December 19, 2017

Robert Rudolph "Bob" Marquis

   Robert Rudolph Marquis, American professional baseball player, began his professional career in 1947 with the Lufkin Foresters, hitting .346 with 22 doubles and 16 triples in 140 games. He was sent to the Beaumont Exporters in the New York Yankees system, and with them he played in four games, going 0-for-1 at the plate. In 1948, he played for Beaumont (two games) and the Quincy Gems (126 games), hitting a combined .333 with 15 home runs, 18 triples and 21 doubles.

   Marquis split the 1949 season between Beaumont (20 games) and the Binghamton Triplets (106 games), hitting a combined .236 in 453 at-bats. He hit .293 in 151 games for Beaumont in 1950, and with the Kansas City Blues in 1951 he hit .278 in 123 games. He played for the Blues again in 1952, hitting .246 in 97 games. On August 28, 1952, he was traded to Cincinnati with Jim Greengrass, Ernie Nevel, Johnny Schmitz and $35,000 for Ewell Blackwell. The Reds' manager, Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, had been Beaumont's skipper in 1950.

   He made his big league debut on April 17, 1953. In 40 games with the Redlegs (as the Reds were known from 1953-1958) that year, he hit .273 with two home runs, a triple and a double in 44 at-bats. Despite posting an OPS+ of 108, that would end up being his only year in the big leagues - he played his final game on July 7. He also spent 61 games in the minors that year; with the Portland Beavers he hit .271. Back in the minors in 1954, he hit .282 with 16 triples in 143 games for Beaumont. After his death in 2007, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Beaumont. Source

COORDINATES
30° 07.423, -094° 06.020

Park View Garden
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Beaumont

December 12, 2017

Zachary Scott

   Zachary Thomson Scott, Jr., actor, the son of Sallie Lee (Masterson) and Zachary Thomson Scott, was born in Austin, Texas, on February 21, 1914. His acting career began at Austin High School. From 1932 to 1934 he attended the University of Texas, where he performed leading roles and served as president for the Curtain Club; he was also on the track team. He interrupted his schooling at the age of nineteen to work his way to England on a freighter. There he joined a repertory company and for the next three years gained acting experience. He returned to the United States and married Elaine Anderson on February 21, 1935. They had two daughters. The couple lived in New York for a short time but soon returned to the University of Texas, where Scott earned a B.A. in 1939. During this period he worked as director of the Little Theater in Austin and taught dramatics at St. Mary's Academy. He then gave up dramatic pursuits and worked at various jobs, including that of an oilfield worker, but the lure of the stage eventually caused him to move his family to New York. He was soon acting in various Broadway productions. In 1943 Warner Brothers Studio discovered Scott while he was appearing in Those Endearing Young Charms. With the starring role in The Mask of Dimitrios in 1944, he began a film career that extended through thirty motion pictures. Scott is best remembered for his work in such popular films as Mildred Pierce (1945), The Southerner (1945), Hollywood Canteen (1944), Danger Signal (1945), and Cass Timberlane (1947). He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal in The Southerner. During the 1940s Scott's roles, with the exception of The Southerner, were those of a suave, debonair sophisticate, but after 1950 his career broadened. He sang the lead role in a production of The King and I (1956) and appeared on the London stage in such productions as Subway in the Sky (1957). He played numerous television roles and continued to make movies. In 1950 Scott and his wife were divorced. He later married actress Ruth Ford. In 1959 they appeared together on Broadway in Requiem for a Nun, a play that novelist William Faulkner had written for Mrs. Scott. Scott and his wife were performing readings from Faulkner's works at the University of Mississippi in early 1965 when Scott grew ill; he died on October 3, 1965, and was buried at Memorial Park in Austin. In 1972 the Zachary Scott Theatre opened in Austin, and in 1988 a chair in drama was established at the University of Texas honoring the Scott family. Source

COORDINATES
30° 19.836, -097° 44.969

Section 4
Austin Memorial Park Cemetery
Austin

December 5, 2017

William Bacon Wright

   William Bacon Wright, Confederate legislator, was born in Columbus, Georgia, on July 4, 1830, the son of John Wright and a relative of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. According to his obituary in the San Antonio Daily Express he graduated from Princeton at the age of seventeen, but the university has no record of his attendance. He is also said to have established a law practice in Georgia in 1849. After residing briefly in Eufaula, Alabama, he moved to Texas in 1854 and established a law practice in the Lamar County community of Paris, where he soon became one of the region's foremost attorneys. In 1857 he helped to found a male academy in Paris. Wright was elected as an alternate Democratic statewide elector for the 1860 presidential election. In December of that year he was appointed chairman of a committee to draw up a plan of secession for the state. In October 1861 he was elected to represent the Sixth Congressional District in the first regular session of the Confederate House of Representatives, where he served on the Patents, Claims, Enrolled Bills, and Indian Affairs committees. Although an opponent of taxation, in general Wright supported the policies of the Jefferson Davis administration. His most significant contributions to Confederate legislation were the exemption from conscription of all militiamen serving in frontier defense and the exemption from impressment of all slaves employed in the cultivation of grain. He was defeated in the congressional race of 1863 by Simpson H. Morgan and served for the remainder of the war as a major in the quartermaster corps on the staff of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith.

   After the war Wright practiced law for a time in Clarksville before returning to Paris in 1873. He is said to have defended the accused in ninety-three murder trials without losing a single case. He also remained active in politics, serving as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875. Wright married a Miss Greer of Georgia in 1849, and they had four children. After her death he married Pink Gates of Mississippi in 1868; they had six children. In 1885 Wright moved to San Antonio, where he engaged in banking until his death on August 10, 1895. He is buried in Dignowity Cemetery. Source

COORDINATES
29° 25.416, -098° 28.047


Dignowity Cemetery
Austin

November 28, 2017

Norman Downs "Red" Branch

   Norman D. “Red” Branch was born on March 22, 1915 in Spokane, Washington. He played baseball at the University of Texas and signed with the New York Yankees in 1937. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander pitched for Norfolk of the Piedmont League his rookie year posting an impressive 14-4 record and earning promotion to Kansas City of the American Association.

   By 1939, Branch was with Newark of the International League where he worked primarily as a relief pitcher and appeared in 41 games that season. The 25-year-old made 30 appearances for Newark in 1940 and joined the Yankees in 1941. He made his major league debut on May 5, 1941 and appeared in 27 games for a 5-1 record and 2.87 ERA although he didn’t pitch in the World Series against Brooklyn.

   In 1942, he made just 10 appearances for the Yankees and entered military service with the Coast Guard at the end of the year. Branch was initially stationed at Groton in Connecticut before moving to the Coast Guard Academy at New London where he spent the rest of the war and pitched for the Coast Guard Dolphins.

   Returning from service at the end of 1945 with a sore arm, Branch pitched briefly for Newark and Beaumont in 1946 before retiring from the game. He returned to his home in Texas and played semi-pro ball for a number of years. “I played semi-pro baseball with Red for several years in the late 1940s and early 1950s," recalls Herb Schulze of Navasota, Texas. "He was still quite a ballplayer then and I was very impressed as a high school and college student to be sharing the diamond with a former New York Yankee pitcher.”

Norm Branch passed away in Navasota, Texas on November 21, 1971. He was only 56. Source

COORDINATES
30° 23.170, -095° 42.240


New Cemetery
Montgomery

November 21, 2017

James Morgan

   James Morgan, pioneer Texas settler, merchant, land speculator, and commander at Galveston during the Texas Revolution, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 13, 1787, the son of James and Martha (Prudun) Morgan. As a child he was taken to North Carolina, where he grew to manhood and married Celia Harrell. In 1830 he visited Brazoria and decided to open a mercantile business in Texas. After returning to the United States, he bound his sixteen slaves as indentured servants for ninety-nine years in order to get around the Mexican prohibition on slavery, and set out for Texas with his wife, two daughters, and a son. In New Orleans Morgan formed a partnership with John Reed, and the two of them purchased a schooner, Exert. Morgan went by land to Anahuac, where he opened a store. Reed soon arrived with a cargo of merchandise, upon which George Fisher, collector of customs, levied a tariff. Morgan's defiance of Fisher's evaluation established him as a leader and was possibly the reason for his being chosen to represent the Liberty Municipality in the Convention of 1832. In 1835 Morgan was appointed agent for a company called the New Washington Association, organized in 1834 by Lorenzo de Zavala and a number of New York financiers to develop Texas real estate. He immediately purchased for the company an enormous quantity of real estate in Harrisburg and Liberty municipalities, including the point at the mouth of the San Jacinto River variously called Rightor's, Hunter's, Clopper's, and later Morgan's Point. Here he laid out the town of New Washington. The company brought to Texas a number of Scottish highlanders and free blacks from New York, including Emily D. West, the so-called Yellow Rose of Texas, and planned a colony of free blacks from Bermuda. As agent, Morgan also operated one of two ships belonging to the company.

   During the Texas Revolution these ships were often used by the Texas government. Morgan also supplied the civil and military branches with merchandise from his store. From March 20, 1836, to April 1, 1837, with the rank of colonel, he was commandant of Galveston Island and, as such, planned and effected the fortification of the island during the spring campaign of 1836. President Sam Houston later charged him with mismanagement in this work. After the revolution Morgan returned to the site of New Washington, which had been destroyed by the Mexicans, and erected for himself a dwelling named Orange Grove. For some time he continued to act as agent for the New York company and as such projected the town of Swartwout (named for Samuel Swartwout, one of the prime movers of the company) on the Trinity River. Morgan sought election to one of the congresses of the republic, but he lost because his neighbors were suspicious of his wealth. In 1843 he and William Bryan were the commissioners charged with the secret sale of the Texas Navy. During the 1850s Morgan was active in promoting the improvement of what later became the Houston Ship Channel. He owned extensive herds of cattle and reputedly imported the first Durham shorthorns into Texas. He also experimented with the cultivation of oranges, cotton, and sugarcane. At his home he entertained such notable guests as John James Audubon and Ferdinand von Roemer. Though he was completely blind during his last years, he twice saved himself from drowning when squalls overturned the boats in which he was crossing Trinity Bay. He died at his home on March 1, 1866, and was buried on his plantation. The family cemetery is now a public one, and the stones marking the graves of the Morgans have disappeared. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. Morgan's family plot was at one time marked by a large tombstone bearing the names of family members. The stone disappeared and was found by fishermen years later submerged in the bay. Stolen again after its replacement, it was never recovered.

COORDINATES
29° 40.736, -094° 59.568


Morgan's Point Cemetery
Morgan's Point