The following articles were contributed by Carla Hillman Ratcliff from Record of Southwest Texas, published in 1894. At least some of the articles also appeared in a book called Lone Star State, Memorial and Genealogical records of Texas Containing Biographical Histories and Genealogical Records of Many leading Men and Prominent Families, History of Texas Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago, 1894, and also in a book called Memorial and Genealogical Record of Texas, Goodspeed Brothers, Publishers, Chicago, 1894.
GEORGE WASHINGTON ALLEN, M.D. One of the noblest professions, one of the most beneficial to mankind, is that of medicine, and while it is prosecuted for gain it is in its very nature nearest to beneficent charity, and is very exacting upon its devotees. One of the most prominent physicians of Fayette County, Texas, is Dr. G. W. Allen, of Flatonia. He is a native of Walton County, Ga., born in 1849, the seventh of nine children born to John William Barkley, and Martha (Camp) Allen, also Georgians by birth, in which State both the Allens and Camps settled many years ago. John W. B. Allen was a Minister of the Methodist Church, and in 1851 removed to Texas and located in Fayette County. The most of his work as a Minister of the Gospel was done in this county, and he was one of the early circuit riders. He became Presiding Elder of the Columbus District about 1869-70, and while filling that honored position did noble and effective work for the Master. His career of usefulness was closed by death, August 16, 1890, but his widow still survives and makes her home with the subject of this sketch, and her other children. Dr. G. W. Allen was reared and educated in Fayette County, and completed his literary education in Bastrop Collegiate Institute. He began the study of medicine in 1866, took a course of lectures at Galveston, and then began practicing. In the spring of 1872, he graduated from the Medical Department of the State University of Kentucky and Louisville. In 1893 he took a post graduate course at the New York Polyclinic, then returned home once more. He has been an active practitioner since 1868, and his first work as a medical practitioner was done on Sandy Fork Creek, in Gonzales County, during which time he boarded with a Mr. Gentry. October 21, 1868, he was married to Miss Amanda Louisa Evans, daughter of Dr. Isaiah Evans, who came to this State from Missouri, and was a successful and well known medical practitioner of the section in which he lived. After his marriage Dr. Allen moved to Fayette County, and there spent the most of his time until the fall of 1871. In 1872 he located at Old Flatonia, but at the end of one year moved to Fort Worth, and there made his home for two years. At the end of that time he came to Flatonia, and after practicing here for three or four years took up his residence in Brown County, where his home continued to be for some ten years. In 1889 he returned to Flatonia, where he is now permanently located, and where he has built up a prosperous and continually increasing practice. To himself and wife nine children were born, seven boys and two girls, three of the male children died in infancy, Beverly Lemme, John Elijah Matterson and Emmett Russell died, while the other six still survive, consisting of two girls and four boys, Martha Louisa, wife of Dr. G. W. Cross, and Emily Elizabeth, are the two girls; George W., Jr., Theophalus Parvin, William Isaiah, and Theodore Litton, are the four living boys. The Doctor and his family are Methodists, and socially he is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the A. O. U. W. p. 190
CHRISTIAN BUMGARTEN [BAUMGARTEN]. Among those who have inherited the thrift and energy of their German ancestors is the gentleman mentioned above, Christian Bumgarten, who was born in the Province of Saxony, Germany, March 18,1836, and who is now President of the oil mill of Schulenburg, and one of the large farmers of this section. No better citizens have come to Texas than those who emigrated from Germany, for they brought as their inheritance the traits of character which have ever distinguished that race. His parents, Christian and Mary (Bararmaester) Bumgarten, were born in Germany also. Our, subject was educated in Germany, and in 1855, when nineteen years of age, he determined to cross the ocean to America. While in the old country he learned the trade of ship carpenter, and after reaching the United States located in Galveston which at that time had but 1,000 inhabitants. There he followed his trade for nine months, and then, made a tour of inspection throughout eastern Texas. Returning to Galveston he remained there but a short time, and then, in the spring of 1857, came to Fayette County, Texas, locating first in LaGrange, where he worked at his trade. In the spring of 1857 he was married, and soon afterwards, he purchased sixty-eight acres of improved land, for which he paid ten dollars per acre. He still resides on that place. For some time, in connection with farming, he engaged in contracting and building, and many of the frame houses in this section are the monuments of his work. In the year 1862 he joined the Third Infantry, and soon afterwards was detailed as civil engineer, in which capacity he served until cessation of hostilities. After the war Mr. Bumgarten was without means, his buildings were destroyed and, his stock stolen. He was obliged to start from the beginning again. He branched out as a civil engineer, and in 1873, the town of Schulenburg was laid out, he owning a portion of that land. After this Mr. Bumgarten was engaged largely in contracting, and started the first lumber yard, cotton gin, planing mill, sash and door factory, etc., in the place. These enterprises he carried on for a number of years. As early as 1869, he erected his first cotton oil mill, and this was the first one known in this section of the State. This mill had a capacity of only eight tons, and did not prove a financial success, as everything had to be transported by team for thirty miles, and cotton seed oil was not very well known at that time. Mr. Bumgarten erected the first buildings in Schulenburg, both brick, frame and stone. About the year 1883 he first engaged in the building of oil mills, and in the improvement of oil mill machinery. His first mill was erected for himself at this place. Since then he has erected one at Hempstead, another at Rockdale, one at Caldwell, Taylor, Kyle, Luling, Hallettsville, and owns a controlling interest in all of them. He alone owns the one at Schulenburg. Mr. Bumgarten has made considerable improvement in the oil press, one being a perforated plate known as the Bumgarten plate, and which is now generally in use and, manufactured in Dayton, Ohio. Of this patent Mr. Bumgarten is justly proud. He has other patents on oil machinery which he has never placed before the public, and one of these will require an entire change in the mechanical construction of most of the machinery. They will doubtless be in general use in the future. Mr. Bumgarten is also the owner of a large farm, and has 700 acres under cultivation. This farm is worth from thirty to forty dollars per acre. When Mr. Bumgarten first settled in this section there were only about twelve or fifteen families here, game was plentiful, and Indians did not trouble them to any great extent. Mr. Bumgarten was married in June, 1859, to Miss Anestenia Paundswartz, a native of the Kingdom of Saxony, who came to this country with her aunt and uncle in 1856. She was born March 16, 1841, and was the daughter of Gustave and ___ (Schulze) Paundswartz. Mr. and Mrs. Bumgarten are the parents of fourteen children, five of whom are deceased: Ernst, Gust, Anna, wife of Knox Walters; Christian, Elizabeth, Charley, Willie and Fritz. Mr. Bumgarten has never sought office, but he takes quite an active interest in the political issues of the day. He is democratic in his views, and public-spirited and progressive. He and wife are members of the Lutheran Church. p. 489
THOMAS B. BUDD. In writing a review of the industries of Gonzales County, Texas, there in no subject more worthy of attention than the lumber business, and this is especially the case at Waelder, for the town has built up so rapidly that it has been necessary that large quantities of building material should be bandied to supply the demand. One of the most prominent engaged in this line of business is Thomas B. Budd, who is a sensible man, possessed of a practical knowledge of his business. His stock of lumber is always selected with the utmost care, and customers may be assured that his goods are always what he represents them to be. He was born in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Texas, February 21, 1857, the son of John and Isabella (Fisher) Budd, who were born in Louisiana and Tennessee, respectively, and were married in Texas, to which State the mother came when a child, with her parents. The father came here after reaching manhood, and engaged in teaching school in Fayette County, and also gave much attention to preaching the gospel of the Missionary Baptist Church. He continued his ministerial labors during his lifetime, and was known far and wide as a man of more than average intellect, and of the most upright morals. In the fall of 1872 he became a resident of Lee County, and there was called from life in 1876. He was compelled to ride long distances to fill his appointments, and, while laboring for the Master, organized many churches, and was the means of saving many souls. He was very popular and well liked, had a host of friends, and was always kind and considerate in the home circle. His wife died in Lee County, November 13, 1872. They left six children, four of whom are now living, the subject of this sketch being the second in order of birth. He was reared in Fayette County, obtained a fair education in the common schools, and after the death of his father, began driving stock, making trips North. In 1888 he came to Waelder and opened a lumber yard, in connection with which be conducts a well appointed furniture store, the first business of that kind to be established in the place. He also carries a stock of builders' hardware. He is in the prime of life and in the full vigor of mental and physical manhood, and his success in life is the reward of honest effort applied to legitimate business, and his friends rejoice that his lines are cast in pleasant places. He has in process of erection a handsome residence, and now expects to make Waelder his home indefinitely. Miss Maggie Kirtley, a native of Minnesota, became his wife in 1889. She was brought to Texas by her parents when a child, and with them located in Colorado County, then came to Gonzales County, but the father's death occurred in Bell County. Mr. and Mrs. Budd have two children: John and Eunice. Mrs. Budd is a member of the Baptist Church.
WILLIAM BURKE. Many of the best known farmers of Texas have been born outside its confines, and this is the case with William Burke, whose birth occurred in Union County, Arkansas, January 14, 1886. His parents, James and Martha (Ogden) Burke, were natives of Kentucky and North Carolina, respectively, but when both were young they came with their parents to Arkansas. James Burke, like his father, followed farming, and in the fail of 1845 he came to Texas, and settled in Tyler County, where he remained for five years. In 1850 he came to Fayette County, and the following year settled on the prairie about five miles east of Flatonia, where he followed farming and stock-raising. He was too old to participate in the War of the Rebellion, but he enrolled for the War of 1812, and was in Louisiana during the battle of New Orleans. His death occurred in 1873, when seventy-six years old. His wife still survives and finds a comfortable and pleasant home with her son, our subject. She was born June 5, 1805. Eleven children were born to their marriage, six of whom are now living: Mariah L., widow of James T. Burke; William, Benjamin F., resides in Lavaca County, Texas; P. P., of Williamson County; I. B., of this county, and Arminta J., wife of B. W. Cooke, of Williamson County, Texas. William Burke received but a common school education, but during his youth was favored with some educational advantages not given to the boys growing up with him. When twenty-three years of age he began life as a farmer, and when in his twenty-fourth year, May, 1861, he and T. S. Menefee organized a company known as Fayette County State Rights Guards, of which he was made First Lieutenant and Mr. Menefee, Captain. This company was never called for, and in the month of October, 1861, he and the captain went to Galveston and joined Capt. Fred. Tates' company, at Galveston. This was attached to Col. E. B. Nicholas' regiment of infantry, and he remained with this for six months, being mustered out at Galveston in May, 1862. In the latter part of that month he joined Capt. Frank Weeks' Company, for three years, or during the war, and in July, 1862, his command crossed the river at Vicksburg, and the first battle he participated in was at Coffeeville, Miss. He was with Gen. Forrest in many of his numerous fights, among them the following: Harrisburg, Fore Pillow, Holly Springs, where Mrs. U. S. Grant was captured, and our subject was on guard duty over her for some time. He says Mrs. Grant was very pleasant to her captors. At this place the Confederates captured about three thousand wagons and mules, all the provisions, and a large amount of ammunition, etc. From there Mr. Burke's command went to La Grange, captured seventy-five men, and then went to Grand Junction, and tore up the railroads. At Middleburg, Tenn., the command attacked a stockade and lost quite heavily, as five thousand United States cavalry made their appearance. Mr. Burke was at the fall of Vicksburg and Jackson, and after the fall of those places he was engaged on picket duty on Big Black for one month. From there he went to meet Gen. Frank P. Blair, and was in a battle at Tuscumbia, Ala. His command returned to Mississippi to meet Gen. Sturgis who came in with a command of negroes, and in the battle that followed many were killed and the remainder captured. Two thousand of the negroes were sent to Mobile, Ala. Mr. Burke was captured on the Tallahatchie River and kept a prisoner at Memphis for six weeks. He was then exchanged and returned to the army in September, joining his company at Mobile, Ala. After this he served as a scout on Pearl River, Mississippi, and was chased by E. J. Davis' force, and was in many skirmishes. On the 2d of March, 1865, one-half of the Battalion was furloughed home, and Mr. Burke was appointed Quartermaster of the boys as they returned. Our subject arrived at home March 28, and his furlough expired in June, 1865, but war was over by that time. This was Mr. Burke's first furlough. While serving the latter part of the war he held the rank of Second Sergeant, and was a brave and faithful soldier. After reaching home he remained with his father and engaged in fanning and stockraising, meeting with good success in this occupation. In the year 1865 he was married to Miss Mary M. Hunter (see sketch of Robert H. Hunter), and their union was blessed by the birth of three children, Robert J., a physician of this county; W. P., of Louisiana, and Edward M., a farmer, of Jackson County, Texas, who married Miss Pearl Pharr of Fort Bend County, Texas. Since the war, Mr. Burke has followed farming and stock-raising and owns two valuable farms. He is interested in political matters, but has never but once been before the people for an office. He is a member of the Farmer's Alliance and is President of the same in his county.
DR. ISAAC EDGAR CLARK. The profession of the physician and surgeon is one that has drawn to it at all periods of its history the brightest and most upright of men, and prominent in this respect is Dr. Isaac Edgar Clark, whose cheerful confidence in the sick room is often as potent as his medicines, and he is at all times a student in his profession, ever grasping after new truths in science. He keeps himself thoroughly posted in his profession, his diagnoses being almost instantaneous and very seldom incorrect. He was born December 23, 1860, in Polk County, Texas, and of the five children born to his parents, Harvey S. and Cleo (Robertson) Clark, he is third in order of birth. The parents were natives of Tennessee, and the father was a physician also, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College of Pennsylvania, of the class of 1854. Immediately after graduating the elder Clark came to Texas and settled in Polk County, where he resided until 1863. During the war he served as Surgeon of a Confederate regiment, principally on the Rio Grande. In 1863 be moved to Gonzales County and located about seven or eight miles from Gonzales, purchasing a large plantation in Peach Creek Bottoms, and becoming the owner of a large number of negroes. On this place he resided until 1886, when he removed to Lavaca County, near Hallettsville, and there he has since been engaged quite extensively in farming and stock-raising. He introduced the first thoroughbred and standard bred horses in the county, and is the owner of one of the finest stock farms in this section of the State. His first wife died in 1875. They were the parents or the following children: Willie M., became the wife of W. E. Meyers; Lula, deceased; I. E., our subject; Cally F., and Marietta, wife of M. H. Nennel. In 1876 Dr. Clark was married to Miss Mollie Edds. Dr. I. E. Clark received his education in Covington, Tenn., and subsequently began the study of medicine under his father. When eighteen years of age he attended Jefferson Medical College, and graduated from that well-known institution when twenty-one years old, receiving honorary mention in materia medica. This was twenty-eight years after his father graduated from the same school. Our subject located at Moravia, Lavaca County, Texas, and almost immediately entered upon a large and successful practice. Both as a physician and surgeon he takes a prominent place, and is well known in this and adjoining counties. In 1887 he located in Schulenburg, and here he has since remained, engaged in the active practice of his profession, principally with Bohemians and Germans. In 1888 the doctor purchased 200 acres of land situated on Navidad River. This is known as the Bermuda Valley Stock Farm, one hundred acres of which is Bermuda grasses, and is situated only one-half mile west of Schulenburg, where is located the Schulenburg Live Stock and Fair Association, of which Dr. Clark is the organizer and one of the directors. In 1889 the doctor introduced his first thoroughbred horses, and since then he has placed on his farm many standard bred horses and mares. He has some fine animals. One, a two-year-old, makes its quarter of a mile in thirty-five seconds, and another, a yearling, makes that distance in forty seconds. They are of the "Lexington," "Getaways," "Sam Harpers," "Keen Richards" (standard bred), "Wilks Sidney" and Almont Jr. Semi-annually a fair is held on the doctor's grounds, and animals from this and adjoining counties are exhibited. The doctor has won several premiums. In 1894 five races were run on these tracks, and our subject won three of them. Dr. Clark was married in 1888 to Miss Ella Walters [Wolters], a native of this county, and the daughter of Robert and Adolphine (Welhansen) [Welhausen]Walters, and niece of Theodore Walters (see sketch). Mr. and Mrs. Clark have two children: Cleo A. and Harvey R. Socially the doctor is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., Western Star Lodge No. 174. He is also a member of the A. F. & A. M., A. 0. U. W., K. of H., all of this town. In his political views the doctor is a Democrat, and is deeply interested in political matters, working for the interests of his party. pp. 440-441.
JOSEPH EHLINGER. This gentleman is a successful attorney-at-law of Fayette County, Texas, and from his ancestors inherits many of the sterling characteristics of the French people. His grandfather, Joseph Ehlinger, was a soldier of Napoleon's Army, and was with him in all his latter campaigns, participating in many battles, and in the famous march to Moscow. After the battle of Waterloo and the fall of the great general, Mr. Ehlinger came to America, landing in the City of Baltimore, Md., after which he went to New Orleans, where he became a contractor and builder, and when Texas was fighting for independence, he came to this State and joined issues with Gen. Sam Houston, becoming a member of Company F. He took part in the famous battle of San Jacinto, at which time he captured a Mexican, Lopez, who remained with Mr. Ehlinger as long as he lived, and when released he refused to return to Mexico. An old powder-horn which be carried is now in possession of the subject of this sketch, as was also his old flint-lock rifle, but one of the younger boys, while endeavoring to appropriately celebrate the 4th of July, loaded the gun to the muzzle, pulled the trigger by means of a fishing line and at a safe distance, and it is perhaps needless to remark that the valuable old relic is not now in the possession of the family. After peace was declared, Joseph Ehlinger returned to his native country, France, and upon his return was accompanied by his family, with whom he located in Houston. He obtained a headright in Fayette County, now known as Ehlinger's League, and went there to improve the place before removing his family thither. While returning to Houston he had to cross Buffalo Bayou, which was much swollen, and in endeavoring to swim across he was drowned. During his lifetime he built the first hotel at Columbus for Colonel Robison, and erected many other buildings throughout the country. He was much troubled with the Indians when he first came here, and, with several others, was in a number of fights with them. His son, Charles Ehlinger, was born in France in 1826, and accompanied his father to Texas in 1840, and after the father's untimely taking off, on him devolved the care of the balance of the family. He built the first house at Ehlinger, also a steam saw and grist mill there, which were the first institutions of the kind in the county. At the commencement of the war he raised a company of 104 men, for Cook's Regiment, and after being in the field service for nine months, he was detailed as Government agent to collect provisions, etc. He then began the operation of his mill in the interests of the Confederacy, and was thus actively employed until the war closed. In 1866 he opened a store at Ehlinger, and for a long time had a very extensive trade, in all probability the largest in the county. He was a shrewd and successful business man, and became a very extensive land owner. Before the war be was Justice of the Peace for many years. His wife, Minnie Miller, was born in Westphalia, Germany, and was brought to this country when about twelve years old by her father, Christopher Miller. While Charles Ehlinger was in Galveston in 1872, for the double purpose of buying goods and meeting his son Joseph, who was on his way home from the University of Virginia, he met with accidental death. His widow survived him until 1883, having become the mother of ten children, nine of whom are now living: Morris, who is in Shiner, Lavaca County, Texas; Elizabeth, who is the wife of C. J. H. Meyer, who represented Fayette County in the last session of the State Legislature; Caroline, who is the wife of Fred Meyer, also of this county; Elo Frank is a merchant at Goliad in Goliad County, Texas; John P., is the Postmaster at La Grange; Charles W., is a merchant at Ehlinger; Otto is a druggist at La Grange; Minnie, is the wife of Charles Gerndt, who farms near Ehlinger. Joseph, the immediate subject of this sketch, graduated from the Law Department of the University of Virginia in 1872, and after his father's death he assumed charge of his estate, continuing to look after the same for about ten years. He then moved to La Grange, and commenced the practice of law in 1882, was elected to the position of County Clerk, continuing in that office four terms, or until 1890, when he resumed the practice of his profession. He has been identified with all the important enterprises that have been started here for years, and was the prime mover in the building of the new Catholic Church here, and was also interested in the building of the Opera House and the Bridge here. He is a progressive citizen, and has been of material benefit to the place since taking up his residence here. In 1873 be was united in marriage with Miss Minnie Frels, a daughter of Capt. William Frels, the founder of Frelsburg of this county. They have three sons and a daughter. pp. 470-471
AUGUST FAHRENTHOLD. Among those to whom success has come early is the original of this notice, who inherits from his Teutonic ancestors much of their industry, perseverance and energy. He was born in this county in the year 1866, and was second in order of birth of twelve children born to his parents, L. and ___ Fahrenthold, natives of Germany. L. Fahrenthold was born in the year 1842, and came to the United States a boy with his parents, who located at [Frelsburg], in Colorado County. For some time he followed farming, but subsequently ran wagons between Texas and Mexico, hauling cotton. Still later he started a gin at High Hill, in Fayette County, which he operated until five years ago, and then associated himself with George Herder, Fred Hillje and D. W. Jackson, under the firm name of Fahrenthold & Co., and started to settle up the West Ranch, which they had purchased. They decided to build a town there, and this they have done, with a good prospect for a city. Lumber yards, stores, gins and fine residences have been erected, and the place is in a thriving condition. It is called El Campo. Five years ago this was a station on the G., H. & S. A. Railroad consisting of a section-house on the prairie, with not another house in sight. Mr. Fahrenthold erected the first gin in the place, and by his untiring efforts and excellent executive ability has done much to improve and develop the place. He has resided near El Campo for the past two years, and no man in the county stands higher in the estimation of the people than he. August Fahrenthold received his schooling at High Hill, but when fourteen years of age he left the school room and assisted his father on the farm until eighteen years of age. After that he engaged in business in Weimar as salesman until 1888, after which he opened a store and carried on business for himself there until January, 1894. At that time he and Fred Hillje started a store at El Campo, on an extensive scale, and they are doing a flattering business, having thus far (October, 1894) sold $50,000 worth of goods. Our subject is the manager of the business and takes charge of everything. In the choice of a wife he selected Miss Ida [Ramthun], and they have one bright little daughter. Both he and wife are members of the Lutheran Church, and he is a member of Hermann-Soehne, a German order.
RICHARD O. FAIRES. A man's life work is the measure of his success, and he is truly the most successful man who, turning his powers in the channel of an honorable purpose, accomplishes the object of his endeavor. Such a man is Richard O. Faires, who was born in Fayette County, Texas, in 1841, the fourth of eight children born to William A. and Ada (McClure) Faires, who were born in Alabama and Tennessee respectively, their marriage taking place in the latter State. In 1883 [sic.], they came to Texas and settled in what is now Fayette County, on the Colorado River. In that early day, the Indians were quite troublesome, and while he was engaged in tilling his land and looking after stock, he was obliged to carry a rifle with him. He served in the Texas Revolution, and died on his farm, on which he first settled in 1885, his wife having crossed the river in 1874. They were worthy and consistent members of the Baptist Church. The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in the county of his birth, and upon the bursting the war cloud which had so long hovered over the country, he, in 1861, enlisted in the Confederate service and was in the campaign in New Mexico, and a participant in the battle of Val Verde. He was a member of Company I, a private, Regimental Commissary Sergeant, Orderly Sergeant of the company, and Lieutenant of the company under Capt. Killough, Green's Regiment, Sibley’s Brigade, and took part in every principal engagement in which his regiment participated, except the retaking of Galveston. He was in the battles of the Red River Campaign and at the time of Lee's surrender was with his command in Texas. He at once returned home and turned his sword into a plowshare, and set energetically about tilling the soil with the consciousness of having been a faithful soldier during the war. In 1869 he was elected to the position of County Sheriff, and discharged his duties faithfully and well at the time when it demanded a more than ordinary degree of personal courage and determination. He entered upon his duties in May, 1870, and served one term of four years, declining to become a candidate for re-election on account of bad health. He has twice been elected Mayor of Flatonia, in which capacity he is now serving (1894). He was married in 1877 to Miss Eliza Killough, a daughter of his former Captain and a granddaughter of Col. John H. Moore, an early Indian fighter of the State of Texas and the founder of La Grange, capital of the county. Mrs. Faires was born in the Lone Star State, and has borne her husband three children: Ira G. and Fairie (daughter) and Richard O. Jr. In 1878, Mr. Faires came with his family to Flatonia, which is located on his father's headright, where he has since made his home. He has been somewhat active in politics, is a stanch Democrat, and is a member of the A. F. & A. M., I. O. O. F. and other secret societies. He is an agreeable and genial gentleman to meet, has a hospitable and comfortable home, and by his correct mode of living, has gathered about him numerous friends. p. 203
[According to Jo White, the Faires family came to Texas in the 1830s.]
HON. LOUIS FRANKE (deceased). He whose name heads this sketch passed to that bourne whence no traveler returns in 1874, having been one of the early settlers and for many years a resident of Black Jack Springs, Fayette County, Texas. He was born in Germany, and in that country was educated, and graduated from Jana University, completing the classical course. In 1847, while still in his early manhood, he came to Texas and fitted himself for the bar, but never followed that profession. In 1855 he was married to Miss Bernadina Romberg, also a native of Germany, who emigrated to Texas with her parents in1846. Her father, John Romberg, was a poet of unquestioned ability and genius, and left in manuscript many valuable articles, which his widow and descendants are desirous of having published. His ability as a poet was recognized at his old home in Mecklenburg, Germany, and he was constantly being called upon to prepare and read at public gatherings some appropriate poem. The hard life of a frontiersman on the Texas plains turned his attention to other occupations to some extent, yet he always wrote more or less all his life. He became a very extensive farmer at Black Jack Springs, and upon his death, in 1890, left considerable property and many descendants. Mr. Franke was for some time Professor of Music, in Baylor University, at Independence, Texas, and after giving up his position, he settled on his farm in the vicinity of Black Jack Springs, where his home continued to be until death closed his career. He was a popular citizen of Fayette County, which he represented in the State Legislature during the administration of Governor Daviess. During a session of the Legislative body, just after Mr. Franke had received his pay and was walking down the steps of the old Capitol building, he was assassinated by some persons unknown, it is supposed for his money. He was a practical and progressive farmer, always endeavored to keep out of old ruts, and in every respect was thoroughly up with the times. The children born to himself and wife were as follows: Henry, a jeweler of Yoakum; Paul, a farmer of Wharton County; Anna, wife of a Mr. Schueddamagen [Schueddemagen]; Mary, wife of Dr. Fouts of Gonzales; Benoni A., graduated from an educational institution of Huntsville in 1884, then took a year's course at the University of Lexington, Ky., is a teacher of considerable prominence; Louis is a Master of Musical Notes, Rudolph is a Professor of Brenham College, and Herman. Mrs. Franke and her husband were strict members of the Lutheran Church, and he was quite active in church work, a liberal contributor to all religious enterprises and educational work, and was a fluent and interesting conversationalist. One of his brothers, who resides in Germany, is quite a celebrated writer, is a noted water-cure physician, and has written several interesting works on that subject, which are standard and an authority. His nom de plume is "Rausse." pp. 176-179
GABRIEL FRIEDBERGER. Like many other parts of the State, Fayette County, Texas, has been benefited by an influx into it of a better class of German emigrants, who have helped to build up the prosperity of this section. Gabriel Friedberger, of the firm of Friedberger & Johnson, dry goods merchants of LaGrange, was born in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1835, and his parents, Simon and Leo Friedberger were natives of the same place. When thirteen years of age our subject went to Paris, France, learned the trade of designing, and became so proficient that after one month, he was designing for about 200 girls. When fourteen years of age he ran away from Paris and crossed the ocean to America. He borrowed ninety-five francs from a friend, just the amount to pay his passage, and landed in the city of New York without a cent. Going to an hotel he told the landlord his condition, but told him he had a trunk full of clothes. For one week Mr. Friedberger sought employment without success, and became very despondent, so much so that he shed tears. A gentleman from Philadelphia seeing him in that condition questioned him, learned his story and paid his way to the City of Brotherly Love. He also purchased him a cheap suit of clothes and paid his hotel bill. When young Friedberger reached Philadelphia he was told that he must peddle goods among the farmers, and although he had not bargained on this, he could do nothing better at the time and started out with a pack of $35 worth of goods. It was not until the second day of his travels that he plucked up courage to ask anyone to buy his goods. Finally, before noon of that day he met a Mr. Moser, a German, who made him go to his house, gave him his dinner and insisted on his staying all night. It was during harvest and Mr. Moser had eleven cradles in the field, and in the morning Mr. Friedberger asked for and received a job of binding wheat for twenty-five cents per day. The next day he received fifty cents, and the following day $1.50, for cradling. He worked until he had made forty-five dollars and then returned to Philadelphia with his pack, paid the man there all he owed him, and then started out with another pack, so heavy that when he came to a hill he was obliged to go on his hands and knees. For one year he followed peddling and farming, making $200. About six months after, coming to Pennsylvania, he met his brother, Samuel, on the road, but after parting from him did not see him again for six months. They then, with a cousin, went to Florida where they sold goods by wholesale. They had three teams and hacks going, made considerable money in the year they remained there, and with $3,000 went from there to Georgia, where they peddled for six months. There they met with still better success, but subsequently all three came to Texas, making the trip overland from Georgia to New Orleans, and were engaged in peddling, wholesale, lots of $40 per lot for six months. They then sold two teams in the fall of 1851, and, returned to New Orleans with $40,000 in gold. The first bank of that city refused to take their money and sell them New York drafts, fearing the boys had stolen it. However the second bank did not refuse, although Mr. Friedberger says he and his companions were a tough looking set, and after getting their money they went to New York City, where they purchased goods with the intention of settling in Texas. They opened their first stores in Austin and LaGrange in 1851, and in Bastrop in 1853. Our subject remained in Austin until 1853, when his cousin came to that city and he went to Bastrop, where he remained in business until 1857. He then returned to his native country, spent one year with his parents, and while there purchased a tannery and learned the business. Returning to his adopted country, he and his brother and cousin returned to Texas, and engaged in business in Bastrop, LaGrange and Columbus, where they sold goods until 1861. Then the cousin went to Europe, the brother went to New York, and in 1862 our subject was burned out in Bastrop, losing $22,000. In 1864, he quit the mercantile business, bought cotton land shipped to Mexico, and the next year went into the wholesale cotton business at Matamoras. There he made considerable money, but left that city in 1865 and decided to locate in Galveston. He placed in a warehouse $155,000 worth of goods, intending to smuggle them to the American side of the river, and although he had considerable trouble, in doing this, he was finally successful. The difficulties and troubles that beset his path, during this time, would have discouraged any other man, but he had been trained in a severe school, and bore his misfortunes, with the greatest fortitude. He sold about $50,000 worth of goods in Galveston, and shipped the remainder to LaGrange, where for the third time he commenced business. Since then he has carried on business in that city, and during the first eight or ten years of his last venture had the principal business of the country. In 1870 he and his brother Simon went into business exclusively in the city of Austin, remained there for four years when the brother sold out and went to New York, where his death occurred in 1888. Our subject has been engaged in business for forty-four years, and during that time has won a reputation for honesty and reliability that anyone might envy. He purchased his first farm in 1861, 436 acres, and now has 235 acres under a good, state of cultivation. At the present time he owns 1,200 acres, although at one time he owned 7,000 or 8,000 acres. During the war he owned several hundred horses, but at one time 300 head were stolen, although Mr. Friedberger recovered sixteen head. In November, 1863, he was married to Miss Libbie Diamond, a daughter of M. O. and Eliza (Hemphill) Diamond, two very old families of Texas. Mr. Diamond erected the first house in the city of Galveston. The Hemphill family came to Bastrop County about 1834 and its members were in the Indian wars and in the War of 1848. The former family came from Connecticut and the latter from Georgia. Mr. Friedberger is of Jewish origin and all are of the Jewish faith. Mrs. Friedberger was born in America, and is a descendant of English ancestors. Mr. Friedberger's father was a farmer as well as a merchant, and a wealthy and influential citizen. He and wife reared a family of seven children: Matilda, wife, of Soloman Landaurr, of Germany; Joseph (deceased), Henrietta, deceased, was the wife of C. Klein, of Paris; Jacob, Helena, Samuel (deceased), and Gabriel, our subject. Our subject and wife have no children. He is, a Mason, La Grange Lodge No. 34, of which he is Treasurer, and was formerly an officer in the I.O.O.F. Mr. Friedberger has never been an office seeker, but served his ward for many years as Alderman, and takes a deep interest in every advancement and progress made in his section. He is a stock-holder in the compress company, and is also a Director in the same. pp. 515-517
WILLIAM A. GILES. William A. Giles, senior member of the firm of Drake & Giles, dry goods merchants of Winchester, Fayette County, Texas, is a gentleman whose walk through life has been characterized by a sturdy independence, uncompromising honesty, great energy, and the utmost loyalty to his family, his, friends, and his country, and he may truly, be said to be a man, among men. He is a native of Georgia, born in Houston County, August 18, 1855, and his parents, John F. and Fannie A. (Jenkins) Giles, were natives of North Carolina land Georgia respectively. John F. Giles and family came overland from Georgia at an early date and settled in Fayette County, where Mr. Giles purchased timber land and began making a home. He resided on his farm until the breaking out of the. Civil War, when he enlisted as a private in the Confederate army and was in the trans-Mississippi Department. He participated in several battles, among them Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou, and Mansfield, La., and died in the latter State in 1863. He left a wife and five children, of whom our subject was the eldest son. The others were named as follows: Emma (deceased), was the wife of L. Turman; Addie and Albert (twins). The former married Prof J. R. Goodwin of Winchester; Albert (deceased), and Fannie, wife of J. D. Green, of Jones County, Texas. Mrs. Giles was a lady of superior educational abilities for Texas in her day and time, and taught school for many years. She gave to each of her children a good education. William A. Giles commenced life early for himself, received, a good common school education, and when fourteen years of age began clerking in Eastern Texas, the Village of Putnam, for Conger & Giles, the latter an uncle of our subject, for three years. When eighteen years of age he engaged in farming in this county, and continued this until 1888, when he embarked in merchandising at this place, with the before-mentioned partner, S. F. Drake, a native of LaGrange and son of one of the early settlers of this county. Messrs. Drake & Giles do a general mercantile business, and have a large and constantly increasing trade. They commenced with small capital, but by judicious handling they have now a business of $35,000, and are wideawake, experienced men of business. Besides his mercantile interests Mr. Giles has a farm of 175 acres. Although he commenced life with little or no means, he had the push and perseverance necessary for a successful career, and has met with his reward. Early in life he learned self-reliance from his mother, and to that noble woman he is greatly indebted for his success. Mr. Giles has been twice married, first in 1878, to Miss Sarah. T. Hall, a native of this county and daughter of T. P. Hall, who is one of the early settlers. To this marriage two daughters were born, one died in infancy, and Emma is now living. Mrs. Giles, who was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, died in 1882. In 1893 Mr. Giles was married to Miss Mattie Wilks, also a native of this county and daughter of J. E. and M. E. Wilks, early settlers of this county. Mr. Giles is a member of the K. of P., Smithville Lodge No. 92, and the K. of H., Winchester Lodge No. 2069. While not an office seeker Mr. Giles takes considerable interest in political matters, and since attaining his majority has been a leading Democrat in his locality. pp. 513-514.
HARRIS T. GREEN. The great natural [resources] of Fayette County, Texas, have been developed by the practical and intelligent toil of such men as Harris T. Green, who is recognized as a man full of spirit and business enterprise. He is an old settler of this section and one of its leaders in agriculture. Born in Mississippi in 1849, he is the son of Jesse and Mary (Spencer) Green, natives of Alabama. This worthy couple came with their parents to Mississippi at an early date, and there celebrated their nuptials. In 1850 Mr. Green moved to Texas, and the first year rented land in Washington County, near the town of Brenham. Later he purchased the Black Jack Springs and the land surrounding it for some distance, and soon after erected a horse gin. There he resided until 1855, when he purchased six hundred acres where his son now resides, and there died the same year. His wife, with the assistance of her sons, improved the place. Mr. Green served his township as Justice of the Peace while residing at Black Jack Springs, and was a man whose industry and perseverance, as well as his honesty and uprightness, won the respect and esteem of all. He left five children as follows: William W., (deceased), Jesse C. (deceased), Harris T., James A., of Karnes County, where he follows farming, and Sarah J., wife of George M. Williams. Mrs. Green was married in 1857 or '58 to John S. Black, and they resided in this county until her death, which occurred April 1, 1874, leaving by her second marriage one child, Frances E., wife of Louis C. Potter, of Temple, Texas. Harris T. Green was educated in this county, in the common schools, and in Baylor University, Independence, Washington County, Texas, where he remained two years, and during the last year assisted in the schools there, having a class in English grammar and arithmetic. When twenty-three years of age he left that place and returned home, where he at once engaged in farming and stock-raising, meeting with more than usual success. At the present time he is the owner of seven hundred acres of fine land, a good rural residence and sufficient outhouses. He is a genial, pleasant man to meet and has many, friends in his section. In carrying on his farming interests be does not lose sight of the stock-raising industry, and has a nice herd of Jersey cattle. Mr. Green was married first on Dec. 18, 1873, to Miss Mary M. Black, daughter of J. S. Black (stepfather to our subject), and a native of this county. Mrs. Green, who was born Dec. 6, 1850, died Sept. 1, 1883, when thirty-three years of age. She was a member of the Baptist Church, and a most estimable lady. Three children were born to this union: Jessie P., born Oct. 12, 1874, Annie A. (deceased), born July 28, 1878, and Milton A., born Sept., 21, 1881. In 1884 Mr. Green married Miss Mary B. Morrow, a native of this county and daughter of James and Mary V. (Armstrong) Morrow, natives of Alabama, who came from Mississippi to this State at an early date, and were married here about 1852 or '53. Mr. Morrow came to Texas and settled on the Navadad, in this county, when Indians and wild game abounded. He was one of the Indian fighters of his day and had many narrow escapes from them. He made a trip to California overland during the gold fever, and was of an adventuresome spirit. Mr. Morrow was twice married, his first union resulting in the birth of one child, William, who is now deceased. By the mother of Mrs. Green he became the father of six children: Frances S., wife of W. J. Black, resides in Colorado County, Texas; James I. A., resides in this State, Martin A., of Reynolds County; J. P., deceased; Mary B., wife of subject, and Carrie, deceased. Mr. Morrow died in 1865. Mrs. Morrow afterwards married August Koltermann, and had two children, Frederick W. and August. To Mr. and Mrs. Green were born six children: Sallie E. and Fannie V. (twins) were born Dec. 2, 1884; H. T., born June 24, 1886; James M., born Nov. 19, 1887; Lee M., born Nov. 11, 1891, and Ruth, born August 22, 1893. Mrs. Green was born March 2, 1861. The first year Mr. Green, father of subject, resided in the neighborhood he lived in a log house, and died there the same year, his wife improving the plantation. Books were very scarce in those days, and "reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic" were the only branches taught for many years, and then grammar was introduced. In 1860 a splendid school building was erected, close to Mrs. Green's residence. Here the boys of the surrounding country received most of their education thereafter.
JOHN M. HARRISON. This leading merchant and banker of Flatonia, Texas, is a man whose earnest and sincere efforts to make life a success are well worth the imitation of all. His industry, sobriety, and economy as well as his honesty, have served to place him among the most prominent men in this section, and by all he is highly esteemed. He first saw the light of day in Quincy, Ill., May 11, 1830, and of the five children born to his parents, Robert P. and Elmira C. (Wilcox) Harrison, he was second in order of birth. His parents were natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively. They moved from Quincy to Washington County, Missouri, when our subject was an infant, and there resided for some time. Later they moved to Christian County, Kentucky, and there made their home until 1849, when Dr. Harrison moved to Russellville, Logan County, Ky., from there to Texas, in. 1851, settling for one year in Washington County. He then moved to Fayette County, there died in 1878, after a long and useful life. His wife died in Kentucky. Their children were named as follows: J. P., John M., Mary E., wife of J. B. Hill of Gonzales County; Ellen A., wife of E. H. Ibey, of Bosque County, and R. R., of this city, Flatonia. John M. Harrison received his education in the schools of Christian County, Kentucky, and remained with his father until his fifteenth year, when he began clerking in a dry-goods store in that State, remaining thus employed for three years. In 1851 he came to Texas, with his father and immediately began merchandising in Columbus, Colorado County. Columbus was at that time a village of over 1,500 inhabitants and our subject remained there for four years when he sold his stock of goods, and in 1857 moved to Fayetteville. In the latter city he carried on business until 1862, when he sold out and joined the Confederate service. After the war he engaged in merchandising at La Grange, carried it on for four years, and then moved to Flatonia, where he established his present business. At the close of the war Mr. Harrison was considerably in debt to his New York merchants, and this had to be paid as soon as he could make it. As he was left a financial wreck it was sometime before he could make any headway, but he persevered, and his business for fifteen years has been about $125,000 annually, carrying a general stock of goods noted for its excellence. Besides his mercantile interests, Mr. Harrison is the owner of farming lands in this and Colorado counties, and he is the owner of a private bank which has done a large share of the exchange business of the section. The banking business was established in 1884. In the year 1853 Mr. Harrison celebrated his marriage with Miss Margaret W. Hall, a native of Christian County, Kentucky, and daughter of Alexander Hall. Eight children blessed this union, two of whom died in infancy: Nettie, wife of W. H. Kerr, of Flatonia; Alma, wife of Jonathan Lane, of La Grange; Kate, wife of C. Foster, of Flatonia; Martha, wife of W. H. Nash, of Alvin, Brazoria County; H. H. and C. P., of Flatonia. Both Mr. and Mrs. Harrison take quite an active interest in church and church work, and he is a teacher in the Sunday School. Mr. Harrison is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Flatonia Lodge No. 436, and in politics is a stanch Democrat, being quite deeply interested in political matters. Mr. Harrison is one of the most successful business men in the county, and has the satisfaction of knowing that all his property is the result of his own exertions. pp. 314-315
JOHN T. HARWELL. This prominent old settler of Fayette County, Texas, has resided here for many years and during that time has earned the well deserved reputation of being not only an esteemed and highly respected citizen, but a man of more than ordinary learning. He was born in Georgia in 1840, to the union of F. E. and Mary A. (Ware) Harwell, who were also natives of that State. About the year 1841, the parents decided to move to the Lone Star State, and in February of that year settled in Fayette County. At that time there were probably not over seventy-five voters in the county. Mr. Harwell followed farming and bought land in that section, and became a prominent and worthy citizen. Indians bothered the settlers greatly, but Mr. Harwell had no trouble with them. He served in the Seminole War in Florida, but afterwards returned to the peaceful pursuits of farming and stock-raising, which he followed up to the time of his death, 1875, when fifty-seven years of age. His wife survived him until 1880, and died when sixty years of age. They left a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters: John T., subject; J. C., of Bell County; Samuel, of the same county; Louisa, now Mrs. Robert J. Talley of Bell County; Carrie, now Mrs. Ligon of the same county; Dan and Nicholas both residing there. The father of these children took very little interest in politics, but was a man well liked by all. John T. Harwell was educated in the college at LaGrange, Texas. As he was but an infant when brought by his parents to this section, all of his recollections are of this State, and here his interests are centered. In 1861, when twenty-one years of age, Harwell joined Company A, Fifth Texas Cavalry under Capt. John Shropshire and Col. Tom Green, and served on the west side of the Mississippi River, participating in the battles of New Mexico, in 1862, Glorietta, New Mexico, Donley's Ranch, New Mexico, and was in the re-taking of Galveston, January 1, 1863. Mr. Harwell was in the navy at that time, and assisted in capturing the gunboat, Harriet Lane. He also participated in the battles of Pleasant Hill, Mansfield and Yellow Bayou, besides numerous skirmishes, and in another engagement where 250 Confederates captured 1,700 Union soldiers. When the war closed Mr. Harwell returned to his home, and without any capital, started out to fight his own way in life. He decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, and engaged in farming on land he purchased soon after the war. His first crop was in 1866. Until 1881 Mr. Harwell cultivated the soil, but he then sold out and moved to LaGrange, where he followed the lumber business. This he has continued up to the present time, and has met with fair success. He now owns the only lumber yard in the city, and has associated with him in business George A. Hall, of this place. In the year 1865 he married Mrs. Bettie Ligon, daughter of A. R. Jones, one of the old settlers of this county. One child was born to this union, Bessie, who, became the wife of N. M. Williams of LaGrange. Mrs. Harwell died in 1882. She was a worthy member of the old school Presbyterian Church. In 1883 Mr. Harwell married Mrs. Judith McKennon, nee Carter, another of the first settlers of the county, and one of the oldest merchants in LaGrange. Mr. and Mrs. Harwell have one son, John F. In his political views, Mr. Harwell is a stanch Democrat and takes a deep interest in its welfare. He has been Chairman of several Democratic conventions in the county, and is an active worker for the success of his party. All his time is devoted to the lumber trade, which is increasing as the county improves, and success has rewarded his effort. He witnessed the country grow from a wilderness to its present prosperous condition and contributed his share towards its advancement. He says he often stood in his door and shot deer and turkey in those good old days. pp. 519-520
GUSTAVE A. HEILIG. A faithful and painstaking and accurate official is Gustave A. Heilig, Assessor of Fayette County, Texas, and the people of the county have not been slow to recognize and acknowledge his fitness for his present office. He owes his nativity to Posen, Prussia, where he was born November 2, 1855, a son of Ferdinand J. Heilig, who was also a Prussian and a highly educated gentleman. After teaching in his native land for some time he came to America with his family, and located in New Braunfels, in Comal County, Texas, and in the New Braunfels Academy he was a successful teacher for about twenty-eight years. He is now living in retirement in New Braunfels. He was born July 3, 1826, and his wife, who was formerly Miss U. F. Habermann, was born in Prussia, August 26, 1828, and is also living. Their union resulted in the birth of nine children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the second in order of birth. He attended the school taught by his father until he was fourteen years of age, at which time he became a salesman in a store in New Braunfels for a term of two years, and when not yet seventeen years old, he passed the required examination, and commenced teaching in Guadalupe Valley, in Comal County, where he remained one term. He then taught two years in Mission Valley, then for five years taught the Bluff School in Fayette County, after which he taught in the German-English Academy at Austin for one year. He was then appointed Deputy Sheriff of Fayette County, but he soon after became Deputy Assessor, and after filling this position for two years, was elected to the office of Assessor, which position he has since filled with marked efficiency. In 1890 he engaged also in the lumber business with John T. Harwell, and remained associated with this gentleman until his interest was recently purchased by Mr. G. A. Hall. In the early part of 1894 he became a member of the mercantile firm of H. C. Heilig & Co., which firm does a very extensive business in hardware, farming implements and groceries. The prospects for a successful business future for Mr. Heilig are excellent, and any good fortune that may befall him, is well merited. His operations have not been confined merely to these enterprises, but he is also interested in the La Grange Compress Company, as well as other important enterprises. In 1888 he was united in marriage with Miss Rosie Alexandria [Alexander], daughter of Capt. Alexandria. He has attained to the Royal Arch degree in the A. F. & A. M., and he has represented the Knights of Pythias and Legion of Honor in the Grand Lodges of the State, and also belongs to the I. 0. 0. F. and Hermann's Soehne. He has seen much of the development of this section, and well remembers when the early settlers were greatly troubled by the Indians, who would drive off their stock and steal anything else that they could get their hands on. pp. 476-477
WILLIAM J. HILDEBRAND. Prominent among the people of Fayette County, Texas, who have made for themselves honorable names, and who have acquired a competency largely through their unaided efforts, is the gentleman whose name forms the beading for this sketch. A native of Robertson County, Tennessee, born May 22, 1882, Mr. Hildebrand was the eldest of three children, all sons, born to the union of Absolom and Sarah (Smith) Hildebrand, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina, the former being of German and the latter of English parentage. The Hildebrand family came to Tennessee at quite an early day, but the Smith family was one of the first in Robertson County, that State. Our subject's maternal grandfather was Capt. John Williams of Revolutionary fame. His commission was issued by George Washington. He came from Wake County, North Carolina, to Tennessee, and settled in Robertson County, here he married and reared seven children, six daughters and one son: John W., Margaret, Sarah, mother of our subject, Elizabeth, Wilmoth B., Nancy and Rachel. Absolom Hildebrand's parents, Henry and __ (Traughber) Hildebrand were natives of North Carolina, and came to Tennessee when Absolom was a small boy, locating in Robertson County, where they reared five children, Michael, Absolom, William, Euoch, and Sarah. In the year 1831 Absolom Hildebrand and Miss Sarah Smith were married. For some time after this they resided in Robertson County, in all, about six years, and then removed to Hancock County, Illinois, Mr. Hildebrand dying there within three days after his arrival. Later Mrs. Hildebrand returned to Robertson County, Tennessee, and she was there married in 1841 to J. M. Shelton, by whom she had two children. Mrs. Shelton died on the 16th of July, 1844. The children to her first union were named as follows: William J., our subject; Henry I., resides in McCulloch County, Texas; Elbert W., died in 1879 in Kingman County, Kansas; and John M., who resides in Erath County, Texas. William J. Hildebrand received the principal part of his education in the "Lone Star State;" and is mainly self educated. In 1851, or when nineteen years of age he left Tennessee for Texas, and for one year after reaching this State resided in Travis County. After this he drifted around in different counties until 1857, when he came to this neighborhood. For two years he taught school, his first term being three miles east of Schulenburg and composed of all American children. In the year 1858 Mr. Hildebrand was married, and when the Civil War broke out be was engaged in stock-raising. During the winter of 1861 and '62 he again wielded the birch, but on the 3d of March, 1862, he left home as a member of Capt. Preston's Company (M), Whitfield's First Texas Legion of Cavalry, and proceeded immediately to Des Are, Ark. There he was dismounted and sent to Corinth, Mississippi, but did not reach that place in time for the battle. However his company did some skirmishing. He was first engaged in a battle at Iuka, Miss., afterwards at Davis' Bridge, Miss., and was with Van Dorn and Price during the second battle of Corinth, but was left with the wagons. Later the army fell back to Holly Springs, and from there to Water Valley, where the company and legion were mounted and made a portion of "The Texas Brigade," commanded first by Gen. Z. S. Ross, of Texas, and under him much hard fighting was done. From there the command was sent to Tennessee to the assistance of Gen. Bragg, and soon after this Mr. Hildebrand was detailed as scout, and was with Gen. Van Dorn until the latter's death. After that he was attached to the staff of Gen. Forrest until W. J. Jackson gathered an army to go to Pemberton's assistance at Vicksburg, when he was with Jackson until that General was ordered to Louisiana, April 8, 1864. Then he got a furlough for sixty days. On the 28th of April, 1864, he arrived home, this being his first visit after enlisting. In July, 1864, be joined the army at Atlanta, Ga., and accompanied Hood's army to Columbia, Franklin and Nashville. The first was fought in Lawrence County, between Jackson's cavalry on the Confederate side and a division of United States cavalry. This Mr. Hildebrand thinks was the prettiest fight he saw during the war. The Confederate forces were victorious and drove the Federal forces to Columbia, or near there. Our subject's last skirmish was at Pulaski, Tenn., and here he was out off from the remainder of the army. To prevent capture he went to Robertson County, where he remained with relatives until the war closed. He surrendered, by special permit of Gen. Rosecrans, at Nashville, Tenn., and as soon as possible reached home. Here he found everything in fair shape and with a team of well-broken oxen he began hauling lumber from near Houston, making from five to six dollars per day. He continued hauling and freighting until 1873, when the Sunset Railroad was a certainty, after which he followed farming and stock-raising. He cultivates from four to six hundred acres, mostly cotton, and is breeding some fine horses. Mr. Hildebrand was married in 1858 to Miss Narcissa Wittenburg, a native of Missouri, and daughter of John and Jane (Crawford) Wittenburg, natives of Crawford County, Missouri. Mr. and Mrs. Hildebrand's union was blessed by the birth of six children, who were named as follows: John W., deceased; one died in infancy; H. E. is Clerk of the Court of Civil Appeals, of San Antonio; Olive, at home; Walter J., attending Jefferson Medical College; and Ira P., in college. Mr. and Mrs. Hildebrand are earnest and consistent members of the Christian Church, and Mr. Hildebrand is a member of Lyon Lodge No. 195, A. P. & A.M. He has served as Justice of the Peace for a number of years, and in 1886, was elected County Commissioner, serving two years. Politically he is a Democrat. His son, John W., one of the leading young attorneys of the State, held an enviable position, both as a lawyer and as a citizen. He was in partnership with an attorney of San Antonio, who was one of the most eminent jurists in the State, at the time of his death. He was killed in the village of Castroville, Texas, June 2, 1887, by the Sheriff of Medinia County, that State. The eulogy passed upon the life and character of this gifted young man, shows the great respect in which be was held by his many friends. The resolutions of respect formed by these friends, and presented to the District Court were as follows:
Resolutions on the untimely death of the late J. W. Hildebrand, Esq.:
Having been informed of the untimely taking off of our brother. J. W. Hlldebrand, believing that thereby the bar has lost a faithful and industrious member, always true to the profession, and therefore true to his clients, that the State has lost a patriotic citizen, that our community has lost a genial and warm-hearted gentleman, that his wife has lost an affectionate husband, and his children a thoughtful, attentive, provident and Indulgent father. Now for the purpose of making known our views and expressing our sympathy with his bereaved family, be it resolved; that these resolutions be presented to the honorable District Court, and spread upon the minutes, and the Secretary of this meeting of his brethren of the bar be directed to furnish a copy of this memorial to his widow, and also copies to the journals of this city with request that they publish it.
OSCAR BERGSTROM (Chairman.)
L. W. WALTHALL.
T. F. SHIELDS.
In connection with above, a lengthy article was written and presented by a Mr. Franklin (an attorney) who was an intimate, personal friend of the deceased. Mr. Hildebrand left a wife and two children to mourn his untimely death.
HENRY HILLMANN. There is no more important business in which a man can engage in the South than that of cotton ginning, for that is a product universally raised, and for shipment it is a prime necessity that it should be properly prepared for the market. He has been engaged in the business of cotton ginning in Yoakum since 1893, and is one of the prominent and well known men to the place, notwithstanding his brief residence here. He was born in Fayette County, Texas in 1853, a son of Charles and Dora (Myer [Meyer]) Hillmann, who were native Germans, but came to this country in their youth, their parents locating in the Lone Star State. Charles Hillmann was a tiller of the soil and died in 1872, his wife’s death occurring a few years before. Henry was brought up on his father’s farm, and such education as he has, which is sufficient to fit him for the practical duties of life, has been learned in the hard school of experience. He also learned the details of ginning, at Bluff, Fayette County, and was there in business until 1893, when he sold out and came to Yoakum, and here has since been successfully engaged in business. He is also the proprietor of a planning mill, and is prepared to manufacture all kinds of tanks and all kinds of woodwork on short notice. Mr. Hillmann is a man of good business qualifications, is public spirited and enterprising and his genial manners have won him numerous personal friends. He was married in 1877 to Miss. Emma Sauer, a native of Texas, and to their union four children have been given: Charley, Ida, Ella and Dora. Mr. Hillmann has in his possession a madstone, which at one time belonged to Dr. Evens, of Flatonia, and was used by him twenty years ago. After the death of the doctor it came into the possession of his son-in-law, Dr. Allen, and in 1893 Mr. Hillmann purchased it of the doctor, having contracted for it years before. Dr. Evens used the stone in his practice or many years, and worked many cures from the bites of mad dogs and snakes. Mr. Hillmann has used it on ten people who have been bitten by mad dogs, and in every case worked an immediate cure, also on several who had been bitten by snakes. This is without doubt a valuable stone, and is the only one in the entire county. It is one of the largest ever found, and weighs about one pound. It is about three inches in diameter, is very nicely marked in a peculiar way, and shows what must have been wrinkles in the stomach of the animal in which it was found. pp. 443-444.
Emma and Henry Hillman
photo contributed by Carla Ratcliff
J. J. HOLLOWAY, the subject of this sketch, was born December 11, 1837, in Person County, North Carolina. He being the oldest child born to the marriage of John A. Holloway of Person County, North Carolina, and Mary A. Bass, of Halifax County, Virginia. In 1844 his father, John A. Holloway, represented Person County, in the State Legislature, on the same ticket with James K. Polk, who ran for President. In 1845 his father and family, consisting of wife, four children, and nine negroes landed at Houston, Texas, in the month of April, whence they were conveyed on ox wagons to the town of LaGrange, Fayette County, and soon thereafter located on a farm eight miles below LaGrange, on the Colorado River, where his father died, in June, 1846. His mother then removed to Rutersville, and in 1847 married P. J. Shaver, who soon after located the town of Fayetteville in the year 1848. Our subject remained at Fayetteville with his step-father and family until 1860, being absent ten months at school in 1859, under the tutorage of Prof. Wm. Halsey at Chappell Hill and Rufus C. Burleson, at Independence, Mo., known as Baylor University. In 1860 he visited relatives in Virginia and returning in 1881, joined the Confederate army as volunteer in the first company from Fayette County. Having served six months in Capt. Ben Shropshire's Company, Nichols Regiment, he again volunteered in Waul's Legion, Willis' Battalion of Cavalry, and on the 2d day of September, 1882, crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, after which time, in Company D. Willis' Battalion, he fought under Gen. Chalmers, Gen. Van Dorn, Gen. S. D. Lee and Gen. Bedford Forrest. In April, after the close of the war, he returned to his home in Fayette County, Texas, and worked on the farm and labored as a wagoner on the road, hauling cotton and pine lumber, until February 8, 1866, at which time he was married to Lizzie A. Nicholson, in the town of La Grange. In the fall of 1866 he engaged in the general merchandise business with his father-in-law, James Nicholson, under the firm name of Nioholson & Holloway. In 1867 his partner died in La Grange of yellow fever, and in 1868 he formed a co-partnership with John A. Trousdale, under the firm name of Trousdale & Holloway, and remained with him until after the disastrous overflow of the Colorado River in 1869. After settling his affairs in LaGrange, he removed to his farm in Fayette County, in the year 1871, and remained there until the extension of the G. H. & S. A. B. B., and in 1873 removed to Weimar, in Colorado County, Texas, it then being the terminus of the railroad. In 1873 he built the first business house in Weimar, and for twelve years was a partner with T. A. Hill, under the firm name of Hill & Halloway [sic.]; engaged in wholesale and retail groceries, commission, and forwarding business in connection with banking: In 1885 the firm of Hill & Holloway was dissolved by mutual consent, and J. J. Holloway, with his son, J. B. Holloway, as cashier, opened a private bank and general grocery business. In 1893 J. J. Holloway retired from the banking business and turned over the grocery business to his son, J. B. Holloway, and son-in-law, S. P. Smith, who married his eldest daughter, C. A. Holloway, and they are now engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery business. Many cities of larger pretensions than Weimar might be proud of their trade, which amounts to from $80,000 to $75,000 per annum. The style of their firm is Holloway & Smith. Mr. Holloway has, by his wife, six children, four boys and two girls, all living and in fine health. They have three grandchildren, two by his son and one by his daughter, Mrs. C. A. Smith. His mother, Mary A. Shaver, at the ripe age of seventy-five years is still living at this place, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, and bids fair to be with them for many years yet. The subject of this sketch having been for nearly twenty-five years in business, and having had some hard times to contend with, can say truthfully that he has never paid a debt with less than 100 cents to the dollar. He has been very successful as a business man, and says his success he attributes to energy, perseverance and close attention to business. Coupled with courtesy, his manner is distinguished by kindness, charity, and a kind regard and respect for his fellow man. Mr. Holloway has always been in the lead in all enterprises calculated to build up a town and forward the happiness and prosperity of the people. Though he will soon be fifty-seven years old he can tell a joke and enjoy a laugh with the boys as if he was himself a youngster of eighteen years. May he live long and prosper.
ROBERT HANCOCK HUNTER. This old and much respected citizen of Fayette County, Texas, was born May 1, 1813, in Circleville, Ohio, a State which has contributed so much of wealth and population to other parts of the Union. Of an old fashioned family of fourteen children born to Dr. Johnson and Mary Martha (Harbert) Hunter, he was fourth in order of birth. The parents were natives of South Carolina, the father born May 22, 1787, and the mother August 29, 1792. Immediately after their marriage, which occurred in their native State, they moved to Ohio, making the journey on horseback with all their household goods, and settling in Circleville, where the doctor practiced his profession for a number of years. From there the father moved to Missouri, and thence in 1821 to Texas, going by way of Nacogdoches to San Antonio, and taking with him a large quantity of medicine. The Beramendis agreed to sell his medicine for him, and later he returned to Missouri. In March, 1822, he moved to Texas with his family, and made the journey by water, in a small boat, called a scow. When he reached the mouth of the River by which he traveled he found a small schooner wrecked on the beach, with its mast broken and rigging rotted, and the remains of three human beings lying near. They bad been dead for some time, as their bones were bleached by wind and weather. Dr. Hunter and a man he had with him, Jack, a sailor, fastened up the cracks in the schooner, got her in fair shape, and pushed her out in the river. Later he conveyed a small portion of the cargo that be had had on the scow to the schooner, and towing the latter, started down the river. A strong southeast wind separated the schooner and scow, and the latter went ashore. Later they went back for the scow, for there was much of value on it yet, but on arriving where it had washed ashore, they found about forty men, wreckers, under a man by the name of Yoakum, who declared that he had seen nothing of the scow. The men bad been drinking heavily, and Dr. Hunter was sure that they had got hold of his rum. He could do nothing, however. This was a severe loss to the family, for all, or most of their clothing was gone, a barrel of sugar, two barrels of pickled pork, a big box of bacon and hams, a barrel of sea bread, bedding, cooking utensils, farming implements, etc., etc. After this the family lived on what they could find, and for three days suffered very much for food. About that time the man Jack, killed a small alligator, roasted its tail, and this helped them out. They reached Galveston in safety, met a friend there, and were given something to eat. This friend, Capt. Rochs, gave the doctor half a barrel of flour, one of pickled pork, a cask of rice, and another of sea-bread. He said "It is a wonder that Yoakum did not kill you all, he is a highway-robber." Later Dr. Hunter took his family and several others, up Trinity River, and landed at San Jacinto Bay. There he left them, and went to San Antonio for the drugs and money he had left with the Beramendis. He there got $1,300 in Mexican gold, and fifty head of horses and ten head of mules. He then hired two Mexicans to help him drive his stock home to, San Jacinto Bay, and while camping out the first night, the Mexicans robbed him of his money. Although one of the Mexicans was captured and whipped, he would tell nothing about the money. The doctor then returned to his family, and there found a letter awaiting him from a Mr. Scott, to whom he had loaned the schooner, to go to New Orleans. This gentleman wanted the doctor to prove how he came by the schooner. This he did, but as it was a revenue cutter with the name on it, he had to give it up. Later Dr. Hunter took the ten mules he had brought home, went to another point, and bought a small sloop. After that he commenced trading, getting a cargo of corn, and taking it to market. In this business he made considerable money. At one time, when he had on board a large cargo of cotton and was near the mouth of the Brazos River, his sloop was wrecked, but he managed to reach an island in that river. There he remained for twenty-one days, suffering greatly from hunger, but was finally rescued. On the 7th of April, 1829, Dr. Hunter moved his family to Fort Bend County, and continued practicing his profession for about four years. After that he gave his time to farming and stock-raising, which be followed until his death in 1855. Although he met with much misfortune he became a prosperous man, and left his family in comfortable circumstances. His children were named as follows: Robert H., born May 1, 1813; John C., born May 5, 1817, was in the war with Mexico in 1835-36; Harriet, born November 15, 1818, first married B. G. Head, and after his death wedded Col. J. M. Frost; Thomas J., born March 1820; Thaddeus W., born September 29, 1823, was the first white male child born in Austin's Colony, Texas, and is now the oldest living Texan in the State; Messenia, a twin of Thaddeus W., married Alex. McCloy, and left one son, J. F. McCloy. She died February 26, 1853; Martha, born December 21, 1825, married three times; Letitia, born July 28, 1828, died young; William, born July 13, 1830, now resides in Houston; Amanda W. C., born November 21, 1833, married Dr. J. Kirkendall; and Walter C., born September 21, 1836, was killed in Colorado County in 1885. The mother of these children died in December, 1860. Robert Hancock Hunter's education was received for the most part under the parental roof, but the first real schooling he obtained was when he had reached his twenty-seventh year, and then only for about six weeks. In 1835 he joined Capt. James Perry's company, went to San Antonio, and his first battle was at the taking of that city. Later he went back to Fort Bend County, and as Col. Travis was calling for troops, Mr. Hunter joined Capt. John Bird's company, and started for San Antonio. Later this company joined forces with Gen. Houston at Peach Creek. Mr. Hunter was sick and did not participate in the battle of San Jacinto, but he assisted in guarding the baggage at Harrisburg under Major McNatth About this time what is known as the "runaway scrape" was in full progress. This was the families leaving the State. The father of our subject drove about a thousand head of cattle to San Jacinto to cross over the river, but the ferry was so thronged with people that be could not cross, and was obliged to leave them at the mercy of both armies. Those that were not killed were stolen. After Texas became a republic, Mr. Hunter turned his attention to farming and stockraising, and made his home in Fort Bend County until January, 1845, when he moved to Guadalupe County. Previous to this, however, in 1841, Mr. Hunter was married to Miss Samirah M. Beard, in Brazoria County, and then after that, until he moved to Guadalupe County, was engaged as overseer. After moving to Guadalupe County he settled two miles below Seguin. Mr. Hunter and party had a narrow escape from Indians while moving to Guadalupe County, and after reaching that section never went to the woods to chop without carrying his gun with him. Some of his neighbors had considerable trouble with them. Mr. Hunter and his father-in-law, Mr. Beard, built a watermill on San Geronimo Creek, two miles below Seguin, and hired six men to get out the timber, he and Mr. Beard keeping guard while this work was going on, and giving warning if Indians were to be seen. When the men went to church, they invariably carried their guns with them, stacked them in a corner in the church, and in going there and back kept a sharp outlook for the wily Indians. One night an Indian got into Mr. Hunter's stable to steal his horse, but could not unfasten the door from the inside, and dug his way in and out under the foundation. Other settlers had similar experiences with them. In 1848 Mr. Hunter took his family down to the Brazos in Fort Bend County, and on his way back with his wife and children stopped under three large live oak trees not far from where Flatonia now stands. There were no settlers then, the grass was quite high, and Mr. Hunter gathered a big armful of grass and touched a match to it. Soon he saw signs of fire in other directions, and was sure that Indians were in the vicinity, and that they thought his smoke a signal and were answering it. He did not tarry there very long, and the next day heard that a man was killed in that section, by the Indians. In 1857 he moved to Victoria, on account of the thought and grasshoppers in Guadalupe County, and in 1880 moved up near Flatonia, Fayette County. There he lost his estimable wife in April, 1888. Their union was, blessed by the birth of seven children, four of whom are now living: Mary M., married William Burke; Journey, married Dr. M. F. Walker; John C., married Miss Kate Briem, and is living, in Edna, Jackson County, and the youngest son, F. F., is unmarried, and resides in Galveston, with his brother-in-law, William Burke. Those deceased are: Marcus W., who died while serving in the Confederate army; Messenia, and 0. Ann. Mr. Hunter and his brother, T. J., are the oldest living Texans in the State, that is of Austin's Colony, and although now in his eighty-second year, is well preserved both physically and mentally. He has spent his entire life in subduing the wilderness, and has contributed his share towards its advancement. He is a member of the M. B. Church South, and until within a few years has always voted the Democratic ticket. He has lost faith in that party, and now votes with the People's or Populists' party.pp. 640-643
ABNUS B. KERR. A noted writer has said: "The present is the child of all the past, the mother of all the future." If this be true, where will the generations of the future find a more impressive lesson or faithful guide than in the study of the lives of those men who have achieved a successful prominence in the busy walks of life? There is in the intensified energy of the business man, fighting the everyday battle of life, but little to attract the attention of the idle observer: but to the mind fully awake to the stern realities of life there are noble and immortal lessons in the life of the man who, without other aid than a clear head, a strong arm and a true heart, conquers adversity and wins for himself honors and distinction among his, fellow men. Among such men we may mention Abnus B. Kerr, who is one of the leading business men of the county. He was born March 4, 1832, in Augusta County, Va., of which state his parents, Robert G. and Cassandra C. (McCutchen) Kerr were also natives. Robert G. Kerr was born in 1803 and died in Fayette County in 1893, at the ripe old age of ninety years. His father, William Kerr, was one of the first settlers of Virginia, and was in the war for independence. He came from either Scotland or Ireland, and his wife was a native of Holland. William Kerr and wife reared a family of eight children: David Samuel X., William, Jr., Robert 0., Betsie, wife of John Wallace; Sallie, married Peter C. Hogue, an eminent Baptist minister; Peggie, married Elijah Hogshead of Virginia, and Jane, who married Dr. William T. Anderson, a prominent surgeon of White Sulphur Springs for many years, is still living. Our subject's maternal grandparents, Downey McCutchen, commonly known as Captain McCutchen, was also in the Revolutionary War and held the rank of captain in the Army of Patriots of Virginia. Both the Kerrs and McCutchens were large property owners and very influential families. Mr. McCutchen reared a family of seven children: Robert, Chapman, Cyrus, a physician; Amanda, married Colonel Emonson of Lexington, Va., and became the mother of three daughters: Cassandra C., Rebecca and Temperance, who married William Suddeth and became the mother of one son, James, who is now an eminent physician of Washington, D. C. Robert G. Kerr, a farmer and planter, was the son of wealthy parents, and remained in Virginia until 1874. He met with many reverses on account of security debts, and our subject cared for him amid the remainder of the family until the death of both parents, the mother dying in 1880, when, seventy-five years of age. This worthy couple reared four children: A. B., Mary C. A., Jerusha E., wife of J. E. Gillespie, and Robert 0. of Bell County. Abnus B. Kerr, the oldest of the above mentioned children, secured a fair education in the common schools of Augusta County, Va., and in 1852, when twenty years of age, he started out to fight the battle of life for himself. He went to Charleston, V. Va., and from there down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Many were taken sick with cholera on the boat, and died at the rate of five a day, and of the eighteen who started with our subject, two died of that dread disease. Boats were not allowed to stop in the towns, but would land at wood yards, and other places, and dig pits in the sand for the corpses of their unfortunate comrades. About fifty persons were thus buried. On this boat was a lady who was going South with her little child to join her husband, who was a merchant in Louisiana. The lady promenaded the deck with Mr. Kerr, seemingly in the best of health, but before morning she was a corpse. Her body was placed in a casket and conveyed to New Orleans. The child clung to Mr. Kerr, and would not go with any of the ladies, and he took charge of the forlorn little creature until it reached its father in New Orleans. From New Orleans Mr. Kerr went to Indianola, and thence made his way to Gonzales by ox team, landing in that town with little money November 1, 1852. He at once succeeded in getting work, and was bookkeeper for a Mr. Gishard, a Frenchman, with a salary of $5l per month. He remained with that gentleman but one month, for he had to keep the books and clerk as well. As he could not do both at once, he was obliged to take care of the books at night, In a little house open to the weather. There Mr. Kerr contracted pleurisy, cattle very near dying and when he recovered paid all his money to the doctor. He was without money, out of a position, had no friends, and was too proud to write home for money. As he could not get work at his businessbookkeepinghe decided to turn his hand at anything; and as the first brick house of Gonzales was under construction at that time, he accepted a position as hod-carrier for the masons, at. seventy cents a day and board himself, paying forty cents per day for board. This building was known as the Kiser Hotel, and on it our subject worked as hod-carrier until March, 1853. At that time Major Neighbors was raising a company of rangers to guard the surveyors going north to survey land in Peters Colony. This land was to be surveyed from where Dallas now stands, north. Mr. Kerr wished very much to go, but had no horse or outfit, which all rangers were required to furnish. He had shown such spirit and grit after his sickness, in taking up the hod, that he won the respect and esteem of all, and one citizen, a Mr. H. Saddler, said he would furnish the saddle, a countryman furnished the horse, another a gun and thus Mr. Kerr was equipped, with the understanding that he was to pay for the outfit should he ever get able. The company was organized at Austin and started in March, with a company of surveyors, under Colonel Hitchcock. This land was to be surveyed for the Texas Emigration and Land Company of Peters Colony. Seventeen hundred square miles were surveyed in nine months, and many very interesting experiences had our subject during that time. At one time a chief of the Wichita tribe had stolen a number of Government horses from Fort Crogan, or near Burnett, and Major Sibley, who was in command, followed with horses and men, and overtook him and wife and followers near the Indian agency, on the Clear Fork of the Brazos, where the company of rangers were camped. The latter assisted in capturing the chief and his wife, and he was kept closely confined in a tent. While there he stabbed his wife and started for Major Sibley's tent to assassinate him, but was stopped by a guard, whom he shot. Other guards came up and the chief was shot through the breast. Finding the wound mortal, the latter plunged the knife in his own breast. On the 2d of July, 1853, Mr. Kerr and a friend, Mr. Gibbons of Arkansas, decided to go to Fort Belknap, a distance of twenty-five miles from the camp of the rangers, to get their guns repaired. While hunting a suitable place to cross the Brazos River, they came suddenly on a camp of 150 Indians on the warpath. Mr. Kerr and his friend lost no time In getting away from there, but were pursued by Indians on foot and on horseback. The friend was on a fine mare, and this left our subjects little pony in the rear. Mr. Kerr called to his companion to wait, but the latter seemed to be deaf. The race continued until within sight of Fort Belknap, and the horses of the boys were almost exhausted. They reached that place in safety, and a party of soldiers started back after the Indians, but did not succeed in capturing any. After remaining a week at the fort the boys returned by a different route, and with an escort of dragoons. On the 31st of November Mr. Kerr was transferred from the ranger service to the surveying corps, where he received $60 per month, $30 more than he had received previously. Still later he was transferred to the transcribing department, where he received $75.50 per month. In that capacity he served until he reached Austin, November 1, 1853. He then clerked for some time, and was offered a salary of $75 per month to work in the land office. About this time Mr. Kerr and his companions were paid off for their trip with the surveyors, and Mr. Kerr received $140. Returning to Gonzales, he paid off his debts, spent a short time with his friends, and on the last of January, 1854, he went to Cibolo, near SeIma, Bexar County, and purchased a small herd of cattle, a tract of land from J. M. Hill. He made considerable money out of this. During the fall of 1854 he met his first wife, Miss May Murcer [Mercer], and while she was attending school, they were married August 2, 1855. Mrs. Kerr was the daughter of Levi and Sarah (Munifee) [Menefee] Murcer, the father, a large sugar merchant and a wealthy and influential citizen at Egypt. During the fall of 1855 Mr. and Mrs. Kerr loaded their household goods in an ox wagon and moved to Fayette County, on a tract of 200 acres of land that her grandfather, Judge Munifee, had given her. This land was unimproved, and Mr. Kerr built his own house with lumber brought from Higgins' mill at Bastrop. He also fenced in some land and engaged in farming and improving his place up to the outbreak of war. During that eventful period he took charge of his father-in-law's stock, and, together with his own, moved them to Colorado County, where he remained for two years. Returning to Fayette County in 1866, he began surveying, and soon became familiar with the land of the county. He engaged largely in land speculations, buying and selling large tracts of land, and accumulated considerable property. Since then he has been engaged for the most part in farming, stock-raising and merchandising. By his first union Mr. Kerr became the father of four children, as follows: Thomas 0., a merchant of Muldoon, James L, manager of a rock quarry: William B. of San Antonio, manager of the coal and wood business at that place; and R. L. Kerr (deceased). Mrs. Kerr, who was a most estimable lady, and an earnest member of the Baptist church, died in 1868. In 1870 Mr. Kerr married Miss Bettie Ragsdale, a native of Texas, and daughter of Charles C. and Sarah (Scallorn) Ragsdale, early settlers of Texas. Four children were born to his second union; John A., a graduate of the Law School of Texas, at Austin, prior to his twenty-first year (something that had never happened in Texas before), Is now practicing his profession in Fayette; Mary, died in 1882; Charles 0., a student, and Alice L. Mr. Kerr and sons own a large business in Muldoon, this county, and a large stone quarry at that place, the finest in the state. He has a $300,000 contract with the city of Galveston to furnish rock for the city, and sends out from thirty-five to forty car loads per day. Mr. Kerr also owns one-half interest in coal mines at Rockdale, Milam County, shipping twelve car loads per day. The company has leased this mine to the Brickett & Egget Plant Co., and on this they get a royalty of thirty cents per ton. The company with which Mr. Kerr is connected have other mines they will open soon, and sell in the crude state as now. The mercantile business is in charge of one of his sons, and is the most successful enterprise of the kind In the county. Mr. Kerr owns in Texas 50,000 acres of land, and has under cultivation about 4,000 acres, which makes about seventy-five farms, occupied by about seventy-five renters. Mr. Kerr also owns 50,000 acres of land in Mexico, on which there is quite a village. This ranch is worth at least $300,000. The Southern Pacific is planning a road through it, and Mr. Kerr has given the right-of-way. Our subject has taken little interest In political matters for a number of years, but during middle life he served fourteen years as justice of the peace, tax collector, school director, notary public and county commissioner. Finding nothing in politics, he quit. He was sent by, the county to Denver, Col., to devise a means of getting deep water at Galveston. This was the convention that gave that enterprise a start. He is a strong advocate for deep water on the Texas Coast. Socially he is a member of the A. F. and A. M., a Royal Arch and demitted member. Few men in the state are at the head of as many enterprises as Mr. Kerr. Charitable and generous, he gives freely to all worthy enterprises, and takes the lead in all good work. From the year 1870 to 1880 Mr. Kerr was prominently identified with the organization of the Texas State Grange, and for eight years was a member of the first executive committee He undoubtedly possesses a mind the equal of which few men can boast. He controls to-day more different financial enterprises than any other man in the state, and is known and recognized far and near as the "Millionaire Rock King of Texas."pp. 449-454.
MRS. TOBITHA [TABITHA] KILLOUGH. This estimable lady, the widow of I. G. Killough, and daughter of Col. John H. and Eliza (Cummins) Moore, is a lady of much more than ordinary ability, as she received a moderate education in her youth, and has since, year by year, added to her stock of knowledge. Her maternal grandfather, James Cummins, was a member of Austin's first colony, coming here in 1821 or '22. He followed farming the first year, but, while he went back East for his family, the Indians destroyed his crop of corn, and for three months after returning the family, lived without bread. His home was on the opposite side of the river from where Columbus now stands, in Colorado County, and his great granddaughter now owns the farm. A few years later he moved on what was later known as Cummins Creek, and began tilling the soil there. He was the first man to settle on that creek and it received his name. While living there he held the position of Judge of what is now Colorado County, and was, a prominent man in his time and day. He was too old to take part in the war with Mexico and died in 1849, leaving five children: Eliza, mother of subject; Nancy, married Jesse Burnham; Sarah, widow of a Mr. Strong; Harriet, wife of Abram Bairer, and Wiley. Several of Mr. Cummins' children died young, but one of them, Mariah, was the wife of a Mr. Cook. Col. John H. Moore came from Tennessee to Fayette County, Texas, in 1819, when about nineteen years of age, with a trading party by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He followed trading through the States for two years, and in 1826 was married to Miss Cummins, with whom he settled on Cummins Creek. He was married by bond by the Alcalde or political chief, and this was afterwards sanctioned by the priest in order to be lawful. About 1828 Colonel Moore received his headright from the Mexican Government, and located where the town of LaGrange is now standing. He built the first house in that place, a block house, close to where the magnificent court house now stands. Indians were troublesome in those days, but the residents of La Grange were not molested, although about six miles north of that place many citizens were massacred. Colonel Moore was in nearly all the wars with the Indians, and took part ill nearly all the principal engagements. At the battle of Red Fork, on Colorado River, he followed the Indians to their homes, destroyed their wigwams, and took prisoners their women and children, holding them at LaGrange and Austin until they could exchange them for whites. Captain Moore kept an Indian boy for two or three years. The latter was but seven years old when captured, and when ten years of age he could talk the English language quite fluently. He became much attached to Colonel Moore and family, and did not wish to be exchanged, as his mother and father had been killed during the fight. Colonel Moore commanded a company of men in the war with Mexico in 1835 and '36, and fought at San Antonio and other engagements, but was not in the battle of San Jacinto, but was in hearing distance of it, being on the other side of the Bayou, which was past fording or swimming. He was not in the war with Mexico in 1848. When not scouting for Indians he was engaged in farming and stock-raising, and occasionally went out on hunting expeditions. He always kept a pack of hounds for bear hunting, a sport of which he was particularly fond, and not infrequently had narrow escapes, often being obliged to carry his disabled dogs home. About 1832 Colonel Moore presented the city of LaGrange with the land on which if is situated. This place and Austin were competing points for the capitol and Austin secured it by one vote. Mr. Moore was quite an active politician, and he was public-spirited and progressive. His death occurred in 1883, April 12th. Mrs. Moore died in 1875. They left six children: William, deceased; Tabitha, Eliza, deceased, was the wife of R. V. Cook of Columbus; John H., deceased; Robert, deceased, and Mary, wife of Mr. Hunt. Mrs. Killough was educated in Rutersville, Texas, and after finishing went to Tennessee to visit her relations, going by way of New Orleans and returning with two of her uncles, who brought their families and slaves by the overland route. They were about six weeks in making the trip. Mrs. Killough was married in 1854 to I. G. Killough, a native of Tennessee, of the town of Bolivar. He came to Texas in 1851 and engaged in farming and stock-raising, and also speculated in real estate. A strong Democrat, he took an active interest in political matters, and was elected to the Thirteenth General Assembly, serving one year. About this time he moved to Austin, resided there for a number of years, and then returned to LaGrange, where his interests were centered. He was a farmer, and at the time of his death, which occurred October 2, 1878, was one of its most popular, ones. He left, a family of eight children: Eliza M., wife of R. O. Foris [Faires] of Flatonia,; Lucy, wife of W. H. Saunders of LaGrange; Maggie E., wife of W. T. Burns of Houston; Annie, wife of J. M. Moon of this State; David M., of this county; John H., Robert E., Lee, at home and Ira R, at home. Mr. Killough was a member of the A. F. & A. M., and was an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for a number of years, and an active, worker in the same. He was a man of generous impulses and a warm heart, and was noted for his liberality to the friendless and forsaken. In 1861 Mr. Killough raised a company known as Company I, Green's Brigade, and first went to New Mexico, where he participated in three fights. Later he was in the battle of Galveston, and went from thereto Louisiana, where he was in the fight with Gen. Banks from the 13th of April to the close of the campaign, Mansfield, Yellow Bayou and all the other engagements of that campaign. Mr. Killough was noted for bravery, and at the taking of Fort Donelson was hit on the head with a brick bat, being in too close quarters for a gun to be, used. He continued in the army until cessation of hostilities and then surrendered. He was home but three times from 1861 to 1865, and was in active service all the time. pp. 360-362
RUDOLPH KLATT. He whose name heads this sketch is possessed of those qualifications that go to make up a successful man of business, and being intelligent, active and reliable, he is better fitted than the average man for official position, and this fact was recognized by his election to the office of County Clerk of Fayette County, in 1892. He was born in Posen, Prussia, in 1853. His father, A. Klatt, was also born there. In 1856 the latter came to the United States with his family, landed at Galveston on the 25th of December, and almost immediately took out his naturalization papers, for he had determined to make this country his future home, and had come here for protection and liberty. He had been an active soldier in the Prussian army and in the Reserve. When he was thirty-two years of age he married, and thereafter devoted his attention to farming, and upon coming to this State located in the settlement known as Welcome, in Austin County, where he made his home until his death in 1859. His wife was Anna Krause, who was also born in Prussia, and died in this country in 1862. The subject of this sketch was the youngest of ten children born to his parents. The eldest son, August, died at Holly Springs, Miss., during the war, at which time he was a soldier of [Waul's] Legion. Rudolph was but a lad at the time his mother died, and for sometime thereafter he made his home with an elder sister, and attended school for a short time in the neighborhood of Brenham. He then lived in different places, consequently his schooling was very irregular, and he attended about twenty-four months in all, three of which were spent in a private school and two at Parson's Bend, in Austin County. He was naturally fond of his books, made the most of his opportunities and, having read a great deal, be is one of the well-informed men of the county. During the season he was engaged in farm work, then began clerking in a store in Brenham, continuing from March until August, 1876, when he went to High Hill and took charge of a cotton gin and sawmill at that place for his father-in-law, where he continued to successfully labor until the latter part of 1878. He then unfortunately lost one of his hands in the mill, and in 1879 began teaching school in Sedan, where he remained until 1881; went from there to High Hill and taught the Middle Creek School four years, then went to La Grange and taught in the High School from 1885 to 1887. From that time until 1892 he was at Round Top and there had charge of the graded school, and was then elected to his present official position, which be has filled with marked ability up to the present time. He has served as a member of the Board of School Examiners, and for a number of years was President of the County Institute, having previously served as Secretary of the same for a number of years. He was married in 1876 to Miss Mary Hillje, daughter of J. F. Hillje, who was born in Frelsburg, Colorado County, Texas. They have two sons and three daughters, and Mr. Klatt proudly tells that when his eldest daughter was but thirteen years old she passed an examination and assisted her father as a teacher in the school. Mr. Klatt, is a member of the A. 0. U. W., Robert Blume Lodge No. 54, of High Hill, the Sons of Hermann and the I. 0. 0. F.
THOMAS A. LEDBETTER. The cultivated farms, bustling towns and thriving villages of Fayette County, Texas, have so long been common objects to our sight that it seems almost beyond belief, that we have in our midst an honored citizen who was here when the country was a wilderness, when Indians and wild animals abounded, and when the settlers were few and far between. Thomas A. Ledbetter, who has witnessed the growth and development of the country, and has contributed his share towards its advancement and progress, was born in Perry County, Tennessee, November 24, 1832, and was the second child born to the marriage of Hamilton and Jane (Peacock) Ledbetter, natives of North Carolina. Hamilton Ledbetter entered the Lone Star State in 1838 or 1839 with a large number of slaves, and in 1840 brought his family here. He settled on the Guadalupe River in Victoria County, engaged in farming and stock-raising, and there made his borne until 1844, when he moved to Fayette County. He purchased land in this county, although be did not intend to locate, but thought of staying here until trouble with the Indians had ceased. He served in the Texas army but a short time, and during that time went on an expedition against Gen. Wall. During the Civil War he was a strong Union man, and at the beginning of the war no man stood higher in the estimation of his neighbors than he did. He withstood the tide of popular disfavor better than any other public man of his views in the county, and when he was solicited to run for the State Senate, it was at the request of the entire people of the county, regardless of politics. The people of Fayette County (especially those advanced in years), well remember the true friend they had in Hamilton Ledbetter (see sketch of W. H. Ledbetter for further particulars of parents). Thomas A. Ledbetter received the rudiments of an education in La Grange but failing health prevented him from attending college. In 1860 he engaged in farming, and the following year joined a company in the regiment of Col. Nichols, and was stationed at Galveston. He was never in any battles, and was honorably discharged from this command in May, 1862. The same year he joined a company, raised by Col. Webb, of Fayette County, and served in the cavalry along the coast and around [Velasco]. He was in the Quartermaster Department for two months, but the rest of the time lie was in active service. Following the war he engaged in farming and stock-raising, but since 1886 he has resided in La Grange, where he has a comfortable and pleasant home, presided over by his excellent wife, who was formerly Miss Almeda Robison (see sketch of J. W. and Neal Robison). Mrs. Ledbetter was born in the year 1844, and is a lady of charming personality. Mr. Ledbetter is the owner of 457 acres of fine land on the Colorado River, and has 20 acres under cultivation. On his prairie farm he has 125 acres cultivated. The ten children born to his marriage are named, as follows: W. A., of the Chocktaw Nation, and an attorney of considerable note; Ada B., who became the wife of R. E. Dortch; H. C., of La Grange; Annie 0., Lena J., Seth I. S., Guy T., of the Nation; Hugh A., Anna and Alberta. Politically Mr. Ledbetter is independent. During his youth Mr. Ledbetter had many thrilling experiences with the Indians, and at one time came very near being captured by them. In 1840, while residing with his parents in Valasco, about 500 thieving Indians came down among the stockmen of that section, with the purpose of carrying off horses, cattle, etc. Mr. Ledbetter with his brother and several negro boys were on the river bank, eating black haws one day, while a negro woman was washing clothes in the river near by, when they saw several Indians approaching. They dropped from the haw tree as quickly as possible, but unfortunately our subject's hat caught on a limb and remained in the tree. He could not leave that, he thought, and Indian or no Indian, he returned to the tree, secured the coveted hat and, although the Indians were very near, saving "howdy," be made off with great speed, and made his escape in the underbrush. He soon joined his brother and the negro boys, and they together with the negro woman returned to the house. The next day the Indians came to massacre the family, but were driven away by several men who had gathered at the house in the meantime. Amid such rude and dangerous surroundings Mr. Ledbetter's youthful days were spent.
W. H. LEDBETTER. W. H. Ledbetter is one of the most notable attorneys of Fayette County, and in the practice of his profession has acquired both prominence and success. As this profession is one of the highly honored as well as most exacting ones, it requires an abundance of legal lore to gain the plane of success, but when that plane is once reached the reward of patient study and work is a goodly and honorable one. Mr. Ledbetter is a, native of the Lone Star State, born in 1834, and is the third son of Hamilton and Jane (Peacock) Ledbetter, natives of Tennessee. Hamilton Ledbetter came to this State first in 1838 or 1839, with a large number of slaves, and in 1840, he brought his family to the then new section of the State, where Victoria now stands. In 1844 he moved to this county and settled on the farm where he was engaged quite extensively in planting. At that time there were not over 400 voters in the county. Indians seldom came into this section of the State on mischief bent, but while Mr. Ledbetter was residing in Victoria County, Indians made a raid on the outlying settlements and forced their owners to flee to the village of Victoria for protection. In August, 1840, while Mr. Ledbetter was away from home, the Indians made a raid, and finding no one at home but Mrs. Ledbetter they contented themselves with driving off horses and cattle, but did no other damage on this occasion. On the following morning, however, they came with war paint on and with the intention of murdering the whole family. Mrs. Ledbetter had called, in several men and they repulsed the savages. After the Indians had left, the family made their way to Victoria through the cornfields, and this probably saved their lives, for the Indians continued to prowl around for several days and killed quite a number of men. Mr. Ledbetter was too old for service during the Civil War, but he was a conservative man and old line Whig previous to the war. Afterwards he took quite an active interest in the political affairs of the day. In 1872, he was chosen by the people to represent them in the Thirteenth General Assembly as State Senator. He served until 1874. In the year1888 he passed away after a long and useful life of eighty years, honored and respected by all acquainted with him. Mrs. Ledbetter died in 1884, when seventy years old. They reared a family of nine children: J. A. was killed at the battle of Vicksburg, Miss., in 1863. He was Captain of a company in Wall's Legion; T. A. resides in this city; W. H., our subject; A. G. (died in 1883). He was also a soldier in the Confederate army, and was severely wounded two or three times; Olivia, wife of Walter Kirkum, of Waxahachie, Texas; Cecelia, at home; Ada, wife of S. R. Caureathers; James P., a prominent attorney of Coleman County, Texas, and Jennie, now Mrs. W. J. Ewing, of Texas. W. H. Ledbetter received his scholastic training in the schools of Fayette County, though he finished at Independence, Washington County Texas. He commenced the study of law when twenty- one years of, age, under the celebrated General Webb, now a resident of La Grange, and was admitted to practice in the courts of the State in 1857, Judge Duville presiding. He located in this place, La Grange, and practiced his chosen profession until l862, when he enlisted in Company I of Colonel Flournoy's Regiment, called the Sixteenth Texas Infantry. He was elected Lieutenant, and was in the following battles: Perkins' Landing, Milliken's Bend, Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. At the latter place he was taken prisoner, but exchanged soon afterward and returned to his command, with which he remained until the war closed. In June, 1865, he came home, and finding himself almost bankrupted he engaged in the practice of law. He had been the owner of nearly twenty slaves, and his father had owned nearly one hundred when the war broke out. In 1876 Mr. Ledbetter was elected to represent the people in the, Fifteenth General Assembly, State Senate, and in 1878 was re-elected to serve in the Sixteenth Assembly. Since then he has confined himself to the practice of his profession. Mr. Ledbetter has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Bettie Pope, who was born in North Carolina. She died in 1864, leaving two children, William, now of Panama, S. A.., graduated at Annapolis in 1885, and later entered the employ of individuals in South America, and Olivia is now the wife of J: M. Smith, of Houston. Mr. Ledbetter's second marriage occurred in 1868 to Miss Tennie Hill, a native of Tennessee, and daughter of John G. and Fannie (Griffin) Hill. Her parents came to Texas prior to the rebellion. Mr. and Mrs. Ledbetter's union resulted in the birth of two children, Emmett and Aline, both of whom are at home. Mrs. Ledbetter is a member of the Episcopal Church, and Mr. Ledbetter is a Democrat in politics. pp. 530-531
FRANK LIDIAK. Among the sons of Moravia who have brought with them to the United States the enterprise and thrift which have ever distinguished those of that nationality, we are gratified to name Frank Lidiak, who is now the proprietor of the Deutsche Zeitung, a well known and popular paper. He was born in Moravia, in the empire of Austria, September 23, 1853, and is the second son, now living, born to Joseph and Anna (Pohrabac) Lidiak, also of Moravia. Joseph Lidiak came to America in 1860, just prior to the Civil War, and located in La Fayette County [sic.], Texas, at what is known as the Bluff Settlement, where he immediately engaged in agricultural pursuits. This he continued until 1863, when he became a member of Martindale's Company, Confederate service, and was made Corporal of that company. For the most part his service was confined to the State. Mr. Lidiak afterward returned to the peaceful pursuits of farming, and continued this up to the time of his death, in 1889, when sixty-six years of age. He had been quite successful in his financial operations, and, although he came to this country a poor man, his energy and ambition carried him to the front. Mrs. Lidiak passed away in 1884, when sixtyfive years old. They left a family of four children: John, a farmer of this county, served in the United States army during the war. He had gone to Brownsville with cotton for his neighbor, and the latter, selling the cotton and team, left John Lidiak 365 miles from home. He met a number of his friends who were enlisting in the Union army, and he was persuaded by them to join. Thus it was that only after a two years' residence in Texas, father and son were arrayed against each other in this great struggle. The latter was a member of Hammett's Company, First Texas Cavalry, United States army. Frank, the second son born to Joseph Lidiak, is our subject; Annie, and Joseph, a farmer. Frank Lidiak attended his first school when sixteen years of age, a country school in La Fayette County. After that he entered a private school taught by a German named Cremer, and in this night school learned English and German. Having always talked Bohemian at home, he became quite familiar with all three languages, and taught school at the Bluff school-house for three years1873-74-75. Following that, he served as Deputy County Clerk for three and a half years under T. Q. Mullen, and then established the first Bohemian paper in the State, at La Grange. This paper was called the Slovan, and continued for five years, when Mr. Lidiak sold out. Afterward he was appointed to a Deputy Coilectorship in this, the third district, under President Cleveland's first administration, and served in that capacity until September 10, 1888. On the 19th of August, 1890, in company with other citizens of this county, Mr. Lidiak established a paper called the Fayette County Democrat, and was connected with this paper, of which he was the managing editor, until January 17, 1891. In 1892, in the month of February, he purchased the German paper of this county, the same having been established September 1, 1890, and being the second German paper ever published here. Although the first was short-lived, it has become one of the leading papers of the county. It is Democratic in its principles, and had a circulation of 600 when Mr. Lidiak made his first publication, February 11, 1892. Since then Mr. Lidiak has increased the circulation to over 3,000, and it is sent out weekly. It is the only German paper in the county. Mr. Lidiak commenced the publication of an Almanac in the Bohemian language, called "The Slovan," after the style of an American magazine-given to nice stories, the laws of the country, custom of the people in early days, and other important matter, besides the different calendars. On the 19th of June, 1877, he was wedded to Miss Pauline Adamcik, a native of Moravia and daughter of Frank and Rosella (Janda) Adamcik, both of whom came to America in 1860, where Mr. Adamcik engaged in farming. Mr. and Mrs. Lidiak are the parents of seven children: Sophia, Lillie, Edna, Frank, Jr., Anna and Martha (twins), and George J. Mr. and Mrs. Lidiak hold membership in the Roman Catholic Church, and in politics he is a Democrat and one of the leaders of that party.
WALTER LITTLE. This retired farmer and worthy citizen of Fayette County, Texas, was born in Fort Bend County (that county being then a portion of Mexico), Texas, October 31, 1828, son of William Little, a native of the Keystone State, and Jane (Edwards) Little, who was born in Tennessee. When a young man Mr. Little went from his native State to what is now Missouri, and was for a time a resident of St. Louis, which was then a frontier post. Leaving St. Louis in 1821 he came to Texas with Stephen F. Austin and assisted in the erection of a fort, this being the first settlement of whites aside from a small settlement made at St. Augustine, near the Louisiana line, in the State. The company that first settled at Fort Bend consisted of five men, though seventeen came with Austin. However, twelve returned to the States. Those remaining and completing the fort for the protection of future settlers, as well as for themselves, were James or Charles Beard, William Smithers, Joseph Polly, William Little and another not remembered. In 1822 a number of families arrived from the States, among them that of William Morton, the grandfather of our subject. These early settlers had very little trouble with the Indians during 1824, and as new settlers came pouring in the Indians moved farther out. In 1836 Texas had a population of 20,000, though a large number were slaves. Very little farming was done, most of the land being used for pasturage, and large droves of horses and cattle covered the immense prairies. As early as 1828 considerable trouble occurred with the Indians, who began to grow jealous of the many settlers now pouring in. Mr. Little, father of our subject, was never in but one Indian fight previous to 1836, and that was at Jones Creek. In the fall of 1835 Mr. Little was serving in the Texan army, and consequently was not in the battle of San Jacinto. Having been sent by Gen. Sam Houston to remove his family with others, Mr. Little took them into the bottoms of the Brazos River, among the immense canebrakes, and as the river was very high at that time he could not get them across the bayous. Later, when the trouble was over, they returned to their homes. Mr. Little remained on his farm until his death, in 1841, when fifty years old. He left seven children: John, William, Walter, Martha, James, Robert and George, all deceased except our subject and the last named, who resides in Columbus, Colorado County, this State. The Edwards and Morton families came to Texas about 1822, and Mrs. Little was the step-daughter of William Morton. The latter was the first white man who ever navigated the Brazos River, as he came with his family from the mouth up to where the town of Richmond now stands, in Fort Bend County. Mr. and Mrs. Little were the first white couple married west of Trinity River, their union taking place April 2, 1824, and although not Catholics, they were married by a priest, on account the laws of Mexico, which made marriage not legal nor children lawful unless the ceremony was performed by one. John Little, the paternal grandfather of our subject, came from Pennsylvania in 1823 with his wife, and when quite an old man served, in several Indian wars in the East. He was also in the Revolutionary War. William Little was his only child. The latter's wife, and the mother of our subject, was the step-daughter of William Morton, as before stated. Mr. Morton made the first brick in the State, and was one of the wealthiest men in this section of the State. He died in 1833, leaving a family of four children: John, Louisa, Mary and William. Walter had but little chance for an education. In 1836 a young man came from Kentucky and taught school in the neighborhood, and young Little and his brothers attended for six months. This was all the schooling he ever received, but being of an inquiring and investigating turn of mind, with a thirst for knowledge, he secured a very good business education and became a competent surveyor. Having been reared to farming and stock raising he chose that as his life's occupation, and followed it successfully from 1848 to 1860, being the owner of a number of slaves when the Civil War broke out. Mr. Little served in the Quartermaster Department during those troublesome times, and afterwards speculated in land until 1879, when he returned to his former occupation of farming, and continued this until 1890. He then sold out, and in 1893 moved to town. He was married first in 1858 to Miss Sarah Wilson, daughter of Dr. Hugh Wilson, of Rock Bridge County, Va., and by that union became the father of two children: Hugh, of Winchester, and Mary, wife of Edward McRee, of Colorado County. Mrs. Little died in January, 1870, and in November of that year Mr. Little married Miss Maggie Laird, daughter of Thomas and Ann (Carter) Laird, natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia respectively. Mr. Little's second union resulted in the birth of three children: Nellie, Walter and Sam. On the 1st of February, 1861, Mr. Little moved to Fayette County, this State, and here served four years as County Commissioner. He was never an office seeker, takes but very little interest in politics and is independent in his views. Socially he is a member of the A. F. & A. M.-Morton Lodge No. 72, and is also a K. of H. of this place. pp. 334-335
JAMES H. MOORE. Few families in Texas have a higher standing for character, and enterprise than the one represented by the name at the head of this paragraph and in its various members it is eminently worthy of the respect which is universally conceded to it. James H. Moore, who was one of the first settlers of the village of Thomaston, Texas, came originally from Mississippi, his birth occurring in Monroe, now Lamar, County in 1844. He is fourth in a family of eight children born to Hon. Thomas C. and Martha (Hollis) Moore, the former a native of South Carolina and the latter of Alabama. The paternal grandfather, James Moore, was born in the Palmetto State and there followed farming for many years. At an early day he moved from there to Mississippi and became a wealthy and extensive planter. There he passed the remainder of his life. The Moore family is of Scotch-Irish origin and the ancestors came to this country in colonial times. They traced their ancestors back to Sir Walter Raleigh. Our subject's maternal grandfather, John Hollis, was born in Alabama where he became a wealthy planter and where he passed his entire life. The mother of our subject with other members of the family moved to Mississippi and in that State she was married to Mr. Moore. The latter, after his marriage, followed planting in Mississippi, and while a resident of that State became quite active in politics, serving in the Legislature of that State and holding other prominent positions. In 1853 he came to the Lone Star State and settled in Bastrop County where he bought land and engaged in farming. His superior abilities were soon recognized and he was solicited to run for the Legislature and for the office of Governor of State. In 1860 he was a member of the secession convention. During the war he continued farming but devoted most of his attention to the Confederate cause, assisting the widows and orphans at home and doing much good. From there he moved to Fayette County where he now resides, engaged in farming. He lost his sight in 1862, but is now one of the best posted men of the State, although having to depend on others to do his reading. In whatever field of action Mr. Moore has been called, he has shown his superior qualities and high character. He and Mrs. Moore are earnest and consistent members of the Methodist Church, and most worthy and esteemed citizens of the county. The original of this notice was but a boy when he was brought by his parents to Texas, and he was reared mainly in Fayette County, where be was attending school when the war broke out. Abandoning his studies he enlisted in Company I, 16th Texas Regiment, and served in Henry E. McCollough's Brigade, participating in the engagements on the Mississippi River, Milligan's Bend, Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. In the last named battle he was wounded and was discharged for disability. Previous to that, however, he was in numerous minor engagements in Arkansas and Louisiana. After returning home he attended school for a time and then branched out as an agriculturist in Fayette County. There he was married to Miss Lou V. Thomas, a native of Fayette County and daughter of Nathan Thomas who was born in Tennessee. At an early day her father came to Texas and first settled in Washington, but afterwards Fayette county. He was a prominent man, served in the Legislature and held other prominent offices. He was thrown from his buggy and died shortly afterward. When be first settled in Texas he bought a tract of 1,190 acres in DeWitt County for thirty-five cents per acre. The railroad passing through DeWitt County crossed this land and a station located on it was named Thomaston in his honor. Soon after our subject's marriage he moved to Mr. Thomas' land in DeWitt County and erected the first house in what soon became Thomaston. The town was laid out in lots by Henry E. McCollough who was surveyor for the railroad. Mr. Thomas donated each alternate lot to the railroad, and the town now has a population of 500, four stores, a gin and mill, two churches, two blacksmith shops, and is surrounded by an excellent farming country. Mr. Moore is the owner of 653 acres of the original tract., with 350 acres under cultivation. His land is rich and productive, often raising fifty bushels of corn and one bale of cotton per acre. Our subject has been somewhat active politically, has been a delegate to Democratic conventions and is now Justice of the Peace of the Seventh Precinct which has been newly created. He is active in church work, organizing a Sunday School here twenty-five years ago and has been its Superintendent constantly since. There is an enrolled school of about 100 scholars. To Mr. and Mrs. Moore have been born seven children: Hattie, wife of M. S. Magee of Thomaston; Sallie, Annie, wife of Dr. W. Shropshire of Houston, Thomas, Susie, Willie, died in infancy; and Hollis an interesting and most intelligent family. Besides still owning the entire. town of Thomaston and his fine farm there, Mr. Moore also owns a most valuable farm in Fayette County. This farm is improved and highly productive, and all his property is rapidly advancing in value. The town of Thomaston is yearly becoming a more active trading and shipping point, and increasing in population. All the surrounding country is fertile and productive. Mr. Moore is a pleasant, courteous and hospitable gentleman and is confident in, and constantly striving for, the advancement of his town and county. pp. 101-102.
WILEY C. MUNN. As a merchant the gentleman whose name heads this sketch has been more than ordinarily successful, and has pursued his calling with energy and persistence, a secret, no doubt, of his success. He was born near the town of Jefferson, Texas, in 1861, his father, John H. Munn, having been born in Alabama. He came to Fayette County, Texas, many years ago, but since that time has resided in many different localities of the Lone Star State, although he has been a resident of Colorado County since the subject of this sketch was a young boy. His attention, during the active period of his life, was devoted to farming and stock-raising, but he is now retired from business and is living in Weimar. During the Civil War, or from 1861 to 1864, he was a soldier, and was stationed at Galveston the greater part of the time. His marriage resulted, in the birth of eight sons and one daughter, three eons and the daughter having died quite young, four of whom are now living: N. C., who is a sheep-raiser of Coleman County, Texas; Richard, who is in business in Tyler, Texas; John, is associated in business with his brothers, N. C., and Wiley C. George is dead. The immediate subject of this biography spent his school days in Waco, and in 1884 started in business for himself on a limited scale, which has since broadened and branched out until it reached its present proportions. He has handled a great deal of cotton, amounting to 3,000 or 4,000 bales annually, and now continually carries an enormous stock of goods, and does considerable jobbing also. In 1884 he was married to Miss Georgia Jackson, a daughter of D. W. Jackson, the present representative of Colorado County in the State Legislature, and an old, well known and honorable citizen. Mrs. Munn is a worthy member of the Baptist Church, and socially Mr. Munn is a member of the K. of H. and the A. 0. U. W. He and his wife are favorites in the social circles of Weimar, and their pleasant home has become well known for the free-hearted hospitality that is extended to all.
VIRGIL S. RABB. The life of any man is of great benefit to the community in which he resides when all his efforts are directed toward its advancement, and when he is honest, upright and progressive. Such a man is Virgil S. Rabb, a native of Fayette County, Texas, born February 15, 1839, the son of John and Mary (Crownover) Rabb, and the grandson of William and Mary (Smalley) Rabb, and John and Mary (Chesney) Crownover. William Rabb was born in the Keystone State, in Fayette County. At an early date he moved with his family to near St. Louis, Mo., on the Illinois side of the river, where he erected a water mill for grinding flour, ran it successfully, sold out and moved to Washington, Ark., and there resided until 1819. He then came to Texas, but did not bring his family until 1822, coming with Austin's colony. However, be himself was here in 1821 and raised his first crop on Rabb's Prairie that year. This was the first crop made by an American in this section. His son, Capt. Thomas J. Rabb, accompanied him on both his early trips, and they assisted in building one of the first forts, or block-houses, of Austin's settlement. Early in 1822 William Rabb crossed the Colorado River where La Grange now stands, and one of the first block-houses in the county was erected four miles east of West Point and close to the Colorado River, at a blue called Indian Hill, the entire neighborhood taking part in the building. William Rabb first located on the west side of the river. In 1831 he built a water mill on the Colorado River, on Rabb's Prairie, getting the stones from Scotland, but the rest of the material from New Orleans. This was the first mill built in the county. In getting the stones from the coast Mr. Rabb made a wooden axle and used the stones for wheels, attaching the tongue to them, wagons not having yet come into fashion in Texas. In that way he brought them from Matagorda, a distance of over 200 miles. For this Mr. Rabb received from the Mexican Government three leagues of land, which he selected on Rabb's Prairie. In 1833 occurred the big overflow of the Colorado River and the mill was destroyed, this being the second overflow of the river after the settlement. Previous to this, in 1828, an Indian scare occurred, but the settlers had gathered in the fort, and although kept, there for three days by the Indians, they escaped with no loss greater than having some of their stock killed. After the Indians had left, Mr. Rabb and his friends moved to Wharton County, where his sons, Thomas and Andrew, had previously located, and resided there until 1829. He then returned to this county and settled for the first time on Rabb's Prairie, where he was actively and extensively engaged in raising stock. During the building of the mill before mentioned, or in 1882, he passed away when about sixty years of age. For some time during his life he resided in Illinois, and became the owner of fifty or sixty negroes, but later he lost them all when that State passed a law freeing them, except one called Frank, who came with him to Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Rabb reared a family of five children: Rachel, wife of A. M. Newman; Andrew, John, Thomas (called Captain Rabb), and Ulysses. John Rabb, father of our subject, came to Texas in 1822,. and located on the west side of Colorado River, nine miles north of La Grange. He immediately went into the Colorado bottom and commenced to clear land, but subsequently, on account of Indians stealing his stock, moved to Fort Bend County. From there he moved to Wharton County, 'Texas, where he improved a good farm and where he resided until 1829, when be located on Rabb's Prairie, this county, on the place now known as the Dr. McKinney place. On the mill mentioned as being built by William Rabb, John Rabb did most of the work and took charge of it until it was washed away. After this he turned his attention to farming and stock-raising and continued this until 1848. Previous to this, in 1835, he joined the Texas army and was in the fight at Gonzales, Conception and others, and when the army had fallen back to Burnham's block house on Colorado River and began again to retreat, Mr. Rabb came home and took his family, with others, as lain Robin's Ferry on the Trinity. He then returned to the army, but was not in the battle of San Jacinto. Returning home afterwards he devoted his energies to building up his fallen fortune, for he was a heavy loser during the war. Later he was in many Indian fights, but did not take part in the War of 1848, but was represented by his son Montgomery, who was a member of Hays' Regiment. In that year Mr. Rabb built the first steam saw mill in the county, located on Rabb's Creek in the northern portion of this county, and he operated this mill until 1859. He then sold to Alexander McDow for $45,000, this being the largest transaction made in the county up to that time, and bought Barton's Springs,. near the city of Austin, which embraced a track of laud of thirty acres. The remainder of his days were passed in retirement and he died June 5, 1861, after spending one of the most active lives of the early settlers. His wife survived him until October 13, 1882, dying when in her seventy seventh year. Both were earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the first Methodist sermon ever preached west of the Brazos River was preached in his house. The nine children born to this worthy couple were named as follows: Montgomery, George W., Melissa, Marion, J. W., L. D., V. S., Mary, wife of David Croft of this county, and G. T. of Austin. All these children are deceased except our subject, Mary and G. T. Our subject's maternal grandfather, John Crownover, was a native of one of the Carolinas. V. S. Rabb was educated at Rutersville, and branched out for himself in 1862 by joining the Confederate army, Company I, Sixteenth Texas Infantry. He was made Third Lieutenant and served in the trans-Mississippi Department, and was in all the battles of Louisiana, except those that occurred while on "leave of absence." Later he was made Captain of his company by general promotion, and was honorably discharged from the army at Hempstead, Texas. After his return home he erected a saw mill, but only followed this for six years, when he engaged in farming, continuing this until 1884. He then moved to La Grange to educate his children, and while there was in the lumber business. In 1891 he moved to West Point, this county, and in connection with the lumber business here has been engaged in merchandising since 1890. In the latter occupation he has been successful, and has opened stores at Winchester and Smithville. Mr. Rabb was married in 1869 to Miss Dulcie Kenedy, a daughter of A. S. and Mary (Earthman) Kenedy. Mr. Kenedy came to Texas in 1837 from Alabama, his native State. Mr. and Mrs. Rabb are the parents of six living children: V. S., Jr., Gussie, David P., Dulcie, Jr., George F. and Sallie L. Two children are deceased. Mrs. Rabb is a member of the Christian Church. Like his father, Mr. Rabb is a strong Democrat in politics, and takes a deep interest in the welfare of his party. He is a prominent and influential citizen and a man who has done his share towards the county's advancement. His brother, J. W. Rabb, was a member of Captain Jarmon's Company of the Terry Rangers, known as the Eighth Texas Cavalry, and served through Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia, and participated in all the battles. fought by that noted regiment, except during a short period when he was disabled by a wound, from which he never fully recovered. His death occurred in 1885.pp.337-341
JOEL W. ROBISON (deceased). One of the earliest settlers of Fayette County, Texas, as well as one of the first of the State, Joel W. Robison, was born in Washington County, Ga., October 5, 1815. He came to Texas with his parents and one sister in 1832, and settled first in Brazoria County. He found the country new and most of the people Mexicans there. The political condition of the country was in a turmoil, there being two factions of Mexicans struggling for supremacy. Santa Anna, the leader of the government faction, had declared in favor of the constitutional government. Mr. Robison and his father, J. G. Robison, enlisted in Capt. Henry S. Brown's company, and under command of Capt. John Austin marched to Velasco, June 26, 1832, and engaged in that desperate struggle which, after eleven hours conflict, resulted in the surrender of the garrison to the Texan army. In 1833 Mr. Robison, with his father and the remainder of the family, moved up to the border settlements between the Colorado and Brazos Rivers. He, as a boy soldier, joined, Capt. York's company in an expedition against the Indians in the territory, and continued to do service in defense of the advancing frontier settlements. In 1835 he joined the expedition against the Indians on the Upper Trinity, and soon after his return from the last-named expedition the Texans assembled in consultation at San Felipe. They proclaimed a declaration of rights and advocated measures of resistance to the quartering of Mexican troops in the State, in violation of the Colonization Contract, when it was decided to raise an army for this resistance. Young Robison was among the first to respond. He went at once to San Antonio, engaged under Col. Bowie, and was in that splendid victory, the battle of Conception, October 28, 1835. In November of the same year he was one of the number under Col. Bowie in the Grass fight before San Antonio, where another splendid victory for the Texan army was achieved. Mr. Robison continued with the army as a private until the battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, and he was one of a party of six with Sylvester when Santa Anna was captured. They surrounded him in a small tract of timber, and Sylvester, not knowing who he was, proposed shooting him. Mr. Robison opposed doing so. The soldiers started Santa Anna toward the headquarters of Gen. Sam. Houston, on foot, and as his feet were sore he said he could not walk, and that the soldiers might kill him if they wished to. They prodded him with their guns, but it had no effect. Santa Anna had made up his mind not to walk. Mr. Robison took compassion on him and had him mount behind himself, and they thus proceeded to Gen. Houston's tent. There for the first time Sylvester and his men found out the true value of their prisoner. No doubt had they found it out before, the "Little Napoleon" would never have reached camp. After returning home (at the close of the war), Mr. Robison's father, J. G. Robison, was elected from a county to the first Texas Congress which assembled at Columbia. In the latter part of 1836, immediately after the adjournment of Congress, the father returned home, his family then residing in the territory of which this county was afterwards composed, between Round Top and Warrenton, within one mile of the latter place. Afterwards Mr. Robison, together with his brother Walter, and a faithful old negro servant, took an ox team and went to Columbus for a sack of salt (twenty miles). On their return home at the close of the second day, and when within a half mile of that place, they were surrounded, captured; killed and scalped by the Indians. Joel W. Robison, his son and the subject of this sketch, looking over the trail leading toward Columbus next day, saw at no great distance his father's oxen with the wagon, and at once went to investigate. His horror can be imagined. He carried his father and uncle, as well as the negro, to a place of safety from the wolves, etc., until he could get help to give them Christian burial. In 1837 Joel W. Robison married Miss E. A. Alexander, a native of Kentucky. From 1837 to 1845 he was in nearly all the expeditions against the Comanches, and other Indians in Texas. He was a private while in the army, although appointed Lieutenant by Gen. Houston. His wife was born in Kentucky, June 25,1821, and emigrated with her father, Samuel Alexander, to this county in 1832, settling in what is known as the Block House Settlement, five years before the organization of Fayette County, making her one of the earliest settlers in the county a period of fifty-four years from 1832 to 1887. While Col. Robison performed his duties as a soldier for his country, Mrs. Robison was ever mindful of hers, faithfully discharging the onerous duties of pioneer life with a cheerfulness that was remarkable. She had but one brother, Jerome Alexander, who fell with Dawson on the Salado, near San Antonio, in1842. In 1858 Mrs. Robison professed religion and joined the Methodist Church, with which she remained until her death in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Robison were the parents of seven children, three sons and four daughters, five of whom survive: Almeida, wife of T. A. Ledbetter; Samuel A. (deceased); Neal, of this city; Lucy, wife of J: F. McClatchy; Fannie, wife of Dr. J. W. Smith; J. G., of Williamson County, and one died young. Mr. Robison chose the occupation of farming as his life's work, and became a wealthy citizen. He represented Fayette County in the State Legislature from 1860 to 1862, and advocated secession. Mr. Robison was always a very pronounced Democrat, and was a leader of his party in the county attending all the State and county conventions, and was Chairman of the County Democratic Committee for several years. For many years prior to his death Joel W. Robison was one of the leading men in his section, or in the State. In 1874 he was a member of the convention that formed the present constitution of Texas. Prominent men of Texas, in passing through his section, always made his house their home. He was an old school gentleman, courteous, kind and pleasant to all, and was much honored and respected throughout the county and State. His son, Neal W. Robison, the present County Collector, was born in Fayette County, Texas, July 16, 1848, and was educated in this county during 1867, '68 and '69, when he attended the University of Virginia. There he made law a specialty, but never entered into the practice of the profession. In 1870 he formed a partnership with his father in the mercantile business in the village of Warrenton, and was thus engaged until 1879. At that date he was married to Miss Halley P. Carter, a native of Texas, and daughter of John H. and Nunly Carter, natives of Virginia, where their ancestors were among the pioneers. Mr. Carter came to the Lone Star State in 1845 and engaged in merchandising, in which occupation he met with substantial results. His death occurred in 1894, when seventy-eight years old, regretted by many friends. Of the nine children born to his marriage seven now survive: Bettie, now Mrs. Davis, of Houston; America; married S. C. Olive, of Waco; Judith, now Mrs. Horwell [Harwell], of this city; John B., of this place; F. C., of this county; Mrs. James Farquhar, of this city; and Hallie P., wife of subject. Directly after his marriage Mr. Robison engaged in the cotton brokerage business for a number of years, or until 1882. He was then elected Tax Collector of this county, an office which he has fined up to the present time-twelve years to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and his father was a Royal Arch Mason of Fayette. Like his father he has been life-long Democrat, and is a public spirited and progressive citizen. This family is one of the best known and most highly respected in the county, and the male members have taken a deep interest in the welfare and upbuilding of the same. pp. 328- 330
ROBERT F. SELLERS. Among the prominent farmers and stock feeders of Gonzales County, Texas, none deserve more prominent recognition than Robert F. Sellers, who was born in Fayette County, Texas, in 1849, the third of four children born to Robert and Nancy (Sellers) Sellers, who were natives of the State of Tennessee, where they were also reared, educated and married. In December, 1885, they came to Texas and after a short residence in St. Augustine they came to La Grange, where they erected one of the first cabins of that place. There he located his headrighta league of landin the southwestern part of Gonzales County, but very soon after the Texas Rebellion broke out, and he at once joined Gen. Houston's army, but at the time of the battle of San Jacinto was on detached duty, so did not participate in that engagement. He later purchased land in Fayette County, which he greatly improved by the most persistent labor, but gave up this calling for a time to take part in the Mexican War. In 1852 he moved to Colorado County, where he opened up a remarkably fertile farm, but in 1882 moved to Luling, where he died in August, 1893, his wife having passed from life in 1888. They both had been church members from their early youth, and he had for many years been connected with the Masonic fraternity. He was first married to Miss Margaret Miller, by whom he became the father of two children: Martha, who died in 1864, was married to Rev. Green Andrews, by whom she became the mother of three sons and two daugbters,Frank, an eminent attorney of Benton, is the present Attorney General of Texas and is a popular and prominent man, and W. T., of Throckmorton, is also a lawyer and prosperous; and Elizabeth. His second union resulted in the birth of four children: Isaac, now a Baptist Minister, located at Georgetown; Nannie, Robert F., and Annie. These children were all reared in Colorado County, and were educated principally in the schools of La Grange. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Robert Sellers, was one of the earliest settlers of Gibson County, Tennessee, to which section be removed from South Carolina. The maternal grandfather, Lard Sellers, was also born in that State, and was a pioneer of Maury County, Tennessee. He was a very prominent farmer, and after the war moved to Missouri, in which State he died. The Sellers family are of Irish descent, and the present members of the family are all descended from three brothers who came from Ireland to this country during colonial times. The immediate subject of this sketch began life for himself by taking charge of his father's farm in 1870, and continued so to do until 1882 when he went to Lampasas County and engaged in the sheep and cattle business. A few years later he went to Bell County, and there remained for three years engaged in farming and feeding cattle, and driving herds to Colorado. In February, 1889, he came to Gonzales County and bought his present farm of 502 acres, and now has 200 acres under cultivation and improved with good buildings, fences, etc., the result mainly of his own efforts. He is well posted and up with the times, farms on scientific principles, and never fails to have good crops, if the season is at all favorable. He is very thorough in all his work, and his estate is considered one of the best in the county. In 1877 he engaged in feeding stock, and as he feeds nothing but a good grade, he sells them for the highest price in the spring, after he has fed them during the winter. He is said to feed the best cattle in the county. He was married in 1874 to Miss Nolie Roberts, a native of Louisiana, and a daughter of Capt. William T. Roberts, who came from that State to Texas, and is now engaged in farming in Fayette County. To Mr. and Mrs. Sellers four sons have been given: Steward, Richard, and Isaac and Robert (twins). Mr. and Mrs. Sellers are members of the Baptist and Presbyterian churches, respectively, and he is quite prominent in politics. Col. Harvey Sellers (deceased), was a prominent and wealthy merchant of Galveston, Texas, and New York, and was a soldier of the Confederate army during the war. He enlisted as First Lieutenant of the Bayou City Guards, Fifth Texas Regiment, of Hood's Brigade, and upon the organization of the regiment he became Adjutant, and subsequently Adjutant General. On Hood's promotion he followed him successively in rank on the staff until Hood became Major General, and was one of his constant advisers. Col. Sellers was without doubt one of the ablest soldiers ever sent from Texas. He served as Lieutenant in one of the companies of Col. Jeff Davis' Regiment, the First Mississippi, in the Mexican War.
HENRY W. SPECKELS, Mayor of La Grange, Texas, and book-keeper for Speckels & Shaw, one of the leading dry goods merchants of the city, is a citizen who has developed a high order of ability in connection with the material interests of Fayette County, and whose rare personal and social qualities have given him a deserved and added prominence. Mr. Speckels was born in this county in 1864 and is a son of John and Marguerite (Imken) Speckels, natives of Germany. In the year 1847 this worthy couple came to America and settled at Frayersburg [Frelsburg?], where they remained for one year. In 1849 they came to this county and settled on a farm near Warrenton, where they followed agricultural pursuits until 1891. They then moved to La Grange. Their finances were at a low ebb when they came to this country, and for a year or two, or until they could open up land and build a log house, they lived in a tent. Mr. Speckels made most of the household furniture in those days, and although rude and uncouth in appearance, it answered the purpose. They experienced many hardships and, were wholly without flour the first year. They finally got a start and Mr. Speckels became a prominent stockman of his section, owning large herds of sheep, cattle and horses. He had managed to buy two or three negroes previous to the war, and although he was too old for service, big eldest son, Garrett Speckels, served throughout the war. Neither did Mr. Speckels take part in the Mexican War. He has been the architect of his own fortune, and at one time owned 950 acres on the prairie. He and his estimable wife have a comfortable home in La Grange, and there expect to pass the remainder of their days. They have reached the ripe age of seventy-seven and seventy-two years respectively, and bid fair to live many years longer. Both are members of the Lutheran Church. Their family, consisting of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, three of whom died young, are named as follows: Garrett, a farmer; John, of the firm of Speckels & Shaw; George, of the firm of Letzerich & Speckels; Johanna, now Mrs. A. Heintze; Meta, wife of Louis Walter, of this city; Mary, wife of William Neese, a farmer of this county; Annie (deceased) was the wife of B. Aschen, Jr., and H. W., our subject. The last named was educated in the country schools of Fayette County, and when eighteen years of age started out for himself, although during a portion of each year he was with his parents. He followed clerking and book-keeping until 1889, when he came to La Grange and accepted the management of Mr. Heintze's business, which consisted of dry goods and groceries: Mr. Heintze was also a large cotton buyer or cotton broker, and of this Mr. Speckels was general manager. In 1891. Mr. Heintze sold his business to Speckels & Shaw, and our subject assumed the management of their immense business, which, during the years 1891, '92 and '93, amounted to from $90,000 to $100,000 annually. In 1894 this firm sold the grocery department, and now does an annual business of about $65,000, employing four new men as clerks. In 1898 Mr. Speckels was elected Mayor of La Grange, an office which he holds to the general satisfaction of all. While he does not take a very active interest in political matters, he is nevertheless outspoken in his convictions, and a strong Democrat. In 1894 Mr. Speckels was elected by the ice and soda water manufacturers as manager of their large trade in the town, and this firm also handles extensively the celebrated beer manufactured by W. 3. Lemps. Since March, 1894, ice is only sold by this company in the city, they having a monopoly of the ice and soda water trade both in the city and surrounding country. Mr. Speckels was married in 1890 to Miss Annie Meerscheidt, a native of this town and daughter of Arthur and Lena (Von Rosenberg) Meerscheidt, both of whom were born in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Meerscheidt came to Texas in an early day, and like others of the early settlers, experienced many hardships. Re was a poor man, but by persistent. effort he overcame all difficulties and amassed considerable property in mercantile pursuits. However, during the latter part of his life he met with reverses. His death occurred in 1888, but his wife survives him and resides in San Antonio. Mr. and Mrs. Speckels have two children, Lilian and Gilbert. Mr. Speckels is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Dawson Lodge No. 131, Uniform Rank, and also belongs to the K. & L. of H., and Hermann's Soehne, a German Lodge.
WILLIAM H. STEELE. To her noble, pushing, hard-working business men is due the great prosperity, wealth and advancement of Hays County, Texas. To their zeal, energy and integrity will its future greatness be indebted, as it has been to a great degree in the past, and among the names prominent in the real estate interests of this section, is that of William H. Steele, whose home is in San Marcos. He first saw the light of day in Tennessee in 1837, being the fifth of nine children born to James T. and Mary (Harralson) Steele, who were born in Kentucky and Tennessee respectively. They were married in the latter State, but afterwards lived in Kentucky, where the father followed the occupation of merchandising. In 1836 the father came to Texas, accompanied by his brother, William H. Steele, and they were engaged in the mercantile business at old Washington for about three years and were quite successful. At the end of that time the father returned to Kentucky, and there he was called from life about 1846. In 1850 his widow with her family came to Texas, locating first at Washington and then at Seguin, and in the latter place she taught in a female educational institution for some time. She was also in Goliad for some time, and after a short visit in Kentucky she returned to Texas and died in Fayette County in 1871. She was an able and well known educator, and was an active and earnest worker in and a strict member of the Methodist Church. Her father, Herndon Harralson, was a Virginian, who removed to Tennessee in an early day and spent the rest of his life in Haywood County. He was Captain of a military organization to protect the settlers against Indian depredations, and was prominent in the affairs of Tennessee in that early day. The subject of this sketch was nine years of age when he was brought to this State, and in the schools of Goliad he received a good practical education. As soon as old enough he engaged in stock trading and continued this occupation up to the opening of the war, when he enlisted in Company E, Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry, C. S. A., served in the trans-Mississippi Department, and was in the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill and Yellow Bayou. After the war he settled in Fayette County, Texas, and at Fayetteville engaged in merchandising for about six years. During this time he was married to Henrietta Thomas, a native of Texas, and a daughter of Rev. C. W. Thomas a pioneer Methodist preacher of the Lone Star State. In 1875 he came to San Marcos and engaged in land speculation, in which he was very successful and he made a large amount of money. He operated the first ice factory of San Marcos, but has for some years done a real estate business as a member of the firm of Steele & Joyce. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Steele four children have been born: Charles H., who is a dentist of Laredo; James S., who is a physician of Dripping Springs; Mary S., wife of L. Blachaller, and Mattie W., who died at the age of sixteen years. All the family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Steele is a member of the A. F. & A. M. Rev. Charles W. Thomas, father of Mrs. Steele, was born in the Nutmeg State in 1816, a son of Charles and Susan (Warner) Thomas. Rev. Charles Thomas was educated in the noted Yale College, after which he went to Georgia, and was engaged in teaching in that State. He came to Texas in 1840, located at Rutersville, Fayette County, and at once began teaching in the college at that place, continuing there for four years, when he went to Independence and taught one year. He then spent several years in La Grange, and in 1841 was licensed to preach, and did so during the time that he was teaching up to 1856, when he gave up teaching and began devoting himself solely to the ministry, being a member of the Bastrop Circuit. At the end of one year he was changed to the Washington Circuit, and in 1858 was appointed Presiding Elder of the La Grange District, in which capacity he served two years. In 1860-61 he preached on the Navadad Circuit, in the Colorado River Valley, and this occupation he continued to follow throughout the war, in various counties mostly in the Austin District. In 1851 he traveled on horseback 4,500 miles, and preached about fifteen times each month. He resided in Colorado County until 1887, when he came to San Marcos, soon after which he was taken ill, and his health has not been of the best since. He was married in 1841 to Miss Susan Hill, a native of Georgia and a cousin of Ben H. Hill. She was a daughter of Asa Hill, who came to Texas in 1834 or '35. She died in August in 1886, leaving four children, seven having died. Henrietta, is the wife of William H. Steele; Mary is the wife of a Mr. Chapman; Asa A., is President of the Coronal Institute; and Eugene L., who is the Cashier of the Glover National Bank. Mr. Thomas has been a Mason since 1846. pp. 289-290
FREDERICK W. TURNER. One of those business men whose probity is well known and whose career has been distinguished for enterprise is Frederick W. Turner, a successful and leading liveryman of Schulenburg, Texas. He was born in Westphalia, Prussia, May 10, 1838, and is the son of Christian and Mary Turner. Christian Turner was twice married, and became the father of four children to the first and nine to the second union. His death occurred when our subject was four years old. The latter was reared in his native country, learned the blacksmith trade there and then came to America with his mother. The older members of the family had preceded them and settled in various sections. They were named as follows: Charles, Edward, Sophia, Lewis and Albert. Three, Lena, Theodore and Henry died in the old country. Our subject and his mother landed in Baltimore in 1856, October 27th, and proceeded at once to Cincinnati, where they remained three months. From there they went to Indiana and located at Batesville, Ripley County, where they remained until March, 1858, then our subject came to Texas. Locating first at Hallettsville, he worked at any honest employment he could find, overseeing, etc., and made Hallettsville his home until 1861. At that date he joined Company D, Second Texas Cavalry under Capt. James Walker of Hallettsville, and his company with three others, was under immediate command of Lieut. Col. John B. Baylor (the celebrated Indian Fighter), and did service in Arizona and New Mexico for nearly two years. During this time he was in several engagements with the United States troops stationed on the frontier, the following being the most prominent: Fort Fillmore, and Fort Craig, the former being a prominent engagement for the number taking part, and a complete victory for the Confederates. During the two years Mr. Turner served with his company in the west, twelve members of his company were killed by the Indians, eight at Fort Davis and four in New Mexico. Returning from this trip in the fall of 1862, Mr. Turner went with his company to Louisiana and during this time was in a number of skirmishes. In 1863 he returned to Texas and, shortly afterwards, was transferred to the city of Galveston and was in the battle of Galveston on New Year's night, 1863. Later Mr. Turner got transferred from Company D, Second Texas Cavalry to Company C, Second Texas Infantry, and was stationed at Galveston for eight or nine months. Still later he was transferred to the Confederate States navy on board the Missouri, an iron-clad steamer built at Shreveport, La., and in March, 1865, was transferred to the General Webb. During the remainder of the war he was engaged in running the blockade from Shreveport to New Orleans, which was not successfully accomplished. They went about twenty-eight miles below the city of New Orleans, but could go no further on account of the United States vessels. Capt. Reed commanding the Confederates, ordered his men to set fire to the vessel, jump overboard and swim ashore. This order was promptly obeyed. Our subject, being the Second Engineer, was in the engine room when the order was given. Coming up from that room, covered with perspiration, he plunged into the river. This was a very dangerous thing to do, and Mr. Turner says he would never attempt such a feat again under similar circumstances. He reached the shore in safety, but was captured the next day and sent to New Orleans, where he was kept a prisoner until the close of the war. He was exchanged at the mouth of the Red River, about two thousand soldiers of each side, and after being paroled both Federal and Confederates ate and slept together for two or three days, and enjoyed themselves most thoroughly. Our subject did not go back to Texas right away, but stopped in Natchez, Miss., where he secured employment. Finding that be could not get a start, he secured transportation to New Orleans, and from there went to Galveston and thence to Columbus, the end of the railroad. From there he walked to Hallettsville, remained there a short time and then returned to Galveston, where he worked at the carpenter trade. There he remained until 1867 and then came to Hallettsville, where he was engaged in carpentering and paper hanging for five or six years. Later he held the position of Deputy Sheriff for four years, and for another year was variously employed. On the 1st of March, 1874, be purchased his present business, which he has been engaged in up to the present time. He has met with well deserved success in this occupation and has one of the leading establishments of the kind in the county. He owns a fine residence in Schulenburg, and this is presided over by his excellent wife, formerly Miss Sisley A. Pace, a native of Virginia, whom he married in the year 1866. Her parents, highly respected people, were among the early settlers of Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Turner have reared a family of thirteen children: Albert, of Yokum [sic.], this State; Charley, of this city; Robert, of this city; Edward, of Karnes. County; Lillie, of this city; William F., of this city; Carrie, of this city; Joseph, of Lavaca County; Corene, Louis, Estella, Katie and Selma, the last five also of this city. Mr. Turner was reared in the Lutheran faith and Mrs. Turner holds membership in the Christian Church. In the year 1869 Mr. Turner became a member of the Masonic Fraternity at Hallettsville, and he is now a member of Lyons Lodge. He was appointed Marshal of Schulenburg a portion of one term, and accepted the position for the benefit of the town. He takes but little interest in political matters, but votes for the most part with the Democratic party.pp. 386-387
WILLIAM H. WHEELER, liveryman, who ranks among the leading business men of Flatonia, Texas, is a native of the "Old North State," born in Wilkes County, August 16, 1840. His parents, Richard and Katie (Church) Wheeler, were also born in North Carolina, and there resided for many years From there they moved to Georgia, where the mother died in Gilmore County, and then, when our subject was still but a small boy, he was brought by his father to Alabama. There the father died in Jackson County soon after. Their family consisted of eight children, as follows: James, of Randolph County, Arkansas; Sarah A., widow of Robert Garen, of Texas; Martha, of North Carolina; A. L, of Benningham, Ala., William H.; John, of Jackson County, Alabama; Amanda, deceased, and Bethel, of Jackson County. His parents dying when he was but a small boy prevented our subject from getting anything but a limited education, and he was thrown on his own resources at an early age. When sixteen years of age he began the struggle of life for himself, and in 1857 came to Texas by way of New Orleans and Galveston, the latter being a small place at that time. From Galveston he went to San Saba County, engaged in wagoning for J. H. Gay during the winter season, and in summer attended school. In 1861 he joined Company D, Second Texas Cavalry, was in service in New Mexico, where he was engaged in the battle of Valverde. From there be returned to San Antonio, thence to Galveston and was engaged in the recapture of that city. From there he went to his command in Louisiana, and was engaged in but one battle, La Fouche Crossing. Following this his command was at various points in Texas and was stationed at Corpus Christi at the close of the war. He was discharged in June 1865, and came at once to Hallettsville, Lavaca County, where be remained for ten years. During the first three years he was engaged in clerking in a general store, but in 1868 he established a general mercantile business there and for seven years conducted this business. However, during the years 1869 and 1871 he traveled for J. B. Woodyard & Co., from Galveston, and in 1876 or '77 he moved to that place. There he embarked in the hotel and livery business, and this he has since followed with more than ordinary success. After the war he started out with limited means, and after coming to Flatonia met with good success and is now the owner of a nice property in town. He also owns some fine farming land and a large interest in a stone quarry which, when properly developed, will be a fortune in itself. On the 8th of January, 1873, Mr. Wheeler married Miss Emma A. Arnim, a native of Texas, and daughter of Albert and Louisa Arnim, who were born in Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Arnim came to America in 1851, and were one of the early German families of Texas. Mr. Arnim was a prosperous merchant for many years, but, feeling the infirmities of age coming on him, retired from business recently. He makes his home at Hallettsville. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler have six children: Ella, Richard, Katie, William, Leslie and Margaret. Mrs. Wheeler is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and with her husband is a member of the Royal Society of Goodfellows, of Flatonia, Lodge No. 333. Mr. Wheeler joined the Odd Fellows Lodge at Galveston in 1868, and is a member of Clark Lodge, No. 336, of Flatonia. Politically he is a strong supporter of Democratic principles.
GEORGE C. WILLRICH (deceased). The prudent ways and careful methods of German settlers are conspicuous in Fayette County, Texas, where many representatives of that race have settled, and George C. Willrich was no exception to the rule. Honest, upright and persevering, no man held a higher place in the estimation of the people of the county than he. He was born in Germany, January 19,1798, son of William W. Willrich, who occupied a prominent position under the French Government. The latter's wife was a Miss York, of English parentage. George C. Willrich was attending school at Magdeburg during the time that Napoleon was at the height of his glory, and he and a number of other boys ran away from school and joined Blucher's portion of the army. At that time he was between fifteen and sixteen years of age. During the battle of Waterloo Mr. Willrich, although but sixteen years of age, commanded a regiment and was the youngest officer in that historical battle. Afterwards he returned to Goettingen and graduated at the university there while still quite young. After finishing his education he married Miss Gertrude E. Bostleman, and subsequently secured a government position. Later still he received the appointment of Judge of the District Luneburg. His wife died and he was married again. In 1846 he came to America, bringing with him his second wife and the children or both unions. The children of the first marriage were named as follows: George W., deceased; Margaret, Charles; Paulina, deceased; Martha, deceased; Charlotte, deceased, and Franciska. To the second union were born these children: Julius, Anna, Otto and Louisa. After coming to this country Mr. Willrich purchased a number or slaves, a large portion of land, and engaged actively in farming and stock-raising. The results were very satisfactory, and at his death, which occurred April 30, 1876, when seventy-eight years old, he left his family in very comfortable circumstances. His eldest son, George W. Willrich, was born in the old country July 6, 1823, and there received a thorough education. Later he began the study of law, graduated, and came to the United States with his father in 1846. In 1848, during the revolution in his country, he went back to take part in the war, but on landing found it practically over. He wrote a number or articles on the matter, was apprehended before he could return to America, and kept a prisoner for six months before he could make his escape. He hid in the house of a friend in Hamburg, and remained secreted for a year before he made his final escape. Returning to America in 1853, after an absence of five years, lie began teaching at Rutersville, Fayette County, Texas, a military school, and being a man of superior literary attainments, became professor of languages. Later he taught at Baylor University, Independence, Washington County, this being the first university established in the State, and was professor of languages in that institution also. On the 3rd of June, 1860, he was married to Miss Liane DeLassaulx, a native of Alsace, and the daughter of Otto DeLassaulx (see sketch). Prof. Willrich died April 28, 1861, soon after marriage, leaving a son, George. Mrs. Willrich afterwards married George Tuttle, of Flatonia. Young George Willrich was educated in the schools of St. Mary's College, San Antonio, and Jesuit College, Seguin, and finished in St., Mary's College, Galveston, where he graduated with considerable honor, taking first place in nearly all his studies. He then studied law under Gen. Felix Robertson, of Waco, from.1882 to 1884, and was admitted to practice in the courts of the State in the latter year. Since then Mr. Willrich has confined himself to the practice of law, and has met with more than ordinary success. He is a man of positive character, strong intellect, and one who has won the respect and admiration of all. In politics he has ever been interested in the welfare of the Democratic Party, and in May, 1886, he was appointed County Attorney. In 1888 he was re-elected to that position without opposition. His practice in the civil and criminal courts of the county increased so rapidly that in May, 1890, he resigned the office of Prosecuting Attorney to take charge of his extensive law practice. For some time he has been in partnership with Capt. R. H. Phelps, who is one of the, pioneer attorneys of LaGrange. The law practice of this firm is second to none in the city, and for a lawyer of his years Mr. Willrich has a reputation which few enjoy, and which older practitioners might well envy. He has made his way in life unaided; and has been more than ordinarily successful. He owns considerable real estate, and has a good farm in a fine state of cultivation. He selected his wife in the person of Miss Olivia Tuttle, a native of this county, arid daughter of G. W. and Mary A. (Karnes) Tuttle, early settlers of this county. George Willrich’s grandparents on both sides of the house were of the very prominent families in their native country, and brought with them to the United States their coat of arms. Both families espoused the cause of the South during the Civil War, but, though the secession of the Southern States was a failure, no more loyal subjects resided in the State of Texas than they. pp. 310- 312
George Carl Willrich
photograph contributed by Rob Brown
JACOB F. WOLTERS. La Grange, noted for the ability of its bench and bar, may be counted particularly fortunate in including in the latter some of the ablest distinctly young lawyers in the country. A visit to the courts shows them conspicuous in important oases, appearing with or in competition with the veterans whose names are perhaps better known than these, but who find it necessary to brush up their knowledge of old practice and keep an eye out for new practice if they are not to be outgeneraled by the sharp and shrewd young men, whose self-reliance has made them develop much more rapidly than did the young lawyers of the generation of the veterans. Among the most popular of this younger circle of practitioners stands the name of Jacob P. Wolters, who was born in Austin County in 1871, and is the son of Theodore H. and Margaret (Wink) Wolters, natives of Austin County, but of German parentage. The father of Theodore H. Wolters, Jacob Wolters, came from the Fatherland with his wife, and, with other early German emigrants, settled at Industry, Austin County, Texas, in 1839. Farming was his occupation in life. He was twice married, his first wife dying shortly after coming here, and he then wedded his second wife. His first union resulted in the birth of two sons and two daughters, and his second marriage was blessed by the birth of four eons. (For further particulars see sketch of Theodore H. Wolters, of Schulenburg.) Jacob F. Wolters, our subject, was educated in the public schools of Schulenburg, and finished at the Add-Ban College, Hood County. Returning home when nineteen years of age he commenced the study of law in the office of Phelps & Willrich in 1$90, was admitted to the bar in 1892, and the same year was elected County Attorney. He announced for re-election in 1894 and had no opponent; but in August the firm of Phelps & Willrich dissolved partnership, and be immediately withdrew from the race and formed a partnership with that able lawyer and jurist, his old preceptor, Judge R. H. Phelps. He selected his life companion in the person of Miss Sallie Drane, of Columbus, Colorado County, and their nuptials were solemnized in 1893. Her parents, Robert and Eliza (Hargrove) Drane, were early settlers of Texas, and Mr. Drane was a successful farmer of that State. After his death, in 1878, his widow married A. C. Hereford, and is now living. Mr. and Mrs. Wolters' marriage resulted in the birth of one son, Theodore Drane, whose birth occurred June 27, 1894. Politically, Mr. Wolters advocates the principles of the Democratic party, and takes a decided interest in the political issues of the day. His father is a stanch Democrat. e is the only one of his family who has adopted a professional life, and his success in that direction has been quite phenomenal. Mrs. Wolters is a graduate of Hamilton College, Lexington, Ky., and is a lady of excellent judgment and good taste, and is a worthy member of the Christian Church.pp. 379-380
THEODORE WOLTERS. Some lessons of genuine worth may be gleaned from the life of every man, and the history of Theodore Wolters h as been marked by all that goes to make up useful and noble manhood, and in him is the material of which useful citizens are made. He possesses in a marked degree the push, industry and determination necessary to a successful career in any occupation, and his high reputation and upright, honorable career, in the various official positions he has been called upon to fill, have served to place him in the foremost ranks of the representative citizens of Fayette County. He is now the most efficient Mayor of Schulenburg, and discharges the duties of that position in a very satisfactory manner. Mr. Wolters was born in the village of Industry, Austin County, Texas, April 15, 1846, and is the son of Jacob and Louisa (Marks) Wolters, natives of Germany. Mr. Wolters came to this country in 1835 and located first in the city of New Orleans. Later he located in Colorado County, Texas, and then sent back to the old country for his wife (first wife) and five children. This family experienced many hardships in those early days, being entirely ignorant of the requirements of Western life, and not able to converse very fluently in English. Indians, too, were quite numerous and hostile. Mr. Wolters erected a double log and block house, a very strong one, for the purpose of protecting his family from the Indians, and his neighbors often came and remained with them nights. For three years they pounded or ground their corn with a pestle, and used either a hollowed rock or stump for this purpose. The latter part of the year 1835 Mr. Wolters joined the Texas army and was stationed at Victoria. He with others, whose families were in an exposed settlement, were ordered home to see to the welfare of their families, and Mr. Wolters, with his own and his neighbor's family, went east of the Brazos River, in what is now Wailer County. He made this trip in a truck wagon of two wheels, the same being made by sawing a couple of rounds off the end of an oak log, and later he was offered a league of land for his cart and oxen. Mr. Walters said the State of Texas could not have bought the outfit at that time. The family remained on the Brazos until after the battle of San Jacinto and then came back to Colorado County. Here they found most of the houses burned, but they immediately began to rebuild and to make other improvements. Indians continued to bother them, stealing horses and cattle, until about 1839 or '40. Mr. Wolters traded one-half league of land for an improved place in the town now called Industry, and moved to that section. He was a baker by trade, but had learned the chair maker's trade of his father in Germany, and when the country began to settle up he engaged in chair making, turning his rounds with the old fashioned hand lathe. By an accident Mr. Wolters lost one of his fingers about this time. He came to Texas with limited means, but by industry and good management became the owner of a handsome property before his death, which occurred in 1865. He was in a buggy drawn by a fiery team of horses which took fright, ran away, and threw Mr. Wolters out, killing him instantly. A friend who was with him in the buggy was killed at the same time. The children born to Mr. Wolters' first union were named: Robert, of this city; August, was in the Mexican War and is now deceased; Mina, deceased, was the wife of George Herder; and Ferdinand, deceased. The mother of these children was killed by a fall from a mustang pony. Mr. Wolters was married to Miss Marks, mother of our subject, in Houston, Texas, and the bridal trip was a horseback ride from that city to his home, ninety miles distant. Four children were the fruits of this union: Edward, deceased; Theodore, our subject; Herman, deceased; and Franklin, deceased. Mrs. Wolters died in 1862. The following year Mr. Wolters married Mrs. Romary, who died shortly afterward. Amid pioneer surroundings our subject grew to mature years, and the Civil War breaking out hurt his chances for an education to some extent. In 1863 be enlisted in the Confederate army and was stationed at Brownsville on the Rio Grande River. He participated in a land and naval battle close to Sabine, where the Confederates captured two gunboats and about 400 prisoners, together with arms, ammunition, etc. The remainder of the time Mr. Wolters was stationed at Galveston, and surrendered there in May, 1865. For two years after the war Mr. Wolters was engaged in farming, but since 1881 he has been in business in the town of Schulenburg. In the year 1889 he was elected Mayor, and has been re-elected at each succeeding election. He was married at New Ulm in 1870, to Miss Margaret Wink, a native of Texas and daughter of Louis and Catherine (Meyer) Wink, natives of Germany, who came to this country in 1840. Mr. Wink was a blacksmith by trade and died in 1861. He was the father of the following children: Margaret, William, Henry, Mary and Lizzie. Mr. and Mrs. Wolters are the parents of six living children: Jacob (see sketch), Edmond, Ottlie, Katie, Agnes and Wallace. Mrs. Wolters is a member of the Catholic Church. Mr. Wolters was reared a Lutheran. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Lyons Lodge No. 105, and takes considerable interest in the political issues of the day, being an old line Democrat.pp.349-351.