Along with everything else, Hurricane Harvey took with it decades worth of files, maps, notes, coordinates, names and research I had on my external hard drive; so for the time being, this site will be on hiatus until I finish republishing. I will upload as I go, so each post will reappear on its original date and can be found in the Archive section in the right sidebar. If you need to contact me for any reason in the duration, my contact info is found in my profile. Wish me luck, guys. - JES

December 29, 2015

Benjamin Rush Milam

   Ben Milam, soldier, colonizer, and entrepreneur, was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, on October 20, 1788, the fifth of the six children of Moses and Elizabeth Pattie (Boyd) Milam. He had little or no formal schooling. He enlisted in the Kentucky militia and fought for several months in the War of 1812. When his period of enlistment was completed he returned to Frankfort. In 1818 he was in Texas trading with the Comanche Indians on the Colorado River when he met David G. Burnet. The two became friends. In New Orleans in 1819 Milam met José Félix Trespalacios and James Long, who were planning an expedition to help the revolutionaries in Mexico and Texas gain independence from Spain. Milam joined Trespalacios and was commissioned a colonel. While they sailed to Veracruz, Long marched to La Bahía, which he easily captured, only to discover that the people and soldiers there were revolutionaries, not Royalists. They gave him a hostile reception, and he moved on to San Antonio. In Veracruz and Mexico City, Trespalacios and Milam met with the same reception that Long had received and were imprisoned. Ultimately, with General Long, they were able to legitimatize their purposes and intentions to the new revolutionary government which, in turn, accepted and treated them with respect and generosity. Long was shot and killed by a guard under circumstances that convinced Milam that the killing was plotted by Trespalacios. Milam and several friends then planned to kill Trespalacios. The plot was discovered, however, and Milam and his friends were imprisoned in Mexico City. Through the influence of Joel R. Poinsett, United States minister, all were released.

   By the spring of 1824 Milam returned to Mexico, which now had adopted the Constitution of 1824 and had a republican form of government. In Mexico City he met Arthur G. Wavell, an Englishman who had become a general in the Mexican army. Trespalacios, now prominent in the new government also, made overtures to Milam to renew their friendship, and Milam accepted. He was granted Mexican citizenship and commissioned a colonel in the Mexican army in 1824. In 1825-26 he became Wavell's partner in a silver mine in Nuevo León; the two also obtained empresario grants in Texas. Wavell managed the mining in Mexico and leased the most productive mine to an English company, which by 1828 was unable to fulfill the terms of their contract. In 1829 Milam sought to organize a new mining company in partnership with David G. Burnet, but they were unable to raise the necessary capital.

   In April 1830 the Mexican Congress passed a law prohibiting further immigration of United States citizens into Texas. This was one reason why Milam, as Wavell's agent for his Red River colony, and Robert M. Williamson, as agent for Milam's colony, were not able to introduce the required number of settlers specified in their empresario contracts, which were due to expire in 1832. During this time Milam removed the great Red River raft of debris, which for years had blocked traffic in the upper part of the Red River for all vessels except canoes and small, flat-bottomed boats. He then purchased a steamboat, the Alps, the first of its kind to pass through the channel.

   In 1835 Milam went to Monclova, the capital of Coahuila and Texas, to urge the new governor, Agustín Viesca, to send a land commissioner to Texas to provide the settlers with land titles. Viesca agreed to do this. However, before Milam could leave the city, word came that Antonio López de Santa Anna had overthrown the representative government of Mexico, had established a dictatorship, and was en route to Texas with an army. Viesca fled with Milam, but both were captured and imprisoned at Monterrey. Milam eventually escaped and headed for the Texas border, which he reached in October 1835. By accident he encountered a company of soldiers commanded by George Collinsworth, from whom he heard of the movement in Texas for independence. Milam joined them, helped capture Goliad, and then marched with them to join the main army to capture San Antonio. While returning from a scouting mission in the southwest on December 4, 1835, Milam learned that a majority of the army had decided not to attack San Antonio as planned but to go into winter quarters. Convinced that this decision would be a disaster for the cause of independence, Milam then made his famous, impassioned plea: "Who will go with old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" Three hundred volunteered, and the attack, which began at dawn on December 5, ended on December 9 with the surrender of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos and the Mexican army. Milam did not survive to witness the victory, however. On December 7 he was shot in the head by a sniper and died instantly. In 1897 the Daughters of the Republic of Texas erected a monument at Milam's gravesite in Milam Park, San Antonio. The marker was moved in 1976, and the location of the grave was forgotten until 1993, when a burial was unearthed that archeologists think is probably Milam's. Source

29° 25.570, -098° 29.978

Milam Park
San Antonio

December 22, 2015

"Blind" Willie Johnson

   “Blind Willie” Johnson, known as the “Sightless Visionary” and bluesman and virtuoso of the "bottleneck" or slide guitar, was born near Brenham, Texas, on January 22, 1897 (according to his death certificate). He was the son of Willie and Mary (Fields) Johnson. The family moved to Marlin when he was a small child. Reportedly his mother died, and his father remarried. According to one legend, young Johnson was blinded when his stepmother threw lye at his father and some of it got in Willie’s eyes. Johnson had aspirations to be a preacher. His father made for him a cigar box guitar, and he taught himself to play. He performed at Baptist Association meetings and churches around Marlin and nearby Hearne, Texas.

   At some point Johnson moved to Dallas. He may have married Willie B. Harris, though no marriage certificate has been found. They had one daughter. Willie B. Harris sang accompaniment with Johnson on some of his recordings for Columbia Records between 1927 and 1930. A second woman, Angeline (listed as Anna in the 1920 census), sister of blues guitarist L. C. “Good Rockin’” Robinson, claimed to have married Johnson in 1927. According to Johnson’s daughter, her father lived with the family in Marlin, Texas, until the late 1930s. Eventually he settled in Beaumont.

   Blind Willie made his professional debut as a gospel artist. It total, he made thirty recordings for Columbia during four sessions. He was known to his followers as a performer "capable of making religious songs sound like the blues" and of endowing his secular songs with "religious feeling." Johnson's unique voice and his original compositions influenced musicians throughout the South, especially Texas bluesmen. He sang in a "rasping false bass," and played bottleneck guitar with "uncanny left handed strength, accuracy and agility." So forceful was his voice that legend has it he was once arrested for inciting a riot simply by standing in front of the New Orleans Customs House singing If I Had My Way I'd Tear This Building Down, a chant-and-response number that stimulated great audience enthusiasm.

   Johnson's celebrity career ended with the Great Depression, after which he continued to perform as a street singer but did no further recording. A 1944 Beaumont city directory listed him as operating the House of Prayer in that city. He died in Beaumont on September 18, 1945, and was buried in Blanchette Cemetery in that city. Anna Johnson was listed as his widow in a 1947 Beaumont directory. Johnson left behind a legacy of musical masterpieces, some of which have been rerecorded on Yazoo Records. His work includes such classics as Nobody's Fault but Mine, God Don't Never Change, Mother's Children Have a Hard Time, Bye and Bye I'm Going to See the King, God Moves on the Water, Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed, and I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole.

   His recording Dark was the Night (Cold was the Ground) was among the musical selections placed on board Voyager 1 in 1977 as a representative sampling of music on Earth. Johnson’s recordings were released by Sony/Legacy in 1993 on a double CD titled Complete Blind Willie Johnson. A Texas Historical Marker honoring Johnson was dedicated at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church (the site of Johnson’s residence and House of Prayer during the 1940s) on December 15, 2010. Johnson was also recognized as a music legend in the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s Music Hall of Fame in Port Arthur. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. Although Willie Johnson is known to be buried in this cemetery, the exact location has been lost over time due to poor record keeping.

30° 03.062,  094° 06.206

Blanchette Cemetery

November 10, 2015

Philip Minor Cuney

   Philip Minor Cuney, soldier, plantation owner, and legislator, the son of Richard Edmond and Tabitha (Wells) Cuney, was born of Swiss descent in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, in 1808. After the death of his first wife in 1834, he moved to Texas around 1840 and settled in Austin County, where he took up farming. In 1842 he married Eliza Ware; they had three children. Cuney, a Whig, was elected to the House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas in 1843. He became a prosperous cotton planter and, with Oliver Jones, was Austin County delegate to the Convention of 1845, which voted for annexation to the United States. On July 13, 1846, Cuney was elected brigadier general of the First Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Texas Militia. Also in 1846 he was elected to the state Senate and represented Austin and Fort Bend counties in the First and Second legislatures until 1848. On February 22, 1848, he was elected a state delegate to the national Democratic convention in Baltimore. In 1851 he was a candidate for the state Senate. On his plantation, Sunnyside, twelve miles southeast of Hempstead on Iron Creek, Cuney had 2,000 acres and 105 slaves by 1850. Among them was Adeline Stuart, who bore him eight children and whom he eventually set free. Among their sons was Norris Wright Cuney, who became a prominent politician in Galveston. On September 26, 1851, Cuney married Adeline Spurlock, daughter of James L. and Eliza Spurlock, also of Austin County. Cuney died at his Austin County home on January 8, 1866. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. Source

30° 04.974, -096° 04.053

Hempstead Cemetery

October 27, 2015

Hamilton Prioleau Bee

   Hamilton P. Bee, Confederate brigadier general, the son of Anne and Barnard E. Bee, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 22, 1822. The family moved to Texas while he was still a youth. In 1839 he served as secretary for the commission that established the boundary between the Republic of Texas and the United States, and in 1843 Texas president Sam Houston dispatched Bee, with Joseph C. Eldridge and Thomas S. Torrey to convene a peace council with the Comanches. On August 9, 1843, the commissioners obtained the promise of the Penatekas to attend a council with Houston the following April. The meeting culminated in the Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. In 1846 Bee was named secretary of the Texas Senate.

   During the Mexican War he served briefly as a private in Benjamin McCulloch's famed Company A - the "Spy Company" - of Col. John Coffee Hays's First Regiment, Texas Mounted Rifles, before transferring in October 1846, as a second lieutenant, to Mirabeau B. Lamar's independent company of Texas cavalry. Bee volunteered for a second term in October 1847 and was elected first lieutenant of Lamar's Company, now a component of Col. Peter Hansborough Bell's Regiment, Texas Volunteers.

   After the war Bee moved to Laredo and was elected to the Texas legislature, where he served from 1849 through 1859. From 1855 through 1857 he was speaker of the House. He was elected brigadier general of militia in 1861 and appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army to rank from March 4, 1862. His brigade was composed of August C. Buchel's First, Nicholas C. Gould's Twenty-third, Xavier B. Debray's Twenty-sixth, James B. Likin's Thirty-fifth, Peter C. Woods's Thirty-sixth, and Alexander W. Terrell's Texas cavalry regiments. Given command of the lower Rio Grande district, with headquarters at Brownsville, Bee expedited the import of munitions from Europe through Mexico and the export of cotton in payment. On November 4, 1863, he was credited with saving millions of dollars of Confederate stores and munitions from capture by a federal expeditionary force under Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. After transfer to a field command in the spring of 1864, Bee led his brigade in the Red River campaign under Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor. Having had only slight training or experience in the art of war and having served only in an administrative capacity to that time, he was less than skillful in handling troops. While he was leading a cavalry charge at the battle of Pleasant Hill, two horses were shot from beneath him, and he suffered a slight face wound. Though he was afterward the object of some heavy criticism, he was assigned to the command of Thomas Green's division in Gen. John A. Wharton's cavalry corps in February 1865 and was later given a brigade of infantry in Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey's division.

   After the war Bee went to Mexico for a time. In 1876 he returned to San Antonio, where he remained until his death, on October 3, 1897. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in San Antonio. Bee was married to Mildred Tarver of Alabama in 1854, and they had six children. He was the brother of Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr. Source

29° 25.194, -098° 27.806

Section 4
Confederate Cemetery
San Antonio

October 20, 2015

Anthony Martin Branch

   Anthony Martin Branch, Confederate congressman, was born in Buckingham County, Virginia, on July 16, 1823, one of ten children of Winnifred (Guerrant) and Samuel Branch III. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1842 and in 1847 moved to Huntsville, Texas, where he formed a law partnership with Henderson Yoakum and became closely associated with Sam Houston. (When Houston died Branch served as executor of his will and guardian of his children.) On March 18, 1849, Branch married Amanda Smith.

   In 1850 he was elected district attorney of the Seventh Judicial District. In 1859 he represented his district in the House of Representatives of the Eighth Texas Legislature, where, according to a contemporary biographer, he "well sustained his reputation for eloquence and ability." In November 1861 he was elected as a Democrat to the state Senate. Although a Unionist, he resigned from the Senate and on March 20, 1862, enlisted in the Confederate Army. A month later he was elected captain of Company A in Col. George Washington Carter's Twenty-first Texas Cavalry. On August 3, 1863, Branch defeated Peter W. Gray in the race to represent the Third District of Texas in the Second Confederate Congress. In Richmond he served as a member of the Elections, Military Affairs, and Territories and Public Lands committees and was vitally interested in the exportation of cotton through Mexican ports. Although a staunch political ally of President Jefferson Davis, Branch was an uncompromising exponent of states' rights. As such he fought to keep Texas troops in Texas and opposed Confederate interference with the Texas economy. After the war he returned to Texas and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in both the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth congresses but was denied his seat by the Radical Republican majority. He returned to Huntsville and helped to incorporate the Central Transit Company in 1866. Branch practiced law until his death during a yellow fever epidemic, on October 3, 1867. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery near the grave of Sam Houston. Source

GPS Coordinates
30° 43.604, -095° 32.831

Oakwood Cemetery

September 22, 2015


   Singer Selena Quintanilla Perez, known simply as Selena, the daughter of Abraham and Marcella (Perez) Quintanilla, Jr., was born on April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson, Texas. She married Christopher Perez, guitarist and member of the band Selena y Los Dinos (slang for "the Boys") on April 2, 1992. They had no children. Selena attended Oran M. Roberts Elementary School in Lake Jackson and West Oso Junior High in Corpus Christi, where she completed the eighth grade. In 1989 she finished high school through the American School, a correspondence school for artists, and enrolled at Pacific Western University in business administration correspondence courses.

   Her career began when she was eight. From 1957 to 1971 her father played with Los Dinos, a Tejano band. He taught his children to sing and play in the family band and taught Selena to sing in Spanish. They performed at the family restaurant, Pappagallo, and at weddings in Lake Jackson. After 1981 the band became a professional act. In 1982 the group moved to Corpus Christi and played in rural dance halls and urban nightclubs, where Tejano music flourishes. In her late teens Selena adopted fashions sported by Madonna.

   Preceded by Lydia Mendoza and Chelo Silva, Mexican-American star vocalists of the 1930s, and by pioneer orchestra singer Laura Canales in the 1970s, Selena became a star in Tejano music. She won the Tejano Music Award for Female Entertainer of the Year in 1987, and eight other Tejano awards followed. By the late 1980s Selena was known as "la Reina de la Onda Tejana" ("the Queen of Tejano music") and "una mujer del pueblo." Her popularity soared with annual awards from the Tejano Music Awards and a contract with EMI Latin Records in 1989. At the 1995 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the band attracted 61,041 people, more than Clint Black, George Strait, Vince Gill, or Reba McEntire.

   Selena y Los Dinos recorded with Tejano labels GP, Cara, Manny, and Freddie before 1989. Their albums include Alpha (1986), Dulce Amor (1988), Preciosa (1988), Selena y Los Dinos (1990), Ven Conmigo (1991), Entre a Mi Mundo (1992), Selena Live (1993), Amor Prohibido (1994), and Dreaming of You (1995). The band's popularity surged with Ven Conmigo. Entre a Mi Mundo made Selena the first Tejana to sell more than 300,000 albums. In 1993 she signed with SBK Records to produce an all-English album, but it was eventually replaced with the bilingual Dreaming of You.

   Despite her success in the Spanish-language market, mainstream society largely ignored Selena until around 1993. In 1994 Texas Monthly named her one of twenty influential Texans and the Los Angeles Times interviewed her. That same year, Selena Live won a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Album. Also in 1993 and 1995, Lo Nuestro Billboard gave the band awards in four categories. Selena y Los Dinos was a cross-over act in Tejano, romance, cumbia, tropical, pop, rap, and salsa in Spanish and English; Selena was not only bilingual but biethnic. Before her death, the band sold more than 1.5 million records.

   By the mid-1980s Selena had crossed into the national Latino and Latin-American market. A recording with the Puerto Rican band Barrio Boyzz furthered inroads into this area. Selena y Los Dinos began to acquire a following in Mexico (Matamoros) as early as 1986. Along with Emilio Navaira, Selena y Los Dinos attracted 98,000 fans in Monterrey, and thus popularized Tejano music in Mexico. In 1994 the band played in New York to a Mexican and Central American audience. The band was the first Tejano group to make Billboard's Latin Top 200 list of all-time best-selling records.

   Selena was also known to Latin-American television audiences. At the age of twelve or thirteen she was introduced on the Johnny Canales Show. She appeared on Sábado Gigante, Siempre en Domingo, El Show de Cristina, and the soap opera Dos Mujeres, Un Camino. She also made a cameo appearance in the 1995 film Don Juan DeMarco. Advertisements also made Selena popular. Coca-Cola featured her in a poster, and she had a promotional tour agreement with the company. She had a six-figure contract with Dep Corporation and a contract with AT&T and Southwestern Bell. A six-figure deal with EMI Latin made her a millionaire. In 1992 she began her own clothing line. In 1994 she opened Selena Etc., a boutique-salon in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. At the time of her death she had plans to open others in Monterrey and Puerto Rico. A 1994 Hispanic magazine stated her worth at $5 million. Despite her wealth, however, she lived in the working-class district of Molina in Corpus Christi.

   Selena considered herself a public servant. She participated with the Texas Prevention Partnership, sponsored by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Dep Corporation) Tour to Schools, in an educational video. She was also involved with the D.A.R.E. program and worked with the Coastal Bend Aids Foundation. Her pro-education videos included My Music and Selena Agrees. She was scheduled for a Dallas-Fort Worth boys' and girls' club benefit. Selena taped a public-service announcement for the Houston Area Women's Center, a shelter for battered women, in 1993.

   On March 31, 1995, Selena was shot fatally in the back by Yolanda Saldivar, her first fan club founder and manager of Selena Etc., in Corpus Christi. The New York Times covered her death with a front-page story, as did Texas major dailies. Six hundred persons attended her private Jehovah's Witness funeral. More than 30,000 viewed her casket at the Bayfront Plaza Convention Center in Corpus Christi. Hundreds of memorials and Masses were offered for her across the country; on April 16, for instance, a Mass was celebrated on her behalf at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Los Angeles. Her promotion agency, Rogers and Cowan, received more than 500 requests for information about her. Entertainment Tonight and Dateline NBC ran short stories on her, and People magazine sold a commemorative issue. Spanish-language television and radio sponsored numerous tributes, typically half-hour or hour programs.

   Selena's fans compared the catastrophe to the deaths of John Lennon, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and Pedro Infante. Songs, quilts, paintings, T-shirts, buttons, banners, posters, and shrines honored her. Radio talker Howard Stern of New York, however, snickered at her music and enraged her fans. Bo Corona, a disc jockey at a Houston Tejano radio station, asked him to apologize, and the League of United Latin American Citizens organized a boycott of his sponsors. Selena's death became part of the controversy over the Texas concealed-handgun bill. Her death also fostered greater awareness of Tejano music. According to superstar Little Joe, as a result of Selena's death "the word Tejano has been recognized by millions." Governor George W. Bush proclaimed April 16, 1995, "Selena Day." Selena's family founded the Selena Foundation. Her bilingual album, Dreaming of You, was released posthumously in 1995 and was the first Tejano album to hit number one in the United States.

   Selena's killer, Yolanda Saldivar, was convicted by a Houston jury. In 2002 Nueces County Judge Jose Longoria ordered that the murder weapon, a .38-caliber revolver, be destroyed and its pieces scattered in Corpus Christi Bay. Some musicologists and fans felt that the gun should have been preserved in a museum for its historical significance, while others were glad to see the destruction of the instrument of the singer's death.

   In the years after Selena's death, the singer's popularity has remained very strong. Numerous honors have been awarded posthumously. The city of Corpus Christi erected a memorial, Mirador de la Flor ("Overlook of the Flower"), which included a life-sized bronze statue, to the fallen singer in 1997. That same year, a movie about her life - Selena - was released and starred newcomer Jennifer Lopez in the leading role. The Quintanilla family opened the Selena Museum in Corpus Christi in 1998, and in 2001 she was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the South Texas Music Walk of Fame.

   On April 7, 2005, a tribute concert Selena ¡VIVE! was broadcast live from Houston's Reliant Stadium. Attended by more than 65,000 fans, the event featured famous artists performing Selena's songs. The live broadcast on the Univision Network became the highest-rated Spanish-language program in American television history. In 2011 the United States Postal Service honored Selena as a “Latin Legend” with the issue of a memorial postage stamp. In April 2015 the city of Corpus Christi hosted the first annual Fiesta de la Flor, a two-day festival celebrating the life and legacy of the singer. A portion of the profits was donated to the Selena Foundation. Source

27° 43.943, -097° 21.747

Living Lord Section
Seaside Memorial Cemetery
Corpus Christi

September 8, 2015

William Lockhart Clayton

   William Lockhart Clayton, cotton merchant, was born on a farm near Tupelo, Mississippi, on February 7, 1880, to James Munroe and Martha Fletcher (Burdine) Clayton. He attended seven grades of public school in Tupelo and Jackson, Tennessee, where the family moved when he was six years old. Proficient in shorthand, he went to St. Louis in 1895 as personal secretary to an official of the American Cotton Company. From 1896 to 1904 he worked in the New York office of the American Cotton Company, where he rose to the position of assistant general manager. In 1904 Clayton formed a partnership to buy and sell cotton with two members of a Jackson, Tennessee, family prominent in banking - Frank E. and Monroe D. Anderson, the former Clayton's brother-in-law. A younger brother, Benjamin Clayton, joined the firm in 1905. Anderson, Clayton and Company first opened its offices in Oklahoma City and experienced immediate success. In 1916 the firm moved its headquarters to Houston, where Clayton, as the partner most expert in foreign sales, led other cotton exporters in providing warehouse facilities, insurance, credit, and other services that European firms had formerly rendered. In 1920 the company reorganized as an unincorporated Texas joint-stock association. Later in the 1920s Clayton led the fight that forced the New York Stock Exchange to accept southern delivery on futures contracts, thus removing an impediment to the natural operation of the futures market.

   When high tariffs and federal farm-price supports threatened to drive American cotton out of the world market in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Clayton's firm responded by establishing cotton-buying offices in Latin America and Africa in order to supply its foreign sales agencies with cotton at competitive rates. At the same time that Clayton was expanding his business abroad, he fought the farm policies of the New Deal. He opposed government supports of the agricultural market. Instead, he believed that if subsidies were necessary they should go straight to the farmer. Clayton joined the American Liberty League in 1934 but left the organization the following year, when it failed to accept his recommendations for public relations in Texas. In 1936 he renounced his earlier opposition to Roosevelt because of Secretary of State Cordell Hull's work for a reciprocal trade agreement, a cause Clayton had advocated for many years. Meanwhile, Anderson, Clayton and Company increased investments in cotton gins, vegetable-oil mills, feed factories, experimental seed farms, and other enterprises related to processing cotton and similar commodities. From the beginning such investments had made the firm unique among cotton-merchandising organizations. Frank Anderson died in 1924, and Benjamin Clayton withdrew from the firm in 1929. The two remaining partners formed Anderson, Clayton and Company (Delaware) in 1930 and issued preferred stock. In 1940 Clayton retired from active management in the firm, but through several trusts he maintained control of the company until his death.

   During World War I he served on the Committee of Cotton Distribution of the War Industries Board. In 1940 he was called to Washington to serve as deputy to the coordinator of inter-American affairs. For the next four years he held a variety of high-level positions with the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Commerce, and wartime agencies. From December 1944 until October 1947 he was assistant and then undersecretary of state for economic affairs, in which capacity he became a principal architect of the European Recovery Program, known commonly as the Marshall Plan. After his return to Houston in late 1947, he remained an occasional participant and frequent contributor to international conferences on world trade, the European Common Market, and related matters.

   He contributed personally and through the Clayton Fund to a variety of religious, charitable, and educational institutions, most notably to Johns Hopkins University (of which he was a trustee from 1949 to 1966), Tufts University, the University of Texas, Susan V. Clayton Homes (a low-cost housing project in Houston), and the Methodist Church. Clayton married Susan Vaughan of Clinton, Kentucky, on August 14, 1902. They had a son who died in infancy and four daughters who survived them. Clayton died after a brief illness on February 8, 1966, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. Source

29° 45.910, -095° 22.983
Section I
Glenwood Cemetery

September 1, 2015

Jose Francisco Ruiz

   José Francisco Ruiz, military officer and public official, was born about January 28, 1783, to Juan Manuel Ruiz and María Manuela de la Peña and baptized eight days later in the parish church of San Fernando de Béxar (now San Antonio). It is said that he went to Spain for his final years of schooling. In 1803 he was appointed San Antonio's schoolmaster. The designated site for the school was a house on Military Plaza acquired earlier by Juan Manuel Ruiz and passed on to his son. This same house, suffering from the ravages of time and business encroachment, was removed from its original location in 1943 and carefully reconstructed on the grounds of the Witte Museum, where it is still used for educational purposes.

   Ruiz was elected regidor on the San Antonio cabildo or city council in 1805. His duties involved assisting the síndico procurador (city attorney) in administering the affairs of a public slaughterhouse. In 1809 he was elected procurador. Beginning a long military career, he joined the Bexar Provincial Militia on January 14, 1811, with the rank of lieutenant. He joined the Republican Army at Bexar and served first under José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and then José Álvarez de Toledo y Dubois. He took part in the battle of Medina on August 18, 1813, and with the defeat of the revolutionaries and a price on his head, Ruiz was "obliged to emigrate to the United States of the North." His nephew, José Antonio Navarro, who was also in exile, wrote of their "wandering in the State of Louisiana." When a proclamation of general amnesty was issued on October 10, 1813, to the Mexican insurgents, Francisco Ruiz, Juan Martín de Veramendi, and a few others were excepted. The Ruiz family was on the "List of Insurgents for the Month of March 1814". Ruiz remained in exile until 1822, and spent part of this time with the Indians. In 1821, at the order of Augustín de Iturbide, he "occupied himself in making peace with the Indians until he succeeded in getting the hostile tribes of the North, the Comanches and Lipans, to present themselves in peace." In a letter to Antonio M. Martínez Ruiz writes that he will leave Natchitoches, Louisiana, on November 1, 1821, in compliance with the commission conferred on him by Gaspar López, commandant general of the Eastern Internal Provinces, and take the Indians to the capitol if possible.

   In 1822, his long exile ended, Ruiz returned to Texas, where he was appointed to the Mounted Militia. That same year he traveled with a party of Indians to Mexico City, where the Lipans signed a peace treaty ratified in September 1822 by the Mexican government. Ruiz was promoted in 1823 to army captain, unassigned, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. His commission was confirmed on September 23, 1825. On June 22, 1826, he wrote the president of Mexico requesting the command of a post. He was sent to Nacogdoches in December 1826 to help put down the Fredonian Rebellion, and by April 1827 he was in command of a detachment there. In 1828 Ruiz returned to Bexar, where he commanded the Álamo de Parras company and assisted Gen. Manuel de Mier y Terán in his study of the Texas Indians. It was probably during this time that Ruiz wrote his Report on the Indian Tribes of Texas in 1818, preserved in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. During his years in the military Ruiz gained the trust of the Indians as negotiator. The Shawnees referred to him as "A good man no lie and a friend of the Indians."

   With the passage of the Law of April 6, 1830, General Mier instructed Antonio Elozúa, military commandant in Bexar, to dispatch Ruiz with the Alamo de Parras company to establish a military post on the Brazos at the upper crossing of the Bexar-Nacogdoches road. Its primary purpose was to prevent further American colonization from this direction. Ruiz set out on June 25, 1830, with his company and kept a diary of the trip, in which he recorded their arrival at the Brazos on July 13, 1830. They chose a site on August 2 on the west side of the river, in what is now Burleson County, and gave their post the name Fort Tenoxtitlán. Colonel Ruiz encountered many difficulties as commandant of the fort-isolation, hostile Indians, and desertions and other crimes. The post suffered shortages of food, funds, and military personnel. In a letter to his friend Stephen F. Austin on November 26, 1830, Ruiz stated that he was tired of his command and wanted to get out of military service. He longed to obtain land and build a house so he could bring his family from Bexar and settle down as a rancher. On October 16, 1831, he wrote Vice President Anastasio Bustamante asking to be separated from the army because of failing health. He outlined his military career and asked for retirement or a permanent leave. In a letter of November 13 to his friend and superior Elozúa, Ruiz described a debilitating illness that had impaired his hearing and caused his hair to fall out. On August 15, 1832, he received orders to abandon the fort and move his troops back to Bexar. Ruiz received his retirement and military pay from the Mexican government at the end of 1832. On January 17, 1836, James W. Robinson, lieutenant governor of the provisional government of Texas, appointed him one of five commissioners to treat with the Comanche Indians. When the struggle for Texas independence gained momentum in 1835, Ruiz allied himself with its cause. He traveled to Washington-on-the-Brazos in late February 1836 as a delegate to the Convention of 1836. There he and his nephew José Antonio Navarro signed the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836, the only native Texans among the fifty-nine men who affixed their names to this document.

   Still away from his home in the service of the republic, Ruiz wrote his son-in-law, Blas María Herrera, on December 27, 1836, from Columbia, Texas. In this letter, still in family possession, he eloquently expressed his affection and longing for his family and his support for the young Republic of Texas. "Under no circumstance," he wrote, "take sides against the Texans . . . for only God will return the territory of Texas to the Mexican government." Ruiz represented the Bexar District as its senator in the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, from October 3, 1836, to September 25, 1837. He was a Catholic. He was married in San Antonio on March 8, 1804, to Josefa Hernández. They had four children, of whom one was Francisco Antonio Ruiz, alcalde of San Antonio during the battle of the Alamo. Besides the property Ruiz owned in and around San Antonio, in 1833 and 1834 he received eleven leagues of land that is now part of Robertson, Brazos, Milam, Burleson, and Karnes counties. Ruiz died in San Antonio, probably on January 19, 1840, and is buried there. Source

29° 24.937, -098° 30.740

Section 4
San Fernando Cemetery #1
San Antonio

July 28, 2015

Greer Garson

   Famed actress Greer Garson was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson in London, England, on September 29, 1904. She was the only daughter of George Garson, a London clerk, and Nina Nancy Sophia Greer. Her father died in 1906. She attended East Ham Secondary School in London and the prestigious University of London, where she graduated with a B.A. and with honors in English in 1926. Though family members suggested that she might enter the teaching field, Garson had ambitions to become an actress. She did postgraduate work and studied French theater at Grenoble University in France in 1927.

   From 1927 to 1931 she worked at an advertising agency in London where she met another aspiring actor, George Sanders, who later starred in such films as The Gay Falcon and The Saint. She joined the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in late 1931 and made her stage debut in 1932. In just a few short years she landed starring roles in a number of West End productions on the London stage. During one of her productions, she caught the eye of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, who was desperate to find a leading lady to revitalize his studio with the impending departures of Norma Shearer and Greta Garbo. Garson signed with MGM in 1937.

   Garson’s first Hollywood production, Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), won her an Academy Award nomination. This began a remarkable run of five more Oscar nominations during the first half of the 1940s for her leading roles in Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Madame Curie (1943), Mrs. Parkington (1944), and The Valley of Decision (1945). In 1942 she earned her only Oscar for playing the title role in Mrs. Miniver. Her portrayal of a British homemaker on the home front during World War II was a particular favorite of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Her remarks upon accepting the Oscar remain the longest recorded acceptance speech (5.5 minutes in length) in the Academy’s history, which afterward prompted organizers to place a cap on them. After her role in Madame Curie, which featured the popular pairing of Garson with actor Walter Pidgeon, she was pictured on the cover of Time magazine. Garson was honored as Hollywood’s most popular star in polls within the United States and throughout the world in 1944.

   Her star was waning, however, by the later 1940s. During the 1950s her movie efforts were regarded mostly with disappointment. Garson negotiated the end of her contract with MGM in 1953 after playing a small role in the blockbuster production of Julius Ceasar. She made occasional television performances and in 1958 made her Broadway debut in Auntie Mame. Garson’s portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1960 movie Sunrise at Campobello earned her a final Oscar nomination.

   Garson’s first marriage, to Edward Snelson in 1933, ended in divorce in 1940. In 1943 she married Richard Ney, who had played her son in Mrs. Miniver; the couple divorced in 1947. Garson's third and final marriage, this time to Texas millionaire oil executive and rancher E. E. “Buddy” Fogelson, occurred on July 15, 1949. The union lasted nearly forty years and only ended with Fogelson’s death from Parkinson’s disease in 1987. It was Fogelson who brought Garson to Texas, and she remained connected to Dallas for the rest of her life, although she split her time between Los Angeles and the ranch they shared near Pecos, New Mexico. Garson retired from acting permanently in 1980.

   During these years Garson was a generous financier and benefactor to the arts, with Dallas being the recipient of many of her greatest contributions. Garson donated millions of dollars to Southern Methodist University in Dallas and funded the Greer Garson Theatre (part of the Meadows School of the Arts) which opened in 1992. The theater features a 366-seat classical thrust stage, which bears a striking resemblance to the Globe Theater in London. SMU holds many of Garson's papers and personal effects, which were donated to the university’s Jake and Nancy Hamon Library. In recognition for her contributions to the arts in Dallas, Garson received the prestigious TACA/Neiman-Marcus Silver Cup Award. The Meadows School of the Arts awarded her their Medal of Distinction. Garson also established an endowment for theater student awards at the College of Santa Fe (now Santa Fe University of Art and Design) in New Mexico, and the Greer Garson Theatre Center on that campus was dedicated in her honor. Garson received the Women’s International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1990, and in 1993 she received another honor when Queen Elizabeth II named her Commander of the British Empire.

   Fogelson and Garson prized education and the advancement of the arts and sciences, establishing multiple endowments and donatives to Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, and the University of Texas Health Science Center. Garson was joined by Fogelson in establishing the E.E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Charitable Foundation, which sought to fund a variety of causes, including the creation of the Folgelson Honors Forum at Fogelson’s alma mater, Texas Christian University, through a $1 million dollar donation. In 2010 the Fogelson Honors Forum was in its twelfth year and had engaged some of America’s most sought-after speakers, including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Governor Jeb Bush, Ben Stein, David McCullough, and Doris Kearns Goodwin. In honor of her husband’s memory, Garson also established the endowed E. E. Fogelson and Greer Garson Fogelson Distinguished Chair in Urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Distinguished Chair in Medical Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

   Because of her late husband's fight with Parkinson's, Garson had a strong desire to use her name and celebrity status to kindle public awareness of various medical conditions that needed the support of the community in order to make advancements and/or breakthroughs that could only be facilitated through research dollars. By the early 1990s, Garson, a valiant spokeswoman, championed these initiatives at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation’s most recognized fund-raising event is the annual Greer Garson Gala, a signature event that seeks to raise money and support for programs and services of the hospital. Garson was a zealous healthcare advocate and vociferous supporter of medical research, healthcare, and education.

   On April 6, 1996, at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, Greer Garson passed away in the company of her close friend, pianist Van Cliburn. She was buried at the Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas. Garson's epitaph on her gravestone is a testament to her legacy:
A Dignified Lady of Grace and Beauty/Her Wit, Charm and Talent/Thrilled the World and Touched/All Who Knew Her. Source

32° 52.163, -096° 46.761

Fogelson Triangle
Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery

May 19, 2015

Ashbel Smith

   Ashbel Smith, pioneer doctor and leader in the development of Texas, son of Moses and Phoebe (Adams) Smith, was born at Hartford, Connecticut, on August 13, 1805. He has been called "the father of Texas medicine" and "the father of the University of Texas." He also made valuable contributions to Texas in the areas of politics, diplomacy, agriculture and ranching, warfare, finance, transportation, and immigration. After graduating from Hartford Public School and Hartford Grammar School, Smith attended Yale College. By the time he was nineteen he had earned A.B. and A.M. degrees from Yale, where he was made a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. After a year and a half of teaching in a private school in Salisbury, North Carolina, he returned to Yale to study medicine and earned the degree of M.D. in the spring of 1828. He did a subsequent two-year stint of teaching in North Carolina, then studied medicine in Paris for a year. During the Paris cholera epidemic of 1832 he helped treat the sick and wrote and published a pamphlet on the disease. Upon his return to the United States around 1833 Smith established a successful medical practice in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was involved in politics in that state and became editor and half owner of the Western Carolinian, a nullification newspaper. In the fall of 1836 James Pinckney Henderson, a fellow North Carolinian already in Texas, persuaded Smith to move to the newly formed Republic of Texas.

   Smith had a long and distinguished medical career. When he arrived in Texas in the spring of 1837 he became Sam Houston's roommate and close friend. Houston appointed him surgeon general of the Army of the Republic of Texas on June 7, 1837. In this role Smith set up an efficient system of operation and established the first hospital in Houston, a military institution. He also served as the first chairman of the Board of Medical Censors, which was established by the Second Congress of the republic in December 1837. During the devastating epidemic of yellow fever in Galveston in 1839, he treated the sick, published factual reports of the progress of the disease in the Galveston News, and, after the epidemic abated, wrote the first treatise on yellow fever in Texas. In 1848 Smith met with ten other Galveston doctors to begin working for the formation of the Medical and Surgical Society of Galveston. When the Texas Medical Association came into being in 1853, he was chairman of the committee that drafted its constitution and bylaws. He also may have served as an early president of the board of trustees of the Texas Medical College and Hospital after it was organized in Galveston in 1873. He served as president of the Texas Medical Association in 1881-82.

   When Smith first came to Texas, Sam Houston quickly recognized his diplomatic ability and in 1838 sent him to negotiate a treaty with the Comanche Indians. In 1842 Smith traveled to Europe as the chargé d'affaires of Texas to England and France, a position he held from 1842 to 1844. He secured ratification of a treaty of amity and commerce between England and Texas and improved the republic's relations with France, which had been disturbed by the Pig War. He was also charged with working for friendly mediation by European powers to stop Mexican threats to reinvade Texas, with encouraging immigration to Texas, and with learning the attitude of Russia, Prussia, and Austria toward Texas. In addition, he investigated and reported to leaders in Texas and the United States activities of the British antislavery party, which seemed potentially harmful to Texas, and the fact that two steamers were being built in England for Mexico. In 1845, as secretary of state, Smith worked with President Anson Jones to give the people of Texas a choice between remaining an independent republic and being annexed to the United States of America. To this end, he negotiated a treaty with Mexico, by which that country acknowledged the independence of Texas. This treaty, known as the Smith-Cuevas Treaty, angered many Texans who were avid for annexation, and Smith was burned in effigy by citizens of Galveston and San Felipe. After Texas became a state Smith served three terms (1855, 1866, and 1879) in the state legislature as a representative from Harris County. As a legislator he supported measures to aid railroad construction, validate land titles, improve common schools, found the University of Texas, and pay off the public debt. He also helped to found the Democratic party in Texas, took an active part in county and state party meetings, and represented the party several times in Democratic national conventions.

   Smith rendered further military service to Texas during the Mexican and Civil wars. During the former he was on active duty with Gen. Zachary Taylor in the field. When the Civil War began he organized a company, the Bayland Guards, which he drilled and trained. While leading this company, a part of Company C, Second Texas Infantry, at Shiloh, he received a severe arm injury and was cited for bravery, along with the rest of his company. He was promoted to colonel and named commander of the Second Texas Infantry, which he led in several engagements in Mississippi, including Corinth and the Tallahatchie River. During the siege of Vicksburg, he was in command of a vulnerable earthen fortification at one of the entrances to that city. After the surrender of Vicksburg, Smith was in charge of several positions in the vicinity of Matagorda Peninsula on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and was credited with preventing Union invasions in that area. Toward the end of the war he was put in charge of the defenses of Galveston. After the war he and William P. Ballinger were sent by Governor Pendleton Murrah as commissioners to negotiate peace terms for Texas with Union officials in New Orleans.

   Smith devoted much time and energy to the cause of education, and he often urged that Texas underwrite the education of every child in the state. He was a charter member and first vice president of the Philosophical Society of Texas; one of that organization's first acts was to draw up a memorial to the Texas Congress urging the establishment of a system of public education in Texas. Smith served as superintendent of Houston Academy before the Civil War, and he was also a trustee at various times on a number of school boards in Houston and Galveston. He championed public education for blacks and women and was one of three commissioners appointed by Governor Richard Coke to establish an "Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, for the benefit of the Colored Youths." This school, located five miles east of Hempstead, is now Prairie View A&M University. Smith also helped organize Stuart Female Seminary in Austin and served as a trustee on its first board. He spent his last years in an unceasing effort to establish a state university with a first-class medical branch. As president of the University of Texas Board of Regents, established in 1881, he led the effort to recruit the best professors available for the university faculty and to set up a curriculum necessary for a first-rate institution of higher learning. He also served as president of the board of visitors to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1848.

   Smith was a powerful orator, many of whose numerous speeches were published in newspapers and as separate monographs. He was also an able and indefatigable writer. In addition to editing the Salisbury Western Carolinian, he served a brief stint (December 1839 - January 1840) as guest editor of the Houston Morning Star. His writings were published in scientific, agricultural, educational, and general magazines and newspapers in the United States and Europe. His Reminiscences of the Texas Republic (1876) contains much valuable material pertaining to the early history of Texas. In 1869, when the Southern Historical Society was organized, Smith was named vice president for Texas, along with Gen. Robert E. Lee for Virginia and Adm. Raphael Semmes for Alabama. Smith's experiments and innovations in agriculture and ranching were recognized internationally. He published numerous articles based on firsthand observation of the climate, soil, vegetation, and wildlife in Texas, as well as his experiences raising livestock and crops on the Gulf Coast. In 1851 he was sent as Texas delegate to the Great London Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and was named one of the judges. In May 1852 he served as superintendent of the first fair in Texas, held in Corpus Christi. He was elected the first president of the Texas State Agricultural Society when it was formed in 1853. In 1876 he was appointed by the United States Centennial Commission to act as a judge on the Jury of Awards at the Great International Exhibition in Philadelphia, and in 1878 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him one of the two honorary commissioners from Texas to the Paris International Exposition, where he was named one of the judges of agricultural products. Smith never married. He died on January 21, 1886, at Evergreen, his plantation home on Galveston Bay. He is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin. Source

30° 15.924, -097° 43.639

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery

May 5, 2015

Henry Prentice Redfield

   Henry Prentice Redfield, an early colonist and soldier in the Army of the Republic of Texas, was born in Derry, New Hampshire, on May 27, 1819, the son of William and Susan (Prentice) Redfield. After the death of his father, his mother married John C. Cunningham, a friend of Moses and Stephen F. Austin, and soon thereafter the family (including Henry's brothers, John Albert and William) immigrated to the Austin colony in Texas; they left New York in late 1830 and arrived by ship at Matagorda in 1831. They lived at San Felipe for several years, then settled on the Colorado River in lower Bastrop County on a large grant of land that became known as Cunningham's Prairie. Besides farming, the Cunninghams later ran a stagecoach inn on the old road from Austin to San Felipe. During the Texas Revolution Redfield was in Capt. John Henry Moore's company at the battle of Gonzales, October 2, 1835, and with Benjamin R. Milam at the siege of Bexar in early December 1835. Though not an actual participant in the battle of San Jacinto, he helped round up the fleeing Mexicans after the battle (incorrect, see below). Redfield continued to serve in the Texas army in various Indian fights and was wounded in the battle of Plum Creek on August 11, 1840. That year his brother William was killed in a battle involving the Republic of the Rio Grande.

   In 1842 Redfield was with Mathew Caldwell on the expedition against Adrián Woll at San Antonio and fought in the battle of Salado Creek. During the Mexican War (in 1846) Redfield joined the First Texas Cavalry, United States Army, and served under Gen. Zachary Taylor at the battle of Resaca de la Palma and the siege of Monterrey. In 1850 he was the first census taker in Bastrop County. Redfield was married to Sarah Card of Fayette County on September 11, 1842, and they had nine children. After her death he was married to Julia Kersting of Washington County in 1872, and they had seven children. Redfield died on February 27, 1900, at Giddings and was buried in the Giddings Cemetery. An official Texas historical marker honoring Redfield was dedicated at his grave in 1971. Source

Note: At the time of the battle, Henry Redfield was a member of Chance's Company, which was stationed at Harrisburg with the wounded. However, further research has shown that Redfield did indeed participate at the Battle of San Jacinto as a temporary member of Company H, First Regiment Texas Volunteers, under Captain Robert Stevenson.

30° 10.886, -096° 56.859

Giddings City Cemetery

March 24, 2015

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

   A multi-faceted musician whose eclectic tastes reflected the great diversity of musical styles found throughout the Southwest, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown was born in Vinton, Louisiana, on April 18, 1924. Brown’s father, who was one of his strongest musical influences and taught young Clarence to play piano, fiddle, and guitar, was a railroad worker and a local musician who played country, Cajun, and bluegrass. Throughout his career, Gatemouth Brown performed a variety of musical styles on a broad array of instruments, including guitar, fiddle, piano, drums, mandolin, harmonica, and viola.

   As a youth who grew up in Southeast Texas near Orange, Brown absorbed the country, bluegrass, R&B, Czech and German polka, Cajun, and early jazz and swing that could be heard throughout the Texas-Louisiana border region. By the time he was five years old, he had learned to play fiddle, and by age ten he was performing on guitar. By the time he was a teenager, Brown played the drums in territory swing bands where he was given the nickname “Gatemouth” because of his deep voice.

   After returning from military service following World War II, Brown first relocated to San Antonio and then eventually to Houston where he found work at the Bronze Peacock nightclub. During a T-Bone Walker concert there in 1947, Walker became ill and could not finish his show. Brown went onstage, picked up his guitar, and proceeded to play Gatemouth Boogie, to which the audience responded very enthusiastically. The club owner, Don Robey, also was impressed and arranged for Brown to sign a recording contract with the Los Angeles record label Aladdin. Brown’s first singles for Aladdin were not as successful as he had hoped, so Robey decided to start his own label, Peacock Records, in order to market Brown’s music. Brown’s first single with Peacock, Mary is Fine, hit Number 8 on the R&B charts in 1949. Soon afterwards, Robey picked Brown to be the front man for a twenty-three-piece orchestra that toured throughout the South. During his time with Peacock, Brown recorded a number of hits, including Okie Dokie Stomp, Ain’t That Dandy, Boogie Rambler, Depression Blues, and Dirty Work at the Crossroads.

   By the late 1950s Brown had become frustrated with the limitations of being strictly a blues and R&B musician and decided to finally part ways with Robey and Peacock Records by 1961. However, throughout the 1960s Brown had difficulty finding other work as a musician, something he blamed in part on his strained relations with the influential Robey. During this period, Brown held a variety of jobs. He worked as bandleader on the Dallas syndicated R&B television show The !!!! Beat in 1966. In the late 1960s he was a deputy sheriff in New Mexico. At one point he moved to Nashville where he appeared a few times on the popular country music television show Hee Haw. It was also in Nashville that Brown released his first series of country singles. He later recorded a well-received album, Makin’ Music, with Roy Clark in 1979.

   In the 1970s Brown was able to restart his career, this time performing the broad range of styles for which he would become famous, including country, jazz, and Cajun, as well as the blues and R&B he had played earlier. Brown also began touring again, not only throughout the United States, but also in Europe and around the world. On several stints he toured as a music ambassador for the United States State Department.

   During the late 1970s Brown signed with Real Records, and by the 1980s he was enjoying success recording for both Alligator and Rounder Records. In 1982 Brown’s Alright Again received a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. He also appeared several times on the PBS television series Austin City Limits. Brown’s second release through Rounder Records, One More Mile (1982), along with the re-release of his earlier Peacock recordings, brought him more acclaim. Brown won eight W. C. Handy Awards. He received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 1997 and was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1999. Brown’s independent spirit and eclectic repertoire influenced a variety of other musicians, including Guitar Slim, Albert Collins, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Brown’s wide-ranging tastes also helped broaden the parameters of blues music and redefine the entire blues repertoire.

   In the summer of 2004 Brown was diagnosed with lung cancer. Since he was given only a 15 percent chance to survive after chemotherapy, he decided against treatment. His final album, Timeless, was released on the Hightone label in 2004. Despite failing health, Brown continued to perform at various festivals, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2005. After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina, he died at his brother’s home in Orange, Texas, on September 10, 2005. Brown was given a military funeral due to his honorable discharge following World War II, and he was laid to rest at the Hollywood Cemetery in Orange, Texas. During his lifetime, Brown had married and divorced three times. His survivors included four children, Renee, Ursula, Celeste, and Dwayne. Brown is honored as a music legend in the Museum of the Gulf Coast’s Music Hall of Fame in Port Arthur. A Texas Historical Marker honoring Brown was dedicated at his gravesite in 2012. Source

30° 06’ 14.1", -093° 43’ 40.8"

Hollywood Community Cemetery

March 3, 2015

Edward Miles

   Edward Miles, Texas army soldier and clerk, son of Edward Miles, was born in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1816. The family moved to Texas in 1829 and settled at Old River, at the head of Galveston Bay. Miles took part in the Anahuac Disturbances in 1832. After his father's death in 1833 he went back to Natchez for a time, but at the outbreak of the Texas Revolution he returned to Texas; he served in the battle of San Jacinto under Capt. William Wood. He continued in the army and on September 10, 1836, was transferred to the company of Capt. Thomas Pratt.

   Miles enlisted in the United States Army in 1846 and was in charge of ammunition at the battle of Palo Alto during the Mexican War. He was in the Confederate service in some capacity during the entire Civil War, first as clerk to the secession commissioners at San Antonio, then as clerk in the ordnance department, as chief clerk in the quartermaster's department in Arkansas, and as agent's clerk for receiving and shipping cotton on the Rio Grande.

   On October 31, 1850, Miles married Mary Ann Soye, a ward of John McMullen; they had one daughter. Miles held various official positions in San Antonio and Bexar County and was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. He died in San Antonio on April 1, 1889. Source

29° 24.988, -098° 27.899

St Mary's Cemetery
San Antonio

January 27, 2015

William Pryor

   William Pryor, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born in either Virginia or Alabama. He received title to a labor of land now in Waller County on August 24, 1824. By January 1825 he was living on the Brazos River close to San Felipe. William B. Travis recorded in his diary that Pryor died at San Felipe on September 9, 1833. Travis attended his funeral on September 10. Pryor left his estate to his five daughters and disinherited his son. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. During the Texas Revolution, the town of San Felipe was largely destroyed by Mexican troops chasing after the Texan army. Nothing was spared, not even the town graveyard. The majority of those buried here prior to 1836 are no longer marked, so although William Pryor is known to be buried here, the exact location has been lost.

29° 47.894, -096° 06.043

San Felipe de Austin Cemetery
San Felipe

January 6, 2015

Gene Tierney

Gene Tierney, movie star, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 20, 1920, the daughter of Howard S. and Belle Taylor Tierney. Her father, a successful insurance broker, and her mother were wealthy socialites, and as a child Tierney enjoyed a privileged life that included private schools in Connecticut and finishing school in Switzerland. After completing her schooling, where she had exhibited some interest in acting, Tierney earned a supporting part in the Broadway comedy Ring Two in 1939. In the early 1940s she went to Hollywood and established herself as a star for 20th Century Fox, usually playing elegant social characters. Her early films included The Return of Frank James (1940), Belle Star (1941), and Heaven Can Wait (1943). It was, however, her 1944 portrayal of the title character in the murder mystery Laura that established Tierney as a major screen star. In this movie she played a high-society woman who is an apparent murder victim and with whom a police detective, played by Dana Andrews, falls in love through her pictures. Two years after this movie, Tierney was nominated for an Academy Award for her melodramatic role as a self-centered woman who commits suicide in Leave Her to Heaven (1945). Tierney exuded a patrician air and was strikingly attractive, causing some critics to suggest that her acting did not live up to her presence. But others found her a refreshingly direct actor, and she enjoyed continued success throughout the 1940s and 1950s in such movies as The Razor's Edge (1946); The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), in which she costarred with Rex Harrison; and The Left Hand of God (1955). While Tierney enjoyed professional success during her years as a screen star, tragedy struck in her personal life. In 1943, while married to designer Oleg Cassini, she gave birth to a severely brain-damaged daughter. She and Cassini had another daughter in 1948, but the couple divorced four years later. In 1955 Tierney left Hollywood, suffering from stress and depression, and became a patient at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. She was determined to regain a happy life, and in 1960 she married W. Howard Lee, a Houston oil executive and the former husband of Hedy Lamarr. She joined Lee in Texas, where she lived for the next thirty-one years. After her marriage she made a few more movies, including Advise and Consent in 1962 and The Pleasure Seekers in 1965, but subsequently, with more than thirty movie credits to her name, she retired permanently from films. Tierney later made a few television appearances but spent most of her time traveling with her husband and participating in civic and charitable causes in Houston, a life she said was preferable to her years of Hollywood stardom. In 1979 her autobiography, Self-Portrait, was published by Wyden Books. Gene Tierney died of emphysema in Houston on November 6, 1991. She was preceded in death by her husband and was survived by her two daughters, four grandchildren, and one sister. Source

29° 45.904, -095° 23.140

Section E-1
Glenwood Cemetery