Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Dr. Hamilton is a Democrat in his political faith, but
makes no especial demonstration of his adherence, be-
.yond the demands of good citizenship. In the Masonic
order he has reached the Royal Arch degree, and in the
matter of ehurchly relations, is a Presbyterian. He is

Olin C. Harbison. As the owner and publisher of
one of the most important newspapers in this section
of Texas, Olin C. Harrison, of Seymour, occupies a
position of importance in the town and surrounding
country. People are strongly influenced by the printed
word, often unconsciously and sometimes against their
will. When they have faith and confidence in the editor
of their favorite sheet, he is in a position of great power
and responsibility. This is the case with Mr. Harrison.
He is a broad-minded, sincere man, with high standards
of thinking and acting and his influence over his readers
is always toward better things, in civic, political and
social life. That he has a large circulation for his
paper is a thing upon which the people of Seymour are
to be congratulated as well as Mr. Harrison.

Olin C. Harrison was born in McLennan county, Texas,
on the 3rd of October, 1881. His father was Wesley
Harrison, who was a native of Arkansas. As a young
man he came to Texas where he took up farming as a
means of livelihood. This was his occupation during
his comparatively short life, for he died at the age of
forty-five years. He died in 1899 and is buried in Sey-
mour. His wife was Miss Martha Moore and she was
born in Mississippi, later coming to Texas where she
and Mr. Harrison were married. She now resides in
Seymour and is an active member of the Baptist church,
as was her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison had seven
children, all boys and of these sons, Olin C. Harrison
was the fourth in order of birth. All of these sons, with
one exception, live in Seymour. The other son is located
in Hereford, Texas.

Olin C. Harrison has spent his entire life in Texas.
He received his elementary education from the public
schools, attending both grammar and high schools. He
then entered Baylor University from which he was
graduated in 1904. He then taught school for a year,
but school teaching did not appeal to him and so he
accepted a position in a bank at Canyon, Texas. He
worked there for nearly a year and then bought the
Baylor Couniii Banner. Since taking charge of this
paper he has increased the circulation greatly. He has
also enlarged the plant, and publishes a paper so alto-
gether desirable in the way the news is handled, in the



editorial departments, and typographically, that he has
a large circulation, not only in Seymour and Baylor
counties, but also in this entire section of Texas and in
many of the near-by states. Mr. Harrison 's establish-
ment is well equipped for job printing and he has much
business of this class. In another year he expects to
erect a new building to house his paper in. Through
the columns of the Banner he is a tireless advocate of
the up-building of Texas in general and Baylor county
in particular, and all movements toward civic improve-
ments or advance in any direction find him an ardent

Mr. Harrison is a member of the Democratic party
and has taken an active interest in politics, being one
of the original Woodrow Wilson men in Seymour. In
religious matters Jlr. Harrison is a member of the Bap-
tist church.

In Waco, Texas, on the 18th of September, 1907, Mr.
Harrison was married to Miss Marguerite Surratt, a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Polk .Surratt, of Waco. Her
mother lives in Seymour. Mr. Surratt died some years
ago. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs.
Harrison, Olin Cedric and Margaret.

Barney W. Fields. Upon the death of his honored
father, Thomas W. Fields succeeded the latter in the
oflace of postmaster of the City of GreenviUe, one of the
most important industrial and commercial centers of
northern Texas, and he served under appointment- as act-
ing postmaster for a few months, after which, in May,
1910, he was formally appointed to the office by President
Taft. Mr. Fields is one of the progressive citizens of
Greenville, and here he has secure vantage ground in
popular esteem, the while he is widely known by reason
of his official preferment, so that his circle of friends
has become speciaUy wide. He has proved most zealous
and effective in the administration of the local post-
office service, and in connection with the Greenville office
is retained a corps of five city carriers, besides the office
force of about twenty-nine persons. From this head-
quarters also emanate six rural free delivery routes, and
the office is one of the most important in the state.

Barney W. Fields was born in Henderson county, Ten-
nessee, on the 16th of September, 1875, and is a son of
Thomas W. and May Margaret (Sheffield) Fields.
Thomas Wright Fields was born near Center Point, Hen-
derson coiintv, Tennessee, on the 14th of June, 1856, and
was there reared and educated. He there served nine
years in the office of justice of the peace and for several
years was associated with the operation of the postoffice
in the village of Sardis, that county. In his native
county, on the 18th of December, 1874, was solemnized
his marriage to Miss May Margaret Sheffield, a repre-
sentative oi one of the sterling families of that county,
and they continued to maintain their home m Henderson
county 'until the spring of 1895, when they came to
Texas and established their home on a farm m Hunt
county, near the village of Celeste. Two years later
they removed to another farm, near Salem, this county,
where they continued to reside four years, at the ex-
piration of which they established their permanent home
in the city of Greenville. Here Mr. Fields became a
successful contractor and builder, and in this line of
enterprise he erected several of the best residence build-
ings of the city, besides an appreciable number of busi-
ness structures of modern type. He gained the inviolable
confidence and esteem of the community, was liberal and
public-spirited in his civic attitude, and was a zealous
supporter of the cause of the Republican party. In
April, 1909, he was appointed and commissioned post-
master of Greenville by President Eoosevelt, and within
his brief administration he gained the unqualified com-
mendation of the community, his regime being cut short
by his untimely death on the 12th of December of the
same year. He was known as a man of excellent business
and executive ability, was animated by the highest prin-

ciples of integrity and honor and well merited the high
regard in which he was uniformly held. He was affil-
iated with the Masonic fraternity and was a zealous
and consistent member of the Baptist Church, as is also
his widow, who still maintains her home in Greenville,
where she is a popular factor in the social activities of
the community. Of the children four sons and daughters
survive the honored father.

To the public schools of his native state Barney W.
Fields is indebted for his early educational discipline,
and in 1891 he was graduated in the Sardis Normal Col-
lege, at Sardis, Tennessee. He put his scholastic attain-
ments to practical test and utilization by turning his
attention to the pedagogic profession, and for several
years he was a successful teacher in the schools of Hunt
county, Texas, whither he came in 1S94, a short time
prior to the removal of his parents to this state. For
four years he was identified with the government bureau
of education in the Philippine Islands, where his service
met with high commendation. When his father assumed
the office of postmaster at Greenville, Mr. Fields became
assistant, and when his father passed away he was made
acting postmaster, his experience, though of limited dura-
tion, proving sufficient to make him a most efficient head
of the local service, with the result that he gained strong
support and was made the regular incumbent of the office
in May, 1910, through appointment by President Taft.
He has shown marked circumspection in the administra-
tion of the multifarious affairs of this important office
and popular approbation has not been denied, with the
result that he is considered a model executive. His term
of office win expire in May, 1914. In politics Mr. Fields
is found arrayed as a stanch advocate of the principles
and policies of the Eepublican party.

John McCluke. When John McClure passed away in
October, 1908, Gainesville lost one of her biggest men,
and one who had occupied a prominent place in the
community for many previous years. He was one of
the well-to-do farming and stock men of the county, and
for sixteen years he had served as a member of the
board of county commissioners of Cooke county, an
office that he continued to till with increasing ability
and to the utmost satisfaction of all from his first in-
cumbency thereof until he was obliged to relinquish all
earthlv activities.

Born in Marshall, Clark county, Hlinois, in 1842,
John McClure was the son of Samuel and Caroline
(Kitchens) McClure, the mother of Tennessee and the
father of Kentucky, respectively. The father was sheriff
of Clark county for many years. The paternal grand-
father was an Indian fighter of note, whose two children
were massacred by Indians.

John McClure was reared on the home farm of his
parents, there continuing up to the age of twenty years,
when he went to Nevada and worked in the mines. He
reached the position of an overseer and continued in
that work for ten years, then returned home and paid
a visit. He returned to Nevada after a short time, and
continued there for another period, this one of four
years' duration. It was then that he came to Gaines-
ville, and here he established a home of his own, settling
on South Denton street, and engaging in the cotton
business. He had most of the land now representing
the town site of Gainesville for a range for his cattle
in those early days, and he prospered most pleasingly
in the business. "There were no railroads penetrating
the country then, and Mr. McClure hauled with mule
teams the 'lumber with which he built his house, from
the town of Sherman. He later purchased four hundred
acres of land and engaged in farming in genuine earnest,
putting three hundred acres of the place under the plow
and reducing it to a crop bearing condition. He followed
the cattle business until 1888, then moved to Gainesville,
where he was shortlv after elected county commissioner
from Precinct No. 1, and in that capacity he served



repeatedly, sixteen years in all. He died in 1908, just
as he was about to enter upon another term of service
in that capacity.

Mr. McClure was practically retired from all business
at the time of his death, being devoted then chiefly to
the interests of the public, but his private affairs had
been set aside some time previous. He was a Democrat,
but not politically ambitious, and the only ofiice he
ever held was that of commissioner. As to his churehly
relations, it may be said that he was a member of the
Baptist church, and that his example in life was in
every respect consistent with his profession of faith.
He was one of the public spirited men of his community,
and always manifested a wholesome interest in any
activities that pertained to the advancement of the public

Mr. ]\IeClure on the 21st of January, 1875, in Paris,
lU., married Miss Louise Snedeker, who was born in
Ohio, September 14th, 1846, and was of Pennsylvania and
Virginia stock. Both her parents were Ohioans, and the
father ended his days in Illinois, where he settled after
the CivO war and engaged in farming. He died in April,
1912, having reached the patriarchal age of ninety-one
years. Mrs. MeClure is one of the eight children of her
parents who were named as follows: W. M., deceased;
Garrett, a resident of Paris, Illinois; Charlotte, deceased;
Louis L., of Paris, Illinois; Jabus, a resident of Astoria,
Illinois; Oscar, of Darwin, Illinois; Darthuly, the widow
of Clement Forsythe, of Terre Haute, Indiana.

Mr. McClure himself was one of eight children, brief
mention of them being made as follows: Mary D., the
widow of Wni. Snedeker, the latter a brother of the
widow of subject, and now living in La Mesa, Cali-
fornia; Wilson is a resident of College, Kansas; Albert,
who lives in Gainesville; Susie, the wife of "Washington
Clapp, of Appleton City, Missouri; Eliza, Cecelia, and
Andrew, all deceased.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. MeClure was solemnized
on January 21, 187.5, and to them were born three chil-
dren. Caroline E., the eldest, is unmarried and is engaged
in teaching in the public schools at Wichita Falls, Texas.
She was educated in the public schools of Gainesville,
and finished her training in Oxford, Mississippi, Dunton
Normal School, and a special course in Knoxville,
Tennessee. Ella Gay was educated in Gainesville, Texas,
and remains at home with her mother. Willie 0., is the
wife of H. M. Buchanan, of Amarillo, Texas.

ilrs. MeClure makes her home at No. 709 North Dixon
street, Gainesville.

James Harvet Jones. One of Gainesville's best
known and most successful citizens was the late James
Harvey Jones, who died in 1908. Mr. Jones had lived
in North Texas from the age of two years, was a farmer
and stockman, conducted a mercantile business in Gaines-
ville, and was also honored with official position in the

James Harvey Jones was born in Lebanon, Missouri,
in 1856, and was fifty-two years of age at the time of
his death. His parents were Milton and Rhoda (Liz-
enby) Jones, both natives of Illinois and the father a
farmer by occn|iatio7i. The ten children in the family
were: Lucy Ann, .l.'r.nspd; Clora, deceased; Melissa,
deceased; Ehim. d," .nsml : Louis, deceased; Lucinda,
widow of .MarXiiiiii;; „t Gainesville; Leouard, a grocer
in Gainesville; Walter, m business at Gainesville; James
H. ; and Madora, deceased.

In 1858 the parents moved to Texas and bought a
farm in Cooke county, where the father was engaged in
';;tli. ii thi' :ii,'e of sixty-five. His
, -^l^r, ;ind with the exception of
iHnx^nn rimntr he had his home in
!i;^ .l.-.itli. The late James Harvey
is father 's farm in Cooke county,
attained his preliminary education in the Gainesville
public schools, and at the age of sixteen years the man- ■

farming until his
home was near G
three years spent
Cooke county unti
Jones grew up on

agement of the home place devolved upon him owing to
the death of his father. From that time he was actively
identified with farming and the cattle industry. A
stroke of paralysis caused him to give up active outdoor
work, and he then moved into Gainesville. For five
years he was in the grocery business in that city, and
during that time built up from small beginnings one of
the best establishments of its kind in Cooke county. In
1S97 he was elected to the office of tax collector, in
which served two terms or four years. After that he
once more engaged in farming, managing his business
while a resident in Gainesville. His farm comprised two
hundred and twenty acres, and he succeeded in making
it a profitable enterprise even though an invalid. He
had to be rolled about in a chair during the latter period
of his life, and it is a tribute to his remarkable energy
that he persisted in his close attention to business in
spite of the physical handicap.

JNIr. Jones was married March 7, 1883, to Miss Nannie
T. Howeth, a daughter of Harvey and Susan (Dorsett)
Howeth, the mother a native of Texas and the father of
Tennessee. Harvey Howeth was a farmer who came to
Texas at an early day, buying land and continuing its
operation until his ileath. He lived in Eusk county foi
some time, but after moved to near Gainesville, which re-
mained his home until his death, in 1897. Mrs. Jones
was one of a family of twelve children, namely: Mel-
vina, deceased; John F., deceased; Willia, deceased; Jef-
ferson, a farmer in Oklahoma; Ellen, deceased; Andrew,
deceased; Harvey, Jr., of Oklahoma; Susan, wife of John
H. Williams of Montague county, Texas; Mrs. Jones;
Joseph of Oklohoma; Betty, wife of C. J. Gilliam of
Gainesville; and Lula, wife of J. H. McDaniels of Okla-

The ten children born to the marriage of Mr. and Mrs,
Jones are mentioned as follows: Guy F., of Richardson,
Texas, a Methodist minister, and the father of one child,
named Richard; Granville, unmarried, and a practicing
attorney at Gainesville ; Earle, who is the Methodist miu-
ister at Greenville, Texas, and has one child, Gertrude;
Wade, in the furniture business at Muskogee, Oklahoma,
and unmarried; Fay, wife of W. H. Perkins, a railroad
clerk at Gainesville; Lee, who is emplo,yed on a Gaines-
ville newspaper; Florence, a son, who is now taking a
business course in the Gainesville business college; Ruby,
in the high school, and two that died in infancy.

The late Mr. Jones was known in his community as a
man who spoke out his mind on all matters, and accord-
ing to what he regarded as right. He was a man of
influence, and did his part by all civic and moral move-
ments. He took an active part in the affairs of the
local Methodist church, and in politics was a Democrat.
The only office he ever sought was that of tax collector,
in whicii he served for two terms. He was particularly
fond of his home, and seldom sought diversions outside
of his family circle. During his residence at Gainesville
he bought and opened an addition to Gainesville, known
as the "Burrus addition," now one of the popular resi-
dence districts. The family home is at 1305 East Cali-
fornia Street, in Gainesville.

Nathaniel Terry Bomar. A pioneer doctor is a fig-
ure unadorned and plain in the annals of human activ-
ity, but with a character in which the spirit of service
makes many more conspicuous actors seem petty and
insignificant. It was as an old-time doctor — the kindly,
understanding, strong man of helpful skill, whose name
is a grateful memory in many a household — that the
late Nathaniel Terry Bomar was best known in north
Texas during a period of activity extending from pioneer
times until a quarter century ago.

Nathaniel Terry Bomar was'born in Wilson county,
Tennessee, a son of William Johnson and Elizabeth
(Terry) Bomar. His father was a Christian minister,
and was also a large planter and slave owner in the
state of Tennessee. The mother was a descendant of



the noted Terry family, one of her ancestors having
been ' ' Fighting Joe Terry, ' ' of the Revolution, and other
members of the Terry family having been noted as sol-
diers and citizens m Tennessee. Among the ancestors
of the late Dr. Bomar was Sir "William Johnson, of
colonial American history. Dr. Bomar was one of a
large family of children, his father having married
four times. There were six children by Elizabeth Terry.

He grew up on his father's plantation in Tennessee,
and from boyhood manifested strong aptitude and indjs-
try as a student. He had ambitions for professional
life, and after his preliminary education in the district
schools of Tennessee studied in the office of Dr. Sayle
in that state. After a thorough course of reading he
was given a partnership with his preceptor, and he and
Dr. Sayle practiced medicine together for a number of
years. Finally, on account of failing health, Dr. Bomar
moved west and located in the pioneer town of Sher-
man, Texas, where he resumed his professional work.
In 1854 or 1S55 he moved from Sherman to Gainesville,
which was then on the extreme western frontier. In
Gainesville for a number of years he was in the drug
business, until the late seventies, but his principal work
was in his profession and he was devoted to its duties
until his retirement, in 1S90. It is remembered of Dr.
Bomar that he never refused a call by night or day, or
in sunshine or in rain; therefore ho had a large prac-
tice and was one of the best loved men of his profes-
sion in north Texas, but was always a poor collector, and
his service was never represented by his material accu-
mulations. He was not only a practit'oner, but through-
out his life continued to be an ardent student and
seeker for knowledge. The death of Dr. Bomar occurred
at his home in Gainesville, October 9, 189S. Outside of
his profession he might have been much more active in
public life than hi' was. During reconstruction days he
was appointed to the office of county judge. In politics
he was a Union Democrat at that time, and throughout
the struggle between the states espoused the cause of
the Union, He served as county judge for a time, but
never again could be drawn into political affairs. He
was a charter member of the Lodge of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, both at Sherman and at Gaines-
ville, and was very much devoted to this fraternity.

The late Dr. Bomar was married before leaving Ten-
nessee to Miss Amanda Allison, who was born in Ten-
nessee, a daughter of Thomas and Lucre'-ia Allison, the
latter a direct descendant of Sir Francis Drake, the lion
of the Elizabethian English navy. Nine Aildren were
born to the doctor and wife, but only two are now living,
the son Edmond and the daughter Miss Dorglas,

Edmond Bomar for many years served as president of
the Bomar Oil Company of Gainesville, ani has been
identified with many enterprises, though he is now living
retired and merely guarding his investments. Edmond
Bomar married Miss Alice D. Gooding, a native of Port-
land, Maine. She was a daughter of Captaia Gooding,
who died at sea. Miss Gooding came to Texas and was
reared at Bryan, and their marriage occurred in 1878.

Miss Douglas, who is a woman of great capability,
both in business and like her father, a thorongh student
of books, resides with her brother Edmond m Gaines-
ville. For ten years she was identified with school work
in the public schools of Gainesville.

During the old days of the Texas frontier Edmond
Bomar served as a Texas ranger, and had many adven-
tures as an India,n fighter. He grew up in what was
then west Texas, and during his early life was identified
with real estate and merchandising lines. He went back
to Tennessee for some time, and was in the grocery busi-
ness at Paris for six years. Finally in Gainesville he
organized the Gainesville Cotton Oil Conipany, of which
he became president, and later acquired the controlling
interest and changed the name of the concern to the
Bomar Oil Company, one of the largest enterprises of the
kind in the state, of which he has been at the head.

Miss Douglas Bomar resides at 313 South Denton street
with Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Bomar.

William Pata Robinson. For the past thirty-five
yeais the family of William Bata Eobinson has been
identified with Gainesville, where his daughter is Mrs.
E. H. Campbell, and his widow has also made her home
here for upwards of thirty-five years.

The career of William Pata Boliinson began in Fay-
ette county, Kentucky, with his birth on the fifteenth of
April, 1815. He was a son of Benjamin and PoHv
(Pata) Eobinson, the father a native of Virginia, where
the grandfather was a large planter. The father was
married in his native state, and then moved to Ken-
tucky. William P. Eobinson was one of eight children.
He grew up in Kentucky, was educated in the district
schools, and was given more than ordinary advantages
in schooling and was known for his substantial schofar-
ship. He never attended college, however, and was en-
gaged in farming nearly all his life. In the Mexican
war he enlisted in Lancaster, Kentucky, in the first com-
pany of the First Eegiment of the Company, under Cap-
tain Johnson Price. He went south with the troops and
participated in the first important battle of the war, at
Buena Vista. He went through the war until its close
and after his honorable discharge returned to his home
in Kentucky, where he was married and where he en-
gaged in farming and stock raising. He was in the
cotton business at Jackson, Tennessee, at the time of his
death, which occurred November 14, 1862. He was a
Union man in his sympathies, but did not serve as a
soldier, since his death occurred in the second year of
the war. He was never a seeker for office, but a quiet,
industrious citizen and a man held in the high esteem in
all the relationships of life. He was a devout Chris-
tian and a member of the Christian church.

Mr. Eobinson was married January 10, 1S48, to Miss
Clara Anderson, who now lives in Gainesville with her
children. She was born in Garrat county, Kentucky, a

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 69 of 177)