Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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toil, and his persistent determination to know the mean-
ing and relation of things in the wonderful universe in
which God had placed him.

Though amply qualified for various professional pur-
suits, on leaving the university career Dr. Lowber chose
the Christian ministry as his life-work. In early life
he had connected himgelf with the Christian church,
known as the Church of the Disciples. The simplicity
and efficiency of its policy, its liberal ideas, the large
freedom of thought of which it admits in questions of
ceremonial and dogma, made the ministry of this church
an inviting field to one who was a student and investiga-
tor, and who felt the moral imperative of freedom to
preach and publish his conclusions.

As a preacher. Dr. Lowber has been eminently suc-
cessful both as pastor and evangelist. He has been
a church-builder, both as to the creation of commodious
and elegant church structures, and in organizing, en-
larging and compacting into permanence the congrega-
tions that worshiped within them. For some years he
was pastor of the Christian church in Scranton, Penn-
sylvania, at which time he was also president of the
Pennsylvania Christian Conference. He served most ac-
ceptably and successfully the First Christian Church of
Paducah, Kentucky, and" the First Christian Church of
Fort Worth, Texas. In this latter relation he continued
for more than five years, during which time he built up
one of the strongest and most flourishing Christian
churches in the state. When he began his labors the
membership numbered less than two hundred; when
he concluded them, a beautiful church building had
been erected at a cost of about thirty thousand dol-
lars, the membership had increased to nearly eight hun-
dred, and in addition there vpere two successful missions
in operation.

In 1893 the American Christian Missionary Society
invited Dr. Lowber to take charge of its mission in
Galveston. He began his work in Galveston with but
little more than a dozen members, his capital being
his faith in God, his own personal energy, and the
pledge of the society to stand by him. In two years
he had built a central place of worship at a cost of
about eight thousand dollars, and had gathered and
organized a membership of one hundred and twenty-
five. The officers of the American Board complimented
Dr. Lowber very highly upon this work, pronouncing
it the ' ' most quickly developed work ever undertaken
by the society, ' ' and ' ' a star in the crown of the Ameri-
can Board."

In 1896 the Central Christian church in Austin invited
Dr. Lowber to become its pastor. This invitation was
seconded by a number of the leading Christian preachers
of the state. It was the worthy ambition of the Chris
tian church in Texas to build up a strong and growing
organi?ation in the capital city, the center of govern-
ment and of learning in the state. For such work Dr.
Lowber was regarded as being specially equipped. With
the consent of the missionary board to release him, and
after he had raised the last dollar of indebtedness on

the church he had built in Galveston, he accepted the
call. He began his labors in Austin in March, 1897,
and the whole machinery of church life and activity,
taking on new power and enthusiasm, moved forward
in such rapid and substantial progress, that in April,
1899, what had been considered an impossible under-
taking, became a stately consummation before the
eyes of the people — one of the handsomest and most
commodious stone church buildings in the city, and even
in the state, was dedicated.

As a preacher. Dr. Lowber is luminous and instructive,
and not without a good degree of evangelical pungency
and fervor. His style is terse and clear, possessing the
elegance of simple and dignified EngUsh, without any
attempt at ornate coloring or that surface glitter which
can in nowise enhance the intrinsic lustre of truth, or
eMi]ili,')si7,e the potency of great thoughts. He seizes his
suImct' witli ;ni :irute and comprehensive analysis which
UKist,!^ It 111 ;,11 its relations from the ultimate ramifica-
tions 111 it> uii't> to the flowering out of its topmost
branclit's. He can open a luminous pathway through
the confused conceptions of a text, or the tangled under-
growth of a continent of speculation, as few men can.
No one can sit beneath his ministry and remain unen-
lightened, or fail to see that truth is supreme and has
the profoundest love and reference of the preacher. That
great statesman, the late John H. Eeagan, said : " I go
to hear Dr. Lowber for two reasons: First, I can hear
him. Second, I hear something when I go." Elder
T. W. Caskey, who was a frequent attendant upon Dr.
Lowber 's ministry, both in Fort Worth and in Galveston,
said: "I think I have heard some better sermons than
I ever heard Dr. J. W. Lowber preach, but, taking his
sermons as a whole, he is the best preacher I ever heard.
He never preaches a poor sermon. ' ' There are thou-
sands of others who would corroborate this witness as
true, and who cherish both admiration and love for this
consecrated and energetic and able minister of Jesus

Dr. Lowber has also been distinguished and very use-
ful as an educator. In 1893, he was elected chancellor
of Add-Ean University, and held this position most
acceptably and with increasing popularity for five years,
though at the same time engaged in active pastoral
work. While chancellor at the university he conducted a
post-graduate department, and among the students who
pursued the courses under his direction and instruction
were graduates from Oxford, England; Glasgow, Scot-
land; Columbia University; the University of Indiana-
polis; Drake University, and other leading institutions.
He has devoted fully twenty years of his life as teacher
in the classroom, from the public s'chools to the university.
In all these relations he was distinguished by the same
mastery of his subject, lucid exposition, reverent appre-
ciation of truth, and conscientious devotion to his work
which have distinguished and made eminent his ministry.
When the chancellorship of Texas Christian University
was abolished. Dr. Lowber was offered the presidency.
He had also been tendered the presidency of several other

In 1880 Dr. Lowber delivered a course of lectures in
Eichmond, Virginia, which were so popular, and evinced
such a profound and critical mastery of Biblical litera-
ture, that Colonel Carey and Pastor J. Z. Tyler, of the
Seventh Street Christian Church, ofi'ered to raise the
money necessary for his maintenance if he would estab-
lish a Bilile school in connection with the University
of Virginia, in harmony with Thomas Jefferson's views.
.\fterwards he received a forma! proposition from the
church at Charlottesville and the Dis, i|.l. ,r \ i-inia to
eftalilish the Bible school, and aeco|ii >" with

it, the pastorate of the church of < \ ■ ; ■ - This

very flattering offer he was compollol t. .1. lii- because
of other engagements. However, he became ?o interested
in such work that when he removed to Austin he began
a course of lectures specially designed for the students



of the university, which he continued until the establish-
ment of the present Bible Chair, which was mainly due
to his initiative and personal influence. For many years
Dr. Lowber has lectured regularly at the Texas Chris-
tian University, on scientific, philosophic and religious
subjects, and his coming is always an event in the
student life of the university.

As a lecturer Dr. Lowber is characterized by lumin-
ousness of arrangement, scholarly method, consecutive-
ness of argument, felicity of illustration, and unity and
sympathy in the completed product. Things that are
huddled and confused in the students' minds, as they
listen to him, hasten to fall into their right relations,
and harmoniously adjust themselves to right laws and
principles as soon as they feel the disposing touch
of his organizing mind.

It is undeniably as an author that Dr. Lowber is most
widely known, for through his books he has stood upon
a coign of vantage from which he has reached thousands
who never heard his voice, and it is by his books that he
shall speak long after his voice has been silenced in
death. Dr. Lowber is a voluminous writer on subjects
of art, poetry, philosophy, science, history, morals and
religion, and his books have received favorable notice
and comment, not only in America, but also in England
and on the continent of Europe. "The Struggles and
Triumph of the Truth," "The Devil in Modern So-
ciety," "The Who and What of the Disciples of Christ,"
' ' Cultura, ' ' and ' ' Macrocosmus ' ' are among his more
notable works. (Since this written Dr. Lowber 's latest
book, "Thought and Eeligion," or "Contributions of
Philosophy and Theology, ' ' has been published simul-
taneously in Boston and in London.) In all his books,
treating of a wide range of subjects, he evinces a perfect
mastery of his subject. His analyzing intellect leaves
no phase of it unilluminated, and his clear and cogent
reasoning carries with it the force of conviction to the
mind of the reader. While discussing so vast a range
of subjects, and subjects upon which there is so wide
and manifest a diversity of opinion, he is never warped
by prejudice, nor made narrow by partisanism. If, when
treating of great social evils, some righteous indignation
burns through his terse and compact sentences against
the moral apathy of society, in the presence of such in-
excusable wrongs, they are never degraded by any tone
or color of moral malignity. Indeea, in reading Dr.
Lowber 's books, one would judge that in his formative
period one of the mightiest masters who exercised his
great influence in forming his method of thought, was
Cousin. In all his books we encounter a passion for
general principles and that eclecticism which seeks to
do justice to every philosophic thinker by placing his
leading thought into its right relations with the results
of the whole philosophic world. His effort is to interpret
rather than denounce opinions which are at variance
with his own, feeling that opinions will stand or fall as
they are, or are not, rooted in truth of things. One has
but to read his books to see that he regards the simple
revelation of the truth as the one sufficient and effectual
exposure and denunciation of error. It is the blazing
shield of Prince Arthur, that was only to be unveiled to
strike blindness to the eyes and terror to the hearts
of all the Orgoglios and Duessas of evil. Some of his
books have reached the seventh edition, and there is yet
no appearance of any decrease in the demand for them.

Dr. Lowber 's varied and accurate scholarship, and the
merit of his contributions to different departments of
science and literature, have been recognized and highly
commended, not only in his own country, but abroad.
A. Wilford Hall, who was an able and original writer
on scientific and philosophic themes, and so long editor
of the Microcosm, thus speaks of Dr. Lowber as one of
his valued contributors: "He became an early contribu-
tor to the Microcosm, and his terse and elegantly written,
philosophic papers we are proud to point to still, as

among the finest specimens of logical reasoning to be
found in those volumes. ' '

In 1S96, Dr. Lowber was elected a Fellow of the
Eoyal Geographical Society, and in the same year was
elected a Fellow of the Eoyal Educational Institute of
Scotland. In 1S97 he received the degree of Doctor of
Political Science, with the highest honors, from the
University of Wooster, Ohio. He is also a Doctor of
Philosophy of Syracuse University, Xew York. He was
a member of the Congress of Arts and Sciences which
met in connection with the Universal Exposition in St.
Louis, iWissouri, in 1904. In 1905 he was elected a mem-
ber of the Eoyal Societies Club of London, England.
This is the most noted literary and scientific club in the
world. (Dr. Lowber in July, 1913, was elected for mem-
bership in the Authors Club of London, England.) In
1906 he was made a Fellow of the American Associa-
tion for the Advancement of Science. During the same
year he was elected a member of the Eoyal Asiatic
Society of Great Britain and Ireland. In March of the
same year he was elected a member of the Italian
Mathematical Society. In November of the same year
he received the diploma of the Astronomical Society of
France. In 1907 he was made a Fellow of the Society
of Antiquarians of Scotland, a "society established by
royal charter, and one of the oldest and most noted in
the world. In 190S, at the annual meeting of the Eoyal
Scottish Geographical Society, out of fifty new members
elected. Dr. Lowber i^as one of only four who were
awarded the diploma of Fellow. This diploma is consid-
ered of equal value to Doctor of Science in any one of
the great universities. Dr. Lowber is also a Fellow of
the Eoyal Astronomical Society and a member of the
Eoyal Society of Arts in London. (Dr. Lowber is a life
member of Hill City Lodge, A. F. & A. M. ; is Ex-prelate
of the Knights Templar; a thirty-second degree Scot-
tish rites Mason, and a member of Ben Hur Temple,
A. A. O. N. M. S. He is an Ex-chief Patriarch of the
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a Past chancellor
of the Knights of Pythias, and an ex-Chaplain and Life
member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of

Thus the honors of his own and of other lands have
rained upon this accomplished man of letters, and con-
sistent champion of the truth, almost ' ' as thick as leaves
in Valombrosa." These are commanding testimonials to
the merit of his works, and to his worth as a man, and
a sufficient guarantee that his work shall live after him.
Dr. Lowber wears this vast and glittering accumulation
of honors with all the guilelessness of a child, and no
one could ever suspect, on encountering him in the daily
and devoted discharge of his pastoral duties in Austin,
that his name is mentioned admiringly in the great lit-
erary and scientific societies over half the civilized world.
But it is here that we discover the chief attraction of
the man. The man is ever greater than his work. Char-
acter is the culminating dignity and glory of human life.
And Dr. Lowber has so long looked into the mirror of
the Master that he has caught the same image, and grown
into it from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord.
Every attribute and faculty of the man, every honor and
distinction which have come to him by the just and
admiring recognition of his fellows, have all been woven
into a votive wreath, and hung upon the cross of Christ.
He is first of all a Christian man, a devoted disciple of
Jesus Christ, exclaiming, as Paul did: "I count all
things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ
my Lord. ' '

In his book "The Struggles and Triumphs of the
Truth, ' ' is found the following dedication by the author :
' ' To my wife, Maggie P. Lowber, who sympathizes with
and assists me in all my literary work. ' ' And opposite
the title page of that same book appear the likenesses
of Mrs. Lowber and Dr. Lowber. There is a fitness in
this association which finds its explanation in the ancient
law: "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make



a helpmate for him." She has been his right hand in
all his vast and diversified labors. She has sat by his side
tar into the small hours of the night, reading aloud
from pondrous volumes of art, literature, philosophy and
science, pouring their varied grist into the ever-waiting
and capacious hopper of his intellect, to be ground out
into fresh products of evolution and of beauty, until she
has become almost as learned as her distinguished hus-
band. Though she shares not the fame of his b\3oks in
the world's eyes, yet she is vitally interwoven with them
all, so much so that had Mrs. Lowber never been, per-
haps the books should not have been. She has been
of vital help to him also in his pastoral work, and on
the lecture platform has won more plaudits by her grace-
ful and animated elocution than the Doctor has by his
lectures, so brimming with facts and useful knowledge,
and so inspiring in their appeal to all that is best and
noblest in humanity. (Mrs. Lowber 's maiden name
was Maggie Pleasant DeBaun, and she was born in
Kentucky. She received the degree of Master of Arts
from the Texas Christian University while Dr. Lowber
was chancellor of that institution, and has taken post-
graduate work in the University of Texas, being also a
graduate from the Texas School of Oratory.)

In 1907, these two, Dr. and Mrs. Lowber, made an
extensive tour through Europe, visiting nearly all the
leading countries and cities of Great Britain and the Con-
tinent. They were both eminently fitted, by their wide
and varied reading, to enjoy and profit to the full by
the great privileges and opportunities of such a trip.
They returned in the fall to resume their work in the
Central Christian Church, where they are both honored
and beloved, and where they have accomplished a work
that shall abide the test of the last day.

Although Dr. Lowber has taught from the common
school to the presidency of a college and chancellor of a
university, and has been a pastor more than thirty
years, he was never a candidate for any position in his
life. The colleges and churches have sought him, and
not he them. Thus far he has added to the church (up
to the close of 1913) 12,437 persons, more than one-half
of whom were by baptism or restoration. Several years
ago he started a social reform movement, which has met
with encouraging success. More than thirty thousand
persons have accepted his social reform pledge (up to
the close of 1913), and resolved to live higher social and
spiritual lives. He is now a lecturer at different colleges
and universities.

Otto Stehlik. Mr. Stehlik is one of Wichita Falls
progressive and energetic business men. He started
out in life a poor boy, and then went into the business
world without any capital. Since then through his
energy he has become one of the leading real estate
brokers of Wichita Falls, and is very loyal and energetic
in behalf of every movement for the betterment and im-
provement of this splendid commercial center of North

Otto Stehlik was born at West, McLennan county,
Texas, December 26, 1881. He belongs to a family of
Bohemian-Americans, a class of people who are noted
for their sturdiness, industry, and strong mental char-
acteristics. Joseph Stehlik, his father, was born in
Moravia, Austria, and came to America at the age of
nineteen years settling in Colorado county, Texas. He
married Miss Theresa Marek, who was born in Bohemia,
was twelve years old when her parents came to Texas,
in which state she was educated and married. Her death
occurred in 1895 at the age of forty-two years. The
father was engaged in stock raising in Colorado county,
later moved to McLennan county, which was his home
until 1911, and now resides in Wichita Falls at the age
of sixty, being retired from business. Of the three chil-
dren, Otto was the second. He attended school in Mc-
Lennan county, but when a boy left his books in order
to take up the practical work of life, and filled various

minor places of responsibility until 1906. He came to
Wichita Falls in that year and established an office in
the real estate, oil, and cotton business, and by his
square methods of doing business has built up a large
trade, and is considered one of the best men in his line
in the county.

He has taken an active part in Democratic politics,
and has served as delegate to the state convention. Fra-
ternally he is a Knight Templar Mason and a Shriner,
and also affiliated with the Benevolent and Progressive
Order of Elks. He is a member of the Wichita Falls
Commercial Club, and his church is the Presbyterian.

In Wichita Falls, March, 1908, Mr. Stehlik married
Miss Johnnie Berry, whose father was a farmer and
now resides at Fort Worth. The four children of Mr.
and Mrs. Stehlik are: Melba Euth, born at Wichita
Falls, January 15, 1909; Otto and Williard, twins, born
August 28, 1910; and Thelma May, born March 6, 1913,
Wichita Falls being the birthplace of all the children.
Mr. Stehlik is very fond of all outdoor pursuits, and
is a man whose career with its great promise of success
is still largely before him.

Edgar P. Haney. One of the best managed and most
influential newspapers of North Texas is the Wichita
SearcMight, the founder of which is Edgar P. Haney,
who has had an active career in journalism and in educa-
tional work during the past ten years. Mr. Haney is a
young man a little more than thirty, and yet has accom-
plished many things that stamp him as a man of ability
and worthy achievements.

Edgar P. Haney was born at Prospect, in Clay county,
Texas, February 3, 1882. His parents were Wallace W.
and Candace Myxia Haney, both of whom were reared
in Tennessee, and were among the pioneer settlers of
Clay county. Mr. Haney attended the local schools of
north Texas, and in May, 1902, was graduated from
the Oakland high school at Oakland, Oklahoma. For
several consecutive summers he attended summer nor-
mals and his first professional experience was in teach-
ing. He spent five years as superintendent of schools
at Byers, Texas. During the school sessions of 1907-
'08- '09, Mr. Haney was a student in the University of
Texas. In the meantime on October 13, 1905, he had
established at Wichita Falls the SearcMifjht and is now
president and general manager of the Searchlight Pub-
lishing Company, printers and publishers.

While his work as a publisher and as a teacher has
absorbed much of his time, Mr. Haney has also t.aken
a prominent part in public affairs, particularly in state
legislation. He represented the One Hundredth District
two terms in the lower house of the legislature, being
first elected in 1910, and re-elected in 1912. At Austin,
Mr. Haney was chairman of the committee on education
during the thirty-second legislature, and during the
thirty-third session was chairman of constitutional
amendments. To his credit must be assigned the author-
ship of the text book law, the rural high school law,
and the bill raising the scholastic age. All of these are
progressive measures increasing the efficiency and scope
of Texas educational system. In politics Mr. Haney is
what is called a Progressive Democrat. He has mem-
bership in the Texas Press Association, and fraternally
has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows since 1904, having served as district deputy
from 1908-1909. He is also affiliated with the Wood-
men of the World, the Modem Woodmen of America,
and the Knights of Pythias. Mr. Haney and famUy
worship in the Methodist Episcopal Church' south.

At his native tovpn of Prospect in Clay county, on
June 25, 1902, Mr. Haney married a daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. J. A. Blalaek, of Prospect, her parents hav-
ing been pioneers of Clay county. Jlr. and Mrs. Haney
have known each other since infancy, were reared in the
same neighborhood and attended the same local school.
Their three children are: Leo Draper Haney, aged ten;


Gladys Fae Haney, age six; and Mary Louise Haney,
age two.

Daniel, M. D. A physician and surgeon
with a good record and with a growing clientage In
Wichita Falls, Dr. Daniel is a native Texan, was reared
in the northeastern part of the state, and has been ac-
tively identified with his profession for more than ten

Joseph E. Daniel was born in Red Eiver county, Texas,
May 31, 1878, a son of W. C. and Mary (Parker) Daniel.
At Clarksville Texas, resides his parents, his father at
the age of seventy-eight and his mother at the age of
seventy-three, both hale and hearty old people, who have
well carried the responsibilities of life, and have been
blessed with a large family. They had fifteen children,
of whom the doctor was one of twins, and the tenth in
order of birth. The father and mother were both born
in Georgia, and after the Civil war moved to Texas and
located in Eed Eiver county. That was before the first
railroad line was built through that section of the stato,
and the father was for many years active as a farmer
and stock raiser. During the Civil war he enlisted in
the Seventeenth Louisiana Eegiment, served from the be-
ginning to the end, and was never wounded. He fought
at Shiloh, was at the Siege of Vicksburg, and partici-
pated in many other engagements of that long and
bloody war.

Dr. Daniel was reared in Red Eiver county, attended

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 63 of 177)