HON. H. B. PATTERSON, former president of the First National Bank of Snyder, and now devoting his attention to his farming and stock raising interests, comes in both the paternal and maternal lines from ancestry from Tennessee. His grandfather, James Francis Patterson, was a native of that state and in 1856, with his family and some of his brothers, he left Tennessee and removed to Missouri, settling in Ripley county, where his death occurred in 1869, when he was sixty-five years of age. The Pattersons have always followed farming and stock raising, and it was to those pursuits that the grandfather devoted his time and energies. He married Miss Pipkin, also a native of Tennessee, and they became the parents of three sons, William, John and Bishop.
The last named was born in Macon county, Tennessee, in 1836, and was reared in the place of his nativity to the age of twenty years, when he accompanied his parents to Missouri. About 1868 he was elected probate judge of Ripley county and served for four years. Following his retirement from office, in the spring of 1872, he left Missouri and removed to Hamilton county, Texas, where he spent two years. He afterward went to Lampasas county, where he also remained for two years and then removed to Callahan county, where he resided for three years. In 1881 he came to Scurry county some time before its organization and has since made his home here. He was married in Tennessee to Miss Martha Bennett, a native of that state, who died in Nolan county, Texas, in 1881. By this marriage there were nine children, four sons and five daughters, namely: Houston Bennett; Nancy Tennessee, the wife of J. W. Woody, a resident of Scurry county, Texas; James Haywood, also living in Scurry county; Elizabeth, the wife of Walter Wassen, whose home is in Scurry county; Mary Jane, the wife of Ernest Wright, of El Paso, Texas; Hettie Frances, the wife of Albert Morris, of Valparaiso, Indiana; Beecher, deceased; Martha Bishop; and John Hood, deceased.
Houston Bennett Patterson, whose name introduces this review, was born in Ripley county, Missouri, December 29, 1856, and lived in that state until about sixteen years of age, when, in 1872, he came to Texas with his father. His educational privileges were somewhat meager because of the disorganized condition of the schools, owing to the Civil war. He had to walk four miles to a country school, which was maintained for only about three months in the year. Following the father’s election to the office of probate judge of Ripley county the family removed to Doniphan, the county seat, and there the children were afforded better educational privileges, Mr. Patterson of this review pursuing his studies there for about seven or eight months, when, on account of illness in the family, they returned to the farm. After coming to Texas he attended a school in Lampasas county for a few months and it was about this time in his life that he began business operations by trading occasionally for a horse or two, and when he was twenty-one years of age he started out upon an independent business career. He never worked for wages except for a few months and all that he has possessed and enjoyed has been acquired through his own labors. He farmed for a time in Callahan county, having an interest for a time in the crops with his father and he continued in that business until 1884, carrying on general agricultural pursuits and stock raising, making a specialty of sheep.
In 1881 Mr. Patterson arrived in Scurry county, and upon his retirement from the stock business in 1884 he was elected county and district clerk, being the first to hold the office in this county, which was organized on the 28th of June of that year. He filled the position continuously until the general election of 1896, so that his incumbency covered a little more than twelve years. He refused to again become a candidate, although urged to do so by many of his friends. In February of the following year a vacancy occurred in the office of county judge, and at the solicitation of the board of commissioners he consented to take his place on the bench. He filled out the unexpired term and at the general election of 1898 was elected to the same position, serving for nearly four years in all. Since then he has been out of office and has no further aspiration for political preferment as he desires to concentrate his energies upon his private business affairs. In 1889 a private bank was organized under the name of the State Bank, with a capital stock of twenty-five thousand dollars and Mr. Patterson was elected president. In 1900 this became under a reorganization the First National Bank of Snyder, with a capital stock of thirty-five thousand dollars. Judge Patterson was made its first president, but has since sold his stock in the bank because of the close confinement which undermined his health and led to his determination to live a life more out of doors. Since that time he has given his attention to his farming and stock raising interests, and his home is situated about mile south of Snyder, where he has about eight hundred acres, of which seventy-five acres are under cultivation. He likewise has a ranch in the northeast part of Scurry county, about eighteen miles from Snyder, consisting of about five thousand acres devoted principally to stock. There is between fifty and sixty acres of this under cultivation, utilized in raising feed for the stock. He has about four hundred and fifty head of cattle and the original stock was crossed between the Herefords and Shorthorns. Later Judge Patterson has given attention to the raising of a fine grade of stock from registered Red Polled bulls, crossed them with the Herefords and Durhams, and he now has the foundation laid for one of the finest herds in the country.
Judge Patterson was married in 1885 to Miss Lavinia Hale, a native of Missouri, and a daughter of Alexander Hale, who came to Texas with his family when Mrs. Patterson was a young girl. In their family there are now three children, Sarah Tennessee, Martha and Bennett. Since 1873 Judge Patterson has been a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and he belongs to the Odd Fellows society and the Woodmen of the World. He has made his own way in life unassisted by any inherited fortune. He has been a faithful officer of public trust, filling both the position of clerk and county judge with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He has likewise prospered in his business affairs and at the present time he is one of the leading stock men of the western country.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 459-460.