LEONARD ALLEN ORTH.As the facts hereafter to be set forth show, Mr. Orth has had an exceedingly active and varied experience, from a hard working, poorly paid cowboy, to his present dignity as one of the city commissioners entrusted with the government of the City of Yoakum, and also a very substantial business man, being one of the owners and manager of the Yoakum Ice Company, and also owner of the Orth Milling Company of that city.
All this has been accomplished within a lifetime of forty years. He was born in Denver, Colorado, Mary 23, 1875, a son of Capt. Christopher Henry Orth, who died in 1884 while living in Hiawatha, Kansas, and is buried in Evanston, Illinois, where his widow now resides. He was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born shortly after his parents' arrival in this country. He graduated from West Point, and, living in Pennsylvania during the war, organized three companies of Union troops for the service and became captain of one of them. In Boston, Massachusetts, Captain Orth married his second wife, Miss Mary Louise Leonard, a native of that city. A brief record of their children: Leonard A.; Mountford S., of Boston, Massachusetts; and Mary Ward, who married H. K. Webster, of Chicago, who is a book and story writer widely read. By his first marriage he had the following children: Thomas Rogers Torrence Orth, of Wichita Falls, Texas; William L., of Yoakum; Luty, who married Chas. De Voe and resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mr. Orth's father was a grain trader and speculator at Hiawatha, Kansas, where the son was reared from the age of two years. He attended the public schools and also the Sunday school of the Episcopal Church, in which ex-Gov. E. N. Morrill was a leading spirit and his teacher. His first practical experience was as cattle herder in Colorado and along the Kansas-Nebraska line. He was also in the Black Hills country, where an uncle and Drell Wood had stock interests and claims, when that country was as new as nature made it. During the three and a half years of contact with that wild and rough country and its denizens, he was getting fifteen dollars a month wages and his board, and this was the total he realized for his labor and hardship. Returning from there to Kansas, he soon came into Texas, following his brothers W. L. and Thomas to this state. The latter brother is now a leading citizen and capitalist of Wichita Falls.
It was in 1891 that he first came to Texas. At Yoakum, he learned the machinist's trade in the shops of the S. A. & A. P. Railroad, and after becoming proficient went to Old mexico, was employed in the shops of different railways and then took the post of assistant chief engineer in the Monterey brewery. After four years at Monterey he returned to Yoakum in 1900, and has since been a permanent member of that community. Resuming employment in the shops of the S. A. & A. P. Railroad as mechanic, in six months he was made shop foreman, and two years later was promoted to general foreman of the shops, which was his responsible position two and a half years.
Mr. Orth resigned from the railway service to identify himself actively with the newly organized Yoakum Ice Company, in which he was one of the stockholders and has been its manager from the beginning. His brother, W. L. Orth, has been president since incorporation, and the first secretary was C. H. DeVoe and the present one is W. A. Orth. The capital stock at the beginning was $20,000, since increased to $50,000. The plant has a daily capacity of forty-five tons, besides a cold storage department, while another branch of the business is the handling of coal and wood.
At Yorktown, Texas, January 1, 1902, Mr. Orth married Miss Alma Riedel, daughter of Ernest and Louisa (Jacobs) Riedel, German people who settled in Dewitt County just at the close of the Civil war, and after many years as a farmer Mr. Riedel died there. To Mr. and Mrs. Orth have been born two children, Harry and Rosalie.
The political allegiance of Mr. Orth has been given to the republican party, but he has been in politics in no important sense beyond casting his ballot. April 1, 1915, he was chosen one of the first board of city commissioners under the new charter, and party politics had nothing to do with this election, and the honor came to him unsought and was a manifestation of the confidence placed in his ability to perform the service for which the office was created. He gained the largest vote of any member of the board, his support being represented by 1351 votes, while the charter itself only polled 307. This board during its first two months in office and in control of city affairs has been looking particularly after the moral welfare of the town, and in a material way its efforts have been directed to the graveling of streets, construction of cement crossings, and has encouraged property owners to build permanent walks. In fraternal matters, Mr. Orth is a Blue Lodge Mason, became a member of the Knights of Pythias in 1901, and is also one of the older local members of the Knights of the Maccabees.pp. 1272-1273.
WILLIAM LEWIS ORTH. Practically from its beginning as a railroad and commercial center, Yoakum has had one of its most steadfast and active citizens in William L. Orth. For many years he was in the railroad service with the "Sap" lines, and graduated from that service, by reason of a serious injury received while hunting, into his present position as a resident business man. Since starting his own home he has lived at Yoakum save for such intervals as his duties with the railroad called him to other points along its lines.
When only fourteen years old, in 1882, he came to Texas from Kansas. He was born at New Haven, just across the river from Connellsville, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1868, and two years later his father moved to Kansas. His father was a grain elevator man, and with residence at Hiawatha, and had charge of a line of elevators in Eastern Kansas. At Hiawatha the son attended public school up to the eighth grade, and with that amount of education and his experience in the home circle he came to Texas. His coming to Texas was prompted by the desire of his father to get him out of a town where the influence of a set of reckless boys might impress him for the worse and into a country where virtuous nature could train him and inspire him with ideas of industry and an upright life. On coming to the state in the spring of 1882 he was met at San Antonio by his brother Thomas R. T., who is now a prominent capitalist at Wichita Falls. This brother, though older than William, was still young and had been in Texas about a year, being then employed in breaking horses for Ranchman Malley McCowen in Atascosa county. To this ranch the younger brother was taken, and for a time herded horses for his board.
The brothers later went to the Jacobs Brothers ranch in the same locality, Tom as a cowboy and William as a fence rider. With about thirty miles of fence to patrol, he made half the journey each morning, and spent the afternoon in hunting, his wages being fifteen dollars a month and board. It was attractive work, and from it he graduated into a regular cowboy and worked for different ranchmen in that part of the state, among them Ed C. Lassiter, still one of the biggest cattlemen of Texas, and also Dillard R. Fant.
In 1886 another direction was given to his career when, after he and his brother had gained some experience as independent contractors in excavating some ponds or water tanks for ranchmen, they next secured a contract for grading a section of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad, then in process of construction. After grading a mile near Kennedy and two miles in Dewitt County they sold their outfit at Cuero, Tom entering the railroad train service and William becoming a blacksmith for a year. Then while doing some foundry work at San Antonio he one day hear that the Aransas Pass needed a brakeman, and went right over and got the job.
This was his introduction to a long career of active railroad service. His first run was between Kennedy and Wallis, with headquarters at Yoakum. When he came to the latter town in 1888 there were not more than three or four houses on the site, most of the inhabitants living in tents, and his own boarding house being conducted in the Newsome tent. In1889 he was promoted from brakeman to freight conductor, and from that grade was made a passenger conductor in 1897. He covered all the lines out of Yoakum, and for several years ran out of San Antonio, but his final headquarters were at Yoakum, and on being given the Waco run in 1908 he built him home in Yoakum.
For a number of years Mr. Orth had recuperated and found a keen enjoyment in hunting, particularly in West Texas, and had a local reputation for his success in getting deer. In December, 1913, while pursuing this diversion near Alice in the coast country, he was accidentally shot, and the injury was of such a nature as to confine him to a hospital for a year. Since then he has not resumed railroading, having already accumulated such business interests as to furnish him permanent occupation in the City of Yoakum.
As a matter of course Mr. Orth became identified with the Order of Railway Conductors, in which he held the office of chief conductor and for a year was chairman of the grievance committee. In 1889 he took his first degree in Masonry at Corpus Christi, and is now affiliated with the lodge and Royal Arch Chapter at Yoakum and also the Eastern Star. He is a member and elder of the Christian Church, and a regular attendant of the men's bible class of the Sunday school.
In business affairs he is the principal owner and president of the Yoakum Ice Company, and is a director and stockholder in the Yoakum State Bank. He also erected the Orth Building, the upper floor of which is the chief lodge hall of the town.
May 5, 1890, Mr. Orth married Miss Sarah Fitzpatrick. She was born October 10, 1870, the only child of Alva and Jane (Farris) Fitzpatrick. Her father, who was born in Pike County, Alabama, came to Texas before the war, served his country as a Confederate soldier, was for many years a farmer in Walker County and for more than thirty years lived in Southwest Texas. He passed away July 10, 1915. He was married in Madison County to Lucy Pettit, and the two children of that union are: Alva, who died unmarried; and Lucy, wife of H. H. Baldwin of San Antonio. He was again married in Walker County to Mrs. Jane Dean, daughter of Edward and Lucy (Boone) Farris, and they now make their home in Yoakum. Mr. and Mrs. Orth have three fine young sons: William Alva, of Yoakum, who married Miss Walter Lee Lander and has a daughter, Sarah Camilla; and Christopher Thomas and Robert Fitzpatrick.pp. 1268-1270.
HON. DAVID A. PAULUS.Before and after the Civil war for many years Dr. Augustus Paulus made a record of no little distinction in Texas as a physician of thorough training and sound ability and also as a leading and influential citizen. For something over thirty years the son of that old physician, David A. Paulus, has filled a sphere of service as a teacher, lawyer, and in public office. For the past quarter century he has been a resident of Lavaca county, and is now filling the office of postmaster at Hallettsville.
David A. Paulus was born on the frontier in Coryell county, Texas, December 6, 1862. His grandfather, Dr. Christian Paulus, spent all his life at Kiel, Germany, and his only two sons, Augustus David and Henry, were likewise physicians, Henry going to South America. Dr. Augustus David, who was born at Kiel in 1817, was liberally educated, finishing in the universities at Kiel and Heidelberg. In 1839, at the age of twenty-two, he came to the United States and for several years served as assistant surgeon in the United States navy, and had traveled pretty much all over the world before he left the navy. During the ante-bellum period he came to Texas, and joined the vanguard of settlers who were pushing the frontier into what is now west central Texas. He was one of the early comers in Coryell County, conducted a cattle and horse ranch there and also carried on an extensive practice in medicine all over that section. During the Civil war he was a surgeon in Major Erath's company of rangers, and spent several years in active service on the frontier. Soon after the war he moved to Fayette County, and died at Flatonia in 1895. He was a strong southern man in sympathies, and one of the few democratic German settlers. During the reconstruction period he took much share in politics, though never sought an office. His work was done chiefly as a private citizen and by correspondence, and he never attempted a public address. While reared a Lutheran, he took little interest in church affairs in this state. His chief work and service were as a physician, and he was one of the comparatively few university trained men during his generation who practiced in this state. He was prominent in the ranks of Masons and Odd Fellows, and occasionally delivered addresses on Masonry. Dr. Paulus was married in Hickman county, Tennessee, to Mary Mayberry, deceased. Her father was John W. Mayberry, a native of Tennessee, and whose father, a native of Holland, never became proficient in the English language. The children of Dr. Paulus and wife are Henry, of Flatonia; D. A. Paulus; and Mrs. J. D. Mahoney, of Denver, Colorado.
David A. Paulus was one of the first white children born in Coryell County, the distinction of being the first being held by George W. Tyler. His education began in the private school of Henry Heyer at High Hill in Fayette County, and in 1881 he graduated from the Sam Houston Normal. He began teaching at Bellville, the first town incorporated under the present Texas school law. In 1883 he organized the public school system at Terrell, and remained as superintendent two years. Then followed his election as superintendent of schools at Cleburne, but after a year he resigned to take up the law. In 1884 he conducted the summer normal school at Flatonia, and was selected to take charge of the summer normal at Comanche in 1886, but declined owing to his decision to abandon teaching.
His law studies were pursued at Bellville under Bell & Shelburne, and he was admitted to the bar there before Judge H. Teichmueller. It was in that town he tried his first case by appointment of the court. It was a criminal case, defending a white man charged of killing a negro. In January, 1890, he moved to Lavaca County, and in the following November was elected and succeeded P. H. Green in the office of county attorney, a position he held one term. The duties of the office were not altogether agreeable, and he declined another nomination. On coming to the county he formed a partnership with J. P. Ellis; and in 1895 became senior member of Paulus & Ragsdale, which continued successfully nearly nineteen years, and was dissolved by mutual consent in 1913. Mr. Paulus had suffered the loss of hearing to such an extent as to be unable to take part in court proceedings.
His law firm had a large volume of litigation, including some noteworthy cases. They represented Mrs. Annie Williams and daughter in a suit for damages against the Aransas pass /Railroad for the death of Mr. Williams, and won the largest judgment ever awarded in Lavaca County. The case went to the Supreme Court, was litigated several years, but the sum was finally paid to the plaintiffs. Their principal criminal case was that of Joseph Stefka, charged with killing his wife and child near Shiner. After three trials they secured an acquittal for the defendant. It was a case attracting much public attention, especially among the Bohemians. Another case was one wherein three negroes murdered a white man; one turned state's evidence, but the others stood trial, and Paulus & Ragsdale acquitted them after one had made a confession and then repudiated it at his trial.
In 1896 Mr. Paulus was elected county judge, leaving the office to enter the Senate. As executive head of the county he built the court house, and the construction bonds still outstanding are costing the county only three per cent interest. He was elected to the senate from the Eighteenth District in 1900, succeeding A. B. Kerr, and by re-election continued in that office until his resignation in May, 1913. His consecutive term of service was longer than that of any other member of the Senate, and he was a valuable and serviceable working member of the body. He entered the Senate during the administration of Governor Sayers. He was a member of the Committee on Education, Judiciary No. 1 and No. 2, Finance, and Penitentiary Affairs, and was chairman of Judiciary No. 2, Education and other committees. Much of his service was in behalf of eleemosynary institutions, and he was a member of the committee to investigate the penitentiary during Governor Campbell's term. With Senator Weinert he was author of the "parole law" of Texas. He stood with the opposition to state-wide prohibition, and voted against the prohibition amendment because the people of his district opposed it. He twice voted for the election of Senator Bailey, twice for Senator Culberson, and voted for Senator Morris Sheppard after the primary election had chosen him for the democratic candidate, but voted for Col. R. M. Johnston for the short term.
Senator Paulus attended his first state convention in 1884 at Houston, and has missed only two state conventions since. He supported Sayers for governor, also Tom Campbell, and in the recent gubernatorial campaign voted for Tom Ball. He became acquainted with General Burleson when he was a young lawyer in Travis County, and they have been close friends. This acquaintance led to Mr. Paulus' appointment as postmaster at Hallettsville, though he was not an original Wilson man in the presidential primaries. He took the office of postmaster in May, 1913, as the successor of W. J. Miller.
Senator Paulus is a former city attorney of Hallettsville. He has some valuable interests as a business man and farmer. On his several farms he grows the Essex hog, the Clark horse and the Jersey cattle, though somewhat as a pastime, and has some stock in banks at Houston and Dallas. Mr. Paulus served as a member of the Board of Directors of Agricultural and Mechanical College, under appointment of both Governors Culberson and Sayers, resigning when elected to Senate. For many years he has affiliated with and filled chairs in the Independent Order of odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Sons of Hermann.
Senator Paulus married at Bellville, Texas, November 2, 1882, Miss Annie Wilson. Her parents, E. B. and Elizabeth (Averitt) Wilson, both came to Texas from Cadiz, Kentucky, where Mrs. Paulus was born. Mr. Wilson was a farmer and still lives in Bellville. Besides Mrs. Paulus the children are: Mrs. J. J. Kern of San Antonio, and Jesse O. Wilson of Bellville. Mr. and Mrs. Paulus are the parents of six children: Henry, a lawyer practicing at Yoakum; David and James of Floresville; Julia, wife of B. B. Hale, of Eagle Lake; Roscoe and Claude, both in school.pp. 1255-1258.
HENRY SWANN PAULUS. A son of Senator David A. Paulus of Hallettsville, to whom fitting reference is made on other pages, Henry S. Paulus of Yoakum is a young lawyer of rising reputation and developing powers, who in five or six years has made himself especially sucessful as attorney for the defense in the numerous cases entrusted to his charge. Mr. Paulus is vigorous in his movements, keen eyed, intellectual, and a hard worker and indefatigable in devotion to the interests of his clients.
Born in Bellville, Austin county, Texas, May 24, 1888, he grew up at Hallettsville, to which city his parents moved in 1890. Attending the city schools there, he was graduated from the Guadaloupe Academy at Cuero, in 1905, from the Sam Houston Normal School in 1906, and during the following year was a teacher in Gonzales County. Mr. Paulus was a student in the State University of Texas from 1907 to 1909, took the bar examinations at Galveston in 1909, and began practice on first of March following. In April, 1909, he was elected city attorney of hallettsville, but resigned that position on removing to Yoakum on February 1, 1912. For a time he served as city recorder of Yoakum, but a rapidly growing private practice caused him to give up those duties.
On June 9, 1912, Mr. Paulus was married in Yoakum to Miss Lillian Alice Ward. She was the first white child born on the newly established townsite of Alice, Texas, and is a daughter of the late P. O. Ward, who was a pioner locomotive engineer on the Aransas Pass Railway and who lost his life in the service of that road. Mr. Ward was born in Ireland, and Mrs. Paulus is the only daughter of his four children.
Mr. and Mrs. Paulus reside in one of the most attractive and comfortable homes in the City of Yoakum. They have one child, a daughter, Rose Cyrene, born December 30, 1915. Fraternally Mr. Paulus is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Woodmen of the World and the Sons of Hermann. He is the senior director of the Commercial Club of Yoakum, is attorney for the Yoakum State Bank, and in politics is allied with the democratic interests.p. 1268.
CHARLES A. PETERSON. The excellent intellectual attainments and marked executive ability of Charles Allen Peterson made him specially eligible for the important office of superintendent of the public schools of the thriving City of Yoakum, where he initiated his work in connection with the schools in the year 1905 and where he achieved splendid results in raising their standard and making the work specially efficient in all departments. After eleven years as superintendent Professor Peterson resigned, and having been elected superintendent of the Kingsville public schools, he will continue his service in that district. His ambition and enthusiasm in his chosen profession are on a parity with his technical and administrative ability , and he has become a prominent and influential factor in connection with educational affairs in the state of his adoption. He has devoted more than a score of years to school work in Texas, where he established his residence and initiated his active pedagogic career in 1894.
Mr. Peterson claims the fine old Buckeye State as the place of his nativity and is a scion of one of its pioneer families. He was born on his father's farm, near Peebles, Adams County, Ohio, on the 24th of August 1867, and is a son of Joseph J. and Evaline (Smittle) Peterson, who still reside in Adams County, their homestead place being that on which Cornelius Peterson, father of Joseph J., settled upon his removal from Virginia to Ohio, about the year 1830. Cornelius Peterson became a prosperous farmer and rural merchant in the pioneer community and continued his residence in Adams County until his death. He was twice married but all of his children were born of his union with Miss Delilah Scott, namely: Cornelius, Jr.; John Scott; Edward G. and Harvey, twins; Joseph Jasper, father of him whose name introduced this article; Susan, who became the wife of Joshua Florea, and who was a resident of Hopkins, Missouri, at the time of her death; Elen, who married Josiah Florea and resides at Lawshe, Ohio; Maria, who married S. B. Montgomery, with whom she removed to Edgar, Nebraska, where they passed the residue of their lives. None of the sons left the old home district of Adams County, Ohio.
Prof. Charles A. Peterson was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm and after fully availing himself of the advantages of the public schools he completed a thorough course in the celebrated National Normal University, at Lebanon, Ohio, where he was fortunate in having as his preceptor the distinguished educator, Prof. Alfred Holbrook. In this institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1893, and received the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Mr. Peterson has not, like many other ambitious men, utilized his profession only as a means to an end, but on the contrary, he has given to it his unbounded allegiance and enthusiasm and has held that it is altogether worthy of his continuous and unfaltering allegiance. He served his pedagogic novitiate by becoming principal of the village schools of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where he passed one year. He then came to Texas, where he has continued his services in his profession with all of zeal and ability during the long intervening years, which have brought to him distinction in educational circles and marked success in practical work. For seven years he held the position of superintendent of the public schools of Hallettsville, the judicial center of Lavaca County, and within his regime at that place the independent school district was established, and bonds were voted for the erection of a new school building. The election, however, proved irregular and was declared null and void. Under these conditions a tax levy was made to accomplish the desired end, and thus was created the building fund necessary for the erection of the new building, which was completed a few years later.
From Hallettsville Mr. Peterson went to Moulton in the same county, where assumed charge of the Sam and Will Morre Institute, which constituted the public school of the town. As head of this popular school he continued in effective service four years, within which he aided greatly in effecting the proper furnishing and equipping of the school building and in the beautifying of its grounds. He succeeded also in the consolidating of a number of small schools around Moulton, by taking into the district a wide scope of territory, and the standard of the school was so raised under his administration that it was granted affiliation with the Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College.
Upon leaving Mouton, in 1905, Mr. Peterson removed to Yoakum, where he succeeded T. L. Toland as superintendent of the public schools. Indefatigable in the furtherance of all departments of the school work in this city, Mr. Peterson has had the satisfaction of seeing within his administration a wonderful advancement in the educational provisions and facilities in the important local field. Within his regime has been erected the central school building, at a cost of $3,200, this being a substantial and essentially modern brick structure; two ward school buildings also have been erected at a cost of $1,500 each; and a building, affording accommodations for two more sparsely settled wards, has been completed at a cost of $2,500. The grading of the schools has been changed by adding the eleventh grade to the high school, and Superintendent Peterson has justified and increased the affiliation credits of the high school from eight to seventeen points with the University of Texas, besides which there have been added departments of domestic science and vocal music. The Yoakum schools have more than doubled their corps of instructors, and at the present time thirty-one white teachers and four colored teachers are employed, six of the number being graduates of the Yoakum high school, and other graduates of the local schools have gone forth to hold responsible clerkships and positions in railroad and other offices.
In the second years of his residence in Texas Mr. Peterson initiated normal work, at Hallettsville, and each succeeding years since that time he has done effective service as an instructor in the summer normal of the state, save for two years when he was retained as a teacher in the State Normal School at San Marcos. He holds a permanent teacher's certificate of the first grade in the State of Texas.
Mr. Peterson is a man of high civic ideals and utmost loyalty, and he has been an earnest worker in the field of religious activity, and he was one of thee influential factors in the organization of the Christian Church at Yoakum, having previously maintained the Sunday school which became a part of the church when the latter was organized. He is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias in which order he is past chancellor of Loyal Lodge, No. 97, at Yoakum. He and his wife are prominent and influential members of the Christian Church.
In Missouri City, Harris County, Texas, on the 26th of November, 1896, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Peterson to Miss Sylvia Daisy Peterson, a daughter of John T. and Drusilla (Florea) Peterson, of Lawshe, Ohio, the former of whom was a distant kinsman of the father of the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have four children: Melvin, Irene, Allene and Evelyn, and the only son is a member of the class of 1916 in the Yoakum high school.pp. 1258-1259.
WILLIAM POTH. It was nearly seventy years ago that the Poth family came from Germany and made settlement among their compatriots in Austin County. William Poth is a native son of Texas, and largely by his own efforts and industry has raised himself to a position of influence and success. He has lived in the Cheapside locality of Gonzales County since 1898, and is an extensive farmer and ginner.
He was born in Austin County near New Ulm March 27, 1870, a son of Jacob Poth, who was also a farmer and ginner, and a grandson of Jacob Poth, Sr. Jacob, Jr., was born August 15, 1843, on the River Rhine in Hesse, Germany, and was four years of age when he accompanied his family to Texas. After reaching American shores Jacob Poth, Sr., located at New Ulm. He was a blacksmith by trade. In 1870 after the death of the mother of Jacob, Jr., the family moved to Lavaca County and located near Moulton, where Jacob, Sr., died April 21, 1879, at the age of eighty-four. One child by his first marriage was Margaret, who married Mr. Lampe, and died at Moulton. His second wife was Miss Wink, and she was the mother of two children: Lizzie, who married William Brune; and Jacob, Jr.
As he was reared in Texas and in somewhat of a pioneer community, Jacob Poth, Jr., received no education. He afterwards learned to write his name, but was unable to read. Notwithstanding this handicap he made a success of his business affairs and was financially prosperous for many years before his death. During the Civil war he served as a member of the Home Guard and his service was all within the limits of Texas. He had little interest in politics, voting a mixed ticket, and he declared that it was better to vote for the candidate than for the party. While reared a Catholic he was not a communicant of the church in mature life. Jacob Poth, Jr., married Anna Laake, a sister of Frank A. Laake, who owns the famous Laake vineyard and winery at Frelsburg. Mrs. Poth died at Yoakum in November, 1913, while her husband passed away there August 15, 1912. Both are buried in the St. Ann Cemetery. Their children are: Richard of Yoakum; Edward of Corpus Christi; William; Edmund of Poth in Wilson County; Clara, wife of Albert Leisner of Nopal; Arnold H. of Poth; Annie, wife of Albert Gerhard of DeWitt County; Jacob, who died in childhood; Otto of Yoakum; Norman M. of Seguin; Charles of Elgin; Ewald and Elvira, the latter Mrs. Bunting of Yoakum; and Louis of Yoakum.
William Poth grew up in the country near Moulton, attended the country schools and completed his education in the Moulton Institute when it was under the principalship of Professor Allis. He learned all the practical details of farming when a boy, and he adopted agriculture as his chief vocation when he reached his maturity. His first independent efforts as a farmer were on his father's farm, and on leaving home he went to Smiley and engaged in the ginning business. Then in 1898 he exchanged his interests there for a gin at Cheapside. This gin was erected by H. M. Smith, and for the last sixteen seasons has been operated by Mr. Poth. It is a four-stand gin of the Murray system and is the only plant of the kind at the village.
He has also acquired valuable interests as a farmer, having started at Cheapside with 100 acres of land, and he has raised cotton and corn principally, and he now owns 361 acres in the Denson & Hill League, and has 180 acres under cultivation. Some years ago he erected one of the roomy country houses in his locality, situated a half mile east of Cheapside. In a public way Mr. Poth's chief interest has been directed toward the improvement of local school facilities. He helped to build by contribution the splendid new schoolhouse at Cheapside. Like his father he votes a mixed ticket and in 1912 supported the National democratic ticket but has not been entirely satisfied with the results of the present administration.
On November 26, 1893, in Dewitt County Mr. Poth married Miss Emilie Voelkel, a daughter of William and Margaret (Find) Voelkel. Her father came from Germany before the Civil war and served as a Confederate soldier. The Voelkel children were: Henry; Annie, wife of Herman Schroeder of Industry; William; Louis; Louise, widow of Emil Rinn of Industry; Sophie, wife of Gus Rinn of Yoakum; Mrs. Post, who was born January 1, 1871; Ernst of Yoakum; Emma, wife of Dr. Albert Beckmann of Yoakum; and Edmund of Taylor, Texas.
Of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Poth four died in childhood. Those living are: William, Elo, Mansley, Elvira, Isabel, Ernest, Elgin and Annie Lee. Mr. Poth has not only acquired a reasonable degree of material prosperity but has also provided well for his family and has given his children the best of advantages. His wife and family are members of the Catholic Church. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Order of Praetorians, served as clerk of xthe lodge of the Woodmen of the World for a number of years, and also belongs to the Sons of Hermann.pp. 1698-1699.
WILLIAM E. POUND. While Mr. Pound is not an old Texan, his record shows him to be the leading factor in building construction at Yoakum, where a number of the best permanent business and private structures testify to his skill and management. Coming to the state in 1906, he was for a short time at San Antonio, engaged in contracting of minor nature. Being awarded the contract to build the Creamery Dairy Company's plant at Yoakum, he has since made his home and headquarters in that city.
Among his more notable contracts at Yoakum mention should be made of the following: The Mergenthal brick residence, the finest home of the city; the St. Regis, the only three-story brick hotel; the large ice plant, the Baptist church, the J. S. Hall business house and J. H. Tucker building on Front Street, the block of Mergenthal store and office buildings, the J. B. Harris building, and the remodeling of the J. M. Haller building, where Bass Brothers have their business.
Since early youth he has sought the practical and rugged experiences of life. He was born October 17, 1867, and his father's house at that time was not far from the present center of Chicago's business district, at Twenty-third Street and Wabash Avenue. William and Sarah (Brookland) Pound were both natives of England, the former of Oxfordshire and the latter of Dovershire, and in 1854 after their marriage they came to America and settled in Chicago. Their first home was where the Polk Street Station now stands, but with the growth of the city he moved out close to the city limits, as then, at Twenty-third Street, and lived in that quarter many years. He was likewise a building contractor, and has done work both in the old and the modern Chicago, the high tide of his business activities coming after the great fire of 1871. He became financially independent, and in recent years has enjoyed the leisure of retirement, and now resides at Thirty-ninth Street and Elmwood Avenue in Chicago. His. children were: Thomas, a resident of Chicago; Frank, connected with a chemical laboratory in that city; Phebe, wife of Ed Chapman of Chicago; William E.; and Alfred, also of Chicago.
William E. Pound was the restless one in his father's family, his nature calling, for satisfaction in frequent change of scene and occupation. He attended public schools, and his first excursion from the parental home came when he was only nine years old, and from that time forward he indulged himself in that boyhood treat of running away from home. He made several scouts about the country, was in the western mining district of Leadville when it was new, and ever since has had a high appreciation for the men engaged in the rough employments, who often exhibit more real tender sympathy for misfortune than some of the professional philanthropists.
When the rambling fever had subsided, he steadied down to work and learned the contracting business under his father, being employed in connection with several of the latter's contracts. On leaving Chicago he went out to Omaha to help build a packing house for Swift & Company, and his next important work was the construction of two blast furnaces at Manistique in the northern peninsula of Michigan. For a number of years his home was in Bloomington, Illinois, to which city he took his wife after their marriage. For twelve years he was general superintendent for J. W. Evans Sons, of Bloomington, among the largest contractors in that section of Illinois. For this firm he had charge of their work in constructing the $140,000 Methodist church at Davenport, Iowa;, of the extensive fairground improvements at Springfield, Illinois, including the erection of the cattle building, the big coliseum and part of the exposition building; and of the high school at Lexington, Illinois. On leaving that firm his next service was with the McKinley Traction Company as superintendent of buildings and bridges along its extensive system of interurban lines through Illinois, and he was with them two years. Then followed another two years at Bloomington, after which he came south to Texas. After the Bloomington fire he helped reconstruct the devastated area, and among other evidences of his work there are the Livingstone building, the Odd Fellows' hall and practically all the new schoolhouses.
Fraternally Mr. Pound is a member of the Masons and Elks, and in the former has begun his Scottish Rite work. His wife and he are members of the Episcopal Church. At Bloomington, April 6, 1892, he was married to Miss Caroline N. Pearson, the officiating clergyman being the Rev. Frank Crane, one of America's most brilliant thinkers, whose syndicated articles are now found published in many of the leading newspapers and magazines. Mrs. Pound is a daughter of B. A. and Mary (Newell) Pearson. Her father was born in Louisville, Kentucky, went to Illinois and before settling at Bloomington lived a few years in Fulton County, where Mrs. Pound was born at Vermont.pp. 1315-1317.
JUDGE DAN T. PRICE. If there is one achievement more than another in the forty-five years of Judge Price's residence in Texas which deserves something of that lasting credit for which history is responsible, it was his long and efficient administration as mayor of Yoakum, a period in which the town had more substantial growth and assumed more of the functions of a real city than in all the preceding years.
A factor in this civic record was doubtless his long and generally successful career as a lawyer and the faculty for practical and methodical handling of every issue as it comes up. He is a man of education, though partly self-acquired, and has twice served by appointment terms on the bench.
His birthplace was Warrenton, in Warren County, North Carolina, and at least two generations of the name had been identified with that state before him. His forefathers were Scotch-Irishmen, who settled in the Carolinas before the Revolution, and some of them helped in the accomplishment of American independence. Of the same stock came General Sterling Price, of Confederate fame. Judge Price's grandfather was John M. Price, a native of North Carolina, who married Mary Leachman, also of Scotch ancestry. Their only son was John M. Price, Jr. The latter, who was born in Wake County, North Carolina, married Martha Reynolds, a native of Warren County. Prior to the war he followed his trade as tailor in Warrenton, and later became a manufacturer of buggies and wagons there and formed connections with a number of local enterprises. He had held slaves, was a stanch southerner, and furnished two sons to the Confederate Army. His public service was rendered as a business man and good citizen. In politics he was a southern whig and later a democrat. His death occurred in Warrenton in 1890, and his wife died in 1896. Their oldest child was John L. The second is Bettie, the wife of S. W. Dowtin, an ex-Confederate, who lived in Warren County, where they died. Wounds that Thomas received as a soldier in the war hastened his death. Charles, who was one of the youngest captains in the southern armies, enter politics after the war, served first in the senator of his native state and afterwards in the lower house, and was elected speaker. On retiring from politics he devoted himself to the practice of law at Salisbury, gained an eminent position in the North Carolina bar, accumulated a fortune from his profession, and died when fifty-nine years old. The next son, Philip P., is a lawyer and teacher in Jim Wells county, Texas, and following him in age comes Judge Dan T. Henry is a railroad man with home in Forth Worth, while Ed C., the youngest, is a county official at Warren, North Carolina.
Born March 25, 1853, Judge Price grew up on a farm after the war. While his advantage in schools did not extend beyond the academic grades, he made himself proficient largely through his own efforts in the classics and other branches and especially higher mathematics. He has always been a student and lover of the chaste and beautiful in literature, and his friends mention, what he will not confess himself, that he is a master of humorous verse, while his dignified and forceful prose has been widely read in the current press and his ability as a speaker has doubtless been a large factor in his success both in the law and in public life.
His first employment after coming to Texas in 1873 was as teacher in the rural school of Gonzales County. He was later engaged in similar work in Caldwell county, and was a substitute instructor in Greek and Latin and of higher mathematics at San Marcos, giving special attention to young men who were preparing for admission to the University of Virginia. Though no preceptor directed his studies in the law, he mastered its fundamentals and was admitted to the bar at Lockhart in 1874 by Judge J. P. White, before whom he tried his first case in the same term of court. After some practice at Lockhart and San Marcos he located at old Frio Town, Frio County, then in the heart of the range cattle country, and came into wide repute as a lawyer among the ranchers of that country.
In 1888 Judge Price removed to Yoakum, where his residence covers the development of the town from an outlying hamlet to its present city proportions. For twenty-five years he practiced civil law almost exclusively. He served as district attorney by appointment and for a short period as special district judge, and while in Frio County was county judge. Politics has made little appeal to him, and a sense of duty has been the urgent cause of his service at different times. When first elected mayor of Yoakum, in 1904, the honor was not in any sense a satisfaction of his personal desire, and his continuance in the position for nine years was at great sacrifice to himself. When he became mayor he found himself at the head of a bankrupt town, but in a short time the town became a city and was meeting its obligations in cash, and it continued to do so as long as he remained chief executive. He went out of office in April, 1915, and in the time of his regime can be found record of all the notable improvements of which the local citizens are proud. In that time also individual initiative was stirred and practically all the permanent business houses were erected. Judge Price applied to the conduct of municipal affairs the principle that has always governed his own -- "pay as you go." His watchword in public life seems to have been: "let in the light and respect the virtuous sentiment and will of the people."
Out of his law practice Judge Pice has accumulated what he deems sufficient of this world's goods, and to some extent has been a factor in local business affairs. He is one of the directors of the Yoakum National Bank, and erected one of the firs large and substantial brick blocks in the business district. Fraternally he has been identified with the Masonic order nearly forty years, and is also a member of the other prominent fraternities of the day. He is a member of the Baptist Church. He has been twice married, and both wives were natives of Texas. He was married in Caldwell County to Miss Sallie Daugherty. Her father, Harrison M. Daugherty, a Texas pioneer, was a native of Tennessee, and a stockman and farmer near Prairie Lea, Texas. The two children of this union were: Carl, who is now a merchant at Berino, New Mexico, and by his marriage to Anna Kilgore has two children, Dorothy and Don. The other son is Dan, a street car man at Houston, and unmarried. Mrs. Price died in Frio County in 1883.
In 1886 Judge Price was married in Lavaca County to Miss Ella V. Morris. By this marriage there is one son, Morris, highly talented, now an expert machinist at Yoakum, who married Miss Norma Everson. They live in Yoakum, to the great satisfaction and comfort of their parents. Mrs. Price is one of the notable women of Texas. She is an accomplished linguist, has the culture of ideal Texas motherhood, and is also distinguished by her unusual business ability. For a number of years she has handled some of the large estates for her brother J.P. Morris, who is one of the wealthiest ranchers in Western Texas, located at Coleman.
Mrs. Price's parents were August and Adelaide Morris, the former English, the latter German, who came to Texas in the forties and were members of the original colony of forty who constituted the van of German settlement in Southwest Texas. August Morris, like many of his campatriots and fellow colonists, was a man of liberal education and high ideals. In Germany he found himself out of sympathy with the political and social rules and customs of that country, and a short time before the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, which brought so many men of education to the United States, he started with other sons of the fatherland to find homes and freedom in the republic of Texas. He and his wife had been married only a short time when they embarked on this adventurous voyage, and their destination was the Texas port of Galveston. On account of a terrible storm that overtook the vessel en route they landed at old Indianola or Powder Horn Bayou, and not long afterward they established their home as pioneers along the Guadaloupe River. In that community they spent the rest of their years, happy and prosperous, and August Morris was a prosperous farmer and stockman. Thus in Mr. and Mrs. Price are united some of the most stable and vital qualities of American citizenship. Judge Price has behind him a line of American ancestors stretching back before the Revolution, and a commingling of some of the best of the sturdy stock that colonized the New World. Mrs. Price represents an equally sturdy element, and has all the excellencies which have been associated with the early German colonists in America.pp. 1265 -1267.
ANDREW J. ROSS. A progressive and public-spirited citizen who has wielded large and beneficent influence in connection with the development and upbuilding of the thriving little City of Yoakum, Dewitt County, and the exploiting of the resources and advantages of this section of the state, is Andrew Jackson Ross, who has here been engaged in the real-estate business since 1900 and who established his residence at Yoakum when the town was in its incipient stage, with few buildings and small population. He is an aggressive business man and as a citizen has been broad-minded and liberal, giving support to measures and enterprises tending to advance the general welfare of the community and through his personal business operations contributing in large measure to the growth and upbuilding of his home city and the surrounding country.
Mr. Ross was born near Hope, Clark County, Arkansas, on the 8th of May, 1871, and thus was a lad of about seven years, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Texas, in 1878. His father, John D. Ross, first settled near Moreesville, Fall County, where he resumed operations as a farmer and where he continued his residence until 1886, when he removed to the vicinity of Hamilton, in the county of the same name, later passing a few years near Goldthwaite, Mills County, and finally removing to Yoakum, where he lived virtually retired until the time of his death.
On the old Ross homestead, situated about midway between Arkadelphia and Okolona, Arkansas, John D. Ross was born on the 24th of February, 1841, a son of Thomas A. Ross and Mary A. (Davis) Ross, the latter a representative of a prominent family long identified with agricultural pursuits in the State of South Carolina, where she was born and reared. Thomas A. Ross likewise was a native of South Carolina and he was a representative of a family that was founded in America in the colonial era of our national history. He was born in the year 1812 and was a man of liberal education, as gauged by the standards of his day. As a young man, within a comparatively short time after his marriage, he removed with his wife from South Carolina to Arkansas, about the year 1833 and about three years prior to the admission of the state to the Union. In Arkansas he developed a large plantation and became the owner of more than 100 slaves, whose services he utilized in the raising of his extensive crops of cotton. The Civil war brought emancipation to his slaves, but after the war virtually all of them remained on his plantation, where he gave them opportunity for working on equal shares of the crops produced and where he cared for them with as great solicitude and kindliness as he had done when they were still his vassals. During the war the Federal forces confiscated much of his cotton and many of his mules, and with the close of the great conflict he found himself stripped of all his possessions except his land, but he conquered the forces of adversity and recouped himself in financial lines, his active supervision having been given to his extensive landed estate until the time of his death, in 1873, his widow surviving him several years and the family estate having finally been settled up and equitably partitioned among the heirs, under the administration of his son John D., father of the subject of this review. Of the children the eldest, DeAmstead D., entered the Confederate service at the outbreak of the Civil war, was captured by the Union forces and died as a prisoner of war, as a young bachelor. Martha S. became the wife of Jesse Ross and was a resident of Clark County, Arkansas, at the time of her death. John D., youngest of the children, was the father of Andrew' J., of this sketch. Thomas A. Ross, the sterling pioneer of Arkansas, received high degrees in the Masonic fraternity and was one of its prominent representatives in that state for many years prior to his demise.
John D. Ross was reared to manhood on the old homestead plantation of the family, and he received a liberal education, having been educated for a physician and having been conducting a drug store on the home plantation at the inception of the Civil war, his service as a soldier of the Confederacy having shattered his health, so that he abandoned further study of medicine. When the war between the North and the South was precipitated he promptly subordinated all personal interests to tender his aid in defense of the Confederate cause. He enlisted in the command known as the Little Rock Light Artillery with the same continued in active service during virtually the entire period of the "war. He took part in many arduous campaigns and important battles, the first great engagement in which he participated having been the battle of Bull Run and he having also taken part in the battle of Manassas, besides many other sanguinary conflicts. He rose to the rank of major, escaped serious wounds, was never captured, never sought a furlough, and continued with his command until the same was disbanded, at the close of the war. In later years he was a prominent and honored member of the United Confederate Veterans. His service as a soldier left him physically disabled, and he never recuperated his energies, his death having thus been really the result of his arduous military service.
As a citizen John D. Ross manifested an active and sincere interest in political and governmental affairs, and he was a stalwart and effective advocate of the principles and policies of the democratic party, the later years of his life having found him a staunch friend and admirer of Hon. William Jennings Bryan, the late Secretary of State in the cabinet of President Wilson. He kept in close touch with the trend of political thought and action but never desired or consented to serve in public office. In the earlier years of his residence in Texas he was a successful teacher in the rural schools of Falls County, and among his pupils was Judge Kenneth Jackson, who is now presiding on the bench in the State of California. Though a man of broad views, alert mentality and mature judgment, Mr. Ross was averse to all that smacked of notoriety and never could be prevailed upon to deliver a public address, though he was admirably qualified for such indulgence. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
As a young man John D. Ross married Miss Josephine Sloan, who died when still a young woman and who is survived by one daughter, Mrs. John R. Hearne, of Beaumont, Texas. The second marriage of Mr. Ross was with Miss Mary S. Bennett, a daughter of Absalom Bennett, of Tupelo, Mississippi. She passed to the life eternal in 1878 and her remains rest in the cemetery at Morreville, Texas. Of the four children of this union Andrew J., of this review, is the only one who attained: to years of maturity. For his third wife John D. Ross wedded Mrs. Maggie A. Martin, who now resides at Yoakum. The children of this marriage were: Lynn D., who is [a] successful business man of Yoakum; Jesse D., who maintains his home at Rosswell, New Mexico; and Mattie, who died at the age of twenty years.
Andrew Jackson Ross gained his early education largely under the able direction of his honored father, and his fund of knowledge has been effectively expanded through his active association with men and affairs and through his successful operations as a business man. When but fifteen years of age he assumed much of the responsibility in connection with the affairs of the parental home, and he continued his activities in connection with the agricultural industry until he had attained to the age of nineteen years. He then learned the trade of carpenter, and as a skilled artisan he followed his trade at Yoakum for a period of eight years, during the greater part of which time he was in the employ of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Company. Upon retiring from this association he engaged in the real-estate business at Yoakum, and with this important line of enterprise he has been actively and successfully identified since 1900. In 1907, as a member of the firm of Ross & Shall, he platted and placed on the market the Park Heights Addition to the City of Yoakum, comprising 118 lots, and the firm of which he is a member did most excellent work in the development and upbuilding of this attractive section of the city. During this period of development the firm maintained its own lumber yard, and within the period of its exploitation of the addition at Park Heights it erected more than all the other building agencies of Yoakum combined, among the more important of these being the Haller Block, the Woodman Hall, and the Flick Mercantile Building. The firm conducted also one of the leading fire-insurance agencies of this section of the state, as underwriters for fifty-three representative companies, the business being developed to large proportions. The firm finally sold its lumber yard to the Hillyer-Deutch Lumber Company, which leased the grounds thus utilized and which there continues the enterprise. Messrs. Ross and Shall thereafter engaged in the automobile business, under the title of the Yoakum Auto Company. Mr. Ross continued as president of this company until he and his associates sold the business and leased the property in which it is still conducted. The insurance business likewise was finally sold and the firm of Ross & Shall was then dissolved, the senior member having since continued individual operations in the handling of real estate, both city and country.
In 1906 Mr. Ross was elected a member of the board of education of Yoakum, and loyally joined with other members of the board and with the progressive citizens in general in the furtherance of the movement that resulted in the erection in this city of one of the best school buildings in the state, at an expenditure of $135,000. Mr. Ross was also a member of the board of equalization at the time when by its progressive action the tax levy was so increased as to make possible the paving of the streets of Yoakum, which now has seventeen blocks of modern concrete street paving. Within the period of Mr. Ross's service as a member of the board of education were erected the high-school and two ward buildings of brick, besides a modern incinerating plant, and in 1915 he is serving his sixth consecutive term as president of the board of education.
Mr, Ross is past chancellor of the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias, which he has represented in the Texas Grand Lodge of the order, as has he also the local lodge in the Texas Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is a charter member of the Yoakum camps of the Woodmen of the World and the Modern Woodmen of America, besides which he is affiliated with the local lodge of the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons. Since 1900 he and his wife have been zealous and influential members of the Methodist Church in Yoakum, of whose board of stewards he has been a member since 1901, besides having served as chairman of the board since 1907. He is recognized and valued as one of the most loyal and public-spirited citizens of Yoakum, and though not specially active in political affairs he is aligned as a staunch advocate of the cause of the democratic party.
On the 14th of March, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Ross to Miss Mattie M. Goode, of Flatonia, Fayette County. She is a daughter of William 0. Goode and Frances A. (Wood) Goode, her father having come from Mississippi and settled in Texas many years ago. Of the children of Mr. Goode the eldest is Mrs. Deida Reeves, of West Point, Fayette County; Mrs. Carrie McClure is postmistress at Port 0'Connor, that county; and Claude W. is a resident of Yoakum. Mr. and Mrs. Ross have four children,Mary Ruth, Margaret Frances, Andrew Jackson, Jr., and Mattie Belle.pp. 1815-1818.
GUS E. RUHMANN While the thriving little City of Schulenburg has several local factories and industrial plants, one of the most distinctly individual and important is the G. E. Ruhmann factory of steel metal and wire products. It differs considerably from the typical gins and cotton oil plants of most of the smaller cities of Southern Texas, and represents the original enterprise of its owner, Gus E. Ruhmann.
Gus E. Ruhmann is a native of Fayette County, born in LaGrange August 23, 1873, and grew up in that vicinity, with an education from the public schools. Leaving school at the age of fourteen, he was thenceforth on his own responsibilities, and while living with an uncle in Shiner learned the tinner's trade, and also acquired a knowledge of the hardware business. He lived with his uncle until past twenty, and at the age of twenty-one bought his uncle's business as a partner of C. B. Wellhausen in the firm of Wellhausen & Company. After two years and three months Mr. Wellhausen became sole proprietor, and Mr. Ruhmann then engaged in business on his own account in the hardware and furniture line, tinning and plumbing, and that was his regular business seven years. He finally sold out to some citizens of Shiner, and then came to Schulenburg. His residence at Shiner was for sixteen years, and though he went there without a cent of capital and with no experience, he came away with a well established reputation for successful business operations and with some capital.
On locating at Schulenburg Mr. Ruhmann engaged in the hardware and plumbing business as a partner of G. E. Ruhmann & Brother, but in 1908 sold his interest in the establishment to his brother and took up the manufacture of furnaces, sheet metal and wire goods. His wire goods include all kinds of muzzles and baskets, while his metal work comprises different lines of guttering and fittings, pipes, shingles, galvanized troughs, ridge rolls, cresting and flue caps, smoke stacks and steel furnaces.
It will be a matter of interest to describe some of the successive steps by which Mr. Ruhmann became engaged in manufacturing About the time the Spindletop oil fields inaugurated the era of fuel oil at a price so cheap that such fuel came into general use in the operating of gins and oil mills, there was a general demand for steel oil tanks for the storing of oils. It was while at Shiner that Mr. Ruhmann perceived the possibilities in the manufacture of such tanks, and accordingly acquired the machinery and necessary facilities for manufacture. He equipped several mills and two or three gins with the tanks, and then all at once the demand seemed to fall off. In order that his machinery might not stand idle or prove a useless investment, he looked around for some other article that he might manufacture. He thus turned his attention to the making of a furnace. The first furnace he made was after the plan of another party, but he saw the idea w.as a good one and set about to improve it. He added the "Flue Wing" around the kettle, this serving to economize half the fuel required, also made it adjustable and other valuable improvements, and after perfecting his furnace and assuring himself of its usefulness as a marketable commodity, he applied for a patent, which he secured in three weeks. He then became a salesman on the road, and the first week more than $800 worth of furnaces were sold, and Mr. Ruhmann devised and increased his factory equipment for the regular manufacture of the goods. He has since added and patented other improvements to his furnace, and now has on file an application for a patent to a basket.
The present factory at Schulenburg was erected in 1914, and at full capacity the plant requires the services of twenty-five employes. He has been engaged in the manufacture of furnaces since 1908 and has shipped his products all over Texas and other Southern States. The enterprise is all his own, and is managed and controlled by the man who left LaGrange more than twenty-eight years ago to seek his fortune in the world. Mr. Ruhmann also has a Canadian patent, .and his furnaces for the Dominion market are made on a royalty by the Record Foundry & Machine Company at Moncton, Ontario.
Mr. Ruhmann is also president of the Baumgarten & Matula Company, a lumber business in Schulenburg. He is a member of the Fayette County School Board, but has filled no offices in his home town, and is not in politics, though in every sense a patriotic American and a public spirited citizen. He is a grandson of Edward Ferd and Helen (Moos) Ruhmann and a son of Philip Ruhmann, who was born in Colorado County, Texas, during the '40s, was a man who had little education, was a carpenter by trade, and spent most of his life in LaGrange, where he died at the age of forty-four in 1889. He left his widow with a family of eight children, of whom Gus E. was the oldest son, and he being the oldest most of the responsibility of taking care of the family depended on him. He had the unusual record of having served on both sides during the Civil war. He was forced into the Confederate service at the beginning, but as soon as opportunity presented itself made his escape and joined the Federal forces, and for this service his widow draws a pension from the Government, Philip Ruhmann married Lena Melcher, whose father was an early German settler. Their children were: Louisa, wife of Gus Worth of LaGrange; Gus E.; Max of Schulenburg ; Albert, of LaGrange; John, of Ballinger, Texas; Louis, of Victoria; Lena, who married George Moos of LaGrange; and August, of LaGrange, who is in the hardware business.
Mr. Gus E. Ruhmann was married in Schulenburg June 11, 1896, to Miss Elizabeth Baumgarten, who is a daughter of the late Christian Baumgarten, one of the most eminent business men and citizens of the Schulenburg district, whose career is sketched on other pages of this publication. Mr. and Mrs. Ruhmann have four children: Ernstina, a student in the College of Industrial Arts at Denton, Texas; Gus, Jr.; Annie; and Agnes.pp. 1343-1344.
EDWARD H. SCHWAB, M. D. A representative physician and surgeon, of Dewitt County, Doctor Schwab is engaged in the successful practice of his profession in the thriving little City of Yoakum and he further merits consideration in this history by reason of his being a native son of Dewitt County and a scion of a family that was here founded more than sixty years ago, James H. Schwab, father of the doctor, having been one- of the sterling pioneers of this county, where he established his resi-dence in 1850.
James H. Schwab was born and reared in Germany and was a young man at the time of his immigration to the United States, in 1850. He made Texas his destination and he settled in Dewitt county, where eventually he became a substantial and influential business man and prominent and valued citizen. Though he had received a fair education in his native land, he had learned no trade, and thus he depended upon his manual labors in initiating his career in Texas. He settled at Hochheim when the town was a mere frontier trading point, and in the pioneer days he there maintained a stand for the old-time stages and conducted also a general store, besides which he finally established and placed in effective operation a mill and a cotton gin. He continued actively identified with his important business interests for a period of about thirty-five years, at the expiration of which he retired, and he now resides in the home of his grand-niece, Mrs. Powell, at Charco, Goliad County.
James H. Schwab served as a valiant soldier of the Confederacy during an appreciable period of the Civil war, and his political allegiance has been given unfalteringly to the democratic party during the entire time of his citizenship in the United States. He served several years as a member of the Board of County Commissioners of Dewitt County and was otherwise prominent and influential in public affairs of a local order. He has adhered in a degree to the faith of the Catholic Church, under the discipline of which he was reared, but he has so far deflected himself as to become affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, in which he is one of the oldest representatives in Southern Texas, being past master of his lodge and having received the degrees of the commandery of Knights Templars.
At Hochheim, a village named in honor of the father of his wife, James H. Schwab married Miss Mary Hoch, a daughter of Valentine Hoch, who immigrated with his family from Germany, where he had been a nailsmith by trade and vocation, and who became a pioneer settler of Dewitt County, Texas, Hochheim having continued as his place .of resi-dence until his death, and his vocation after coming to Texas having been that of farming. His first wife died at sea shortly before arrival in America, and the four children of this union are August, Jr., Mrs. Weber, Mrs. Fell and Mrs. Schwab. There are four children by his second marriage: Theodore and the Misses Mollie, Emma and Matilda.
Concerning the children of James H. and Mary (Hoch) Schwab, the following brief data is available: Rev. John W. resides at Yoakum; Charles T. is tax assessor at Cuero, the judicial center of Dewitt County; James resides at Dilworth, Gonzales County; Joseph died at Yoakum and is survived by his wife and their children; Samuel is a resident of Dil-worth; Dr. Edward H., of this review, was the next in order of birth of the sons; and the daughters are Mrs. Rosa Bellamy, of Corpus Christi; Mrs. Lillie Parks, of Hochheim; Mrs. Emma Brown, of Dewitt County; Mrs. J. H. Cunningham and Mrs. E. W. Morris, both of Yoakum; and Mrs. Cora Morgan, of Dilworth.
Dr. Edward H. Schwab was born at Hochheim, Dewitt County, Texas, on the 20th of June, 1872, and after duly availing himself of the advantages of the public schools he gained considerable practical experience through association with his father's business interests. At the age of nineteen years he began the study of medicine, as the first representative of the Schwab family to prepare for the medical profes-sion. He finally entered the Kentucky School of Medicine, in the City of Louisville, and in this admirable institution he was graduated in June, 1894. After receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine he returned to Texas, and established his residence at Nopal, Dewitt County, where he continued in successful practice for the ensuing five years. To fortify himself further for the work of his exacting profession he then went to Europe and completed an effective post-graduate course in the University of Vienna, there continuing his studies for a year and also perfecting himself in surgery through taking advantage of the clinics in the hospital designated as the Algemeine Krankenhaus. Upon his return to Texas Doctor Schwab engaged in active general practice at Yorktown, Dewitt County, where he remained five years and where his marriage was solemnized. At the expiration of the period noted he went to the City of Chicago, where he passed a year as house surgeon in the Chicago Post-Graduate Hospital. Returning to his native state and county in 1907, he has since been established in successful practice at Yoakum, where he controls a large and representative professional business and holds precedence as one of the leading physicians and surgeons in this section of the state. He is identified with the American Medical Association and the Texas State Medical Society, is a democrat in his political allegiance, is an active and valued member of the Yoakum Commercial Club, is a trustee of the public schools of the city, and has been a liberal and progressive factor in furthering the civic and material development and advancement of Yoakum. Here he has erected not only his own attractive residence, but also other houses, and he is the owner of improved business property in the central district of the city. The doctor is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Woodmen of the World. He has served as master of the Schulenberg Masonic Lodge, as a trustee of the local lodge of Elks and has passed the various official chairs in the Odd Fellows' Lodge.
On the 31st of January, 1901, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Schwab to Miss Hedwig E. Eckhardt, a daughter of Robert C. and Caroline (Kleberg) Eckhardt, the latter a sister of Congressman Kleberg, who has represented Texas in the national legislature, and whose father was the first county judge of Dewitt County, was a soldier in the Mexican war and also in the Civil war, as a defender of the Confederate cause. Robert C. Eckhardt for many years was a prominent merchant at Yorktown, Dewitt County. His children were eleven in number and all attained years of maturity. Otto is a resident of Goliad, where he is a stockman and farmer; Dr. William R. is engaged in the practice of his profession in the City of Houston; Mrs. Halla Atkinson resides at Yorktown, as does also Marcellus, who is a leading stockman of that locality; Mrs. Lena Fourquerin maintains her home at San Marcos; Mrs. Schwab was the next in order of birth; Robert J. is a banker at Taylor; Victor C. remains at Yorktown; and Oscar and Dr. Jos. C. reside in the City of Austin. Doctor and Mrs. Schwab have three children: Carmen, Edward H., Jr., and Caroline. pp. 1702 -1703.
DAVID JOSEPH SIMPSON. Out on the rural delivery route No. 6 from Schulenburg one of the best farm estates lying along the way is that of David Joseph Simpson. While past three score and ten years and multiplied experiences have only mellowed him, and have not brought old age. He is a Confederate veteran, with a record of campaigning and hard service surpassed by few of the survivors of that conflict, and since recovering from the demoralization of war times has pursued with increasing prosperity the life of a Texas farmer and planter.
He has spent most of his life in Texas, having been brought here in 1851 from Macon County, Georgia, where he was born February 4, 1844. The family settled within a mile of where Mr. Simpson now lives, and here his father, David B. Simpson, spent the rest of his life. David B. Simpson was born in the locality of Washington, Georgia, in 1818, was a man of moderate education, and a slaveholding planter until the war. After the war he adjusted himself to the new industrial conditions, and again prospered. He was identified with the Confederate service as recruiting officer, and was exempt from line duty by reason of having slaves employed in Confederate work. Both his sons were soldiers, and passed through the years of struggle and are still living. David B. Simpson, who died in 1900, was a democrat, a member of the lodge and chapter son, Masonry, and in religion a Universalist. His wife, who was the daughter of an Alabama farmer and whose maiden name was Arabella Callaway, died in 1905, at the age of eighty. Their children were: William, of Temple, Texas: David J.; Martha, who married Thomas Coleman of Hallettsville; and Belle, who died young.
David J. Simpson spent about ten years of his boyhood on the Texas farm. He attended a country school, and was in the army when he should have been in school. Soon after the outbreak of hostilities he and a companion, Ben Terrell, set out with the intention of joining Terry's Rangers. Arriving at Houston, they were informed that they could not be accepted in that command, and accordingly enlisted and were sent on to Virginia, reaching their regiment, the Fourth Texas, at Georgetown. Their company was first commanded by Captain Key and later by Captain Darden, and they were under Col. John B. Hood in Longstreet's corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Beginning with the Second Manassas, Mr. Simpson was in many of the major battles of that great arena of fighting, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the Wilderness, and also at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain. At Gettysburg a piece of shell fractured his skull, but he did not even go to a hospital. Skirmishing, picket fighting and battles were almost an everyday occurrence, and he was in more than a score of dangerous places. His good fortune in passing through the hail of bullets without more serious and frequent wounds won for him among his comrades the designation "Old Luck.'' He was at Richmond, Virginia, at the close, was issued transportation and rations by the United States, joined his brother at Sparta, Georgia, and they made their way by horseback to Montgomery, Alabama, thence by rail to New Orleans, and from there to Galveston by United States transport.
He had barely reached his majority when the war ended, and on reaching home he was urged by his father to resume his studies preparatory to any profession he might choose. But, like the country, he was unable for some time to settle down to the quiet routine of civil life, he once thought of joining the army under Maximilian in Mexico, but was fortunately deterred from this enterprise. Finding it difficult to content himself with study, he found opportunity to apply his energies in running a sawmill and cotton gin on his father's farm, and continued in this way some five or six years, in the meantime accumulating a few head of stock. With these he started farming for himself, and in 1879 moved to his present location, which was then a tract of land in the woods. Here he has made both a farm and a home, and owns over 600 acres, on both the Standifer and Hensley leagues. It is an estate of much value in itself, and has for Mr. Simpson the many associations which twine themselves about a place where he makes his home and living while his family are growing up about him. For a number of years he gave all his active energies to farming and stock raising, but now allows others to assume the heavier burdens while he enjoys a well earned ease.
While he has cast his vote for innumerable democratic candidates, Mr. Simpson has had little to do with politics as an art or profession, and his only public service was as deputy sheriff. He is a past master of Oakland Lodge No. 258, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and is a member of the Methodist Church.
Mr. Simpson's first wife was Ida Wilkins. Her father, Dr. M. M. Wilkins, who was widely known in this section as a successful medical practitioner, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but came to Texas from Alabama. Mrs. Simpson died two years after her marriage, and her only child, Ella, is the wife of James Carson, of Lavaca County, and is the mother of three children. Mr. Simpson later married Fannie McKinnon, a daughter of Laughlin McKinnon and a sister of Mrs. John Fowlkes. Mrs. Simpson died in 1900, the mother of the following children: Laughlin, a farmer in Lavaca County, who married Lula Lawrence and has four children; Lillie, who married Monroe Mayes, a farmer of Fayette County, and has two children; Eunice, who married Lizzie Lawrence, and has two children; and Jodie, who married Will Wegenhoft, a farmer and stockman of Colorado County, and has three children.pp. 1718-1719.
FERDINAND AUGUST STRUNK. Of the men who have long been identified with Lavaca County and its farming and stockraising interests, few are better known generally than Ferdinand August Strunk, whose entire life has been passed within the borders of this rich and fertile territory. He was born at old Sublime, Lavaca County, Texas, November 13, 1863, and is a son of Dietrich Strunk, who passed away at Sublime, December 22, 1914.
Dietrich Strunk belonged to the pioneer era of Lavaca County; and intelligently-directed effort rose from humble circumstances to wealth and independence. For many years he was active in merchandise at old Sublime, which office was named by H. K. Judd, and at the time of his death still had interests there. Mr. Strunk was born at Herfourth, Germany, December 5, 1839, and was given an ordinary education, displaying much ability as a mathematician. As a youth he learned the stone mason's trade in his native land, and there he was married in 1853 to Miss Catherine Voltmann. Two years later Mr. and Mrs. Strunk came to the United States, landing at Galveston after sixteen weeks of travel on a sailing vessel, and for two years or more lived at Frelsburg. He moved to Sublime in 1858 and that community continued to be his home and the scene of his labors during the remainder of his life. Mr. Strunk was identified with freighting and the hauling of goods during the Civil war, with ox-teams, crossing the western drouthy regions, seeing his cattle almost famish for water and guarding camp to prevent surprise by bandits and robbery of his money. He hauled hides and cotton and the fact that he continued so long indicates in a measure that it was profitable to him. When he engaged in mercantile pursuits at his farm, he called his place "Strunksville." There he built a store and horse gin, the gin and the farm maintaining his family. After the postoffice had been established there the name was changed to Sublime, and Mr. Strunk became the first postmaster. He sold his store to his son, Charley, in 1880, and in 1883 made a trip to his native land to visit his father, who died before he returned to America. Mr. and Mrs. Strunk were the parents of five children, all being still alive, three in Colorado County, Texas, and two in Lavaca County.
The education of Ferdinand August Strunk came from the country district schools and there he acquired sufficient knowledge of the common branches to transact business, while some experience was gained in his father's store in mercantile lines. At the age of seventeen years he moved to Oakland, where he secured employment with Valentine Schott, now his father-in-law, on the farm for a month at $12.50 a month. He then began clerking for the firm of Bock & Strunk, the latter being his brother, and so remained until November, 1882. Mr. Strunk then attended the Lutheran school for a few months, at Content, Colorado County, and was confirmed, and in May, 1883, joined his brother and opened a store, as the firm of H. J. Strunk & Brother. This business they conducted until October, 1891, dealing in everything that was for sale, including stock, land, and cotton. Mr. Strunk then purchased his brother's interest and conducted the business as F. A. Strunk until November 1, 1897, when he exchanged it for land and engaged in farming. Mr. Strunk improved that farm, which lies almost adjacent to Oakland and added to its tillable lands, and there he has been growing corn and cotton and has experimented with alfalfa, which he has found to be a successful crop and to be able to pay interest on land at the rate of $600.00 an acre.
While thus actively engaged, Mr. Strunk has also been a dealer in lands, exchanging and buying and selling, and during his connection with this locality has seen land advance from $15 an acre to $80. He has gathered together much real estate in Lavaca, Colorado, and Galveston counties and is one of the large tax-payers of his county. He is a stockholder of the Sciba-Strunk Mercantile Company, of Oakland, is a director of the First State Bank at Weimar, and owns a drug store, the Avenue Pharmacy at Galveston, as well as a residence in that city.
In politics Mr. Strunk is a democrat, has served the Oakland schools as a trustee, and for two years, from 1899, was a commissioner of Colorado County. During his term of public service he aided in the ordering of road work over the county and the construction of bridges across or over the Colorado River and another over Cummins Creek. Mr. Strunk and his family are members of the Lutheran Church, in which he has served as an official. He was guardian of the estate of Sallie Bock and the estate has long since been closed up.
Mr. Strunk was married February 25, 1886, to Miss Amelia Louisa Schott, daughter of Valentine and Frances (Buescher) Schott. Mrs. Strunk was born in Lavaca County, Texas, April 26, 1867. To this union there have been children as follows: Oscar V., born January 29, 1888, a graduate of Draughon's Business College, Waco, and now at Humble, Texas; Miss Justine, born July 3, 1894, who resides at home with her parents; and Victor D., born December 20, 1898.
Mr. Strunk has builded [sic.] as a home by successive additions one of the attractive places at Oakland. It stands in a yard with a lawn, and is surrounded by such other buildings as are required for a semi-country place. As a matter of recreation, when Mr. Strunk becomes tired of the excitement of the "trade," he goes off and hunts up another trade. He is intensely active, virile, and vigorous, and without a doubt many years more of usefulness lie before him.
Valentine Schott of Oakland, has come to be recognized as an old citizen of this place having resided here for the past forty-two years and within a radius of seven miles of this point since 1856. Everybody knows him as the old wheelwright or wagonmaker, although he abandoned his trade, as a livelihood, some ten years ago. His life has been a many-sided one from a business point of view, for he has farmed and has been a stock dealer and trader, in addition to following his trade. Few men have established a more enviable reputation as citizens and none has done his duty toward his fellow men more assiduously and without shirking than he.
Mr. Schott has been a resident of the United States since childhood. He was a youth of fifteen years when he emigrated from the Fatherland with his parents and established himself permanently in Texas. He was born at Ziegenhain, Hessen Casstle, Germany, October 6, 1837, a son of Justus and Elizabeth (Becker) Schott, both of whom died in 1854, at which time their children were placed under the guardianship of J. H. Carson and acquired limited educations. The school advantages of Valentine Schott were merely those his community provided for the poor class, and his home was under the roof of a wagon-maker, for his father was in addition to a farmer, a wheelwright. Young Valentine began paying attention to that trade about the time the family reached America, his father being a journeyman working at Galveston, where he soon provided a home for his family. Valentine Schott was doomed to be orphaned by the loss of his parents in 1854, during an epidemic of yellow fever, but he had acquired the elements of the trade so that he could maintain a shop, and, when a youth of eighteen years, he located at Cat Springs, Austin County, and opened an establishment, this being his first independent venture.
Mr. Schott, with two companions, started out on foot from Galveston for Cat Spring, his equipment consisting of a coffee-pot, a blanket and a shot-gun. This latter he provided in order that he might indulge in the sport of gaming wherever he should locate, the whole country being full of game then. After days of toil the companions reached their destination and were a welcome addition to the place. Mechanics of his trade were much in demand then and he was furnished a shop, sent back for his kit of tools, and soon had a business in full swing. He did so well that before spring he and his partner each owned a horse, saddle and bridle, and decided in the fall to make a detour of the country in search of public land. They scoured Lavaca Country for it but found none and accordingly returned to Cat Springs, there remaining until 1856, when they came into Lavaca County and established themselves on Honey Creek, seven miles below Oakland. There Mr. Schott farmed and conducted a shop until the outbreak of the Civil war, when business in his line became so demoralized that he turned his entire attention to farming. Mr. Schott settled on the "muldoon Land," as did many others, and after the war sold out his improvements, but remained in that locality until 1873, when he purchased a farm at Oakland and resume his trade here as well.
Mr. Schott's army service began in 1863, when he enlisted in Captain Alexander's Company of Second Texas Infantry. The company rendezvoused at Houston and was ordered to the camp of instruction at Austin, and after drilling for a time was ordered to Brownsville. There Mr. Schott became a teamster engaged in hauling cotton. The Confederate forces there had become divided and disorganized and Mr. Schott left the service and entered the teaming business on his own account. He hauled from the region of Alleyton to the Rio Grande, making two trips across the country, and about the end of the war established a sort of hack line between Matamoras and Bagdad at the mouth of the Rio Grande. After he disposed of his freighting and hack line, he spent about one year in a shop at Matamoras at his trade and then returned to Lavaca County and resumed his farming operations, as above stated.
Mr. Schott took out citizenship papers in Colorado County and participated in elections for the first time, after the war. He identified himself with the democratic party and has continued to so cast his vote. His church relationship started with his birth, for, as he says, he was "born in the church." His people were Lutheran and he has been a factor in the local organization of that church all his life. He is a "forsteher" -- an administrative officer of the church -- and has served as such for many years.
Mr. Schott was married the first time, in Colorado County, May 26, 1866, to Miss Frances Buescher, a daughter of Henry and Hermina (Vogelsang) Buescher. Mr. Buescher came to Texas when the republic had just been established and when the Government offices were located at San Felipe. He was a farmer and was from Lippe Dutmoldt, Hanover, Germany, and he and Mrs. Buescher were buried at Frelsburg, Texas. They were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Schott, who died in 1880, Louisa, who is the widow of Walter Cornitius, of Houston; Henry, who is engaged in farming near Columbus, Texas; Fritz, who died at Columbus, and Minna, the wife of John Felker, of Arizona. Mr. and Mrs. Schott had five children: Amelia, who is the wife of Ferdinand A. Strunk, of Oakland; Minnie a resident of Galveston; Henry, who married Leona Mayes and is a resident of Oakland; Miss Elizabeth; and Fritz of Lavaca County, who married Louisa Mertz.
In 1881 Mr. Schott was married to Mrs. Bertha Spies, nee Kauffmann, born in Elberfeldt, Prussia, in 1836, and came from Europe to Texas in 1879. She has one son, Otto Schott, of Humble, Texas, who married Lena Randolf.pp. 1806-1809.
HENRY J. STRUNK. A representative of that German nationality that was first and foremost in the settlement and development of many counties in South Central Texas, Henry J. Strunk has had a successful career as farmer, stockman, merchant and banker, and is now in the real estate and insurance business at Hallettsville. He has spent nearly all the sixty years of his life in Texas, and is a sterling citizen as well as a good business man.
His father, Dietrich Strunk, was born December 5, 1830, in the kingdom of Hanover, Germany, at Schwarzen Mohr No. 38, and while growing up learned the bricklayer's trade. In August, 1855, with his wife and oldest child, Henry, he left his native land and landed from a sailing vessel at Galveston in November of the same year. He joined some of his fellow countrymen near Columbus in Colorado County. His old friend Henry Buescher had advanced the funds that brought him to the new world, and while he worked at his trade as a day laborer his wife did most of the farming. The first crop was made near Frelsburg, two bales of cotton, which cost him three dollars a bale for the bagging and baling rope, five dollars a bale for the ginning, and five dollars for transportation to market at Houston, where it sold for six cents a pound. That was in 1856. In 1859 he settled in Lavaca County, and built a log cabin on his 160 acres near the old Town of Sublime. This indicates that he had made some progress in finance, though the cabin home had a dirt floor until 1861, when the laying of a plank floor must have seemed an improvement almost palatial. In May, 1859, the frost hit his corn crop after it was laid by, resulting in a loss he could ill afford, but this was only one of the experiences in which the early settlers took the bitter with the sweet, and he continued to persevere and move forward.
In 1862 Dietrich Strunk entered the Confederate army, was with Magruder's army at Velasco, until overcome with an illness, and furloughed home. Subsequently he was employed by the Confederate government to do hauling between Alleyton and Brownsville, as part of the transport service by which supplies were brought in through Mexico, and this was his work until the close of the war, and after that he was not in the ranks as a soldier. After the war he established a store which became the nucleus of the old Town of Sublime in Lavaca County, and did a good business until about 1880, when he sold out to his son Charles, and until the advent of the railroad gave his attention to farming and the operation of a gin. In 1887 he was one of the first business men on the ground to take advantage of the opportunities created by the establishment of a railroad station at the new Town of Sublime, and entered the lumber trade, which he followed until his retirement in independent circumstances in 1910. The last two years of his life were spent practically in one room, as a result of a paralytic stroke, and he died December 22, 1914. He was a man of average size, about five feet ten, weighed 160 pounds, and though he lost an eye in childhood seldom used glasses for reading in old age. He made his regular contributions to church and charity, and while not opposed to fraternities had no membership in them. He was almost entirely without partisanship in politics, and voted rather for the man than for any other consideration.
Dietrich Strunk was married in 1852 to Catherine Feltmann, who died January 21, 1891. Both were members of the Lutheran Church, in which faith the children were confirmed. The children were: Henry J.; Ernst R., of Colorado County; Charles H. and Ferdinand A., of Oakland; and Emma, wife of Robert Miller, of Sublime.
Henry J. Strunk was born in Germany April 15, 1855, a few months before his parents started for America. All his education was compressed within about eighteen months of school attendance when a boy. He had an ambition for independent effort, and at the age of seventeen "ran away from home." The followed several years of work as farm hand, clerk and teamster in the neighborhood. His employer was August Weller, on of the old-timers and well known German citizens of Lavaca County, whose daughter Charlotte, Mr. Strunk married on January 14, 1875. The following year they spent on the Weller farm, and in January, 1876, Mr. Strunk took charge of the mercantile enterprise of Henry Buck at Oakland, which a year later became the firm of Buck & Strunk. After the business was sold in October, 1882, Mr. Strunk started in May, 1883, in the same town, the general mercantile store of H. J. Strunk & Brother. The brother Ferdinand bought the store in 1891, and Mr. Strunk then engaged in the land and cattle business in that neighborhood, continuing it until December, 1907.
In January, 1908, Mr. Strunk was elected president of the First National Bank of Hallettsville, and was identified with its management two years. Since disposing of that interest he has conducted a good business in real estate and loans at Hallettsville. For a number of years he has been more or less a cotton buyer, and has recently taken it up more definitely as representative of the firm of Tarkington & Stapp at Yoakum. As a resident of Hallettsville since 1908 he has interested himself in local affairs, and is one of the aldermen. He was for fifteen years a justice of the peace at Oakland, and for four years a county commissioner from district No. 4, at a time when the courthouse and jail for Colorado County were erected and provisions were made for the tax levies to pay for that improvement. He is a democrat, a past master of Murchison Lodge, No. 1, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Hallettsville, a member of the Royal Arch chapter, and also of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Honor and the Sons of Hermann.
Mrs. Strunk's father-in-law [sic.], Mr. Weller, came from Westphalia, Germany, to America about 1848, and was married in Texas to Annie Schumacher. Their children were: Henry, who died at Yoakum, leaving a family; Mrs. Charlotte Strunk; August, of Harlingen, Texas; Amelia, wife of Hermann Hoffmann of San Antonio; Charles and William of Clodine, Texas; Hermann of Brownsville; Ida, wife of C. F. Laas, of Yorktown; William, of Clodine; Eddie of Yorktown. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Strunk are: Annie, wife of Dr. Absalom A. Ledbetter of Hallettsville; Alma, wife of C. G. Laas, of the same place; Emma, who is Mrs. Hermann Stuermer of Nordheim and has two children, Henry J. and Cassie; Moritz A., a farmer of Lavaca County, who married Alma Ladwig [Ladewig] and has a son Abbie [Abbe]. Mr. Strunk and his family are all members of the Lutheran Church.pp. 1260 -1261.
HECTOR McLEAN TIPPETT. The present mayor of the City of Hallettsville has been a valuable citizen. He has held his present office for the past five years, and during the course of his lifetime in Halletsville [sic.], while engaged in various occupations, has always performed his duties with a faithfulness and diligence which have done him credit and have made the aggregate of his accomplishment a valuable service to the community. Mr. Tippett represents an old family in Southern Texas, one that has been identified with this state through three generations, covering a period of seventy years, since the last year of the Texas Republic.
Hector McLean Tippett was born in Hallettsville June 8, 1969. Taking his ancestry back to his great-grandfather, we find that Erasmus Tippett served as a soldier in the American Revolution, and with his twin brother Erastus moved into North Carolina and subsequently to Eastern Tennessee, and died in the latter state. Mr. Tippett's grandfather, Benjamin Foreman Tippett, was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, in July, 1785, and spent his early life on a farm. He was married in Blount County, Tennessee, in 1818 to Miss Emma Morris, a daughter of Isaac morris, a farmer who was born near the James River in old Virginia. Benjamin F. Tippett lived as a slave holding planter in Noxubee County, Mississippi, and also for a time was a resident in Perry County, Alabama, where some of his older children were born. On January 1, 1844, he landed at Matagorda, Texas, having brought his family out from Tennessee, by boat from the Tennessee River to New Orleans and thence by ship across the gulf to the Teas coast. In coming to Texas it was his intention to settle at Eagle Lake on the Colorado River, but the rainy season forced him to abandon this idea, and he reshipped his goods from Matagorda to Port Lavaca and settled in the country back from the coast near Victoria. He brought his negroes with him and permitted them to take charge of his estate under his supervision. Benjamin F. Tippett was not disposed to politics, though voting the democratic ticket, and back in 1832 had supported the "nullification measures." He was a Methodist. Benjamin F. Tippett died in 1867 and his wife passed away in 1886. He was a pensioner from the War of 1812, and had also seen service as a soldier along with Sam Houston in the battle with the Indians at Horseshoe in Capt. McClellan's company. Benjamin F. and Emma Tippett were the parents of the following children: Homer Milton, who died leaving a family at Abiline [sic.], Texas; Miss Sarah, who lives with her nephew at Hallettsville; James, who died unmarried at Victoria; and Robert D.
Robert D. Tippett, father of Mayor Tippett of Halletsville [sic.], had only a brief career. He was born at Matagorda, Texas, February 13, 1844, only a few weeks after the family had landed on the Texas coast, and died in Hallettsville in 1871. He was a boy soldier of the Confederacy, serving as a private in General Greene's brigade of Confederate troops in the New Mexico campaign, and later was with his company in General Sibley's command on the Red River and along the Mississippi. He was wounded at Donaldsonville, Louisiana, and before recovering the war had closed. After the war he took up the study of law under Major McClain and General Bagby of Hallettsville, but had only a brief period of practice before taken away by death. Robert D. TIppett married Miss McLean, daughter of Hector R. McLean, who also came from North Carolina and was a commissary quartermaster with the title of major in the Confederate army.
Hector McLean Tippett never knew his father, and has been making his own way in the world since childhood. He grew up in Hallettsville, and at the early age of twelve years had his last schooling in the Moulton Institute. The more practical and valuable part of his education came from the old Herald and Planter printing office in Hallettsville. He worked in every capacity around that office, and can still classify as an old time printer. The training was invaluable in many ways, and after learning the trade he followed it for about five years. Mr. Tippett then left the printing office and became clerk in the mercantile house of Leo Kroschel at Hallettsville. His next position was as assistant cashier for five years with the Lavaca County National Bank. Leaving the bank he spent four years in the life insurance field, representing the New York Life Company as solicitor. From insurance he changed his course to railroad work, and was clerk and later agent for the Aransas Pass Railway Company at Hallettsville Station until 1906. In the latter year[s] Mr. Tippett became manager of the horse and mule market for Rheinstrom & Greenbaum of Hallettsville.
In April, 1909, Mr. Tippett was elected mayor to succeed Mayor T. A. Hester. He has been twice reelected to the office and the last time without opposition. Under his administration Hallettsville has made some splendid strides in the direction of municipal improvements, particularly in the way of better streets, permanent sidewalks and the increase of those facilities and conveniences which characterize the progressive small cities of Texas. Citizens and strangers alike remark the fact that Hallettsville is in a more prosperous condition, municipally considered, today than ever before. Mr. Tippett makes a slogan of continued advancement, and is urging the matter of further pavement of streets and several other measures which will bring Hallettsville to the front as a thriving center of population and trade. Mr. Tippett is a democrat in politics, is affiliated with the lodge and with Boyce Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, of the Masonic Order at Hallettsville, and also with the Knights of Honor and the Sons of Hermann.
At Yoakum, Texas, June 20, 1900, Mr. Tippett married Miss Lillie Dodd. Her father, Capt. Thomas M. Dodd, was a Confederate soldier, came from Tennessee to Texas after the war, and for a number of years has been a Yoakum merchant. Captain Dodd married Miss Irene Beason, and both are still living. The children in the Dodd family are: Mrs. Tippett, Thomas M. Jr., Miss Susie, Jacob E., and Mrs. T. C. Spencer. Mr. Tippett and wife have no children.pp. 1250-1252
WILLIAM H. WALKER, M.D The vigorous and progressive little City of Yoakum. Dewitt county, claims as one of its representative physicians and surgeons and loyal citizens, Dr. William H. Walker, who was born at La Grange, Fayette county, Texas, on the 16th of October, 1868, and who is well upholding the professional prestige of the family name, his father, the late William Wallace Walker, M.D., having been recognized and honored as one of the leading physicians of Southern Texas and having continued in the active work of his humane profession for many years, the closing period of his life having been passed at Schulenburg, one of the important towns of Fayette County.
Dr. William Wallace Walker was born in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, on the 12th of August, 1844, and was still a young man at the time when he established his residence in Texas. At the inception of the Civil was he was a student in Emory College, at Oxford, Georgia, and he promptly manifested his youthful loyalty to the Confederacy by leaving college, returning to his native state and enlisting in the Third Louisiana Cavalry, with which gallant command he served four years and nineteen days -- virtually the entire period of the war. He distinguished himself for gallantry at the Battle of Shiloh and also that of Manassas, and in the second battle of the last title he was wounded. He lived up to the full tension of the great fratricidal conflict and gave of his best to defending the cause which he believed to be righteous and just, his continued interest in his old comrades having in later years been manifested through his affiliation with the United Confederate Veterans. That his patriotism and loyalty were intrinsic elements of his character was significantly shown when his native land became involved in war with Spain, in 1898. He promptly put forth vigorous efforts and raised a company for service in the Spanish-American war, this company becoming Troop G, First Texas Cavalry, and he was made captain of his company or troop, the regiment having been mobilized at Fort Sam Houston but having not been called out of the state to participate in the polemic activities in Cuba. The doctor himself, however, was assigned to duty in Cuba as a military surgeon, and at Santiago de Cuba he was placed in charge of a transport vessel on which sick and wounded soldiers were transferred to Montauk Point, New York. While voyaging to this destination he accidentally discovered among the troops on board his own soldier son, who was lieutenant in command of his regiment. After remaining for some time at Montauk Point, Doctor Walker returned to his regiment, with which he was mustered out, in the City of San Antonio.
After the close of the Civil war Dr. William W. Walker completed the prescribed curriculum in the medical department of Tulane University, in the City of new Orleans, in which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1871 and from which he received his well earned degree of Doctor of Medicine. He had previously established his residence in Texas, and after his graduation he engaged in active general practice at LaGrange, Fayette County, in company with Doctor Renfrow. From that place he finally removed to Cistern, in the same county, and later he continued in practice for some time at High Hill, that county, where he remained until the extension of the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Schulenburg, in the same county, when, with other residents of High Hill, he removed to the new railroad town, where he continued in successful practice until virtually the time of his death. He was alert in keeping abreast with the advances made in medical and surgical science, had a high sense of his professional stewardship and labored with ability and self abnegation in the alleviation of human suffering and distress, his name and memory being revered by the many families to which he ministered during the course of his long and loyal service as a physician.
Though Doctor Walker was essentially progressive and public-spirited as a citizen and was a staunch advocate of the principles of the democratic party, he considered his profession worthy of his unqualified attention and would never consent to become a candidate for public office. He was a Master Mason, and from 1869 until the time of his death held membership in the Baptist Church. He was a prominent and honored comrade of Camp Timmons, United Confederate Veterans, at Schulenburg, at the time when his life came to its close, his death having occurred on the 5th of May, 1901 -- just two years after the date of his departure with his troop for the Fort Sam Houston rendezvous, to make ready for active service, if demanded, in the Spanish-American war.
On the 29th of January, 1863, Doctor Walker wedded Miss Emma Alice Routh, daughter of the late Dr. Kenzie Routh, who was widely known and honored as a successful physician in the Pinoak or Tuttle Store section of Fayette County, he having been a native of the State of Tennessee and a pioneer of Texas. He married Miss Amanda M. Murrell, and both continued their residence in Fayette County until their death. Their children were Zachariah, Joseph, William and Emma Alice. Mrs. Emma Alice Walker died in the year 1874, and of her children four are now living. Dr. Edwin R., who is a representative physician at Ballinger, Runnels County, married Miss Sarah Gussman; Dr. William Hayden, of this review, was the next in order of birth; Kenzie Wallace, who served as captain in the Fifteenth Cavalry, United States Army, is now assigned to the army commissary department in the City of Washington, D. C., the maiden name of his wife having been Helen Hobart Whitman; and Mary is the wife of Dr. Arthur L. Fuller, of Colorado City, Texas.
The second marriage of Dr. William W. Walker was solemnized February 23, 1876, when Miss Eudocia Agnes Henderson became his wife. She is a daughter of Colonel Alfred Henderson, of Schulenburg, who was one of the prominent and distinguished pioneers of Southern Texas, his wife, whose maiden name was Callaway, having been a representative of the famous Kentucky pioneer family of that name. Mrs. Walker now resides in the home of her youngest surviving daughter, in the City of Texarkana, Texas. Of her three children the first born was Kittie, who was a student in the Sam Houston Normal School at the time of her death, on the 17th of November, 1894; Emma is the wife of T. G. Stark, of San Antonio; and Felton is the wife of A. L. Burford, a prominent railroad lawyer whose home is at Texarkana, while his office is in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dr. William H. Walker, to whom this sketch is dedicated, acquired his early education principally in the public schools of Schulenburg, Fayette County, and at the age of nineteen years he began the study of medicine, his preliminary reading having been pursued under the able preceptorship of his father. He finally entered the latter's alma mater, the medical department of Tulane University, in 1886, and in this institution he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine on the 3d of April, 1889. For two years thereafter he was engaged in practice at shiner, Lavaca County, and he then removed to Ledbetter, Fayette County, where likewise he practiced two years. The following eighteen years found him engaged in the work of his profession at Oakland, Colorado County, a place originally known as Prairie point, where he built up a large and widely disseminated practice and where he continued his earnest and effective labors until November, 1910, since which time he has been engaged in successful practice as one of the leading physicians at Yoakum, Dewitt County. The doctor is identified with the American Medical Association and the Texas State Medical Society, besides which he has held membership in the local medical societies of each county in which he has practiced his profession.
With well fortified opinions concerning economic and governmental policies, Doctor Walker has maintained an independent attitude in politics and has exercised his franchise in support of men and measures meeting the approval of his judgment. He has been affiliated with the knights of Pythias since 1889 and was a charter member of the lodge at Shiner, his present membership being in the lodge at Yoakum. As a member of the Masonic fraternity he is past master of Oakland Lodge, No. 258, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Oakland, Colorado County.
At Ledbetter, Fayette County on the 20th of December 1892, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Walker to Miss Julia Gillespie, who was born in the State of Arkansas and who was a child at the time of her parents' removal to Texas, where she was reared and educated in Fayette County. Doctor and Mrs. Walker have two children, Laurie Douglas and Frances Katherine, both of whom remain at the parental home and the latter of whom was graduated in the Yoakum high school as a member of the class of 1915, and is now attending the College of Industrial Art at Denton, Texas.
That Doctor Walker is a scion of one of the staunch old families of the fair Southland is indicated when it is stated that his grandfather, William Wallace Walker, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on the 6th of June, 1814, his ancestors having immigrated to America from England and having settled in the Old Dominion commonwealth prior to the war of the Revolution. The grandfather of the doctor passed the closing years of his life at Schulenburg, Texas, where his death occurred in January, 1884.pp. 1253-1255.
HUGH K. WILLIAMS. Having devoted his entire career to the cause of education, Prof. Hugh K. Williams, superintendent of the public schools of Hallettsville, is one of the best known and most popular and efficient teachers in Lavaca County. His preparation for his chosen work was a most thorough and comprehensive one, and at Hallettsville, where has been located since 1913, he has done much to improve the system and to introduce modern ideas and methods. Professor Williams is a native son of Lavaca County, Texas, born near Yoakum, October 4, 1878, a son of James S. and Ellen Ridgway) Williams.
Edward W. Williams, the grandfather of Professor Williams, was born in 1813, in New York, and was a member of a company sent south to serve in the war with Mexico, he seeming to have remained here at the close of that struggle, as his advent in Texas dates from about 1848. He was familiarly known as "Uncle Ned" Williams in the old Hope neighborhood, where he settled when his was the only house between Hallettsville and Victoria, and his old homestead, where he died in 1875, is now owned by his son, James S. Williams. Although he was too old for active participation during the Civil war, he drilled several companies of young men for the Confederate service, and sent one of his sons to the front wearing the uniform of the South, Rector Williams, who returned safely home after the close of hostilities. Edward W. Williams married a Miss Owens, and they became the parents of the following children: Rector, who died in Lavaca County and left a family; Katie, who married Edward M. Smith and lives at Beaumont, Texas; Connie, who became Mrs. Samuel C. Thigpen, of Lavaca County; Edward W., Jr., of Dewitt county, Texas; Owen E. a farmer of Lavaca County; Jane, who married Charles E. Power and died in Dewitt County; James S., the father of Hugh K.; and Collstinus B., who is engaged in farming in Victoria County.
James S. Williams was born August 31, 1856, in Lavaca County, Texas, and in that vicinity acquired a smattering of education. His life has been largely spent as a farmer and ranchman near Yoakum and stock-raising has been an important factor in his farming career, although for a short time he also carried on mercantile pursuits at Yoakum. Mr. Williams is a democrat, but has kept aloof from politics. He is a Methodist in his religious belief, but has no fraternal connections. Mr. Williams is a typical Texan, progressive, enterprising, and of good business ability, and his career of industry has been rewarded by the accumulation of a handsome property. Mr. Williams married Miss Ellen Ridgway, whose father died as a Federal prisoner of war during the struggle between the South and the North. They were the parents of the following children: Alice, who married Ed Weathers, of Gonzales County, Texas; Ellen, who be came Mrs. Williams; John, a resident of Yoakum, Texas; Thomas, who resides near Childress, Texas; and Wiley, who passed away unmarried. Mrs. Ridgway had been married first to a Mr. Voss, and two children by that union: Rhoda, who became the wife of Milton E. Dickinson, of Dewitt county; and Virginia, who married O. F. Williams, brother of James S. Williams. Following the loss of her second husband some years ago, Mrs. Ridgway married a Mr. Madison, and they became the parents of two children, namely: Nannie, who died as a maiden; and George, who makes his home at Yoakum, Texas.
The childhood of Hugh K. Williams was spent largely in the community of his birth and as a youth he moved with his parents to Yoakum, where he completed his high school course. At that time he entered upon his career in the field of education, but after two years passed in teaching in the country schools, realized the necessity for further training, and accordingly, in 1901, entered the State University, where he continued as a student until his graduation with the class of 1905, when he received the degree of Bachelor of Sciences. For three years following his graduation professor Williams was principal of the school at Benjamin, Knox County, Texas, and then became the incumbent of the same position at the Yoakum High School, a capacity in which he continued for five years. In 1913 he was induced to come to Hallettsville in the capacity of superintendent of schools, and has so remained to the present time, to the general satisfaction of all concerned. Professor Williams is a hard, earnest and zealous worker in his field of endeavor, and through his conscientious labors has done much to advance the cause of education and elevate its standards. He is a general favorite with teachers, pupils and parents, and is justly accounted one of the most capable and popular officials Hallettsville has had. In addition to his work as superintendent, Professor Williams has taught in summer normals at Yoakum and Cuero and has served on the county boards of examiners in Knox and Dewitt Counties. He is a member of the Southern Educational Association, of the South Texas Association and of the Texas State Teachers' Association. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and the Woodmen of the World. He is a Methodist in his religious belief and at various times has been identified with the official life of that religious denomination. As a citizen he has displayed a keen interest in all matters that have affected the welfare of his town and county.
Professor Williams was married in Lavaca County, Texas, June 18, 1907, to Miss Ruth Gephart, daughter of Philip and Susan (Madison) Gephart. Mr. Gephart was born in Indiana, but came to Texas prior to the outbreak of the Civil war, in which he participated as a Confederate soldier. Since the close of the war he has resided in Lavaca County, where he still devotes his attention to the cultivation of the soil. His children are as follows: Miss Annie, who for a number of years was a county school teacher; Susie, who is the wife of T. J. Fitch, of Elmendorf, Texas; Ella, who married R. C. Fitch, of Houston Heights, Houston, Texas; Philip, of Childress County, Texas; Alice, who married J. A. Stroman, of Mineral Wells, Texas; Clara, who is the wife of E. L. Stroman, of San Marcos, Texas; John, of Birmingham, Alabama; Ruth, who is now Mrs. Williams; and Ida, who married Fred Loomis, of Goliad, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Williams have one child: Orville, who was born November 21, 1913.pp. 1305 - 1306.
EDMUND F. WOLTERS. He whose name initiates this paragraph is an influential and honored citizen of Shiner, Lavaca County, and is a scion of the fine old pioneer family whose history is outlined in the article immediately preceding the one here presented, he being a son of Robert Wolters, the eldest of the children of that sterling pioneer, Jacob Wolters.
The late Robert Wolters was a lad of fifteen years at the time when he accompanied his parents to Texas, and from that time forward his youthful education of specific order was necessarily limited, owing to the conditions and exigencies of time and place. An alert and receptive mind enabled him, however, effectually to overcome this handicap of earlier years and he became a man of broad information and mature judgment. He assisted his father in the reclaiming of the pioneer farm and initiated his independent career as a farmer in Austin County. A number of years later he removed thence to Blanco County, where he was engaged in stock-growing for two years. He then returned to Fayette County, the original .home of the family, and for many years he was one of the prosperous and representative agriculturists and stock-raisers near High Hill, that county. When the Civil war was precipitated he subordinated all personal considerations to tender his aid in defense of the cause of the Confederacy, by joining Captain Upton's Company of the Texas militia, in which connection he was in service in the local field when called upon, the command having not been regularly enlisted in the Confederate ranks.
Upon the restoration of peace and his resumption of the activities of civil life Mr. Wolters engaged in the general merchandise business at High Hill, where he continued his residence until the railroad line was extended through Schulenburg, when, in 1872, he removed to the latter place, where he continued in the mercantile business with marked success. He retired from this line of enterprise when past sixty years of age and thenceforward he gave his attention to his private affairs and varied capitalistic and real-estate interests. He was one of the foremost in effecting the material upbuilding and civic and business development of Schulenburg, where he erected a number of brick and stone business buildings which remain as enduring monuments to his memory and civic liberality. While he aided in the promotion and establishment of the first banking institution at Schulenburg he did not long maintain his active association with its affairs, it being evident that he preferred to associate himself with such enterprises as he could personally direct and control. He was loyal and progressive as a citizen, was a staunch supporter of the democratic party in state and national affairs, but never desired or held public office. Mr. Wolters had due appreciation of the spiritual verities but his convictions were such that he did not subscribe to any ecclesiastical dogma or creed and did not ally himself with any church organization. His vigorous mind was a veritable storehouse of most interesting reminiscences concerning the pioneer days in Texas and his facility in narrating tales of his personal experience and observance as well as those of which he learned through extraneous sources made him a most interesting reconteur, so that the younger generation who knew him felt a deep sense of loss and deprivation when his earnest and noble life came to a close.
At Cat Spring, Austin County, on the 26th of December, 1849, Robert Wolters wedded Miss Adolphine Welhausen, the marriage ceremony having been performed by Ernst Kleburg, who was the incumbent of the magisterial office of justice of the peace and who was the father of Congressman Kleburg, now representing Texas in the National Legislature. Mrs. Wolters was a daughter of Charles Welhausen, who came with his. family from Germany and established his home in Texas in 1847. Mrs. Wolters was summoned to eternal rest, at Schulenburg, on the 20th of May, 1906, and thus was broken the devoted marital companionship that had continued for fifty-seven years, the venerable couple having celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1899, the occasion having been made memorable by the assembling of a large concourse of their friends and by their reception of messages and telegrams of congratulation from many representative Texas citizens, besides which tangible tokens of esteem were presented by old friends and neighbors. Mr. Wolters survived his wife by about six years and continued his residence at Schulenburg until his death, which occurred February 23, 1912, he having attained to the patriarchal age of more than ninety years.
Concerning the children of this revered pioneer couple the following data are given: Augusta is the widow of Oscar Roos and she now resides in the City of San Antonio. Edmund F. is the immediate subject of this review. Louisa is the widow of Emanuel Roos and resides at Victoria, judicial center of the county of the same name. Ottellie became the wife of Hugo Horner and her death occurred at Schulenburg. Mary is the wife of Edmund B. Kessler, of Schulenburg, and in the same city resides Ella, who is the wife of Hon. I. E. Clark, M. D., who is representative of the Schulenburg district in the Texas Senate at the time of this writing, in 1915.
Edmund Ferdinand Wolters was born in Austin County, Texas, on the 29th of September, 1852, and his early educational advantages were those afforded in the pioneer schools, but, like many another man of affairs, he has had the ability to widen his mental ken by reading and observation and to round out his education through the lessons gained under the direction of that wisest of all headmasters, experience. At the age of eighteen years he became associated with the mercantile business conducted by his father, and he eventually succeeded to the ownership of the store at Schulenburg, where he continued operations until 1887, when he disposed of his interests at that place and removed to Shiner, a newly founded town through which the first train on the Aransas Pass Railroad had been run in the preceding month. Here he purchased the lumber and hardware business of Mr. Woodley, and after conducting the enterprise about two years he sold the business to William Green and turned his attention to the ginning of cotton, in which line of industrial enterprise he is still actively engaged at Shiner, in association with the Trautweins. He has acquired also interests in high-grade cotton gins at other points, at each of which he is associated with partners who are his valued coadjutors, each of these enterprises having been developed and brought to prosperous status. A number of years ago Mr. Wolters became identified with the banking business, and he is at the present time president of the Yoakum State Bank, at Yoakum, Dewitt County, and vice president of the First National Bank of Shiner. Aside from the interests already noted Mr. Wolters. has become a prominent and successful dealer in real estate, and he is president of the Shiner Oilmill & Manufacturing Company, of which he was one of the promoters and organizers. At Shiner the firm of Trautwein & Wolters operate not only a thoroughly modern cotton gin but also a creamery and an ice manufactory.
In connection with the physical upbuilding of Shiner Mr. Wolters has played as effective a part as did his honored father at Schulenburg. He has erected two brick business buildings and has otherwise shown his civic enterprise and loyalty. He has served as a member of the board of aldermen of Shiner and was the incumbent of this office at the time when the waterworks plant of the town was installed. His political allegiance is given to the republican party in national affairs, and in the Masonic fraternity he is affiliated with the blue lodge at Shiner and also with the Order of the Eastern Star.
At Meyersville, Dewitt County, on the 18th of June, 1890, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Wolters to Miss Sophie Trautwein, a daughter of William Trautwein, who was a representative farmer of that locality and who came to Texas soon after his immigration from his German Fatherland., Mr. and Mrs. Wolters have two children,Lillie A., who is the wife of William Wendtland, Jr., of Shiner, and Miss Stella, who is a member of the class of 1914 in Baylor University, in the City of Waco.pp 1347-1349.
JULIUS A. WOLTERS. He to whom this brief memoir is dedicated well upheld the high prestige of a family name that has long been one of prominence in the annals of Southern Texas, as the foregoing genealogical record clearly indicates. He became one of the pioneer merchants of the Town of Shiner, Lavaca County, wielded large and benignant influence in the development and upbuilding of the village along both civic and material lines and his impregnable integrity, his worthy achievement and his usefulness in the community gave him inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem. He was a son of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Goeth) Wolters, concerning whom adequate mention is made in the preceding article touching the general family history, so that a repetition of the data is not demanded in this connection.
Mr. Wolters was born in Austin County, Texas, on the 28th of September, 1860, and after an illness of less than two weeks' duration he died at his home in Shiner, Lavaca County, on the 17th of December, 1913, after having been one of the representative citizens and prominent merchants of Shiner for approximately a quarter of a century. He was a child at the time of his father's death and was reared to adult age in the home of his mother and stepfather, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ernst, his educational discipline having been obtained in the rural schools of his native county and his initial business experience having been gained under the direction of Mr. Ernst, who gave to him true fatherly solicitude. After having served as a clerk in the store of his stepfather he eventually engaged in the mercantile business in an independent way, at New Ulm, Austin County, where he continued operations until his removal to the newly founded Town of Shiner, Lavaca County. Here he associated himself with his brother Max E., to whom specific attention is directed in an article following this memoir, and the firm of Wolters Brothers became one of the most aggressive and successful in the town. Among the business firms the two brothers were recognized leaders, and none excelled them in the furtherance of the physical and social upbuilding of the town.
Julius A. Wolters was a man of strong mind, strong character and strong physical powers, his comparatively sudden death, in the very prime of his useful manhood, having been the result of a disorder of the heart. From a newspaper tribute published at the time of his demise are taken, with certain paraphrase and elimination the following appreciative statements:
"The business of the firm of Wolters Brothers, of which he was the senior member, was very large and required much of his time and attention. In his business relations Mr. Wolters was strictly just in all his dealings. He had many hard problems with which to deal, but he generally solved them to the satisfaction of all persons concerned. He was a man of many sides. He was liberal with you when you were right and firm with you when you were in the wrong. On account of his fair dealing and good business qualifications Mr. Wolters numbered his friends by the score. He came to Shiner when the town was in its incipiency, about twenty-five years ago, and engaged in business with his brother Max. The partnership was ever congenial and it continued until the time of his death. His funeral was one of the largest ever held at Shiner. A special train was made up at Yoakum and brought twenty-five citizens from that city to attend the last sad rites. Other friends were here from Moulton, Flatonia and Hallettsville."
In a fraternal way Mr. Wolters was identified with the Hermann Sohns, the Woodmen of the. World, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Knights of Honor. Reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, he continued in the same until the close of his life and manifested it in his daily walk and associations. He was essentially public-spirited in his civic attitude, exercised his franchise in support of the cause of the democratic party, but he never had aught of ambition for political office.
At New Ulm, Austin County, on the 1st of May, 1883, was solemnized the marriage of Julius A. Wolters to Miss Emilia Koenig, a daughter of John and Annie (Meyer) Koenig, both of whom died at LaGrange, Fayette County, when in the prime of life, both succumbing about the same time, during a scourge of yellow fever. They became the parents of six children: John is a resident of LaGrange; Mrs. Augusta Zwiener is a resident of Halsted, Fayette County; Mrs. Wolters, who survives her husband, was the next child; Mrs. Paulie Jersig maintains her home in the City of Galveston; and Mrs. Lizzie Frohnapple is a resident of LaGrange. Mrs. Wolters was a child at the time of her parents' tragic death and was reared in the home of Mrs. Ernest Wangamann [Wangemann], of New Ulm.
In conclusion of this memoir is given a brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Wolters: Edwin, who is an interested principal in the firm of Wolters Brothers, wedded Miss Henrietta Hollman and they have one son, Julius Henry. Ottillie is the wife of Hermann G. Hollman; Elo, who likewise has become a member of the firm of Wolters Brothers, married Miss Julia Runk. Edgar also has become a member of the firm of which his father was one of the founders, and the maiden name of his wife was Lassie Schaeffer, their one child being Carlton Edgar. Herbert, the youngest of the children, remains with his widowed mother and is associated with the firm of which his father was a member.pp 1350-1351.
MAX E. WOLTERS. In point of continuous identification with the business interests of the thriving Town of Shiner, Lavaca County, Mr. Wolters now holds the distinction of being the oldest merchant of the village, with whose civic and business activities he has been closely identified since 1888, he and his older brother, the late Julius A. Wolters, to whom the preceding memoir is dedicated, having been pioneer merchants of the town, where they initiated business in the month following the completion of the railroad through this place. In the generic sketch of the Wolters family that appears in foregoing paragraphs adequate mention is made of the life and services of Ferdinand Wolters, father of him whose name initiates this article and who is the youngest of the children of Ferdinand and Elizabeth (Goeth) Wolters.
Max E. Wolters was born at New Ulm, Austin County, Texas, on the 13th of July, 1864, and to the common schools of the locality and period he is indebted for his early educational discipline. He obtained his initial business experience in the mercantile establishment of his stepfather, Charles Ernst, at New Ulm, and later, in the latter's store at Schulenburg, Fayette County. He severed the home ties when eighteen years of age and became a clerk in the mercantile establishment of G. Bohms & Company, at Schulenburg. His salary as a general salesman in the store was of nominal order but he profited much through the experience that he gained during his service of somewhat more than five years in a clerical capacity. His wages were advanced by degrees and he carefully saved his earnings, so that he was finally enabled to join his brother Julius A. in the founding of their independent general merchandise business at Shiner, their combined capital having not exceeded $4,000 and their original place of business having been in a one-story frame building 24x60 feet in dimensions. In this building they continued operations during the first year, and the firm of Wolters Brothers was the fifth to engage in business at Shiner. In 1889 they erected a new and better frame building, and in this their business was successfully continued until its prosperity and increased demands led them to erect the substantial brick building in which the enterprise is still continued under the original firm name and of which Max E. has been the senior member since the death of his brother Julius. In 1911 the firm added to their original brick building a two-story brick structure 50x110 feet in dimensions, for the accommodation of the grocery and hardware departments of their establishment, and the aggregate floor space now utilized by the firm is 17,500 square feet, besides which they have a wareroom, 50x110 feet in dimensions, for the storage of surplus stock.
When the Walters brothers began business at Shiner the two personally attended to all details of the enterprise, and the substantial expansion of the business is indicated by the statement that at the present time the corps of employes numbers eighteen persons. The establishment is modern in appointments and in the equipment of each department, and the extensive trade rests upon the high reputation the firm has ever maintained for effective service and fair and honorable dealings.
Mr. Wolters is president of the Farmers State Bank of Shiner and he and the firm of Wolters Brothers own extensive tracts of land in Wilson and Scurry counties, besides an appreciable acreage in Reagan County. They have been thus concerned with the bringing into effective cultivation many tracts of wild land, upon which numerous reliable tenants are supported. The original members of the firm continuously invested their surplus capital by making judicious investment in farm lands, and in the management and extension of this important feature of the firm's business Max E. Welters has successfully continued operations since the death of his brother, who was his honored coadjutor in all of their activities.
For fifteen years Mr. Wolters was insistently retained in service as a member of the board of aldermen of Shiner, and his civic loyalty was further shown by a service of several years as a member of the board of education. He is affiliated with and is a former president of the Shiner Lodge of the Hermann Sohns, which he has represented in the grand lodge of the state, as has he also the local camp in the grand camp of the Woodmen of the World in Texas, he being likewise a valued member of the Rathbone Lodge No. 109 of the Knights of Pythias. In the Village of Shiner Mr. Wolters has erected as his place of residence one of the finest houses in Lavaca County, the same being a pretentious mansion of colonial architecture, massive columns carrying the two-story gallery and balcony, and the entire place being essentially metropolitan in appearance and appointments, even as the home is known for its gracious and refined hospitality and as a center of much of the representative social activity of the community.
In Fayette County, on the 5th of June, 1887, Mr. Wolters wedded Miss Annie Baumgarten, who was there born and reared and who is a daughter of Christian Baumgarten, long a representative citizen of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Wolters have two sons: Victor, who is associated with the firm of Wolters Brothers, married Miss Alvina Ehlers and they have one son, Max; Gustave, who is one of the eligible young bachelors of Shiner, is likewise actively concerned with the business of the firm of Wolters Brothers.pp 1351-1352.
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