David Hodges Foreman biography

DAVID HODGES FOREMAN. The citizenship of Jack county has known David H. Foreman in the field of domestic commerce a dozen years and the county has known him as a citizen since 1883. First as farmer and then as merchant, the higher elements of man’s nature have ever dominated him and it is as a representative of those who have helped to do things here that he finds a place in the ranks of progress in our achievement age.

Beginning with his origin we find Mr. Foreman a native of Marshall county, Alabama, born February 7, 1854. James Foreman, his father, was a native of Morgan county, Alabama, lived a modest farmer there and in Marshall county died in 1869 at forty-seven years of age. Grandfather Foreman migrated from North Carolina to Alabama, in which former state the family were pioneers and representatives of an old American family. James Foreman married Elizabeth Hodges a daughter of David and Lucinda (Johnson) Hodges, formerly of the state of Georgia. She died in 1880, the mother of William, who died in Jackson county, Arkansas, as a farmer and left a family; John, a Collin county, Texas, farmer; David H., of this notice; James, who passed away from earth in Sebastian county, Arkansas, as a tiller of the soil; Isaac, of Hill county, Texas; Mary, wife of H. E. Floyd, passed away in Sebastian county, Arkansas; and Benjamin, who conducts a farm in that county.

The farm furnished the playground for David H. Foreman when a child and with its affairs he remained associated until thirty-seven years of age. The schools of the country district knew him as a pupil at times and he began life for himself with a strong frame, a willing hand and a fairly trained mind. He left his native heath at past twenty-three and sought Texas with the intention of making his way by the labor of hands and took up farm work for wages in Kaufman county as an introduction to the Lone Star state. From a farm hand to cropping on the shares and from that to independent farming mark the successive steps of his advance, and after five years spent in Kaufman county he came to Jack, in November, 1883, and bought a farm on Salt creek, ten miles southwest of Jacksboro. His farm embraced the settlements of Kizee and Myers and he remained on its some nine years and abandoned it for a mercantile career.

Coming to Jacksboro in 1892, Mr. Foreman engaged in the grocery business, added dry goods later and took in J. E. Grisham as a partner for a time. Mr. Grisham retired and after some further experience with groceries Mr. Foreman closed it out and put in a stock of hardware, adding implements as an important branch of the business. From 1898 to the present his stock and business have kept pace with the progress of the times and it is now one of the important local marts of trade. The hardware line has experience an annual growth and implements have moved with a slow and steady pace, save binders, on which line alone his per cent of increase for 1905 over any former year will reach seventy-five.

In November, 1879, Mr. Foreman married, and two pair of mules and a wagon and a little cash constituted the accumulation of himself and wife on their advent to Jack county. When he entered on his mercantile life his store was situated near the northwest corner of the square and six hundred dollars was invested in groceries as the nucleus of his first stock. Business alone has absorbed him, and his peculiar fitness for a commercial career has assured him a gratifying success. His wife was Mary J. Cotton, daughter of Weaver and Mary (Yery) Cotton, from Georgia and Rusk county, Texas, respectively. Mr. Cotton was a farmer and moved into Kaufman county before the war, and there Mrs. Foreman was born in 1857. She died April 1, 1900, the mother of Eula, who died at eighteen years, in March, 1899; Anna, wife of H. S. Perkins, of Hamilton, Texas; William Lawton, of Pepperwood, California, and Eddie, a young lady at home, and Jessie, Katie, Mary and David Homer.

Mr. Foreman is a member of the Christian church and of the fraternal order Woodmen of the World. In former years he took some active interest in politics and was a Democrat until Mr. Cleveland issued his famous free trade message, in 1887, when he broke with the party and joined issues with the party of reform and has affiliated with it since. In the olden time his father was a Whig, but the family espoused Democracy on the issues of the war and are largely identified with it still.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 520-521.