PROF. JAMES W. DRAUGHON. The Nelson-Draughon Business College of Fort Worth, of which Professor Draughon is president and his capable wife vice president, has, during its existence in this city supplied a force of efficient, practical graduates in business methods who, individually and collectively, are daily affording the highest testimony to the worth of the institution in the field of productive education. The Nelson-Draughon College graduate has the distinctive stamp of thorough training which only a few schools can give and which is usually the result of practical experience. The large business firms of North Texas, from past experience with its students, have come to recognize the superiority of the methods of business training employed in the Nelson-Draughon school, and give its graduates precedence when a selection of assistants is made. In fact, in the past the college has been unable to supply the demand for its trained graduate, and its place among the practical educational institutions of North Texas is deserving of the highest rank.
Prof. James W. Draughon, to whose ability as an organizer and instructor so much of the success of the institution is due, was born at Springfield, Tennessee, in 1869, a son of Jesse and Mary (Batts) Draughon, both of whom were born and died in Tennessee. The achievement of success on the part of Professor Draughon has been the result of constant and persevering effort from youth up. He had to work his way through college, and early gained an intimate knowledge of the practical and definite system of methods by which the great colossus of modern business is carried on. He received most of his education at the Springfield Collegiate institute, recognized for a number of years as one of the best colleges in the southern states. The practical side of bookkeeping he learned in an office, and received further business experience as bookkeeper in a mercantile establishment at Texarkana, Arkansas, where he located at the age of nineteen. His skill with the pen is almost phenomenal and as a teacher of penmanship he has so superior and few equals. He taught bookkeeping at Texarkana, and later returned to Nashville, where he taught the first pupil enrolled in the Draughon Business College at that place, remaining at the head of the commercial department of that college seven years. He has been actively engaged in business college work for fifteen years, and during this time has assisted in building up many commercial colleges throughout the south. In 1899 he located permanently in Fort Worth, and in the latter part of 1903 he withdrew his interests from all other institutions and established the Nelson-Draughon Business College, having associated with him his wife, Mrs. Odella (Nelson) Draughon, the college being named for himself and wife. At the time of this writing (April, 1905) the college has two hundred and fifty pupils, and its success in all departments is most gratifying. The school has received many flattering endorsements from the leading business and professional men of Fort Worth, and its status is further assured by the character of the following men who are stockholders and directors of the college: Ben O. Smith, cashier Farmers’ and Mechanics’ National Bank; W. E. Connell, cashier First National Bank; G. H. Colvin, cashier American National Bank; G. H. Colvin, cashier American National Bank; A. E. Want, president Want Grocery Company.
Professor J. W. Draughon is in various other ways a factor for the material up building and civic advancement of his adopted city. On coming to this city he at once indicated his confidence in its future by investing in real estate, and these judicious investments have made him a wealthy man. He owns a beautiful residence at 704 West Seventh street. He was one of the organizers and is vice president of the Factory club, which was recently organized by public-spirited citizens to promote the industrial growth of the city. Likewise a Christian gentleman and interested in extending the religious and moral influences of his city, he is a member of the First Baptist church and assistant superintendent and treasurer of the Tarrant County Sunday School Association.
Mrs. O’Della [sic] Nelson-Draughon, who co-operates with her husband as vice president of the Nelson-Draughon College, and who is a noted teacher of shorthand, has had many years of successful experience in business college work. Entering a business college as soon as her literary education was completed, she graduated in January, 1892, and since that time has had a varied and extensive experience as a court reporter and practical stenographer and as a teacher of shorthand, having been employed five years as a stenographer and court reporter and since then as a teacher of shorthand. An enthusiastic fondness for her chosen work, coupled with her skill as an instructor, has made Mrs. Draughon an ideal worker in her special field, and without doubt she has instructed more young men and women now holding responsible positions throughout the southern states, than any other two shorthand teachers of her age. A woman of high educational attainments and of distinctive personality, she has impressed her influence upon hundreds of younger people and gained for herself and her institution a prestige which will not soon be lost. The people of Fort Worth and Texas are to be congratulated on having in their reach such an educational institution as the Nelson-Draughon Business College under the painstaking supervision of Professor and Mrs. J. W. Draughon.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 173.