Eastland

 

Cisco, Growth and Progress
1881 - 1904

 

Cisco, Growth and Progress 1881-1904

 

In 1879 (?) when there were not more than half a dozen families in this locality, Reverend C. G. Stevens established a post office at a passway in the hills, one mile west of town, and called it Red Gap. A floorless log school house, with one small window was built, and Mrs. Colistie Green taught school. One half mile west of Red Gap Post office, W. T. Caldwell had a store in which he kept dry goods and groceries.

In 1880 the Texas and Pacific Railway pushed its line on westward through Eastland County, but Red Gap continued its existence, the railroad locating its depot at Delmar. It was expected, however, that when the Texas Central reached the Texas and Pacific a town would be located at the crossing of the roads. Each day, as the iron rails led nearer and nearer to this point of crossing, saw new tents stretched, new covered wagons taking their stand, and new faces in the rapidly growing town which was called Red Gap. With the Texas Central within one mile of the junction, and the Texas and Pacific only a short distance west, many laborers and their families helped to swell the number of inhabitants, which now reached six hundred. Accommodating themselves to the only expression where it was supposed the new town would be located, which was a wagon road running east and west, the people had ''squatted'' on either side of this thoroughfare. In this white town were two or more stores of general merchandise, two or three grocery stores, a number of restaurants, doctors' offices, and Mrs. Haws' hotel, which stood about the middle of Broadway, between the Daniels and Broadwell homes. Dr. Vance, who arrived in Cisco April 1, 1881, officed in the hotel group of tents.

Coopers Livery Stables

Major Bob Elgin of Houston, who had charge of the Land Department of the Houston and Texas Central Railway, assisted by Mr. Metzo, an engineer, with T. E. Johnson as chain bearer, laid off the town. A platform was put up where Mayhew & Company's feed store now stands, and Major Elgin (who is a brother-in-law of N. E. Wilson and lives in Houston), stood there for two days and cried the lots. Mr. White secured the first lot, paying $175.00 for it, and selected from the huge map of the town Major Elgin had at hand, the one now occupied by Cooper's livery stable.

As soon as the town was located and laid off, the inhabitants accommodated themselves to the permanent arrangement and shifted to the most desirable positions attainable and profitable to their business.

Among the business firms in the town at that time were:

W. A. Stevens, general merchandise, who put up the first store building)

James Caldwell

Campbell Bros.

Adams & Sons

Miller & Wike

Porter (Will) & Park, (who bought out Ammerman's yard)

Cameron & Company, lumber

Taylor & Bedford (for whom William Gaultney, now banker, clerked)

John Bice

Yarbrough & Martin, druggists.1 The front of a little ten by twelve box store was given a coat of red paint, and the always and still popular "Red Front Drug Store" came into existence.

Mrs. Haws began the building of her hotel, which was blown down in a furious gale but immediately replaced before the sale of lots, and managed the same until her death in 1890. The Majenta, standing near where Hallís Wagon yard is, was kept by Mr. Hoddinger. Mr. W. D. Chandler had a boarding house where the Broadway now stands, and Mts. Parker kept private boarders.
 

 
A Round-up Scene

 

Shortly before the sale of lots took place a large number of Millet's cowboys came into town and created great consternation among the tent dwellers, as they exercised great freedom in the use of their pistols, so much so, in fact, that the constables of both Cisco and Eastland City, together with the men summoned to assist, were all night long (in some2 safe place) devising means for their capture. They made two arrests next day, and this is no reflection on the courage of Constable Alex Simerl, either.

The first bill of lumber sold in Cisco was to Horace Donaldson, who built the first residence on the lot now occupied by Moody's blacksmith shop. About the same time W. D. Chandler, T. M. Taylor, W. A. Stevens and others were building homes, and J. K. Miller, Ed Eppler, I. Lamb, B. F. James & Son, and Mr. McCormick were the carpenters.

Some of the names of those who were here in 1881, not mentioned above, follow:

John F. Patterson

R. G. Luse

Charley Parks

Seth Ramsey (now of Cottonwood)

David Redfield of Ardmore

Judge Flemming of Seattle

Henry Hilliard of St. Louis

J. E. Luse and wife

Major Preveaux and wife and sister (Mrs. R. G. Luse)

J. Alexander and wife

Mr. Turknette

W. A. Rhoads

Captain Whiteside

R. B. Vaughn

T. J. Worthington

W. J. Walker

Hugh Corrigan

Frank and Lee Jordan

Dr. Mancill

J. T. Yeargin

J. R. P. Chapman (who built the old Bunnell residence)

J. W. Smith and wife

Nat Noel

Ed Morehead

Traveling Auditor Perry of the Texas Central

John Collins

G. W. Graves

T. E. Larimer

W. M. Freeman of Dallas

J. R. and K. S. Fisher

John Gude

M. B. Owen, who lost his life in the cyclone of 1893

J. J. I Wallace, B. L Pate

Mr. Bunnell and family

Gomer Williams

Miles and Quitman Eppler

George Daniels

W. A. Gude.*

 

A sixteen by twenty school house was put up free of charge by B. F. James and Sons and J. K. Miller. In this building a Baptist minister, J. C. Finnell, taught a day school. Here, also, a union Sunday school was conducted. Mr. Chaffin, a contractor on the Texas Central Railroad, was the Superintendent. At the weekly prayer meeting every Wednesday night, which was attended by all denominations, there was frequently not standing room, "many being turned away." This school house was used for church purposes until the different denominations erected their own buildings. From time to time additions were made to the 16x20 school building, until it grew to be about sixteen by one hundred and was known as the "long school house."

Mr. Frank Kynette, assisted by Miss Sallie Greer, now Mrs. Greer, were succeeded by Dr. Stout, who did so much for the school and town. Dr. Stout might properly be called the introducer and founder of the Public Schools of Cisco. He came here when educational interest was chaotic in condition, and being a man of deep learning he proved himself a Joshua, leading his people into a promised land that has since blossomed and fruited many times.

Judge Flemming, aided and encouraged by Dr. Stout, worked for a special tax for the enlarging of the school house and the incorporation of the school district, which at that time included four sections of land! He lived in the town long enough to see his desire accomplished. Hugh Corrigan was a warm supporter of this measure.

G. W. Graves was first Mayor of the town and Ed Campbell, Constable.

The first graduating class was Burette Patterson, Mamie Blake, Eva Winston and Laura Richardson. This was in 1888 while Charles T. Alexander was Superintendent.

As the Texas and Pacific pushed farther westward inland mail routes were changed. It is interesting to note the difference in conditions and times twenty years ago and now. The Government now pays from $600 to $700 for the mails to be carried from Cisco to Rising Star. In 1882 it paid Mr. Chandler $2400.00 annually for carrying the mail from Cisco to Brownwood. There was no road. W. W. Smith and Jim Tyson cut one through and the stage, which held from six to eight passengers, began its daily run each way (except Sundays). The first stand was at H. Merrills, the second at Uncle Tommy Anderson's, where the richly promising town of Rising Star is now located, and the third at Clio, thirteen and one-half miles north of Brownwood. The horses were changed at each stand.

Travel and express being heavy, the coaches would frequently be over full, and extra hacks would be put on, the lines sometimes clearing $100.00 per day. Drivers were paid $30.00 per month and board. Mr. Chandler kept two stables, one at DeLeon and one at Cisco. Fifty-five horses were used, twenty on the Brownwood line.

During the four years Mr. Chandler held the contract the stage was robbed several times. At last, people demanded that an officer go along. A Deputy Sheriff at Brownwood accordingly climbed up on the seat by the driver. After having left Mr. Merrill's a couple of miles behind, he saw a man coming toward them. The Sheriff held his pistol cocked under the lap robe, but coming nearer and seeing that the man was a mere slip of a boy, he let the hammer down. When the careless, kind-looking boy, was even with the driver, he covered the men with his pistol and ordered "hands up." The bewildered Sheriff, however, presented his gun instead, and several shots were exchanged, as the frightened horses broke into a wild run. Mrs. Bryan's trunk on the back of the stage had four bullet holes in it, and probably saved the lives of the passengers. Dave Hickman was the driver on that trip.

Life in the new town was gay from sunrise to sunrise, but gradually the fever heat passed away and the people began to grow accustomed to each other and to the conditions and assumed a more substantial attitude. Cisco has never been a dead town, but has had seasons of "excitement." Twice has a 5coal mine been worked rather extensively within three miles of D Avenue. Property has always been held at good figures. Its two railroads and eight daily trains easily give it a commercial standing superior to any other in the county.

The first National Bank organized in the County was located at Cisco. J. H. Halcomb, President; F. C. LeVeaux, Cashier. Directors: J. J. Winston, C. H. Fee, J. F. Patterson, A. B. Smith.

On April 28, 1893, Cisco was swept by a cyclone that left but few houses wholly intact. At the time there were only three storm houses in the town, and the people were unprepared and unwatchful. The awful storm came down upon them in all its resistless fury tearing, ripping and making havoc of homes. It dashed and hurled man and beast, houses and trees and fences in its mad rage, as it tore its way through the heart of the town, leaving in its terrible wreckage twenty-eight dead and dying bodies for the glorious moon, which came out immediately, to cast its pure light upon and dispel the darkness. For months the debris lay in the streets and on the corners, so entirely was the town wrecked. Today, however, there is no sign of the tornado except the stunted tops of the hardy oaks which still mark its path, while the residences are more modern and the business houses are of brick or stone.

There are five churches, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, and Northern and Southern Methodist; the Masonic Lodge, the chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and the Masonic Lodge of the Eight of Adoption, who own a large corner building; the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekah Lodge, who are arranging to put up a building; the Knights of Pythias, the Woodmen of the World, the Civic Improvement League, the XX Century and the Young Ladies' Departmental Clubs (both literary), the J. U. G. (young ladies' social club), and the W. C. T. U.; the active Ladies' Societies, Sunday Schools, Senior and Junior Epworth Leagues and Endeavor Societies in all the churches; and the Country Club, Park, and Cemetery Associations make an aggregate of concentrated energy along all lines of physical, mental and moral development.

Perhaps the one thing in which Cisco as a town is most interested is The Public Library, founded by Mr. Frank Vernon, in 1894, with one volume, Ben Hur, which he purchased. The town responded then to the call, many books being sent in at once. Shortly after this Mr. Vernon wrote Mr. Carnegie for a contribution and secured $250.00.

When it contained four hundred volumes, the founder, whose health had failed, turned the library over to the XX Century Club as a precious legacy, bequeathing with the books all his love and energy for the enterprise. Right well have the ladies kept the trust, for it now contains one thousand volumes, has a furnished room, and a paid librarian.

The one thing lying closest to the hearts of the members of the XX Century Club is a Public Library Building, for which they have a gradually growing fund. The Young Ladies' Departmental Club, also working for the building, has a bank account for the same purpose. It is hoped that the town and the railway companies will join in the near future in the City Park and erect a handsome structure that shall be known as the Cisco Union Depot and Public Library Building.

The Cisco Cemetery Association was organized March 15, 1899, with ten active and a number of associate members. Mrs. J. D. Alexander was elected President; Mrs. C. S. Vance, Vice President; Mrs. M. T. Whiteside, Secretary; L. E Brannin, Treasurer.

A charter was applied for and granted, and the members went to work at once to raise funds to enclose the grounds. This and much more has been accomplished. Not only has a substantial fence been placed around the grounds, but a handsome iron gate swings on huge stone posts that were contributed by the owners of the Leuders Quarry, and their transportation given by the accommodating officials of the Texas Central Railway Company. The caps were contributed by Messrs. Aycock & Allen, of Cisco. All unknown graves have been marked with head and foot boards. Two hundred and fifty shade trees have been planted, and last year twenty-seven hundred and fifty feet of pipe were laid for water service.

Through the efforts of Mrs. Alexander a tract of land contiguous to the Cemetery grounds was deeded by the Texas Central Railway Company to the Association for a park, and many trees, evergreens and flowers have been planted under the supervision of the Tree Committee. The finances are reimbursed, when necessary, by a most efficient Soliciting Committee. In fact the work accomplished in the short length of time is unparalleled. The present officers are Mrs. J. D. Alexander, President; Mrs. C. S. Vance, Vice President; Mrs. J. H. Holcomb, Second Vice President; Mrs. Augusta Mason, Secretary; L. E. Brannin, Treasurer. Trustees: L. E. Brannin, C. S. Williams, J. J. Winston. J. Alexander, Mrs. M. T. Whiteside.

Under the efficient management of these excellent officers the work will progress until the Cisco Cemetery will stand abreast of any.

Rebekah Odd Fellowship is today a great order: symbolizing in itself strength, unity and sympathy, and the desire to help that has made woman such a factor in the organization. And this spirit, which gives force to the principles of Friendship, Love and Truth, bind together more than two hundred lives in Eastland County for the purpose of correcting the besetting sin of selfishness and for moral betterment of mankind.

The Good Will Rebekah Lodge, No. 102, of Cisco, was instituted by Mrs. Cynthia A. Brown, February 27, 1892, with ten charter members. Today there are four Rebekah Lodges in the county, Cisco, Rising Star, Gorman and Ranger, with a membership of over two hundred members.

Rebekah Odd Fellowship simply means making the very best of life "I count this thing to be grandly true. That a noble deed is a step toward God."

The material for the above was furnished by Miss Alice Eddleman, Past Noble Grand of the Good Will Rebekah Lodge, No. 102, Cisco, Texas.

Odd Fellowship, as a fraternity, stands without a peer in number of members, wealth and activities for good. Its Grand Jurisdictions, Subordinate Lodges, Grand Encampments and Rebekah Lodges girdle the whole earth.

Eastland County is blessed with six Subordinate Lodges with a membership of over three hundred in line, located at Cisco, Eastland, Ranger, Carbon, Gorman and Rising Star, which are working gloriously for Friendship, Love and Truth, the grand pillars on which our order stands for the uplifting of humanity.6

Cisco is a progressive and up-to-date town, with a population of three thousand people. It has an altitude of nearly seventeen hundred feet. It is lighted with electricity, has a good system of waterworks, a local and long distance telephone system, two newspapers, two wholesale grocery houses, two railroads, an oil mill, a compress, three drug stores, two gins, two mills, an ice plant, bottling works, steam laundry, a fire department, silver cornet band, one tailoring establishment, two banks, one exclusive shoe store, one jewelry store, three hotels, seven dry goods houses, two exclusive millinery establishments, ten groceries, four hardware, three restaurants, three blacksmith shops, three wagon yards, two meat markets, a second-hand store, confectionery and chili shops.

Cisco Business Firms

The history of the business interests that follow, together with the accompanying illustrations, fairly represent the town as it is today, although one or two large concerns are not included. The following is almost a complete list of the business firms:


The Cisco Oil Mill

Burton-Lingo Lumber Company

Aycock & Shipman

Marble Works

Hotel Hartman

N. K. Wilson, Proprietor

J. W. Hartman & Son, Grocers

Merchants' and Farmers' Bank, W. C. Bedford, Cashier.

Seldomridge Bros., Tailors

St. John & Moore, Drugs.

C. H. Fee & Company, Hardware and Implements

Davis-Garner Company, Dry Goods.

Garner-Switzer, Groceries.

Mrs. J. D. Alexander, Millinery.

Citizens' National Bank, A. H. Johnson, Cashier.

Hall & Taylor, General Merchandise.

G. B. Kelley & Co., Dry Goods.

J. J. Martin & Co., Drugs.

E. M. Brown, Exclusive Shoe Dealer.

George D. Fee & Company, Dry Goods and Groceries.

Lizenbee & Littlepage, New and Second-Hand Goods.

S. O. Love, Blacksmith and General Repair Work.

T. J. Clark, Chili Stand.

C. H. Kinsey, Staple and Fancy Groceries.

J. H. Erwin, Hardware, Implements and Machinery.

W. L. Williams, Confectioner.

T. J. Worthington, Furniture.

Ammerman & Harris, Meat Market.

Willie Walker's Barber Shop.

Slater's Chop House and Bakery.

J. W. Smith, Hardware.

J. J. Winston, Groceries.

Webster, Hill & Baker, Wholesale Grocers.

M. T. Jones Lumber Company.

Cooper's Livery Stable.

J. M. Radford, Wholesale Grocer.

Arlington Heights Hotel, C. M. Pitcher, Proprietor.

Eppler & Russell, Blacksmiths.

Mayhew & Company, Hardware, Implements and Grain.

Ward & Company, General Merchandise.

E. E. Kean, Dry Goods.

Dingle & DeSpain, Druggists.

The Texas Immigration Land Company.

Mancill Brothers Hardware Company.

A. Owen, Dentist.

Mrs. F. Vernon, Insurance.

Collie Brothers, Printers.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vernon

 

Mr. Frank Vernon. The subject of this sketch, now deceased, was a most prominent factor in the development of the town from the time he came in 1891, as editor of the Round-Up, until his departure for a climate that would help him to hold the life fast ebbing away.

Having made journalism a life study, he published a crisp, newsy Democratic weekly paper, and became favorably known throughout the State in editorial circles.

He was a prominent member of the Texas Press Association, serving twice as its Secretary, and he was also affiliated with the National Editorial Association.

There are several enterprises in Cisco as evidences of his energy and capabilities, the most distinguished of which is the Public Library, the most practical the telephone exchange and first long distance system in the County.

Since he went to his reward, his wife, who has lived here with their three children, and his mother, has done an insurance business, which is steadily growing. Mrs. Vernon is one of four women in the State who handles insurance.

 

 
The Burton-Lingo Company

Being a branch yard of the well-known Burton-Lingo Lumber Company of Fort Worth, has been located in Cisco for the past five years.

They carry a large supply of everything in the building line, and having their own mills are enabled to meet all competition. This company also carries the most complete and finest grade of lumber in West Texas. Mr. J. T. Berry is local manager.

J. W. Hartman & Son

Wholesale and retail grocers. Established 1883. When Cisco was a very new town Mr. Hartman first became a citizen and has always identified himself with every forward move. During the twenty years he has resided in the town, he has been engaged in the grocery business.

In the handsome Hartman-Owen block is situated the Hotel Hartman, and the building where the above firm retails groceries.

Mr. Hartmanís home life is complete with a wife and three children, two daughters, and a son who is interested in the business with his father. One daughter is married and lives in Cisco. The other, the pet of the household, is still in school.

 

C. H. Fee & Co.

 

The hardware, furniture and implement house of C. H. Fee & Co. stands without a peer in the County. In August, 1883, Mr. Fee located in Cisco and established the business which has grown to such magnitude as to require the use of three large buildings. Mr. Fee was born in Oxford, Mississippi, and educated at the State University located there. He is of Scotch-Irish descent and comes of a high-toned and godly ancestry. He has been an important factor in the development of Cisco, and has been identified with every enterprise for the advancement of its interests. Mr. H. C. Rominger, who has been a resident of the town for many years, is a member of this popular firm.

The Texas Immigration Bureau

Has been organized to help build up Texas, and especially the counties of Eastland, Shackelford, Stephens and Young. The object of the Bureau is to induce people living in the Northern States to move to Texas, an empire within itself.

A man is kept continually on the road looking up people who wish to locate in this great State. The following agents represent the company:

H. B. Faris, Breckenridge, Stephens County.

Webb & Hill and Matthews & Blanton, Albany, Shackelford County.

Judge E. F. Arnold, Graham, Young County.

H. L. Winchell, who is Vice President and General Manager of the organization, maintains headquarters at Cisco, and is agent for this County. He also makes loans and writes insurance.

The officers of the Bureau are:

H. F. Faris, Clinton, Missouri, President.

H. L. Winchell, Cisco, Vice President and General Manager.

F. J. Faris, Cisco, Secretary and Treasurer.

W. M. Godwin, Clinton, Missouri, Traveling Commissioner.

 

This organization will not only help build up Eastland and these other counties, but the town of Cisco, being headquarters, will be greatly benefitted.

 
Cisco Oil Mill

Cotton Seed Oil Mill.

This plant was established in 1896 by Reynolds Brothers with a capital stock of $100,000.00. William D. Reynolds, President; George T. Reynolds, Vice President; D. C. Campbell, Secretary and Treasurer; P. W. Reynolds, Resident Manager.

All the product of the mill, except the oil, is utilized in the feeding of three to five thousand cattle each season. The men representing this business were pioneer settlers of Stephens County and have had hair-breadth escapes in many an Indian raid. Mr. George Reynolds, who now lives in Fort Worth, has a silver bridle that once belonged to an Indian Chief whom he killed in battle, and who gave him an arrow-head in memory of the occasion, which he wore embedded in the muscles of his back for more than seventeen years.

 


Arlington Heights Hotel

This hotel is situated on the hill, and hence justifies Mr. Pilcher's claim that it is "Sixty feet nearer heaven than any other in the city."

From the accompanying cut one observes that there is a home-like look about the place.

Some of the prerogatives of this hotel are the "family style of serving meals, the home-made butter and milk, the biscuits like mother used to make, and the large, shady yard."

Mr. Pilcher is a member of the Sovereign W. O. W. Cisco Camp, No. 500, and has served the town several times as Marshal.

Citizens' National Bank

President, Dr. J. P. Webster

Vice President, J. J. Butts

Cashier, A. H. Johnson

Assistant Cashier, M. S. Stamps

Directors: J. P. Webster, J. J. Butts, J. J. Winston, A. L. Mayhew, A. H. Johnson and W. D. Davis.

 

This institution, organized in February, 1902, the only National bank in the county, is strictly a home enterprise, those who are interested being identified with Cisco and Eastland County.

The business, which is constantly growing, has been from the first both satisfactory and profitable to the shareholders.

The management of the Citizens National Bank is always conservative.

The Merchants' and Farmers' Bank

Was established in 1898 by W. H. Eddleman and opened ready for business on March 16th, with W. C. Bedford as Cashier and W. J. Eddleman as Assistant Cashier.

Through the careful management of Mr. Bedford and his able assistant the bank has been a paying institution from the beginning, growing steadily from year to year, and is today the largest banking interest in the County.

Mr. W. C. Bedford, who was born in Georgia, and reared in Alabama, came to Texas in 1876. With the exception of five years spent in successful mining operations in Arizona, he has been continuously in Eastland County, having twice served the County as Clerk, 1890-1894.

W. J. Eddleman was born, reared and educated in Weatherford, Texas, and has had exceptional advantages in learning the banking business. He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Eddleman.

Mr. Wesley Tebbs is the efficient Collector of this bank.

President, W. H. Eddleman

Vice President, George P. Levy

Cashier, W. C. Bedford

Assistant Cashier, W. J. Eddleman

Davis-Garner Company

 

Nineteen years ago the senior partner of the above firm came to Cisco. An indomitable energy and a determination to succeed were his only capital. He embarked in the dry goods business with Col. J. H, Hoi comb, buying an entire half interest on a credit. In 1893 he bought out his partner and was sole owner of the business until March, 1903, when he sold a half interest to J. H. Garner.

Mr. Davis is "All the way from Pike," (having been born in Pike County, Missouri, 48 years ago). He was reared on a farm and received his education in subscription schools and in William Jewell College. In 1875 he came to Texas, crossing Red River the day he was twenty-one.

Mr. Davis is a Missionary Baptist, believes in and supports church work and charitable institutions. His family consists of one good wife and four children. Mr. Garner, the junior partner, is a young man and has been remarkably successful in business. He was just out of Howard College, Tennessee, when he came to Texas eight years ago. It is no less his own personality than his push and energy that has greatly increased the business of the firm since he became a member. He is a working member of the Methodist church. His wife is a daughter of Rev. S. W. Turner.

This firm is a success in every sense of the word, due largely to the fact that it pays cash for every bill of goods received.

Hotel Hartman.

This first-class hostelry is kept by Mr. N. R. Wilson and his estimable wife, and is the only "$2.00 a day" hotel in the town. Being experienced in the hotel business they are able to cater successfully to the public. Mr. N. R. Wilson, "Uncle Nat," as he is familiarly known, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1824.

Having immigrated to Houston, Texas, when only fifteen years old, he was a citizen of the Republic of Texas, an honor not to be highly esteemed.

In 1858, while merchandising in Weatherford, Parker County, Texas, he married Miss Katherine Smith, daughter and twelfth child of Saul Smith, who was one of the early Commissioners of that county. Having returned to Houston, he lost his wife there of yellow fever. She left three children, Warner, Charles and Helen.

Mr. Wilson is an Episcopalian. His present wife a Virginian by birth, is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

Webster, Hill & Baker

This wholesale house was established by Cameron, Hill & Baker in 1897, and was successfully run under that management until January 1, 1902, when Cameron and others were succeeded by Dr. J. P. Webster.

Tins house carries a complete, up-to-date wholesale stock of groceries, and no firm is more favorably known in this section of the country.

The President, Dr. Webster, lives in Weatherford, but superintends the business in person. In his absence his place is filled by his son, J. G. Webster, a resident of Cisco.

Eppler & Russell

Nineteen years ago, when there were only two farms between Cisco and Rising Star, and all the cowboys for twenty to thirty miles around came here to get their horses shod, Mr. Sol Eppler came to Cisco, bought an interest in the blacksmith shop owned by Mr. T. W. Plummer, and has since been working at the same stand and at the same prices. Business has rarely been so dull that he did not have a partner, usually enough to give both more than they could do.

The firm has three forges well equipped, owns a 60x24 foot building, and is capable of meeting all calls. Mr. Eppler, who has been in Texas fifty years, has a wife and three children.

Mr. M. B. Russell was born in Georgia, and came to Texas in 1894, locating here two years ago. He is an energetic young man, a member of the Presbyterian Church and has a wife and two children, and possesses a pleasantly situated home.

Mayhew & Company, Hardware

This rapidly growing business was established in 1900 and carries a full line of implements and grain, both for the retail and wholesale trade.

They handle the famous Blue Ribbon line of buggies, the old reliable Fish Bros, and Peter Schuttler wagons, and the Moline and Bradley lines of implements. Having their own corn mill, they are enabled to offer for sale only the very best grain products the market affords. They carry a full stock of all kinds of field seeds, and are extensive pecan dealers, having shipped eleven carloads from Cisco the fall of 1902.

In addition to their grain and implement business, they deal extensively in livestock, and always have mules and horses to sell, either for cash, trade or on time.

The senior member of the firm, Aaron L. Mayhew, has charge of the implement and livestock department, Avner L. Mayhew of the grain department. Both are Mississippians, the junior member unmarried. These gentlemen are courteous and willing to extend any favors in keeping with conservative business.

The firm enjoys the patronage of Eastland and adjoining counties.

George D. Fee & Company

This firm was established in 1898 in its own new double-brick building, and carries dry goods and groceries. Be it said to the credit of this firm that the old stock is disposed of at the end of the season at an enormous discount and new and up-to-date goods are always on the counters. The clerks are experienced and courteous. Mr. George Dawson Fee, the head of the firm, though quite a young man, is thoroughly conversant with his business in all departments. He was educated at Oxford University, Mississippi, and later took a business course at Atlanta, Georgia, coming to Cisco in 1889. Mr. Fee is a member of the Methodist church and has a wife and three children.

 

Mrs. J. D. Alexander

Mrs. Julia D. Knowlton-Alexander, born in Farmington, Maine, June 21, 1858, came from the original family of Knowltons, whose ancestry can be traced back to those of Cheswick, Kent County, England. She is a lineal descendant of Col. Thomas Knowlton, a hero of the Revolutionary War, whose bronze statue was erected on the grounds of the State Capitol, Hartford, Connecticut, on the 10th day of November, 1895, at which time the Knowlton Association of America, of which Mrs. Alexander is a member, was formed. It holds its annual meetings in connection with the Bunker Hill Association. The family is a distinguished one, and has held prominent positions for many years.

Mrs. Alexander, who came to the South twenty-five years ago, has been an active business woman in Cisco for twenty-three years, and brought the first stock of millinery and fancy goods to the town. She is ever ready to extend a helping hand to the needy, and no woman in the county holds so many prominent positions in fraternal and other organizations. She is serving her seventh year as Secretary of the State Rebekah Assembly, I. O. O. F. She was the first lady in the State to receive the Decoration of Chivalry, the highest compliment that can be paid to woman by the Patriarch Militant of the State, for meritorious work done in promoting the interests of the order. She was the first woman ever appointed State Organizer of the Lodge of Adoption of the Scottish Rite Masons of the thirty-second degree. She is State Treasurer of the Texas "Woman's Press Association, although a member of only three years' standing, and a member of the League of American Pen Women of Washington, D. C.

In 1893 Mrs. Alexander was appointed a Commissioner from this County to the World's Fair held in Chicago, and is Lady Chairman of Eastland to the St. Louis Exposition. She organized the first Civic Improvement League in Cisco and devised the plan of work.

In the home Lodges Mrs. Alexander is Admirable Mistress of the Lodge of Adoption, Past Matron of the Eastern Star Chapter, A. F. & A. M., and Past Protector of the Knights and Ladies of Honor. She served two years as Noble Grand in the Rebekah Lodge and four as Chaplain. She has recently been appointed by the National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution, Regent for Cisco.

Mr. Alexander, who came to this county in 1881 was for a long while in the dry goods business. He is now an extensive cotton buyer and insurance agent. Mr. and Mrs. Alexander are earnest supporters of any move that will advance the interests of the town.

 

Mrs. Will Kleiner

Has 240 acres of land under fence one mile north of Cisco. Twenty-five acres of this plot has been put in an orchard and vineyard. There are 1200 trees, apple pear, peach, plum and apricot, all of which grow and bear well.

Seven thousand blackberry and dewberry vines furnish Mrs. Kleiner with more berries than the town of Cisco can consume and the surplus is put into jam and cordial, which she dispenses to those who want it. In this vineyard three thousand grape vines thrive and yield enormous quantities. The owner expects to put up 100 gallons of grape juice next season for sacramental purposes.

This property is valued at more than $6000.00.

 

The Red Front Drug Store

This popular drug store was established by Mr. Yarbrough soon after the sale of lots in 1881, and has only changed hands twice, Mr. St. John having bought it from the Hon. O. T. Maxwell.

The present proprietor came to Texas in 1877 and followed the profession of teaching until fourteen years ago, since which time he has been in the drug business. In 1902 he was elected Mayor of Cisco and has proven himself a most efficient officer. To his indefatigable efforts is due the formation of the Country Club and other important measures. At present his energies are directed towards securing from the railway companies a more commodious Union Depot, with flattering prospects of ultimate success.

Mr. St. John is a prominent member of the Baptist Church, has a most excellent wife and seven children.

Dr. A. Owen.

Born in Tennessee, Dr. Oven received his literary education at Athens College in that State. He came to Eastland County, Texas, twenty years ago, and engaged in teaching. The next year he went back to his native State for a helpmate, and together they began to lay by the large property they enjoy today. The plan pursued was to put the salary received for teaching into land and cattle, and at that time the price of both were low as compared to the present.

Dr. Owen has diplomas from, the Dental Department of the State University of Iowa, and from the celebrated Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Baltimore, Md., and enjoys a large practice.

His conversion fifteen years ago at Bedford Chapel, he considers the most important event of his life. His religion is his business he lives it. While engaged in the drug business in the town of Eastland he was received into the Methodist Church and baptized by the Rev. Jno. Lane.

Thirteen years ago he moved to Cisco and has since been prominently identified with the forward move of the town.

M. T. Jones Lumber Co.

This Company, which does a wholesale business extending over many States and Territories, maintains headquarters at Houston, Texas. Its large mills are located at Orange, Texas, from which place an extensive trade has been carried on with Europe and Mexico.

The Mr. T. Jones Lumber Co. is one of the large concerns that has kept pace with the moving frontier line of Texas, having always had in operation a number of retail yards in the State.

The Cisco yard, which has done a continuous business since its establishment in 1881, carries a large stock of all material usually found in a lumber yard. A number of men have had charge at different times, but the present manager, H. L. Broadwell, has been stationed here for nearly thirteen years. All those who have business with this firm will be welcome callers at the Cisco office.

Since the above was written this yard has been bought by Rockwell Bros. & Co., and is now The Cisco Lumber Company, with Mr. Broadwell as local manager.

J. M. Radford Grocery Company

Wholesale grocers. Established 1883. Capital stock, $200,000.00. Surplus, $300,000.00.

The Radford Grocery Company is one of the largest distributors of staple and fancy groceries in Texas and has houses at Cisco, Abilene, Stamford and Sweetwater. The house began business in a very modest way in Abilene in 1883 and has grown until it is one of the largest jobbing houses in the Slate.

The members of this firm know personally all their customers and the majority of people living in their trade territory. They are broad in ther views, are hustlers for business and stand ready to give good service and extend all favors that are in line with conservative demands and good judgment. If you desire to start in business consult them.

The officers of this company are J. M. Radford, President; J. F. Handy, Treasurer; E. A. Batjer, Secretary.

John J. Winston

Mr. Winston, son of Col. Samuel and Isabella Winston, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Coming to Cisco in 1883, he has greatly aided in the development of the town and County. He was for several years a director of the First National Bank of Cisco, and was one of the organizers of the water company. He is a large owner of bank stock, farm lands, business and residence property, and by his fair and courteous treatment and close attention, he has built up an extensive mercantile business. He is a director in the Citizens National Bank, has much faith in Eastland, and all of his investments are here.

Mr. Winston, who married Miss Ella Barlow, of Bourbon County, Kentucky, has one child. Barlow, a boy of eight summers. Mr. and Mrs. Winston give many elegant receptions in their spacious home, which is always open to their friends.

The Christian Church, in which Mr. Winston has served as Elder for seventeen years, finds in him a liberal supporter, a zealous worker and a true friend to the needy.

Mr. Winston's successful business career has been founded on a true Christian character.

 
W. L. Wilson

 

The Cisco Apert

In 1892 Mr. Warner L. Wilson established a new paper in the town of Cisco and gave it the unique name above.

The Apert, which has always been Democratic, is the oldest printing establishment in the County under one management.

The editor, Mr. Wilson, is a native Texan and Houston is his birthplace. While he is a staunch Democrat, he entertains liberal views and is generous toward those who differ with him.

 

Footnotes:

1. Mr. R. G. Luse is the authority for the above statement, I. Lamb thinks the first lot fell to Adams & Son, and was the one now occupied by Mayhew & Co.'s warehouse, the town being first built facing the Texas Central railroad.

2. Dr. Vance and Dr. McNeil witnessed the contract between the members of this last firm, Yarbrough furnishing the means, and Martin the brains and time.

3. Authority, I. Lamb.

4. These names were furnished by Dr. Vance, W. D. Chandler, I. Lamb and R. G. Luse.

5. As an evidence that coal does actually exist in paying quantities in this locality, the fact is cited that these mines have been extensively worked. Twice have two or three hundred miners been employed. The mines have never been abandoned because the supply of coal was exhausted, but for lack of funds.

7. These paragraphs on Odd Fellowship were furnished by Rev. W. A. Mason, a pioneer Texan, and Past Grand Chaplain, now residing in Cisco.

Source: History of Eastland County, Texas, by Mrs. George Langston, A. D. Aldridge & Company, Dallas, Texas, 1904.

 

 

 

Index