Friday, March 8, 2013

Will C. Cantrell, 1866 - 1944

This obituary of Will Cantrell was among the papers of Virginia Shumate Moran.  This branch of the Cantrell's were from Sumner County, Tennessee and made their way to Texas in 1877.  The story reminds me very much of the trip made by Martha Moran and her husband Rufus Scott when they made the arduous trip to Texas in 1858.

I know Will married a woman named Bessie M.  My best guess is that her last name is McLean because one of their sons was named William McLean Cantrell and in the 1920 Tarrant County Census the family is living next door to the A. McLean family.  On an interesting side note Quincy Shumate married Louise Elizabeth McLean so perhaps that's family connection. 

Will's brother was Robert Caruthers Cantrell and is listed in the "Makers of Fort Worth".  Like his brother Will he was an avid horse lover and was in business with Will at the Forth Worth Undertaking Company.

August 12, 1866 -
March 3, 1944

Will Cantrell, Noted Horse Judge, Dies
Will C. Cantrell, 77, one of the Southwest's most beloved horsemen and a resident of this county since frontier days, died Friday afternoon at his home, 2300 Primrose.  He had been ill about three months.

Known widely for his keen judgment of horses, he was in frequent demand as a horse show judge and for approximately a decade was manager of the horse department of the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show.

This year's exposition will be the first he has missed since the start of the institution in a hodge podge showing of livestock under a tree nearly a half-century ago.  He was a familiar figure as ringmaster for many years.

For 45 years, Mr. Cantrell was manager of the Alta Vista farm, north of the city and moved to the Primrose Street home after the sale of the farm a few years ago.

At the turn of the century he operated the Cantrell Brothers Livery Stable, at Third and Throckmorton, with a brother, the late R.C. Cantrell.  Renting fancy carriages and fine horses, the business thrived until advent of the automobile in numbers.  An effort to turn the livery stable into a garage business was made, but motors were not horses, and the venture was short-lived.

Another business in which he engaged was the old Fort Worth Undertaking Company, Texas and Lamar, nearly 20 years ago.  But livestock was his interest, and horses were his love, and it was in that field that he was most widely known.

Son of a Tennessee horseman of note, Henry Cantrell, he came to Tarrant County with his father in 1877, as a lad of 10, in a covered wagon party comprising 19 men and boys.  The Cantrells settled near Birdville.  His birthplace was Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee--Aug. 12, 1866.  As a boy he attended classes at the old Birdville school.

He was a 32nd degree Mason, a Shriner and member of First Methodist Church.  Funeral services will be conducted Saturday at 4. p.m. at Ray Crowder Funeral Home.  Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Survivors include his widow; two sons, R.A. Cantrell and W.M. Cantrell, all of Fort Worth; a sister, Mrs. A.R. Schell of Tulsa, Okla; a brother, G.S. Cantrell Sr.; a half-brother, C.C. Cantrell; two half-sisters, Mrs. Clyde Helm and Mrs. Lizzie Gibson, and a grandson.  Robert Cantrell Jr., all of Fort Worth.

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