William H. Ogden biography

WILLIAM H. OGDEN. Comfortably situated upon one of the rich alluvial farms of Clay county and contributing annually toward the domestic welfare of the county is he whose name initiates this brief narrative. While not indigenous to Texas and not an adopted son from youth, yet he called the Lone Star state his home for a total of nearly twenty years and it is as a full fledged Texan that we herewith present the salient features of his life record.

Mr. Ogden’s birthplace was Calvert county, Maryland, and the date September 13, 1844. His parents, Aaron and Martha E. (Wilson) Ogden, were native to the same county and were of English stock. His grandfather, Wilson, was an Englishman born and related to the Magruders, noted in their time. Aaron Ogden emigrated from his native state in 1846 and became a settler of Franklin county, Missouri. He was a farmer in active life and toward the close of his life he moved to Lexington in Lafayette county where he died in 1859, aged forty-seven years, while his widow survived him thirty years and died in 1889 at the age of seventy-one. Of their three children, our subject is the oldest, the others being A. R. and C. H., of Johnson county, Missouri.

In Franklin county, Missouri, William H. Ogden grew to young manhood, or rather to mature boyhood, for he was a youth of fourteen years when he accompanied his parents to Lexington to live. He received a common school education and learned something of farming while leading a rural life. As the political mixup of his day progressed and led nearer and nearer to actual civil war young Ogden was led by the nature of local events to take up arms in aid of the Southern cause and he joined Quantrell’s guerrillas, Captain Bill Anderson in immediate command. He was with the band for about one year when one day he and a comrade entered the town of Wyandotte, Kansas, out of pure hardihood and were captured by the Federal authorities. His comrade met death by hanging because of his identity and our subject saw the same fate awaiting him, but succeeded in making his escape. He went into northwest Missouri and remained till the close of the war when he ventured into the country of his old enemies and located for a short time in Illinois in the spring of 1865. Returning to his old home he ultimately took up farming and continued that calling there with some success till 1875, when he came south and brought up in Texas. He became identified at once with the stock interests as a plainsman, being in the employ of the Waggoner’s on their ranch near Wichita Falls. After a somewhat extended stay in the state he returned to his old home farming in Lafayette county and he continued it for ten years. Finding himself approaching a physical collapse he again sought the healthful atmosphere of the Texas plains and this time located in Archer county and purchased land in Clay county, an improved tract of three hundred and sixty acres which cost him only ten dollars per acre. To this rich and fertile estate he is giving his time and effort and is denominated one of the successful small farmers of his locality. Cotton, grain and the growing of stock occupy him, his little bunch of White Faces being among the interesting and attractive features of his farm.

In his domestic life Mr. Ogden is yet unmarried. He surrounds himself with his books and periodicals and with his friends and enjoys life really and to the full measure. He is a Democrat and has served his party in a delegate capacity to local conventions.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 696-697.