John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

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the rearing and breeding of the latter, and the
growth of wool, and, with George Wilkins Kendall,



was one of the pioneers of the sheep industry of
Western Texas. Finding the winters of that region
north of San Antonio less favorable to the increase
of his flocks than he had anticipated, and not free
from some of the contagious diseases that are seri-
ous to sheep, he made a personal visit to the section
of Texas further south, and with excellent judgment
settled upon the Agua Dulce (sweet water) valley,
as the field of his future operations ; and here he
settled permanently, beginning with his own pre-
emption, and gradually, by labor, economy and
thrift acquired by purchase the magnificent pasture
of seventy thousand acres, under one inclosure,
and now valued at half a million of dollars, that
bears his name.

Franklin Shaeffer was in all he essayed to do an
■exemplifier of the principle, that whatever is worth
■doing at all is worth doing well. He supplied the
natural deficit of the region an abundance of water
by an extensive and judiciously distributed system
of wells and windmills, the latter of the largest and
most approved pattern. These were supplemented
with tanks, some of which are veritable lakes. He
was one of the first to fence, thus reducing his losses
from straying flocks to the minimum, as well as
economize in employing a less number of shepherds.

From the close of the war up to 1880 he was
eminently successful, and not only amassed wealth,
but had the proud satisfaction of knowing that the
finest flocks of the West, and the best and highest
priced wool, were the products of his sheep ranch.
He led in the industry ; and the millions invested
by others marked them as but followers, encour-
aged and stimulated by his remarkable success and

With keen foresight as to the depreciation of
values in sheep, and a desire for a relief from the
attention to details in their management, requiring
constant personal labor, he gradually changed his
business from that of sheep-raising to the rearing
and breeding of cattle and fine horses. In this line
he was as markedly successful as in the sheep in-
dustry ; and in this pursuit he was engaged at the
time of his death. His death was the proximate
result of an accident, in which he was thrown from
his family carriage and one of his limbs broken,
and at which same time his wife was injured, but
subsequently recovered.

Franklin Shaeffer vfas a man of striking phy-
sique, and commanded attention wherever he went.
He was never ostentatious, and his manners were
winning, and there was a hearty, genial frankness
in them that brought him pleasant companionships,
and sincere and enduring friendships. He was
broad of heart and generous — often impulsively

so — and his charities were abundant, and well

As a citizen of this Commonwealth, he was an
exemplar. He was a model in the strictness of his
integrity and carefulness in business matters. He
was to the fore in support of the principles of law
and order, even in turbulent times.

In politics he was never a partisan, but a free-
thinker, and fearless in the open expressions of his
opinions, matured from a careful study of the prin-
ciples of our government, of political economy, and
the blended relations of capital and labor.

On national issues, he leaned to Republicanism,
but being an earnest believer in an intelligent suf-
frage, he voted as his reason dictated.

He is a subject of note in this volume because he
was of prominence in the region of Southwest Texas,
and established one of its leading industries. He
had the love and confidence of all those amongst
whom he lived, and had he been spared, and be-
come an octogenarian as did his father before him,
he would have been a patriarch, and lived to see
the land of promise he had loved and adopted,
fulfill all his predictions of its golden future.

His union with Miss Eowena Davidson was a
very happy one. She was the daughter of Capt.
John Davidson, a worthy pilot of the port of Gal-
veston, who lost his life in an heroic endeavor to
save the crew of a vessel, wrecked near that

She is an accomplished and cultured lady ; and
since the death of her husband has managed the
large estate, left entirely to her disposal, with pru-
dence and business skill. She has devoted herself
to the education of her children, four of whom
survived their father. For several years she was
virtually compelled to live upon the ranch and
supervise its management ; but latterly she has been
enabled to place the same under lease, and with her
children and mother, has removed to San Antonio,
and purchased a residence there, pretty and com-
fortable in all its appointments, and in proximity
to the educational institute, where her daughters
can obtain its benefits.

Franklin Shaeffer came to Texas a compara-
tively poor man. When he settled in the Agua
Dulce Valley, the great Southwest was a primeval,
wilderness, subject to the incursions of hostile and
predatory Indians, and filled with a lawless element.
He established himself in that section, and did
much to redeem it and encourage peaceful pursuits
and industries, and render possible the civilization
of to-day that therein abounds.

He was successful in all that makes life desirable
and has left behind him a name that is a priceless

c^ LtT-iM^t^yi/W




legacy to his children, and will be to his children's
children. The beneficial effects of his life-work
will long be felt in that part of the State, with
whose growth and history it is identified. It affords
the writer genuine pleasure to accord to him a

place in this volume, the object of which is to
preserve in imperishable form, to coming genera-
tions, a brief recollection of the men who, amid
trials, perils and adversities, have accomplished
much for Texas.



Few men were better known in Grimes County
than the late Capt. A. P. Driscoll. He was a
native of Arkansas and was born in 1829.

It is not known just when he first came to Texas,
but it is known that he located at Huntsville, in
Walker County, in the early 40's, and that he was
stage agent in early times along the route between
Shreveport, La., and EI Paso, on the Mexican
border. He was one of the first station agents for
the Houston & Texas Central Railway Co. at
■Cypress Station, in Harris County, and in 1867
was appointed station agent at Navasota, in Grimes
County, which position he filled for many years.
Upon the breaking out of the late war he organized
a company of soldiers and was elected their Cap-
tain. Owing to physical disabilities, however,
he resigned his commission and was made Commis-
:sary at Cypress Station, where he remained until

the close of hostilities in that capacity, and after-
ward as railway station agent and telegraph opera-
tor until he removed to Navasota, where he con-
tinued in the service of the H. & T. C. R. R. Co.
until 1879, having served this company for twenty
years. He died in 1880. He was married in
Harris County, Texas, in 1860, to Miss Lydia
Morton, of Louisiana, who with five daughters and
one son survive him. The children are: Bettie,
now Mrs. John Hamilton, of Navasota; Katie, now
Mrs. F. Chimene, of Houston ; Jennie, now Mrs.
Walker Humphries, of Pensacola, Florida ; Wave,
now Mrs. Max Otto, of Houston ; Eva, residing at
home with her mother and John W. Driscoll, of

. Capt. A. P. Driscoll served one term as

Mayor of Navasota and was honored and beloved
by all who knew him. He was the grandson of
Col. Martin Parmer.



Capt. James M. Williams was born in De Soto
Parish, Louisiana, March 28th, 1833. His father.
Rev. M. E. Williams, was a prominent Baptist
minister of Northern Louisiana.

The subject of this memoir completed his educa-
tion at McKinzie College, Clarksville, Texas, a
famous institution of learning presided over by Rev.
Dr. McKinzie, and was a fellow-student of Hon. J.
W. Herndon, of Tyler, for many years a member of
the United States Congress from Texas. At the be-
ginning of the war between the States, Capt. Williams
•unlisted as a private in Drew's battalion, the first

command organized in his native State ; served for
a time in Florida, and then, under Gen. J. Bankhead
Magruder, in Virginia, where he was transferred
to the Second Louisiana, commanded by his cousin
Col. (afterwards Brigadier General) Jesse Williams,
participating in the great battles fought in front of
Richmond and many minor engagements, in which
he bore himself with conspicuous gallantry. When
Gen. Magruder was sent to assume command of
the military district of Texas, Capt. Williams ac-
companied him, and was assigned to the transport-
ation department and stationed at Houston. He



was subsequently promoted to the office of post
quartermaster, with the rank of Captain, and
stationed at Tyler, where he continued in charge
until the close of the war. When the war closed
he was serving as quartermaster at Brenham, under
Gen. Robertson.

July 16, 1864, he was united in marriage to Miss
Sallie A. Hubert, daughter of Dr. Asa Hoxey, an
early and distinguished Texas pioneer. Very soon
after Dr. Hoxey's death it became necessary for
Capt. Williams to administer on the large estate
left by deceased, which he did with marked ability
and entire satisfaction to all parties at interest.
His own affairs were managed in an equally system-
atic and skillful manner and he left a fine property
to his beloved wife.

He was kind, benevolent and helpful to those in

distress, a steadfast champion of temperance and
a consistent member of the Baptist Church. He
died at Burnett's Well, near the town of Luling,
Texas, September 11, 1881, where he had gone in
hope of restoration of health. He manifested a
deep interest in county, Slate and national affairs,
and all that pertained to the welfare of the country.
He was a delegate to the national convention held
at St. Louis, in 1876, which nominated Samuel J.
Tilden for President. He was a member of the
Masonic and Patrons of the Husbandry fraternities
and an active worker in both organizations. He
left four children : James Hozey ; Emma, wife of
E. Hoffman, of Brenham ; Nettie, wife of C. L.
Anderson, of Ardmore, I. T., and Asa M. Hoxey,
who is living with his mother at their home at



Born in North Carolina, and partly reared there ;
ran away from home when a boy and went to Ten-
nessee, where he lived a number of years ; returned
to North Carolina, married, and engaged in mining
for gold ; again went to Tennessee, where he en-
gaged in planting ; then, after stopping a year or
two in Arkansas, came to Texas, locating in what
is now Harrison County, where he engaged in farm-
ing until the fall of 1851, when he removed to the
Brazos bottom, in Brazos County, then in the heart
of the wilderness, where he opened a plantation,
on which he employed his hundred or more negro
slaves profitably until the war between the States;
during the ' war hauled cotton to Mexico and
brought back merchandise, greatly adding to his
wealth ; continued to make his home on his plant-
aiion from 1865 to the time of his death in 1879,
at the age of seventy-eight years ; was four times
married, and raised eight children to maturity,
seven of whom, Laura, Ruth, Alfred F., Pattie,
now Mrs. M. W. Sims, Mary, Alice, and Thomas
D., were born in Texas of his marriage to Miss
Rachel Flournoy, a daughter of Dr. Alfred Flour-

noy, who fought in the battle of New Orleans
under Gen. Andrew Jackson ; was a man of strik-
ing appearance, being six feet, two inches in
height, and weighing 225 pounds ; had light hair,
fair complexion, and clear blue eyes, the steady
gaze of which was equaled by that of few men ;
was a man of marked individuality of character,,
reserved, strong willed, well informed, rather im-
perious, though courteous, in manner ; courageous
to a fault ; had devoted friends, and enemies too,
who both disliked and feared him ; in fact, was a
typical Southern planter of the old regime, widely
known and widely influential in his day. He was
a member of the Masonic fraternity from early
manhood. His son, Alfred F. Wilson, was born
in Harrison County, Texas, December 16, 1847;
was taken to Brazos County with his parents in
1851 ; has always lived in this State, and for many
years has been engaged in planting and stock-
raising ; now resides in Robertson County, Texas ;
married Miss Fannie Gleaves, daughter of Frank
Gleaves, Hermitage, Tenn., and has three children:
May Herbert, Alice Ray, and Thomas D. Wilson.





Wm. C. Roberts was born in Matagorda County
in 1862. He is a son of Columbus W. Roberts,
deceased (also a native of the same county),
whose father, Ransome Roberts, deceased, was a
pioneer of 1836. Ransome Roberts located in
Matagorda County on coming to Texas, located on
Caney Creek, where he established himself as a
farmer and stock-raiser and raised a family of ten
children, three of whom survive and live at differ-
ent points in Texas. He was a native of Georgia.
Columbus W. Roberts, father of the subject of this
notice, married Miss Mollie Harris, a daughter of
Parson Harris, a widely known clergyman of the
M. E. Church South, and like his father, located
on Caney Creek. Here he reared a family of six

children, of whom Wm. C. Roberts is the oldest.
These are well settled in life in various parts of the
State and are useful and honored citizens of the
communities in which they reside. Mr. Roberts is
a contractor in Alvin, where he also conducts a
livery business. He married Miss Sallie O'Connor
in Houston, February 1st, 1888, and has one child,
a daughter named Flora. Mrs. Roberts is a native
of Mobile, Ala., and was born December 4, 1867.
She is a most estimable and accomplished lady.
Mr. Roberts is a pushing, clear-headed business
man, who has done much toward aiding in the up-
building of the thriving town of Alvin and the
development of the resources of the surrounding



Judge C. L. Goodman, of Orange, Texas, was
born January 12, 1854, in Choctaw County, Ala.,
and educated in the common schools of Texas, and
at Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie, N.
Y., graduating from the latter institution in No-
vember, 1876. He then returned to Orange,
Texas. He came to Texas in March, 1861, with
his parents, who located in Jasper County, Texas ;
resided first at Sabine Pass and later at Orange
until 1876 and then went to New York to school.
He returned to Orange in 1877 and began work
with the Tribune^ a weekly newspaper edited by
A. P. Harris, helping to get out the first issue of

On his way home from New York, he stopped at
St. Louis and was engaged for a time with Dr. W.
G. Kingsbury in Texas immigration work. His
connection with the Orange Tribune continued
until 1878. In 1879 he became partner with Dr.
Shalars, in the drug business at Orange, which he
continued until 1883. In 1884 he was elected to
the office of county and district clerk of Orange
County and was re-elected for four successive terms.
In 1894 he refused to again become a candidate

for the office. In his first election he defeated a
man who had been clerk for eighteen years, by a
large majority. After retiring from public life
he engaged in the milling business, which he has
since built up to large proportions. His bids fair
to be one of the largest and leading mills in
Southei'n Texas. His success in life has been due
to good management, the exercise of sound dis-
cretion and the possession of natural business
abilities of a very superior order. He owns con-
siderable realty in various parts of the State. He
is a member of the I. O. O. F. and Elks fraterni-
ties. June 22d, 1887, he was united in marriage
to Miss Beauregard Traylor, of Jackson County,
Texas. She was born in 1862, in Jasper County,
Texas, and is a daughter of J. C. Traylor, Esq.,
a prosperous stock-raiser of Jackson County.
Four children (all boys) have been born to them,
viz. : Charles Riviere, aged eight ; Josiah Traylor,
six ; John Willard, four, and Leland Keith, two
years old.

Mr. Goodman has a lovely home in Orange,
and is one of the most prominent and influential
citizens of that part of the State.





The subject of this memoir was born in Ithica,
N. y., July 21, 1828, and in April, 1834, left his
native State for Texas with his parents, David and
Ann M. Ayers, and other members of the house-

The party took passage in the brig " Asia."
The vessel was wrecked on St. Joseph's Island,
opposite Corpus Christi, and residents of the
country, Mexicans from San Patricio, learning of
the disaster, made their way to the island and con-
veyed the Ayers and other families in small boats
lip to the village of San Patricio. Mr. Davis Ayers
went ahead to the point of destination that he had
decided upon near Long Point in Washington
County, secured transportation for his household
■effects, returned to San Patricio and then, loading
Ms earthly possessions (family and chattels) upon
■wagons, set forth for the home he had selected,
•which in due time he reached in safety and without
adventure. He had previously come to Texas in
1832 and built what was known as "The Stone
House " at the point indicated.

The family consisted of the parents and six
children: The eldest, afterward Mrs. L. P. Moore,
who resided and died at Temple (her husband, a
participant in the battle of San Jacinto and in the
war between the United States and Mexico, survives
her and lives at Temple) ; Mrs. Rufus C. Camp-
bell, now living at Burton, Texas (her husband
■was also a soldier at San Jacinto and handcuffed
Santa Anna after his capture) ; Mrs. Eliza Alex-
ander, who died at Chappell Hill in 1873 (her
husband was the late lamented Rev. Robert Alex-
ander, a noted Texian pioneer) ; Mrs Sarah Park,
now living at Galveston (her husband, now
deceased, was a well-known merchant of that city) ;
Capt. F. H. Ayers and D. Theo. Ayers. Capt. F.
H. Ayers participated in the ill-fated Somervell
expedition, with a few of his comrades gallantly
effected their escape from their inhuman captors at
Mier, Mexico, and returned to Texas.

During the war between the States (1861-5) he
served a part of the time Quartermaster of Parson's
Regiment and in service in the open field signalized
himself for gallantry. He died at his home in
Temple, Texas, January 10th, 1891, after a suc-
cessful career as a civilian.

Of the parents, Mrs. Ann M. Ayers died in 1876
and David Ayers in 1878, at the home of their son.

D. Theo. Ayers, in the city of Galveston. Mr.
David Ayers being advanced in years and quite
deaf could not enter active service during the war
between the States and for these reasons consented
to become one of those detailed by the Confederate
government to remain at home and care for the fam-
ilies of the soldiers doing duty in the field. He was
the founder of St. James M. E. Church at Galveston.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Ayers were devout Christians
and greatly beloved by a wide circle of friends.

The Ayers family resided and prospered at their
home at Long Point until the advance of Santa
Anna's victorious army (more merciless than that of
Atilla or Hyder Ali), sweeping eastward like a besom
of destruction, compelled them and other settlers
to abandon all they had and fiee for life. They had
reached the Trinity river, on their way to Louisiana,
when they received news of the glorious and decisive
victory won by the Texian army at ever-memorable
San Jacinto. They thereupon returned to their
home and re-established themselves, to be no longer
agitated with fears of molestation by ruthless
Mexican invaders.

In 1836 Mr. David Ayers moved to the town of
Washington and thence in 1842 to Center Hill,
Austin County, where he was engaged in general
merchandise. During this time D. Theo. Ayers
was attending school at Rutersville, in Fayette
County, Texas.

In 1840 a band of Indians swept down upon and
burned the neighboring town of Linnville and mas-
sacred many of the inhabitants. A wave of indig-
nation swept through the settlement as news of this
act of fiendish atrocity traveled from house to house.
Volunteers were called for to take part in an expe-
dition against the savages and the subject of this
sketch and a number of other school boys, who
owned saddle horses, were among the first to re-
spond. The Indians were intercepted at High Hill,
in Gonzales County, and were severely punished in
the battle, known as the Plum Creek Fight, that

On another occasion hostile Indians, raiding
through the country, passed within four miles of
Rutersville, attacked a family, killing a young
man, Henry Earther, a member of the household"
All the school boys who had horses went out to
the residence and helped to bury the deceased,
and then followed fast upon the trail of Indians



for twenty- four hours under the leadership of Capt.
John H. Moore, when, not being supplied with
provisions, the pursuing party were compelled to
return to their homes.

From 1844 to 1847 young Ayers was employed
as a clerk in the general merchandising establish-
ment of Moses Park, at Independence, Texas,
where the Mexican War being in progress he en-
listed as a private soldier in Ben McCulloch's Com-
pany, Hay's Regiment, Taylor's Division, U. S. A.,
and served in the army for six months ; returned
to Independence at the expiration of that time and
clerked for Mr. Sparks for three or four months ;
went to Corpus Christi and dealt in live stock until
1849 ; moved to Goliad and engaged in stock-rais-
ing until 1854 ; then drove his stock out on the
Aransas and established a ranch, and sold out in
1855, and moved to Galveston. In 1865 he was
united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Hall, daughter
of Campbell Hall, a well-known pioneer then resid-
ing on the San Antonio river. Mr. Campbell Hall
came to Texas with Austin's colony about the
year 1828, and died at his home, ten miles below
Goliad, on the San Antonio river, in 1868. Mr.
and Mrs. Ayers have had eight children born to
them, three of whom, T. C, W. F., and Emily, are
now living, and have seven grandchildren. Mr.
Ayers embarked in the dry goods business at Gal-
veston during 1855, as a member of the firm of
Riddle & Ayers, a connection which continued for
twelve months, at the expiration of which time he
sold his interest to his partner and moved to La
Grange, where he formed a similar connection in
the same line with James A. Haynie, and eighteen
months later returned to Galveston and went into
the grocery business under the firm name of
Ayers & Perry, a partnership that continued until
1861, when Mr. Ayers sold out his interest and
moved to his father-in-law's place on the San
Antonio river, and farmed until the spring of 1864.
In the latter year he enlisted in the Confederate
army as a soldier, in Capt. A. C. Jones' Company, a
part of Col. John S. Ford's famous regiment, a
command that covered itself with glory on the Rio
Grande, during the fateful struggle made for the
Lost Cause. At the close of the campaign he par-
ticipated in the fight at Palmetto Ranch, the last of
the war, an engagement in which was fired the last
shot exchanged between the blue and the gray.
Throughout the campaign he won the confidence
and esteem of his comrades in arms, by his soldierly
qualities and intrepid gallantry. He returned to

Galveston during 1865 and went into the grocery
business, in which he was continuously engaged
until 1880, when he sold the business to Moore,
Stratton & Co., and engaged in the general com-
mission business in that city under the firm name
of G. B. Miller & Co. Mr. Miller sold his interest
to Mr. Ayers in 1891 and the business has since
been conducted by Ayers, Gardener & Co.

Mr. Ayers is a member of the Masonic fraternity
and Democratic party.

Having come to Texas when it was still a Mexi-
can province and since lived in the country under
all succeeding governments — Provisional, ad
interim, Republic of Texas, State of Texas, Con-

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 82 of 135)