Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 413 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TE,XAS.
In November, 1881, he was elected to the Seventeenth
Legislature, from the counties of Hood, Somervell
and Bosque. Although a new member he
was an active and efficient legislator and is said to
have introduced and passed more bills than any
other member, save one.
He was the author of the bill t" providing for
designating and setting apart three hundred leagues
of land out of the unappropriated public domain for
the benefit of the unorganized counties of the State,
and to provide for the survey and location of the
same " (see H. J., p. 128 q.); also bills regulating
sheriffs' fees, tax sales, etc.
At the extra session of 1882, he was the chairman
of the sub-committee of senatorial and representative
districts in the re-apportionment of the State,
and did much arduous labor in this work. He also
introduced and passed bills to amend the law
reducing the maximum rate of passenger-fare from
five to three cents per mile (see H. J., p. 5,
1882), and the "act to repeal all laws granting land
or land-certificates to any person, firm or corporation
or company for the construction of railroads,
canals and ditches." (See H. J., p. 22, Act 1882.)
In November, 1883, he was elected by a large
majority to the Senate from the Thirtieth Senatorial
District, composed of the counties of Hood, Somervell,
Bosque, Erath and Palo Pinto.
He was well posted in land matters and the Senate
Journals will show that his knowledge was very
thorough in shaping land legislation, which, with
its various features of sale, lease and other disposition,
was the great and perplexing question of
the day. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Legislaturespermanently
adjusted these, and all collateral
in There beig no provision for paying officers' fees
in felon cases unless conviction was had, Mr.
Tra contended that the result was a lax enforcement
of the criminal laws, and, hence, introduced
and Passed a bill providing for the payment of fees
to county and district officers in felony cases (see
aS. J. . 16, 1883); also a bill providing for the
a ent J o attac8hed witnesses in felony cases (see
S. J. 1883, p. 46).
tain nas very active and efficient in questions pertainitg
t school and public lands, public roads,
Seitenfiaflie, Officials' fees, the new capitol, the
m tatfinances, and all matters relating to the administration
of the State government. He opposed
with great earnestness and success the fifteen-year
lease of the penitentiary convicts entered into by
Jusnt before the extra session met in 1884 to
prevent, or rather, quell, the war between the pasture
men and the fence-cutters, he published an
interview outlining the conditions of adjustment,
which was copied by the papers throughout the
State, and practically enacted into law during the
extra session. This was probably the most difficult
question that ever confronted the Legislature, as it
involved unlawful fencing and its penalties, herding,
line-riding, the lease and sale of the school
and public lands, public roads, free grass, fencecutting
and the penalties, and the grazing of sheep,
cattle and horses on the State's lands, or the lands
of another person. After a long and bitter contest
in both houses and between the two houses, the
whole question was settled on February 5th, 1884,
by the second Free Conference Committee, composed
of Jno. H. Traylor and John Young Gooch,
on the part of the Senate, and A. T. McKinney and
A. M. Taylor on the part of the House (see S. J.,
He was Chairman of the Finance Committee of
the Senate in the Nineteenth Legislature, and left his
impress on most of the important legislation during
that time, especially those measures pertaining to
the appropriations for the State government. He
was author of the act " to provide for the issuance
and sale of the bonds of the State to supply the
deficiencies in the revenue" (see S. J. 1885, p.
42); also an act "to provide for the correction
and revision of the abstract of located, patented
and titled lands, (see S. J. 1885, p. 97), and several
other less important measures. He served two
years in the House and four in the Senate, where
he made a State-wide reputation as a wise, prudent
and far-seeing legislator. His recognized ability secured
him important positions on the various Legislative
Committees, and since retiring from public
life, his name has often received favorable mention
for various State offices, including chief executive.
Mr. Traylor has much of the character of the
Virginian of fifty years ago in his composition.
He has a profound sense of the importance of some
counteracting agency to the inordinate desire for
accumulating and laying up treasure; this dangerous
tendency of the age he believes if allowed to
prevail, will make our people degenerate, will sever
the moral ties which unite us to our forefathers,
and take away all zest from the contemplation of
the great performances achieved by them. He is a
member of the Virginia Historical Society, has
traveled much in the United States and Europe and
is very fond of the antiquated and historical. He
is now a successful business man of Dallas, well
and widely known for his good practical sense and
his association with commercial and benevolent
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/413/: accessed March 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .