The following articles were contributed by Carla Hillman Ratcliff from Record of Southwest Texas, published in 1894.
NATHAN AVANT. Industry, enterprise and perseverance are characteristics which will advance the interests of any man and will tend to the prosperity to which all aspire. Such are some of the traits of Nathan Avant, an early settler of Lavaca County, and one of the influential farmers and stockmen of this locality. Mr. Avant owes his nativity to Tennessee, his birth occurring in DeKalb County in 1835, and of the old fashioned family of eleven children born to his parents, Benjamin and Margaret (Fite) Avant; he was sixth in order of birth. His maternal grandfather, Leonard Fite, was a native of Pennsylvania, and at a very early period came to Tennessee, where he was among the first settlers. He located in DeKalb County in 1800 and some of his descendants were and are among the prominent people of that State. The paternal grandfather moved to Tennessee about the same time. The parents of our subject were born in North Carolina and Tennessee respectively, and they were married in the latter State about 1820. At the last birthday celebration of our subject's grandmother, in 1866 or '67, when she was 105 years of age, there were present 360 descendants. The father of our subject came to Texas in 1857 and bought land in Gonzales County, where he died in 1874, when seventy-four years of age. The mother died in 1891, when eighty-six years of age. Of their large family of children all grew to maturity and nine are now living. Until the age of eighteen Nathan Avant remained in his native country and received his education, after which, in 1855, he came to Texas. First he located in Gonzales County and engaged for a time in teaming, following this for about four years. He then sold his team and went to McMillan County, where he engaged in the stock business till 1865, after which he came to Lavaca County, locating on the river below the town. He now owns 1,700 acres of land and has 250 acres under cultivation. He has some graded cattle, Jerseys and Holsteins. In the month of February, 1860, Mr. Avant was married to Miss Marietta Heath, a native of Texas, and daughter of Richard Heath, who came from Tennessee to Texas in the '30s. Mr. and Mrs. Avant have had six children, as follows: Ella C., deceased; Ada Dora, wife of John Daly; Marietta, wife of L. B. Avant, of Tennessee; Benjamin, Theodore, and Carrie, who died when five years of age. Mr. Avant is quite active in politics, is a worker in the People's party, and has served two terms as County Commissioner. He and Mrs. Avant are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. pp. 260-270
J. W. BENNETT, one of the large farmers and stock raisers of Lavaca County, Texas, came originally from Alabama, where his birth occurred in 1847. He was the eldest child born to William F. and Amy (Cheschire) Bennett, the father, a native of the Palmetto State and the mother of Alabama. Grandfather, Duke Bennett, was a native of South Carolina, and our subject's maternal grandfather, James Cheschire, was of English descent, a prominent planter, and an early settler of Alabama. William F. Bennett enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1802, and served in General Lee's army until the works were blown up at Petersburg, when he received a wound that resulted in his death. Mrs. Bennett is still living in Alabama. Our subject was reared in Alabama, but received but limited chances for an education.
In 1887 he came to Texas, located at Hallettsville, engaged in farming and for the most part has carried this on ever since. He served as Deputy Sheriff from 1870 to 1873, and in the latter year was elected to the office of Sheriff, holding that position and Collector for seven years, after which he declined re-election. This was soon after the war, and the office of Sheriff and Collector was a rather dangerous one to hold, but Mr. Bennett was fearless in the discharge of his duties, and no more efficient and capable official ever held that position. Mr. Bennett is the owner of a stock ranch of 3,000 acres, and two farms near town, with 500 acres under cultivation, mainly improved by himself. He deals principally in stock, buying young steers and raising them for the market, is one of the foremost stockmen of his section, and is President of the Lavaca. County National Bank, at Hallettsville. He was married on the 26th of November, 1874, to Miss Fanny Moss, a native of Mississippi, who was reared in Texas by an uncle, Major B. F. Moss, who was an early settler of Lavaca County. Two children have been born to this unionLydia and Bell. The latter died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Bennett are members of the Christian Church, and he is a member of the Knights of Honor. p. 67.
DR. MARSHAL B. BENNETT. This gentleman has been a close student of his profession, and in his mission of "healing the sick" his generous treatment of his patients, his liberality and kindness of heart, have won for him not the respect alone, but the earnest regard of the large clientele which he has gathered around him. The family physician, he becomes also in scores of cases the family adviser in matters of business and affairs other than of a professional nature. He was born in Tuscola, Ala., in 1820, a son of Stephen and Mary (Breazeal) Bennett, natives of the Palmetto State, who removed to Alabama in 1818, the paternal ancestors being of Irish, and the maternal ancestors of Scotch descent. Stephen Bennett removed to Texas in 1840, and for three years was a resident of Washington County, after which he moved to Gonzales County and bought the Whitson League at 25 cents per acre, which place he cleared, improved and made of it a very valuable farm. He resided there until 1877. His wife, who was born in 1800, died in 1880, and he himself lived to be nearly ninety-five years of age. He was an old line Whig politically, and was one of the pioneers or Alabama and also of Texas. The subject of this sketch was educated in Tuscaloosa University, Alabama, from which institution he was graduated in 1839, after which he at once began the study of medicine, attending his first course of lectures in Louisville, Ky., from which place he came to Texas in 1840. In 1841 he went before the Board of Medical Censors-Asa Hoxice of Independence, W.P. Miller of Fort Bond, J.P.Henderson of Marshal and by them was given a permit to practice medicine, which he at once proceeded to do at Mount Vernon, then the county seat of Washington County, Texas. In 1842 he went with Capt. Sam Beauregard on the Vasques campaign, during which the Mexicans retreated, and in the fall of the same year was in the W 011 campaign. After returning from this campaign, Dr. Bennett settled at Gonzales and practiced there till May, 1846, when he volunteered in Ben McCollouch's Company at Matamoras, and was appointed Assistant Surgeon of Hays' Regiment. He served throughout this war, and was in the battles of the Northern campaign in Taylor's Army. Upon his return, he located in Lavaca County, and was instrumental in securing the county seat at Hallettsville, where he erected the second house in the place and made his home for thirty years. He opened a drug store at that point, and consequently was the first merchant ot the place. During the time that he resided there he was the leading physician of the county, having thoroughly fitted himself for the profession by graduating from a well known medical institution of New Orleans in 1858. He was strongly opposed to secession and the Civil War, but did not take sides during the struggle. He has been a Mason since 1843, at which time he joined the lodge at La Grange, Texas, having now attained to the Royal Arch degree. He is the owner of a farm of 228 acres, of which 100 acres are under cultivation, and has always given considerable attention to stock raising, which he has found both an agreeable occupation and one profitable financially. He moved to Yoakum in 1892 and is now engaged in a lucrative practice, his long experience adding much to his popularity. In 1859 he married Mrs. Mattie Harmon, of Hallettsville, who died in 1861, leaving one son, William H. He was married in August, 1863, to Miss Carrie West, daughter of Dr. Isaac West, of Washington County, by whom he has two children, Steve Lee and Sallie, of San Antonio, Texas. The doctor is a gentleman of the old school, agreeable, sociable and exceptionally well informed. Pages 155-156
JAMES G. BLANKS. For many years the name of Mr. Blanks has been inseparably linked with the business history of De Witt County, Texas, whose annals bear testimony to the integrity of his character and the brilliancy of his intellect, and is the synonym of honesty, industry and business integrity. At the present time he is occupied in discharging the duties of President of the Yoakum Improvement Company, the Yoakum Oil Mill and Manufacturing Company, at Yoakum, Texas, and has thoroughly illustrated the fact that he is the "right man in the right place." He is a thorough Texan by birth and bringing up, his natal place and day being Lockhart, Caldwell County, September 15, 1862. His parents, John G. and Martha (Montgomery) Blanks were born in Kentucky and Missouri, respectively, but about 1857 the father located in the Lone Star State, and has since given the most of his time and attention to real estate and mercantile interests, proving himself an enterprising and progressive citizen. His father-in-law, John W. Montgomery, came from Pike County, Missouri, at an early day, and here followed the occupations of farming and stock-raising. James G. Blanks was educated in the Missouri State University, and began life for himself by becoming associated in business with his father at Lockhart, with whom he continued from June, 1882 to 1890. Since the last mentioned year he has been in business at Yoakum and assisted in completing the organization of the First National Bank, being soon promoted to the position of Cashier, which he filled two years. During this time he conceived the idea of starting a water-works, electric light company, and an ice factory, and in his usual energetic manner he put these enterprises on foot, in 1892, by organizing the Blanks Ice, Water & Power Company, and erecting the present but, which cost $42,000, the capital stock amounting to $50,000. Nothing but machinery of the most modern make is used, and the plant is a valuable one and a great boon to the citizens of the town. It was sold during the same year that it was organized to the Yoakum Improvement Company, consolidated under that name. Mr. Blanks first held the responsible position of President, and has so continued since it has been connected with the electric light plant, the entire cost of both amounting to $55,000. Mr. Blanks is also a director of the bank, and he is also connected with the oil mill, which will be put in operation during the fall of 1894. Mr. Blank has been at the head of nearly every enterprise that has been started in the place, in fact, has proven himself an ideal public citizen, progressive, public spirited, law abiding, and, since locating in Yoakum, has been of inestimable value to the place, a fact which the citizens are not slow to recognize and acknowledge. Mr. Blanks is the owner of considerable individual town property, and is one of the well-to-do men of the place. He has the satisfaction of knowing that his possessions have been acquired through his own efforts, and that he does not owe any man a dollar. He was first married in l883 to Miss Annie Hollingsworth, who died in 1884, and in 1886 he wedded Miss Mamie Jordan, of Lockhart, Texas, by whom he has one childMay. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church, and socially he is a member or the K. of P. and the I. O. O. F. pp. 452-455
BERNARD BROWN. Many of the most active and enterprising residents of Lavaca County, Texas, are natives of the county and have here spent the greater part of their lives. In them we find men of true loyalty to the interests of this part of the State, who understand, as it were, by instinct, the needs, social and industrial, of this vicinity, and who have a thorough knowledge of its resources. Prominent among these men is Bernard Brown, who was born on his present farm near Hallettsville in 1847. He is the youngest of ten children born to James and Ann Manning, both natives of Missouri. The parents came to Texas in 1832, resided for about a year in the eastern part of the State, and then came to this locality. They settled on land five miles from the present site of Hallettsville, and there passed the remainder of their lives, the father dying in January 1853, and the mother in April 1880. Both held membership in the Catholic Church. Mr. Brown made many improvements on his fine farm and took a deep interest in public affairs. His father, Bernard Brown, was a native of the Blue Grass State, but at an early date moved to Missouri, and thence to Texas. He settled on land on the Lavaca River, and part of Hallettsville stands on the old place. Our subject, Bernard Brown, passed his youth and received his education in Texas and when starting out in life for himself, engaged in the stock business, which he has followed for the most part ever since. He has a handsome place, with 350 acres under cultivation, and 1,200 acres in the home place. Mr. Brown also owns 1,920 acres in Frio County. In the year 1869 he was married to Miss Margaret A. Blackburn, also a native of Texas, and a daughter of Gideon Blackburn, a native of Tennessee. Mr. Blackburn came to Texas about 1840 or '41, and located on the Mustang Creek, now in Lavaca County. To Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been born these children: James Gideon, Ida Ann, Rebecca Alice, Ada, Charles Andrew, Mary Viola and Bernard Milton. The parents are members of the Catholic Church. pp. 331-332.
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 H allettsville, 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 bas 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) Walters, and niece of Theodore Walters (see sketch). Mr. and Mrs. Clark have two children: (3leo 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.
WILLIAM GREEN. There is no more important industry in a growing city than that carried on by the lumber merchant, and he may at once be designated as one of the foremost and useful developers of a vicinity. William Green, a member of the firm of Flate & Green, lumber merchants at Shiner, is a man who is thoroughly trustworthy and reliable. Aside from his interests in the lumber business, he is one of the most extensive farmers in the county, owning 4,000 acres, about three and a-half miles from town. Mr. Green is a product of this State, born in Gonzales County in 1855, and was the eldest child born to William and India (Griffith) Green, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Alabama. About the year 1850 the parents came to Texas and settled in Gonzales County, where the father cultivated the soil until his death, in 1877. Mrs. Green died in 1894. Their son William was reared in Gonzales County, and after growing up, branched out for himself as a farmer and stock-raiser. He also started a store at Winton, and was made Postmaster at that place. Possessed of an unlimited amount of energy and perseverance-the secret of his success, young Green came to Shiner in 1889 and bought out a lumber business. Here he has since been engaged in that business, and, as in all other ventures he has made, has met with the best of success. He is doing an extensive business and deserves the success to which he has attained. This firm is also engaged extensively in buying, shipping and raising cattle, and does the largest business in this section. Of the 4,000 acres of good land that he owns, Mr. Green has 1,000 acres under cultivation, and has made all improvements. He also owns considerable town property. He is the most extensive farmer in all the section; a self-made man with rare executive ability to further increase his possessions, and a "hustler" for Shiner. Mr. Green was married in 1882 to Miss Julia Dickson, a native of Lavaca County and daughter of W. P. Dickson, one of the first settlers of Texas. Mr. Green is a member of the K. of P. p. 150
JOHN HALLET, (deceased.) It is a pleasure to speak of those worthy citizens whose active lives have ceased on earth, but whose influence extends still, and will continue to extend among all who knew them. This truth is doubly true when such a Man has established for himself and children a reputation for integrity, character and ability. Such is the case with John Hallet, the original settler of Lavaca County, Texas. He was burn in Worcestershire, England, and was the younger son of an English nobleman. When but a lad he was commissioned in the British navy, but served only a short time. Being threatened with punishment by one of the officers of the ship he climbed overboard in the night time, and swam to an American vessel in the harbor. The captain of this vessel brought him to the United States and adopted him. He was then in his twelfth year. He followed the sea with his adopted father for years, and was a volunteer in an engagement in Chesapeake Bay against the British. Later he sailed as Captain from both the ports of New York and Baltimore for several years. About the year 1808 he married, in Virginia, Miss Margaret P. Leatherbury, a native of the Old Dominion and of an old and prominent family of that State. While sailing on the ocean he lost a ship at Key West, Florida, and with the insurance money he started in business at Goliad, Texas. Soon after the Mexican government confiscated his stock, and later he retired from that business. In 1833 he became a member of the Austin colony and came to Texas, securing his league of land, on which the present town bearing his name was built He made but few improvements, erecting but a small cabin, and died at Old Goliad in October of the same year. Three children were born to this marriage: John, was killed by the Indians in San Antonio in 1837. He was a soldier to the Texas army and was in the battle of San Jacinto. He had settled near San Antonio and was about twenty-three years of age at the time of his death; William Henry was reared in Matamoras, Mexico, from his eleventh to his twenty-first year, and then came here to his mother. Later he was sent by Gen. Johnson and Felix Houston to buy land claims in Matamoras, was arrested as a spy and confined for some time, but was finally paroled. After that nothing further was heard of him by his family; Benjamin, died in 1836, when ten years of age; and Mary Jane, the only daughter. Mrs. Hallet resided on her farm until her death in 1863, when seventy-six years of age. In 1836 a town was laid out on her place, she donating one-half the land for a town site, and it was named in her honor Hallettsville. During these early days she had the genuine pioneer spirit, and deserved great credit for her fortitude and energy. She was justly called the mother of Hallettsville A most intelligent lady, a great reader and well posted, though in a measure self-educated. She retained her property until death zinc] it then went to her grandchildren. Mary Jane, her youngest child, was educated at home, and when is her fifteenth year was married to Collatinus Ballard, who was born in Virginia, and who came to Texas in 1810. He started a store in Mrs. Hallet's house, and this was the first store in the whole country. In 1843 he married Miss Hallet, as stated, and became an extensive merchant. He also followed farming and stock raising to some extent. This worthy citizen was a member of the Baptist Church and died in 1867. To his marriage, were born twelve children, eight of whom grew up and five are now living: James, Mary A., died when seventeen years of age; Margaret P., married W. P. Ballard, and died leaving seven children; Fredonia Jane, now the wife of Mr. Roue; Frances B., wife of H. B. Woodall: Collatinus, John L., Ezbell, died when in her twentieth year, and two others died in infancy. Mrs. Ballard now resides with her children and has forty-five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She has lived in Texas under the Mexican rule, through all the career of the Lone Star Republic, and has seen it become one of the most [prosperous] States of the Union. She has heard the Indian war whoops, the cry of the panther about her door, but has survived all, and now resides, respected and esteemed, in is city that has grown on her ancestors' estates. Her eldest son, James Ballard, was born in Lavaca County, in 1844, and was educated at Baylor University, Independence, and later at Waco. When the war broke out he left school and entered the Confederate army at first in Shay's Battalion, when he served on the coast, and later in Company K, Thirty-third Texas Cavalry, when he served mainly on the coast. On his twenty-first birthday he was married to Miss Alice lone Russell, a native of Louisiana, and a daughter of Robert C. Russell, who was an early settler in this part of the Lone Star State. Soon after marriage he began teaching, followed that for about fourteen years, mainly in Hallettsville, and then served as County Surveyor from 1888 to 1892. For some time now he has been engaged in surveying. Mr. Balard has a fine place, partly in the town, and on it he has laid out an addition to the town. He is a member of I. 0. 0. F. and the A. F. & A. M. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church. To their marriage were born ten children, six of whom are living: Susan A., wife of Rev. J. W. Daniels; Beulah, wife of W. C. Baird; Mary E., Addison, Schiller, Eunice H., and four died in infancy. pp. 154-155
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
JOHN FLEMING HOUCHINS is a most popular citizen and official of Lavaca County, Texas, and is the efficient and able Sheriff, whose conduct of the affairs of that office has won him the good will of all, irrespective of party. Mr. Houchins' paternal grandfather, John Houchins, came originally from the Buckeye State to Texas, and was one of the pioneers of the latter State. He settled in Austin County, opened up a fine farm, and became wealthy. This worthy citizen was quite a genius, and was the first man to erect a mill in Austin County. He used to make his own wagons, and became extensively known as a wagon-maker. After the death of his wife he divided his property among his children and then married again, afterwards removing to Bell County, where he died. Our subject's maternal grandfather, Fleming Rees, was born in Tennessee, but when a young man went to Alabama, married there, and later came to the Lone Star State, settling in Austin County. In 1866 he moved to Colorado County, where he died when in his seventieth year. John Fleming Houchins was born in Lavaca County, Texas, in 1837, and was the eldest of twelve children born to a W. and Sarah F. (Rees) Houchins, natives of Ohio and Alabama respectively. The father came to Texas at an early date, and now resides in this county. In the common schools of Lavaca County our subject received his education, and when it became necessary to choose an occupation he selected agricultural pursuits. He is now the owner of a farm of 500 acres of good land, 200 acres under cultivation, most of which he has improved himself. For several years he has been active in politics. In 1883 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Smothers, and served for three years. Later he was appointed Constable, served two years, during which time he moved to town, and he was then elected Sheriff, and is serving his third term at the present time. Miss Susan Oliver, who became his wife in 1879, was a native of Austin County, and daughter of D. B. Oliver, one of the early settlers of that county. Six children were born to this marriage: Horace was killed by a horse running away with him in 1888, when eight years of age; Fleming, Warren, Pinkney, Maud who died in infancy, and Oscar. Mr. Houchins has shown his appreciation of secret organizations, and is a thirty-second degree Mason. He is also a member of the I. 0.0. F., G. A. B., K. of P., K. of H., and A. 0. U. W. He has made an excellent official, and is held in high esteem. pp. 109- 110.
Photo contributed by Terry Houchins.
DR. WILLIAM H. LANCASTER is an exceptionally popular and successful physician. He is scholarly and well informed in every branch of his profession, is intelligent and well posted on all matters of public interest, and stands well in the community, both as a citizen and as a professional man. Although he has been a resident of this town only since 1887, he has already given abundant evidence of the ability which qualifies him for a high place in the medical profession. He is a native of Jackson County, Alabama, born in May, 1849, and was the eldest of seven children born to John Nathaniel and Mary A. (Jones) Lancaster, natives respectively of Tennessee and Alabama. The maternal grandfather, Moses Jones, was an early settler of Alabama, and an active man in the various walks of life. He settled in Bellefoute, that State, purchased a large tract of land, and in connection, carried on merchandising. For some time he was Probate Judge, and he was an early editor, conducting a paper during the war. The Federal soldiers then came and destroyed all his property. One of his sons, Henry, was in the Confederate army, and was Major of the Eleventh Alabama Regiment during the siege of Atlanta. There he lost his life. Mr. Jones died about 1873 or 1874. He was a very active and prominent man in his community. The paternal grandfather of our subject married in Tennessee and moved to North Alabama, where he purchased a large estate, but died soon after. His wife was a Miss Hudson, of a wealthy and influential family. After her husband's death she married Judge T. M. Rector, a prominent lawyer of North Alabama. She and her husband came to Texas in 1853, located east of Austin, and he farmed the rest of his life, dying in 1893. Many of his relatives reside in this section. The grandmother died in February, 1867. The father of Dr. Lancaster was reared in Alabama, and there married Miss Jones. He followed farming there until 1856, when be came to Texas and settled in Travis County. He served four years in the Confederate Army. About 1884 he moved to Lockhart, and now resides in that town. Dr. W. H. Lancaster was seven years of age when he came with his parents to Texas, and he was educated at Manor, Texas. In 1873 he began the study of medicine in New Orleans, Tulane University, and during the years 1875 and '76, attended Louisville Medical College, where he took his degree in the latter year. He then began practicing at Lockhart, remained there about ten years and one year at Red Rock, and in 1887, came to Moulton, where he was among the first to locate. He assisted in surveying the town and bought the first lot sold in the place. Since then he has been in constant practice here, and he also opened the first drugstore at this place. Dr. Lancaster is quite active in politics, and is a frequent contributor to the paper in the vicinity. He took a post graduate course at Tulane University during the winter of 1881 and '82, and is now a member of the State Medical Association of which he is Third Vice-president. The doctor is a pleasant, genial gentleman and his large practice is constantly increasing. He is greatly interested in the development and growth of this part of Texas, and besides his pleasant place in Moulton, owns property in Jackson County. He is a Mason and Master of Moulton Lodge No. 298. Dr. Lancaster was married June 10, 1880, to Miss Linda Ella Williamson, a native of Alabama and daughter of John H. Williamson of Lockhart. Four sons and one daughter are the fruits of this union: Moore, Lewis, Lifford Williamson, Bessie Edna and Frank Houston. Dr. Lancaster is a member of the Christian and his wife a member of the M. E. Church.pp.385-386
DR. A. A. LEDBETTER, probably one of the best known physicians of Lavaca County, Texas, has been unusually successful in the practice of his profession, and throughout this section is considered an authority on medical lore. He was born in Alabama in 1844, and was receiving a preparatory training for college in the State of Mississippi when Civil War broke out. Early in 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Twenty-eighth Mississippi Cavalry, and served in the Departments of Mississippi and Tennessee, under Gen. Van Dorn and Gen. Forest, until the close of the war. He was in all the engagements of the Atlanta campaign, and was twice slightly wounded, once at Adairsville, Ga., and again at Pulaski, Tenn., near the close of the war. Returning home, he again took up his books and began the study of medicine, attending lectures at Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1867 and 1868. After that he commenced practicing in Mississippi, but in the winter of 1868 left that State for Texas, locating in Lavaca County. In 1887 he came to Hallettsville, and in 1891 opened a fine drug store in partnership with Dr. Knok. Previous to this, in 1809 and 1870, he took another course of lectures at Tulane University, New Orleans, and graduated. He was married in October, 1868, in Mississippi to Miss Julia Guitella Denson, daughter of Dr. J. C. Denson, and eleven children were given them, six of whom are now living. Mrs. Ledbetter, who was a worthy member of the Christian Church, died in 1893. The doctor is also a member of that church, and he is also a member of the State Medical Association. He has a fine farm on the Navidad River, and is one of the county's most intelligent physicians and respected citizens. He was sixth in order of birth of ten children born to William and Casandra S. (Black) Ledbetter, both natives of Georgia. The father was a planter until after the war, when he became a merchant. In 1853 he moved his family to Scott County, Miss., and from there to Louisiana in about 1870. His death occurred at Summerfield, La., in 1877, and the mother died in 1883. pp. 99 - 100.
JAMES D. MONTGOMERY. A man's life-work is the measure of his success, and he is truly the most successful man who, turning his powers into the channel of all honorable purpose, accomplishes the object of his endeavor. It seems to have been the ambition of James D. Montgomery to make the best use of his native and acquired powers, and as a lawyer, politician and citizen he has been a success, and the friends whom he has gathered about him are legion. He is a product of Dardanelle, Ark., where he was born in 1850, the fourth of a family of seven born to James R. and Jerusha (Mason) Montgomery, who were born in Mississippi and Indiana respectively. The paternal grandfather died in Mississippi, when James R. was an infant, and the maternal grandfather, D. D. Mason, was a native of Indiana, removed to Arkansas at an early day, and until his death resided in Yell County. James R. Montgomery was reared by Gen. William Montgomery, of Mississippi and Arkansas, with whom he moved to Arkansas about 1820. He came to Texas in 1835 with his brother-in-law and three sisters, and in the troubles of 1836 his brother-in-law was killed, he and his sisters returning to Arkansas: He was married in 1840 to Miss Mason, and for a time was engaged in merchandising at Gaines' Landing, Ark., where he also conducted a wood yard. In the spring of 1851 he returned to Texas, and was a resident of Grimes County until 1857, when he went to what is now Waller County, and erected the first house in Hempstead. There he lived until his death in 1867. He erected the Old Planters' Exchange Hotel, which he conducted for a time, but during the progress of the great Civil War, was engaged in farming and stock-raising.
His wife was born in 1822, is still living and makes her home with her son, the subject of this sketch. James D. Montgomery received his education in the common schools of Texas, and at the early age of eighteen was elected Deputy Sheriff of Waller (then Austin) County, a position he held a long time. In the city of Hempstead he held all the offices of the city, with the exception of Treasurer, and there made his home until March 10, 1890, when he came to Yoakum and started in the real estate business and insurance. He was soon elected Justice of the Peace, in 1892 was elected Mayor of the town, and in 1894 was re-elected. In 1877 he was admitted to the bar, but did not actively engage in the practice or his profession until after he came to Yoakum. He is a well posted man in his profession, as well as on the current topics of the day, and has already made himself an invaluable citizen of Lavaca County. Socially he is a member of Yoakum Lodge No. 348 of the I. O. O. F., and is now District Deputy Grand Master and District Deputy Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment. He has held all the offices in the K. of H., is Grand Guide in the Grand Lodge of the K. & L. of H., being a member of Watson Lodge No. 100 at Hempstead, and is Sovereign Commander or Yoakum Lodge of the Woodmen of the World. He has always been active in politics and has been a delegate to the last three Democratic State conventions of Texas. In 1877 he led to the altar Miss Lizzie Hooper of Texas, a native of Corpus Christi, and daughter of Thomas E. Hooper, an early settler of the section, and for a long time District Clerk of Nueces County, and to them six children were given: James R., Eula, Cleveland, Mary E., Alexander Henry, and Adlai. Mrs. Montgomery is a member of the Episcopal Church. pp. 438-439.
SAMUEL B. MOORE. The country around Moulton, Texas, is as desirable as any in all the State, and that is saying a great deal. On every hand may be seen rich rolling prairies intersected here and there with running streams, and the value of living in such a fertile section has become known, for it is rapidly settling up. It might well be called the farmer's and stockman's paradise. Samuel B. Moore, an early settler of this section, and one of the largest stockmen in the State, has found this a fruitful field for his operations. He has resided in this county since 1853, and has made a large fortune in cattle and the advance in the value of his land. He came originally from Alabama, where his birth occurred in 1835, and of the four children born to his parents, William J, and Mary (O'Daniel) Moore, he was the eldest. The father was a planter in Alabama, his native State, and there made his home until 1845, when he came to Texas, settling in Fayette County. Later he moved to Lavaca County, 1853, and bought 500 acres, on which the town of Moulton has since been built. Here he became a very extensive farmer and stock-raiser and an influential citizen. For some time he held the office of County Commissioner, and he also held other positions of trust. His death occurred October 10, 1858. His wife, who was a native of South Carolina, died in this county March 26, 1880. John Moore, our subject's paternal grandfather, was a native of Mississippi and an early settler of Alabama. Until about ten years of age Samuel B. Moore remained in Alabama, and he then came with his parents to Texas. In the schools of Fayette County he received the remainder of his education, and when starting out for himself followed in the footsteps of his father and became a farmer and stock-raiser. On the 4th of November, 1857, he was married to Miss Lydia Crouch, who was the daughter of Jackson Crouch, one of the early settlers of Texas, and how a resident in the vicinity of Moulton. In 1862 Mr. Moore enlisted in the Confederate army, Company D, of Col. Wood's Regiment, and went down on the coast. Later he was transferred to Company I), Twelfth Regiment, and served in Texas, Missouri and Indian Territory, being on scout duty most of the time. After he had returned home he resumed farming and stock-raising, and with his brother, William J. Moore, drove several herds to Kansas. He and his brother bought about 12,000 acres of land, now lying between the towns of Moulton and Shiner, and in 1887, when the Aransas Pass Railroad was laid out, they gave the right of way for ten miles through their ranch. The town of Moulton was located on their property. This has now a population of about 500, is on an elevation surrounded by a magnificent country, and is a flourishing little place. In 1888 Mr. Moore erected a large hotel. After this, in 1892, he erected his fine residence, and has one of the handsomest places in the State. In 1881, as the country was becoming quite thickly settled, Mr. Moore and his brother moved their stock, 6,000 head, to Fort Bend County. The company of Moore & Allen was then formed, and about 50,000 acres of land was bought for pasture. This land soon advanced in value from $5 to $25 per acre, and the town of Alvin has grown up on it. They own much land yet, but have sold some to a great advantage. They bought a ranch of 80,000 acres in Uvalde and King counties, and have 20,000 head of cattle on both places. Mr. Moore has mainly graded cattle, and on his place at home has a small herd of blooded Jersey cattle. He has made the breeding and handling of cattle a systematic business, and drove herds North for years. He now breeds mainly on the Fort Bend County ranches, and ships the steers to the western ranches to feed and grow for market. He has been eminently successful, but understands his business to such an oxtent that success is certain. To Mr. Moore's marriage were born eight children: William J., Gazie, Lula, Frank, Lillie, Ella, Allie, and one deceased. Mr. Moore is a Mason, having become a member of that order during the war, is a Methodist in religion and a stanch Democrat in politics.
E. MULLEN. He whose name heads this sketch has charge of the interests of "Uncle Sam" at Yoakum, Tex., and has proved himself in every way worthy the trust reposed in him. He was born on the Isle of Erin, and like his countrymen he possesses much natural mother wit and versatility, and that he is a substantial and useful citizen is a self-evident fact. In 1849, when he was but one year old, he was brought by his parents, Barney and Mary (Murray) Mullen, to the United States, and in the "Hoosier State" they settled and engaged in farming in Martin County. There the father died in 1867 and the mother in 1856. E. Mullen was reared to the honorable and useful calling of the farmer, and while pursuing his laborious duties he learned many useful lessons, chief among which was energy and perseverance, but, unfortunately, was denied the privilege of obtaining a scholastic education, with the exception of about twelve months. He was engaged in farm labor until he was about twenty-eight years of age, when he turned his attention to coal mining in Indiana, a calling which occupied his attention for about two years. He was very anxious to give his services to the Union cause in 1862, enlisted in the service and went to Indianapolis, but owing to his extreme youth he was rejected by the officials. In 1868 he began the study of telegraphy, and soon after secured work on the Cairo & Vincennes R. R., with which he was connected for eight years at station and telegraph work. He was then for some time stationed at Columbia, Ill., as employe on the Cairo & St. Louis R. R., but after a short time returned to the Cairo & Vincennes R.R., with which he remained two years more. In 1882 he came to Austin, Texas, as operator for the T. & G. N. R. R. for four months, was then located at San Diego for six months, was twelve months with the Mexican National R. R. at Santa Catarina, Mexico, was then at Lampazos, Mexico, with the same road two years, was with the F. C. I. M. Ry. twelve months at Sabinas, Mexico, at the end of which time he vent to San Antonio, Texas. He was the agent, operator and train despatcher for the S. A. & A. P. there, the first agent that road had at any point. For time same road he went to Kennedy Junction as agent and operator, but after a short time returned to Mexico and for four months was the operator at Monterey. He was next connected with the G. C. & S. F. R. R. at Ballinger, Texas, for about a year and a half, and in 1889 went to Lexington, Texas, and was for some time with the S. A. & A. P. again, where he filled the position of station agent and operator. While there, and during the administration of General Harrison, he was appointed Postmaster of Yoakum, receiving his commission July 1, 1890. He has greatly advanced the revenue of the office by placing boxes on the street to secure the mail that was usually posted on the train, and in six months' time the office was raised in grade to a Presidential office, and in other ways has greatly advanced importance owing to Mr. Mullen's labor and push. Mr. Mullen has been quite active in political matters, and in 1892 was a delegate to the Fort Worth Republican convention. He was a candidate for Mayor of Yoakum and received a majority of the votes, but by a typographical error in the printing of four tickets lost the office. He has shown the greatest interest in the prosperity of Yoakum, owns considerable real estate in and about the place, and is one of the most substantial and highly respected citizens of the town. He is an efficient Postmaster, and higher honors await him in the way of political preferment. He has made an enviable reputation for himself in all locations where his lot has been cast, and as a railroad man was efficient, trustworthy and intelligent, and a favorite with the officials of the different roads with which he was connected. He was married to Miss Mary Fonkhauser, of Illinois, in 1880, and by her became the father of four children, all of whom are deceased. Mr. Mullen is a member of the Catholic Church, while his wife is a Lutheran. Socially Mr. Mullen is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and is a charter member of Yoakum Lodge No. 348 of the I.0. 0.F. pp.463-464
H. MYLIUS. He whose name heads this sketch, although now quietly engaged in pursuing the calling of a merchant at Yoakum, Texas, has been engaged in various occupations and has led quite a checkered career, notwithstanding which fact he has accumulated a competency, and has refuted the old saw that "a rolling stone gathers no moss." He owes his nativity to Germany, where he was born April 19, 1839, a son of Dr. Adolph T. and Amelia (Stearn) Mylius, who came to the United States in the beginning of the year 1846 as a member of the Fischer and Miller Colony, and landed at Indianola, Texas. Dr. Adolph T. Mylius had been a prominent surgeon in the German Army for about eight years, and was a successful general practitioner, being located for some time in the vicinity of the city of Berlin. He continued his practice after coming to this country, but after the death of his wife from cholera at Indianola in the summer of 184G, Dr. Mylius removed to Gillespie County, with some members of the colony, but returned to Indianola at the end of two years, where he made a name for himself as a medical practitioner, and was successfully engaged in pursuing the arduous duties of his profession until his death, which occurred about 1858. He practiced through the yellow fever epidemic of 1852, gave valuable aid to the sufferers of that dreaded scourge, and won the highest praise for his ability, his energy, his kindness of heart and his sympathy. His family consisted of three children: the subject of this sketch; Annie, who after the death of her mother was reared by H. Bunge and now resides in San Antonio, and Albert who was reared by G. W. Volt, is married and is a resident of San Antonio, also. The subject of this sketch was a regular attendant of the public schools up to the death of his father, when he became a sailor, which calling he followed for sixteen years, in the coasting trade. He was Captain of a boat that carried mail from Matagorda to Indianola and to Salura and back twice a week for five years. At the end of this time he purchased a sloop, which he ran independently from Indianola to Matagorda and Corpus Christi. In 1861 he espoused the cause of the section in which he resided and became a member of Company G, Sixth Texas Infantry and went to Houston, where he was detailed to the marine department and put on a gunboat in Matagorda Bay. He was thus engaged for two years, at the end of which time he was detailed to the steamer Camargo to run the blockade and make his way to Matamoras, at which place he was when news came of Lee's surrender. He then returned to Indianola and bought a sloop, and also became the owner of a sloop called the Anna Mary at the beginning of the war, which was captured by the Federals in Matagorda Bay, used by them for a time and was then burned. Mr. Mylius called his new sloop the Parasto, which he used in the coast trade, regularly, to Corpus Christi. This vessel he sold in 1874, and then built another which he ran in the oyster trade for about four years, at the end of which time he sold out to engage in the grocery and ship chandlery business at Indianola. There he was successfully engaged in business until the great storm of 1886, when his, property was destroyed. For one year thereafter he was engaged in general merchandising in Galveston, at the end of which time, for the benefit of his health, he moved to Cuero, where he was in business for seven months. In 1887 he came to Yoakum and opened the second dry goods store in the place, but after a time sold his stock of goods and now has a stock of china, crockery, tin, wooden and hollow ware, his being the third business house erected on Grand Avenue. He is doing well financially and has a paying patronage. In 1871 he was married to Miss Antinono Cloudt, a native of Texas and a daughter of George Cloudt, who came to Texas about 1846 and at once became a soldier in the Mexican War under Gen. Taylor. While in the service he had a horse killed under him, for which the Government paid him eighty-five dollars in 1886. He was a farmer and stock-raiser at Long Mott, Texas, and there died in 1888, leaving six daughters and one son to mourn their loss. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Mylius has resulted in the birth of ten children: Albert, Henry, Annie, Emma, Bettie, Clarence, Pearl, Herman, Frank, and a child that died in infancy. pp. 424-425
DR. SAM. F. NAVE, one of the best educated and most successful of the younger physicians of Lavaca County, Texas, was born in Colorado County, Texas, in 1857, and of the six children born to his parents, Michael and Rhoda (Rue) Nave, he was the youngest. The father and mother were born and married in Kentucky, and there made their home until 1851, when they came to Texas and settled in Columbus. Later they moved in the country, where the father was engaged in farming and blacksmithing, and then moved to Flatonia where they now reside. In Colorado County Dr. Sam. F. Nave attended the common schools, and later he began the study of medicine. In 1883 he attended lectures at Tulane university, and two years later he attended three courses, graduating in the spring of 1888. Between times he practiced in Fayette County, and afterwards located at Witting, Lavaca County, where he remained until June, 1891, when he came to Shiner. Here he has since practiced his profession and is classed among the leading and successful physicians in this section. In the month of February, 1891, he was married to Miss Emma Dawson, a native of Fayette County, Texas, and the daughter of George Dawson, one of the early pioneers. The Doctor's union has been blessed by the birth of two children, Gordon Fletcher and Mary Love. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and the Knights of Pythias, Rathborn Lodge No. 109, and the Knights of Honor. p. 116.H. H. RUSSELL, a prominent farmer and County Surveyor of Lavaca County, Texas, is a man whose intelligence, enterprise and energy, with many other estimable qualities, have secured for him a popularity not derived from any factitious circumstance, but a permanent and spontaneous tribute to his merit. Born in Mississippi in 1846, he was the third child of R. C. and Elizabeth (Bibbs) Russell, natives of Tennessee and Mississippi respectively. The parents came to the Lone Star State in 1851 and made a settlement on the Lavaca River, two miles from Hallettsville, where the father became the owner of about eight hundred acres of land. He made many improvements, cleared much of the land, and resided there until after the war, when he moved to Bosque County. There he resides at the present time. His wife is deceased. As our subject was about five years of age when he came with his parents to this county he remembers very little of any other place of residence. He attended school until the breaking out of war, and in 1861 entered the Confederate army, at the age of 14 years, Patten's Company, Border's Regiment, and Fulcrods' Battalion, and served in Texas, usually as guard for prisoners. After the war he attended school at Waco for a year, and afterward at Hallettsville under Gen. A. P. Bagby. Later he was appointed Sheriff and afterward elected County Surveyor, which position he has held for the most part since. To some extent he has also been engaged in farming, and owns, in partnership with James Ballard, eight or ten thousand acres in various parts of the State. In 1891 he erected his fine residence in the suburbs of Hallettsville, and this is presided over by his excellent wife, who was formerly Miss Anna Hemphill, a native of Mississippi, and daughter of John B. Hemphill, who came to Texas in 1878 and died here in 1885. Mr. and Mrs. Russell's union resulted in the birth of nine children, three of whom are deceased. This family holds membership in the Baptist Church, and it is one of the representative ones in this section. Mr. Russell is a thoroughly experienced surveyor, and a most competent official. He has it pleasant home and is a cordial, pleasant and agreeable gentleman. On his fine farm in this county he has a small herd of Jersey cattle, and is something of a stock man. p. 356.
HON. M. S. TOWNSEND. A great deal of very desirable and most advantageously located property is to be found on the books of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, who is now not only the popular Mayor of Hallettsville, Texas, but a very successful and reliable real estate dealer. Moses Solon Townsend was born in Colorado County, Texas, April 29th, 1864, and his parents, Moses S. and Annie E. (Harvey) Townsend, were natives of Georgia and Tennessee respectively. His grandfather, Asa Townsend, came to Texas from Georgia in 1836. In this family there were eight brothers, who settled in Colorado and Fayette Counties, and they all married and reared families. Many of their descendants now reside in this section. When our subject was three years old his father died; the mother married again in 1874. She died in 1879, Moses S. grew up in his native county, received his education there and at A. & M. College, Bryan, where he attended the sessions of 1881-2-3, and in 1884 he attended the Capital Business College at Austin, from which he subsequently graduated. Following that he taught two months in the school and then became telegraph operator for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company for two years. In August, 1887, he went to Yoakum as agent of the S. A. & A. P. R. R., and was in charge of this office until February, 1888, after which he was transferred to Hallettsville. This office he had charge of until May, 1890, when he resigned. In April of the same year he was elected Alderman and served until December 15 when, having been elected Mayor to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Mayor Jesse Green, he entered that office. In April of the following year he was re-elected for the full term and again elected in 1893, without opposition. He is now holding his third term. Since Mr. Townsend has held this position the water works system and the electric light plant were put in, and a general spirit of advancement prevails. A system of sewerage is now being put in. Mr. Townsend is the right man in the right place and as such is looked upon by all. He studied law for some time and was admitted to the bar in 1891. Socially he is a K. P., is Past Chancellor, and during the last year, and is now, Deputy Grand Chancellor. In April, 1889, he was married to Miss Mary A. Fink, born in LaGrange, Fayette County, Texas, March 30th, 1868, and daughter of Casper and Louise Fink, who came to this State about 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend have two children: August Emmett, born January 11th, 1891, and Moses Solon, Jr., born August 9th, 1893. Early in 1890 Mr. Townsend erected his residence in the West End, and has one of the pleasantest homes in the city. He was one of the first organizers and one of the first board of directors of the Arctic Ice Company, of Hallettsville. He was also one of the organizers of the Lavaca Oil Mill Company. Mr. Townsend is now engaged in the real estate business and has several desirable tracts of land in and around town. He has sixty acres near town, part in pasture, and on this he has some blooded Jersey cattle. This prominent citizen was also one of the original stockholders in the Citizens’ Building and Loan Association. He is active in all things necessary for the good of the town, is popular with the people, and well deserves the success that has rewarded his efforts. He is a brother of State Senator M. H. Townsend, of Columbus, Texas, and is a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee, elected for two years commencing August, 1894. He has three brothers: Mr. H., H.L. , and E.L. Townsend, and a half sister, Rebecca Grace Waller. pp. 162-163
LOUIS TURNER. This well known pioneer, who is everywhere respected for his sterling worth, is now retired from the active duties of life and enjoys the ease secured by a well-spent and active career. He was born in Prussia, Germany, November 26, 1834, and of the nine children born to his parents, Christian and Mary (Buttermann) Turner, he was seventh in order of birth. The parents were both natives of the old country, and there the father died when our subject was about eight years of age. The latter remained in his native country until grown, received a fair education, and served an apprenticeship at the locksmith and gunsmith trades. He then took passage for the United States, landed at Baltimore, and went from there to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he joined an elder brother. He then worked in a machine shop for several months, after which he traveled for a time, looking for a location. After this he was on a steamboat on the Mississippi River a few months, and then located in New Orleans, where he worked in a gunsmith shop for nearly two years. On account of his health he came to Texas, and spent one year in Victoria, after which, in 1856, he located in Hallettsville, where he engaged with a gunsmith. After remaining with him eleven months, Mr. Turner bought the business out, and carried it on successfully until the spring of 1862. He then enlisted in the Confederate army, Whitfield Legion, and left Hallettsville with Company A, as chief bugler of the legion. He first went to Arkan-sas, was afterward sent to Mississippi, thence to Corinth, where he was in the battle fought at that place in October, and then went to Iuka. While in the battle at the latter place, and when he had the bugle at his mouth to blow a charge, a bullet from the enemy struck the bugle and made a hole through it, but he kept on blowing until the charge was made. In this battle he was 20 slightly wounded in the side, and five bullets perforated his coat. He was captured on the Hatchie River at the second battle of Corinth and taken to Bolivar, Tenn. The second day in prison some of the boys asked him to play the reveille, and being always full of sport, he complied, and afterward blew a charge. Soon after an officer came and asked for the man who blew the calls. Mr. Turner came forward, and after a little conversation the bugle was taken by the officer and never returned. Mr. Turner was kept in con-finement for ten days, after which he was paroled and came to Texas. After being exchanged, he joined Hardeman's Regiment and at once went to Arkan-sas, where he was in the battle of Poison Springs, etc. His command made a raid on Fort Smith, Ark., and he was one of 300 volunteers to attack a regiment of Federals on the prairie of Des Arc, Ark., six miles from Fort Smith. Before the line was fully formed he was shot in the leg, the bone broken, and the horse on which he was riding killed. From the time he was wounded, 9 o'clock in the morning, until 5 o'clock p.m, he remained on the battlefield, and while lying there wounded, two Indians came on the field and shot a wounded man. Mr. Turner only preserved his life by feigning death. A little later two men came on the field and robbed him of money and all valuables, and then a guard came, who remained until an ambulance made its appearance. In this three dead men were placed, with our subject on top of them, and in this manner he rode to Fort Smith, a distance of six miles. Mr. Turner became feverish in the hospital, and got so bad that he was placed in the dead ward, where he remained over a week, after which he began to improve. He was then returned to the hospital, where he remained a long time, and was then sent to Little Rock. There he remained an invalid until the war closed. After leaving prison, and when he began to get a little better, he made rings from buttons, and selling these got sufficient money to buy a mule and saddle and bridle. Thus equipped, he made his way to Hallettsville, Texas, from Little Rock, and arrived there July 27, 1865. When he fell from his horse on the battlefield near Fort Smith a friend saw, him fall and wrote home to his people that he had been killed. Now, when he made his appearance at home, a most exciting and pathetic scene ensued, for his friends thought he had been dead for a year. After recovering, Mr. Turner resumed business as a gunsmith in Hallettsville, and continued this until 1874. Being a superior workman, he had more work than he could do, and trade came from a long distance. About the year 1872 he began to erect an hotel, and two years later this was completed, and was the first stone building in the town, as well as the best one at that time. Mr. Turner conducted this hotel until about 1884, and it was most popular and well patronized. He is now retired from active pursuits and is enjoying a comfortable and happy existence. He has been quite active in political matters, has served as Alderman and Mayor, and was Deputy Sheriff under Smothers. Mr. Turner has also been Trustee of the School Board, and has held other local positions. In 1861, previous to entering the army, our subject was married to Mrs. Josephine (Bragger) Dubois, a daughter of Jasper Bragger, a native of Germany. Mr. Bragger came to the United States and settled in Texas in 1846. There he died the next year. Miss Josephine was first married to John Dubois, by whom she had two children: Leola, wife of Dr. Shelley, and Mary, who died when thirteen years of age. Her union to our subject resulted in the birth of three children: Ida, wife of Dr. Eidson, of Shiner: Louis, died when about fourteen years of age, and Lena. Aside from his property in the city, Mr. Turner has a fine tract of 200 acres adjoining the town. He is a natural musician, and has done much toward maintaining a band in Hallettsville. He joined the band before the war, soon became its leader, and after reorganizing it after the war, was at its head for many years. He was the main organizer of the Hallettsville Shooting Club, and for years its President and main director, building it up to a noted association. He is one of the most prominent men of the county and is well liked. pp. 341-343.
JAMES VALLENTINE [VOLLENTINE]. The agricultural part of the community is its bone and sinew, from which come the strength and vigor necessary to carryon the affairs of manufacture, commerce and the State. Among the prosperous farmers of Lavaca County stands the name of James Vallentine, who was born in Nacogdoches County, Texas, December 7, 1836, while his parents, Henry and Mary (May) Vallentine, were fleeing from the Mexicans during the Texas Revolution. Henry Vallentine was a native of Virginia, and came to Texas in 1833, with De Leon's colony. He first settled in Jackson County, and was here married to Miss May, a native of Maryland, who came with her father, John May, to Texas at the same time. For some time after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Vallentine resided near the present town of Yoakum, and then they located where our subject now resides. Mr. Vallentine opened up a small farm, but which at that time was the largest in the section, and on the organization of the county he was made County Commissioner, which position he held for a term or two. He died in 1881, after spending a long and useful life. Mrs. Valentine died when our subject was a child. James Vallentine was reared on this home place and received but limited educational advantages. In 1861 and 1862 he was a member of a ranging company and operated in western Texas. In 1863 he was married to Miss Emma Goodson, a native of Mississippi, and daughter of Arthur Goodson who came to Texas about 1850. He is engaged quite extensively in the stock business, and has followed this very successfully for about thirty years. Of his magnificent farm of 1,400 acres he has 600 acres under cultivation, and has made most of the improvements himself. This land represents much hard labor and enterprise, and is the visible result of the work of Mr. Vallentine and his worthy wife who has been his able assistant throughout the years of their union. The social circles of this section recognize in this worthy couple an element of great value and influential helpers in the promotion of intelligence and true sociability. To their union has been born an interesting family of ten children, nine of whom are living: Alice, wife of S. J. Guthrie; Willie, Eva, wife of S. Hinds; Henry Arthur, Fannie, Susie, James, Una May, Earle and Arthur Henry, who died in infancy. Mr. Vallentine has a fine place and a beautiful home, the improvements being excellent and the house a model of convenience. pp. 278-279.
HENRY VANDERHIDER. Among the worthy residents of DeWitt County, Texas, it is but just to say that Henry Vanderhider occupies a conspicuous and honorable place, for he has always been honest, industrious and enterprising, and as a result has met with more than ordinary success. He is a man well known in agricultural circles, and is recognized as a careful, energetic farmer, who, by his advanced ideas and progressive habits, has done much to improve the farming interests of his section. No man takes a greater interest in the agricultural and stock affairs of this section than Mr. Vanderhider, and no one strives more actively to promote and advance these interests to a higher plane. He is a product of Missouri, born in 1840, a son of Henry Casper and Lavina (Langton) Vanderhider, who were born in Germany and Kentucky respectively. The father came to the United States in his early youth, and after following the occupation of blacksmithing in Missouri for some time, he engaged in merchandising at Perryville, Perry County, Mo., an occupation to which his attention was successfully given until his death in 1841 or 1842. The maternal grandfather, Walter Langton, came to Missouri from Kentucky at an early day, settled in Perry County, and there passed from life about 1845. In 1850 Mrs. Vanderhider, with her mother and brothers and sisters, came to Texas and settled in Lavaca County, and here they purchased a goodly tract of land, on which she died in 1888. From the time he was 10 years old Henry Vanderhider has been a resident of Texas. In 1861 he enlisted in Sibley's Brigade, Company C; was at once sent to New Mexico, and was in the battles of Val Verde and Glorietta. This brigade was afterward disbanded at San Antonio for a month or so in order to obtain horses, and upon being fully reorganized went to Louisiana, and was in several engagements in that State, after which it was ordered back to Texas, and was in the battle of Galveston, when that city was taken from the Federals. After a few weeks it was sent back to Louisiana, and Mr. Vanderhider was in the engagement at Pleasant Hill, in the Red River campaign after Gen. Banks. After the war was over he returned home, engaged in carpentering, and in 1866 was married to Miss Mary Ryan, a native of Texas and the daughter of James Ryan, a Pennsylvanian, who came to this State at an early day, and was a participant in the Texas Revolution. He died at the home of Mr. Vanderhider in Lavaca County. In the fall of 1874 Mr. Vanderhider bought his present farm near Yoakum, but is the owner of two farms, which comprise in all 815 acres, of which 150 acres are under cultivation. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Vanderhider eleven children have been given, nine of whom are living: Agnes, wife of L. C. Knox; James Henry, who married a Miss Manning; Walter Patrick, Augustus, who married a Miss Hart; Viola, died at the age or 14 years; Emma, Guy, Henry Leo, died at the age of 3 years; Edmond, Julius, and Annie. The family are members of the Catholic Church. p. 413
C. L. WILLIAMS. There are few men in business circles who show as much fitness for their avocation, in that they are wideawake, experienced, reliable and energetic, as C. L. Williams, and there are none who have a more thorough knowledge of lumber than he. Mr. Williams, the prominent lumber merchant of Shiner, was about the first settler in that town. He was born in Tennessee in 1848, and was the only child born to William and Dorcas (Creswell) Williams, both of whom were natives of Tennessee. The father was a farmer, and died when our subject was an infant, in 1849, while on the way with his family to the Lone Star State. He died of cholera, in Arkansas, where many more of the party died at the same time from the same disease. Mrs. Williams and her young child then remained in Arkansas about four years, after which she proceeded to Texas and settled at Fort Gates, Coryell County, where she remained two years. For ten years after this she was at Lampasas, and then moved to Fort Worth. She now makes her home with her son, our subject. C. L. Williams was educated in Lampasas and Fort Worth, and learned the carpenter trade in the latter city. From there he came to Flatonia and began his career as a carpenter and builder. Being trusty and a thorough workman he soon had all the work he could attend to, and many buildings he erected were worth $20,000. In 1887, at the time of the location of the town of Shiner, in Lavaca County, Mr. Williams moved there November 15, and opened the first business of the place, a lumber yard, and drove the first nail to erect a building there, his office being the first building erected. Within two weeks he had twelve buildings under contract, and has erected three-fourths of all the buildings here. He carries a stock of lumber valued at $20,000, all builders' material, hardware, paints, wire, buggies and farm wagons, etc., and does an annual business of $50,000. Mr. Williams is agent for H. B. Shiner in the sale of city property, also of other interests, besides extensive duties of his own. He owns a good farm of 200 acres, well improved, near Flatonia, all fenced, with good buildings, orchard, etc., and has 100 acres under cultivation. Politically he is a Democrat, is chairman of the Democratic party of this precinct, and attends the State conventions. He was a member of the first Board of City Aldermen and was appointed Mayor to fill a vacancy. Mr. Williams is a Mason, a member of the Chapter, and he is also a member of the Knights of Pythias. In February, 1892, he married Mrs. Jury, a native Lavaca County, and daughter of "Buck" Harris, who was one of the early settlers of Lavaca County. He is a self-made man, and one who is well respected by all who know him. pp. 132-133.
JOHN WILLIAMS. It is ever a grateful task to the biographer to answer the call to give the life story of a man who has served on the field of battle, and has also done his duty as a private citizen in the ordinary walks of life. This double career exhibits virtues of various scope, but they are after all in union, as they are based upon, integrity, conscientiousness and devotion to duty. Such a life do we find in the gentlemen whose name we here give. This former member of the Confederate army came originally from Tennessee, where his birth occurred on the 1st of June, 1831, and he is now one of the prominent and substantial farmers of Lavaca County. His parents, William D. and Mary A. (Phillips) Williams, were natives of North Carolina and Tennessee respectively, and his maternal grandfather, Massy Phillips, was one of the first settlers of Middle Tennessee, and a pioneer in every sense of the word. He died in Bedford County, that State. The paternal grandfather spent his life in North Carolina. The father of our subject moved to Tennessee when a young man, was married there to Miss Phillips, and there passed the remainder of his days, engaged in farming. John Williams remained in his native State until twenty years of age, and then came to Texas with his brother and family. He first stopped in Titus County, where he married Miss Catherine Coffee, who came from Alabama to Texas with her father in 1844. The father moved to Lavaca County in 1856 and died in his son-in-law's house a few years later. After his marriage, 01' in 1854, Mr. Williams came to Lavaca County and bought 100 acres, ten miles North of Hallettsville, to which he has added from time to time until he now owns 800 acres, with nearly 400 acres under cultivation. He has made nearly all the improvements and has a fine place. In 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate army, Company M, of Whitfield's Legion under Gen. Ross, and afterwards crossed the Mississippi River to Corinth where the company was reorganized. In a battle at Davis' Bridge on Hatchie River in the fall of 1862 Mr. Williams was captured and taken to Boliver, Tenn., where he was paroled. Returning home he was exchanged and subsequently joined his command in Middle Tennessee. He was in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign and returned with Gen. Hood to Nashville. After the retreat from Nashville he went to Mississippi and from there was furloughed and came to 'Texas. While in this State the war ended. Since then he has made all his property and is now one of the influential and wealthy men of this section. To his marriage were born four children, only one, James, now living. Mr. Williams and his wife are consistent church members. p. 263.
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