Jack P. Floyd biography

JACK P. FLOYD, one of the honored early settlers of northwestern Texas, was born in Lincoln county, Tennessee, in 1852, being a son of J. F. and A. T. (Cole) Floyd, both also natives of that commonwealth. In 1857 the family came to Parker county, Texas, where they were among the early pioneers, their arrival being soon after the organization of the county, and in Parker county and vicinity they continued to make their home until their son Jack became established in business on the plains, since which time they have made their home with him. The mother is a daughter of J. P. Cole, a noted old timer who located in Dallas county in 1842, and in 1854 removed to Parker county and built the third house that was erected west of Fort Worth. In his early boyhood days the father was apprenticed to a tanner, following that common occupation to a limited extent after coming to Texas, but soon abandoned it to embark in the cattle business, the prevailing industry here at that time. He was a Confederate soldier throughout the period of the Civil war, enlisting in Parker county.

Jack P. Floyd in his early youth was inured to the cattle business, and in the days before ranches were organized and the business carried on in a systematic manner the cattle of the settlers were allowed to drift toward the plains, and at the proper season the boys would go after them, drive them in, and they were then divided according to the number that each man had put into the herd, there being then no branding to distinguish the ownership or a systematic separation at the roundup, which came in later days, beginning in 1878. Mr. Floyd went on his first cattle hunt in 1868, was a member of the first squad of men that went west of Comanche Peak, in Hood county, after cattle, and continued in this occupation for his father until 1871. During the Civil war he was left at home to protect the family during his father’s absence, for at that period and some years subsequent thereto the country was often harassed by Indian raids, Mr. Floyd being occasionally required to chase the savages on this account. In 1871 he started into the business on his own account, going into the then new county of Coleman, and in fact nearly his entire life has been spent on the frontier. Working in western Texas toward the edge of the plains until 1882, he in that year came out upon the plains, and has ever since remained in this country. At that time Oldham was the only organized county on the plains, and Tascosa, the county seat, was a typical western town of wild ways and lax morals. On his arrival in this country Mr. Floyd assisted in moving cattle from near Seymour in Baylor county, working for the Oxsheer and Frying Pan ranches, and in 1884 remembers driving cattle for water to the lake where Amarillo now stands. At that time there were only two settled habitations on the plains, the old Frying Pan ranch and the LX ranch. For six years he continued to work for the Cross L outfit on the Cimarron, and was with that company’s cattle on the Texas plains and in New Mexico as far west at Clayton. In 1890, the town of Amarillo having started with seemingly good prospects of growth, Mr. Floyd came to the embryo city and established a restaurant, which subsequently became well and favorably known all over northwestern Texas as the Metropolitan Restaurant, it being conducted by him with financial success for eleven years, five months and seven days, when it was sold. During all this long period the restaurant was never closed day or night with the exception of one occasion, on account of fire, and it was the only one to survive the boom times, others coming in and running for a short time and then abandoned.

Mr. Floyd is now the owner of a valuable dairy ranch of two hundred acres lying just across the line in Randall county, and has also leased a section of land in Potter county adjoining Amarillo, on which he has a herd of cattle and carries on farming operations. At this time, however, he is preparing to dispose of his cattle interests and embark in the raising of swine. He was one of the organizers of the Amarillo City Council, of which body he was a member for five years, and in 1900 was elected tax collector of Potter county, re- elected in 1902, and at this writing, October, 1904, is again a candidate, without opposition. He resides with his parents in a pretty home on North Taylor street, and his fraternal relations is a member of the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 500.