Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 71 of 177)
Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 71 of 177)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


braced all the territory to Galveston, Beaumont aud the
southeast corner of the state, and served both before and
after the war. Among his compeers were Peter W.
Gray, who was district judge while General McDonald
was district attorney; Maj. Hannibal H. Boone; Capt.
J. C. Hutchison, now of Houston; A. T. McKinney, of
Huntsville; Ben Goodrich, Judge Maxey and Judge
Baker.

In politics General McDonald was always a Democrat,
aud was chosen to represent his locality in the legisla-
ture before the war, and when the Civil war was in
progress he was brigadier general of the Texas state
troops. Following the close of hostilities, he served as
district attorney again and as a member of the Senate.
He took an active part in state politics, was frequently
with Gen. Sam Houston, with whom he was intimately
acquainted and whom he greatly admired, and was also
an admirer of Andrew Jackson. He favored the war



oiis Siiutheni gentlemen of the old school. He read much
iu law, politics, biography and current literature, and
always favored public education, and his fraternal work
extended to a membership in the Independent Order of
Odd Fellows,

General McDonald married Miss Julia T, Davis, a



1812



TEXAS AND TEXANS



daughter of Charles Davis. She died October 29, 1886,
and was followed to the grave by the General March 11,
1903. Mrs. McDonald was a graduate of the National
Female College at Nashville, Tennessee, of which Dr.
Elliott was president, and she demonstrated her ability
in composition as a writer. She was the mother of ten
children, eight of whom came to maturity, but only four
of whom reared families: Mrs. Mary L. Meecbam, wife
of W. W. Meecham, of Anderson; Finney, who is a resi-
dent of Montgomery, Texas; Mrs. Julia Goodlett, who
died at San Bernardino, California; James G., of this
review; William L., who is an attorney of New York
City; Mrs. P. S. Halleek, a resident of Ann Arbor, Mich-
igan ; and Brown, whose home is at Duluth, Minnesota.

Judge James G. McDonald was born at Anderson,
Texas, September 11, 1858, and has been a student dur-
ing the greater part of his life. He was a youth of
the rural wilds about Anderson, and laid aside bis books
with a common school education. He studied law with
his father and was admitted to the bar in 1888, before
Judge Norman G. Kittrell, and was examined by Colonel
Meecham, Frank Brigance and Major H. H. Boone. He
engaged in the practice in 1SS9 alone and has continued
to be engaged therein ever since, his career in his pro-
fession having been one of consecutive advancement and
well merited success, his practice covering the general
professional business and his standing among his pro-
fessional brethren being high.

Judge McDonald has been a Democrat all his life. In
1900 he was in the state convention at Waco, in 1902 was
in the Galveston convention, and was one of the strongest
supporters of Senator Bailey during the disagreement
over that statesman. While a member of the Legisla-
ture, Judge McDonald supported Senator Bailey's in-
terests in the legislative investigation that took place,
and still regards him as the truest and bravest states-
man of them all. He was county attorney from 1890 to
1892, and county judge from 1892 to 1896. In 1899 he
aided in organizing the White Man 's Union, when the
negroes were dominating the policies of the county, and
by this method disfranchised the blacks and put the
county into the white column. From 1900 to 1904 he
again served as county judge, and was then sent to the
Thirtieth and Thirty-First Legislatures, where he was
known as one of the working members of those dis-
tinguished bodies. He served on judiciary committee
No. 1 and the committees on education and appropria-
tions, and in the latter session was chairman of the com-
mittee on internal improvements. Among the things
accomplished by him in the Legislature was the intro-
duction of a bill to pay special veniremen a dollar a
day for service, whether they were selected as jurymen
or not, whereas, before, they received no pay unless put
on the jury. He lined himself up with the interests of
public education in the rural schools and worked in
harmony with the state superintendent of education in
that work. He advocated the law requiring the teach-
ing of agriculture in the common schools. At present
Judge McDonald's time and attention are chiefly de-
voted to his farm. His plantation, which lies against
the county seat, has 855 acres of land in cultivation and
is given over to the raising of cotton, corn and hay.
Judge McDonald is a Mason, belonging to the Blue
Lodge, Chapter and Council. He is past noble grand of
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has been a
delegate to the Grand Lodge of the state.

On January 20, 1895, Judge McDonald was married
to Miss Eleanor Stone, a daughter of Maj. WiUiam
M. Stone, of Anderson, and a granddaughter of Henry
Fantharp. She died January 25, 1903, leaving one
daughter, Mary Eleanor, who passed away June 15, 1903.

Henry Fantharp was the very first settler of Anderson
and came here from England about 1830. He established
a hotel in the little hamlet, and all the emigration
through this section in pioneer days passed by his place.
General Houston and other prominent Texans made his



hotel their stopping place, and he was just one of those
frontier characters who would be well remembered. He
was a shrewd business man, thrifty, industrious and
capable, and accumulated a handsome property in vari-
ous parts of the state. His family comprised a son and
daughter, viz.: John, who left no issue, and Mary, who
married Maj. William M. Stone, the father of Mrs.
Judge McDonald. The Stone children were as follows:
Annie, who married C. L. Kettler and died at Dallas,
Texas, leaving no issue; Mrs. McDonald; Julia, who
became Mrs. J. T. Yarborough, who now resides in Hong-
Kong, China, as Mrs. Desaussure, and has two daughters,
Julia and Alice; William M., of Marianna, Florida, and
Henry, who died as a youth. Henry Fantharp died in
October, 1868, and his wife followed him to the grave
in the same week.

James W. Stringer. Twenty-three, years ago James
W. Stringer came to Wichita county, Texas, here identi-
fying himself with farming activities, and from then up
to the present time he has been a resident of said county
and has long been reckoned among the successful men of
the community. He extended his interests to the cattle
business soon after he located here, and he is still so
connected, while he has become identified with other
financial and industrial enterprises of the cities of this
county, by means of which he has come to occupy a po-
sition of no little importance in Wichita Falls.

James W. Stringer is a native of Nevada county, Ar-
kansas, born there on March 21, 1862, and he is a son
of Wesley W. and Elmina (Haines) Stringer, both na-
tive Georgians. Wesley W. Stringer was a farmer all
his life, more or less successful, and his residence in
Arkansas began in 1847, when lie was just twenty-five
years of age. He enlisted with an Arkansas regiment
for service in the Confederate army, and served through-
out the war, escaping without injury, save for the explo-
sion of a minie ball in his vicinity, which impaired his
hearing. He died in Columbia county, Arkansas, when he
was sixty-four years of age, and the mother also passed
away there, in the fifty-eighth year of life.

James W. Stringer was the eighth-born child in a
family of five sons and four daughters. He had his early
education, somewhat inclined to meagerness, in the com-
mon schools of Nevada county, Arkansas, and up to the
age of twenty-one remained at home on the farm. Then,
when he felt himself entitled to his freedom by reason
of his age, he left home and came to Texas, settling in
Bell county in the summer of 1882. He engaged in
farming there and was eight years in that district.
When Mr. Stringer first came to Texas he spent one year
attending school, and thus added not a little to his edu-
cation. In 1890 he came to Wichita County, where he
bought a farm. He gradually worked into the cattle
business, and, though he has withdrawn to some extent
from his regular farming activities, he is still interested
in the cattle business. He has with the passing years
come to have an interest in certain oil properties of the
state, and he is vice president of the First National
Bank of Electra, Texas, as well as a stockholder. He is
also a stockholder in the Farmers' State Bank at Burk-
burnett and in the First National Bank at Wichita
Falls. He has never sought for a place in politics,
though he has taken an active part in the Democratic
activities of the county and is regarded as one of the
stanch members of the party. Fraternally he is a mem-
ber of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

On November 13, 1890, Mr. Stringer was married in
Falls county, Texas, to Miss Sue Gribble, a native of
Tennessee and a daughter of Dr. C. Gribble. The
mother of Mrs. Stringer died when she was a babe of
two years. To Mr. and Mrs. Stringer have been born
three sons and three daughters, concerning whom brief
mention is made as follows: Lois, the eldest, was born
in Wichita county, and she is now the wife of E. W.
Marriott of Electra, Texas. The others are Myrtice,



TEXAS AND TEXANS



1813



Leslie, Icie, James and Hubter, and all are members of
the family circle, with the single exception of Miss Myr-
tice, who .is a student in the Texas Christian University,
at Port Worth, now in her third year at that well-known
institution. Leslie and Icie are high-school students in
Wichita Falls, and the two younger ones are attending
the grade schools.

In the fall of 1913 Mr. Stringer established the family
home in Wichita Falls, here erecting a handsome home
on Grant street opposite Kemp Boulevard, in the finest
residence district of the city. The family are popular
and prominent in social and other circles of the com-
munity and have a host of good friends throughout the
county, where they have long been known for their many
sterling qualities.

EiCHARD H. Alwood. A retired resident of Gaines-
ville, Mr. Alwood was one of the pioneers of that city,
having located there when it was a small village and still
exposed to the Indian raids which made life and property
unsafe in north Texas for a number of years after the
Civil war. Mr. Alwood has had a great variety of expe-
riences during his career and has possessed that active
temperament of the pioneer and the frontiersman.

Richard H. Alwood was born in St. Mary's Parish, in
Louisiana, January 10, 1847, a son of John and Eliza
(Donald) Alwood, his father a native of Ireland and the
mother of Mississippi. The father followed farming as
his regular vocation. Richard was the second of the
three children, and his brother James and sister Sallle
are both deceased.

Richard H. Alwood grew up in Louisiana, received his
education in the local schools, and at the age of sixteen,
in 1S63, enlisted as a soldier of the Confederacy in the
Eighth Louisiana Tigers, and later was transferred to
the Ninth Louisiana Tigers. He fought from the begin-
ning of his enlistment until the close of the war as a
private. Following the war he went out to Omaha and
became identified with the great transportation business
conducted by wagon and team across Nebraska into Ne-
vada. He continued that work until he came to Gaines-
ville, in 1868. Gainesville in that year was a village,
possessing two saloons, one church, one blacksmith shop,
one hotel, and one mill. Its proximity to the Red River
and the border of the Indian territory exposed it to fre-
quent raids from Indiiins and white outlaws, and on one
occasion, while Jlr. Alwood was in charge of a freight-
ing train, the Indians stole eight mules from the wagons
near Jacksboro. He got the mules back, however, with-
out any fight. On locating at Gainesville, Mr. Alwood
was given employment in driving a team for the firm of
Cloud & Peary, "and continued that work for one year.
He then engaged in the livery and feed business, and had
that establishment for a year. After that he was at
work as a carpenter, and then engaged in the retail meat
business, and conducted a shop in Gainesville until he
retired, in July, 1912. In the meantime he had been
extensively interested in cattle dealing, and bought and
sold a large number of stock at different times. Mr.
Alwood now has a nice little farm of fifty acres near
Gainesville, and makes this place his hobby and recrea-
tion, giving all his attention to its management.

Mr. Alwood w:is iii.inir,! in IsTl to Miss Margaret
Dials, a natiw ,.!' K.iniirliv :iiiJ :< 'hniuliter of Jacob K.
Dials. Mr. l>i;it- r.iinr lioiii l<^ntll^l^y to Missouri, and
then to Dalhi^. T.'xiis, m l^,"'.i. Inter moving to Gaines-
ville, where his death occurred in 1876. Mr. and Mrs.
Alwood had three children: Jimmie Florence, who died
at the age of five years; one that died in infancy; and
Maude L. is the wife of Jacob B. Feltz of GainseviUe,
a traveling salesman, and they have one chdd, Alwood.

Mr. Alwood is a Democrat without any desire for of-
ficial honors. He is an active member of the Methodist
church and is well known in Masonic circles. He has
served as junior warden of the Blue Lodge, is also a
Royal Arch Mason, and has been Master of the Second



rule, for but a few short
without capital or resonv
and perseverance has sti
he is recognized as ouf
his community. Mr. Plii
Tennessee, September



Veil, and at present is principal sojourner in the local
lodge. Mr. Alwood and family reside at 130-1 East
California Street.

John W. Philpott. In making a study of the careers
and characters of men of prominence the contemporary
biographer is naturally led to inquire into the secrets of
their successes and the motives which have prompted
their actions. It is almost invariably found that success
is a matter of the application of experience and sound
judgment at the right time and in the right manner. In
almost every instance the successful men of any profes-
sion or line of business have obtained their positions
through persistent individual effort. The career of John
W. Philpott, proprietor of the J. W. Philpott grain ele-
vator at Miami, Roberts county, is no exception to this
years ago he arrived in Texas
^'s :uh\ through his own ability
dilv lis. 11 to a position where
1 111.- l.-ii.liu;; business men of
lolt wa> I. .on in Coffee county,
1S7.5, the fourth in order of
birth of the thirteen children of John and Ruth Naomi
(Tony) Philpott.

John Philpott was born May 3, 1836, in Tennessee,
and in that state was educated, reared and married. He
became a well-known merchant in Cotfee county, retiring
from mercantile pursuits a few years before removing to
Shelbyville, in Bedford county, Tennessee. In 1894 he
came to Texas and located in Fannin county, where he
became largely interested in farming, but has since sold
most of his land, although he recently bought a farm
near Canfield,, Arkansas. He was married m Coffee
county, Tennessee, to Ruth Naomi Tony, who was born
in Illinois and educated in Tennessee, and she passed
away in the latter state just prior to the family's re-
moval to the Lone Star state.

John W. Philpott secured his education in the public
schools of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and was twenty-one
years of age when he came to Fannin county, there en-
tering upon his career as a grower of cotton, wheat and
corn. He continued in Fannin county for six years, and
then removed to Cooke county, where for four years he
was interested in wheat farming and cattle raising. He
subsequently disposed of his interests in that locality and
came to Mi'ami, embarking in operations in farnung and
wheat shipping in Roberts county until the establish-
ment of the J. W. Philpott Grain Elevator, in 1911,
since which time he has devoted his entire time to this
business. The rise of Jlr. Philpott has been steady and
rapid, as will be shown by comparing the young man
who arrived in Texas with a capital of $10.05 with the
substantial man of business who in 1912 shipped 17.j
cars of grain, representing $100,000, to Galveston and
the eastern markets. He owns 960 acres of land, of
which he has 750 acres sown with wheat, and he also
owns lots at Pampa, property at Greenwade, eight lots
in Miami, and a comfort altle residence. His career has
been one of great activity and uncommon success, due
to the exercise of good judgment and the exhibition
under all circumstances of the strictest integrity. He
has shown unbounded faith in Texas, and in numerous
ways has been influential in forwarding its interests.
Primarily a business man, with onerous duties to claim
his time and attention, he has not been indifferent to
the responsibilities which a community exiJects its prom-
inent men to assume, and has served faithfully and con-
scientiously as school director and road overseer His
political tendencies make him a Democrat, while his
religious connection is with the Baptist church.

Mr. Philpott was married December 14, 1897, in Fan-
nin county, Texas, to Miss Nora Lyons, a daughter of
David Lyons of that county. Five children have been
born of "this union: Ruth N., born in Fannin county
December 23, 1899; James W., born in Cooke county,
Texas, January 4, 1904; Flora May, born in Cooke



1814



TEXAS AND TEXANS



county, May 28, 1905; George Arthur, born in Gray
county, Texas, September 6, 1907; and Charlie Kint,
born November 25, 1912, at Miami. The three older
children are attending public school at Miami.

Lewis Randolph Bryax. A former president of the
Texas State Bar Association, Mr. Bryan was admitted
to the bar of this state in April, 1880, at Brenham and
has had a varied experience as a practicing lawyer.
For the past thirteen years he has been identiiied with
the Houston bar, one of the leaders in the profession
and one of the citizens who stand high in social and
public life.

The Bryan family represented by this Houston lawyer
is one of the oldept and most prominent in the history
of the state. His father was Moses Austin Bryan,
whose name represents to students of Texas some of the
most eminent personalities and events connected with
the early growth and development of this commonwealth.
Moses Austin Bryan was a native of Missouri and a
nephew of Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas. He
came to Texas in 1831, a number of years after the
Austins had undertaken their settlement and colonization
enterprises, and became the private secretary of the real
head of American affairs in this Mexican province. He
accompanied Mr. Austin on one or more of his journeys
into Mexico and was closely associated with the events
and major personalities which led up to the separation of
Texas from Mexico by the Revolution of 183.5-36. At
the final battle of San .Tarinto, which resulted in the
triumph of Texas over .Mexico, Moses Austin Bryan was
first sergeant in Mosely Baker 's company in the regiment
commanded by General Burleson, the grandfather of
Postmaster General A. S. Burleson. He was also a close
personal friend of Col. Frank Johnson, whose historical
manuscripts are published as the chief features of his
work.

Lewis Randolph Bryan was born in Brazoria county,
Texas, October 2, 1858. The maiden name of his mother
was Cora Lewis, daughter of Colonel Ira R. Lewis, a
member of the consultation committee in 1835. Mr
Bryan attained his early education at Independence, in
"Washington County, Texas, and was sent to Baylor Uni-
versity, then at Independence, where he was graduated
from a classical course with the degree of B. S. in 1877.
He studied law in the office of Shepard & Garrett, a firm
composed of Seth Shepard, now Chief. Justice, Court of
Appeals of District of Columbia, and C. C. Garrett,
afterwards Chief Justice of Court of Appeals, First
Supreme Judicial District of Texas, and also studied
under Honorable John Sayles and Honorable Jas. E.
Shepard, who gave lectures at Brenham in 1879 and
1880. Admitted to the bar on the 9th of April, 1880,
he began practice at once in the old town of La Grange
with Honorable J. W. Hill, now of San Angelo, Texas,
where he remained until September, 1882. at which date
he moved to Brenham and entered into partnership with
W. W. Searcy, now president of the Texas State Bar
Association, with whom he continued until ISSS. and
then was associated with J. D. Campbell, now of Beau-
mont, Texas. From 1890. or more than ten years, he
was established in practice in Brazoria county. On the
first of January, 1901. Mr. Bryan moved his home to
Houston, and he enjoys a large practice in this city.
His offices are in the Commercial Bank Building.

His success in law has also brought him into active
connection with business affairs, and he is now presi-
dent of the Colonial Land &- Loan Company of Hous-
ton, and is Secretary and Treasurer of the Houston
Home Company. Mr. Bryan was elected on July 3, 1902,
President of the Texas State Bar Association, and held
that oflSee during the succeeding year. He is prominent
in his profession and known among the fraternity from
the south to the north boundaries of this great state.
During the year 1911 he also served as president of the
Harris County Bar Association. Representing a pioneer



family himself, Mr. Bryan was married on October 15,
1891, to Miss Martha J. Shepard, who, on her side, is
also descended from one of the families which have
been identified with Texas since the Republic era and
with the early history of the nation and of the state of
Kentucky. Her father was Col. Chauncey B. Shepard,
who took up his residence in the Republic in 1837, only
one year after the winning of independence. He was
for many years a well-known resident of Brenham,
Texas. Mrs. Bryan is also a Colonial Dame and a
Daughter of American Revolution through both her
Shepard ancestors and through her mother's famUy,
viz., the well-known Andrews family of Kentucky. The
three children of Mr. and Mrs. Bryan are Lewis Ran-
dolph, Jr.. who is a graduate of the law department of
the University of Texas and is now associated with hi*
father in the practice of law; Mary Shepard, a student
in the University of Texas in the class of 1915; and
Cora Louise, now at Sweet Briar College, Virginia. The
Bryan home is at 802 Dennis Avenue, in Houston.

Capt. James M. Lee. After a career of varied event-
fulness, beginning in the days of his early manhood, when
he fought as a Confederate soldier. Captain Lee is now
enjoyinig the peace and contentment of retired life
in Gainesville, where he is surrounded by his family and
his many friends.

James M. Lee was born in Rockbridge, Virginia, Au-
gust 16, 1837, a son of Alexander and Sallie (Lee) Lee,
the father having been a farmer and stock man of Vir-
ginia. The eight children of the family are all now
deceased with the exception of Captain Lee at Gaines-
ville. Both parents were natives of Virginia, and the
father was a first cousin of Gen. Robert E. and Gen.
Fitzhugh Lee, both famous in the military annals of our
nation.

James M. Lee grew up in Virginia, where he was edu-
cated in the local and private schools, and when nineteen
years of age came to Missouri, after the death of his
parents. He began his career without capital, and his
first work in Missouri was on a farm for wages. He then
for two years farmed with his cousin, Richard Lee. He
was living in Missouri when the war broke out and en-
listed in Company E, in Elliott's Regiment, in Shelby's
brigade, under General Price, and went through the war,
most of his service being in the states of Missouri and
Arkansas, and the Mississippi Valley. He was a private
at his enlistment, but later became quartermaster in his
regiment, and came out of the army with the rank of
captain. He saw a great deal of active service and,
though his hat was shot through, he was never wounded.

In 1874 Captain Lee moved to Texas, locating at
Whitesboro, where he was engaged in farming and also
conducted a hotel and livery business. For a number of
years he was a well-known cattle raiser in that vicinity,
and continued active in his varied occupations until 1905,
in which year he retired. At the present time Captain
Lee is the owner of 1,280 acres of land in the Pecos
River Valley, in southwest Texas. He has been success-
ful as a business man and has always enjoyed the out-
door life and work of farming, and now as a diversion
manages and works a small place near Gainesville. He
is a Democrat, but has never been active in party affairs.



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 71 of 177)