From History of Texas Published in 1896

Serastus “Ras” Umphress, one of the extensive landowners of Hood county, is a representative and leading farmer, possessed of the true progressive spirit of the age, which is so rapidly transforming this state from a wild, uninhabited region into beautiful homes and farms and placing it on a par with the states that have been much longer settled. He comes from the peninsular state of the Union, Florida, his birth having occurred there, in Jefferson county, on the 4th of June, 1851. His parents, Mitchell and Martha (Horton) Umphress, were both natives of Georgia. They had five sons and three daughters, only four of whom are living at this writing (summer of 1896), namely: Artemissa, wife of Levi Horton, of Dallas County, Texas; John, a farmer of that county; Arphaxad, who carried on agricultural pursuits in Dallas county; and the gentleman whose name introduces this notice.

S.E. Umphress was reared to farm life on the old homestead, and what little education he acquired in his youth was under the instruction of his parents. The father died in Florida in March, 1859, but the mother is now living in Dallas County, Texas, with her daughter, Mrs. Horton. Our subject continued under the parental roof until nearly twenty-two years of age and then started out in life for himself, without assistance from relatives or friends. In 1872 he came to Texas, a poor young man, and being unable to purchase a farm he rented land in Dallas County, on which he raised two crops. He then removed to Hood county and purchased one hundred acres where he now lives, about nine miles south of Granbury. He has since profitably followed farming and stock-raising, and as his financial resources have increased has bought other property, until his landed possessions now aggregate nine hundred acres, seven hundred of which are in one body, with two hundred and eighty acres in a good state of cultivation. The well-tilled fields indicate his careful supervision, and the many excellent improvements stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He has a handsome frame residence, good outbuildings, a wind pump and the latest improved farm machinery. He raises stock of good grades, and his capable management and earnest efforts have brought to him a comfortable competence.

On the 25th of October, 1872, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Umphress and Miss Maggie Grubbs, daughter of John and Rebecca (Kinsey) Grubbs, both natives of Florida. They had an interesting family of eight children and have lost one. Those who still survive are Lola, wife of C.W. Jones, of Hood County; William, Rollins, Augustus, Lela, Olen, and Maggie. The parents are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and contribute liberally to its support and do all in their power for its promotion. Their home is a hospitable one and their friends throughout the community are many. Mr. Umphress belongs to the ancient and honored society of Masons, his membership being in Granbury Lodge, No. 392, F.&A.M. His political support is given to the Democracy, but he is by no means a politician, caring not for the honors or emoluments of public office, content to faithfully discharge his duties of citizenship in a quiet way. He is an intelligent and broad minded man, public spirited and progressive, and takes a commendable interest in all that pertains to the welfare and upbuilding of the community. Churches and schools find in him a friend, and during the quarter of a century that he has resided in Hood County, he has ever been known as the champion of right and order. In manner he is social and genial, and is highly esteemed for his sterling worth.

Ras Umphress died February 16, 1914 and was buried in Mitchell Bend Cemetery in Hood County, Texas.


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