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: 467
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HisTORY OF TEXAS. 467
ress. From 1872 to February 1874 he resided
near Palestine in Anderson county, this
State, where he was engaged in the mercantile
business. On the completion of the
railroad to Rockdale, on the date last mentioned,
he settled here and this has since
been his home. He started with the town,
being on the site early enough not only to
"get in on the ground floor," as the saying
goes, but to start on the ground itself, since
there were but few buildings in the place
when he came. From that date until the
present his fortunes have been linked with
those of the town, prospering with its geineral
prosperity and losing by its reverses and
disasters. For a number of years lie was
engaged in the general mercantile business,
but about 1882 changed to furniture, and in
the past ten or eleven years he has built up
one of the largest trades in this line in Milam
county. He also has a branch house at
Taylor, which was established about the same
time the one was at Rockldale, and which
does a large aud successful business. Mr.
Branch gives his attention exclusively to his
business interests, never having been identified
with any outside enterprises except the
Rockdale bank, of which he was for about
two years cashier. He has, however, contributed
to local enterprises financially and
assisted in person in getting them on foot.
Whatever is calculated to stimulate the industry
or promote the general welfare of the
community in which lie resides he is willing
to help in proportion to his means and does
so cheerfully. Like most new towns Rockdale
suffered severely in former years by
fires, and a number of its citizens lost at
different times a large share of their earnings,
Mr. Branclh being one of this number,
and having probably sustained heavier losses
than any other man in the town. But he
has survived these financial disasters, alnd,
maintaining an abiding confidence in the
future of the town, he has reared ulj)on the
ruins of his former establisllhments his present
splendid business interests.
In January, 1877, Mr. Branch married
Miss Ella V. Rogers, then of Rockdale, a
daughter of Rev. 0. F. Rogers, who moved
to Texas from Booneville, Mississiplpi, where
Mrs. Branch was born and reared. Mr. and
Mrs. Branch have a pleasant home and lend
their aid to the best social interests of thle
town, as well as to its moral and religious
q A RRETT E. KING, a prominent business
man of Taylor, was born in Lowndes
county, Mississippi, in 1858, a son
of John King, a native of South Carolina.
In an early day the latter moved with
his parents to Mississippi, where lie received
a limited education. In 1859 he landed in
Robertson county, Texas, and was there engaged
in agricultural pursuits until 1869.
At the opening of the late war he joined
Colonel Ford's company, and for about three
years served on the western frontier of Texas.
During that time he was in constant danger
from ambush by the Indians and Mexicans,
who at that time were laying waste that part
of tlre country. They were probably in greater
danger than those following Lee, Johnston or
Jackson. The western soldiers had always to
guard against an attack on the rear or against
ambush, and, although on an open plain, each
sage bush might conceal a savage. After
the close of the struggle Mr. King returned
home, and, like many others who had fought
for their country, found himself as he had
started in the world. Although an old Texas
HISTORY OF 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/m1/502/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .