John Henry Brown.

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ton County, Va. , six miles west of King's Salt works,
near Dunn's Hill, May 6th, 1822.

His mother died February 4th, 1825, leaving five
children, three daughters and two sons. A year
later his father married a Miss Taylor, of Sullivan,
Tenn., a daughter of John Taylor. She bore
five children, three boys and two girls. In 1831,

the father sold his home with the intention of going
to Missouri, but through persuasion of his brother,
John Dunn, of Abingdon, located six miles west of
Abingdon, where he died, February 3d, 1836.
There being ten children to care for, in the winter
of 1837 the subject of this memoir, W. W. Dunn,
launched out for himself and hired to a hog-driver
at SlO.Op per month, to aid in moving about five



hundred hogs to Lynchburg, Va., a distance of two
hundred miles. All things moving slowly on for
two months, they landed the hogs at Lynchburg,
where they were sold for $10.00 per hundred, and
young Dunn set out on foot to return home, making
the trip in five and a half days.

Then he spent three months in Abingdon, going
to school,' after which he returned home and worked
on the farm until about the first of August, 1838,
when, with his sister and her husband, Stephen
Bray, he made his way to Scott County, and there
found his brother Jacob, who had preceded them
about one year. In Scott County he entered into a
contract with Hiram Cowden, living on Sinken

widowed Mrs. Cowden until he was twenty-two, all
of which he did not fail to do. At the age of twenty-
two he left the widow and located in Castlewoods,
Russell County. There he boarded with one Nath-
aniel Dickinson and went to school, working evenings
and mornings for his board. Spring time came,
the school was out, and all the boys and girls had
to go to work — the girls to spinning and weaving
flax; the boys to sowing, mowing and reaping, and
thus the summer was spent. By this method he
managed to earn sufficient to defray his modest
expenses during the succeeding winter. He left
Castlewoods and went to Lebanon, the county seat
of Russell County, and there engaged with Bone

^V. W. DUNN.

creek, the contract being to serve him until twenty-
one years old, for which young Dunn was to receive
necessary wearing apparel and have one year's
schooling, a horse, saddle and bridle, and last, but
not least, $50.00 in actual cash. This, the last
prize, caused him to bear his burdens cheerfully
and look forward with much pleasure, meditating
over what nice things he would get with the money.
All went smoothly ; but, alas, his good friend Cow-
den fell sick and died of consumption in the spring
of 1841, not, however, without providing for his
young employee by will, bequeathing to him all that
he had stipulated in the first part of the contract
and $100.00, the latter to be paid the grateful
devisee when twenty-one years of age, and one hun-
dred and fifty more, provided he remained with the

and George Gray, merchants of that place. He
was to cultivate a small farm and do such hauling
with a four-horse team as he could get about the
town. So he hauled wood, rock and charcoal and
broke lots and gardens for the good citizens of the
village during the summer. In the fall he gathered
his small effects together, procured a one-horse
peddling wagon, bought $84.00 worth of goods
and traveled across the mountains into Kentucky.
There he busied himself among the early settlers
of Letcher County for about three months, coming
out fifty dollars ahead. During one of his jour-
neys the following humorous incident occurred on
Millstone creek. His was the first wagon, per-
haps, that ever passed that way, or at least the
first that many of the younger children had ever



seen. The way was very rough and in driving over
roots and guUeys the curtains of his wagon came
loose, and hung down and flapped much like the
wings of a bird. He spied three boys in the road
ahead of him. They were running and hallooing
for life. For about a mile they ran. Arriving at
home, they reported the biggest thing they had
ever seen in life, flying up the branch with a man
ill its mouth and chasing a horse. He returned to
Scott County and followed peddling during tlffe
winter. ,

In the spring one Wm. E. Sutton (who was
a leather peddler) and Mr. Dunn joined their
wagons together and opened a small country store
and conducted a successful business until the next
winter, when Mr. Dunn sold out to Mr. Sutton and
later volunteered as a soldier in the United States
army for service in the Mexican War, which broke
out in the spring of 1846. The company raised
was not received by the government and the men
were disbanded the first of January, 1847. A.
McCorkel, Marian Hoozer and Mr. Dunn left
Abingdon on the 10th of January, by stage, for
Lynchburg, and proceeded thence by canal to
Richmond, Va., where they enlisted as volun-
teers in Company H., commanded by Capt.
E. G. Alburtis. A few days later they em-
barked on a steamer for Old Point Comfort, and
remained there for about one month and a half.
On the 22d of February, they sailed on the barque
'■'■Exact " and in due time landed at Point Isabel, six
miles below the moiith of the Rio Grande. On
March 9th they made their first march from that
point to the mouth of the river ; thence by boat to
Camargo, Mexico, and thence on foot to Monterey.
There they rested for about two months, spending
about one half of the time at Walnut springs, six
miles from the city. From this point they returned
to the city of Monterey, where Mr. Dunn's friend,
McKorkel, died. From Monterey they marched
and, after much fatigue, reached Saltillo, on
June 13th.

In that city and at Buena Vista they sojourned
until the 13th of June, 1848, when they set out for
the United States, landing at Old Point Comfort
about the first of August.

At that place they were honorably discharged.
Soon after they were discharged they scattered,
many of them to meet no more. It was a sad sep-
aration, although each and all were eager to see
their old homes and friends. His route was by
Richmond and Lynchburg to Abingdon, which he
reached without adventure. After remaining three
days at home, he engaged in mercantile pursuits

again, moving to Tazwell, where he did a fairly
good business for ten years.

November 3, 1851, he married Miss Emily Gil -
lespie, a daughter of Col. Robert Gillespie, of Taz-
well County. She died December 13, 1853, leaving
him one child, a little daughter, Emily Louisa Wid-
difleld, as a pledge of their affection. The child
was cared for by her aunt, grew up to womanhood
and was the idol of her father's heart. She was
united in marriage to Mr. Wm. S. Hartman, an ex-
cellent gentleman, and is now the mother of seven
children, four girls and three boys, viz. : Annie,
Bettie, Eva, Mary, Willie, Sammie, and Clinton

In December, 1862, Mr. Dunn was united in mar-
riage to the widow Senter, maiden name, Miss
Nannie Davis. She bore him two sons, Bascom
and William Dunn. She departed this life in the
summer of 1866. Her son William died in 1868.

In August, 1867, he was married to Mrs. Lina
Grant, his present wife. She had two children at
the time of their marriage, Josie and Ada. Josie
first married Dr. John Dunn and, after his death,
E. B. Strowd, of Hillsboro, Texas.

Ada married G. W. Hollingsworth, and lives in
Fort Worth. Bascom is married and has one child,
Florence. His wife's name was Martin. In
1869 Mr. Dunn located in Fort Worth and has
since made that city his home. He purchased of
E. M. Daggett the block of land he now lives on
for $350.00. The block is 200 by 200 feet, and is
now worth about $200,000.00. Mr. Dunn owns
five-eighths of the block yet, on which stands the
Mansion Hotel, a building that contains one hun-
dred and fifty rooms, all told.

He has a fine system of water works which he
operates in connection with the hotel. His well is
333 feet deep ; the water is pure and soft ; no
better bath water can be found, no better
drinking water in the world. The supply is
abundant. It is pumped into tanks, from which it
is conveyed to all parts of the house. The house
is three and four stories high, well ventilated, and
furnished with gas and electric lights.

Mr. Dunn has passed the seventy-fourth rung in
the ladder of life. He is strong and active. Now
in old age he has but little to reproach himself for,
and hopes to be as active during the remainder of
life as he has been in the past.

His religious belief is based on Christ's promise :
" I came to the world to redeem all mankind."

Mr. Dunn has been active in every good work,
and has thousands of sincere admirers throughout





Capt. William Kelly, born in Belfast, Ireland,
April 2, 1840, is one of the most prominent and
influential citizens of Brownsville, and is highly
esteemed for his scholarly attainments, business
integrity and social qualities. He came to America
from Ireland, his native country, in 1861, when
twenty-one years of age, and at once enlisted in
the First New York Mounted Rifles, with which
regiment he served for three years and was then
mustered out as a First Lieutenant and brevet Cap-
tain. He was subsequently commissioned as first
Lieutenant, Eighth United States Colored Troops,
but was soon transferred to the Quartermaster's
Department and assigned to duty as a Brigade
Quartermaster. The close of the war found Mr.
Kelly in Texas, and he located in Brownsville in
1865. He began steamboating on the Rio Grande
in 1866, in the employ of King, Kenedy & Com-
pany, who then owned and navigated sixteen
good-sized steamboats, which carried an immense
amount of freight from Brazos, Santiago, to Browns-
ville and points on the upper river. At that time
there were frequently over fifty vessels of all
kinds, from 3,000-ton steamers to 1,000-ton
schooners, anchored in the harbor of Brazos, Santi-
ago, and off the mouth of the Rio Grande, all of
them engaged in a paying business.

Mr. Kelly succeeded to the business of King,
Kenedy & Company, in 1874, since which time he
has run the steamboating business on a constantly
descending scale. From a fleet of twelve steam-
boats on the lower river and four on the upper,
run constantly to their utmost capacity, the busi-
ness is now reduced to one small boat, the

" Bessie," 110 tons, making two trips a month
(when there is water enough to float her), from
Brownsville to Rio Grande City. The changes in
the Rio Grande river are remarkable and almost
unaccountable ; but the certainty of other means
of transportation being provided for, the freight
which now passes over that route makes it imprac-
ticable to attempt any improvement of river navi-
gation, and Mr. Kelly is prepared to abandon his
last steamboat.

There are few enterprises for benefiting his sec-
tion in which he is not personally and financially

He is a director of the Rio Grande Railroad,
vice-president and director of the First National
Bank, and one of the ioremost promoters of rail-
road construction to the frontiers of the United
States and Mexico with a view to connecting the
systems of those countries and opening the way for
trade and manufactures.

Educational matters have always received his
careful attention. He has been chairman of the
School Board for the past twelve years, and the
value of his services is attested by the fiourishing
condition of the public schools of the city and the
many improvements in accommodations and
methods within that period.

Mr. Kelly owns 6,000 acres of land below the
city and is interested in silver and lead mines in

He was married in 1870 at Brownsville, to Mrs.
Thornhan. They have five children, viz. : Louise
M. E. ; William, a graduate of West Point Mili-
tary Academy ; Mary G., Anna R. and John W.



Leaving out of account all that part of the long
and uneventful period of Spanish and Mexican
domination that antedates the beginning of Anglo-
American colonization, the history of Texas covers
a period of time much shorter than that of any

other of the Southern States. Yet the State has a
history that in romance, depth of meaning and
value to the present and the future is second to
that of no other in the American Union. The
lessons taught by the immolation at the Alamo, the



massacre at Goliad and the victory at San Jacinto
will never be forgotten. These lessons are the her-
itage not alone of the English-speaking peoples, but
of mankind. The action of the Spartans at Ther-
mopylae and the united Greeks at Marathon and
Platea for many centuries had only to be recounted
to incite men, ripe for liberty, to fly to arms in re-
sistance of tyranny. Texas has added other and
equally glorious examples of what men should do
and can do if inspired by the spirit of freedom. Of
these examples every Texian is justly proud. It is
also a source of pride that valor in the field was
followed by wisdom in the Senate, that among the
first work done by the founders of the Republic
and subsequent State, they laid the foundation for
a system of popular education and made provision
for the establishment and maintenance of the insti-
tutions for the deaf and dumb, blind and insane,
and mapped out lines of public policy that evinced
a statesmanship at once wise, noble and unselfish —
a statesmanship in advance of the times in which
they lived and that entitles them to the veneration
of posterity. But the people, above all else, are
proud of the succession of great men who have in
an unbroken line appeared in the walks of public life
and by their abilities and virtues shed luster upon
the proud and heroic name of Texas. The roll of
honor is too long for recital here. The name of
Houston, dauntless in war, peerless as an orator,
with port and carriage that would have befitted a
curule Senator in the golden days of the Roman
Republic ; the name of Rusk, the idol of the people
and the most distinguished figure in the Senate of
the United States, up to the time of his menancholy
death, are enshrined in the heart and memory of
every man in every land where votaries are to be
found at the shrine of freedom. There were others
equally able, no less worthy, and scarcely less dis-
tinguished for their services, who were contempor-
aries of these men ; nor, since the fathers have com-
pleted their pilgrimage of life, have ihey been
without successors, worthy to receive upon their
shoulders the mantles which they let fall. It is a
lamentable fact, however, that of late years the
number has diminished and, instead of there being
many leaders of genuine statesmanship and patriotic
purpose whom the people can safely look to, to origi-
nate and push reforms and give sound counsel in
time of doubt or danger, there are all too few.
Among the brightest and best public men that
Texas can now boast is the subject of this brief
memoir, Hon. A. W.jjTerrell, the present Minister
Plenipotentiaryjfrom the United States to the Otto-
man fimpire. In looking back over his career,
extending as it does over a period of more than

forty-years, one is struck by the extent, variety
and value of his public services ; not only that, but,
what is more worthy of admiration, by the utter
disregard of self that he has manifested upon many
an occasion, when he deemed it necessary to speak
and act in defense of the interests of the country,
by his singular boldness and originality of thought
and the fearlessness he has displayed in the support
of convictions when those convictions were opposed
by a blind and senseless opposition due to the fact
that he was in advance of the immediate times
and blazing a way for the multitude to follow and the
multitude's ordinary leaders, with some of whom
patriotism is a trade, that they do not hesitate to
turn to profit. In point of sheer intellectual
strength he compares favorably with any of our
great men of former days, with any in the South
to-day, and is certainly without a superior in this
State. A learned lawyer, a sound and erudite
scholar and a magnetic, Ciceronian orator, he also
deserves the distinction of a statesman, using that
term in its proper signification. The deeper prob-
lems of life, as regards the race, the nation and
the individual, have been pondered over by him by
day and by the midnight lamp, and are ever upper-
most in his mind. It has never, at any time,
occurred to him to sacrifice principle for the sake
of personal aggrandizement. He has shown him-
self to be far above that vanity of little minds that
feeds upon applause. He has been actuated by
nobler motives, — the desire to do his duty fully,
the love of truth and justice, and a desire to con-
tribute his part toward the prosperity and glory of
the country and the welfare of his fellow citizens
and of the generations whose duty it will be to
perpetuate free institutions and the blessings that
are inseparable from the possession of liberty. He
was among the very first, if he was not the first,
to call attention to the necessity of abridging and
controlling corporate power, and the pack was in-
stantly in full cry at his heels, keeping always, how-
ever, at a safe distance, or receiving wounds that
no leech could cure. Now the country is thoroughly
aroused, and his views have been adopted not by a
few, but by the toiling milUons of the country. But
for him Texas would have no commission to-day to
regulate railway freight charges. He started the
movement that has eventuated in such a commis-
sion and at last, as a member of the House of
Representatives, perfected the railroad commis-
sion bill that became a law. This is his-
tory familiar to every man conversant with the
facts, it detracts nothing from the merit due
to others, and it deserves a lasting place
upon the pages of the State's history. That Texas



has a university, a system of efficient and richly
endowed public free schools and eleemosynary in-
stitutions that are a credit to our enlightened civil-
ization is largely due to him. As a result of his
labors as a legislator, or his public spoken or
written utterances, many of the most salutary laws
upon our statute books were enacted. Prior to
1855 there were no party nominations in Texas.
In that year the American, or Know-nothing party,
a secret, oath-bound organization, out of touch
with the spirit of free institutions and based upon
passion and prejudice, placed a full State ticket in
the field. The Democracy, ever true to its tradi-
tions, only needed leadership to perfect organization
and offer battle, although the chances of its stem-
ing the tide successfully seemed poor indeed. At
this juncture, Judge Terrell and a few other leaders
held what was known as the " Bomb Shell " meet-
ing in the ciiy of Austin, that resulted in the call-
ing of a Democratic State Convention, that nomi-
nated candidates who, as the standard-bearers of
the party, canvassed the State and with the aid of
other Democratic speakers and workers, Judge
Terrell among the number, won a victory that gave
the coup de grace to the " Know-nothing " party in
Texas. He is entitled to the proud distinction, if
it is due to any living man, of being one of the
fathers of the Texas Democracy. He has been
true to the party's principles and colors and his
white plume has helped head the way for the Demo-
cratic hosts upon many hard-fought political fields
during many years. Party fealty has been some-
thing more with him than merely a blind worship
of an organization. He has considered party as
but a means to an end — good government — and
he has never hesitated to denounce wrong, labor
for the adoption of correct policies or to warn
against mistakes when they were about to be
committed. The people have grown more and
more to appreciate his true character, and when
President Cleveland conferred upon him the
honor of appointment as Minister to Turkey it
was a course of gratification to them that a Texian
should have been selected for that important mis-
sion at a time when affairs in the East rendered
it necessary that only a man of sound judgment,
skillful address and flrst-class abilities should be
sent to Constantinople. They knew that he would
bear himself creditably. He has more than met the
full measure of their expectations. His name has
become a household word, in every Christian home
throughout the world, and he has won for himself a
position that entitles him to honorable rank among
the trained diplomats of Europe, where diplomacy
has long been reduced to a fine art ; in fact, he has

accomplished more for the amelioration of the con-
dition of the Armenian Christians and for the pro-
tection of Christian missionaries in Armenia than
the representative of any other single power ; this,
too, without the aid of warships in the Dardanelles.
Of dignified and imposing presence, courtly in his
manners, just in the formation and frank in the
expression of his views, he soon came to enjoy not
only the respect but the friendship of the Sultan,
who is himself a learned and polished man of gen-
erous sentiments and who assured Judge Terrell
that he would take pleasure in granting any reason-
able request, a promise that was redeemed as far
as it lay in his power to do so. Judge Terrell upon
his recent return (in April, 1896), to his home in
Austin, Texas, on leave of absence, was received
by his fellow-citizens with every public and private
expression of respect and affectionate regard.
After a brief stay he will return to his post of duty
in Turkey.

He was born on the 3d day of Noveaober, 1828,
in Patrfe County, Va., finished his education in the
University of Missouri and was licensed as a lawyer
before he was twenty-one years of age. He was
elected City Attorney of St. Joseph, Mo., in 1849,
and removed to Austin in 1852 in search of a more
genial climate for his wife, formerly Miss Ann E.
Bouldin, who died in 1860 ; entered into a law part-
nership with Hon. W. S. Oldham in 1852 ; engaged
actively in practice and as counsel took part in the
trial of many of the leading cases known to the

In 1857 was elected District Judge and re-
mained on the bench in the Austin District until
1863, when he resigned and organized a reoiment
of cavalry for the Confederate service. He was in
command of his regiment until the close of the war,
leading it into action in the battles of Pleasant Hill,
Mansfield, and the various engagements fouv^ht
during the retreat of Banks down Red river. A
few weeks before the surrender of the Trans-Mis-
sissippi Department, in recognition of his capacity
as a commander, he was commissioned by Gen. E.
Kirby Smith as a Brigadier-General.

After the war he settled temporarily in Houston
to practice his profession, but the uncertain condi-
tion of the courts induced him to retire from pro-
fessional work for a time and he engaged in planting
on the Brazos, near Calvert, until the death of his
second wife, formerly Miss Sallie D. Mitchell, in
1871. He then returned to Austin, resumed prac-
tice and three years later was appointed Reporter
for the Supreme Court, which position he retained
for thirteen years. During the period of his re-
portership he published more volumes than have



ever been reported by any other Supreme Court
Reporter in the United States.

Iq 1876 he was elected to the Senate without
opposition and was twice re-elected. During this
term of service he framed the present jury law
which was a great improvement upon that previously
in force and which no subsequent Legislature has
been able to improve. He was also champion of
the law that established the State University and
drew all the acts which gave it its permanent
endowment. He also framed the school law, while
chairman of the Committee on Education, that
established what was known as the "Community
System," which continued until the establishment
in recent years of the "District System." The
various measures for rebuilding and enlarging the
asylum for the insane, and the educational insti-
tutions for the deaf and dumb and for the blind,
were originated and pushed to enactment by him.
All the laws under which the Texas State Capitol
were erected were framed by Judge Terrell, and so
careful was the system of checks and supervision

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 99 of 135)