Andrew Jackson Montgomery, adventurer, businessman, soldier, and surveyor, was born near Maryville, Tennessee, on April 4, 1801, to William and Mary (James) Montgomery. By 1816 the family was living in Alabama. In 1819, at the age of eighteen, Montgomery took part in the filibustering expedition of James Long into Texas. His duties included scouting the territory between the camps that Long established in East Texas. Montgomery's connections among the Bidai Indians enabled him to remain in hiding in Texas after the Spanish drove out most of the rest of the expedition. Subsequently, the Mexicans successfully rebelled against their Spanish masters, making it possible for Montgomery to establish, in 1823, a trading post on the lower Coushatta Trace, an Indian trail stretching between the Brazos and Trinity rivers. Intersecting this trace from north to south at Montgomery's post was the Indian trail known as the Loma del Toro. Montgomery advertised for and welcomed settlers to the trading post and to the budding community surrounding it, which was known at first as Montgomery Prairie. By 1827 much of his family had joined him, including his father, his uncle James, and his aunt Margaret and her husband, Owen Shannon. These Montgomerys were all cousins of Gen. Richard Montgomery of Revolutionary War fame. Before the construction of Fort Parker in 1835, Montgomery did surveying in the area as well as near the Brazos Falls for the Nashville Colony. During the Texas Revolution he served as a private and fought in the battle of San Jacinto. On April 21, 1860, he served as vice president of the convention that nominated his friend and former commander, Sam Houston, for president of the United States. Montgomery eventually moved a few miles west to the community now known as Stoneham. The settlement that he had established near his trading post continued to use the name Montgomery, and in 1837 Montgomery County was named after the town. At the age of forty-three Montgomery married Mary Mahulda Farris, and they had nine children. He died in 1863 and was buried in Stoneham. Source
Joseph Eve, Kentucky legislator, judge, and chargé d'affaires of the United States to the Republic of Texas, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, on July 17, 1784. By 1807 he had moved to Kentucky, where he received a grant of 300 acres on Spruce Creek in Knox County in 1808. Over the next fifteen years he acquired additional grants in Knox, Clay, Livingston, and Whitley counties. On November 11, 1811, he married Betsy Withers Ballinger of Garrard County, Kentucky. Eve and his wife had no children. Eve was admitted to practice law in Knox County in 1807 and energetically entered county politics. He became a trustee, like his father-in-law, for the county seat of Barbourville in 1810. He also became a trustee for his church. The county elected him its representative in the Kentucky legislature in 1810, 1811, and 1815. During the War of 1812, he rose to the rank of colonel. After the war, from 1817 to 1821, he served as the Knox County state senator. In 1819 he was president of the Bank of Barbourville. From 1828 to 1836 he was a circuit judge in Kentucky. Often too generous for his own interests, Eve endorsed loans for some of his friends who went bankrupt, leaving him close to losing his own slaves and homestead.
Eve was a supporter of Henry Clay and advocated internal improvements by both state and national governments and high protective tariffs for United States industries; he reluctantly sponsored the national bank as well. As a National Republican and member of the Kentucky electoral college in 1833, he voted for Clay. He then campaigned on behalf of the Whigs and the election of William Henry Harrison to the presidency in 1840. As a reward for his diligent efforts, Eve was appointed chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas on April 15, 1841. He greatly admired Sam Houston and sponsored the annexation of Texas. He toured Texas from Galveston to the new capital, Austin, and was favorably impressed with the productivity of the land. He was fully confident that Mexico could never reconquer Texas. Following Secretary of State Daniel Webster's instructions of June 14, 1841, Eve obtained the ratification of the boundary line surveyed by a joint commission of the Republic of Texas and the United States. Both parties agreed that the line was the Sabine River and, from near the southeast corner of what is now Panola County, the thirty-second parallel north to the Red River. Eve sought to negotiate a new commercial treaty with the Texas government, but disagreement over certain provisions of the convention prevented its acceptance by either side. Further negotiations were soon dropped with the renewal of American interest in the annexation of Texas.
Throughout 1842 Mexican attacks increased, and Texans encouraged Eve to lay the annexation issue before his government. Eve sympathized with the Texans' plight but regarded Houston's response to the attacks, the attempted naval blockade of Mexican ports, as ineffectual. He persuaded Houston to rescind his blockade proclamation since it adversely affected United States and British attempts to end current hostilities. Fearful that financial misery would cause Texas to depend upon some stronger nation, particularly Great Britain, Eve implored President John Tyler not to lose the opportunity to annex the republic. Although willing to acquire Texas, Tyler felt the timing was not right for passing annexation in the Senate. Instead, the president continued to offer the mediation of the United States government with Mexico on behalf of Texas.
Mediation failed, however, on September 11, 1842, when Mexican general Adrián Woll captured and held San Antonio for nine days. The Mexican incursions led Houston to remove the government from Austin to Houston, then to Washington-on-the-Brazos. While the republic had no permanent capital, Eve chose to move the legation archives to Galveston, where he could receive mail from the United States faster and where, he hoped, the sea air would help his tuberculosis. William S. Murphy replaced Eve on April 3, 1843, as the United States diplomat in Texas. Assistant Secretary of State Fletcher Webster, an ardent anti-annexationist, took the first opportunity to recall Eve for a slight infraction of the rules - Eve had violated his private instructions by drawing an advance upon his salary. During the past winter, Eve and his wife had suffered from bouts of fever. Eve died in Galveston in mid-June 1843 and was buried there. His wife returned to their home in Barbourville, Kentucky. Source
Benjamin Green was born on August 18, 1810 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana to Richard M Green and Priscilla Reynolds. The Green family came to Texas prior to 1834 and settled in what is now Liberty County. He signed up with his older brother Reason for the Texas army during the revolution in 1836 and on April 21, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto with an unknown company. At some point between 1834 and 1840, Benjamin married Cynthia Riley Pruitt (Prewitt); the couple would go on to have seven children. On October 6, 1871, Cynthia died and was buried in the old French Cemetery. Tragedy again struck Benjamin in 1881 when, while out splitting logs searching for wild honey with his son Edmond, his axe slipped, partially decapitating his son. Despite Benjamin's best efforts, his son died the following day and was buried next to his mother. Benjamin himself died on July 7, 1895 at his home and buried alongside his wife and son.
Kenneth Lewis Anderson, lawyer and vice president of the republic, son of Kennith and Nancy (Thompson) Anderson, was born on September 11, 1805, in Hillsborough, North Carolina. His early education consisted of self-learning, but he reportedly also attended William Bingham's school. He worked as a shoemaker at an early age. By 1824 he was living in Bedford County, Tennessee, where he became deputy sheriff in 1826 and sheriff in 1830. From 1830 to 1837, Anderson worked as a local activist and regular correspondent with James K. Polk. Anderson was a disappointed applicant to become a U.S. Marshall in 1830 and 1834, but he was elected a colonel in the militia by 1833. About 1825 Anderson married Patience Burditt; the couple had three children. Two sons, Theophiles and Malcolm became prosecutors in San Antonio, while a grandson, William, became a state district judge in San Antonio. In 1837 the family moved to San Augustine, Texas, where Mrs. Anderson's brother-in-law Joseph Rowe had lived for five years. In 1838 Anderson served successively as deputy sheriff and sheriff. It was probably after he arrived in Texas that he studied to become a lawyer. President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed him collector of customs for the district of San Augustine, and he was confirmed on November 21, 1839. He served until he became a candidate from San Augustine County for the House of Representatives of the Sixth Congress in 1841; he won with the largest majority in the county's history at that time. As a partisan of Sam Houston, Anderson was elected speaker of the House on November 1, 1841. He immediately led an unsuccessful attempt to impeach Lamar and Vice President David G. Burnet. Anderson declined a nomination for secretary of the treasury to spend more time with his family in San Augustine, and the post went to William Henry Daingerfield. In 1842 he helped convince Houston to veto the popular but dangerous war bill, which sought to force an invasion of Mexico.
After one term, and despite President Houston's pleas, Anderson retired in 1842 to practice law in San Augustine with Royal T. Wheeler; he eventually formed a partnership with J. Pinckney Henderson and Thomas J. Rusk. In December 1842 Anderson became district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District. In 1844 Anderson was frequently mentioned as a candidate for president, but eventually he became the Houston party candidate for vice president, on a ticket headed by Anson Jones. Anderson's opponent, Patrick Jack, died before the election, and Anderson won nearly unanimously. He presided over the Senate at Washington-on-the-Brazos in June 1845, when the Texas Congress approved annexation. After adjournment he immediately left for home despite being sick. After only twenty miles, he was forced to stop at the Fanthorp Inn, where his bilious fever flared. He died of malaria on July 3, 1845, and was buried in the Fanthorp cemetery. The vice president had been considered the leading candidate to become the first governor of the state. His law partner, Pinckney Henderson, was instead elected governor in December. Anderson was a Mason. Fanthorp was renamed for him in 1846, and on March 24, 1846, Anderson County was established and named in his honor. Source
Robert J. Calder, soldier and public official, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 17, 1810, the son of James H. and Jane E. (Caldwell) Calder. He was raised by his mother's brother, James Peckham Caldwell, after his father's death and moved to Texas from Kentucky in 1832. He joined Stephen F. Austin's army in 1835, took part as a second lieutenant in the battle of Concepción, was made third lieutenant of artillery in December, and accompanied James W. Fannin, Jr., on a recruiting expedition. In 1836 Calder joined the army at Gonzales and was elected captain of K Company, First Regiment of Texas Volunteers, which he commanded at the battle of San Jacinto. He was among those who delivered news of the battle to President David G. Burnet on Galveston Island. Calder received 640 acres of land for his service and was appointed marshal of Texas by Burnet in 1836.
In 1837 he was elected sheriff of Brazoria County, a position he held for six years. One source states that "he was Brazoria sheriff during the famous Monroe Edwards contests with Dart and was swindled by Edwards out of about five thousand dollars, fees and responsibilities undertaken, while in charge of imported Africans." He was elected mayor of Brazoria in 1838 and chief justice of Brazoria County in 1844 and 1846. After moving to Fort Bend County, Calder became mayor of Richmond in 1859 and from 1866 to 1869 served as county chief justice. He later practiced law with the firm of Mitchell, Nolan, and Calder. In 1881 he officially unveiled the monument to the memory of those killed at San Jacinto. Calder married Mary Walker Douglass of Brazoria on January 3, 1837; they had six children. He died at Richmond on August 28, 1885. In 1929 the state of Texas erected a joint monument over the graves of Calder and his wife in the Richmond Masonic Cemetery. Source
Eugene Pillot, playwright and song composer, the son of Teolin and Anna C. (Drescher) Pillot, was born on February 25, 1886, in Houston, Texas. He attended the University of Texas and Cornell University with the intention of studying law, but gave up that pursuit to enroll in the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. He worked for a while as an interior decorator in New York, then entered the workshop course in play-writing at Harvard. He continued there for several years, writing and working with the Boston Community Players. He also took a drama course at Columbia. Pillot became a successful writer of one-act plays, many of which were widely produced on stage, radio, and television. His best-known play, Two Crooks and a Lady (1918), was first produced at Harvard and has been called a model of construction; it has been republished and produced many times. His other plays include My Lady Dreams (1922), Hunger, and The Sundial (probably 1920s). His works have been included in many anthologies and handbooks on the technique of playwriting.
Pillot was also a writer of songs, the most popular of which were As a Snow White Swan and Let Not Your Song End. Most of Pillot's later writing was sacred music. He also wrote poetry. In 1955 he and artist Grace Spaulding John, in cooperation with the River Oaks Garden Club, produced a prose book, Azalea, the story of a real dog and two iron dogs that had guarded the Pillot residence in Houston for more than 100 years. In 1965 the family home was given to the Harris County Heritage and Conservation Society and moved to Sam Houston Park, where it was restored, furnished, given a historical marker, and opened to the public. Pillot was a member of the Poetry Society of Texas and the 1953 president of its Houston chapter. He never married. He died on June 4, 1966, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. Source
Benjamin Johnson, soldier, early settler, and son of Moses Johnson and Mary Ann Roberts was born on June 8, 1815, near Edgerly (in present-day Calcasieu Parish), Louisiana. He moved to Texas in 1832 and settled at Jefferson Municipality (present-day Bridge City in Orange County) on Cow Bayou. Johnson volunteered to fight in the Texas Revolution and enlisted in the Texas Army on November 12, 1835, under Capt. Willis H. Landrum’s Company. He participated in the Grass Fight and the siege of Bexar later that year. Johnson was given an honorable discharge on January 1, 1836, at the Alamo. After learning of the fall of the Alamo, he re-enlisted in Capt. James Gillaspie’s Company, in the Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers under Col. Sidney Sherman’s command. On April 21, Sherman formed part of the regiment of the left wing and fought in the battle of San Jacinto. On June 30, Johnson served a third enlistment as second sergeant in Capt. John G. W. Pierson’s Company at Washington. He received an honorable discharge on September 30, 1836. After service, Johnson received a donation of 320 acres of land for having served in the army. He returned to Jefferson, where on January 24, 1838, he received a 1,440-acre headright from the Jefferson County Board of Land Commissioners.
On April 24, 1838, Johnson married Rachel Garner, daughter of Bradley Garner, Sr., and Sarah Rachel Harmon. Rachel was from a family of military service. Her father fought in the Battle of New Orleans, and her brothers David, Isaac, and Jacob Garner fought at the Grass Fight and the Siege of Bexar. Her brother-in-law Claiborne West was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Soon after marriage Johnson and his new wife settled in Sabine Pass on a farm of his sister-in-law Sarah Garner McGaffey. Records show that Benjamin and Rachel Johnson were one of the earliest settlers in Sabine Pass along with John McGaffey, Thomas Courts, and Jacob Garner. Johnson then appeared before the land commissioners and received an additional headright of 3,000 acres, granted to married men. He and Rachel became the parents of at least eight sons and two daughters. On July 7, 1838, Johnson was granted an additional 640 acres of donation land for having fought at the battle of San Jacinto. That same year, he was certified as one of fifty-seven jurors to serve in the Jefferson County courts. He was elected a county commissioner on December 2, 1852. He and his family were charter members of the second Baptist Church of Jefferson County. Rachel Johnson died in 1856. On July 4, 1861, Johnson married Matilda Myers, whom he had employed as his housekeeper. Later that year in August, Benjamin Johnson joined his three sons, Bradley, John, and Uriah Johnson, and served under Ben McCulloch in the Confederate Army. In addition to his military and public service, Johnson was a farmer, stockman, and patriarch. Benjamin Johnson died at the age of fifty-seven at Sabine Pass on October 13, 1872, and was buried at the Johnson family plot at the Sabine Pass Cemetery in Jefferson County. A Texas Historical Marker was erected in his honor in 1972. Source
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 there. Source
Joseph Lindley, son of Simon and Anna (Stanley) Lindley, was born on January 7, 1793, in Orange County, North Carolina. Early in 1808 he moved with his family to Christian County, Kentucky, and afterward to what is now Bond County, Illinois. Late in 1811, when Lindley was eighteen years old, conflicts with Indians motivated settlers to build a fort near Greenville. During the War of 1812 the family lived in the fort, but after four years of Indian attacks and military protection, they moved to Edwardsville, Illinois. Lindley fought in the War of 1812 as a United States Ranger. He married Nancy Ann Hicks on June 17, 1817, in Bond County, Illinois, and they moved to Humphreys County, Tennessee. Ten years later they arrived in Texas with four children. Lindley was unable to get clear title to his 2,592 acres of land because he was involved in the Fredonian Rebellion at Nacogdoches. He received title to 4,428 acres in Montgomery County on April 6, 1835. He participated in the siege of Bexar in 1835, signed the letter of endorsement required by the Mexicans for the entry into Texas of Alamo defender Jonathan Lindley, and fought at the battle of San Jacinto. Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of the Republic of Texas, appointed Lindley an Indian agent with a charge to keep the peace. He was an elected civil officer for Montgomery County in 1839 and laid out the first road from Austin to the "springs at the headwaters of the San Marcos" (Aquarena Springs), so that a military post could be established there in 1840. He was appointed by the Congress of the Republic of Texas to survey a road from Washington to the Sabine in 1844. About 1846 the Lindleys moved to Limestone County, where they settled four miles north of the site of present-day Mexia. Lindley was elected county commissioner in 1854 and served one term. On January 20, 1874, he died. He was buried in Limestone County and later reinterred at the State Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 26, 1986, during the Texas Sesquicentennial. Source
Note: The spelling of his name on his stone is incorrect. Although some early records exist where his surname was spelled Lindly, even by Joseph himself on one occasion, it is actually Lindley.