Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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Abilene Bar Association, is affiliated with the Knights
of Pythias, and belongs to the Christian church. He
was married April 26, 1903, to Miss Pinky G. Eobertson,
a native of Texas, and a daughter of A, B. and Leonore
(Smith) Eobertson, her father being a prominent ranch-
man at Slaton. One child has been born to their mar-
riage, William Eobertson Sewell.

John -Duskin Gaither. As president and principal
owner of the largest dry goods store in Merkel, Texas,
John Duskin Gaither occupies a prominent place in the
business world of that city. He is a modern and pro-
gressive business man and his success has come through
his careful methods and his ability to perceive an op-
portunity when one is presented. Mr. Gaither is chietiy
occupied with his mercantile business.

John Duskin Gaither was born in Fayette county,
Texas, on the 11th of October, 1880, the son of Burgess
Clayton Gaither and Mary Atwood (Young) Gaither.
Burgess C. Gaither was born in Lawrence county, Ten-
nessee, and lived there until 1871 when he came to Texas
located in Fayette county where he engaged in stock


Here he met JIar%


was a native
ved to

ss the

of Fayette county, Texas and they were marri

lived in Fayette eouutv until l^^o'whcn they

Taylor county, lie .\r,<\,- his Ih'v.I ..f .•.■ml,

country to his new Ik.iuc. wliirli «;:. ;, ,:i,i,.|, ii,.:,,- Buf'

falo Gap. Here li.- r-.nt inii.'.l Mo,!.: i:iisni- nnlil 1887

when owing to a I'li.tnirtrd ,lv,,nylit cniitiiiuiii;;' througl

1SS6 and 1887, he was forced to discontinue stock rais-

ing. He now turned his attention to farming and was
very successful. In 1905 he retired from active life
and is now living in Merkel with his wife, having gained
a comfortable fortune during his active years. He has
always taken an active interest in politics, being a mem-
ber of the Democratic party, but he has never aspired


were born to Mr. and

Mrs. (■■■rilMi. ill ;nlJ:| to John D. Gaither, these

are: i ,- i ■ I' j ' '., ilirr, who is engaged with his

ln'otlii I iisiness in Merkel; Maggie

Bell, »li- ii.iiihJ i:, r:, OilJard and lives in Taylor
county, Texas; Forest Young Gaither, who is also" as-
sociated with his brother in the drygoods business.

The eldest of these children was John D. Gaither. He
received his elementary education in the public schools
of Taylor county, and when he became older he was sent
to the South Western University, where he remained for
two terms. _ He was anxious to get to work and so at
the age of sixteen he began his business career as a
clerk in the store of J. W. Evans in Abilene, Texas. He
worked as a clerk in this grocery store for three years
and then returned to his father's home, and for two
years assisted his father on the farm. He did not care
for farmiug, and having learned engineering in a very
practical way on the farm, he now w-ent to Port Stanton,

i\'ew Mexii


'pt a position as stationary engineer
in tiie .M.iiiiic iiMS|.ital Service. He had a natural bent
for liicrliiuii, - ;iii-l lie was very successful in this posi-
tiou, In- li,'|,| fnr three years. During this time
he suvi'il lii~ s;il:ii\ with fin idea of starting in busi-
ness fnr liiMisolt' :it ,Mi!ii,. I'nture date. At the end of
these tlinv \,Mi> li, iriinii.'il to Merkel and engaged in
a mode-i w.iy m tin- i^inr.iy business. He later bought
an interest in the Merkel Dry Goods and Grocery Com-
pany and in time became president and general manager.
Since he became the executive head of this concern its
business has been greatly increased and the improve-
nient in stock and fixtures has been met with an equal
improvement in the amount of patronage which it en-
joys. The stores now cover a floor space of seven thou-
sand feet and ten clerks are constantly employed by
the firm while during the rush seasons many more are
necessary. It is a highly successful concern and this is
largely due to the energy and business ability of Mr.

In addition to the store, Mr. Gaither is largely inter-
ested in two thousand acres of land in Scurry county.
This land is under a high state of cultivatio"n and is
operated upon the most modern scientific plan, being
largely planted in cotton and corn. Mr. Gaither also
owns his own couifortal)le home in Merkel.

In the fraternal world Mr. Gaither is a member of
the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of the Independ-
ent Order of Odd Fellows and of the Woodmen of the
World. In politics he is a member of the Democratic
party. He is keenly interested in civic affairs and was
at one time secretary of the City of Merkel.

Mr. Gaither was married in July, 1906, to Miss Lola
May Harris, a native of Limestone county, Texas. Mrs.
Gaither is the daughter of Charles Tillman Harris and
Connie J. (Wormiek) Harris, who settled in Limestone
county in 1854. They were early pioneers in that sec-
tion of Texas and are highly respected citizens of the
community. Three children' have been born to Mr.
Gaither and his wife, namely, John Duskin, Jr., Alma
Elizabeth and Charles Clayton.

Judge Charles D. Mims. It is worth a good deal to
win a position of intluence in one's own town, but to
do so is comparatively easy when placed alongside the
task of winning renown throughout a territory the size
of the state of Texas. Such renown belongs to Judge
Charles D. Mims, of Merkel, Texas, and he is not so
widely known on account of political honors or wealth,
but because of his work in his profession and because
no matter how insignificant may be his task, he puts his



heart and soul into the business. Judge Minis is active
in furthering all movements leading to the improvement
of Texas and has led in many reforms that have proved
of practical benefit.

A native of Arkansas,
Monticello, Drew county,
January, 1860. He is the
Sarah B. (Hudspeth) Min

Judge Mims was born m
Arkansas, on the 15th of
ion of William D. Mims and
s. His father was born in

Virginia and his mother is a native of Mississippi. Wil-
liam D. Mims left Arkansas shortly after the birth of
their sdii 'niil n-noveil to Smith county, Texas, locating
permaii. ' I. n Tvlr,. Here Mr. Mims, Sr., edited the
Tykr I. . -nig the paper a power in politics,

throu^li i - iM!:!!!! and clear-cut editorials. He was
promimMit in srate politics, and although he himself
never cared to hold oflSce, his power over the pen and
his command of editorial style made him one of the
most influential men in the party in his district. He \vas
said to be the l"-st [.n^ti'J m.-ni in thr >tati' mh iiatiimal
politics at the Ir.r.r u,' Ins J,>;itli. .Mr. .Minis uas a nirni

ber of the Dei lalir |arlv ami ,.wimM aial |iiilliMaM

the Tyler Sepurh , nntil his .Iratli in Is^n. Mrs. .Mims
is still living and resides in the old home in Tyler. Of
the four children born to Mr. Mims and his wife, only
two are living, the judge and his sister, Josie E., who is
living with her mother in Tyler and who is a prominent
worker in religious circles and in club work.

Judge Mims had but a meager education in the school
room but he received a broad and practical training in
the press rooms and editorial sanctum of his father 's
paper. It was his ambition to become a lawyer and
so at the age of fourteen he began to read law with Gen-
eral T. J. Jennings, of Tyler. He would work all day
in the press room, helping to print the paper and then
his work done for the day he spent the evening study-
ing the ponderous law books. At the age of twenty-
seven years he was admitted to the bar.

After his admission to the bar in 1S87 he began in
earnest upon his career as a lawyer. He located in Tyler,
and two years later, in 1889, he was elected city attorney.
He served for two years in this oflice and then resumed
his private practice, which had by this time, grown to
be quite lucrative. He remained in Tyler until 1893
when he removed to Beeville, in Bee county, Texas.
Here he began to take an active interest in politics and
his name first began to be spoken in political circles.
In 1900 he was forced to move to Nacogdoches county,
on account of his wife 's failing health. He began the
practice of his profession here and soon had made a
reputation as a skillful lawyer, well versed in the tech-
nicalities of his profession. He was active in the Good
Roads movement, being the father of that movement in
that county, and extremely active in seeing it become
a practical thing. He was appointed county judge in
March, 1907, to fill the unexpired term of Judge W. H.
Eatcliff, and he served on the bench for two years. It
was also during this time that he was elected Chairman
of the Democratic Executive Committee, in which posi-
tion he served for two years. In 1907 he was also a mem-
ber of the State Executive Committee. In both these
otfices he was brought in contact with many prominent
men throughout the state and many of these became his
warm personal friends.

Wlien his determination to leave Nacogdoches became
known there was general regret, not only among his
personal friends but among his professional acquain-
tances. The night before he left the city he was ten-
dered a banquet by the members of the local bar which
was attended by practically all of the attorneys of the
city. Considerable space was given to this good fellow-
sliip banquet in the next issue of the local paper, from
which the following extracts are quoted. "Since his
residence in the city C. D. Mims has always shown an
active interest in all matters of public welfare and prog-
ress and during his time as county judge inaugurated
many movements for the good of the county, among

them chiefly the ' good roads ' idea, " ' It was along this
line that the successor of Judge Minis Judge F. P.
Marshall made a most laudatory speech. ' ' Judge Marsh-
all paid tribute to the honoree for his good work whUe
county judge. lecalling things done and precedents set
that will live long, — to say nothing of the 'good roads'
feature, of which Judge Minis is clearly the originator
in this section. ' '

At the conclusion of the banquet resolutions were
adopted which show clearly the esteem in which Judge
Mims is held by all who know him and are therefore
worth quoting.

' ' Eesolved, By the members of the Nacogdoches Bar,
that in view of the fact that one of our members. Judge
C. D. iliins, is about to remove from among us to a
distant portion of the state, that we deem it meet and
jiroper that we take some formal action in expressing
our esteem fur Judge Minis as a man and lawyer and in

■■ I ,1-:^ Thai !aK,i:y !,.,,, nilinmlrh a~-o,,al,M with
Judge Mims l.utli personally and professionally for the
many years of his residence and professional life among
us, we have found him as a man thoroughly honorable
and reliable. As a lawyer; earnest, able, studious and
profound. As a judge, careful, conscientious, painstak-
ing and correct, and as a citizen, always for the right
and for the best interests of the people.

"Second, To the profession, the courts and the peo-
ple of his newly seler-ted home, we commend him as in
all respects entitled to their fullest confidence as a man,
a lawyer and a citisen; and —

"Third, We feel that the loss of Judge Mims to the
Bar and to the people and citizenship of this county
is one which is keenly felt, and earnestly hope his suc-
cess in his new field will be commensurate with his
merits. ' '

It was in October, 1909, that he moved to Merkel, in
Taylor county, Texas, and it was not long before he
had as many friends in his new home as in the one he
had left behind him. In April, 1910, he was elected
Mayor of the city without opposition.

Judge Mims is a member of the Knights of Pythias,
and the Woodmen of the World. In politics he is a
Democratic, and in religious matters both he and his
family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
In 1881, when he was only a youth of twenty-one, Judge
Mims was chairman of the Ex-governor Jim Hogg Club
at Tyler, and ever since this time he has taken a keen
interest in political questions. Judge Mims has acquired
valuable farming lands in Taylor county and is also the
owner of oil lands in different parts of Texas. He
owns an attractive home in Merkel, and he and his fam-
ily play an important part in the social life of the com-

Judge Mims was married in June, 1890, to Miss Vallie
C. Price, of Nacogdoches. She was the daughter of Vin-
cent and Annie J. (Mims) Price, and although her
mother had the same name as her husband there was no
relationship. Four children have been born to the
Judge and his wife, as follows: Euth, who is the wife
of Irving C. Gilliland, of Port Worth; Gordon; D. Vin-
cent and Billie Burke, the younger three being with
their parents.

Judge Mims predicts a bright future for Taylor county.
He believes the land will become many times more valu-
able than its present selling price, for" Taylor county has
a good climate and an abundance of underground water
within easy reach for irrigation, which must soon come.

EuPERT Cltde Priest, M. D. The Priest family, of
which Dr. Priest is a prominent representative iii the
field of medicine, with important professional and civic
connections at Eusk, is one of the oldest in Cherokee
county. The grandfather of Dr. Priest came to Cherokee



county about the time Rusk was founded as a settlement,
was a pioneer member of the bar of that city, and be-
sides serving as tlie first district judge of this locality,
an ofiice he held tor a number of years, he also offici-
ated as the fiist pastor of the Eusk Coiiyrcunt ion (,t ilic
Cumberland Presbyterian church, and ili\ mI.' I In- Iiiih'
for many years among the spheres of law, i.1il;imii nn.l
politics. He had no connection with the uiilitury estab-
lishment of the south during the war, but furnished sev-
eral i-ous who wore the grey uniform. Mr. Priest was born
in Alabama, and his children were: Henry and William,
both of whom wcic killcl wliilc weariiiff the Confederate
uniform during tlir nai : i:iisli,-i M., tif IJiisk; Mige of
•Fort Worth; Allint nt halhis; M;.iy, wlm married Wil-
liam Bird and died in ihen.kcc roiinty; Lizzie, wife of
Judge Sam A. WiUon of Kiisk; Sallie, wife of Wm.
David of Jacksonville.

Elisha M. Priest, father of Dr. Priest, came from
Lawrence county, Alabama in 1844, and was at that time
four years of age. His early yeais were spent in the
home of his father, Judge Priest, and the greater part
of his active lite has been devoted to merchandising at
Husk. His career in that direction began when he was a
young man, and he prosecuted his affairs with great vigor
and enterprise. He missed the war so far as military
service was concerned, and never figured in politics. His
first wife was Miss Bettie McCord, who came from an
Alabama family. His first wife died in 1883 and was
the mother of the following children: Edgar, of Lub-
bock, Texas, who married Miss Mozelle Frazier; Mack,
of Eusk, who married Lizzie Tittle; Dr. E. C. Priest,
the youngest. Mr. Elisha M. Priest married for his sec-
ond nufe, Mrs. Ellen (Summers) Clark.

Dr. Eupert Clyde Priest was born in Eusk, December
1, 1881, and his early education was acquired in the pub-
lic school. Before reaching his majority, he had consid-
erable experience as an employe in his father 's store, but
when starting out on his own account, learned the trade
of moulder at Lufkin. He worked in that line of occupa-
tion at Algiers, Houston, and Beaumont, and finally
abandoned it in 1896, in order to study medicine. His
professional course was taken in the Southern Medical
College at Dallas, and resulted in his graduation in 1910.
In the same year he began practice at Eusk, and at the
present time is acting prison physician for the Eusk

Dr. Priest was married in Busk in October, 1912, to
Miss Lottie Caupland, a daughter of Ben C. Caupland,
one of the early settlers of this place, whose wife was
Miss Sarah Tucker. The Caupland children are: OUie,
wife of Charles Chapman; Adda, wife of Dr. Cobble, of
Eusk; Frank Caupland; and Mrs. Priest.

EicHARD G. Maury, .lisiii.t attorney of Harris
county, Texas, has made n imiiM i(.i' himself among the
leading young attorneys of 1Iihi>Iuii.

Mr. Maiiiy is a n.-itive of Mississippi. He was born
near Suqualali. Nnxnlice county, that state, January 10,

1878, s( I Maitlii'w H. and Virginia (Gathright)

Maury. 'I'lic fiist ot the Maiirys who came to America
were Matthew ami Maiy .\nii ' ( i'lmtaine) Maury, who
in 1817 came frt.m linliiin, lirlaml, in this country and
settled in Virginia. Tlaii an.,'^t.iis had fled from
France to Ireland aftiT tlir ir\ (iraticm of the edict of
Kantes. Matthew H. Maury was a planter and mer-
chant in Mississippi, where he spent his life and died,
his death occurring in 1889. His wife died in 1905.

Eichard G. Maury was reared and received his educa-
tion in private schools in his native state. He first
came to Texas in 1893. He spent one year in Fort
Worth, and then went to Mexico, where he sojourned
for a time. Returning to Texas, he again took up his
residence at Fort Worth, where he found agreeable em-
ployment and studied law. He read law in the offices of
Cowan & Burney and Judge N. A. Stedman, and also
while stenographer and librarian of the Court of Civil

judicial district. In 1900 he
at Fort Worth, and at once

11 that city, where he remained
uf three years. In January,





1,1 the nimiiial disliict attorney of
. (in>litiMii~ at tliat time being such
u-tnii rm|il".vrd Idiu at its own ex-
lUiitv rnniuial district attorney, and
•h followed his record was such that
d to the office in which he had served
a lar-;e majority of the votes cast.

Ill- tlio iiist \.-ar of 111- ailmini-tra-

businr-. hi,,' l.a-i- iMi th,. lirsi tim,. in tlio history ol the
county, but also he l)rought tli.' ^Inrkot virtually up to
date, for the first time in many^. In this time
twenty-two men were convicteil foi nmiiloi. a lar^o num-
ber of which were whites. Mr. _Mauiy wliilc dii-trirt at-
torney brought suit against the Standard Oil Company,
the o'ntcome of which was a judgment for $500,000. He
was also instrumental in having all road houses and un-
lawful clubs in Harris ,-nunty .-losp.!.

In the soiial lifo of llniivton. Mr. Maury is promi-
nent. He is idnititi.Ml \, iili iinmouins clubs and fraternal
organizations. inclu.lniL: Iho Houston Club, the Thalian
Club of Houston, the Houston Light Guards, Benevolent
and Protective Order of Elks, Modern Woodmen, Wood-
men of the World, Houston Turn Verein, Knights of
Pythias, and Houston Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Maury is unmarried. He resides at No. 8 The
Beaeonfield apartments, in Houston.

J. S. JoXES, the popular and efiicient incumbent of
the office of county clerk of Deaf Smith county, Texas,
a position which he has held since 1910, is another ex-
ample of the self-made men of which the West is so
proud, lontciit to begin his life in a humble capacity,
he has i^radiially worke<l his way up to independence and
prestii^o aniniiy' In- fellow men. Today he has the full
conlidt mo of ilio ]ioo|ile of his community, who have sig-
nified tlicii t.iith in his ability and trustworthiness by
electing liim to , f the most resiionsible county posi-
tions within tho ^it't of the people.

J. S. .lojiis li.iils from the East, having been born in
the ritx ot l;aliiMioro. Marvlaml. September 17. 1858.

He is a ~ t Ih i\ ;,ml Mary Kli/aI.eth (Fisher) Jones,

nativrs nt' MaM-laii.l. mIm sprnt their entire lives in wluiv tiir nii.ihor ili.M in 1 sS4 at the age of
flfty-loiii- yrars, ami Ihr farlior in IIHIL'. when seventy
years ot a^o. II. ( ', .lonos was for \cars ongaged in the
insuram-o lnisinoss in tlio i^ast ami was well known in
that line, for a hm- |ioi io,| ha\ inu hocu vice president of
the United Stato- I'm ami Maiino Insurance Company.
He and his wilo \\i'\r iln iiannts of four children, of
whom J. S. wa- tho -n-oml in oidor of birth.

After atteiidino tho imlilir srhools of his native city,
he came to Tonus m isso. lirst loraiino at Dallas, and
from that tinio until lss| „as lo.aio.l al \arious points
in Texas. At that time ho rotnrnod to I'.altimore and
entered the employ of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad,
and during the next two years was in the offices at
Baltimore. He then spent ten years at Topeka, Kansas,
with the Atchison, Toiiekn &- Santa Fe Eailroad, but in
1900 came to Amarillo for tin- Santa Fe. Two years
later he came to Herofoid as :iy,.iit for the same line,
but after five years resi^nod Ins position to engage in
the real estate business, in which he was engaged on his
own account for three years. He was thus occupied in
1910 when he received the election to the office of county
clerk, a position he has continued to fill efficiently to the
present time. Mr. Jones has proven himself an able and



itious official, faithfully diseharging the duties
of his office in a manner calculated to best benefit his
county. His record will bear comparison with that of
others who have been the incumbents of the office of
county clerk of Deaf Smith county, while personally he
is popular with men of all classes and political creeds.
An enthusiastic Mason, he is secretary of the Blue Lodge
at Hereford, and also holds membership in the Chapter
and Council of this order. In political matters he sup-
ports the principles of the Democratic party.

On February 7, 1S91, while a repidpnt of Chioncrr.,
Illinois, Mr. Jones was married to ^li-. lo -i- s, Hvsliin.
daughter of the late John Fraser, ot >- i)i|,;ii~. l,,,,i -i
ana. Four children have come to ^li. :nhl Mi-. .Innr-;
Mary Elizabeth, born in 1892, at Topeisa, Kansas, at-
tending the Canyon Normal School, class of 1914; John
Henry, born in 1895, at Topeka, Kansas, attending high
school at Hereford; Bebecea, born in 189-1, at Pueblo,
Colorado, who died there in 1895 and was there buried ;
and James, born in 1897, at Topeka, Kansas, who is a
student in the Hereford public schools. Mr. Jones has
resided in numerous parts of the United States, but has
never before lived in a section for whose future he has
been more ojitimistie than the Panhandle country of
Texas. He is an enthusiastic ' ' booster ' ' of his adopted
section, and is every ready to extoU its climate, its op-
portunities and its people. "With his family he attends
the Presbyterian church.

George M. Calhoun. A resident of Houston county
since before the war, and a veteran of the great strife
between the states, Mr. Calhoun has spent a long and
useful life, prosperous as a farmer and merchant and
distinguished by a public spirit which has always been
ready to serve and assist in the progress of his com-

George M. Calhoun was born in South Carolina, De-
cember 4, 1844. His parents were Squire and Laura
(Williams) Calhoun, both parents being natives of South
Carolina and of Scotch-Irish descent, belong to the same
family which produced the great statesman, John C.
Calhoun. Of John Calhoun, a Revolutionary ancestor,
the following information was received from the Depart-
ment of the Interior:

• ' John Calhoun was allowed pension on his applica-
tion executed October 17, 1832, at which time he was a
resident of Laurens District, South Carolina. He stated
that he was born August 10, 1757, in Meclenburg county.
North Carolina, and resided in Ninety-sixth District,
South Carolina, when he volunteered in the Eevolution-
ary war. His service was as follows: In November,
1775, under Capt. John Bodgers and Major William-
son, and was in the siege of Ninety-six; served three
weeks. In December, 1775, under same captain. Colonel
Eichardson, served in the 'Snow Campaign' one month
and three weeks. In May, 1776, under Capt. John Bod-
gers, Colonel Williams, and was engaged at Lindley
Fort, Black-Hole, and in the Ring fight with the Indians ;
served six months. In 1777, under Captain Chew, in
pursuit of Boyd, the Tory; two months. In 1778, under
Captain Eaney: three months. September 1, 1780, and
Sumter, was in the battle of Blackstocks; served five
months. In 1781 he engaged in the pursuit of Dunlap,
the British officer, who was captured in Abbeville, South
Carolina; served one month. In the fall of 1781, under
Colonels White and Thomas, two months. In 1782, under
Captain Collins, he served one month, making a total of
twenty-two months' service. No dates of discharge are

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 98 of 177)