Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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lives during the pioneer days of Parker county, while
the entire family had to endure the hardships and
dangers incident to life on the frontier.

Thomas R. Erwin was born in Parker county, Aug-
ust 23, 1872, a son of W. A. and Martha (Stinett)
Erwin. The Erwins are a Scotch family, who settled in
Virginia, during the colonial epoch, later moved to
Tennessee and from there to Texas in 1S44. Their
journey to the Texas republic was accomplished by




1C9ii.(&4.



TEXAS AND TEXANS



1883



%vagon drawn by oxen. The first settlement was in
Grayson county, and later they moved to Parker
county. Grandfather Erwin was born in Virginia, in
1804, lived in Teunessee as a farmer for some years,
and then came to Texas. W. A. Erwin, the father, is
still living and engaged in farming in Eastland county.
His wife is also alive. During the Mexican war, W. A.
Erwin was a soldier, and later in the Confederate army,
and for years he fought the Indians on the frontier of
Texas in all the counties adjoining that of Parker.
Grandfather Stinnett and Grandfather Erwin were both
hilled by the Indians in the early days. W. A. Erwin
helped to build the first courthouse in Parker county,
and took part in the organijation of the county govern-
ment. A detailed record of this family would be a
chapter in the pioneer and Indian annals of northwest
Texas. There were twelve children, nine sons and three
daughters, ten of whom are living and the Weatherford
merchant was the sixth in order of birth.

Thomas E. Erwin started in life with a public school
education, acquired in Parker county. As a grocery-
clerk he got his first experience in practical business,
and eventually opened a small stock of goods for him-
self. At the present time Mr. Erwin does an annual
trade :it;f;ii'gating a quarter of a million dollars in
v.ilih , ]}'•- toik of goods, in groceries, hardware and

1: - is valued at fifty thousand dollars.

11- i:ii ! ! I lit comprises both a large general store

Mr. Erwin lias been not only a successful merchant,
but a public spirited citizen. For several years he has
served as a member of the city council, and was chair-
man of the finance committee. His political support
has always been given to the dominant party in Texas.
His fraternities are the Masonic and the Elks. Mr.
Erwin believes in religion and religious institutions, and
as a successful young business man has done much to
promote the cause of church and morality in his com-
munity. His membership is in the Presbyterian church
of the I'nited States, he has been an elder in the
Weatherford church for twenty-two years, and super-
intendent of the Sabbath school for nineteen years.
During all that time not half a dozen Sundays have
been missed from his regular attendance and work, and
he is a trustee of the Pairmount Seminary of Texas,
a girls' school.

Mr. Erwin was married October 8, 1901, in Weather-
ford to Mrs. Benoni Henry Porter, a daughter of Ben
C. and Bell Henry. Her father, who was a soldier on
the Confederate side during the war, was wounded at
Gettysburg, but continued practically without interrup-
tion from'the beginning to the end of the struggle, and
two of whose brothers were killed in the war has for
the past thirty years been a traveling salesman, and
though seventy-four years of age is still on the road
representing the Burris Mill and Elevator Company of
Fort Worth. Mrs. Erwin 's mother died in 1910. Mr.
and Mrs. Erwin have one boy, Ben Henry Erwin,
aged nine and attending school, his name having been
given in honor of his grandfather.

Captain Frank Johnson. A. former captain of the
Texas rangers, and with a long record of official serv-
ice in west Texas, Captain Johnson is a son of a Con-
federate soldier, and is in many ways typical of the
strong and rugged character of the older generation of
Texans. He has traveled extriipivolT, ha'^ come to know
men and affairs, and has mrnlly ^rttlrd down as a
prosperous business man of W.'.itlni i md.

Frank Johnson was born I'rlnii.-ii v s. 1S(;9, in Harts-
ville, Tennessee, a son of N. B. aud .Sarah Johuson.
His father was a printer and newspaper man, and for
more than twenty years served as postmaster at Weath-
erford. He moved from Tennessee to Texas in 1870,
and his residence was at Weatherford up to the time of
his death in 1901. During the war he enlisted from



Tennessee, became a soldier in General Morgan's
famous troopers, and served from the early months of
the war until its close. His widow is still living, be-
ing now alidiit «i-vcnty years of age, with her home in
Weathci liinl. 'I'liiir were seven children, two daugh-
ters and li\. .^(.11-, two of whom are now deceased.

Captaiii Julinsuu the oldest of the family, had a
public school education in Texas. His first important
position was that of deputy sheriff of Dickens county,
after which he was deputy sheriff in Kent county, and
was a special ranger under Captain McDonald, who is
now United States Marshal for the northern district of
Texas. During his service as ranger Captain Johnson
was inspector for the cattlemen's association of Texas,
and also inspector for the live stock sanitary company
several years. In 1901 came his promotion by appoint-
ment as sheriff' aud tax collector of Mitchell county,
Texas. In March 1908 he was appointed captain of
the Texas rangers, giving valuable service in making
an excellent record with the state military organiza-
tion until his resignation in November 1910. His career
as captain of the rangers was followed by his taking
a position as inspector for the live stock sanitary com-
pany, during which time he was located at Wichita
Falls. In September, 1912, Captain Johnson went to
South America to oversee a ranch ia that country. On
his return to Weatherford in May, 1912, he established
an automobile traufer business, and has conducted it
successfully to the present time.

His support has always been given to the dominant
political party in Texas, and he is one of the stanch
admirers of the present administration of President
Wilson. Fraternally he has taken thirty-two degrees
of Scottish Rite Masonry, is affiliated w'ith the Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias,
the Woodmen of the World, and the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, and is very popular in both
fraternal and all other circles of west Texas citizenship.

Mr. Johnson was married in March 1894 to Miss
Mattie Durrett of Weatherford, a daughter of Ander-
son and Malinda Durrett. Her father was one of the
early settlers of Parker county, having moved from
Illinois in 1871, and had been a Confederate soldier,
seeing service from the start to the end of the war.
Both her parents are now deceased. The captain and
wife have two children, a sou and a daughter, namely:
Miss Dott, aged twelve, and Koy, aged nine, both in
school.

Judge William McCaktt Peck. The personnel of the
Texas judiciary has always been notable for the high
qualities and the thorough legal ability of its members,
and the present judge of the Fifteenth Judicial District
has not only measured up to the high attainments of the
Texas bench, but has added much from his individual
character. Judge Peck has for forty years been identified
with his profession in Grayson county, and he represents
the best quality of the judiciary and well upholds the
dignity of the bench and the bar of the state.

William McCarty Peck was born May 22, 1848, near
Indianapolis, Indiana, being the second among four chil-
dren born to Daniel and Sarah (McCarty) Peck. His
early education was acquired in the schools near In-
dianapolis, and at the age of seventeen he went to North-
ern Alabama, where he was employed as a bookkeeper
for a time. Returning to his native state, he took up
the study of law with the firm of Williamson and Daggy
at Greencastle, the senior member of which firm was
subsequently attorney general of the state of Indiana.
Judge Peck completed his law studies in Northern Ala-
liama and was admitted to the bar there in 1872. In
the following year he moved to North Texas, locating at
Dcnison, and has been engaged in the practice of law in
Grayson county ever since.

Judge Peck belongs to the old Jeffersonian school of
the Democratic party and has many times rendered signal



1884



TEXAS AND TEXANS



service to his community. From 1879 to 18S1 he served
one term as mayor of Denison. For most of the time
for quarter of a century he vras a member and during
the greater part of the time was chairman of the school
board of Denison. In the twenty-third and twenty-fourth
sessions of the legislature he represented Grayson county
in the lower house, and in both sessions was a member
of the judiciary committee i\'o. 1. In January, 191il,
Judge Peck was appointed to fiU out an unexpired term
as judge of the Fifteenth Judicial District, and in the
fall of the same year was elected for the regular term
in that office, a position to which he lends dignity and
inspires both the bar and the general public with an
appreciation of his fairness and thorough qualifications
for the judicial office. Judge Peck affiliates with the
Masonic order, being a Knights Templar Mason. For a
number of years he was connected with the Board of
Trade at Denison, and has always been ready to take
his part in community affairs.

On April 1, 1873, in Alabama, Judge Peck married
Miss Augusta Charlton. They have but one child, Charl-
ton Peck, aged thirty and an invalid. Judge Peck is of
English and Irish descent and has no immediate rela-
tives in the state of Texas. In the forty years of his
residence here he has seen many changes and the in-
creases in population and wealth, and is an euthusiast on
the subject of North Texas resources and opportunities.
He has a wide acquaintance, and during the past forty
years has personally known every Texas governor except
two.

Joseph F. Conner. The present sheriff of Dawson
county is a pioneer settler and old stockman of this sec-
tion, having located at Lamesa about twenty years ago,
when aU the country was one uninterrupted stock range,
and before permanent civilization had taken a foothold
in a country up to that time occupied only by the wan-
dering cattlemen, the buffaloes, and the other wild
denizens of the western plains. Mr. Conner is well
known among all the cattlemen of Dawson and surround-
ing counties, and as sheriff has made a splendid record
in service of the people.

Joseph F. Conner was born in Lampasas county, Jan-
uary 12, 1862. He was the ninth in a family of four-
teen children born to John F. and Mary T. (Turtelot)
Conner. His father, a native of Arkansas, was married
in Washington county of that state, and from there moved
into Texas in 1S48, only about three years after Texas
entered the union. He located in Bastrop county, and
for a number of years was engaged principally in the
stock business. From that county he moved to William-
son county, and from there to Lampasas county. He was
an active stockman in those different localities until 1886,
and then lived retired until his death on February 1,
1909. His wife was born in New York state, and came
to Arkansas with her parents when she was a child, and
she died in November, 1894.

Joseph F. Conner had a common school education, but
most of his training was through practical exchange,
and was acquired more as a result of driving horses on
the range and handling sfock and in farm work than
through liooks and attendance at school. When he left
home in 1881 at the age of nineteen, he went into the
Panhandle, locating in Lipscomb county, where he was
identified with the stock business about six years. From
there he moved his headquarters to Fort McKavett, and
continued in the same business for one year. From
Fort McKavett he transferred his headquarters to Coke
county, where he remained \intil 1894, in which year he
moved into Dawson county, locating at Lamesa. At
that time Lamesa was an unimproved townsite. sur-
rounded by great open ranges, with cattle, coyotes and
jackrabbits in abundance. He was steadily in the stock
business in that locality and at one time owned four
sections of land, a part of which has since been broken



up and enclosed as the town of Lamesa. He has sold
all his land except a little town property.

Mr. Conner first entered local politics when he became
a candidate for tax assessor in 1908. He failed to se-
cure the honor at that time, but in the year 1910 was
elected to the office of sheriff and tax collector, and by
re-election in 1912 is still handling the affairs of the
office. Since then he has retired entirely from the stock
business.

At Fort McKavett on April 12, 1888, Mr. Conner
married Miss Maiy F. Poe, daughter of \v. M. and Cyn-
thia Poe. They were a family of pioneer Texans, and
both were born in Texas. Mr. Conner and wife have
eleven children, as follows: Eula, Prank, Pearl, Hoyle,
Willie, Eobert, Jack, Dollie, Silas, Beta and Thelma.
Eula, Frank and Pearl are married.

Mr. Conner affiliates with the Masonic order, being
Past Master of his lodge, and is Captain of the Koyal
Arch Chapter, and is Noble Grand of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows. In politics he is a Democrat.

Hon. John Edwakd Kinney, county judge of Roberts
county, Texas, has been identified with the bar and the
bench at Miami since he entered upon the practice of
his profession in 1900. His record parallels that of the
self-made man, and therefore forms an interesting part
of American biography.

Judge Kinney dates his birth at Brooklyn, New York.
January 8, 1873, and is the younger of the two sons born
to John Edward and Clara M. (Dunn) Kinney, the
former a native of New Jersey and the latter of New
York, but both now deceased. John Edward Kinnev,
Sr., was the son of G. 0. Kinney, a New York broker,
who was born in New Jersey and who died in New York.
The latter was the son of James Kinney, who was born
in New Jersey and died at Erie, Michigan, he having in
middle life pioneered to the latter state. John Edward,
the father, was a merchant in New York during the
greater part of his life, and was moderately successful,
but Florida and fruit raising had an attraction for him,
and for thirteen years he made his home in that south-
ern state, eight years of that time serving as post-
master of Winsted in addition to looking after his fruit
interests. The Dunn family is of Irish descent, and the
Irishman who was the progenitor of that family in this
county came here in 1798 from county Kilkenny and
settled in New York. He was a soldier in the Black
Hawk war and was killed in battle. The older of the
two sons born to John Edward and Clara M. Kinney,
Charles B. Kinney, is secretary and manager of the
Blinn Coal Company of Brooklyn, New York.

In the Brooklyn schools and the schools near the Kin-
ney Florida home John E. Kinney, Jr., received his early
training, being in attendance up to the time be was
nineteen. At the age of twenty-seven he was engaged
in a brokerage commission business for himself and
others in New York city. In the meantime he took up
the study of law and fitted himself for its practice. He
completed his studies in the Nashville College of Law In
1900, and from that institution received the degree of
LL. B. In June of that year he came to Texas and took
up his residence at Miami in Eoberts county, where he
at once opened an office for the practice of law and in
various ways identified himself with the interests of this
locality. He has taken an active part in Democratic
politics, local, state and national. During his early prac-
tice he served as deputy tax collector. He has twice
been elected county judge, and is now serving his sec-
ond term. He maintains fraternal identity with vari-
ous organizations, including the W. O. W., K. of P., and
the A. F. & A. M., his Masonic work covering the de-
grees of the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Council. Ilis
creed is that of the Presbyterian church, of which he is
an elder.

On the 6th of April, 1902, at Miami, Texas, was sol
emnized the marriage of John Edward Kinney and Miss




A/o^jU^ Jji4jnA/^



TEXAS AND TEXANS



1885



Bena H. Carter, and to them have been given two
.laughters and a son: Clara May, born August 10. 190:S ;
Elvira, born August 27, 1904; and Leon MeCord, born
September 24, 1911. Mrs. Kinney is a native of
Texas and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. G. Carter, for
thirty years residents of Eoberts county, now living at
Amarillo, Te.xas. During his residence in Eoberts county
S. G. Carter was one of its leading citizens. lie filled the
offices of county sheriff and treasurer, and for several
years was county judge.

Although a busy man professionally. Judge Kinney
finds time to look after the supervision of his agricul-
tural interests, owning and operating a farm half a
section in extent in Gray county. That he has succeeded
in making a place and a name for himself is due to his
own elloits, for neither in his business venture nor in the
work of fitting himself for a professional life did lie
receive any financial aid.

Charles T. Haltom. County attorney of Pecos coun-
ty, since 1908, Mr. Haltom is one of the able vdiing mem-
bers of the Texas bar. In tlic Inn li,. has rNceptional
ability, has shown it in all tlir bnsiin'ss wlii.li lias been
entrusted to his care, and almi- witii tliis aliililv he also
maintains snne of tho bost i, !,■:.]- ..f thr ],.-:>] pi.,fos-
sion. His li.MM.r aiMl |^ris..,,:il iiil,.^iilv li;u,. ,„; rr l.rcn
impeache.l .Iniui^ l;i^ ,,, „f,.<MM,i:i I r;,ivrr. an^l ],]< |.iili|i,-

spirit and fnni.llv li,.lpfuli,,^s arr .•nim,,- th Iior la.'-

tors which make him one of the most popular eitiicns of
Fort Stockton.

Mr. Haltom was born in Brackettville. Texas, January
7, 1SS.1, and has spent all his life in the state. He at-
tended tlic imblii- schools of San Antonio, and gradu-
.-itcil Irniii tlH' 1iil;1i school of that city and later attended
tlie I'liiMisilv (if Texas at Austin, where he was gradu-
ated ill (lie law department in 1906. At the intervals
of srhooling he worked to acquire means to further his
eilucation ami lie really paid his way through university.
Gradiiatini,' in the law. lie s])ent several months in mining
ill .\r;.^oii:i. after nhicli he returned to San Antonio, and
set hi.nsilC 111. In the practice of law. A year later he
miiv( d nut I,, j'oit Stockton, and has since bad his
jira.-ti-e in this county. In June, 1908, he was appointed
and in November, 1908, was elected to



county attorney.

his first term, now servi

term of office.

Mr. Haltom was married



Thorni



Ml
of Pec



Mi



the third elective



Stockton, .lanuary
.laii-hter of J. W.



ife



hers of the Christian rhur.li, aii.l I ratn nallv he is affili-
ated with the :\rasons, the Knights of Pythias and the
Woodmen of the World, also with the Loval American.
He is now Worshipful Master of the Masonic Podge, and
patron of the Eastern Star, has held ofiice in the Knights
of Pythias, and is one of the managers of the Wood-
men of the World. As a member of the Fort Stockton
Commercial Club he exerts much influence to advance the
business interests of the town. He is an independent
Peiiioirat, and is :iii influential factor in local affairs.
While lilliii'4' III.' i.liiri' of iirosefuting attorney he served
as piiitri|.al nf M,.xM,Mi S.Oinol from 1909 to 1912. inclu-
sive. Pnr his .liveisimis he is fond of hunting, fishing
and the quieter amusements of home and society. Con-
cerning his native state, he believes that Texas has some
of the best laws to be found on the statute books of any
state and has a splendid commercial future. He also be-
lieves that it is in the beginning of a fast growing
period in population, resources and wealth, and especially
does he believe this true of West Texas.

J. B. Prtce. Now president of the Texas Abstract
Association, Mr. Price has long been identified with
the Abstract business, and is an old resident of Weath-
erford. His home has been in this state since child-
hood, for more than forty years, and he has had an
active and varied business career.



Price was born January 2, 1859, at Brandon,
i, the fifth in a family of seven sons and
one daughter, five of whom are still living, born to
William and Frances C. (Ply) Price. His parents
came to Texas in 1869, locating at Lancaster. His
father was active in the ministry of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South for half a century. During
his earlier years in Mississippi at the beginning of the
war, he raised a company at Jackson for service in the
Confederate army. On account of poor health he re-
ceived an honorable discharge, before the close of the
war. In 1879, the family moved from Alvarado in
Johnson county to Weatherford, and there Rev. Price
died in September 1889, at the age of seventy-three.
His widow is still living in Weatherford, aged seventy-
nine and quite active for her years, attending church
almost every Sunday.

Mr. J. B. Price gained most of his education in the
Marvin College at Waxahaehie, and the Masonic school
conducted in Alvarado, in Johnson county, by Profes-
sor I. A. Patton. His first business experience was
as clerk in a grocery store at Weatherford. During
four years as deputy county clerk of Parker county,
he became acquainted with and interested in the line of
\\lii.li has since been his chief vocation and as an
;!l stiart man and also handling loans, he does the best
liiisiiM^s in Parker county. In July 1910, Mr. Price
was rh>cted third vice president of the Texas Abstract
Association, and was honored by election as president
at the annual meeting of the association in June 1913,
at Dallas.

In polities his support has always been given to the
democratic interests, fraternally he has filled the chairs
in the Knights of Pythias Lodge, and has been repre-
sentative at the Ctrand Lodge in Port Worth, and
Houston, and is an active member of the Weatherford
Commercial Club. His church atiiliation is with the
Methodist Church South, in the first church of Weath-
erford. On January 17, 1883, in Alvarado, Mr. Price



Miss



Sarah V
of eight!



as a huntsman.



a, a daughter of R. A. and
atlier, who died several years ago,
li- her mother is living at the age
iiiake.s her home with Mrs. Price.
atMiii enjoys nothing more than
uiis III,, u.sually spent in that way.
I- ;i .li-i'lay of deer heads, about
i\ iiiiiiiating very well his prowess



CoL. CrALiN Crow. For thirty-three years the late Col.
Galen Crow was engaged in the mercantile business in
Austin, and, while he was not one of the first settlers, sub-
stantially the entire growth of the wonderful city was
under his eye, ^vas watched by him with the interest and
pride of a jiroprietor, and was sulistantially aided by his
wise counsels and firm hand. His career was one teeming
with adventures and exciting experiences from the time
of his service as a soldier of the Confederacy through the
days when hi' drove cattle across the ]dains to the Western
ticiiitiiT, and throughout his life he maintained his repu-
tiitiiiii :i~ a stalwart and ]iublic-spirited citizen, faithful
ill Ills tiioiidships and conscientious in the discharge of
e\ery duty devolving upon him.

I'uhinel Crow was born in 1822 at Hartford, Ohio
county. K( nturky. and was a son of John W. Crow. He
was educated in private schools of his native place, and,
coming of a family of merchants, it was but natural that
he should enter into the activities of trade and commerce
when he attained manhood. In 1857 he was united in
marriage with Miss Cordelia A. Jones, of Oregon, Mis-
souri, a daughter of William F. Jones, a prominent mer-
chant of that place. He had moveil to Missouri several
years before, and, in addition to being successfully en-
gaged in a mercantile business, was prominent in Holt
county politics, having served six years as sheriff and aa
a member of the Missouri State Legislature. The out-



1886



TEXAS AND TEXANS



break of hostilities between the South and the North
found his sympathies with the Confederacy, and he ac-
cordingly resigned his office in the legislature to enter
the army of Gen. Sterling Price as colonel. He served
from 1861 uutU 1863 with much gallantry, but in the
latter year was captured by the federal troops and con-
fined in the prison at Johnson 's Island, off Sandusky.
When, eleven months later, he secured his release, he
was broken in health, with finances ruined because of his
service and loyalty to the Lost Cause. Accordingly he
decided upon a trip across the plains, and in the middle



Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 94 of 177)