Fayette County, Texas Biographies
The following articles were taken from F. Lotto's Fayette County, Her History and Her People, published in 1902.
Josph Echols Baker, the district clerk of Fayette County, belongs to some of the oldest families of the United States. His ancestors on both sides, on his father's side as well as on his mother's side were in America already "in good old Colony Times." His ancestry on both sides were patriots and the male part distringuished themselves on the fields of battle, sometimes as "rebels," but always in the right. J. E. Baker, their son, proved himself worthy of his ancestry. He served during the entire war in the confederate army, and after the close of the war, he was denied for years the right of suffrage on account of his war record. But he remained faithful to his convictions. His reward came too. After the overthrow of the carpet-bag government, the white people rewarded his sterling worth and elected him to office. He has served the people in some public capacity for the last thirty years, principally as justice of the peace and city secretary of La Grange. He has been deputy district clerk since the adoption of the constitution in 1876. He was elected district clerk in 1898 in which office he, on account of his long experience, served the people with great ability.
His parents were Leonard and Lamira (Garner) Baker; his father was a native of Virginia; his mother, a native of Tennessee. Joseph Echols, their son, was born May 9, 1845, in Nashville, Tenn. After the war he came to Texas. In October he married Miss Patti Davidson of the Davidson – Caldwell family who has resided in Texas over fifty years. They came from Bedford County, Tennessee, and still further back from "Ould Ireland." The children of Mr. and Mrs. Baker are: Mrs. Josephine Thompson, Lieut. Leonard Baker, U. S. A., and Miss Tibbie Hay Baker. — County Officers, p. 191
A proof that the people of Fayette County welcome a newcomer, provided he is of the right kind, gives the career of the subject of this sketch, Sam C. Lowrey. He came to this county in 1896, and four years later he was popular enough to be elected by the people as county attorney by a very fine vote.
Sam C. Lowrey is a native of the state famous for fair women, good whiskey and fine horses. He was born August 26, 1868, in Troy, Woodford County, Kentucky, right in the heart of the blue grass region. His parents are Dr. John C. Lowrey and Jan Guyer Lowrey. He was educated at the Central University of Richmond, Ky., and received the degree of A. B. of that institution in June, 1892. He then entered the Washington and Lee University of Lexington, Va., graduated in law in June, 1895, and received his diploma as L.L.B. He was admitted in Lexington, Va., to the bar of Virginia in 1895 and in Nichosville, Ky., to the bar of Kentucky in 1896. During the same year he came to Texas. He first struck LaGrange, and as he like the place, he did not look out for a second location, but located right here. He opened a law office and practised law. In April, 1899, he was elected city attorney of La Grange. April 15, 1899, he was married to Miss Carrie McKinney of this city. In 1900 he was elected to the office of county attorney.
The people did not misplace their confidence. He has proven an efficient and faithful officer and thereby increased considerably the number of his friends. — County Officers, p. 192
All the people who have had business in the county clerk's office speak in words of high recommendation of the efficiency and accommodation of its popular occupant. Rud. Klatt has held this office for five terms and during that time has constantly increased his reputation for accuracy, carefulness and faithfulness. The duties of a county clerk are various, very arduous and require great ability. An inexperienced man might create in that office a world of confusion. The people are generally glad, if they have elected to that office an efficient man. If he has proven efficient, if he is accommodating and unassuming as the present incumbent, he becomes so solid with the people that an opponent does not offer to run against him, he very rightly presuming the verdict of the people to be in the incumbent's favor. The career of Rud. Klatt has not always been without its thorns and reverses. At the youthful age of six years he lost his father, at the age of nine, his mother. An older sister took care of him. Later he had the misfortune to lose his left arm in a cornshucker and sheller. But we always find him undaunted at his post of duty, doing his duty toward himself and his fellow-citizens.
The parents of Rud. Klatt were Andreas and Anna Klatt, nee Krause. They were farmers in the county of Wongrovie, province of Posen, Germany. Rudolph was born there July 12, 1853 and came with his parents to the United States in 1856. They settled at Welcome, Austin County, Texas. His father died when Rudolph was only six, his mother, when he was nine years old. Thus, he was left an orphan in a hard world. His older sister took care of him. He was educated at private schools in Berlin, Washington County, and High Hill, Fayette County. All his spare time he employed in getting a better education, studying by himself. He farmed till the age of twenty-one years. He then clerked for Roos Bros., Brenham, Texas, for one year. We next hear of him as manager of the cotton gin and oil mill at High Hill. Here he lost his left arm. After farming in the year 1879, he passed his teacher's examination in the fall of that year, and followed the profession of teaching for a period of thirteen years. From 1879 to 1881 he taught at Sedan, from 1881 to 1885 at Middle Creek, from 1885 to 1887 at the La Grange High School, from 1887 to 1892 at Roundtop. He was recognized as an able and efficient teacher throughtout the county and served from 1885 to 1890 on the board of examiners.
He was married in 1875 to Miss Marie Hillje of High Hill. His children are Miss Selma, at home; Arthur, assistant manager of the Weimar Oil works; Paul, rice farmer and manager of a large rice farm near Lane City, Wharton County; Hedwig and Annie, at home. — County Officers, pp. 193-194
There is no man in the county who is liked better by part of the population of this county and feared and hated more by the other part than August Loessin. The law-abiding citizens look with with [sic.] confidence and pride upon him, the lawless element gives him a wide berth and prefers very much not to be in his august presence. Not that he is not a sociable, unassuming gentleman, but the criminally disposed have every reason to shun him. As sheriff of the county he has made a record for fearlessness and energy not surpassed anywhere in Texas. Numerous are the instances where he has arrested criminals who had escaped the clutches of the law; very often he reached into his own pocket to effect their arrest in order that the people might be protected in their lives and properties. It is largely due to his efforts that this county enjoys a reputation for law and order hardly equaled anywhere in the state.
August Loesssin was born February 19, 1853, in Prussia and came with his parents, Fritz Loessin and Frederike Loessin, nee Ramthun, when he was only three weeks old, to the United States. The healthy sea-breeze was no doubt favorable to the development of his strength. He is now considered one of the strongest men in the county. His parents first settled near Fayetteville and in 1865 they moved to Black Jack Springs. Here his father died in 1869; his mother is still living on the old homestead.
August Loessin was educated in the private and public schools at Fayetteville and Black Jack Springs. Up to 1882 he farmed at Black Jack and Swiss Alp. In 1875 he married Miss Louise Stegemann at the latter place. In 1882 he went into the mercantile business at Cedar in which he was engaged til 1894. In that year he was elected sheriff. Since that time he has filled this office to the general satisfaction of the people.
In his arduous duties as sheriff he is very ably and faithfully assisted by his two brothers, Willie and Hermann Loessin. — County Officers, pp. 194-195
If a name has ever been popular in the county, if a name has ever been mentioned with words of praise and respect, if a name has ever stood ass the emblem of faithfulness and honesty, it is the name of the treasurer of Fayette County, R. T. Bradshaw. For nearly thirty years he has been at the head of the financial department of the county, the bes proof of the implicit confidence the people place in his honesty and reliability. If a stranger should meet this unassuming gentleman, he most likely would take him for a substantial, well-to-do farmer. The fact that his success has not affected in the least his modest, unassuming manners, that he is still the faithful friend and servant of the people thoroughly identified with their interests, taking a sympathetic share in their joys and sorrows has given him a hold on their affection so that they lok upon him rather as an aged relative than as the treasurer of this county. Thus, "Uncle Bob" in Fayette County means R. T. Bradshaw.
Mr. R. T. Bradshaw was vorn November 6, 1839, in Bedford County, Tennessee. His parents were Amsi and Hannah Bradshaw; the former, a Presbyterian minister. In 1857 the family moved from Bedford County, Tennessee, to LaGrange. Here his parents remained till their death.
Mr. R. T. Bradshaw started in the general merchandise business in La Grange in the year 1859. Three years later he entered a cavalry regiment and served as a private during the Civil. War. After the close of the war he returned to La Grange, clerked there for Carter, Webb & Co, then for Capt. S. Alexander and later for White & Bradshaw. He was elected county treasurer in 1872, but the former incumbent of the office making a contest, it was as late as February 11, 1874, before he qualified and assumed charge of the office. This office he has filled to such satisfaction to the people that he has been elected generally without any opposition, opposing candidates offering themselves only at great intervals not for election, but only for defeat.
Mr. R. T. Bradshaw was married in August, 1860 to Miss Anna L. Cook of Fayette County. To their union were born three children: Anna, wife of Mr. Blackstone White of La Grange; Amsi Bradshaw, farmer in Wharton County; Miss Mabel, attending school at Dallas. — pp. 195 - 197
The following is a sketch of the popular and effficient assessor of this county, C. H. Steinmann. He is a native Fayette County boy and by his affable and gentlemanly manners has acquired a wide-spread popularity in the county of his birth. On account of this popularity he was elected assessor of the county at the youthful age of thwenty-three years. His devotion to his work, his faithful performance of the duties of his office have met with the general approval of the people; and, therefore, the number of his friends has considerably increased.
C. H. Steinmann was born at the East Navidad on Aug. 15, 1873. His parents are Chris. and Louis Steinmann. Tey came to this county when quite young. Chris. Steinmann came to this country in 1849 and settled on teh Bluff; laater he moved to the East Navidad, six miles north of Schulenburg where he is still engaged in farming and stock raising.
C. M. Steinmann attended the public schools of Walker Branch, Middle Creek and Schulenburg. He then studied at the A. and M. College and at Hill's Business College at Waco. After graduating at the latter college he accepted a position as bookkeeper for M. M. Kemp & Co., Cameron, TExas. From 1893 to 1895 he kept books for P. B. Stephenson in Yoakum, Texas. In 1896 he returned to his native county, made the race for assessor and was elected by a nice vote. His work has met with the general approval of the people, andhe has been re-elected to that office twice without opposition, the best proof of his efficiency and popularity. — pp 197-198.
The name of Robison has more than once adorned the pages of Texas History. The reader rembers of having found the name of the father of the present tax collector in a previous part of this history as one of the captors of Santa Anna. Other men may be proud of the feats of their ancestors, but Neal Robison, in his simple democratic way, holds that the reputation inherited from one's ancestors must be acquired by proving one's self worthy of it. The merit of the ancestors must shine also in their descendants, if they shall have the right to be proud of it. And Neal Robison has proved himself worthy as a chip of the old block. For twenty years he has filled the office of tax collecotr, the repeated verdict of the people being the very best proof of his high standing amongst them.
The parents of Neal Robison were Joel W. and Emily Robison, nee Alexander. His father was born in Georgia, then moved to the southern part of Florida and came from that state to Texas in 1829. Neal's mother came to Texas in 1830 from Paducah, Kentucky. They were married in 1838.
Their son Neal was born July 6, 1848 in the neighborhood of the present Warrenton. He was educated in private schools of that neighborhood. From 1860 to 1862 he was a student in Prof. Dechard's Academy at La grange, Texas. In 1863 he entered the Bastrop Military Institue, then in charge of Col. R. T. I. Allen, a West Point graduate. There he remained until 1865. After the war the present Governor J. D. Sayers was one of the teachers of the Institute, and Neal Robison received the benefit of his instruction. From 1867 to 1869 he was a student in the law class of the University of Virginia, of which institution he became a graduate in International and Constitutional Law (1869). In that year he returned to Texas and in 1872 he went into the general merchandise business with his father at Warrenton. There he remained till 1878. In the following year he came to La Grange, where he married Miss Hallie P. Carter, the daughter of John H. Carter, a successful merchant of La Grange. From 1880 to 1882 he was engaged in buying cotton in La Grange. In the fall of the latter year he was elected tax collector, which office he has held ever since.
His son, Joel Rush Robison, was born at La Grange in 1883. He stays at home with his father and assists him in his work. — pp 198 - 199
The reader will now be made acquainted with a few data in the life of our Public School Superintendent. When in the year 1898 the voice of the people, on account of his long experience in teaching, called him to that office, it hardly coulld have secured a better man for that position. Conservative, attentive to his duties, he silently, but steadily works for the god of the schools; a work, not much noised about, but none the less valuable; a work in which more hard work is to be done, more judgment and common sense to be employed than glory to be earned.
Mr. G. A. Stierling, the son of E. G. Stierling, an owner of privileged estate, was born in 1850 on the estate of Kressin, Mecklenburg _Schwerin, Germany. He received a superior education at the gymnasium of Klausthal, Hanover, a school famous for classical learning. In 1868 he entered the 90th regiment as one year volunteer for military service. In 1869 we find him far away from the fatherland engaged in the mercantile branch of the tobacco business at Dunedin, New Zealand. During the Franco-German war he went back to Germany and entered the 84th Schleswig-Holstein [battallion]. In December 1871 he came to Texas. Here, he first entered the mercantile business and secured a position with H. Miller in Bellville, next he was employed by H. Knittel in Burton. In 1874 he was married to Miss Exa Moses. 1879 was the first year he engaged in teaching; he has taught with great success in Washington, Austin, Bastrop and Fayette Counties and established a reputation as a thorough and competent teacher. In 1898 he was elected to the office of public school superintendent of Fayette County. His work in this office has deserved and also met with the approval of the people.
His two oldest sons have chosen their father's profession of teaching. His oldest son, Mr. John L. Stierling, is principal of the Shiner school and has been elected this year as principal of the Germania school in Fayetteville. His second son, Mr. Hubert F. Stierling was engaged as teacher of the Bluff school; both gentlemen are successful teachers. — p. 200