William D. Hudgins biography

WILLIAM D. HUDGINS. Texas offers splendid opportunities to the farmer and stock-raiser, its broad prairies and rich land furnishing excellent pasturage, or if placed under cultivation returning rich and bountiful crops. Mr. Hudgins, recognizing the possibilities for successful accomplishments here, is now carrying on general agricultural interests near Smithfield, where he owns three hundred acres of valuable land. He is a native of Jackson county, Alabama, born December 30, 1847. His parents were Elnathan and Sarah (Proctor) Hudgins, both of whom were also natives of Alabama. In the year 1854 the father came with his family to Tarrant county and, settling on the present site of Grapevine, he was one of the first residents of the locality and aided in making the place a habitable district and modern improvements and the evidences of an advanced civilization. There he continued to reside until called to his final rest, passing away in March, 1902. His wife has also departed his life. At one time he served as justice of the peace and he was ever interested in many movements for the general good. The public schools especially found in him a helpful friend. He was for many years a consistent member and pillar of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, holding membership with the congregation in Grapevine, of which he was practically the founder. He became well known as a pioneer local preacher of his time and his efforts in behalf of the church were far reaching and beneficial and contributed in substantial measure to the moral development of the community. He was twice married and had a large number of children. Of those surviving four are residents of Grapevine: Molly E., the wife of J. N. Willis; Laura, the wife of J. B. Richmond; Eliza, the wife of Alexander Dye, and James C. In the death of the father Grapevine lost one of its pioneer residents and well known citizens, whose memory will be long enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him, his influence remaining as a blessed benediction to those with whom he has associated. The Methodist Episcopal church there, of which he was the founder, contains a memorial window and portrait of Mr. Hudgins, placed there in his honor and in recognition of an upright life that was so important a factor in religious progress of this portion of the county. He was likewise an exemplary member of the Masonic lodge at Grapevine and joined it on its organization.

William D. Hudgins of this review was reared to adult age at Grapevine, having been brought to this state when a little lad of seven summers. He was educated in the public schools and the knowledge of therein gained was supplemented by experience of a practical business career and the information obtained through reading and observation. After arriving at years of maturity he wedded Lucy E. Turner, a sister of I. E. Turner, of Smithfield, Texas, and they became the parents of ten children: Florence, wife of A. O. Robinson, of Birdville, Texas; F. Albert, who is living in Memphis, Texas; Henry T., also a resident of Memphis; T. Edward, who makes his home in Hartley county, this state; Elnathan, of Memphis; Johannah, the wife of George Dixon, of Paul [sic] county, Texas; William W., who makes his home in Dallas, Texas; Mary K., who is with her father; Laura A., the wife of Albert Gibbins, of Fort Worth, and James M., also at home. The mother of these children departed this life in April, 1900, and Mr. Hudgins afterward married Mrs. Ella Griffin, of Dallas, Texas.

Over a quarter of a century ago Mr. Hudgins settled upon his present farm near Smithfield and is devoting his time and energies to general agricultural pursuits and stock-raising, both branches of his business proving profitable. The farm is well equipped with modern conveniences and in its thrifty and attractive appearance indicates his careful supervision and progressive methods. All he possesses has been practically acquired through his own labors and he may therefore be said to have won the proud American title of a self-made man.

Mr. Hudgins belongs to Grand Prairie Lodge No. 445, A. F. & A. M., at Smithfield, in which he is a past master. For years he has taken an active part in its work and is thoroughly in sympathy with its tenets and teachings, believing firmly in its basic principles concerning the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. His religious connection is with the Methodist Episcopal church, South, at Smithfield, in which he served for over a quarter of a century as steward and is now acting as one of the trustees of the church property. Patriotic and public spirited in an eminent degree, he has labored persistently and earnestly for the welfare of his community as well as for individual success, and his life at all times been actuated by honorable principles and worthy motives.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 185-186.