Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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the State enjoyed more completely the confidence and
esteem of its citizens than the late Edmund Duggan
during the twenty years in which he filled the place of
clerk of county and district. He finally was obliged to
give up- the position on account of ill health and several
years later, on April 22, 1911, he died at his home in
San Angelo. His funeral was conducted by Rev. A. B.
Perry, and was largely attended by hosts of friends who
had learned to esteem Edmund Duggan, not only for his
social nature but for his high character and influence
as a man and citizen. His remains were laid to rest
in the Fairmount cemetery near San Angelo. His body
rests beside those of his only two sons, who had died
before him. During the war Mr. Duggan volunteered
for service in the Confederate army as a member of
Company D of the Fourth Texas regiment, becoming
lieutenant of the company, John B. Hood being the first
colonel of that regiment, and in the latter part of the
war Mr. Duggan served as a member of General Ford's
staff in Texas. He went through the war and was pro-
moted from lieutenant to captain of his company. In
politics he was always a good Demoi'rat, and fraternally
belonged to the Masonic order and the Ancient Order
of United Workmen. At different times he filled all the



chairs in the Masonic Lodge, and went through the
York Eite, C'ommandery degrees. His funeral serriee was
conducted under the auspices of the Blue Lodge. He
was also a member of the San Angelo Club.

On November 21, 1867, at Seguin, Texas, Mr. Duggan
married Miss Julia toor-Pender of Seguin, a daughter
of Dr. Lewis Coor-Pender and Mrs. M. M. Coor-Pender.
Her father was a physician of Mississippi, having lived
and practiced at Clinton for many years, and during his
early life had served in the War of 1812 as lieutenant of
his company. He died in 1845 at the old home in Missis-
sippi, and the mother passed away in 1877 in Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Duggan had but two children, the two
sons already mentioned, Thomas Jefferson and Edmund,
Jr. The first named died May 29, 1899, at the age of
thirty-one, and Edmund died August 24, 1907, at the
age of thirty-two. Mrs. Duggan survives her husband
and children and has an attractive home at San Angelo,
where she enjoys the friendship and solace of many kind
friends, who have known her and her husband for a
great many years.

Shipton Parke. President of the First State Bank
of Fort Stockton, of which he was one of the organizers,
Shipton Parke easily ranks as one of the largest stock-
men and ranchers in Pecos county, and as the possessor
and manager of large industrial and financial resources
is a man whose leadership and activities are very
closely identified with the solid prosperity of his home

Shipton Parke is a Kentuckian by birth, born in Madi-
son countv of that State, March 10, 1848, a son of
Hezekiah 'and Elizabeth (Cruve) Parke. The parents
were native Kentuckians, and came to Texas in 1853
when the son, Shipton, was twelve years of age. The
father was a farmer, and contractor and builder, a
prominent member in his Masonic Lodge, devoted to
the cause of the Baptist church, and had an influential
place in political affairs. His death occurred in 1884
at the age of about seventy years. His wife was also
a devout member of the Baptist church, and she died in
1871, when about fiftv yiars of n^;e, and they are laid
side by side in the ^Ii- m. ^jinrvurd in Gonzalez,
Texas.' Of their ten r],: - • n was the fifth.

Shipton Parke was ivn i , ilmod in Texas, had

his early education in ]>i; -. ' N up to the time he

wss seventeen and tlien was introduced to practical
aflPaiis by work on his father's farm. Leaving home he
took up the battle of life on his own responsibility and
earned his first money by varied occupations of freight-
ing, ranching and any other honest toil that came in his
way. During these years he several times accompanied
large herds of cattle" over the trail to Kansas, and has
known all the interesting phases of the cattle industry
since the days of the free range down to the present mod-
ern stock farm. For three years he was in the employ
of the Houston boys in the Panhandle, and then in 1883
came out to Pecos county and was employed by the well
known rancher J. D. Houston for about eight years. At
the end of that time he was far enough along to begin
operations for himself, and since then fhe career of Ship-
ton Parke is a matter of common knowledge to all the
stockmen of the state. His largest ranch is thirty miles
east of Stockton and contains about fifty thousand acres
of land. His headquarters are equipped with all the
modern improvements for raising and handling cattle
and other live stock. Mr. Parke was one of the organiz-
ers of the First State Bank of Fort Stockton, and has
since been its president. He was also one of the organ-
izers of the First National Bank in this city, and also
has a large share of its stock.

In Fort Stockton, on February 26, lS9fi, he married
Miss Emma Lea Shelton. a daughter of Gabriel Shelton,
who was formerly a resident of Illinois. The marriage
of Mr. and Mrs. Parke was celebrated in the old gov-
ernment guardhouse at Fort Stockton. Their four chil-

dren, two sons and two daughters, are Iva, deceased;
Gladys, Shipton V. and Chester. Mr. Parke and wife
are members of the Presbyterian church, and he is af-
filiated with the Fort Stockton Commercial Club. His
politics is Democratic, and on public questions, as well
as in business affairs, he has always been noted for his
ready and effective utterance of his opinions and con-
victions, and such has been his success that his judg-
ment is relied upon implicitly by all who seek it or are
sufficiently within his friendship to be accorded the
privilege of his advice and counsel. Mr. Parke served
as county commissioner of Pecos county for one term.
He is fond of all kinds of social amusements and out-
door sports, particularly baseball.

Ralph B. Slight. Now postmaster and proprietor of
a drug business in Alpine, Mr. Slight began his career
in Texas about thirty years ago as a cowboy, riding the
old cattle trails, both north and south, and having an
experience in the cattle business which took him all
over the state, into several of the western territories, and
into Old Mexico. By industry and good management,
and an honesty for which all his old and new friends
would vouch, he prospered as a business man and has
attained to a position of esteem in his community.

Ralph B. Slight is a native of England, where he
was born on November 25, 1868. His parents were
William C. and Charlotte Ann (Gadsby) SUght, both
natives of England, where they were married. The fam-
ily moved to Texas and located at San Antonio in 1888.
The father had settled there in 1884, and was engaged in
the plumbing business until his death, in 1904, at the
age of sixty-two. He also took much interest in local
affairs and politics at San Antonio. The mother passed
away in England at the age of forty-two, and her body
rests in her native land, while that of her husband is
interred at San Antonio.

The early education of the Alpine postmaster was
attained in the English schools, although he did not at-
tend after he was fourteen years of age. The first posi-
tion in which he began earning his own way was as
clerk in a drug store, and at the beginning his wages
were only 75e per week. A short time later he got a
better place, in a lawyer 's office, as office boy, and fol-
lowed that work until he came to the United States, at
the age of eighteen. After living in San Antonio only
a few months, he came out to Brewster county, which
has been his real home ever since, although his activities
have taken him pretty much over the entire southwestern
country. He worked on a ranch for several years, and
then became connected with some of the large cattle
concerns in capacities which took hiin over the trails
through cattle country. He was for about twelve years
engaged in that work, and during that time did consid-
erable business in the buying and dealing in cattle on
his own account. In 1898 he took a place in a mer-
cantile establishment at Alpine, and two years later
1 nupht his present business, where he carries a full line
of drugs and druggists' sundries and enjoys a large
trade in this community. Mr. Slight was first married
at Alpine in 1898. to Miss Lottie Williams, who died
in 1903, leaving two children, a son and daughter,
named Gladys and Bernal. At San Antonio, on October
12, 1910, Mr. Slight married for his present wife Miss
Mary Sanford, daughter of William Sanford, now of
Alpine. They are the parents of one child, Ralph B. Jr.
Mr. Slight and family are regular members of the
Methodist church at Alpine. Fraternally, he is affiliated
with Masonry, having been master of the Blue Lodge
three times and for two years district deputy grand
mnster. He is also a member of the Woodmen of the
World. For a number of years he has done much prac-
tical politics as a Republican, and in January, 1913, was
appointed to the office of Postmaster at Alpine, taking
charge of the office at the same time the parcel post
svstem was inaugurated. Mr. Slight is fond of outdoor


sports and athletics and at one time was manager of the
Alpine Baseball Team.

Benjamin Franklin Sheph^bd. While the career of
Mr. Shepherd for the past sis years has identified him
with the old Panhandle town of Memphis, where he is
proprietor of the Memphis Democrat and the present
postmaster, his work as a newspaper man has taken him
to various localities, both in Texas and Oklahoma, and
he has a large acquaintance among Southwestern people
and numbers among his friends many prominent men in
business and public affairs.

Benjamin Franklin Shepherd was born December 11,
1879, at Tupelo, Mississippi, a son of Jeremiah George
and Nancy Caroline Shepherd. His father, who fought
on the side of the South during the Civil war and lost a
leg at the battle of Atlanta, Georgia, was engaged from
early manhood until 1S85 in the practice of medicine,
and in the latter year was elected district clerk of Hunt
county, Texas, and held that office fourteen years. His
death occurred March 5, 1906, at Clarendon, where his
widow still lives.

Benjamin F. Shepherd was reared chiefly at Green-
ville, graduated from a select school, and later, in 1898,
took a business college course. His early experiences
were such as happen to the average boy who lives at
home with his parents and attends the local schools and
is subjected to the usual influences of a small community.
Through tlie influence of some friends, he was directed,
after leaving school, into the printer 's trade, and was
employed in that line with more or less regularity until
September 27, 1904. At that date, with his father,
mother, two sister and two brothers, he moved to Clar-
endon, and was employed as a printer on the Banner-
Stockman until October 1, 1905. Mr. Shepherd then
moved to Memphis and became foreman for the Hall
county Herald, but about a year and a half later, on
March 2, 1907, went to Hollis, Oklahoma, to take the
position of editor and manager on the Post-Herald of
that city. On September 15th of the fame year he re-
turned to Memphis, which has since been his permanent
home. From his work as foreman on the Hall county
Herald he graduated on December 1.5, 1908, into a half
interest in the Memphis Democrat, a weekly paper,
which was established July 8, 1908. Mr. Shepherd was
its editor and business manager until October 13, 1913,
when he bought the interest of his partner, and is now
sole owner and proprietor.

After the election of Woodrow Wilson as president,
Mr. Shepherd began an active campaign for the office
of postmaster at Memphis, and secured" an almost solid
endorsement of the business men and citi?ens who were
patrons of the office. Then, at his personal urging, the
congressman from the district ordered a postoffice pri-
mary, and seven candidates for the office were voted
iinon. Out of four hundred and twenty-four votes east,
Mr. Shepherd received two hundred and four, only nine
votes less than a mainritv of the total. This primary
was held January 3, 1914, and his appointment was con-
firmed by the United States Senate February 11, 1914,
and he took office March 4th of the same year. Since
devoting his attention to the Memphis postoffice, he has
turned over the management of his paper to an editor
and manager.

Mr. Shepherd served three years as a member of the
Texas Volunteer Guards at Greenville. Politically, his
stanch Democracy has always been in evidence, and
Texas hag no more enthusiaptic supporter of Woodrow
Wilson and his broad and beneficent policies, his states-
manship and prnpressive political economy, than Mr.
Shepherd. Since the age of fourteen he has been a con-
sistent member of the Christian church, and for three
years was church clerk, and deacon five years. Frater-
nally, he joined the Pvetorian Lodge in 'l90fi. the Odd
Fellows iri 1907. the Maccabees in 1906, and the Ma-
sonic Lodge in 1910. On July 2, 1905, at Clarendon,

Texas, Mr. Shepherd married Miss Barbara A. Pirtle.
Their four children are all sons, as follows: Praetoria
Ben Shepherd, born June 2, 1906 ; Bonnie James, born
December 22, 1907; Donald Ellis, born January 25,
1910, and Eugene Claude, born October 11, 1911, and
died October 10, 1912.

Andrew Stephens Lowrey. One of the most pic-
turesque figures among the citizens of Colorado county
is Andrew Stephens Lowrey, an ex-ranger, for many
years identified with practical business affairs, and now
living retired at his home in Colorado. He was one of
those brave and hardy men who risked their lives almost
daily during the seventies in safeguarding the wild and
dangerous frontier along the EJo Grande. JIany of the
adventures and exploits can be recalled by Mr. Lowrey,
and his conversation is exceedingly interesting when
directed to his experiences as a ranger. While talking
of those days, his eye kindles with a light which indi-
cates the fire and enthusiasm needed for a good soldier,
and he was one of the best of his time.

Mr. Lowrey was born in Georgia, March 27, 1849, a
son of Andrew P. and Margaret C. (Beaty) Lowrey,
both natives of Georgia. The maternal grandfather,
Robert Beaty, was a planter and slaveholder in that
state. Two of the great-grandfathers were natives of
Ireland. A special characteristic of the Lowrey family
is its genius for mechanical accomplishment. Mr. Low-
rey's father was a farmer all his life, but .-..inliiinNl u ith
.that vocation great skill as a mechanic nn.l imllw i i^lit.
In character his father was stern, of dcri.lcil coin n i,
and lived a life of great usefulness botli to hi.s I'uuiily
and to the public community. For many years he served
as justice of the peace, later was tax assessor of his
county, and finally a member of the Georgia legislature.
The parents moved to Texas in 1868, settling in Colorado
county, where they purchased land upon which they lived
the balance of their days. Mr. Lowrey has six brothers,
all of whom are mechanics. Four of these brothers went
through the war in the Confederate army, and all re-
turned safely. These old soldiers are: E. H. Lowrey,
of Lubbock, Texas; John A., a resident of Columbus,
who was in the Virginia army under Lee and took part
in nearly all the bloody battles of that state, serving at
the Wilderness and at Gettysburg and many othev= :
J. R. Lowrey of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and James C.
Lowrey, of Weimar, Texas. The other living children
are: George, of Eagle Lake, Texas; Frances Barto, of
Graham, Texas; and Mrs. Margaret Thomas of Eagle
Lake. The children, Sallie, Nancy, Martha, William,
David and Eason, are all deceased.

As a boy Mr. Lowrey had very few advantages to ac-
quire an education. Early in his childhood five months
of rural schooling were given him and when he was
sixteen years old he had the privilege of attending
school four months longer. All the rest of his mental
equipment, and he is by no means an unintelligent nOr
poorly informed man, was received from private read-
ing, and close observation of men and affairs. He was
nineteen years of age when the family located in Colo-
rado county, and for the first few years he did farm
labor. Always of a venturesome spirit, loving a life in
the open, not unmixed with danger, he spent five years
on the open range as a cowboy. In 1875 he joined
the Texas rangers under the famous Captain McNalley,
who had gained the rank of captain by service in the
Confederate army, and was one of the bravest men that
ever lived. The territory patrolled by this command of
rangers comprised the two hundred miles of wild region
along the Rio Grande River. Those familiar with the
history of South Texas forty years ago will recall that
a wide belt of country existed as a zone for the opera-
tions of outlaws, Mexican and Indian bandits, and all
the riff-raff of the frontier. A complete account of all
the outrages, thieving, murdering that went on in that
?one during the seventies wUl probably never be com-
piled. It was in that region that Mr. Lowrey gained



his experience as a ranger. At one time lie was a mem-
ber of a company of thirty men who went across the
river into old Mexico after a band of cattle thieves.
For two days they subsisted there, holding off an at-
tacking army of three hundred men. In the end the
Mexican raiders were brought to terms and the cattle
recovered. These rangers were trained to endure long,
hard rides, and quick and accurate shooting was of
course a prerequisite of membership in the organization.
Often Mr. Lowrey and his companions had no food ex-
cept game kiUed on the plains. Many a batch of bread
was mixed up on a saddle blanket and cooked on a stick
before a fire. Mr. Lowrey was a ranger when the
famous desperado King Fisher was captured. They took
him alive at Cuero, Texas, although the noted outlaw
had vowed he would never be taken alive.

After leaving the ranger service Mr. Lowrey returned
to Colorado county and took up farming. He next
bought a blacksmith shop at TVeimar, and lived and
prospered there seventeen years. Selling out his shop,
he took up carpenter work for three years until as a
result of a fall he was badly crippled in the ankle and
foot. He then bought a shop at Altair and followed
the blacksmith's trade there thirteen years. On selling
out that enterprise he was about four years proprietor
of a boarding house at Eagle Lake. For the past four
years his home has been in Columbus, and he is now
largely retired.

In 1879 Mr. Lowrey was united in marriage with Miss
Ora Walker, of Colorado county, a daughter of E. S.
Walker, a native of North Carolina, and a pioneer
Texan. The children born to ilr. and Mrs. Lowrey were :
Wallace Walker Lowrey, of Houston, and Charles Bar-
nett Lowrey, living at" liome. After the death of his
first wife ilr. Lowrey was married in 1S98 to Miss
Virginia Little. She was born in Georgia, a daughter
of J. R. Little. She died at childbirth, and the chOd
also died. The present Mrs. Lowrey before her mar-
riage, which occurred February 5, 1900, was Miss Lulu
Strahan. She was born in Colorado county, a daughter
of J. E. and Cornelia Elizabeth (Walker) Strahan. Her
father, also a native of Colorado county, is now living in
Eagle Lake, and grandfather, Howard William Strahan,
eame from Scotland, was a pioneer physician and early
planter in Texas. J. E. Strahan served as a Confederate
soldier all through the war as a member of Company
D of the Texas Mounted Infantry. Before the war he
had a plantation and worked it w'ith his slaves. He has
lived a long and useful life, is a Democrat in politics,
served as constable in Colorado county for many years,
and is one of the best known local citizens. Mrs. Low-
rey 's mother died January 21; 1913. She came to Texas
when but three years of age. The mother of Elizabeth
Walker died soon after the family moved to Texas, a
victim of cholera, and left five little children for her
husband to look after. Mr. Walker did not break up
his home, but took the children out to the fields with
him while he planted and tended the crops, and then
eame home at mealtime and cooked and prepared food
for them. Later he married Miss Polly Cone, who proved
a kind and good mother to the children and reared them
well. Mrs. Lowrey comes from a military family. Her
younger brother Wliit was a member of her father's
company during the war. The other brothers were also
soldiers, James and Edward, and died at Sabine Pass.
Both j\Ir. and Mrs. Lowrey are memliers of the Campbel-
lite church and are living lives consistent with their faith.
They also belong to the Independent Puritans. For
many years Mr. Lowrey has been affiliated with the
Masonic order.

Egbert Henry Norris. In the death of Robert Henry
Norris on March 17, 1911, Childress lost a business men
and citizen who had been a very efficient factor in making
his home city one of the best commercial centers of North
Texas. He was in business there as a banker and mer-
chant from the pioneer days until permanence and pros-

perity became a surety, and none were more zealous,
more public spirited, more practical in promoting that
end than the late Mr. Norris.

In Franklin parish, Louisiana, he was born July 22,
1S6G, and was less than forty-five years of age when he
died. His parents were Tolbert Wallace and Thekla
(Patten Dobbs) Norris. Tolbert Wallace Norris was a
son of Thomas Lane Norris, who was born in 1800 and
came to Mississippi from the Carolinas, locating in
Franklin parish, Louisiana, some time between 1830
and 1S40, and died there in 1852. He was a prominent
planter. Tolbert was the second in a family of ten
children. He first married Miss Laurena House, and
three children were' born, two of whom died in infancy,
whUe Lizzie grew to maturity and married Dr. J. A.
Holloway, a prominent physician of Round Rock, Texas.
Tolbert W. Norris for his second wife was married in
Franklin Parish, March 8, 1860, to Thekla Patten
Dobbs. She became the mother of twelve children, most
of whom lived to maturity, and the late Robert fi.
Norris was fourth among them. The father died April
30, 1890, and the mother is stUl living in Childress.

Robert Henry Norris received his early education in
the parish schools of his native locality, until he was
twelve years of age, and assisted in the work of the
home plantation until he was eighteen. At that time
he went to Georgetown, Texas, spent one year on a
farm, was then employed in a drug store at Round Rock,
after which a brief employment in a bank gave him his
first experience in that business, but the work proved
too confining, and he left it for the hardware business
in Round Rock. Two years later he took charge of a
store at Elgin, Texas, from there moved to Belton, was
in the hardware business there for two years, and then,
on September 1, 1891, arrived at Childress, which was
to be the scene of his most successful efforts and influence
as a business man and citizen. lu partnership with Dr.
Holloway, who, as previously mentioned, married his
half-sister, he bought the business of the Swift Hardware
Company. It was from an humble beginning, with a
limited education and with no assistance from anyone,
that Robert H. Norris grew to be one of the leading men
of North Texas. After four years in a partnership he
bought Dr. Holloway 's interest, and the business was
thereafter conducted as the Norris Hardware Company.
He built up an establishment which was the pride of the
community, and considered the largest store of its kind
in all this section of the State. He was also one of the
organizers of the City National Bank of Childress, was
vice president of that substantial institution, and was
president of the First State Bank of Kirkland. He
organized the Norris Implement Company, which is also
a big concern, and had many other relations with the
commerce of his locality.

The late Mr. Norris was affiliated with the Knights of
Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective Order of
Elks, was a Democrat, served his community as a school
trustee, and his support was always offered to any move-
ment toward the public good. From early childhood he
was a church worker, and when only nineteen years of
age was made a deacon in his church and at the time of
his death was an elder of the Southern Presbyterian
Church and superintendent of the Sunday school. He

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 9 of 177)