John W. Gober
The Biographical Souvenir
of the State of Texas
In the late nineteenth-century, popular biographies were a lucrative business for publishers seeking new markets for their products. In 1889, the F.A. Battey & Company of Chicago, published a hefty volume entitled, Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas: containing biographical sketches of the representative public, and many early settled famlies. This leather-bound, gold embossed and richly illustrated work contains almost a thousand pages of biographical essays about Texans. Although resembling an objective historical tome, this work is in fact, a subscription biographical collection for those wishing to immortalize their family name. Though the main purpose of this work was to create profits for the publisher, it has contributed to the rich history of Texas. Apparently the salesmen were quite active in North Texas for the Red River counties were very well represented in this work.
The Gober and Wright families were well connected to one another. Two Gober sisters, Julia and Arkana, married two Wright brothers, Crow and Bob.
John W. Gober was born in Georgia, March 14, 1826 and is the son of George W. and Mary A. Gober, the latter a daughter of William C. Gober, who was an Englishman by birth, served in the Revolutionary War, and lived to be one hundred and four years of age. There were eleven children born to these parents, named as follows - Elizabeth B., Thomas A., William C., Martha M., John W., Mary H., George W., Nancy A., James F., Rutha M., and Marion F. P., all of whom except two, are still living.
John W. Gober was reared to farming and stock raising near the present site of Atlanta, and remembers when there was no town at all on the spot. His father moved to the Cherokee purchase with two other families, being the only white families to cross the river that year. November 20, 1845, he married Miss Mary A. Camp, daughter of Arthur T. Camp, originally of Virginia, the result being seven children, as follows - Arkana E., Julia A. A., William P., Martha L., Felix A., Stonewall J. and George O.
Until 1852 Mr. Gober worked on a farm in Georgia and then came to Texas, stopping in Fannin County two years and a half; moved to Duck Creek, Denton County in 1854, being the first permanent settler, so to speak, but in 1860 sold out and came to his present place, which consists of two hundred and fifty-four acres of black, sandy soil. In 1860 Mr. Gober joined the Confederate army, Company H, Eighteenth regiment of partisan rangers, and served in all marches and engagements of his regiment throughout the war. He is the only person living who has a knowledge of the spot where lie the remains of John B. Denton, after whom Denton was named, and on which spot in vain Mr. Gober has sought in vain to have the authorities of the county erect a monument. Mr. Gober was made a Mason when twenty one years of age, the earliest age in which any man can be initiated in to the fraternity. He is also an Odd fellow and a member of the Farmers' Alliance. Mrs. Gober is a devout member of the Methodist Church, is charitable under all circumstances, and hospitable to all who visit her pleasant home.