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provided by law, that the splendid granite capitbl
was finished complete under the original contracts,
without a deficiency. His influence was felt in
every direction and he left his impress upon very
nearly all of the important legislative work that
was accomplished. Judge Terrell was chairman
of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate for eight
years. After securing the passage of laws for the-
construction of the State capitol, Judge Terrell was
again elected to the State Senate, with the avowed
object of securing the establishment of a State
University. Its establishment had been required
in the constitution of the Republic of Texas and
of the State for over forty years, but the jealousy
of the different sections of so vast a State had
prevented its location. An inspection of the jour-
nals of the Senate show that the bill which finally
established the State University, was introduced
by Senator Buchanan of Eastern Texas. It was
almost the copy of a bill introduced formerly in
the House, by Representative, afterwards Congress-
man, Hutchison, of Houston, and may be regarded
as the joint work of O. H. Cooper, afterwards
State Superintendent of Education, Mr. Hutchison
and Judge Terrell. The original bill, which be-
came law, was in Judge Terrell's handwriting.
Senator Buchanan, as Judge Terrell's friend, in-
troduced the bill. At the close of his last term in
the Senate, Judge Terrell declined re-election, at a
time when he could have been returned without
opposition. In 1888 he was made Democratic
Elector for the State at large and did yeoman ser-
vice in unifying the party, in disseminating a



knowledge of fundamental principles and in secur-
ing an overwhelmning majority for the party's
nominees. In 1891 he was elected a member of
the House of Representatives, from Travis County,
without offering himself as a candidate, and after
his published declaration that he did not wish the
position and would not electioneer for it. The
majority accorded him was the largest ever re-
ceived by a candidate in Travis County. It was
at this session that he perfected the railroad com-
mission bill. He also aided in the passage of other
and much needed legislation.

In 1883 Judge Terrell was married to Mrs. Ann
H. Jones, formerly Miss Ann H. Holliday. He has
three living children : Mrs. Lilla Rector, and two
sons.

Judge Terrell delivered a speech at the laying of
the corner-stone of the magniflcient granite State
capitol, in 1886, and read a poem in Latin, that
was inscribed upon a bronze plate, which was de-
posited in the receptacle in the corner-stone. The
oration was a superb effort and well suited to the
occasion and the poem is said by competent Latin
scholars to be worthy of perpetuation for after-
times in a language that has been handed down to
us by the Immortal lyric strains of Ovid and Horace.
He has delivered by special request many ad-
dresses before colleges and literary and learned
societies, and delivered many speeches in the dis-
cussion of problems that confront the people or
that he knew would in the coming years demand
solution at their hands. There are many who re-
member his speech delivered many years awo, in
the Opera House at Austin, and published under
the title of "The Cormorant and the Commune."
No man who has a copy of it would part with it for
love or money. This was only one among many
equally striking utterances, the echoes of which
still reverberate through the land, or have grown
and deepened into the thunderous diapason of
popular demands that cannot and will not be
silensed until justice is done.

In every campaign, State and national, until his
appointment as Minister to Turkey, his views were
eagerly sought, and he was looked to as a leader.
His fame is national and international. His wisdom
and patriotism are approved. He has helped to
make a large and important part of the history of
Texas. The State is proud of it and. the nation's
representative at the most important court in the
East, and, when his term of service has expired,
will right gladly welcome him home again.

It is to be regretted that he has retired from
politics, and manifests no disposition to again enter
the arena.




liUFUS HARDY.



INDIAN WAB8 AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



563



RUFUS HARDY,

CORSICANA.



Judge Rufus Hardy was born in Monroe County,
Miss., December 16, 1855.

His father, George Washington Hardy, was a
native of the same State and county, and was one
of a family of seven sons and seven daughters.
The family were, as their name implies, a hardy,
meritorious race. By their indomitable energy,
good judgment and sterling integrity, they all
became prosperous. Though none of them sought
any public position, they were all Democrats of
the old school, believing that every citizen should
stand on an equal footing before the law, asking
no favors, and demanding only an open field and
a fair chance in the race of life. Three of the
brothers came to Texas, and settled finally in
Brazos County, where they owned large estates in
land and negroes. These brothers were G. W.,
A. W. , and Henderson Hardy. G. W. Hardy was
the oldest and the wealthiest. He was a good
liver ; his home was the seat of hospitality before
the war, and in everything he was the typical
Southern gentleman and planter — proud, gener-
ous, patriotic, and devoted to his friends and
family. Being a cripple, VJesides being exempt on
account of his age, and the act exempting owners
of a certain number of slaves, he did not enter the
Confederate army, but his devotion to and zeal
for the cause of the South in her struggle for
a separate, independent government, was not sur-
passed by that of any soldier in the ranks, and all
during the war his cribs were open and free to the
wife or widow of any soldier who was fighting, or
had died for his country. His confidence in the
ultimate triumph of the South was supreme, and
caused him to invest, even in the last years of the
war, all that he had in negro property, so that
when the end came he was left without a dollar
and without even a home. He lived twelve years
after the war, with health and spirit greatly broken,
and died in 1877, leaving only a small property,
accumulated after the war between the States.

Judge Hardy's mother, prior to her marriage,
was Miss Pauline J. Whittaker, born and reared in
Maury County, Tenn. She, too, was one of a
family of seven sons and seven daughters. The
Whittakers were a prominent family in Middle
Tennessee. The old family home, a brick two-
story building, where the mother of JudgeHardy
spent her girlhood days, is still standing, but it



has passed into strangers' hands. Mrs. Hardy
(nee "Whittaker) is still living, and spends her
time with her four children.

Judge Hardy has one brother, D. W. Hardy, of
Navasota, who now owns, besides his home in that
place, valuable farms in the Brazos bottom, nearby.

Judge Hardy has two sisters, Mrs. T. J. Knox
and Mrs. S. Steele, who also live at Navasota. Mr.
Steele owns a very floe farm in the Brazos valley and
Mr. Knox a farm near Navasota.

The subject of this memoir received such educa-
tion as the private country schools in Texas afforded
in the old days, when the maxim " spare the rod and
spoil the child " was still held good. In his seven-
teenth year, partly with money earned by himself
and partly with money furnished by his elder brother,
D.W. Hardy, and his father, he was enabled to enter
Summerville Institute, a long-established private
school in Noxubee County, Miss., where he spent
one year, during the presidency of Thomas S. Gath-
right, afterwards the first president of the Texas
Agricultural and Mechanical College, at Bryan.
Later he spent two years at the j University of
Georgia, at Athens, one year In the collegiate depart-
ment and one year in the law department. He
returned home in June, 1875, and began the prac-
tice of law at Navasota, in January, 1876, when
less than twenty-one years of age. He moved
thence to Corsicana in February, 1878, and has
since resided in that city.

In February, 1881, he married Miss Felicia E.
Peck, daughter of Capt. Wm. M. and Mrs. Nancy
Forbes Peck, of FairQeld, Texas. Capt. Peck was
a Tennesseean by birth and his family have been
represented on the bench of the Supreme Court of
that State. Mrs. Peek (nee Forbes), came from a
fine old family of the good State of Alabama.
Capt. Peck bore the commission of Captain in the
Confederate army, having raised a company of
Freestone County boys in 1861 to fight for the
Southern cause. After the war he came home,
like thousands of others, to begin life, as it were,
anew. He was a man of exceptional energy
and capacity, of intellectual culture and natural
refinement, a polished gentleman of the old
school and successful in everything he undertook.
In November, 1880, Judge Hardy was elected
County Attorney of Navarro County, and was re-
elected in 1882. In 1884 the office of District



564



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



Attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District, com-
posed of Limestone, Freestone and Navarro coun-
ties, was created and he was elected to the position.
Two years later he was re-elected to the office. In
1888 he was elected District Judge and was re-
elected in 1892 and is now occupying the bench.
His term will expire in November, 1896. This year
(1896) he has not offered himself as a candidate
for judicial honors or for any public position, and,
after a service of sixteen years in office, will retire
to private life and resume the practice of bis pro-
fession. In all his official career, which has been
altogether connected with the administration of the
law, his endeavor has been to do justice without
fear or favor. As a successful prosecutor, his record
stands unsurpassed and as judge his re-election to
a second term without opposition, either inside or
outside of the Democratic party, attests how well
he has discharged his duties.

Judge Hardy has never failed to take a decided
stand on all political issues and hence has a multi-
tude of strong friends. While uncompromising in
his political action, he has been uniformly courteous
and fair in his treatment of those who have been
opposed to him and as a consequence has enjoyed
their respect and confidence.

When the idea of a railroad commission, with
confiscating powers, grew into a fever, he opposed
it and, though on the bench, attended the Demo-
cratic primaries to vote against the adoption of the
extreme views advocated by Governor Hogg and
others ; but, after the State Democratic convention
bad regularly nominated a State ticket, bowed to
the will of the party.

In 1894, when no Democrat in Texas seemed
willing to run for office and defend the national
Democratic administration. Judge Hardy, in April,
wrote a letter announcing himself as a candidate
for Congress from the Sixth Congressional District
and in a series of speeches, defended the financial
policy of Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Carlisle with
all the fervor of deep conviction and all the
ability he possessed. The discharge of his duties
as District Judge rendered it impossible for him
to make a complete canvass. In fact, he scarcely
made any canvass except in Ellis and Navarro coun-
ties, and these two counties, both holding Demo-
cratic primary elections, cast the majority of their



votes for sound money (Cleveland) candidates.
Judge Hardy does not assume all the credit for this,
result, because in that somewhat memorable cam-
paign, while three candidates in the field advocated
free-silver, Mr. W. Poindexter, of Cleburne, who-
was announced later, was an exponent of sound
money teachings and in Ellis, Johnson, Hill and
Bosque counties made a vigorous canvass. The
sound money fight for Congress was lost, mainly
for the reason that Dallas was given to a free sil-
verite because he was a home man, and without a
canvass or primary, but the counties of the district
brought up a handsome sound money majority in
the State Democratic Convention in August, 1894.
In May, 1895, Judge Hardy attended a conference
of sound money men, called to meet at Waco to
face the gathering free silver movement. The meet-
ing was called by Judge Alexander, Judge George
Clark, Gen. Felix Robertson, Dr. Moore and other
Democrats of Waco. Judge Hardy was called on
to preside and a series of resolutions were adopted,
which constituted the opening note of the sound
money forces in the battle now on for an " honest
dollar." Since that meeting a pretty thorough
organization of the sound money Democrats of
Texas has been perfected with Judge Eufus Hardy
as chairman of their executive committee. A mem-
orable State meeting was held at Galveston in Feb-
ruary, and another at Dallas on San Jacinto day
(April 21), and, altogether the year 1896 bids fair
to be long remembered in Texas politics.

As a public speaker, Judge Hardy is clear, log-
ical and eloquent, thoroughly exhausts the subjects
that he discusses, and carries conviction to the
hearts and minds of his auditors, where that is pos-
sible. His career as a prosecuting attorney was
marked by exceptional success and his name became
a terror to evil-doers. During his long service upon
the district bench he has made a record of which he
and his constituents have good reason to be proud.
Faithful to his convictions upon the great finan-
cial question, as well as upon all others, both in
public and private life, he does not believe in com-
promise and will never give his consent to the sacri-
fice of principle to expediency. He has given his
support to every worthy enterprise inaugurated for
the development of the section in which he resides,
and the State at large.



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



565



ROBERT KIDD,



SEALY.



Occupation, farmer. Born in Amherst County,
Va., in 1776 ; received a good common school edu-
•cation ; came to Texas in 1849 or 1850 ; located on
Sabine Lake, at Auroria, Jefferson County, Texas :
remained there for two or three years, then moved
successively to Grisby's Bluff, Smith's Bluff, Beau-
mont, and San Felipe, residing at the latter place
from 1866 until 18 , when be moved to Sealy,
where he resided until his death in 1892. Owing to
bis great generosity of spirit, his success, in a
financial way, was limited, yet he maintained him-
self in independent circumstances, and had the
satisfaction of knowing that he bad done some
good and had lessened somewhat the load of human
misery.

In 1884, although one hundred and eight years
old, Mr. Kidd walked one mile to the polling place



to cast his vote for Hon. Grover Cleveland, thus
contributing his ballot to the re-establishment of
clean, honest, responsible. Democratic government.

The measure of success that he achieved in life
was attributed to his industry, honesty and
integrity.

He married Miss Rebecca Hitchcock, of North
Carolina, in 18 . Seven children were born to
them, four of whom are living: F. M. Kidd, of
Sealy, Texas, fifty-one years of age, engaged in
farming and stock-raising; G. W. Kidd, of Beau-
mont, Texas, forty-nine years of age, County Treas-
urer of Jefferson County ; Mrs. Anna Elizabeth
Caswell, of Beaumont (widow), a large stock-
holder in the Texas Tram & Lumber Co., of Beau-
mont, and Mrs. Mary E. Cook, wife of N. H. Cook,
Esq., of Sealy, a wealthy stock-raiser and farmer.



G. W. KIDD,



BEAUMONT,



Was born at Benton, Polk County, Tenn., Decem-
ber 7, 1846, and was brought to Texas in 1849 or
1850 by his parents, Robert and Rebecca Kidd, for
many years a resident at Sealy, this State. He
grew to manhood on his father's farm, where he
remained until 1868 and then accepted a position
as clerk and bookkeeper in a mercantile establish-
ment in Sealy, Texas, which he filled for fifteen
years, when he was elected County Treasurer of
Jefferson County, to which office he has since been
continuously re-elected ; often defeating rival can-



didates at the polls. His discharge of the duties of
the office has given universal satisfaction.

Mr. Kidd's chief pleasure during his father's life
was to care for him and see that his every want
was supplied. He has been a dutiful son, a faith-
ful public official and has faithfully discharged the
duties of every trust confided to him.

He enlisted in the Confederate army in 1864 and
served until the close of the struggle. He is a
member of the Masonic, Knights of Honor, K. of P.
and Elks fraternities.



566



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



ERNST SCHERFF,



NEW BRAUNFELS.



Ernst Seherff, one of the leading citizens of New
Braunfels, was born in the town of Goettingen,
Hanover, Prussia, March 31st, 1826. His father,
Gottlieb Seherff, an expert mechanic and metal
worker and manufacturer of surgical instruments,
died in Germany, and his widow and her children,
William and Elise, came to America in 1859.
William entered the Confederate army as a private
in a cavalry regiment, but it becoming known that
he was a skillful worker in metals, was detailed for
service in the arsenal at San Antonio, where he
remained until the close of the war. After the
surrender he clerked in the store of his brother
Ernst for a time and finally engaged in merchan-
dising in San Antonio, where he died seventeen
years ago. Elise became Mrs. Schuenemann. Mr.
Schuenemann, now deceased, was a wheelwright,
and his widow and her daughter Sophie, who re-
sided with her brother at New Braunfels, died
some years after. The mother of the Seherff chil-
dren died in New Braunfels, in June, 1887, at the
age of eighty-four years.

Ernst Seherff' s business experience commenced
at the age of fourteen, as a clerk in a store in his



native land, and when twenty-two years old he
enlisted as a private in the Frei Corps under com-
mand of General von der Tann in the German-
Danish War in Schleswig-Holstein in the year 1848
to 1849, After the war he decided to go to Amer-
ica, and first landed in New York in the year 1849,
remained there two months and then proceeded to
Texas, thence to New Mexico and Arizona and in
the year 1855 he returned to Texas and located at
New Braunfels. He clerked there until 1861 and
then entered into business for himself. Being in
poor health he did not enter the Confederate army.
He conducted one of the two stores kept open in
New Braunfels during the war. He continued suc-
cessfully engaged in business until about 1887, and
then retired from active pursuits, and sold out his
business to his nephew, George Knoke and Mr.
George Eiband, both clerks of his business, who
continue the well-established and successful busi-
ness under the firm name of Knobe & Eiband.
In 1859 he married Miss Sophie Rick, a most esti-
mable and accomplished lady. During the war he
served eight years as Alderman of his town, but he
never sought or desired political honors.



G. W. DURANT,

ALVIN.



Maj. G. W. Durant, of Alvin, Texas, is a pioneer
of 1852, coming from Georgia. He is a native of
South Carolina, and was born at Georgetown, in that
State, October 25th, 1834. His ancestors, both on
the paternal and maternal side, were soldiers in the
war for American Independence, serving under
Gens. Washington and Green throughout the
struggle.

His father, F. H. Durant, was a planter, who had
three sons and one daughter, all of whom, except
the subject of this sketch, arc deceased.

His mother's maiden name was Miss Martha
Zewell.

Maj. Durant, at the age of twenty-one years, in



1855, was elected Surveyor of Brazoria County,
Texas, and held that office for several terms. In
1861 he enlisted as a private in the Magnolia ran-
gers ; served in the Trans-Mississippi Department,
was soon elected Captain of the company and later
was promoted to the rank of Major. He was
slightly wounded at Vadalia, La., where two horses
were shot from under him the same day and a third
wounded. After the close of the war between the
States, he spent a short time in Leon County where,
June 1st, 1865, he married Miss Emma L. Durant,
daughter of the State Senator, Hon. John w!
Durant. Shortly thereafter Maj. Durant engaged
in merchandising at Bryan and also in farming near



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



567



that place. la 1880 he purchased eighty-three
acres of land, upon which a portion of the prosper-
ous town of Alvln now stands.

He was mainly instrumental in securing the build-
ing of the Santa Fe from Houston to his town.
The Santa Fe Company had determined to build
from Hitchcock to Houston, but Maj. Durant, being
a practical engineer and having a thorough knowl-
edge of the topography of the country, made clear
to the railroad authorities that to build from the
town of Alvin instead would give a shorter line and
better grade and if they made the survey and if the
route was not adopted that he would pay for said
survey when it was made and the profiles, etcs
submitted. The Alvin route was adopted. Little



of importance in the way of local development has
been accomplished which he has not actively
promoted.

Maj. and Mrs. Durant are members of the Chris-
tian Church, the first built in the city. The
Major donated the ground on which it now stands
and all but $150 of the money used in erecting the
edifice.

They have one daughter, Virginia, Mrs. J. S-
Bering, of Alvin, and three grandchildren: May,
Emma, and Martha Bering.

Maj. Durant is broad-minded, liberal in his views
and has shown himself ready at all times to forward
any cause that gave promise of promoting the wel-
fare of his town and people.



FRANK THOMAS,

BURNET.



Frank Thomas, son of John A. Thomas, was
born in Wayne County, Ky. , in 1841. His father
died when Frank was small and the mother, accom-
panied by her five sons and one daughter, came to
Texas in 1855, settling in January of that year in
Burnet County, where she subsequently lived and
died, her death occurring in 1869 at the age of
fifty-seven years. The eldest son of the family,
James M., was in the Indian service when a young
man, quitting it to enter the Confederate army at
the opening of the late war, in which he died soon
afterwards while stationed as a member of Wilkes'
Battery at New Braunfels, in this State. The
second of the family was Frank, the subject of
this sketch; the third, Mary Jane, who was mar-
ried to Carter T. Dalton and died in Burnet County
in 1885; the fourth, William H., who died in
j'outh; the fifth, John A., who died at Fort Yuma,
Arizona, while on his way to California in 1869, and
the youngest was Marshall, who died at about the
age of eighteen.

Frank Thomas was reared in Burnet County from
the age of fourteen. He entered the ranging ser-
vice in 1859, as a member of Capt. Dalrymple's
■company and was in the service for nine months,
covering a large portion of Northwest Texas — from
Fort Worth to Wichita mountains. In February,
1862, he enlisted in the Confederate army as a
member of Capt. Wm. Rust's company, Company
B., Carter's Twenty-first Texas Cavalry, with which



he served in Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri,
participating in fights at Fort Patterson, Mo., Cape
Girardeau, Mo., Crawley's Eidge, Ark., and the
operations around Helena, Ark. He was with this
historic command from February, 1862, to Decem-
ber, 1863, when he was honorably discharged on
account of sickness, and returned to Burnet
County, Texas, where he was elected Tax-assessor
in 1864 — an office he filled for two years, without
compensation, as State warrants, by a subsequent
act of the general government, were rendered
worthless. From 1864 to 1882 he was engaged in
farming and stock-raising in Burnet County. In
June of the latter year he embarked in merchan-
dising in the town of Burnet, to which he has since
chiefiy devoted his energies. He still retains, how-
ever, his farming and stock interests. He is a
liberal, public-spirited citizen and a successful man
of business, admired by a wide circle of friends.
He married, in Burnet County, in 1866, Miss
Elvira Rowntree, a native of Travis County, Texas,
and daughter of James L. Rowntree, who came to
this State at a comparatively early date and was for
many years a resident of Burnet County. Seven
children have been born of this union, six of whom
are living, namely : Marshall, Alice, Robert, Kate,
Frank, and Weesie.

Mr. Thomas is a member of the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, belonging to Emanuel Samp-
son Lodge, No. 187, at Burnet.



568



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



AUGUST TOLLE,



NEW BRAUNFELS.



This esteemed citizen and prosperous druggist



Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 100 of 135)