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The Clopton Chronicles

A Project of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society

 

 

 

PAPA WHIPPED ME, SO I LEFT FOR PARTS UNKNOWN

 

 

Regarding

 

Julian Campbell Clopton

 

Based on an Article by James M McMillen[1]

 

 

 

Not Worth Dam

 

You getting a degree from the

Very same school that I got kicked

Out of makes me very happie

 

 

As the result of a disagreement with his father, Julian Campbell Clopton[2] left home [Kentucky] and school.  Julian himself explained this early period of his life in a letter to his nephew, Robert Walter “Bob” Clopton, Jr.[3] on the occasion of Bob’s graduation from high school.

 

 

                                                                        Austin, Texas

                                                                                                May 14 (19)41

My Dear Robert

 

You will never know how happy your high school announcement made me feel.  You did what I could not do 50 years ago on the very same spot.  No fooling.

Dr. John F. Moore now of Houston was the teacher or “prof.”  Those days Judge Ben Powell was chairman of the board.  We were living on the old Hucker place So. Of Montgomery.  Dr. John F. Moore whipped me.  Papa whipped me and Judge Powell [was] expelled as chairman.

So I left home for parts unknown and stopped at Cleburne, Texas, where I contacted Bro Sydney and bunked up with him and his wife, [4]  got me a job tiren [tying?] up express packages at $20 per month-Brother Sydney to fall back on.  Well I fell back on him in one week at Mr Willicys request, he told Bro Sydney I was not worth Dam, sho enough, no fooling.  I could write and tell you lots of things that happened.  You getting a degree from the very same school that I got kicked out of makes me very happie.  I am glad you are a Clopton and I am your uncle. A little Remembrance, get your self [something].  Son was  hom this week and I told him about you. He was glad too.

 

                                                                                                Your Uncle

                                                                                                Julian C. Clopton

                                                                                                2001 Forest Trail

                                                                                                Austin, Texas

 

 

Julian arrived in Fort Worth shortly after he was fired from his job in Cleburne.  His first job was selling the old Fort Worth Gazette on the streets.  He soon established a reputation of reliability and developed a paying route, the largest in town.  He continued this for 18 months, saving his money, then took a job as a messenger with the Santa Fe Railroad.  After a stint in eastern Texas with a lumber mill, he again joined the Santa Fe in the building department, helping build bridges for two years.

Julian then had his first experience in the hotel business as a night clerk at the Metropolitan Hotel in Fort Worth.  After two more years he became chief clerk, and, except for a year in St. Louis, remained in the business for most of the rest of his life.

The first hotel he owned, the Harris, in Terrell, Texas, was bought mainly on “nerve,” not capital, but he prospered and was able to meet all of his obligations.  After a few years he sold out and moved to Mineral Wells, where he built the Oxford Hotel.  The hotel burned, and without insurance, Julian found himself with only $35 cash and a wife and a baby daughter to support.  Back in Fort Worth, he went to work for a café, but he stayed there only a short time.

With the backing of friends, he built and equipped the Modern Terminal Hotel, across the street from Fort Worth’s Union Terminal.  Within three years he had paid off all his debts and became the sole owner of the hotel.  He sold it in 1910 and with a partner bought the Siebold Hotel in the middle of downtown Fort Worth, their efforts described in a publication of the day as “modernized in every detail from collar to dome, making it a strictly first class hotel.”  And the Siebold Café became the place to go, especially for business leaders during the lunch hour, and became a meeting place for the “best people” of the city.  It maintained this reputation well into the 1940’s, but is no longer in existence.  He want on to own the very hotel in which he received his first experience as a night clerk, the Metropolitan Hotel.  A newspaper of the day reported:

 

 

Long years of identification with the hotel business have given to Julian Campbell Clopton a reputation as a host with the traveling public that is indeed enviable, and his own native business ability has been the cause of his excellent success.  He has owned and operated a number of hotels in Fort Worth and in other places of the state and has seen misfortune in his day, but he is at the present time regarded as one of the most successful and prosperous men of the city and there is every reason for that belief.[5]

 

 

The 1920 Fort Worth Directory has an entry for Julian C. Clopton as a broker and as vice-president of the Western Truck Company.  He then went to Conroe, Texas in the early days of the Conroe Oil Field.  Soon after that  he went back to Austin and was manager of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel and was a member of Governor Dan Moody’s staff.[6]  He was also active in civic affairs.  The last hotel he managed was the Kyle Hotel in Temple.  He retired to Austin in 1938 because of bad health.

 

 

 


 

        1.  Julian Campbell23 Clopton, Sr.  (Reuben Monroe22, Reuben Monroe21, William Hales20, Reuben19, William18, William17, William16, William15, Walter14, William13, Richard12, William11, John10, William9, Thomas8, Walter7, William6, Walter5, William4, Walter3, William2, Guillaume1 Peche, Lord Of Cloptunna and Dalham) was born May 28, 1875 in Jordan, Fulton County, Kentucky1.  He married Alma Craft2 July 10, 1906 in Dallas, Texas3, daughter of John Craft, of Mineral Wells, Texas. 

       

Children of Julian Clopton and Alma Craft are:

        2                 i.    Marian Elizabeth24 Clopton3, born September 20, 1902 in Mineral Springs, Texas.  She married Lester Tilden Palmer, of Okemah, Oklahoma February 5, 1917 in Texas by the Right Rev. Valentine Lee3

        3                ii.    Julian Campbell Clopton, Jr., born January 31, 1912 in Fort Worth, Texas3; died November 11, 19574.  He married Carter Belle Munt

 

 

Endnotes

 

1.  Erwin, Ancestry of William Clopton of York County,  (Courtesy of William Purcell Clopton), p. 192, 208, States all information provided by Julian Campbell Clopton of Austin, Texas.

2.  Clopton Family Newsletter,  (Courtesy of the Clopton Family Association), April 1991, p. 5, "Julian Campbell Clopton, Hotelier," by James M McMillen.

3.  Erwin, Ancestry of William Clopton of York County,  (Courtesy of William Purcell Clopton), p. 208.

4.  Clopton Family Newsletter,  (Courtesy of the Clopton Family Association), August 1991, p. 14-15, "More About Julian Clopton," by James M McMillen.

 

 

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[1] For several years the Clopton Family Association’s web page, http://www.seanet.com/~clopton carried the story of Julian Campbell Clopton, based on articles appearing in the Association’s newsletter, Clopton Family Newsletter, April 1991 and August 1991.  Mr. McMillen and Isabel Lancaster (Clopton) Steiner were the editors at that time.  Robert Walter Clopton, Sr. and Carter Belle (Munt) Clopton, wife of Julian Campbell Clopton, Jr. contributed to the articles.  The CFA web page generously permits the duplication of articles for non-commercial purposes.  Editing  by Suellen Clopton Blanton, Founder and Executive Director of the Clopton Family Genealogical Society, who added footnotes and the abbreviated genealogy to the original story appearing on the CFA web page.  The Society wishes to thank Michael Flanagan for his assistance, and the Clopton Family Association for sharing the story of Julian Campbell Clopton.  For a complete genealogy of this Clopton line, see William Clopton of St. Paul’s Parish & His Wife Joyce Wilkinson of Black Creek

[2] The son of Reuben Monroe Clopton and his first wife, Sarah Clopton Campbell.  She was named in honor of her mother’s friend and neighbor, Sarah, wife of Dr. John Hales Clopton.  Julian’s father remarried in 1885.  His father and second wife, Willie Eugene Smith, would have seven children, the first born in 1889, when Julian was fourteen.  It appears Julian left home sometime shortly after the second round of children started being born.

[3] Bob Clopton, the son of Julian’s brother, Robert Walter Clopton, Sr. and his wife, Linnie Anzo Gilmore.  Bob was a child of the second marriage.

[4] His brother Albert Sidney Clopton who was about seven years older than Julian.  Sidney married Millie Amelia Kochan.

[5] Frank W. Johnson,  A History of Texas and Texans, E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler, Editors, Chicago and New York:  American Historical Society, 1914, Reprint 1916, p. 1,693.

[6] Daniel James Moody, Jr., was governor of Texas from January 1927 until January 1931.  A district attorney from Williamson County, he was at that time the youngest man to be elected governor.  He is remembered for his battles against the Ku Klux Klan.  In 1999 a children’s book entitled You Can’t Do That, Dan Moody!, by Ken Anderson, was published by Eakin Press.