Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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respectively, of Mississippi and Texas. His parents are
now deceased, the father passing away in 1891 and the
mother in 1874, and both rest side by side in the old
cemetery at San Felipe. His father, who for many years
was a farmer, was a man of special education and during
his early life taught school in Texas. There were in the
family eight children, Elton E. being the youngest.

He attained his early education in the public schools
of Austin county, and subsequently was a student in the
Hills business college. His first employment was that of
bookkeeper for a mercantile house of Sonora, Texas,
and after a few years he entered the field of local poli-
tics and was appointed deputy county and district clerk
of Sutton county, Texas, Sonora being the county seat.
He served in that capacity for three years. In 1898 he
moved to Eldorado, Texas, where he established a mer-
cantile business of his own, and continued successfully
in that business until selling out, in 190-1. In 1909 he
came to Van Horn to take charge of the Van Horn
State Bank as its cashier, director and stockholder. He
also owns a residence in Culberson county, and his pres-
ent home at Van Horn. Beginning his career in a clerical
capacity, Mr. Silliman, by his thorough ability and by
good management, has acquired an independent position
in business affairs.

At Van Horn he is an active factor in the community
and is now chairman of the school board. Fraternally, he
is a Eoyal Arch Mason and Knight of Pythias, and his
politics is Democratic. He and his family worship in
the Methodist church. On February 3, 1897, he married
Miss Margaret JIurcheson, daughter of Eobert W. Mur-
cheson, a retired and wealthy ranchman of El Paso.
Their two children are Elton Jr., aged ten, and Hazel,
aged four. Among his recreations, when he finds time
to rest himself from business, Mr. Silliman is especially
fond of hunting. He foresees a bright future for Van
Horn and Culberson counties, and, owing to the fact that
lands are being sold at a reasonable price, and the pres-
ence of great mineral resources here, he believes that
the locality will bring wealth and happiness to twenty
times the number of people who are now inhabitants of
the county.

Samuel "W. White. The first prosecuting attorney
elected in the new county of Culberson, Mr. White
has been a member of the Texas bar for the past ten

successful position in professional and

years and
business lil

Samuel W. White was born September 20, 1883, at
Dardanelle, Arkansas, son of John W. and Bettie (Byers)
White, natives, respectively, of Mississippi and Tennes-
see. The father is now deceased, and the mother resides
with her son at Van Horn. The. parents came to Texas
in 1887, locating in San Antonio, where the father was
engaged in the land business up to the date of his death,
in 1899. Samuel W., the only surviving child, received
his education chiefly in the public schools of San Antonio,
and subsequently graduated from a San Antonio business
college. He began the study of law iu the offices of
Kellar & Williams, prominent members of the San An-
tonio bar, and, on completing his preparatory work, was
admitted to practice on June 30, 1903. During the fol-
lowing three years he directed his principal attentions to
the land business rather than law, and then for four
years held the position of manager of the advertisement
department of the Denison Herald. At the end of that
time he came into west Texas, and at Pecos established a
real estate office, and still owns considerable property of
bis own in that vicinity.

Mr. White was elected county attorney of Culberson
county on April 18, 1911, this being prior "to his residence
at Van Horn. He was re-elected to the office at the
general election of November, 1912, his first election
coming with the beginning of Culberson county 's official
existence, its territory having formerly been a part of
El Paso county. Mr. White is a very active and popular
Democrat and one of the able stump speakers in this
county. Aside from his duties as prosecutor, he has
built up a nice private practice in the law, and also has
a set of abstract books in his office. Fraternally, he is
affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
and is chaplain of the local lodge. A member of the
Baptist church by early training, he has, since taking up
his residence at Van Horn, worked with the Presbyterians
in the Sunday school work and is now superintendent of
the Presbyterian Sunday school. In 1904 Mr. White
married Miss Elizabeth Martin, daughter of Hon. Judge
J. D. Martin, who for many years was district judge at
Beaumont. They are the parents of two sons, Samuel
Martin and John W. White. The family occupy one of
the pleasant homes of Van Horn.

John Henry Feely. A distinction which will always
be associated with the name of Mr. Feely in the history
of Culberson county is the fact of his being the first
sheriff elected after the organization of the county. Mr.
Feely has been identified with this section of Texas for
a number of years, and Cidberson county has no more
popular or public-spirited citizen than the present sheriff.

His career is one of exceptional interest, from the
viewpoint of its accomplishments against heavy odds.
John Henry Feely was born June 20, 1871. in Cole
county, ilis'souri, near Jefferson City, a son of Henry and
Elizaijeth (Magee) Feely. His father was a native of
Indiana and his mother of Missouri, both now being de-
ceased. The father was for many years a farmer and
merchant in Cole county, and made a fine record as a sol-
dier, serving in the Mexican war, and later as a Confed-
erate under General Price, with which noted leader he
fought in numerous battles. In 1876 he came to Texas,
locating in Cooke County, where he was engaged _ in
farming and stock raising until his retirement, attaining
to the fine old age of eighty-five years before his death.
His remains now rest at Vernon, Texas, while his second
wife, the mother of Mr. Feely, died at Pilot Point,
where she now is buried.

Sheriff Feely, one of two children, his sister being now
deceased, attained his education in the public schools of
Pilot Point, and when sixteen years of age was throvni
upon his own resources, and has since fought the battle
of life by himself. He began work as a farm hand, and,
though a mere boy, did a man 's work. This was his oe-

Co^J^ ^^ - ^



cupation until 1904, at which time he became a section
hand with the Texas & Pacific Eailroad. He knew how
to work, and was a natural leader of men, and in a short
time became foreman of his section. In this work he
took great pride, and was frequently complimented by
the roadmaster on the condition of his section. This was
his regular work up to 1910, in which year he was elected
to the office of sheriff of the newly organized county of
Culberson on the Democratic ticket.

Probably to Mr. Feely as much as to any other in-
dividual is due the fact that the courthouse is now located
at Van Horn. He was an earnest advocate of this place
as the county seat, and he made a vigorous and successful
campaign for this end. He has also been an aggressive
factor in securing the new courthouse, which is at this
writing rapidly nearing completion and a structure which
is a credit to the new county. Fraternally, Mr. Feely is a
Mason, and owns a pleasant home in Van Horn, where he
is esteemed as one of the leading citizens. In 1894 he
married Miss Ida Trammel, a daughter of James Tram-
mel, a native of Dallas. Their six children are named as
follows: Ones, Eula, Lorina, Clyde, Dorothy, and Ida

Solomon H. Levenson. No man can more quickly
perceive the great opportunities which this country offers
to the industrious man than can the foreigner, especially
if he comes from one of the countries of the old world
where there is a large agricultural population. Solomon
H. Levenson, coming to the United States from Russian
Poland, was quick to see opportunities that might have
been unapparent to the native-born American, and his
success has been largely due to this insight into condi-
tions and his determination to make a success of what-
ever he undertook. He is now one of the most successful
merchants in El Paso as a member of the firm of Leven-
son & Eosenberg, wholesale and retail dealers in dry
goods, men's furnishings, and shoes, with two stores in
El Paso. The Palace is at 314 Overland street and The
New Bazaar is at 118 E. Overland street. Both these
men are progressive and wide-awake merchants and are
regarded as among the most influential and capable busi-
ness men in the city.

Solomon H. Levenson was born in Russian Poland in
September, 1881, the son of Samuel and Anna (Rogal-
sky) Levenson. Both his father and mother were natives
of Russia, and his father was a well-known merchant of
Vilna, Russia, up to the time of his death, in 1913. He
was fifty-five years old when he died, and his entire life
had been spent in his native land. His wife, who was
reared and married in Russia, is still living in her old
home, having reached the age of fifty-three. Five chil-
dren were born to Samuel and Anna Levenson, and of
these Solomon was the eldest.

As a child and young boy, Solomon Levenson attended
the schools of his native land, and then he attended a
commercial and business college for two years. After
completing his business training, he became a book-
keeper, and for several years was thus engaged. In 1902
he came to America, first going to Hibbing, Minnesota,
where he remained until August, 1904. During his resi-
dence in Hibbing he was employed by the Great North-
ern Railroad Company. In 1904 he came to El Paso and
went to work as a clerk in a mercantile house here. He
only remained a short time, and then went to Dawson,
New Mexico, as manager of the branch house of the
Southwestern Mercantile Company. After two very suc-
cessful years in this position, he returned to El Paso, and
worked here until August, 1911, when he established his
present business in association with Mr. Rosenberg.

From a small beginning, the business has expanded
nicely, until today the firm carries a stock of about
$3.5,000, and ten salesmen, besides himself and his part-
ner, are required to take care of their trade.

Mr. Levenson is one of the energetic business men of
the city and one who has a fine faith in the future growth

and development of the place. His confidence has found
emphasis in his investment in El Paso real estate and in
the opening of a second mercantile establishment, which
they named The New Bazaar and which is located on
East Overland street, as has already been noted. Mr.
Levenson is one of the stockholders of the Texas Bank
and Trust Company of El Paso, and is otherwise identi-
fied with business enterprise in the city, aside from his
mercantile establishments.

In politics, Mr. Levenson gives his allegiance to the
Democratic party. He is a member of the Knights of
Maccabees, but has no other fraternal affiliations.

On December 20, 1908, Mr. Levenson was married to
Lena Bromberg at El Paso, and one child, Bessie Leven-
son, has been born to them. She was born on March 1st,
1910, in this city.

Chakles Deutz. The name Deutz has been closely
identified with the hardware business in Texas for more
than half a century. The pioneer work was done by the
late Joseph Deutz, whose splendid ability and vigorous
salesmanship made him one of the most successful of
Texas past merchants. He began business in San Antonio
in 1856, moved to Laredo in 1879, and kept his hands on
his aft'airs and gave them the benefit of his judgment
till 1896. The business is now carried on under the
style A. Deutz & Brother.

Its trade is international, and for many years the
name Deutz has had a recognized commercial value on
both sides of the Rio Grande. In 1911 the firm built
their present splendid store on Hidalgo street in Laredo,
one of the finest buildings of its type in the Southwest,
and there are very few finer hardware stores in the
United States. They have a large wholesale as well as
retail trade, and carry an extensive stock of hardware,
implements, vehicles, queensware, jilumbing supplies,
engines and machinery for both agriculture and mining,
and the brothers have a reputation for flawless integrity
as well as for keen enterprise. The building, of one
story, is located on a prominent corner, and has front-
age of 150 feet of solid plate glass, with marble base
and aluminum strips. A hanging awning with prism
glass overhead extends along the entire front. There
are two very large display windows and two other dis-
play windows, and all three vestibules are laid with
selected tile. The ceiling of the building is steel, with
two rows of iron pillars supporting the roof. The entire
building has a frontage of 150 feet and a depth of 110
feet, 87 feet of this depth being used for floor space.
The rear of the building is divided into several rooms,
one as a retail stock room and the other as a manufac-
turing and repair shop, while in the center a balcony,
or mezzanine floor, malses two rooms, the upper being
used as a general office. The building is constructed of
brick, and to increase its protection against fire is
equipped with fire hydrants placed conveniently for
immediate use and fire extinguii-hers. There are three
large skylights, and provision for artificial lighting by
electricity and natural gas. The store equipment com-
prises the Heller system of shelving, and all the show-
cases are of plate glass with marble base. The estab-
lishment is equipped with a modern telephone system,
with private switchboard, so that every department of
the store is connected with every other and with the
general office. As a large part of the business is
country trade, the system also provides for adequate
long-distance telephone service. As one of the oldest
established firms in the Rio Grande valley, its trade
extends up and down for many miles from Laredo, and
probably no other firm in the line express so much goods
across the boundary into Old Mexico.

Charles Deutz, junior member of the firm of A. Deutz
& Brother, comes naturally by his ability as a hardware
merchant. He assisted his father from early boyhood
in buying for the firm and in shipping goods to Old
Mexico, and has proved a worthy successor to his hon-



ored father. Charles Deutz was born in San Antonio,
Texas, in 1S71, a son of Joseph and Agatha (Lincke)
Deutz. The late Joseph Deutz, who as born at Coblenz-
on-the-Ehine in 1827, came to America when twenty-one
years of age, in 1S4S. The steamer landed him in New
York City, and that was his home for two years. He
was attracted to southwest Texas, because it was one of
the chief centers of German colonization in the United
States, and arrived in San Antonio in 1850. For sev-
eral years his experience was that of a worker for
others, and in 1856 he married and began in the hard-
ware trade for himself. From almost the first he inter-
ested himself in the extension of his business into Mex-
ico, and in 1862 moved across the boundary and became
a member of the firm of Guilbau, Herman & Company
at Monterey. His stay in Mexico at that time was
profitable and gave him a fair knowledge of conditions
which have ever since been utilized in the hardware
business conducted under the Deutz name. Eeturning
to San Antonio in 1866, Joseph Deutz continued in the
hardware business as a member of the firm of Norton
& Deutz until 1879. In the latter part of that year he
established his business headquarters at Laredo, and
that city was his home the remainder of his life. The
business at Laredo was first conducted under the name
of Deutz & Koehler, and subsequently became J. Deutz
& Sons. Though he retired from active duties in 1896
he always maintained a vigorous and hearty old age. For
several years he served as president of the Laredo
National Bank.

His death at his home in Laredo on October 18, 1912,
meant the loss of one of Texas' pioneer merchants and
finest citizens. At the time of his death he had
the . distinction of being the oldest living hardware
merchant in Texas. His initiative and strength of
character were the chief factors in his success, and at
the same time he was greatly admired for his thorough
honesty and uprightness and his many exceptional per-
sonal qualities. As an example of the spirit of progress
which always. animated him, as early as 1857 he was
using shelf" boxes of his own invention and may be
considered as the originator of the system which has
contributed materially to successful retail methods in
modern times. He bought up cigar boxes in large
quantities, covered them with green paper and placed
them on his shelves, with samples of the articles within
fastened on the outside. News of his extensive pur-
chases of cigar boxes came to the ears of the revenue
officers, and they suspected that Mr. Deutz was refilling
them with cigars. Secret service men investigated, but
were soon convinced that the merchant was using the
boxes in extremely practical as well as legitimate man-
ner. Mrs. Joseph Deutz died in Laredo in 1892.

Charles Deutz was liberally educated, attended the
noted German-English school in San Antonio, from
which so many prominent men in southwest Texas re-
ceived their early training. After a two-years' course
at the Agricultural and ilechanical College at Bryan,
he returned home in 1887 and in his father's store con-
tinued his thorough business training under the careful
eye of the latter.

Charles Deutz has been a hardware buyer for twenty-
seven years and probably no other man of his age in
the United States can say the same. He was one of
the four Deutz brothers who succeeded to the business
in 1896. and in 190.3 Deutz Brothers sold the business
to Adolph Deutz and Charles Deutz, and since that time
the firm name has stood as it is today, A. Deutz &
Brother, with Charles Deutz as its manager.

Bates McFarland. At the end of forty years' active
practice in the law Bates McFarland stands as one of
the ablest and prominent members of the Texas bar.
For more than a decade he has been located in the city
of El Paso. He represents one of the old and honored
families of Texas, and his father before him was one of
the able lawvers and .iudges of the state.

Mr. Bates McFarland was born February 24, 1850, at
the old town of LaGrange, in Fayette county, Texas, a
son of Isaac B. and Adaline McFarland. The father died
at Eockport, August 20th, 1899, at the very venerable
age of eighty years. His career was one that brought
him into association with the leading men of Texas dur-
ing the middle half of the last century. He had for
sixteen consecutive years served as a district judge, dur-
ing which time he resided at Brenham, and was for many
years engaged in the active practice of law. Although a
thorough "Texan in every sense of the word, he was a
staunch Eepubliean.

Bates McFarland received his college education at
Trinity University, at Tehuacana, and subsequently grad-
uated from the law department of the Cumberland Uni-
versitv, at Lebanon, Tennessee, where he was given the
degree of LL. B.

Since 1873 Mr. McFarland has been regularly engaged
in the practice of law in this state. For about ten years
he had his offices at Brenham, and from there moved to
Eockport, and then, in 1900, to El Paso. Notwithstand-
ing his father's affiliation with the Eepubliean party,
Mr. McFarland has always been a staunch Democrat and
one of the influential men in civic affairs.

On February 1, 1879, at Courtney, in Grimes county,
Mr. JIcFarland married Miss Bettie B. Holland, a daugh-
ter of Col. James K. Holland of Courtney, Texas. Her
father and grandfather were both intimately identified
with legislative affairs in the early years of Texas, both
as a Eepublic and as a state. The four children of Mr.
McFarland and wife are named as follows: Bates H.,
who is now about thirty-seven years of age; Lilly E., the
wife of F. G. Belk, about two years younger than her
brother; I. B. McFarland, age about thirty-one, and
Adaline A., age twenty-nine.

By his long career of residence and professional activ-
ity Mr. McFarland has indicated his affection for Texas
and Texans, and there is no one more positive in his be-
lief as to the great future of this state. He is thor-
oughly well informed about the natural resources and op-
portunities of the state at the present time and is pos-
sessed of a large knowledge, gained from personal ob-
servation, covering the history of the state during the
past thirty or forty years.

William Henry Bakton. Of one of the old and rep-
refentative families in east Texas, Mr. Barton grew up
in Eusk county and had a college education. He began
his business career as a merchant in Overton, and has
also followed farming and merchandising at Overton for
the past thirty years; is a banker there, and one of the
most influential and prosperous citizens.

William Henry Barton was born in Henderson, Texas,
July 4, 1855, a son of James M. Barton and a grandson
of Benjamin Barton. The grandfather came to Texas
during the early forties and was killed in Harrison
countv in the moderator and regulator war, about 1842.
Benjamin Barton married a Miss Baker, and their chil-
dren were: James M.; Ben. who was killed by the In-
dians; Tead and Lem of Texas; Watson of Hubbard,
Texas; Bailey of Texas; Elliott, who died in Eusk
countv, leaving a family; Melissa, now deceased, who
married William Baker, and Zilphia, who married Thomas

James M. Barton was born in Pickens district of South
Carolina, was roared on a farm, had a limited education,
and soon after his father's death, in Harrison county.
Texas, settled in Eusk county, at Millville, where he was
elected sheriff and served for some eight or ten years in
that important office at a time when the duties of sherifF
meant almost constant association with the rough and
lawless element. James M. Barton was not only a sol-
dier of the Mexican war, in General Taylor's army, but
when the Civil war came on he took sides with the Con-
federacy and was commissioned a captain, his service
being principally east of the Mississippi Eiver. He was



in the battle at Corinth, and saw much other active serv-
ice, until the failure of his health caused him to give ud
his commission. When he left the army he held the rank
of colonel in his regiment. After the war. Col. James
Barton was engaged in business as a merchant at old
Bellview, and afterwards at Hallville, and still later at
Longview. The burning of his store at Longview caused
him to leave the business, and he then retired to his
farm at Bellview, giving his time and attention to the
quiet vocation of farming until his death, in September,
1879. At the time of his death he held the office of
sergeant-at-arms in the Texas Senate.

Col. James M. Barton married Miss Emily Miller, a
daughter of Judge John C. Miller, who came from Geor-
gia in an early day and was county judge of Eusk county
for many yeais, an<l lived on his farm, near Henderson,
until his death, in 1876, when about sixty-five years old.
Judge Miller married a Miss Thompson, and of their
children, besides Mrs. Barton, there were: Mrs. Jo-
sephine Mitchel, Captain W. A. Miller, and Dr. H. L.
Miller. Mrs. James M. Barton died in September, 1878,
at the age of fiftv years. Her children were J. A.. Virgil
and Belle, twins," of whom Belle married James H. (Cy-
clone) Davis of Sulphur Springs, Texas, and Virgil died
at Kilgore, Texas, leaving a family; William Henry and
Dr. Augustus Wiley of Overton.

William H. Barton grew up at Henderson and vicinity,
and finished his education in the old Trinity University,
at Tehuacana. After reaching manhood, he started in as
a farmer, an occupation which he varied by work in his
father's store, and finally, in 1883, he entered merchan-
dising at Overton, and his record of steady and reliable
business dealings has been continuous in that place for
thirty years. When he first offered goods to the public
as a merchant, his capital comprised about seven hun-
dred dollars, and he had a wife and child to support.
Though merchandising has been his regular vocation, a
portion of his time has been devoted to farming, and at
the present time he is vice president of the Farmers &
Merchants State Bank of Overton. Mr. Barton has also
built himself one of the comfortable homes of the little

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 53 of 177)