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 Tenoxtitl├ín 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