1792 - Alsace, France
1845 - Houston, Texas
Soldier of San Jacinto. Originally apprenticed as a carpenter, Joseph's military career began as a member of Napoleon's army in the early 1810s. He participated in several battles during the Napoleonic Wars as well as the ill-fated march on Moscow before immigrating to the United States in 1834. Making his way from Baltimore to New Orleans, he traveled to Texas in early 1835 and enlisted in the army as part of William Heard's Company of Citizen Soldiers in the early days of the Texas Revolution. As one of the few soldiers with actual battlefield experience, Joseph served as drill master for General Houston, training the rest of the ranks on-the-go as they marched on the long retreat ahead of Santa Anna's Mexican forces towards Harrisburg. He fought at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, and for services rendered received 960 acres in what is now Fayette County. He returned to France in 1840 for a short time to bring his family to his new homestead before returning to his original profession, building several homes for new settlers, including the first hotel in Colorado County. In 1845, he was riding to Houston to visit some family members when, as he crossed a flooded Buffalo Bayou, his horse's legs became entangled in some wild grape vines that grew along the banks. In his attempts to free his horse, Joseph himself became entangled and drowned.
Note: This is a cenotaph. Nearly all of the graves in Founders Memorial Park were lost due to neglect, and although Joseph Ehlinger is known to be buried in this cemetery, the exact location is unknown.
Founders Memorial Park