December 30, 2014

Hal Woodeshick

   Born on August 24, 1932 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Harold Joseph Woodeshick signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1950. His time with them consisted of only one inning pitched for the Carbondale Pioneers, the Phillies' North Atlantic League team. He split his 1951 campaign with a pair of independent minor league clubs: the Duluth Dukes of the Northern League and the Youngstown A's of the Middle Atlantic League. He joined the New York Giants organization in 1952, winning thirteen decisions that year with the Kingsport Cherokees of the Appalachian League and fourteen in 1955 with the Danville Leafs of the Carolina League. He served in the United States Army during the two years between those seasons.

   He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the minor league draft on November 27, 1955. A twelve-game winner with the Charleston Senators in 1956, he made his major league debut later that year on September 14 with a loss against the New York Yankees. His only other appearance with the Tigers came ten days later on September 24 in another start at home which resulted in him yielding four runs again and earning his second straight loss. He returned to the minors in 1957, dividing his time between Charleston and the Augusta Tigers. He was traded to Cleveland Indians on February 18, 1958. Woodeshick split the 1958 campaign between the Indians and its top farm team in San Diego, and began the next one with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was dealt to the Washington Senators on May 25, 1959. After that franchise moved west and became the Minnesota Twins, he was picked in the 1960 MLB expansion draft by the second Washington Senators on December 14, 1960. He returned to the Detroit Tigers just under six months later on June 5, 1961.

   Woodeshick was on the Houston Colt .45s roster for the expansion team's inaugural opening day in 1962. The acquisition was a big risk because Woodeshick was prone to wildness with his pitches and had problems with his fielding. He spent most of his first Colt .45s spring training working to correct his inability to make accurate throws to the first baseman after cleanly fielding ground balls. He started in 26 of his 31 appearances in 1962. In the Colt .45s' second-ever regular season contest on April 11, its first at night, he pitched eight innings and endured a one-hour rain delay in the fourth to earn a victory over the Chicago Cubs. He finished the campaign with a 5-16 record due to a pair of nagging injuries. A slow-healing throat infection had left him out of playing shape at midseason. By the time he was released at year's end, his back pain was so debilitating that his wife had to drive him back to their Pennsylvania home. After two spinal taps failed to provide a cure, his problem was remedied by a chiropractor who prescribed an exercise regimen.

   He returned to the Colt .45s as its first-ever legitimate closer in 1963, winning eleven games with a team-leading ten saves and a 1.97 ERA. Woodeshick pitched two scoreless innings in the 1963 MLB All-Star Game, striking out Joe Pepitone in the sixth and Bob Allison and Harmon Killebrew in the seventh. His best year in the majors was 1964 when he led the senior circuit in saves with 23. A trade deadline deal on June 15, 1965 sent him to the Cardinals. As a member of the 1967 World Series Champions, Woodeshick's only appearance in the Fall Classic was a scoreless bottom half of the eighth inning in Game Six. His professional baseball career ended when he was released by the Cardinals on October 20, 1967, only eight days after The Series concluded. Hal Woodeshick died on June 14, 2009 after a long illness and was buried in Houston's Memorial Oaks Cemetery.

29° 46.734, -095° 36.893

Botanical Garden
Memorial Oaks Cemetery

December 23, 2014

Christopher Scott Kyle

   Christopher "Chris" Scott Kyle, U. S. Navy SEAL and the U.S. military's most lethal sniper, son of Wayne Kenneth Kyle and Deby Lynn (Mercer) Kyle, was born in Odessa, Texas, on April 8, 1974. Kyle grew up in rural North Central Texas. His father worked for Southwestern Bell, but the family also maintained a small cattle ranch that Chris worked with his parents and younger brother Jeff. As a small boy, Chris Kyle had a Daisy BB gun, and when he was eight years old, his father bought a 30-06 rifle for Chris to use on their hunts together. Kyle attended high school in Midlothian, and during his time there he played baseball and football and rode horses. After graduating high school in 1992, Kyle, who had been active in the Future Farmers of America, studied agriculture at Tarleton State University. At the same time, he worked as a professional bronco rider until he suffered severe injuries that resulted in a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, a bruised kidney and lung, and the insertion of pins in his wrists. Kyle retired from bronc riding but became a ranch hand on a ranch in Hood County while he attended college classes.

   Kyle had often stated that his two possible ambitions focused on either ranching or joining the military. In 1996 he found himself at a shopping-mall military recruiting office. He had originally gone to talk to the army, but when they were not there, a navy recruiter informed him about the Navy SEALs. Kyle signed up but was initially rejected due to the pins in his arm. He subsequently quit school and decided to go back to ranching full-time. However, in the winter of 1997-98 he received a call back from the U. S. Navy and was invited to attend Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Coronado, California. He officially joined the navy in February 1999. Upon completing the six-month training course, he was eventually assigned to SEAL Team 3 in April 2001.

   Shortly after completion of BUD/S, Kyle met Taya Studebaker at a local bar in San Diego, California. She worked in San Diego as a pharmaceutical representative. They married in 2002 before his first deployment. They had two children, a boy and a girl.

    Kyle, who had gone through the SEALs extensive sniper training, served four tours during his enlistment and fought in the war known as Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was deployed for the initial invasion of Baghdad in 2003, to Fallujah in 2004, to Ramadi in 2006, and back to Baghdad in 2008. In the course of his career, he had a record-breaking 160 confirmed kills, although the U. S. Navy has adjusted the number through the years. During his tours, he was also twice shot and survived six improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. His expert marksmanship and courage resulted in a silver star and four bronze stars with valor. Kyle, who achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer, earned a number of military honors, including Marksmanship Medals for Rifle and Pistol Expert, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Promoted to chief instructor, Kyle wrote the first U.S. Navy handbook for snipers. His work not only attracted the attention of the U.S. military but of his enemies as well. During his tours Kyle acquired the nickname “The Devil of Ramadi” and had a bounty of up to $80,000 placed on him by Iraqi insurgents.  In 2009 Kyle retired from the Navy SEALs after four deployments and ten years of service. Saying that his departure was one of the hardest decisions he had to make, he chose to prioritize his family and address marital difficulties back at home.

    Kyle came back home but experienced personal challenges in the transition from war to everyday life. The family settled in Midlothian, Texas, and he started his own tactical training and security business called CRAFT International. His autobiography American Sniper (written with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) was published in 2012 and became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Kyle made a number of television appearances at this time and also worked with the FITCO Cares Foundation to furnish fitness equipment to wounded veterans, their families, and victims of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Kyle and his wife began work to establish their own foundation - the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation - named after a frog skeleton tattoo Kyle had that was the symbol for fallen U.S. Navy SEALs. The foundation was designed to help veterans and first responders come back from the horrors of war and become reconnected with their families.

    On February 2, 2013, Kyle and a friend, Chad Littlefield, decided to take Eddie Ray Routh, a retired Marine suffering from PTSD, to Rough Creek Lodge Shooting Range near Glen Rose, Texas, for some therapy shooting. Picking up Routh, they headed to the range, where Routh shot and killed both Kyle and Littlefield. Routh fled the murder scene. Although Eddie Routh pleaded insanity, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2015.

    Kyle was a huge fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and in his honor, the funeral service, which took place on February 12, 2013, was held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. More than 7,000 people came to pay their respects to a man considered an American hero. He was buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. His second book, American Gun: A History of the U. S. in Ten Firearms, was published posthumously in 2013. On August 28, 2013, Governor Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 162, also known as the Chris Kyle Bill, which required state agencies to recognize military training as credit towards the issuance of occupational licenses. The bill aimed to provide assistance for veterans seeking employment in Texas and acknowledge the value of special operations training achieved by veterans like Chris Kyle. The movie American Sniper, based on Kyle’s autobiography, was released in 2014. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, the film was very successful at the box office and earned six Academy Award nominations. Governor Gregg Abbott declared February 2, 2015, to be “Chris Kyle Day.” Kyle’s wife Taya carried on her husband’s legacy through the foundation that she and Kyle built together. Source

30° 15.979, -097° 43.577

Statesmans Meadow
Texas State Cemetery   

December 16, 2014

William Rabb

   William Rabb, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, the eldest son of Andrew and Mary (Scott) Rabb, was born on December 21, 1770, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Smalley about 1789 and they eventually had four sons, Andrew, John, Thomas, and Ulysses, and a daughter, Rachel, who later married Joseph Newman. Rabb and his family left Pennsylvania about 1803. After a brief sojourn with relatives in Ohio, Rabb reached his destination near the Mississippi River in Indiana Territory (later Illinois Territory) in 1804. There he built and operated a large gristmill on Cahokia Creek near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. He also served as Madison county judge and in 1814 was elected to the legislature of Illinois Territory, where he served for two terms.

   In 1818 the Rabbs moved to Clear Creek settlement on the north side of the upper Red River in Arkansas Territory, in what is now Choctaw County, Oklahoma. From there, Rabb made an exploratory trip into Texas in 1819 and chose an area on the east side of the Colorado River as the site he wished to acquire. When the federal government ceded the land north of the Red River to the Choctaw Indians in 1820, Rabb moved his family south of the river to Jonesborough, an area now in Red River County, Texas. Although the Arkansas Territory authorities attempted to exercise civil jurisdiction over the Jonesborough settlers, the Rabbs were technically in Spanish territory. In 1821 Rabb wrote a letter to the Spanish governor in San Antonio de Béxar which stated, among other things, that he intended to settle soon on the Colorado River as a member of Austin's colony. When and where Rabb first became involved in the plan of Moses Austin and his son, Stephen, to establish a colony in Texas is uncertain. Since Rabb is believed to have been a longstanding acquaintance of the Austins, he probably was aware of their plan at an early date. Somewhere along the line they reached an agreement whereby Rabb would build a gristmill in the proposed colony to help supply the settlers in exchange for a sizable grant of land.

   Rabb and his wife and two unmarried sons left Jonesborough and arrived at his site on the Colorado River in December 1821. Probably for security reasons plus availability of fresh water from springs, they initially settled on the high ground west of the river at a place Rabb called Indian Hill. Located a short distance above present-day La Grange in Fayette County, it was directly across the river from the rich bottom land that he had chosen on his exploratory trip in 1819. When Stephen F. Austin returned from a journey to Mexico City in 1823 with the news that the Mexican authorities had reconfirmed his colonization contract and would honor land titles in the colony, Rabb returned to Jonesborough to fetch the remaining members of his family. They arrived in December 1823, and for a while the entire family remained at Indian Hill. However, in early 1824, they moved downriver to the little settlement of Egypt in present-day Wharton County in order to escape Indian harassment.

   Title to Rabb's land grant was signed by Stephen Austin and Commissioner Baron de Bastrop on July 19, 1824. It was one of the earliest and largest grants made in Austin's first colony and comprised a total of five square leagues of about 22,000 acres. Two leagues of approximately 9,000 acres were located in the area near the Gulf of Mexico known as Bay Prairie in present-day Matagorda County. The other three leagues of over 13,000 acres comprised the land granted to Rabb as the result of his agreement to build a gristmill in the upper portion of the colony. Situated on the east side of the Colorado River in present-day Fayette County, it is the site Rabb chose in 1819 and is the tract known today as Rabb's Prairie. Although he soon left Egypt and returned to Rabb's Prairie to begin work on the mill, Rabb was forced to abandon the project on several occasions due to threats of Indian attack. In 1830 the ayuntamiento of San Felipe de Austin, the governing council of Austin's colony, reviewed Rabb's situation and reconfirmed his title. Also, because of delays caused by Indian harassment, it approved an additional eighteen months for him to finish construction of the mill. With the help of his sons, Rabb completed his mill in 1831. Some of the material used in its construction came from New Orleans, but it was the transportation and installation of two large grinding stones, or burrs, that proved to be an accomplishment of considerable ingenuity and determination. The mill stones, each weighing around a ton, had been imported from Scotland and off-loaded at Matagorda at the mouth of the Colorado River. The problem facing Rabb was how to move these two ponderous objects to his mill in Rabb's Prairie, a distance of about 100 miles. Driftwood rafts and shallow water made it impractical to float them upriver on a barge. His solution was to make an axle, attach the mill stones on the ends to serve as wheels, and use oxen to pull the resulting vehicle overland to his mill. Rabb lived to see his mill in operation but died later in 1831. His wife died a few months afterward. They are believed to be buried in an old abandoned cemetery on a hillside overlooking Rabb's Prairie. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. The small Rabb family cemetery outside of La Grange has been lost.

30° 15.925,  -097° 43.591

Confederate Field
Texas State Cemetery

December 9, 2014

Teala Loring

   Teala Loring, American actress, was born Marcia Eloise Griffin on October 6, 1922 in Denver, Colorado. She was the sister of actors Debra Paget, Lisa Gaye, and Reull Shayne. At the start of her film career, she was sometimes credited as Judith Gibson. From 1942, Loring appeared in uncredited or bit parts in films at Paramount, turning up as a cigarette girl in Holiday Inn and as a telephone operator in Double Indemnity, for example. In 1945-46, she appeared in ten films released by the low-key Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures, including Fall Guy (1947), the Charlie Chan vehicle Dark Alibi (1946), and two films starring Kay Francis, Allotment Wives (1945) and Wife Wanted (1946). Having failed to achieve the success that her sister Debra would capture in the 1950s, Loring made her final film, Arizona Cowboy in 1950. She died at the age of 84 on January 28, 2007 from injuries she sustained in an automobile accident in Spring, Texas.

29° 55.948, -095° 27.333

Section S1
Houston National Cemetery

December 2, 2014

George Duncan Hancock

   George Duncan Hancock, soldier of the Republic of Texas, merchant, legislator, and civil leader, was born in Tennessee on April 27, 1809, the son of John Allen and Sarah (Ryan) Hancock. He moved with his family to Alabama in 1819 and was educated there. In 1835 he moved to Texas. At the battle of San Jacinto he served as a private in Capt. William Kimbro's company of Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers. He was one of the five men who accompanied Erastus (Deaf) Smith in the destruction of Vince's Bridge. For his military service, which lasted from March 15 through November 15, 1836, Hancock received a total of 1,280 acres in Lampasas County.

   Subsequently he worked as a surveyor, locating lands on the frontier. In 1840 he was residing in Bastrop County, where he owned 5,907 acres of real estate, a saddle horse, and a watch. On October 26, 1842, after Adrián Woll's capture of San Antonio, Hancock enlisted in Capt. Bartlett Sims's company of Col. James R. Cook's regiment of the South Western Army, and marched with Gen. Alexander Somervell to the Rio Grande. He returned to San Antonio with Somervell and was discharged on November 21, 1842, thus avoiding the Mier expedition.

   In 1843 he opened a highly successful retail store in La Grange, Fayette County, which he later moved to Bastrop and then in 1845 to Austin, where he established himself at the corner of Congress and Pecan (now Sixth) Street. There he was regarded by the editor of the Texas State Gazette as "an experienced merchant of acknowledged good taste in the selection of goods," and as offering "as large and complete a has ever been brought to the city."

   By 1850 Hancock owned assets valued at $40,000 and was residing in an Austin boardinghouse. On September 5 of that year the state legislature granted him, Thomas J. Hardeman, John Rabb, John W. S. Dancy, and nine other men a charter to incorporate the Colorado Navigation Company to promote Colorado River traffic and commerce, and on February 16, 1852, Hancock and six other men were granted corporate rights for the Brazos and Colorado Railroad Company to link Austin and Houston. Hancock was married to Eliza Louisa Lewis, the daughter of Ira Randolph Lewis, on November 2, 1855. In 1861 Hancock, an ardent Unionist like his brother, John Hancock, retired from business.

   At the end of the Civil War Hancock was a member of a committee that welcomed Governor A. J. Hamilton to Austin in August 1865, and later that month Hamilton appointed him to the board of trustees of the State Lunatic Asylum (later the Austin State Hospital). In 1866 he was elected to the Eleventh Texas Legislature. In 1872 he served as chairman of a committee formed to keep Austin the capital of Texas.

   Hancock died on January 6, 1879, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin. He was survived by his wife, who died on April 27, 1890, and a son, Lewis, who became mayor of Austin. Hancock was an active member of the Texas Veterans Association, which he helped to organize in 1873, and a vestryman at St. David's Episcopal Church. He was also a Mason and in 1852 took an active role in establishing Austin Masonic High School. Source

30° 16.515, -097° 43.616

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery

November 25, 2014

Charles Stanfield Taylor

   Charles Stanfield Taylor, member of the Texas Revolutionary Committee of Correspondence and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in London, England, in 1808. His parents died while he was young, and he was reared by an uncle. Taylor immigrated to the United States in 1828, and from New York City he moved to Nacogdoches where he established a mercantile business. On April 1, 1830, he took his Mexican citizenship oath in Nacogdoches and stated that he was Catholic and unmarried at the time. Taylor participated in the battle of Nacogdoches and represented Nacogdoches in the Convention of 1832. In 1833 he moved to San Augustine, where he was elected alcalde on January 1, 1834.

   In summer 1834 he returned to Nacogdoches, and on April 25, 1835, he was appointed land commissioner for San Augustine and issued land titles until the Texas Revolution began. He was one of the four representatives from Nacogdoches at the Convention of 1836 and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Taylor left Texas after he signed the Declaration of Independence and stayed in Louisiana until the revolution was over. Two of his children died during this time. He was appointed chief justice of Nacogdoches County on December 20, 1836. In November 1838 he was nominated by President Sam Houston to run the boundary line between Texas and the United States, however Mirabeau B. Lamar succeeded Houston as president, and the nomination was withdrawn.

   Taylor was licensed to practice law in the republic in 1839. He was appointed district attorney by President Lamar but was not confirmed by the Senate. He was a candidate for Congress in 1845 but was defeated by three votes. He was elected county treasurer of Nacogdoches County in 1850 and 1852. Taylor boarded in the home of Nicholas Adolphus Sterne when he first arrived in Nacogdoches and on May 28, 1831, married Mrs. Sterne's sister, Anna Marie Rouff, daughter of John R. Rouff of Weerenberg, Germany. She was born on March 1, 1814, and died on February 8, 1873. They became parents of thirteen children, some of which died of exposure during the Runaway Scrape. Their sons, Charles Travis, Milam, William Adolphus, and Lawrence S., joined the Confederate forces in 1861. Lawrence married the daughter of Dr. Robert A. Irion. Charles S. Taylor was chief justice of Nacogdoches County from August 1860 until his death on November 1, 1865. He was a member of Milam Lodge No. 2 and an original member of the Grand Lodge of Texas. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission erected a joint monument at the graves of Taylor and his wife in Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches, Texas. Source

Note: His middle name is misspelled on his stone.

31° 36.166, -094° 38.952

Oak Grove Cemetery

November 18, 2014

Madison G. Whitaker

   Madison G. Whitaker, veteran of the battle of San Jacinto and state senator, was born on April 4, 1811, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, the son of John and Nancy (Guest or Guess) Whitaker. He grew up in Lincoln County. In 1835 he arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, where his half-brother, William Whitaker, had recently moved. A man named Whitaker, probably Madison, was chosen along with Solomon R. Peck to hold an election on October 1, 1835, to select delegates to the Consultation at San Felipe de Austin. Madison probably enlisted as a sergeant in the Nacogdoches company commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Rusk in October 1835 and marched with it to San Antonio de Bexar. The General Council of the provisional government elected him second lieutenant of the revolutionary army on November 28, 1835, but he declined the commission. Instead, he enlisted about March 6, 1836, as a private in the Nacogdoches Volunteer Company, first commanded by Capt. Leander Smith and then by Capt. Hayden S. Arnold, this being the first company of volunteers in the second regiment under Col. Sidney Sherman. Whitaker fought at the battle of San Jacinto and was discharged on June 6, 1836. He appears as number thirty-three in the painting The Surrender of Santa Anna by William H. Huddle, which hangs in the Capitol in Austin. Whitaker was then briefly a captain in the Texas Rangers. Some sources say that he served under Gen. Kelsey H. Douglass in the Cherokee War of 1839.

   Whitaker was elected senator to the Fifth and Sixth Texas legislatures, 1853-56, representing District Thirteen, Nacogdoches and Angelina counties. He was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Nacogdoches University, serving as treasurer, vice president, and president. He helped to found the rural Liberty School, north of Nacogdoches, in 1836. Whitaker became a Mason about 1839 and a member of Milam Lodge No. 2 of Nacogdoches. He was also a longtime member of the Texas Veterans Association, serving as both first and second vice president and as supervisor of the Nacogdoches district. He was a Baptist. He married Henrietta M. Fitts on August 25, 1841, in Nacogdoches County, and they became the parents of eight children. He died on January 23, 1893, in Nacogdoches County and was buried in Old North Church Cemetery north of Nacogdoches. Source

31° 40.039, -094° 39.476

Old North Church Cemetery

November 11, 2014

John J. Given

   John J. Given, Medal of Honor recipient, was born at Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1840. As a corporal in Company K, Sixth United States Cavalry, he was cited for "bravery in action" at the battle of the Little Wichita River, July 12, 1870. On duty with Company L and under the command of Capt. Curwen Boyd McLellan, fifty men were engaged in a battle with 200 Indians. During the battle the horse of 2d Lt. H. P. Perrine, commander of the rear guard, was shot from under him. Given, seeing Perrine's plight, turned his horse around and drove off attacking Kiowas. Private Blum, a close friend of Given, was shot in the head. Given requested and received permission to go to his aid; he gave his picture and those of his sisters and sweetheart to guide James Dosher to hold until he got back. As Given reached the side of his friend, Kicking Bird, the Kiowa chief, rode out of an arroyo and drove his war lance into Givens's back, killing him instantly. For this and other actions Given and twelve others were cited for bravery in action and awarded the Medal of Honor. Givens's body was never recovered from the battlefield. A headstone "In Memoriam" stands at the San Antonio National Cemetery. Source


Bravery in action.

29° 25.277, -098° 28.022

Section MA
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

November 4, 2014

David Phillip Vetter

   David Vetter, also known as the "Boy in the Plastic Bubble" was a prominent sufferer of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which dramatically weakens the immune system. His parents, David Joseph and Carol Ann Vetter, were advised by physicians that any male children they might conceive would have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease after their first son, David, was also born with SCID and died at 7 months of age. They  At the time, the only management available for children born with SCID was isolation in a sterile environment until a successful bone marrow transplant could be performed. The Vetters, who already had a daughter, Katherine, decided to proceed with another pregnancy. Their third child, David Phillip, was born on September 21, 1971.

   A special sterilized cocoon bed was prepared for David at his birth. Immediately after being removed from his mother's womb, he entered the plastic germ-free environment that would be his home for most of his life. He was baptized a Roman Catholic with sterilized holy water once he had entered the bubble. Initial plans to proceed with a bone marrow transplant came to a halt after it was determined that the prospective donor, his sister, Katherine, was not a match. Water, air, food, diapers and clothes were sterilized before entering the chamber. After being placed in the sterile chamber, David was touched only through special plastic gloves attached to the walls of the chamber. The chamber was kept inflated by air compressors that were very loud, making communications with the boy very difficult. His parents and medical team sought to provide him as normal a life as possible, including a formal education, and a television and playroom inside the sterile chamber. About three years after David's birth, the treatment team built an additional sterile chamber in his parents' home in Conroe, Texas, and a transport chamber so that he could spend periods of two to three weeks at home, where he could have his sister and friends for company.

   When he was four years old, he discovered that he could poke holes in his bubble using a butterfly syringe that was left inside the chamber by mistake. At this point, the treatment team explained to him what germs were and how they affected his condition. As he grew older, he became aware of the world outside his chamber, and expressed an interest in participating in what he could see outside the windows of the hospital and via television. In 1977, researchers from NASA used their experience with the fabrication of space suits to develop a special suit that would allow him to get out of his bubble and walk in the outside world. The suit was connected to his bubble via an eight-foot long cloth tube and although cumbersome, it allowed him to venture outside without serious risk of contamination. Vetter was initially resistant to the suit, and although he later became more comfortable wearing it, he used it only seven times. He outgrew the suit and never used the replacement one provided for him by NASA.

   In 1984, David received a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Katherine, and, while his body didn't reject the transplant, he became ill with infectious mononucleosis after a few months. He died fifteen days later on February 22, 1984, from Burkitt's lymphoma at age 12. The autopsy revealed that Katherine's bone marrow contained traces of a dormant virus, Epstein-Barr, which had been undetectable in the pre-transplant screening. He was buried at Conroe Memorial Park, Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas on February 25, 1984. His parents later divorced. His father went on to become the mayor of Shenandoah, Texas. His mother married a magazine reporter who had written about her son. Vetter's psychologist, Mary Murphy, wrote a book about Vetter's case that was to be published in 1995; however, its publication was blocked by his parents. An elementary school which opened in 1990 in The Woodlands in unincorporated Montgomery County, Texas, was named David Elementary after him.

30° 17.772, -095° 25.635

Section 12
Conroe Memorial Park

October 28, 2014

John Cheevers

   John Cheevers came to Texas in 1829 and volunteered for the army at Lynchburg on March 8, 1836, for a three month period. He was put with Captain Thomas H. McIntire's Company and with them fought at San Jacinto on April 21. After the battle, he was transferred to Captain Peter B. Dexter's Company, with whom he served out his remaining enlistment. Some time after his discharge on June 2, 1836 at La Bahia, he moved to Houston. He died there ten years later and was buried in the City Cemetery.

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day. 

29° 45.436, -095° 22.750

Founders Memorial Park

October 21, 2014

John Alexander Greer

   John Alexander Greer, early settler, lieutenant governor, and legislator, was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on July 18, 1802. He moved to Texas in 1830 from Kentucky. He married Adeline Minerva Orton on May 18, 1836. Greer was a senator representing San Augustine in the Texas Congress from 1837 through 1845; he served in all but the First Congress. He was appointed secretary of the treasury by President Anson Jones in July 1845 and became lieutenant governor of the state of Texas in 1847. He held the position until 1851 and was campaigning for the governorship when he died on July 4, 1855. Greer was buried on his farm nine miles northwest of San Augustine. His remains were moved to the State Cemetery in 1929. Source

30° 15.936, -097° 43.638

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

October 14, 2014

Lucian Adams

   Lucian Adams, Medal of Honor recipient and son of Lucian Adams, Sr., and Rosa (Ramírez) Adams, was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on October 26, 1922. The Adams family consisted of nine brothers and three sisters. Eight of his brothers served in World War II, and all returned home safe after the war. Lucian Adams attended Webster and Franklin elementary schools in Port Arthur as well as Thomas Jefferson Junior High School but dropped out of high school to help support his family. At the beginning of World War II, Adams worked eighteen months for Consolidated Iron Works, a company that manufactured landing crafts and warships. In February 1943 Adams was inducted in the United States Army at Fort Sam Houston and then went to Camp Butner, North Carolina, for basic training. He remained at Camp Butner until November 1943 and then was sent to Europe.

   Adams distinguished himself during the Italian campaign. The Texan hit Anzio Beach with the Third Infantry Division in January 1944. On the beach at Anzio, he was credited with neutralizing a German machine gun nest. Wounded in combat, Adams would receive the Purple Heart. For his efforts at Anzio, Adams was awarded the Bronze Star on May 23, 1944.

   On August 15, 1944, the Third Infantry Division came ashore on the Riviera in southern France as part of Operation Dragoon. In late October the division faced stiff enemy resistance in the Vosges Mountains in eastern France. Reinforced with fresh troops familiar with the terrain, the Germans succeeded in moving into the Third Division’s defenses in the forest and cutting its supply lines. Assigned to a company in the Thirtieth Infantry Regiment, Staff Sergeant Adams’s unit was assigned the task of reconnecting this breach in the supply line and reestablishing contact with two companies that had lost contact with the rest of the battalion.

   Lucian Adams earned the Medal of Honor for his heroics in combat that took place near St. Die, France, on October 28, 1944. Efforts by the Americans to rectify the situation proved slow and costly with three men from Adams’s company killed and six others wounded (including the company commander). Facing heavy fire from three German machine guns sites and infantry equipped with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, Adams, acting on his own and holding a Browning automatic rifle, rapidly moved forward firing from his hip, avoiding the full force of enemy fire, and going from tree to tree for cover. In an episode that lasted about ten minutes, the Texan dashed “like a tornado” from one machine gun position to another and knocked out three with weapon fire and grenades. When the fighting was over, Staff Sergeant Adams had killed nine Germans, taken two prisoners, knocked out three machine guns, contributed to a German retreat, and had reopened the broken supply lines in his battalion. Near the end of his life, Adams credited his mother’s prayers for having emerged from the ordeal uninjured.

   On April 22, 1945, Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Adams and four others in a ceremony at Zeppelin Stadium, Nuremberg, Germany, the same location of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi rallies. Before the ceremony, army personal covered the swastika symbol on top of the stadium with an American flag. Minutes after the ceremony army engineers removed the flag and blew up the swastika.

   On September 7, 1945, Adams received his discharge from the United States Army. On January, 4, 1946, he accepted a position with the Veterans Administration and worked as a benefits counselor in San Antonio for forty years until his retirement in 1986. He also served as a veterans’ affairs consultant for Congressman Frank Tejeda.

   Near the end of his life, Adams suffered from heart trouble and diabetes. In 2002 he was profiled in the documentary film Hispanics and the Medal of Honor shown on the History Channel. Adams died in San Antonio on March 31, 2003. His marriage to Linda Cassias had ended in divorce; his children - Grace, Rose, and Lucian Adams, Jr. - survived him. Lucian Adams was buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Jose Mendoza Lopez, a friend and follow Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, called Adams “a great, great man who did a terrific job. I will miss him very much.” A stretch of Interstate 37 in San Antonio is named the Lucian Adams Freeway in his honor. Source

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 28 October 1944, near St. Die, France. When his company was stopped in its effort to drive through the Mortagne Forest to reopen the supply line to the isolated third battalion, S/Sgt. Adams braved the concentrated fire of machine guns in a lone assault on a force of German troops. Although his company had progressed less than 10 yards and had lost 3 killed and 6 wounded, S/Sgt. Adams charged forward dodging from tree to tree firing a borrowed BAR from the hip. Despite intense machine gun fire which the enemy directed at him and rifle grenades which struck the trees over his head showering him with broken twigs and branches, S/Sgt. Adams made his way to within 10 yards of the closest machine gun and killed the gunner with a hand grenade. An enemy soldier threw hand grenades at him from a position only 10 yards distant; however, S/Sgt. Adams dispatched him with a single burst of BAR fire. Charging into the vortex of the enemy fire, he killed another machine gunner at 15 yards range with a hand grenade and forced the surrender of 2 supporting infantrymen. Although the remainder of the German group concentrated the full force of its automatic weapons fire in a desperate effort to knock him out, he proceeded through the woods to find and exterminate 5 more of the enemy. Finally, when the third German machine gun opened up on him at a range of 20 yards, S/Sgt. Adams killed the gunner with BAR fire. In the course of the action, he personally killed 9 Germans, eliminated 3 enemy machine guns, vanquished a specialized force which was armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, cleared the woods of hostile elements, and reopened the severed supply lines to the assault companies of his battalion.

29° 28.587, -098° 25.976

Section AI
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

October 7, 2014

William Neff Patman

   William Patman was born March 26, 1927 in Texarkana, Texas. He attended public schools there and in Washington, D.C., where his father was a Congressman on the House Banking Committee. He subsequently attended the Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri, graduating in 1944. He served in the United States Marine Corps as a private first class from 1945 to 1946. He was a diplomatic courier for the United States Foreign Service from 1949 to 1950, then subsequently served in the United States Air Force Reserve as a captain from 1953 to 1966. After Patman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1953, he was admitted to the Texas bar and served as a legal examiner for the Texas Railroad Commission until 1955. In 1955, Patman commenced the private practice of law as well as acting as the city attorney for Ganado, Texas from 1955 to 1960.

   In 1960, Patman successfully sought the now District 18 seat in the Texas State Senate. He took office the following year and served until 1981, also working as a delegate to state Democratic Party conventions during his senatorial tenure. In 1980, he was elected to the District 14 seat in the United States House of Representatives, when the short-term incumbent Joseph P. Wyatt did not seek reelection. Patman was re-elected in 1982, when U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen led the entire Democratic ticket to its last ever full sweep of Texas statewide offices. In 1984, however, Patman was unseated by Republican Mac Sweeney of Wharton, when Ronald W. Reagan swept Texas in his presidential reelection bid. After his defeat, he did not seek further office and retired to his ranch in Ganado, where he spent his last years. Patman died December 9, 2008 of stomach cancer at the age of eighty-one at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

30° 15.930, -097° 43.601

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

September 30, 2014

Thomas Jones Hardeman

   Thomas Jones Hardeman, soldier, pioneer Texas settler, judge, and politician, child of Thomas and Mary (Perkins) Hardeman, was born at Hardeman's Stockade near Nashville, Tennessee, on January 31, 1788. His father represented back-country North Carolina at the convention that ratified the United States Constitution and with his close friend Andrew Jackson was a delegate at the Tennessee State Constitutional Convention. Hardeman moved with his family to Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1803. In 1814 he married Mary Ophelia Polk, the aunt of James K. Polk. Later that year, as a captain, Hardeman fought under General Jackson in the closing campaign of the War of 1812 at New Orleans. He was captured by the British and wounded in the head by a sabre for refusing to divulge military secrets to the enemy.

   In 1818 applying his legal training, he helped to settle and organize Hardeman County, Tennessee. His wife died there in 1835. In the same year, accompanied by his brothers Blackstone and Bailey Hardeman, he moved to Texas, where he and his four sons became involved in the move for Texas independence. Hardeman, a devout Episcopalian and an active Mason, served in the Congress of the Republic of Texas from Matagorda County in 1837-39 and spent two terms in the state legislature from Bastrop and Travis counties, from 1847 to 1851. In the 1840s he served both as associate and chief justice of Bastrop County. At his suggestion the capital of Texas was named Austin.

   Hardeman's second wife was a widow, Eliza DeWitt Hamilton, daughter of empresario Green DeWitt. Hardeman had five children by his first wife and three by the second. The four sons of his first marriage, Thomas Monroe Hardeman, William Polk Hardeman, Owen Bailey Hardeman, and Leonidas Polk Hardeman, were all venturesome types. They participated in scores of military campaigns of the Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, Indian wars, and the Civil War. Hardeman died on January 15, 1854, and was buried in Bastrop County. In 1937 his remains were removed to the State Cemetery in Austin. Hardeman County, Texas, was named partly in his honor. Source

30° 15.919, -097° 43.640

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

September 23, 2014

James Stephen Hogg

   James Stephen Hogg, the first native governor of Texas, was born near Rusk on March 24, 1851, the son of Lucanda (McMath) and Joseph Lewis Hogg. He attended McKnight School and had private tutoring at home until the Civil War. His father, a brigadier general, died at the head of his command in 1862, and his mother died the following year. Hogg and two of his brothers were left with two older sisters to run the plantation. Hogg spent almost a year in 1866 near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, going to school. After returning to Texas, he studied with Peyton Irving and worked as the typesetter in Andrew Jackson's newspaper office at Rusk. There he perfected his spelling, improved his vocabulary, and was stimulated by the prose and poetry contributions of his brother Thomas E. Hogg, who was studying law. Gradually, the family estate had to be sold to pay taxes and buy food, clothes, and books while the brothers tried to prepare themselves to earn a living by agriculture and practicing law as their father had done.

   While helping the sheriff at Quitman, Hogg earned the enmity of a group of outlaws, who lured him over the county line, ambushed him, and shot him in the back. He recovered and turned again to newspaper work in Tyler, after which he ran his own papers in Longview and Quitman from 1871 to 1873, fighting subsidies to railroads, the corruption of the Ulysses S. Grant administration, and local lawlessness. He served as justice of the peace at Quitman from 1873 to 1875. He studied law and was licensed in the latter year. Meanwhile, he had married Sallie Stinson; four children were born to them. Hogg received his only defeat in a contest for public office in 1876, when he ran against John S. Griffith for a seat in the Texas legislature. He was elected county attorney of Wood County in 1878 and served from 1880 to 1884 as district attorney for the old Seventh District, where he became known as the most aggressive and successful district attorney in the state. In the national campaign of 1884 he succeeded in winning enough black votes from the Republicans to make Smith County a Democratic stronghold. Despite a popular move for Hogg to go to Congress, he declined to run for public office in 1884 and entered private practice in Tyler, where he worked first with John M. Duncan and afterward with Henry Marsh.

   In 1886 his friends urged him to run for attorney general. His father's connections with the older political leaders made it easy for Hogg to be admitted to their councils, and he received the Democratic nomination and was elected. As attorney general, Hogg encouraged new legislation to protect the public domain set aside for the school and institutional funds, and he instituted suits that finally returned over a million and a half acres to the state. He sought to enforce laws providing that railroads and land corporations sell their holdings to settlers within certain time limits and succeeded in breaking up the Texas Traffic Association, which was formed by the roads to pool traffic, fix rates, and control competing lines, in violation of the laws. He forced "wildcat" insurance companies to quit the state and aided legitimate business generally. He helped to write the second state antitrust law in the nation and defended the Texas Drummer Tax Law before the United States Supreme Court, but lost. He managed to regain control of the East Line and Red River Railroad, despite Jay Gould's delaying actions, by making use of federal receivers. Hogg forced the restoration to Texas of railroad headquarters and shops, as a result of which depots and road aids were repaired or rebuilt, and he gradually compelled the railroads to respect Texas laws. Finally, seeing that neither the legislature nor his small office force could effectively carry out the laws to protect the public interest against powerful corporate railway interests, he advocated the establishment of the Railroad Commission and was elected governor on this platform in 1890.

   While governor, from 1891 to 1895, Hogg did much to strengthen public respect for law enforcement, defended the Texas claim to Greer County, and championed five major pieces of legislation. The "Hogg Laws" included (1) the law establishing the Railroad Commission; (2) the railroad stock and bond law cutting down on watered stock; (3) the law forcing land corporations to sell off their holdings in fifteen years; (4) the Alien Land Law, which checked further grants to foreign corporations in an effort to get the land into the hands of citizen settlers; and (5) the act restricting the amount of indebtedness by bond issues that county and municipal groups could legally undertake. In order to encourage investment in Texas, he traveled to New York, Boston, and Philadelphia explaining to businessmen and chambers of commerce the laws and advantages of the state. He was ever solicitous for the welfare of the common schools, the University of Texas, and Texas A&M. He also manifested earnest attention to the normals and to appointments to teacher-training scholarships. Always interested in the history of Texas, he succeeded in obtaining financial aid for a division of state archives and appointed C. W. Raines to supervise the collection and preservation of historical materials.

   Without any real difficulty Hogg could have become a United States senator in 1896, but he was content to return to private practice. After his wife died in 1895, he invited his older sister, Mrs. Martha Frances Davis, to come to his home to help rear his children. Though he was in debt when he relinquished the governor's chair to his attorney general, Charles A. Culberson, Hogg was able to build up a sizable family fortune by his law practice and wise investments in city property and oil lands. He successfully inculcated in his children a worthy interest in individual and public welfare as evidenced by numerous gifts to the University of Texas and various services to Texas as a whole, as well as to the cities of Houston and Austin.

   Although Hogg sought no other public office, he was always interested in good government. He aided William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 and 1900 campaigns and spoke on Bryan's behalf before Tammany Hall in 1900. Hogg had long been an advocate of an isthmian canal and increased trade for Texas to South America and the Orient via Hawaii, which he had visited after the Spanish-American War. He also championed progressive reforms in Texas in a famous speech at Waco on April 19, 1900. The meeting had been packed against him, but he insisted upon his right to speak and persisted until the crowd heard him. He pleaded for three separate principles: (1) that no insolvent corporation should do business in Texas; (2) that the free-pass system over the railroads should forever terminate; and (3) that the use of corporate funds in politics and in support of lobbies at Austin should be prohibited. At the end of a trying evening, he had won the audience over to his views. In 1901 he addressed the legislature on these progressive political principles, and in 1903 he rented the Hancock Opera House in Austin to plead again for their adoption. He raised questions about railroad mergers and consolidations and the unblushing use of lobbying and the corroding influences of the free pass. In conclusion he implored, "Let us have Texas, the Empire State, governed by the people; not Texas, the truck-patch, ruled by corporate lobbyists." At La Porte, on September 6, 1904, he prophetically spoke of the new role of labor in the twentieth century.

   After the oil boom at Beaumont and a trip to England in connection with his expanding business interests in South Texas, Hogg gave up his partnership with Judge James H. Robertson in Austin and moved to Houston, where he formed the firm of Hogg, Watkins, and Jones. He continued his political interests but was hurt in a railroad accident, after which he was never well again. One of his last public addresses was at the banquet in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt at Dallas on April 5, 1905, when two of the finest leaders of their parties met and exchanged respects. During the State Fair of Texas that year, Hogg was expected to speak before the Legislative Day banquet, but he was taken ill and confined to his hotel room in Fort Worth. Arrangements were made by his daughter for a phonograph recording of remarks for use in Dallas. In this address he summarized his political views. Among other points, he called for the permanent establishment of rotation in office, the prohibition of nepotism, equality of taxation, the suppression of organized lobbying in Austin, steps to make "corporate control of Texas" impossible, and open records that would "disclose every official the end that everyone shall know that, in Texas, public office is the center of public conscience, and that no graft, no crime, no public wrong, shall ever stain or corrupt our State." On March 3, 1906, Hogg died in the home of his partner, Frank Jones, at Houston. Source

30° 16.677, -097° 43.602

Section 3
Oakwood Cemetery

September 9, 2014

James Gillaspie

   James Gillaspie, prison superintendent and army officer in the Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, and the Civil War, son of William and Elizabeth Gillaspie, was born in Virginia on January 5, 1805. He traveled to Texas in 1835 and on January 14, 1836, enlisted in the volunteer auxiliary corps for the Texas army at Nacogdoches. On February 1 he was elected first lieutenant in Joseph L. Bennett's volunteer company. On April 8 Gillaspie became captain of the Sixth Company, Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers, which he commanded in the battle of San Jacinto. He was discharged from the army on May 29, 1836. Gillaspie married Susan Faris of Walker County; they had seven children. During the Mexican War he raised a company for the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers, for service under John C. (Jack) Hays. With the outbreak of the Civil War Gillaspie again raised a Walker County company for the Fifth Regiment, Texas Infantry Volunteers, and was stationed on Galveston Island. Gillaspie was superintendent of the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville from 1850 to 1858 and again from May 1867 until his death, on October 3, 1867. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Huntsville. The monument at his grave lists the personnel of the various units that he commanded during three wars. Source

30° 43.641, -095° 32.806

Oakwood Cemetery

September 2, 2014

Robert Anderson Irion

   Robert Anderson Irion, physician, surveyor, and Republic of Texas secretary of state, was born in Paris, Henry County, Tennessee, on July 7, 1804, to John Poindexter and Maacha (White) Irion. He received his medical training and completed his education at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, in March 1826. He began his medical practice in Vicksburg, Mississippi. In 1832, following the death of his first wife, Ann A. Vick, he left a daughter in the care of relatives and moved to Texas, first practicing medicine in San Augustine. He subsequently moved to Nacogdoches, where he became a surveyor and partner of George Aldrich. In May 1835 Samuel M. Williams, Francis W. Johnson, and Robert Peebles sponsored a bill in the legislature of Coahuila and Texas to award Irion and Aldrich 400 leagues of land for enlisting a company of soldiers for the Mexican army. Though the bill passed, Irion never received this grant, but he did receive a ten-league grant for enlisting as a soldier for that year. His title and all of the Mexican ten-league grants were canceled by the Republic of Texas.

   When the Mexican land offices closed in the fall of 1835, Irion returned to the practice of medicine in Nacogdoches. On September 14, 1835, he was elected to the Committee of Safety and Vigilance for Nacogdoches and on April 14, 1836, was a commandant of Nacogdoches Municipality. He was a senator from Nacogdoches in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, from October 4, 1836, to June 13, 1837. President Sam Houston appointed him secretary of state of the Republic of Texas in 1837, and he traveled to the United States, Canada, England, and Europe until President Mirabeau B. Lamar appointed Barnard E. Bee to succeed him on December 13, 1838.

   Irion was a charter member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and an Episcopalian. On March 29 or 30, 1840, he married Anna W. Raguet of Nacogdoches, daughter of Henry Raguet; they had five children. Irion continued the practice of medicine in Nacogdoches until his death, on March 2, 1861. He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Nacogdoches, where a monument was erected in his honor. Irion County in West Texas was named for him in 1889. Source

31° 36.202, -094° 38.945

Oak Grove Cemetery

August 26, 2014

Eli Noland

   As is often the case with early Texas settlers, little is known of Eli Noland's history. He was born in Ohio, December, 1803, and arrived in Texas sometime in 1835. He enlisted in the Texas army as a member of William S. Fisher's Company of Velasco Blues and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto, where he was slightly wounded. Noland was married to Elizabeth Shewmaker at the time of his death on December 17, 1841, and was buried in Houston's City Cemetery.

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.428, -095° 22.734

Founders Memorial Park

August 19, 2014

George Campbell Childress

   George Campbell Childress, lawyer, statesman, and author of the Texas Declaration of Independence, son of John Campbell and Elizabeth (Robertson) Childress, was born on January 8, 1804, at Nashville, Tennessee. In 1826 he graduated from Davidson Academy (later the University of Nashville). He was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1828 and married Margaret Vance on June 12 of that year. Their son was born in March 1835, and Margaret Childress died a few months later. Childress practiced law and for a brief period (September 1834 - November 1835) edited the Nashville Banner and Nashville Advertiser. In December 1834 he made his first trip to Texas, where his uncle, Sterling C. Robertson, was organizing Robertson's colony.

   After spending some time raising money and volunteers in Tennessee for the Texas army, Childress left permanently for Texas. He arrived at the Red River on December 13, 1835, and reached Robertson's colony on January 9, 1836. The following February he and his uncle were elected to represent Milam Municipality at the Convention of 1836. Childress called the convention to order and subsequently introduced a resolution authorizing a committee of five members to draft a declaration of independence. Upon adoption of the resolution, he was named chairman of the committee and is almost universally acknowledged as the primary author of the document.

   On March 19 President David G. Burnet sent Robert Hamilton and Childress, whose family was on friendly terms with President Andrew Jackson, to Washington as diplomatic agents for the Republic of Texas. They were instructed to negotiate for recognition of the republic. In late May 1836 their mission was terminated when they were replaced by James Collinsworth and Peter W. Grayson.

   On December 12, 1836, Childress married Rebecca Stuart Read Jennings; they had two daughters. Childress returned to Texas three times - in 1837, 1839, and 1841 - to open law offices, first in Houston, then Galveston. Each time he was unsuccessful in establishing a practice that would support his family. On October 6, 1841, while living in Galveston, he slashed his abdomen with a Bowie knife and died soon thereafter. On August 21, 1876, Childress County was formed and named in his honor. Source

29° 17.616, -094° 48.701

Trinity Episcopal Cemetery

August 12, 2014

Richard Joseph "Turk" Farrell

   Richard Joseph "Turk" Farrell was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1956 to 1969. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Colt .45s and Astros, all of the National League. Before the 1953 season, Farrell was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent. The 19-year-old was assigned to the class A Schenectady Blue Jays, where over a two-year span (1953-54), he would build an 18-18 record and a 3.30 ERA. He spent 1955 in the IL with the Syracuse Chiefs, going 12-12 with a 3.94 ERA, and in 1956 he played for the Miami Marlins, going 12-6 with a 2.50 ERA.

   Farrell would get a late-season look in 1956 by the Phillies and would lose his only decision, but set the groundwork for a 14-year run in the major leagues. Farrell was one of the young Phillies pitchers of the late 1950s, along with Jack Meyer and Jim Owens, dubbed the "Dalton Gang" for their fun-loving late-hour escapades. Phillies fans liked what they saw of the 6 ft 4 in hard-throwing rookie right-hander in 1957 when he was 10-2 plus 10 saves and a 2.38 ERA in 52 appearances out of the bullpen. On September 3, 1957, Farrell was the winning pitcher for the Phils in the last of fifteen home games the Dodgers played at the Jersey City Roosevelt Stadium, 3-2 in twelve innings. After four more seasons of relief work with the Phils, Farrell was traded to the Dodgers early in 1961.

   Farrell was selected in the 1961 MLB expansion draft by the Houston Colt .45s. In 1962, Farrell finished with the seventh best ERA at 3.02, but with a poor 10-20 record. A starter in Houston, Farrell was used almost exclusively in relief with Philadelphia and Los Angeles. His career totals include 590 games pitched, a won-loss record of 106-111, 83 saves, and an ERA of 3.45. He was selected to the National League All-Star team 4 times (1958, 1962, 1964 and 1965) in his career.

   Farrell last pitched in the major leagues on September 19, 1969 for the Phillies against the Expos in a game the Phillies lost 10-6. He would never pitch in the majors again, and would leave the US shortly thereafter for good. Farrell moved to England, where he lived and worked on an offshore oil rig just off Great Britain in the North Sea. He was killed on June 10, 1977, in an auto accident in Great Yarmouth, England, at age 43.

29° 44.493, -095° 36.623

Section 409
Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery

August 5, 2014

Richard Arlen "Bud" Marshall

   Bud Marshall, born September 12, 1941 in Carthage, Texas, was an American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, and Washington Redskins, as well as for the Houston Oilers in the American Football League. He played college football at Baylor University and Stephen F. Austin State University and was drafted in the tenth round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi. He was part of the team when the Packers won the 1965 NFL championship, then later in the year traded to the Washington Redskins. He was traded again that year by the Redskins to the Atlanta Falcons. In 1967, Marshall was traded yet again, this time to the AFL Houston Oilers, with whom he finished his football career. His career stats state that he played a total of 48 games over five years. He died on July 16, 2009, in Pasadena, Texas, five years to the day after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke.

29° 43.744, -095° 18.178

Section E
Forest Park Lawndale

July 29, 2014

Charlton W. Thompson

   Charlton Thompson, lawyer and Texas legislator, was born in 1809 in South Carolina. He moved to Coahuila and Texas in 1826 with other members of the Thompson family. He was a delegate from Matagorda to the Convention of 1833 at San Felipe. He moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1834 and practiced law. In early 1837 he returned to Texas and settled in San Augustine, where he acquired property. He owned the American Hotel, a municipal building, two rent houses, and ten or twelve lots. He married Sophia Lairy on August 1, 1837. On September 16 of that year Thompson became a first-degree member of the McFarlane Masonic Lodge in San Augustine. He was a member of the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas as a representative of San Augustine County. Thompson died in Houston in 1838 while attending Congress. At the time of his death he owned more than 39,000 acres of land. Source 

31° 29.222, -094° 01.181

Chapel Hill Cemetery
Chapel Hill

Betty Jane Tucker

   Betty Jane made her singing debut at the age of seven as a member of The Tucker Sisters, a singing trio that received national acclaim during the late thirties, forties, and early fifties. They began their professional career in 1936 at the Texas State Fair and became one of many successful sister trios during World War II, headlining at major nightclubs from New York to Hollywood, California, and appearing regularly on live CBS radio broadcasts through the 1940s and 1950s. Betty actually declined a contract with MGM in the 1940s in order to stay with the group. The trio also enjoyed popularity as recording artists and performed with the USO during WWII.

   They disbanded in the early 1950s when Ernestine and Betty Jane married and raised families respectively. Betty married and had six children, then divorced and moved to Concord, New Hampshire, where she worked with an insurance company through 1994. She returned to Dallas in 1999, and passed away in her sleep on June 4, 2004.

32° 55.496, -096° 44.644

Masonic Garden
Restland Memorial Park

July 22, 2014

John Lapham Bullis

   John Lapham Bullis, military officer and commander of the famed Black Seminole scouts, son of Dr. Abram R. and Lydia P. (Lapham) Bullis, was born at Macedon, New York, on April 17, 1841. As the eldest of seven children he had significant leadership in the family. He received a standard education at academies in Macedon and nearby Lima. Despite the devout Quaker sympathies of his parents and the revivalistic fervor of the surrounding area, he rarely attended services, but he apparently still remained on good terms with the family.

   Bullis enlisted as a corporal in the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry on August 8, 1862, and subsequently participated in several of the most important actions of the Civil War. At the battle of Harper's Ferry in September 1862 he was wounded and captured. He rejoined his regiment after exchange, was again wounded and captured at the battle of Gettysburg, and spent the following ten months confined to the notorious Libby Prison in Virginia. Having again been exchanged for Confederate prisoners in the spring of 1864, he joined the 118th United States Infantry, Colored, and received the rank of captain. He participated in a number of major combats around Richmond, Virginia, during the remaining months of the war.

   Bullis reenlisted in the regular army as a second lieutenant on September 3, 1867, and returned to Texas, where his Civil War regiment had been stationed for Reconstruction duty following the war's end. Garrison assignments in coastal Texas provided little chance for military action or promotion, and so in November 1869 he was transferred by request to the new Twenty-fourth Infantry, composed of white officers and black enlisted men. Although the initial years of service along the lower Rio Grande border proved fairly routine, Bullis participated in a number of operations against small Indian raiding parties and cattle rustlers. More important, while stationed at Fort Clark in 1873, he received command of a special troop of Black Seminole scouts that had been mustered three years earlier. Because of their intimate knowledge of the terrain in Coahuila, Mexico, the scouts were assigned to Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie's expedition in 1873 against renegade Kickapoo camps at Remolino. Bullis and his twenty scouts distinguished themselves in battle and played an important role in Mackenzie's withdrawal to Texas. They served again with Mackenzie during the Red River War of 1874, which was directed against Comanches, Kiowas, and Southern Cheyennes in the Texas Panhandle. Sixteen years later Bullis received brevet citations for his "gallant service" at Remolino, for similar actions on the Pecos River and near Saragosa, Mexico, during 1875 and 1876 respectively, and for a fight in 1881 with Lipan Apaches at the Burro Mountains in Coahuila.

   Upon Bullis's transfer in 1882 from command of the Black Seminole scouts to new duties in Indian Territory, the people of Kinney County, Texas, presented him with two ceremonial swords, one silver and one gold, in appreciation of his efforts to protect the border. The swords were later donated by his daughters to the Witte Museum in San Antonio. The Texas legislature likewise passed a special resolution in his honor. After service at Camp Supply in Indian Territory from 1882 to 1888, Bullis joined his old regiment in Arizona and served as agent for the Apaches at San Carlos Reservation. In 1893 he was transferred to Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory, to act as agent for the Pueblos and Jicarilla Apaches. Four years later he returned to Texas with the rank of major and was appointed paymaster at Fort Sam Houston. During the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection he saw service in Cuba and the Philippines. In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt promoted him to the rank of brigadier general, and on the following day Bullis retired from service.

   Drawing upon knowledge from his scouting experiences across West Texas, Bullis purchased numerous tracts of land as investments. In 1885 he also entered into a lucrative partnership with fellow officer William R. Shafter and rancher John W. Spencer to open the Shafter silver mines in Presidio County. The investments made Bullis a wealthy man and helped promote the settlement of West Texas. His marriage in 1872 to Alice Rodríguez of San Antonio ended with her death in 1887. Four years later he married Josephine Withers, also of San Antonio; they had three daughters. Bullis died in San Antonio on May 26, 1911. He received a final, posthumous, honor when, on the eve of American entry into World War I, the new military training base near San Antonio was named Camp Bullis. Source 

29° 25.292, -098° 27.997

Section A
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

July 15, 2014

Henry Falcott

   Henry Falcott, Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Champagne, France in 1835. He emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Army in San Francisco, California. He joined Company L of the 8th U.S. Cavalry and eventually reached the rank of first sergeant. He was part of a small cavalry force numbering 50 to 60 soldiers, primarily from Company B and Company L, who were charged with protecting settlers from Apache raiding parties in the Arizona Territory during the summer and fall of 1868. Falcott and his comrades faced the Apache in fierce fighting, often being ambushed or sniped at from hidden ravines, in a campaign lasting 90 days. The following summer, Falcott and 33 other members of his regiment received the Medal of Honor for their actions on July 24, 1869. It was one of the largest MOH presentations at the time. Falcott died in San Antonio, Texas on December 2, 1910, at the age of 75 and interred at the San Antonio National Cemetery. Source

Bravery in scouts and actions against Indians.

29° 25.279, -098° 28.033

Section F
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio