October 29, 2013

William S. Clark (1798-1871)

William Clark, Jr., legislator, soldier, merchant, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in North Carolina on April 14, 1798. He married Martha B. Wall; they had four children. In 1835 the Clarks moved from Georgia, where they had become wealthy from merchandising and farming, to Sabine County, Texas. Clark and James Gaines represented Sabine Municipality at the Convention of 1836 and signed the Declaration of Independence. After the convention Clark helped President David G. Burnet formulate a system of collecting and forwarding supplies to the army. He also served in 1836 as a member of the Board of Land Commissioners of Sabine County. He was elected to represent Sabine County in the House of the Second Congress in September 1837, but he resigned in April 1838 because of illness. Clark was still in Sabine County in April 1850 but probably moved to Nacogdoches County shortly thereafter. In 1859 he purchased the Planter Hotel in Nacogdoches, which he operated until his death, on January 3, 1871. Clark was a Methodist. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission placed a marker at the site of the Clarks' last home and a joint monument at the graves of Clark and his wife in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches. Clark's son, who was also known as William Clark, Jr., was elected a representative to the state legislature in 1859 and to the Secession Convention in 1861. This man's activities have sometimes been attributed to his father. Source

COORDINATES
31° 36.204
-094° 38.940


Oak Grove Cemetery
Nacogdoches

October 22, 2013

Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long (1798-1880)

Jane Long was called the "Mother of Texas", even during her lifetime, because of the birth of her child on Bolivar Peninsula on December 21, 1821. She was not, however, as she claimed, the first English-speaking woman to bear a child in Texas. Censuses between 1807 and 1826 reveal a number of children born in Texas to Anglo-American mothers prior to 1821. Jane was born on July 23, 1798, in Charles County, Maryland, the tenth child of Capt. William Mackall and Anne Herbert (Dent) Wilkinson. Her father died in 1799, and about 1811 her mother moved the family to Washington, Mississippi Territory. After the death of her mother around 1813, Jane lived with her older sister, Barbara, the wife of Alexander Calvit, at Propinquity Plantation near Natchez, where she met James Long when he was returning from the battle of New Orleans. The couple married on May 14, 1815, and for the next four years lived in the vicinity while James practiced medicine at Port Gibson, experimented with a plantation, and became a merchant in Natchez.

When Long left for Nacogdoches in June 1819, Jane and their daughter, Ann Herbert, born on November 26, 1816, remained with another sister, Anne Chesley, a widow, because of advanced pregnancy. Twelve days after the birth of Rebecca on June 16, Jane hastened to join her husband. She left with her two children and Kian, a black slave. While with the Calvits, now living near Alexandria, Louisiana, Jane became ill. She continued on while still recovering, and it was August before she reached Nacogdoches. Within two months she had to flee with the other American families towards the Sabine when Spanish troops from San Antonio approached the frontier outpost. James Long was returning to the stone fort from a visit to Galveston Island and managed to meet Jane near the Sabine. Jane returned to the Calvits' where she found that little Rebecca had died. About March 1820 James Long took Jane to Bolivar Peninsula on Galveston Bay, and she claimed to have dined with Jean Laffite on Galveston Island. The Longs returned to Alexandria for their daughter on their way to New Orleans to seek support for Long's cause. Jane missed sailing to Bolivar when at the last minute she returned to Rodney, Mississippi, for her daughter Ann, whom she had left with Anne Chesley. Jane and Ann waited in Alexandria until Warren D. C. Hall came to guide her overland to Bolivar. Jane Long was not the only woman at Fort Las Casas on the peninsula. Several families remained in the little community surrounding the military post when Long left for La Bahía on September 19, 1821. Instead of returning within a month as promised, Long was captured at San Antonio and taken to Mexico City where he was accidentally killed on April 8, 1822. Pregnant again, Jane stubbornly waited for her husband even when the guard and the other families left Bolivar. She was all alone except for Kian and Ann when she gave birth to her third daughter, Mary James, on December 21, 1821.

Lonely and near starvation, Jane welcomed incoming immigrants heading for the San Jacinto River early in 1822. She abandoned her vigil and joined the Smith family at their camp on Cedar Bayou. By mid-summer she moved farther up the San Jacinto River, where she finally received word that James Long had been killed. She traveled to San Antonio in September to seek a pension from Governor José Félix Trespalacios, her husband's former associate. She arrived on October 17, 1822, and remained ten months without success in her quest, after which she returned, disappointed, to Alexandria in September 1823. Jane Long returned to Texas with the Calvits after the death of her youngest child on June 25, 1824. She received title to a league of land in Fort Bend County and a labor in Waller County from empresario Stephen F. Austin on August 24, 1824. She did not live there, preferring San Felipe until April 1830, when she took Ann to school in Mississippi. They lived with Anne W. Chesney Miller until January 1831, when Ann James married Edward Winston, a native of Virginia. The newlyweds and Jane made a leisurely pilgrimage back to Texas, where they arrived in May. Jane bought W. T. Austin's boarding house at Brazoria in 1832, which she operated for five years.

In 1837 the widow, age thirty-nine, moved to her league, a portion of which she had sold to Robert E. Handy who developed the town of Richmond, the county seat of Fort Bend County. Jane opened another boarding house and also developed a plantation two miles south of town. She bought and sold land, raised cattle, and grew cotton with the help of slaves (twelve in 1840). Her plantation was valued at over $10,000 in 1850. By 1861 she held nineteen slaves valued at $13,300 and about 2,000 acres. When the war ended, she continued to work the land with tenants and briefly experimented with sheep. In 1870 she lived by herself next door to Ann who had married James S. Sullivan; Ann died in June, leaving the care of Jane to the grandchildren. By 1877 Jane was unable to manage her diminished estate valued at only $2,000. She died on December 30, 1880, at the home of her grandson, James E. Winston, and was buried in the Morton Cemetery in Richmond. Folklore and family tradition hold that Jane was courted by Texas's leading men, including Ben Milam, Sam Houston, and Mirabeau B. Lamar, but that she refused them all. Her history depends primarily on her own story told to Lamar about 1837, when he was gathering material for a history of Texas. In 1936 a centennial marker was erected in her honor in Fort Bend County. Source

COORDINATES
29° 35.132
-095° 45.801

Masonic West Section
Morton Cemetery
Richmond

October 15, 2013

Solon D. Neal (1846-1920)

Solon D. Neal, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in 1846 to Eli and May Neal at Hanover, New Hampshire. He attended Hanover public schools. He ran away from home in 1866, joined the United States Army, and served in Bonham, McKinney, Jefferson, and Greenville, Texas. In early 1870, with four years of cavalry experience, he was a private in Company L, Sixth United States Cavalry. After being relieved of duties as post librarian at Fort Richardson, he served under the command of Capt. Curwen B. McLellan against Kiowa and Comanche Indians. On July 12, after pursuing a band of Kiowas since July 6, the company was attacked by 250 Indians. The encounter became known as the battle of the Little Wichita River. On the afternoon of the thirteenth, after intense fighting since the afternoon before, sergeants May and Kirk, together with Corporal Watson and Private Neal, volunteered to clear a high point of Indian snipers who were obstructing the retreat of the army. Two of the snipers were killed. The four men held the hill until the command was safely past. Thirty minutes later the Indians quit fighting and rode away. Neal and twelve others were awarded the Medal of Honor for "Gallantry in action" in this engagement. Neal was subsequently in and out of the army. He served with the Eleventh United States Infantry at Fort Richardson, with Company C, Eighth United States Cavalry at Fort Clark, with the Nineteenth and Sixteenth United States Infantry, and as ordinance sergeant at the Indianapolis Arsenal. He retired in 1897, returned to Texas, and resided in San Antonio at 106 Wyoming Street, the site of the Hemisfair '68 tower. He died on November 1, 1920, in the Station Hospital at Fort Sam Houston, and was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. He left all his earthly wealth ($5,000) to the American Red Cross. Source

CITATION
Gallantry in action.

COORDINATES
29° 25.317
-098° 28.036

Section G
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

October 8, 2013

Prentice Altamont "Pidge" Browne (1929-1997)

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.

COORDINATES
29° 57.558
-095° 24.714

Serenity Terrace
Earthman Resthaven Cemetery
Houston

October 1, 2013

Charles Elmer Doolin (1903-1959)

C. E. Doolin, founder of the Frito Company, businessman, inventor, farmer, and board member, was born on January 10, 1903, in Kansas City, Kansas. He was the son of Charles Bernard Doolin and Daisy Dean (Stephenson) Doolin. When he was a small child, the family moved to San Antonio. C. E. Doolin graduated from Brackenridge High School. He married Faye Floree Richards in 1928, and their son Ronald Elmer Doolin was born in 1929. The marriage ended in 1941, and Doolin was awarded custody of Ronald. Doolin’s father, C. B. Doolin, was an engineer who invented a laminated fabric for tire casings (this may have been the precursor of the steel belt in steel-belted tires) and a mechanical oil can for automotive oil, among other things. He taught both of his sons (Charles Elmer Doolin and Earl Bernard Doolin) about mechanical engineering and about writing patent applications for their inventions. As a teenager, C. E. Doolin worked in his father’s auto repair garage/tire shop. He later used this early training to teach his sales force how to get more wear out of their tires. The family also owned the Highland Park Confectionery in San Antonio, and it was at the confectionery that the Frito corn chip was born.

Ice cream sold at the confectionery wasn’t as creamy at it had been because the two companies who made it, Mistletoe Ice Cream and Dairyland, were engaging in a price war, and Doolin was looking for a new treat in order to diversify. On July 10, 1932, he responded to an ad in the San Antonio Express. The ad, placed by Gustavo Olguin, listed for sale an original recipe for fried corn chips along with an adapted potato ricer and nineteen retail accounts. Doolin sampled the chips at Olguin’s store. He liked them and bought the small business venture for $100. He began to manufacture the chips in his mother’s kitchen with the help of his father, mother, and brother Earl. At first the family made corn chips using Olguin’s adapted potato ricer and premade masa (corn dough) that they bought in bulk from a tortilla factory across town. They thinned the masa and extruded it through slots cut in the bottom plate of the ricer, then snipped the extruded ribbons of masa straight into boiling oil. They named their corn chips Fritos and chartered the Frito Company in September of 1932. In 1933 C. E. Doolin applied for a patent for a “hammer press” to mass produce the chips. Thanks to Doolin’s enterprising spirit, wide-ranging interests, and attention to detail, the company quickly expanded. By 1947 it had five manufacturing plants, including offices and a plant on the West Coast, and franchises all around the country, and it had expanded to include many new snack foods like roasted peanuts, peanut butter crackers, potato chips, and fried pork skins.

C. E. Doolin came up with many innovations that are taken for granted as standard business practices today. These include his “store-door” delivery policy, which involved company salesmen stocking the product directly onto the shelves, and which he staunchly defended to grocery store managers who wanted to stock the shelves themselves. He pioneered the engineering of sales routes to assure that salesmen had adequate time for product servicing as well as their usual sales activities, and he was a leader in the area of research and development, investing substantially in research to improve performance of raw materials, manufacturing processes, and packaging. He also had the idea for clip-racks, which displayed fresh products within easy reach of customers, and he instructed his newly-minted marketing department to create signage, tear-sheets printed with Fritos-ingredient recipes, and seasonal and other grocery store displays (such as the stuffed “Frito Kid” model who rotated on a regular basis from store to store). In his travels he frequently made roadside stops to collect examples of effective or innovative advertising; he frequently brought examples back to the Fritos marketing department. Doolin had a reputation for fairness and generosity toward his employees. He considered - and called - them collectively the “Frito Family,” and he sold them discounted company shares, gave them sizable pensions, and often personally presented them with rewards for excellence or years of service. He mingled with his employees and invited them to socialize with each other regularly at holiday parties and other celebrations.

The Frito Company purchased Champion Chili in 1952 and purchased controlling interest in Texas Tavern (which made bean dip, among other things) in 1956. The business of both canned food companies became the new Champion Foods Division of the Frito Company. (In 1962 Champion Foods became Austex Food Division.) C. E. Doolin had numerous plans for his newly-purchased canned food. He opened an experimental fast-food stand called Tango Dairy Mart, which served Mexican-inspired canned foods like chili, tamales, enchiladas, and bean dip, and became one of the first Tex-Mex fast food places in the country. It was also the first place in Dallas to have a microwave, known back then as a radarange. Doolin diversified into other fast food enterprises, buying Dixie Enterprises, which owned Pigstands - fast food places that served barbecue sandwiches and sold bags of Fritos on the counter attached to clip-racks - and Cheesesteak of Texas. He invented cup-shaped fried tortilla shells, called Ta-cups, and served them in the Tango Dairy Mart, Pigstands, and Cheesesteaks, because fold-over fried shells, or “walking tacos,” broke when customers bit into them. Doolin was an early investor in Disneyland, which opened in 1955, and built Casa de Fritos Restaurant in the amusement park. Casa de Fritos was first located across from the steamboat ride in ‘Main Street’ and later moved to a larger lot across from the exit to the jungle ride in Frontierland. At the restaurant they served the company’s canned Mexican-inspired foods and had a mechanical Frito Kid who talked, rolled his eyes, licked his lips, and dispensed small bags of Fritos.

In 1945 Doolin married Mary Kathryn Coleman. They had five children: Charles, Earl, Kaleta, Willadean, and Patrick Daniel. In 1980 Patrick Daniel was killed in an auto accident at the age of twenty-three. Doolin was a follower of Dr. Herbert Shelton, an advocate of “natural hygiene”, an early system of alternative health practices. Doolin had an avid interest in what today is called health food and in the wholesomeness of the food his company manufactured. C. E. Doolin was a master entrepreneur and had numerous business interests. With the help of an agronomist, he worked on hybridizing to create corn with the perfect flavor and texture for his corn chips. He was also involved in improving the oil the company used for frying. He was one of the first importers of sesame oil and grew corn, soybean, safflower, and sesame crops for the health food market and for his vegetable oil blend. He was involved in developing, selling, and finding new uses for cold-rolled sesame oil, and he designed recipes for and made sesame candy for the health food market. He owned “Frito Farms” located throughout Texas. The farms were in Ellis County (near Midlothian); Denton County (near Lewisville); Guadalupe County (500 acres near Seguin); Grayson County (near Tioga); Atascosa County (near Poteet); and Dimmit County (1,200 acres near Big Wells). In an interview Doolin said, “The motivating factor for establishing the farms was cultivation of the soil, for from good soil grows good corn”. His interest in fostering a healthy environment led him to seek advice from the Texas Department of Agriculture about crop rotation, composting, and soil conservation, and to conduct experiments in these areas. The farms were also used to develop products for his businesses, to raise cattle and hogs, and to test his experimental animal feed on his own livestock. He also crossbred Brangus cattle and experimented with developing hog and cattle feeds from his own industrial waste byproducts, such as potato skins and stale chips, and from agricultural waste products such as ground mesquite trees, sesame hulls, and corn stalks.

Doolin was a member of the Southwest Agricultural Institute. He was on the board of trustees of the Texas Research Foundation (the foundation developed TRF-3, a corn hybrid used in Fritos). He was a board member of Texas Bank and Trust Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Natural Food Associates (an organization to promote the growing and use of better foods from living soil), and American Natural Hygiene Society. He was a member of Texas Livestock Marketing Association of Fort Worth, San Antonio Inventors Association (charter member June 26, 1956), Dallas Athletic Club, Société des Gentilshommes Chefs de Cuisine, and National Food Distributors Association (Chicago). He was a trustee of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts and committeeman of the Boy Scouts of America (Pack 579). He also belonged to the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce and was a sponsor member of the Dallas Council on World Affairs. The Frito Company became publicly traded in 1953. C. E. Doolin served as president of the company until June 10, 1959, when he became the chairman of the board. His leadership had changed a small kitchen-operated business into a leader in the snack food industry. C. E. Doolin died of a heart attack on July 22, 1959, in Baylor Hospital in Dallas. He was fifty-six. He was buried in Restland Abbey (now Restland Memorial Park) in Dallas. At the time of his death the Frito Company employed 3,500 people and produced products throughout the nation and in foreign countries, with sales at an annual rate of $60 million. In 1961 the company merged with H. W. Lay and Company and became Frito-Lay. Source

COORDINATES
32° 55.562
-096° 44.381

Abbey Mausoleum
Restland Memorial Park
Dallas