David Henry Sigmon biography

In the summer of 1883 there came into Bowie a gentleman whose identity with the city dates from that even in his life, and who has modestly played an important part in the commercial development of Bowie. This young emigrant of thirty years, whose cash assets would have had plenty of room in the palm of your hand, and who has since achieved a financial and social standing of the first order was none other than David H. Sigmon, the subject of this review.

Catawaba county, North Carolina, was the place of Mr. Sigmon’s nativity and his birth occurred September 26, 1853. The grandfather of our subject established the family in that county in the fore part of the past century, going there from the state of Pennsylvania. Catawaba county was then a new and rather frontier country and he opened up one of the new farms. There his children came to maturity and assumed their rural stations in life. The family name is easily traceable to the German blood and its descendants in the south point to either Abel or Jacob J. Sigmon, sons of the Pennsylvania ancestor, as the tree-trunks of their respective families.

Jacob J. Sigmon, our subject’s father, was born in 1819, devoted himself to rural pursuits in Catawba, his native county, and passed to rest there in 1878. He married a German lady. Siva Setzer, who died in 1868, being the mother of Ellen, wife of John J. Reinhardt, of Catawba county, North Carolina; Pinkney, who was a prominent citizen of Bowie and died in 1904 leaving a family; David H., our subject; Jane, wife of John Coperning, of Bowie; Julius, who is identified with the mercantile interests of Bowie; Fannie, Mrs. A. P. Sites, of Gomez, Texas; and Allie, wife of Knox Coperning, of Caldwell county, North Carolina.

The common schools of his native county and Bryant and Stratton’s Business College in Baltimore gave David H. Sigmon his literary and business education. At twenty years of age he had finished his education and at twenty-one he departed from the old home to begin life in the west with little more than funds enough to pay his fare to his destination at Dallas. In the course of his rounds in Dallas, in an effort to properly locate himself in a position, he fell in with the firm of Littlehale & Brother, hide, wool and cotton buyers, who engaged his services without date. Having shown an aptitude for his work the firm sent him to Fort Worth in 1876, to take charge of their branch business there, and which he really established for them. He made the Littlehale venture in Fort Worth a success and remained with his employers until the year in the same line of business in company with Doug. Wise, now of Jefferson, Texas. His capital at the opening was less than one hundred dollars and it took sudden, frequent and many turns of it to place whim where he felt some financial independence. At the end of a year he bought out of his partner and took in his brother, Julius, with whom he conducted the hide, wool and cotton business for three years. Then buying out his brother, he remained in the business until 1892 when he purchased the furniture stock of J. T. Burnett and Company. In the course of time he joined J. A. Burgess, in the undertaking business and with these prominent business connections he was identified with Bowie’s domestic commerce March 1, 1905. Mr. Sigmon has also established himself in the furniture business in Chickasha, Indian Territory, and there he built a factory for the manufacture of the cheaper grades of furniture. The style of the firm is the Sigmon Furniture and Carpet Company and his sons are active members of the firm and proprietors of the business.

In December, 1878, David H. Sigmon and Miss Emma A. Thornton were married in Fort Worth. Mrs. Sigmon is a daughter of John A. Thornton who came to Texas from Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1873. Mrs. Sigmon was born in Mississippi and is the mother of Claud T., William H., Alma and Julia Sigmon, all adjuncts to the family home.

As a citizen of Bowie Mr. Sigmon is public-spirited, loyal and earnest. Whenever called to serve the public on municipal matters he has done so with a singleness of purpose and to the unswerving interests of his town. He represented the Third ward in the common council for some time and has never failed to “be there” when substantial efforts were needed to locate some desirable enterprise or to raise a fund for some public benefit. He is a Democrat and holds a membership in the Missionary Baptist church.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 595-596.