September 27, 2011

Albert Bel Fay

Albert Bel Fay, businessman, Republican party leader, and United States ambassador, was born on February 26, 1913, in New Orleans, the son of Charles Spencer and Marie Dorothy (Bel) Fay. He was the nephew of Edwin Whitfield Fay and the cousin of Charles Hemphill Fay. His father was vice president and traffic manager of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The family moved to Houston in 1928, and Fay graduated from the old San Jacinto High School there. In 1936 he earned a B.S. in geology from Yale University and received a commission as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve. During World War II he commanded a submarine chaser in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. He next served on the staff of the Submarine Chaser Training Center in Miami and then as first lieutenant on the USS Yokes at Okinawa.

 In 1938 Fay and his brother Ernest founded the Seabrook Shipyard, which built submarine chasers and rescue boats during World War II. Fay was also founder and vice president of Eagle Lake Rice Dryer (Texas); founder of Lake Arthur Rice Dryer (Louisiana); co-founder, vice president, and director of the family-owned Bel Oil Corporation (Louisiana); a vice president and director of the Lacassane Company; a partner of Quatre Parish Company (Louisiana); a director of Gates Learjet Corporation; and a member of Lloyd's of London. In 1972 his petroleum interests included holdings in Texas, Louisiana, and several other states, as well as in Canada and New Zealand. He also had real estate interests in Nicaragua and the Little Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. In 1992 his business interests included ranching, timber, marinas, and banking.

Fay's work with the Republican party began at the precinct level in 1952, during the presidential campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower. By 1960 he had become a Republican national committeeman. In 1962 and 1966 he was the Republican nominee for Texas land commissioner. In the latter race he won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO executive board and the Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations. He lost both races to Jerry Sadler. One of the issues on which Fay distinguished himself from Sadler was in his support for national parks in Texas. He supported the movement for a park on Padre Island in 1962 and in the Guadalupe Mountains in 1966.

In 1969 Fay was ousted as national committeeman. Three years later he ran against five other candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. He made it into the primary runoff but lost in that election to Henry C. Grover, who was defeated in the general election by Dolph Briscoe. In the primary campaign Fay argued for a national park in the Big Thicket, a state park on Mustang Island, and a recreational area along Armand Bayou. He also urged the development of a comprehensive water plan and advocated reducing property taxes on the homes of the elderly. He served as chairman of the state Republican finance committee, a member of the national Republican finance committee (1968-76), a member of the state Republican executive committee, and a member of the executive committee of the Republican national committee. He was a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1960, 1964, and 1968; he served as co-chairman of the state delegation in 1960 and vice chairman of the state delegation in 1964. In October 1969 President Richard M. Nixon appointed him to the thirteen-member board of governors overseeing the Panama Canal Company. He retained that position until 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford named him ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. He served in that capacity until 1977.

Fay was a director and president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a director of the American Brahman Breeders Association, a vice president of the Houston Branch of the English Speaking Union, and a member of the Yale alumni board. He was also a licensed pilot and a yachtsman. He won the 5.5-meter world championship in Hank├ś, Norway, in 1983, defeating twenty-five other helmsmen from around the world. He was also a three-time winner of the Scandinavian Gold Cup and the United States Nationals. Fay served on the United States Olympic Yachting Committee, the United States Naval Academy Sailing Advisory Council, and the board of trustees of the Yale University Sailing Association. He married Homoiselle Randall Haden on February 3, 1935, and they became the parents of three children. He was a Presbyterian. Fay died in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, on February 29, 1992, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.973, -095° 23.014

Section J
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

September 20, 2011

James Love

James Love, jurist and legislator, was born in Nelson County, Kentucky, on May 12, 1795, and attended the common schools in Bardstown, Kentucky. He was orphaned at an early age and moved to Clay County, Kentucky, where he was employed in the office of the clerk of the courts. At the age of seventeen he volunteered for service in the War of 1812. After his military service he returned home to study law, was admitted to the bar, and established a practice at Barbourville, Kentucky. There he married Lucy Ballinger, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Jennings Ballinger. Love served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1819 to 1831 and was speaker of the House for at least one term. He served in the Twenty-third United States Congress from March 4, 1833, to March 4, 1835. Afterward he declined nomination for another term, moved south, and lived for a time in Helena, Arkansas, then in New Orleans.

He moved to Houston in 1837 and settled in Galveston in 1838. He was a bitter enemy of Sam Houston and, with Mirabeau B. Lamar and David G. Burnet, a leader of the opposition. Houston, in a speech to militia volunteers in 1842, said these leaders should be executed as traitors. In a speech to the same volunteers Love threatened to put Houston on a ship to the United States. Love was a member of the first board of directors of the Galveston City Company and was elected in 1845 to represent Galveston County at the annexation convention, which framed the Texas constitution. When the state government was formed Love was appointed judge of the first judicial district; he resigned after two years. In 1850 he was appointed clerk of the federal court in Galveston, a position he held until the onset of the Civil War. He had been among the few to argue against secession and predicted its dire consequences; however, when only thirty Galvestonians voted against secession, he entered wholeheartedly into the conflict and served two years with the Eighth Texas Cavalry (Terry's Texas Rangers). When the war ended he was elected the first judge of the Galveston and Harris County Criminal District Court but was removed, with the governor and most Texas officials, by the military commander as an "impediment to reconstruction." Love was confined to his home by ill health for the last several years of his life. He died in Galveston on June 12, 1874, and was interred at Trinity Church Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
29° 17.629, -094° 48.677


Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston

September 13, 2011

David Thomas

David Thomas, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, ad interim attorney general, and acting secretary of war for the Republic of Texas, was born in Tennessee about 1801, came to Texas in 1835, and he joined the United States Independent Volunteer Cavalry company, organized at Nacogdoches on December 10, 1835. At the request of Francis W. Johnson, the Military Affairs Committee of the General Council recommended a volunteer Matamoros expedition in January 1836, and Thomas was commissioned first lieutenant for the expedition. He was one of the four representatives of Refugio Municipality at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there signed the Declaration of Independence. Apparently he was a lawyer, for on March 17 the convention elected him ad interim attorney general of the republic. Later, when Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk left the cabinet to join Sam Houston's army, Thomas was named acting secretary of war. He thus held two government positions at the same time.

On or about April 16, 1836, Thomas was mortally wounded by the accidental discharge of a firearm while aboard the steamship Cayuga en route from Lynch's Ferry to Galveston. Settler John J. Linn, who was at Galveston when the ship arrived, implied that Thomas died there three days after being shot. According to other claims, however, he remained on board the Cayuga and arrived at the San Jacinto battlefield about April 22. In a third version he died on board the Cayuga and was buried near the home of Vice President Lorenzo de Zavala on Buffalo Bayou, but it was also reported that he was taken off the ship and died in Zavala's home. In 1932 the state of Texas erected a monument to the memory of Thomas at a spot designated by Adina de Zavala, granddaughter of Lorenzo de Zavala, as the gravesite in the old Zavala cemetery. In 1936 Thomas's name was also included on a monument in Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site to the memory of "those courageous souls, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention held here on March 1-17, 1836, who declared Texas free, organized a republic, and framed a constitution."

Note
This is a cenotaph. The Zavala family cemetery, where David Thomas was laid to rest, was originally located on Buffalo Bayou, directly across from the San Jacinto battlefield. It was discovered in the early 1900s that due to natural erosion the burial grounds were slowly collapsing into the water. The Zavala family decided against exhuming and relocating the bodies for religious reasons, so as a compromise the remaining headstones were transferred to the battlefield. The birth date on his stone is incorrect.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.215, -095° 05.387

Zavala Plaza   
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
La Porte

September 6, 2011

John Harrington

John Harrington, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Detroit, Michigan, in 1848. On September 12, 1874, Private Harrington was with Company H, Sixth United States Cavalry, at Washita River, Texas, when he was sent with Sgt. Zachariah Woodall, privates Peter Roth and George Smith, and scouts William (Billy) Dixon and Amos Chapman to carry dispatches for Nelson A. Miles to Camp Supply. They were attacked by 100 warriors, in what became known as the Buffalo Wallow Fight. Smith was killed, Chapman's leg was shattered, and Harrington was wounded in the hip. The men took refuge in an old buffalo wallow, which they deepened with their hands and knives. In the afternoon a cold rain began to fall, and by nightfall the Indians left. On the morning of the thirteenth Dixon left the wallow and made contact with troops commanded by Maj. William Price, who in turn notified Miles of their condition. Miles sent an ambulance on the fourteenth, which took the men to Camp Supply. All five were awarded the Medal of Honor. Harrington returned to duty and remained in service until at least 1898. He is buried at the San Antonio National Cemetery.

Citation
While carrying dispatches was attacked by 125 hostile Indians, whom he and his comrades fought throughout the day. He was severely wounded in the hip and unable to move. He continued to fight, defending an exposed dying man.

GPS Coordinates
29° 25.279, -098° 28.038

Section F
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio