Smith County, Texas
This page is sponsored by the East Texas Genealogical Society
April 14, 1905 - The Troupe Banner - Whitley & Edwards, Proprietors
The Banner, presents in this issue a group of some of the early settlers of the Troupe-Arp-Omen country, most of whom are Texas pioneers in deed and in truth. The group is one in which we have much pleasure not alone because of the number of old settlers it has been our good fortune to get into one group, but because of the fact that all these grand old men have ever stood for the best interests of our great state, and to whom and their kind must be given credit for the advanced rank the section in which the Banner now circulates, holds among the communities of East Texas.
As we look upon the familiar faces, some of whom have been familiar to this section for not one generation nor two, but for nigh on to three score and ten years - the time allotted to man - many items of interest occur to us to include in this sketch, and while our space is of necessity very limited, we have no apology to offer for gratifying our personal disposition in the matter, since the general interest in this group is shown by the fact that the editors have been compelled to ask the photographer to duplicate the original from which this cut is made more than 50 times in order to supply those desiring a picture.
First, of this group it can be said that by far more than half of them are actively engaged in the daily pursuits of life, as will appear from statements below.
Second, the average age of the members of this group is, not including, the two negroes, whose ages are not known exactly, 72 3-5 years, and should these negroes, one of who is unquestionably right at 100 years, be included, the average would be higher. Omitting from the calculation the youngest four who were included in the group because of their long residence in Texas and not because of their advanced ages, the average age of the remaining 16 is 75 9-16 years.
Third, in view of the general good health of these "old timers," evidence of which is not lacking in the picture, the question as to whether or not Texas is a healthful place ought to be put to rest - and we comment this to the consideration of our many readers outside of the state.
Fourth, every one in the group barring the good Mrs. Floore who stands in center of group just behind her husband at whose houses the picture was taken, saw service in the Civil war - some with the boys in gray and some with the boys in blue.
Following are the names of the pioneers with other interesting data concerning them.
Beginning at left and top row and reading to the right. 1 (Just outside the banister) is W. H. Herrin, Omen, born Alabama 1836, came to Texas in 1856, served in Villipeg's Miss. Regiment. 2 - Moses Pace, Arp, born Georgia 1828, came to Texas in 1850, served in Co. D 14th Infantry, Clark's Texas Regiment. Mr. Pace just Three years ago ended a fifth term as county surveyor. He still actively engages in this not easy work. 3 - M. D. L. Hodges, Troupe, born in Tennessee 1828, came to Texas in 1854, served in Co. I, 22nd Texas Regiment. Mr. Hodges has good health and works every day with his dairy and poultry interests. 4 - Henry Floore, Omen, born in North Carolina in 1826, came to Texas in 1854; served with Speight's Texas Regiment. Mr. Floore is a blacksmith by trade and until recently followed his trade regularly and that too in a shop erected the year he came to Texas and which he still owns. 5 - behind Mr. Floore is his wife, born in Mississippi in 1830 and came to Texas with her husband. Her general health is good and she is as cheerful a mother and grandmother as one ever finds. 6 - Jno. Pollock, Omen, born in New York in 1824, came to Texas 1876, served in 62nd Illinois Regiment Mr. Pollock worked on his farm and rode horseback to Omen the morning the photo was made. (Since writing this Mr. Pollock has passed over the river, being the first of this grand body to answer his Master's call.) 7 - G. M. Arnold, Sr., Omen, born in Tennessee 1824, came to Texas 1851, served in Co. H. Terrell's Texas Regiment. Mr. Arnold is a cheerful active man and notwithstanding his four score years he goes at night to Masonic Lodge and to church and on the day the picture was made quit hoeing corn to join the "boys." 8 - J. B. Bonner, Omen, born in Alabama 1847, came to Texas in 1848; served in latter part of Civil war with Capt. Rucker in Jimerson's Texas Regiment. Mr. Bonner is yet regarded as a young man. He is one of Smith County's able commissioners.
2nd Row (reading from left). 1 - Wm. Clark, Omen, born in South Carolina 1832, came to Texas in 1858; served in Co. B, Young's 8th Texas Regiment. Mr. Clark still does a good deal of work on the farm. 2 - Immediately in from of Mr. Clark is Capt. I. W. Orr, Omen, born in Georgia 1824, came to Texas 1876, was captain, Co. E., 31st Ga. Infantry and was in the bloody battles of Northern Virginia. Capt. Orr, barring a treacherous memory, is in good health and either walking or riding carries himself with a bearing that out to put us younger men to shame. 3 - Immediately to Mr. Clark's left is R. W. Hamilton, Omen, born Georgia 1833, came to Texas 1854, served with Co. E., 14th Texas Infantry. Mr Hamilton still superintends his large farm - a very large one - and "can get more good riding out of a horse than a Commanche Indian." 4 - Jesse Hodges, Arp, born in Tennessee 1826, came to Texas in 1848, served in Co. H, Terrell's 34th Texas Regiment. "Uncle Jess," as he is familiarly known, gets more fun out of life than anybody. He has 14 children and to quote him, "There aint nary one livin' in a rented house." 5 - Phillip Horton, Omen, born in Indiana in 1829, came to Texas in 1849; served Co. G, Robert's 11th Texas Infantry. Excepting a rheumatic knee, Mr. Horton has good health. A year ago he sold his steam gin and is now engaged in lighter work of poultry farming. 6 - D. H. L. Bonner, Omen, born in Alabama in 1841, came to Texas in 1849; "exchanged enfield compliments with the Yankees" in Co. E, 14th Texas Infantry. Mr. Bonner is a nurseryman and well posted on all diversification topics in the discussion of which his services are in demand by national and state governments almost all time.
3rd Row (reading from left) 1 - D. H. King, Arp, born in Tennessee 1836, came to Texas 1850, served in 8th Texas Infantry. Mr. King has recently bought him a place in the Arp neighborhood which he is working by his own labor. 2 - Jesse Jay, Omen, born in South Carolina 1836, came to Texas in 1866(?). Served in a S. C. Regiment. Mr. Jay works on a farm part of the time and is sexton of both a church and the cemetery at Omen. 3 - J. M. Hardie, Troupe; born in Mississippi 1843, came to Texas 1888, served in Co. H, 17th Miss. Infantry. - lost an arm in the battle of Antietan. Mr. Hardie is engaged in raising fine cattle and fine chickens. 4 - W. A. Pope, Troupe, born in Alabama 1829, came to Texas 1839, served in Co. A., Ochiltree's 18th Texas Regiment. Mr. Pope was 75 the day the picture was made. He came to Texas when it was a republic and has been here for 66 years. He is healthy and active and notwithstanding his advanced age, was till recently the leading insurance agent of Troupe. 5 - Jno. C. Tarbutton, Troupe, born in Tennessee 1833, came to Texas in 1854, served in Co. C, 11th Texas Regiment. Mr. Tarbutton only a few years ago laid aside the responsible duties of county treasurer of Smith county since which time he has not been actively engaged. 6 - Dr. W. S. Maris, Troupe, born in North Carolina 1830, came to Texas in 1852, served with Col. Boggess' Regiment. Dr. Maris is actively engaged in practice of his profession and we have not yet heard of any conditions of wind or weather that prevented him from responding to a call. 7 - F. M. H. Parker, Omen, born in Georgia in 1846, came to Texas in 1851, served in Co. A, 17th Texas Regiment. Mr. Parker is a hard worker and is not considered an old man.
4th Row (reading from left). 1 - "Uncle" Enoch Smith, said by white people who know most about him to be about 100 years old. 2 - "Uncle" Alf Wilson, 65 years old, served in Confederate army with his young master with whom he afterward made several trips abroad. Both of these "old darkies" are favorites with the white people who know them and it is to the influence of this class of negroes that the young generation of negroes are indebted for what they have that is worth while.
If space would permit, we would like to take note of the contributions the members of this group have made to society and to business in the way (almost without exception) of large families of children who have taken front rank in these spheres and are showing that sterling worth that characterizes their progenitors. We would also like to make mention of the church and fraternal predilections of each. All the leading denominations are represented while more than half of the group belong to the Masonic fraternity.
Contributed by Lawrence E. Oliver
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