Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 236 of 894
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INVDIAN WARS ,AD PIONEERS OF TEXAIS.
ment in this delightful field of art, there is no telling
what he might accomplish. Judge Croft has
been a Mason since 1850, being one of the first
members initiated in the mother lodge of Navarro
Countv. He took his first degree in company with
A. Beaton, James M. Riggs and B. L. Ham, soon
after the lodge was organized, Gen. E. H. Tarrant
being the presiding officer. He is also a member
of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and, in
accordance with his means, a liberal contributor to
all worthy purposes. He has never voted any other
than the Democratic ticket. He has long been a
prominent figure in his section of the State and at
the bar of Texas.
E. P. BECTON. M. D.,
SUPERINTENDENT STATE INSTITUTION FOR THE BLIND.
The subject of this brief historical notice, Dr.
Edwin Pinckney Becton is well known throughout
the State as a pioneer Texian, leading physician
and superintendent in charge of one of the State's
most important eleemosynary institutions.
He was born in Gibson County, Tenn., June
27, 1834, and came to Texas in 1841 with his
parents, who settled at San Augustine, where he was
early placed at school and acquired the rudiments
of a good literary education.
His father, Rev. John May Becton, was born in
Craven County, North Carolina, January 8, 1806,
and was a Presbyterian clergyman of the old
school, much admired for his learning, piety and
His mother's maiden name was Eleanor Emeline
Sharp. She was a daughter of James Sharp, and
is now (1896) living, at eighty-six years of age, at
Fort Worth with Mr. J. J. Nunnally, who married
her granddaughter, Fannie.
Rev. John May Becton's parents were Frederick
Edwin and Fannie (May) Becton, who moved from
Craven County, North Carolina, when he was a little
past twelve months of age and located in Rutherford
County, Tennessee. There he was given such
school advantages as the county afforded, completing
his education at Pebble Hill Academy,
located on Stone's river. He began life as a
farmer, married Miss Eleanor Emeline Sharp,
January 9, 1827, and in 1831 moved to Gibson
He was reared in the "Hard-Shell" Baptist
faith; in July, 1833, professed religion at a Methodist
camp-meeting; during the year joined the
old school Presbyterian church, and in 1835 was
licensed to preach the gospel by the latter denomination.
In April, 1841, he was ordained and in
November of that year came to Texas and located
at San Augustine, where he preached and taught
school. In 1844 he moved to Nacogdoches County.
He died at Church Hill, nine miles east of Henderson,
in Rusk County, July 14, 1853. He was
one of the early and most active pioneer clergymen
of his church in Texas and it is believed organized
more churches than any other member of the denomination
in the State, among others the church
at Douglass, in Nacogdoches County, in 1844; one
in Henderson, in Rusk County, in 1845; one at
Rusk in Cherokee County, in 1849, or 1850, and
the church at Larissa, in Cherokee County, in 1849.
At the same time he and the Rev. Daniel Baker
organized the Palestine Presbyterian church, at
Palestine, and organized alone the one at Gum
Springs, Rusk County, in 1851, since known as the
He organized the Presbyterian church at Church
Hill in 1852, at which place he died, as above
He is said by old people who knew him, to
have been an elegant and fluent writer, and eloquent
speaker and pulpit orator.
He was liberal and broad in his views, and, being
a leader in church affairs in those days, drew
about him a large following and a wide circle of
friends and supporters. He was associated in his
work with such well-known pioneer clergymen as
the Rev. Dr. Baker, Rev. Hugh Wilson, Rev.
Peter Fullinwider, Rev. P. M. Warrener, and
others of those who blazed the way for Presbyterianism
At his death he left three sons and one daughter,
the latter of whom, Isabella, died in 1862. One
son, Joseph S. Becton, was a gallant soldier in the
Confederate army during the war between the
States and finally lost his life at the skirmish at
Spanish Fort, near Mobile, Ala., April 9, 1865,
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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/m1/236/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .