Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 394 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
was elected to the State Senate, from the Twentyfifth
District, composed of Caldwell, Hays, Guadalupe,
Comal, Blanco, Llano and Kendall counties.
In 1879 he was the author of the bill to improve the
Public free school system then in vogue in towns
and cities and, also, of an amendment to the
penal code punishing severely misapplication of
public money (both of which became laws) and
assisted very materially in the passage of the bill
to regulate continuances in criminal cases and place
discretion in the hands of the trial judge. In the
Twenty-first Legislature he was one of the sub-committee
that perfected the House Railroad Bill that
was passed by that body but killed in the Senate,
and offered a bill regulating teachers' certificates
according to the law of the State of New York.
He was one of the pioneers in the advocacy of the
railroad commission idea, which has since been carried
into effect. He favors a commission, hoping
that it will lead to the State owning and operating
its own railroads. A proposition looking to that
end was defeated in the Committee on Platform at
the Democratic State Convention held in 1890 by a
vote of eighteen to twelve only. In the Senate,
during the session the Twenty-second Legislature,
he introduced a bill providing for the Australian
ballot system, making it operative over the entire
State and a bill prohibiting the acceptance of free railroad
passes by legislative, judicial and executive
officers, both of which were passed by the Senate,
and, further introduced a bill designed for the
suppression of homicide by striking the degree of
manslaughter from the penal-code. He was Chairman
of the Committee on Finance and Chairman of
the Committee on Contingent Expenses, and was
considered one of the ablest members of the
Senate. Mr. Clemens withdrew from active political
life several years ago, but his well-known philanthropic
views led Gov. C. A. Culberson to offer
him an appointment as one of the Board of Commissioners
of the Texas State Penitentiaries, which
he accepted. Mr. Clemens was shortly thereafter
elected to and now holds the position of Chairman
of that body. He has been foremost in every
good work. Four years ago a hospital society was
organized at New Braunfels and later, as a result
of its efforts, a fine hospital building erected in
that city. Mr. Clemens was elected President of
the association and has continuously served as such
from its inception. Charity patients are admitted
to the walls of the institution and given that care
and medical attention in keeping with an
enlightened Christian civilization. The society's
work also includes other charitable and benevolent
purposes. Mr. Clemens' mind is broad
enough and heart warm enough for him to disregard
all distinctions of creed, race and social
condition when a case of suffering presents
itself. For him to know that it exists is sufficient
and he seeks to relieve it. He is a genuine lover of
his kind, a public-spirited citizen, a kind father, a
sincere friend and a true patriot. He has always
aided every public enterprise in his section and is
one of the men who built the famous dam across
the Comal river at New Braunfels. The dam furnishes
a fine water-power and it will be, in the near
future, the means through which many a good and
honest laborer will be enabled to earn a livelihood.
Mr. Clemens was married at New Braunfels in
1873, to Miss K. von Koll, daughter of Mr. John
von Koll, the Auditor and confidential agent of the
German Emigration Society, in 1845.
JOHN MAXWELL JONES,
In December, 1836, the Congress of Texas, at
its first session at Columbia, in consideration of
$50,000, granted to Michael B. Menard a league
of land on the eastern end of Galveston Island,
then unoccupied by a single human habitation.
Upon this tract of land, the following year, Col.
Menard laid out the city of Galveston. In April,
1838, the first lots were sold and in August, 1839,
the place was incorporated. Beginning with 1837,
for several succeeding years Galveston became the
objective point of most of the settlers coming to
the country, and there also many of the enterprising
spirits who sought homes and fortune in
the new Republic cast their lots. One of the
men who thus early became identified with the
Island City upon the history of which he left in full
measure the imprint of his talents and character
was John Maxwell Jones, a brief memoir of whom
Mr. Jones came of good antecedents. On his
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/394/: accessed February 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .