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 Concepci├│n 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 W├╝rttemberg 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