GEORGE HILL MULKEY, vice president of the Traders’ National Bank, is a representative of a prominent old family of this state and a son of Rev. William and Annis (Pinkerton) Mulkey. The father was born in Georgia in 1796, there being but one generation between George H. Mulkey and the time of George Washington. Rev. William Mulkey was one of the most noted characters in the pioneer history of the southwest, and as a minister and missionary of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, was an extensive traveler, and was a soldier in the war of 1812. In his early life as a young minister he lived in many of the principal cities of the United States, including Washington, Baltimore, Annapolis, Boston and Nashville, and was living in Tennessee at the time the government removed the Cherokee and Choctaw Indians from Georgia and Alabama to the Indian Territory, this being in the early ’30’s. Rev. Mulkey had for some time been interested in the education and enlightenment of the Indians, and on the occasion of their removal received a commission from the church, approved by the Federal authorities, to accompany them as a missionary and teacher. He remained in that work for several years, making his home on the boarder of Indian Territory, for the protection of the state in case of possible hostilities on the part of the red men. In April, 1861, he removed with his family from Arkansas to Tennessee, and then to Texas, locating at Waxahachie in Ellis county, engaging in ministerial and evangelistic work throughout the state. One of the sons, Stephen H. Mulkey, had preceded him to this state, locating here in 1854, and he is now living in Fort Worth. On one of his trips from his Arkansas home Rev. Mulkey had visited Texas as early as the thirties. In 1870 he was called upon to lay down life’s labors, passing away quite suddenly on a train on the Texas Central Railroad at Hearne, Texas, but his memory will long remain with those who knew him, because of his life of helpfulness, of broad sympathy and his deep interest in and labors for the benefit of others.
Rev. Mulkey was in many ways a remarkable character. Beginning life without educational advantages whatever, having been taught to read by his first wife, he having been twice married, he became in later life a man of splendid intellectual attainments, and collaborated with Dr. Walker in this authorship of the phonetic system in teaching. He also became the author of several books, mainly on orthoepy subjects as relating to the English language. Among other things he wrote and published the New Testament in purely phonetically language, by which means many unlearned persons became able to read, he teaching the sounds instead of letters. Physically he was a man of sublime courage, a typical frontiersman, fond of the open life, and his fearlessness was such that it was often said of him that he “could fight a saw-mill and whip it.” Notwithstanding all this, he was a man of the highest spiritual qualities, and his life was entirely devoted to the elevation of his fellow men. In his memory the Mulkey Memorial church was built in Fort Worth in 1891. One of his sons, Rev. Abe Mulkey, is also a noted minister and evangelist of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. Mrs. Mulkey, the wife of this revered pioneer minister, was born in Lexington, Kentucky.
George Hill Mulkey had his nativity in Hempstead county, Arkansas, where he was born July 1, 1847, but in April, 1861, came with his father to Texas. During his boyhood days he had the interesting experience of carrying the mail on the route from Waxahachie to Fort Worth for the government contractor, George Marchbanks, there being no railroads here at that time. In 1864, before reaching the age of seventeen, hen enlisted in the Confederate service for the Civil War, entering Company B, Colonel Bates’ Regiment, and was on special detail duty under Captain G. W. Harris in Texas and Louisiana, until the close of hostilities. On the expiration of his military career he attended school at McKenzie College, in Red River county, one of the well known educational institutions of those days, and there many of the now prominent men of Texas received their early mental discipline. In 1871 he removed to Fort Worth, which has ever since been his home. His first work here was a proprietor of a small corn and feed mill, later becoming connected with a planing mill and subsequently was elected clerk of the district court of Tarrant county, but resigned this official position to accept a more desirable one in the bank of Boaz & Ellis, known as the Texas & California Bank, one of the pioneer financial institutions of Fort Worth, originally started by Captain Loyd. This afterward became known as the City National Bank. In 1882 Mr. Mulkey was one of the promoters of the Traders’ National Bank, with which he has ever since been connected, and is now its vice-president. About 1891 he purchased a paint and paper business, which has since been incorporated as the Texas Paint and Paper Company, of which he was president for many years and of which his sons, K. A. and W. W., are now president and treasurer, respectively. This is the largest establishment of its kind in Fort Worth, conducting a prosperous and successful business.
Mr. Mulkey’s benefactions to church and college institutions have been bestowed with a spirit of philanthropy that is certainly unusual, and for every dollar he has made in business he has practically given a dollar to church and school, thus going far beyond the usually prescribed "tenth." He practically built with his own hands the Methodist church in the Third ward, and the Mulkey Memorial church, built by the Mulkey family principally, was most generously favored by him with funds. At the present time this church is being rebuilt as a much finer and larger structure. He represented the Methodist Episcopal Church Society in its American Conference and in the General Conference, and the honor of being appointed to the Ecumenical Conference held in London, England, in 1890, during which time he toured the Continent in company with his son, Homer T. In all church work he appeared as a lay representative. He was one of the founders and has been the largest individual contributor to the Polytechnic College, to which he has given over ten thousand dollars, and is treasurer of the institution. He served as city alderman from the First and Sixth wards, one term in the Fort Worth Fire Department, and was chief of the Volunteer Fire Department. In the general up building of Fort Worth he is a public-spirited and enterprising citizen, and in all life’s relations is found true to the duties which the day may bring forth.
Mr. Mulkey was first married to Miss Minnie Graves, now deceased, and they had two sons—W. W. and Karl A. Mulkey. His present wife was in her maidenhood Miss Frances Anderson, a member of one of the old-time families of Fort Worth and a sister of Mrs. W. J. Boaz. To this marriage have been born six children, namely: Homer T., Young J., Madge, Ethel, George F. and Abe, the last named now deceased.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 121-122.