John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

. (page 69 of 135)
Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 69 of 135)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

profession with all the enthusiasm of youth. In ac-
cepting cases he is careful, exacting sincerity from
his clients, and in the preparation of causes for
trial he is diligent and faithful, fair in his state-
ments before the jury, courteous to adverse counsel
and circumspect to the court, a logical thinker, able
and earnest speaker. Measured by pecuniary gain
he may be said to have met with success, for by
means of his profession he has accumulated some
property after having reared and made ample edu-



Cational provision for a large family of children.
He is spoken of by those who know him best in
terms of sincere respect, being regarded as a good
citizen, beloved neighbor, earnest, liberal, progres-
sive and charitable without stint. Naturally he has
a warm place in his heart for his old comrades and
he in turn has been the recipient of many marks of
esteem at their hands. He was chiefly instrumental
in organizing the first camp of Confederate veterans
at Navasota, the camp being being named for him but
afterwards changed at his suggestion to "■ CampW.
G. Post" in honor of the memory of one of its de-
ceased members. At the general reunion of the
Confederate Veterans of the United States, of Hous-
ton, in May, 1895, he was elected Commander of
the Division of Texas, which position he is now

In politics Maj. Boone is a Democrat — " Jeffer-
sonian Democrat" — but not of the variety of
which the public has heard so much in recent years.
His confession of faith excludes all of the sump-
tuary and paternal schemes of legislation which have

recently been paraded under the banner of " Jeffer-
sonian Democracy." He believes in local self-
government and in the fullest measure of personal
freedom consistent with the public good. The ele-
vation of the citizen — opportunity for the highest
possible development of the individual — should, in
his judgment, be the true end of popular govern-
ment, and this is to be attained not by ever-recur-
ring appeals to the law-making bodies of the land
nor by the practice of any form of political fetish-
ism, but by the unwearing exertion of the individual
himself under a government that guarantees to him
but one equality, namely, equality before the law.
He has always held himself in readiness to work for
his party and has done it good service in times past.
Such service, it may be added, has sprung from his
interest in the men and measures of his choice and
not from any expectation of reward. The exacting
duties of a laborious profession and the claims of
family to which he is devoted with rare fidelity long
since shut out any hope he may have entertained of
a public career.



Russell Graves, a prominent planter of Lowndes
County, Ala., came to Texas in 1838 with his
family and located near where the town of Hunts-
ville now stands, in what was then Montgomery
(now Walker) County, and three years later re-
turned to Shelby County, where he was (as a
regulator) an active participant in the war waged
for many years between the regulators and the
moderators. Here Frank R. Graves, the subject
of this notice, was born on his father's farm in
1852. He was principally educated in the common
schools of Ellis County, his parents moving to that
county and settling near Red Oak in 1857. His
mother, Mrs. Esther G. Graves, died in 1865 and
in the following year the remaining members of the
family moved to Montgomery County, Ala., and
lived there until 1875, when they came back to
Ellis County, Texas.

Frank R. Graves was united in marriage to Miss
Amanda Ryburn, atWaxahachie, in 1878, and soon
after went to Alvarado, Johnson County, where he
engaged in the hardware business. They have
three children : Davy, Esther and Frank.

In the fall of 1882 Mr. Graves failed in
the hardware business, came to Austin with his
family in 1883 and in September of that year
entered the law department of the State University.
When he reached Austin, he had only sixty-flve
dollars in money, a wife and three children. He
sold books in the afternoons and during vacations
to earn enough to meet expenses and succeeded in
supporting himself and family. He attended the
University eighteen months and was admitted to
the bar at the December Term of the District Court
in 1884. While a member of the senior law class
he was elected County Attorney of Karnes County,
in January, 1885, by the Commissioners' Court of
that county, having been, without his knowledge,
recommended by friends who had learned his worth.
He held the position for four years and made a
reputation that afterward brought him a large and
lucrative practice. He has for many yea's been
upon one side or the other of nearly every impor-
tant case tried in his section of the State.

Mr. Graves was elected to the Twenty-second
Legislature in 1890 from the Eighty-second Repre-



sentative District, composed of Karnes, Atascosa
and Wilson counties ; served upon a number of
important committees, soon took ranlj in the House
as a man of very superior capacity and made a
record that fully justified the flattering expectations
of his friends. He w»s re-eleoted to the same
position in 1892 and served in the Twenty-fourth

He was a memoer of the Democratic Executive
Committee for 1892 to 1894.

He was one of the founders of the Kansas Re-
porter, the first newspaper published in Karnes

He is and has been since 1890 the senior member
of the law .firm of Graves & Wilson at Helena and
Karnes City.

His son Davy was a popular Page in the Twenty-
third Legislature.

This biography contains the brief outlines of a
life that should cheer every young man who is
struggling against adversity and to whom the way
that leads to success and a competency seems
blocked by insurmountable obstacles. While
fortune is capricious in her gifts, she owes a debt
to such men as Frank R. Graves which she will
never fail in due time to pay.



Joseph Edmund Wallis, a member of the well-
known firm of Wallis, Landes & Co., was born
in Morgan County, Ala., in 1835. His parents
were Maj. Joseph and Elizabeth Crockett Wallis,
both connected with some of the most distinguished
families that the South can boast. His father was
a lineal descendant of the famous Sir William Wal-
lace, whose name is indissolubly connected with
the most glorious epoch of Scottish history.
Owing to a family disagreement, an American
ancestor changed his name to Wallis, and it has so
remained in the branch of the family to which the
subject of this memoir belongs. Maj. Joseph
Wallis was for many years a wealthy planter in
Alabama and Mississippi, owning lands in both
States, and for a long time planting in partnership
with Governor Chapman, of Alabama. In the
winter of 1848 he determined to move to Texas.
His eldest son, John C, brought the slaves over-
land, whilst he moved the family by water, only
leaving behind his eldest daughter, Emily, who had
married Joseph Toland, a wealthy planter of
Lowndes County, Miss. He located at Chappell
Hill, Washington County, Texas, and continued
planting. In October, 1849, his second daughter,
Elmina Carolina, was married to Dr. John W.
Lockhart, of Washington County.

When Maj. Wallis removed to Texas his second
son, Joseph Edmund, was thirteen years of age,
and had gone to school but a limited time. In the
fall of 1849 (in Texas), he spent one session at
Professor Ulysses Chapman's school. At the age

of fifteen he spent one year (1850) in merchan-
dising at Chappell Hill, then, selling out, he passed
the two sessions of 1851 and the spring session of
1852 at the Chappell Hill Male College, then in
its prime, thus acquiring a fair education. In the
summer of 1852 he again resumed merchandising
at Chappell Hill, and continued about four years,
being the Postmaster during the time. His father
now wishing to retire from active business, divided
his property among his children. This caused
Joseph Edmund to close out his mercantile business
and turn his attention to planting. When the war
began he had accumulated considerable property,
and was turning out his hundred bales of cotton
annually. On February 12th, 1860, he married
Miss S. Kate Landes, daughter of Col. D. Landes,
of Austin County, Texas, formerly of Kentucky.

His father was particularly noted for his great
industry, energy, perseverance and public spirit,
and was always a leader in public enterprises
wherever he lived; notably in this connection,"he
was the first one in Texas to advocate and start
with Col. D. Landes and Isaac Applewhite, of Wash-
ington County, the construction of the now great
Houston & Texas Central Railway, but was soon
joined by such spirits as Paul Bremond, Harvey
Allen and others of Houston, and later with other
associates, put under construction the Washington
Railroad from Hempstead to Brenham, now the
western branch of the Houston & Texas Central
Railroad. During his residence in the State he was
engaged in many other enterprises, was a leading



citizen in every respect, and at one time a prominent
candidate for the Legislature, being defeated by
Judge James E. Sheppard by a small majority.
During the secession agitation he indorsed the
opinion of his friend Gen. Sam Houston that
these questions should be settled in the halls of
Congress and at the ballot-box, not on the battle
field, but the conflict once inaugurated, he was
a zealous supporter of the Southern cause, and
cherished a great desire to live and see the result
of the war, but during 1864 his health was
greatly impaired, and after several months of
suffering he died March 15th, 1865, in the 64th
year of his age. Early in the war his two sons
obeyed their country's call and entered the Con-
federate service, John C. as Captain of Company
B., Twentieth Texas Infantry, commanded by Col.
H. M. Elmore, and Joseph E. as a private in the
same company. The regiment did duty on the
coast of Texas and was engaged in the celebrated
battle of Galveston — a sharp and hotly contested
affair and one long to be remembered by both sides.
They both continued in the service until the sur-

Immediately thereafter the brothers John C. and
Joseph E. Wallis, and Henry A. Landes (a
brother-in-law of Joseph E. Wallis) determined
to close out their planting interests in Washington
and Austin counties and form a copartnership
under the style and firm name of Wallis, Landes
& Company, as wholesale grocers at Galveston.
The firm entered vigorously into business and con-
tinued prosperously without any change in its
membership until May 9th, 1872, when John C.
departed this life in the full vigor of manhood.
The firm of Wallis, Landes & Company, after the
death of John C, continued under the same firm
name and style by the two surviving partners, the
interest of the deceased partner having been with-
drawn at the time of his demise, and continues
the same to this date, only increasing the member-
ship of the firm by the admission of Charles L.
Wallis, eldest son of Joseph E. Wallis, in 1882.
At the close of the war the subject of our sketch
moved his family to Galveston. He has now four
living children, viz., Charles L. Wallis, Dan E.
Wallis, Pearl Wallis Knox, and Lockhart H. Wallis.

Mr. Wallis, both in civil and military life, has
discharged every duty devolving upon him as a
citizen in a manner to entitle him to and secure for
him the confidence and esteem of all with whom he
has been brought in contact. In commercial pur-
suits he has been called to fill many places of trust
and honor on boards of directors in the various cor-

porations, banks, etc., of the city. A number of
these he now fiUs. He took an active part in the
building of the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Rail-
road, giving to it freely both of his time and money.
He followed it closely in all of its vicissitudes and
was a director of the company from the beginning
until 1886. He was one of the syndicate of sixteen
who rapidly constructed the road after its purchase
from the old company in the spring of 1879. He
was one of the most active and effective of the
workers whose efforts have secured adequate appro-
priations from the Federal government for the deep
water improvements at Galveston. He is an ofllcer
or director of the following corporations, to wit:
One of the five directors of the City Company, the
oldest and wealthiest in the city ; vice-president of
the Texas Guarantee & Trust Co. ; director of the
Galveston & Houston Investment Co. ; vice-presi-
dent of the Galveston & Western Railroad Co. ;
director of the Gulf City Cotton Press Co. ; a mem-
ber of the Cotton Exchange ; stockholder in nearly
all the corporations of the city and many of the
National Banks of this State, and also some cor-
porations of the North, and generally a strong
promoter of the new railroad enterprises.

During all his residence in Galveston he has been
closely identified with all its commercial enterprises,
upon which he believes depends the city's success
in the future. He takes but little interest in politi-
cal affairs. Since the war he has voted the Demo-
cratic ticket, but previous to that time he was a
Whig, but not old enough to cast a vote against his
relative, James K. Polk, when he was elected Presi-
dent of the United States. His hand and purse
are always open to worthy charities, and he gives
cheerfully and liberally of his means to all public
enterprises. Naturally modest and retiring in his
disposition, when not occupied in business he pre-
fers to enjoy the privacy of his comfortable and
beautiful home and the society of his interesting
family. He has never held a membership in any
church, but with his wife is an attendant upon the
Presbyterian and contributes to its support. Their
parents on both sides were Presbyterians in belief
and this is consequently the church of their choice.
Like his early ancestor, the famous Scottish "Wal-
lace of Elerslie," the first of the name of whom
history gives an account, who lived nearly a thou-
sand years ago, he is tall and of slight stature, his
eyes are dark grey and his hair. With a strong
constitution, a firm will, temperate habits, good
health and a cheerful temperament, he bids fair to
be spared for many years of business usefulness
and service to the city where his lot is cast.





Charles Luther Coyner, one of the most brilliant
and successful lawyers in West Texas, and a man
who has acquired some distinction as a newspaper,
literary and political writer of merit, was born in
Augusta County, Va., February 8th, 1853, in the
old stone house built by his grandfather in 1740.
His parents were Addison H. and Elizabeth Coyrfer.
His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Brown.
Mr. Coyner is descended from Archibald, Duke of
Argyle, and Governor Eoane, who served at dif-
ferent times as Governor of North Carolina and
Tennessee. The family has been traced back as
far as 1620, members of it distinguishing themselves
in the Thirty Years War. Three representatives
(from Virginia) were officers in the Revolutionary
War that severed the American Colonies from Great
Britain, and three in the War of 1812, and in the
war between the States, one company, alone, from
Augusta County, contained twelve Coyners, all
good soldiers. The Coyner family is the most
numerous in the valley of Virginia and especially
in Augusta County, where over seven hundred
members reside and one hundred and forty register
as Democratic voters, — there is not a Readjuster
among them.

Mr. Coyner has a brother who was Captain of
Company D., Seventh Virginia Cavalry, Army of
Northern Virginia, and who was killed in battle
September 13, 1863.

The subject of this notice received his education
in local district schools and at Forest Academy.
He came to Texas in the autumn of 1877, located at
Kaufman, read law under Hon. A. A. Burton, min-
ister at one time from the United States to Chili.
He was admitted to practice in the district and
inferior courts of the State of Kaufman, Texas, in
1877, and in the Supreme Court at Tyler soon

Mr. Coyner now resides at San Diego and was
County Attorney of Duval County from 1886 to
1895, when he resigned to accept the office of
County Judge of that County. He went back to
Augusta County, Virginia, on a visit, and, January
3, 1884, married Margaret, youngest daughter of
Dr. Wm. R. Blair, of that county. Mrs. Coyner is
descended from the family of Blairs, one of whom

founded William and Mary College, Virginia. One
of the family of Blairs was Governor of Virginia in
1768, and another was appointed, by Washington,
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the
United States.

Mr. and Mrs. Coyner have no children. Mr.
Coyner was secretary of the Democratic Executive
Committee of Duval County for eight years and
held the chairmanship of that body from 1892 to
1894. He has been a delegate to every Democratic
State Convention held since he made his home in
Texas and has been one of the most active and
effective workers who have secured party success
in his section of the State. He has often been
urged to accept the nomination for and election to
the Legislature," but has in each instance declined,
preferring to devote himself to his large and lucra-
tive law practice and having no desire to accept any
reward, in the way of political preferment, for the
yeoman service which he has willingly and patrioti-
cally rendered in the interest of good government.
He was appointed County Judge of Duval County,
without any effort upon his part, having made no
application for the position. He was appointed
County Judge of Duval County April 17th, 1895,
and now holds that office. He received the unani-
mous vote of the Commissioners' Court, the ap-
pointing power, and resigned the office of County
Attorney. His term expires in the fall of 1896.

One of the highest compliments ever paid Judge
Coyner was the indorsements he received from
Governor Jas. S. Hogg, Hon. Horace Chilton,
ex-Governor Hubbard and others, for appointment
by President Cleveland to the office of Third Audi-
tor of the United States Treasury, an office that he
would have filled with credit to himself and to the
State of Texas. He has made a fortune at the bar
and stands deservedly high in his profession. He
is a member of the Presbyterian Church, Masonic
Fraternity and Independent Order of Odd-Fellows.
While owner of the Athens Journal and part owner
of the Henderson County Narrow Gauge, both
published at Athens, he acquired a State- wide
reputation as a polished, trenchant and able writer,
to which he has since added by contributions to
some of the leading magazines of the country.

'Richard King,





Richard King was born in Orange County, N. Y.,
July 10, 1825, and at eight years of age was ap-
prenticed to a jeweler; but, being put to menial
work and unjustly treated, slipped aboard the ship
Desdemonia, bound for Mobile, Ala., and con-
cealed himself in the hold. When tl*e vessel was
four days out, he was discovered and carried
before the captain, who, although a stern and
■weather-beaten old salt, treated him kindly, and
gave him a fatherly lecture, characterized by much
sound and wholesome advice which the boy after-
wards profited by.

At Mobile he was employed as cabin boy by the
celebrated steamboatman, Capt. Hugh Monroe,
and later worked in the same capacity under Capt.
Joe Holland on the Alabama river. Capt. Hol-
land took quite a fancy to him and sent him to
school for eight months in Connecticut. Return-
ing to Mobile, he continued with Capt. Holland
until the commencement of the Seminole "War,
and then enlisted in the service of the United
States, and participated in many of the stirring
events of that campaign. He was on the Ococho-
hee when Col. Worth, afterwards a distinguished
officer in the Mexican War, enticed aboard and
captured Hospotochke and his entire band of
warriors, an event that had much to do with bring-
ing hostilities to a speedy and successful close.
After the Seminole War, he steamboated on the
Chatahoochie river until 1847, and then went to
the Rio Grande,, where he acted as pilot of the
steamer " Corvette," of the Quartermaster's De-
partment of the United States army, until the close
of the Mexican War.

The vessel was commanded by Capt. M. Kenedy,
whom he had previously met, and who remained
through all subsequent vicissitudes and changes
his life-long friend. Peace having been declared
between the United States and Mexico, and the
armies disbanded, Capt. King bought the " Col.
Cross,^' and followed the river until 1850, when he
formed a copartnership with Capt. M. Kenedy,
Capt. James O'Donnell, and Charles Stilliman,
under the firm name of M. Kenedy & Co.

Between that period and the close of the war
between the States, they built, or purchased,
twenty steamers, which they operated to great
profit in the carrying trade on the Rio Grande.
Capt. O'Donnell retiring from the partnership, the

new firm of King, Kenedy & Co., was formed, and
continued the business until 1874.

In the meantime (1852), Capt. King traversed
the coast country lying between the Rio Grande
and the Nueces river and shortly thereafter estab-
lished the since famous Santa Gertrude's ranch, to
which he soon moved his family.

In 1860 Capt. Kenedy acquired an interest in the
property which was augmented by the establish-
ment of other ranches in the course of time. They
did business together until January 1, 1868, when
they divided equally their possessions and dissolved
the copartnership, as they had growing families
and wished to avoid complications that might occur
if either of them should die.

The King ranches, Santa Gertrude's and San
Juan Carricitos, comprise about 700,000 acres,
stocked with over 100,000 head of cattle, four
thousand brood mares and 15,000 saddle horses,
and is supplied with all the accessories known to
modern ranching.

A few years since as many as 35,000 calves were
branded annually.

During the years 1876-80 Capt. King, together
with Capt. Kenedy and Col. Uriah Lott, built the
Corpus Christi, San Diego & Rio Grande (narrow
gauge) Railroad, from Corpus Christi to Laredo.
This was the first railroad built in that part of the
State. This road was sold by them to the Mexican
National R. R. Co., who began building their rail-
way system (now extending to the city of Mexico)
by purchasing this line, which is at present their
terminal in Texas.

Capt. King was taken ill in the early part of
1885 and was told that he had cancer of the
stomach. Eminent physicians were called from
New Orleans and confirmed the statement and told
him that he could live but a short time. He
received the announcement with an equanimity
characteristic of his well-poised and heroic spirit,
and, settling his earthly affairs in order, quietly
waited for the inevitable, which came April 14th of
that year, while he was stopping at the Menger
Hotel, in San Antonio. His wife and all of his
children were present at his bedside except Mrs.
Atwood, who was with her husband in New Mexico
and, owing to sickness, could not come. He was
laid to rest the following day in the cemetery at
San Antonio. Capt. King left all of his property



to his wife and made her sole executrix without

Robert J. Kleberg, a lawyer, a trusted confidant
and friend of Capt. King, and thoroughly familiar
with the status of the property, was requested by
Mrs. King to come to Santa Gertrude's Ranch
for consultation, did so, and, at her urgent solici-
tation, became manager of the ranches, although
by so doing he found it necessary to abandon the
active practice of his profession. January 18th
of the following year he was united in marriage to
Miss Alice King, to whom he was engaged during
the lifetime of her father.

At the time of Capt. King's death his estate was
about $500,000 in debt. This debt was incurred
in the purchase of lands and making improve-
ments. There was something to show for every
dollar, yet it had to be met. Mr. Kleberg corre-
sponded with the creditors and they readily agreed
to let Mrs. King individually assume the debt and

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 69 of 135)