John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

. (page 66 of 135)
Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 66 of 135)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

dependent upon his labors at the bar, never regu-
larly practiced his profession. As a result of the
war, Edward Gresham's fortune was swept away.
Nothing disheartened by the changed prospect that
lay before him, Walter Gresham determined to
move to Texas. He landed at Galveston on the
last day of the year 1866 with only $5.00 in his
pockets ; rented an office and began the practice of
law. His early days were a hard struggle ; but,
talent is never without appreciation in an intelli-
gent community, when conjoined with other ele-
ments of character essential to success, and his rise
at the bar was rapid. He was elected to the
responsible position of District Attorney for
Galveston and Brazoria counties in 1872, served
three years, and left the office with an excellent
record. E]arly in his professional career Mr.
Gresham was admitted to partnership with Col.
Walter L. Mann and maintained this relation until
Col. Mann's death in 1875. He then practiced
alone until 1878, when he formed a copartnership
with S. W. Jones, Esq., the firm now being
Gresham & Jones. Up to 1877 Mr. Gresham en-
joyed, perhaps, a better paying practice than any
other lawyer in Texas. At that time his financial
interests became so large and began to demand so

much of his time that he, in a measure, abandoned
court room practice and has since, while continuing
the pursuit of his profession, mainly devoted his
attention to other business.

From the organization of the Gulf, Colorado and
Santa Fe Railroad to the date of its sale to the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, be was a stock-
holder and director in and attorney for the road and
served for a time as its Second Vice-President. In
the infancy of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe he
was the main man in the field, selecting routes, se-
curing right of way, locating towns and mapping
out and superintending other important business.
When this railway was sold it had over 1,000 miles
of track, was well equipped and was one of the
best pieces of railway property in the country.
Mr. Gresham is now one of the promoters of a
number of new railway enterprises of great magni-
tude and that will, if successfully inaugurated,
greatly enhance the prosperity of Texas.

He represented Galveston at the Deep Water
Convention held at Fort Worth in 1888 ; was a del-
egate to the Denver, Colo., Convention, held
later in the same year, and was, also, a delegate to
the Deep Water Convention held at Topeka, Kan.,
in 1889. He was made Chairman of the Special
Committee, appointed by the Topeka Convention
to go to Washington and work to secure favorable
action on the part of the National Congress, looking
to the speedy creation of a deep-water harbor at
the most available point on the Texas coast. He
was indefatigable in his efforts and succeeded in
having an amendment added to the River and Har-
bor Bill that was passed by the Fifty-first Congress,
authorizing the Secretary of War to enter into con-
tracts for the completion of the work (estimated to
cost $6,200,000) necessary to give Galveston one
of the finest harbors on the American sea-board.
He has been an active participant in every move-
ment looking to the up-building of the interests of
that city and that promised to speed Texas on to
the achievement of the proud destiny that awaits
her — to the time when she will stand foremost in
the sisterhood of States.

He represented Galveston in the Twentieth and
Twenty-first Legislatures and the Sixty-fourth Dis-
trict (Galveston and Brazoria counties), in the
Twenty-second Legislature and in those bodies was
Chairman of the Committee on Finance and a mem-



ber of Judiciary Committee No. 1, and the Com-
mittee on Internal Improvements, committees that
dispatched at least four-fifths of the business trans-
acted by the House of Eepresentatives. His
appointment to the chairmanship of the House
Finance Committee in the Twentieth Legislature
(being then a new member) was a recognition of
his abilities as high as it was unexpected and well
merited. He performed the important duties of
that position so acceptably that he was retained as
Chairman during his two subsequent terms as a
member of the House. The medical branch of the
State University had been located at Galveston by
popular vote, but no appropriation had been made
to give practical effect to the will of all the people
as expressed at the polls.

In the Twentieth Legislature Mr. Gresham intro-
duced and, after a desperate parliamentary flght,
secured the passage of an act making the necessary
appropriations. He took an active part in the
deliberations of the three legislatures of which he
was a member and was recognized as a man of
great and varied abilities. Two of the most im-
portant provisions contained in the Railroad Com-
mission Bill enacted by the Twenty-second Legisla-
tures were drafted by him and introduced as amend-

ments. One provides for fixed rates, with a view
to preventing useless cutting, and the other permits
more to be charged for a short than a long haul,
when necessary to prevent manifest injustice.

The splendid record that he made in the Legisla-
ture led to his nomination and election to Congress
by the Democracy of the Tenth District, composed
of nine counties, in 1892. In that position he
added newer and brighter laurels to those that he
had already won. He at once took a position in
the National House of Representatives, seldom
accorded to any new member.

October 28, 1868, he was united in marriage, at
Galveston, to Miss Josephine C. Mann, daughter
of Col. William Mann, one of the early settlers of
Corpus Christi. Mr. and Mrs. Gresham have seven
children: Essie, wife of W. B. Lockhart, County
Judge of Galveston County ; Walter, Jr. ; Jose-
phine, T. Dew, Frank, Buelah, and Philip. Mr.
Gresham. although engaged in the conduct of im-
portant affairs, finds time to enjoy the pleasures of
social life. Surrounded by a happy family, he has
made his elegant home in the Oleander City famous
not only for its great architectural beauty, but the
refined and generous hospitality dispensed within
its walls.



Marcus D. Herring, one of the foremost and best
known of the lawyers who grace the Texas bar,
was born in Holmes County, Miss., October 11,
1828, and was reared on a farm. He attended the
Judson Institute at Middleton, Miss., and from
that institution went to Centenary College, Jack-
son, La., in 1845, entering the junior class in
languages and the sophomore class in mathematics.
After returning home he taught school, studied
law, was admitted to the bar and located at Shreve-
port. La. When he reached that place he had but
five dollars. Nevertheless, he was by no means
discouraged, and set resolutely to work to force his
way to the front.

His first success was in the delivery of a speech
at a Democratic rally that took his auditors by
storm, resulted in bringing him several clients and
paved the way for a lucrative practice. In a short
time he purchased a half interest in the Oaddo

Gazette, the leading paper of the place, and con-
ducted it one year under the firm name of Herring
& Reeves.

In 1850 Mr. Herring moved to Shelbyville,
Texas, where he practiced law until 1853, going
from there to Austin, where he was elected First
Assistant Secretary of the Senate, serving in that
capacity during one session of the Legislature. In
the spring of 1854 he located in Waco. There he
was at first in partnership with J. W. Nowlin (who
was killed at Ft. Donelson) and later was a mem-
ber of the firm of Herring & Farmer ; Herring &
Anderson ; Coke, Herring & Anderson ; Herring,
Anderson & Kelley, and at this writing is asso-
ciated with Mr. Kelley, under the firm name of
Herring & Kelley.

Mr. Herring is a prominent member of the
I. O. O. F., having identified himself with that
fraternity at San Augustine, Texas, in July, 1851.




He took all the degrees, by dispensation, on that
occasion, and the following week organized a sub-
ordinate lodge at Shelbyville and was elected First
Noble Grand. He has gone through the chairs of
the Grand Lodge of Texas, served as Grand Master
in 1874, and in 1875 was elected representative to
the Sovereign Grand Lodge, remaining a member
for ten consecutive years, the most of that time
being Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He
would have been continued a member from Texas
in that Grand Body by acclamation, as he had been
returned after his first election in 1875, but posi-
tively declined, giving as his reason that he intended
to devote all the time he could spare from his pro-
fessional engagements, to the establishment of a
Widows' and Orphans' Home. The Texas Odd
Fellow, of July, 1895, speaking of him in this
connection, says: "In 1885 he voluntarily retired,
but was again elected at "Waco in 1894, and is
now one of our Grand Representatives.

" In the sovereign body, and in the Grand Lodge
at home, his fertile brain has impressed itself upon
our legislation, many of our wisest and most whole-
some laws emanating from his pen. The crowning
glory with him, however, is in the fact that he was
the prime mover in the matter of establishing a
Widows' and Orphans' Home in Texas. He was
the author of the first resolution introduced on the
subject, was chairman of the special committee
which drafted the plan, wrote the report, and car-
ried it through the Grand Lodge amid the greatest
enthusiasm. At critical moments, in the history of
that institution, he has been found at his post,
never faltering, never wavering, but ready at all
times to break a lance with any one who attacked the
object of his love. He even went at his own expense
to the meeting of the Sovereign Grand Lodge at St.
Louis, to press and work for legislation which would
enable the Grand Lodge to provide for ample
revenue with which to support the Home. His mis-
sion was partially successful, but he continued his
efforts until, at the last meeting of the sovereign
body, in Chattanooga, the principle was clearly laid
.down that grand jurisdictions have the right to

assess their subordinates for support of widows'
and orphans' homes. For this end he had labored
for years, and the result was most gratifying. It
is now believed that the important question of
maintaining the Home has been solved, and that
every doubt in regard to its triumphant success has
been dispelled. Others have nobly assisted in this
grand work, but Bro. Herring will be accorded the
chief credit by all."

Mr. Herring was married in Waco, Texas, Octo-
ber 7, 1856, to Miss Alice G. Douglass, of Sumner
County, Tenn. Four children were born of this
union: Wm. Douglass, Joseph W.,(diedin infancy) ;
Laura Belle, now the wife of W. H. Bagby, and
Marcus D., Jr.

Soon after the beginning of the war between the
States, Mr. Herring enlisted as a private soldier in
one of the first volunteer companies organized in
Texas for Confederate service, and was soon after
promoted to the rank of Captain. He served three
years and nine months in the field, in the Trans-
Mississippi department. He acted as Major and
Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment the latter two
years of the war, and a part of that time was in com-
mand. The contest for his rank, on appeal from
Gen. E. Kirby Smith, was pending at Eichmond,
Va., when the war ended.

At the close of the war he returned to Waco and
again resumed the practice of his profession, which
he has continued since with eminent success, his
practice extending to all parts of the State. He
has especially distinguished himself in land litigation
and as a criminal lawyer.

Mr. Herring possesses great energy, perseverance
and will-power, and it might be said that when he
has an important case he never sleeps. As an
advocate he is able, earnest and convincing. His
language is easy, chaste and winning.

Iq private life he is kind-hearted and benevolent.
He is one of the brightest ornaments that adorn his
profession in this State, and there are few cases of
any importance tried in his section in which he is
not retained as leading counsel.





Daniel Landes was born in Botetourt County,
Va., July 4th, 1804, and was reared in Muhlen-
berg County, Ky., whither his parents moved and
settled early in the present century. He subse-
quently settled in Trigg County in that State,
where he married Adeline H. Thompson and en-
gaged in the mercantile business at the little town
of Cadiz. Later he turned his attention to farm-
ing, became sheriff of Trigg County, represented
that county in the Legislature and finally, in 1851,
to better his condition, sold out and came to
Texas. He was accompanied to this State by one
of his old neighbors, named Batteau, both settling
in Washington County. The caravan in which
they came was made up of their families and slaves
.and wagons loaded with a considerable part of
their household effects.

The route followed was the usual line of travel,
extending through Western Kentucky, Southeast
Missouri, and Central and Western Arkansas ; strik-
ing Texas not far from the present city of Texar-
kana. The time occupied in making the journey
was forty-eight days. Mr. Landes settled on a
farm between Chappell Hill and Brenham, where he
soon took a prominent place in the community and
engaged successfully in agricultural pursuits.
Having been active in public matters in Kentucky,
he at once interested himself in such matters in
his new home. He signed the first call ever made
for a meeting of the people to take action in the
matter of building a railroad in Texas, this move-
ment orignating in Washington County and finally
leading to the building of the Houston and Texas
Central Railroad. He was identifled with the move-
ment in its earlier stages, advocated and worked for
the success of the enterprise and was chairman of
the general convention which met at Houston and
took the first decisive steps toward the construction
of the road. In this connection it may be remarked
that the Houston and Texas Central Railroad was
originally chartered by act of the Legislature at its
second session after annexation, March 11th, 1848,
under the name of the Galveston and Red River
Railroad ; but it was not until 1853 that the build-
ing of the road actually began. The intention, at
first, was to begin at Galveston and build north-
ward to the settlements on Red river : but a
number of enterprising gentlemen, of whom Mr.
Landes was one, conceived the idea of deflecting

the road from its northward course and construct-
ing it westward through the then rich and populous
county of Washington, hence the railroad move-
ment just referred to and the convention at Hous-
ton over which he was called to preside. As the
presiding officer of that convention Col. Landes
gave the casting vote, whereby the town of Houston
was made the initial point, instead of Galveston,
his reason for this action being that since Houston
was at the head of tidewater on Buffalo bayou, it
could be easily reached with vessels of light draft,
and the proprietors of the road would thus be
saved the cost of constructing and operating fifty
miles of road — a considerable item in the then
primitive condition of railway development in
Texas. The building of the road was begun at
-Houston in 1853, the name being changed from
the Galveston and Red River Railroad to the
Houston & Texas Central by act of the Legislature
September 1st, 1866.

At the opening of the late war Mr. Landes mani-
fested great interest in the secession movement and
advocated and believed thoroughly in it ; but, being
past the age for military duty, was never under
arms. As was the case with many of his neigh-
bors, he lost nearly all of his possessions by the
war, including his slaves, after which he practically
retired from all active pursuits, and spent the
remainder of his life among his children. He con-
tinued, however, to take an active interest in politics
and attended almost every Democratic Convention
which met in Austin County for the next twenty-
five years, he having moved across the line from
Washington to Austin County in 1858. He was
also a delegate to many Congressional and State
Conventions, and was once a delegate to a National
Convention, that of the Southern wing of the
Democratic party which met at Charleston, S.
C, in 1860, and adjourned to Baltimore, Md.,
where Breckenridge and Lane were nominated as
secession candidates for the presidency and vice-
presidency. The last State Convention which Mr.
Landes attended was that of 1886, which met at
Galveston. He was present in the interest of his
old friend. Col. D. C. Giddings, of Brenham, who
was defeated for the nomination for Governor by
Gen. L. S. Ross.

Mr. Landes was a life-long Democrat, and never
belonged to any organization, secular or religious,

cJiO/yuni <iA- Kfui^xM^



other than that party. Hi3 religion was that of
the nineteenth century: an abiding faith in the
principles of morality. He was a man of good
general information. He had enjoyed very limited
educational advantages in his younger days, but
possessed a well developed faculty of observation
and a retentive memory, and was a good talker, and
thus made an agreeable companion, and a ready
and forcible speaker on public occasion. He
always delighted to associate with his kind, and this
disposition led to his ever keeping himself in touch
with the progress of things around him and to his
preserving an even temper to a serene old age. He

died June 16th, 1893, and was buried at Bell-
ville, in Austin County, where he had previously
purchased ground and made suitable preparation
for his last-resting place. His widow still sur-
vives him, being now in her eighty-second year.
She makes her home with her son, Henry A.
Landes, at Galveston. Mr. Landes had three sons
and one daughter ; Charles : who, went from Ken-
tucky to Louisiana and died there at about the age
of twenty -five ; S. Kate, now Mrs. J. E. Wallis, of
Galveston; James E., residing now in Austin
County, this State; and Henry A., of Galves-



Henry A. Landes, a representative business man
of Galveston, son of Daniel Landes, an old Texian
whose biography appears elsewhere in this work,
was born in Trigg County, Ky., on the 3d day of
June, 1844. He was reared mainly in Washington
County, Texas, where his parents settled in 1851,
receiving his education at Soule University, at
Chappel Hill, in that county. At the age of seven-
teen he entered the Confederate army, enlisting in
a Company commanded by Capt. John C. Wallis,
Ellmore's Regiment, Twentieth Texas Infantry, with
which he served on Galveston Island and in that
vicinity during the entire period of the war. He
participated in the battle of Galveston ; but, with
the exception of this engagement, saw very little
active service. He was Orderly Sergeant of his
company at the time of the surrender. After the
war Mr. Landes went to Austin County, but in the
fall of 1865 was induced by his old friend and com-
rade Capt. John C. Wallis, to join him and his
brother, Joseph E. Wallis, and engage in the mer-
cantile business at Galveston. The house of Wal-
lis, Landes & Co., was established that year, and
from the start took rank among the foremost mer-
cantile concerns in the city. On May 9th, 1872,
Mr. John C. Wallis died, after which his interest
was withdrawn, but the business was continued
under the original name. The members of the
firm now are Joseph E. Wallis, Henry A. Landes
and Charles L. Wallis. The house is financially
one of the strongest business firms in Texas and
has for the past thirty years been identified with


the commercial growth of Galveston. It is known
to be a most liberal supporter of all public enter-
prises and its members give their personal aid to
every movement which in their judgment will tend
to stimulate industry or to promote the public good.
As a member of the firm and as an individual Mr.
Landes has been among the foremost in rendering
such aid. He was one of the organizers of the
Island City Real Estate and Homestead Associa-
tion which was set on foot in 1867 and was one of
the first associations of the kind in the State, being
succeeded by the present Island City Savings Bank.
He was one of the originators of the Gulf Loan and
Homestead Company of which he was a director
and vice-president, an association which had a
prosperous career of twenty years ; and he is now
a director in the People's Loan and Homestead
Company, and in the Galveston Improvement and
Loan Company, and is vice-president of the Gal-
veston National Bank. He has been a member of
the Board of Education of the Galveston public
schools for the past eight years, but has never
filled any political office, having confined himself
strictly to business pursuits.

In 1872, Mr. Landes married Miss Mary Eliza-
beth Lockhart, a native of Washington County,
Texas, and a daughter of Dr. John W. Lockhart,
an old settler of Washington Countj', now resident
in Galveston. The issue of this union has been a
daughter, Elmina, now Mrs. E. A. Hawkins, and
two sons, Daniel and Browning.





Samuel Louis, second son of Roland and Sarah
(Chapman) Allen was born in 1808, in the village
of Canasareaugh, Madison County, N. Y. He has
done much for Texas and the city in which he lives
and no man in Houston is more highly respected
and honored by his fellow-citizens. He has labored
through many years, during the progress of which he
has overcome many vicissitudes and has made of his
life a successful one in the broadest and truest sense
of the word. It is to be supposed that in such along
career he met with trials and reverses and had his
periods of despondency and doubt. " Who," as a
wise philosopher has said, "that has lived long
enough in the world to know ' that man is born to
trouble as the sparks to fly upward,' but has- felt a
sinking of spirit and prostration of energy, bodily
and mentally, before he has become acclimated, as
it were, to new and trying circumstances in which
Grod in His providence has placed him from time to
time? — When the strong can no longer boast of
their strength, nor the wise of their wisdom."

Such periods as these, however, were few and
far between with him and were scarcely more than
of momentary duration. Of a strong and clear in-
tellectuality and an enterprising, courageous and in-
domitable spirit, he rose to the necessities of each
emergency and by sheer force of resolution trampled
difficulties under foot and carried his plans into
final and successful execution.

An iucident that occurred when he was three
years of age would seem to have indicated that he
was born to accomplish a mission of usefulness in
the world. The circumstances that attended it are
yet indelibly impressed upon the tablets of his mem-
ory. An older boy, an apprentice to a tanner and
currier of the village, took him to a pasture in the
environments of the place and told him to remain
near the fence while he (the apprentice) went in
search of some horses his master had ordered Lira to
drive in and promised that when these were procured
they would have anice ride back to town. Thereupon
the thoughtless apprentice left the little fellow and
galloped off. An apple tree loaded with fruit was
near at hand. It forked close to the ground and
Sam had little trouble in climbing high enough
among the limbs to reach an apple. The field
belonged to John Denny, an educated Indian,
partly of white descent, a lawyer by profession,
and an excellent citizen. His residence was sit-

uated on a hillside and commanded a view of the
pasture. His wife was a woman of ungovernable
temper and the vindictive and cruel nature of an
untamed savage, espied the child in the apple tree
and ran to the pasture, jerked him to the ground,
and with a blow knocked his teeth out, and then,
insane with fury, gathered stones with which she
continued to beat him until life had apparently left
his body. Then, fearing the consequences that
would accrue to her from the inhuman deed, she
laid the body in a fence-corner, hoping that some-
one would discover it. She then made her way
back to her dwelling unobserved. These events

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 66 of 135)