August 30, 2016

Zadock Woods (1773-1842)

Zadock Woods, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was born Zaduck Wood on September 18, 1773, in Brookfield Township, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan and Keziah (Keith) Wood. By 1796 he had moved to South Woodstock, Vermont, where he married Minerva Cottle in 1797. They had six children. Woods and his family moved to the St. Charles District of Missouri Territory around 1801 and were the first white settlers granted land in that area. The town of Woodville (or Woods' Fort) was established at Troy, Missouri, and Woods' inn and tavern was its first stagecoach stopover. Woods' Fort, commanded by Lt. Zachary Taylor, was a principal defense post during the War of 1812. Woods fought with Andrew Jackson in Alabama and New Orleans. After a lead-mining venture with Moses Austin ruined him financially, Woods and his family joined Stephen F. Austin's Texas colony in 1824. His original land grant was in Matagorda County, but the family settled farther up the Colorado River in Fayette County. His fortified home in the vicinity of present West Point was called Woods' Fort (or Woods' Prairie) and was used by the colonists as a place of refuge from Indian attacks from 1828 to 1842. Woods's son Leander was killed in the battle of Velasco in 1832. Zadock mustered under Capt. Michael Goheen and Col. John H. Moore to fight in the battle of Gonzales, the battle of Concepción, and the Grass Fight near San Antonio, all in 1835. He returned home on December 3 of that year but was again involved in the Texas Revolution the next spring, when he housed a ten-member company of Tennessee volunteers under Daniel William Cloud on February 10, 1836, on their way to the Alamo. The family took part in the Runaway Scrape, fleeing before the advancing Mexican army. Minerva Woods died on March 28, 1839, and was buried in Woods' Prairie Cemetery. In 1842 Woods and his sons Norman and Henry G. were recruited by Capt. Nicholas M. Dawson to fight with Mathew Caldwell's forces against Mexican general Adrián Woll at Salado Creek. On September 18, 1842, Woods was killed in the Dawson Massacre. His son Henry escaped, but Norman was captured and taken to Perote Prison. Zadock Woods was buried in a mass grave by Salado Creek but was reinterred six years later at Monument Hill State Historic Site in La Grange. Historical markers in Troy, Missouri, and West Point, Texas, note Woods as a significant early pioneer. Source

29° 53.339
-096° 52.618

Monument Hill State Historic Site
La Grange

August 26, 2016

Moses W. Brigham (?-1838)

Nothing is known of Brigham prior to his enlistment. He was recruited in New Orleans for the Texas army by Amasa Turner in January, 1836. He arrived in Velasco on January 28th on the schooner Pennsylvania, and assigned to William S. Fisher's Company of Velasco Blues. It was during this enlistment period that Brigham fought at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. After serving at San Jacinto, he returned to New Orleans and published a thirty-four page pamphlet detailing the events of the battle titled A Detailed Account of the Battle of San Jacinto, with a Complete List of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates Engaged Therein; Return of Killed and Wounded; Army Order, Lamar's Address to the Texian Troops, upon Taking Command as Major General; and Other Interesting Matters in 1836. Some time after this he was living in Houston and running "a small mercantile establishment with a bar in connection" there. On January 20, 1838, after a brawl resulting from a gambling argument, "W. M. Brigham" was stabbed and died at the Houston House saloon. John C. C. Quick and David J. Jones (also a San Jacinto veteran) were convicted of the murder and hung for their crimes.

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. Brigham's marker is in error on the date (1854, instead of 1838) of his death.

29° 45.432
-095° 22.744

Founders Memorial Park

August 23, 2016

William Gordon Cooke (1808-1847)

William G. Cooke, soldier and statesman, son of Adam and Martha (Riddell) Cooke, was born at Fredericksburg, Virginia, on March 26, 1808. He was trained in the family drug business. He moved to New Orleans to continue his career and on October 13, 1835, volunteered for the New Orleans Greys. He arrived with the second company at Velasco, Texas, on October 25, 1835, and was elected first lieutenant the next day at Quintana. After arrival at Bexar on November 8, 1835, Cooke was elected captain of his company and raised volunteers to storm the town. Cooke led the party that captured the priest's house on the main plaza, thus forcing the Mexican capitulation, and received the flag of surrender, which he sent to Col. Francis W. Johnson, commanding officer. Cooke then volunteered for the Matamoros expedition of 1835-36. As captain he led the reformed San Antonio Greys to Goliad. Shortly after Sam Houston's arrival and impassioned speech there, Cooke offered his services to the Texas army and was sent with his company to Refugio, where they were joined by Col. James Walker Fannin, Jr., and the Georgia Battalion. Fannin ordered Cooke to San Patricio to reinforce Maj. Robert C. Morris. Cooke was subsequently left in command there when Morris, Johnson, and Col. William Grant proceeded to the Rio Grande. Cooke received Grant's letter stating his intentions to join the Mexican Federalists and, after relaying this news to Fannin, was ordered to fall back to Goliad, where he arrived on February 12, 1836. He was then sent with two Mexican prisoners to Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he joined Houston's staff as assistant inspector general.

Cooke went with Houston to Gonzales and there assisted in organizing the troops. At the battle of San Jacinto he served on Houston's staff with the rank of major. Cooke was in charge of the guard on the prisoners when Antonio López de Santa Anna was captured. He prevented the angry Texans from executing Santa Anna so that he could be brought before General Houston. When Houston went to New Orleans to recover from wounds received in the battle, Cooke accompanied him, but soon returned to Texas to serve as chief clerk of the War Department. In October 1836 he was appointed stock commissioner in Houston's first administration and was responsible for issuing stock certificates and certificates to fund the public debt. He served in this office until the spring of 1839. In November 1836 Houston appointed Cooke acting secretary of war and on January 31, 1837, inspector general, an office he held until July 31, 1837. Cooke then retired from the army because of ill health and opened two drugstores in Houston. On June 9, 1837, he was made official signer of the president's name to promissory notes of the Republic of Texas, a job necessitated by injuries to Houston's arm that were aggravated by illness. The position lasted until November 11, 1839. Cooke reenlisted in the army around October 1838 and received a commission as quartermaster general of the republic. In March 1840 Mirabeau B. Lamar named him commissioner to sign treaties with the Comanches, and in this role he took part in the Council House Fight in San Antonio on March 19, 1840. On August 18, 1840, Cooke was appointed colonel of the First Regiment of Infantry, the unit that laid out the Military Road from the Little River to the Red River. Fighting Indians and starvation along the way, Cooke explored and mapped much of north central Texas. He established Fort Johnson and Fort Preston on the Red River and Cedar Springs Post on the Trinity River; at this post were the first structures built by white men at the future site of Dallas. Cooke's success in this venture prompted a grand military ball in his honor, held in the Senate chamber at Austin on February 27, 1841, and a nomination for vice president of the republic. He declined the latter and accepted instead an appointment from Lamar in April 1841 as senior commissioner on the Texan Santa Fe expedition. Cooke assisted Lamar in promoting and organizing the expedition and was to have been the chief civil authority in Santa Fe.

On September 17, 1841, he was deceived by the traitor Capt. William G. Lewis and surrendered the Texans' arms. Cooke and his men were marched to Mexico City and imprisoned in Santiago Prison on December 26, 1841. They were released on June 14, 1842, and stayed at Waddy Thompson's house in Mexico City and then in Jalapa, Vera Cruz, until passage could be arranged. Cooke arrived at Galveston aboard the United States brig Boxer on August 10, 1842. Ignoring his pledge not to take arms against Mexico under pain of death, he immediately joined with Gen. Edward Burleson to expel the Mexican general Adrián Woll from San Antonio. On September 22, 1842, Cooke was wounded in Capt. John C. Hays's charge on the cannon at Arroyo Hondo. On October 25, 1842, Houston appointed him quartermaster general and chief of the subsistence department, in which capacity Cooke helped organize the infamous Snively expedition and the Somervell expedition, of which he was a member until February 1, 1843. Seeking further revenge, Cooke went to New Orleans to join Edwin Ward Moore on his expedition to the Yucatán. They sailed on April 15, 1843, in the sloop-of-war Austin. Cooke participated in engagements with the Mexican steamships Montezuma and Guadaloupe, and after the Independencia joined the Texan fleet, he twice accompanied her on raiding expeditions, hoping to capture prisoners to exchange for those held in Mexican prisons.

The first expedition resulted in the capture of the Mexican ship Glide, and the second brought back news to Moore that Houston had declared him a pirate, charges against which Cooke later defended himself. They returned to Galveston on July 14, 1843, and Cooke received an appointment from Gen. Sidney Sherman as adjutant general of the Texas militia. Cooke was elected representative from Bexar County to the House of the Ninth Congress on September 2, 1844, and served his term as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. Partly as a result of his efforts on Commodore Moore's behalf, Cooke was appointed by President Anson Jones in December 1844 to replace Morgan Calvin Hamilton as secretary of war. Cooke, who had become the last commander of the regular Texas army when the troops were disbanded in 1841, was now responsible for raising troops and supplies for the United States army of occupation under Gen. Zachary Taylor. He served in this office until the spring of 1846, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Congress of the United States. He lost to Timothy Pillsbury by a narrow margin. On April 27, 1846, Cooke was appointed the first adjutant general of the state of Texas by Governor James Pinckney Henderson. He served in this office until his death. Cooke was a Protestant and a grand royal arch captain of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 36 in Houston. On August 16, 1844, he married Ángela María de Jesús Blasa Navarro, daughter of Luciano Navarro and niece of José Antonio Navarro. They had one son. Cooke died of tuberculosis on December 24, 1847, at his father-in-law's ranch in Seguin. He was buried in nearby Geronimo and, on March 2, 1937, reinterred in the State Cemetery, Austin. Cooke's Camp, near San Antonio, Cooke County, and Cooke Avenue in San Antonio were named for him. Source

30° 15.920
-097° 43.641

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery

August 19, 2016

John Frelan Winters (1814-1864)

Born in Giles County, Tennessee, July 13, 1814, the second son of James and Rhoda (Beal) Winters, John came to Texas in 1834 with his wife Margaret, and settled in what is now Walker County. He served in the army from March 12, to June 12, 1836 as a private in Captain William Ware's Company and fought with them at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21. He reenlisted September 18, 1836 and was assigned to James T. Sprowl's Company, spending most of his duty time in Velasco on the coast. Winters died on January 16, 1864 and buried in the family cemetery.

Note: This is a cenotaph. The Winters family cemetery was originally located 300 feet northwest of the park, but in 1968 all of the existing stones were moved to their present location to allow for development. None of the graves were disinterred and remain in their original place.

30° 34.108
-095° 21.411

Winters Memorial Park
New Waverly

August 16, 2016

Shadrack Edmond "Shad" Graham (1896-1969))

Shad Graham, filmmaker, was born in New York City on April 24, 1896, the son of Charles Edmond and Edith (Craske) Graham. His father and uncle (Robert E. Graham) were professional actors, and his mother was a well-known ballerina. Shad Graham began his association with the film industry as a child actor in The Great Train Robbery (1903), but his main interest through the years was in the technical phase of the new art form. He spent fifty years with major motion-picture companies in New York and Hollywood and later with his own company, Shad E. Graham Productions. His Our Home Town series, documentaries of small towns in many parts of the United States, especially in Texas, is of historical significance for the period following World War II. Graham moved after the war to Houston, where he continued making documentary films while serving as Texas representative for Twentieth Century Fox Movietone News. His Texas City Disaster 1947 won awards for that studio and focused international attention on disaster needs. Graham was a charter member of the Film Editors of New York City and Hollywood and a gold-card member of the Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. He was first married to Helen May in New York City on January 11, 1920; they had two children, and they were divorced in 1927. His second marriage was to Ruth Esther McLain of Houston on July 17, 1947, in New York City; they lived in Missouri City, Texas. Graham died on January 28, 1969, in Houston and was buried there. His documentary films were donated to the University of Texas at Austin, where the Shad E. Graham Memorial Student Film Fund and Memorial Film Library were established in 1969. Source

29° 43.340
-095° 18.226

Abbey Mausoleum
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery

August 12, 2016

Owen Ozwin Wilcox (1809-1879)

Owen Wilcox was born in Connecticut in 1809 and arrived in Texas in early 1836. Almost immediately, he enlisted in the Texian revolutionary army and was assigned to Captain William H. Patton's Company, with whom he he served during the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. He was transferred to Captain Benjamin F. Reavill's Company on July 1, then transferred again on October 1 to Captain William D. Burnett's Company. He left the service on December 1, 1836 and resided in Travis County. Wilcox died in Austin on April 5, 1879 and buried there.

30° 16.488
-097° 43.673

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery

August 9, 2016

Robert Porter "Buddy" Tinsley (1924-2011)

Buddy Tinsley was born in Damon, Texas, and played college football at Baylor. He was drafted in 1948 by the Philadelphia Eagles, but after only one year in the AAFC with the Los Angeles Dons, he had a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers and went north to Canada. Although American, Tinsley was classified as a non-import later in his career under the rules at the time for long time players and naturalized citizens, allowing him to play on Canadian teams. He played eleven years in the Canadian Football League, all with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, from 1950 to 1960. Playing on both sides of the ball, Tinsley was an All-Star on both offense and defense; he won West All-Star honors five times at offensive tackle (1950, 1951, 1952, 1955 and 1956) and two West All-Stars at defensive tackle (1957 and 1958). He played in five Grey Cup games, winning two (1958 and 1959) and losing three (1950, 1953 and 1957), one of the losses coming from the infamous Mud Bowl, where he was rumored he nearly drowned in a mud puddle. Tinsley was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1982, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame and the Baylor University Hall of Fame. He passed away on September 14, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba at age 87.

29° 08.454
-095° 38.876

Columbia Cemetery
West Columbia

August 5, 2016

William Jones Elliott Heard (1801-1874)

William J. E. Heard, soldier and planter, was born near Knoxville, Tennessee, on August 16, 1801, the son of Stephen Rhodes and Jemima (Menifee) Heard. At an early age Heard was taken by his family to Alabama. On October 30, 1830, he and his twenty-one-year-old wife, America (Morton), and their two daughters joined his family and an "Alabama colony" that had arrived in Texana, Texas, in December 1830. Heard was granted a league and a labor six miles from Texana in Stephen F. Austin's colony. In 1832 he was elected second lieutenant of Capt. Joseph K. Looney's volunteer company. In 1835 he moved to Egypt in Colorado (now Wharton) County and established himself as a sugar and cotton planter. On February 1, 1836, with the outbreak of the Texas Revolution, Heard was elected first lieutenant of Capt. Thomas J. Rabb's company of volunteers, but when the army was reorganized on April 2 he was elected captain of what became Company F of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers. At the battle of San Jacinto Heard's company was in the middle of the Texan line opposite the Mexican artillery and overran and captured the enemy cannons. Heard was discharged at Victoria on May 13, 1836.

On September 28, 1838, he was elected chief justice of Colorado County, where in 1840 he owned 1,200 acres of land, seventeen slaves, forty-five cattle, a workhorse, and a clock. In that year he was elected chief justice of Wharton County and accompanied Col. John H. Moore's expedition against the Indians of the upper Colorado River. Heard was elected justice of the peace of Beat One of the judicial Ward County on February 24, 1841. When Mexican general Adrián Woll invaded Texas in 1842, Heard raised a company of twenty volunteers and was assigned to the command of the defense of Victoria. He arrived there on the evening of March 6 to find "the citizens badly armed and in great confusion." Upon receiving reports that a force of 1,100 of the enemy were marching toward Victoria from Refugio and that 3,000 more were near San Antonio, with an additional 14,000 reinforcements still beyond the Rio Grande, he wrote to the editor of the Telegraph and Texas Register, "I have no doubt, from all I can gather that there is an invasion at hand," and resolved to fall back beyond the Lavaca River the following day. "I cannot risk myself and men here longer than tomorrow evening without help," he wrote. After Woll's withdrawal, however, Heard and his men returned to their homes. By 1850 Heard reported real-estate holdings worth $16,888. His wife died on June 18, 1855; they had two daughters and two sons. Heard later married a widow named Ester Glass. In 1866 he moved to what was said to have been a model plantation at Chappell Hill, where he died on August 8, 1874. He is buried at the Chappell Hill Masonic Cemetery. He was a Methodist and a member of the Texas Veterans Association. Source 

30° 09.238
-096° 15.642

Masonic Cemetery
Chappell Hill

August 2, 2016

Willet Holmes (1807-1893)

Willet Holmes, early settler and public official, was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, on May 14, 1807. He moved to Texas in 1833 and after a short time returned for his family to the United States. There he assisted Gen. Thomas J. Chambers in raising two companies for the Texas army. Holmes took his family to Texas in 1837 and settled in Milam County, which he represented in the Seventh Congress of the republic. In 1846 he was ordained a Baptist deacon. He lived for a time in Washington County, where he ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 1856, and in Burleson County, where he was elected commissioner in August 1858. From 1861 to 1869 he lived in Grimes County, and from 1880 to 1886 he lived in Lee County. His first wife, Amelia R. (Cummins), died in 1843; Holmes married Mary Jane Newman of Virginia in 1853. He was still living in 1892. Source

30° 19.726
-096° 21.680

Old Independence Cemetery