JAMES M. PEVELER 1838 – 1906

From History of Texas Published in 1896

JAMES M. PEVELER. Prominent among the representative citizens and respected and influential men of Hood county is found the subject of this biographical notice, who is engaged in general farming. His land is well improved and highly cultivated, and shows conclusively that the owner has not mistaken his calling in adopting agriculture.

The entire life of our subject has been passed in Texas, his birth having occurred in Fannin county, April 6, 1838. His parents, David and Sarah (McCart) Peveler, grew to maturity and married. The former was of German descent, and the latter of Irish lineage. Her father, John McCart, served as a soldier under General George Washington during the Revolutionary war. Soon after their marriage the parents of our subject emigrated to Missouri, where they remained a few years, and then went to Iowa. In 1837, however, we find them in Texas, and in Fannin county they located when there was only one family living west of them. The father became captain of a company which he led against the Indians under General Tarrant, in 1841. The family endured all the hardships incident to pioneer life among the Indians, and one son, W.R., was killed by the red men in September, 1864. In company with five other white men he was engaged in battle against about 60 Indians, and on the 5th of that month received a wound which terminated his life. G.C. Peveler served in the Mexican war under General Zachary Taylor, entering the service in 1846 and remaining therein about two years. He died in Young county, Texas, in 1862.

The parental household included 13 children, one of whom died in childhood, but eight sons and four daughters grew to maturity, and seven are still living, namely:

  • Malissa, who is the widow of Thomas Burns, and now lives in Williamson county, Texas
  • Lucinda Terrill, of Young county
  • Mrs. Mary Hampton, of Grayson county
  • James M., of this review
  • Samuel H. and Francis M., both farmers of Hood county
  • Martha, wife of Colonel J.B. Barry, of Bosque county

As there were few schools in Texas at that early day the educational privileges of the children were very meager. With their family the parents removed to Young county in 1857, and in 1866 came to Hood county, settling on the Brazos river, where the father died on the 1st of January, 1867. His widow survived him until January 29, 1894, dying at the extreme old age of 94 years.

James M. Peveler was reared to agricultural pursuits, and in Young county, in 1855, became connected with the cattle business, continuing in that trade with good success until the breaking out of the civil war. In 1861 he joined a frontier regiment commanded by Colonel Openchain, in which he served until the close of hostilities, and was with Sullivan [Sul] Ross at the capture of the celebrated Cynthia Ann Parker.

After his return home Mr. Peveler closed out his stock business and removed to Hood county, where he has since successfully engaged in farming. He first bought 177 acres, to which he has added until he now owns 387 acres of tillable land and has placed 200 acres under cultivation. He has had much experience with the Indians, having, on two different occasions in 1866, all his horses stolen by them. In January, 1868, while he and two others were out fox-hunting, they encountered a party of Indians who stole all the horses in the valley with the exception of those belonging to our subject and his neighbor, Mr. Raborn, whom he apprised of their presence.

On the 6th of March, 1867, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Peveler and Miss Mary Jane Goodlet, a daughter of Calvin Goodlet, a pioneer of Hood county, and to them were born three children, but the only son is now deceased. The daughters are:

  • Martha, who is now the wife of A.C. Middleton, of Jones county
  • Maggie, wife of Walter Dillard, of Cleburne, Texas

The mother of these children died March 7, 1873, and on the 19th of December, 1883, Mr. Peveler was again married, his second union being with Harriet T. Harris, a native of Tennessee. One son is born by this marriage:

  • Walter L., March 24, 1887

Mrs. Peveler is a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

Mr. Peveler, who is a great reader, keeps himself well informed on the current events of the day and takes a commendable interest in the public schools. He uses his right of franchise in support of the men and measures of the Democratic party, but has never sought office of any kind, preferring to devote his entire time and attention to his business interests. Socially, he is identified with Jubilee Lodge, F.&A.M. Both he and his most excellent wife enjoy esteem and respect of the neighborhood, and are valued members of the community.


History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.