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: 393
HISTORY OF TEXAS.
from Travis county to Williamson county,
and previous to that had lived in San Saba
county for a period of two years, and has
spent five years in Lampasas county. In
acquiring an education he had meager
opportunities, but possessing keen observation
he quickly mastered those points necessary
for the transaction of business. In 1879,
with a limited capital. he embarked in the
cattle trade, and at the end of five years disposed
of his herd of 200 head for eight
times the amount originally invested. With
this sum he purchased a tract of 512 acres
of good land; 285 acres are under cultivation,
and all the buildings are first-class, substantial
W. A. Brown, the father of our subject,
was born in middle Tennessee sixty-six
years ago; there he was reared, educated, and
united in marriage to Mildred Ann Landers;
they had a family of five children: Eva,
wife of John B. Gardner; Vernon, deceased;
W. T.; Minnie, wife of W. I. Smith, and
Finetta, who died in childhood. Mr. Brown
removed to Texas in 1852, and engaged in
agricultural pursuits, meeting with varied
results. He gave his service to the Confederate
cause during the troublous days of
the Rebellion, being in the Texas department.
His father, Allen Brown, was also a
native of Tennessee, and was 'also a successful
farmer of that State; he died at the age
of seventy-three years.
The first marriage of our subject was to
Lulu, daugliter of R. C. McLaren, whose
history appears elsewhere in this volume.
Four children were born of this union:
Frank, Willia, Eddie, and Elma. The
mother passed to the future life September
12, 1891. Mr. Brown was married a second
time, December 7, 1892, to Allie Portis, of
IIays county, Texas.
Having chosen agriculture as his calling
in life, Mr. Brown blas given this subject his
most intelligent consideration, and lias
gathered the bountiful harvests nature over
yields to favorable conditions.
J P. SMITH, a farmer of Williamson
county. was born in Tennessee, October
14, 1836, a son of John A. and Nancy
(MelIenry) Smith, natives of Virginia and
North Carolina, respectively. The father was
of Scotch-Irish descent, and his death occurred
when our subject was only two years of age
The parents reared a family of eight children:
G. A., a real-estate dealer of Austin;
Elizabeth, wife of W. T. Montgomery,
County Treasurer of Childress county;
W. B., who died in Austin; Lucy, wife of
Rev. N. T. Strayhorn, of Austin; Susan,
wife of Captain Strayhorn, of Granger,
Texas; R. H., a merchant of Austin; and J.
P., our subject. The mother died in 1883,
at the age of eighty-three years.
J. P. Smith came to Texas in 1848, at the
age of twelve years. His father died early
in life, and an older brother, W. B. Smith,
who came to Texas in 1836, took charge of
the family affairs. As soon as able he
brought his widowed mother and the remainder
of the family to this State, and located at
Webberville, Travis county. Ile was a soldier
in the Mexican war, and at the opening of
the late war he was detailed to duty in
Texas, served in different departments, and
at the close of the struggle resumed merchandising
at Webberville. In 1870 he
engaged in the same business at Austin,
where he remained until his death, in 1891.
This brother gave all the children a good
education, and a good start in life. After
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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/m1/419/ocr/: accessed February 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .