Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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north are Presbyterians and in the South all sects are
represented. The Eamsey and Eamsay families have
organized the Eamsaey Family Association of Texas,
and the Eamsaey Family Association of the United
States, and Mi. Frank T. Eamsey has participated in
the annual meetings, and a portion of his address at one
of these family conventions in which he spoke of the
tendencies of inheritance deserves a brief quotation:
"But we inherit the traits and desires of a hundred
generations of forefathers and foremothers. Seven hun-
dred years ago unselfishness was hardly understood. A
certain percent or ratio of our minds are influenced
by those generations. The tendencies we inherit are
closely related to instinct. Psychologists may keep on
saying that only animals have instincts, but I notice the
average American boy wants to go West if his mother
did before him, just as naturally as the little duck goes
into the water. The more generations a trait or quality
has passed through, the harder it is or the longer it
takes to change it. The Indian mother of fifty genera-
tions of black eyes does not often raise a family of blue-
eyed children. Future generations will inherit our traits
and desires whether they end in fruition or disappoint-
ment. May we, of this generation, in our hearts, abhor
all things that do not enhance the mind of the citizen.
May those of the future generations treasure this say-
ing in their hearts. This, truly, is labor and sacrifice
without hope of reward; the kind that brings tenfold
reward, perfect happiness. ' '

Incidentally Mr. Eamsey is a lover of beautiful lan-
guage and occasionally writes an article outside of
horticultural subjects of interest and sometimes with a
strain of exquisite humor. The late Elizabeth Ney, the
maker of statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam Hous-
ton that stand in the corridor of the Texas capital and
in the Hall of Fame at Washington, was passionately
fond of the flag of the Eepublic of Texas. When she
had executed these commissions, the ladies of Austin,
led by Mrs. A. C. Goeth and Mrs. Johanna Bunge, of
Austin and Galveston, presented her a large silk flag
and had Mr. Eamsey write the presentation, which was
read by his daughter, Jessie (now Mrs. E. V. Murray),
and is said to be the only occasion on which Miss Ney
was ever known to have shed tears.

The lines as they appeared in the Austin Statesman
at the time are given below. Mr. Eamsey 's innate love
of schools and learning made him place on a par with
the Declaration of Independence the resolutions adopted
by the pioneer settlers of Texas when refused the public
free schools by the Mexican government, in which ap-
peared this seiiti'ini': ■•Any ]^(i\ n iiiiient that fails to
provide free s.]i,,m|. r,,r tli,. ,.|ih:,ti,in of the chUdren
of its citizens is nnwoi i li\ ni Mn liviilty of those citi-
zens, and will ijni'iicr m- later Tail in ilecay." Hence the
expression "for principles grander than ever before.''

"We, daughters of Texas, love Texas and Texans,
And the chief of our joys is to honor the men

Who laid down their lives on Liberty's altar,
Let the story be told again and again,



For principles grander than ever before
Declared or defended by freemen or king;

For right and for Texas their weapons they bore —
The best of our songs for them we will sing.

"We fain would make Texans grow kinder and nobler,

When the Alamo-Goliad stories they hear;
Grow fonder of freedom and truer to Texas —

Shall our story strike faintly posterity's ear?
Your marble will last when our songs are forgotten,

When our lips are all stilled and the ink has grown
Your marble will prompt the child as he gazes

To ask of his mother .to tell him the tale.

"We give you this flag as a sign that we love you,

For the work you have done for history and art ;
You will know when it waves triumphant above you

We rejoice in its waving with a patriot's heart.
Because you love Texas, we love you the better —

Wave, wave, the Lone Star — wave, red, white and
Wave emblem of freedom, wave, flag of our fathers,

Wave, flag of our Texas, forever for you. ' '

John Preston, M. D. Placed at the head of a great
state charitable institution, carrying the responsibility
for the welfare of hundreds of unfortunates whose rea-
son has been shattered, and imbued with an earnest
desire to restore his charges to health and friends, Dr.
John Preston, superintendent of the Texas State Lunatic
Asylum, is carrying on a work that entitles him to
recognition, not alone among the members of the medical
profession, but by the general public of the state in
which he has labored so long and faithfully.

Doctor Preston comes of a family which was founded
in America prior to the Eevolutionary War, in which
his great-grandfather, William Preston, of Virginia,
took a prominent part as captain of a company of
patriot volunteers. On his mother's side he belongs
to the Rhea family, of Tennessee, whose members were
for many years important factors in the development
of that state, where Rhea county is named in their
honor. James T. Preston, the father of Doctor Preston,
was born in Washington county, Virginia, and for a
number of years was a prominent attorney of the Old
Dominion state, dying there is 18S4. During the Civil
war he enlisted for service in the Confederate army,
and served valiantly throughout that struggle, holding
the rank of colonel. He married Miss Fanny Ehea, of
Tennessee, who passed away in 1888.

John Preston received his early education in the
common schools of his native place, in Washington
county, Virginia, where he was born July 12, 1851, and
subsequently became a student in Georgtown University,
Washington, D. C. Following this he entered the Uni-
versity of Virginia, where he was graduated in 1872,
with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and this was
supplemented by a course in Bellevue Hospital Medical
College, New York City, where he graduated in 1873.
He began the practice of his profession in Washington
county in 1873, and in 1878 came to Texas, locating at
Seguin, Guadalupe county, where he remained until
1887. At that time he was appointed first assistant
physician of the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, at Austin,
but resigned in 1890 and located in San Antonio, where
he resumed the general practice of his profession, but
at the end of four months was offered, by Governor
Hogg, and accepted, the position of superintendent of
the North Texas Hospital for the Insane, at Terrell,
Texas, where he remained in charge for four years. In
1895 Doctor Preston located at Lockhart, Texas, in the
general practice of medicine, continuing there until
1903, when he was appointed by Governor Lanham
superintendent of the Texas State Epileptic Colony, at
Abilene, Texas. He established this colony and was re-

appointed by Governor Campbell, continuing as super-
intendent for five and one-half years. On January 15,
1909, Goveror Campbell appointed him superintendent
of the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, at Austin, and he
was reappointed by Governor Colquitt, the present gov-
ernor, when he took ofiiee. Here he lias 1,500 patients
under his care. Doctor Preston is recognized through-
out the medical fraternity of the Southwest as an au-
thority on nervous and mental diseases. Those who
have conversed with him upon his specialty in the sci-
ence of medicine realize how devoted he is to the study
of the human, both in its normal and abnormal condi-
tions. A broad investigator, he is constantly striving
to discover and put into practical use new means and
methods of successfully treating the mental ills of those
upon whose reason a cloud has fallen, and in his chosen
field he has been eminently successful, the number of
cures that have been effected at the asylum being truly
remarkable. Nothing of gloom or despair pervades this
institution, but throughout each department there exists
that spirit of helpful co-operation among the superin-
tendent, physicians and employes which makes for a de-
termined effort to seek and find the best means of aid-
ing in the restoration of impaired reason. Doctor Pres-
ton is a Master Mason and a member of the Pretorians,
the Woodmen of the World, and the Austin Press Club.
In 1879 Doctor Preston was married to Miss Annie
Lewis White, daughter of the Hon. John P. White, who
was one of the three original members and presiding
justice of the Court of Civil Appeals of Texas, and
chief justice of that court. Seven children have been
born to Doctor and Mrs. Preston, namely: Walter W.,
who is chief accountant of the firm of W. H. Richard-
son & Company, of Austin; Dr. John L., a successful
dental practitioner with offices at Forney, Texas; James
E., who is connected with the Delaware & Hudson Rail-
road, in the main oifice at New York City; Fanny
Ehea, a graduate of the University of Texas, and now
a teacher in the high school at Marble Falls, Texas;
Eobert W., who is accountant for the wholesale grocery
firm of H. O. Wooten Company, at Abilene. Texas; and
Annie Lewis and Margaret Lynn, who reside with their
parents. The pleasant home of Doctor and Mrs. Pres-
ton is located at No. 4110 Guadelupe street.

William J. McInttbe. One of the men of real busi-
ness leadership in West Texas is William J. Mclntyre,
owner lit t)iiiiis:inils of acres of land in Brewster county
anil \ h iiiiiy. tlic lirail of a large freighting establishment
at .Miiiwtliiui. :nia occupying a place of such influence
in his viciuity that it is proper to say that where he
leads others follow.

William J. Mclntyre was born in Rankin county,
Mississippi, on November 5, 1860, and spent the first
twenty-two years of his life in his native state. He
then moved into Texas, first locating in Wilson county,
where he made his home for about twelve years and fol-
lowed ranching and merchandise. In 1893 he came
further west to Brewster county, and has built up a
large business as a rancher and cattleman in this sec-
tion of the state. He owns a splendid ranch, and con-
tinued actively in the live stock industry until 1910,
at which time he formed a partnership with his two sons
and bought his present general merchandise store at
Marathon. Under the firm name of W. J. Mclntyre &
Son, they handle a full line of general merchandise,
both wholesale and retail, and supply a patronage over
a broad extent of country surrounding Marathon. Be-
sides his interests in mercantile business and his ex-
tensive realty holding, Mr. Mclntyre is also vice
president of the Marathon State Bank. Mr. Mclntyre
has always depended upon his own ability and exertions
to get what he wanted in life and, after leaving the
public schools of Mississippi, where he obtained most
of his education, he has made his own way and never
troubled any man for his help or influence. Most of his





has come through farming and ranching, and
he is ivithal a very shrewd and energetic business man.
In Lavaca county, Texas, on January 9, 1884, Mr.
Mclntyre married Virginia Griffith, daughter of L. M.
Griffith, of Lavaca county. Three children have been
born to their marriage, two sons and one daughter,
namely: Vernon, who is associated with his father in
business, and is assistant cashier of the Marathon State
Bank; Wells, also in the mercantile firm, and Gesna,
now a student in school at Austin. The son Vernon is
affiliated with the Masonic Order, and before entering
business was a student at the State University, where
he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta College Fra-
ternity. Mr. Mclntyre and wife are members of the
Baptist Church, and she takes very active part in the
women 's organizations of the church. Mr. Mclntyre
is affiliated with the Masonic Order and the Woodmen
of the World. He is a Democrat, though not a party
man. He has given his share of service to the welfare
of the conmiunity and served as a member of the
Alpine school board for a time, and acted as president
during that period. About once a year or oftener, Mr.
Mclntyre enjoys a hunting trip, and is also interested
in many of the other amusements and entertainments
and social joys of life.

August B. Palm, whose name has long been identified
with Austin and the Lone Star state, won fame in the
business world of Texas as a planter, a pursuit from
which he retired but a few years ago. But especially
is he to be mentioned in this historical and biographical
work because of the excellency of his services to the state
and nation during the reconstruction period following
the Civil war. No man in Austin displayed a finer
spirit or one better calculated to bridge with kindly
thought the great gulf that divided the northern and
southern parts of our country at that time than did
August B. Palm, and that credit should be awarded where
credit is so manifestly due is wholly in accord with the
spirit and purpose of this work.

August B. Palm was born in Besthult, Sweden, August
19, 1834, a sou of Andrew Palm, a civil engineer in the
King's service. Bringing his family with him, Andrew
Palm came to Fort Bend county, Texas, in 1848, but
soon after the immigration of this family to America
the father died. Not long afterward August B. Palm
came to Avistin. He was one of six brothers, three of
whom are now deceased, the other two surviving sons
Vjeing Andrew Jackson and William Swante Palm. John,
Carl and Henry Palm are the three who have passed
away. All of these six sons with the exception of Henry
served throughout the Civil war in the Confederate

August B. Palm received his educational training to
the age of fourteen in private schools in Sweden, and
after coming to Texas attended the State Military Col-
lege at Eeutersville, at that time under the principalship
of Colonel Forshay. When the war came on he promptly
enlisted with his brothers and served throughout the

Then it was that the fine enthusiasm and splendid
spirit of the man shown forth the brightest. The war
had so crippled the state that Morgan Hamilton, state
comptroller, announced that it would be necessary to
close the State Institution for the Blind and the Insane
Asylum, owing to the total lack of any funds wherewith
to carry on the work, his plan being to send all inmates
back to the homes from which they came. Mr. Palm was
then engaged in the mercantile Imsincss in Austin, and
he promptly came to the front with an offer to supply
all the needs of the two institutions in the way of sup-
plies, but it developed that without $.50,000 to pay the sal-
aries of officials and attendants the places could not be
kept up. Here again did Mr. Palm step into the breach,
and wiring to his first cousins, the Swensons of New
York City, he asked for $50,000. They sent the money

without a question, the sum total coming in checks signed
by the Swensons, ranging in size from fifty cents to fifty
dollars, and payable in gold. Mr. Palm deposited the
check book with the state treasurer, Samuel Harris, with
instructions that it be used for the maintenance of the
asylums for the blind and insane only. One year later,
the treasury being in somewhat better shape, the loan
was returned to Mr. Palm, but instead of in gold the
payment was made in United States currency, a circum-
stance that caused a heavy loss to the benefactor of the
public, because of the fact that currency at that time
was worth only seventy-two cents on the dollar. However,
Mr. Palm, like the true sportsman that he has ever shown
himself to be, pocketed his loss without protest, feeling
amply repaid in the knowledge that he had been the
means of helping a class of people utterly without
means of helping themselves in any way and at all times
at the mercy of the public.

Early in the conflict which raged between the North
and the South Mr. Palm joined the Confederate service,
becoming a member of Fred Moore 's Company, Flornoy 's
Regiment, and was detailed to furnish supplies. When
Galveston was demanded to surrender he joined his com-
pany at Virginia Point, across the bay, and on the fol-
lowing day was ordered to go up into the country for
supplies. He labored valiantly in the cause which he
espoused, and endured the untold hardships of the

After the close of the war many men of prominence in
Texas, and especially in Austin, left the state, taking
refuge in Mexico, fearing imprisonment. But Mr. Palm
was not of these. Though he had been an ardent Seces-
sionist and had fought with valor throughout the war,
when the struggle was finally ended he placed himself
strongly upon the side of the Union and thereafter ap-
plied his every energy to the business of reconstructing
a new South. Among those men who felt that it would
be the better part of valor to leave Texas was Captain
W. H. D. Carrington, but Mr. Palm, who was the warm
personal friend of General Reynolds, secured from the
latter a permit that released Captain Carrington from
the possibility of apprehension, so that he was able to
remain in Austin, and thereafter he joined Mr. Palm
to a large extent in the worthy work of the period.

Mr. Palm also did much to promote a friendly feeling
iu the city toward the officials of the United States gov-
ernment. One instance was that of a banquet given in
his home to the United States officers and their families.
No effort was spared to make the function an agreeable
and pleasant one, and though feeling against the officials
ran high in the city, all who were invited to the ban-
quet accepted, recognizing in Mr. Palm's action an
honest attempt to smooth out the situation in some de-
i;ree. In this admirable spirit did this patriot continue
Ills work of establishing feelings of friendliness toward

government in Aus
to-day exists a more wliole
alty than is everywhere a]i
has been spent in Austin n
of a fine spirit of devotioi
has had its unconscious
those who were unknowiiu

Gustave and Swante Pa


of the


All ins

life that

has beei

1 redolent

I'll count

rv. which

the act

ivities of

1 by hiu

1 and his

two uncles of this Austin

resident, were other early settlers of Texas. Gustave
came over with his brother Andrew, the father of August
B. Palm, Swante having arrived a few years prior to that
time. All were prominent in early Texas affairs, and
their families are still justly recorded as among the
First Families of Texas.

August B. Palm was the first man to plant cotton in
Williamson county, Texas, and he erected the first cot-
ton gin, on his seven hundred acre farm. To-day Wil-
liamson is the banner county of the state in its produc-
tion of cotton, and Mr. Palm was known for years as
one of the most extensive planters within its borders.



He retired from the business in 1908, and has since de-
voted himself to other interests in that city that has long
been the center of his activities in a public way.

On the 26th of June, 1861, Mr. Palm married Miss
Adela Belle Atwood, of Travis county, Texas. She is a
daughter of W. ^V. Atwood, who came from Bolivar,
Tennessee, to Texas in the year 1838, and was long iden_
tified with the affairs of Travis county. The children of
Mr and Mrs. Palm are as follows: Eufus Atwood, a
well known farmer and stockman; Mary Josephine;
Adela Belle, the wife of Dr. Henry L. Hilgartner of Aus-
tin Texas- and Irene, wife of Captain L. S. Morey, of
the' United States army, now in the Philippines.

Heket J. Laas. Few men in Colorado county have
a more substantial place or exercise stronger influence
on local affairs than Henry J. Laas. For a number of
vears he has served as county tax assessor. He is the
owner of a splendid farm estate, comprising more than
one thousand acres of land, is a baiJ^er with stock m
several financial concerns m this section of the state,
has done much development work on his own account
and in co-operation with others, and his energy and
enterprise can always be counted upon in assisting the
forward movement in Colorado county.

Henry J Laas was born near Sublime, in Lavaca
county, Texas, August 22, 1872. His parents were C
J. and Emma (Pelser) Laas. His father, who ,^as
born in Germany, was four years of age when the
grandfather brought his family across the ocean and
landed at Galveston, finding their first home at Cat
Springs, in Austin county, and after several years
moving to Lavaca county. The mother was a native ot
Texas In Lavaca county, C. J. Laas grew to man
hood, and when the Civil war broke out enlisted m
Company H of Cavalry, Bates' Eegiment, and after-
wards served in Brown's Eegiment, in the cause of the
South in the Brigade of the famous Tom Green. He
saw niuch hard and dangerous service in Mexico and
later in Louisiana, especially in the campaign^ mclud-
in<^ the bloody battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, 1 el-
low Bavou, and other engagements. His service as a
soldier 'in the uniform of gray continued nearly four
years He returned to Lavaca county in the year 1865
and was married in the fall of the same year to Miss
Enuna Pelzer. He then turned his energies to farm-
ing and stock raising. He soon afterwards, m the year
1873, moved to Colorado county and bought a large
tract of land near Oakland, where he died. One^thou-
sand acres of that land is now owned by his son Henry.
The father was a man of great energy, very public
spirited, and through his enterprise was a public bene-
factor. For many years he owned and operated a saw
and grist mill, and also a public gin. His death oc-
curred in 1904. Besides being commercially active, he
took much interest in the German Lutheran Church of
which both he and his wife were members, and they
contributed liberallv of their means to its support.
Through the liberality of himself and two other plant-
ers of that neighborhood, a church of the German
Lutheran faith was erected. Jlrs. Emma Laas, the
mother, died when her son Henry was a baby. The
father later married Catherine Brune, who is still living.
Henry J. Laas was one of two children. His brother
Charles lives nt Skidmore. where he is engaged in the
mercantile business and in farming. There are three
half-brothers, Chris, August, and Louis, and a half-
sister, Minnie.

During the boyhood of Henry J. Laas, he lived at
home on the farm, attended the local schools, and had
the opportunities and advantages of a school at San
\iitoiiio. When he was seventeen years of age he started
out working for himself, securing a clerkship in a store
at Weimar. After one year he returned here and spent
two years assisting his father.

On January 3, 1893, Mr. Laas married Miss Clara

Buske, a native of Texas, and a daughter of C. Buske,
wJio was born in Germany and was one of the German
settlers of Texas. Mr. Buske operated a public gin and
a miU for many years and is now living a retired life.
Following his marriage, Mr. Laas engaged in farming
for one year and then entered merchandising at Weimar,
where he did a large and successful business up to 1900,
in which year came his first election to his present
oflice of tax assessor of Colorado county. By repeated
elections since then, in which the people have shown
their confidence in his integrity and official ability, he
has remained in that office to the present time. During
his residence in Weimar he served as a member and
secretary of the city couneU, resigning that place when
elected assessor. As a Democrat he has always been a
willing worker for the welfare of his party, and has
served as chairman of the county and of other com-

Mr. and Mrs. Laas are the parents of one child, Olga.
All the family are members of the German Lutheran
Church. Since he was twenty-one years of age, Mr.
Laas has held membership in the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, has held all the chairs in his local
lodge, and several times has been a delegate to the
Grand Lodge. He is also affiliated with the Knights
of Pj'thias, having held all the chairs in that order.
His other affiliations include the Woodmen of the World,
the Sons of Hermann, the Pretorians, the Modern Wood-
men of America, and at the present time he is taking
the preliminary degrees in Masonry.

Mr. Laas was one of the organizers of the First State
Bank of Columbus, and, besides his extensive land in-
terests in Colorado county and city and town real estate,
he owns stock in the State Bank of Garwood and Eock
Island. He has interests in several bonding companies,
and is easUy one of the most prominent and influential
men of Colorado county. Mrs. Laas is a member of

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 91 of 177)