P. D. SANDERS was born in Grimes county, Texas, October 5, 1855, son of Peter T. and Harriet A. (Dueitt) Sanders, natives of Marion county, South Carolina. The Dueitts were of Scotch descent and the family was represented in South Carolina among the early settlers of that State. Peter Sanders was a house builder, doing both masonry and wood work. In 1853 he moved from South Carolina to Texas, locating in Grimes county, where he soon became somewhat interested in the stock business and worked hard to get a start. While in a fair way to prosperity, overwork broke down his health and he died in the prime of his life, in 1861, at the age of thirty-four years. His widow reached the ripe age of seventy-one years, her death occurring in Grimes county, in 1894. Of their eight children, all died in infancy, except two, P. D. Sanders, the subject of this sketch, and a daughter, now Mrs. L. P. Mills, of Leon county, Texas.
It was just at the opening of the Civil war times that P. D. Sanders was left an orphan by the death of his father, and the widowed mother with three children was left to struggle for an existence in a new and thinly settled country. From the time he was eight until he was fourteen years of age, P. D. attended such private schools as there were in their neighborhood, his schooling being confined chiefly to the summer months. After he was fourteen he took charge of his mother’s farm and the small amount of stock that she had left, and supported her and his sister. The youngest child meantime had died. He continued to reside with his mother until 1881. That year he went to Burleson county, Texas, and rented land near Caldwell, the county seat, which he cultivated for two years. While there he was elected justice of the peace of his precinct, and he soon afterward changed his residence to the town of Caldwell and engaged in the hotel business. For five years he ran the hotel, four years of that time spending all his leisure moments in the study of law. In due time he was admitted to the bar, during the spring term of the District Court at Caldwell, in 1886, and at once began the practice of law. In January, 1888, he moved to Haskell, and in November of that year he was elected county judge of Haskell county, for a term of two years. To this office he was again elected in the fall of 1892, and served two terms, up to the fall of 1896. He was elected district judge of the Thirty-ninth Judicial District in the fall of 1898, for a term of four years, and since his retirement from that office he has been practicing law and conducting a general land and investment business at Haskell. Judge Sanders is a man of fine personality, is yet in the prime of life, and has before him prospects for greater success than he has already attained. His acquaintance and his business relations extend not only all over his own county but also to numerous adjacent counties.
While living on the farm with his mother, in 1875, at the age of twenty, Judge Sanders married Miss Addie Elliott, who was born and reared in Union Town, Perry county, Alabama. She died in October, 1886, leaving five children, the youngest three weeks old. After living a widower for more than a dozen years, the Judge married for his second wife, May 24, 1899, Miss Neelia Porter, daughter of Robert Porter of Burleson county, where he was born and reared. Of Judge Sanders’ family we record hat his eldest daughter, Hattie E., died in 1899. She was a graduate of the Haskell high school and had taught school one term. Fred T., his eldest son, is engaged in the cotton gin and confectionery business at Haskell; P. D., Jr., is a resident of Calgary, Alberta Province, Canada where he is Veterinary Inspector for the government; Alma, a music teacher, resides in Caldwell; and Zora B., wife of H. C. Park, lives in Haskell. By the second marriage there is one child, Rufus Cedrick, at this writing two years old. For twenty-eight years Judge Sanders has been a consistent member of the Methodist church. He has been a Royal Arch Mason thirteen years and ten year he was affiliated with the Woodmen of the World.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 520-521.