E.P. DAVIS

RETURN        HOME

E. P. Davis: Throckmorton County, Texas

The architect of his own fortune, Mr. Davis has risen from the rank of cowboy by hard work and still harder knocks to a proud position among the Wealthiest cattlemen and capitalists of the great State of which he a citizen and which has been the scene of all his struggles and triumphs.

His father was Thomas Davis, born in Wilson County, Tennessee on the first day of December, 1807, of Irish lineage, and his mother was Miss Jennie Donnell, born in the same county on June 11, 1810. Their marriage took place in Tennessee in 1827 and some time afterward, they moved to Missouri where the father followed the pursuit of farming, stock raising and merchandising. A portion of his life was spent in Hickory County, Missouri and it was here the E.P. Davis was born on the 27th of November, 1847, he being the youngest of seven children.

E.P. Davis passed his early life in Missouri up to the age of fourteen years. At this tender age, he volunteered his services to the Confederate cause and enlisted in Colonel Martin's regiment and remained in active service until the very close of the war, participation in as long marches and severe battles as the mature men of his regiment and never received a wound. He was discharged from the service at Galveston Island and remained in the city of Galveston for some time.

He was now seventeen years of age and liking the State in which he found himself, when the Confederate armies disbanded, determined to make an attempt to gain a livelihood here. With this object in view, he started for Collin County. Here he obtained employment on a farm at six dollars per month. His term of service at this magnificent salary was not of long duration, for soon after he purchased an interest in a tanning yard in Hopkins County and worked as a tanner for eighteen months, for enumeration taking a part of the hides tanned. At the end of the above period, he traded the hides he had accumulated as his share for fifty steers and undertook the Herculean task of breaking them for freighting. This accomplished he engaged in hauling lumber form the pineries of Eastern Texas to Sherman, Texas. This business could only be carried on during the summer months, and in the fall he became a full fledged cowboy and helped to drive cattle over the trail to Kansas. Then in Midwinter he would camp on Elm Creek and make rails, for which he found ready sale among the neighboring farmers and ranchmen. He followed this life for five years, employing every moment of his time and making everything he took hold of yield a cash return. His surplus was always carefully invested in cattle which he fitted for market and drove to Kansas every fall with the herds with which he was working.

It was in this manner he got his first start in the cattle business and step by step established himself on a firm footing in his chosen profession. He soon gained the reputation of a farsighted hard working man and had the confidence of men of wealth and standing; so that when he saw an opening the he believed would net him a good profit, his friend, Dr. Huffard, readily loaned him $10,000 and Mrs. Anderson, a sister living in Denton County, a few thousand more. With this he went South and invested in cattle, which he drove through to Salina, Kansas. He realized a net profit of $7,500. The following year he repeated the experiment, but not with such good results. During this year a change was effected which did away with the prominent feature of cattle raising in Texas. The railroad was completed to Denison and the trails to Kansas were abandoned. Shipments were thereafter made from Denison by Mr. Davis as well as other cattlemen.

Not succeeding in this locality as well as he desired, he moved his herds farther to the west and found a more suitable range in Throckmorton County, known as the Oak Grove Ranch. He kept his herds here for three years, after which time he moved about from place to place in the same county, camping where the pastures were good up to six years ago, when he located his herds permanently on a ranch lying to the east of the city of Throckmorton, a built a fine residence six miles distant from town, where he lives surrounded by an interesting family, composed of his wife and five lovely children.

His wife was Miss Hettie A. Daws, whom he married in Young County, Texas on January 14, 1885. They have five children: John Thomas and Jennie Allen, twins, Eliza Rebecca, Samuel Robert and Alice Elizabeth.

His ranches consist of 14,000 acres of land held in his own name and 60,000 acres of rented pasturage. e is one of the largest handlers of cattle in the State, shipping a great number every year and he has had as 25,000 on hand at one time. He is engaged at present in improving his herds by the introduction of the Durham and Hereford breeds, which he considers as best adapted to his purposes.

His fortune is not all invested in cattle and lands, as he is a stockholder in three national banks in his part of the State, namely, the First National Bank of Albany, the Becham National Bank of Graham and the State National Bank of Wichita Falls; besides this he has $65,000 loaned out to different individuals in his private capacity. From the $3,00 with which he landed in Throckmorton County has grown the handsome fortune of $300,000 which he now possesses. Mr. Davis has had no political aspirations, but in spite of that he has served as County Commissioner for two terms, and while having no opportunities for obtaining an education he has acquired a wide knowledge of a practical kind and is one of the enterprising, substantial men of the Southwest.

**The Cattle Industry of Texas and Adjacent Territory Historical and Biographical. St. Louis MO: Woodward and Tiernan Printing Co., 1895.

Trent McKnight mcknight@westex.net
 

RETURN        HOME