November 26, 2013

Patrick Churchill Jack

Patrick Churchill Jack, attorney and legislator, was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, in 1808, a son of Patrick Jack, who commanded a Georgia regiment in the War of 1812. After practicing law in Jefferson County, Alabama, for three years, Jack moved to Texas in 1830 and on April 6, 1831, was issued title to one-fourth of a league of land in Stephen F. Austin's second colony in the area of present Grimes County.

Jack, one of the men whose imprisonment led to the Anahuac disturbances in the spring of 1832, was a delegate from the district of Liberty to the conventions of 1832 and 1833. He later moved to Brazoria Municipality, which he represented in the House of the Second Congress of the republic from September 29, 1837, to November 13, 1838.

Jack married Margaret E. Smith at Houston on October 30, 1838. He was appointed district attorney of the First Judicial District on February 1, 1840, and of the Sixth District on March 15, 1841, by President Mirabeau B. Lamar. Jack died of yellow fever in Houston on August 4, 1844, and was buried in the City Cemetery under the auspices of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 1, of which he was a member. Later his remains were removed to Lake View Cemetery, Galveston. They were again exhumed on February 10, 1942, and reinterred in the State Cemetery, Austin. In the act of the state legislature on August 27, 1856, establishing Jack County from Cooke County, it is not stated for whom the county was named. Homer S. Thrall in 1879 said it was named for the brothers, Patrick C. and William H. Jack, and this statement is generally accepted as correct.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.915, -097° 43.620

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

November 19, 2013

Chad Lamont "Pimp C" Butler

Pimp C, rap artist, was born Chad Lamont Butler in Port Arthur, Texas, on December 29, 1973. He was the son of Weslyn and Charleston Butler. Pimp C is best-known as co-founder and one-half of the Houston rap duo UGK (Underground Kingz), whose soulful, blues-based version of “Dirty South” hip-hop helped put Texas rap music in the national spotlight. He, along with his UGK partner Bernard Freeman (aka Bun B), helped to define Southern rap.

The son of a trumpet player who at one time performed with Solomon Burke, Butler grew up in a home filled with jazz, blues, and soul music. He cited his early influences as B.B. King, Ray Charles, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Marvin Gaye, and many other jazz and blues artists. His parents divorced when he was about six, and his mother married Norwood Monroe. Butler’s stepfather was a band teacher who taught him to read music and later influenced him to incorporate more musical instruments into his sound.

Butler first became interested in rap when a friend loaned him an early Run DMC album in 1983. After hearing the record, he began exploring rap’s origins in an effort to learn more about the music that so captivated his imagination. Although his interest in rap music was growing, he also pursued more traditional musical interests. In high school, he studied classical music and received a Division I rating on a tenor solo at a University Interscholastic League choir competition.

While still in high school, Pimp C worked with fellow musicians Mitchell Queen, Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, and Jalon Jackson before eventually settling into a rap collaboration with Bun B to form the group UGK. They released a cassette, The Southern Way, on the small Houston label Bigtyme Recordz in 1988. They landed a deal with Jive Records in 1992. During that same year, the duo released its first major label debut, Too Hard to Swallow. It featured the single Tell Me Something Good, a laid-back track that contained a sample of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s tune of the same name. Another song from the album, Pocket Full of Stones, was featured on the soundtrack to the movie Menace II Society (1993), helping earn the group some national exposure. The song Pocket Full of Stones is emblematic of the rise in “gangsta rap” that came to dominate the hip-hop landscape in the early 1990s. In 1994 UGK released Super Tight; Pimp C produced all the tracks. He also produced most of the songs on UGK’s next release in 1996, Ridin’ Dirty, which reached Number 2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, proving that the group was much more than a regional act and could sell records on a national scale.

Following their success with Ridin’ Dirty, UGK made a number of guest appearances, one on a hit single by Jay-Z entitled Big Pimpin’ in 1999. This song merged Jay-Z’s Brooklyn-based braggadocio with UGK’s southern slang. The second guest appearance was on a record with the Tennessee-based rap group, Three 6 Mafia, called Sippin’ on Some Sizzurp, released in 2000. These recordings boosted the group’s national appeal and proved once again that their fan base extended far beyond the confines of Texas.


In 2001 UGK released its fourth album, Dirty Money. It featured several songs that included sexual content and blatant misogyny, such as Like a Pimp, Pimpin’ Ain’t No Illusion, and Money, Hoes, and Power. The album peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The year 2002 brought the release of Side Hustles, the duo’s fifth album. It did not sell as well as previous releases, and UGK suffered further setbacks when Pimp C was arrested and jailed on an aggravated assault charge. After violating probation because he ignored a community service sentence, he spent the next three years in prison. During his imprisonment hip-hop fans and rappers, spearheaded by Bun B, launched a grassroots “Free Pimp C” campaign.

While Pimp C was incarcerated, his label Rap-A-Lot Records released his solo record Sweet James Jones Stories in early 2005. The album included several songs that focused on the “playa/baller” theme - that is the notion of defining one’s self in terms of the money one makes and the women one dates. Through such songs as I’m a Hustler, I’s a Player, and Get My Money, Pimp C focused on recurring themes in rap music - hustling, pimping, and money. He was released from prison on December 30, 2005. In the summer of 2006 another Pimp C solo album, Pimpalation, featured the song “Free” celebrating his release from prison.

In 2007 UGK released the album, Underground Kingz, which debuted at Number 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. It featured guest appearances from such notable rap artists as T.I., Talib Kweli, Rick Ross, Big Daddy Kane, Too Short, Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band, and Outkast. The collaboration with Atlanta-based rappers Outkast, Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You), proved to be the most popular song on the album. Using a sample from a tune produced by Willie Hutch from the 1970s Blaxploitation flick The Mack (1973), the song features two of the South’s most popular groups rapping side-by-side on a single track for the first time. Despite UGK’s growing prominence, the band’s success was short-lived. On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead at the age of thirty-three in the Mondrian Hotel located in West Hollywood, California. His death was ruled accidental and was attributed to a lethal combination of codeine/promethazine and sleep apnea. He was married and had three children. Int’l Players Anthem was nominated for a Grammy after Pimp C’s death. UGK’s final album UGK 4 Life was released in 2009.

GPS Coordinates
29° 56.155, -093° 55.453

Mausoleum
Greenlawn Memorial Park
Groves

November 12, 2013

William "Bigfoot" Wallace

William Alexander Anderson Wallace, soldier and Texas Ranger, the son of Andrew and Jane Ann (Blair) Wallace, was born in Lexington, Virginia, on April 3, 1817. He was descended from Highlanders William Wallace and Robert Bruce, and the clan instinct was strong in him. In 1836, when he learned that a brother and a cousin had been shot down in the Goliad Massacre, he set out for Texas to "take pay out of the Mexicans." A good many years later he told John C. Duval that he believed the account had been squared. Wallace was a magnificent physical specimen. In his prime he stood six feet two inches "in his moccasins," and weighed 240 pounds without surplus fat. For a while he tried farming in the vicinity of La Grange, but the occupation was not to his taste. In the spring of 1840 he moved to Austin, saw the last buffalo of the region run down Congress Avenue, decided that people were getting too thick, and moved to San Antonio. He was with the Texans who fought Gen. Adrián Woll's invading Mexican army near San Antonio in 1842 and then volunteered for the Somervell and Mier expeditions. Some of his most graphic memories were of his experiences in Perote Prison. As soon as he was released, he joined the Texas Rangers under John Coffee (Jack) Hays and was with the rangers in the Mexican War.

In the 1850s Wallace commanded, as captain, a ranger company of his own, fighting border bandits as well as Indians. He was so expert at trailing that he was frequently called upon to track down runaway slaves trying to get to Mexico. He drove a mail hack from San Antonio to El Paso and on one occasion, after losing his mules to Indians, walked to El Paso and ate twenty-seven eggs at the first Mexican house he came to-before going on to town for a full meal. During the Civil War he helped guard the frontier against the Comanche Indians. At one time Wallace had a little ranch on the Medina River on land granted him by the state of Texas. The later years of his life were spent in Frio County in the vicinity of a small village named Bigfoot. He never married. He was a mellow and convivial soul who liked to sit in a roomy rawhide-bottomed chair in the shade of his shanty and tell over the stories of his career. Occasionally he rode to San Antonio; less occasionally he would go to Austin and consort with "Texas John" Duval. Wallace was as honest as daylight but liked to stretch the blanket and embroider his stories. He read and was no illiterate frontiersman, but he summed up in himself all the frontiers of the Southwest. His picturesqueness, humor, vitality, and representativeness of old-timey free days, free ways, and free land have broken down the literalness of every writer who has treated of him. Without directing events, he was there when they happened-and he was a tale-teller. As a folk hero he belongs more to social than to military history. Wallace died on January 7, 1899, and shortly thereafter the Texas legislature appropriated money for moving his body to the State Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.920, -097° 43.626

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

November 5, 2013

Ellis Benson

Ellis (sometimes Elias) Benson, soldier and legislator, was born in Vermont in 1808 and moved to Texas in January 1836. At the outbreak of the Texas Revolution he joined Capt. John Hart's company of volunteers (later commanded by Lt. Richard Roman) at Velasco, on January 30, 1836. On February 13 Benson accepted a bounty of twenty-four dollars and joined the regular army "for two years or the duration of the war." At the battle of San Jacinto he served as a gunner in Capt. Henry Teal's company of Lt. Col. James Clinton Neill's "artillery corps."

In December 1836 Benson was a private in Capt. John Smith's Company A of the First Regiment, Regular Infantry, stationed on Galveston Island, but was detached to garrison duty at Anahuac. By February 28 he was still in the army and back at his regular duty station at Galveston. Benson was a member of William Ryon's company on the Somervell expedition. He was also one of the vice presidents of the convention that met on the San Jacinto battlefield on April 21, 1860, to nominate Sam Houston for president. On July 26, 1881, the Texas Veterans Claims Commission approved his application for a veteran's pension. Benson was an active member of the Texas Veterans Association. He died in Houston in 1892.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.927, -095° 23.306

Section B
Washington Cemetery
Houston