June 26, 2012

Joseph Chappell Hutcheson

Joseph Chappell Hutcheson, legislator and Confederate soldier, was born near Boydton, Virginia, on May 18, 1842, the son of Charles Sterling and Mary Hutcheson. In 1861 he graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and immediately enlisted in Company C of the Twenty-first Virginia Infantry; he served under Gen. Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862. By the time of Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Hutcheson was in command of Company E of the Fourteenth Virginia Infantry. Subsequently he entered the law school of the University of Virginia, and he graduated in 1866. He then moved to Texas and established a practice in Anderson.

In 1874 he moved to Houston, where he was elected to the Seventeenth Texas Legislature in 1880. There he drafted the bill that established the University of Texas. He also served, in 1890, as chairman of the State Democratic Convention. Hutcheson was elected to the House of Representatives of the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth congresses but declined to run for a third term. He married Mildred Carrington in 1867, and they had eight children. Mildred died in 1882. In 1886 Hutcheson married Betty Palmer Milby, and they had two sons, both of whom became Houston attorneys. Hutcheson died at his summer home near Chattanooga, Tennessee, on May 25, 1924, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.948, -095° 23.163

Section D1
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

June 19, 2012

Elisha Marshall Pease

Elisha Marshall Pease, governor of Texas, son of Lorrain Thompson and Sarah (Marshall) Pease, was born on January 3, 1812, at Enfield, Connecticut. After study at Westfield Academy in Massachusetts he held several minor positions, including a clerkship in the post office at Hartford, Connecticut. In 1834 he sought new opportunity in the West. By early 1835 he had made his way to Texas, where he settled in the Municipality of Mina and continued the law studies he had begun in Connecticut. Almost immediately Pease became embroiled in the developing Texas Revolution. In the spring of 1835 he became secretary of a committee of safety at Mina. Though at first he hoped for conciliation with Mexico, Pease soon changed his position and fought in the battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the revolution, on October 2. He then served as secretary to the General Council of the Provisional Government and, as a member of that body, attended the convention that met at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March 1836. At that meeting he wrote part of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. He then served the ad interim government as chief clerk, successively, of the navy and treasury departments. During the early months of the republic Pease served as clerk to the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives and took a major part in writing the new nation's criminal code. In the fall of 1836 he served as acting secretary of the treasury but declined President Sam Houston's offer of the postmaster generalship in order to return to Brazoria to continue his legal studies. After his admittance to the bar in April 1837 Pease became the republic's first comptroller of public accounts. He then took up the practice of law at Brazoria and soon became successful and respected in his profession.

After annexation Pease represented Brazoria County in the first three legislatures and authored the Probate Code of 1846. In 1851 he made an unsuccessful run for the governorship. Two years later he won the office and was reelected in 1855. Pease was an outstanding governor. Among his important achievements was his pioneering effort to persuade the legislature to establish a system of public education and a state university. Though this effort proved largely premature, Pease's administration did establish the permanent school fund, and his vision laid the groundwork for future achievement. He also worked to encourage railroad construction in Texas, to put the state penitentiary on a self-supporting basis, and to establish reservations to civilize and educate the state's Indian population. In addition, he supervised the building campaign that led to the completion of the Governor's Mansion, the General Land Office building, the State Orphan's Home (now the Corsicana State Homeqv), and a new Capitol. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was the settlement of the public debt of the state, by which he made available funds for the establishment of a hospital for the mentally ill and schools for the deaf and blind, all of which he had recommended to the legislature. Upon his retirement from office in 1857, the state was in excellent financial condition.

In 1859 Pease aligned himself with the Unionist faction in Texas politics. He remained active in this movement into the early months of the Civil War, after which he quietly maintained his loyalty to the Union until the end of the conflict. In 1866 he lost a bid to become governor again in the first election of the Reconstruction era. Early in 1867 he helped organize the Republican party in Texas. Later that year Gen. Philip H. Sheridan removed Governor James W. Throckmorton from office and appointed Pease in his place. Pease's subsequent efforts to reorganize the state government and bring accountability to its actions were met by conflict within the Republican ranks and bitterness toward the chief executive by the former Confederate majority in the state. Pease resigned from the governorship in 1869 because of differences with Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds over Reconstruction policies that Pease considered radical and despotic. Throughout the remainder of his life Pease remained actively interested in political affairs in the state. He was president of the non-partisan Tax-payers' Convention of 1871, which opposed many of the measures of Governor Edmund J. Davis's administration. In 1872 he was chairman of the Texas delegation to the national Liberal Republican convention. In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Pease to the collectorship of customs at Galveston. In the closing years of his life Pease practiced law in Austin, engaged in various business ventures, and lived a quiet life with his wife, the former Lucadia Christiana Niles, of Poquonock, Connecticut, whom he had married in 1850, and their two daughters. A third daughter had died in childhood. Pease died on August 26, 1883, after an attack of apoplexy and was buried in Austin.

GPS Coordinates
30° 16.608, -097° 43.631

Section 4
Oakwood Cemetery
Austin

June 12, 2012

Prentice Altamont "Pidge" Browne

A native of Peekskill, New York, "Pidge" Browne spent much of his minor league career in the farm system of the St. Louis Cardinals and belted 190 home runs over the course of his 13 years in the minors. His two best seasons occurred back to back in the Texas League, when he hit 33 home runs for the 1955 Shreveport Sports, an unaffiliated team, then 29 more homers in 1956 for the Cardinals' Houston Buffaloes affiliate.

Acquired by the Colt .45s for their first season in the National League, he made his major league debut on April 19, 1962, as a pinch hitter for pitcher Turk Farrell; batting against Jack Hamilton of the Philadelphia Phillies, Browne grounded out to second baseman Tony Taylor. Six days later, Browne started at first base for Houston against the Chicago Cubs and got his first MLB hit, a triple off Don Cardwell. He would appear in 65 games for the Colt .45s through the end of July, 15 as a starting player. His best day came May 6 on the road against the Milwaukee Braves, when Browne had three hits, including his only Major League home run, in five at bats and scored three runs in a 9-1 Houston win.

He was sent to the Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers to finish the 1962 season, and retired at the end of that campaign. Browne worked in the freight business after his retirement from baseball, and died in Houston at age 68 in 1997.

GPS Coordinates
29° 57.558, -095° 24.714

Serenity Terrace
Earthman Resthaven Cemetery
Houston

June 5, 2012

Henry A. McMasters

Henry A. McMasters, soldier, born Augusta, Maine, 1848, was enlisted with Company A, 4th Cavalry Regiment under Ranald MacKenzie when engaged in combat with the Comanche at Red River, Texas in the late summer of 1872.

As Colonel MacKenzie commanded an expedition over the Staked Plains of Texas in 1872 to find and rout hostile Indian forces, Companies A, D, F, I and L of the 4th US Cavalry made a one-day march to reach the North Fork of the Red River, where a large camp of Comanche was sighted. As the cavalry moved towards the 280 lodge encampment, the Indian ponies stampeded and alarmed the Indians to the soldiers' approach. Immediately they engaged the cavalry in fierce combat, during which Troop I was leading the advance to secure the right flank while the remaining companies attacked the left. In the bloody fight that followed, Corporal Henry McMasters of Troop A was cited for his bravery. In this action the camp was taken with the loss of only one soldier killed and three wounded. For the hostile band of the Mow-wi tribe of Comanche, it was a stinging defeat so devastating, they quickly surrendered at Fort Sill ending 17 years of hostilities.

McMasters died a short few months afterward on November 11, 1872 and buried at San Antonio National Cemetery. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions the following week.

Citation
Gallantry in action.


GPS Coordinates
29° 25.314, -098° 28.022

Section D
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio