JAMES GRANVILLE MULLENS. The possibilities for a man of business genius in the mercantile field are beyond computation and every day furnishes striking examples of those who have started even below the bottom rung of the ladder and crept slowly towards its top until its very pin[n]acle has been reached or a personal ambition has been gratified. As an example of a life of success in domestic commerce under circumstances trying and difficulties discouraging, we cite that of J. Granville Mullens, of Antelope, the subject of this personal article. Depressed and discouraged by the recent loss of his property resources, and hampered with a lack of funds to resume the business with which he had once made headway, we find him deciding to enter merchandising and establishing himself in a country village with no capital but his credit and the industry which nature gave him at birth.
As a favorable augury of success Mr. Mullens’ dominant elements of character were such as to attract trade and to inspire the public with confidence in his integrity, and it is not surprising that his star of destiny should start upward and continue to rise until the self-closing of his business career. When he had fairly started and his store was a popular mart of trade his brothers Frank and Robert joined their capital to his and J. G. Mullens and Company existed as a firm for one year. The style of the firm remained J. G. Mullens and Company for fifteen years, when J. G. Mullens again assumed control and terminated his business career, in 1904, with the sale of his stock.
As the store yielded him profits not required for the proper conduct of its affairs Mr. Mullens entered again the cattle business, in which misfortune had overtaken him just prior to his becoming a merchant and he laid the foundation for an industry which eventually won from the store and is the reserve force and mainstay of his family today. His thousand acres of land, stocked, as it is, came to him out of the aggregate profits of a business whose percentages entered his cash box over the counter.
Wayne county, Kentucky, gave J. G. Mullens birth March 6, 1851. William Mullens, his father, was sixteen years sheriff of that county and filled some other offices besides, and was born there December 6, 1811. The latter’s father was one of the first settlers of that county and opened a farm upon which he reared his family. He migrated from Virginia and settled within a mile of Monticello when the Indians still occupied the woods of Kentucky. His first son was Charles Mullens, a Mexican war soldier in Fayette county, Texas, and passed his last years there. There was also a son, Edward, who went to Alabama, and then William, who died at Antelope, June 17, 1895. There were daughters, Peggie, who married Cannon Worsham, and Nancy, who married a Williams.
William Mullens married Frances E. Allen, who was born in Casey county, Kentucky, November 13, 1825, and died in Antelope, Texas, October 10, 1901. They came to Texas in 1888 and were the parents of Mary E., wife of John Southward, of Wayne county, Kentucky; Frances A., of Tahlequah, Indian Territory, wife of Shelby T. Stokes; James G., our subject; William G., of Frederick, Oklahoma; Dollie, wife of G. H. Fields, of Antelope; Laura, who married E. S. Roberts, of Frederick, Oklahoma; B. F. C., of Antelope; Emma, wife of Willis Wilkinson, of Grooms, Texas; Ermine I., who died single; and Robert, of Wayne county, Kentucky.
James Granville Mullens learned farming on his father’s homestead in his native state and obtained a fair education in the common schools. When he took up the responsibilities of life alone it was as a teacher in the public schools. Terminating this work he came to Texas and took up farming in Collin county, made some progress, acquired a small bunch of cattle and brought them to Antelope in 1884 and soon lost them by death. Thus reduced to the point of taking up manual labor he conceived the idea of adopting merchandising and opened a store under the circumstances and conditions already noted.
November 1, 1877, Mr. Mullens married, in Collin county, Laura J. Noble, a daughter of John S. Noble married Lucy T. Willock, was the father of twelve children, and died in Pilot Point, Texas, while his widow is passing her last years in Leonard, Texas.
Mr. and Mrs. Mullen’s [sic] first child, William N., died at past eight years of age, and their second and third, Mary and Taylor Francis, still survives.
In the organization of the Jacksboro National Bank Mr. Mullens subscribed to the stock of the institution and is one of its board of directors. He has no special interest in county politics but votes with the dominant political party, and is a steward and trustee of the Antelope Methodist church.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 118-119.