John Henry Brown.

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Logan, tjae county seat of Hocking County, Ohio,
as a suitable field, and locating there about fifty
miles from Columbus, opened an office and began
the practice of his profession.

• December 25th, 1851, Dr. Taylor was united in
marriage to Miss Phoebe Lowe, daughter of Peter
B. Lowe, formerly a prosperous merchant at Bond
Brook, New Jersey.

The young doctor soon established a fine prac-
tice ; but, "alas, all things bright and fair must
fade," the worm was already at the heart of the
rose, the fell destroyer had marked his fair young
bride for an early grave, and, seeing the hectic
glow upon her cheek and noting the unmistakable in-
dications of pulmonary consumption, he determined
to make every effort in human power to save her.
He closed up his business, and having investigated
the claims of many so-called health resorts, deter-
mined to come South in the hope that the genial air
and the sunny skies of far-famed Texas would
restore her to health, and in 1852 reached Galves-



ton, but soon became convinced that the excessive
humidity of the atmosphere there was prejudicial,
removed to Austin. The outlook was anything
but encouraging. In fact, the surroundings were
such as to make a less courageous heart quail. A
young man, a total stranger, with nothing but his
profession to rely upon for support, in a remote
village of fifteen hundred inhabitants, with an
invalid wife, and no money! He was, however,
undismayed, realized the necessity of providing
food and raiment, shelter, and even luxuries, for
his invalid wife and went to work at manual labor,
at anything honorable, no matter how humble or
how hard, that would supply their needs until the
dawn of brighter days. In a year he was able to
open an oiBce and resume the practice of medicine
and to purchase a small home, for cash. His wife
presented him with a winsome little daughter two
years after their arrival in the State. Her health
rapidly declined after that event, and in 1857, being
attacked with pneumonia, she perished with the
roses in the autumn of that year.

On the 27th of April, 1859, Dr. Taylor married
Miss M. H. Millican (his present wife) daughter
of Capt. O. H. Millican, a staunch Mississippi
planter who had adopted the Lone Star State for
his home. Two sons and four daughters were born
of this marriage, Edward H., born in I860; Mary
O., born ia 1862, now the wife of James Howell
Bunton, Esq., of Travis County, Texas; Addison,
who died at the age of eighteen months, born in
1864; Elizabeth, born in 1868, now the wife of
John W. Phillips, Esq., of Austin; Laura, who
died in infancy, born in 1871 ; and Daisee Belle,
born in 1878.

The daughter by the first marriage, Harriett Ann,
married Wm. A. Dixon, Esq., of St. Louis, a
brother of Dr. Charles Dixon of that city. He was
killed accidentally, five years after their marriage,
and his widow now resides in Austin.

Dr. Taylor was largely instrumental in 1855 in
bringing about the first organization of medical
men ever effected in Texas. With a few leading
physicians, among whom the matter was often
freely discussed, he called a meeting of the practic-
ing physicians of the State to be held at Austin.
There were present a respectable number of repre-
sentative men, and an organization was effected.
Facilities for travel and intercommunication between
the different parts of the State were few and dif-
ficult at the time and the population much less
dense than at present. Hence, for lack of sup-
port, this laudable movement failed to accomplish
the purposes intended. There were but two meet-
ings of the organization held before its practical

dissolution. Notwithstanding this discouragement,
Dr. Taylor insisted on keeping up the Travis County
Medical Society, the local organization of physicians,
the first in the State. When the present Texas
Medical Association was organized at Houston in
June, 1869, he promptly joined it and has since
been one of its most active and valuable members,
making rich and varied contributions to its litera-
ture, working for the enactment of needed legislation
by the State Legislature, laboring for the mainte-
nance of the dignity of the profession, and filling, at
various times, important offices in the association.
He served one term as first vice-president, and was
nominated for president in 1875, and came within
one vote of being elected, although he was not a
candidate and knew nothing of the intention of his
friends until afterwards informed of their action.
He represented Texas in the American Medical Con-
gress in 1876 and 1886 ; and was a delegate to the
Ninth International Medical Congress that met in
Washington City in June of the latter year. He
was one of the first movers in the direction of rail-
road building in Texas and largely influenced by
his means and advocacy the construction of the
first road to Austin, the central tap-road to Hem-
stead. He was also largely instrumental in the
building of the Austin & North Western Railroad,
and served for a time as its vice-president. He
was the first man in Austin to urge the construc-
tion of a dam across the Colorado. He has con-
tributed thousands and thousands of dollars to the
building of railroads, churches and school houses.
The causes of religion and education, the develop-
ment of the country, and the promotion of the
happiness and prosperity of the people have been
kept near to his heart, and no man in Texas has
worked more untiringly or zealously in these noble
fields of effort.

Shortly after the founding of the State Asylum
for Deaf Mutes at Austin, Dr. Taylor was ap-
pointed one of the trustees of that institution by
Governor Sam Houston. He was also made visit-
ing physician to the Blind Institute. Governor E.
J. Davis, after the war between the States, made
him one of the Board of Managers of the Insane
Asylum and he was unanimously chosen president
of that board. He was also a member of the Board
of University Regents and filled this and other posi-
tions of trust until the time of Governor Coke's ad-
ministration. His services in these capacities were
invaluable. Under the law, as it existed when he
entered upon his duties as one of the University
regents, the University lands, of which the Univer-
sity fund of Texas mainly consists, were on the
market and being sold for $1.50 per acre. No one




before him, it appears, had taken note of the fact
that with railroad extension and the consequent
development of the country, these interior lands had
greatly augmented in value. He discussed the sub-
ject with members of the legislature, and believing
that the State was being literally robbed through a
drowsy indifference on the part of those whose duty
it was to look after such matters, at once set to
work to put a stop to it. The outcome was a bill
drawn up by him and introduced in the legislature
by Jack Harris of Galveston, repealing the law.
The bill passed and no more lands were sacrificed.
Dr. Taylor was strongly opposed to secession. He
was family physician to, and a warm personal
friend of Gen. Sam Houston, and shared the opin-
ions of that hero and statesman on the subject.
When secession was attempted and war followed,
Dr. Taylor's sympathies, however, were fully with
the people of the South and he organized an asso-
ciation at Austin, to see to the maintenance of the
wives and children of Confederate soldiers, and
gave them, besides, his services as a physician
freely and without charge. Prior to the war he
had accumulated about $100,000. The close of the
struggle found him a comparatively poor man. His
courage and business acumen did not fail him at
this juncture, however. He had great faith in the
ultimate rehabilitation of the country and its rapid
development, and invested all the means that he
could command in Austin city property and realty
in other parts of Texas and did not relax his labors
as a general practitioner. As a result he is now

one of the wealthiest men in the State. In 1855,
he connected himself with the B'irst Presbyterian
church at Austin and did much to keep that then
feeble organization in existence. The oflScers of
the church early manifested their appreciation of
his zeal and liberality and elected him president of
the board of trustees. In that capacity he has
done faithful service, giving of his means with
princely generosity and laboring by day and by
night, in season and out of season, in his Master's

As a professional man. Dr. Taylor deservedly
ranks very high. His opinion in diagnosis, as well
as his aid in prescribing, is valued highly by his
colleagues, and in many difficult cases he is called
in consultation. There are few families in Austin,
or indeed in Travis County, who have not, at some
time or other, had the benefit of his wise counsel
and the benefit of his skill at the bedside of some
loved one. He is uniformly courteous in social
and professional life and in his family is a model
husband and father. He loves his home and his
children, and what leisure time he has, which is
little, he spends with his family. His palatial home,
situated in the center of the city, is an ideal man-
sion surrounded by all that is bright and attractive
or ministers to refined enjoyment. His life is one
long record of noble efforts. He is one of the men
who have not only achieved success, but deserved
it. He is admired and beloved by thousands of
people throughout Texas and is a citizen who is an
honor to the State.



For the subject of this memoir the author has
selected a man who is well known to all Texas, and
who has already made his impress, deep and clear,
upon the times in which he lives. We refer to Mr.
S. W. Slayden, of Waco, president of the State
Central Bank, and secretary of the Slayden-Kirksey
Woolen Mills of Waco, Texas ; vice-president of
the Dallas Cotton Mills of Dallas, Texas, and the
Manchester Cotton Mills, of Forth Worth, Texas.
He was born in Graves County, Ky., July 22, 1839.

His father, Mr. T. A. Slayden, was born in
Virginia in 1819, and moved to Kentucky in 1830,

and was a merchant and planter who controlled
large business interests.

Mr. T. A. Slayden married Miss Letitia Ellison
Beadles, also a native of Virginia, daughter of Mr.
William G. Beadles, at the time of her marriage a
wealthy planter in Kentucky.

Of this union six children were born, five of
whom are now living. Mr. T. A. Slayden died at
Mayfield, Ky., in 1869, and his wife in New
Orleans, La., in 1874.

The subject of this memoir, S. W. Slayden, was
the second of their children : secured an academic



education ; studied law under the celebrated practi-
tioner, Edward Crossland ; and in 1858 was admit-
ted to the bar atMayfleld, Ky., when nineteen years
of age.

He continued professional work until the begin-
ning of the war between the States, and then
enlisted in the Confederate army as a soldier in
Company C, First Regiment of Kentucky Infantry,
commanded by Col. Blanton Duncan, and was with
Stonewall Jackson and, later, with Longstreet in
Virginia, until the disbandment of his regiment,
when he returned to his home in Kentucky and
resumed the practice of law.

In 1869 he went to New Orleans and formed a
law partnership with Mr. Kerr, the firm name be-
ing Slayden & Kerr, a relationship that continued
until 1874.

In the latter year Mr. Slayden acquired an in-
terest in coal mines near St. Joe, Mo., and removed
to that place to look after their development, and
entered into partnership with Mr. R. D. Blair.
Here also he became a large stockholder in a com-
pany organized for the purpose of handling coal.

From this time he entered upon a brilliant and
successful career as a financier, and his business
interests became so large and varied as to render
it inexpedient for him to further continue his pro-
fessional career, although his practice had become
large and he had won for himself a commanding
position as an able and skillful lawyer.

After a residence of four years at St. Joe, he
moved to St. Louis, Mo., and in 1882 from that
city to Waco, where he has since resided.

Here he engaged in various financial operations,
and in 1887 purchased a controlling interest in the

State Central Bank, of which, as previously stated,
he is the president.

He has been a colaborer with Mr. Wm. Cameron
in many important undertakings that have been
pushed by them to success. Besides Mr. Slayden's
connection with the industrial plants heretofore
enumerated, he has various other large investments
and business connections in Central Texas.

He was married June 19, 1872, to his first wife.
Miss Susan A. Bailey, daughter of Mr. David
Bailey, of Champaign, 111. She died in Waco,
Texas, in 1886. Two children were born of
this union, of whom one is now living, Bailey

At Denver, Colo., November 12th, 1891, Mr.
Slayden was united in marriage to Mrs. Emma C.
Whitsitt, widow of Mr. R. E. Whitsitt, who was
a prominent resident of that city. Mr. Slayden
is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He has
been a leader in ever3' worthy enterprise inaugu-
rated in Waco, and there is not a man in that city
who has contributed more largely to the upbuilding
of the city and the development of the resources of
the central portion of the State.

His service to Texas at large has been great and
invaluable, as he has done much to demonstrate
the feasibility of the firm establishment and suc-
cessful operation of manufactories within her
borders. While not a politician, in the sense that
conveys the idea of an office seeker, he has been
a tireless, able and effective worker in the cause
of good government, using all the force of his
infiuence in that direction. He is a leading spirit
in all that pertains to the material welfare of



Harris Kempner was born in the town of Kisnet-
ski, Poland, March 7th, 1837. His educational
advantages were limited, hardly, in fact, worth
mentioning. At the age of seventeen he came to
the United States, making his first stop in New
York City, where he found employment as a com-
mon laborer, at twenty-five cents a day. Later he
picked up some knowledge of the brick-mason's
trade and followed this for several months, until,
having saved enough from his earnings to buy a

small stock of merchandise and pay his passage
to Texas, he came to this State in 1856. He
established his headquarters at Cold Springs in
San Jacinto County and for about four years pre-
ceding the war followed peddling in that section of
the State.

With the opening of hostilities between the
North and the South in 1861, Mr. Kempner entered
the Confederate army, enlisting in Capt. J. Em.
Hawkins' Company, from Ellis County, which


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became part of Parsons' Brigade, and with which
be served from the date of bis enlistment until the
close of the war. He took part in all the opera-
tions in which this celebrated command partici-
pated, including the series of engagements incident
to Bank's Red river campaign, in one of which his
horse was shot from under him and he was
severely wounded, necessitating his transfer to the
Quartermaster's department where, in recognition
of his gallantry and ability, he was made Quarter-

After the war Mr. Kempner returned to Cold
Springs, opened a store and engaged in the general
mercantile business at that place until 1870, when
he moved to Galveston. There he formed a part-
nership with M. Marx under the firm name of Marx
& Kempner, and for eight years conducted one of
the largest wholesale grocery establishments in the
city of Galveston. Mr. Kempner began to interest
himself in local enterprises in Galveston immediately
upon settling there and for a period of more than
twenty years his name was connected in some
capacity with a number of the city's leading busi-
ness concerns. He was a charter member, director
and energetic promoter of the Gulf, Colorado &
Santa Fe Railroad Company, and did much toward
building and extending the road and effecting its
consolidation with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa
Fe. In 1885, after the failure of the Island City
Savings Bank, he was made its president on
its subsequent reorganization, placed it on a
safe basis and was its oflSeial head at varying
periods until failing health led to his retire-

ment. He was for many years president of
the Texas Land and Loan Company, resigning this
position also on account of his health. His other
investments were large and . covered almost every
field of legitimate enterprise. Public enterprises,
whatever would elevate, adorn or improve the
society in which he moved or the country in which
he made his home, met his cordial approbation and
received his prompt advocacy and assistance.

Mr. Kempner was always known as simply a
plain man of business. He never sought office and
took but little interest in partisan politics. As the
directing spirit of the enterprises with which he was
connected he brought to the exercise of his duties
a ripe experience, wise foresight and calmness and
deliberation of judgment found only in few men.
He did his own thinking and acted promptly and
vigorously as occasion demanded. He was attrac-
tive in presence and hearty and winning in manner.
His uprightness and general worth were every-
where known and admitted, and his friends were

In 1872, Mr. Kempner married Miss Eliza Sein-
sheimer of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the iesue of this
union was seven sons and four daughters. His
home life was charming and pleasant; under his
own roof and by his own fire-side he realized the
best phases and the truest enjoyments of this life.

On April 13th, 1894, after a brief illness of ten
days, Mr. Kempner died, passing away in the prime
of manhood, yet leaving a name full of honor and
a record of many years spent without shame or



Marx Marx is a native of Prussia, born on the
Rhine, October 10th, 1837. His father, a Prussian
tradesman, a man of good character, was engaged
in mercantile pursuits for some years in his native
country when he emigrated to the United States and
settled at New Orleans. From there he came to
Texas and is now a resident of Galveston, making
his home with the subject of this sketch, and is in
his eighty-sixth year. The mother of Marx Marx
bore the maiden name of Gertrude Levi and was a
native of France. She died several years ago in
New Orleans.

The subject of this memoir was chiefly reared in
New Orleans, in the schools of which place he
received his education. He attended Franklin
High School in that city to the age of fourteen,
when he entered his father's grocery store as a
clerk. After a year of this employment, not liking
the confinement, he left New Orleans and went to
Central America to seek his fortunes. After
spending eight months there and meeting with but
little success he determined to go to California
where he landed in 1852, a perfect stranger with
only ten cents in his pocket. He soon found a



Lome with a widow, a former friend of tlie family
in New Orleans, and accepted the first position
that was offered him — that of clerk in a butcher's
stall at a salary of $25.00 per month.

He saved his earnings and in less than a year
was enabled to go into business for himself on a
small scale. He remained in California until 1856,
when he returned to New Orleans, making the trip
from San Francisco to that city in thirty-one days,
the quickest on record at the time. After a short
visit to his old home he returned to California and
settled at Sacramento. Investing his means in a
small cigar jobbing trade, he followed this with
marked success for some months. He then induced
two friends to join him in the purchase of a stock
of goods and the three went to British Columbia,
then an attractive field for Western adventurers.
The country at that time was mostly in. the posses-
sion of the Hudson Bay Company, whose agents
watched all American enterprises with jealous eyes,
and used every means except force to prevent
traders from settling in their locality.

Young Marx, however, established himself on
the extreme northern line of the United States, and
for the first time, planted the Stars and Stripes in
that vicinity. He soon acquired a large and lucra-
tive trade, bartering his goods for furs with Indian
trappers. After acquiring a considerable amount
of money at this, he determined to return to civil-
ization, and accordingly, with his two companions,
and four friendly Indians, attempted to cross the
Gulf of Georgia in a canoe in order to get into
what is now Whatcom, Washington, but was over-
taken by a storm and at night was washed ashore
on one of the numerous islands in that bay. Here
they were Surprised by hostile Indians from neigh-
boring islands, who were deadly foes to the Indians
of his party. Mr. Marx' presence of mind did
not desert him, but meeting them in a friendly
manner and addressing them in their own language
he told them that he was not a "King George
Man," the name given by the Indians to English-
men, but was a " Boston man," meaning a citizen
of the United States. The Chief warmly welcomed
him, consented to accept as presents several bolts
of red calico and some blankets and permitted the
party to proceed unmolested on their way. After

many other trying experiences he reached Saa
Francisco in 1861.

About this time news was received there of the
large silver finds in the territory of Nevada, and
Mr. Marx went there, where he engaged in trade
and added considerably to his possessions. In 1863
he went to Utah and established himself at Ameri-
can Fork, a small village thirty-five miles south of
Salt Lake, where he did a prosperous business for
two years. He then went to Virginia City, Mont.,
at that time the capital of the territory, and estab-
lished a wholesale grocery house. Here he took
an active part in the affairs of the day and made
money rapidly. At the end of three years he left
Montana and returned to New Orleans, where, on
July 7th, 1868, he married Miss Julia Newman and
on the following day set out for Galveston, Texas.
On his arrival at that place he engaged in the mer-
cantile business and with only one brief interval
has been so engaged since. From 1868 to 1871 he
was associated with Sampson Heidenheimer in the
grocery business. From 1871 to 1886 he was
in partnership with Harris Kempner under the
firm name of Marx & Kempner, and during this
time built up a very large wholesale grocery trade.
Since 1890 he has been senior member of the firm
of Marx & Blum, wholesale dealers in hats, caps,
boots and shoes, one of the largest mercantile
establishments in the South.

Mr. Marx has taken stock in many local enter-
prises, in some of which he has held and still holds
positions of trust, among the number: The Citi-
zens' Loan Company ; The Texas Banking and Im-
provement Company ; The Galveston Loan and Im-
provement Company, and the Gulf, Colorado &
Santa Fe Eailway Company, besides various banks,
both in Galveston and in different parts of the State.

Mr. Marx has been successful in business, and
his success has come to him in response to the
exercise of industry, sagacity and sound business
judgment. He has never engaged in politics. He
is of the Jewish faith in religion, and is a member
of the Masonic fraternity. He and his wife have
had four children : Fannie, who died at the age of
eight, in March, 1878 ; Nettie, now Mrs. Nat M.
Jacobs; Gertrude, now Mrs. Samuel H. Frankel,
and Josetta, now Mrs. A. Blum.

ii,r![j5 2 7 'v.i.naEner nM-yn.i'i, l





The muse of history, lifting the veil which time
has drawn between us and that remote past which
fades toward and shades imperceptibly into the
night of a still deeper past, discloses a state of so-
ciety that, to the careless observer and superficial
thinker, has nothing in common with that of the age
in which we live, and yet the essential difference is
more apparent than actual.

From that dim long-ago to the pearl-white glim-
mer of the dawn of modern civilization on down to

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 53 of 135)