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and was admitted to the bar. He returned to Lex-
ington, Tenn., and had a settlement with his
guardian. That gentleman, before the war and
during the early part of the struggle, loaned large
sums of money belonging to the estate, was com-
pelled to receive payment in Confederate money,
and little was left of the fortune bequeathed by Mr.



^Wayne's parents to their children. Although the
share secured by Mr. Swayne proved barely ade-
quate to pay the expenses incurred in securing an-
education, he refused to hold his guardian respon-
sible for the losses sustained, and in January, 1878,
went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he located, and
commenced, without a dollar, the practice of his

He was elected City Attorney of Fort Worth, and
served during the years 1883, 1884 and 1885, and
in 1890 was elected to the Twenty-second Legisla-
ture from the Thirty- fourth Representative District,
Tarrant County. He conceived the idea of build-
ing a magnificent natatorium in Fort Worth, and
owing to his efforts one was constructed, at a cost
of $100,000, that is an ornament to the city and a
credit to the State. He subscribed liberally in dona-
tions to every railroad secured by Fort Worth, gave
large amounts to and took stock in every valuable
enterprise for years until financial reverses that no
foresight could guard against befell him during the
commercial panic of a few years since.

Thirteen years ago Mr. Swayne landed in this
State without a dollar, and with no hope of financial
assistance. He determined to push his way to the
front, and with a buoyant, hopeful spirit at once
started about the work of making his life honored
and successful. He is engaged in practice with his
cousin, ex-Congressman John M. Taylor, of Ten-
nessee, under the firm name of Taylor & Swayne.

Mr. Swayne was married to Miss Josie B.
Latham, at Terrell, Texas, October 6th, 1887.
Richard Philip Latham, her father, was an A. M.
of the University of Virginia, and president of the
Tuscaloosa College until the beginning of the war,
and then entered the Confederate army as a member
of a civil engineering corps. He remained in this
service until his death, occasioned by pneumonia,
•brought on by exposure. Her grandfather. Rev.

Joel S. Bacon, was president of Madison College,
New York, and afterward, up to the time of his
death, president of the Columbian College, Wash-
ington City. Mrs. Swayne was a student at Vassar,
and afterwards graduated with honor at the Uni-
versity of Missouri. Governor Crittenden witnessed
the commencement exercises, and Professor Fisher
introduced her to him, saying that Miss Josie
Latham was the best Latin scholar who ever gradu-
ated from the University of Missouri — a high and
well deserved compliment. She is one of the most
accomplished ladies of Texas. Mr. and Mrs.
Swayne have one child, a daughter, Ida Lloyd
Swayne. Judge Noah H. Swayne, for years one of
the judges of the United States Supreme Court, was
an uncle of Mr. Swayne and Wagner Swayne (a
member of the law firm of Dillon & Swayne, long
chief solicitors for Jay Gould in his corporation
properties) is a cousin.

Mr. Swayne is a Master Mason, Past Chancellor
of the Knights of Pythias, and a thorough-going
Democrat ; one of the men to whose efforts is due
Tarrant County's freedom from "dark lantern"

In 1888 Isaac Duke Parker was nominated and
elected to the Twenty -first Legislature on the Demo-
cratic ticket. In 1890 we find Mr. Parker running
on the Independent ticket (put forward by a branch
of the Farmers' Alliance) against the regular Dem-
ocratic nominee, Mr. James W. Swayne, who defeated
him in Tarrant County by a majority of 3,000 votes.
In the prime of vigorous manhood, what Mr. Swayne
has already accomplished has but tested his mettle
and well breathed him for life's race, and no man
can tell what goals he will touch before the coming
of Nature's distant bed-time. He is one of the men
whom difficulties can not discourage and who make
their way to and maintain themselves at the



The name of P. L. Downs is closely associated
'With the history of the founding and growth of
Temple. He located there soon after the establish-
ment of the town ; but, not being able to get a
building erected earlier, it was in February, 1882,
-when he and his brother, F. F. Downs, opened the

first bank in the then straggling village. The bank
was known as the " Bell County Bank" — Downs
Bros., proprietors. In connection with banking
they also conducted an insurance, real estate, loan
and rental business, and when, in 1884, the bank
was nationalized, P. L. Downs personally assumed



the management of the insurance, real estate, loan
and rental departments and operated the "Down
Bros. Agency," which he conducted for a number
of years and placed in the front rank of similar
institutions in the State. He had not, however,
surrendered his financial interests, or ceased his
active connection with the bank as a stockholder
and director, so when, several years later, the bank
demanded his services, he surrendered the active
charge of the insurance, real estate, loan and rental
business to others, to take the cashiership of the
First National Bank, which position he continues to
fill with ability, and with credit and profit to the

The Church finds in him a liberal contributor and
staunch friend. As trustee, steward and com-
mitteeman, and in other positions, he has been an
earnest, religious worker.

While quite prominent in the Grand Lodges of
Ancient Order of United Workmen, Knights of
Honor, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
and other fraternal societies, in the Knights of
Pythias, especially, he has always been a leading

In addition to enjoying all the honors the local
lodge could bestow, he has for five successive years
been Grand Master of the Exchequer of the Grand
Lodge, then served a term as Grand Vice-Chancel-
lor, then as Grand Chancellor. He is now (1896)
Past Grand Chancellor, and a regular attendant
upon the biennial sessions of the Supreme Lodge.
He also bears a commission as Colonel of the Uni-
form Rank K. of P. His administration of these
ofiSces marked an epoch in the history of Pythian-
ism in Texas and the growth of the order, and the

reforms and new ideas promulgated have given him
■ a position as a Knight that will live as long as the
order survives in Texas.

The local fire department, as well as the State
Firemen's Association, owes much to his gener-
osity and services.

As a member, officer or director of the Texas
Life Insurance Company, Texas Real Estate Asso-
ciation, Texas Bankers' Association, Texas Fire
Underwriters' Association, and as a member of
many other State organizations, he has ever been a
strong supporter of home enterprises and local
development. As an Alumnus of the State A. &M.
College, he has been an industrious advocate of
home education. He has at all times been one of
Temple's most valuable citizens and a prime mover
in legitimate enterprises looking to the advance-
ment of the town's interests — a tireless and enthu-
siastic worker. It is a well-known fact that this
young man of affairs is one of the busiest men in
the town, and contributes more of his time and
abilities to the public weal and to the many insti-
tutions and enterprises with which he is associated,
than any other citizen of the place. He is a leading
stockholder, director, or officer, in nearly every
corporation or worthy enterprise in the city. Every
enterprise ever inaugurated in Temple that has
promised benefit to the town has received his sup-
port. But, while he has occupied such an impor-
tant place in the business progress of Temple, he
has no less won for himself an enviable position in
the estimation of the people of the State, as he has
been identified with a number of movements look-
ing toward the development of its resources and its
upbuilding in various ways.



The Brazos Valley enjoys an almost world-wide
reputation for the fertility of its soil and the extent
and variety of its agricultural resources. The
town of Calvert, county seat of Robertson County,
is centrally located in this favored region, and by
virtue of its fortunate situation and the enterprise
and push of its leading business men has become
one of the most prosperous inland towns in the
State. There are few of its citizens, if any, who
have done more for its upbuilding than L. H. Par-

ish, the subject of this brief memoir. He was
scarcely eight years of age when his parents lo-
cated in Texas, and his life has since been spent
here. He is a native of Tennessee, born near the
town of Dresden, in Weekly County, that State,
October 27, 1846.

His father, Isham Parish, was a North Carolin-
ian, born near the city of Raleigh, and a farmer by
occupation, who removed to and located in Weekly
County, Tenn., where he followed farming until



1854, when he moved with bis family to Texas, and
located six miles east of Calvert, in Robertson
County. Mr. Isham Harris brought with him a
family of seven children, to whom four others were
afterward added. He was a man of the old-school
type, plain and conservative. He was a successful
farmer, an upright and highly esteemed citizen,
and one of the founders and chief supporters of the
Methodist Episcopal Church in his locality. He
relinquished the cares of business and spent the
later years of his life in comparative retirement in
Calvert. He died full of years and good works at
his home in that place, in 1887, at sixty-eight
years of age. His wife, whose maiden name was
Frances Baxter, also a native of North Carolina,
died a year later (in 1888), at sixty-flve years of
age. Of the eleven children born to them eight
are now living, of whom L. H. Parish is the oldest.
Few men in Texas have lived a more active, frugal
and industrious life than L. H. Parish. In boy-
hood, as the oldest son of a pioneer farmer, he
learned some of the valuable and practical lessons
of life. He was a beardless youth of fifteen years
at the beginning of the late war between
the States, but was among the first who
responded to bis country's call. He joined
the Confederate army as a private in the Second
Texas Infantry, -Company E., and was elected Ser-
geant. His regiment was called to the front and
engaged in some of the hardest fought battles of
the war, notably the battles of Shiloh, Corinth,
Chickasaw Bayou and hundreds of other minor
engagements and skirmishes incident to a four
years' service. He was at the long and fearful
siege of Vicksburg, where his division of the Con-
federate army was disbanded. During his four
years of continuous service he received only a few

slight wounds and between the ages of eighteen and
nineteen years he returned to Texas, still full of
energy, courage and hope for the future and in the
enjoyment of comparatively good health. He
located at Marshall, in Harrison County, there
engaged for five years in farming and then, in 1873,
returned to Robertson County.

Since 1882 he has been the senior partner in the
well-known firm of Parish & Proctor, doing an
extensive and successful merchandising and cotton-
shipping business at Calvert. During Mr. Parish's
continuous twenty-four years business connection
at Calvert he has identified himself with every
movement tending to the development and advance-
ment of the city and county, giving liberally of his
time and means.

He is a stockholder and director in the Calvert
Compress Company, President of the Farmers'
Cotton Company, and a stockholder in the First
National Bank of Calvert. Essentially a business
man, he has never taken an aggressive intesest or
part in politics. Once, somewhat contrary to his
wishes and tastes, he consented to serve a term
as a member of the Board of Aldermen of his

Mr. Parish married, January 23, 1871, Miss
Mattie Wilder, daughter of Judge Wilder, of Rich-
mond, Ark. They have one son, S. W. Parish,
born at Marshall, Texas, in 1872, and now a mem-
ber of the firm of Parish & Proctor and also the
owner of one of the best appointed thoroughbred
Jersey ranches and dairies in Central Texas, sit-
uated one mile east of Calvert.

Mr. Parish, as his father was before him, is a
man of quiet and unobtrusive manners and enjoys
the confidence and esteem of a wide circle of
friends, acquaintances and business associates.



Dr. Charles M. Rosser, of Terrell, Texas, was
born in Randolph County, Ga., December 22, 1862.
His parents were Dr. M. F. and Mrs. Julia A.
(Smith) Rosser. His mother is a sister of Senator
Hampton A. Smith, of Valdoster, Ga. His father
was, in early life, a practicing physician, but later
devoted his time and energies to the ministry of
the Methodist Episcopal Church, doing active work

in this field in Georgia and Texas for forty years,
about ten years of this time serving as President of
the Northeast Texas Conference. During the war
he was Chaplain-Captain of the Georgia Forty-first
Infantry for four years. He was taken prisoner at
Vicksburg, but was subsequently exchanged. He
is now, as he has been for twenty-seven years, an
honored resident of Camp County, Texas. He is



fifty-nine and his wife fifty-eight years of age.
Of their eight children, the subject of this notice
was the fifth born. Four others are still living.

Dr. Charles M. Rosser received a liberal educa-
tion under that distinguished educator, Maj. John
M. Eichardson, rector of the East Texas Academic
Institute. For several years he was engaged in
teaching school, and at the same time studied med-
icine under the direction of Dr. E. P. Becton, now
Superintendent of the State Institution of the Blind
at Austin. He attended the medical college at
Louisville, Ky., first in 1884-85 and graduated
there in 1888, at which time he was awarded Whit-
sett Gold Medal by the faculty. Previous to his
graduation he was engaged in practice for three
years at Lone Oajj, in Hunt County, and at Waxa-
hachie, Texas. He went to Dallas in March, 1889,
and has since been identified with the medical pro-
fession in that city. The first year of his residence
at Dallas he was editor of the Courier Record of
Medicine at Dallas, and the third year served as

health oflBcer of the city. He is a member of the
Dallas County Medical Association, the Northern
Texas Medical Association, the Central Texas
Medical Association, and the Texas State Medical
Association. As a member of the latter, he was
elected secretary of the section of practice in 1891,
and chairman of the section of State medicine in
1892. Dr. Rosser married, September 11, 1889,
Miss Elma Curtice, daughter of Mr. John Curtice,
of Louisville, Ky. They have two children,
Curtice and Elma. Both he and his wife are
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias
fraternity. Politically, he has always been an
active Democrat. He was appointed, by Governor
C. A. Culberson, Superintendent of the State
Asylum for the Insane, located at Terrell, a grace-
ful recognition of his abilities and services as a
physician, appreciated by himself and by his wide
circle of friends in the learned profession of which
he is a member.



Capt. S. M. Hitchcock first came to the island
with his father, Capt. S. M. Hitchcock, who com-
manded the brig " Potomac," in the year 1828, when
there was nothing on the island except an old
barge which was used as a Mexican custom-house.
He and his father had to move their tent out to the
sand hills to procure fresh water by digging.

He returned North with his father in that year
and fitted out the schooner '■'■Brutus "for the Texas
navy, returned with her to Galveston and remained
on her as an officer until 1837, when he resigned
from the navy, went to Connecticut, where he was
married to Miss E. Clifford, and then returned to
the island, where he followed the profession of a
pilot on Galveston bar until the time of his death,
which occurred on the 28th of February, 1869. He

was the first American custom-house officer at Gal-
veston, served as Harbor Master at various limes,
and more than once was elected Mayor of Gal-
veston. Besides following his calling as a sea
pilot and connection with other business enter-
prises during his long residence on the island, he
owned stock in a number of the banking and insur-
ance companies of the city and the Brazos Naviga-
tion Company.

He was the father of four children, two boys and
two girls, of *hom the only one now living is L. M.
Hitchcock, a prominent business man and highly
respected citizen of Galveston. This gentleman
still owns the old home, where his father and
mother spent so many pleasant hours together, and
around which clusters so many sacred memories.





Morris Lasker was born February 19th, 1840, at
a small town called Jarocin, Province of Posen, in
Prussia. His parents were Daniel and Rebecca
Lasker, both of whom died in their native country.
Morris Lasker was eighteen months old at the time
of his mother's death and lost his father during the
cholera epidemic of 1852. He attended school
until he was fifteen years old and at the age of six-
teen emigrated to America on a sailing vessel bound
for New York. The ship, after encountering storms
and adverse winds, arrived at Fortress Monroe,
Va., thirteen weeks after she left Hamburg, having
been compelled to enter that port to obtain sup-
plies, after her commissary was entirely completed.
After disembarking he secured employment as a
clerk in a store at Portsmouth, Va., where he re-
mained four months, then went from that place to
New York. He earned a livelihood there as best he
could up to 1857. In the financial panic of that
year all of his little earnings were swept away. He
was then induced by a distant relative, whom he
met, to go to Florida and, after living a few months
in Florida, he went to Georgia, where he carried on
a mercantile business for three years. Not meeting
with any extraordinary success and learning of the
possibilities offered in Texas, he concluded to come
to this State and arrived at Weatherford in the early
part of 1860. At that time Weatherford was an
extreme frontier town furnishing ample opportuni-
ties for adventure, and there he engaged as a clerk
in a dry goods store and participated in various
expeditions against the Indians. He cast his first
vote at Weatherford, against secession; but, after
the State was carried for secession, joined a com-
pany of rangers raised by Capt. Hamner to serve
in Col. John G. Ford's regiment, which, with
others, was raised under orders of the secession
convention. These regiments first entered into the
State service for frontier protection, but were soon
mustered into the Confederate army at San Antonio.
He participated in the battles which resulted in the
recapture of Galveston and Sabine Pass from the
Federals and in the breaking up of the blockade at
both of these ports.

He also participated under Gen. Majors in the
subsequent engagements in which his regiment took

part during the campaign in Louisiana that resulted
in the defeat of Banks' army.

At the close of the war he embarked in
mercantile pursuits, comparatively penniless,
at Millican, where he later formed a busi-
ness connection with Sanger Bros., who are
now carrying on dry goods business at Dallas
and Waco. When the Central Road was extending
towards Dallas he entered business at Bryan and
subsequently at Calvert, where he remained several
years, doing a fairly successful business. He was
then taken in as a partner by the wholesale grocery
firm of Marx & Kempner, at Galveston, which firm
he remained with but one year, entering in July,
1873, into business with Louis Le Gierse, under the
firm name of Le Gierse & Co., a firm which for
years, and until the winding up of the business,
carried on one of the most successful grocery busi-
nesses in the city of Galveston and in the State. At
the present time Mr. Lasker is president of the
Island City Savings Bank, vice-president of the
First National Bank, president of the Lasker Real
Estate Association, president of the Galveston and
Houston Investment Company, and president of
the Citizens' Loan Company. In 1876 he married
Miss Nettie Davis, from Albany, N. Y., who came
to Galveston, on a visit to her uncles, the Messrs.
Heidenheimer. The marriage resulted in the birth
of seven children, six of whom are living now, to
wit: Edward, aged nineteen; Albert, sixteen;
Harry, fourteen ; Fiorina, twelve ; Etta, eleven ; and
Loula, nine.

Mr. Lasker was elected to fill an unexpired term
in the State Senate in 1895. He introduced and
pushed through the Senate the bills' regulating fish
and oyster culture in this State, and also the bill
known as the Drainage Bill. He was one of the
chief supporters of Governor Culberson in the extra
session called by him to suppress prize-fighting.
He ranks as one of the leading and representative
citizens of Galveston, and is considered one of the
most thorough and successful financiers in the
South. He has always believed in the future of
Galveston, and few have done as much toward the
upbuilding of that important port and Texa= i





It is a source of real pleasure to the author to
preserve in this volume, containing as it does so
many memorials of honored Texians who have
passed away, his estimate of the services and worth
of Matthew Cartwright, whose memory is revered
bj' thousands of the older people of the State who
knew and esteemed him. Texas never had a more
upright or useful citizen.

He was born in Wilson County, Tenn., Novem-
ber 11th, 1807, and removed to Texas with his
parents in 1825. They settled on a farm four miles
east of the present site of San Augustine, and there
he grew to manhood and engaged in farming and
merchandising until 1833 or 1834.

In 1835 Col. Isaac Holman, with his family,
moved from Lincoln County, Tenn., and settled
three miles northwest of San Augustine. His fam-
ily consisted of himself, his wife, five sons, and Ave
daughters. During the year Matthew Cartwright
became a frequent visitor at the Holman home and
on the 18th daj' of October, 1836, he and Miss
Amanda Holman were united in marriage and
settled in San Augustine. She was a faithful help-
meet and assistant in building up their fortunes
and in raising an intelligent family, all of whom
(except A. P. Cartwright, who died in 1873) are
still living and are useful and respected citizens of

After his marriage, Mr. Cartwright embarked in
merchandising at San Augustine in copartnership
with his father, later bought his father's interest
and thereafter conducted the business in his own
name until about the year 1847, meeting with
marked success and accumulating large property.
From 1847 to 1860 he was actively engaged in
locating and dealing in Texas lands, riding horse-
back through the State, looking out good locations,
and selling in small tracts to actual settlers on most
favorable terras — frequently granting extensions
covering a score of years to enable purchasers to
secure their homes, and in many instances of death
before completion of payment would make title to
widow or children without further consideration.
Thus he assisted in building up many happy homes
and in settling the country with worthy and pros-
perous people, a man's character for industry and
integrity having great weight with him in control-
ling sales.
In the fall of 1865 he once more engaged in mer-

chandising, taking into the business his sons, A. P.
and Leohidas Cartwright, in order to afford them
business training. His landed interests in about
three years began to demand all of his attention,
but the mercantile business was continued by his
sons until 1870. April 2d of that year his long
and useful career was closed in death. Besides his
many friends, he left his wife, four sons and two
daughters to mourn his loss.

Mrs. Amanda Cartwright survived her husband
twenty-four years, dying at San Augustine in her
seventy-seventh year. After the death of her

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 111 of 135)