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twelve or 'fourteen years since, an honored and
respected citizen, and Jacob L. still lives there,
being a resident of Elgin, where he is held in

equally high regard. James W. Standefer after
the death of his wife, Sarah Kive Standefer in 1879,
went to Lampasas, where he made his home till
his death February 19, 1892, being then in the
eighty-fourth year of his age. He was one of
those brave, generous, patriotic men to whom
Texas is so greatly indebted for what it now is as
a State and who profited so little by his long resid-
dence and arduous services. He has been for
more than forty years previous to his death a mem-
ber of the Christian Church and for about fifty
years a member of the Masonic fraternity.

The sons and daughters of James W. and Sarah
Standefer who became grown, thirteen in number,
were: Elizabeth, now widow of David Scott; Mary
widow of Jonathan Scott, both residing in Bastrop
County ; William Johnson Standefer of Lampasas ;
Thomas Standefer of Burnet County ; Sarah widow
of N. B. Scott, residing on the line of Lee and
Bastrop Counties ; James Standefer who died some
years since in Bastrop County ; Jane the widow of
W. C. Lawhon, of Bastrop County ; Richard N.
Standefer, who died in 1889 in Bastrop County ;
Elvina, Mrs. Kemp of San Antonio ; Arminta
widow of Eichard Favors of San Saba County ;
Arinda widow of Thomas Wolf, of Burnet County
and Ellen the wife of George Wilson, of William-
son County.

The data is not at hand to give in this connection
the names of the descendants of William B., Jacob
L. and Sarah (Mrs. J. L. Litton) Standefer but
the following facts concerning James W. Standefer's
descendants may be added. His three sons
William J., Thomas and Richard N., were soldiers
in the Confederate army during the late war, the
eldest as a member of McMillen's Company,
Nelson's Regiment, with which he served a year
when he raised a company of his own for frontier
service, and the other two as members of Capt.
Highsmith's Company, Parson's Regiment. Thomas
Standefer was wounded at Cotton Plant, Arkansas,
and Richard V., at Yellow Bayou. All were good
soldiers and all are or were good citizens.

Richard Vaughn Standefer, born in Bastrop
County, Texas, December 30, 1838, was reared in
his native county and there spent his entire life
except the time he was in the Confederate army.
September 11, 1866, he married Miss Tex Gatlin,
of Bastrop County, and shortly afterwards taking up


O'^^^ y.



mercantile pursuits (beiog incapacitated for active
outdoor work by wounds received during the war)
was engaged in merchandising in Bastrop County
till his death May 23, 1889. He met with good
success and left his family well provided for. A
widow and six children survived him, though a son
and daughter have since followed him to the grave.
His children are Nannie Olive now Mrs. M. L.
Hines ; "Woody Allison who died in 1892 at the age
of fifteen ; Lula Love who died in 1895 at about

the same age ; Charles Herbert, Dick Hunter and
Grace Vaughn.

Mrs. Tex Standefer widow of Eichard V. Stande-
fer also comes of old settled families, her father
Thomas Gatlin, having come to this country in
1840 and her mother, Nancy E. Christian, in 1832.
She being a daughter of Thomas Christian who
was killed by the Indians at the time Wilbarger was
scalped. (See account of this elsewhere in this



This well-known ex-member of Congress, lawyer
and banker, was born on the 18th of July, 1827, in
Susquehanna County, Penn. His father, James
Giddings, a native of Connecticut, was in early life
a ship captain, and in later years a farmer in Sus-
quehanna County, where he died in 1863.

The earliest account in this country of the family
(which is of Scotch extraction) is of George Gid-
dings and his wife, who emigrated to America in
1635. Members of the family joined the patriot
army at the beginning of the Eevolution and re-
mained in the ranks until victory perched upon the
Continental colors and the independence of the
colonies was won.

Col. Giddings' mother, Lucy (Demming) Gid-
dings was a native of Connecticut. The Demmings
are of French descent. Representatives of the
family were early emigrants to America. In the
Revolutionary War they associated themselves with
their fellow-colonists and fought for independence.

Mrs. Giddings was a woman of rare force of
character. She reared a large family, and her sons
proudly boast that to the lessons of self-denial,
industry and love of freedom taught them by her
is due whatever of success has attended them.
Col. Giddings was the youngest son. As his broth-
ers finished school and attained maturity, one by
one they left the old home and the dull routine of
farm life. Wishing to keep his youngest boy with
him, his father refused to educate him as he had
the others ; but Col. Giddings determined to se-
cure a liberal education, and this he obtained in
the best schools of New York, earning the money
to defray his expenses by teaching country schools.
At the age of twenty he was for a short time


a civil engineer on a railroad, but in 1860 com-
menced reading law at Honesdale, Penn., under
the direction of Earl Wheeler, a distinguished lawyer
of that State, and in 1852 came to Texas, whither
he had been preceded by five brothers. The eldest,
Giles A., a civil engineer, came to Texas in 1833,
and in 1836, On his return from a campaign against
the Indians, in which he had been engaged for
several months, learned that Houston's army was
retreating, and, with his companions, hastened to
join it. Three days before the battle of San Jacinto
he wrote his parents a letter, full of the purest
patriotism, telling them that if he fell, they would
have the joy of knowing that their son died " fight-
ing against oppression and for the rights of man,"
a letter that was almost prophetic, for he received
wounds during the battle from which he died the
second day of Ma3' following. The subject of this
memoir, Col. D. C. Giddings, on settling in Texas,
associated himself in partnership with his brother,
J. D. Giddings, for the practice of law at Brenham.
In 1860 he married Miss Malinda C. Lusk, a
daughter of Samuel Lusk, an early pioneer, who
was an active participant in the Texas revolution, a
member of the Convention which framed the Con-
stitution of the Republic of Texas, and for many
years Countj' Clerk of Washington County. They
had five children, only three of whom survived in-
fancy, viz. : Dewitt Clinton, Mary Belle (who mar-
ried E. H. Cooke and whose death occurred in 1895)
and Lillian Giddings. Col. Giddings opposed the
idea of secession, believing that Southern rights
could best be secured within the Union ; but, when
the State seceded, he went with her heart and soul.
He entered the Confederate army in 1861 as a



tion for the same company on their line from Rock-
dale to Austin ; then built, complete for rolling
•Stock, the Trinity & Sabine Railway from Trinity
to Colmesneil, a distance of sixty-six miles ; next
job was the construction of the line from Gaines-
ville to Henrietta, a distance of seventy-two miles ;
also built the Santa Fe line from Montgomery to
Conroe, fourteen miles, and later the Taylor,
Bastrop & Houston, from Bastrop to Boggy-Tank,
flfty-four miles, and in 1893 he continued the road
from Boggy-Tank to Houston, both sections com-
prising one hundred and fifteen miles, and from
Smithville to Lockhart on the Missouri, Kansas &
Texas the same year, and also built extensions from
Wichita Falls to Henrietta, sixteen miles, and the
Velasco Terminal, twenty-two miles ; associated at
various times with Mr. D. Murphy, when the busi-
ness operated under the firm name of Burkitt,
Murphy and Burns, when the business was run
under the firm name of Burkitt & Murphy, after-
wards Burkitt, Burns & Co.

' This is a history of railroad building that is as
yet unapproaehed by any man in the State of
Texas, the total mileage figuring up to many miles
of completed road.

Mr. Burkitt is a promoter of and president of
the Palestine & Dallas Railroad, which is soon to be
built between the two cities. As opportunity

afforded, he acquired large tracts of land and his
holdings now amount to about 35,000 acres and
has sold about $250,000 worth of land, principally
to Germans on eight and ten days' time, who are
paying promptly according to contract. These
lands are both improved and unimproved and lie in
seventeen counties in the State.

Mr. Burkitt has by contract supplied railroad
ties in large quantities to various roads for some
ten years pastj the timber being cut, in many
instances, from his own land.

He is closely identified with the banking interests
of Texas. In 1887 he was active in the organiza-
tion of the First National Bank of Palestine and is
now one of its directors and its vice-president.
This was the first national banking house in the
city. He is a director of the Taylor National Bank,
of Taylor, Texas, organized in 1868. He owns
stock in the First National Bank of Stephenville,
organized in 1889, and is likewise a stockholder in
the First National Bank of Orange, established in
the same year. He is president of the Taylor
"Water Works and Ice Company and a stockholder
in the Palestine Cotton Seed Oil Co., of Palestine.

Mr. Burkitt married at Houston, in 1880, Miss
Mary Hartley, a daughter of William Hartley, a
business man and mill owner of that city. They
have one son, George, and a daughter, Bessie.



Wm. Von Rosenberg, a leading citizen and finan-
cier of Southwest Texas, was born in Washington
County, Texas, August 9, 1863, and moved with
his parents to Round Top, in Fayette County, in
1867 ; acquired the rudiments of a good English
education in the public schools of that place, and
in 1876 entered the college at New Braunfels,
Texas, where, during the following two years, he
completed his education. In 1878 he accepted
employment at Bellville, Austin County, Texas,
where he learned the mercantile business in the
large retail establishment of C. F. Hellmulb. He
remained with this firm for ten years, working him-
self up from the lowest to the highest position in
the house in three years. In June, 1888, he em-
barked in the general mercantile business on his
own account, at Hallettsville, Texas, taking his
younger brother, Otto Von Rosenberg, into part-

nership with him, and establishing the firm of Rosen-
berg Bros. By fair, liberal and honest business
methods this firm has become one of the largest
and is known as one of the most reliable and suc-
cessful business houses in Southwest Texas. It
does an annual retail business of from $75,000.00
to $100,000.00 and handles everything in the way
of general merchandise, agricultural implements,
etc., needed to supply the trade of that section.
The Messrs. Von Rosenberg are also large cotton
buyers, the principal product raised in that part of
Texas. They handle annually from 7,000 to 10,000
bales, buying principally for correspondents in
Eastern States, but also largely for export to
Liverpool and other European points. They have
acquired large landed interests in Lavaca, Jackson
and Wharton counties.
In 1891, finding their business constantly increas-

Er-.g^byH & C Koevoets,l>SY,

Francis Gonzales.

Missing Page

Missing Page



ing, they erected commodious brick buildings ia
Hallettsvllle, and added to tiieir business a banking
department, whicli from its inception has met with
a liberal patronage from the business community.

Mr. Wm. Von Rosenberg was married at Belle-
ville, Texas, May 9; 1889, to Miss Metta Bross-
mann, daughter of Mr. C. H. Brossmann, County
Treasurer of Austin County.



The subject of this sketcli, Francisco De Paul
Gonzales, was born at Guanajuata, Mexico, on the
9th day of April, 1826. His grandfather and
father were both officers in the Spanish army,
having gone to Mexico, from Spain, with the Span-
ish troops, at the time of the expedition of Barra-
das, and subsequently settled here.

Mr. Gonzales, with his younger brother Thomas,
received his elementary English instruction in the
State of Illinois, but while still quite young, he was
sent to Spain, to complete his education in the
Monastic College of his ancestral home, at Valla-
dolid. Here he was received with the demonstra-
tive hospitality, the pomp and ceremony usually
accorded to the sons of the old Spanish Grandees.

Returning from Spain, Mr. Gonzales made his
home in New Orleans, where his mother was already
living. His rare grace and charm of manner, his
fine conversational powers, and the dignity of his
distinguished presence, soon won for him the esteem
and admiration of the fastidious citizens of that
metropolis of the South.

After a period, fired by the spirit of adventure
and enterprise which at that time stirred the hearts
of so many young men, Mr. Gonzales resolved to
seek his fortune in the new State of Texas. Ac-
cordingly he located at Brownsville, and for many
years carried on an extensive and lucrative trade
with the interior of Mexico.

It was during this time of commercial prosperity
and happiness, that he married the acknowledged

belle and beauty of the Lone Star State, Miss
Martha Anne Rhea, the granddaughter of Governor
Sevier, and the daughter of the late Judge Rhea,
who, at that time, was Collector of Customs at
Point Isabel. In 1856, Mr. Gonzales, with his
family, moved to Galveston, and for years was a
prominent cotton factor. After the death of his
wife, in 1874, he retired from active business and
devoted his time exclusively to his children and his
consular office — as during the entire time of his
residence in Galveston, he was Consul for Mexico.

He had five children, two sons — Francis Edward,
who died August 9, 1885, and Joseph Maurice,
who died March 28, 1893— and three daughters,
Marie Therese, Helen, and Martha, still living.
Helen, married to Theodore Demetrius Murcou-
lides, has two children, Theodore Demetrius, Jr.,
and Marie Stella Murcoulides. Mr. Murcoulides,
who was born and educated in classic Athens, but
now a citizen of Smyrna, a city in Asiatic Turkey,
is in Galveston, managing the business of the
world-renowned Ralls House.

Mr. Gonzales was by faith and practice a Roman
Catholic. With an inflexible belief in the dogmas
of his Church in the broadest sense he obeyed its

With strict principles and exclusive tastes, he
devoted himself to his children and his friends with
an ardor second only to that which he bore to the
divine symbol of his faith. Francisco de Paul
Gonzales died January 16, 1890.





President of the Beaumont Ice and Electric Light
Company, was born at Titus County, Texas, in
1851. His parents were Andrew J. and Nancy
Ward. He was educated at Beaumont where his
parents moved when he was a boy. He resided at
Corpus Christi and San Antonio for four years and
then returned to Beaumont. His first business ex-
perience was acquired when sixteen years of age as
shipping clerk in a sawmill. He remained in the
lumber business for about twenty years, beginning
work at fifteen dollars per month and at the close of
the time specified owned a business which he sold
for $56,000. After the sale of his mill interests he
embarked in the business in which he is now
engaged. His financial success is attributed to
perseverance, patience and judicious speculation.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

He has been twice married, first to Miss Pickie
Kyle, of Jasper, Jasper County, Texas, in 1877,
and second in 1885 to Miss Belle Carroll, of Beau-
mont. Four children were born of each union,
viz. Westley Kyle Ward, aged seventeen ; James
Dalton Ward, aged fifteen ; John Keith Ward, aged
thirteen years; Andrew Jackson Ward, living at
Jasper County, Texas, with his aunt, aged eleven ;
Mena Belle Ward, aged eight; Henry Levy
Ward, aged seven ; Carrol Ward, aged four, and
Seawillow Ward, aged two years. All of the chil-
dren, except Andrew J., are living at home.

Mr. Ward has had strong competition to contend
against. His success has been due to tireless
energy and superior capacity. He has moved
steadily to and now occupies a leading position at
the front among the brainy financiers of Texas.



There is no man better known or better liked in
Travis County than Mr. Jeff. Johnson, the subject
of this notice. He is identified with the agricul-
tural interests of the county, owning a well im-
proved farm of 456 acres at Dell Vallej', but
resides in the city of Austin, where he has been
for many years engaged in business. He has for
some years past represented the Union Central
Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, one
of the leading institutions of the kind in the

Mr. Johnson was born January 8th, 1845, in
Clermont County, Ohio, and completed his educa-
tion at the Ohio Wesleyan University. His parents
were Benjamin and Asenath (Tribble) Johnson,
the former a native of New Jersey, and the latter
a native of the State of Ohio.

Mr. Johnson came to Texas in 1879 and settled
in Travis County, where he engaged in farming,
and has since resided. February 5th, 1879, he was
united in marriage to Miss Hattie Houston, daugh-
ter of David Houston, of Cincinnati, Oliio, and

now (1896) has five children, viz., Benjamin,
Augusta, Adele, Helen, and Cornelia.

He is a member of the order of Knights Templar
in the Masonic fraternity, and is also a member
of the Tenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, in the city of his residence.

He was appointed one of the trustees of the
State Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb at Austin,
by Governor L. S. Ross, still retains that position,
and has served through the administrations of
Governors Eoss, Hogg and Culberson, the greater
part of the time as the President of the Board of
Trustees, and at present occupies that responsible

He is a member of the Free School Board of
Travis County, and is Chairman of the Democratic
Executive Committee of the county. ■

In 1894 he was, prior to the assembling of the
Democratic State Convention, chairman of Hon.
John H. Reagan's campaign committee.

He is a Democrat, true and tried, a man of
exceptionally fine judgment, has the rare faculty of



always espousing the right side of an issue, is a
thorough master of the tactics of political warfare,
has done yeoman service for the cause of Democ-
racy in every campaign that has been fought
before the people since coming to Texas, has in
every respect come up to the full measure of
enlightened, progressive and patriotic citizenship ;

is kind, affable, and foremost in every good work
that has in view the betterment of social conditions
and the prosperity of his adopted city and Slate,
and, consequently, is esteemed and respected by
all, and has many sincere and devoted friends, not
only in Austin and Texas, but wherever he is



Hon. Jacob Calvin Hodges was born near
Boone, N. C, on the 25th day of December,
1849, and grew to manhood on the farm. In
consequence of the war between the States, in
which his father and elder brother participated, his
opportunities for obtaining an education were

In 1870 he obtained license to practice law and
soon after came to Texas, stopping a short time at
Jefferson, from whence he went to Pittsburg, Texas,
where he engaged in the practice of his profes-

In the spring of 1875 he went to Paris, Texas,
where he has since resided and been actively en-
gaged in the practice of law and has won a distin-

guished position at the bar. Learned in the law,
and a powerful and persuasive speaker, he has been
unusually successful as an advocate.

In politics he has always been a Democrat and
has been outspoken upon every political question,
State and national, that has come before the people,
and has taken an active and aggressive part in every
campaign waged by his party since he came to the
State. He was elected County Attorney of Lamar
County in 1878 and re-elected in 1880 and was an
elector at large on the Cleveland ticket in 1892.

He is justly regarded as a tower of Democratic
strength in North Texas and few men in the State
have labored more zealously and effectively in the
cause of good government.



This veteran Texian was born in Fayette County,
Penn., in 1798, was reared in his native State to
about the age of ten, when he went to Arkansas,
where he met and, at about the age of twenty-
two married Miss Mary Crownover, daughter of
John Crownover, in company with whom and a
brother, Andrew Rabb, he came to Texas in 1822,
as a member of Austin's colony, but later moved on
to the Colorado, into what is now Fayette County,
taking up his abode on the prairie, which bears his
name, and there built on the banks of the Colorado
one of the first grist mills ever erected in Texas,

known as " Rabb's Mill." He received from the
government a grant of a league of land as a bonus
for this enterprise and by means of it became, in a
very substantial manner, one of the first benefactors
of the settlers of that section. He subsequently
built and owned a number of mills in that locality,
the last of which was a saw and grist mill combined,
the product of which went all over Central and
Southwest Texas. He was a resident, at different
times, of Fayette, Fort Bend and Hill counties and
finally, in 1860, moved to Travis County, settling
at Barton Springs, near the city of Austin, where



he died June 5th the following year. Mr. Eabb
volunteered in the patriot army in 1836 and was at
the battle of San Jacinto. He was also in the
frontier service and helped as often as occasion de-
manded to repel the attacks of Indians, and pur-
sued them and recaptured booty they had taken
during their raids. He was very little, if any, in
public life, though a public-spirited, patriotic citi-
zen. He was liberal, active and earnest, a man of a
strong mechanical turn of mind, and always mani-
fested interest in industrial pursuits of some sort.
He was a zealous member of the Methodist Church
and a liberal contributor to his church. He gave
the lumber to build the first Methodist church ever
erected in San Antonio, the lumber being hauled,
from his mill in Fayette County to San Antonio by
Mexicans on ox-carts.

Mr. Eabb's widow survived him a little over
twenty years, dying in 1882, in the seventy-seventh
year of her age. She was justly entitled to be
called one of the mothers of Texas, having come
to the country when it was a Mexican province, and
lived through all the changing vicissitudes of its
fortunes for sixty years. She was living in the
country when Texas threw off the yoke of Mexican
despotism and established an independent republic ;
She was here when the young but vigorous Republic
asked for admission into the American Union ; she

saw Texas withdraw from the Union and again enter
the sisterhood of States, thus living under Ave gov-
ernments. She was well known to, and knew many
old Texians, and possessed a large fund of reminis-
cences concerning Texas people.

Mr. and Mrs. Rabb were the parents of nine
children, one of whom died in infancy, one at about
the age of nine, the other seven living to maturity.

They had three sons in the Confederate army,
viz.: Zebulon M. P., John W., and Virgil S. Of
the seven children referred to, but three are now
living, viz. : Virgil S., Mrs. Bettie Croft, and Gail
T, Rabb.

GailT. Rabb, the youngest of this pioneer family,
was born at Rutersville, Fayette County, Texas, in
1847, and was reared there until he was thirteen, at
which time, in 1860, his parents moved to Travis
County, where he has since resided. He has been
engaged in farming, stock-raising and milling, hav-
ing erected two grist mills. He is an enterprising,
well-to-do and highly respected citizen.

Mr. Gill L. Rabb married Miss Isabella Tharp,
of Robertson County, Texas, a daughter of Eli W.
and Susanna Tharf), and a native of Ohio. She
was reared, however, in Texas, her parents coming
to this State when she was about five years old.

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 72 of 135)