January 1, 2016

Fielding Grundy Secrest

   Secrest came to Texas in 1835, some time prior to May 2. He enlisted in the Texas army as a member of Captain Henry W. Karnes' Company early in 1836, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto, then enlisted in the Washington Cavalry, commanded by his brother Washington H. Secrest, from June 25 to December 25, 1836. Early in 1838, he was issued one-third of a league of land in Brazoria County where he married Eliza H. Sneed on September 25. He moved to Harrisburg County in 1839, where he received two-thirds of a league and one labor of land for his military service. Eliza Secrest died in Houston in 1839, leaving behind her husband and an infant daughter, Elizabeth, who died two months later. Fielding himself died in Houston on June 1, 1840 of unknown causes, possibly of yellow fever.

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.434, -095° 22.740

Founders Memorial Park

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