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.

GPS Coordinates
29° 25.184, -098° 28.158


Alamo Masonic Cemetery
San Antonio

July 23, 2013

Theodore "Ted" Wilks

Born in Fulton, New York, November 13, 1915, Wilks was a right-handed pitcher over parts of ten seasons (1944-53) with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians. For his career, he compiled a 59-30 record in 385 appearances, most as a relief pitcher, with an 3.26 earned run average and 403 strikeouts and was a member of two World Series championship teams (1944, 1946) with the Cardinals.

As a 28-year-old rookie pitcher in 1944, he beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 on August 29, for his eleventh victory in a row. Wilks concluded the 1944 season with a 17-4 record and a 2.65 earned run average. Following his impressive rookie season, Wilks encountered arm problems which limited his effectiveness. However, he became an important pitcher in the Cardinal bullpen in the post-World War II era. Upon his retirement in 1947, he had compiled a respectable career record of 33-11. Wilks died in Houston, Texas, August 21, 1989, at the age of 74.

GPS Coordinates
29° 30.922, -095° 07.581

Section 214
Forest Park East Cemetery
Webster

July 16, 2013

Andrew Jackson Hamilton

Andrew Jackson Hamilton, governor of Texas, son of James and Jane (Bayless) Hamilton, was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on January 28, 1815. He was educated and admitted to the bar in Alabama. Late in 1846 he joined his older brother, Morgan, in Texas. He practiced law in La Grange, Fayette County, for three years, then moved to Austin. His marriage to Mary Bowen, also of Alabama, produced two sons and four daughters.

Hamilton's political career began in 1849, when Gov. Peter H. Bell appointed him acting attorney general. He also represented Travis County for a single term (1851-53) in the state House of Representatives. By the 1850s he had become a member of the "Opposition Clique" in Texas, a faction of the regular Democratic party that opposed secession, reopening the slave trade, and other Southern extremist demands. As such, in 1859 Hamilton won election to the United States Congress from the Western District of Texas. He served on the House committee formed during the secession winter of 1860-61 to try to solve the sectional crisis. When he returned to Texas in the spring of 1861 he won a special election to the state Senate, and he remained in Austin until July 1862, when alleged plots against his life forced him to flee to Mexico.

Hamilton became a hero in the North and delivered speeches in New York, Boston, and other Northern cities. His rhetorical targets included slavery, disunionists, and the "slave power," which he believed was trying to subvert democracy and the rights of non-slaveowners. After he met with President Abraham Lincoln in November 1862, he accepted a commission as brigadier general of volunteers and an appointment as military governor of Texas. Hamilton accompanied an unsuccessful federal expedition into South Texas in late 1863 and spent most of the rest of the war in New Orleans, where his family joined him late in 1864.

His career during Reconstruction was stormy and frustrating. As provisional governor from the summer of 1865 to the summer of 1866, he pursued a program of trying to limit officeholders to former Unionists, ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and granting economic and legal rights (although not the vote) to freedmen. When the Constitutional Convention of 1866 refused to enact most of Hamilton's suggestions, he rejected presidential Reconstruction and promoted the harsher program of the Radical Republicans. He endorsed black suffrage and helped organize the Southern Loyalists' Convention in Philadelphia in September 1866. For a time he served as a bankruptcy judge in New Orleans, but in 1867 he returned to Texas as an associate justice on the state Supreme Court.

Hamilton played a leading role in the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1868–69 and served on the Republican National Executive Committee. His political views changed again, however; he once again came to favor a quick reconstruction of Texas. He opposed the Radicals' scheme for turning West Texas into a separate, Unionist state and withdrew his support for black suffrage. As a result, although his brother Morgan C. Hamilton was a leading Radical spokesman and United States senator, Hamilton became one of the state's leading moderate Republicans and ran against Radical Edmund J. Davis in the 1869 governor's race. Davis won, but Hamilton remained a vocal opponent of Radical policies. Hamilton never sought public office after this defeat. In 1871 he was a leader in the Tax-Payers' Convention. He practiced law and worked on his farm near Austin. He died of tuberculosis on April 11, 1875, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.

GPS Coordinates
30° 16.548, -097° 43.628

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery
Austin

July 9, 2013

August Carl Buchel

Carl Buchel, soldier, was born at Guntersblum, Hesse, on October 8, 1813. He dropped the umlaut from his original surname, Büchel, when he moved to Texas. He entered the military academy at Darmstadt at the age of fourteen and at eighteen was commissioned a second lieutenant of volunteers in the First Infantry Regiment of Hesse-Darmstadt. His next military training was at L'École Militaire in Paris, following which he served as a lieutenant in the Foreign Legion of France and participated in the Carlist War in Spain. He was decorated and knighted by Queen Maria Christina in 1838 for his bravery at the battle of Huesca the year before. Subsequently, he was for several years an instructor in the Turkish army and attained the rank of colonel, the highest allowed a Christian. He was offered the rank of general on the condition that he become a Moslem, but he refused and subsequently resigned. There is some indication that he was designated a pasha, a title of respect given officers of high rank.

Buchel had a reputation for dueling and, according to family tradition, is said to have gone to Texas because he killed a man in a duel after his return to Germany. He sailed with the Adelsverein in 1845 and arrived late that year at Carlshafen, later known as Indianola, where he established residence. In 1846, during the Mexican War, he raised a company in the First Regiment of Texas Foot Rifles and served as its captain. He was present at the battle of Buena Vista, where he served as aide-de-camp on the staff of Gen. Zachary Taylor. After the war President Franklin Pierce appointed him collector of customs at Port Lavaca, a position he held for many years. He also sold lumber and building materials in Corpus Christi in partnership with M. T. Huck. In 1859, during the Cortina Wars, he organized the Indianola Volunteers to combat the depredations of Mexican bandits under Juan N. Cortina. Buchel served until 1860, but the volunteers never actually fought Cortina.

At the outbreak of the Civil War Buchel joined the Texas militia; late in 1861 he was made lieutenant colonel of the Third Texas Infantry and served in South Texas. He became colonel of the First Texas Cavalry in 1863 and saw extensive service on the Texas Gulf Coast but was transferred to Louisiana when the threat of an invasion of Texas by Union troops became imminent. He was mortally wounded while leading his troops in a dismounted charge at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, on April 9, 1864. He was taken to Mansfield, where he died and was buried. The generally accepted date of his death is April 15, but Gen. Hamilton P. Bee, Buchel's commander, related in his official report of the battle that he died two days following the battle, on April 11.

Earlier that year Buchel had been appointed a brigadier general, but the appointment was never confirmed. Later, his body was taken by a detachment of his cavalry to Austin, and he was reinterred in the State Cemetery, where a eulogy was delivered by Lieutenant Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale. The state of Texas erected an impressive stone at his grave. Buchel, who never married, was described by his contemporaries as a small, quiet man and is said to have been unassuming, courteous, and gentlemanly in manner. He spoke seven languages. In his honor the state legislature designated an area as Buchel County in 1887, but the county was never organized and eventually became part of Brewster County.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.918, -097° 43.634

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

July 2, 2013

William Clark

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.

GPS Coordinates
31° 36.204, -094° 38.940


Oak Grove Cemetery
Nacogdoches