John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

. (page 125 of 135)
Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 125 of 135)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

was a fixed fact he counseled obedience to the
altered condition of affairs, and earnestly desired
to witness a complete reconciliation between the

He has taken part, on the hustings, in many cam-
paigns. He has no patience with the so-called
" independentism " — another name, viewed in the
most charitable light, for a want of settled con-
victions, and, in the true light, for demagogy and
a want of principle. The kind of independentism
he has followed throughout his long career as a
newspaper man, has been to freely criticise Demo-
cratic leaders, when criticism was necessary to the
preservation of party integrity, and its adoption of
correct lines of pubUc policy. Thus, helping to
keep the grand old ship true to her course, he has
been among the foremost when the enemy was to be
met and victory won or defeat sustained. Believ-
ing ardently that upon the ultimate triumph of the
principles of political economy, that forms Demo-
cratic faith, depends the preservation of a truly
Republican government, and the protection of the
rights, liberties and happiness of all the people, he
has devoted himself with unselfish, patriotic zeal,
to the cause of Democracy throughout his long,
useful and honored life. As a member of the
House and Senate of the Texas Legislature, he
served on many important committees, took an
active part in legislation, and made an excellent
record. His discharge of the duties of his position
as superintendent of the State Orphans' Asylum
has been characterized by great ability, and he has



made the asylum what it was designed to be, one
of the noblest and most useful of the State's insti-
tutions. He attributes his success in the conduct
of the asylum more to his estimable wife than to his
own management. They have labored together to
make it as near a model home for the State's help-
less orphan children as possible. Every child

seems contented and happy. Col. Wortham and
wife feel that they are most happily rounding off
their long and useful lives in the care of helpless
children and stimulating them with just pride
to become useful men and women and to love
God, themselves, Texas, and their whole coun-



The late Dr. Cummings was one of the leading
physicians of the State, and an honored and useful
citizen of Austin.

His father, Stephen Cummings, was a native of
Maryland and his mother, Nancy G. (Rowe) Cum-
mings, a native of North Carolina.

His father was a Texas pioneer, resident at
Austin as early as 1840. Dr. Cummings was a
native of Austin and was born November 30, 1849.
During boyhood and youth he led an active outdoor
life, which gave him a robust physique and he ab-
sorbed the spirit of patriotism and valor that per-
meated the atmosphere during these exciting days
of struggle between the founders of Austin and
hostile Indians. He attended the schools of his
native city, took a course of study at Round Rock
(Texas) Academy, was an apt and thorough stu-
dent, and at the age of twenty years (1869) entered
Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, Pa.,
and graduated from that institution with the high-
est honors of a large class in 1871. August 5th,
1872, he married Miss Texas, daughter of Thomas
Glasscock, one of the bravest and most chivalrous
defenders of the cause of the " Lone Star Repub-
lic " in her struggle for independence. More ex-
tended mention is made of Mr. Glasscock elsewhere
in this volume. Mrs. Cummings, like her husband,
was born and grew up in Austin, and she there re-
ceived an excellent education. She seems to have
inherited from her parents that love of country, that
zeal and patriotism which finally secured to the
founders of this great commonwealth their rights,
viz., their liberty and their happiness, and there are
very few, if any, who hold in more grateful remem-
brance the glorious and heroic deeds of her imme-
diate ancestors and their allies, than does Mrs.
Cummings. She lives, in the prime of womanhood,
at her home in Austin, with a beautiful and accom-

plished daughter. Miss Penina Browning Cummings,
and a promising son, Josephus, in the enjoyment of
a comfortable competency.

Dr. Cummings immediately after his return to
Austin in 1872 entered upon the practice of his
profession. He paid especial attention to surgery
and was called to perform many difficult and won-
derful operations and so phenomenal was his success
in surgery that reports of his skillful work have been
recorded in the works of medical science and will
live in history to instruct these who seek to attain
perfection in the science of surgery.

He, therefore, became prominent and essentially
a leader of the profession in his section of the State,
and later in the State at large. He was for three
years secretary of the Travis County Medical Soci-
ety, and afterwards president of the same. He
was also a valuable and influential member of the
Austin District Medical Society, and the Texas
State Medical Association, before which latter body
he read several valuable papers on surgical science.
He held the responsible office of city and county
physician, and it was mainly due to his influence
that the spacious and comfortable city hospital was
built. He was a busy man, with active brain and
willing and ready hands. Aside from his various
contributions to the medical journals of his day and
papers read before the various medical associations
of which he was a member, he was at the period
of his untimely death collecting data and compil-
ing material for a contemplated work on surgery,
selections from which appeared from time to time
in the St. Louis Courier Medical Journal. Few
men took greater interest in the benevolent and
fraternal interests of his city and State than he
did, and he gave much of his valuable time to such
organizations. He was a charter member of the
orders of Knights of Honor and Knights and La-




dies of Honor ; held the oflace of Deputy Grand
Dictator of the former, and at the time of his death
was active in these societies. He was also an active
member of the Ancient Order of Working Men, the
Good Fellows, Knights of Dixie, Select Knights,
and Lake City Camp, Woodmen of the World.
Provisional Head Sovereign Frost, of Atlanta, Ga.,
in a communication to Lake City Camp, at Austin,
said : " Woodcraft has lost a great sovereign and
Austin a good man."

The Texas Sanitarian, a medical periodical pub-
lished at Austin, his native city, refers to him in
a published sketch as strictly ethical in all of his
professional relations, and also paid him the most
graceful of all tributes in saying that " he was a
friend to the poor."

Dr. Cummings was, withal, a practical and suc-

cessful man of affairs. He eschewed polities as a
means of self-aggrandizement, or profit ; but, as a
loyal Democrat and a patriotic citizen, his vote, his
good counsel, and wide influence could always be
obtained, and, when given, was found to be on the
side of good government. He was for a time
United States Pension Examiner, served several
terms as city and county physician, and was sev-
eral times Alderman (when very young), and in that
position was the promoter of nearly all of the early
sanitary means adopted by the city. Dr. Cummings
was a man of strong intellect, splendid physique and
presence, and great personal magnetism, and was
bound by ties of lasting endearment to his thou-
sands of loyal and admiring friends, embracing not
only members of his profession, but men in nearly
every other walk of life.



John T. Craddock was born in Henry County,
Ala., December 14, 1855. His parents were Hin-
ton and Elizabeth Craddock, He was reared in
Wood County, Texas ; received his preliminary
education in the common schools of that county
and for about two years attended Mansfield Col-
lege, in Tarrant County; six years was County
Clerk of Wood County ; read law under Judge L.
W. Crow, of Quitman, Texas, where he was
licensed to practice ; served in 1889 and 1890 as
assistant to Attorney-General Hogg in the Attorney-

General's office ; has resided at Greenville, Texas,
since April, 1891, since which date he has been
General Attorney of the East Line & Eed River
Railroad Company, now known as the Sherman,
Shreveport & Houston Railroad Company ;
married Miss Sarah Hart, daughter of V.
T. Hart, of Mineola, Texas, February 22, 1882 ;
is a lawyer of distinction and is widely known
to the members of his profession and men who
take an interest in public affairs throughout the



Hon. A. L. Matlock, one of the brightest orna-
ments of the Texas bar and a political leader,
whose white plume has led the way in more than
one hotly-contested political campaign, was born
in Eoane County, Tenn., on the 23d of April, 1852.
His parents were Col. A. and Mrs. Margaret (Rus-
sell) Matlock, who were also born in East Tennessee.

The former was a son of Jason Matlock, of Welsh
and Scotch descent, a pioneer of that State. Rep-
resentatives of the family formed a settlement in
America at an early day. The mother of Mr. Mat-
lock was a daughter of William Russell, of Irish
descent, also a decendant of a pioneer family of



The childhood and youth of A. L. Matlock were
passed in Blount County, Tenn. , to which county
his parents moved during his infancy. He grew
up on a farm ; attended school and completed his
education at Ewing and Jefferson College, Tenn.,
from which institution he graduated with the class
of 1870. Desiring to qualify himself for the bar,
he prosecuted the study of the law under Judges
Green and Carruthers at the law school at Leba-
non, Tenn., from which he graduated with distinc-
tion in 1872. In the same year he was admitted to
practice, being at that time twenty years of age,
and located in Loudon, Tenn., where be opened an
office and pursued his profession until the fall of
1873, and then moved to Texas and settled at Mon-
tague, where he soonbuilt up a large and paying prac-
tice and gave evidence of those superior qualities of
mind and that thorough grounding in the principles
and practice of law which have sine? enabled him to
achieve eminence in the profession. Mr. Matlock
continued to reside in Montague until 1889, and
then moved to Fort Worth, where he has since been
successfully engaged in practice, winning with the
passage of each year brighter laurels. He has had
to meet the best forensic talent in the legal arena,
but the most redoubtable have found him a foeman
worthy of their steel. He is considered a conscien-
tious, painstaking, learned and able lawyer.

In 1876 Mr. Matlock was united in marriage
to Miss Annie Herbert, of Denton, Texas,
daughter of Dr. C. L. Herbert, a native of Ten-
nessee. She died a year later and in 1879 Mr.
Matlock married Miss Alice Hyatt,born in Missouri,
a daughter of Mr. Smith and Mrs. Clara (Weaver)
Hyatt, who came to Texas in 1878. Mrs. Matlock
is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church, and is a lady of many social and Christian
graces, and admired by a wide circle of friends, in
the city of Fort Worth and throughout Texas.

Mr. Matlock served as County Attorney of

Montague County from 1876 to 1878, during which
time he made a State reputation as a fearless and
successful prosecuting attorney. It was during
this time that many of the most notorious murder
cases in the State were tried and convictions
secured, notably the Krebs, Preston and Brown

In 1880 Mr. Matlock was elected to the State
Legislature from the district comprising Wise
County, and a contiguous section north of the
Texas and Pacific Railway. In that body he
served as Chairman of the House Committee on
Public Lands and Land Office, and succeeded in
securing the passage of several bills relating to the
public domain, that have resulted in great benefit
to that section of the State. In 1882 he was elected
to the State Senate, and served in that body for a
period of»two years. In 1884 he was nominated by
the Democracy, made an active canvass, and was
elected a presidential elector and cast his vote for
Grover Cleveland. The Clark and Hogg guberna-
torial campaign was one of the most hotly con-
tested that has been fought in Texas since its
existence as a State. Both sides selected their
best men to lead in and manage the battle. Mr.
Matlock was selected as the chairman of the Clark
Democracy, and managed the forces at his dis-
posal with a skill and brilliancy that gained him a
national reputation as a political leader. Since
1887 he has represented the Capital Syndicate and
other large interests, and now enjoys a large and
lucrative practice. As a lawyer he has few equals
at the Texas bar. In social life he is genial and
engaging, and as a citizen he has sought to do his
duty faithfully and fearlessly as he has seen it, and
it is not surprising that he should occupy a place
among the foremost Texians of to-day-. This suc-
cess has come to him as a result of correct living
and unremitting labor, and is well worth what it
has cost in self-denial and time expended.



Hon. W. L. Davidson, Associate Justice of the
State Court of Criminal Appeals, and a jurist whose
labors have done much to cause the Texas reports
to take higher rank in other States, is a native of
Mississippi. He was born at Grenada, in that

State, November 5, 1845 ; moved to Texas in 1851
with his parents. Rev. Asbury and Mrs. Mary M.
Davidson, who settled at Gonzales ; was educated
at Gonzales College and Stonewall Institute, and
was admitted to the bar in 1871. December 22



1870, he was united in marriage to Miss Susan B.
Howard. They have five children, viz. : Nellie B.,
Katie H., William Howard, Thomas Pope and
Frank Ross Davidson. In January, 1887, Judge
Davidson moved to Georgetown, in Williamson
County, which remains his non-oflflcial home. He
was Assistant Attorney-General for four years,
from February 4=th, 1887 (Governor L. S. Ross'
administration), until February 2, 1891, when he
was appointed by Governor James S. Hogg an As-
sociate Justice of the Court of Criminal Appeals to
fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Judge
Sam. A. Wilson. During the war between the
States he served in the Confederate army as a
soldier in Company B., Thirty-second Regiment of
Texas Cavalry, and was with Taylor's army during
the Louisiana campaign in 1864, that was so brill-
iantly signalized by the battles of Mansfield,-
Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou, and resulted in
driving Banks back to Lower Louisiana. Judge
Davidson has always been a Democrat, and has
done good work for the party. He is a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Ma-
sonic fraternity. As a practitioner at the bar he
won deserved renown, not only as an able lawyer,
but as a forcible speaker, and as a lawyer whose
hands were clean, whose heart was pure and who
never deserted his clients. The writer of this
article remembers a dramatic scene in which Judge
Davidson was one of the principal actors. He was
employed in a case in which he felt no personal,
but certainly a deep professional, interest. The
defendants were charged with murder. The kill-
ing for which they were arraigned took place under
circumstances that aroused the greatest public in-
dignation. The town and county were in a wild
state of excitement, and threats of mob violence
were openly made. The occasion to which I
refer was the taking of evidence in the Dis-
trict Court upon an application that he had
made for bail under habeas corpus proceedings.
The court-room was packed with eager spectators
and listeners who glared at the defendants like so

many hungry tigers. There was not a friendly
face in the courtroom. The least mistake upon the
part of the counsel would have precipitated blood-
shed. Judge Davidson, while perfectly cool, stood
firmly up for the rights of his clients. His per-
sonal bearing and the skill with which he managed
his side of the case, won for him the admiration of
the court, local members of the bar, and even the
hostile crowd by which he was surrounded upon all
sides and which at the beginning felt for him very
little less animosity than it did for the men whom
he was defending. After court adjourned, at the
close of the proceedings, such remarks as the fol-
lowing were to be heard upon the streets: " Judge
Davidson was more than a match for all the lawyers
that were pitted against him. I tell you, he is a
mighty fine lawyer. Did you notice how cool he
was, how he stood up for the rights of his clients
and how he took advantage of every mistake of the
other side, while he was gentlemanly and courteous
throughout; they couldn't bulldoze him worth a
cent. He is the man, if I were in trouble, that I
would wantto employ." Judge Davidson's appoint-
ment to the bench of the Criminal Court of Appeals
met with the hearty approbation of his brother
members of the legal profession and of the people
of Texas, and he has since been nominated and
elected to that position practically without opposi-
tion. He possesses an essentially judicial mind.
A man of tender sensibilities, he nevertheless pos-
sesses the power of laying sentiment entirely aside
and looking exclusively at the law of the case in
passing upon a question submitted to the court upon
appeal, and guiding his course solely by the pole-
star of duty. He possesses the rare faculty of
looking at both sides of an issue, and giving full
weight and credit to the authorities and arguments
submitted in support of each side, and forming a
correct decision. As a result it is not strange that
he should have been elected to the position that he
now holds and that while holding it he reflects
honor upon himself, and credit upon the State and
the high court of which he is a member.



Judge W. H. Ford was born in Newton County,
Texas, August 13th, 1843. Parents, David and
Mariah V. Ford.

His father was one of the pioneer ministers of
the M. E. Church South, in Texas.

Judge Ford acquired a good literary education in



the common schools of his native county and at
McKenzie College, at Clarksville, Texas.

From 1862 to 1865 he served in the Confederate
army as a member of Whitfield's Legion, Ross
Brigade, and participated in all the battles in which
that famous brigade was engaged.

In 1872-73 he served as Sheriff of Newton
County, studied law at leisure moments, and when
he retired from the office attended the law school at
Lebanon, Tenn., from which he graduated.

In 1875 he moved to Jasper, Jasper County, and
formed a law partnership with his brother, which
continued until 1880.

In 1878 he was appointed District Attorney of
the First Judicial District of Texas by Governor O.
M. Eoberts, and two years later was elected Dis-
trict Judge of the district, which position he filled
until 1893.

He is a member of the M. E. Church South, and
Masonic fraternity, in the latter of which he has
taken the Royal Arch degree.

His first wife was Miss Octavia Coleman, of Sa-
bine County, Texas. There was no issue by
this marriage. She died at Beaumont, April 6,

Later he married Miss Evalyn Thompson, of
Beaumont, by whom he has one child.

Judge Ford is a member of the firm of Ford &
Jones, at Beaumont.

As an ex-District Judge, lawyer and citizen.
Judge Ford stands deservedly high for his very
superior abilities, learning and probity. He has
taken an active interest in every movement designed
for the promotion of the best interests of the section
of the State in which he lives.



What a truly noble and praiseworthy achievement
it is to live an upright and useful life, to surmount
the numberless obstacles and dangers that obstruct
the way that leads from youth to old age and, at
last, to stand forth, honored and beloved, a victor
in the great struggle, and, surrounded by dear ones
and friends, to enjoy in the calm evening-time the
fruits of well directed efforts.

A successful life — a truly successful life — how
very much those words imply can only be fully ap-
preciated when we stop to consider how much it
takes to make up such a life and call to mind the
fact that to one such there are ten thousand total or
partial failures — due to energies wasted, talents
misapplied, judgments gone astray, the pursuit of
selfish and ignoble ends, idleness, want of mental
strength, fixedness of purpose and personal honor,
surrender to the allurements of vice and the world.
He who sails the ocean of this life must needs steer
his barque, not like the fabled Ulysses, between one
Scylla and Charybdis, but among many, and resist
charms of song more potent than those that lured
the unwary mariners of Grecian myth to ship-
wreck and death when they thought to find repose.
The successful voyager must be stout and true and
brave; success must have no power to spoil him,
danger no power to daunt, and disaster no power

to chill. He must toil in the sunshine and the rain
and in the winter's blasts, not only for himself, but
for all about him ; not only for those of his own
generation but, as far as in him lies, for mankind
in all time to come. There is a nobility that no
king, though an autocrat, can confer. The patent
is issued by the Almighty and it is conferred alone
as a reward of right living, of work well and ably
done — of true merit, whose truth has been tested
by trial.

While we are subject to misapprehensions with
reference to those who surround us in the land of
the living, we are enabled, in a measure at least, to
construct a connected history and fathom the mean-
ing of a life that has been lived. If there were
more real biography there would be more real his-
tory, for such history as we have is a patchwork,
poorly put together, made up of parts of many
lives. And when we speak of history it is well to
reflect and ask ourselves "What is the utility of
history? " Its true oflftce is not merely to inform
us of what has happened nor why it has ha];Tpened,
but to bequeath to us that wisdom that is to
be gathered alone from the dust of ages, that
wisdom which teaches men and nations how to
avoid mistakes and to live nobly, to catch up the
threads that lead through the labyrinth and advance



along paths that lead to the highest good ; to in-
struct the individual soul, in order that, according
to its capacity, it may best perform its part here in
this work-a-day world, and fit itself for whatever
higher destiny it is, by its inherent composition,
capable of attaining under the general plan of

This office of history of which I speak is mainly
to be accomplished through biography.

The life and character of the subject of this
memoir, the late Col. J. M. Brown, of Galveston,
are replete with useful lessons. Starting without
the aid of powerful friends or means, his life was
a successful one in the highest and truest sense,
and he has left to his descendants a heritage that
they prize more than the ample fortune that came
to him as a partial reward of his efforts and that
he has bequeathed to them.

The Galveston Daily News, of Thursday, Decem-
ber 26, 1895, says of him in its editorial columns: —
"In the death of Col. J. M. Brown, which oc-
curred last Tuesday night, Galveston lost one of
her most successful and influential business men
and Texas one of her most enterprising citizens.
Scarcely an enterprise of importance has been in-
augurated in Galveston during the past forty-odd
years that has not been assisted to success through
the splendid business judgment and executive ability
of Col. Brown." « « *

Col. Brown was born in New York City on the
, 22d day of September, 1821, and was one of a
family of sixteen children, all of whom preceded
him to the grave. His parents, John M. and
Hannah (Kroutz) Brown were natives of Holland.
They were well-to-do and bestowed upon him
every care that affection could dictate, but, while
he returned their love, he was eager to push out
into the busy world, and this spirit of adventure
becoming too strong for him to control, he, at
twelve years of age, left home without their knowl-
edge, and it was more than two years before they

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 125 of 135)