Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 219 of 894
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INDLIN WlARS AND PIONEERS 1OF TEX. AS.
and competent physician, and, entered on his professional
labors. November 20, 1853, he married
Miss Mary A. Bates, of Clinton, whose parents,
Asaph W. and Sarah Bates, originally from Kentucky,
had settled in Henry County in pioneer
days, where Mrs. Westfall had been born and
After four years' residence in Missouri Dr.
Westfall concluded to come to Texas, moving in
1857 to Austin, where he resumed the practice of
his profession, later purchasing land in Williamson
County, in the vicinity of Liberty Hill, which lie
imIproved as a ranch. When the war came on he
transferred his residence from Austin to his ranch,
the returns from which, supplementing the income
from his profession, enabled him to support his
family during the period of hostilities. He was
exempt from military service by reason of his profession;
but, as a physician and citizen, he rendered
the cause of the Confederacy the best service in
his power, giving it the weight of his personal
influence and attending the families of the soldiers
in the field, free of charge.
In 1872, Dr. Westfall was elected to the lower
branch of the State Legislature from Williamson
County and served as a member of the Thirteenth
General Assembly. This was a new field for him
but one in which his energy and talents enabled him
to acquit himself with credit. It will be remembered
that the Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth
Legislatures were those which had so much to do
with shaping the policy of the State with respect
to schools, public funds and railways. Among the
general laws passed by the Thirteenth Legislature to
which he gave his support were those creating a
public school system and sefting apart one-half of
the public domain for the support and maintenance
of the same; the law providing for the better security
of the public funds; the law regulating the
assessment and collection of taxes, and the law to
protect the agricultural interests of the State by
providing adequate punishment for those guilty of
destroying gates and fences or committing other
trespasses, in which last act there was a hint of the
possible conditions which actually arose ten years
later and culminated in the celebrated fence-cutting
troubles. The special laws passed by the Thirteenth
Legislature, in which he took considerable interest,
favoring some and opposing others as seemed to
him proper at the time, were those incorporating
railway, canal and ship channel companies, incorporating
and extending the corporate powers of
towns and cities. and those establishing by charter
real estate, building, savings and banking concerns,
private educational institutions and benevolent
associations. more than 200 acts of this cliaracter
being passed by that Legislature. The Thirteenth
was distinctively the Legislature which gave practical
direction to the re-awakened energies of the
people after the war and prepared the way for the
era of prosperity which followed.
From the lower house Dr. Westfall went to the
upper by election in the fall of 1873, being chosen
from the senatorial district composed of Travis,
Williamson, Burnet, Lampasas, San Saba, Llano and
Blanco. During his term of service in the Fourteenth
General Assembly he pursued the same line
of conduct previously marked out, entering, if
anything, more actively into the work of legislation
because by that time he had become better acquainte(l
with the necessities and wishes of the
people, an(d more familiar with legislative methods
and proceedings. There were some important
amendments to the school law passed by that Legislature,
which as a member of the Committee on
Education, he was in a position to materially aid.
But during this, as at the previous sitting, the railroads
came in for most of the time of the lawmakers.
It was during the second session of the
Fourteenth Legislature that the act was passed
giving to the International
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/219/: accessed December 10, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .