Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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tor Eeed is an earnest Democrat, and is now giving his
fellow-eitiiens excellent service as the represontative
from the Fifth Ward in the city council. In addition
to being vice-president of the First State Bank, he is
a director in the Wichita Falls Floral Company, the
Wichita Falls Brick Company and the Wichita Falls
Furniture Company.

Doctor Reed was married in 1S88, at Bell Buckle, Bed-
ford county, Tennessee, to Miss Josie Edmiston, daugh-
ter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Edmiston of that
place. Doctor and Mrs. Eeed have had no children.

James D. Stephenson. For many years James Dover
Stephenson has been a resident of the city of San
Antonio, Texas, and of this section of the country. He
has seen the state of Texas advance in wealth and
population, and with the growth of the country has
come the growth of his own fortunes. One of the best
stockmen in the country, his registered Jersey cows and
Berkshire hogs are well known throughout the coun-
try. He now conducts a wholesale dairy business just
outside of San Antonio, in which he has been exceed-
ingly successful.

James Dover Stephenson was born in Alston county,
Cumberland, England, in 1849. His father was John
Stephenson and his mother was Ann ( Dover j Stephen-
son, both of whom were natives of the north of Eng-
land and both are now deceased. It was in this part
•of the mother country that James D. Stephenson
grew to manhood, being reared to follow farming and
•stock raising for a livelihood. It was in 1872 that he
eame with his parents to Texas, locating in Robertson
•county. Within a few months of his arrival, however,
Mr. Stephenson determined to move to Boerne in Ken-
dall county, and here he took a contract for the build-
ing of a rock fence for Dr. Kingsbury, a well known
pioneer of southwestern Texas. After this he went into
the freighting business, for this was in the days when
the railroads had not penetrated to this section of Texas.
He was engaged in freighting from San Antonio to Kerr-
ville, Fort Concho and other western points, and after
going out of this business took up well drilling. He
was engaged in drilling wells and in erecting wind mills
throughout the southwestern part of Texas, and after
a time had enough money saved to enable him to go
into the farming and stock raising business.

It was in 1900 that he established his home in San
Antonio, principally for the purpose of giving his chil-
dren the educational opportunities which the city afforded.
His own work continued to be located outside of the
city for some time. When he first moved to San Antonio
his" home was located on Buena Vista street, but later
he removed to his present home, which is beautifully
located on Lake View avenue, to the west of the city and
just outside of the city limits. Here he owns a handsome
residence with twenty acres of land. The laud is prin-
cipally planted to feed stuffs, and this is where he car-
ries on his dairy business. He raises very fine cattle,
and his splendid herd of Jersey cows is well known. The
wholesale milk business in which he is engaged has grown
from year to year until now it is a very prosperous enter-
prise. About a mile to the southwest, on West Com-
merce street, is Mr. Stephenson 's hog ranch. Here he
raises a splendid breed of registered Berkshire hogs,
which are considered among the finest in southwestern
Texas, and when he markets them they command the high-
est prices.

Mr. Stephenson married in Boerne, Texas, Miss Julia
Perrin, who was born in Illinois but was reared in Iowa.
Mrs. Stephenson has always been an active aid to her
husband in his business, understanding stockraising thor-
oughly. The children, of whom there are seven, have all
been reared with the idea of self support. All of them

have received good educations in the San Antonio schools,
and their success in Ufe has been due in no small meas-
ure to the careful training which they have had at the
hands of their parents. Miss Daisy Stephenson, the
eldest, has been very successful in raising chickens.
Miss Floy Stephenson, the next, has earned several thou-
sand dollars in the dairy business, independent of her
father. There are twin sons, Walter and Wilfred, the
former also engaged in the dairy business, independent
of his father and to whom he has been of splendid as-
sistance for many years, and the latter a successful con-
tractor in San Antonio. Miss Annie Stephenson, an-
other daughter, is a teacher in the schools of San An-
tonio. The two younger children are daughters, Mabel,
taking a course in Baylor Hospital, and Marion, at-
tending school.

Thomas B. Xoble. Occupying a place of prominence
in business circles of Wichita Falls as the active direct-
ing head of the Xoble-Frank Hardware Company, and
holding as high a position in the confidence and esteem
of the public on account of his long and faithful offi-
cial service, Thomas B. Xoble is eminently worthy of
more than passing mention among the representative
men of this progressive Texas city. He is a native of
the Lone Star State, having been born in Sabine county,
February 15, 1869, and is a son of I. O. and Frances
(Sehurlock)" Koble.

Both the Noble and Schurlock families have been
prominent in military life, the maternal grandfather of
Mr. Noble having been captain of a volunteer regiment
in the American army during the Mexican War, while
his father served valiantly as a private in a Texas regi-
ment in Hood's brigade during the struggle between the
South and the North and was wounded both at Chick-
aniauga and Gettysburg. I. 0. Noble was a native of
Mississippi, and was brought to Texas in childhood, the
family settling in Shelby county, where he grew to
manhood. He was for some years engaged in a mercan-
tile business at Orange, but at the close of the Civil
War removed to Sabine county, and there continued to
reside until 1907, in which year he came to Wichita Falls,
where his death occurred in February, 1907, when he
was sixty-nine years of age. His wife, who was born,
reared, educated and married in Sabine county, Texas,
died there in 1896, when fifty-six years of age. She
was the mother of six sons and one daughter, and of
these Thomas B. was the fourth in order of birth.

The primary stage of Thomas B. Noble's educational
training was passed in the public schools 'of Sabine
county, and this was supplemented by a business course
at Texarkana. His introduction to business life was
secured in the capacity of clerk in a mercantile estab-
lishment at that place, but after three years came to
Wichita Falls and embarked in the confectionery and
stationery business, in which he was successfully en-
gaged for upwards of fourteen years. Selling out at an
advantage, he became general manager of the Wichita
Falls Broom Factory, and while thus engaged, in 1904,
was elected mayor of Wichita Falls. In this capacity
his long business training stood him in good stead, and
under his administration the city entered upon a period
of prosperity that greatly advanced its growth and
development. The people of the city were not slow
to recognize and appreciate his signal services, and for
the three following terms he succeeded himself as chief
executive of the municipality, resigning his office in
1912 when he felt he had done his full duty by his
fellow-citi7ens. He also served for two years, from
1902 to 1904, as a member of the city council, where his
earnest and conscientious services first brought him prom-
inentlv before the public. On the completion of his
public services, Mr. Noble, on May 10, 1912, reorganized
the hardware business that had been founded by his
brother in 1909, and the Noble-Frank Hardware Com-
pany has developed from a humble enterprise into one

S^ . ■^^^^^;^^^^-^-z>i^'«-'T-^t -




of extensive proportions, being known as one of the
important factors in the business life of Wichita Falls.
The success which has rewarded Mr. Noble's ett'orts may
be accredited solely to his own energy and perseverance;
he has fought his own way to the front, and what he
has gained has been gained fairly. His integrity is
firmly established and to him his associates look for lead-
ership and counsel.

In January, 1897, Mr. Noble was married to Miss Zuda
Heath, of Wichita Falls, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.
C. Heath, the latter now deceased, while the former, an
old pioneer settler of Texas, still survives. Two chil-
dren have been born to this union: T. B., born iu
October, 1897, at Wichita Falls; and Margaret, born
in May, 1S99, now attending high school in this eii,\.
Mr. and Mrs. Noble are members of the Metlio^i'
Episcopal Church, South, where he is serving as eli:i
man of the board of stewards. His jjolitics are thn-r
of the Democratic party, while his fraternal eonnectious
include membership in the Masons and Koyal Arch
Chapter, the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Wood-
men of America, and the Benevolent and Protective
Order of Elks. He is trustee of the B. P. O. E. of
Wichita Falls. His wide circle of friends testifies to
his universal popularity.

Frank H. Gohlke, of the firm of Bean & Gohlke,
real estate dealers, Wichita Falls, Texas, was born at
Louisville, Kentucky, December 14, 1875, and has in
his make-up a mixture of German and Swiss blood. His
father, John G. Gohlke, was born in Germany in 1831
and in 1846, a boy in his teens, came to America and
settled at Victoria, Texas. About the close of the Civil
war, he was married at Cincinnati, Ohio, to Anna B.
Holdrigher, and shortly afterward they took up their
residence at Louisville, Kentucky, where they remained
until his death, and where his widow is still living. She
was born in Switzerland in 1839 and has been a resi-
dent of this country since her twelfth year, the first few
years of her life here having been spent in New Or-
leans, Louisiana. Of the children born to John G. and
Anna B. Gohlke, five are living, three being residents
of Texas.

Frank H. Gohlke grew up in his native city and re-
ceived his education there. After completing his work in
the public schools he took a course in a commercial col-
lege, and his first position in the business world was that
of clerk in a railroad office. Afterward he was succes-
sively in express" service, commercial club work, news-
paper work, and real estate business. From 1904 to
1908 he was assistant secretary of the Spokane Cham-
ber of Commerce, secretary of the Washington State Live
Stock Association, secretary of the Spokane Mining Ex-
change, and secretary of the Wichita Falls Chamber of
Commerce, becoming the first secretary of that com-
mercial club under its reorganization in 1908, and which
was probably the first organization in the South to
raise and expend a fund of $10,000 for publicity work
in a city of 6,500 population. ;Mr. Gohlke is secretary-
treasurer of the Developers Oil & Gas Company of
Wichita Falls, Clay County, Texas, and is identified'with
the real estate business here under the firm stvle of
Bean &- Gohlke.

Politically, Mr. Gohlke was formerly a Republican but
now aftilintes with the Progressive party.

July 16. 1904, at Louisville. Kentucky, Frank H.
Gohlke and Callie Lee Brashear were united in marriage,
and to them have been given two children: Bernice B..
born February 3. 1906. at Spokane, Washington, and
Robert Lee, born January 27. 1911, at Wichita Falls.
Texas. Mrs. Gohlke is a native of Louisville and a
daughter of Samuel Brashear of that place, the date
of her birth being February 27, 1884. Both her par-
ents and grandparents were slave-owning planters of

As indicated in the mention of Mr. Gohlke'

business connections, he spent some time in the North-
west. And he has traveled over a major portion of
the United States. This experience has given him stand-
ards for comparison, and it is his opinion that Texas
oft'eis some of the greatest opportunities for develop-
ment and advancement that an earnest worker can find

Judge John B. Littler. The leading attorney in
point of ability and extent of practice in Howard
county. Judge Littler has been identified with the bar
and with public life in this section of Texas for more
than twenty years. His distinctive place in the affairs
of Howard county is illustrated by the fact that he held
tlir nilire of couuty judge for ten consecutive years and
''11- his last campaign for that-olEce received a larger
ii I •r.nn- gratifying majority than ever before in his
polii:ral career. He came out to Texas a young lawyer
from Ohio, and has gained success and become a val-
uable factor in the public service of his county.

Born in Highland, Ohio, September 15, 1865, John B.
Littler was the son of James H. and Ann (Dove) Lit-
tler, both of whom were natives of Ohio and are now
deceased. His father was a farmer by occupation, and
one of the prominent citizens of Highland county. He
was active as a Democrat in a county which was" a Re-
publican stronghold, and his individual popularity ia
evidence of the fact that despite this political condition,
he served his county for twenty years in the oflBee of
Trustee. His death occurred in February, 1904, when
sixty-nine years of age, and his wife followed him six
months later in October, 1904, when sixty-three years
of age. They reared a family of three sons and three
daughters, and Judge Littler has one brother in Texas,
Dr. W. D. Littler. Dr. Littler also came to this state
iu 1891, and began the practice of his profession in Mid-
land. In order to have a larger field for his ability, he
subsequently moved to Fort Worth, where he is now one
of the leaders of his profession.

John B. Littler, as a boy attended the public schools
of Hillsboro, Ohio, and took up the study of law in the
office of Newby & Morrow at Hillsboro. He studied law
and had much practical experience in the duties of a
law office and by constant observance of the court files
and other legal proceedings, and was well equipped for
his profession when he was admitted by examination be-
fore the supreme court of Ohio in 1890. He was in
practice at Hillsboro until the end of 1891, and then
came to Texas. His first location was at Stanton in
Martin county. Being one of the early lawyers in that
locality and a man whose popularity" gave him much
prestige, after a brief residence he was elected to the office
of county judge of Martin county, in 1892. He re-
signed this ofSce in 1894 in order to locate in Big
Springs, where he opened his office and has since en-
joyed a liberal share of the legal business of the county.
Judge Littler is now head of the well known firm of
Littler & Pcnix. In 1896 he was elected to the office
of county judge, and was reelected four consecutiye
times, so that he gave ten years of service in this im-
portant administrative office." Since the close of his last
term in 1906 he has devoted all his attention to private
practice and now enjoys the best clientage of any
lawyer in Howard county. Judge Littler is local at-
torney for the Texas and Pacific Railway, an office
which he has held for some years, and is also attorney
for the First National Bank of Big Springs.

Fraternally the judge is affiliated with Masonry and
has attained the Knight Templar degrees in the York
Rite, and has also passed all the chairs in the lodge of
Odd Fellows. Mrs. Littler has long taken an active
part in the Rebekah degree of Odd Fellowship and was
president of the Rebekah Assembly at Texas in 1907.
Judge Littler was married in 1901 to Miss Ervilla
Holmes, a native of Ohio and daughter of Dr. J. W.



and Mamie Santee Holmes. The only child of their mar-
riage is now deceased.

Judge Littler owns about one thousand acres of ranch
land in Howard county, and considerable city real estate
including the beautiful home in Big Springs. He and
his wife are prominent members of the social circles of
the city. As to the economic and industrial future of
west Texas, particularly in Howard county. Judge Lit-
tler is a firm believer and has shown his faith in practi-
cal fashion by investing most of his money in Howard
county lands, and hopes to increase his holdings within
a few years.

Wade H. Walker, M. D. In the medical circles of
Wichita Falls probably no member has done more for
the preservation of the. public health and has enjoyed a
more satisfactory practice than Dr. Wade H. Walker.
His services some ten j-ears ago, during the smallpox
epidemic in this city will long be remembered grate-
fully by his fellow citizens.

Dr. Wade H. Walker was born near Eichmond, Ken-
tucky, December 1, 1875, the second in a family of
children born to Daniel B. and Tabitha (Burnside)
Walker. Both the father and mother were natives of
the same state, and the father was a farmer and stock
raiser in Kentucky, and later in Texas. During the
Civil war, though very young, he served as a home
guard in the protection of the women and children from
molestation by the guerrillas and outlaws that infested
that section of the country during the war times. He
assisted in the support of his widowed mother, and after
moving to. Texas in 1891, he continued his active career
for some years, and finally moved to Wichita Falls,
where his son Dr. Walker provided a home for him and
his wife, who are stUl living at the age of seventy-six
years, and the mother at the age of seventy. The mother
was reared and received her early education at George-
town, Kentucky. The other four sons and two daugh-
ters of the family are: Mrs. E. P. Fox, of Fort Worth:
Dave V. Walker of Wichita Falls; Bates D. Walker, of
Claude, Texas; Mrs. Susan B. Sheppard of Wichita
Falls; Mark D. Walker of Wichita Falls; and James
D. Walker of Wichita Falls.

Dr. Walker as a boy attended the Elliot Institute in
Kentucky, and also a business course in the Draughon 's
Business College of Nashville, Tenn.. finishing that por-
tion of his education at the age of sixteen years. He had
to work for all he got in his early days, and between
the intervals of earning his way, took up and advanced
himself in the study of medicine. He finally began
practice on a certificate in Wichita Falls, in 1898.
He entered the Medical Department of Fort Worth Uni-
versity in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1897, and was grad-
uated M. D. in 1900. His ambition has always been
to keep abreast of all advances in the science and
practice of medicine and surgery, and for this reason
he has studied constantly and availed himself of the best
opportunities since his graduation from medical college.
In. 1909 he was at the Mayo Clinic and Hospital at
Bochester, Minnesota, also attended the Clinic in 1912,
and took a course in the Postgraduate School and Hospi-
tal of Chicago in 1903 and another one in 1905. His first
practice was at Wichita Falls, after which he spent one
year in Fort Worth, and since 1901 has continued to be
identified with the profession in Wichita Falls. He is
considered one of the ablest physicians and surgeons of
this city. He was first associated with Drs. Burnside and
Coons, until Dr. Coons drew out of the firm and in 1911
Dr. Everitt Jones of Galveston became a member of the
firm, which is now Burnside, Walker & Jones, Physicians
and Surgeons. Dr. Walker is local surgeon for the Fort
Worth & Denver City Eailway, having held that post
since 1901, and is local surgeon for the Wichita Valley
Eailway, is medical examiner for several of the old-line
life insurance companies of Wichita Falls, and for
several of the fraternal orders. In 1901 occurred an out-

break of smallpox in Wichita Falls. Most of the phy-
sicians in the city refused to administer their services
to the victims, and Dr. Walker practically took charge of
the situation, and handled it in an admirable fashion,
during the course of the epidemic treating successfully
some two hundred patients.

Dr. Walker is a member of the Wichita County, the
Pan-Handle, and the Northwest Texas Medical Societies,
being president of the last named at one time, also be-
longs to the State Medical Society and the Southern and
the American Medical Association. His fraternal affilia-
tions include membeiship in the Masonic Order, Wood-
men of the World, Modern Woodmen of America, the
Modern Order of Pretorians, the Knights and Ladies
of Honor, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks. His politics is Democratic. Since he was twelve
years old he has attended and been a member of the
Presbyterian church, and is now deacon in the church at
Wichita Falls.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 3, 1908, Dr. Walker mar-
ried Miss Mary Esther Howard, a daughter of John and
Mary Ellen Howard, her father having formerly been
well known in real estate circles in Tulsa. Both her
parents are now deceased. The two children born to
their marriage are: John Wade, born November, 1907,
and died in May, 1908; and Mary Janette Walker, born
in December, 1911, at Wichita Falls. Dr. Walker owns
some valuable real estate in Wichita Falls, has one of
the beautiful homes of the city, and has deservedly pros-
pered in his profession.

James William Lowber, Ph. D., Sc. D., F. B. G. S., F.
E. A. S., etc., a resident of Texas since 1888, and for
many years pastor of the Central Christian Church of
Austin, Dr. J. W. Lowber is one of the most distinguished
churchmen in Texas, and few men in the ministry of
today have so fully realized the opportunities of their
great profession, and have brought to it greater talent
and accomplishments as scholars, teachers, pulpit ora-
tors or church builders. A sympathetic account of the
career of Dr. Lowber was written several years ago
by Dr. E. J. Briggs, pastor of the First Congregational
Church of Austin, and with some additions to bring the
article down to date, the well phrased and interesting
biography by Dr. Briggs is published in full as an ap-
propriate narrative of the life and services of one whose
place in Texas history can not be gainsaid:

Dr. Lowber was born in Nelson county, Kentucky.
His early years were spent on a farm, face to face
with nature, and in the midst of those healthful rural
pursuits out of which has arisen much of the brain
and brawn of our country. He early developed the
faculty of observation and power of analysis, and a
sensitiveness to all the objects in the world about him,
which has been his distinguishing characteristics in the
busy and successful career of his subsequent manhood.
Blessed with a native intellect, acute and vigorous, and
burning with a passion for knowledge, he took to books
as the bee takes to the flowers. The difficulties which
environed his youth were transferred into the spurs
of his progress, just as the head wind to the Atlantic
liner gives new power to the engine by furnishing a bet-
ter draught to the furnace. He soon mastered the course
of instruction in the ordinary country schools of the
time, and jjlunged into wider fields at his own instance
and of his own choosing. Books of life, of art, of
science, of philosophy and of religion were eagerly
sought and absorbed, his passion for knowledge being
the kindling flame of his never-flagging energy. When
he entered college — the entire expense of which was met
by himself in a most manly way, by manual labor, by
teaching and preaching — so rapid was his progref-s and
so accurate and thorough were his acquirements, that
on entering the Junior class, by recommendation of the
Professor of Greek, who pronounced him the most thor-
ough Greek scholar among the students of the univer-

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sity, he was appoiuted tutor of the Greek class. With
a passion for knowledge that deepened and widened by
repletion, a faculty for detail and thoroughness which
left no nook or cranny in the temple of any science
unexplored, he laid the foundation for the clear, con-
sistent, vigorous and comprehensive thinking of his after
life. His scholastic attainments are somewhat amazing
in this age of specialism, when the thorough mastery
of one science or ai't is regarded as the work of a life-
time. He is more or less familiar with seventeen dif-
ferent languages, some of which he speaks with great
accuracy and fluency. He holds certificates of gradua-
tion from five universities and diplomas in the degrees
of A. B., A. M., Sc. D., Ph. D. and LL.D., all of which
came, not as honorary degrees in recognition of his at-
tainments and his distinguished services as educator,
preacher and author, but as the guerdon of his own

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 62 of 177)