February 24, 2017

Moses W. Brigham

Nothing is known of Brigham prior to his enlistment. He was recruited in New Orleans for the Texas army by Amasa Turner in January, 1836. He arrived in Velasco on January 28th on the schooner Pennsylvania, and assigned to William S. Fisher's Company of Velasco Blues. It was during this enlistment period that Brigham fought at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

After serving at San Jacinto, he returned to New Orleans and published a thirty-four page pamphlet detailing the events of the battle titled A Detailed Account of the Battle of San Jacinto, with a Complete List of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates Engaged Therein; Return of Killed and Wounded; Army Order, Lamar's Address to the Texian Troops, upon Taking Command as Major General; and Other Interesting Matters in 1836. Some time after this he was living in Houston and running "a small mercantile establishment with a bar in connection" there.

On January 20, 1838, after a brawl resulting from a gambling argument, "W.M. Brigham" was stabbed and died at the Houston House saloon. John C.C. Quick and David J. Jones (also a San Jacinto veteran) were convicted of the murder and hung for their crimes.

Note
This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day. Brigham's marker is in error on the date (1854, instead of 1838) of his death.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.432, -095° 22.744


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

February 21, 2017

William Moore

Outside of his military records, there is little known about William Moore. he was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 18, 1837 and enlisted as a boatswain's mate in the Union Navy in the early years of the Civil War. On December 27, 1862, while aboard the USS Benton, the ship participated in the attack on Haines Bluff while Moore, under heavy fire, ran lines to the shore in spite of the danger until the ship was ordered to withdraw. It was for this action that he was awarded the Medal of Honor (received April 16, 1864). He was still with the USS Benton on May 22, 1863, this time acting as captain of a 9 inch gun during the Battle of Vicksburg. Moore died on February 16, 1918 and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery Annex.

Citation  
Serving as boatswain's mate on board the U.S.S. Benton during the attack on Haines Bluff, Yazoo River, 27 December 1862. Wounded during the hour-and-a-half engagement in which the enemy had the dead range of the vessel and was punishing her with heavy fire, Moore served courageously in carrying lines to the shore until the Benton was ordered to withdraw.

GPS Coordinates
30° 16.593, -097° 43.456

Block A
Oakwood Cemetery Annex
Austin

February 17, 2017

Ambrose Mays

As is often the case with early Texas settlers, little is known of Mays' history. He came to Texas in 1831, and enlisted in the Texian army on March 20, 1836 for a four month stint. He fought at San Jacinto as a member of Captain Thomas H. McIntire's Company and died in Harris County in 1852.

Note
Unmarked. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day. Ambrose Mays' is one of them.

GPS Coordinates
N/A


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

February 14, 2017

Goree C. Carter

Goree Chester Carter was born in Houston, Texas on December 31, 1930. In late 1948 or early 1949, he and his jump blues band, The Hepcats, were discovered at a gig in the Eldorado Ballroom by a talent scout named Solomon Kahal, who quickly signed the group to his label Freedom Records and recorded their first release, Sweet Ole Woman Blues.

At the age of 18, he recorded his best known single Rock Awhile in April 1949. It has been cited as a strong contender for the title of "first rock and roll record" and a "much more appropriate candidate" than the more frequently cited Rocket 88 by Ike Turner. However, Rock Awhile was not as commercially successful as later rock & roll records. Carter's electric guitar style was influenced by Aaron "T-Bone" Walker, but was over-driven and had a rougher edge which presaged the sound of rock and roll a few years later. His single-string runs and two-string "blue note" chords anticipated and influenced the pioneers of rock music - the intro to Rock Awhile, for example, closely resembles those in several of Chuck Berry's records from 1955 onwards.


Carter recorded for several labels in the early 1950s, including Imperial, Coral and Modern, but last recorded in 1954. After a stint in the army during the Korean War, he returned home and continued to play occasional local gigs in Houston. Sadly, the popular demand for his unique style had slowed over the last few years and his last live performance was in 1970. Goree Carter, the man who beat Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Ike Turner to the feat of inventing rock and roll died on December 27, 1990, at the age of 59 (or 60) and was buried in Houston National Cemetery.


GPS Coordinates
29° 55.761, -095° 27.014

Section J
Houston National Cemetery
Houston

February 10, 2017

Henry Tierwester

Born Heinrich Thurwachter in France, he became Henry Tierwester after an immigrations clerk misspelled his name and he decided to keep it. He came to Texas from Ohio in 1828 and applied for land in Austin's Second Colony, which he received in October, 1832. His grant was located in present-day Harris County, and he settled in a small town nearby named Frost Town.

On March 1, 1836, he enlisted in the Texas Army as a private in Captain William S. Fisher's Company of Velasco Blues until June 7. During the battle of San Jacinto, he was shot through a powder horn that he had slung around his neck. Fortunately, the bullet had been spent before it penetrated fully and he was unharmed. He married Anne White on April 12, 1838, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1842; he later married Phillipine Pugh, and remained so until his death in 1859. His grave in Houston's City Cemetery was once marked and fenced, but is now lost.

Note
Unmarked. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day. Henry Tierwester's is one of them.

GPS Coordinates
N/A


Founders Memorial Park
Houston