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: 520
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5O HISTORY OF TEXAS'.
the highest of any merchant in Burleson
county. Mr. Reeves has sold thousands and
thousands of dollars' worth of goods since he
first opened his small $500 stock of merchandise
in Caldwell, and has witnessed the
development not only of the mercantile industries
of this place, but of every interest of
this locality. When he began business here
thirty-two years ago, Houston was the market
where the country merchants purchased
most of their goods, and the point to which
the products of the country were taken for
sale. Very little cotton was then grown, the
main dependence being cattle and hogs.
Caldwell in those days controlled a large
trade in this general section. Mr. Reeves
grew with the town, confining himself strictly
to business pursuits, his chief reliance being
merchandise. He lhas had investments, however,
in other lines and now owns considerable
realty, including lands and lots, and is a
partner in interest in the banking-house of
W. Reeves & Co. at Caldwell. He has been
exceptionally fortunate, and is credited by
those who have known him long as deserving
all he has achieved in the way of success.
In his domestic life, however, Mr. Reeves
has not been as fortunate as in his business
career. Some shadows have fallen across his
pathway. In'1866 he married Miss Mary
J. Simpson, a daughter of R. S. Simpson,
then residing in Caldwell, but originally
from Alabama, whence lie had moved to Texas
in 1854. This lady died about 1874, leaving
three children: Lula Jane, now the wife
of Neill Cromnartie, of Caldwell; Edward
and James. Two years later Mr. Reeves
married Miss Annie Eliza Cromartie, who
like himself was a native of Bladen county,
North Carolina, being a daughter o/ William
K. Cromartie. To this union tw/S children
were born: Annie and Xemines. The wife
and mother died in 1882. Since that time
Mr. Reeves has made his home with his
daughter, Mrs. Cromartie.
Mr. Reeves' parents and grandparents were
members of the Methodist Church, and he
was reared under the influence of the doctrine
of John Wesley, but on arriving at maturity
he took a membership in the Baptist Church,
whose customs and ordinances lie has since
Mr. Reeves has always enjoyed good health,
and, having led a moral, temperate life, he
has the prospects of many years of activity
and usefulness before him. He comes of a
long-lived stock, and has by heredity a strong
hold upon this world. His grandfather
Reeves died at the age of ninety-eight, while
his grandfather Melvin lived to be ninety.
His father was one of a family of brothers
and sisters in which there was not a death
until the youngest was past fifty. They were
all of good, strong, robust constitutions,
sound alike in body and mind, in national
faith and religious convictions, which qualities
have been transmitted in a reasonable
degree to their descendants.
B 1 T. WILKINS, a farmer of Bastrop
county, was born in Simpson county,
Kentucky, April 22, 1842, a son of
Dr. J. H. and Melvina (Salmondb)
Wilkins, natives of Kentucky. The father
was of Scotch and Welsh extraction, practiced
medicine for a time in his native State, and
then came to Texas. He bought a number
of slaves, and purchased a large tract of land
adjoining Bastrop, where lie died in 1875.
He cultivated 700 acres of this land. Mrs.
Wilkins was a daughter of Nathan Salmonds,
a native of Virginia, but deceased in Ken
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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/m1/561/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .