Anna Berry Jordan biography

MRS. ANNA JORDAN, living in Nocona, is the widow of David C. Jordan, deceased, who was a prominent rancher and cattleman of Montague county. He was born in Kentucky, July 24, 1842, and spent the days of his boyhood and youth upon a farm in that state. His father was Pleasant Jordan, a native of Culpepper county, Virginia, and a farmer by occupation, who died in Carter county, Kentucky, in 1846, when David C. Jordan was a little lad of four years. His wife was Ann Burchett, also a native of Virginia, and she survived her husband only four years. In their family were eleven children and D. C. Jordan was left an orphan when eight years of age. He was a young man at the time of the outbreak of hostilities between the north and the south, but h manifested his spirit of bravery upon the battlefields, enlisted in the Confederate army with the Fifth Kentucky Infantry. He served until the close of the war, after which he returned to his home. About that time the building of the Union Pacific Railroad was attracting the attention of laboring opportunity in that section of the country. In Kansas he hired out to drive an ox team to Laramie and he was afterward employed with a government freight outfit to make trips to Fort Dodge. Subsequently he engaged in feeding cattle in Kansas and later was in the service of contractors who furnished beef to the Indians at Fort Sill, in the Indian Territory. Three years were spent in that way, at the end of which time with a co-worker, William Broadus, he began contracting on his own account in 1869. During the six months in which their contract lasted they learned seventeen thousand acres. The partners then concluded to continue in the cattle business and in 1873 located in Montague county, Texas, where they began business with twelve hundred head of cattle. The range at that time was free, the rancher being able to pasture his cattle wherever he desired. The partners continued actively in the business, purchasing and handling large herds of cattle. About 1881 they found it necessary to own pastures, began buying land and within a short time controlled twenty-two thousand acres. In this they continued successfully and later they sold to actual settlers twenty-five different farms. At length the partnership, which had been continued for a number of years, was dissolved by mutual consent, personal property and lands being divided. Mr. Jordan took as his portion thirty-six hundred acres of land adjoining the corporation limits of Nocona, although the town at that time had not been established. His success in business was due entirely to his own labors and he was a self-made man whose well-directed efforts proved of much value in the acquirement of prosperity. His business was carefully conducted along honorable lines and he was highly respected. He erected a commodious house and other buildings on his ranch and he continued actively in farming and cattle-raising up to the time of his death, which occurred on the 21st of October, 1902. After the time that Nocona was established he built and sold a number of houses there and was otherwise connected with the development of the place. He was a man of superior education, broad intelligence and gifted by nature with strong mentality, and he made for himself an honorable position in business life and in the regard of his fellow men. He was left an orphan at an early age and whatever success he achieved was attributable entirely to his own labors. He was recognized as one of the most enterprising and public-spirited men of Montague county and was highly esteemed for his integrity and value in all life’s relations. In his death the community lost one of its highly respected citizens.

In 1877 Mr. Jordan was married to Miss Anna Berry, who was born in Grayson county, Texas, on the 7th of March, 1860, her parents being James and Elizabeth (Myers) Berry, the latter a native of Illinois and of German descent, while the former was born in Tennessee. They were married in Texas. Mrs. Berry was a daughter of Samuel Myers, of North Carolina, who subsequent to his removal to Tennessee was married. Not long afterward he took up his abode in Ohio, and later went to Illinois, whence he started for Texas in 1837. Mrs. Berry was born October 9, 1829, and was therefore eight years of age when her parents therefore eight years of age when her parents left Illinois for the Lone Star state. The Indians, however, were reported to be hostile and the family did not continue their journey beyond northern Arkansas, where the father rented a farm, spending his remaining days in that locality. His wife also died there. His entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits and though he never sought to figure before the public he lived a life of uprightness that commended him to the confidence and good will of all with whom he was associated. He held membership in the Trinity Baptist church, while his wife was a member of the Presbyterian church. In their family were eight children: Matilda, Lydia, Abraham, Jessie, John, Sarah, Eliza J. and Mrs. Elizabeth Berry. The last named is the only one of the family now living and she finds a good home with her daughter, Mrs. Jordan. After the death of the parents in Arkansas the sons and daughters of the household at different times made their way into Texas and it was subsequent to her removal to this state that Elizabeth Myers became the wife of Mr. Berry. She came to Texas with a brother and sister and they had settled in Grayson county. She had first married Franklin Davis, of Tennessee, who was a blacksmith by trade and subsequent to his marriage was employed by the government in that line of work, spending one year in the Indian Territory. He then returned with his family to Grayson county, where he died in 1853, leaving two children, one of whom died in early youth, while the other, Micjah Davis, is a farmer. In 1857 Mrs. Davis was again married, becoming the wife of James Berry, a native of Tennessee and they settled in Grayson county, where they remained until 1873, when they came to Montague county. Mr. Berry was a saddler by trade and followed that pursuit prior to his removal to Montague county, but here he located a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres near the present site of Nocona and run cattle for three years. He improved thereon until 1877, when he was accidentally killed. He never sought political preferment, but lived a quiet, useful and honorable life as a mechanic and agriculturalist and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church South. Mrs. Berry is also an earnest Christian woman, belonging to the Methodist church. In their family were the following named: Mrs. Jane Loving; Anna, now Mrs. Jordan; Mrs. Mary King; J. Monroe, who is a stock farmer of Texas; Sophia, who died at the age of seventeen years; Mrs. Josephine Hamilton; and John, a resident farmer of this state.

To Mr. and Mrs. Jordan were born five children: William C., a cattleman; Thomas, who is assisting his mother in the management of her cattle and farming interests; Nellie and Kitty, who are attending school; and David A., who was born November 1, 1899. Mrs. Jordan is a member of the Methodist church. Since her husband’s death she has given her attention to her children and her farming interests and is recognized as a lady of excellent business ability and executive force. The loss of the husband and father was felt not only by the immediate family, but also by many friends, for he had endeared himself to friends by his genuine worth.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 274-275.