March 31, 2015

Glenn Corbett (1933-1993)

An American lead and supporting actor, the ruggedly handsome Corbett was born Glenn Edwin Rothenburg on August 17, 1933, the son of a garage mechanic. After serving time in the United States Navy as a Seabee, he met his wife Judy at Occidental College, and with her encouragement, began acting in campus theater plays. He was seen by a talent scout and was signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures. His film debut was in The Crimson Kimono (1959); it was followed with supporting roles in The Mountain Road (1960), Man on a String (1960) and Homicidal (1961). In 1963, Corbett replaced George Maharis on the wildly popular CBS television series Route 66. Corbett, playing Lincoln Case, co-starred with Martin Milner during part of the third season and the fourth, and final, season of the series (1963-1964).

His other notable television roles in the early-to late-1960s were as Wes Macauley on It's a Man's World (1962-1963) and an episode of Gunsmoke in which a man gets a reputation as a gunman when he's found with four dead outlaws at his feet. He is probably best remembered by science fiction fans for his guest starring role in the second season Star Trek episode Metamorphosis (1967) as Zefram Cochrane, the inventor of warp drive. He returned to movies in the 1970s, and starred with John Wayne in the films Chisum (1970), and Big Jake (1971). Later in the 1970s he had the lead role in Nashville Girl (1976) and in Universal's war epic Midway (1976). In 1977, he joined the cast of the NBC daytime soap opera, The Doctors, and stayed with the show until 1981 when he was cast in the long-running television series Dallas. After his character was written off the show in 1988, he stayed with the Lorimar Television production company for three more years as its dialogue director. In January 1993, Glenn Corbett died of lung cancer at the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 59 and was buried in the veterans' cemetery there.

29° 28.564
-098° 25.806

Section Q
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

March 24, 2015

John Hancock (1824-1893)

John Hancock, congressman and judge, son of John Allen Hancock, was born near Bellefonte, Alabama, on October 24, 1824. After attending the University of East Tennessee at Knoxville, he worked on his father's Alabama farm before he began to study law at Winchester, Tennessee. He was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1846, then moved to Austin, Texas, in January 1847 and began a lucrative law practice. In 1851 he was elected district judge of the Second Judicial District for a term of six years; he resigned at the end of four years to resume his law practice and engage in planting and stock raising. He earned a high reputation for soundness of legal opinion and promptness in dispatch of business. Hancock was elected to the Texas legislature as a Unionist in 1860. During the Civil War he was an avowed Union man but took no part in active hostilities. In March 1861 as a member of the legislature he declined to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States and was expelled from the legislature. He practiced in the state courts but refused to conduct any legal business in the Confederate courts or in any way to recognize their validity or constitutionality. In 1864 he left Texas for Mexico, where he remained for several months. He was in New Orleans at the time of Robert E. Lee's surrender, whereupon he returned to Texas. Hancock was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866 and was conspicuous in that body for his efforts in favor of reconciliation and the restoration of the Southern states to the Union. He declined nomination to Congress in 1870 but subsequently ran on the Democratic ticket and was elected to the Forty-second Congress; he served from 1871 to 1877. He returned in the Forty-eighth Congress, 1883-85. He supported the Indian peace policy of the Grant administration, which called for placing Indians on reservations under government supervision. Hancock married Susan E. Richardson in November 1855. He was a member of the Episcopal Church. He died on July 19, 1893, in Austin, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery. Source

30° 16.605
-097° 43.580

Section 3
Oakwood Cemetery

March 17, 2015

David Thomas (1801?-1836)

David Thomas, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, ad interim attorney general, and acting secretary of war for the Republic of Texas, was born in Tennessee about 1801, came to Texas in 1835, and he joined the United States Independent Volunteer Cavalry company, organized at Nacogdoches on December 10, 1835. At the request of Francis W. Johnson, the Military Affairs Committee of the General Council recommended a volunteer Matamoros expedition in January 1836, and Thomas was commissioned first lieutenant for the expedition. He was one of the four representatives of Refugio Municipality at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there signed the Declaration of Independence. Apparently he was a lawyer, for on March 17 the convention elected him ad interim attorney general of the republic. Later, when Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk left the cabinet to join Sam Houston's army, Thomas was named acting secretary of war. He thus held two government positions at the same time. ]

On or about April 16, 1836, Thomas was mortally wounded by the accidental discharge of a firearm while aboard the steamship Cayuga en route from Lynch's Ferry to Galveston. Settler John J. Linn, who was at Galveston when the ship arrived, implied that Thomas died there three days after being shot. According to other claims, however, he remained on board the Cayuga and arrived at the San Jacinto battlefield about April 22. In a third version he died on board the Cayuga and was buried near the home of Vice President Lorenzo de Zavala on Buffalo Bayou, but it was also reported that he was taken off the ship and died in Zavala's home. In 1932 the state of Texas erected a monument to the memory of Thomas at a spot designated by Adina de Zavala, granddaughter of Lorenzo de Zavala, as the gravesite in the old Zavala cemetery. In 1936 Thomas's name was also included on a monument in Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site to the memory of "those courageous souls, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention held here on March 1-17, 1836, who declared Texas free, organized a republic, and framed a constitution." Source 

Note: This is a cenotaph. The Zavala family cemetery, where Lorenzo was laid to rest, was originally located on a curve of Buffalo Bayou, directly across from the San Jacinto battlefield. In the early 1900s, it was discovered that due to natural erosion the graves were slowly sliding into the water. The Zavala family decided against exhuming and relocating the bodies for religious reasons, so as a compromise the remaining headstones were transferred to the battlefield. No bodies were recovered.

29° 45.215
-095° 05.387

Zavala Plaza   
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
La Porte

March 10, 2015

Theron Eugene "Ted" Daffan (1912-1996)

Early steel guitarist and songwriter Ted Daffan was born in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, on September 21, 1912, the son of Carl and Della Daffan. Ted Daffan pioneered in the electrification of instruments and was an active figure in the Houston-area country-dance-band scene of the 1930s. His most lasting contribution to country music was in songwriting. The Daffans moved from Louisiana to Houston, where Ted graduated from high school in 1930. Having developed a fascination with electronics at an early age, he opened a repair shop for radios and electric musical instruments. The shop served as a center of experimentation with pickups and amplifiers. Daffan also developed an early interest in Hawaiian guitar and played in a Hawaiian music group called the Blue Islanders that performed on Houston radio station KTRH in 1933. Drawn to country music mainly through the influence of Milton Brown, in 1934 Daffan joined the Blue Ridge Playboys, an influential group whose membership included two other legendary early honky-tonk figures, Floyd Tillman and Moon Mullican. He also performed with several other Houston-area bands, including the Bar-X Cowboys and Shelly Lee Alley's Alley Cats, before starting his own band, the Texans, in 1940. The Texans leaned more toward honky-tonk than swing.

Daffan is generally credited with writing the first truck-driving song, Truck Driver's Blues, in 1939; the song became a hit for Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers, and its success led to Daffan's Texans being signed by Columbia Records in 1940. Three of the songs he wrote and recorded in the early 1940s became honky-tonk classics: Worried Mind, Born to Lose, and Headin' Down the Wrong Highway. Daffan was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1970. Among the artists who recorded his songs were Ray Charles, who performed versions of Born to Lose and No Letter Today, and Les Paul and Mary Ford, who recorded I'm A Fool to Care. Daffan moved to California in 1944 and led a band at the Venice Pier Ballroom for a short time before returning to Texas in 1946. After leading a band in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, he returned to Houston by the early 1950s. Although his recording career slowed after World War II, he continued a successful career as a songwriter and stayed involved in the music business. From 1955 to 1971 he ran his own record label, Daffan Records, which featured releases by Floyd Tillman, Jerry Irby, and Dickie McBride, among others. Daffan moved to Nashville in 1958 to form a music publishing company with Hank Snow but returned in 1961 to Houston, where he formed his own music-publishing business and continued to live until his death on October 6, 1996.  Daffan was married to Lela Bell McGuire; they had one daughter, Dorothy Jean. He later married Fannie Lee “Bobbie” Martin; they had no children. Daffan was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 1995. His song Born to Lose received a BMI "one million air play" award in 1992. Source

29° 43.108
-095° 18.238

Section 20
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery

March 3, 2015

William Hugh Young (1838-1901)

William Hugh Young, Confederate army officer, was born on January 1, 1838, at Booneville, Missouri, the son of Hugh F. Young. In 1840 he moved with his parents to Red River County, Texas, and soon thereafter to Grayson County. Young was educated at Washington College, Tennessee, at McKenzie College, Texas, and at the University of Virginia, where he was matriculating at the outbreak of the Civil War. Leaving the university, Young returned to Texas to recruit a company for Confederate service. He was elected its captain. Assigned to Samuel Bell Maxey's Ninth Texas Infantry, Young and his command fought at the battle of Shiloh, on April 6 and 7, 1862, after which he was promoted to the command of the regiment. Young led the Ninth Texas in the battles of Perryville, Kentucky (October 8, 1862); Murfreesboro, Tennessee (December 31, 1862 - January 3, 1863), where he was wounded in the shoulder and had two horses shot from under him; and in the Vicksburg campaign (spring and summer 1863), in which he sustained a second wound, this to the thigh, at the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, on May 14, 1863. There, according to the official report, Young "seized the colors of his regiment in one of its most gallant charges and led it through." More modestly, Young reported of the same engagement, he "ordered the regiment to move forward with a shout, both of which they did, a la Texas." At Chickamauga (September 19 and 20, 1863) he was wounded a third time, in the chest.

Transferred with his regiment to Gen. Matthew D. Ector's brigade, he participated in the Atlanta campaign (spring and summer 1864) and despite suffering wounds to the neck and jaw at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27 was promoted to brigadier general to rank from August 15, 1864, when Ector was disabled at the battle of Peachtree Creek. Young's brigade consisted of his own Ninth Texas Infantry plus the Twenty-third Texas Cavalry (dismounted) and the Twenty-ninth and Thirty-ninth North Carolina Infantry regiments. During John Bell Hood's disastrous Tennessee campaign (October - December 1864), during which Young's regiment was attached to the brigade of Gen. Samuel G. French, Young lost his left foot to enemy fire, had his horse shot from beneath him, and was captured at Altoona, Georgia, on October 5. "Most gallantly," reported French, "he bore his part in the action." Held prisoner at Johnson's Island, Ohio, Young was not released until July 24, 1865. Following the war Young moved to San Antonio, where he was a successful attorney and real estate investor. Later he and his father organized a transportation company that hauled freight between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico. Young also organized the Nueces River Irrigation Company and acquired considerable ranch and farm property. For a time he was owner of the San Antonio Express. General Young died in San Antonio on November 28, 1901, and is buried in the Confederate Cemetery there. Source

29° 25.204
-098° 27.820

Confederate Cemetery
San Antonio