Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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chose railroading as his field of endeavor, and some time
prior to the outbreak of the war between the North and
South came to the Lone Star State and secured employ-
ment with the I. & G. N. Eailroad at Palestine. Some
years later he went to Hlinois and entered the employ of
the Chicago & Alton Eailroad at Eoodhouse. While
there, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Hud-
son, and to this union there were born two children :
Minnie, who became the wife of C. L. Murff of Athens,
Texas, and Hal C. Hi 1892 Peter Dunbar resumed his
connection with the I. & G. N. at Palestine, Texas, and
ten years later, after thirty-nine and one-half years of
railroad service, retired from all work, came to Athens,
and here passed the remainder of his life, dying in 1912.
His widow, who survives him, still lives at Athens, where
she has a wide acquaintance.

Hal C. Dunbar commenced his educational training in
the public schools of Greene county, Illinois, and con-
tinued them in Palestine, Texas. It was the ambition of
his father that he become a civil engineer, and he ac-
cordingly entered the University of Texas, at Austin,
where he was graduated in the engineering course when
but twenty years of age. Following this, he secured a po-
sition in the civil engineering department of the Southern
Pacific Eailway, and, after four years spent in doing
special engineering work with the Houston & Texas Cen-
tral Eailway, abandoned his profession and came to
Athens. Here he entered public life as a deputy to Tax
Collector A. C. Hart, whom he served five years, suc-
ceeding which he acted in a like capacity during the term
of Hart's successor, A. Scott. Feeling himself qualified
for the duties of tax collector of Henderson county, Mr.
Dunbar then entered the race on his own account. His
political belief was in accord with that of the dominant
party of Texas, and, despite the fact that he bad four
competitors, he won the in.niinntiiin in the first primary
with 318 more votes tluin tlic n|i|i(isition combined. All
along the line of his dulics Mr. |)iiiibar has shown him-
self able, faithful, and i-diisiii-nl i(,iis, and, as the past is
generally conceded to be a fairly good criterion of the
future, it is reasonably safe to predict that he will prove
one of the most capable and popular officials who has
yet filled the county tax collector's office. His courteous,
obliging nature has won him numerous friends in the
county among all classes and political parties.

Mr. Dunbar was married at Athens, Texas, August 22,
1909, to Miss Winifred Larkin, a daughter of Dr. Percy
Larkin of this city. They have had no children.

EUAS Bakry. The Fort Stockton Pioneer, of which
Mr. Barry is editor and publisher, is one of the best ed-
ited and best written papers in the state. The character
of its news and editorial column and the influence of
its contents rank the paper far above the position usually
occupied by the smaller journals of the state, and its po-
sition is well indicated by the fact that its circulation
enters into thirty-seven states of the Union, and it is also
read in Canada, Mexico. Central America, and in Cuba.
The editor and owner, Mr. Barry, is a man of excep-
tional education, and has unusual qualities, both as an
editor and as a citizen. He has been identified with Fort

Stockton for about four years, but previous to that was
well known in the newspaper life of Kentucky.

Ellas Barry was born in Sumner county, Tennessee,
November 15, 1S49, and when he was seven years of age
his parents moved to Benton, Kentucky, which state was
his regular home until January, 1909. He then came to
Texas, and for the first fifteen months was proprietor
and editor of the Colorado Citken. He then sold out
and moved to Fort Stockton, where he bought his present
business. The Pioiieer office is thoroughly equipped with
modern facilities for newspaper and general printing
business and is quartered in a fine two-story stone busi-
ness block, which Mr. Barry built especially for the

As a boy, he was reared in Kentucky, attended public
schools there, and at the age of sixteen began his prac-
tical career. He had few resources and not enough money
to take him continuously through school to the point
which he desired as his educational goal. He worked on
a farm until he was nineteen, and then attended the
Marshall county Seminary ten months. After that, he
taught each year in his home county for five months and
for another five months attended school. He kept this
up for five years, and at the end of that period was prin-
cipal of the Marshall County Seminary, and was then
elected county school superintendent. After serving two
terms in that office, he was chosen county judge, an office
he held for one term of foiir years. He then went on
the road as a traveling salesman, and was in commercial
life six years. Twenty months of that period were spent
in Alaska, after which he returned to Kentucky and en-
gaged in the newspaper business in his old home town.
He first bought and was editor and proprietor of the
Marshal County Demoerat, and subsequently of the Ben-
ton Tribune, continuing to be identified with journalism
until his removal to Texas. During that time he served
one term in the Kentucky legislature.

Mr. Barry was married in Paducah, Kentucky, August
22, 1877, to Miss Laura O. Paine, daughter of Thomas P.
Paine of Paducah. The three children (two sons and
one daughter) of their marriage were: Thomas J. and
Eobert B., both deceased, and Mrs. J. L. Mitchell, a resi-
dent of Fort Stockton, where her husband is a contractor
and builder. Mr. and Mrs. Barry are active members of
the Christian church, he serving as elder and as superin-
tendent of the Sunday school, while Mrs. Barry is a mem-
ber of the Ladies ' Aid Society. Mr. Barry has also for
forty-two years been a member of the Masonic order, and
his wife is affiliated with the Eastern Star. His other
fraternities are the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and the Knights of Pythias. He served one year as
secretary of the Fort Stockton Commercial Club and is
now postmaster of Fort Stockton. He is one of the party
fighters in the Democratic organization, and it is note-
worthy that he was one of the original Wilson men and
advocated the nomination of that scholar and statesman
through the columns of the Pioneer. Mr. Barry finds his
best recreation in the newspaper business and in the hard
work connected with it. He is a great mixer socially and
is one of the most popular men in Fort Stockton and

John H. Highsmith. Now proprietor of a transfer,
storage, ice, and feed business at Fort Stockton, Mr.
Highsmith is one of the progressive young business men
of west Texas. He began his career as a hardworking
clerk at a meager salary, and is now one of the influential
men of Fort Stockton.

John H. Highsmith was born in Lampasas, Texas,
Januarv 8, 1876, a son of Henry A. and Sallie High-
smith. ' He was the fifth in a family of seven children.
His early education was in the public schools of Eound
Eock, and at fifteen years he began his own career, when
he took a place in a general store and worked as clerk for
one year at a salary of thirty-five dollars per month and
board. He then went into a hardware store, where he



spent nearly two years, after whicli he came out to west
Texas and was introduced to the life of this country by
eight months of work on a ranch. He returned home, and
then began buying and selling stock on his own account.
He w-as later in the mule and horse business for several
years, after which be managed the ice business at Hutto,
where he remained for about two years. In 1908 he
came to Fort Stockton to close up the estate of G. H.
Cato, his brother-in-law, and has remained with this place
ever since. He set up in the contracting business for the
construction of streets and highroads, and has con-
structed nearly all the made streets in Fort Stockton and
nearly every wagon road in Pecos county. From the
contracting business he got into his present line, and now
handles a complete line of stock food supplies, has a
storage warehouse, and deals in ice and does a general
transfer and heavy hauling business. The sign on all
his buses, ' ' We never miss a train, ' ' is indicative of the
spirit of punctuality and promptness which has charac-
terized Mr. Highsmith 's entire business career.

His church is the Presbyterian, and he is aifiliated
with the Woodmen of the World and the Knights of
Pythias, belongs to the Fort Stockton Commercial Club
and the Fort Stockton Club, and is one of the active
workers in the Democratic ranks. At the present time
he is serving as city pound ofSeer. Baseball is his fa-
vorite diversion, and he is a broad-minded man, who
takes an interest in everything that concerns the welfare
and wholesome conditions in his home town.

F. M. Newman. A native son of Texas, where he
has passed his entire career, F. M. Newman has risen
to an enviable position at the bar of McCulloch county,
and for more than a quarter of a century has been in
continuous practice at Brady. In no walk of profes-
sional life is the value of thorough preparation more
evident than in the domain of law. Mr. Newman pre-
pared himself with patience and thoroughness before
venturing into the practice of his chosen vocation, his
training including work as a teacher in ■ Texas school-
rooms, with the result that when he finally became active
as a legist he was able at once to take a position of
prominence among the thorough and learned men of his
profession. With increasing competition in the legal
field, he has been able to maintain his position, and
today he is recognized as one of the leading practition-
ers of his locality.

F. M. Newman was born November 4, 1860, in Wash-
ington county, Texas, and is a son of Joel and Mary A.
(Overton) Newman. The Newmans are of English
origin. They came to America during the Colonial pe-
riod, and the family was founded in the Southwest by
Jonathan Newman, the grandfather of F. M. Newman,
who was a member of the Austin Colony and came to
Texas in 1825, here passing the remainder of his life
in farming and stock raising pursuits. Joel Newman,
father of F. M. Newman, was born in what is now
Washington county, Texas, but which at that time was
a portion of Mexico. He was reared to agricultural
pursuits, and, with his father, Jonathan Newman, being
a slaveholder, at the outbreak of the war between the
South and North, his sympathies were naturally with
the Confederacy. Accordingly, Joel Newman enlisted
in the service of the South and continued to do duty
until the close of hostilities, the greater part of his
service being passed in Galveston. He subsequently
returned to his native locality, and continued to be
engaged in farming and stock" raising until his death,
which occurred at his home, located within 600 yards of
where he had been born, in 1890. His wife, a native of
Tennessee, passed away in 187.3, having been the mother
of four sons and two daughters, P. M. being the second
in order of birth.

F. M. Newman was reared to manhood on the home
place in W^ashington county, and there received his pri-
mary educational training in the community private

schools. Subsequently he entered Baylar University,
from which he was graduated in 1885, with the degree
of Bachelor of Arts, being the last graduate of that
institution before it was moved from Independence to
Waco. During his last year in the University, he was
one of the teachers, devoting half of each day to hear-
ing recitations and the other half to his own studies.
Following this, Mr. Newman taught school for
one year, being principal of a public school, and in the
meantime prosecuted his legal studies. In June, 1886,
he commenced the study of law exclusively at Brenham,
and in 1887 was admitted to the bar. In October of
that year he came to Brady, and this city has since been
his field of practice. Mr. Newman has devoted himself
to his profession and he has pursued it upon the same
method as the scholar in science — quietly, euthusiastie-
ally, and industriously bringing to it the highest intel-
lectual qualities and attributes of character which have
given him an envious position and earned him conspicu-
ous success. There is no doubt that he would be emi-
nently successful on the bench, for on several occasions
he has accepted appointments as special judge, yet he
has not courted publicity nor has he shown any desire
to thrust himself into politics except as an earnest sup-
porter of the principles and candidates of the Demo-
cratic party. In this connection he is known as a
zealous worker, for whatever he undertakes receives the
full benefit of his energetic nature. In Masonry he has
attained to the Chapter and Council degrees and is a
Past Master and Past High Priest, and he is also
a popular member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, and the Woodmen of the
World. His wide circle of sincere friends testifies to
his popularity both in and outside of his profession.

On February 4, 1891, Mr. Newman was married at
Brady to Miss Laura Sheridan, daughter of John P.
Sheridan, a retired Texas rancher, who migrated to this
state from Indiana. Two children have been born to
Mr. and Mrs. Newman : Pearl, born February 2, 1892,
and F. Sheridan, born October 20, 1909.

Herman H. Butz. County treasurer of Pecos county,
Mr. Butz is one of the well-known business men of Fort
Stockton; was for a number of years associated with Mr.
James Eooney in merchandising, and now does a large
business in general real estate and insurance lines. He
belongs to the old, substantial German stock, an element
which had done so much for the development and enter-
prise of Texas, especially in the south and southwest, and
he himself well represents the solid characteristics of his

Herman H. Butz was born in one of the chief centers
of German colonization in Texas, at New Braunfels, July
12, 1876. His father was Theodore Butz, who was born
in Germany, and came to Texas when a young man, fol-
lowing various occupations and during the Civil war
serving as a Confederate soldier. He was a member of
the Knights of Honor and well known in his community.
His death occurred in 1SS.3, at the age of forty years. He
married, in Texas, Augusta Koehler. who was also born
in Germany, and she now makes her home at San Marcos,
Texas. Of four children, Herman H. was the first, and
the other sons and daughters also live in this state.

Herman H. Butz had his early education in the public
schools, and at eighteen years began for himself. He
came out to Fort Stockton, took a clerkship in a store,
worked one year at a salary, and then joined Mr. James
Eooney and bought out the mercantile business which
has since been conducted and is now known as the
Eooney Mercantile Company. Mr. Butz was associated ac-
tively with the management of this concern for about
ten years, and at the end of that time became interested
with several other local business men in the organization
of the First State Bank of Stockton. He held the of-
fice of cashier in that institution for six years, at the



eud of «"hicli time he resigned, and since then has man-
aged his private investment, and also has an office for
general real estate, insurance, and investment business.

As a Democrat, Mr. Butz has been an influential leader
in this part of the state, and at the present time is serv-
ing his fifth consecutive term in the office of county
treasurer. He is also president of the school board, hav-
ing been connected with the board for ten years, and at
one time was secretary. He is a member of the Com-
mercial Club, and, besides his other interests, has for the
past five years held the office of local observer for the
weather bureau at Fort Stockton. This work, through
its practical scientific features, has interested Mr. Butz
very much. He was married in Fort Stockton, December
20, 1898, to Agnes Eooney, a daughter of Francis
Eooney, the old pioneer of Fort Stockton. Mr. and Mrs.
Butz are the parents of five children, four sons and one
daughter, namely: Francis, Karl, Marvin, Walter, and
Mary Agnes. Mrs. Butz and her children are members of
the Catholic church, while Mr. Butz was reared in the
Episcopal church. He is active in the Woodmen of the
World, having served as clerk for several years, then in
the position of banker, and is now one of the board of

George C. Eobinson. Mr. Robinson is one of the solid,
progressive business men of Marfa. During fifteen years,
with active business affairs, has acquired a generous
prosperity, and is one of the influential citiiens whose
advice and support are sought and consulted on all mat-
ters affecting the local welfare.

George C. Eobinson is a native Texan, born in Uvalde
county, February 15, 1871. His father was George W.
Eobinson, who was born in Georgia, and came to Texas
when a very young man, and for a number of years was
engaged in ranching and the general stock business. He
now lives retired at Sabinal. in Uvalde county. He takes
much interest in religious affairs, and is a member of the
Christian church, in which his wife is likewise interested.
The maiden name of his wife was Caroline Kelley, and
she was born in Arkansas, but was married in this state.
Of the nine children in the family, George C. was the

As a boy in Uvalde county, he attained such education
as the public schools afforded, and, when about sixteen,
left school in order to begin work on the home ranch.
He has had a thorough experience in the ranching indus-
try of Texas and knows it in every detail, but during the
greater part of his career has followed other lines of
business. When about twenty-three years of ~ age he left
home and went into Oklahoma and northern Texas, where
he spent about two years engaged in the handling and
trading of horses. He then returned home, and a year
later moved to Marathon, Texas, where he engaged in
the contracting and building business. This experience
led up to his location in Marfa, in 1898, and for several
years he was engaged in contracting and building here.
In 1906 he bought an interest in the general building
supply concern at Marfa with which his name has since
been associated. He has since become owner of the en-
tire establishment, and is now its sole proprietor. In his
warehouses and yards he handles a full line of lumber,
lime, cement, wire, and everything used by the building
trade. His retail business extends all "over Presidio
county, and he also does some wholesale trade.

At Marfa, on August 20, 1900, Mr. Eobinson married
Miss Mamie Sheilds, who was formerly a resident of Fort
Davis. Their two children are Helen George and Euth
Sue. Mr. Eobinson gives his support without discrimina-
tion to all the churches, without special affiliation with
any one denomination. He is a Blue Lodge and Chapter
Mason, and also affiliated with the Woodmen of the
World. His public spirit in citizenship and local en-
terprise finds a medium of expression through the Marfa
Chamber of Commerce, of which he is one of the direct-
ors. Mr. Eobinson 's favorite amusements are hunting,

fishing, and baseball. With regard to his home com-
uiunit}-, he says that, taking the tuture into consideration,
for general business purposes there is no better town in
the state than Marfa, Texas. If a man wants a home and
a permanent location, no matter what his vocation, if he
will set forth his honest ett'orts he will never be disap-
pointed in this part of Texas.

Gus Elmendokf. a representative of the old Elmen-
dorf family of San Antonio, one 'of the most prominent
names in that city and representing the best of the old
German stock in the citizenship of south Texas, Gus El-
mendorf is n pvnirressivp young business man and manu-
facturer, wIki -..III. I , ago chose Marfa as the field

for his entrihi -.. u ' - lu.w one of the active heads in

the Marfa -\L. i.i.i, imy Company, one of the largest

local enterpriaco.

Gus Elmendorf was born in San Antonio, September :!,
1875, a son and the second among ten children of Emil
and Emelia (Heilig) Elmendorf, both of whom were na-
tives of Texas, the father a native of San Antonio. Emil
Elmendorf was for many years engaged in the hardware
business at San Antonio, where he died in 1898 at the
age of forty-eight, and his remains now rest in one of
the beautiful cemeteries of that point. The mother still
resides in San Antonio. Mr. Elmendorf, as a boy, first
attended the noted old German-English school at San
Antonio, and subsequently continued his courses through
the grammar and high school, and then, finished with a
course in the Alamo City Business College. When he
was seventeen years of age he began to make his own
way, and found employment for the first year in Hondo
City, after which he came to Marfa. The first employ-
ment which he accepted on arriving in this flourishing
west Texas city was as a clerk in a local store, and he
continued in that occupation until 1909, when he bought
an interest in the Marfa Manufacturing Company. He
is now secretary and treasurer and also office manager of
this enterprising firm. His partner is Mr. Emniett B.
Quick, who has charge of the mechanical and out-
side part of the business. This business is general black-
smithing and machine shop and repair work, and also
handles automobile supplies and accessories, maintains
a first-class garage, has a complete stock of oils, packing,
windmills, gasoline engines, and other supplies for the
mechanical trade. Their shops are large and well
equipped and in shop and warehouse the business uses a
floor space of more than 12,000 feet, and the large pay-
roll of the company is one of the important industrial
assets of the town of Marfa. The establishment is well
known and patronized extensively throughout this part
of Texas.

In April, 1904, at Marfa, Mr. Elmendorf married Miss
Julia Lopez, daughter of Mrs. Monica Lopez of Marfa.
The three sons born to their marriage are named Gus Jr.,
Eiehard, and Eugene. Mr. Elmendorf has no regular
church membership, though he is a supporter of all de-
nominations and religious work in general. In politics
also he is interested only to the extent of voting his
ticket in the interest of good government, and usually
supports the Democratic candidate.

He has himself been solicited to run for office, but has
always declined such honors. He is fond of hunting and
all outdoor sports and gives his support and encourage-
ment to athletics.

Thoma.s M. Wilson. Now president of the Marfa
State Bank, and financially and officially connected with
several other important business undertakings at Marfa,
Mr. Wilson began his career in Presidio county about
twenty-five years ago, a young man, with only limited
experience and capital, and during the subsequent years
has attained a place of large influence and, through his
public-spirited activity, has been able to assist the com-
munity in its development and welfare.

Thomas M. Wilson was born at Halletsville, Texas,





September 14, 1865, and was a son of Thomas and Flor-
ence Eandolph (Davenport) Wilson. Thomas Wilson was
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Tias only a boy
when he came to Texas. For a number of years he was
engaged in the real estate and drug business. He was a
very prominent Mason in this section of the state. His
death occurred in 1867, when his son Thomas M. was
but two years of age. His widow, who was born in Vir-
ginia and was married in Texas, lived until 1911, and
was seventy-one years of age at the time of her death.
She was a devout member of the Episcopal church.
Thomas M. was the oldest of the three children, and of
the others, his sister Annie is deceased and his sister
Julia now reside in San Antonio.

Thomas M. Wilson attained his early education in the
public schools, but left at the age of sixteen in order to
begin the battle of life for himself. His first job was
on the old home ranch, and he remained there, looking
after the property and conducting a general stock busi-
ness, until he was twenty-one years of age. With such
experience and equipment for a practical life, he came
west, to Presidio county, and went into the cattle busi-
ness for himself. For upwards of a quarter of a cen-
tury he was one of the well-known stockmen in this part

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 51 of 177)