December 31, 2010

Price Daniel

Price Daniel, governor of Texas, son of Marion Price and Nannie Blanch (Partlow) Daniel, was born on October 10, 1910, in Dayton, Texas. After earning a law degree from Baylor University in 1932 he opened a law practice in Liberty, Liberty County. He became known through his defense of two of the county's most infamous murder suspects, and used the popularity to win a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in 1939. As an outspoken member of the "Immortal 56," an alliance of state legislators adamantly opposed to a state sales tax, Daniel earned the respect of his colleagues and in early 1943 was unanimously elected speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. After serving one term in that office he enlisted in the army as a private and the following year graduated from officers' candidate school in Lexington, Virginia, as a judge advocate general. He was discharged from the army in May 1946 with the rank of captain, after having served in the Pacific and Japan. He returned to Texas and conducted a successful whirlwind campaign to become the youngest state attorney general in the United States. In his six-year tenure, Daniel disposed of more than 5,000 lawsuits, served on 25 state boards and agencies, composed more than 2,000 bills for the Texas legislature, and successfully defended more money and land claims than any previous attorney general. His three best-known crusades were the defense of the University of Texas law school in its refusal to admit Heman Marion Sweatt, a black postal clerk; the disbandment of a majority of the state's organized gambling operations; and the defense of Texas ownership of its tidelands against federal encroachment. When the United States Supreme Court refused to allow Texas to retain the tidelands, valuable offshore lands rich in oil that Daniel argued belonged to Texas because of an agreement in the terms of the state's annexation, he defied the Democratic party by endorsing the Republican, states'-rights candidate, Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1952, Daniel was elected to the United States Senate on a "Texas Democrat" platform. He immediately drafted a tidelands bill similar to the one President Harry Truman had previously vetoed, and on May 22, 1953, Eisenhower signed it into law. As a result the Permanent School Fund has received an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars. While in the Senate, Daniel directed a nationwide narcotics probe that eventually resulted in the most stringent narcotics regulation in United States history, and nearly succeeded in the passage of legislation designed to reform the electoral college.

Declaring that he would "rather be governor of Texas than President of the United States," Daniel returned home to run for governor and, upon his nomination in 1956, resigned from the Senate. He was reelected governor in 1958 and 1960. During his tenure 131 out of 151 of his major proposals were enacted into law. He was successful in pushing through a heavy legislative program that ranged from highways to prison reform, water conservation, higher teachers' salaries, and improved care for the mentally impaired. Being a devoted student of history, Daniel worked to establish the Texas State Library and Archives Building, which he virtually designed himself, to house many Texas papers and documents that had been subject to neglect. In 1961, despite his strident objections, he could only watch in his third term as the legislature approved a sales tax after two called special sessions. He allowed the tax to become law without his signature to keep the state from going broke. Much of the electorate blamed him for the sales tax, partly because store clerks developed the practice of ringing up sales and then saying, "Now, let's have a penny for Price."

After losing a bid for an unprecedented fourth term in 1962, Daniel returned to his law practice and took cases in both Liberty and Austin. In 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed him to head the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Washington, a post that gave him a position on the National Security Council. In addition, he served as the president's liaison to the governors of the fifty-three states and territories. Daniel was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court in 1971 by Governor Preston Smith. He was elected to the court in 1972 and 1979, then retired during his second term. In his eight years on the court, Daniel was most influential in the areas of groundwater law, as well as laws dealing with other minerals such as uranium, oil, and gas. He was a trustee of Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by his alma mater in 1951. He was president of International Christian Leadership (1956-57), and a leader of the Men's Bible Class of the First Baptist Church in Austin. He was a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, the Knights of the Order of San Jacinto, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. In his later years he served as legal council for the Alabama Coushatta Indians and was appointed to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Daniel died on August 25, 1988, at which time he had held more offices of public trust than anyone else in Texas history. He was buried on his family ranch in Liberty and survived by his wife, the former Jean Houston Baldwin, a great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston, and three children: Jean Houston Murph, Houston Lee, and John Baldwin. His eldest son, Marion Price Daniel, Jr., had died on January 19, 1981.

GPS Coordinates
30° 06.065, -094° 45.962


Daniel Family Cemetery
Liberty

December 28, 2010

Andrew J. Briscoe

Andrew Briscoe, merchant, patriot, judge, and railroad promoter, was born on November 25, 1810, on the plantation of his father, Parmenas Briscoe, in Claiborne County, Mississippi. He made several trips on horseback between Mississippi and Texas before settling in Texas, where he registered in 1833 as a citizen of Coahuila and Texas. With a shipment of goods he opened a store in Anahuac in 1835. Briscoe opposed the irregular collection of customs dues by Mexican authorities at Anahuac and presented resolutions of protest at a mass meeting there and later at Harrisburg. When he attempted to trade to DeWitt Clinton Harris goods with unpaid duties, both he and Harris were arrested by Mexican officials. They were released when William B. Travis and his volunteers came to drive Antonio Tenorio out of office.

Independence Hall, location of the Declaration signing



In July Briscoe wrote to the editor of the Brazoria Texas Republican justifying the action taken. In August he received a congratulatory letter from Travis. Briscoe was captain of the Liberty Volunteers at the battle of Concepción and followed Benjamin R. Milam in the siege of Bexar. He was elected a delegate from his municipality with Lorenzo de Zavala and attended the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, but evidently because of the urgency of reentering military service he did not remain until its close. At the battle of San Jacinto he was captain of Company A, Infantry Regulars.

In 1836 Briscoe was appointed chief justice of Harrisburg by Sam Houston. When his term ended in 1839, he began dealing in cattle and trying to promote a railroad. In 1839 he planned a road from Harrisburg to the Brazos River. In 1840, when the project was abandoned, about two miles had been graded and laid with ties. That year, in a paper entitled California Railroad, he gave a complete plan for building a railroad from Harrisburg to San Diego via Richmond, Prairieville, Austin, and El Paso. In 1841 he secured a charter from the Republic of Texas for the Harrisburg Railroad and Trading Company, of which he was president. In the spring of 1849 Briscoe moved his family to New Orleans, where he engaged in banking and brokerage until his death, on October 4, 1849. He was survived by his wife, Mary Jane Harris Briscoe, and four children.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.917, -097° 43.645

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

December 24, 2010

Barbara Charline Jordan

Barbara Jordan, politician and educator, was born in Houston, Texas, on February 21, 1936, the youngest of three daughters of Benjamin and Arlyne (Patten) Jordan. She grew up in the Fifth Ward of Houston and attended public schools. Her father, a warehouse clerk and Baptist minister, assisted her in attending Texas Southern University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1956. She received a law degree from Boston University in 1959 and passed bar exams in Massachusetts and Texas the same year. After teaching at Tuskegee Institute for a year, Jordan returned to Houston in 1960. She opened a law practice and worked from her parents' home for three years until she saved enough to open an office. She became involved in politics by registering black voters for the 1960 presidential campaign, and twice ran unsuccessfully for state office in the early 1960s. In 1967 redistricting and increased registration of black voters secured her a seat in the Texas Senate, where she was the first black state senator since 1883. Her career was endorsed and facilitated by Lyndon Baines Johnson. Eschewing a confrontational approach, Jordan quickly developed a reputation as a master of detail and as an effective pragmatist and gained the respect of her thirty white male colleagues. While in the legislature she worked for minimum-wage laws and voter registration and chaired the Labor and Management Relations Committee. In 1972 she was unanimously elected president pro tempore of the Senate.

The following year Jordan successfully ran for the United States House of Representatives from the Eighteenth Texas District. She was the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in Congress, and, with Andrew Young, was the first of two African Americans to be elected to Congress from the South in the twentieth century. With her precise diction and booming voice, Jordan was an extremely effective public speaker. She gained national prominence for her role in the 1974 Watergate hearings as a member of the House Judiciary Committee when she delivered what many considered to be the best speech of the hearings. In that speech she asserted, "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution." Impressed with her eloquence and stature in the party, the Democratic party chose her to deliver the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic national convention; she was the first woman to do so. Her speech, which addressed the themes of unity, equality, accountability, and American ideals, was considered by many to be the highlight of the convention, and helped rally support for James E. Carter's presidential campaign. In 1979, after three terms in congress, Jordan retired from politics to accept the Lyndon Baines Johnson Public Service Professorship at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. She taught courses on intergovernmental relations, political values, and ethics. She published her autobiography, Barbara Jordan: A Self Portrait, in 1979. She served as ethics advisor to Governor Ann Richards in the early 1990s. In 1992 she once again delivered the keynote address at the Democratic national convention. She served as chairwoman of the United States Commission on Immigration Reform in 1994.

Among her many honors were induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1990 and a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. She suffered from a number of ailments in her later years, including a form of multiple sclerosis, and was confined to a wheelchair. She survived a near-drowning incident at her home in 1988, but succumbed to pneumonia and leukemia in Austin on January 17, 1996. Barbara Jordan is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. Her papers are housed at the Barbara Jordan Archives at Texas Southern University.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.922, -097° 43.641

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

December 21, 2010

Howard Joseph "Howie" Pollet

Born June 26, 1921 in New Orleans, "Howie" Pollet signed his first professional contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, and it was as a Cardinal that he achieved his greatest success. In 1941, he led the Class A1 Texas League in both ERA and strikeouts as a member of the Houston Buffaloes which earned him a promotion to the Cardinals that season. He missed the 1944-45 seasons while serving in the United States Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.

He returned to baseball in 1946, and promptly played a major role in the Cardinals' National League pennant and world title wins. In addition to topping the NL in earned-run average, he led the league in wins and innings pitched. When the Cardinals finished in a tie for the pennant with the Brooklyn Dodgers at the close of the regular season, he was chosen by manager Eddie Dyer to start Game 1 of the best-of-three National League playoffs on October 1. Pollet hurled a complete game, 4-2 victory in the opener, and the Cardinals wrapped up the league title by easily winning Game 2. He started two games of the 1946 World Series against the Boston Red Sox, and lost his only decision, posting an ERA of 3.48 in 12 innings pitched.

He was traded to the second-division Pittsburgh Pirates on June 15, 1951, and thereafter struggled to post a winning record. During his 14-year career, he won 131 and lost 116 with a career ERA of 3.51. As a Cardinal (1941-43; 1946-51), his record was 97-65; as a member of the Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (1951-56), he won 34 and lost 51. Altogether, he worked in 403 Major League games pitched and 2,107 innings pitched with 934 strikeouts. Pollet returned to the field in 1959 as the Cardinals' pitching coach, through 1964. In his last season there, the Cardinals won their seventh world championship. He then moved back to his adopted city of Houston in 1965 as pitching coach of the Astros for one season. He retired from baseball and resumed his business career in insurance, real estate and energy companies after the 1965 season, and died from adenocarcinoma in Houston at age 53, August 8, 1974.

GPS Coordinates
29° 46.884, -095° 36.958

Section 4
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Houston

December 17, 2010

Adolphus Sterne

Adolphus Sterne, colonist, financier of the Texas Revolution, merchant, and legislator, the eldest son of Emmanuel Sterne and his second wife, Helen, was born on April 5, 1801, in Cologne, although Alsace is also claimed as his birthplace. The elder Sterne was an Orthodox Jew, and Helen Sterne was a Lutheran. Sterne grew up amid turmoil. At sixteen he was working in a passport office when he learned that he was going to be conscripted for military service, forged a passport for himself, and immigrated to the United States. He landed in New Orleans in 1817, found mercantile employment, and studied law. Although he never practiced law in Texas, he acted as a land agent and primary judge in Nacogdoches. While still in New Orleans, Sterne joined the Masonic lodge, including the Scottish Rite, an affiliation of great importance to him in later years.

In the early 1820s he began an itinerate peddling trade in the country north of New Orleans. He used that city as a base of operations from which he ranged as far north as Nashville, Tennessee, where he met Sam Houston. The two formed a lasting relationship, which they renewed after Sterne established a mercantile house in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 1826. (Houston arrived in Texas six years later.) Because Sterne had visited Nacogdoches in 1824, some have fixed that year as the date of his arrival in Texas. Soon after moving to Nacogdoches, Sterne became involved with the Fredonian Rebellion. In spite of the pledges of loyalty required for his immigration, Sterne assisted Haden Edwards and other immigrants in their resistance to the Mexican government. He smuggled guns and other materials in barrels of coffee. Spies in New Orleans alerted Nacogdoches authorities to these activities, and Sterne was arrested, tried for treason, and sentenced to be shot. While his case was reviewed in San Antonio and Saltillo, he was incarcerated in the Stone House (now the Old Stone Fort). Because his guards were also Masons, however, he came and went as he pleased and eventually was released on the promise that he would never again take up arms against the government. Sterne adhered to the letter of this promise but not to its spirit; he assisted the Texans in the battle of Nacogdoches in 1832 and financed two companies of troops during the Texas Revolution, but did not personally again shoulder arms against the government.

Frequent business trips to New Orleans via Natchitoches, Louisiana, brought him into contact with Placide Bossier, a prominent businessman of the region. Sterne met his future wife, Eva Catherine Rosine Ruff, on one of these visits. She was born on June 23, 1809, in Württemberg and had immigrated to Louisiana with her family in 1815. Both her parents died in a yellow fever epidemic soon afterwards, and the Ruff children found a haven in the Bossier home. With the assistance of the requirements of Mexican law, Eva succeeded in converting Sterne officially to the Catholic faith, although unofficially he remained a deist. They were married on June 2, 1828. Sterne built their home on the eastern edge of Nacogdoches near the confluence of La Nana Bayou and Bonita Creek and developed it into a seat of hospitality for the leaders of the area. Seven children were born to them there. Houston was one of many important guests in the Sternes' home. He boarded with them when he first arrived in Texas and was baptized a Catholic in their parlor. Mrs. Sterne served as Houston's godmother, but Sterne did not serve as his godfather because the date coincided with Yom Kippur.

Sterne strongly supported the movement for Texas independence. He traveled to New Orleans in 1835 as a special agent of the provisional government and personally raised and financed two companies known as the New Orleans Greys, commanded by Thomas H. Breece and Robert C. Morris. He preceded Breece's unit to Texas and arranged for a gala welcoming banquet when they reached Nacogdoches. Sterne later claimed $950 against the republic's treasury for his recruiting expenses. He supported most of Houston's programs during the period of the republic except his benevolent Indian policy. Sterne commanded a company of militia in the battle of the Neches, July 16, 1839, and helped expel the Cherokees from East Texas. On February 19, 1840, Sterne became postmaster at Nacogdoches. He served as deputy clerk and associate justice of the county court. In 1841 he became a justice of the peace. He was deputy clerk of the board of land commissioners and commissioner of roads and revenues for Nacogdoches County. He served as a member of the board of health and was overseer of streets for the corporation of Nacogdoches.

In 1847 he won election to represent Nacogdoches in the House of Representatives of the Second Legislature. He continued during the Third Legislature, and in 1851 advanced to the Senate of the Fourth Legislature. Sterne was a member of many private organizations, especially Masonic ones. He enjoyed dancing and an occasional drink and was fond of playing whist. Though he shared some of the faults of his day, including the keeping of slaves, he was an honest man. From September 28, 1840, to November 18, 1851, Sterne kept a diary of his daily activities, which is a valuable source of information on the period of the republic. He owned a substantial amount of land, estimated from 1840 census records at 16,000 acres, although he always complained in his diary of not having enough "monay." Though self-educated, he served as official interpreter in English, French, Spanish, German, Yiddish, Portuguese, and Latin. He died in New Orleans while on a business trip on March 27, 1852. He was briefly interred there and later reburied in Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches.

GPS Coordinates
31° 36.164, -094° 38.960


Oak Grove Cemetery
Nacogdoches

December 14, 2010

James Frank Dobie

J. Frank Dobie, folklorist, was born on a ranch in Live Oak County, Texas, on September 26, 1888, the eldest of six children of Richard J. and Ella (Byler) Dobie. His ranching heritage became an early influence on his character and personality. His fundamentalist father read the Bible to Frank and the other five children, and his mother read them Ivanhoe and introduced them to The Scottish Chiefs, Pilgrim's Progress, and Swiss Family Robinson. He left the ranch when he was sixteen and moved to Alice, where he lived with his Dubose grandparents and finished high school. In 1906 he enrolled in Southwestern University in Georgetown, where he met Bertha McKee, whom he married in 1916, and Professor Albert Shipp Pegues, his English teacher, who introduced him to English poetry, particularly the Romantics, and encouraged him as a writer. Dobie's education as a teacher and writer continued after graduation in 1910. He worked two summers as a reporter, first for the San Antonio Express and then the Galveston Tribune. He got his first teaching job in 1910 in Alpine, where he was also the principal, play director, and editor of the school paper. He returned to Georgetown in 1911 and taught in the Southwestern University preparatory school until 1913, when he went to Columbia to work on his master's degree. With his new M.A. he joined the University of Texas faculty in 1914. At this time he also joined the Texas Folklore Society. Dobie left the university in 1917 and served for two years in the field artillery in World War I. His outfit was sent overseas right at the war's end, and he returned to be discharged in 1919. In 1919 he published his first articles. He resigned his position at the university in 1920 to manage his uncle Jim Dobie's ranch. During this year on the Rancho de Los Olmos with the vaqueros and the stock and the land that had been part of his formation, Dobie discovered his calling-to transmute all the richness of this life and land and culture into literature. The Texas Folklore Society was the main avenue for his new mission, and the University of Texas library with all its Texas resources was his vehicle.

Dobie returned to Austin and the university in 1921. The Texas Folklore Society had been formed in 1909 by Leonidas W. Payne and others, but had recessed during the war years. On April 1, 1922, Dobie became secretary of the society. He immediately began a publication program. Legends of Texas (1924) carried the seeds of many of his later publications. Dobie served as the society's secretary-editor for twenty-one years and built the society into a permanent professional organization. When the university would not promote him without a Ph.D., Dobie accepted the chairmanship of the English department at Oklahoma A&M, where he stayed from 1923 to 1925. During these two years he began writing for the Country Gentleman. With considerable help from his friends on the UT campus, he was able to return in 1925 with a token promotion. He began writing articles on Texas history, culture, and folklore for magazines and periodicals and soon started to work on his first book, A Vaquero of the Brush Country. Dobie's purpose in life from the time of his return to the university in 1921 was to show the people of Texas and the Southwest the richness of their culture and their traditions, particularly in their legends. John A. Lomax, another founder of the Texas Folklore Society, had done this with his collecting and publishing cowboy songs; Dobie intended to do this with the tales of old-time Texas and through the publications of the society and his own writing.

His Vaquero of the Brush Country, published in 1929, established him as a spokesman of Texas and southwestern culture. It was based on John Young the Vaquero's autobiographical notes and articulated the struggle of the individual against social forces, in this case the battle of the open-range vaquero against barbed wire. Two years later Dobie published Coronado's Children (1931), the tales of those free spirits who abandoned society in the search for gold, lost mines, and various other grails. It won the Literary Guild Award for 1931 and, combined with his continuing success as a popular writer in Country Gentleman, made Dobie a nationally known literary figure. He was also promoted in 1933 to the rank of full professor, the first Texan non-Ph.D. to be so honored at the university. In 1942 he published the Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest, an annotated reading list. It was published again in 1952. As head of the Texas Folklore Society and author of On the Open Range (1931), Tales of the Mustang (1936), The Flavor of Texas (1936), Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver (1939), and Tongues of the Monte (1947), Dobie was the state's leading spokesman and literary and cultural figure during the Texas Centennial decade, the 1930s. His first period of writing ended with the publication of The Longhorns in 1941.

He spent World War II teaching American literature in Cambridge. After the war he returned to Europe to teach in England, Germany, and Austria. He said of his Cambridge experience in A Texan in England that it gave him a broader perspective, that it was his beginning of his acceptance of civilization, an enlightened civilization free of social and political rigidities and with full respect for individuality. In Texas the University of Texas regents, critical of the university's liberal professors, had fired President Homer P. Rainey in November 1944. Dobie, a liberal Democrat, was outraged and vociferous, and Governor Coke Stevenson said that he was a troublemaker and should be summarily dismissed. Dobie's request for a continuation of his leave of absence after his European tour in 1947 was denied by the regents, and he was dismissed from the UT faculty under what became known as the "Dobie rule," which restricted faculty leaves of absence to two years except in emergencies.

After this separation Dobie devoted all of his time to writing and anthologizing. The next decade saw the publication of The Voice of the Coyote (1949), The Ben Lilly Legend (1950), The Mustangs (1952), Tales of Old Time Texas (1955), Up the Trail From Texas (1955), and I'll Tell You a Tale (1960). Before he died he published Cow People (1964) and almost finished the manuscript for Rattlesnakes, which Bertha McKee Dobie later edited and published in 1965. Dobie began writing for the Southwest Review in 1919, when it was the Texas Review, and continued the association throughout his life. The Southwest Review published his John C. Duval: First Texas Man of Letters in 1939. Dobie wrote a Sunday newspaper column from 1939 until his death, and as an outspoken critic of the Texas scene he was a popular subject of newspaper stories. His most celebrated targets were professional educationists ("unctuous elaborators of the obvious"); state politicians ("When I get ready to explain homemade fascism in America, I can take my example from the state capitol of Texas"); Pompeo Coppini's Alamo cenotaph ("From a distance it looks like a grain elevator or one of those swimming pool slides"); and inappropriate architecture (a friend reports his saying that the University Tower, into which he refused to move, "looked like a toothpick in a pie, ought to be laid on its side and have galleries put around it"). His war against bragging Texans, political, social, and religious restraints on individual liberty, and the mechanized world's erosion of the human spirit was continual.

Dobie died on September 18, 1964. He had been feted by the Southwestern Writers and the Texas Folklore Society. Special editions of the Texas Observer and the Austin American-Statesman had been devoted to his praise by his many admirers, and President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded him the nation's highest civil award, the Medal of Freedom, on September 14, 1964. His funeral was held in Hogg Auditorium on the UT campus, and he was buried in the State Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.918, -097° 43.616

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

December 10, 2010

Bennett Blake

Bennett Blake, jurist, legislator, land dealer, banker, and delegate to the Confederate Congress and the Constitutional Convention of 1875, the son of Samuel Dow and Abigail (Lee) Blake, was born at Sutton, Vermont, on November 11, 1809. He married Mary Lewis in New Hampshire in 1833, but she died the next year, leaving a son who died at age sixteen in Philadelphia. After the untimely death of his first wife and the failure of his first business venture, Blake moved to Boston, where he lived with a sister for several months before deciding to seek his fortune in Texas.

He arrived in Nacogdoches in 1835 with only twenty dollars but ultimately acquired a large farm and began a new life as merchant and farmer. He married Keziah Catherine Harrison, daughter of William Fenley, on December 26, 1850; and on November 24, 1853, he married Ellazina Harris, daughter of Elbridge G. and Mary Hamilton Harris. With his third wife he had three children.

As his financial condition improved, Blake soon began acquiring additional land in Nacogdoches County and over all of East Texas. Some he purchased outright, but much he acquired as a result of his moneylending. For many years, while Texas laws prohibited banks and restricted banking operations, Blake lent varying sums of money to his fellow Texans, the loans usually being secured by land and land titles. In effect, he functioned as a private banker and consequently as a land speculator. He entered upon a distinguished career in public service shortly after his arrival in Texas. His neighbors first elected him a justice of the peace in 1838 and reelected him until, by 1850, he had served some ten years in that office. Thereafter, he became chief justice of Nacogdoches County, an office he held for twelve years. In these twenty-two years he reportedly heard and decided 7,000 civil suits and 500 criminal cases. Blake fought in the Texas Revolution. He also served under Gen. Thomas J. Rusk in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians in 1839 and engaged in a second Cherokee expedition in 1841. East Texas voters elected him to the state legislature in 1862, and he became one of the Texas delegates to the Congress of the Confederate States of America, where he served during 1863–64.

After the Reconstruction period, voters again chose him to represent them at the Constitutional Convention of 1875, where at age sixty-six he was the second oldest delegate. Thereafter, although his friends and neighbors urged him to continue in service to the public, he declined to accept public office and concentrated instead on his banking and farming. Judge Blake was a Democrat and Mason. He died in Nacogdoches County on March 1, 1896, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches.

GPS Coordinates
31° 36.191, -094° 38.957


Oak Grove Cemetery
Nacogdoches

December 7, 2010

James E. Robinson

James E. Robinson, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Toledo, Ohio, on July 10, 1918. He entered military service at Waco, Texas, and at the time of his death was assigned to the 861st Field Artillery Battalion, Sixty-third Infantry Division, United States Army. On April 6, 1945, Robinson was a field-artillery observer attached to Company A, 253rd Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany. After eight hours of fighting over open terrain, the company had lost its commanding officer and nearly all of its key enlisted men. With only twenty-three unwounded riflemen and carrying his heavy radio equipment, Lieutenant Robinson led his men through intense fire in a charge against the objective. He killed ten of the enemy with point-blank pistol and rifle fire and with his men swept the area of all resistance. Soon afterward he was ordered to seize the town of Kressbach. After encouraging each of his remaining nineteen men, he again led them forward. In the advance he was mortally wounded in the throat, but refused medical attention and continued to direct artillery fire. After the town was taken he walked nearly two miles to an aid station, where he died. By his intrepid leadership Robinson was directly responsible for the successful mission of Company A, against tremendous odds. He is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at San Antonio.

Citation
He was a field artillery forward observer attached to Company A, 253d Infantry, near Untergriesheim, Germany, on 6 April 1945. Eight hours of desperate fighting over open terrain swept by German machinegun, mortar, and small-arms fire had decimated Company A, robbing it of its commanding officer and most of its key enlisted personnel when 1st Lt. Robinson rallied the 23 remaining uninjured riflemen and a few walking wounded, and, while carrying his heavy radio for communication with American batteries, led them through intense fire in a charge against the objective. Ten German infantrymen in foxholes threatened to stop the assault, but the gallant leader killed them all at point-blank range with rifle and pistol fire and then pressed on with his men to sweep the area of all resistance. Soon afterward he was ordered to seize the defended town of Kressbach. He went to each of the 19 exhausted survivors with cheering words, instilling in them courage and fortitude, before leading the little band forward once more. In the advance he was seriously wounded in the throat by a shell fragment, but, despite great pain and loss of blood, he refused medical attention and continued the attack, directing supporting artillery fire even though he was mortally wounded. Only after the town had been taken and he could no longer speak did he leave the command he had inspired in victory and walk nearly 2 miles to an aid station where he died from his wound. By his intrepid leadership 1st Lt. Robinson was directly responsible for Company A's accomplishing its mission against tremendous odds.

GPS Coordinates
29° 28.661, -098° 25.819

Section T
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

December 3, 2010

Robert Bradley Hawley

Robert Bradley 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 was 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. He was elected to the Fifty-fifth and Fifty-sixth congresses. In 1900 he became president of the Cuban-American Sugar Company. He died in New York City on November 28, 1921, and was buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Galveston.

GPS Coordinates
29° 16.387, -094° 49.510

Hawley-Oakes Mausoleum
Lakeview Cemetery
Galveston

November 30, 2010

John Viven

John Viven arrived in Texas in January, 1836, after enlisting in Captain Sidney Sherman's Company while living in Kentucky on December 18, 1835. He was a member of Captain William Wood's Company at San Jacinto and received 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. In 1849, he was a member of the Board of Land Commissioners of Harris County and working as a merchant. Viven died in Houston on October 26, 1856 and was buried in the City Cemetery #1.

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

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.453, -095° 22.758


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

November 26, 2010

Joseph Eve

Joseph Eve, Kentucky legislator, judge, and chargé d'affaires of the United States to the Republic of Texas, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, on July 17, 1784. By 1807 he had moved to Kentucky, where he received a grant of 300 acres on Spruce Creek in Knox County in 1808. Over the next fifteen years he acquired additional grants in Knox, Clay, Livingston, and Whitley counties. On November 11, 1811, he married Betsy Withers Ballinger of Garrard County, Kentucky. Eve and his wife had no children.

Eve was admitted to practice law in Knox County in 1807 and energetically entered county politics. He became a trustee, like his father-in-law, for the county seat of Barbourville in 1810. He also became a trustee for his church. The county elected him its representative in the Kentucky legislature in 1810, 1811, and 1815. During the War of 1812, he rose to the rank of colonel. After the war, from 1817 to 1821, he served as the Knox County state senator. In 1819 he was president of the Bank of Barbourville. From 1828 to 1836 he was a circuit judge in Kentucky. Often too generous for his own interests, Eve endorsed loans for some of his friends who went bankrupt, leaving him close to losing his own slaves and homestead.

Eve was a supporter of Henry Clay and advocated internal improvements by both state and national governments and high protective tariffs for United States industries; he reluctantly sponsored the national bank as well. As a National Republican and member of the Kentucky electoral college in 1833, he voted for Clay. He then campaigned on behalf of the Whigs and the election of William Henry Harrison to the presidency in 1840. As a reward for his diligent efforts, Eve was appointed chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas on April 15, 1841.

He greatly admired Sam Houston and sponsored the annexation of Texas. He toured Texas from Galveston to the new capital, Austin, and was favorably impressed with the productivity of the land. He was fully confident that Mexico could never reconquer Texas. Following Secretary of State Daniel Webster's instructions of June 14, 1841, Eve obtained the ratification of the boundary line surveyed by a joint commission of the Republic of Texas and the United States. Both parties agreed that the line was the Sabine River and, from near the southeast corner of what is now Panola County, the thirty-second parallel north to the Red River. Eve sought to negotiate a new commercial treaty with the Texas government, but disagreement over certain provisions of the convention prevented its acceptance by either side. Further negotiations were soon dropped with the renewal of American interest in the annexation of Texas.

Throughout 1842 Mexican attacks increased, and Texans encouraged Eve to lay the annexation issue before his government. Eve sympathized with the Texans' plight but regarded Houston's response to the attacks, the attempted naval blockade of Mexican ports, as ineffectual. He persuaded Houston to rescind his blockade proclamation since it adversely affected United States and British attempts to end current hostilities. Fearful that financial misery would cause Texas to depend upon some stronger nation, particularly Great Britain, Eve implored President John Tyler not to lose the opportunity to annex the republic. Although willing to acquire Texas, Tyler felt the timing was not right for passing annexation in the Senate. Instead, the president continued to offer the mediation of the United States government with Mexico on behalf of Texas.

Mediation failed, however, on September 11, 1842, when Mexican general Adrián Woll captured and held San Antonio for nine days. The Mexican incursions led Houston to remove the government from Austin to Houston, then to Washington-on-the-Brazos. While the republic had no permanent capital, Eve chose to move the legation archives to Galveston, where he could receive mail from the United States faster and where, he hoped, the sea air would help his tuberculosis.

William S. Murphy replaced Eve on April 3, 1843, as the United States diplomat in Texas. Assistant Secretary of State Fletcher Webster, an ardent anti-annexationist, took the first opportunity to recall Eve for a slight infraction of the rules-Eve had violated his private instructions by drawing an advance upon his salary. During the past winter, Eve and his wife had suffered from bouts of fever. Eve died in Galveston in mid-June 1843 and was buried there. His wife returned to their home in Barbourville, Kentucky.

GPS Coordinates
29° 17.632, -094° 48.676


Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston

November 23, 2010

Mary Carson Kidd

Mary Carson, soprano, was born Mary Carson Kidd probably in the late 1800s in Millican, Texas. She was the daughter of George Kidd and Katherine Bledsoe Aldridge. She grew up in Houston, and both of her parents were trained musicians and singers. Mary exhibited promising vocal skills at a very early age and performed excerpts from operas with her brothers for neighborhood children. She received formal training in New York and the New England Conservatory before traveling abroad to study voice in Milan and Florence. Her teachers included Isadore Vraggiotti, Rafaele del Ponte, and Adolgesa Moffi.

She made her debut in Italy in 1912 as Amina in La Sonnambula. She would go on to sing in some thirty operas in Italian, German, French, and English. These included the roles of Gilda in Rigoletto, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Norina in Don Pasquale. She was highly praised for her pure soaring soprano and vocal stamina, even performing Il barbiere de Siviglia twice in one day. In Berlin, composer Richard Strauss often played as her accompanist. At some point during her European performances she dropped her surname, Kidd, the subject of various puns, and adopted the stage name of Mary Carson. She also performed in many cities across the United States and was a member of the Century Opera Company.

In the 1910s she became a featured recording artist of popular songs and ballads for Thomas Edison’s Blue Amberol and Diamond Disc labels. Her rendition of Oh Dry Those Tears in 1912 was an early favorite, along with Kiss Waltz, released in 1913. Kiss Waltz remained a popular choice in the Edison catalog throughout the 1920s. She also recorded under the name of Kathleen Kingston. In 1917 Carson sued Edison over the company’s refusal to pay her when she was not booked with its phonograph dealers on its Tone Test circuit. The company had also forbidden her to work for any other employer, thereby depriving her of making a living. Carson won her suit.

By the late 1920s and early 1930s Mary Carson worked as a music teacher in Houston. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She lived in Houston until her death on August 21, 1951. She was buried in Glenwood Cemetery. Throughout her life she received many accolades for her beautiful singing voice, but Carson commented that perhaps the best compliment came from a small boy in Devonshire, England, who likened her singing to “a thrush on the ground” and “a lark in the sky.”

GPS Coordinates
29° 46.009, -095° 23.254

West Avenue Section
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

November 19, 2010

Mathias Cooper

As is often the case with early Texas settlers, little is known of Mathias Cooper's history. According to legal papers filed by his father in order to claim his son's military service land grants, Cooper left Natchez, Mississippi in either late 1835 or early 1836. He enlisted in the Texian army for three months as a private in Captain Thomas H. McIntire's Company, and killed during the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

Note
This is a cenotaph. In 1881, a decision was made to place permanent memorials at the graves of those men who had been killed in the Battle of San Jacinto and buried on the battlefield. It was discovered, however, that all of the original wooden grave markers, except for Benjamin Brigham's, had rotted away and no one could remember exactly where the others rested. As a compromise, since the soldiers had been buried closely together, it was decided to place a cenotaph over Brigham's grave as a memorial to all of them.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.232, -095° 05.363


San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
La Porte

November 16, 2010

David Gouverneur Burnet

David G. Burnet, speculator, lawyer, and politician, was born on April 14, 1788, in Newark, New Jersey, the fourteenth child of Dr. William Burnet, and the third of his second wife, widow Gertrude Gouverneur Rutgers. David was orphaned at an early age and raised by his older half-brothers. All of his life he strove to achieve the prominence of his father and brothers: Dr. Burnet served in the Continental Congress and as surgeon general. Jacob Burnet (1770-1853), lawyer, ardent federalist, and later a Whig who nominated his friend, William Henry Harrison, for president, served as a member of the territorial council of Ohio, state legislator, Supreme Court judge, and United States senator, and was honored for intellectual achievements including a history of the territory of Ohio. Another brother, Isaac, was mayor of Cincinnati during the 1820s.

Burnet lived with his brothers in Cincinnati, studied law in Jacob's office, and followed the same conservative politics. He wrote proudly in 1859 that he had never been a Democrat and deplored the course of the "ignorant popular Sovereignty." His attitude and politics did not make him popular in Texas, and his entire life was a string of disappointments. After a classical education in a Newark academy, young Burnet wanted to join the navy but instead was placed by a brother as a clerk in a New York commission house in 1805, a position he disliked. On February 2, 1806, he sailed with the unsuccessful filibustering expedition to Venezuela led by Xavier Miranda. Lieutenant Burnet returned to New York at the end of 1806.

His movements between 1806 and 1817 are obscure; he probably lived with relatives seeking success. About 1817 he moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana, and for the next two years traded with the Comanches near the headwaters of the Brazos with John Cotton. He suffered some sort of pulmonary illness at this time, and living a simple, natural life was supposed to be a cure. His health improved but not his finances, and he returned to Ohio, where he studied law.

In May 1826 Burnet passed through San Felipe on his way to Saltillo to petition for an empresario grant, which he received on December 22. The grant authorized him to settle 300 families north of the Old Spanish Road and around Nacogdoches, part of the area recently replevined from Haden Edwards, within six years. He was to receive 23,000 acres from the state of Coahuila and Texas for every 100 families settled.

Site of Oakland, Burnet's 1831 estate
Burnet spent 1827 in Texas and then returned to Ohio, where he fruitlessly sought colonists and financial backing from prominent men to develop his grant. In desperation he and refugee Lorenzo de Zavala sold the rights to their colonization contracts in October 1830 to a group of northeastern investors, the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company. Burnet received an undisclosed sum of money and certificates for four leagues of land from the new company. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to locate the leagues because of the Law of April 6, 1830. He used the money to buy a fifteen-horsepower steam sawmill and move his bride to Texas. They left New York on the seventy-ton schooner Cull on March 4, 1831, and arrived in Galveston Bay on April 4. Burnet bought seventeen acres on the San Jacinto River from Nathaniel Lynch for the mill and an additional 279 acres east of Lynch facing Burnet Bay, where he built a simple four-room home called Oakland. Between 1831 and 1835 Burnet unsuccessfully petitioned the state for eleven leagues of land because of the mill; the mill, however, lost money, and he sold it in June 1835.

The articulate Burnet impressed local residents, and though he took no part in the events at Anahuac in 1832, they chose him to represent the Liberty neighborhood at the convention at San Felipe in 1833. He helped draft the plea to sever Texas from Coahuila and made an earnest statement against the African slave trade. He hoped to become chief justice of the newly established Texas Supreme Court in 1834 but was only named to head the Brazos District Court. Instead of his $1,000 per annum allotment, Burnet wanted a handsome stipend in land like that which Chief Justice Thomas J. Chambers received.

Burnet was against independence for Texas in 1835, although he deplored the tendency of the national government toward a dictatorship. Thus his more radical neighbors did not choose him as a delegate to either the Consultation or the Convention of 1836. Nevertheless, he attended the session on March 10, where he successfully gained clemency for a client sentenced to hang. The delegates, who were opposed to electing one of their number president of the new republic, elected Burnet by a majority of seven votes.

His ad interim presidency of the Republic of Texas lasted from March 17 to October 22, 1836, and was very difficult. His actions angered Sam Houston, the army, the vice president, many cabinet members, and the public, and he left office embittered, intending never to return home, where a number of neighbors had turned against him. He lacked legal clients and was forced to turn to subsistence farming. In 1838 he entered the race for vice president and rode Mirabeau B. Lamar's coattails to victory. Forced to serve part of the time as secretary of state and acting president, Burnet became more out of step with public opinion. His bid for the presidency in 1841 against his old enemy, Sam Houston, resulted in defeat after a vitriolic campaign of name-calling.

Burnet was against annexation to the United States in 1845 but nevertheless applied for the position of United States district judge in 1846. Even with the Whig influence of his brothers, however, he lacked enough political influence. He was named secretary of state by Governor James P. Henderson in 1846 and served one term. An application to the Whig administration in 1849 for a position as Galveston customs collector also failed. His only other public office was largely symbolic, a reward for an elder statesman. In 1866 the Texas legislature named Burnet and Oran M. Roberts United States senators, but upon arrival in Washington they were not seated because Texas had failed to meet Republican political demands. Although intellectually opposed to secession, Burnet had embraced the Southern cause when his only son, William, resigned his commission in the United States Army and volunteered for Confederate service. The son was killed in a battle at Spanish Fort, Alabama, in 1865, a crushing blow to Burnet, who had lost his wife in 1858.

Burnet had married Hannah Este in Morristown, New Jersey, on December 8, 1830. She bore four children, but only William survived, and the doting parents sacrificed for his education. After Hannah's death Burnet had to hire out his slaves and rent his farm in order to have income to pay his room and board in Galveston. He and Lamar intended to publish a history of the republic to expose Sam Houston, and though Burnet furnished Lamar with many articles, Lamar was unable to find a publisher. Burnet burned his manuscript shortly before his death. He was a Mason and a Presbyterian. He outlived all of his immediate family, died without money in Galveston on December 5, 1870, and was buried by friends. His remains were moved from the Episcopal Cemetery to the new Magnolia Cemetery and finally to Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston, where the Daughters of the Republic of Texas erected a monument to him and his friend Sidney Sherman in 1894. Burnet County was named for him in 1852, and in 1936 the state erected a statue of him on the grounds of the high school in Clarksville.

NOTE
David Burnet shares a memorial obelisk with Sidney Sherman. In the photo below, Burnet is on the left.

GPS Coordinates
29° 16.392, -094° 49.566

Section C
Lakeview Cemetery
Galveston


November 12, 2010

Gustav Schleicher

Gustav (Gustave, Gustavus) Schleicher, engineer, entrepreneur, and politician, son of a cabinetmaker, was born in Darmstadt, Hesse, on November 19, 1823. After completing secondary school there, he studied engineering and architecture at the University of Giessen and worked as a civil engineer assisting in railroad construction in Germany. He and Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff were among the leaders in a group of intellectuals who immigrated to Texas and founded a commune, named Bettina after the German literary figure and social visionary Bettina von Arnim, on the banks of the Llano River in 1847. The community was intended to prove the truth of communist ideals and light the way for relief of the troubles in Europe, which had led to sporadic attempts at revolution and were later to lead to the abortive revolt of 1848. Bettina had "friendship, freedom, equality" as its motto and "no regular scheme of government." Schleicher soon became disillusioned at this experiment in communism, however, for he learned that "the bigger the men, the more they talked, the less they worked and the more they ate," and by the time the settlement failed (within a year) he had made contacts with the other German settlers of the area.

Schleicher operated a shingle mill he had started constructing shortly after his arrival at Huaco Springs, near New Braunfels, and began, as a surveyor, to help German settlers locate land and to acquire land himself. In 1850 he moved to San Antonio, where he and others initiated the Guadalupe Bridge Company to build a toll bridge across the Guadalupe between San Antonio and New Braunfels, as well as the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Railway. Together with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and others he began to build a railroad from Port Lavaca to San Antonio. He was also co-owner of a restaurant in San Antonio and a member of various social organizations such as the Texas State Sängerbund. He was a large man and loved to dance. He became an American citizen on December 8, 1852. In 1853-54 he served in the House of Representatives of the Fifth Texas Legislature. Between 1854 and 1861 he was surveyor of the Bexar Land District, which included most of the area from San Antonio to El Paso, and during his tenure he acquired title to large tracts of land, primarily on the Edwards Plateau. Beginning in 1858, he and his brother-in-law, Heinrich Dresel, published the Texas Staats-Zeitung in San Antonio. Schleicher was a cofounder of the San Antonio Water Company in 1858 and of Alamo College in 1860. From 1859 to 1861 he served in the Senate of the Eighth Texas Legislature.

Although Schleicher allied himself with Democrats such as Andrew J. Hamilton and with Sam Houston in supporting the Union before the Civil War, after secession his contemporaries could see in him "an emphatic advocate of the right and justice of the Secession movement." He became a captain in the Confederate Army, in charge of Gen. John B. Magruder's corps of engineers. He tried and failed to recruit a company of fellow Germans for Sibley's Brigade, and on several occasions he served, rather equivocally, as a character witness for German Texans on trial for sedition. After the war he practiced law in San Antonio, and in 1866 he was one of the incorporators of the Columbus, San Antonio and Rio Grande Railroad. He served as engineer for the construction of the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific Railway from Indianola to Cuero. He founded the latter town as a way station and moved to it soon afterward, in 1872.

Though he did not solicit the nomination, in 1874 he was nominated by the Democratic party and elected to the United States House of Representatives from the Sixth District. His first act as a congressman was installation of an elevator in the House, but he soon became known for his careful research and well-considered opinions on the reestablishment of the gold and silver standard and his support of protection for the Texas frontier with Mexico. He was a member of the committees on Indian Affairs and Railroads and Canals; in his second term he was also appointed to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. His activities in support of a stable currency gained him a challenger within his own party, John Ireland, and Schleicher had to wage a bitter campaign before being nominated and reelected in 1878. He had not taken office again, however, when he died in Washington, D.C., on January 10, 1879.  He was buried with great pomp and ceremony in the National Cemetery in San Antonio. Schleicher County in West Texas was subsequently named for him.

GPS Coordinates
29° 25.295, -098° 28.000

Section A
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

November 9, 2010

Jake Brown

Jerald Ray "Jake" Brown was born March 22, 1948 in Sumrall, Mississippi. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and from 1967 to 1969 played on their Jaguars baseball team. He arrived in the major leagues relatively late at the age of twenty-seven, hired by the San Francisco Giants on May 17, 1975 as an outfielder. He only played until September 28th, his major league batting average reaching .279. Leaving the sport, he lived in Houston, Texas until he died on December 18, 1981 of leukemia.

GPS Coordinates
29° 53.297, -095° 27.583

Section 6
Paradise North Cemetery
Houston

November 5, 2010

Samuel Tubbs Angier

Samuel Tubbs Angier, physician and Old Three Hundred pioneer, was born in Pembroke, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, on August 26, 1792, the son of Samuel and Mary Tubbs. On February 29, 1812, he changed his name to Samuel Tubbs Angier, taking as his surname the maiden name of his paternal grandmother, Katurah (Angier) Tubbs. He received his A.B. degree in 1818 and his M.D. degree in 1823 from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Angier had married and had a daughter before his second marriage on January 18, 1821, in Easton, Massachusetts, to Rowena Hayward. They also had a daughter.

Angier was a partner of Thomas W. Bradley and George B. Hall as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. The three men received title to a sitio of land on the west bank of Chocolate Bayou three leagues above its mouth on August 16, 1824; the land is now in Brazoria County. Additionally, Angier was granted a labor of land on the east bank of the Brazos four miles above its mouth on August 24, 1824. In a quiet ceremony at the home of James Briton (Brit) Bailey on April 30, 1829, he married Old Three Hundred colonist Mrs. Permelia Pickett, in a ceremony conducted by Alexander Hodge, comisario of the precinct of Victoria. Consequent to his marriage, Angier requested, and on December 10, 1830, received, two-thirds of a league of land "on the right margin of Chocolate Bayou within the littoral Belt, above and adjacent to the league conceded to the petitioner together with Bradley and Hall."

Angier was one of the four established physicians of Brazoria Municipality who early in the 1830s were appointed by the ayuntamiento as a standing committee to examine the qualifications of persons wishing to practice surgery and medicine in the municipality. David G. Burnet, one of the delegates from Liberty, stopped at the Chocolate Bayou home of Dr. Angier after becoming ill on his way to the Consultation. On February 1, 1836, Angier served as an election judge for Brazoria Municipality when delegates were chosen for the Constitutional Convention of 1836, to convene at Washington-on-the-Brazos.

On September 5, 1837, Permelia Angier died. In April of 1838 Angier, who gave his place of residence as Liverpool, was one of several signatories from across Texas of a memorial to the Congress of the Republic of Texas requesting the establishment of a system of public education. Angier married Mary Ann Augusta Kendall, the daughter of Horace and Mary (Cogswell) Kendall, in Monroe County, Alabama, on June 28, 1842. He was a Methodist and she a Presbyterian. Angier's return to Texas from New Orleans aboard the Neptune was reported on March 20, 1844, in the Houston Telegraph and Texas Register. The Columbia Planter of September 12, 1845, carried an advertisement for the Columbia Female Seminary, which was to open on the twenty-ninth, with Mrs. Angier as headmistress. Samuel and Mary Angier had a son in 1846. Mary died near West Columbia in 1854, and Angier married Mrs. Mary O'Brien Millard on May 25, 1857, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Galveston. Dr. Angier died in West Columbia on April 17, 1867. He is buried in the Columbia Cemetery in West Columbia.

Angier was one of the twenty Old Three Hundred settlers known to have been Freemasons. He was a charter member of St. John's Lodge Number 49 (later to become St. John's Lodge Number 5), organized in Columbia in 1848, and was selected grand master of the lodge on June 1, 1848. He served as lodge treasurer in 1849 and 1850 and was junior steward in 1858 and junior warden in 1861.

GPS Coordinates
29° 08.437, -095° 38.887


Columbia Cemetery
West Columbia

November 2, 2010

John Austin Wharton

John Austin Wharton, soldier and statesman, son of William and Judith (Harris) Wharton, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1806, left an orphan in 1816, and reared by an uncle, Jesse Wharton, who helped him obtain a classical education. He later studied law and was admitted to the bar in Nashville before he was twenty-one. In 1830 he began legal practice in New Orleans. Though some historians have suggested that he accompanied his brother, William H. Wharton, to Texas in 1829, he probably did not arrive until 1833.

Shortly after his arrival, Wharton was embroiled with the Austin family in a feud that eventually led to a duel between him and William T. Austin. Wharton was shot in the right wrist and never fully regained the use of his hand. Around the same time, he participated in the establishment of the first Masonic lodge in Texas. Wharton was an early activist in the movement for Texas independence. He attended the assembly in Columbia that preceded the Consultation and was appointed to the Committee of Vigilance, Correspondence, and Safety of the Department of Brazoria. As a member of this committee, Wharton corresponded with political leaders throughout Texas to consolidate opposition to the Centralist government in Mexico City. At the Consultation in San Felipe in the fall of 1835, he advocated immediate independence from Mexico and was appointed chairman of the committee to list grievances and explain the call to arms. He later served as a member of the General Council of the provisional government.

On December 8, 1835, Sam Houston appointed Wharton Texas agent to New Orleans to procure supplies for the army. Wharton also served as adjutant general on Houston's staff and was responsible for bringing the Twin Sisters to the army. Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk later recognized Wharton for bravery during the battle of San Jacinto. After the Texas Revolution Wharton attempted to gain the release of his brother and other Texans captured on the naval vessel Independence and imprisoned in Matamoros. Upon his arrival in Mexico, however, he too was imprisoned. The brothers soon escaped and returned to Texas.

John served briefly as the secretary of war until October 1836, when he left the position to become a representative from Brazoria in the First Congress of the republic. He returned to Houston after completion of his term in office and for two years practiced law with Elisha M. Pease and John Woods Harris. Wharton left the partnership to serve in the Third Congress. During this term in the House he acted as chairman of the committee on education but fell ill with fever and had to leave the position. He died on December 17, 1838, and was buried with military and Masonic rites. David G. Burnet, who delivered the funeral oration, described Wharton as "the keenest blade of San Jacinto."

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.453, -095° 22.753


Founders Memorial Park
Houston

October 29, 2010

Raymond Larry Knight

Raymond L. Knight, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Timpson, Texas, on July 15, 1922. His family later moved to Houston, where he graduated from John Reagan High School in 1940. He entered the United States Army Air Corps at Houston in October 1942 and received his pilot's wings and commission at Harding Field, Louisiana, in April 1944. After further training in the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber, 2d Lt. Knight was assigned to the 350th Fighter Group, Twelfth Air Force, in Northern Italy, where he completed eighty-two combat missions. During his first year of combat he won the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Purple Hearts, and the Air Medal with five oak-leaf clusters.

His most notable exploits, however, came in action against heavily defended German airdromes at Ghedi and Bergamo, Italy, in April 1945. On the morning of April 24 he led two other pilots, each flying a single-engine P-47 Thunderbolt, against the heavily defended airdrome at Ghedi. He ordered the other aircraft to stay aloft while he descended to low altitude through heavy antiaircraft fire and located eight German aircraft under heavy camouflage. After rejoining his flight, Knight led the attack and destroyed five of the enemy aircraft, while his teammates shot down two others. After returning to base he volunteered to lead a reconnaissance mission of three other aircraft to the airbase at Bergamo. He ordered his flight to remain out of range of enemy guns while he flew through the fire at low level. Although his Thunderbolt was badly damaged by intense ground fire he observed a squadron of enemy aircraft, heavily camouflaged, and led his flight to the attack. After this strafing, he made ten more passes over the field, and although hit by enemy fire twice more he destroyed six heavily loaded twin-engine aircraft and enemy fighters. He safely returned his damaged aircraft to base. He returned to Bergamo the next morning, April 25, 1945, with a flight of three and attacked an aircraft on the runway. Three more twin-engine aircraft were destroyed. His plane was heavily damaged and virtually unflyable, but he chose to attempt to return the valuable equipment to base for repair. He crashed in the Appennini Mountains and was killed. His gallant action eliminated enemy aircraft that were set to attack the Allied forces in their attempt to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River. He personally destroyed fourteen grounded enemy aircraft and led attacks that wrecked ten others.

The Medal of Honor was presented to his widow, Johnnie Lee Knight, and his 2½-year-old-son on the stage at Reagan High School, where Raymond and Johnnie had graduated five years earlier. His remains were buried in Woodlawn Garden of Memories in 1949 and reburied in the Houston National Cemetery in a special section for Medal of Honor recipients on April 25, 1992.

Citation
He piloted a fighter-bomber aircraft in a series of low-level strafing missions, destroying 14 grounded enemy aircraft and leading attacks which wrecked 10 others during a critical period of the Allied drive in northern Italy. On the morning of 24 April, he volunteered to lead 2 other aircraft against the strongly defended enemy airdrome at Ghedi. Ordering his fellow pilots to remain aloft, he skimmed the ground through a deadly curtain of antiaircraft fire to reconnoiter the field, locating 8 German aircraft hidden beneath heavy camouflage. He rejoined his flight, briefed them by radio, and then led them with consummate skill through the hail of enemy fire in a low-level attack, destroying 5 aircraft, while his flight accounted for 2 others. Returning to his base, he volunteered to lead 3 other aircraft in reconnaissance of Bergamo airfield, an enemy base near Ghedi and 1 known to be equally well defended. Again ordering his flight to remain out of range of antiaircraft fire, 1st Lt. Knight flew through an exceptionally intense barrage, which heavily damaged his Thunderbolt, to observe the field at minimum altitude. He discovered a squadron of enemy aircraft under heavy camouflage and led his flight to the assault. Returning alone after this strafing, he made 10 deliberate passes against the field despite being hit by antiaircraft fire twice more, destroying 6 fully loaded enemy twin-engine aircraft and 2 fighters. His skillfully led attack enabled his flight to destroy 4 other twin-engine aircraft and a fighter plane. He then returned to his base in his seriously damaged plane. Early the next morning, when he again attacked Bergamo, he sighted an enemy plane on the runway. Again he led 3 other American pilots in a blistering low-level sweep through vicious antiaircraft fire that damaged his plane so severely that it was virtually nonflyable. Three of the few remaining enemy twin-engine aircraft at that base were destroyed. Realizing the critical need for aircraft in his unit, he declined to parachute to safety over friendly territory and unhesitatingly attempted to return his shattered plane to his home field. With great skill and strength, he flew homeward until caught by treacherous air conditions in the Appennines Mountains, where he crashed and was killed. The gallant action of 1st Lt. Knight eliminated the German aircraft which were poised to wreak havoc on Allied forces pressing to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River; his fearless daring and voluntary self-sacrifice averted possible heavy casualties among ground forces and the resultant slowing on the German drive culminated in the collapse of enemy resistance in Italy.


GPS Coordinates
29° 55.831, -095° 27.041

Section Hb
Houston National Cemetery
Houston
 

October 26, 2010

Johnny Keane

John (Johnny) Joseph Keane, major-league baseball manager, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 3, 1911. His mother died when he was young, and he was raised by his grandmother. As a youth, he studied six years to become a Catholic priest but cut seminary classes on occasion in order to play semiprofessional baseball and soccer. He also played as the first-string quarterback at a St. Louis high school under an assumed name. At the age of seventeen he was about to sign a professional soccer contract, when the St. Louis Cardinals signed him and sent him to the minor leagues. He moved to Houston in 1935 to play for the Houston Buffs and appeared headed for the major leagues when he was struck in the head by a pitched ball. He was unconscious for six days and was hospitalized for six weeks. Although he played ball again after his recovery, the Cardinals decided to make him a manager in 1938. Keane managed teams in Albany, Georgia, Rochester, Minnesota, Columbus, Ohio, and Omaha, Nebraska. In 1946 he returned to Houston as manager. The next year the Buffs won the Texas League pennant and the Dixie Series. In the seventeen years that Keane managed in the minor leagues, his teams finished third place or higher eleven times and won five pennants.

Keane joined the Cardinals as coach in 1959 and became manager of the team midway through the 1961 season. The Cardinals barely missed winning the pennant in 1963, after a streak of nineteen victories in twenty games. In 1964 they won the National League pennant and defeated the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series; Keane, hailed as Manager of the Year, startled the baseball world by leaving the Cardinals immediately for the Yankees, where he replaced Yogi Berra as manager. His teams were plagued by injuries, however, and Keane was released in 1966, after the Yankees lost sixteen of their first twenty games. He next worked as a special-assignment scout for the California Angels, the job he held at the time of his death.

Keane was noted for being soft-spoken and mild-mannered but also for being a strict disciplinarian. Sports writers observed that he drank little but smoked about fifteen small cigars a day, which he inhaled. He died of a heart attack in Houston on January 6, 1967. He was survived by his wife, Lela, whom he had married in 1937, and by one daughter. He was buried in Houston at Memorial Oaks Mausoleum.

GPS Coordinates
29° 47.009, -095° 36.871

Chapel of the Oaks Mausoleum
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Houston

October 22, 2010

Angelina Elizabeth Dickinson

Angelina Dickinson, called the Babe of the Alamo, daughter of Almeron and Susanna (Wilkerson) Dickinson (also spelled Dickerson), was born on December 14, 1834, in Gonzales, Texas. By early 1836 her family had moved to San Antonio. On February 23, as the forces of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna entered the city, Dickinson reportedly caught up his wife and daughter behind his saddle and galloped to the Alamo, just before the enemy started firing. In the Alamo, legend says William B. Travis tied his cat's-eye ring around Angelina's neck. Angelina and Susanna survived the final Mexican assault on March 6, 1836. Though Santa Anna wanted to adopt Angelina, her mother refused. A few days after the battle, mother and child were released as messengers to Gen. Sam Houston.

At the end of the revolution, Angelina and her mother moved to Houston. Between 1837 and 1847 Susanna Dickinson married three times. Angelina and her mother were not, however, left without resources. For their participation in the defense of the Alamo, they received a donation certificate for 640 acres of land in 1839 and a bounty warrant for 1,920 acres of land in Clay County in 1855. In 1849 a resolution by Representative Guy M. Bryan for the relief of "the orphan child of the Alamo" to provide funds for Angelina's support and education failed. At the age of seventeen, with her mother's encouragement, Angelina married John Maynard Griffith, a farmer from Montgomery County. Over the next six years, the Griffiths had three children, but the marriage ended in divorce. Leaving two of her children with her mother and one with an uncle, Angelina drifted to New Orleans. Rumors spread of her promiscuity.

Before the Civil War she became associated in Galveston with Jim Britton, a railroad man from Tennessee who became a Confederate officer, and to whom she gave Travis's ring. She is believed to have married Oscar Holmes in 1864 and had a fourth child in 1865. Whether she ever married Britton is uncertain, but according to Flake's Daily Bulletin, Angelina died as "Em Britton" in 1869 of a uterine hemorrhage in Galveston, where she was a known courtesan.

Note
Angelina Dickinson's grave is unmarked and likely lost. She originally had a small grave marker, purchased with contributions from the general public, inscribed only with the word "Britton", the last name of the man she was living with at the time of her death. She claimed to be married to him but there are no marriage records to confirm it, and considering that she had a history working as a courtesan, it was probably a respectful attempt by the community to give her grave a semblance of dignity due to her legacy as the "Babe of the Alamo". The stone was swept away during the 1900 hurricane and her exact burial location lost, but according to family lore her grave was located in the far back corner of Evergreen Cemetery, in a section known as Cahill Ground. I searched the four corners of Evergreen and the only corner area that wasn't marked with grave stones predating the hurricane is in the photo below. Whether it is her final resting place or not is uncertain, but it seems to me to be the most likely.

GPS Coordinates
N/A

Cahill Ground (Defunct)
Evergreen Cemetery
Galveston

October 19, 2010

William DeArmond

William DeArmond was born in Butler County, Ohio, in 1838. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in the late 1860s or early 1870s as a sergeant in Company 1, 5th Infantry. On the morning of September 9, 1874, a supply train with a small cavalry escort, began the long trek from their encampment to General Nelson Miles expedition force camped at Battle Creek, which force had been in the field and was in desperate need of resupply. The supply train was attacked by a large Indian war party as it emerged from a canyon on the Upper Washita River. Though vastly outnumbered, the cavalry fought fiercely as the train continued onward in what became a daylong fight. DeArmond was killed in action in the heavy fighting and was one of six soldiers cited for "Gallantry in action" on the first day of the three-day running battle. Seven other soldiers were similarly cited for continuing acts of heroism for the full term of the desperate struggle for survival, and the valiant efforts to reach General Miles with the supplies his 650-man force desperately needed. As DeArmond's body was never recovered from the battlefield, a cenotaph was placed in San Antonio National Cemetery in his memory.

Citation
Gallantry in action.

GPS Coordinates
29° 25.278, -098° 28.022

Section MA
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio