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throughout the State when he commenced business
in 1865, and this formed no inconsiderable part of
the capital with which he resumed business after
the surrender. His name is now very widely known
in the Southwest, and his trade extends through-
out Texas and into Mexico on the West and Louis-
iana on the East. In addition to what he manu-
factures, he imports fancy goods directly through
the custom house from Paris, France, and buys
large quantities of domestic goods in New York and

Mr. Shaw is now reckoned among the " solid
men" of Galveston. He owns a handsome resi-
dence on the corner of Fifteenth and Winnie streets,
and business houses in the city, which he rents. He
is a stockholder in the Montezuma Mines in New
Mexico, holding 1,600 shares of the stock.

Mr. Shaw is a public-spirited citizen, investing
his money in enterprises looking to the growth and
prosperity of Galveston, and lending his experience
and energy to the public institutions which adorn
the city. He is a member in good standing of the
Catholic Church.

In character he is above reproach ; as a citizen,
highly esteemed ; as the head of a .family, affec-
tionate and devoted. He is endowed with great
powers of endurance and is capable of long-contin-
ued exertion. He was married, in 1878, to Miss



Annie Meyer, who was born in Houston in 1856,
and educated in that city. Her father died when
she was seven years old, and her mother when she
was ten. Left alone at so tender an age, she be-
came a member of the family of Dr. C. R. Nutt, an
eminent physician and scientist, of Houston.

Mr. and Mrs. Shaw have nine children. Ada, a
daughter of Mr. Shaw's by a former marriage, was
born March 15, 1858, in Chambers County, Texas,
and educated in Galveston and at St. Joseph Acad-
emy, Emmitsburg, Maryland, and is a thoroughly
accomplished young lady. She is the wife of Guido
Ruhl, managing clerk of the grocery department of
Kaufman & Rungy's store at Galveston. She has
two sons — Willie and Bernhardt.

The children born to Mr. Shaw by his present
wife are: Katherine Margaret, a daughter, born
March 22, 1879; Marshall William, born July 25,
1880; Charles Leonard, born July 22, 1882, died

March 8, 1894; William Austin, born June 13,
1884; Hazel Phillepina, born October 29, 1887;
Annie Grace, born July 30, 1888 ; Chas. Trueheart,
born March 26, 1890 ; Viola Hildegard, born Jan-
uary 8, 1892, died April 2, 1894, and Bessie Graf-
ton, born July 30, 1893.

With laudable pride Mr. Shaw attributes his suc-
cess in life to industry, economy and fair dealing.
He has always been attentive to business. He
has never given a promissory note since he be-
gan operating for himself. His credit, wherever he
is known, is unlimited, and whatever he contracts
to do, he does, and does in the time, manner and
form promised.

He is a strong, independent and useful citizen —
one of the class of self-made men upon whom the
stability of the social fabric so largely depends,
and by whom cities and nations are made prosper
ous and enduring.



Hon. John M. Duncan was born in Lawrence
County, Tenn., February 7th, 1851. His parents
were W. F. and M. C. Duncan, who came to Texas
in 1858 and 1859, respectively, Mrs. Duncan join-
ing her husband (who had found employment at
the Nash Iron Works, in Marion County), in the
latter year. Mr. W. F. Duncan was for many years
a respected citizen of Marion and Cass counties,
dying in Marion County a number of years since.

John M. Duncan, the subject of this memoir,
received a good common school education and
then, having learned the trade of a brickmason, by
means of which he could support himself, deter-
mined to undertake the study of law, procured the
necessary text-books from Hon. John C. Stallcup,
of Jefferson, read under him the course prescribed
by the rules of court, and was then admitted to
the bar at Jefferson in 1872. He soon found that
the briefless young lawyer's license by no means
constitutes a talisman, whose magic influence will,
in every instance, bring immediate recognition
of abilities, and supply even modest wants. His
experience was no worse than that of many other
men, but the fortitude and determination that he
displayed under adversity were remarkable. He
bad something more than genius, he possessed in

addition thereto the other qualities that compe-
success. He very soon had to take down his shin-
gle and resume the trowel. He had no idea of
permanently giving up the practice of law. He
simply saw that he must supply himself with fur-
ther means with which to again make a start.
Going to Longview be found no difficulty in secur-
ing employment, and helped to erect many of the
brick storehouses now used in that town. In the
intervals snatched from toil he kept up his studies,
and four years after he had secured his license we
find him, after a number of futile attempts, well
established in the practice of his profession. To-
day he is a lawyer second to no practitioner at the
Texas bar, and as a public speaker has no superior
in the State, either in the forum or upon the hust-
ings. His talents are of the highest order and
have been improved by cultivation. He was elected
County Attorney of Gregg County in 1876, but
resigned the office twelve months later, owing to
the fact that his growing practice demanded all of
his attention. From 1878 to 1882 he represented
the counties of Smith, Gregg, Upshur and Camp in
the State Senate, and made a brilliant record. In
1884 he was elected County Judge of Smith
County, and at the expiration of his term of office

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refused renomination and devoted himself entirely
to his professional duties.

In January, 1884, he moved to Tyler and formed
a law partnership with Hon. James S. Hogg, after-
ward Attorney-General and Governor of Texas,
under the firm name of Duncan & Hogg.

This professional connection continued until Mr.
Hogg was elected Attorney-General. Mr. Duncan
and Hon. Horace Chilton, now United States Sena-
tor from Texas, were appointed general attorneys
for the receivers of the International & Great
Northern Kailroad in February, 1889. Mr. Chilton
resigned, June lOlh, 1891, leaving Mr. Duncan sole
attorney, a position which he has held since the re-
organization of the corporation, and in which he has
been leading counsel in some of the most celebrated
law cases known to the judicial history of this
country. His power and fame as a lawyer have
grown steadily with the passage of years, and he
now ranks among the ablest advocates that the
South can boast.

He was united in marriage to Miss Allie Davis,

of Longview, in 1876. She died at Tyler, in July,
1886, leaving no children. In January, 1890, he
married his present wife, nee Miss Eddie
Louise House, at Tyler. He is a member of the
Methodist Church, Knights of Pythias, and Inde-
pendent Order of Odd Fellows.

He has been at all times an earnest Democratic
worker, and has done as much, perhaps, as any
other single individual in Texas to influence the
political fortunes of men who have risen to promi-
nence in this State in recent years, and in shaping
the drift of public policies. He has also done his
full share, when hot campaigns were on, toward
securing party triumphs. He is well known to every
Texian, and contrary to the old saying that
" Prophets are without honor in their own country,"
his services and abilities are generally recognized
and appreciated.

He is warm in his personal attachments, unos-
tentatious in manner, plain and straightforward,
and, as a lawyer, is one of the brightest ornaments
of the Texas bar.



Ole Canuteson, a prominent manufacturer of
Waco, Texas, is a native of Norway, where he was
born September 4th, 1832, and is the son of Canute-
son Canuteson and Carina Oleson. His grandfather
was a watchmaker by trade and his father a black-
smith, chiefly engaged in the manufacture of tools.
His father was born in Norway in 1802, and died in
Bosque County, Texas, in 1888. His mother died
in LaSalle County, in 1850. Ole Canuteson was
reared to blacksmithing and also acquired a good
general knowledge of mechanics. He came to the
United States with his parents in 1850. The family
located for a time in Illinois, where two uncles had
preceded them. Land at that time was worth from
$15 to $20 per acre, and to purchase a farm there
at that rate, with the additional expense of a house,
outbuildings, fences and farm implements, was
beyond the means of the Canuteson exchequer. To
go farther west, to Iowa, where land was cheaper,
was suggested and was very nearly being acted
upon, but the plan was changed. Mr. Cleny Pur-
son, a Norse emigration agent who came to the
United States in 1820, and who had established set-

tlements for his countrymen in New York, Illinois,
Iowa and Missouri, had made a tour of investiga-
tion into Texas and had just returned with very
flattering accounts of the State, of its mild climate,
its fertile soil and vast resources. He reported
that good land could be bought there for fifty cents
per acre from families who had secured tracts of
640 acres under the State homestead law, and, after
duly weighing the advantages and drawbacks that
might follow, it was decided by the family to go to
Texas, and thither they started. The party con-
sisted of the subject of this sketch, his new-made
wife, his aged father and young brother Andrew,
and Mr. Parson, with a few single persons. The
route was by the Mississippi to New Orleans, thence
up Ked river to Shreveport, and from there overland
by wagon to Dallas, where the party arrived just
before Christmas, and shortly thereafter the Canute-
sons bought and improved 320 acres of land, paying
|3 per acre.

In 1853 the subject of this notice and Mr. P.
Bryant, acting for themselves and a party of immi.
grants who had come over from Norway, and who



desired to find and locate upon unappropriated
public land under the land law of that year (giving
to each head of a family of actual settlers 320 acres
of land), visited Waco, then a little village, to con-
sult with the old pioneer and surveyor, Maj. George
B. Erath, in regard to land matters on the Bosque.
This gentleman, who had for years made surveys
all over that section of the State, took at once a
friendly interest in him and his companion, showing
him on his maps where vacant land was to be had.
Later Maj. Erath, with Neil and Duncan McLen-
nan, went with Mr. Canuteson, made the surveys
and field notes for a large tract of land, and thus
about fifteen families were established on Neill and

own doors, but later on, when a grist-mill was
started at Waco, it was hauled there by ox-
wagons and sold from $1.25 to $1.50 per bushel.
Corn at that period did not do well. The cultiva-
tion of cotton was not thought of by settlers, the
impression being that the soil was not adapted to
it ; that it was too black and sticky. Subsequently
this idea was proven to be erroneous. Good crops
of cotton are now raised on these farms. Attention
was also given to stock-raising, as grass was
abundant, both summer and winter. After a mail
route was established from Fort Worth to George-
town a post office was given to Norman Hill, and
Mr. Canuteson was made Postmaster, which posi-


Meridian creeks, and the Norwegian settlement in
Bosque County started.

Mr. Canuteson selected for his farm 302 acres in
the valley of Neill's creek, near the center of which
rises a high peak, and on this elevation he built his
house, which was afterward known as Norman Hill.
Nearly all kinds of wild game were in great abun-
dance, and the newcomers felt that they had come
to a land of plenty, indeed. Being outside of the
line of forts, the new settlement was often exposed
to Indian raids. The settlement grew apace, the
county was organized and things became more
comfortable all around. Wheat was the only money
crop made for a long time. They had been used
to raising the smaller grains in the old country,
and hence knew how to cultivate the wheat. Most
of the grain raised found a ready market at their

tion he filled to the satifaction of the people up to
the beginning of the late war. He was given the
same position under the Confederacy, and when that
government collapsed he was again appointed by
the United States government to his old position.
This position he held until his removal to Waco.

Mr. Canuteson, as an inventive genius, was
booked to supply the wants of the community so
far as machinery was concerned, and built several
reapers and threshers. The first reaper that
he constructed did not contain a pound of iron
castings, as the nearest foundry was at Houston,
250 miles distant. The cutting blade was made
from an old cross-cut saw. Notwitstanding these
disadvantages the machine worked excellently and,
although for twenty-five years past he has had the
leading and alnjost the only machine shop in WaQo



and has constructed engines, cotton gins, cotton
presses and machinery of all kinds against competi-
tion from other cities, he looks back with pride to
his " rawhide reaper" job as he called it, as being
the most successful of his mechanical undertakings,
considering all the circumstances under which he
built it. Later he went to Houston for castings
and other material and tools, and built five more
reapers and two complete threshing machines, which
were run by horse-power and carried the grain into
the sack ready for the mill.

During the war he was exempt from military ser-
vice on account of physical disability, but through
his machines he was able to do much toward supply-
ing the army with grain. After the war he opened
a general store and was building up a business
which promised fair for the future, but engaged in
an unlucky speculation in cattle by which he lost
most of his accumulations. He spent the winter
partly in Chicago and partly with his uncles in La
Salle County, 111. While in Chicago awaiting re-
turns from New York he came across the Walter A.
Wood's self-raking reaper and the Collins cast steel
plow, the agency of which he secured for his sec-
tion of the State of Texas and handled them with
success for many years.

Becoming convinced finally that the bent of his
mind was largely in favor of mechanical pursuits,
he decided to move to Waco, secured a good loca-
tion, and began the improvements necessary for a

foundry and machine shop and now has one of the
largest and most complete establishments for
machine, foundry, implement and general mechan-
ical work in Central Texas. He is largely engaged
in the manufacture of fronts for buildings and other
structural castings, which he supplies not only to
Waco, but to the surrounding towns. Eecently he
has begun the manufacture of cotton presses and
intends in the near future to add the manufacture
of other cotton machinery. At various times he
has engaged in other business enterprises that have
met with a fair degree of financial success and that
have made his name familiar to the people of
Central Texas.

He was married in September, 1850, to Miss Ellen
M. Gunderson, a lady who came with his family to
the United States. To them have been born five
children : Caroline, now Mrs. F. W. Knight ; Mary,
who was married to D. F. Durie ; Lizzie, now
Mrs. S. J. Smith ; Oscar, who assists his father
in his business ; and Cora. In 1884 Mr. Canut-
eson revisited his native land. He has con-
ducted his business with a constant increase for
over a quarter of a century without change of place
or firm name. The success he has met with is the
natural reward that follows honesty of character,
integrity of purpose, and a thorough knowledge of
the occupation pursued. He is a citizen of sterling
worth, a member of the Masonic fraternity and is
highly respected by all who know him.



Moses Austin was a native of Connecticut.
When but a youth he left the parental roof to seek
his fortune in Philadelphia, and there, at the age
of twenty, he married Miss Maria Brown. Shortly
thereafter, in conjunction with his brother, Stephen,
he established a commercial bouse in Kicbmond,
Va., a branch of the importing house in Philadel-
phia, of which the former was the head. The op-
erations of the brothers were doubtless remunera-
tive. Ere long they purchased the lead mines
called " Chissel's Mines," on New river, Wythe
County, Va. Moses, the younger brother, was
placed in charge and at once commenced extensive
mining and smelting operations.

Around the mines quite a village sprung up,

which was named Austinville, and there, November
3, 1793, was born Stephen Fuller Austin, the cel-
ebrated Texian empresario and patriot. The Phil-
adelphia and Eichmond houses failed and the
mining speculation was abandoned.

Hearing flattering accounts of the lead mines of
upper Louisiana (now Missouri), Moses Austin
procured the necessary passports from the Spanish
Minister, visited that region, was highly pleased
with it, and obtained in 1797, from Baron de Car-
ondelet. Governor of the Provinces of Louisiana
and Florida, a grant of one league of land,
including the Mine-a-Burton, forty miles west of
St. Genevieve. Closing all of his affairs in the
United States, he removed his family, with a num-



ber of others, from Wythe County, in 1799, to his
new grant, and there in the wilderness laid the
foundation of the settlement in what is now Wash-
ington County, Mo. The early settlers of that
county have borne ample testimony to his enter-
prise, public spirit and unbounded hospitality.
These admirable qualities are rarely found united
with great prudence and sound judgment in
financial matters ; nor were they in the case of
Moses Austin, the failure of the Bank of Missouri
causing him serious pecuniary embarrassment.
Once more he became involved, and, surrendering
his property to his creditors, he turned with una-
bated ardor, in the decline of life, to a new and
hazardous undertaking in the wilds of Texas.

In 1803 Louisiana was ceded by Spain to France,
and, in the same year, by the latter to the United
States, which government revived the old French
claim of the RioGrande as a boundary. But by the De
Onis treaty in 1819 the question was settled, and the
Sabine was made the boundary, and it was then
that Moses Austin arranged his plans for an appli-
cation to the government of Spain for a grant of
land in Texas on which to locate a colony of Ameri-
cans. As it was contemplated to bring the settlers
through Arkansas Territory, Moses Austin so far
anticipated matters as to send his son, Stephen,
with some hands, to Long Prairie, near Red river,
to open a farm there which might serve as a resting-
place and provision depot for his trains of

Having been told that the best way to lay his
petition before the home government would be
through the authorities of New Spain, as Mexico
was then called, the elder Austin at once started
for Bexar (now San Antonio), the capital of the
Province gf Texas.

But, before starting, it had been decided to aban-
don the scheme of a farm at Long Prairie and to
adopt for the future colonists the route through
New Orleans by water to Texas. Accordingly,
Stephen F. Austin, proceeded to that city to perfect
arrangements for transportation, supplies, etc.,
while his father started, on horseback, on his tire-
some and perilous journey across the vast prairies
of Texas. It was early in December, 1820, that
the elder Austin arrived in Bexar, the capital of
Texas. On presenting himself to the Governor, he
was not even allowed to explain the object of his
visit, but was peremptorily ordered to leave the
capital instantly, and the province as soon as he
could get out of it, the Governor being very angry
that he had violated the well-known Spanish law
excluding foreigners, without specific passports,
from Spanish territory in the New World,

There was nothing left but to obey, and Austin,
much dejected, withdrew, with as good grace as
possible under the circumstances, from the Gov-
ernor's mansion to prepare for his return home,
when, in crossing the plaza, he had the good luck
to meet the Baron de Bastrop, with whom many
years previous he had become acquainted in Lower
Louisiana. The Baron recognized his old friend,
cordially embraced him, took him home with him,
and was soon informed of all Austin's plans and
troubles. It was the turning-point in the fortunes
of the Austins ; and that chance meeting on the
plaza was pregnant with great events.

Baron de Bastrop was a gentleman of culture and
refinement, and in high favor with the Governor;
and on the morrow, when he laid before that irate
functionary the documentary proof that Austin had
become a regularly naturalized Spanish subject in
Lower Louisiana, in 1799, and stated that he was
now lying in bed very ill from the effects of his pro-
tracted journey, the order for his departure was
countermanded and his memorial received. In a
few days, thanks to the kind ofiSces of De Bastrop,
the intelligence and the pleasing address of Austin,
the memorial asking permission to settle 300 fam-
ilies in Texas was forwarded to the superior gov-
ernment of the eastern internal provinces, in whose
jurisdiction Texas was, strongly recommended by
the local authorities of this province. Austin left
Bexar in January, 1821, anxious to get home and
complete his arrangements for moving to Texas as
soon as he could hear of the success of his applica-
tion. The journey was one which few would have
ventured upon at that season of the year. Over
the dreary wastes of the trackless prairie he took
his course. Losing his way at times, swimming the
creeks now swollen by the winter rains, rafting
himself and horse across the rivers which he met,
and suffering greatljj^ from exposure and want of
provisions, Austin, some time in the spring, reached
the town of Nachitoches, La. From thence he pro-
ceeded at once to Missouri, where he died soon
after his arrival, his health having been completely
shattered by the hardships undergone on his Texas
trip. His last request was that his son, Stephen,
should prosecute the enterprise which had been
commenced at so costly a sacrifice. And never did
filial piety execute more faithfully the dying injunc-
tion of a revered parent.

The memorial of Moses Austin was approved by
the supreme government of the eastern internal
provinces of New Spain, at Monterey, on the 17th
of January, 1821, and the Governor of Texas was
at once informed of it. He thereupon dispatched
Don Erasmo Seguin (after whom the present town



of Seguin is named), an influential citizen of Bexar,
to the United States as a special commissioner for
the purpose of communicating to Mr. Austin the
result of his application, and of conducting the
proposed immigrants into the country in a legal
manner. Heaving of the arrival of the commissioner
at Nachitoches, Stephen F. Austin hastened from
New Orleans to that point, and soon after reaching
it, learned for the first time of his father's death.

Thus, in the twenty-eighth year of his age, the
son, unknown, with limited means, with a heart
crushed by a sore affliction, found resting upon him
the weighty responsibility of an enterprise which
nothing but the resources and influence of a pow-
erful government seemed adequate to carry to a
successful issue. Was he fitted for the task? Let
the testimony of that sturdy band which followed
him into the wilderness reply. Did he meet his
responsibilities in full? History has answered that
question by inscribing upon its immortal pages as the
unanimous verdict of his compeers : " Stephen F.
Austin was the father of Texas." He who was to
be the founder of a great State was no mere adven-
turer, with rude manners and uneducated mind. On
the contrary, he was cultivated and polished to a
degree rarely seen in the Southwest in those days.
When but eleven years old his father placed him at
one of the best academies in Connecticut to be pre-
pared for college ; and in his fifteenth year he was
duly matriculated as a student in Transylvania
University, Lexington, Ky., an institution then of

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 128 of 135)