Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

. (page 99 of 177)
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given. This soldier married December 8, 1793, Sarah
Camp. He died September 29, 1838, and she was allowed
pension, W. File No. 8, 579, on her application executed
February 22, 1845, at which time slie was seventy-one
years of age and a resident of Laurens District afore-
said. There is no other family data on file. ' '

Squire Calhoun had a varied and useful career. He
was the possessor of many accomplishments, an excellent

mechanic, a carpenter, a millwright, gin builder and
farmer, and was aiso a local preacher of the Methodist
Church. Throughout his life he was deeply interested
in the social, religious and educational questions of the
time. For many years he served as a justice of the peace.
When the son," George M., was five years of age. the
father moved his family to Chattanooga county, Georgia,
settling at Summerville. There the father continued his
work as a minister, and at the same time was a builder
of mills, gins, and took such an active part as to leave the
results of his work almost a permanent record on the
irhi-riy of the vicinity. Seven years after locating in
'''<i^!:i. the father came to Texas, settling south of
I rnrutt, in Houston county. Here he had a large
osrate and farmed his plantation with the labor of a
hundred slaves. That reniaiued his home until his death,
and his wife also j massed away in Houston county.

George M. Calhoun had just begun working for himself
as a farmer during the year the Civil war came on.
When the great conflict was actually engaged between
the North and the South, he left his cotton, corn and
other crops in the field and at Crockett, enlisted in Cap-
tain Adair's Company H. Green's Brigade of Cavalry,
and with Walker's Division went to the front. He was
with the Texas troops engaged in the western movement
into New Mexico, and from El Paso went to Fort Craig,
in New Mexico, where he participated in the battle with
the Union forces at that point. Subsequently the troops
moved \ip the Bio Grande by way of Las Graces and
took part in the battle of Glorieta. After a furlough of
thirty days the company was reorganized and sent to
Cialveston'. Here it was the distinction of Jlr. Calhoun to
take part in the remarkable exploit which will always live
in history, in the capture of the Federal gunboat, ' ' The
Harriet Lane," and the taking of the city of Galveston,
which had been occupied by the Federal forces since
early in the war. The Harriet Lane was one of the
finest and most formidable of the enemy 's gunboats, and
in order to capture it the Confederates improvised three
gunboats from cotton transports, two of these being sunk
in the fierce conflict which raged on the surface of Gal-
veston Bay during that eventful night. Mr. Calhoun was
next transferred with the troops into Louisiana, where he
took part in the Moody fight at Mansfield and Pleasant

Hill, at the latt
him. Then su.
upon Fort Doi
the retreat up I
where, after crossing

his horse shot from under
ircessful attack at night
tlie bloody fight during
\as next at Erasure City,
sugar coolers, the

troops of which he was a member captured the town and
700 prisoners of war. Next transferred to Arkansas, and
subsequently to Louisiana, he was with the army which
camped near Bed Eiver and captured two Union gunboats.
Wita the death of the commander, General Green, Gen-
eral Bee took command, and the army went by way of
Old Caney and Nibley's Bluff to Yellow Bayou, where
the fierce engagement occurred of that name. The troops
next went into Arkansas, and thence to Bellevue, Texas,
where Mr. Calhoun "s company remained until the final
disbandment at Mt. Enterprise, in Anderson county.

On returning home, Mr. Calhoun adapted himself as
soon as possible to the changed conditions brought on
by the war and took up his life work as a farmer. Sub-
sequently for a number of years he was one of the pros-
perous merchants at the town of Pennington. During his
many years ' residence and industry in Houston county he
has acquired a substantial position and owns a comfort-
able residence in Crockett and a fine farm in the county.

On November 8, 1867, Mr. Calhoun married Miss Au-
gusta Hill, of Crockett, and their happy wedded life has
been extended over a period of more than forty-five
vears. Nine children were born to their marriage. Ca-
milla and Ada are both deceased. Those living are:
Beatrice, wife of John Bruten, a farmer of Houston
county; Frank and Bad, both of Crockett; George E.,
of Grapeland; Harry Montgomery, of Dallas; Thomas,



of Leon county, and Eichard, who is in the railroad
service and travels in and out of the state.

Mr. Calhoun was reared in the Methodist Church, but
he and his wife are both Universalists and have active
communion with that faith. They are intelligent and
broadminded people whose lives have never run in the
selfish grooves, but have reacted to the welfare and
happiness of many others. Mr. Calhoun was affiliated
with the Knights of Honor until the order disbanded
at Crockett some years ago. He is one of the most popu-
lar members of Crockett Camp, United Confederate Vet-
erans, being at the present time lieutenant of the camp.

EDV7IN WiNFREE. The Career of Judge Winfree has
been marked by large and worthy achievement and he
has had much to do with the civic and material develop-
ment and progress of Houston county, Texas, where he
has maintained his home for forty years and where his
benignant influence has permeated in divers channels.
He is presiding on the bench of the county court, in
which important judicial office he has served for a full
decade, though not consecutively, and he is one of the
best known and himsi lidunirvl of the loyal and progres-
sive Citizens of <io,kett. till' thiivmu; metropolis and
judicial center of tin' loiinty. I'nirlier distinction per-
tains to Judge \Viiitree by rL';isuu of bis gallant service
as a soldier of the Confederacy in the war between the
states, and he is now the popular incumbent of the posi-
tion of commander of the Crockett camp of the United
Confederate Veterans' Association.

Judge Winfree claims the historic Old Dominion com-
monwealth as the place of his nativity and is a scion of
one of its old and honored families — one that was there
founded in the colonial era. He was born in Chester-
field county, Virginia, on the 9th of April, 1845, and is
a son of Thomas Edwin and Elizabeth Marrion (Taylor)
Winfree, both of whom likewise were born and reared
in that state, the former tracing his lineage to staunch
English origin and the latter to fine old Welsh stock.
Thomas Edwin Winfree owned and operated a large
plantation in Chesterfield county, engaged in the raising
of tobacco on an extensive scale, and also conducted a
tobacco dry-stemming factory at Manchester, the me-
tropolis of his home county. With these lines of indus-
trial enterprise he continued to be actively and success-
fully identified until his death, and he was one of the
honored and influential citizens of his county, where he
commanded unqualified popular confidence and esteem
and where he was frequently called upon to serve in
positions of distinctive trust, including that of guardian
or "next friend" for a number of negroes who had been
given their freedom for faithful service, prior to the
Civil war. Both he and his devoted wife continued to
reside on their old homestead plantation until they were
summoned from the stage of life's mortal endeavors,
both having been earnest communicants of the Methodist
Church. Of the eight children four are living: Mrs.
Fannie Christian, of Manchester, Virginia; George, who
resides in the city of Richmond, that state; Rupert W.,
who remains at Manchester, in the old home count.y, and
Edwin, whose name initiates this review. The deceased
children are: Virginia, who died as a young woman;
Mrs. Sallie DuVal, Marion, and William W, Winfree.

Judge Winfree was afforded excellent educational ad-
vantages in his native state, and there gained valuable
experience in connection with the affairs of the home
plantation and his father's other business interests.
He attended the Manchester and Eichmond scliools under
Professor Jones and the Eev. Dr. Burroughs; also the
Euffins High School of Chesterfield, Virginia, under the
tutorship of Professor Murray. Judge Winfree was a
vigorous and ambitious youth of seventeen years at the
time when civil war was precipitated upon the nation,
and he forthwith subordinated all personal interests to
tender his services as a defender of the cause of the Con-
federacy, which gained the active allegiance of the very

flower of young Southern manhood. On the 7th of Sep-
tember, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Drewery's Vir-
ginia Battery, which also became known as the South
Side Artillery of Smith's Battalion, and with this most
valiant command he served under Gen. Robert E. Lee
until the close of the great internecine conflict between
the North and the South. It should be especially noted
that it was Drewery's Battery that held the fort at
Drewery's Bluff against flve Union gunboats that came
up the river from Norfolk, and this was but one of
many admirable exhibitions of loyal and intrepid serv-
ice on the part of this gallant command. Judge Winfree
made a military record that shall ever redound to his
honor, and he lived up to the full tension of the long
and weary struggle which called forth the ultimate of
devotion and sacrifice on the part of the fair old South-
land, He had many hazardous and dramatic experi-
ences during his long period of service in camp and on
the field of conflict, and well it is that he perpetuates
the more gracious memories of those days through his
appreciative identification with the fast depleting ranks
of that noble organization, the United Confederate Vet-
erans, in which he is a valued member of Crockett Camp,
No. 141. of which he is serving as commander in 1912-13.
He was a member of the famous eight thousand of Lee's
worn and depleted army that lined up for battle just
before the surrender at Appomattox, and his name is
upon the Confederate roll of honor now retained in the
Confederate Museum in the city of Eichmond, Virginia,
the capital of the Confederate government. This roll
is inscribed with the names of the eight thousand brave
and loyal Southerners who thus made the last stand in
defense of the cause for which they had fought with aU
of loyal zeal and devotion. Tlie roster was prepared for
General I^ee in compliance with his personal request, and
Judge Winfree greatly prized the certificate which he
received from the mufeum authorities and which states
that his name appears upon this historic document,- a
letter from the house regent of the museum likewise
having- been addressed to the Judge and giving the same
assurance. Another valued souvenir is a certificate which
was given to him by the Adjutant General of the United
States, showing his name to be upon the copy of the
famous roll of honor that was given to General Grant
upon his request and which was by him placed in the
archives of the United States. Judge Winfree took part
in virtually every engagement in and around Richmond,
the fair old city whose seven hills bore the brunt of
much of the important polemic activities of the great
war between the states. He was twice wounded in ac-
tion, but he did not long permit his injuries to keep him
from his command.

After the close of the war Judge Winfree, with equal
valor and ambition, turned his attention to winning the
victories which peace ever hath in store, "no less re-
nowned than war, ' ' and he did well his part in bringing
about a readjustment of affairs in the devastated and
prostrate South, which he had deeply loved and faith-
fully served. He engaged in railroad contracting in
the mountain districts of Virginia and later was identi-
fied with similar operations in Kentucky. For a period
of about two years he thus worked under the direction
of William E. Johnson, who during the war had .served as
civil engineer for General Beauregard around Eichmond
and Charleston. After retiring" from railroad work,
Judge Winfree turned his attention to the vocation of
bookkeeper and accountant, and in this capacity he was
employed in turn in the cities of Louisville. Kentucky;
Nashville, Tennessee, and Augusta, Georgi.'i,

Imbued with a desire to come to the Southwest, in
which progressive section of the Union lie believed he
could find better opportunities for advancement through
personal effort, the financial resources of the family
having been brought to low ebb through the ravages of
the war, he came to Texa,s in the autumn of 1873 and
established his home at Crockett, which was then, as



now, one of the important commercial and industrial
points of the state, as well as a center of admirable
social activities, as the place had gained many citizens
from the older states of the South. He devoted his at-
tention for some time to clerical work, and eventually
became one of the representative business men of the
city, with inviolable place in popular confidence and re-
gard. His career in Houston county has been one of
significant usefulness and honor and he has contributed
a generous quota to social and material development and
advancement. For a period of about eight years he
held the office of cashier of the old Houston County Bank,
and when this institution was reorganized and incor-
porated as the First National Bank of Crockett he was
prominently concerned in effecting this reorganization.
He was identified with the banking business in an execu-
tive capacity for more than eight years and at the time
of severing his relations with the First National Bank
he was the incumbent of the position of county superin-
tendent of public schools of Houston county, Texas.

Ever a stanch and ardent advocate of the principles
and policies for which the Democratic party stands
sponsor in a generic way, Judge Winfree has been in-
fluential in its councils in his city and county, and as a
citizen he has given earnest support to measures and
undertakings projected for the general good of the com-
munity. In 1897 he was elected to the bench of the
county court, and he continued to preside on the same,
with characteristic ability and efficiency until 1902.
After an interim of six years he was again elected to this
important office in 1908, which term expired in Novem-
ber, 1912. He has thus been the honored and valued
incumbent of this judicial position for a total of ten
years, and his retention of the position is virtually a
matter of his own volition. During his first period of
administration of the affairs of the county court Judge
Winfree also served as superintendent of the county
schools, and in this connection he did a splendid work
in bringing the educational facilities of the county up
to a high standard, his service having met with such
success and such unqualified approval that he has been
frequently termed the father of the schools of Houston
county. In the time-honored Masonic fraternity Judge
Winfree is affiliated with Lothrop Lodge, No. 21. Ancient
Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is master,
and with Trinity Chapter, No. 4, Royal Arch Masons.
He and his family all hold membership in the Baptist
Church, and Mrs. Winfree is affiliated with the Order of
the Eastern Star, an adjunct organization of the Ma-
sonic fraternity.

On the 10th of August, 1874, about a year after his
arrival in Texas, Judge Winfree was united in marriage
to Miss Willie King Matlock, daughter of the late Wil-
liam I?. M.itlnik, who was one of the most honored citi-
zens of llinit^ton county and concerning whom more
specific mention is made on other pages of this work, in
the sketch dedicated to the only surviving child, Joseph
G. Matlock. Mrs. Winfree was summoned to the life
eternal in 1882, and was survived by four daughters —
Mary, who became the wife of D. B. Baker, of Crockett,
Texas, and who is now deceased; Helen, who is the wife
of William Cone, of Crockett; Adele, who is the wife of
James Crawford, of Carson, Louisiana, and Willie, who
is the wife of Jack O. Powell, of Barham, that state.
On the 10th of November, 1885, was solemnized the mar-
riage of Judge Winfree to Mrs. Alice Bay, widow of
Calvin Bay and a daughter of the late John King, who
was a representative citizen of Grimes county, this state.
Judge and Mrs. Winfree have three children — Joseph
Edwin, who is an attorney-at-law in Crockett, and Marion
L. and Mark King, who remain at the parental home.
Mrs. Winfree has one son by her first marriage, Calvin
Bay, who is a resident of Fullerton, Louisiana.

Rev. John J. Whelan, O. M. I. No man in the town
of Del Rio, Texas, is more greatly beloved than the Rev.

John J. Whelan, the priest in charge of the Roman Cath-
olic Church in this place. Father Whelan has accom-
plished much for the church in Del Rio. When he came
to the city the church was greatly in want of a strong
executive head as well as a truly spiritual leader, and
Father Whelan was able to supply its needs. His in-
fluence in the town extends far beyond the borders of
his own church, for his strength of character and his
active practicing of his high ideals must necessarily in- .
fluence all with whom he comes in contact.

The Rev. John J. Whelan was born in Ireland on the
1st of February, 1864. He received a fine education in
the schools of his native land, first attending the elemen-
tary schools and later entering Christian Brothers Col-
lege at Armagh, Ireland. After this he spent some time
in an ecclesiastical college in the southern part of Ire-
land, and in 1888 came to Canada. Here he passed his
novitiate, this being completed at the end of the first
year. He then attended St. Joseph 's Scholasticate, in
Ottawa, Canada, for the study of philosophy and the-
ology, and after completing his studies there was sent
to New Westminster, British Columbia, and was there or-
dained priest on the 27th of May, 1894. This was in
1894, and he spent some time as a priest in British Colum-
bia, being stationed most of the time in Vancouver. He
then went to Bullalo, New York, but remained only a few
months, on accdimt .if ill lu'Mlth. On doctors' advice he
then came to Del K'iii. this licing in 1902 and he has not
only accomplishr.l murli fur the church, but he has also
regained his lost health to a great extent.

Upon his arrival in Del Rio, Father Whelan found
the church in a bad condition. It is entirely due to his
hard work and to the inspiration which he gave his parish-
ioners that the church has been beautifully furnished, the
fine linens and brasses and all the furnishings that add
to the beauty of the ritual of the Roman Catholic
Church having been added since his coming. Not only
has his attention been centered on the church building
itself, but the Sister's property, the church school, the
Sacred Heart Academy, which was destroyed by fire,
has been rebuilt and put into splendid running order.
He has also been instrumental in securing a new church
and parsonage for the Mexican people in the city, and
they have their own priest and are a flourishing parish.
When Father Whelan came to his parish the things
which he has accomplished seemed well nigh impossible,
but under the influence of his own industry and his en-
thusiasm for the cause in which he was working, his
people have done a splendid work. The work of such a
man cannot, however, he estimated by the outward signs,
for in the quiet round of his parochial duties he ac-
complishes perhaps his greatest work, work that none
save himself and his people know.

Politically, Father Whelan is independent and takes no
active interest in politics, though he always likes to see
the best man win. His work is his pleasure as well as
his duty and his delight is in traveling about among his
parishioners. He is an ardent believer in the state and
the people among whom he has come to live. He says
that Texas is a very large state and its people are big,
broad-minded people, with warrc, generous hearts. He
adds that Texas is large in area and large in opportuni-
ties, and offers a welcome to any honest man who is
willing to put forth honest effort.

James A. Smith, of El Paso, Texas, is one of the best
known men in the city and is widely respected. He has
been in business in the West and Southwest for many
years and perhaps no one is more thoroughly acquainted
with this section of the country, with its history and re-
sources, than is Mr. Smith. His success in business is
largely due to a capacity for hard work and to a wide
experience with many kinds of men. Not only as a
wealthy and influential business man is Mr. Smith known,
but also through his position as postmaster of the city,


L • O ^^^



an office involviug no little responsibility and requiring
considerable amount of executive ability.

James A. Smith was born in Hume, Alleghany county,
New York, in 1S52, on the 2d of May. His father,
Asahel Smith, was also born in the state of New York
and there grew up and married Susanna Taggart. Mrs.
Smith died when her young son was only five years of
age and after her death her husband moved to Missouri
and settled in Cameron. He was living here when the
Civil war broke out and he enlisted in the Union ranks
as a private soldier. He was later made an olficer and
participated in the first battle of Lexington, under Colo-
nel Mulligan. Here he was captured, but was paroled
three weeks later. He became very prominent in recon-
struction days in Missouri and served at one time as
county commissioner of De Kalb county, Missouri, lie
met his death accidentally in 1900, in El Paso, wIktc he
lived with his son. He was seventy-four years of -d'^i-
at the time and his death resulted from the kick of a

James A. Smith grew up in Missouri and received his
education in the common schools of the state, spending
the summer months in hard work, and thus serving an
apprenticeship for the work he was destined to perform
in later life. At the age of nineteen he went to work
in earnest, finding employment in the sawmills. At the
end of a year he went West to Colorado and located in
Denver, where he was engaged in the furniture and up-
holstery business from 1872 until the fall of 1875. At
the end of this time he entered an entirely different line
of work and one to which he was well adapted, this
being the newspaper business. He went to Central City,
Colorado, and there became editor and manager of the
Central City Ke>;ist«'r. In the fall of 1S97 he resigned
from his jiositKni and nuoe more entered the furniture
business, cntimiiny ni Central City. In 1881 he sold
out and removed tn Durango, Colorado, where he en-
gaged in the undertaking business. In the sprinig of
1882 he met with reverses in his business and lost prac-
tically everything he had. Undaunted, however, by a
disaster that would have made most men despair, he
turned to the first thing by which he could earn a liv-
ing and entered the railway mail service in Kansas City,

It was in 1884 that he came U< Texas and settled
in El Paso. Here is where he' his lii^i .lei-ided

start on the road to success. He lucn m wholesale

produce merchant and made a great smii'ss nf this busi-
ness, which he followed until 1890, when he received the
appointment as postmaster of El Paso by President
Harrison. At about this time he assumed the manage-
ment and tame into control of the El Paso Herald, the
Ii'.-i-Iii'l; !.■' |i I I r:in newspaper of ^Vestern Texas. He
'■■iii'i H ■ ;i^iuess of the postnttice with the most

'■'ill-. . ■ . . ;. ,.. but he was renmvcd fiom office by
I'icM'lLUt Ll'_\Llaiid, no reason ).i'in;.' '^iven, but his ae-

department since his first appointment with signal

'1 til'

act that it was
iken and frank
iir his removal.
tli'^ pa])er until
iiiiiL; tills year
ipi.iiv. He be-
n|i:iny and has
1 being located
Paso. He will,

conducted along lines of iIm' mnvi mils

Republicanism is very likely iln- n-.iMni

He continued as editor ami nianai;cr "I

1899, when he sold his interests, .-ni'l

he incorporated the El Paso Palry < i

came president and manager of this .•

made it a great success, the dairy fai

about twenty miles to the north of El

however, retire from this business in 1913, of which he

is a director as well as manager.

In 1906 the postmaster of EI Paso departed and left
the management of the postoffice to his bondsmen, of

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 99 of 177)