Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Since 1863 Captain Lee has been affiliated with the
Masonic Order and is one of the most popular members
of the local lodge in Gainesville. His home is at 709
South Denton street, in Gainesville.

In January, 1867, Captain Lee married Miss Bettie
Early. She also is related to a military family, her
father, John Early, having been a relative of the famous
General Early of the Confederate army. Mrs. Lee was
one of three children, the others being Mrs. Eiehler of
Butler, Missouri, and Mrs. Lucy Gillespie, deceased. Mr.
and Mrs. Lee have three children: Elizabeth, the widow
of Percy Darwin; John Early, a manufacturer and busi-
ness man of Dallas, Texas, and the father of one child;



and Charles H., a cotton broker in Dallas, and has two
children. Mrs. Elijabeth Darwin, who resides with her
father, is very prominent in civic and social affairs in
Gainesville, and is well known for her work throughout
the state. She is chairman of the Civic Improvement
Committee of the XLI Club, and in that capacity has
done some notable work in the line of civic improve-
ment. Her accomplishments came within half a point
of gaining the first prize offered by a Texas magazine
for plans and actual work accomplished in civic improve-
ment. As chairman of the committee of the XLI Club
she had charge of all the work connected with the clean-
ing up of the City of Gainesville, and local citizens give
her much credit for her leadership in a campaign for
wholesome and sanitary conditions in the town. During
the past year, due largely to her influence, more trees
and flowers have been planted along ' the streets and
about the homes of Gainesville people than were set out
in any previous period of five years. Because of excellent
results obtained in the betterment of pure food condi-
tions, she has been appointed assistant to the Food and
Drug Commission of Texas, the first woman ever ap-
pointed on such a commission. Mrs. Darwin is vice
president of the District Federation of Women's Clubs
and has held membership in the XLI Club for the past
seventeen years.

■\ViLLiAM L. Meaders. After many years of success-
ful and extensive connection with the cattle and live
stock business in this state William L. Meaders in 1907
established himself in business with his brother in OIney
under the firm name of the Meaders Brothers ' Hardware
Company-, today one of the most prominent and prosper-
ous firms of its kind in this section of the state. In
this, as in his other enterprises, success has attended the
efforts of Mr. Meaders, and in Olney, as in other towns
with which he has been variously identified, Mr. IMeaders
has taken his place among the leading men of the coni-
munit}'. That he has gained a measure of success in his
business life is due entirely to the qualities that domi-
nate the man, for he started out with few advantages
and no capital, but his determination and energy stood
him in excellent stead in their place, with the result that
he is today independent.

Born in Berry county, Missouri, on March 20, 1862,
William L. Meaders is a son of Eleck A. and Mary
(Weathers) Meaders, natives of Kentucky and of In-
diana, respectively. Both became identified with the life
of Missouri at an early period in their existence, and did
not remove to Texas' until the autumn of 1S77, when
they settled at Breckenridge, in Stephens county, there
taking up farming and stock raising, in which enter-
prise they continued until the end of their lives. The
father died in November, 1901, aged seventy-three, and
the mother passed away in June, 1907, aged seventy.
The father was active in the Civil war as a participant
with a Missouri Eegiment, seeing four years of con-
tinued service in the Southern Division of the Confed-
erate army. The mother was educated in private schools
in Missouri, and she met and married her husband in
Missouri. Four children were born to them, as follows:
.T. B. Meaders, engaged with his brother William L. in
business in Olney; William L., of this review; Mrs.
Edna Pyles, living in Frederick, Oklahoma; John A.
Meaders, living at Breckenridge.

William L. Meaders attended the country schools of
Berry county as a boy, and when he left school he in-
terested himself in stock raising and farming. Coming
to Texas in 1877. he devoted himself to the business on
a large scale, continuing in Stephens, county in that
business from January, 187S, to August, 1907, in the
latter year removing to Young county and settling at
Olney, where he has since been engaged in business.
When Mr. Meaders ,ioined his brother in the establish-
ment of their present hardware business in 01ne,y, he did
so on a small scale, the business being by no means an

extensive one, but one that was well established and
which grew in strength and scope with each succeeding
season. An immense stock of goods and largely in-
creased show rooms mark the difference between the
present concern and that which they brought into life
six years ago, and the business is recognized as one of
the leading hardware, wagon and implement houses in
this section of the state today.

Mr. Meaders, while a resident of Stephens county, was
for five years county commissioner of that county, serv-
ing on the Democratic ticket, which party he has long
been a stanch adherent of. He is a citizen of many ex-
cellent qualities, and has a deal of civic pride and a pro-
gressive spirit that make him a desirable addition to any
community. Fraternally, he has membership in the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, being a charter member
of the Stephens county lodge, in which he has passed all
chairs. He is a member of the Presbyterian church.

On December 20, 1888, Mr. Meaders was married to
Miss Annie Veale, of Breckenridge, the daughter of Car-
roll and Amanda (Arel) Veale, the mother being still
alive and a resident of Hill county, Texas. Seven chil-
dren have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Meaders: Charles
Meaders, the eldest, was born in 1889 in Stephens county.
He married Mary Mateson on November 27th and re-
sides in Young county. Leona Meaders is deceased.
James, living at home, was born in 1894. Irene, born
in 1898, is attending high school. Willie, Mary and
Eleck, the three youngest, were born in 1900, 1902 and
1904, respectively.

The Meaders family is one that en.ioys a leading
place in the best social activities of Olney, where they
are well known and highly esteemed for their many ex-
cellent qualities, and where they display a proper interest
in the welfare of the community as a whole.

William W. Coffman. Among the younger business
men of Goree, Texas, William W. Coffman has been very
successful. As vice president of the First National
Bank he occupies a position of importance in the finan-
cial world and has the confidence and respect of the
older business men of the town. Mr. Coffman is a na-
tive of the state of Texas and consequently is never
sparing in his efforts to improve conditions and build up
that section of the state in which he makes his home.

William W. Coffman was born in Young county, Texas,
on the 4th of August, 1877, the son of Albert W. Coff-
man. The latter was born in Arkansas, but came to
Texas as a boy and has lived in Texas all his life since
that time. He now resides in Knox county, where he
follows farming for a livelihood. He married Miss
Maggie Thomas after coming to Texas. Mrs. Coffman
is a native of Tennessee and she is an active member of
the Methodist church.

Of the five children of his parents, William W. Coff-
man was the third in order of birth. He grew to man-
hood in Texas, receiving his education in the public
schools of the state. At the age of nineteen, having
completed the high school work, he went to work. At
first he remained on the farm with his father and then
he left home and went to farming on his own account.
He followed this occupation for ten years and made a
success of it, for he accumulated enough money to assist
in the organization of the bank of which he is now one
of the officials. He has been vice president and active
head of the First National Bank ever since its estab-

Both Mr. Coffman and his wife are members of the
Methodist church. He is a member of the Democratic
party in his political affiliations and has been active
in behalf of his party. His interest in educational
affairs led to his election as a member of the school
board, upon which he served for some time. In the
fraternal world he is a member of the Ancient Free and
Accepted Masons and of the Woodmen of the World.



He is a member of the Commercial Club and was presi-
dent of this organization at one time.

Mr. Coifman was married in Young county, Texas, on
the 25th oi" November, 1898, to Miss Tessie Stone, a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. P. Stone, of Young county.
They have become the parents of six children, three boys
and three girls, as follovrs: Floyd, William, Lois, Neva.
Josie and Walter.

A. F. McLaughlin. For ten years prior to the advent
of A. F. McLaughlin into Archer City, where he estab-
lished one of the finest dry goods stores here, he was
located at Bartlett, in Williamson county, Texas, where
for ten years he conducted successfully a grocery busi-
ness. He first came here in 1910, and though the time of
his residence here has been brief, he has made a most
excellent start in his business and bids fair to re.ilizc
even greater success from his venture into business in
this community.

Born in South Carolina, in Darlington county, in
June, 1858, A. F. McLaughlin is the son of Archibald
and Frances Susan (Ewing) McLaughlin, both natives
of South Carolina, where they passed their lives. The
father was a planter and a school teacher in his younger
days, and when he died in February, 1871, he was sixty
years of age, his natal day having been August 1, 1811.
The mother received her education in her native state,
and there married Archibald McLaughlin. She died on
June 8, 1858, aged eighteen years, leaving an infant
son, A. F. McLaughlin, of this review.

In his boyhood days Mr. McLaughlin attended the
schools of the district wherein he was reared in South
Carolina, and when he came to an age where he felt
some responsibility, he identified himself with the busi-
ness of agriculture, with which he had gained no slight
acquaintance at home. He first saw Texas on November
16, 1875, and loea^ted at Georgetown, in Williamson
county, there remaining engaged in farming activities
for twenty-six years. He moved to Bartlett, in William-
son county then, and for ten years thereafter was en-
gaged in the grocery business in that place, where he
prospered and gained sufficient insight into business
methods that he felt emboldened to launch out into the
dry goods business. He chose as a suitaljle location
Archer City, and, coming here in 1910, he opened up
one of the finest general dry goods stores that the
city has ever known. He has prospered in this last
venture and has a reputation for business veracity and
acumen that is alike the envy and the pride of the com-

A Democrat in his political faith, Mr. McLaughlin
had given stanch adherence to the party all his days, and
such service as he has been able to render has been done
cheerfully. He takes a genuine interest in the educa-
tional affairs of the town and county that cannot fail
to bear good fruit. He has made his own way in busi-
ness, unaided by any outside forces or influences what-
soever, and a generous measure of credit for his ac-
complishments should be and is accorded to him.

On October 21, 1886, Mr. McLaughlin was married to
Miss Florence Simpson, a daughter of Neeham and
Amanda Simpson, an early pioneer family of the state,
who migrated hence from Tennessee and located in Wil-
liamson county. Ten children have been born to Mr.
and Mrs. McLaughlin. The eldest, Mrs. Mamie Winn,
born August 31, 1887, is a resident of Bartlett, Wil-
liamson county, Texas. Flora, attending the Normal
School at Commerce, Texas, and Floyd, a graduate of
Southwestern University, are twins. They make their
home with the family, the son being in business with his
father. Jeff McLaughlin was born in Williamson county
in 1S92 and was graduated from Poughkeepsie College, at
Poughkeepsie, New York, in 191.3. Grace M., born in
June, 1895; John Archie, born in Williamson county in
October, 1896, graduated from the Bartlett High School
with the class of 1913. WiUiam Peltus, born in Novem-

ber, 1897, is at school. Homer Charles, born December S,
1899, is also attending high school. Ermond Simpson,
born in 1900 in Williamson county, is in the grade schools
of Archer City, as is also Maurice Twing, the youngest
of the ten, born in 1901 at the family home in William-
son county.

Mr. McLaughlin is prominent and popular with the
general public and has membership in the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows in Archer City, though he main-
tains no other fraternal relations. He comes out stanchly
in his allegiance to the Lone Star state, calling it the
finest state in the Union, and unhesitatingly states that
he can produce the evidence to back his statement, should
there be those who question his judgment.

Thomas William McGraw. Beginning in the cotton
field as a picker, Thomas William McGraw, of Munday,
Texas, has reached the place where he is regarded as one
of the substantial and influential business men of the
town, and he is only a young man now. This rise has
been due, not to the interest and influence of friends
exerted in his behalf, but to his own determination to
succeed and to hard work. He is president and general
manager of the Knox County Elevator Company, a con-
cern which is doing a thriving business and which is of
considerable importance in the commercial life of the

Thomas William McGraw was born in Hunt county,
Texas, on the 10th day of July, 1876. His father, John
McGraw, was born in Ireland. He came to Texas in
1870 and has lived in this state ever since. He now
resides in Collin county, and ever since coming to the
state has been engaged in farming. After coming to
Texas he met and married Miss Mary Easter Eice. Both
Mr. and Mrs. McGraw are communicants of the Eoman
Catholic Church. There were eleven children born to
Mr. and Mrs. McGraw, of whom Thomas W. McGraw
is the next to the eldest. His older brother, John P.
McGraw, is associated with him in the business and is
treasurer of the company.

Thomas W. McGraw was sent to the public schools of
his home county as soon as he was old enough to go to
school. He remained at home, attending school and
aiding his father with the w'ork of the farm until he was
nineteen years of age. He then started out for himself
and his first position was picking cotton. For about two
years he was engaged in general farming, picking cotton
when there was nothing better to do. He then began
to farm for himself and for about five v-ears was thus
engaged. He never cared for the agricultural life, and
when an opportunity came to him to go to work in a
store in Munday he accepted it gladly. He worked in
this store for about three years and the Knox County
Elevator Company was organized and Mr. McGraw was
made president and general manager. The success of
this company has been largely due to his wise manage-
ment and to the energy which has been tireless in the
interests of the company. It handles grain, feed, ice
and coal, and does an extensive wholesale and retail
business. The company also handles cattle, feeding and
shipping many head per year.

Mr. McGraw is a member of the Democratic party, but
takes no interest in polities other than to cast his vote
for the man whom he considers best fitted to hold office.
He was reared in the Eoman Catholic Church, but is a
believer in other denominations and gives his support
impartially to all. In fraternal affairs he is a member
of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Mr. McGraw married Miss Agnes Lou Nesbitt at Wyle,
Texas, on the 7th of November, 1899, Mrs. McGraw
being a daughtef of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Nesbitt, of
Wyle, Texas, Mr. and Mrs. JIcGraw have had six chil-
dren born to them, namely: Hattie Mary, John George,
Lou Ethel, Thomas Garnett, Eoy Paul and Minnie Eose.

Columbus S. Whiteside. The present mayor of Sey-
mour, Texas, Columbus S. Whiteside, combines in his



person the practical qualities of the business man with
the qualities that make a man a social favorite. Mr.
\Vlutesiile, although not a native of the state of Texas,
is as enthusiastic over her future and ambitious for the
welfare of the state and her people as any native Texan.
A keen business man, a natural executive, with an honest
and fearless character, his success and popularity may be
easily explained.

Columbus S. Whiteside was born in White Plains,
Alabama, on the 16th of November, 1861. He grew up it
bis native town and attended the public schools. When
he was about twenty-eight years of age he left Alabama
and came to Texas. Locating in Baylor county, he first
took up farming. After several years in this occupa-
tion he came to Seymour and started a dry goods store.
After conducting this more or less successfully for eight
or ten years, Mr. Whiteside concluded to take up out-
door life again. He consequently went to El Paso
county, Texas, and went into the ranching business.
After a few years of this life he returned to Seymour
and bought out the proprietor of his present business.
This was in the fall of 1912 and he has already increased
the business. He handles feed and fuel and does an
extensive retail business.

Mr. Whiteside is a member of the Democratic party
and has always been active in politics. He was elected
mayor of Seymour during his first period of residence
here, being the second mayor of the city. Upon his
return to his old home the citizens lost no time in
again electing him to the oflSce, and he is now serving
his second term. He has been a member of the school
board for several years. In religious matters Mr. White-
side is a member of the Methodist Church. He says that
in his opinion Texas has more opportunities and resources
than any other state, and that she is always ready with
a welcome to any honest man who wishes to make a

Mr. Whiteside was married in White Plains, Alabama,
on the 23d of December, 1881, to Miss Carrie Borden, a
daughter of Lieut, and Mrs. Joseph Borden, of that
place. Mr. and Mrs. Whiteside have nine children, as
follows: Hoyt; Thomas; Lizzie, who married George
Shupee and lives in San Antonio ; Guy and Eoy, who are
twins; Whit, Carrie, Nevada and Hobson.

Egbert B. Netland. The senior member of the rep-
resentative law firm of Neyland & Neyland, in which his
coadjutor is his younger brother. Mayo Neyland, is
known as one of the leading members of the bar of Hunt
county and is engaged in the practice of his profession
in the City of Greenville, the judicial center of the
county and one of the most thriving commercial and in-
dustrial centers of northern Texas. Mr. Neyland is a
native of the Lone Star state and a scion of one of its
well-known and highly honored pioneer families, and
in character and achievement he has given further pres-
tige to the name which he bears. He has been actively
engaged in the practice of his profession at Greenville
for thirty years and has witnessed and assisted in the
development of the place from the status of a mere vil-
lage into a prosperous and progressive city of many
advantages and attractions. From the statements al-
ready made, it becomes patent that there is all of con-
sistency in according special recognition to Mr. Ney-
land in this history of the state which has ever been his
home and in which he has found ample opportunity for
worthy achievement.

Mr. Neyland was born at Woodville, Tyler county,
Texas, on the 25th of October, 18.59, and "is a son of
Lieut.-Col. Eobert E. and Emily (Wells) Neyland, the
former of whom was born near Washington, District of
Columbia, in 1832, and the latter of whom was born in
Washington, District of Columbia, a daughter of James
M. Wells, who was graduated in the United States
Military Academy, at West Point, and who thereafter
served as an army officer in Texas and other parts of

Vol. IV— 15

the Southwest. He was territorial judge of New Mexico
at the time of the inception of the Civil war and re-
signed this office to tender his services in defense of the
cause of the Confederacy, but his death occurred before
the great conflict had passed its incipient stage. Mrs.
Emily (Wells) Neyland was, in the maternal line, a
granddaughter of John Forbes, who was a distinguished
Texas pioneer and who served as an oflicer in the army
of General Houston, under whom he participated in the
battle of San Jacinto, as well as other engagements.

Col. Eobert E. Neyland was reared and educated in
Texas and was a scion of the stanchest of Southern
stock, his father, Dr. Williams Neyland, having been
born in Mississippi and having become a successful
planter in the state of Louisiana, where he maintained
his home until 1840, when he removed with his family
to the Eepublie of Texas, of which Gen. Sam Houston
was then president. He became one of the pioneer set-
tlers of Jasper county and there passed the residue of
his life, his attention having here been given to agri-
cultural pursuits and stock-growing. Col. Eobert E.
Neyland was a lad of about eight years at the time of
the family removal to Texas and his early experiences
were gained under the conditions and influences of the
pioneer epoch in the history of this state. He became
a successful lawyer in Tyler county and was one of the
honored and influential citizens of that section of the
state. He went forth as a valiant soldier and officer in
the Confederate service when the Civil war was pre-
cipitated upon the nation, and he served as lieutenant-
colonel in a Texas regiment until his death, which oc-
curred in 1862, at Shreveport, Louisiana, where his
regiment was then stationed, and his mortal remains
were laid to rest with full military honors at Shelby-
viUe, Texas. His brother. Col. William M. Neyland, was
lieutenant-colonel of another regiment in the same
brigade, and another brother, the late Dr. A. Carroll
Neyland, served in the army of Gen. Eobert E. Lee in
northern Virginia; after the war he went to the island
of Jamaica, became a British subject and attained to
precedence as one of the wealthiest and most influential
citizens of Jamaica, where he continued to reside until
his death in 1906.

After the death of her honored husband, Mrs. Emily
(Wells) Neyland removed with her family to Jasper
county, where she lived until 1870. She lived at Gal-
veston and Houston from 1870 to 1873, went thence
to Washington, District of Columbia; there she resided
until^ 1891, since which time she has lived at Greenfield.
She is one of the noble pioneer women of the state and
one who is loved by all who came within the .sphere of
her gracious influence.

Eobert E. Neyland, whose name initiates this review,
received his rudimentary education in the primitive
pioneer schools of Jasper county, having been a lad
of three years at the time of the removal of the family
to the latter county. In 1872 he was sent to Kingston,
Province of Ontario, Canada, where he entered the
Kingston Collegiate Institute, in which institution he
continued his studies until he had completed the four
years' curriculum, his expenses during this time havintr
been defrayed through the generosity of his uncle, Dr!
A. Carroll Neyland, of whom mention is made in a' pre-
ceding paragraph, and whose wish it was that the
nephew attend a school on English territory, owing to
his own allegiance to the British crown.

After his return to his native state, Mr. Nevland, now
well fortified in academic lines, began reading' law under
the effective preceptorship of his kinsman, Judge Pey-
ton F. Edwards, a leading member of the bar of Na-
cogdoches, the capital of the countv of the same name.
He was admitted to the bar in 1880, shortlv after attain-
ing to his legal majority, but. desirous "of fortifving
himself still further, he devoted about two years to
further study, under the preceptorship of Judge Thomas
J. Brown, of Sherman, who later served with distinc-



Court of the state and

tion on the bench of the Supr
is now its chief justice.

In 1882 Mr. Neyland established his permanent home
at Greenville, where he has since continued in the active
practice of his profession and where he has long been

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 72 of 177)