Among the representatives of the builder’s art in El Paso John Y. Wadlington is numbered, and since 1883 has made his home permanently in this city. He was born in Caldwell county, Kentucky, and was reared to farm life, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors of field and meadow. He remained in the county of his birth until twenty-five years of age and during that time also gained a good knowledge of the carpenter’s trade. Attracted by the possibilities of the new and growing southwest, he came to Texas in 1867 and located in Sherman, which was then a small village. The era of railroad building had not been begun in the state, and for about four years Mr. Wadlington was extensively engaged in freight teaming and hauling goods, principally from Jefferson, Texas, the head of navigation on the Red river, continuing westward through the northern counties to Sherman, Gainesville and as far west as Weatherford, Texas. Those were the days of the Indian troubles in Cooke, Palo Pinto, Parker and surrounding counties when life was constantly endangered and when the red men committed many depredations among the stock. Mr. Wadlington also made two trips with his freight team to and from Sedalia, Missouri, through the Indian Territory.
When he ceased to engage in freighting Mr. Wadlington turned his attention to the cattle business, making his headquarters for several years at Gainesville, which for a long time in the early days of the cattle industry was the headquarters of some of the largest cattlemen of the country. He had his cattle over the range from Gainesville to the foot of the plains in the Panhandle and he also had a good ranch near Gainesville. His transactions in the cattle business amounted to thousands annually and he became one of the prominent representatives of the industry in this state. From Texas he transferred his field of operations to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, where he was also in the cattle business until 1883, when he located permanently in the new town of El Paso. He is not interested in the cattle industry at the present time but is the owner of a thousand acres of land which includes a fine alfalfa farm in El Paso county down the Rio Grande valley. All this land will come under the new government irrigation canal, making it an exceptionally valuable property. For several years past Mr. Wadlington has been actively engaged in contracting for stone, sand, etc., in building operations in El Paso, in which he is highly successful and many important contracts have been awarded him. He also owns valuable realty in El Paso, including his own recently completed residence, one of the finest in El Paso.
Mr. Wadlington was married in Gainesville to Miss Paralee Moss, and they have four children, John, Frank, Joe and Mary. Mr. Wadlington belongs to the Masonic fraternity and is in hearty sympathy with the principles of the craft, which is based upon mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness. He has intimate knowledge of the history of Texas from pioneer times down to the present and has been a factor in the development which has been carried steadily forward as the years have gone by until today Texas is represented by every known business interest, while in the development of its natural resources it has been found to contain all the varied resources whatever known to the entire country, including mineral and oil wells, horticultural and agricultural products. As El Paso has grown and expanded, becoming an important center of trade, Mr. Wadlington has continued his contracting operations and his labors have been attended with a gratifying measure of success that places him with the substantial citizens of this part of the state.