P. BARRETT PENNEY, who has served in the office of sheriff of Lubbock county since 1902, is an old and tried plainsman, who in his connection with the cattle industry has been all over West Texas and seen and participated in nearly all the phases of its varied life during the past twenty years. A man of great personal courage and often demonstrated physical prowess, of known integrity and honesty, and with broad experience of men and affairs in this section of the state, he has naturally proved a most excellent incumbent of his present office and has been an influential figure in whatever department of activity he has engaged.
Born in Bartow county, Georgia, December 14, 1869, he is a son of two well-known and honored citizens of Lubbock, William E. and Martha (Barrett) Penney. His father, who was born near Cross Hill, South Carolina, October 27, 1843, at the age of seven years accompanied his parents to Bartow county, Georgia, where was located the home farm and where he grew up to manhood. In 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army, at first being in the Eighteenth Georgia Regiment, but later was taken out of that regiment and detailed for duty in the defense of Fort McCrea, Florida, five companies constituting the garrison. He was there during the bombardment of the fort, which was kept up for forty-eight hours. Later he was in the regular field service in Mississippi and Tennessee, and among other engagements participated at Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga. He was in the army until the war closed, when he returned to Bartow county, Georgia, and was a farmer there until 1876, in which year he came out to Texas. He lived twelve years in Washington county, and ten years in Brown county, and in April, 1898, he and his wife and younger children moved out to Lubbock, Lubbock county, which has since been their home. Mr. and Mrs. William E. Penney have ten children living, having lost only one son by death, namely, Lawrence, who died at Sedalia, Missouri, indirectly as a result of exposure while serving as a volunteer soldier during the Filipino insurrection. Besides P. Barrett there are five other sons, all of whom are in business in Lubbock, they being R. T., J. S., R. E., E. B., and John E. There are four daughters: Mrs. Bettie Young, Mrs. Willie Stokes, Mrs. Rosabelle Royalty and Miss Mabel.
Mr. Barrett Penney was reared on his father’s farm, and spent the first twenty years of his life at home, and from then on until he was elected sheriff of Lubbock county he was a plainsman in western Texas. He took naturally to the cattle business from his boyhood, and upon coming west he followed the occupation of a cow puncher, working as such on a number of the old-time big ranches in western Texas, principally in the San Angelo country and along the Western division of the Texas and Pacific Railway. In the spring of 1894 he was appointed manager of the Oxsheer ranch in Hockley county. Later he became manager of the S ranch in Cochran county, owned by Colonel Charles C. Slaughter, of Dallas. Having become well known in this plains country through many years’ experience, he was the popular and successful candidate for the office of sheriff in 1902, and in 1904 was again a successful candidate. The duties of tax collector are also exercised by the sheriff, and the two as yet unorganized counties of Hockley and Cochran are attached to Lubbock for judicial purposes, so that the range and quantity of his work is large and his is one of the most responsible administrative offices of the county.
Mr. Penney was married at Lubbock to Miss Blanche Taylor, who was born in Denver, Colorado, but was reared in Texas. Mr. Penney affiliates with the Masonic order.
—Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 282-283.