November 30, 2010

John Kenneth Spain (1946-1990)

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

COORDINATES
29° 57.685
-095° 16.095

Section 4
Rosewood Memorial Park
Humble

November 23, 2010

James Marion Logan (1920-1999)

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

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

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

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

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

COORDINATES
30° 15.970
-097° 43.569

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

November 16, 2010

Robert Bradley Hawley (1849-1921)

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

COORDINATES
29° 16.387
-094° 49.510

Hawley-Oakes Mausoleum
Lakeview Cemetery
Galveston

November 9, 2010

Nathaniel Lynch (?-1837)

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

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


Lynchburg Cemetery
Lynchburg

November 2, 2010

Haroldson Lafayette Hunt (1889-1974)

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

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

COORDINATES
32° 52.054
-096° 46.729

Monument Garden
Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park
Dallas