Compiled by Skipper Steely and Ron Brothers
James Mitchell Daniel was born 11 Jun 1833 and died 7 Apr 1916.
He married Emmy B. Wright on 12 Jan 1858 in Lamar County, Texas.
He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery,
Block E, Lot 04SW, Space 02
in Paris, Lamar County, Texas.
From The History of Lamar County, by A. W. Neville, North Texas Publishing Co., 1937, pp.
Captain Daniel's Men
Captain James M. Daniel had organized an artillery company. The record in the Lamar county
clerk's office says: "Pursuant to in agreement the members of the Paris Artillery met in the city of
Paris, county of Lamar, state of Texas, at the company armory and there and at that time declared
themselves an incorporated body under the provisions of an Act passed by the legislature of
Texas, 15 Feb., 1858, under the name and style of the Lamar Artillery. The company beat was
established within the county limits of Lamar county and the armory duly indicated in said county
in the city of Paris.
"The roll being called and 36 members being present they elected officers who were installed and
entered upon the discharge of their duties." The certificate with the roster of the company was
filed and entered of record by Jacob Long, county clerk, dated July 8, 1861.
This company was later increased in enrollment. April 15, 1862, the county clerk recorded
Captain Daniel's certificate that the company had been accepted into the service of the
Confederate States by the secretary of war and was put under orders January 18, 1862, and that
the company completed organization by election of officers March 8, 1862, and entered into a
camp of instruction at Paris. It may be noted that some of the men had been enrolled in one of the
other companies formed previously by Captain Milton Webb and Captain Sam Bell Maxey, and it
is probable that they were again shifted, in some instances, before Maxey completed raising the
Ninth regiment and marched them to the front the next year. Neither did all these men go with
that regiment, for some of them were over the age for service at that time, and were needed for
duty in the county as badly as for the army."
THE PARIS NEWS
Fine Home Marks Legacy of Capt. Daniel
By Skipper Steely
Often the question arises, "Just who was the Capt. Daniel who built the neat home on West
In a minute I'm ready for a dissertation. Reconstructed by Mamie Graves in 1946 and again by G.
I. Hodges in the early 198Os, the home and its original inhabitants are as fascinating as Gen. Sam
Bell Maxey and his lineage.
James Mitchell [sic] Daniel came to Paris In 1856 to work on the rail
effort called the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific. He was a self-taught
civil engineer from a first family of Virginia. His ancestors were
signers of the Declaration of Independence, soldiers in the revolution
and war of 1812, doctors, lawyers, and at one time, he had a great
uncle on the Supreme Court of the United States. However,
Daniel's own education was cut short by first the death of his mother
in 1840 when he was 7 years old. Four years later, he and his five
brothers were farmed out to relatives after his father and
step-mother died in a scarlet fever epidemic. According to his own
notes, Daniel went to his Uncle Traver's home in Richmond at age
10, going to school for four years while the split family tried to
Daniel left home at 14 with "... a bundle and not a cent of money to earn my living by buying corn
and fodder for the Richmond and Danville Railroad contractors." He earned $12 per month. In
September 1848, his older brother John secured him a job on the construction of the Virginia and
Tennessee Railroad as a rodman at $30. For the subsequent six years he learned.
Hearing of rail efforts in the southwest, Daniel traveled to Galveston, setting foot in Texas on the
last day of 1854. A bit of work in Arkansas brought him knowledge of the MEP & PRR effort
funded mainly by Northeast Texans. He was hired to the engineering corps, and at a ball at the
Cole Hotel in Paris in 1857, he met Emily Wright. A year later they married and Daniel was
connected to Paris forever.
The Civil War effort not only killed off the railroad work, it painfully split Daniel's family. His
first cousin Moncure Daniel Conway left Falmouth, VA in 1853 disgusted with the slave life the
South. By 1860 Daniel's brother John was a very influential newspaper editor, serving also as
minister of Italy. He came home to take up the Southern cause, though his writings show a less
than full support of secession. Daniel formed an artillery battery here and thus was dubbed
"Captain" for the rest of his life.
During reconstruction he took his family to Brooklyn where he continued the attempt by Texas
investors to prop up the rail effort begun 12 years earlier. After a soured venture involving
controversial figure John C. Fremont and a game of pyramid, Daniel moved away from that
railroad idea and on to Richmond, where he went into banking. However, one lousy event after
another discouraged Daniel and Emily, who was homesick for Texas. When a daughter fell out of
a second story window the final stage was set. They moved back in 1876 to the plot of land in
On it then was only a cabin-type house, similar to the structure to the south of the large house
seen today from 5th SW. In 1877, bad fortune beget good luck. Emily's father died and two
weeks later Paris burned to the ground. Daniel was to profit in the rebuilding effort and by 1878
he owned the town street railway, pulled by mules.
He then went mining in Colorado off and on for two years, using his engineering expertise. This
led, to an adventure in Mexico. In 1882, he went to Agues Calientes, a small area in central
Mexico and began mining silver.
The house we call Kaufman Terrace was completed in 1876ish and six children grew up in it.
Keeping in the tradition of the Daniel family line, one male never married and led an interesting
life and as the older generation here knows, Mary remained single and caretaker of the estate.
One sister married and stayed in Paris. Three Daniel sons moved to either Brooklyn or Nebraska.
All were college educated.
Daniel eventually lost the mine, backing the wrong side during the 1912 revolution there. Emily
died in 1908 on the pairs' 50th wedding anniversary. The captain barely survived the Paris fire of
1916, dying a month later.
His design for the Paris water and sewer system still serves us today. He gave to our first library
effort in 1881, helped establish the First Presbyterian Church, contributed to our street system,
water development and helped begin a commercial school. A downtown building was still in the
estate until 1988 and his house wows people daily as they drive by.
Four direct relatives exist today in California, never having visited the home. One descendant,
Frances Ragland Tillson of North Carolina, does periodically come to town. Just like Maxey,
CowJohn Chisum, W. J. McDonald and J. J. Culbertson, the people die but their contributions
carry on in Paris for generations."
From an newspaper obituary clipping from The Paris Scrapbook compiled by Skipper Steely:
"Capt. J. M. Daniel, one of the oldest and foremost residents of
Paris, who was esteemed by everybody as one of the best men
who ever lived here, died at 9:30 o'clock yesterday morning at his
home at the corner of Eighteenth and Kaufman streets, where he
located fifty-eight years ago.
His death came as a painful surprise to most of his friends, as he
had been sick only a few days. He was taken sick last Sunday
night with a congestive chill and grew worse rapidly. He had been
unconscious for a day or two before his death. All of the children
were with him when he died except one of the sons, Dr. W. W.
Daniel, who will arrive from New York this morning.
The deceased was born in Falmouth, Stafford county, VA, June
11, 1833, and was in his eighty-third year. In the early part of his life he followed the profession
of a civil engineer. He came down the Mississippi river to New Orleans and by boat from there to
Galveston. From Galveston he went to San Antonio, and from there via Austin and Dallas to
Paris, riding across the country with a man who carried the mail and reaching Paris in December,
1854. Soon after his arrival at Paris he was employed to make the survey for the present Texas
and Pacific road, which at the time of its location was known as the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific
road. He made the entire survey from Memphis to El Paso.
Capt. Daniel located in Paris in 1857, and married Miss Emma B. Wright, the daughter of George
W. Wright, one of the pioneer settlers of this section of the state.
At the beginning of the war he secured a commission in Richmond, VA, to raise a battery of
artillery, which he did in Paris, and served throughout the war, the entire battery being composed
of Paris men.
In 1868 he moved with his family to New York and made that city his home until 1871, when the
family moved to Richmond and made their home in that city until 1876. He then returned to
Paris, where he made his home up to the time of his death. While Paris was his home he was
extensively engaged in the silver mining business both in Colorado and Mexico and had been
interested in Mexican mines for twenty-five years. He spent a considerable part of his time at the
Mexican mines, his property being located in the state of Zacatecas, and which were being
worked when the country was torn to pieces by the revolution.
He was one of six brothers, one of whom was John Moncure Daniel, an able journalist, who was
editor of the Richmond Examiner, and who was minister to Italy eight years under the Pierce and
The wife of Capt. Daniel died nearly eight years ago on their wedding anniversary. He leaves four
sons, Walter, George, William and Mitchell Daniel, and three daughters, Mrs. Gussie Haile, Mrs.
C. M. Ragland and Miss Mary Daniel.
Capt. Daniel built the first street railway in Paris in 1878. He was one of the most useful and
progressive citizens of the town and always had strong faith in its future. He was a man of
soldierly bearing, a Chesterfield in manner, and while he presented a commanding appearance, he
was an unaffected gentleman of true nobility of nature, who had a warm spot in his heart and a
friendly greeting for the humblest.
The funeral service will be held at 3 o'clock tomorrow and will be conducted by Rev. T. M.
Lemly, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, of which he was a member."
From Rodgers and Wade Furniture Co. Funeral Records in possession of Fry and Gibbs Funeral Home; Book #9; p.7; Service #86;
J. M. Daniel;
charge to estate;
ordered by C. M. Ragland;
secured by estate;
date of funeral, 9 Apr 1916;
residence, Kaufman St.;
place of death, residence;
services at 1st Presbyterian Church 3:00 p.m.;
Physician, L. P. McCuistion;
cause of death, Erysipelas;
date of death, 7 Apr 1916, 9:30 a.m.;
date of birth, 11 Jun 1833;
Widower, age 83 years;
Father, John Daniel, born VA;
interment at Evergreen;
casket 6/3 $115.00;
7 carriages $24.50;
wagon for flowers $2.50;
open grave $6.00;
Pallbearers: H. P. Mayer, F. D. Mallory, J. G. Marshall, H. H. McClanham, A. P. Park, R. J.
Pictures courtesy of Skipper Steely, Paris, Texas.
©Ron Brothers and Skipper Steely, 1999, All Rights Reserved.
May 23, 1999
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