Tom Hoben biography

TOM HOBEN, a prominent and well known cattleman of the Broadus ranch, was born in New York City, June 7, 1863, his parents being Michael and Hannah (Griffin) Hoben, both of whom were natives of Ireland, in which country they were married. Crossing the Atlantic, they took up their abode in New York City, where the husband and father died, while later Mrs. Hoben removed to Lawrence, Massachusetts, and three years afterward to Chicago, Illinois, where she spent six years. On the expiration of that period she came to Texas and here gave her hand in marriage to William Broadus, who was living near Nocona. For some time after their marriage they resided in Gainesville and Tom Hoben spent the winter months as a student in the high school, while the summer seasons were passed upon the farm belonging to his step-father. The firm of Jordan & Broadus had need of trustworthy employe[e]s and Mr. Hoben made arrangements to serve them at fifty dollars per month. He was given charge of an outfit and as his savings accumulated he invested in cattle with the intention of starting in business on his own account, but the dissolution of the firm of Jordan & Broadus gave him still better business opportunities, for he was given a half interest in his step-father’s business, in which he has since continued. Success has followed the partnership and the firm has handled large numbers of cattle annually. Since 1893 they have engaged in raising Hereford cattle with good results, having many head of registered stock, including some very fine specimens. Mr. Hoben regards Herefords as the most valuable ranch stock and he is an excellent judge of cattle, having been identified with the industry from early days, so that he is thoroughly familiar with the work. Few men are better informed concerning the cattle trade and its possibilities and he deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, for he began to earn his own living when a boy of ten years at a time when there was a free range. He and other cowboys upon the plains spent many pleasant hours together, although there were hardships, trials and privations to be borne. He had charge of the ranch and all of the business connected therewith long before the death of his step-father and since that time he has had full control and is regarded as a most successful farmer. He has some farms for seeding purposes only, but when he came to the ranch there was little farming done in the community. Most people believed that the season was too long, hot and dry for the profitable production of cereals or crops of any kind. The firm of Jordan & Broadus, however, held other opinions. Their ranch at one time comprised twenty-two thousand acres, but the company sold out twenty-five farms embracing twelve thousand acres. Most all of the purchasers were people of small means and eventually the payments have been made and many have added to their lands, so that the district has become settled up by a prosperous and contented people, while the value of Texas soil for crop production has long since been demonstrated. They raise wheat and oats and some-times short cotton. Mr. Hoben has seen the country developed from the wild and unimproved open prairie to a fine farming district in which the great majority of settlers are meeting with success in their undertakings.

Mr. Hoben has a sister, Molly, now the wife of A. A. Thompson at Corpus Christi engaged in the cattle business. He was born in Alabama and came to Texas about 1880. He belonged to an honored old southern family and, following his removal to the Lone Star state, became a leading representative of the cattle industry here. Mr. Hoben was married in 1899 to Miss Maria Salmon, who was born in Gainesville in 188o, and is a daughter of Dr. G. W. Salmon, who was born in Texas and was a prominent physician of Gainesville. He had a wide and favorable acquaintance, being esteemed by all who knew him, so that his death was the occasion of uniform regret when he passed away in 1892. His wife, who yet survives, bore the maiden name of Mattie Walker, but little is known concerning her ancestral history save that her parents were from Memphis, Tennessee. Mrs. Hoben was an only child and has no children by her marriage to Mr. Hoben.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 333-334.