J. B. CUTBIRTH, long a representative of the cattle industry of Texas and a prominent of Baird, was born in this state. His father, Willis Cutbirth, was a native of Giles county, Tennessee, and on the 2nd of December of 1852, he removed with his family from Arkansas to Texas, locating in Denton county. He was a young man when he went to Arkansas and was there married in Washington county to Miss Mary Wagner, who was born in that state in 1824. Mr. Cutbirth was not long permitted to enjoy his new home in Texas, for he passed away in 1853 when about thirty-five years of age. In his family were six children, three sons and three daughters. His widow afterward married Anga Washington McFarland in 1861 and is now again a widow, making her home in her old age with her son, J. B. Cutbirth.
The latter was born at Pilot Point in Denton county, Texas, on the 17th of May, 1853, and remained at home until nine years of age, when he started out in life on his own account. He began at the very bottom round of the ladder and with little assistance in the way of education. He is in large measure a self-made man, and through his own industry, pluck and perseverance has won success and is now in possession of a very comfortable property. During the first two years and a half after he left home he lived with Uncle Johnny Morgan, and later with his older brother, Samuel Cutbirth, for a year. He then began to work for himself, going on the range with cattle for Elijah Emerson of Grayson county. The next year he drove a herd of cattle into Kansas for the firm of Cut birth & Skinner, and for the following three years he drove cattle on the trail into Kansas. He then located on the old Shegog place in Cooke county, being in charge of the Ben Hardwick cattle, acting in that capacity for about eighteen months, after which he began trading in cattle on his own account. In 1874 he removed his stock from Denton to Lampasas county, and in 1877 went from there to Callahan county.
In February, of the same year, Mr. Cutbirth was married to Miss Alice S. Skinner, a daughter of John Skinner of Pilot Point, Denton county, and in June of that year he removed his family to Clyde, Callahan county. There was no settlement there at the time except, perhaps, two or three houses, and the family used the wagon bed for a temporary house until such time as lumber could be hauled from Fort Worth to be used in the construction of a dwelling. This was the beginning of Mr. Cutbirth’s permanent land possessions in Callahan county. He has given very little attention to farming in a general way, but has concentrated his energies upon general stock raising, buying, selling and trading. Mr. Cutbirth owns large tracts of land in Callahan county, amounting to about ten thousand acres. He is also one of the heaviest tax payers in the county and one of the largest, if not the largest, individual cattle owner in the county. He has made his home in Baird since 1893.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Cutbirth has been blessed with eight children, who are yet living. Adelia, who was born July 31, 1878, is the wife of George B. Scott, county clerk of Callahan county. The younger members of the family are: Willie, born August 3, 1883; Fred, born May 13, 1886; Alice, born October 4, 1891; Lula, March 4, 1894; Ruth, October 30, 1896; Naomi, born October 22, 1899; and Bonnie, January 22, 1901. There were four other children, but all died in early life.
Mr. Cutbirth belongs to several fraternal organizations, holding membership in the lodges at Baird of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities and also the Woodmen camp. He is interested in the community affairs and is intensely loyal and public spirited in his devotion to the general good. He is serving as a member of the city council at Baird for the third year, and exercises his official prerogatives in support of every movement which he deems will prove of general good. His business interests have been carefully directed and his keen sagacity and unfaltering industry have formed the foundation upon which he has builded the superstructure of his success.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 435-436.