December 28, 2010

John Emmett Lyle (1910-2003)

John Emmett Lyle, Jr., member of the Texas and United States House of Representatives and the Texas State Cemetery Committee, was born near Paradise in the village of Boyd, Wise County, Texas, on September 4, 1910. A third generation Texan, he graduated from Wichita Falls High School and attended the junior college there, before enrolling in The University of Texas at Austin. While in Austin, he worked as a night watchman in the basement of the Capitol. After graduating from UT, he attended the night school branch of the Houston Law School, and, in 1934, began a legal career that ultimately spanned 69 years. At the suggestion of Governor James Allred, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, and set up a private practice. However, in 1939, he was elected to the State Legislature representing a district comprised of Nueces, Duvall and Jim Wells Counties.

In the beginning of World War II, in 1942, he volunteered and took his basic training as a private in the Army. He was sent to Officer Training School where he graduated as a second Lieutenant. He was then assigned as a platoon leader to an Automatic Weapons Battalion in the 536th. That battalion was quickly sent to North Africa where he experienced combat as well as in Malta, Sicily and Italy. He was awarded a Purple Heart in the Anzio campaign and while serving as an infantry officer in the Arno River campaign, he was nominated and elected to the U. S. Congress for the fourteenth District of Texas. This District was made up of 19 counties. Congressman Lyle became the ranking member on the powerful Rules Committee. He served five terms and chose not to stand for reelection.

   Congressman Lyle returned to South Texas and resumed the practice of law being active in the State Bar Association. He served on the State Board of Directors of the State Bar Association and as President of the Nueces County Bar Association. During that period as a lawyer and businessman, he represented many individuals, major energy companies, and served on corporate boards of both public and privately owned companies. He was a long time member of the Board of St. Luke's Hospital. During those years he served on Presidential Commissions under President Kennedy, Johnson, Reagan and most recently, in 1994, appointed by Presidential Clinton to the Federal Council on Aging. In 1963, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he continued to practice law and remained a member of both the Texas Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was an active trustee for the David Dewhurst Trust as well as a member of the Board of Directors of numerous Falcon Seaboard companies. He was an active member of St. Martin's Episcopal Church and served on the Vestry, as Senior Warden, and as a member of the Senior Council. John Emmett Lyle, Jr. passed away on November 11, 2003, and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery. Source

30° 15.936
-097° 43.638

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

December 21, 2010

Michael Castaneda Pena (1924-1950)

Mike Pena, Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on November 6, 1924. He joined the U. S. Army as an infantryman in 1941 when he was 16 years old and served in both World War II and the Korean War. On the evening of Sept. 4, 1950, near Waegwan, Korea, his unit was fiercely attacked. During the course of the counter-attack, Pena realized that their ammunition was running out, and ordered his unit to retreat. He then manned a machine gun to cover their withdrawal and single-handedly held back the enemy until morning when his position was overrun and he was killed. Michael Pena received the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2014.

For acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of Company F, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Waegwan, Korea, on 4 September 1950. That evening, under cover of darkness and a dreary mist, an enemy battalion moved to within a few yards of Master Sergeant Pena’s platoon. Recognizing the enemy’s approach, Master Sergeant Pena and his men opened fire, but the enemy’s sudden emergence and accurate, point blank fire forced the friendly troops to withdraw. Master Sergeant Pena rapidly reorganized his men and led them in a counterattack which succeeded in regaining the positions they had just lost. He and his men quickly established a defensive perimeter and laid down devastating fire, but enemy troops continued to hurl themselves at the defenses in overwhelming numbers. Realizing that their scarce supply of ammunition would soon make their positions untenable, Master Sergeant Pena ordered his men to fall back and manned a machine gun to cover their withdrawal. He single-handedly held back the enemy until the early hours of the following morning when his position was overrun and he was killed. Master Sergeant Pena’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

28° 59.939
-095° 57.800

Section 8
Cedarvale Bay City Cemetery
Bay City

December 14, 2010

William Polk Milby (1809-1887)

William Polk Milby, Republic of Texas congressman and Calhoun County merchant, was born in Delaware on January 5, 1809. After first moving to Maryland, he traveled to Texas by way of Louisiana about 1841 and settled initially in Liberty County. He was elected to represent Liberty in the Seventh Congress of the Republic of Texas. He then moved to Port Lavaca and served as county clerk of Calhoun County from 1848 to 1858. In 1853 he acquired land six miles southwest of Indianola, where he tried to develop the town of Cayloma. Five years later he served as commissioner of the Indianola Railroad Company. By 1860 Milby was living in Indianola, where he owned $55,000 in real and personal property, including two slaves. Milby supported secession and was badly hurt by the Civil War and a fire that destroyed his mercantile house in 1867. By 1870 his property was valued at only $1,600. The Indianola storm (1875) destroyed his home. Ironically, he had been one of a three-man commission that had cooperated with the federal signal service's coastal reporting station. Milby and his wife, Mary, a native of Pennsylvania, had at least eight children. Milby was a Mason and Episcopalian. He died on February 2, 1887. Source

29° 43.180
-095° 16.458

Glendale Cemetery

December 7, 2010

Amos Milburn (1927-1980)

Amos Milburn, rhythm-and-blues pianist, singer, and bandleader, was born in Houston on April 1, 1927. Milburn, called "the first of the great Texas R&B singers," began developing his talent at an early age. When he was five years old his parents rented a piano for his sister's wedding, and in less than a day young Amos had taught himself to play Jingle Bells. His parents enrolled him in piano lessons, but Milburn jumped ahead by lingering outside local taverns and juke joints and imitating what he heard. In 1942 he lied about his age to enlist in the United States Navy. He spent just over three years in the Pacific Theater, where he entertained troops with his lively piano tunes. Upon returning to Houston he put together a band and played in clubs all over the city and the surrounding suburbs. His music so impressed local fan Lola Cullum that she allowed him to practice on her baby grand piano and helped him to record After Midnight. She then took the record and Milburn to Los Angeles, where she visited Eddie Mesner, president of Aladdin Records, in his hospital room and played the record for him. Mesner signed Milburn immediately. Milburn began recording for Aladdin on September 12, 1946.

In twelve years he recorded about 125 songs, most of them arranged by saxophonist Maxwell Davis. After Midnight sold more than 50,000 copies. In 1949 Milburn was Billboard's best-selling R&B artist. Davis, acting as sax soloist and producer, helped Milburn on seven of his greatest hits: Chicken Shack Boogie, In the Middle of the Night, Hold Me Baby, Bad Bad Whiskey, Good Good Whiskey, Vicious Vicious Vodka, Let's Have a Party, House Party (Tonight), Let Me Go Home, Whiskey, and One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer. These songs and others made it to the Top 10 of Billboard's charts in the early and mid-1950s. Milburn's rocking, boogie-woogie piano style greatly influenced such younger stars as Fats Domino and Little Richard. Some of Milburn's songs, such as Let's Rock a While (1951) and Rock, Rock, Rock (1952), anticipated mid-1950s rock-and-roll. Milburn ended his association with Aladdin in 1954. He continued to perform, often with such greats as Charles Brown and Johnny Otis. He toured the country, playing nightclubs in various cities, including Los Angeles, Cleveland, New York City, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Washington. He also recorded for labels such as Ace, King, and Motown. However, he had achieved his greatest success by 1953. No stranger to alcohol, as his song titles suggest, Milburn was often ill. He suffered two strokes, lost a leg to amputation, and was an invalid for some time before his death in Houston on January 3, 1980. He was honored with induction into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2010. Source

29° 55.681
-095° 27.127

Section A
Houston National Cemetery

November 30, 2010

John Kenneth Spain (1946-1990)

Ken Spain, Olympian, was born October 6, 1946 in Houston, Texas, the son of John Franklin and Dorothy Leak Spain. After graduating from Austin High School in Houston, he enrolled at the University of Houston where he played for the Cougars. In 1968, he was selected to be on the basketball team representing the United States in the Olympics at Mexico City. The team went on to win 9-0 in competition and earned a gold medal for the U.S. In 1969, he was selected as the 20th overall pick (5th pick, second round) by the Chicago Bulls of the NBA and was drafted by the Oakland Oaks of the ABA. He was also selected as an end by the Detriot Lions in the 1969 NFL draft, but never played football professionally. He played in eleven American Basketball Association games during the 1970-71 season for the Pittsburgh Condors before retiring from sports entirely in the early 70s. Spain died of cancer on October 11, 1990 in his hometown and posthumously named by the University of Houston for their Hall of Honor.

29° 57.685
-095° 16.095

Section 4
Rosewood Memorial Park

November 23, 2010

James Marion Logan (1920-1999)

James Marion Logan, Medal of Honor recipient and first recipient of the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, son of C. M. and Maggie Williams Logan, was born at McNeil near Luling in Caldwell County, Texas, on December 19, 1920. While growing up in rural Texas during the Depression, Logan worked as a laborer for $15.00 a week. In order to supplement his income Logan joined the Texas National Guard in 1936 at the age of fifteen. He enlisted in Company L, Luling Guard, and remained with the unit until he was mustered into Federal service. On November 25, 1940, the Thirty-sixth Infantry was mobilized into the United States Army at Camp Bowie, Texas. Logan served as a rifleman in the 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division (Texas National Guard), Fifth Army. After spending a great deal of time training and running maneuvers in the United States, the Thirty-sixth Infantry set sail for Oran, Algeria, on April 2, 1943. Once in North Africa the Thirty-sixth was held in reserve and then later stationed near Rabat and Casablanca. The Thirty-sixth was then put through training at the Army's Invasion Training Center on the Mediterranean at Arzew, where they were prepared for their first action with the invasion of Salerno, Italy.

   On September 9, 1943, Logan, among the first wave of men to land on the beach at Salerno, advanced inland among darkness and enemy fire. After traversing eight hundred yards, he took a position along the bank of a canal. Logan and Company I were besieged by Germans, taking refuge behind a wall two hundred yards ahead where they began a counterattack. "Voluntarily exposing himself to the fire of a machine gun", Logan advanced toward the Germans behind the wall, dodged their fire, and killed three of them as they attempted to escape. After he ran the two hundred yards of open terrain, Logan reached the wall and killed two machine gunners. He then seized their gun and opened fire on the German retreat which resulted in more casualties. In the meantime he managed to capture a German officer and private who were attempting to escape.

   Later that morning Logan stormed a sniper's den one hundred fifty yards from his company. Once again taking his life in his hands, he reached the house where the sniper was located and shot off the lock to kill the sniper. "Logan's exploits proved a constant inspiration to all the men of his company, and aided materially in insuring the success of the beachhead at Salerno." To award Logan for his gallantry, Lt. Gen. Alexander M. Patch III presented him with the Medal of Honor on June 6, 1944, near Naples, Italy. Following his heroic efforts at Salerno, Logan was promoted to sergeant. In late May 1944 Allied Forces were advancing toward Rome, but before they could proceed they had to take the Italian city of Velletri which was the last German stronghold defending Rome. On June 1, 1944, Sergeant Logan captured fifteen Germans and killed twenty-five in an assault on a German unit trying to escape Velletri during the short and chaotic battle. Logan was injured by shrapnel from artillery shells while he carried a wounded soldier to a medical aid station. This effort earned Logan the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military honor. Although he was nominated for the Medal of Honor for his actions at Velletri, it was United States Army policy not to award two Medals of Honor to one individual. In addition to the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Purple Heart, Logan received two Bronze Stars for bravery, the Rome Avno, Naples Fogio, the Italian Cross of Valor, and several service medals.

   After leaving the U.S. Army on March 6, 1945, Logan spent another two months in the Texas National Guard and then left on May 24. He spent the next three decades working for Exxon and retired to Kilgore, Texas. On May 30, 1997, more than three decades after its authorization by the Fifty-eighth Texas Legislature, Technical Sergeant Logan was once again honored for his service in the United States Army and Texas National Guard. Logan was the first recipient of the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor. Logan was honored in a reception in the House chamber of the capitol. The Texas Legislative Medal of Honor was created for those individuals who served in the Texas National Guard and who received the Medal of Honor. That same year Kilgore's National Guard Armory dedicated its new wing to Logan. Logan died on October 9, 1999. On October 14, 1999, James Marion Logan was buried at the Texas State Cemetery. He was survived by a son. Source

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict on 9 September 1943 in the vicinity of Salerno, Italy. As a rifleman of an infantry company, Sgt. Logan landed with the first wave of the assault echelon on the beaches of the Gulf of Salerno, and after his company had advanced 800 yards inland and taken positions along the forward bank of an irrigation canal, the enemy began a serious counterattack from positions along a rock wall which ran parallel with the canal about 200 yards further inland. Voluntarily exposing himself to the fire of a machine gun located along the rock wall, which sprayed the ground so close to him that he was splattered with dirt and rock splinters from the impact of the bullets, Sgt. Logan killed the first 3 Germans as they came through a gap in the wall. He then attacked the machinegun. As he dashed across the 200 yards of exposed terrain a withering stream of fire followed his advance. Reaching the wall, he crawled along the base, within easy reach of the enemy crouched along the opposite side, until he reached the gun. Jumping up, he shot the 2 gunners down, hurdled the wall, and seized the gun. Swinging it around, he immediately opened fire on the enemy with the remaining ammunition, raking their flight and inflicting further casualties on them as they fled. After smashing the machine gun over the rocks, Sgt. Logan captured an enemy officer and private who were attempting to sneak away. Later in the morning, Sgt. Logan went after a sniper hidden in a house about 150 yards from the company. Again the intrepid Sgt. ran a gauntlet of fire to reach his objective. Shooting the lock off the door, Sgt. Logan kicked it in and shot the sniper who had just reached the bottom of the stairs. The conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity which characterized Sgt. Logan's exploits proved a constant inspiration to all the men of his company, and aided materially in insuring the success of the beachhead at Salerno.

30° 15.970
-097° 43.569

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

November 16, 2010

Robert Bradley Hawley (1849-1921)

Robert Hawley, congressman, was born on October 25, 1849, in Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended public schools and the Christian Brothers' College. He moved to Galveston, Texas, in 1875 and for twenty years worked as a merchant, importer, and manufacturer. From 1889 to 1893 he was president of the board of education of the Galveston city schools. Hawley was temporary chairman of the Republican state convention in San Antonio in September 1890 and was delegate to several Republican national conventions, and was elected to serve in the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth congresses. In 1900, after his stint in public service, he became president of the Cuban-American Sugar Company. He died in New York City on November 28, 1921, and buried in Galveston. Source

29° 16.387
-094° 49.510

Hawley-Oakes Mausoleum
Lakeview Cemetery

November 9, 2010

Nathaniel Lynch (?-1837)

Nathaniel Lynch moved to Texas from Missouri in 1822. As one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists he received title on August 10, 1824, to a league of land in the area that became Harris County. In 1825 Lynch was in a dispute over land boundaries with James Strange. The census of March 1826 listed him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Fanny, three sons, a daughter, and two servants. The settlement that grew up around his headright and steam sawmill at the juncture of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River was called Lynchburg. On February 1, 1830, Lynch presented to the ayuntamiento of San Felipe his application for permission to operate a public ferry. On September 5, 1831, the ayuntamiento fined Lynch for selling merchandise and liquor without a license and ordered the fine collected on November 7, 1831. The General Council in November 1835 appointed Lynch second judge of the municipality of Harrisburg. He petitioned the ad interim government for permission to transact business at Lynchburg in May 1836 and was listed as postmaster there in October of that year. During the Runaway Scrape fleeing Texans congregated at Lynch's Ferry, which lay on the principal land route between south Texas and the Mexican border, in an effort to escape the approaching Mexican army. When Lynch began charging a higher toll, President David G. Burnet threatened to seize the ferry for government service. Lynch died on February 17, 1837. His widow later married Martin Hardin. Source

Note: Unmarked. Nathaniel Lynch's grave location has been lost, but is known to be in this cemetery.

Lynchburg Cemetery

November 2, 2010

Haroldson Lafayette Hunt (1889-1974)

H. L. Hunt, oil tycoon, the youngest of eight children of Haroldson Lafayette and Ella Rose (Myers) Hunt, was born in Carson Township, Fayette County, Illinois, on February 17, 1889. He was educated at home. In 1905 he traveled through Colorado, California, and Texas. By 1912 he had settled in Arkansas, where he ran a cotton plantation that was flooded out by 1917. In 1921 he joined the oil boom in El Dorado, Arkansas, where he became a lease broker and promoted his first well, Hunt-Pickering No. 1. He claimed to have attained a "fortune of $600,000" by 1925, the year he bought a whole block in El Dorado and built a three-story house for his family. His El Dorado investments and a venture called Smackover taught Hunt lessons about the cost of wasteful practices and excessive drilling. Both fields were depleted rapidly. He also lost money on the Florida land boom, and by the time he got interested in the East Texas oilfield in 1930, he seems to have been broke again. Hunt is in the famous photograph that immortalizes the drill test for Daisy Bradford No. 3 and the opening of the East Texas oilfield. On November 26, 1930, he made a deal with Columbus M. "Dad" Joiner that made him owner of the well and all Joiner's surrounding leases. Hunt used $30,000 that belonged to P. G. Lake, a clothier from El Dorado, and planned to make subsequent payments from revenue to buy out Joiner. He knew Joiner was beset by problems of oversold interests in the well. By December 1, 1930, Hunt had his own pipeline, the Panola Pipe Line, to run oil from the East Texas field.

By 1932 the Hunt Production Company had 900 wells in East Texas. In 1935 H. L. Hunt, Incorporated, was superseded by Placid Oil Company, and the shares were divided into trusts for Hunt's six children. In late 1936 Hunt acquired the Excelsior Refining Company in Rusk County and changed the name to Parade Refining Company. It was residue gas from this company's lines that caused the New London Explosion on March 18, 1937. Most of the people involved in that catastrophe were employees of H. L. Hunt. In 1937 or 1938 the family moved to Dallas. On April 5, 1948, Fortune printed a story on Hunt that labeled him the richest man in the United States. It estimated the value of his oil properties at $263 million and the daily production of crude from his wells at 65,000 barrels. On November 26, 1914, Hunt married Lyda Bunker in Arkansas. They had six children. On November 11, 1975, after H. L. Hunt had died, Mrs. Frania Tye Lee filed a civil complaint against Hunt in which she revealed the history of their relationship. They had married in 1925 and lived together in Shreveport until 1930, when they moved to Dallas. In May 1934 "Franny" had discovered Hunt's other marriage. Hunt apparently shipped her off to New York and in 1941 provided trusts for each of the four children. A friend of his, John Lee, married her and gave his name to the children. Lyda Bunker Hunt died in 1955. In November 1957 Hunt married Ruth Ray and adopted her four children, who had been born between 1943 and 1950. Ruth Hunt admitted in an interview that H. L. Hunt had, in fact, been their real father. H. L. and Ruth Hunt became Baptists. In his later life Hunt promoted "constructive" politics in two radio shows, Facts Forum and Life Line, which he supported from 1951 to 1963. In 1952, Facts Forum endorsed Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1960 Hunt published a romantic utopian novel, Alpaca, and in 1968 he began to process aloe vera cosmetics. He died on November 29, 1974. Source

32° 52.054
-096° 46.729

Monument Garden
Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park

October 26, 2010

George Herman O'Brien (1926-2005)

George Herman O’Brien, Jr., Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, was born on September 10, 1926, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of George H. O’Brien, Sr., and Della (Cartwright) O’Brien. O’Brien’s father operated a grocery store, and his mother was a minister. Young George grew up in Big Spring, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1944. O’Brien served as a seaman on a gasoline tanker in the United States Merchant Marine from December 1944 to May 1946. In 1946 O’Brien entered Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) from which he graduated in 1950 with a degree in geology. O’Brien enlisted as a private in the United States Marine Corp Reserve in July 1949. On November 27, 1951, he was ordered to active duty at Quantico, Virginia, to attend the Officer Candidate Course. After successfully completing the course in February 1952, he attended the Officer Basic Course from which he graduated in August. After additional training at Camp Pendleton, California, Second Lieutenant O’Brien was assigned to Korea and the First Marine Division in September 1952.

On October 26, 1952, Chinese forces, backed by artillery, threatened to overrun a marine position known as the Hook, located on an important hill position (fishhook-shaped) near the thirty-eighth parallel. As the commander of a rifle platoon of Company H, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Lieutenant O’Brien received orders to retake the hill on October 27. In spite of the fact that O’Brien’s company numbered about 100 men against several hundred Chinese Communists, the marines counterattacked after a fierce mortar and artillery bombardment. After giving the order to move forward, O’Brien, followed by his company, raced up the hill in the face of hostile fire. Although shot in the arm and knocked to the ground, he proceeded to lead the attack. After aiding a wounded marine, O’Brien threw hand grenades into enemy bunkers and then killed at least three enemy Chinese with the aid of his carbine in hand-to-hand combat. For an additional four hours, Lieutenant O’Brien continued to provide leadership and encouragement against a tough enemy. Although knocked to the ground on three occasions by enemy grenades and refusing medical treatment for his own shrapnel wounds, O’Brien established a defense for the rest of his men and attended to the wounded. After his company was relieved by another marine unit, O’Brien remained in the area to supervise the withdrawal of his men and prevent any wounded from being left behind. Lieutenant O’Brien was treated on the hospital ship USS Hope for his wounds. Ironically, he returned to combat a few weeks later and earned a second Purple Heart for additional wounds.

While on a troop ship headed home in late summer 1953, O’Brien learned that he would receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions of October 27, 1952. President Dwight Eisenhower presented the medal to Lieutenant O’Brien at a ceremony at the White House on October 27, 1953, one year after his heroics in Korea. After the war, George O’Brien returned to Texas where he worked as a petroleum geologist and operated oil and gas wells in the Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. He retired as a major in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1963. O’Brien’s first marriage to Janet Robb O’Brien ended in divorce; they had two sons and a daughter. On July 28, 1979, he married Sandra Rogers Holland. O’Brien lived in Midland, Texas, where his friends and coworkers saw him as a humble and gracious man. In recalling his Korean service, he told a reporter in 1991, “I didn’t do this by myself…there were a lot of my men who didn’t enjoy the older age that I enjoy.” George H. O’Brien, Jr., died from complications of emphysema in Midland on March 11, 2005. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. In January 2012 the Big Spring VA Medical Center was renamed the George H. O’Brien VA Medical Center in ceremonies in which Senator John Cornyn praised the humble Lone Star hero. Source

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a rifle platoon commander of Company H, in action against enemy aggressor forces. With his platoon subjected to an intense mortar and artillery bombardment while preparing to assault a vitally important hill position on the main line of resistance which had been overrun by a numerically superior enemy force on the preceding night, 2d Lt. O'Brien leaped from his trench when the attack signal was given and, shouting for his men to follow, raced across an exposed saddle and up the enemy-held hill through a virtual hail of deadly small-arms, artillery, and mortar fire. Although shot through the arm and thrown to the ground by hostile automatic-weapons fire as he neared the well-entrenched enemy position, he bravely regained his feet, waved his men onward, and continued to spearhead the assault, pausing only long enough to go to the aid of a wounded marine. Encountering the enemy at close range, he proceeded to hurl handgrenades into the bunkers and, utilizing his carbine to best advantage in savage hand-to-hand combat, succeeded in killing at least 3 of the enemy. Struck down by the concussion of grenades on 3 occasions during the subsequent action, he steadfastly refused to be evacuated for medical treatment and continued to lead his platoon in the assault for a period of nearly 4 hours, repeatedly encouraging his men and maintaining superb direction of the unit. With the attack halted he set up a defense with his remaining forces to prepare for a counterattack, personally checking each position, attending to the wounded and expediting their evacuation. When a relief of the position was effected by another unit, he remained to cover the withdrawal and to assure that no wounded were left behind. By his exceptionally daring and forceful leadership in the face of overwhelming odds, 2d Lt. O'Brien served as a constant source of inspiration to all who observed him and was greatly instrumental in the recapture of a strategic position on the main line of resistance. His indomitable determination and valiant fighting spirit reflect the highest credit upon himself and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.

30° 15.970
-097° 43.572

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

October 19, 2010

John Steward Roberts (1796-1871)

John S. Roberts, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, East Texas merchant, and political figure, was born in Virginia on July 13, 1796. At age sixteen he enlisted in the Tennessee Militia for service in the War of 1812; he participated in the Battle of New Orleans as a member of Col. John Coffee's regiment. He was discharged in May 1815 and turned his eyes westward toward Louisiana. By 1822 he was a resident of Natchitoches, where he became a deputy sheriff in 1826. The same year, he joined the Ayish Bayou forces that took part in the Fredonian Rebellion, led by Haden and Benjamin W. Edwards against the Mexican government of Texas. Roberts was a major in the Fredonian forces and served as a judge at the impeachment trial of Samuel Norris, alcalde of the Nacogdoches District, and José Antonio Sepúlveda, captain of the Nacogdoches Militia. Roberts married Harriet Fenley Collier on December 26, 1826, soon after the murder of her husband, Robert, and settled temporarily on her ranch in the Sabine District of East Texas. The next year, however, for reasons of security, the family - including Robert Collier's two children from a previous marriage, Susan and Nathaniel, and Harriet's son, John Fenley Collier - moved first to San Augustine and finally to Nacogdoches. From 1827, when he entered the mercantile business with John Durst, to 1832, when he joined the rebel forces at the battle of Nacogdoches, Roberts was a general merchant and man of affairs in Nacogdoches, where his son Lycurgus was born on April 26, 1830.

From the battle of Nacogdoches until the early days of the Texas Revolution in 1835, he pursued his career as a merchant and enlarged his fortune by purchasing cheap land grants. Roberts enlisted in the Nacogdoches Independent Volunteers on October 4, 1835, as a first lieutenant (he was later promoted to captain) under Capt. Thomas J. Rusk and saw distinguished service in the siege of Bexar (November 25 - December 5). He was elected a delegate to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and signed the Declaration of Independence March 2, 1836, after which he quickly departed for Nacogdoches. After the revolution Roberts formed a partnership with John Durst and George Allen to engage in the mercantile business at a location across Fredonia Street east of the Old Stone Fort on the town square in Nacogdoches. The next year the firm was doing business as Roberts, Allen, and Company; in 1838 Durst bought out Allen, and the firm of Roberts, Durst and [Frederick T.] Phillips was formed. Later that same year the business was sold to one Francis von der Hoya.

Meanwhile, on May 18, 1837, Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Rusk appointed Roberts quartermaster of the Texas Militia; between that date and July 10, 1839, he served as quartermaster of militia on four different occasions, for a total of more than seventeen months. During this time, by an act of the Congress of the republic dated January 10, 1839, he was authorized to adopt Harriet's son, John Collier, and change his name to John F. Roberts. Roberts and Durst were adventurous in business, but for Roberts the speculation ended in the fall of 1838, when there began a series of law suits, the nature of which is not known, that resulted in his financial ruin. In the late 1840s he first sought to protect the financial interests of his wife and stepson in the estate of Robert Collier. About this time he entered the grocery and saloon business in Nacogdoches - first on the east side of the town square, and later in the Old Stone Fort, title to which had passed into Harriet's hand. He operated this business until his death on August 9, 1871. His body was interred in the old Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. Source

31° 36.203
-094° 38.974

Oak Grove Cemetery

October 12, 2010

Paul Neal "Red" Adair (1915-2004)

Paul Neal "Red" Adair, the Texas oil well firefighter, was born on June 18, 1915, in Houston, Texas, to Charles and Mary Adair. He had four brothers and three sisters. Red grew up in the Houston Heights and went to school at Harvard Elementary, Hogg Junior High, and Reagan High School, where he was an all-city halfback for the football team when he was in the ninth grade. Though Red hoped to go to college, he had to drop out of high school to help support his family in 1930 as the Great Depression caused his father to close down his blacksmith shop. Red held many types of jobs after dropping out of high school, including a short showing as a semi-professional boxer. In 1936 he went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1938 Red obtained his first job working with oil when he joined the Otis Pressure Control Company. He worked in the oil fields of Texas and neighboring states until he was drafted into the US Army in 1945, where he served with the 139th Bomb Disposal Squadron and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. While in the Army, Red learned about controlling explosions and fires. He was with the 139th disposing bombs in Japan until the spring of 1946. When Red returned to Houston after serving his time in the Army, he was hired by Myron Kinley of the M. M. Kinley Company, one of the innovators for oil well blowouts and fire control. Red worked for Kinley for fourteen years helping put out oil well fires and capping oil blowouts.

In 1959 he resigned from M. M. Kinley and formed his own company, The Red Adair Company, Inc. Through the techniques he learned from Kinley and disposing bombs for the army, Red was able to develop many tools and strategies to control oil well and natural gas well blowouts and fires. The Red Adair Company became a world-renowned name for fighting oil well fires. Red put out fires both inland and offshore all around the world. On average, the company put out forty-two fires every year. By 1961 Red became famous in oil fields around the world. He had put out the offshore CATCO oil fire in 1959 and many other fires both inland and offshore. In November 1961 a Phillip's Petroleum gas well in Algeria had a blowout. The flames from the blowout fire reached heights of over 700 feet and burned 550 million cubic feet of gas per day. The flames were so high, astronaut John Glenn reported seeing the fire from space. The fire came to be known as the Devil's Cigarette Lighter. Red made it to the fire in late November of 1961. He spent months preparing to put out the flame and cap the well. Red had enormous equipment built on-site to handle the pillar of fire. Since the fire was in the Sahara Desert, water had to be pumped from wells and stored in three reservoirs, each ten feet deep and the size of a football field. Red had several bulldozers customized with special housing units and fitted with hooks to pull away debris. After all preparations had been made, men and equipment were soaked with water constantly as they carefully approached the fire in their famous red coveralls and helmets. Nitroglycerin was then placed near the base of the fire. When the nitroglycerin was ignited, the explosion sucked the oxygen from the air and drowned out the fire. Red had been using this technique for years, and had learned a great deal about it from Myron Kinley. Once the fire was blown out, Red's team removed the wellhead and capped the well on May 28, 1962, six months after it had ignited.

Red Adair was already known in oil and gas fields around the world, but blowing out the Devil's Cigarette Lighter made him an icon. He put out several more notable fires in his career including an offshore rig in Louisiana in 1970 and a 1977 blowout in the North Sea. In 1988 a huge explosion at the Piper Alpha Rig off the coast of Scotland brought Red even more renown. Using the ship he helped design, the Tharos, Red approached what was left of the offshore rig and used the ship's unique equipment to put out fires and cap the wells. At seventy-three, Red was no longer able to jump from a ship to an oil rig, so he had two of his men climb onto what was left of Piper Alpha to clear debris. Once most of the debris was cleared, the men began to put out the fires using nitroglycerin and the ocean water. On some days the wind would blow in just the right direction and help put the water right where it needed to be. On other days the seventy mile-per-hour wind worked against them. Eventually Red and his team were able to put out the fires and cap the wells. The Piper Alpha blaze brought Red in the public eye once again.

Red continued to put out fires around the world, and in 1991, he helped put out many oil fires in Kuwait. At the closing of the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's armies retreated from Kuwait igniting many oil wells in order to keep them out of the hands of the Kuwaitis and Americans. Red was hired to put out the flames. More than one hundred wells were ignited, and putting them out was estimated to take three to five years. Red extinguished 117 burning wells in nine months. On top of working in the field as much as he could, Red also designed and developed many different types of firefighting equipment. At the age of nineteen he had designed a lever that could haul coal from railroad cars. His equipment was so innovative, that he formed a separate company, The Red Adair Service and Marine Company, in 1972 to sell firefighting equipment to others in the industry. Red liked to rig bulldozers with special fittings to keep heat out. He would also fix long beams on the bulldozers and use those beams to put nitroglycerin into a blaze or even use those beams like a fixed crane to bring in heavy materials. One of Red's most famous designs was the semi-submersible firefighting vessel, used to fight offshore oil well fires. Red designed several ships for oil companies around the world, many of which are still in use today.

Red's work brought him many awards. He received the Walton Clark Medal Citation from the Franklin Institute. The city of Houston presented Red with both the Outstanding Houstonian Award and the Houston Distinguished Sales and Citizenship Award. After his popularity skyrocketed when he put out the Devil's Cigarette Lighter, a film was loosely based on Red's life. The movie Hellfighters, starring John Wayne, was released in 1968. Red served as a technical advisor. Although much of his fame came from his reputation as a daredevil, Red was also known to be a stickler when it came to safety. Red always boasted that none of his men had ever been killed or seriously injured while working for him. In 1993 Red Adair finally retired and sold the Red Adair Company. He then started Adair Enterprises as a consulting company that helped other firefighters. Many of Red's firefighters went on to form their own companies after working for him. Boots Hansen and Coots Matthews broke away from The Red Adair Company in 1978 to form their own firefighting company. They eventually merged with another group of firefighters that had once worked for Red. Although he retired from actual firefighting and fieldwork in 1993, Red stayed active in the firefighting business until he died at the age of eighty-nine on August 7, 2004, in the city of Houston. He was survived by his wife Kemmie and a son and daughter. Source

29° 43.358
-095° 18.226

Abbey Mausoleum
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery

October 5, 2010

Therman B. "Sonny" Fisher (1931-2002)

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Therman Fisher, better known as "Sonny," was born on November 13, 1931, in Chandler, Texas. He was known for being a pioneering rockabilly artist in the 1950s. Combining together the blues and country genres, the “Wild Man from Texas” was one of the many American rockabilly artists of the 1950s who was unable to make it big in his regional markets but became popular in Europe as a result of a growing interest in the genre in the late 1970s. Sonny Fisher was born on a farm in the small town of Chandler. Shortly after he was born, the family relocated to Tacoma, Washington, where Fisher grew up listening to his father sing and play the guitar. Ultimately settling in Houston, Fisher formed the Rocking Boys in the early 1950s after seeing Elvis Presley perform in 1954 at the Paladium. Teaming up with bassist Leonard Curry, drummer Darrell Newsome, and guitarist Joey Long, the group appeared alongside artists such as Elvis, George Jones, and Tommy Sands at shows in Houston and Beaumont. Fisher paid for his own recording session with engineer Bill Quinn at his Gold Star Studios in Houston, and his “Elvis-like” performance caught the attention of Quinn who alerted Jack Starnes of Starday Records.

In early 1955 Fisher signed a one-year contract with H. W. “Pappy” Daily of Starday. Daily later recorded J. P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, George Jones, and others. Starnes served as Fisher’s manager. Fisher’s next recording session took place in January 1955 at Quinn’s studio. His records released under the Starday label included Rockin’ Daddy, Hold Me Baby, Hey Mama, Sneaky Pete, I Can’t Lose, and Rockin’ and Rollin’; Rockin’ Daddy became a regional hit. After receiving a royalty check from Starday for only $126, however, Fisher refused to sign with the label again. Fisher attempted to start his own record label, Columbus Records. With little success, he left the music scene in 1965 to dedicate his time to his floor-laying business. The singer’s entire 1950s output was composed of a mere eight songs, all recorded in the years 1955 and 1956. In 1980 Ted Carroll and Roger Armstrong of Ace Records in London gathered the eight songs Fisher had recorded between 1955 and 1956 and combined them on a 10” LP, entitling it Texas Rockabilly. The album launched the record label and caused a popular rockabilly revival throughout Europe. Following the release of Texas Rockabilly, Fisher recorded an EP of new material for the label in May 1980.

From 1981 to 1983, he played shows throughout Europe with artists such as Eddie Fontaine, Gene Summers, Billy Hancock, and Jack Scott. After moving back to Texas, Fisher visited Spain in 1993 to record with veteran rockabilly artist Sleepy LaBeef and the Spanish band Los Solitarios. Fisher disappeared from the public eye shortly thereafter. Despite his disappearance, the singer left a lasting impression on Europe, embodying the essence of early Texas rockabilly to his fans. Fisher died on October 8, 2005 in Houston. He was survived by daughters Vicky Daigle, Kimberly Eason, and Felisha Evans; sons Gary Bennett Fisher, Tony Wayne Fisher, Gordon B. Fisher, and Wendell C Fisher; sister Judy Weber; and brothers Charles and Carl Frieley; as well as nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Source

29° 54.940
-095° 18.860

Section 47
Brookside Memorial Park

September 28, 2010

William Preston "Wild Bill" Longley (1851-1878)

William Preston (Bill) Longley, outlaw, son of Campbell and Sarah Longley, was born in Austin County, Texas, on October 6, 1851. By April 1853 his family had moved to Evergreen, in what was then Washington County, where Longley went to school and worked on the family farm. Tales of Longley's criminal career are a mixture of actual facts and his boasts, but it is known that at the end of the Civil War a rebellious Longley took up with other young men and terrorized newly-freed slaves. On December 20, 1868, Longley, Johnson McKeown, and James Gilmore intercepted three ex-slaves from Bell County; this incident resulted in the death of Green Evans. Longley would later claim that after this he worked as a cowboy in Karnes County, and then killed a soldier as he rode through Yorktown, but there is no corroboration for these stories. He also claimed that he rode with bandit Cullen M. Baker in northeast Texas, but this is unlikely.

In 1869-70, he and his brother-in-law, John W. Wilson, were terrorizing residents of south central Texas, and it was alleged that in February 1870, in Bastrop County, they killed a black man named Brice. In March the military authorities offered a $1,000 reward for them. They were also accused of killing a black woman. After Wilson's death in Brazos County, Longley traveled north, later claiming that he killed a traildriver named Rector, fought Indians, killed a horse thief named McClelland, and killed a soldier at Leavenworth, Kansas, for insulting the virtue of Texas women. None of these claims have been corroborated. At Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, Longley joined a gold-mining expedition into the Wind River Mountains, but was stranded when the United States Army stopped the group. In June 1870 he enlisted in the United States cavalry and promptly deserted. He was captured, court-martialed, and sentenced to two years' confinement at Camp Stambaugh, Wyoming Territory. After about six months he was released back to his unit, where he remained until he again deserted on June 8, 1872. Longley claimed that he lived and rode with Chief Washakie and his Shoshone Indians, which is questionable, and then returned to Texas via Parkerville, Kansas, where he claimed he killed a Charlie Stuart, of whom there is no record. He returned to Texas and Bell County, where his parents had moved, and claimed that he worked as a cowboy in Comanche County and what was then Brown County, allegedly killing a black man and engaging in a gunfight at the Santa Anna Mountains in Coleman County.

In July 1873 Longley was arrested by Mason county sheriff J. J. Finney in Kerr County and taken to Austin so that Finney could be paid a reward. When the reward was not paid, Finney was supposedly paid off by a Longley relative and Longley was released. In late 1874 Longley and his brother James Stockton Longley rode from Bell County to the Lee County home of their uncle, Caleb Longley, who implored Longley to kill a Wilson Anderson for allegedly killing his son. On March 31, 1875, Longley shotgunned Anderson to death while Anderson was plowing a field, and the two brothers fled north to the Indian Territory. They returned to Bell County in July, where James turned himself in; James was later acquitted of any part in Anderson's murder. In November 1875 Longley killed George Thomas in McLennan County, then rode south to Uvalde County, where, in January 1876, he killed William (Lou) Shroyer in a running gunfight. By February 1876 Longley was in Delta County, Texas, sharecropping for the Reverend William R. Lay. A dispute with a local man over a girl led to Longley's arrest. He burned himself out of the Delta County jail and, on June 13, 1876, killed the Reverend Lay while Lay was milking a cow.

On June 6, 1877, Longley was captured in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, by Nacogdoches county sheriff Milton Mast; Longley was returned to Lee County to stand trial for the murder of Wilson Anderson. Longley promptly began writing letters to a local newspaper about his "adventures," claiming that he had killed thirty-two men. On September 5, 1877, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to hang. He was held in the Galveston County jail until the Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction in March 1878. Longley was baptized into the Catholic Church. On October 11, 1878, before a crowd of thousands in Giddings, Texas, Longley was executed by Lee county sheriff James Madison Brown. Just before his execution, Longley claimed that he had only killed eight men. Rumors persisted that Longley's hanging had been a hoax and that he had gone to South America, and a claim was made in 1988 that he had later reappeared and died in Louisiana. Between 1992 and 1994 an effort was made to find his body in the Giddings Cemetery, but to no avail. There is also some evidence that his body may have been returned to Bell County after his execution. Source

30° 10.988
-096° 56.867

Giddings City Cemetery

September 21, 2010

James Lincoln de la Mothe Borglum (1912-1986)

Lincoln Borglum, named after his father's favorite president and called by his middle name, was the first child of Gutzon Borglum and his second wife, Mary Montgomery Williams. During his youth, Lincoln accompanied his father to the Black Hills of South Dakota and was present when the site for the Mt. Rushmore monument was selected. Although he had originally planned to study engineering at the University of Virginia, Lincoln began work on the monument in 1933 at the age of 21 as an unpaid pointer. He quickly moved into a series of more important jobs: he was put on the payroll in 1934, promoted to assistant sculptor in 1937, and promoted to superintendent in 1938 with an annual salary of $4,800. Gutzon Borglum had nearly completed the 60-foot heads of the four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and T. Roosevelt) when he died on March 6, 1941.

Lincoln had to abandon his father's ambitious plans to carry the work down to include the torsos of the presidents and an entablature due to a lack of funding; he left the monument largely in the state of completion it had reached under his father's direction. He was appointed Mount Rushmore National Memorial's first superintendent and served from October 1, 1941 until May 15, 1944. Borglum continued to work as a sculptor after leaving Mt. Rushmore. He created several religious works for churches in Texas including the well-known shrine Our Lady of Loreto in Goliad. He also wrote three books, My Father's Mountain (1965), Borglum's Unfinished Dream (1976) and Mount Rushmore: The Story Behind the Scenery (1977), all about the sculpting of Mount Rushmore. Like many of the men who worked on the Rushmore project, Borglum's lungs were permanently scarred from breathing in granite dust associated with the blasting. He died in Corpus Christi, Texas on January 27, 1986 at the age of 73.

29° 25.206
-098° 28.406

City Cemetery #1
San Antonio

September 14, 2010

Hugh John Devore (1910-1992)

Hugh Devore was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, and was a three-sport star at the city's St. Benedict's Prep. While playing on the freshman squad in 1930, Devore caught the legendary Knute Rockne's eye during an intrasquad scrimmage and recruited into Notre Dame. Unfortunately, Devore never had the opportunity to play for Rockne in an official game after the coach was killed in a plane crash on March 31, 1931. During his three years as a member of the Fighting Irish varsity, Devore played at end under Hunk Anderson, serving as co-captain during his senior year in 1933. Upon graduating from the school, Devore stayed at Notre Dame the following year as freshman football coach, then followed fellow Irish alum Jim Crowley as line coach at Fordham University in 1935. Following three seasons in that role, made famous by his coaching Fordham's iconic "Seven Blocks of Granite" a unit that included future Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, he accepted his first head coaching position when he was hired at Providence College on January 20, 1938. After his fourth season with the Friars, Devore then took an assistant coaching position with Holy Cross College on January 11, 1942. His one year at the school was marked by his expert scouting leading to a stunning 55-12 upset of the Eagles in the season finale. Devore then returned to his alma mater as ends coach the following year.

When Irish head coach Frank Leahy entered the U.S. Navy in early 1944, Edward McKeever was named interim head coach, but when McKeever accepted the head coaching slot at Cornell University, Devore took his place. Notre Dame started that season in strong fashion with five straight wins and was ranked second in the nation, but a 48-0 thrashing by a potent Army squad ended hopes of a national title. Upon Leahy's return, Devore was under consideration for the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas, but instead signed to lead St. Bonaventure College. In his first three years, Devore led his teams to a 19-5-1 record, an effort that earned him a new three-year contract. Yet after one season, Devore announced his resignation on February 2, 1950 to accept the head coaching position at New York University, citing the proximity to his New Jersey roots. He had entered the job in hopes of improving the fortunes of the once-powerful program which had struggled after years of neglect and strict academic standards that had led to a severe downturn. The effort went for naught when after three years of trying, the school announced on March 10, 1953 that it was dropping its football program after 80 seasons, leaving Devore looking for work.

Less than a month later, he found employment at the professional level for the first time as an assistant with the NFL's Green Bay Packers. That role lasted only one season before he returned to the colleges as head coach at the University of Dayton on January 6, 1954. After two seasons with the Flyers, homesickness pangs once again led him to accept the position of head coach of the NFL Eagles on January 9, 1956. Devore struggled during his two seasons, which led to hiss firing on January 11, 1958. He quickly found work again at Notre Dame as freshman coach and assistant athletic director. On February 9, 1966, he was hired as an assistant coach for the American Football League's Houston Oilers. After five years in that capacity, Devore then went to work as promotions director for the Houston Sports Association, dealing primarily with bringing in events for the city's Astrodome. He continued working until his retirement at the age of 75 in 1986. Health issues led Devore to move in with his daughter in August 1992, and four months later he died, nearly two weeks after his 82nd birthday.

29° 46.991
-095° 36.971

Section 2
Memorial Oaks Cemetery

September 7, 2010

Abner Kuykendall (1777-1834)

Abner Kuykendall, Austin Colony pioneer, son of Adam and Margaret (Hardin) Kuykendall, was probably born in Rutherford County, North Carolina in 1777. The family was in Logan County, Kentucky, by 1792 and moved on to the Arkansas territory about 1808. Abner married Sarah (Sally) Gates. The number of their children has been reported variously as nine and twelve. With his brothers, Abner left Arkansas Territory for Texas in October 1821, probably in company with his father-in-law, William Gates. At Nacogdoches they were joined by another brother, Robert H. Kuykendall, Sr., and the three brothers were among the first of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. Abner commanded the militia of Austin's colony. Robert and a brother, Joseph, settled near the later site of Columbus on the Colorado River, but Abner and Thomas Boatwright moved ten miles west of the Brazos and on January 1, 1822, established a settlement on New Year Creek. Sarah Gates died about 1823. Abner never remarried. In November 1823 Abner Kuykendall moved back to the Brazos and settled about eight miles above San Felipe. He received title to 1½ leagues and two labors of land now in Fort Bend, Washington, and Austin counties on July 4, 1824.

The census of March 1826 classified him as a stock raiser and farmer, a widower aged over fifty. A grown son, Barzillai Kuykendall, was another of the Old Three Hundred. In July 1824 and May 1826 Kuykendall went on campaigns against the Karankawa, Waco, and Tawakoni Indians. In 1827 he was sent by Austin as a member of a delegation to try to persuade leaders of the Fredonian Rebellion to give up their plans. During the rebellion he was detailed by Austin to patrol the Old San Antonio Road to watch for possible Indian invasions. In 1829 he led a scouting expedition from the Brazos to the mouth of the San Saba River. In 1830 he went to Tenoxtitlán to confer with Mexican authorities about Waco depredations and in the same year served on a committee at San Felipe to superintend the building of a jail. He was a public official at San Felipe in February 1832 and at the time of the Anahuac Disturbances led a party of from forty to sixty men to assist the Anahuac citizens. Kuykendall was stabbed at San Felipe in June 1834 by Joseph Clayton and died in late July. Clayton was convicted and hanged in what was probably the first legal execution in Texas. Abner Kuykendall's grave has never been found. Source

Note: Unmarked. During the Texas Revolution, the town of San Felipe was largely destroyed by Mexican troops chasing after the Texan army. Nothing was spared, not even the town graveyard. The majority of those buried here prior to 1836 are no longer marked, so although Abner Kuykendall is known to be buried here, the exact location has been lost. The photo below shows the oldest section of the cemetery where it is possible he still rests.


San Felipe de Austin Cemetery
San Felipe

August 31, 2010

Henry Noble Potter (1822-1863)

Henry N. Potter, Galveston County legislator, was born in 1822 in Connecticut and was educated in New York. In 1838 he moved to Texas, where he received a conditional certificate for land in 1839 and an unconditional certificate in 1845. He was elected Galveston city attorney in 1839 and held the position for only a month before the council abrogated the office on August 28 and ordered his accounts audited. Potter represented Galveston County in the Seventh Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1842 and 1843, and in 1851 he ran unsuccessfully for the United States Congress. He died soon after the Civil War. Source

29° 17.604
-094° 48.681

Trinity Episcopal Cemetery

August 24, 2010

George Moffit Patrick (1801-1889)

George Moffitt Patrick, physician and soldier, was born on September 30, 1801, in Albemarle County, Virginia. In 1803 he accompanied his parents to Fayette County, Kentucky, where he received his primary education. He subsequently earned a medical degree at Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. He immigrated to the Harrisburg district of the Austin colony, Texas, in January 1828 and established himself as a farmer. In 1831 he was elected second alcalde of Anahuac and in 1832 was chosen regidor. Patrick was among the volunteers under the command of Capt. William B. Travis who captured the Mexican fort and garrison at Anahuac in July 1835. He represented Liberty Municipality in the Consultation of 1835 and on November 13 signed the articles that established the provisional government of Texas. He withdrew from the Consultation due to illness in his family but served as a liaison officer between the provisional government at San Felipe and the army then besieging Bexar. On November 30, with William A. Pettus, he reported "much dissatisfaction and inquietude pervading the army" but assured the council that "if their wants are supplied - no fears can be entertained of their abandoning the siege of Bexar." On March 25, 1836, the council appointed Patrick to organize the Harrisburg County militia and instructed him to order two-thirds of the troops immediately into active duty. "At great personal expense and labor" he mustered twenty recruits into what became Capt. Moseley Baker's company of Gen. Sam Houston's army.

During the Runaway Scrape Patrick's farm, Deepwater, was for a time the seat of the Texas government, and as the Mexican army approached, he accompanied President David G. Burnet and his cabinet first to Morgan's Point and then to Galveston where, for a time, he served as captain of the schooner Flash. Following the battle of San Jacinto, Houston moved his army from the battlefield onto Patrick's farm on Buffalo Bayou because, according to Robert Hancock Hunter, "the de[a]d Mexicans began [to] smell." A Texas Centennial marker was erected in 1936 at the site of the former home of Patrick in the present community of Deer Park. In 1837 Patrick was named surveyor of Harris County. In 1840 he owned 6,166 acres in Grimes County, fifteen town lots in the Jefferson County speculative community of Sabine, and 350 acres in Montgomery County. On February 13 of that year he married Martha Scaife, a native of Maryport, England. The couple had five children. Martha died at Anderson on September 26, 1855. The Patricks' youngest child and only son, George Moffitt, Jr., was killed on June 1, 1865, at age eleven by the accidental explosion of a gunpowder magazine. Before 1860 Patrick married a woman named Augusta. Patrick had moved to Grimes County, where he owned $9,200 in real estate. By 1860 he owned $19,367 worth of real estate and $8,620 in personal property and was serving as the county's chief justice. He died at his home at Anderson on June 28, 1889. His remains and those of his wife were later removed to the State Cemetery in Austin. Patrick was an active Mason and served two terms as most worshipful grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. He was the first Texas Mason to serve as presiding officer of all four bodies of the York Rite of Freemasonry. He was a member of the Church of Christ and of the Sons of Temperance. Although a practicing physician, he is said never to have charged a fee for his medical services. Source

30° 15.919
-097° 43.649

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

August 17, 2010

William James Bordelon (1920-1995)

Medal of Honor recipient William J. Bordelon was born on December 25, 1920, in San Antonio, Texas. He was the son of William Jennings and Carmen Josephine (Pereira) Bordelon. As a youngster, Bordelon attended the local schools and served as an altar boy at Mission San José. In 1938 he graduated from Central Catholic High School where he had served as the top-ranking cadet in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. On December 10, 1941, three days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Bordelon enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Bordelon excelled in his military training in 1942 and 1943. During recruit training in San Diego, he recorded a score of 214 in rifle fire to qualify as a Marine “marksman.” Following recruit training, Bordelon was assigned to the Second Engineer Battalion, Second Marine Division, in San Diego where he underwent additional training, achieved rapid promotions, and attained the rank of sergeant on July 10.

On October 20 his unit departed San Diego for New Zealand for six weeks of additional training in late 1942. Sergeant Bordelon witnessed his first combat on Guadalcanal during the period from January 4 to February 19, 1943. After the brutal Guadalcanal campaign, Bordelon returned to New Zealand for additional training and was promoted to staff sergeant (SSgt) on May 13, 1943. With members of his Assault Engineer Platoon, First Battalion, Eighteenth Marines (attached to the Second Marines during the invasion of Tarawa), Staff Sergeant Bordelon landed on the beaches of the Japanese-held atoll of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands on November 20, 1943. Taking intense enemy fire, Bordelon was among only four Marines from his LVT to survive the landing. Along with a comrade, Bordelon moved out of the vehicle and immediately found himself caught in barbed wire while under heavy fire. After extracting themselves, the four men found some safety behind a four-foot-high seawall. Having lost most of their equipment, Staff Sergeant Bordelon took charge of the desperate situation. He secured two packages of dynamite, made demolition charges, and then eliminated two pillboxes. Bordelon threw a charge at a third pillbox but was hit by machine gun fire in the process. Wounded by enemy fire and from the backlash of the charge, he secured a rifle and provided cover for a number of men attempting to climb the seawall. Hearing two wounded Marines in the water calling for help, Bordelon proceeded to rescue them in spite of his own serious injuries. Though injured from multiple wounds, the Texan assaulted a fourth Japanese position that he managed to destroy with a rifle grenade just before he was killed by a burst of hostile fire. Against enormous odds, the wounded Marine had destroyed four Japanese machine gun positions and rescued two Marines. Bordelon’s actions at Tarawa were described as “valorous and gallant.” His heroic effort came “during a critical phase of securing the limited beachhead [and] was a contributing factor in the ultimate occupation of the island.”

In a ceremony at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio, William and Carmen Bordelon were presented their son’s posthumous Medal of Honor by Marine Maj. Donald Taft on June 17, 1944. June 17 was proclaimed “Bordelon Memorial Day” in San Antonio, and Governor Coke Stevenson designated the week “Statewide Bordelon Week” in Texas. A destroyer, the USS Bordelon (commissioned in 1945), Veterans of Foreign Wars William J. Bordelon Post 4700, and American Legion Post 300 were named in honor of the Texan. The San Antonio native was the first Texas Marine to earn the Medal of Honor during World War II and the first man and only enlisted man to earn the Medal of Honor at Tarawa. He was also the first native-born San Antonian ever to receive the Medal of Honor. His other posthumous awards included the Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. In 1994 the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve building in San Antonio was named in Bordelon’s honor.

Bordelon was first buried at Tarawa in the Lone Palm Cemetery. After the war, his body was reburied in Hawaii in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Honolulu in 1947. In early 1995 Bordelon’s surviving siblings Robert Bordelon and Carmen Bordelon Imhoff, assisted by San Antonio Express-News staff writer J. Michael Parker and others, sought and were granted permission to return Bordelon to San Antonio. On November 19, 1995, the Texas hero’s flag-draped casket flanked by two Marine honor guards lay in state for public viewing at the Alamo - the shrine of Texas liberty. He was only the fifth person to lie in state in the Alamo up to that time. An estimated 2,500 people or more came to view the casket. On November 20, Rev. George Montague of St. Mary’s University concelebrated with Auxiliary Bishop John Yanta and nine other priests a funeral Mass in Mission San José. SSgt. William James Bordelon was reburied with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery exactly fifty-two years after his death at Tarawa. In 2007, Central Catholic High School in San Antonio dedicated a new memorial in the lobby, and in 2009 a section of Interstate 37 that ran between IH 35 and IH 10 in San Antonio was named to commemorate Bordelon. Source

For valorous and gallant conduct above and beyond the call of duty as a member of an assault engineer platoon of the 1st Battalion, 18th Marines, tactically attached to the 2d Marine Division, in action against the Japanese-held atoll of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands on 20 November 1943. Landing in the assault waves under withering enemy fire which killed all but 4 of the men in his tractor, S/Sgt. Bordelon hurriedly made demolition charges and personally put 2 pillboxes out of action. Hit by enemy machine gun fire just as a charge exploded in his hand while assaulting a third position, he courageously remained in action and, although out of demolition, provided himself with a rifle and furnished fire coverage for a group of men scaling the seawall. Disregarding his own serious condition, he unhesitatingly went to the aid of one of his demolition men, wounded and calling for help in the water, rescuing this man and another who had been hit by enemy fire while attempting to make the rescue. Still refusing first aid for himself, he again made up demolition charges and single-handedly assaulted a fourth Japanese machine gun position but was instantly killed when caught in a final burst of fire from the enemy. S/Sgt. Bordelon's great personal valor during a critical phase of securing the limited beachhead was a contributing factor in the ultimate occupation of the island, and his heroic determination throughout 3 days of violent battle reflects the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

29° 28.588
-098° 25.976

Section AI
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

August 10, 2010

Roy Michael Huffington (1917-2008)

Roy Michael Huffington, United States Ambassador to Austria, was born in Tomball, Texas on October 4, 1917. He graduated from Southern Methodist University where he was a brother of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and earned both Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After serving as first ensign, and then lieutenant commander in the United States Navy from 1942-1945, he returned to Texas in 1946 and worked as a field geologist for Humble Oil (now EXXON). In 1956, he set up his own oil and natural gas exploration company known as HUFFCO, which grew to be a major independent international oil company active around the world. In 1966, HUFFCO signed production sharing contract with Pertamina to explore oil in the Kutai Basin of the Mahakam River delta in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Initially the exploration object was oil, but HUFFCO discovered a giant natural gas reserve in 1972 at Badak Field. In 1990, all properties of the company were sold to the Chinese Petroleum Corporation of Taiwan and HUFFCO became VICO.

From 1990 to 1993, Huffington served as Ambassador to Austria in the administration of U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush. He joined the Board of the Salzburg Global Seminar, an international policy center based in Salzburg, Austria, with offices in Washington, D.C., while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Austria. In 1994, he was elected chairman of the Salzburg Global Seminar Board, a position which he held until 2007. Huffington also founded the Huffington Foundation charity, and with his wife Phyllis created the Huffington Center on Aging at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Roy and Phyllis Huffington had two children, daughter Terry, and son Michael, who was a Republican U.S. representative from California from 1993-1995. Michael was married to Arianna Huffington, the founder of the Huffington Post, from 1986-1997. Roy Huffington died of natural causes in Venice, Italy on July 11, 2008.

29° 45.993
-095° 23.009

Section J
Glenwood Cemetery

July 27, 2010

Wayne Gaffney "Nubbin" McLeland (1924-2004)

Wayne McLeland was an American professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher whose 11-year (1942; 1946-1955) career included ten games played in Major League Baseball for the 1951-1952 Detroit Tigers. Born in Stockport, Iowa, August 29, 1924, and nicknamed "Nubbin", he stood 6 feet tall and weighed 180 pounds. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving during World War II. Originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals after his 1940 graduation from Stockport High School, McLeland was named the 1950 "pitcher of the year" in the Double-A Texas League, as he won 21 of 29 decisions and compiled an earned run average of 2.49 in 267 innings pitched for the unaffiliated Dallas Eagles franchise. He was acquired by the Tigers after that season and spent most of the 1951 and 1952 campaigns at the Triple-A level of minor league baseball, with three brief trials with the Tigers. In his only starting role in MLB, against the Chicago White Sox on September 9, 1951, he allowed four earned runs in 4 innings and took the loss in a 4-3 defeat. During his brief ten-game Major League tenure, McLeland allowed 24 hits, 13 runs (all earned), and ten bases on balls in 13 total innings of work; he failed to record a strikeout. He settled in Houston, Texas, after his baseball career ended and spent 35 years working for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. He died on May 9, 2004 in Houston and buried in an unmarked grave.

Note: Wayne McLeland's grave is unmarked. It is located between the graves of Herman P. Wilson and A. DeWitt Chaddick.

29° 43.118
-095° 18.208

Section 11
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery