February 23, 2010

Joseph Henry Barnard (1804-1861)

Joseph Henry Barnard, military surgeon and diarist, was born in Deerfield, Massachusetts, on April 21, 1804. He was a sailor for three years before graduating from Williams College in 1829. He practiced medicine in Canada until 1835, when he moved to Chicago. He left for Texas on December 14, 1835, and enlisted in the revolutionary army as a private with the Red Rovers. While surgeon to James W. Fannin, Jr.'s command, he was captured at Goliad, but his life was spared so that he might treat the wounded Mexicans at Goliad and San Antonio. In San Antonio he lived with José Ángel Navarro. Barnard's diary is one of the best sources of information covering this period. He served in the army in Galveston from June 10 to October 28, 1836. He moved to Fort Bend County in 1837, was county clerk in 1838-39, and represented the county in the House of the Eighth Congress, 1843-1844. He married Mrs. Nancy M. Danforth on July 30, 1841. Dr. Barnard moved to Goliad and lived there until 1860, when he went on a visit to Canada, where he died in 1861. Source

30° 15.935
-097° 43.644

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

February 16, 2010

David Young Portis (1813?-1883)

David Portis, attorney and public official, was born around 1813 in North Carolina and probably moved to Texas after the Texas Revolution. He practiced law with John W. Portis in Houston in 1839 and in 1840 or 1841 moved to Austin County. He replaced James H. Kuykendall, who had resigned, as representative from Austin County in the House of the called session of the Sixth Congress in 1842 and was reelected to the Seventh Congress. On December 28, 1843, he married Rebecca Cumings, daughter of the Rebekah Cumings who was one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. In January 1845 Portis was chairman of an annexation meeting at San Felipe. He represented the Seventeenth District, comprising Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Lavaca, and Wharton counties, in the Senate of the Third Legislature, 1849-50, and in 1853 served as a delegate to the state Democratic party convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The United States Census of 1860 listed Portis as owning seventeen slaves and over 35,000 acres with real property valued at $100,000 and personal property valued at $20,000. He represented Austin County in the Secession Convention of 1861. Portis seems to have lived the remainder of his life in Austin County and to have died there in February 1883. Source

29° 25.284
-098° 28.208

Section E
Odd Fellows Cemetery
San Antonio

February 9, 2010

Clarence Wilbert "Candy" Green (1929-1988)

Pianist Clarence "Candy" Green was born on March 15, 1929 in Galveston, Texas. His mother played piano, accompanying herself on spiritual numbers, and she taught Green from a young age. Preferring the secular music of the vibrant Southeast Texas blues and jazz scene to gospel, at age fifteen Green began playing for tips in the juke joints and brothels of the area. He quickly became a favorite among patrons and the other musicians. From 1945 to 1948, Green traveled with the Merchant Navy, igniting a lifelong wanderlust, but when he was home he would perform in his usual haunts. In 1947, rather than continue to play solo, he decided to form a group. Recruiting tenor saxophonist Johnny Fontenette, who later joined Roy Brown's band, Horace Richmond on bass and Rip Bolden on drums, the combo found regional success with one of Green’s compositions, Galveston Blues.

After performing on radio station KGBC, Green was approached by Eddie Henry, who operated Eddie's Records on Houston's Dowling Street. Henry recorded the Green combo, cutting Galveston Blues and another original song called Green's Bounce. Before the record was released, Henry went out of business and the band broke up. Green continued touring alone through Louisiana and Texas. In 1950, Green approached Peacock label owner Don Robey, and secured a three year contract. Going into the studio with Bill Harvey’s band, Green recorded one of his most enduring songs, Hard Headed Woman. Unhappy with the promotion and compensation Peacock offered, despite his contract, Green avoided recording again with Robey, and turned down other offers to record.

Although drafted into the Army, when on leave Green played often with legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery. While in the Army, Green gained his nickname, “Candy.” According to Green himself, women gave him the nickname because of his sweet disposition. It stuck, and he was henceforth known as Candy Green. In 1952, still under contract to Peacock, Essex Records of Philadelphia offered to record him. Using the name "Galveston Green", Green recorded My Time is Your Time, using Rathe Lee on tenor-sax, Kinrey Bailey on bass and Lawrence Harris on drums. Soon after, he recorded Bad Shape Blues for the Monarch label. Neither of those records met with much commercial success, and Green soured on the recording industry.

Green’s wanderlust manifested itself in the mid-1950s, when he traveled to Mexico City with Paul Love’s band. The gig ended, but Green stayed, running a jazz club called the Echo. In 1958 he left Mexico intent on traveling, and headed for Copenhagen. He spent the next thirty years gigging, working in bars and clubs, and traveling throughout Scandinavia and Central Europe. He recorded under the name "Candy Green" for the Supraphon label, and found quite a measure of celebrity in Europe, if not in his native haunts of Galveston and Houston. Green died at the age of 59 on April 13, 1988 in Galveston and was buried in Houston.

29° 55.804
-095° 26.898

Section K
Houston National Cemetery

February 2, 2010

Benjamin Watson Hardin (1796-1850)

Benjamin Watson Hardin, early settler and political figure, the first son of Swan and Jerusha (Blackburn) Hardin, was born in Franklin County, Georgia, on March 25, 1796. By 1807 he was living in Maury County, Tennessee, with other family members and managing the family farm. Because of an affair between his brother's wife, Mrs. A. B. Hardin, and Isaac Newton Porter, of which Porter bragged about publicly, Benjamin accompanied his brothers to a meeting with Porter and William Williamson in Columbia, Tennessee, on October 1, 1825. During the ensuing confrontation Hardin's brothers Augustine and Benjamin Franklin Hardin fatally shot Porter and Williamson. After being indicted with his brothers, including William Hardin, in December 1825, Hardin fled to what is now Liberty County, Texas, in 1827 in order to avoid a possible conviction for murder and to join other family members who had similarly made themselves scarce in Tennessee. On January 8, 1828, Hardin married Adelia Coleman in Liberty County; they had four children, two of whom lived beyond childhood. Hardin received a league of land in 1831 and served as sheriff of the Liberty District. He was elected Liberty county sheriff in 1839 and served until 1845. On December 2, 1844, he began his term as Liberty County representative in the Ninth Congress (1844-45) of the Republic of Texas. He was a prominent rancher and farmer in Liberty County and a founding member of the Liberty Masonic Lodge in 1849. He died on January 2, 1850, at his homestead and was buried in the Hardin family cemetery, on his original land grant north of Liberty. Hardin County and Hardin, Texas (Liberty County), were named in honor of the Hardin family. The Texas Centennial Commission erected a monument at Benjamin W. Hardin's grave in 1936. Source

Note: The family cemetery is private and kept locked, but it lies on the shoulder of FM 1011 and can be viewed in its entirety from outside the gate.

30° 06.076
-094° 45.971

Hardin Family Cemetery