John Henry Brown.

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in Eastern Mexico and Southwest Texas. Besides
their large wholesale and retail stores in Mata-
moros, the firm own and operate a bakery that
gives employment to a large number of people. In
1880 the firm opened a branch wholesale store in
Brownsville, Texas, where they carry a large and
complete line of dry goods, notions, etc. The
trade of these establishments extends far into the
interior of Southwest Texas and Mexico, and is an
important factor in the business history of that
section of country. Besides these important enter-
prises, the firm owns large tracts of fine agricultural
and pasture lands, all under fence, and have fine
and most substantial improvements thereon.

Mr. Cross, our subject, now well advanced in
years, while well preserved and in the enjoyment
of good health, is gradually relinquishing the cares
of business, and devotes his time chiefly to his ranch
interests near Brownsfield, while the entire manage-
me^t of their stores and bakery is intrusted to the
care of the junior member of the firm, Middleton
H. Cross, Esq. They each own and live in the
most complete, attractive and spacious homes in
the city of Matamoros. Mr. Cross is a typical old-
time Texian, of plain, unassuming and easy man-
ners and genuine Southern hospitality.



The subject of this brief memoir is a well-known
citizen of Brownsville, Texas, a native of Southwick,
Mass., and was born September 1, 1842. The Fields
of New England and New York, of which family he
is a member, have descended from a long line of
ancient and honored ancestry dating in England as
far back as 1316 to Lord Robertus Field of Hard-
wick, and John Field, a lord of the township of
Cbelsham, Surrey.

Burke's History of the Commoners of England
(1833) gives evidence of the antiquity and promi-
nence of the family. It is said of Dr. Richard
Field that his family was of an ancient origin, early
emigrated to Massachusetts Colony and soon located
at Hartford, Conn. Our subject descends from

this gentleman, who was born in England in 1561
and served as Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth. From
that date down the march of time the name has
been a prominent one upon the pages of English
and American history and is to-day familiar to the
student of the religious, legal, scientific and finan-
cial history of our country. The family has been
established in America for a period covering more
than two hundred years. The American founder
of the family was Zechariah Field, who settled in
Massachusetts not more than a dozen years after
the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and was, himself,
a Puritan. Later, his brother Robert came to the
country. Cyrus W. Field, of New York, the pro-
jector of the great Atlantic cable, is an uncle of our



subject, Mr. Henry M. Field. His father, Mathew
D. Field, an older brother of Cyrug W. Field, was a
paper manufacturer for many years at Lee, Mass. ;
in 1843 removed to St. Louis, Mo., and for eleven
years resided in the West, where he did heavy con-
tract work upon railroads and constructed several
large suspension bridges, one of which, 1,956 feet
long, spans the Cumberland river at Nashville, Tenn.
He served in the Massachusetts Senate from Ham-
dem for several terms and was prominent in public
affairs wherever he resided.

Stephen J. Field, Justice of the United States
Supreme Court, is an uncle. The family throughout
is noted in legal circles and as financiers and mem-
bers of the Christian clergy.

Henry M. Field came to Brownsville with the
Federal troops in 1865, and upon being mustered
out of service, took up his residence in that

He received his education in Massachusetts, his
native State, and, in 1862, entered a volunteer
regiment, which served in the Army of Virginia,
Army of West Virginia and Army of the James.
He then served as a commissioned officer in a regi-
ment of United States colored troops, which was
sent to Brownsville, after Appomattox, and was a
First Lieutenant and A. A. Engineer when mustered
out in 1866.

He occupied the office of Deputy Collector of
Customs and for several years was County Surveyor
for Cameron County, in both of which positions he
made excellent records. In 1879 he entered busi-
ness in Brownsville, and since that time has not
held any public office.

In 1871 he was the engineer that built the' Rio
Gr.ande Railroad from Brownsville to Point Isabel.

He deals in lumber and hardware, and is a large
buyer of hides, wool, cotton, bones, horns and

pelts of all descriptions, from the ranclieros of the
vicinity, shipping the articles to Eastern markets.
His establishment occupies nearly a block on
Eleventh street, between Jackson and Van Buren.
A disastrous fire occurred in 1890, destroying nearly
all of the buildings and their valuable contents.
The account books were burned, in spite of every
effort to save them, and Mr. Field was therefore
unable to fix his exact loss, and had infinite diffi-
culty in adjusting the multitude of o^utstanding ac-
counts. He rebuilt immediately on the same site,
taking the precaution to include a fire-proof vault in
his office arrangements.

Among other branches of business, Mr. Field was
associated at the time of the fire, with a skillful
taxidermist and enthusiastic naturalist, who had
collected over eight hundred species of birds, and a
large number of mammals and rodents pertaining to
the Brownsville section. This valuable collection
was fortunately unharmed.

About one mile from the city there is a large tract
of land owned by Mr. Field. A portion of the 2,685
acres has been laid out in lots and streets, and is
known as Field's Addition. Trees have been planted
on each side of the streets, and when Brownsville
rises from her long sleep and begins to stretch her-
self, there will be some splendid building lots all
ready, where handsome dwellings may be erected
on green lawns surrounded by beautiful shade trees.
The balance of the tract is partly under cultivation,
and partly pasture lands. A system of irrigation is
provided, which furnishes water for some of the
land, by means of a dam across the resaca (old
river bed) running through the place. Mr. Field
has taken the proper course to secure large crops
with certainty, for all the soil requires to make it
yield abundantly is a supply of water at the proper



Was born in London, England, May 29, 1859 ;
educated at Marlborough College ; came to Amer-
ica in 1878 and lived in Boston, Mass. (where his
father still resides), until the following year when,
owing to failing health, he came South in search of
a more genial climate. Visiting the picturesque
and salubrious mountain district of Kendall County,

he was so charmed with the country that he bought
and improved what is now known as the Hughes
Ranch. It is located in a romantic dell, three and
a half miles from Boerne. Among other springs
on the property are mineral springs that have be-
come famous for their medicinal virtues and are
annually attracting large numbers of health seek-



ers. Mr. Hughes has fine herds of Jersey cattle,
half-bred Shetland ponies and Angora goats, and
conducts a dairy, whose output of from three to
four hundred pounds of butter per month is eagerly
sought and sells at the highest market prices. Mr.
Hughes was united in marriage to Miss Lucy

Stephenson at San Antonio, Texas, June 28, 1888.
She is a daughter of Mr. John Stephenson, an
English gentleman, who has been engaged in farm-
ing in Kendall County since 1872. Mr. and Mis.
Hughes are delightful entertainers, genial and cul-
tured, and have a wide circle of friends.



One of the best known and most highly esteemed
of the Texas pioneers, is the lamented Peyton Wade
Nowlin, whose name was a synonym of honor
among the statesmen and heroes of former times,
who laid broad and deep the foundations for our
present prosperity, enlightenment and progressive

He was born in Logan County, Ky., October
12th, 1802; lived there until sixteen years of age
and then moved with his parents to Missouri, where
he completed his education at Franklin College.
Reaching man's estate, he became a large shipper
of tobacco and successfully engaged in merchan-
dising and farming. October 28th, 1827, he was
united in marriage to Miss Martha M. PuUiam.
Mr. Nowlin came to Texas in 1847, and returned
to Missouri for his family, just prior to the per-
manent location of the State capitol at Austin, in
1848. He erected the first house built in the town
after Austin was decided upon as the seat of the
Government, and in this house his eldest daughter
(Mrs. Lucy A. Dancy) now resides.

Mr. Nowlin was elected in 1850 a delegate to
the first railroad convention held in the State ; was
an earnest advocate of the construction of a rail-
way to the Pacific Ocean and, possessed of unusual

breadth and strength of mind, liberal and public-
spirited in his views, he was an active promoter of
every enterprise that promised benefit to the State
of his adoption. He was a member of the Chris-
tian Church and stood high in the Masonic frater-
nity, by which order he was interred with befitting
honors after his death, which occurred at the old
family homestead at Austin, August 31, 1884.
He was a kind husband and father, generous neigh-
bor and friend, a patriot and citizen above re-
proach ; a man who is affectionately remembered
by the few old Texians who knew and still survive
him. His wife died at Austin, March 2, 1877, and
is interred beside him in the city cemetery. She
was a woman of literary tastes, shared her hus-
band's patriotism, and kept her nimble fingers ever
busy to cover the weary Confederate soldiers' feet ;
even a sick Federal was the recipient of her kind-
ness. Eight children were born to them, two sons
and six daughters. Five daughters survive, viz. -.
Lucy A., who married Col. J. W. Dancy; Susan
B., who married Hon. C. H. Randolph; Annie E.,
who married Col. E. M. Lesueur; MoUie, who
married Capt. J. H. Dinkins ; and Addle, who mar-
ried David N. Robinson ; Mattie and Peyton died



Col. J. W. Dancy, the lineal descendant of
Francis de Dance (a Castillian nobleman, who fled
with the Huguenots from persecution in France to
the freedom of America), was born in Virginia,
Greenville County, Septembers, 1810. His father.

William Dancy, who married Percilla Turner, of
Virginia, moved to Decatur, Ala., when their son,
John Winfleld, was quite small.

Col. Dancy received an excellent education,
studied law, science, language, and everything in





his reach, graduating at the University of Ten-
nessee at Nashville. He received his license to
practice law from Judge Catron, of Tennessee,
afterwards Chief Justice of the United States Su-
preme Court. He married Miss Evalina Rhodes,
July, 1835, who lived only one year. Left a wid-
ower so early in life, he was attracted by the
sorrows of Texas to embrace her dangers, landing
at Velasco, December 28, 1836. The rough sea
voyage "made him sick unto despair," says the
Hon. F. R. Lubbock (ex-Governor and State
Treasurer of Texas), who came to this State in
company with Col. Dancy. DeterminedTto iden-
tify his every interest with Texas, he took, within
sixteen days, papers of citizenship (January 13,
1837), under District Judge R. M. Williamson,
also Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of
the Republic of Texas. He followed the practice
of his profession with distinction and marked
financial success at La Grange for many years,
taking a helpful interest in younger members of
the bar, and moved to the front, a recognized
leader. He was elected to the Congress of the
Republic of Texas in 1841 and 1842, there main-
taining the reputation he had previously earned,
as a man of great purity of character and purpose.
Col. Dancy participated in many exciting skir-
mishes with Indians, and received a severe wound
in the shoulder while pursuing the red-skinned
marauders out on the Medina. He served under
Capt. Jack Hays in 1842, in repelling Vasquez's
Mexican invasion.

With a prodigality of love for the beauty and
utility of nature, he immediately purchased a large
tract of land, establishing a plantation and stock
ranch thereon, near La Grange, his residence
overlooking the lovely fern-decorated banks of the
Colorado river. To this garden of Eden he brought
his queenly wife, Lucy Mowlin, of Austin, to
whom he was married, October 26, 1849. At this
place he planted the first hydraulic ram in Texas,
just beneath his magnificent spring, which abun-
dantly irrigated the finest berries, fruits and
flowers ever grown in the State. He was one of
a company to establish the first newspaper in
Fayette County (1850, The Texas Monument),
which he gratuitously edited, for the purpose of
raising funds to erect a monument over the re-
mains of the Mier prisoners and Dawson's men,
brought from Mexico and deposited in a vault on
Monument Bluff, just across the river from La

Col. Dancy was one of the trustees who founded
a Military College at Rutersville, the first estab-
lished in Texas. The Galveston News in 1851,

speaking of Col. Dancy, says: " He is the noblest
work of God — a man incapable of a dishonorable
act, and a detester of meanness, a high-toned gen-
tleman, scholar, and critic; he has not a superior
in the State in a knowledge of parliamentary rules,
and makes a good presiding officer. His virtues,
public and private, are of the highest order."

Austin and San Antonio papers of 1853 said of
him: "Senator Dancy is madly in favor of the
Pacific Railway. It must pass through Texas
with a Mississippi terminus at New Orleans. He
would strain every nerve to secure its passage —
is body and soul an internal improvement man.
With strength of statistics, power of argument and
beauty of imagery, he portrayed the vast, almost
incomprehensible advantage of railroads to Texas.
He said ' Railroads are the only key to unlock her
casket of costly gems.' " His ideas of the tele-
graph and railroad were then laughed at and
derided, especially when he said ' ' We will be enabled
to get a dispatch from China the evening before it
was sent." They, however, were planted in good
soil, took root and later placed high on the list of
practical utility, finally being realized by his

Col. Dancy, the "Father of Railroads in
Texas," lived only long enough to see two roads
commenced. He was the director of the first one
(which reached only to AUeyton), when he died,
February 13th, 1866, at La Grange, Texas. His
heart's desire is at last perfected, that road now
runs from New Orleans to San Francisco.

Though possessed of every Christian virtue, and
giving liberally to all denominations, he belonged
to none ; but praised God for a beautiful earth as
his birthright, and a glorious heaven his eternal
inheritance. Having lost a son and daughter quite
young, he left a widow with four girls to raise to
maturity, all ardent members of the Episcopal
Church, viz. : Evalina, who graduated at Carnatz
Institute, New Orleans, and married J. P. Ledbet-
ter, nOw an attorney of Coleman, Texas, possess-
ing the utmost confidence of his clients from all
parts of the United States ; Olivia, who completed
her education at Columbia, Tenn., and married J.
C. Brown, a very prominent and successful lawyer
of La Grange, Texas ; Ella, a girl of rare literary
ability and superior personal attractions, who mar-
ried quite young to Mr. Hall, and now lives in San
Antonio ; and Lucie Winnie, who was summoned by
the Death Angel when just blooming into woman-
hood, and a beloved student, at Columbia, Institute,

Mrs. Lucy Nowlin Dancy was born in Saline
CouDity, Mo., September 16, 1828, and married



in Austin, Texas, October 25, 1849, remaining all
her liusband's lifetime at Dancy Plantation, just
opposite La Grange. Rt. Kev. Alexander (Jregg,
Episcopal Bishop of Texas, appointed her president
of the first " Parochial Society " of La Grange.
She was elected several times president of the " La
Grange Cemetery Association" (the first one
formed in the State), was one of the organizers of
the Travis Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of
Texas, and has ever since been on the Committee of
Credentials. Mrs. Dancy is possessed of fine ex-
ecutive ability, is widely cultured and accom-
plished and is deservedly one of the most popular
of our noble matrons.

Peyton D. Nowlin, a lawyer by profession and a
brother of Mrs. Dancy, entered the Confederate

army soon after the commencement of the war be-
tween the States ; was captured at the fall of Ar-
kansas Post and was afterwards exchanged, after
which he served under Gen. Joseph E. John-
ston and Hood through the famous Tennessee and
Georgia campaign, taking part in the battles of
Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain and other im-
portant engagements, bearing himself with that
gallantry that characterizes the conduct only of the
bravest of the brave. He also saw hard service in
Virginia, and was severely wounded in the hip in
front of Richmond. At the close of the war he
came home and, having recovered from his wound,
went to Mexico with his sister, Mrs. Randolph,
and, returning, took, and died, of yellow fever at
the City of Tuxpan, May 26, 1866.



Was born November 24, 1834, in the town of
Greifswald, North Germany ; came to Texas in
1854 with sixty other emigrants from the same
locality, rented a piece of land on Spring Branch
in Comal County ; and married ami purchased
land on the Guadalupe river, in that county, where
he lived six years. He started in 1863 and
taught until 1865 the first school in that locality
and then sold out and commenced life at his present
home in Smithson's Valley.

He started and taught the first school in the
valley in 1865, he building a log school-house on
land situated near his present residence and
owned by him. This modest structure now serves
as a corn-crib.

Mr. Ohlrich taught a private school until the
public school system was inaugurated and then
continued to train the young idea, under the new
system, for several years. He was made Post-
master at Smithson's Valley, in April, 1866, and
has held the position since that time, a period of

twenty-nine years. In 1870 lie was elected Justice
of the Peace and County Commissioner and still
holds the former office. Held the latter office for
about ten years. He engaged for a time in mer-
chandising but sold out his stock and devoted his
attention to agriculture, at which he met with
gratifying success, owing to his thrift, energy and
skill. Some years since he sold the greater part of
his farming interests to his son, retaining a com-
fortable home.

Mr. Ohlrich married in 1859 Miss Louise,
daughter of Joachim Pantermuehl, a pioneer of
Coma] County, further mention of whom is made
in this volume.

Mr. Ohlrich has two living children: Ernest,
born August 26th, 1864, and Clara, born March
16th, 1871. Ernest married Miss Martha, daughter
of Henry Startz, and has two children : a daughter,
Ada, and a son. Otto.

Clara is Mrs. Max Richter, of Kendall County
and has two sons, Arno and Harry.





Is one of Fredericksburg's most enterprising and
substantial business men. He came to Texas in
1857 and'located on a rancli in Mason County and
engaged in stock-raising for about seven years. In
1864 he closed out his stock interests and removed
to Fredericksburg and purchased the Fredericks-
burg Flour Mills. He operated these mills until
about 1889, when he renovated the entire outfits
transforming it into a complete roller mill of
seventy-five barrels capacity, the product of which
is the highest grade in quality and finds a ready
domestic market. Mr. Vanderstucken has been
twice married and has seven children. He has
taken an active part in local affairs, both business
and educational ; has served several years as
County Commissioner of Gillespie County ; was one
of the organizers and is now one of the Directors
of the Gillespie County Fair Association, and has
served a number of terms as Trustee of the Fred-
ericksburg Public Schools. A brother of Mr.
Vanderstucken, Frank Vanderstucken, was one of
the original Texas pioneers, coming to the country,
in company with De Castro, when a boy of only
fifteen years of age. He met Castro in Antwerp,
where his father, Frank Vanderstucken, Sr., then
lived, and where Frank Vanderstucken, Jr., was

De Castro saw in the lad the elements of a

successful pioneer, the making of a man of great
enterprise, energy and daring, and, therefore, in-
sisted on bringing him to Texas where those manly
qualities could not fail to find full scope for devel-
opment. On reaching Texas, the spirit of improve-
ment and progress took full possession of the young
pioneer and he promptly engaged in various enter-
prises, such as the building of forts, etc., under
government contracts. At the opening of the war
between the States he, with Henry Runge, held
government freight contracts for the State of Texas.
He served four years in the First Texas Cavalry,
Confederate army, and distinguished himself as
the " Dutch Captain," being in command of a com
pany. He served with great bravery, taking part
in the memorable battles of Mansfield and Pleasant
Hill, Louisiana, and other engagements. After
the war he returned to Antwerp, his native city in
Belgium, and engaged in the milling business and
there attained a position of business, political and
local prominence and amassed a large fortune. He
married in Texas, Miss Sophia Scheonerwolf, of
Fredericksburg, and they have four children, all
born in Fredericksburg. One son, Frank, Jr., a
musical composer of world-wide celebrity, was re-
cently at the head of the Orion Club, of New York
City, but is now at the head of the profession in
Cincinnati, Ohio.



Was born in Baden, Germany, in 1835 ; worked in
a cloth-weaving mill in Germany when a boy ; came
to America; found employment in New York City
and later in Philadelphia, and in 1856 enlisted in
the regular army of the United States, with which
he served as a private soldier for five years, securing
an honorable discharge — in 1860. He then came
to Texas, "striking" San Antonio, where he
remained several months. He finally engaged in

farming sixteen miles east of San Antonio. He
spent the years 1861-5 in the service of the Southern
Confederacy and during that period aided in the
building of various fortifications in Texas.

He married Miss Gaild Schubert in San Antonio
in 1860. They have one son, Julius Koch. Mr.
Koch located in Boerne in 1862, where he has been
engaged in farming and gardening and has accumu-
lated a competency.





Was born in Prussia, August 25, 1818, where he
learned the shoemaker's trade, which he followed
until he left Germany for America, 1868. Landing
at Galveston in 1868, he took passage in another
ship for Indianola and from the latter place pro-
ceeded to San Antonio, where he resided for a short
time and then moved to Sisterdale, where he pur-
chased and improved a farm and engaged in raising
horses and cattle. After a residence of six years
at Sisterdale he sold out his property there and in

1874 located on the present family estate, near

He brought his wife and four children with
him to this country. He died July 28, 1894, at
seventy-flve years of age. His widow survives at
seventy years of age. The living children are
Andraes, Christian, Sophia, now Mrs. A. Behr, of
Sisterdale, and Gustav.

The farm consists of 420 acres of splendid farm-
ing and grazing lands.



Was born in Hanover, Germany, November 21,
1826, and came to Texas in 1850. Other members
of the family followed. The subject of this notice
first located at Horton Town, near New Braunfels,
where he remained for six years engaged in farming.
He later moved to his present home near Comfort.
His father, Henry Boerner, Sr., came from Germany
to Texas in 1854, and lived at New Braunfels,
where he died in 1886, at ninety-three years of age.

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 88 of 135)