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MCFADDIN, WILLIAM PERRY HERRING

Rosine McFaddin Wilson

MCFADDIN, WILLIAM PERRY HERRING (1856–1935). William Perry Herring McFaddin, cattleman and capitalist, son of Rachel (Williams) and William McFaddin, was born in Beaumont, Texas, on February 5, 1856. He attended Texas Military Institute at Austin for one year and also took a business course in St. Louis, Missouri. He entered the cattle-raising business with his father and at twenty-two started to acquire land with his first purchase of 4,428 acres. His ranching interests at their largest extent comprised approximately 120,000 acres in Jefferson County and 48,000 acres in Knox and King counties. With his father, Obadiah Kyle, and Valentine Wiess, he formed several companies-land, rice-milling, canal and irrigation, and oil-of which he was the managing partner. Arthur Edward Stilwell bought the townsite for Port Arthur from the McFaddin's Beaumont Pasture Company, and it was on land leased from the McFaddins that Anthony F. Lucas drilled the Lucas Gusher, the discovery well of the Spindletop oilfield. The McFaddins' canal and irrigation company built thirty miles of canals and a 200,000-gallon capacity pumping plant. The system, capable of watering up to 18,000 acres of land, facilitated the first large-scale rice-growing in the area. McFaddin diversified his family's holdings, doubling them in the process. He built downtown office buildings in Beaumont, bought the Crosby Hotel, famous during the Spindletop boom, started a cattle-feeding and meat-packing operation, and started one of the South's largest muskrat farms, producing over 200,000 pelts a year. He participated in early cattle drives to Louisiana and later shipped by rail to Kansas City. The McFaddin family was one of the first to bring Brahman cattle into Texas. McFaddin was vice president of the First National Bank of Beaumont, vice president of the Beatty Oil Company, a director of the J. M. Guffey Petroleum Company, and a director of the Beaumont Board of Trade and Oil Exchange. In 1928 his holdings were placed in the McFaddin Trust, managed by his sons, W. P. H. McFaddin, Jr., and J. L. C. McFaddin. McFaddin married Emma Janes of Beaumont, with whom he had three children; after her death he married Ida Regina Caldwell (see MCFADDIN, IDA REGINA CALDWELL) of Huntington, West Virginia, with whom he had three more children, including Mamie Louise McFaddin Ward. He died on November 6, 1935.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas (2 vols., 1925?). Judith Walker Linsley and Ellen Walker Rienstra, Beaumont: A Chronicle of Promise (Woodland Hills, California: Windsor, 1982). William P. H. McFaddin Papers, McFaddin-Ward House Museum, Beaumont.

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Rosine McFaddin Wilson, "MCFADDIN, WILLIAM PERRY HERRING," accessed May 29, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc48.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on December 6, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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