Herbert Lee Kokernot, Sr. was born in 1867 to Levi Moses and Sarah Littlefield Kokernot. Levi had been born in 1836 in Louisiana and lived most of his adult life in Gonzales County where he was a cattle rancher. Levi had first married the former Sarah E. Littlefield with whom he had a number of children including Herbert Lee. Sarah died in 1878 at around the age of thirty. He later married Hulda Jane Carnes. Hulda had also been born in Louisiana and lived most of her life in the Gonzales area with Levi and her family.
Dr. Junius Mottley was born in Virginia in 1812 to John P. and Mary Williams Elmore Mottley. His ancestors came to Virginia from England in the 1600s. Dr. Mottley received his medical education at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Transylvania was founded in 1780, was the first university in Kentucky and is still operating. A number of early Texans have ties to Transylvania. After completing his studies, he studied with a practicing physician in Kentucky by the name of Dr. Charles Hay. Shortly after leaving Kentucky, Mottley moved to Texas in 1835. He joined the Texas Army and served as Post Surgeon at Goliad. Mottley was serving in that capacity in early 1836 when he was appointed as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Washington County. Accordingly, he was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Billie Solomon Estes was born January 10, 1925 to John Levi, Sr., a farmer, and Lillian Alice Coffman Estes in a rural area near Clyde, Callahan County, Texas. It may be a legend, but the story was told of the thirteen year old Billie’s “parlaying” of a single lamb that he was given into what became the sum of $38,000. He is said to have raised a flock of sheep with his one lamb, selling them two years later and investing the proceeds into a sow and piglets which, along with some dealings in feed, he turned into the final sum of $38,000 by the time he was eighteen.
Minnie Lou Ottinger Bradley was born December 15, 1931 to Thomas and Zulema Young Ottinger in western Oklahoma. At an early age, she showed a strong interest in livestock as she grew up on the family wheat farm. She joined the 4-H Club and actively participated, although the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was then limited to male members. While in 4-H, she exhibited Angus cattle, sheep and swine. At age ten, she won a blue ribbon at the Oklahoma State Fair for sheep raised on her ranch. After graduating from high school in Hydro, Oklahoma she enrolled at Oklahoma State University, first chartered as Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1890 and then commonly known as Oklahoma A&M. She was the first female student to enroll in animal science, graduating in 1953 and minoring in agricultural journalism.
Clinton McKamy Winkler was a lawyer, judge and a member of the Texas Court of Appeals for many years. He was born in North Carolina in 1821 to David Tate and Lavinia Cates Owen Winkler. He moved with his family first to Indiana in 1835 for a few years before relocating to Texas in the early 1840s. They settled in what is now Robertson County to be near other Winkler relatives. The family was said to be descended from German immigrants, but his grandfather was born in North Carolina according to traditional genealogical sources. McKamy was also an old family name and many of these McKamy relatives were also residents of North Carolina.
The Fort Worth Gazette issue of August 8, 1889 carried a small paragraph that read as follows under the headline in all caps that read “TO OUTDO THE FRENCHMEN.” The paragraph read, “A Washington architect, anticipating the great world’s fair to be held here in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, and wishing to lay the Frenchman who conceived and built the Eiffel tower completely in the shade, has submitted plans for a tower to astonish the thousands who will gather here at the great exposition. It is to be 1500 [feet] high or 500 more feet more than the wonderful tower in Paris.”
(Image credit: Findagrave)
Thomas Jefferson Rusk is considered to be one of the fathers of Texas. He was born in South Carolina on December 5, 1803 to Irish immigrant John Rusk and his wife Mary Sterritt Rusk, and was one of seven children. He had a modest upbringing as his father was a stone mason. The family lived on the estate of John C. Calhoun who was his mentor. Rusk studied the law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar.