June 29, 2010

James Marion Logan

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 machinegun," 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.

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 machinegun 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 machinegun 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.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.970, -097° 43.569

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

June 25, 2010

Abner Kuykendall

Abner Kuykendall, Austin Colony pioneer, son of Adam and Margaret (Hardin) Kuykendall, was probably born in Rutherford County, North Carolina in 1777. The family was in Logan County, Kentucky, by 1792 and moved on to the Arkansas territory about 1808. Abner married Sarah (Sally) Gates. The number of their children has been reported variously as nine and twelve. With his brothers, Abner left Arkansas Territory for Texas in October 1821, probably in company with his father-in-law, William Gates. At Nacogdoches they were joined by another brother, Robert H. Kuykendall, Sr., and the three brothers were among the first of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. Abner commanded the militia of Austin's colony. Robert and a brother, Joseph, settled near the later site of Columbus on the Colorado River, but Abner and Thomas Boatwright moved ten miles west of the Brazos and on January 1, 1822, established a settlement on New Year Creek. Sarah Gates died about 1823. Abner never remarried. In November 1823 Abner Kuykendall moved back to the Brazos and settled about eight miles above San Felipe. He received title to 1½ leagues and two labors of land now in Fort Bend, Washington, and Austin counties on July 4, 1824. The census of March 1826 classified him as a stock raiser and farmer, a widower aged over fifty. A grown son, Barzillai Kuykendall, was another of the Old Three Hundred.

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

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.

GPS Coordinates
N/A


San Felipe de Austin Cemetery
San Felipe

June 22, 2010

Thomas Jefferson Rusk

Thomas J. Rusk, soldier and statesman, the oldest of seven children of John and Mary (Sterritt) Rusk, was born in Pendleton District, South Carolina, on December 5, 1803. His father was an Irish stonemason immigrant. The family rented land from John C. Calhoun, who helped Rusk secure a position in the office of the Pendleton County district clerk, where he could earn a living while studying law. After admission to the bar in 1825, Rusk began his law practice in Clarksville, Georgia. In 1827 he married Mary F. Cleveland, the daughter of Gen. Benjamin Cleveland. Rusk became a business partner of his father-in-law after he and Polly married. He lived in the gold region of Georgia and made sizable mining investments. In 1834, however, the managers of the company in which he had invested embezzled all the funds and fled to Texas. Rusk pursued them to Nacogdoches but never recovered the money. He did, however, decide to stay in Texas.

He became a citizen of Mexico on February 11, 1835, applied for a headright in David G. Burnet's colony, and sent for his family. After hearing Nacogdoches citizens denounce the despotism of Mexico, Rusk became involved in the independence movement. He organized volunteers from Nacogdoches and hastened to Gonzales, where his men joined Stephen F. Austin's army in preventing the Mexicans from seizing their cannon. They proceeded to San Antonio, but Rusk left the army before the siege of Bexar. The provisional government named him inspector general of the army in the Nacogdoches District, a position he filled from December 14, 1835, to February 26, 1836. As a delegate from Nacogdoches to the Convention of 1836, Rusk not only signed the Texas Declaration of Independence but also chaired the committee to revise the constitution. The ad interim government, installed on March 17, 1836, appointed Rusk Secretary of War.

When informed that the Alamo had fallen and the Mexicans were moving eastward, Rusk helped President Burnet to move the government to Harrisburg. Rusk ordered all the coastal communities to organize militias. After the Mexicans massacred James W. Fannin's army Burnet sent Rusk with orders for Gen. Sam Houston to make a stand against the enemy, and upon learning that Antonio López de Santa Anna intended to capture the government at Harrisburg the Texas army marched to Buffalo Bayou. As a security measure, Houston and Rusk remained silent about their plans. Rusk participated with bravery in the defeat of Santa Anna on April 21, 1836, in the battle of San Jacinto. From May 4 to October 31, 1836, he served as commander in chief of the Army of the Republic of Texas, with the rank of brigadier general. He followed the Mexican troops westward as they retired from Texas to be certain of their retreat beyond the Rio Grande. Then he conducted a military funeral for the troops massacred at Goliad. When it appeared that the Mexicans intended to attack Texas from Matamoros, Rusk called for more troops. Though he had 2,500 soldiers by July, he maintained a defensive position.

In the first regularly elected administration, President Houston appointed Rusk Secretary of War, but after a few weeks he resigned to take care of pressing domestic problems. At the insistence of friends, however, he represented Nacogdoches in the Second Congress of the republic, from September 25, 1837, to May 24, 1838. While in the capital, Houston, he taught a Christian Sunday school class. Like many prominent Texans, Rusk became a Mason. He joined Milam Lodge No. 40 in Nacogdoches in 1837 and was a founding member of the Grand Lodge of Texas, organized in Houston on December 20, 1837. In the election of 1838 and in succeeding ones, friends importuned Rusk to be a presidential candidate, but he refused. As chairman of the House Military Committee in 1837, he sponsored a militia bill that passed over Houston's veto, and Congress elected Rusk major general of the militia.

In the summer of 1838 he commanded the Nacogdoches militia, which suppressed the Córdova Rebellion. Rusk suspected Cherokee involvement in the rebellion, but Chief Bowl emphatically denied any collusion with Córdova. In October, when Mexican agents were discovered among the Kickapoo Indians, Rusk defeated those Indians and their Indian allies. He captured marauding Caddo Indians in November 1838, and he risked an international incident when he invaded United States territory to return them to the Indian agent in Shreveport. Unrest among the Cherokees grew after the failure to ratify the Cherokee Treaty of 1836, which would have given the Cherokees title to the lands they occupied in East Texas. In July 1839 the final battle with the Cherokees and their allies was fought. Papers taken from captured Mexican agents implicated the Cherokees in a Mexican-Indian conspiracy against the Republic of Texas. Because he agreed with President Mirabeau B. Lamar's determination to remove the Cherokees, Rusk commanded part of the troops in the battle of the Neches, in which the Cherokees were driven into Oklahoma.

On December 12, 1838, Congress elected Rusk chief justice of the Supreme Court. He recognized that he was working in a system that combined Spanish and English law and practices, systems that did not always coincide. In Milam County v. Bell he established the rule of mandamus against public officers. He served until June 30, 1840, when he resigned to resume his law practice. Later he headed the bar of the Republic of Texas. He and J. Pinckney Henderson, later the first governor of the state of Texas, formed a law partnership on February 25, 1841, the most famous law firm in Texas of that day. For a short time the firm also included Kenneth L. Anderson, later vice president under Anson Jones. One of the most widely known cases Rusk handled was the murder of Robert Potter, former Secretary of the Texas Navy, in 1842. Rusk represented the ten defendants, secured their bail, which had previously been denied, and obtained a dismissal before the case was to be tried on May 6, 1843. Earlier in 1843 Rusk had been called once again to serve as a military commander. Concern over the lack of protection on the frontier caused Congress, in a joint ballot on January 16, 1843, to elect Rusk major general of the militia of the Republic of Texas. But he resigned in June when Houston obstructed his plans for aggressive warfare against Mexico. Rusk then turned his energies to establishing Nacogdoches University. He was vice president of the university when the charter was granted in 1845 and president in 1846.

The annexation of Texas by the United States was heartily supported by Rusk. He was president of the Convention of 1845, which accepted the annexation terms. Rusk's legal knowledge contributed significantly to the constitution of the new state. The first state legislature elected him and Houston to the United States Senate in February 1846. Rusk received the larger number of votes and the longer term of office. The two men forgot past differences as they worked to settle the southwest boundary question in favor of the Texas claim to the Rio Grande. Rusk supported the position of President James K. Polk on the necessity of the Mexican War and the acquisition of California. In the debate over the Compromise of 1850, Rusk refused to endorse secession, proposed by some in the caucus of southern congressmen. He vigorously defended Texas claims to New Mexico and argued forcefully for just financial compensation for both the loss of revenue from import duties as well as the loss of territory. As chairman of the Committee of Post Offices and Post Roads, he sponsored bills that improved services and lowered postage rates. As an early advocate of a transcontinental railroad through Texas, he made speeches in the Senate and throughout Texas in support of a southern route and toured Texas in 1853 to investigate a possible route. The Gadsden Treaty received his support since it provided an easier railroad route to the Pacific. Rusk received the approval of the state legislature for his vote in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He was a popular man in his party and was encouraged to become a presidential candidate in 1856. President James Buchanan offered him the position of postmaster general in 1857. During the special session of March 1857 the United States Senate elected him president pro tem.

While Rusk attended the spring session of Congress, Mrs. Rusk succumbed to tuberculosis, on April 23, 1856. Five of their seven children were still living at the time. Despondent over the death of his wife and ill from a tumor at the base of his neck, Rusk committed suicide on July 29, 1857. The State of Texas placed a monument at the graves of Rusk and his wife in Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches. Rusk County and the town of Rusk were named in his honor.

GPS Coordinates
31° 36.165, -094° 38.979


Oak Grove Cemetery
Nacogdoches

June 18, 2010

George Moffit Patrick

George Moffitt Patrick, physician and soldier, was born on September 30, 1801, in Albemarle County, Virginia. In 1803 he accompanied his parents to Fayette County, Kentucky, where he received his primary education. He subsequently earned a medical degree at Transylvania University at Lexington, Kentucky. He immigrated to the Harrisburg district of the Austin colony, Texas, in January 1828 and established himself as a farmer. In 1831 he was elected second alcalde of Anahuac and in 1832 was chosen regidor. Patrick was among the volunteers under the command of Capt. William B. Travis who captured the Mexican fort and garrison at Anahuac in July 1835.

He represented Liberty Municipality in the Consultation of 1835 and on November 13 signed the articles that established the provisional government of Texas. He withdrew from the Consultation due to illness in his family but served as a liaison officer between the provisional government at San Felipe and the army then besieging Bexar. On November 30, with William A. Pettus, he reported "much dissatisfaction and inquietude pervading the army" but assured the council that "if their wants are supplied-no fears can be entertained of their abandoning the siege of Bexar." On March 25, 1836, the council appointed Patrick to organize the Harrisburg County militia and instructed him to order two-thirds of the troops immediately into active duty. "At great personal expense and labor" he mustered twenty recruits into what became Capt. Moseley Baker's company of Gen. Sam Houston's army. During the Runaway Scrape Patrick's farm, Deepwater, was for a time the seat of the Texas government, and as the Mexican army approached, he accompanied President David G. Burnet and his cabinet first to Morgan's Point and then to Galveston where, for a time, he served as captain of the schooner Flash. Following the battle of San Jacinto, Houston moved his army from the battlefield onto Patrick's farm on Buffalo Bayou because, according to Robert Hancock Hunter, "the de[a]d Mexicans began [to] smell." A Texas Centennial marker was erected in 1936 at the site of the former home of Patrick in the present community of Deer Park.

In 1837 Patrick was named surveyor of Harris County. In 1840 he owned 6,166 acres in Grimes County, fifteen town lots in the Jefferson County speculative community of Sabine, and 350 acres in Montgomery County. On February 13 of that year he married Martha Scaife, a native of Maryport, England. The couple had five children. Martha died at Anderson on September 26, 1855. The Patricks' youngest child and only son, George Moffitt, Jr., was killed on June 1, 1865, at age eleven by the accidental explosion of a gunpowder magazine. Before 1860 Patrick married a woman named Augusta. Patrick had moved to Grimes County, where he owned $9,200 in real estate. By 1860 he owned $19,367 worth of real estate and $8,620 in personal property and was serving as the county's chief justice. He died at his home at Anderson on June 28, 1889. His remains and those of his wife were later removed to the State Cemetery in Austin. Patrick was an active Mason and served two terms as most worshipful grand master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. He was the first Texas Mason to serve as presiding officer of all four bodies of the York Rite of Freemasonry. He was a member of the Church of Christ and of the Sons of Temperance. Although a practicing physician, he is said never to have charged a fee for his medical services.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.919, -097° 43.649

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

June 15, 2010

Hugh John Devore

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.

Note
Hugh Devore was the grandfather of professional wrestlers Russ and Charlie Haas.

GPS Coordinates
29° 46.991, -095° 36.971

Section 2
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Houston

June 11, 2010

Roy Michael Huffington

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

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

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.993, -095° 23.009

Section J
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

June 8, 2010

John Kenneth Spain

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.

GPS Coordinates
29° 57.685, -095° 16.095

Section 4
Rosewood Memorial Park
Humble

June 4, 2010

Nathaniel Lynch

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.
Lynch's ferry today

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.

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


Lynchburg Cemetery
Lynchburg

June 1, 2010

Haroldson Lafayette Hunt

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 Armistice Day 1925 a Franklin Hunt married Frania Tye (probably short for Tiburski) in Florida. They had four 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.

GPS Coordinates
32° 52.054, -096° 46.729

Monument Garden
Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park
Dallas