May 26, 2009

Dillon Anderson (1906-1974)

Dillon Anderson, statesman and writer, son of Joseph Addison and Besnie (Dillon) Anderson, was born in McKinney, Texas, on July 14, 1906. He enrolled at Texas Christian University before transferring to the University of Oklahoma, where he received a B.S. degree in 1927. He graduated from the Yale law school in 1929; that same year he was admitted to the Texas bar and began practicing with the Houston firm of Baker, Botts, Andrews, and Shepherd. He was made a partner of the firm in 1940. Anderson served as a colonel in the United States Army from 1942 to 1945. He won the Army Commendation Ribbon and the Legion of Merit. He was appointed consultant to the National Security Council in 1953, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Anderson to be his special assistant for national security in 1955. In that capacity, Anderson presided over the National Security Council and accompanied Eisenhower to the summit conference in Geneva in 1955. He resigned in 1956. In 1948 Anderson met Edward Weeks, editor of Atlantic, who complained that J. Frank Dobie, Tom Lea, and John Lomax were the only Texans who ever sent contributions to his magazine. When Weeks asked Anderson if he knew of other Texas writers, Anderson volunteered to contribute, even though none of his fiction had been published. Anderson's first submission was The Revival, a story that Weeks returned several times for revision. It was finally published in 1949 and won the Doubleday company's O. Henry prize for short fiction. Anderson then began publishing other stories in Atlantic, Saturday Evening Post, and Collier's.

In 1951 Little, Brown, and Company brought out I and Claudie, which won the Texas Institute of Letters award that year. Little, Brown also published Anderson's second book, Claudie's Kinfolks, in 1954. Both books are accounts of the picaresque adventures of two fun-loving rogues who philosophize in homespun, practical fashion about life and the world. Though published as novels, both I and Claudie and Claudie's Kinfolks had been written as series of short stories. The same was true of The Billingsley Papers (1961), published by Simon and Schuster, although Anderson did develop a logical sequence for the stories. The "papers" make up a report in which attorney Gaylord Boswell Peterkin reveals the true character of fellow attorney Richard K. Billingsley to the university faculty committee conferring an honorary doctorate of laws degree on Billingsley. Despite their loose structure, all three books won praise for their picture of life among the folk and the exuberant, if not always tasteful, pursuits of the Texan.  Anderson was a director of Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. He married Lena Carter Carroll on May 30, 1931. The Andersons and their three daughters made their permanent home in Houston. Dillon Anderson died in Houston in 1974 and is buried there. Source


COORDINATES
29° 45.974
-095° 23.004

Section J
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

May 19, 2009

Cyrus Longworth Lundell (1907-1994)

Cyrus L. Lundell, botanist and archaeologist, was born November 5, 1907 in Austin, Texas and later studied at Southern Methodist University. In 1928 he was appointed as assistant physiologist at the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in Washington, D.C. and sent to British Honduras (now Belize) to undertake tapping experiments on the sapodilla tree - the source of chicle - for the chewing gum industry. In the autumn of 1931, while in an uncharted area of Campeche, he discovered the remains of a lost Mayan city, which he named Calakmul, "the city of two adjacent mounds". This was only the first of 16 ancient cities and other Mayan sites that he discovered.

From 1933 to 1944, he continued his research into Mayan civilization while leading botanical expeditions to Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize for the Carnegie Institution and the University of Michigan. With his wife, Amelia, he discovered some 450 new plant species in Guatemala, including the ancestors of squash, cacao, pinto beans, and other crop plants. In total he discovered and named over 2,000 species, primarily from Texas. In 1944 he began a crusade to save the Texas blacklands, which are similar to those of the Maya region, by establishing the Institute of Technology and Plant Industry (now the Botanical Research Institute of Texas) at Southern Methodist University. Lundell was also the founder of the botanical journal Wrightia, author of the Flora of Texas and over 200 published articles. He was a member of the Agricultural Board, the National Academy of Science, and the National Research Council. In 1981 he was awarded the Order of Quetzal by the Guatemalan government for his contributions to botany, agriculture, and Mayan archaeology. He died on March 28, 1994 and buried in Dallas.

COORDINATES
32° 52.081
-096° 46.704

Monument Garden
Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park
Dallas

May 12, 2009

José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871)

José Antonio Navarro, a leading Mexican participant in the Texas Revolution, son of María Josefa (Ruiz) and Ángel Navarro, was born at San Antonio de Béxar on February 27, 1795. His father was a native of Corsica, and his mother was descended from a noble Spanish family. Navarro's early education was rudimentary, though he later read law in San Antonio and was licensed to practice. He was compelled to flee to the United States because of his support of the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition in 1813 but returned to Texas in 1816. A developing friendship with Stephen F. Austin served to deepen his interest in Texas colonization. Before Texas independence Navarro was elected to both the Coahuila and Texas state legislature and to the federal congress at Mexico City. He supported Texas statehood in 1835 and embraced the idea of independence the following year. Along with his uncle, José Francisco Ruiz, and Lorenzo de Zavala, he became one of the three Mexican signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Upon his election to the Texas Congress as a representative from Bexar, Navarro sought to advance the rights of Tejanos, whom many Anglo-Texans held in contempt after the Texas Revolution. He also generally endorsed the policies of President Mirabeau B. Lamar while opposing those of Sam Houston.

As a supporter of Lamar, Navarro was selected as a commissioner to accompany the foolishly conceived Santa Fe expedition. Decimated by Indian attacks and suffering from hunger and thirst, those who survived the march from Austin tamely capitulated outside the gates of Santa Fe. After imprisonment under brutal conditions at Veracruz for fourteen months, Navarro escaped and returned to Texas. He had for a long time favored the annexation of Texas to the United States. He was the sole Hispanic delegate to the Convention of 1845, which was assembled to accept or reject the American proposal; after voting in the affirmative, he remained to help write the first state constitution, the Constitution of 1845. He was subsequently twice elected to the state Senate, though in 1849 he refused to run again. In 1846, in recognition of his contributions to Texas over the years, the legislature named the newly established Navarro County in his honor. The county seat was then designated Corsicana, in honor of his father's Corsican birth. As a devout Catholic, Navarro strongly condemned Sam Houston's association with the nativist and anti-Catholic American (Know-Nothing) party. He was equally critical of Houston's pro-Union vote on the Kansas-Nebraska issue. Always a strong advocate of states' rights, in 1861 he defended the right of Texas to secede from the Union. Although he was too advanced in years to participate in the Civil War, his four sons served in the Confederate military. In 1825 Navarro married Margarita de la Garza; they had seven children. He died on January 13, 1871. Source

COORDINATES
29° 24.932
-098° 30.631

Section 16
San Fernando Cemetery #1
San Antonio

May 5, 2009

William Fairfax Gray (1787-1841)

William Fairfax Gray, soldier, lawyer, and author, was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, on November 3, 1787, the son of William and Catherine (Dick) Gray. On March 21, 1811, he was commissioned a captain in the Sixteenth Regiment of the Virginia Militia and, as such, served during the War of 1812. Gray was commissioned a lieutenant colonel on May 26, 1821, and for the remainder of his life was known as Colonel Gray, although he was generally engaged in the practice of law. He and his wife, the former Milly Richards Stone, had twelve children. In 1835 as land agent for Thomas Green and Albert T. Burnley of Washington, D.C., Gray visited Mississippi and Texas.

Upon arriving in Texas he attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and attempted to obtain the position of secretary. He failed in this, but in his diary (published in 1909 under the title of From Virginia to Texas, 1835) he kept a faithful record of the convention's proceedings, in some cases more complete than the official journal. During the Runaway Scrape he obtained a passport and returned to Virginia. In 1837 he moved his family to Texas and settled in Houston. In addition to practicing law, he served as clerk of the Texas House of Representatives from May 2 to September 26, 1837, and as secretary of the Senate from April 9 to May 24, 1838. On May 13, 1840, Gray was appointed district attorney. Upon the establishment of the Texas Supreme Court, he was named clerk. He was a Mason and a devout Episcopalian, a charter member of Christ Church, Houston, and of the Philosophical Society of Texas, of which he became secretary. Gray died in Houston on April 16, 1841, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery, now Founders Memorial Park. Upon the death of his wife, his remains were removed to the Episcopal Cemetery. In 1872, when Glenwood Cemetery in Houston was opened, his sons moved their parents' remains there. Source

COORDINATES
29° 45.877
-095° 23.218

Section E2
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston