John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

. (page 63 of 135)
Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 63 of 135)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Staehely was then doing the largest and most lucra-
tive business at New Braunfels and to his strictly
honest and methodical business ways and fatherly
advice, Mr. Clemens ascribes a great deal of his

success, in life, and has always entertained for him
sentiments of respect and warmest friendship. Mr.
Clemens entered the Confederate army at eighteen
years of age, enlisting in 1862, and participated in
the sharp engagement at Jenkins Ferry in Arkansas.
He was Orderly Sergeant of Capt. Bose's company
of volunteers, of which office he is exceedingly
proud. He was afterwards elected Lieutenant.
After the war he engaged in merchandising, in
which he was quite successful, and then went into
the banking business. After having served four
years as Alderman of the city of New Braunfels and
eight years as trustee and treasurer of the New
Braunfels Academy, he was elected to the House of
Representatives of the Texas Legislature, in 1879,
from the Eighty-ninth District, composed of Bexar
and Comal counties, and also served in the house
of the Twenty-first Legislature, representing Comal,
Blanco and Gillespie counties, each time being
elected without opposition at the polls. In 1890 he

" '^y H& CKoevoeLs Tie^*^



father's side his ancestry is traced to Ireland, pos-
sibly more remotely to Wales. His mother's peo-
ple were Scotch. Theophilus Jones, his paternal
grandfather, was born in Dublin, Ireland, some-
where near the middle of the last century ; emi-
grated thence with his wife and an infant son
to America in 1774, stopping for a time at
Charleston, S. C. There his wife died, after
which event he went to Wilmington, Del., where,
on May 4th, 1775, he married Miss Mary Eccles,
daughter of John and Mary p]ccles, and settled
himself at his trade as a cabinetmaker. He
was a skillful workman and in time became a man
of some means ; afterwards abandoned cabinet-
making and engaged in trade with the West Indies
which he followed with profit until his death on the
island of St. Kitts, West Indies, about the begin-
ning of the present century. In addition to the
son by the first mairiage referred to, he left sur-
viving him three sons and two daughters by his
second marriage, namely, Mary McCorkle, John,
Theophilus, Isabella Anderson, and George. The
youngest of these, George Jones, was the father
of John M., of this article. George Jones was
born in Wilmington, Del., March 1, 1784. He
married Jane Ochiltree, of Wilmington, Jan-
uary 28, 1811, and bad issue two sons and
three daughters: Mary Jane, John Maxwell, Eliza-
beth Ann, George Crowe and Isabella. Mr. Jones'
wife died in 1821, and he later married Anna M.
Alexander McMuUen, daughter of Dr. Archibald
Alexander and widow of A. McMullen, by whom he
had a daughter and son, Henrietta Ord and Archi-
bald Alexander, the latter dying in infancy. The
senior Mr. Jones, father of John M., was a man of
superior ability as a financier and occupied a prom-
inent place in Wilmington for many years. He
was taught the trade of watchmaking by his father,
but later gave this up for the profession of dentistry
and, after having accumulated some means, de-
A'oted much of his attention to general business
pursuits and the purchase and sale of Wilmington
property and the building of workingmen's homes.
For twenty-five years he was president of the
Delaware Fire Insurance Company, was one of the
originators of the Wilmington Savings Fund and
remained one of its directors as long as he lived,
was a director of the Bank of Wilmington and
Brandywine, since nationalized and still in exist-
ence, one of the founders of Friendship Fire Engine
Company, the oldest organization of the kind in
Wilmington, and was a member of Hanover Street
Presbyterian church, in which for fifty years he was
an elder. His death occurred at Wilmington, August
15, 1867.

George Jones was a man of rare intelligence and
thrift and a man of advanced ideas on education.
He gave his children the very best of educations,
his younger son George graduating from Princeton
College in 1838. On his mother's side John M.
Jones was directly descended from revolutionary
sires, his great-grandfather, John Waugh, having
been with Gen. Washington at Valley Forge during
the terrible winter of 1776.

From such ancestry the subject of this memoir
sprung and, surrounded by scenes of commercial
thrift and in an air strongly impregnated with
morality and religious feeling, hi^ boyhood and
early youth were passed. He was born at Wilming-
ton, Del., October 8, 1814, and educated in the
schools of that place and at Bloomfleld, N. J., lay-
ing aside his books at about the age of eighteen to
take up the trade of a jeweler, which he mastered
under his father. His father offered to send him to
Princeton along with his brother George but he de-
clined, having already a good education and being
desirous of striking out for himself into active busi-
ness life. In the fall of 1836, having been taken
with a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism in
Philadelphia, where he had been clerking for a
year in the jewelry house of Edward P. Lescure, and
as his physician recommended him to take a sea
voyage, he determined to sail on a vessel then
bound for New Orleans. Through the efforts of his
father, his employer, and others, he took with him
some twenty letters of introduction to prominent
merchants in New Orleans, Natchez and Vicksburg.
These letters spoke of him in the highest terms.
His employer, Edward P. Lescure, wrote as
follows : —

"Philadelphia, Nov. 1st, 1836.
"The bearer, Mr. John M. Jones, has been in
my employ for the last twelve months and I take
pleasure in bearing testimony to his integrity,
sobriety, energy, good disposition and gentlemanly

On crutches he boarded his vessel, taking with him
his father's gift of his own warm cloak and a hun-
dred dollars in money, and in due course of time
reached his destination, much improved in health.
Having brought with him a letter of introduction to
Hyde & Goodrich, then and for many years after-
wards the leading jewelers of that section, he
sought them out on his arrival. Mr. William Good-
rich interested himself in the young man and soon
found for him an opening in Woodville, Miss., in an
excellent jewelry house.

Mr. Jones went there about February, 1837,
remaining with his employer until July, 1838, at



which time he became imbued with Texas fever
through letters written him by his friend, James
Benson, who had been for several years located at
Washington, Texas. Mr. Jones had now become
very much attached to the South, its climate and its
people. He wished to engage in business for himself,
hence he returned to New Orleans and sought the
friendly counsel of his friend, Wm. Goodrich. Mr.
Goodrich advised him to first try Shreveport, La.,
before going to Texas. About November, 1838,
he packed up his possessions, tailing along in bis
trunk a nice assortment of watches and jewelry
purchased from his savings. On the boat he fell
in with a young jeweler and watchmaker, George
Ball, from New York, bound for the same town.
Mr. Ball located at Shreveport, but Mr. Jones,
after looking the place over to his satisfaction,
turned his steps toward Texas, reaching Galveston
about January 1st, 1839. He settled there, and
at once opened a shop. He put up one of the first
buildings in the town, erected in a string of wooden
structures on what is now the Strand, then called
by him Commercial Kow, his building, a two-story
frame, being the best in the row. It cost him
$1,000 "in United States money" which he paid
down on its completion, the lot on which it stood
being leased for a term of five years at $400 a year
" in Texas money." In the primitive condition of
things at that date the houses were not numbered,
but Mr. Jones through sport selected the day of the
month on which he was born as his number and the
street in the meantime having been named put on
his sign, "No. 8 Strand." So his place of busi-
ness was for a long time afterwards known, and a
clock which he for years used as a regulator, still
in the possession of his son, bears this designation.
His central location made space in his building
desirable and he had no difficulty in renting half of
his house at $50.00 a month, still having all the
room he needed. He was the first regular watch-
maker on Galveston Island, and, as more than half
the immigration to Texas in those days went
through Galveston, he repaired the time-pieces
and furnished the time for most of the population
of the Republic. "Jones' time" was considered
the correct time and everybody went by it. He
also did a good business repairing nautical instru-
ments, getting all the work of this kind that there
was to do. He was an industrious workman and
shrewd tradesman, and his activity and upright
business methods brought him substantial returns.
That he had bhe instinct of the latter-day merchant
is evidenced by the liberality with which he patron-
ized the newspapers and sought in every legitimate
way to place his goods and wares before the public.

In an old issue of the Civilian and Gazette of date
1845, the writer counted five separate advertisements
of his, one of which was accompanied by a cut of his
building, said to be the first cut ever inserted in a
Texas newspaper. He turned to good account his
acquaintance and previous connection with Hyde &
Goodrich, of New Orleans, receiving from them such
goods as he needed and for which he seems to have
found a ready sale. One of the advertisements
referred to above sets forth that he had just received
a large assortment of "Fashionable and fancy
jewelry, school books, stationery, blank books,
annuals, albums, gift books, writing, letter and
note paper, visiting and conversation cards, cutlery,
combs, suspenders, gloves, stocks, straps etc., etc."

One of the first things he did was to form a tem-
perance society and to push the subject of good
schools in his little community. Although a mem-
ber of the Presbyterian Church, he allied himself
with the Episcopalians for many years, as this sect
was the most active in church work and the pastor,
the Rev. Mr. Eaton, was his intimate friend.

Mr. Jones took an active interest in the town ;
became a member of its first fire company. Hook
and Ladder Company, No. 1 ; was commissioned by
President Houston Captain of militia for "Beat
No. 2, Fourth Regiment, Second Brigade, Militia
of the Republic of Texas," and, in 1850, was the
commissioner from Texas appointed by Governor
' Bell to the London Industrial Exhibition, for which
he collected exhibits and, in company with Dr.
Ashbel Smith, set forth as best he could with the
limited means at his command the resources of this
imperial commonwealth.

After his return from Europe in 1851, Mr. Jones
associated with himself Messrs. John B. Root and
B. R. Davis, forming a partnership under the firm
name of Jones, Root & Davis, and embarked in the
furniture, jewelry and book business on a somewhat
extensive scale. This business prospered until the
Civil War when, with the closing of the port of Gal-
veston, it was discontinued. Mr. Jones was past
the age for military duty when the war opened but
entered the Confederate service in the commissary
department, and spent the most of his time during
the ensuing four years in the interior of the State
procuring and forwarding supplies to the soldiers
at the front. While he deplored the dismember-
ment of the Union, still he thought that the rights
of the South had been invaded and that the only
course left for her to pursue was the one she

On May 25, 1852, at Galveston, Mr. Jones mar-
ried Miss Henrietta Offenbach, who was then
visiting her sister, Mrs. Sam Maas, of that place.



They were married by the Eev. Mr. Eaton. Ex-
Governor Frank Lubbock was one of the grooms.
Mrs. Jones was a native of Cologne, Germany,
and a sister of the great Parisian composer,
Jacques Offenbach. Previous to taking this step
Mr. Jones had purchased property on Broadway,
between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets (an
entire block), where, having erected what for the
time was an excellent dwelling, he established him-
self and lived for some years in bachelor quarters,
dispensing a generous hospitality to his numerous
friends. Three daughters, Anna M., Eosanna
Osterman, and Henrietta Ord, and one son, William
Goodrich, named for his old friend, the jeweler of
New Orleans, were the issue of this union. In the
earlier days Mr. Jones underwent many of the
privations to which the inhabitants of Galveston
Island were subjected, and during the Civil War
he and his family suffered in common with others
all the hardships which were visited upon the people
of that city. He passed through eight yellow fever
epidemics, he and his entire family at one time or
another having the disease, one daughter, Rosa,
dying of it.

After the war Mr. Jones took his family to
Europe, in consequence of his wife's broken health,
and remained there nearly a year, returning in the
latter part of 1866, when he took up his resi-
dence in New York. There he organized the New
York and Texas Land Company, with which he
was subsequently connected, and as long as he
lived devoted his attention chiefly to land matters.
During his residence in Texas he had, as his means
accumulated, made considerable investments in
Texas real estate both in the city of Gavleston and
in unimproved lands in different counties, and
these holdings advancing in price with the set-
tlement of the country, formed the foundation
of a comfortable fortune, the oversight of which
together with his other duties occupied his
time during the last twenty years of his life.
He built a home in Brooklyn, N. Y., and a
summer residence at Saratoga Springs in that

State, and between these two places spent his time,
making an occasional trip to Texas, and once —
from 1872 to 1875 — an extended trip to Europe.
Though much absent in later life from the State he
never forgot the scenes of his early struggles nor
the friends of his young manhood. He was devoted
to Texas and her people with that ardent attach-
ment which characterizes the feelings of all those
who have shared in the glories and sorrows of its
early days. He was the kind of material of which
new States are made. His honest, industrious,
upright ways won him friends and helped early in
his career to make him one of the foremost men in
the community where he settled. His achieve-
ments, considering his chances, were great; but
back of these was something greater, a character,
into the formation of which had entered the in-
herited wisdom and virtue of an excellent ancestry,
reinforced by patient discipline on his own part and
a fervent trust in God.

He spent much of his leisure time in after years
in study and philanthropy, and was a man of much
knowledge and general culture, and of a strong
religious character. After hisremoval to Brooklyn,
N. Y., he was for many years a communicant of
the Rev. Theo. L.Culyer's Lafaj'ette Avenue Pres-
byterian church.

Like his father, he neither smoked nor chewed
tobacco, nor drunk spirituous liquors, deeming a
man would remain healthier and happier without
these habits. He was an enthusiastic agriculturist
and lover of nature, and took great interest in tree
planting and the beautifying of cities. After a life
of much activity and crowned with more than
ordinary success he died, passing away at his sum-
mer home at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., on the 21st
day of April, 1891, in the seventy-seventh year of
his age. His widow survived him a little less than
four years, dying January 8th, 1895, at Aiken,
S. C, whither she had gone for the winter. Their
two surviving daughters reside in New York, their
son at Temple, Texas.





Col. J. H. Burnett, of Galveston, was born in
Greeneville, Greene County, Tenn., July 8, 1830.

His parents were Sylas E. and Malinda (Howell)
Burnett, Virginians by birth, connected by ties of
consanguinity and affinity with some of the proudest
names that adorn the pages of the country's his-
tory. They moved at an early day from Virginia
to Tennessee, and from that State to Georgia,
where they spent their remaining years.

The subject of this memoir was reared in Greene-
ville, Tenn., and Somerville, Ga., where he ac-
quired an excellent education.

Fired with the martial spirit, love of country,
and desire for adventure common to the chivalric
youth of that day, he enlisted, at the age of six-
teen, as a private soldier in Col. Calhoun's Regi-
ment, for service in the war between the United
States and Mexico. This regiment formed a part
of Gen. "Winfield Scott's army, took part in the
memorable march of two hundred and seventy-
nine miles from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico,
and participated in the various battles that were
fought en route and in front of the city, including
the storming of the castle of Chepultepec. In all
these engagements the subject of this memoir con-
ducted himself with conspicuous gallantry, and
before the close of the campaign was rewarded with
a Lieutenant's commission. Returning to his home
in Georgia, he was honored by the Governor with a
Colonelcy in the State troops.

On his way to Mexico he traversed a considerable
part of the State of Texas and was so favorably
impressed with its climate, soil, people and future
prospects, that he determined to make his home in
the country. He served as sheriff of Chattooga
County, Ga., for a period of two or more years,
and then resigned the office to leave Somerville,
Ga., for Texas in 1854. ' He located at Crockett,
in Houston County, this State, and there engaged
in farming and merchandising, and soon acquired
a prominent position in the community, owing to
his public spirit, social qualities and superior talents.
Three years later he was elected to the Legislature
as a member of the House of Representatives. That
body then contained a number of men who would
have graced the Congress of the United States in its
palmiest days and who afterwards acquired national
reputations. The policies of the State were in a
formative condition and many issues of vital im-

portance presented themselves for discussion and
settlement. Col. Burnett was (as he still is) a
clear, forcible and elegant speaker and, from the
beginning, took rank among the foremost of his
colleagues. He was placed by the Speaker on a
majority of the important committees, where his in-
defatigable industry, sound judgment and fidelity
to duty enabled him to render valuable service to
the State. He was re-elected to the House for a
second term and before its close added new laurels
to those he had already won. He was then nomi-
nated by the Democracy of his district and elected
to the State Senate in 1860. Early in the following
year, however, the long-gathering hurricane of Civil
War burst upon the country and the Southland
called her sons to arms. Col. Burnett was among
the first to respond ; promptly resigned his seat in
the Senate, and in a short time mustered a regiment
of sixteen companies (the Thirteenth Texas Cavalry)
of which he was elected Colonel. It was his desire
to cross the Mississippi and serve under Gen.
Joseph E. Johnston, but there was some delay in
securing transportation and not desiring to remain
inactive he hurried with his command to the front,
joining Gen. Ben McCulloch, then conducting a
desperate and unequal contest in Arkansas. While
the numbers engaged in that State were not
so large as in some of the battles fought by
the armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee,
several of the conflicts in Arkansas were un-
paralled in the history of the war for their stub-
bornness, the valor displayed by the men and
the proportion of the killed and wounded to the
number of the troops brought into action. It was
hard fighting all the way through and the Thirteenth
did its full share of it. Col. Burnett's regiment
also took part in the campaign against Gen. Banks,
in Louisiana, one of the most brilliant and success-
ful inaugurated and carried out by the Confederate
arms, covering itself with glory at Mansfield, Pleas-
ant Hill and elsewhere. Banks' powerful army was
completely routed, Texas saved from invasion and
Louisiana bloodily avenged for the depredations of
an enemy more savage and merciless than the
pagan Huns who devastated Central and Western
Europe when the power of imperial Rome, like the
tower of Ushur, was darkly nodding to its fall.

After the war Col. Burnett returned to Crockett
where he resumed business pursuits and began by






Every country has had its golden or heroic
age, the memory of which has been transmitted to
after times surrounded with a halo of romantic and
chivalric interest. That of Texas may be said to
embrace the period of the revolutionary struggle
that witnessed the triumph of a few fearless free-
men over a powerful foe, and the birth of a blood-
bought Republic that, after a career of singular
brilliancy, merged itself into the great sisterhood
of States comprising the American Union. Not so
long as the human heart shall beat responsive to
the recital of deeds of patriotic self-sacrifice will
the immolation at the Alamo be forgotten, and not
until the very names of the Anglo-Saxon and
Celtic races shall have faded from the pages of
history and men ceased to prize the blessings of
constitutional freedom will the memory of San
Jacinto fail to stir the pulses of youth and age
alike, inspire reverence and affection for the men
who wrote with their swords upon the scroll of
Time the undying story of our State, and keep
warm and true the love of country in the hearts of
the people.

Houston, Rusk, Austin, Travis, Fannin, Burle-
son, the Bowies, Crockett, Bonham, Johnson,
Milam, Sherman, Lamar, Williamson, Jack, their
compeers and the men who followed them to
victory or death, are the Immortals of Texas.

A few of the veterans who followed Johnson and
Milam into San Antonio, and who charged under
Houston at San Jacinto yet survive, a majority of
them old and feeble men who have lived to see the
country change from a wilderness to a populous
and powerful commonwealth, and to witness the
full fruits of the labors of their earlier years. But
one of them, at least, is still blessed with strength
and health. We refer to William McFaddin, of
Beaumont, Texas. He was born at Lake Charles,
La., June 8, 1819, and came to Texas with his
parents, James and Elizabeth McFaddin, in 1823.
The family settled in Liberty County, where they
remained until June, 1833, when they moved into
what is. now Jefferson County and opened a farm,
one mile distant from the present town of Beau-
mont, upon which the subject of this memoir now

Mr. William McFaddin joined the Texian army
in 1835, not long after the firing of the first gun of
the revolution, and served under Capt. Andrew


Briscoe in the memorable storming of San Antonio
by the columns under Milam and Johnson — one
of the most remarkable military feats recorded in
the annals of war. He saw Milam a few minutes
after that gallant leader was killed and before the
body was picked up from the spot where it had
fallen. Mr. McFaddin remained in San Antonio
until just before the siege of the Alamo. He joined
the army under Houston at Columbus, participated
in the battle of San Jacinto, was present when
Santa Anna was brought in and turned over to
Gen. Houston, and, after the battle, was a soldier
in the force under Gen. Rusk that followed the
retreating army of Filisola as far as Goliad and
there buried the charred remains of the men who
fell in the Fannin massacre. Mr. McFaddin was
honorably discharged from the service June 8th,
•1836, and walked bare-footed from Goliad to his
home near Beaumont. He received a bounty of
320 and a donation of 640 acres of land for his
services in the revolutionary war (as did other
soldiers of San Jacinto) and resumed the business
of stock raising in which he had been previously

He was united in marriage in 1837 to Miss
Rachel Williams, daughter of Hezekiah Williams,
of Louisiana, and then received from the Republic
of Texas a family head-right of a league and labor
of land which he located in Williamson County and

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 63 of 135)