By reason of his early initiation in the realm
of public office. Judge Harper maintains little or no
private practice, the duties of his office restraining him
from giving attention to private matters.

Judge Harper is fraternally identified with the Benev-
olent and Protective Order of Elks and is a member of
the Christian Church, although Mrs. Harper has member-
shiji in the Presbyterian Church of El Paso. ' The marriage
of Judge Harper took place on June 30, 1910, when
Clara Belle Deason, the daughter of Mrs. Mary B.
Deason, of Denton county, Texas, became his wife.
Two children have been born to them, Mary Elizabeth
and Frank. Mrs. Harper is prominent socially in El
Paso, and has a leading place in the club life of the
city, while she takes a wholesome interest in charitable
and philanthropic work in her home community, and is
president of a local school organization.

Judge Harper has naught but the kindest of things
to say for the state of Texas, and regards it as a place
where honest effort will never fail of its material reward.
He lays especial stress upon the abundant opportuni-
ties that are open to the man who is upon farming bent,
and sees for such men the brightest possible future.

John K. Webster, M. D. To a profession which
probably has the largest range of social service. Dr.
Webster has given his energies and talents for a period
of over twenty years, and since 190" has been active in
practice at Athens, in which neighborhood he was reared
from childhood. Dr. Webster is well qualified for the
work of a physician, and though a quiet, unassuming
gentleman, has often exercised his influence for the
welfare of his home town and county.

Dr. John K. Webster was born at Carthage, Xorth
Carolina, February 6, 1867. The original ancestor in
America was Simeon Webster, who came from Ireland
to the colonies about thirty years before the Eevolution.
It is believed that he and all his sons then old enough
fought as solditrs in the colonial army, and Simeon is
said to have been killed in the Battle of Monmouth.
The father of Dr. Webster was William J. Webster,
who was a member of a family comprising also the
sons Thomas, Eichard. Henry and George. All these
served as Confederate soldiers, and George and Henry
gave their lives to the southern flag at the battle of
Gettysburg. William J. Webster was born at Pitts-
boro in Chatham county. North Carolina, in 1833, and
was reared upon an old-time plantation with its many
slaves to perform the heavy duties of both field and
household. William J. Webster was a mechanic, a man
of active mentality, had a fair training in the local
schools, and developed his special bent by work as car-
penter before the war. When that conflict between the

cA^{^^^ x5l^^



states broke out he enlisted as a Confederate, and was
commissioned an officer of his company some time dur-
ing his service. Later he was detached from his com-
mand for special duty in his state, and at the final sur-
render he and his comrades disbanded and left the field.
The disappointment he suffered at the termination of the
war told upon him throughout his life, and he seemed
to have experienced little satisfaction in the political
or social sphere of our national life thereafter. He
took no part in Confederate Veterans' reunion, and as
little interest in politics as an observant of the ordinary
]iroprieties would sanction. His strong prejudices would
have made him a Democrat even if his ideas as to pub-
lic policies had not themselves drawn hiui into the ranks
of that party. He served as a nienilier of the first
board of aldermen at Athens, and aided in starting the
machinery of local anvernment. He was also an elder
in the Proslivt.'i iaii .hnivh.

William .T. Wrlisin lnnii-ht his family from Carthage,
iloore county, Xi.iili ( :ii.,lina. to Texas, in 1872. The
trip to Texas was mad.' l.y boat as far as New Orleans,
and then bv a iImt Imiit ii]i tn Slircvi'imrt. \vlienee
they followed the Tcxns ,-ii,.l ]■■.,.-, i\r i;;,ilrM,-i,| (,, Hall-
ville, which was then its tciniinu-^. I'mm fli,.rc tiicy took
a wagon overland to I'alestine. where the family lived
one year, and in 1873 reached Athens. At Athens,
"William J. Webster resumed his trade, and for a num-
ber of years was busy with the construction of many
homes and other bnihl'ings in Alliens an,! vicinity. Such
has been the material ur(.^\tll nf tlir . Dimty seat in re-
cent years that few nC thn^r l.nildinus sliind. His death
occurred at Athens «lion scvrnty-two years six months
of age, and his wife died in 1S9G. Her maiden name
was Isabel Kelly, a daughter of Angus Kelly of North
Carolina. Their children were: Daniel; Dr. John K. ;
Nannie, the wife of Mr. Adams of Athens; and Mollie,
who n]arried a Mr. AVeaver.

Dr. Webster was eiuht years of age when the family
moved to Athens, and after getting a common schooling,
his first experience was in working under his father at
carpentry, and also at farming. He later entered the
Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville, where he
was graduated M. D. in the class of 1891. Beturning to
Texas he began his practice of Malakoff, where he re-
mained and enjoyed a large and prosperous patronage
until 1907. In that .year he moved to Athens, opened
his office, and has since enjoyed the best of professional
connections. In 1900 Dr. Webster took a post-graduate
course in New Orleans Polyclinic. He is a member of
the County and State Medical Societies, and has
served as president of the Henderson county society.
Through his profession he has also given some public
service, chiefly through the office of health and county
physician. His politics are revealed only when he votes
the Democratic ticket. Dr. Webster is an elder in the
Presbyterian church.

In February, 1897, was celebrated the marriage of
Dr. Webster with Miss Mattie Smith, a daughter of W.
0. Smith, of the mercantile house of Smith & Smith at
Malakoff in Henderson county. Mrs. Webster's family
are old and respected residents of this part of Texas.
The children of the doctor and wife are Mary Belle,
born in 1898; Flora, born in 1903; and William Smith,
born in 1906. The family home is on Tyler Street in

Frederick J. Bitrkey. Thirteen years of continued
residence in Houston have brought to Frederick J.
Burkey a prominence among the more solid citizens of
the community of which he is well worthy. In these
years he has been active in the veterinary field and ivith
his son, Fred H. Burkey, carried on a widespread prae-
tice as a veterinary suro-eon of especial ability. Though
a resident of Texas since 1890, it was not until the year
of the Galveston disaster that he located in Houston, his
first ten years in Texas being spent in Galveston.

Mr. Burkey, it should be said, is a native son of
Illincjis. He was born in Jonesboro, that state, on
Orti'ber Ul, ^'<r,9, and is the son of John B. and Eliza-
'eili I \ Mil Thierstein) Burkey, both natives of Snitzer-
hiiei, uIh, eiiiiie to the United States in about 1859.
'J'lie.v iii.ele tlieir first American home in Illinois, and
'"'^'iii'' ' Hi/ens of genuine worth. The father, in fact,
.y^i^e Ins III,, for the best interests of his adopted
euiihin, lor when the war broke out he enlisted in the
Uuiun army, iiiid later died in Cincinnati as a result of
wounds re.i iNe.l al tlie battle of Fort Donelson.

The l.e\li,Mii| ut I'lcdcrick Burkey was one attended
by a good many hanlsliips, his orphaned state being an
unenviable one, and his early education was of such an
order as to lie an almost negligible factor. Of schooling
he had but little, and it might be said with all propriety
tliat be secured his education in the well known school
"f ••liaid kiiiirks. " He was not one to submit easily
to tile ill wiihU et' I'ditiine, and it is much to his credit
that lie w,iv. iliieiiyh \arious means, able to make his
:li the cliiiagu Veterinary College, from which

he was .

In tht

Texas, U

ii III- j^raduation, Dr. Burkey came to
almnsi immediately in Galveston, where
for ten years be gave himself to the work of his pro-
fession. During that time he spent four years as a
special student at the Medical Department of the Uni-
versity of Texas, at Galveston, devoting his studies
mainly to microscopical work in that institution and
furthering his professional efiiciency greatlv as a result
thereof. In 1900, when Galveston was destroved by the
great tidal wave that inundated the citv. Dr. Burkey
came out of the disaster financially ruined. Precisely
speaking, he possessed fifty cents in actual coin of the
realm when he began to look about him after the blow
fell. Thus it was that Dr. Burkey began life over again
after ten years of faithful work, but this time he took
up his professional labors in a new field, Houston being
the city of his choice.

Dr. Burkey has never had occasion to regret his

of a new location, for he has prospered -t lia|.|iil\ ni

this city. He has an excellent following in In- pn'iie'^-
sion, and is highly regarded among well kianvn veteri-
nary surgeons of the South.

Aside from his professional duties, Dr. Burkey haa
found time to devote to other affairs, and he is today
one of the most prominent Masons in Texas. It is
worthy of mention that he has gained his high position
in the old and honored order as a result of his actual
labors in the interests of the society. For several years
past he has been chairman of the Board of Masonic
Belief, and he devotes a generous portion of his time to
this work, which is aniong the most important branches
of its activities. His titles and ofiices in the Masonic
order may be briefly mentioned as follows: Past
Worshipful Master of Gray Lodge, No. 329, A. F. &
A. M. ; Past High Priest of Washington Chapter, No.
2, B. A. M. ; Past Eminent Commander of Buthven
Commandery, Knights Templar; Past Wise Master of
Lodge of Perfection, A. & A. S. E. He is also a mem-
ber of El Mina Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., and a
member of Texas Consistory, No. 1, being a Mason of
the thirty-second degree. His most recent Masonic
honor was conferred upon him on October 21, 1913,
when he was appointed a Knight Commander of the
Court of Honor of the Supreme Council, A. & A. S. B.
This last honor is directly due to the excellent work
Dr. Burkey has done in liis varied important Masonic
conneitiens, and comes as a Beward of Merit, as one
liii-li' i>. It the hands of his Masonic brothers. As
^11' '■ ii-tinetion of which he may well be proud,

ai ; I. iiialde that he has addeii not a little to

t!ie iM . II. urn s of the manifold activities of the order

In the year 1877 Dr. Burkey was married to Miss
Anna Grunert, who was then a resident of Milwaukee,



Q. Three children have been born to them.
Emma, the eldest, is the wife of F. M. Whitman, a
resident of Houston, while Fred H. and Frances are
still members of the family home circle. The Burkey
residence is maintained at 1711 Preston avenue.

T>. Leon Sanders, M. D., of Wills Point, where he
has been engaged in practice since 1906, is the repre-
sentative of one of the oldest famUies in the south,
members of the family having been identified witji
affairs in Alabama, North Carolina and Texaa for sev-
eral generations past.

Born in Ben Wheeler, Texas, on October 2, 1871, Dr.
Sanders is the son of Levi L. Sanders, a retired mer-
chant and farmer of Ben Wheeler, himself the son of
Benjamin Sanders, a blacksmith of Jackson county,
Alabama. The latter was killed by the Federals dur-
ing the war of the sixties. He was born in North Caro-
lina, and was the son of an Irishman of that state, who
died in Alabama when he was more than one hundred
years of age. He had two sons and six daughters, and
one of his sons was Levi L., the father of Dr. Sanders
of this review.

Levi L. Sanders was born in Jackson county, Alabama,
in 1837, and he learned something of blaeksmithing
from his father while in his youth. He became dissatis-
fied with his home while yet a mere boy and ran away,
thinking to better his conditions and for a time he was
employed on a Mississippi River Steamboat. When he
reached Texas in 1848, he found a home with Eev.
Nels King, of Eowlett, Dallas county, and he stayed
there until he took unto himself a wife, Miss Susan
Collins, who was a daughter of William and Minerva
Collins. Our subject's mother had three brothers, Leon,
Van and Tom, who were Texas Rangers and who were
stationed at Ft. Worth with Gen. Worth, who was in
command of the fort. Ft. Worth being named in honor
of him. And it was through the three brothers' influ-
ence that the Collins family came to Texas in the pio-
neer days, and Collin county was named in honor of some
of the Collins boys. Levi Sanders was a settler to
Texas from Alabama. In Oak Cliff, Dallas county, he
established his home. The town was then in embryo,
and he opened a shop, engaged in blaeksmithing. and
continued there for a few years. He moved then to
Brownsboro, in Henderson county, going there prior to
the war, and after four years of residence there he
joined the Confederate army as a mechanic in the com-
pany of Captain Bridges. Company 0. Sixth Texas Infan-
trv Regiment in General Ross 's Brigade, and he was made
brigade blacksmith by General Ross. He served through-
out the war without accident or untoward happening, and
when peace was restored he returned to his place at the
anvil, moving his shop to Ben Wheeler, in Van Zandt
countv, continuing there in his trade until about 1870,
when "he established himself in the merchandise business
in Ben Wheeler, continuing in that enterprise until 1905.
During the passing years he prospered, in whatever line
of business he was engaged in, and he acquired con-
siderable farm lands thereabout and developed a num-
ber of fine farms, at the same time engaging to a grreater
or less extent in the business of stock raising. He was
well in the advance of his community in the introduction
of blooded horses and cattle and in the breeding of fine
mules, as well, and the influence he had thus spread
abroad over a considerable portion of the country. He
has ever been an active man in the Methodist church, and
is a Master Mason. He is a Democrat, and as a veteran
of the Civil war is an enthusiastic member of the Con-
federate Veterans of the South.

The first wife of Levi L. Sanders died in 1877, and
she left children as follows: Lorenzo Dow Sanders, who
died in Smith county, Texas, in 1899, leaving a familv:
Henrv W., died in Leon county, this state, also leaving
a family: 'Mrs. H. J. Craft, of Canton, Texas; Mrs.
H. E. Wallace, the wife of Dr. Wallace of Ovalo,

Texas; B. Franklin, a resident of Ben Wheeler, Texas;
Josiah, who died unmarried; Dr. Leon, of this review;
Mrs. T. C. Sharp, of Leon county, Texas; Levi S. died
young, and James F., a merchant of Ben Wheeler, Texas.
Later in life Mr. Sanders married Fannie Smith, the
daughter of Nick Smith, a German resident of Ben
Wheeler, and their children are Morgan G., county at-
torney of Van Zandt county, and Grace; the wife of
Henry Gates, a farmer of Van Zandt county.

Dr. Leon Sanders was born in Ben Wheeler, Texas,
on October 2, 1871. When he had finished the common
schools he studied in Alamo Institute, and then took a
course in Transylvania University, being graduated
therefrom with the degree of B. "S. He entered the
Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville and was
graduated there in 1894, after which he spent two years
in school teaching in the country schools of Van Zandt
county. When he was ready for medical practice he
located at Edom, and he came to Wills Point in 1906,
where he has since continued. Since his graduation Dr.
Sanders has taken four post graduate courses in the New
Orleans Polyclinic. He is a member of the County and
State Medical Societies and the North Texas and the
Southern Medical Associations, and is secretary of the
county society.

Dr. Sanders is a Mason, with affiliation in the junior
orders, and he is a Pythian Knight and a member of
the Woodmen of the World.

The Doctor has been twice married. He was married
first on July 5, 1893, in Van Zandt county, to Miss Alice
Gray, whose father was Dr. A. J. Gray. She died in
1907, leaving three small daughters — Constance, Blanche
and Mary Lee. On June 30, 1909, Dr. Sanders mar-
ried Miss LaNear Aldridge, a daughter of John H.
Aldridge, of Weatherford, Texas. They have no chil-
dren. Dr. Sanders is a member of the Methodist church,
and has for years been a member of the Texas State
Historical Association, and is a member of The National
Geographical Society.

Hon. Edwin J. Mantooth. It is rare indeed that
nature, in the distribution of her gifts, favors an in-
dividual with so many and varied talents as are possessed
by Judge Edwin J. Mantooth, of Lufkin. Well known
in financial affairs as vice-president of the Lufkin Na-
tional Bank, prominent in industrial and commercial
concerns of this city and at times the incumbent of high
official position, he is one of his community's men of
power and influence. Also for many years he has been
known as one of this section's most distinguished legists,
is dean of all the attorneys of Angelina county, and be-
cause of his long connection with the bar and with those
movements and measures which have had a direct bear-
ing upon the welfare and upbuilding of this region, it
would be difficult to find an individual who has a more
intimate knowledge of the events which have shaped
its history and the men who have promoted its progress.
He has been a resident of Texas since 1857, and is a
son of Thomas Mantooth who brought his family hither
from Tennessee, made the journey by wagon, crossed
the Mississippi river at Natchez and located first on the
Neches river in Angelina county. He was a cattle man
and small farmer and soon located at Homer, then the
county seat of Angelina, where he died in 1865.

Thomas Mantooth was born in North Carolina Febru-
ary, 1811, and was a son of Thomas Mantooth, who
died in the Old North state. He acquired little more
than the elemental principles of an education, rather
shunned public appearance, but was induced to accept
the office of probate judge. He opposed secession until
Texas left the Union,' when he lent his moral aid to the
cause of the South. He possessed strong personal con-
victions, expressed them rather decidedly but with con-
sideration for the feelings of others and was a man of
wide popiilarity. He was of Scotch blood and was, it
"of colonial ancestry. In his family rela-



tions, Thomas ilantootli, Jr., marrieil first Mary
Sisk, and they became the parents of the followiny
children: Albert, who died in Lufkin in 1899 and left
a family; Eveline, who married Austin Vinson and died

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 49 of 177)