Albert Devereux biography

It is both an early settler and as county surveyor of Wise county that Albert Devereux is widely known, for his advent hither dates from the year 1874, and his service in the capacity of the county’s engineer embraces an epoch of its greatest and most rapid development.

Since the Centennial year, when he was chosen county surveyor the first time, he has been a land man, and whether in office or out, he has occupied his time chiefly as a locater and a dealer in Texas lands. In the subject of agriculture he has ever maintained an interest, and beginning with the little tract he bought on Deep creek where he first made his Wise county home and extending down through the years, the encouragement of settlers and settlements has been the burden of his thoughts. Born within the limits of the Lone Star state and nurtured under the benign influences of its soil and climate, Mr. Devereux typifies in the essential elements of his makeup those solid and vigorous characters who have ever taken rank in the civil affairs of their respective localities and whose labors have wrought beyond the disposition of money to compensate. The extent of his field work with compass and chain and his familiarity with the land lines everywhere in Wise county makes him and his office a veritable bureau of information relative to these matters, and he is easily the best informed man on titles and lands in the county.

December 15, 1848, Albert Devereux was born in Rusk county, Texas, a son of Julien S. Devereux, who settled in Montgomery county on entering the Lone Star state a young man, and later on moved into Rusk county, where he remained until his death in 1856. The father was born in Georgia, in Milledg[e]ville, in 1821, his father, John Devereux, having been a planter and a gentleman of French antecedents, who passed away in Rusk county in about 1840. Julien S. and Mrs. Lou Holcomb, of Mobile, Alabama, and Albert, were the latter’s children who reared families, except Albert, who died of yellow fever at Pensacola, Florida, in about 1840. While passing to his majority Julien S. Devereux acquired a liberal education and became a man well equipped and well trained mentally. He possessed the qualifications requisite to a reliable legislator and Rusk county sent him to Austin to do her share of the law-making for the state, and he died in 1856 while holding this position. For his wife he chose Sarah A. Landrum, a daughter of John Landrum, a Mexican war veteran as well as a Texas veteran of the battle of San Jacinto.

Just before the battle which decided the fate of Texas was fought Mr. Landrum came to the scene of the conflict from Alabama, and as a civilian maintained himself a farmer. He was of German stock and passed his last years in Van Zandt county where he is buried. Mrs. Sarah A. Devereux lived to an advanced age and died in Cherokee county in 1902, at the age of seventy-two, having been the mother of: Albert, of this notice; Julien S., Jr., who died in Ector county, Texas, in 1899; William P., of Cherokee county; and Charles M., who died in Montgomery county in 1883.

Albert Devereux’s life was a rural one until after he became a citizen of Wise county. He was a student of McKenzie College near Clarksville, Texas, and attended the Gilmer high school under Morgan H. Looney, there acquiring the principles of surveying, a fact which has proved an event of much importance in his life. He was married before he reached his majority and took up the work of the farm. His mental and physical equipment comprised his chief assets when he came to Wise county, yet the “hungry wolf” never prowled around his door. From 1877 to 1881 he filled the office of county surveyor, and having thus familiarized himself with the work and popularized himself as a reliable engineer he continued in the work as a locater in this and other parts of the state, thus extending his acquaintance and widening his influence and usefulness. In 1900, he was again chosen county surveyor and has been twice re-elected to the position. Mr. Devereux is not only known as a surveyor and a citizen, but as a Democrat also. He has known two generations of Wise county political managers and has participated with them in distributing the spoils of office on many biennial occasions. He annually attends the State Democratic conventions as a delegate, almost without fail, and by his vote has aided in the nomination of some men who have come to be national characters representing the Lone Star state.

February 11, 1869, Mr. Devereux married Elizabeth A., a daughter of B. F. Stamps, an early settler of Rusk county from Alabama. Mrs. Devereux was born in Rusk county in the month of January, 1851, and her mother was Fannie, a daughter of Dr. P. T. Richardson, also of Alabama. The issue of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Devereux are: Julian O., William E., and Harper, deceased; Antoinette; wife of Ira Stepp, of Wise county, with children, Julian, William and Edith; Frank L., of Cherokee county, who married Josie Douglass and has a son, Frank D.; and Charles, Leila B., and Albert, Jr., who continue with the parental home. Mr. Devereux is a member of the Methodist church and belongs to the Masonic Fraternity and also several other societies.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 58-59.