July 30, 2013

John Lang Sinclair

   John Sinclair was born near Center Point, Texas, on November 26, 1879. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to a dairy farm in eastern Bexar County. While a student at the University of Texas, Sinclair was a member of the band and the Glee Club; served as editor of the campus literary magazine and the literary section of the yearbook; and played football.

   One day in class, he was inspired by UT President William L. Prather, who ended his speeches to the student body with the statement, "The eyes of Texas are upon you," sometimes adding, "You cannot get away." The phrase became a running campus joke. Prather borrowed the phrase from his own college president, General Robert E. Lee, who often told students at Washington University, "Remember, gentlemen, the eyes of the South are upon you." Sinclair wrote a song titled The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You which was set to the tune of I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. The song was first sung by the Glee Club quartet at a minstrel show held on May 12, 1903, to benefit the University’s track team.

   After graduating from UT in 1904, Sinclair tried farming near Artesia Wells in La Salle County. He returned to his family’s dairy farm following his father’s death in 1908. Around 1923, Sinclair moved to New York City, where he became a partner in a tax and investment advisory service and, in 1945, married Stella C. Anderson of San Antonio. Sinclair died in New York on January 4, 1947, and is buried with his wife in the Masonic Cemetery in San Antonio.

29° 25.184, -098° 28.158

Alamo Masonic Cemetery
San Antonio

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