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every duty, and well merits the confidence and
esteem in which he is held by those who know him
best within the social and business world. He has
met with a reasonable measure of success in a
financial way, having $100,000 judiciously in-
vested. He has lived in Houston since 1872. Mr.
and Mrs. Fenn have a delightful home in that city.
Here they are quietly and happily passing their
declining years. They have witnessed villages,
towns and cities rise where the red Indian pitched
his wigwam ; there are now waving fields of golden
grain on sun-kissed prairies over which once
wandered the buffalo and coyote ; they have be-
held the coming of the railroad and the telegraph,
and not only the dawning but wondrous growth
and expansion of a refined and elegant civilization
for which they helped clear the way. They and
others like them are entitled to lasting gratitude
and remembrance.




MRS. FENN AND DAUGHTERS.




JAMES R. MASTERSON.



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



303



JAMES ROANE MASTERSON,

HOUSTON.



James Roane Masterson, though reared in Texas,
is not a native of the State. He was born in
Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., April 15, 1838.

His paternal grandmother was a Miss Washington,
niece of President George Washington. His father,
a lawyer of Brazoria County, Texas, was a native
of Tennessee, but removed with his family to Texas
in 1839, and was elected County Clerk of Brazoria
■County. His mother, Christiana J. Roane, born
in Nashville, Tenn., January 10, 1818, is the
daughter of James Roane, son of Governor Archi-
bald Roane, of Tennessee, in whose honor a county
of that State is named ; a grandniece of Governor
Spencer Roane, of Virginia, who was at one time
United States senator from that State, and of David
Roane, who was appointed by President Jefferson,
United States District Judge for the State of Ken-
tucky, and a cousin of Governor John Roane, of
Arkansas. The maternal grandmother of James
R. Masterson was a Miss Irby, of Virginia, a rela-
tive of President John Tyler. One of her sisters
is the mother of John Morgan, United States Senator
from Alabama. Two of her nieces married Thomas
■Chilton of the Supreme Court of Alabama, one of
whom was mother of Mrs. Abercrombie, of Hunts-
Tille. Another of her sisters, Mrs. Mary Hooker,
of New Orleans, formerly Mrs. Noble, was the
mother of John I. Noble, of New Orleans.

His paternal uncle, William Masterson, married
the eldest daughter of the celebrated Felix Grundy,
of Tennessee. His brothers, William, Washington
(now dead), Archibald, and Branch T. Masterson,
were all in the Confederate army and were gallant
soldiers, William and Washington serving as
officers. Harris was a small boy when the war
■began.

James R. Masterson's opportunities for obtaining
a thorough education were very limited. When be
was a youth there were no good schools in Texas,
and what education he received is due to his
mother. His early predilections were for the law,
and he began the study of that science at the age
of seventeen. In 1856 he entered the law office of
Gen. John A. Wharton and Clinton Terry, at
Brazoria. He had for four years been an assistant
to his father in the County Clerk's office, and there
gained much information in regard to forms and
practice, knowledge that greatly facilitated his
-advancement. He was admitted to the bar in



1858, having been declared of age for that purpose
by the Legislature of Texas. As soon as admitted
to the practice, he located in Houston and there
applied himself to his profession with great dili-
gence and assiduity. He was studious, careful and
attentive to business. The industry and caution
he displayed in the preparation of his cases gave
him a standing at the bar at once, and secured for
him a large and lucrative practice. By the unani-
mous request of the Houston bar, he was, in 1870,
appointed by Governor E. J. Davis, Judge of the
Nineteenth Judicial District of Texas, composed of
Harris and Montgomery counties. He entered
upon the duties of that office with the same energy
and industry that he had exhibited as a practi-
tioner. His predecessors in office, prior to the
war between the States, were men of acknowledged
ability and were eminently qualified for the station ;
and from the time of his appointment, he exhibited
a laudable ambition to worthily emulate their vir-
tues. His executive ability in the disposition of
judicial business is rarely equaled, and in applying
the law to the facts of the case, few men are more
careful and accurate, and none more conscientious.
Judge Masterson served under the appointment
of the Governor until the adoption of the present
constitution, in 1876. By that instrument his office
was made elective by the people, and he was the
first judge of his district elected under it. He was
nominated by the Democrats and chosen Judge of
the Twenty-first (old Nineteenth) District,

His personal character and official course have
been so eminently satisfactory to the people that
no man in the district could have been elected in
his stead. He has but a very brief military record.
He enlisted in the army to go to Virginia with
Hood's scouts, but was transferred to Elmore's Reg-
iment, Twenty-first Texas, commanded by Lieut.-
Col. L. A. Abercrombie, and served one year, and
was honorably discharged. Politically, Judge
Masterson has always been a Democrat, and in the
days of secession was a follower of Sam Houston
and favored co-operation rather than secession.
He did not endorse the constitutionality or the
expediency of secession, but advocated the co-oper-
ation of Texas with the northern tier of Southern
States. He belongs to the State's Rights school of
politics, but does not believe that secession is a
constitutional remedy.



304



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



Judge Masterson is a Euight Templar and Past
Master of Holland Lodge No. 1, Ancient Order of
Free and Accepted Masons (Houston), of which
Presidents Sam Houston and Anson Jones had been
masters. He has been Captain-General and Gene-
ralissimo of Ruthven Commandery No. 2, chair-
man of the committee of Foreign Correspondence
of the Grand Commandery, and is a member of the
committee of Grievances and Appeals of the Grand
Lodge of Texas and of the Knights of Honor
and German Turn Verein. He was baptized and
reared in the Episcopal Church, of which Mrs. Mas-
terson was also a member. Judge Masterson was
married in Galveston, Texas, January 17, 1865, to
Miss Sallie Wood, a native of Galveston, daughter
of E. S. Wood, the noted hardware merchant of that
city. She graduated at Miss Cobb's Seminary in
her native city. Mrs. Masterson died in 1890.
Four children were born of this union, all at Galves-
ton: James Eoane, Annie Wood, Lawrence Wash-
ington (died in 1891), and Mary Heard Master-
son.

The life of the gentleman whose biography is
here briefly sketched demonstrates the value of
perseverance and determination to succeed in the
face of what seem to be insurmountable obstacles.
Deprived of school in early life, learning from
books only what a mother could teach amid a mul-
tiplicity of household cares incident to the rearing
of a large family, and starting without any capital,
but having ambition and energy, he has not only
earned a high position professionally, and an honor-
able name among men, but also a considerable for-
tune. He is now reckoned among the wealthy
men of Houston. In 1879 when the Court of Com-
missioners of Appeals was established, twenty-six
out of the thirty State Senators, the Lieul^enant-
Governor and a large number of Representatives
signed a recommendation, or request, to the Gov-
ernor to appoint him one of the judges of that court.
This paper was sent to Judge Masterson with the



expectation and desire that he would present it to
the Governor, who would hardly have hesitated to
comply with the wish of the petitioners and place
him on the bench. The recommendation was never
delivered to the Governor, however, as Judge Mas-
terson did not want the place, although, in point of
dignity, it is equivalent to a seat on the supreme
bench. As a further evidence of the high esteem
in which he is held by his fellow-countrymen of all
parties, it may be stated that at the Democratic
district convention held at Houston, July 30, 1880,
he was unanimously renominated for Judge of the
Twenty-first District, and the Independent conven-
tion indorsed him with equal unanimity, and he
was re-elected, beating his Republican opponent
over three thousand votes, out of a total of seven
thousand, and leading the Democratic State ticket
twenty-five hundred votes. On the bench he knows
neither Democrat nor Republican. His undoubted
integrity of character, his knowledge of law, his
quick perceptions, his decided convictions, the
urbanity of his manners and the care with which he
studiously avoids wounding the feelings of others,
are traits that account for his great popularity. He
is a shrewd business man, commanding the respect
and receiving the confidence of the community in
his financial transactions.

His life will bear microscopic inspection, whether
as an officer or a citizen. He is a close observer of
men and things and a hard student in his profes-
sion, a man worthy of the trust reposed in him in
all his relations of citizens. Christian, lawyer and
judge.

He is a man of spare build, being only five feet
seven inches in height, and weighing only one hun-
dred and forty-six pounds. His complexion is
fair, his eyes greyish-blue, and forehead high and
intellectual. He is quick spoken, and his manner
is frank and affable.

In January, 1893, Judge Masterson resumed the
general practice of his profession.



SAMUEL E. HOLLAND,

BURNET.

Samuel Eli Holland was born in Merriweather in 1841. In April, 1847, he went to Austin and

County, Ga., December 6th, 1826, and came entered the United States army as a soldier in

to Texas in 1846, having been preceded by his Samuel Highsmith's Company, Sixth Texas Cavalry

parents, John R. and Elizabeth Holland, who came (Jack Hay's Regiment), and with that command



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



305



joined the army of Gen. Taylor, then in Mexico. He
was engaged with Hays' Regiment in guerrilla war-
fare until discharged in May, 1848, when he
returned to Texas.

During September of that year he settled in Bur-
net County, then unorganized, where he purchased
land on Hamilton creek, three miles below the
present town of Burnet, twenty-five miles from his
nearest neighbor, and there commenced farming.
He invested eight or nine hundred dollars, the
amount he had saved out of his pay for services
'in the army. Capt. Holland has been married
three times. He first married Mary Scott in 1852,
by whom one son, George, who now lives in Mason
County, was born to him. She died in March,
1855. December 6, 1856, he married Miss Clara
Thomas. Nine children were born of this union,
four sons and five daughters, viz. : David B., John
H., Sam W., Porter D., Mary B., who married
George Lester, of Llano County ; Martha M. , who
married Henry Hester ; Louisa, Catherine and
Elizabeth. Mrs. Holland died January 8, 1887.
September 22, 1887, Mr. Holland married Mrs.
Susan A. McCarty, by whom he has had three
children, Charles Hamilton, Thomas A. , and Will-
iam A.

Capt. Holland has been a successful business
man. He was a member of the Texas Mining and
Improvement Company, which built the North-
western Railroad from Burnet to Marble Falls. He
is largely engaged in farming and stock-raising and



owns fine lands on Hamilton creek, in Burnet
County. He is a Royal Arch Mason and a leading
man in the Grange. He has always espoused the
cause of law and order, given a ready and active
support to the constituted authorities and been
looked to and relied upon in time of public danger.
Burnet was, for a long time after he settled there,
a border county and subjected to Indian raids. He
responded to every call of his neighbors to repel
the Indians and protect the settlers and their prop-
erty and was engaged in numerous Indian fights.
At one time there was a band of counterfeiters on
the Colorado river. Some of them were arrested
and brought to trial, but none but negro evidence
could be obtained, and they were acquitted. But
they were notified by Capt. Holland and others to
leave the county, which they promptly did.

After the war a number of parties commenced
rounding up the yearlings, branding them, and
driving off the beef cattle. A number of these
men were indicted, but Judge Turner refused to
hold court unless he was protected. Capt. Holland,
at the request of a number of respectable citizens,
organized a small police force and Judge Turner,
knowing of what kind of stuff the men were made,
said to him: "Holland, I look to you to protect
this court, else I can't hold it;" and he did protect
the court, notwithstanding the threats and show of
armed resistance that were made.

Capt. Holland, although past middle age, is yet
vigorous and active.



PHILIP SANGER,



DALLAS.



We have selected for the subject of this
memoir the head of the Dallas branch of
a great mercantile establishment that, start-
ing from a very small beginning a number of
years since, has grown to be the pride of the
State of Texas. We refer to Mr. Philip Satiger
and to Sanger Bros. , who own mammoth emporiums
at Waco and Dallas. This house is considered
the largest wholesale and retail establishment in the
Southern States. Its working capital is several
million dollars. It has three hundred and fifty
employees at Dallas, and one hundred and fifty at
Waco. It is conspicuous, not alone for its wealth
and the magnitude of its yearly transactions, but

20



for the high personal character and the important
services, both in time of peace and war, rendered
to the country by the gentlemen who compose the
firm. Men who follow any occupation or pursue
any profession are apt to consider theirs as superior
to all others. The soldier prides himself upon
being a member of the profession of arms. He
looks about him and says: " That man is actuated
by the greed of gain ; that man humbles himself to
secure votes to put himself into some petty civil
office ; that man is spending his days in represent-
ing in court clients who have defrauded their neigh-
bors or committed crimes for which they ought to be
placed in the penitentiary or hanged, while we



306



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



soldiers are relieved from all necessity for taking
stock in the sordid affairs of life and, like gentle-
men, stand ready, with clean hands and brave
hearts and willing swords, to respond to the call of
danger and defend our country if need be with our
lives. Our profession elevates and ennobles and this
can scarcely be said of any other."

The physician says : " The soldier is only needed
in time of war, and is an expense instead of an
advantage in time of peace, and his presence is
justified solely by the ■ fact that it is necessary for
the rest of the community to support hitn in order
to avoid the danger of foreign aggression. The
profession of medi'cine is the greatest of all profes-
sions. Men may get along without any thing else,
but they are obliged to have doctors." So with
the lawyer, so with the merchant and so with
the members of nearly every other avocation ;
but, the truth of the matter is, that each
and all are needed to develop and sus-
tain our complex and many-sided civilization.
It is difficult to institute comparisons and deter-
mine the relative value of any calling or pur-
suit. There is nothing more certain, however,
than that the commercial importance of a country
depends upon the ability and enterprise displayed
by its merchants and that no nation can amount to
much or take high rank without possessing such
merchants. Ancient Tyre and Sidon owed their
opulence and power to them and not to their fleets
and armies. The same may be said of Carthage,
of Venice, and of modern England, and, in a large
measure, of our own country. It requires more
capacity and more labor to successfully manage a
large establishment like that of Sanger Bros., at
Dallas, than to be Governor of Texas. The com-
mercial world is a free Eepublic in which no man
can expect special favors and in which every man
must rise or fall according to his merits. He who
enters it is compelled to meet the most skillful
opponents, and contend against men of wonderful
nerve, energy and brain. He must be constantly
upon the quivive. He must possess not only exec-
utive ability of a high order, but capacity.for the
minutest details and the hardest work. The subject
of this notice stands pre-eminent in Texas as a
financier and merchant. He was born in Bavaria,
Germany, September 11, 1841. His parents were
Elias and Babetta Sanger, who came to America
and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, from which place
they moved to New York City, where they spent
their remaining years. His father died in 1877,
his mother in 1886. Both are buried in New York.
They had ten children, seven sons and three
daughters, of whom Isaac, senior partner of the



firm of Sanger Bros., resides in New York; Leh-
man resides in Waco, engaged in the real estate
business ; Philip and Alexander are heads of the
Dallas branch of Sanger Bros, business ; Samuel is
a member of the firm of Sanger Bros, and lives at
Waco ; Sophia, resides at Waco, her husband,
L. Emanuel, in the employ of Sanger Bros. ;
Eda, wife of Jacob Newburger, resides in New
York (Mr. Newburger is one of the Eastern buy-
ers for the firm of Sanger Bros.) ; Bertha, widow
of Joseph Lehman, resides in New York ; and Jacob
and David died of yellow fever at Bryan, Texas,
in 1867, aged, respectively, twenty and seventeen
years. After his arrival from Germany Mr. Philip
Sanger remained in New York City for eighteen
months, during which time he clerked for board and
washing and $2.50 per month. He left New York
in 1858 and went to Savannah, Ga., where he
obtained employment in a clothing store where he
received $10.00 per month for his services. At the
end of a year he was sent to the interior, where
he clerked for his employer and made collections
until the beginning of the war between the
States, Mr. Heller having gone North and left him
to settle up that part of the business. Mr. San-
ger's sympathies were with the Southern States
and he responded to the call to arms by entering
the Confederate army as a soldier in Company
G., Thirty-second Georgia, commanded by Col.
George P. Harrison, Jr. A few years since the
writer met a friend of Mr. Sanger's at Weather-
ford, Texas, who said: "I served in the army
with Philip Sanger and I never knew a braver or
better soldier." Besides other engagements, Mr.
Sanger participated in that incident to the bom-
bardment of Morris' Island, S. C, and the
battles of Ocean Pond, Fla., and Bentonville,
N. C, his term of service extended over three
years and eight months. He was slightly wounded
at Ocean Pond. Coming out of the war utterly
penniless and the South being prostrated by the re-
sults of the conflict, he went to Cincinnati, where he
clerked in a notion store for eight months. He
then joined his brothers, Isaac and Lehman, who
had established themselves in business at Millican,
Texas, where they remained until 1867, then
moved to Bryan, then the terminus of the Texas
Central Railway. In 1869 the firm followed the
terminus to Calvert and did business there a year,
after which they moved to Kosse ; stayed there six
months ; moved to Grosbeck in the spring of 1871 ;
in the fall of that year changed their base of
operations to Corsicana, and in 1872 established
themselves in Dallas, doing the leading business in
all of the towns mentioned and at Dallas laying broad



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



307



and deep the foundation for the immense business
which they have since built up. Mr. Sanger was
married August 26, 1869, to Miss Cornelia Mandel-
baum, of New Haven, Connecticut. They have
three children, one son and two daughters, all of
whom are now living. Mr. Sanger has lost five
children. He is a member of the I. O. B. B.
He is modest and unpretentious in manner and
an indefatigable worker. At the same time he
is genial in manner, a most polished and elegant
gentleman, and knows how to entertain royally
at his palatial home. He has assisted with his
personal influence in securing for Dallas many
of the leading enterprises that now add to the



prosperity of the place and has given largely in
the way of donations to railroads. He has been an
active promoter of every worthy public and private
movement for which his aid has been solicited.
His charities have been many and unostentatious.
He is recognized far and wide as a man of com-
manding talents in the field which he has selected
for his life work. He has done as much, perhaps,
of a practical nature, as any other man in the
State to build up the material prosperity of Texas
and deserves a place in this work beside those men
who have proved themselves to be potent factors
in our civilization.



SAMUEL SANGER,

WACO.



Samuel Sanger, a leading merchant of Waco and
one of the best known and most thoroughly repre-
sentative business men and financiers in Texas, was
born in Bavaria, South Germany, September 11th,
1843, and educated in Wurzburg, Bavaria, and
Berlin, Prussia, where he studied for and was ad-
mitted to the Jewish ministry. He came to the
United States in 1866 and from 1867 to March,
1873, was the rabbi in charge of the synagogue at
Philadelphia, Pa. In 1873, he came to Waco,
Texas, and there engaged in business as a member
of the famous mercantile house of Sanger Bros, of
Dallas, who, in that year, established a branch
house at Waco. Since that time he has had entire
charge of the Waco store and has built up an im-
mense trade for it.

He was united in marriage at Cincinnati, Ohio,
in 1867, to Miss Hannah Heller, daughter of K. L.
Heller, of that city. They have four sons and one



daughter, viz., Charles L., a cotton broker at
Waco ; Ike S. , connected with the New York office
of Sanger Bros. ; A. S., employed in the wholesale
notion department of the firm's establishment at
Waco ; Alex, now attending school in New York ;
and Miss Carrie Sanger, who is living at home with
her parents. Sanger Bros, is the largest dry goods
house south of St. Louis and operates on a capital
of millions of dollars. Mr. Sam. Sanger is a mem-
ber of the Knights of Honor, is a member of K. S.
B. and is also a member and Past-President of I.
O. B. B. A business man of pre-eminent energy,
enterprise and ability, he is a ripe scholar and
polished gentleman as well, and is universally
esteemed in commercial and social circles. He
is a man thoroughly representative of the best
thought and purpose of the sphere of action in
which he has for so many years been a notable and
commanding figure.



308



INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.



WILLIAM KINCHIN DAVIS,



RICHMOND.



It is difficult for men and women of this later
generation, familiar with life upon peaceful farms
and in towns and cities, to form a mental picture
of the physical aspect of Texas sixty years ago, or
to conceive of the hardships, privations and dangers,
incident to colonial life at that remote period.
Here and there, only, the smoke from a settler's
cabin chimney curled upward on lonely prairie or
in primeval river bottom and forest.

Weak and timid souls kept aloof from such a
land. Brave, adventurous, hardy spirits poured



after the disbanding of Somervell's army on the
Rio Grande, marched into Mexico with other
Texian troops and in December, 1842, participated
in the remarkable and brilliant battle of Mier, in
which he was severely wounded and which resulted
in the surrender of the Texians under stipulations
that were afterwards violated with customary Mexi-
can perfidy. The men were marched afoot, guarded
by Mexican cavalry, toward the city of Mexico.
He was one of those who made their escape at the
hacienda of Salado and were recaptured, after suf-




WM. K. DAVIS.



into its confines — a race to which a San Jacinto
was possible and that laid the foundation for the
institutions we enjoy. We have selected one of
these men, the late William Kinchen Davis, for the
subject of this memoir.

He was born in the State of Alabama on the 11th
day of November, 1822 ; came to Texas during the
month of February, 1830 ; when fourteen years of
age (in 1836), helped build a fort at the mouth of



Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 58 of 135)