Martin Donell Kohout

NATIONS, JOSEPH HENRY (1857–1929). Joseph Henry Nations, rancher and businessman, was born in Gonzales County, Texas, on January 5, 1857, the son of Eli and Eliza Austin (Woodruff) Nations. He worked as a cowboy for his father and other ranchers for fifty cents a day; with the money he earned he began buying stock and by the age of eighteen had a substantial herd of his own. He drove his cattle from Gonzales County to the Gulf Coast, where he ranched for several years. In 1882 Nations moved with his father to Presidio County, where he ranched until 1897. In that year he sold out and established the Claber Hill Ranch near Midland in partnership with E. S. Newman. He then went into business for himself and lived the rest of his life, with the exception of a brief move to Kansas City in 1898, in El Paso. By 1914 Nations was handling 12,000 to 15,000 head of stock per year on his ranches in El Paso County, Pecos County, and Socorro and Valencia counties, New Mexico. Nations branched out into real estate and marketed Highland Park, Grand View, and Nations' Acres, among other additions.

He also became one of the foremost businessmen and civic leaders in El Paso. He founded the Nations Meat and Supply Company, one of the largest businesses in the West; served as a director of the First National Bank of El Paso; owned the Nations Building in downtown El Paso; and was president of the City Transfer Company. He was also a trustee of the First Baptist Church, president of the El Paso Young Men's Christian Association, and a director of the Southwestern Stockman's Association of Texas and the American National Livestock Association. In the last capacity he testified before the Finance Committee of the United States Senate in 1913, urging that the duty on imported livestock be retained. He married Ida May Hicks of Moulton in 1880. They had four daughters. Nations died on November 27, 1929, in El Paso.

History of the Cattlemen of Texas (Dallas: Johnson, 1914; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1991).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Martin Donell Kohout, "NATIONS, JOSEPH HENRY," accessed July 22, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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