History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 391
HISTORY OF TEXAS. 391
and has been so engaged all his life. In 1880
he imade his first purchase of land, which
consisted of 200 a-res lying in tlhe Little river
bottom, then wild, which he began at once to
improve. He has since added to his holdings
until he owns 1,043 acres lying in one body
on Little river, about 300 acres of which he
has reduced to cultivation, and which yields
abundantly of the common products of the
farm. The yield of the place is about seventyfive
bales of cotton annually, and grain and
stock products in proportion.
December 15, 1880, Mr. Smith married
Miss Alice McKinney, a daughter of Jasper
McKinney, of Milam county, and sister of
Hon. J. M. McKinney, a sketch of whom
appears elsewhere in this volume. To this
union six children have been born: Willard
B., John A. (deceased), Adoniram, Mattie,
Woodfin Grady and Alice. The family worship
in the Baptist and Methodist churches,
and Mr. Smith is a member of the Masonic
fraternity, St. Paul's Lodge, No. 177, Maysfield,
and in politics is a Democrat.
f~ UGH L. WITCHER, senior member
of the firm of Witcher & Coffield, merchants
of Rockdale, Milam county, is a
native of Macon county, Tennessee,
where he was born Novemnber 19, 1839. He
was reared in his native State and in the State
of Illinois, whither his parents moved when
he was young. His earliest occupation was
farming, but in growing up he learned the
carpenter's trade, which he followed at intervals
for some years prior to his engaging in
his present business. Soon after the opening
of the late war Mr. Witcher, who was then residing
in Illinois, entered the Union army,
enlisting early in 1863, in the Sixth Illinois
Cavalry, with which lie was in active service
(under Wilson) until tlle close of hostilities.
Ile took part in those daring and destructive
raids for which Wilson's cavalry became
famous, and which were actively continued
up to the close of the war. Having had tlIe
good fortune to escape wounds and imprisonment,
he received his discharge at Selmna,
Alabama, in April 1865, and, returning to
Illinois, resided in that State and later in
Mississippi, engaged in farming and at his
trade until 1873. At that date he came to
Texas and in August of the same year located
at Rockdale, where lie resumed work at carpentering,
which occupation he followed energetically
and successfully for about a year.
In June, 1874, he was elected Marshal of Rockdale
and held this position for about four
years, discharging its delicate and difficult
duties acceptably to the people, these four
years covering the turbulent period of Rockdale's
history, when the office was by no means
a sinecure. In 1878 he embarked in the
mercantile business in partnership with J.R.
Rowland, who later sold his interest to J. F,
Coffield, when the firm became Witcher &
Coffield, as it now stands. Mr. Witcher's
career, though unpretentious, has thus been
diversified and has not been lacking in that
kind of experience which qualifies one in the
highest degree for appreciating the struggles
of others, as well as fitting him for the successful
discharge of every duty as a citizen.
The last few years of his life have been
marked by the largest measure of success
which yet attended him, though not by the
most arduous labors. His early years, as is
the case with most of those who begin with
comparatively little or nothing and after.
ward achieve substantial results, were at.
tended with toil, hardships and uncertainties;
but it was the formative period when the
HISTORY 01" TEXAS.
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/417/ocr/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .