The greater part of the rural development of a frontier community is brought about by individual efforts of the moderate farmer and when the results of these efforts are summed up a glace over them discloses the fact that, inconsiderable and inconspicuous as he may be as a unit of force, as a whole the power of the moderate farmer rules the world.
When William L. Buchanan, of this review, cast his lot with Montague county his circumstances and enfeebled finances assigned him to the humble and smaller farmer class. The practice of industry, with the lapse of time, and the constant, though slow, moss-gathering process ultimately made him a member of the moderate farmer class, and in both stations he had a share in the gradual and sure development of his county which has taken place.
In the fall of 1882 Mr. Buchanan came into the county from Falls county, Texas, and contracted for a quarter section of Hill county school land two miles east of Bowie. With his very limited resources he has converted it from a mere garden spot into a farm and has dug out of the ground the sinews with which this conversion was accomplished. Corn and cotton have both been king with him, and the labor in their production was all that he was obliged to furnish. Upon his farm his little family was born, and upon it they have been nurtured and trained to occupy places of honor and usefulness in society.
William L. Buchanan was born in Falls county, Texas, October 24, 1858. His father, William Luther Buchanan, died there in his son’s childhood, and his mother (nee Mary Smith) passed away when he was but ten years of age. The mother was a Georgia lady, and married the father in Falls county, and some time after his death she married Fred Phanney, with whom our subject made his home while passing through childhood and youth.
William L. Buchanan, Jr., was the sole surviving issue of his parents. He was born on the farm and continued the life of a farm boy during the years of his growing up. The smattering of an education that he received came through the rural school and he took his place among the young men of industry before he became of age. December 12, 1879, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jarvis, a daughter of Thomas Jarvis, who died in Grimes county, Texas, where Mr. Buchanan was born September 7, 1853. Mr. Jarvis was an Englishman born.
The four children born to Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan were: Bettie Belle, wife of Samuel Jackson, of Montague county; Fred, who is an active and promising young farmer at home, and Mary E., who is just entering womanhood, and sharing the duties of domestic life with her mother. William Luther, Jr., [III] the youngest child, passed away at five years of age.
Mr. Buchanan has never failed to manifest a good citizen’s interest in local politics. He experiences, in supporting a friend for office, the satisfaction which one always feels in doing a righteous act. He is one of the trustees of his school district, and he and wife hold memberships in the Missionary Baptist church. As intimated above, he had nothing but industry to commend him to the attention of men in early life and to his now may be added a reputation based upon years of right living, and of outward conduct becoming a true man.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, pp. 533-534.