June 24, 2014

John Rabb

John Rabb, early settler, son of Mary (Smalley) and William Rabb, was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on January 1, 1798. The family moved successively to Ohio, Illinois, and then Jonesboro (i.e. Jonesborough), Arkansas, where John married Mary Crownover on October 2, 1821. He came to Texas in 1822 as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists and lived for a time near San Felipe de Austin. He was given title to a sitio of land now part of Fort Bend and Austin counties on July 8, 1824. He finally settled on Rabb's Prairie in what is now Fayette County, where he and his father received a bonus of land for building a grist and saw mill. Rabb went on an Indian campaign under John Henry Moore to Fort Tenoxtitlán in 1835 and in 1840 was again in military service when he joined a company under his brother, Thomas J. Rabb. After joining the Methodist Church in 1834, Rabb gave land to the missionary society of the church and to Rutersville College, for which he was treasurer in 1840. He also contributed the lumber for building the first Methodist church in San Antonio. In 1845 he was vice president of the Fayette County Temperance Society. Rabb later moved to Hill County and, in 1860, to Travis County, where he helped to settle Barton Springs. He died there on June 5, 1861, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
30° 16.559, -097° 43.611

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery
Austin

June 17, 2014

Duncan Campbell Ogden

Duncan Campbell Ogden, soldier, legislator, and merchant, was born on September 13, 1813, the son of David A. and Rebecca Cornell (Edwards) Ogden, at Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, New York, a community founded by his father. His father was a law partner of Alexander Hamilton. Young Ogden joined an uncle in a New Orleans business venture and then immigrated to Texas; he landed at Galveston in the summer of 1838. Almost immediately upon his arrival he was commissioned second lieutenant in a regiment being raised to repel an anticipated Mexican invasion, and in 1839 he was promoted to captain in the Army of the Republic of Texas. He commanded Company G of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Infantry in the battle of the Nueces in 1839. On August 21, 1840, he was transferred to the command of Company C of the First Regiment, then commanded by Col. William G. Cooke. In this capacity he participated in the opening of the Military Road from the Red River to Austin. Ogden was transferred from Company C on March 1, 1841.

In partnership with his old comrade, Maj. George T. Howard, he opened the mercantile establishment of Howard and Ogden in San Antonio. In 1841 this firm loaned Juan N. Seguín $3,000 to purchase merchandise to smuggle into Mexico, and Ogden accompanied Seguín to the Rio Grande to establish the cartel by which the goods would be traded. In reaction to the invasion of Raphael Vásquez in the spring of 1842 Ogden was elected captain of the San Antonio militia company that served under Col. John C. Hays. After entering the captured city under a flag of truce to parley with Vásquez, Ogden rode to Austin with Hays's plea to the War Department for reinforcements and then returned to San Antonio in time to lead a cavalry charge against the rear guard of Vásquez's retreating column.

That fall, after a show of resistance to a second column of raiders under Mexican general Adrián Woll, Ogden was sent to treat with the enemy and was taken captive on September 11, 1842. He and a number of other San Antonio citizens were marched to Perote Prison, from which, with Thomas Jefferson Green and John Twohig, Ogden was one of sixteen Texans to escape on July 2, 1843, through a carefully excavated tunnel. The horse and guide for which he had arranged were not at the designated rendezvous point, however, and he began the walk north with fellow escapees Tom Hancock and John Forester. "We directed our course from the prison immediately to the mountains overlooking the town of Perote," Forester later wrote. "We then started to the town of Jalapa, traveling by night and lying up during the day. We were frequently in hearing distance of the Mexicans, but managed to keep from being seen by them."

Hancock, who had been a member of the Texan Santa Fe expedition, was soon retaken while attempting to purchase food. Ogden and Forester became separated while crossing a deep canyon during the night, and although Forester was assisted in making his escape through Vera Cruz by members of the English colony in Jalapa, Ogden was recaptured by Mexican Indians some days later and returned to captivity at Jalapa. Only eight of the sixteen Texans avoided recapture. Presumably through the efforts of members of his family in New Orleans, the Mexican council in that city secured orders for Ogden's release on February 22, 1844, but an illness prevented his planned departure from prison on March 3. According to the Trueheart diary, Ogden left Perote on March 7; other accounts claim that he was still there on March 23, and Green lists him among the thirty-six prisoners who were not released until April 24, 1844, at the intercession of United States minister Waddy Thompson.

Upon Ogden's return to Texas he was elected to represent Bexar County in the House of Representatives of the Ninth Congress of the Republic of Texas. In 1846, after annexation to the United States, Ogden was reelected to the House of Representatives of the First Legislature. Also in 1846 he was appointed the state adjutant general. On May 30, 1845, he married Elizabeth Cox, a daughter of San Jacinto veteran James Cox, in Washington County; they had three children. After his return from Mexico, Ogden devoted his full energies to his mercantile firm until his death, on March 10, 1859, of a "pleuritic infection." His Perote Prison diary, which was never copied, was destroyed in the fire that burned the state Capitol in 1881. Mrs. Ogden later married Ogden's partner, George Howard, and became a founder of the Battle of Flowers, a part of Fiesta San Antonio.

GPS Coordinates
29° 25.212, -098° 28.034

Section G
City Cemetery #1
San Antonio

June 10, 2014

Kenneth "Big Moe" Moore

Kenneth “Big Moe” Moore, musician, rapper, and an original member of DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click (S.U.C.), was born in Houston, Texas, on August 20, 1974. He grew up in southeast Houston and graduated from Jack Yates High School.

Moore, whose stage name was Big Moe, gained distinction from other Houston rappers for his softer and slower style and his “rapsinging,” the term he applied to his mixture of rapping and singing. As a founding member in S.U.C., he began his music career by freestyling on DJ Screw’s mixtapes. He was subsequently signed to Wreckshop Records, and in 2000 the label released Big Moe’s debut album, City of Syrup. The title paid homage to the codeine-laced cough syrup that was prevalent in Houston’s hip-hop community. The album cover show’s Big Moe pouring syrup from a styrofoam cup. City of Syrup featured the single, Maan! which was Big Moe’s answer to an East Coast hit titled Whoa! by Black Rob.


In 2002 Moore released his second album Purple World. The release showcased a number of prominent Houston vocalists and two versions of Moore’s breakthrough single, Purple Stuff. The song’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory-like video garnered some airplay on MTV, and the album ranked as high as Number 3 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Moore’s third album, Moe Life, issued in 2003, included the commercially-successful single Just a Dog. After suffering a heart attack and slipping into a coma, Kenneth “Big Moe” Moore died on October 14, 2007. Wreckshop Records and the Koch label released his album Unfinished Business posthumously in 2008.

GPS Coordinates
29° 34.116, -5° 20.970

Block 4
Paradise Cemetery South
Pearland

June 3, 2014

Claiborne West

Claiborne West, political leader and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Tennessee about 1800. He moved to Louisiana and married Anna Garner in 1824. The Wests came to Texas seven years later. West represented the Liberty District at the Convention of 1832 and served as a member of that body's subcommittee for safety and vigilance for the district of Cow Bayou. In 1835 he served in the Consultation from the Liberty Municipality. Upon the formation of the General Council West was selected to represent the Jefferson Municipality. At the Convention of 1836 he signed the declaration of independence from Mexico.

During the Runaway Scrape West returned to Southeast Texas, where he furnished provisions to soldiers prior to the battle of San Jacinto. He subsequently enlisted in a company under Benjamin Franklin Hardin and served from July 1 to October 7, 1836. He was elected by Jefferson County voters to the House of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1836-37. After serving as postmaster for the hamlet of Jefferson, West moved to Montgomery County, where 1840 tax rolls include six slaves, four horses, and fifty cattle among his possessions. His wife died on March 3, 1847; shortly thereafter, West married Mrs. Prudence Kimbell, widow of George C. Kimbell. By 1850 the Wests had moved to Guadalupe County, where his estate included $3,000 in real property and nine slaves. After his second wife's death in 1861, West was married for a third time, to Mrs. Florinda McCulloch Day. West was a Mason and the father of nine children by his first marriage. He died on September 10, 1866.

GPS Coordinates
29° 33.595, -097° 57.715

Section 5
Riverside Cemetery
Seguin