For twenty-two years has Adolphus W. Raht been identified with the substantial industrial interests of the Lone Star state, and in recent years he has been recognized as a positive force in the cattle-raising industry and is regarded among his contemporaries as a safe, progressive and successful agency in the manipulation of “cowmen’s” affairs.
His identity with Texas began at Gainesville in 1883, at which time he was an emigrant from Polk county, Tennessee, in which locality his birth occurred September 18, 1855. He is of German blood, his father, Julius E. Raht, having been born at Nassau. The latter came to the United States in 1849 and passed the first year of his residence here in Wisconsin, going thence, going thence to Polk county, Tennessee, where he married Matilda Dumbois, a daughter of John Dumbois, a Frenchman. Of the issue of this union Adolphus W. is the eldest; William E. resides in Chattanooga, manager of a stove and range works; Julius, of Tullahoma, Tennessee; Fred A., also of Tullahoma; Fred A., also of Tullahoma, and Charles A., associated with his brother in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington, graduated Adolphus W. Raht in 1874 and he at once took up the study of civil engineering in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at Troy, New York, completing his course and graduating in 1877. He took a position with the United States government survey on the Missouri River Commission and spent a year at this work. He then joined the engineering force of the B. and M. R. railway in Nebraska and spent five years with the company, chiefly engaged in the work of location. He took charge of a party and started from the Missouri river and “footed” it all the way to Denver. Much of his work was done on the main line of the road but side lines were run, the one from Lincoln to Billings, Montana, being conspicuous among them.
The life of the chief of a surveying party is a strenuous and trying one. Carrying a transit day after day on preliminary and location work tries one’s physical endurance and taxes it to its utmost limit and it is not surprising that, after five years of touring, on foot, a new country and weighted with responsible duties and encumbered with the paraphernalia applicable to his position, he should seek a less laborious and exhausting vocation.
Leaving the employ of the railroad company in 1883 Mr. Raht came to Texas and engaged in the cattle business, with headquarters at Gainesville. He pastured his stock about forty miles north of the latter place in the Chickasaw Nation and maintained his ranch there until till some time in 1890, when he purchased a large portion of the old Red River Cattle Company’s ranch, comprising ten thousand acres and extending almost from his present headquarters ranch to the village of Shannon, and being divided into several pastures. He brought his entire cattle holdings to his new property and has carried on an extensive business here since. He has a thousand head of registered stock, Hereford variety, and is admirably situated for the successful carrying-on of this attractive and remunerative industry.
October 13, 1892, Mr. Raht married in Fort Worth, Ella M. Smartt, formerly from McMinnville, Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Raht have an adopted son, Carl G.,born September 15, 1882, and is connected with the shipping department of Swift and Company at North Fort Worth, Texas.
Mr. Raht’s ranch is equipped with three tenant houses and a beautiful modern and commodious residence, good barns and with an orchard of many varieties of fruit. His headquarters is surrounded by a grove of native oak, is situated on the apex of a low hill and the landscape is one exceedingly beautiful and attractive to behold.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), p. 212.