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nized as one of the brightest and truest blades that
Texas Democracy can boast. This year (1896) he
was nominated, and has just been elected a presi-
dential elector upon the Bryan and Sewall ticket
and will have the pleasure of voting for the re-
establishment of this government as a government
of the people. He has inherited the stature and
features of his illustrious ancestor, Wiley P.
Mangum, for a long time Senator of the United
States from North Carolina.



Hon. George T. Jester, ex-member of the State
Legislature, in which he made an unusually brilliant
record, and now Lieutenant-Governor of the State
of Texas, was born in Macoupin County, 111.,
August 23, 1847. His father died in 1858, leaving
the mother and six children a small amount of prop-
erty that served to support the family until Charles
W. and George T. Jester were old enough to con-
tribute to the maintenance of the family.

Hampton McKinney, related to the Hamptons
of South Carolina and maternal grandfather of the
subject of this memoir, moved to Texas in 1847 and
built the first house — a log cabin — on the site
now occupied by the thriving city of Corsicana.
On the death of his father in 1858, his mother and
six children made their way to McKinney's home,
traveling the long distance from Macoupin County,
111. , to Cor&icana, in a two-horse wagon. Soon after
their arrival the county commenced the construction
of a courthouse, the first brick building erected in
that part of the State. George T. Jester and his
elder brother, Charles W., secured employment, at
fifty cents a day, and earned a support for their
mother and sisters.

At seventeen years of age he began reading law,
but abandoned its study, and the following year
(the fourth of the war) joined Hood's Fourth Texas
Regiment. Before it reached Richmond, however,
Lee had surrendered. Returning home, the neces-
sities of the family were such that he could not
prosecute his studies to admission to the bar. He
worked hard and earned money enough to purchase

a wagon and horses and for two years followed
trading and buying hides on a small scale.

He next secured a position in a dry goods store
in Corsicana at twenty dollars per month and clerked
three years, his salary being increased until it
reached one hundred and twenty-five dollars per

He then began business on his own account and
merchandised from 1870 to 1880, meeting with suc-
cess. During five years of this time he was engaged
in buying cotton from farmers and shipping it direct
to spinners, the system now in vogue, and which he
has the honor of having introduced into Texas. In
1881 he retired from merchandising and cotton-
buying and embarked in the banking business with
his brothers, C. W. and L. L. Jester, under the firm
name of Jester Brothers. In 1887 the bank was
converted into the Corsicana National Bank, with a
capital and surplus of $125,000.00. Hon. George
T. Jester is president and manager of this institu-

He is as largely (perhaps more largely) inter-
ested in farming and stock-raising than in bank-
ing. The breeding and introduction of fine stock
and scientific farming is a passion with him. The
most highly enjoyed of his leisure hours are spent
at his pleasant country home.

He has been twice married : in 1871 to Miss Alice
Bates, who died in 1875, leaving two children (a
son, Claude "W., and a daughter, named for her
mother, Alice Bates Jester) ; and in 1880, five years
after the death of his first wife, to Miss Fannie P.

VHaC.Ko^-vciowNf'^' '"



Gordon, by whom he has one child, Charles G.

Mr. Jester is a member of the Methodist Episco-
pal Church South and has been sent as a lay-dele-
gate to several important sessions of the General
Conference, the highest body known to that church.
He is a director and treasurer of the Navarro
Bible Society, a member of the Corsicana Relief
Association, Navarro County Fair Association and
Corsicana Board of Trade, and is a stockholder in
the Corsicana Street Railway Company and Corsi-
cana Manufacturing Company.

In 1890 he was nominated by acclamation by the
Democratic Convention of the Sixtieth District,
and, at the ensuing election, in November, was
elected to the House of Representatives of the
Twenty-second Legislature, without opposition.
In that body he served as a member of several im-
portant committees, helped frame and assisted in
passing the Railroad Commission Bill, introduced
several measures of far-reaching importance, took

an active part in the legislation of the session, won
the confidence and esteem of his fellow-members
and earned a State-wide reputation as a man of
uncommon ability and a faithful servant of the

In 1892 he was nominated and elected State Sen-
ator and served as Chairman of the Finance
Committee of the Senate of the Twenty-third Legis-
lature. The reputation that he earned in the
Legislature led to his nomination and election two
years later by the Democracy of the State of Texas
to the high and important office of Lieutenant-
Governor, which he now (1896) holds and so well
adorns. At the recent Democratic Convention he
was renominated for and at the approaching elec-
tion will be re-elected to the office of Lieutenant-

He is truly a representative man of the people,
having worked his way, through many difficulties,
to the place he now occupies in the social, political
and business world.

C. R. COX,


Christopher Randolph Cox, one of the best known
and most highly respected of the old Texais veterans
who still abides with us, was born in the town of
Bowling Green, Warren County, Ky., August 31,
1828. His parents emigrated to Texas in Decem-
ber, 1829, and settled in the town of Brazoria, now
in Brazoria County. His father, a physician by
profession, and a leading citizen in that section,
died in August, 1833, and his mother in November,

Mr. Cox has lived in Brazoria County continu-
ously since 1829, with the exception of four years
spent in Houston and one year in Matagorda
County. It has been sixty-seven years since he
landed in Texas by schooner from New Orleans,
and during all that time, through the many changes
he has witnessed and through the many vicissitudes
of circumstance and fortune that he has been called
upon to encounter, he has come fully and squarely
up to the stature of good citizenship, and enjoyed
the confidence and esteem of the people among
whom he has dwelt.

In 1846 he joined Capt. Ballowe's company,

Hays' regiment, and served during the Mexican
War under Gen. Zachary Taylor. He partici-
pated in the battle of Monterey, was at the storm-
ing of the Bishop's Palace and other Mexican
strongholds in and around the city, and was in all
the engagements in wliich his command took part,
bearing himself with the gallantry of a true soldier.
The war over, he returned to his home, and in 1856
was elected County Clerk of Brazoria County, and
was re-elected in 1858 and 1860. In 1862 he was
elected County Judge and in 1864 was re-elected to
that office. In 1866 he was elected Tax Assessor
and Collector of that county ; was appointed Sheriff
and Tax Collector in April, 1877, and filled that
office until December 1, 1878. He was elected
County Commissioner in 1882 and resigned that
position in October, 1883, since which time he has
held no public office.

Although in his sixtj - ninth year, Mr. Cox is still
as vigorous, mentally, as in his prime, and his
physical health is such as to justify his friends in
the hope that he will be spared to them for many
years to come.





Hon. A. T. Rose, the efiicieat superintendent of
the Texas School for the Deaf and Dumb, is
well known throughout the State as a financier and
leading promoter of many useful public and private
enterprises in the section of the State in which he
for so many years made his unofficial home. He
was born in McLennan County, Texas, in June,
1858. When a boy he attended a preparatory
school at home and then entered the Texas Mili-
tary Institute at Austin, where he graduated in
1877. He married Miss Lillie Thomas, a young
lady of Austin, in 1878, and settled upon a farm at
his old home near Waco. In 1887 he moved to
Hillsboro, where he went into the real estate busi-
ness. By dint of energy, careful business habits
and superior financial ability, he rapidly enlarged
his interests, and took position as one of the most
effective workers for the upbuilding of Hillsboro
and the section tributary to it. He is now the
vice-president of the Hillsboro Investment and
IClectric Light Co., and president of Rose Hill
Improvement Co., which owns and controls a large
addition to the city of Hillsboro. He also owns
other property in Hill and McLennan counties.
His married life has been blessed with four chil-
dren, the oldest seventeen years of age and the
youngest eleven. His wife has many friends in

Austin who grew up from childhood with her, and
is a social favorite. The superintendency of this
State institution came to Mr. Rose without his
seeking. When it was first tendered to him in
January, 1895, he hesitated to accept, as by doing
so his varied interests might have to suffer, but it
was his wife's wish to move back to Austin, and he
yielded to her desire. He has now been at the
head of the institution for hearly two years, and it
has prospered greatly under his management, and
the wisdom of his appointment by the Governor
has been fully justified by results. This eleemosy-
nary institution is second in importance to none
maintained by the State, and requires for its
proper administration, qualities of heart and mind
of the highest order, and these the present super-
intendent has shown himself to possess in full
measure, and it is to be hoped, in the interest of
the unfortunates now in his charge, that he will
remain at its head for many years to come. His
energies and brain could not be employed in a
nobler cause than that in which they are now
enlisted — a life-work worthy to become the life-
work of any man whose ambition is of that high
order that animates to noble deeds in the ser-
vice of others, and in the interest of a broad



Jose Maria Rodriguez was born in Sau Antonio,
Texas, October 29th, 1829, of pure Spanish lineage.
He is the son of the late Ambrosio Rodriguez.

His mother, before marriage, was Miss Ma J.
Olivarri. She is still living in San Antonio.

The father of the subject of this sketch was born
in San Antonio, in 1807, was First Lieutenant in
Gen. Houston's army and participated in the deci-
sive battle of San Jacinto.

Jose Maria sprang from a warlike family on both
sides. His maternal grandfather, Andres Cour-
biere, was a sergeant in the Spanish army that

occupied San Antonio at an early date. He re-
tired from the army and married at San Antonio,
and his descendants are scattered throughout the
State of Texas.

Jose Maria, when quite a boy, witnessed a fight
in the county courthouse of Bexar County, in
which his fatlier was a participant, between Texians
and Comanche Indians, a full account of which is
to be found under the proper heading elsewhere
in this work.

Jose Maria Rodriguez was educated in Texas and
New Orleans, La., and in addition to the English



language became also proficient in Spanish and
French, the two foreign languages generally in use
in the locality of his residence at that time. He
lived in San Antonio until 1861 and then moved to
Laredo, where he still resides, engaged in raising
stock — sheep, horses and cattle — on his ranch in
Encinal County, Texas. His ranch at present is
one of the largest and finest in that county.

Mr. Eodriguez married Feliz Benavides, a daugh-
ter of Basilic Benavides, who was one of the public-
spirited and wealthy citizens of Southwest Texas,
and who represented his district in the Constitu-
tional Convention of 1859-60. They have had two
children : Natalie and Jose Ambrosio. Natalie,
the daughter, received a fine education at San An-
tonio, and the son, Jose Ambrosio, was educated
at St. Mary's University, at Galveston, Texas.

Mr. Rodriguez has been an active Democrat and
participant in political affairs. He was Assessor
and Collector of Taxes for Bexar County, and Alder-
man for San Antonio in 1857-8. Removing lo Webb
County he commenced the study of law, was ad-
mitted to practice in the District Court in 1864, and
in 1879 was elected County Judge. He is a man
of fine intelligence and business habits, and the
fact that for years he was elected to the important
position of County Judge of his county, is the very
best evidence that his fellow-citizens have the
highest confidence in his integrity and ability.
Judge Rodriguez is a true and exemplary Catholic
and consistent Christian gentleman.

He has been a public-spirited man, ever ready to
unite with his fellow-citizens in improving the local-
ity of his home city.



Gen. Thomas Neville Waul, of Galveston, one of
the most distinguished citizens of the common-
wealth of Texas, was born near Statesburg, S. C,
January 5th, 1813, and is the last living descendant
of the Wauls of that State.

His ancestors at an early day emigrated to Vir-
ginia, and their children scattered thence through
New Jersey and the Carolinas, and were among the
early settlers of the Western States. His great-
grandfather settled on the Yadkin and Pedee rivers
in the southeastern portion of South Carolina, and
his grandfather on the Santee river.

His father, Thomas Waul, was married to Miss
Annie Mulcahay, daughter of a leading citizen of
South Carolina.

The grandfathers of Gen. Waul, on both sides,
were active Whigs and soldiers in the Revolutionary
struggle that achieved independence for the Ameri-
can colonies, and at its close settled in South Caro-
lina near their comrade in arms, the gallant and
illustrious Gen. Sumpter, " The Gamecock of the

With such a lineage, rich in such memories and
reared in such an atmosphere, it is not surprising
that genius, courage and patriotism are distinguish-
ing characteristics of Gen. Thomas N. Waul. At
an- early age -he entered the University of South
Carolina, at Columbia, but left it in 1832 without

graduating, owing to feeble health, straitened
means and the death of his father. He had early
lost his sainted mother. He generously gave his
stepmother, as a recognition of her affection for
him, his interest in the small estate left by his
father. Having determined upon the study and
practice of law at the age of seventeen, he mounted
his horse and, with no other possessions than the
contents of his valise and testimonials as to his
scholarship, capacity and integrity, set forth sus-
tained by a courageous spirit, to find or make for
himself a place in the world. Turning his horse's
head westward, he stopped at Florence, Ala., in-
tending only to make a short stay, to recuperate
his strength. A vacancy occurring, upon his
application, he was elected principal of the
male academy situated at that place. Here
he taught one session but, becoming im-
patient to take definite steps to enter his
chosen profession, relinquished the position as
principal and with high testimonials from the
trustees of the academy, proceeded to
Vicksburg, Miss., where he formed the acquaint-
ance of S. S. Prentiss. Prentiss at that time,
though a young man, had already exhibited much
of that capacity which afterwards made him so fa -
mous; for his brilliant genius, even then, had won
for him a commanding position at the local bar.



Naturally, young Waul was captivated by his mag-
netic power and engaging eloquence. The esteem
was mutual, and at the invitation of Prentiss the
young aspirant for legal knowledge became a stu-
dent in his office, received the advantage of his
training and enjoyed the friendship of that illus-
trious man throughout his life. The eager student
made rapid progress, and in 1835 was licensed to
practice by the Supreme Court of Mississippi. He

home. He followed his profession with such ardor
and success that in a few years he was able to aban-
don the general practice and confine himself to busi-
ness in the Federal, Chancery and Court of Appeals,
and to special engagements in important cases. Hav-
ing by his exertions acquired a sufficient fortune to
justify some degree of respite from toil, he, in
December, 1850, removed to Texas and established
a plantation on the Guadalupe river, in Gonzales


was previous thereto appointed District Attorney
for the wealthy and influential river district, includ-
ing within its limits the towns of Vicksburg and
Natchez and the counties on the Mississippi river.
He resided a short time in Yazoo Citv, and thence
removed to Grenada. In 1836 he married Miss
America Simmons, a highly cultured and accom-
plished young lady of Georgia, descended from one
of the leading families of that State. She now pre-
sides with elegance and grace over his hospitable

County. Having still interests in Mississippi, he
opened a law office in New Orleans, and for a few
winters practiced in important cases in the higher
courts of Louisiana.

When the Know-Nothing party threatened to ob-
tain control of the country he found much of the
ability and many of the leaders of the Democratic
party the strongest supporters of the new mpvement,
at the head of which, in Texas, was the great name
of Houston. He attacked the principles and prac-



tices of the Know-Nothing organization, sought its
champions upon every battle-ground, and invited
controversy upon the hustings with all who upheld
its dangerous doctrines.

Though never in his long career a seeker for
political office, the people called him from his
retirement on the Guadalupe in 1859 as the proper
champion of Democratic principles and put him for-
ward as a candidate for Congress.

Though the party was defeated and the Hon. A.
J. Hamilton (the opposition nominee) elected, the
character and eloquence of Gen. Waul shone with
unabated brilliancy in the midst of party defeat.

Afterwards, in 1860, Gen. Waul was selected as
one of the electors of the State at large on the
Breckenridge and Lane ticket and in the historic
canvas that followed, delivered some of the ablest
speeches of his life. An eye and ear witness re-
lates that during the delivery of one of these
speeches at Seguin, somebody in the audience
called out: "But, Gen. Waul, suppose that Lin-
coln should be elected, what would you do then.?"
Without a moment's hesitation, he replied: " God
Almighty grant that that day will never come, yet
should that evil day arrive, then, as under all
other circumstances, I shall remember that I am a
native son of the South, and shall say to her as
Ruth said to Naomi, ' Whither thou goest I will go,
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people
shall be my people and thy God my God. Where
thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried :
the Lord do so to me and more also, if aught but
death part thee and me.' " The crowd was elec-
trified, shouts rent the air, tears moistened hundreds
of cheeks and the gathered thousands saw in him
the embodiment of chivalric and manly grace, sin-
cere devotion to country and magnetic oratory.

He demonstrated the importance of a united
South as the only hope of averting impending war.
As to secession, he said that, as to some of the
States, it could not be averted and in case of
attempted coercion, Texas could not remain inac-
tive against a united and aggressive North. Con-
tinuing, he argued that there was a hope that this
aggression might be obviated by the display of a
united South. He therefore invoked this union as
a measure of patriotism, disregarding on his part,
and asking others to sink all party issues. Subse-
quent events rendered war inevitable, but it was
doubtless owing to these masterly appeals that the
great majority of the bitter opponents of secession
took arms for the South when coercion was

The State having seceded, Gen. Waul was sent
to the Provisional Congress at Montgomery and,

with his usual sagacity, urged upon that body
the necessity of adequate preparations for a
struggle, as the most effective method of se-
curing a satisfactory arrangement between the
sections or, if necessary, to fight for an hon-
orable peace. Before his term of service ex-
pired it was obvious that an amicable adjustment
was impossible. He declined re-election, being
resolved to take the field. He succeeded in raising
over two thousand troops. They were organized as
" Waul' s Legion," went into camp in Washington
County and proceeded thence to Vicksburg and
Corinth, where Federal and Confederate troops were
being concentrated. At Holly Springs he heard
of the defeat of the Confederate forces, and was
ordered to the front to protect and cover their re-
treat. Thenceforth, the Legion under the command
of Gen. Waul was actively engaged in hard service.
Its valor and discipline made its name a household
word in Southern homes never to be forgotten.
Gen. Waul knew perfectly the topography of Mis-
sissippi and by virtue of this knowledge and his
ability as a commander, was assigned to the per-
formance of arduous and responsible duties in de-
fense of the State. He urged the importance of
defending Yazoo Pass and, though engineers had
reported that entrance- through that channel was
impossible, his dissenting views were adopted by
the government and, at the instance of the Presi-
dent, by Gen. Pemberton, he was ordered to the
defense of the Yazoo and Tallahatchie river. The
Commanding General requested him to make his
selection of troops in the field to aid the Legion in
this responsible undertaking. His choice fell upon
the gallant Second Texas, commanded by that brave
old soldier. Col. Ashbel Smith, whose efficiency and
gallantry had been demonstrated in many en-

He proceeded to a strategic point near the con-
fluence of the Yalobusha and Tallahatchie rivers and
promptly commenced the erection of a fortification
of cotton bales. The Federal General, Ross, with
troops and gun-boats, had already entered the river
and was approaching with a well-appointed land and
naval force. But the narrowness of the river and
the want of knowledge of the channel somewhat re-
tarded the Federal advance, and utilizing this slight
delay, the Confederates toiled all through the night
in the mud to complete their works. Simultane-
ously with the dawn of morning the Federal fieet
appeared and the fortification received its last and
only large gun.

Notwithstanding the heavy armament and supe-
rior force of the Federals, they were driven back
and for a time Vicksburg and the Mississippi were



saved to the Confederacy. Gen. Loring arrived
on the eve of the engagement, but his report of
the battle truthfully gave the credit for the victory
to the brave Texians and their commander. At the
siege of Vicksburg Gen. Waul's command did
active service in the reserve, their presence being
required to repel every attack along the lines, and
it suffered greatly in loss of officers and men.
After the surrender of Vicksburg he was ordered
to Richmond and there promoted for gallant service
in the field to the rank of Brigadier-General. He
was then sent to Texas to recruit his Legion and
increase his battalions to the full complement of
regiments and to organize the command into a
brigade of cavalry and report for duty in the Cis-
Mississippi Department. Before the orders could
be executed, Gen. Banks appeared with a force to
invade Texas, and Gen. E. Kirby Smith, com-
manding the Trans-Mississippi Department, offered
Gen. Waul the command of one of his best brig-
ades. He accepted and led it in the battles of
Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, in both of which he
bore an active and conspicuous part. When the
Division Commander, Gen. Walker, was wounded,
Gen. Waul was placed in command of the division
and was subsequently placed in command of the
field by Gen. Taylor for personal gallantry and
military skill displayed in the successful massing of
the troops. The reputation earned by him on pre-

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 119 of 135)