On December 1, 1829, Menard applied for citizenship in Nacogdoches, where he continued to collect skins and furs from the Shawnees and other Indians. He also began trading at Saltillo, Coahuila, exchanging horses, mules, and permits to locate Texas land for manufactured goods. By 1834 he owned 40,000 acres scattered from the lower Trinity River above Liberty to Pecan Point. He built a combination sawmill and gristmill on Menard Creek in 1833, which he operated with the aid of his cousin, Pierre J. Menard, and other relatives who moved to Texas. He continued to send forest products to Menard and Vallé and the American Fur Company until 1836.
|Independence Hall, location of the Declaration signing|
He married four times. His first wife, Marie Diana LeClerc of St. Genevieve, whom he married about 1832, died of cholera aboard a ship en route to Texas from New Orleans on May 14, 1833. He married his second cousin, Adeline Catherine Maxwell, in late 1837, but she died during the yellow fever epidemic in Galveston in July 1838. Next he wed Mary Jane Riddle in 1843; she died in 1847. His fourth wife was Rebecca Mary Bass, a widow with two daughters whom Menard adopted in 1850, the same year the couple became parents of a son. Menard struggled to make his speculations and businesses more profitable, but financial reverses in 1856 finally hurt him severely. Menard was a Catholic and a Mason and was known as a great raconteur. No two accounts of his life are the same, due to his prodigious tales to friends and family. He died at home in Galveston on September 2, 1856, and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Galveston.
29° 17.574, -094° 48.738
Old Catholic Cemetery