Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 446 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
to his wife and made her sole executrix without
Robert J. Kleberg, a lawyer, a trusted confidant
and friend of Capt. King, and thoroughly familiar
with the status of the property, was requested by
Mrs. King to come to Santa Gertrude's Ranch
for consultation, did so, and, at her urgent solicitation,
became manager of the ranches, although
by so doing he found it necessary to abandon the
active practice of his profession. January 18th
of the following year he was united in marriage to
Miss Alice King, to whom he was engaged during
the lifetime of her father.
At the time of Capt. King's death his estate was
about $500,000 in debt. This debt was incurred
in the purchase of lands and making improvements.
There was something to show for every
dollar, yet it had to be met. Mr. Kleberg corresponded
with the creditors and they readily agreed
to let Mrs. King individually assume the debt and
took her notes for the amounts respectively due
them. All that remained to be done was to probate
the will and file an inventory in the County
Court and this Mr. Kelberg did. The estate was
not in court over three hours. Mrs. King has since
paid the notes, has added more than 100,000 acres
to her ranches, does not owe a dollar and sells
from 20,000 to 25,000 beef cattle annually.
When Capt. King established himself in the
Nueces country it was practically as far removed
from civilization and the operation of civil law, as
Central Africa is to-day. A few Mexican settlers
were scattered here and there, fifty or sixty miles
apart, but were little more to be trusted than the
bands of predatory Indians who prowled over the
prairies. Desperadoes from Mexico and the States,
at a later date, also, from time to time, attempted
to effect a lodgment in the country and overawe
and despoil the people. Sagacious and possessed
of both moral and physical courage (all of which
was needed in these trying times), firm, bold and
prompt, both in planning and acting, Capt. King
proved himself equal to these and all other emergencies
and did not hesitate to hold these characters
in check with an iron hand.
He maintained hisrights, the rights of those about
him, and an approach to social order.
Starting in life a penniless boy, his indomitable
will, strength of mind and capacity for conducting
large affairs enabled him long before his death to
accumulate an immense fortune, and rank as one
of the largest cattle-owners in the world.
The late lamented Gen. Thomas J. Jennings, at
one time Attorney-General of Texas, and during
his lifetime considered one of the ablest lawyers in
Texas, was born in Shenandoah County, Va.,
on the 20th of October, 1801. His parents were
Col. William and Mariam Howard (Smith) Jennings.
Col. William Jennings was for a number of
years sheriff and a leading citizen of Shenandoah
County. When the subject of this memoir was
about ten years of age his father moved to Indiana
where he had purchased five thousand acres of land
on the Ohio river near Vevay, remained there a
short time and then moved to Louisville, Ky.,
where he purchased a large portion of the land now
embraced within the corporate limits of that city.
This land he sold for a sum which, at this day, when
its value had been so greatly enhanced, appears
After a short residence at Louisville, Col. William
Jennings moved to Christian County, Ky., where
Gen. Thomas J. Jennings clerked in a country
store, attending school part of the time, until
about seventeen years, old when he secured a school
and taught for two or three years until he accumulated
sufficient means to attend Transylvania College,
at Lexington, Ky., where he graduated in
1824, with the highest honors, having been selected
by his classmates to deliver the valedictory. Jefferson
Davis, Gustavus A. Henry, of Tennessee, and a
number of other men, who afterwards distinguished
themselves in law, medicine, politics, and theology,
were his friends and fellow-students. The love he
acquired for tile classics at Transylvania College
clung to him through life. There was, perhaps, no
more accurate or critical Latin and Greek scholar
in the South. He was also familiar with the French
and Spanish languages, speaking them both.
After graduating he taught school at Paris, Tenn.,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/446/: accessed March 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .