"Fannie" Waples Platter
the beginning of the town of
Denison, Texas, several families arrived from Chillicothe, Missouri,
businesses, intermarried, and flourished. Their family names were
Lingo, Platter, and Waples. Here we will explore the activities of
Platter and his immediate family.
family background of A. F.
Platter is set forth in a book by Rev. David Edwin Platter, A History of the Platter Family, from About
Year 1600 to the Present Time (Cleveland, OH: Self-published,
May 1, 1919).
It is available online.
was born in Bainbridge,
Ross County, Ohio, on September 17, 1850. He was one of nine children
born to Andrew Platter (1798–1875) and Hannah Decker (1810–1879). After
Civil War, the parents moved their family to Chillicothe, Livingston
Missouri. Shortly after 1875, the son, Andrew Fox, was in Denison,
County, Texas, which had been founded in 1872 by the
1872, Sam Hanna and Joe
Owens founded a grocery company at Colbert's
Ferry on the Red River to supply workers
who were building the MKT Railroad tracks south toward Texas. After the
railroad crossed the Red River and arrived at the new town of Denison,
built a small building there, at 100 East Main Street (southeast corner
Houston Avenue). In 1874, they built a larger building next door at 104
Main Street. By 1876 (some sources
say 1878), Andrew F. Platter and Edward H. Lingo had joined Hanna and
partners. Lingo, Hanna, and Owens later left the firm, leaving Platter
1880 Census showed Andrew Fox
Platter living in nearby Sherman, Texas. Also living there was Frances
(1857–1947), who had moved to Sherman from Chillicothe with her
parents, Edward Bredelle Waples (1814–1898) and Nancy Graves Waples
December 12, 1882, Andrew Fox Platter and Fannie Waples married. They
Denison around 1891.
104 East Main Street
Advertisement in Denison City Directory, 1887-88.
Fox Platter formed a partnership with his new in-laws, Edward B. Waples
two sons, Col. Paul Waples (1850–1916) and John Graves Waples
This was Waples-Platter Grocer Company. That
same year the firm built a large, elegant
warehouse on the 104 East Main Street
property near the railroad tracks in Denison. The company became one of
largest wholesale grocery firms in the Southwest, with salesmen
East Main Street
Built in 1885 as headquarters and
warehouse of an agricultural wholesaling firm whose salesmen covered
five states. After World War II, the company relocated to Fort Worth,
where its successor firms are still in business. The architect of this
building was P. Lelardoux. Is that a clock on the roof? A loading dock
was added on the left (east, track side) after this photo was made.
of photo: "Art Work of Grayson County" (1895), fig. 3.3(a).
This description of the Waples-Platter Grocery
Company was written
Extensive premises are utilized in each city
[Denison, Fort Worth,
and Dallas], including immense warehouses, which are necessary to hold
immense stock of goods carried, which includes everything in the line
groceries and table delicacies. . . . Their line of specialties
celebrated Wapco Brand, of which they are sole proprietors. Some idea
as to the
immense business transacted by the house may be gleaned from the fact
fifty traveling salesmen efficiently cover the territory of Texas,
Mexico, and Colorado. . . .
Waples, Prest.; John G. Waples, Vice-Prest.; A. F. Platter,
Vice-Prest.; R. W.
Lewin, Treasurer; H. C. Platter, Secretary, A. P. Foute, Asst.
Secretary; J. M.
Hanna, Asst. Treasurer. (Source: “Denison, the Texas Gateway: A Busy,
Progressive City with Golden Opportunities” [N.p.: N.d. (ca. 1908)], p.
Waples-Platter Grocer Co. Letterhead 1915,
showing A. F. Platter as vice-president
Courtesy of Nikki Gail Burleson McKay
Denison City Directory showed A. F. Platter in two key positions; he
president of both the Waples-Platter
Grocer Company and the State
A descendant summarizes what happened to the family business during
years: "The company had originally been more of a mercantile, but as it
grew, divisions were separated out, such as Quarles Lumber, etc. They
eventually ended up with 11 divisions—two food manufacturing, Ranch
Great Western Foods, one wholesale food distribution, White Swan and a
others.... The companies were eventually sold off because there wasn't
who could or wanted to run them, as the senior members of the family
the White Swan operations were moved from Denison to Dallas, and most
rest of the company moved to Fort Worth. Andrew (known as "Fox")
retired from the firm at this point.
in Denison, "Fox" devoted himself to his beloved Lawn Farm Dairy,
later called Oak Farms. It was located on what is now State Highway 91,
from Denison to Lake Texoma.
Lawn Farm Dairy
outside of Dension
Rural retreat of Andrew Fox Platter
Platter had a passion for Jersey cattle and
maintained a fine herd. He was a director of the American Jersey Cattle
1936 Paul Platter, A. F. Platter’s son, sold several of the Jersey herd
Howard McCarley so he could carry on at the Lawn Farm site. Lawn Farm
served a large portion of Texas and Oklahoma for many years. In August
part of the Oak Farms Dairy Group. Aside from a stone grain silo, the
Times Lounge at 2520 Texas Highway 91 occupied the last building that
part of the dairy. A dilapidated two-story Victorian house has been
"The Old Andrew Platter Home just before the railroad on Highway 91
Subsequently the home was demolished.
Andrew Fox Platter died on December 24, 1932. His
survived him, passing away on December 13, 1947. Both were buried in
Cemetery in Denison.
Between 1891 and
1895, perhaps when they moved from Sherman to Denison, Andrew
Platter built a fine home at 1201 West Sears Street in
Home of A. F. and Fannie Platter
1201 West Sears Street
Source: "Industrial Denison" (1909), p. 106. Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison.
[N.p.]: Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909].
Heavily illustrated with photographs.
they moved across
street east to 1129 West Sears, in a dramatic domestic shift from
Craftsman style. That is where Fannie lived until her death. The
had two children, both of whom lived very long lives.
1129 West Sears Street
Built in 1914 for E. H. Lingo, president of Lingo-Leeper Lumber
Subsequently the house was owned by A. F. and Fannie Platter, one of
the founders of the Waples-Platter Grocery Company.
He was the brother of Ann Eliza Platter (Mrs. E. H.) Lingo.
Later this was the home of the daughter of A. F. and Fannie
Platter-Berenice Waples Platter Andrews, widow of Vice-Admiral Adolphus
Andrews. Platter descendants owned the house until 1966. This is
Denison's best example of the Carpenter-Craftsman architectural style.
Waples Platter (1887–1987) attended the University of Texas
for two years and Harvard University for two years in the Class of
went back to Denison to work at Waples-Platter Grocer Company, then in
1917 volunteered for service in World War I. He was one of six selected
special work in the Subsistence Division of the QMC in Washington. He
promoted to the rank of captain and sent overseas on July 18, 1918,
was assigned to duty as a rail-head officer. After the Armistice, he
superintendent of rail-head officers. Discharged on May 4, 1919, he
his duties as director and officer of Waples-Platter in Fort Worth. He
Ellen E. Nielsen in Chicago in 1920. They had one child, Neilsen W.
Waples Platter Andrews (1888–1992) graduated from Walnut
Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts. She married Vice-Admiral Adolphus
Andrews, commander of the U.S. Navy's Third Naval District during World
They had two children: Adolphus Andrews Jr., a San Francisco socialite;
Frances Andrews Dillingham of Honolulu, Hawaii. After retiring in 1943,
Andrews became president of the Waples-Platter Company. He died in
1948, a year
after Berenice's mother, Fannie. There is some question about his
One Find-A-Grave memorial places him in Fairview Cemetery, Denison,
Berenice. Another places him in Oak Cliff Cemetery in Dallas, next to
of his father.
husband's death, Berenice lived in Denison for decades at her parents'
home at 1129 West Sears Street.
Michael C. Scully wrote:
When the home [at 1129 West Sears] was sold, Bernice Waples
Platter Andrews moved to the east end of her block, three properties away, the
Encino Apartments. Her relocation was planned, and she designed a three bedroom,
3.5 bath ~ 2,300 square feet luxury apartment for her retirement. Facing Sears
Street, it has a formal living room, fireplace, dining room w/ custom cabinetry
for her many treasures, large kitchen and pantry, and an elevator. This was part
of the original construction of the building at 1103 West Sears Street. After
she died, at age 103, my parents, William Thomas and Mary Virginia Carlat
Scully, occupied it until their passings.
She died on January 7, 1992, at the age
Waples Platter Andrews
Adolphus Andrews, Sr.
Andrews Sr., Obituary #1,
Denison Find a Grave
The majority of the
following biography on Vice Admiral (VADM) Andrews is paraphrased from
lengthy article entitled "Eastern Sea Frontier Chief is a Texan with a
Naval Job," that ran in the July 18, 1942, edition of the Fort Worth
VADM Andrews was
born in Galveston, Texas, the son of Adolphus Rutherford and Louise
(Davis) Andrews. He lived a few childhood years in Weatherford, Texas,
in Dallas, and attended the University of Texas in Austin. He was
there to take the entrance exam for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis
accepted. He graduated as a Naval Officer in 1901. He
married Miss Berenice
Platter of Denison, Texas, and the couple was blessed with two
son Adolphus Jr. and a daughter Frances W. Andrews.
During his long and
illustrious career that spanned World Wars I and II, VADM Andrews was
Aide to four Presidents, commanded ships ranging from a tugboat to
and was the youngest Captain in the Navy at the end of World War I. He
his military career as the Commandant of the Third Naval District and
Sea Frontier. He retired from the Navy on 11 November 1943.
Left to mourn his
passing and cherish his memory were his loving wife and children. He
to her. Many papers, newspaper clippings, and photos illustrating VADM
career were given to the Denison Public library, Denison, Texas, and
readily available for review.
Andrews Sr., Obituary #2, Dallas
Find a Grave
[Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1948]
The three-starred flag of
Andrews, the Dallas man who ran the Navy's war against Nazi subs on the
Atlantic Coast, was struck forever Saturday. He died in the U. S. Naval
Hospital at Houston.
Death came after a long
illness to the
handsome, 69-year-old man who had been naval aide to three United
Presidents. When Adolphus Andrews entered Annapolis, he was the
midshipman in his class. At 38, he was the youngest captain in the
Navy. He had
held almost every high Navy post except Chief of Naval Operations.
Since retiring because of
age in 1943, he had
headed the Andrews Investment Company in Dallas and the Waples-Platter
of Texas. He held a dozen other important business directorates.
Funeral services will be
held at 4 p. m. Monday
at St. Matthews' Cathedral. Burial will be in Oak Cliff Cemetery.
When he retired, Adolphus
Andrews had served
the Navy for forty-eight years, although he hadn't aimed at a naval
career in the
first place. He wanted to go to Yale, but when he was graduated from
High School he was only 15, and his father decided he was too young to
so the boy went to the University of Texas in Austin. While there, he
telegram from his father to come home and take a competitive exam for
appointment to the naval academy.
"I didn't even know where
was," Andrews recalled later. He packed a set of books and
intended to study for the
examination on the train. After awhile, he became bored and decided to
the whole thing over. He had a biography of Andrew Jackson with him,
the rest of the evening reading it. When he took the
examination, he found that the first question
was a detailed one about Andrew Jackson. Young Andrews got the
appointment and finished Annapolis in
For a time, he served aboard
Dolphin, a yacht assigned to the Secretary of the Navy,
and at the White House
under President Theodore Roosevelt as junior naval aide. He asked and
got in 1908
command of a river gunboat, the U.S.S.
Villalobos, on the China station where
reputations were made or broken in those chaotic days.
By 1918, he was the youngest
captain in the Navy
and commanding officer of the battleship Massachusetts. By
1931, he was chief
of staff of the Naval War College. By 1934, he was chief of staff of
State's fleet. He became chief of the important Bureau of Navigation,
Bureau of Naval Personnel, in 1935, and a vice-admiral and commander of
fleet scouting force, with seventeen heavy cruisers, thirty other
flying boats, and 50,000 men under him, in 1938.
In the meantime, he had been
naval aide to
Prince Axel of Denmark during the latter's visit to the United States
War I days. He was commander of the Presidential yacht, the Mayflower, and
senior naval aide to Presidents Harding and Coolidge. He represented
States at the Geneva Preparatory Commission on the Limitation of
1926 and 1927.
From 1929 to 1931, Andrews
officer of the U.S.S.
Texas, the battleship which now rests in the Houston ship
When World War II came,
Andrews was old for a
combat command. He took charge, nevertheless, of the Eastern Sea
headquarters in New York and started to fight the German submarine
"about three planes, some small craft, and a lot of fine but
men from Cornell."
He earned there the
After he retired in 1943, he
manpower survey board of the Navy and was a member of the Pearl Harbor
Inquiry. In June 1945, he went to the Pacific and stayed for almost a
Red Cross Commissioner.
At the time of his death, he
was a director of
Railway, the Texas Bank & Trust Company, the
Kansas City Wholesale Grocery Company of Kansas City, Mo., and the Bird
Corporation of San Antonio.
He was a member of the New
York City University
Club, the Dallas Downtown Club, the Fort Worth Club, the Alibi Club,
Metropolitan Club and Chevy Chase Country Clubs of Washington, D.C.
He is survived by
his wife, the former Berenice [sic] W. Platter of Denison; a daughter,
Frances A. Dillingham of Honolulu, T. H.; a son, Adolphus Andrews Jr.
Worth; and three grandchildren.