September 29, 2015

John "Tampico" Allen

John M. Allen (Tampico Allen), soldier and first mayor of Galveston, was a native of Kentucky. He joined the United States Navy in the aid of the Greek revolution against Turkey and was with Lord Byron at Missolonghi when Byron died (1824). Allen came to Texas in 1830 and joined the Tampico expedition in 1835 but escaped imprisonment. He returned to Texas in December, enlisted in the revolutionary army, was appointed captain of infantry, and served as acting major at the battle of San Jacinto.

He commanded the Terrible in the summer of 1836 but did not see action; he was sent to the United States on recruiting service and enrolled about 230 men for the army. He was discharged on December 2, 1836, and received a headright for a league and labor of land on June 7, 1838. Later he moved to Galveston, where he was elected mayor in March 1839. In 1840 Samuel May Williams, seeking to rid the threat Allen posed to the Galveston City Company, called for a new election with a change in the franchise. Allen, refusing to give up his office since his term was not over, removed the city archives to his home and the protection of two cannons. Thomas F. McKinney and a posse removed the archives after the district court ruled on the matter, and so ended the "charter war." Allen was reelected annually until 1846. After annexation he was appointed United States marshal for the Eastern District of Texas, an office he held until his death on February 12, 1847.

GPS Coordinates
29° 17.617, -094° 48.701


Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston

September 22, 2015

Selena

Selena Quintanilla Perez, known simply as Selena, singer, 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.

GPS Coordinates
27° 43.943, -097° 21.747

Living Lord Section
Seaside Memorial Cemetery
Corpus Christi

September 15, 2015

Michael Francis "Mike" Dukes

Michael Francis Dukes was an American collegiate and professional football player who was best known as a linebacker for the original Houston Oilers. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Dukes attended Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Georgia and then played in college for Clemson University.

He then played the 1959 season for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League. Dukes left the NFL for the upstart American Football League where he played eleven seasons for the Oilers, Boston Patriots and New York Jets. He played for the first two championship teams of the American Football League, the 1960 and 1961 Oilers, and was selected to the UPI All-AFL Team in 1961. Dukes died in an automobile accident on Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas on June 16, 2008 at age 72 and was interred at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches.

GPS Coordinates
30° 00.054, -093° 57.731

Section 10
Oak Bluff Memorial Park
Port Neches

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.

The Clayton Home in Houston
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.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.910, -095° 22.983
Section I
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

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.

Independence Hall, location of the Declaration signing
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.

GPS Coordinates
29° 24.937, -098° 30.740

Section 4
San Fernando Cemetery #1
San Antonio