September 30, 2016

Joseph Ehlinger

Joseph Ehlinger was a native of Alsace, France. He served under Napoleon in the European wars during the early part of the nineteenth century and acquired both a practical and theoretical knowledge of military tactics. He brought his family to America and arrived in Texas just before the war for independence, locating in the vicinity of Houston, which had not yet been laid as a town. In the War of 1836 he joined Houston’s army on the Colorado River at about the site of the present city of Columbus, and owing to his previous military experience as a French soldier was appointed drill master for the Texas cavalry. He proved a valuable man to the cause, went with Houston’s army in its retreat across Texas, participated in the battle of San Jacinto, and was present when the Texans captured the Mexican president, Santa Anna.

With the success of the Texans in their struggle for independence, Ehlinger, after performing his own important share in that conflict, settled in the vicinity of Houston and became a farmer and stock man. His name is identified with the city of Houston because of the fact that he platted Ehlinger’s Addition, which is now in the heart of the city, but which, during his lifetime, was of little importance. His later years were spent quietly, and he died in 1853 and is buried at Houston. He was a member of the Catholic Church. His wife, Mary, is buried in the little cemetery on the Joseph Ehlinger League in Colorado County.

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.

GPS Coordinates
29° 45.457, -095° 22.760

Founders Memorial Park

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