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In 1883 the idea occurred to him that it would be profitable to the stockmen of his community to sell dressed beef in Western and foreign markets, so he therefore organized a stock company known as the Columbus Meat and Ice Company. He was unanimously elected president and put in a plant at the cost of $250,000, with capacity of 250 head of cattle and forty tons of ice per day. The company filled an order with an English syndicate and for some time shipped dressed beef to Chicago, New Orleans, Galveston and other points. But the business was not as successful as he desired so he closed the factory, and again confined himself to selling to Western buyers, and shipping from his ranches to New Orleans, Galveston and Houston.
July 7, 1890, about seven o'clock in the afternoon, Robert E. Stafford and his brother John, a partner in many enterprises, although unarmed and unable to defend themselves were slain upon the streets of Columbus, by men, one of whom Robert E. Stafford had befriended. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Knights of Honor. In politics he was a Democrat and took a deep interest in public affairs. He was many times a delegate to state conventions.
Robert E. Stafford was a devoted husband, kind and loving father, true friend and a citizen above reproach. He did much to develop the section in which he lived.
Lafayette Ward was the son of Lafayette Ward, Sr., a Kentuckian by birth, and Agnes Ward, who were married in Missouri and moved to Texas in 1840 and settled on Carancahua Bay, in Jackson county, where the elder Ward helped make a part of early Texas history. It was here that Lafayette Ward was born in the year 1854. He grew to young manhood under his mother's guidance having lost his father when he was only seven years old. His mother operated a cattle ranch and young Ward grew up in the business, looking after his mother's interests and then began operations for himself when still a young man. His education was received at Concrete and at Salado in Bell county, to which place he rode horseback from the Gulf. In the latter seventies he carried large herds of cattle up the trail, wintering near Dodge City, Kansas. In his later years he was a member of the Old Trail Drivers' Association.
He was married to Miss Lottie B. Compton of Galveston in 1880, and is survived
LAFAYETTE WARD by his wife and two sons, A. P. Ward, and Lafayette Ward, Jr., and one grandson, A. P. Ward, Jr., all of San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Ward began buying the rich Jackson county lands very early in his career and stocked them with cattle until he owned at one time 76,000 acres in a solid body and at the time of his death still owned 40,000 acres of the choicest lands in the county, in the center of which is located the town of La Ward on the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico railroad. In keeping with his naturally progressive nature he was a pioneer in the Gulf Coast country in the breeding up of cattle until today his herds of Herefords and Brahmas are classed among the best in the state.
In addition to his holdings in Jackson county Mr. Ward owned large holdings of city property in San Antonio and a ranch of 18,000 acres in Kimble county and 23,000 acres in Hardeman and Foard counties.
THOMAS JEFFERSON MOORE
Possessed of rare virtues of heart and mind, a personal magnetism rarely met with in life, a personality that stamped him as a man of prominence and a leader in every gathering, the late Thomas Jefferson Moore, of Llano, Llano county, Texas, at the time of his death,
Wednesday, May 31, 1911, was recognized by all as a pre-eminent leader in the livestock world, and one of Texas' great men. Born in Tuscaloosa county, Alabama, March 31, 1847, of good old Irish stock, he came to Texas with his parents, Jefferson Moore and Susan Jeffreys Moore, in 1855. Guadalupe county, near Seguin, was the location selected for the new
home, where the elder Moore engaged in farming and stock raising on a small scale. Endowed at his birth with a splendid constitution and a magnificent brain, young Moore was given the sturdy training of the frontier. Industry and work came to him as a matter of course, and throughout his long and eventful life, he was an indefatigable worker. His business acumen was recognized in every section of the Southwest and many of his associates in the livestock industry came to him for advice which when followed out, almost universally led to success.
At the age of sixteen young Moore joined the Confederate army, enlisting in Captain Nixon's Company, Wood's Regiment, and with this splendid fighting organization he saw service until the close of the war. He never shirked a duty, his bravery was tempered with
T. J. MOORE
kindness and generosity and he had many warm friends among the members of his regiment. Seeing the proverbial Irish sense of humor and optimism, he set an inspiring example of cheerfulness under every hardship.
When the war closed, young Moore returned to Guadalupe county, where he worked on his father's farm and engaged in the freighting business with ox teams. This was the only means of distributing merchandise in those days, and the work, while very arduous at times was highly remunerative. His first venture in the cattle business was in the early 70's, when he bought cattle in Blanco county and drove them up the trail to Kansas, where he wintered his stock and sold in the spring. He continued in this work for several years, and his buying and selling of stock reached a point where he handled thousands of head each year. He used the trail for marketing cattle as long as it remained open to the North. In the latter 70's he went into stock raising on a large scale and this was his life occupation. He was a pioneer in stock improvement and early began improving registered bulls, although he made a specialty of prize-winning stock.
His various land and cattle investments were not confined to Texas, where he had extensive possessions in Llano and Webb counties, but in 1889, with John T. Lytle, J. R. Blocker and W. H. Jennings, he purchased more than 500,000 acres of land in Coahuila, Mexico. This tract of land is known as the Piedra Blanco Ranch, and is stocked with thousands of head of high-grade cattle. Captain Lytle died in 1906, when the remaining members bought out his heirs. The Piedra Blanco Ranch is still owned by the T. J. Moore estate, W. H. Jennings and J. R. Blocker. The Piedra Blanco Ranch was a source of much satisfaction to Mr. Moore, and many hours of his last years on earth were spent in mental direction and advisement of procedures on his property.
Mr. Moore became a member of the Texas Cattle Raisers' Association early in its organization and was alive to its interest and progress. Through personal influence and acquaintance he secured a large number of members for the Association among the stock raisers of North and South Texas. As an active worker in the Association he contributed toward the upbuilding of the cattle industry in the Southwest. For many years he was president of the Llano County Bank, of Llano, Texas, which later became the Home National Bank, and in which Mr. Moore was the largest individual stockholder.
Mr. Moore was married to Miss Carrie Roberts, a daughter of Captain and Mrs. Alexandria Roberts, of Blanco county, August 10, 1875. Of this union there was born one child, Edna Jeffreys, who now resides with her mother in the Moore home at Llano. Mr. Moore was reared in the Primitive Baptist faith, and his early Christian training shaped his entire life. His life-long friend, John C. Oatman, pays this tribute to his memory:
“As a husband and father, he was ever loving and tender. To supply their wants and make his wife and daughter happy was the greatest joy. As a friend, he was as true as the magnetic needle to the north star. In the darkest hour of their adversity he stood closest to his friends, and with his money and his counsel he assisted many. We are told in Holy Writ that pure and undefiled religion consisted in visiting the widows and fatherless in their afflictions, and it was in this Godlike and Godgiven trait of character that Tom Moore shined · brightest. How many unfortunate, helpless persons he assisted during his life only the Great Father knows. True it is that he never turned any away empty. All this he did for sweet charity's sake, for no one ever heard him boast of what he had done."