October 17, 2017

Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard

"Doc" Blanchard was born on December 11, 1924 in McColl, South Carolina. His father was a doctor and the family moved frequently when Felix was a child before settling in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He seemed to be naturally gifted in athletics, and while at Saint Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis led the school's football team to its first undefeated season in 1941, resulting in offers from Notre Dame, Fordham and Army, which he refused. Now nicknamed "Doc" due to his father's occupation, he chose to play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, in part because its coach was a relative.

In 1943, Doc decided to enlist in the Army. He was stationed in New Mexico with a chemical-warfare unit until July 1944, when his father secured him a spot at West Point in July 1944. During his three years of playing for West Point, Doc racked up an undefeated streak of twenty-seven games. An all-around athlete, Blanchard served as the placekicker and punter in addition to his primary roles as an offensive fullback and a linebacker on defense, and his skills won him the Heisman trophy in 1945, as well as the cover of Time magazine. He had the opportunity to play professional football after being selected third overall in the 1946 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was refused a furlough.

In 1947, Blanchard played himself in the movie The Spirit of West Point, the same year that he graduated and commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He coached Army’s freshman team in the 1950s, but never played professionally, choosing a military career as a fighter pilot instead. He would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959.

While with the 77th Tactical Fighter Squadron and flying back to his base at RAF Wethersfield near London in 1959, a gas leak in his F-100 Super Sabre broke and caught his plane on fire. Rather than escaping and parachuting out safely, he decided to stay with the plane and land it safely, because of a village on the ground that would have been damaged. The event garnered him an Air Force commendation for bravery. In the Vietnam War, Blanchard flew 113 missions from Thailand, 84 of them over North Vietnam. He piloted a fighter-bomber during a one-year tour of duty that ended in January 1969. He retired from the Air Force in 1971 as a colonel and spent several more years as the commandant of cadets at the New Mexico Military Institute.

Blanchard died of pneumonia on April 19, 2009 in Bulverde, Texas, where he had been living with his daughter for the last twenty years of his life. He was interred at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. In Blanchard's honor, the Interstate 20/U.S. Route 15 interchange near his hometown of Bishopville, South Carolina was named the Felix "Doc" Blanchard Interchange.

GPS Coordinates
29° 28.543, -098° 25.101

Section 50
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

October 10, 2017

Xavier DeBray

Xavier Blanchard Debray, soldier, was born in Selestat (Schlettstadt), near Epinal, France, on January 25, 1818, the son of Nicholas Blanchard, a government official, and his wife Catherine Benezech. He is often said to have attended the French Military Academy at St. Cyr and then served in the French diplomatic service until he immigrated to the United States via New York on September 25, 1848. St. Cyr, however, has no record of his attending. He moved to Texas in 1852, settled in San Antonio, and was naturalized there on April 5, 1855. That same year he established a Spanish newspaper with A. A. Lewis called El Bejareño. Later he worked in the General Land Office as a translator. He also established an academy that prospered until the Civil War began. In 1859 Debray ran a strong but losing race for mayor of Austin.

After brief service with Company B, Fourth Texas Infantry, Debray served as aide-de-camp to Governor Edward Clark during the summer of 1861. In September, 1961, he commissioned major of the Second Texas Infantry. On December 7, 1861 he was elected lieutenant colonel and commander of Debray's Texas Cavalry battalion and on March 17, 1862, colonel of the Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry. From January to June of 1862 he commanded on Galveston Island. In July he assumed command of the military subdistrict of Houston in the Department of Texas. He commanded some of the Confederate troops in the recapture of Galveston on January 1, 1863. On February 13, 1863, he was relieved of command of the eastern subdivision of Texas in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and on May 30 he took command of the troops on Galveston Island in the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. British observer Arthur Fremantle found Debray “a broad shouldered Frenchman, and a very good fellow,” who’d left France because of political differences with Emperor Napoleon. Although he was assigned temporary command of the eastern subdistrict of Texas in June 1863, by July 1 he had resumed his position on Galveston Island. Debray led his regiment in the Red River campaign in Louisiana during the spring of 1864. For his participation in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, he was appointed brigadier general by General Edmund Kirby Smith on April 13, 1864, but this was never confirmed by President Jefferson Davis. Nevertheless, he commanded a brigade consisting of the Twenty-third, Twenty-sixth, and Thirty-second Texas Cavalry regiments. Debray discharged his men on March 24, 1865.

After the war he moved to Houston and then to Galveston, working as a teacher and a bookkeeper before eventually returning to his position as translator in the General Land Office. He died in Austin on January 6, 1895, and was buried in the State Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.905, -097° 43.643

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

October 3, 2017

Red Duke

James Duke, Jr., surgeon, teacher, television host, and conservationist, son of James Henry Duke, Sr., and Helen Marion (Donegan) Duke, was born in Ennis, Texas, on November 16, 1928. He grew up in Hillsboro and was given the nickname “Red” for his curly red hair. As a youth, he delivered newspapers, picked cotton, and dug ditches, and he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. Duke graduated from Hillsboro High School and attended Texas A&M University in College Station, where he became head yell leader; he received a bachelor of science degree in 1950. Following his graduation, Duke served in the United States Army for two years as a tank commander in Germany during the Korean War.

After his military service, Duke attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. During this time he married Betty Cowden, a fellow student, and they eventually had four children. The couple later divorced. After Duke received a divinity degree in 1955, he was inspired to go into medical school by learning about humanitarian and physician Albert Schweitzer. He received his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1960. During his residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Duke was the emergency surgeon on hand to attend to President John F. Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally following their shooting. He has been credited with saving Connally’s life.

Duke briefly served on the faculty of UT Southwestern and at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, where he also took graduate classes at Columbia University. In 1970 he was a visiting professor at Nangarhar University School of Medicine in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In 1972 Duke became one of the first faculty members at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and eventually became the John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences. He practiced in the Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston for four decades and established his reputation as an outstanding trauma surgeon. Duke established the trauma service at Memorial Hermann and in 1976 founded the Life Flight service - a model in the nation - in Houston. He was a founding member of the American Trauma Society and was influential in the development of EMS (Emergency Medical Services) in Texas.

Duke wore many hats during his lifetime; he was a surgeon, a teacher, and a colorful television personality. Duke appeared on nationally-syndicated television broadcasts called Dr. Red Duke’s Health Reports for fifteen years. He also hosted the PBS series Bodywatch in 1986. Known for his cowboy dress and country twang, Duke was called “John Wayne in scrubs” by U.S. Congressman Ted Poe and was the inspiration for the television series Buck James starring Dennis Weaver in 1987.

During his lifetime, Duke, a conservationist who had grown up hunting and fishing, served as president of the Wild Sheep Foundation, an organization dedicated to restoring wild sheep populations in North America, and the Boone and Crockett Club. He was also the founder of the Texas Bighorn Society, which tasks itself with restoring desert bighorn sheep to their native ranges in Texas.

Duke authored numerous chapters and gave many presentations during his career. He also devoted much time to support the United States military both through enhanced medical technology in combat and the promotion of employment of veterans at home through his Texas Medical Center’s Hiring Red, White & You! program. He received many honors during his lifetime, including the Texas Governor's EMS and Trauma Advisory Council's Journey of Excellence Award; knighthood in the Order of Saint George of the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association; named Surgeon of the Year by the James F. Mitchell Foundation in 1988; the Boy Scouts honored him with their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award in 1993; and in 2014, The James H. “Red” Duke, Jr., M.D. Endowed Scholarship for students at UT Health Medical School was established. That same year the Dr. James “Red” Duke Elementary School opened in Alvin, Texas. Life Flight established a worldwide call sign -“Red Duke”- in his honor.

Red Duke died of natural causes at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on August 25, 2015 and buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. In May 2016, the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute was renamed the Memorial Red Duke Trauma Institute in his honor.

GPS COORDINATES
30° 15.955, -097° 43.532

Monument Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

September 26, 2017

Francis Richard Lubbock

Francis R. Lubbock, governor of Texas, was born on October 16, 1815, in Beaufort, South Carolina, the oldest son of Dr. Henry Thomas Willis and Susan Ann (Saltus) Lubbock and brother of Thomas S. Lubbock. At age fourteen, after his father's death, he quit school and took a job as a clerk in a hardware store. He later pursued a business career in South Carolina and then in New Orleans, and continued his business activities when he moved to Texas in 1836. He was married three times-first to Adele Baron of New Orleans in 1835; then to Mrs. Sarah E. Black Porter, the widow of a Presbyterian minister, in 1883; and then, after his second wife's death, to Lou Scott in 1903. In 1837 Lubbock moved to Houston, Texas, where he opened a general store. During the 1840s he began his ranching operations. Lubbock was a lifelong Democrat. He began his association with the Democratic party during the nullification crisis in South Carolina in 1832. In Texas he continued his political involvement and was appointed comptroller of the Republic of Texas by President Sam Houston. He was also elected clerk of the Harris County district court and served from 1841 to 1857.

In the 1850s Lubbock was active in state Democratic politics. In the party convention of 1856 he fought against the American (or Know-Nothing) party. He was elected lieutenant governor in 1857 but lost his race for reelection in 1859, when Sam Houston and Edward Clark were elected. In 1860 Lubbock served as a Texas delegate to the national Democratic convention at Charleston, where the southern delegation walked out in opposition to the Democratic platform and Stephen A. Douglas, the party's nominee. After the southerners' second walkout on the Democrats at Baltimore, the southern Democratic party nominated John C. Breckinridge at their convention in Richmond, Virginia, a convention chaired by Lubbock.

In 1861 Lubbock won the governorship of Texas by only 124 votes. As governor he staunchly supported the Confederacy and worked to improve the military capabilities of Texas. He chaired the state military board, which attempted to trade cotton and United States Indemnity Bonds for military goods through Mexico. He also worked with the board to establish a state foundry and percussion-cap factory. Lubbock vigorously supported Confederate conscription, opposing draft exemptions for able-bodied men as unfair and the substitution system as advantageous to the wealthy. Viewing the use of whites in government contracting and cattle driving as wasteful, he encouraged their replacement with slaves to increase enlistment. Aliens residing in Texas were also made subject to the draft. Lubbock exempted frontier counties from the Confederate draft and enlisted their residents for local defense against Indian attack.

When his term of office ended, Lubbock chose to enter the military service. He was appointed lieutenant colonel and served as assistant adjutant general on the staff of Maj. Gen. John Bankhead Magruder. He organized troop-transport and supply trains for the Red River campaign against Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. Lubbock was later transferred to the staff of Brig. Gen. Thomas Green. After Green's death, Lubbock's commander was Maj. Gen. John A. Wharton, whom Lubbock assisted in raising additional Texas troops for the Red River operations. In August 1864 Lubbock was appointed aide-de-camp to Jefferson Davis and traveled to Richmond. As an expert on the Trans-Mississippi Department, he provided Davis with firsthand information on the war west of the Mississippi River. At the end of the war Lubbock fled Richmond with Davis and was captured by federal authorities in Georgia. He was imprisoned in Fort Delaware and kept in solitary confinement for eight months before being paroled. After his release he returned to Texas. He soon tired of ranching and went into business in Houston and Galveston, where he served as tax collector. From 1878 to 1891 he was treasurer of the state of Texas. From 1891 until his death he continued to live in Austin, where he died on June 22, 1905.

GPS Coordinates
30° 15.913, -097° 43.618

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

September 19, 2017

William Gordon Cooke

William Gordon 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 him. 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.

GPS COORDINATES
30° 15.920, -097° 43.641

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

September 12, 2017

Benjamin Beason

Benjamin Beason (or Beeson), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, received title to his land in Colorado County on August 7, 1824. He operated a ferry on the Colorado River at the site of present Columbus, where his wife, Elizabeth, kept an inn. In April 1836 the Beason family was at Harrisburg, where Mrs. Beason operated a boarding house.

Benjamin Beason died before March 9, 1837; the Telegraph and Texas Register of March 14, 1837, carried a notice that William B. DeWees, Leander Beason, and Abel Beason were administrators of his estate.

Note
Beason's grave location has been lost over time, but he is known to have been buried in this cemetery. The photograph below is of the oldest section where he most likely rests.

GPS Coordinates
N/A


Old City Cemetery
Columbus

September 5, 2017

Zachary Scott

Zachary Thomson Scott, Jr., actor, the son of Sallie Lee (Masterson) and Zachary Thomson Scott, was born in Austin, Texas, on February 21, 1914. His acting career began at Austin High School. From 1932 to 1934 he attended the University of Texas, where he performed leading roles and served as president for the Curtain Club; he was also on the track team. He interrupted his schooling at the age of nineteen to work his way to England on a freighter. There he joined a repertory company and for the next three years gained acting experience. He returned to the United States and married Elaine Anderson on February 21, 1935. They had two daughters. The couple lived in New York for a short time but soon returned to the University of Texas, where Scott earned a B.A. in 1939. During this period he worked as director of the Little Theater in Austin and taught dramatics at St. Mary's Academy. He then gave up dramatic pursuits and worked at various jobs, including that of an oilfield worker, but the lure of the stage eventually caused him to move his family to New York. He was soon acting in various Broadway productions.

In 1943 Warner Brothers Studio discovered Scott while he was appearing in Those Endearing Young Charms. With the starring role in The Mask of Dimitrios in 1944, he began a film career that extended through thirty motion pictures. Scott is best remembered for his work in such popular films as Mildred Pierce (1945), The Southerner (1945), Hollywood Canteen (1944), Danger Signal (1945), and Cass Timberlane (1947). He received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal in The Southerner. During the 1940s Scott's roles, with the exception of The Southerner, were those of a suave, debonair sophisticate, but after 1950 his career broadened. He sang the lead role in a production of The King and I (1956) and appeared on the London stage in such productions as Subway in the Sky (1957). He played numerous television roles and continued to make movies. In 1950 Scott and his wife were divorced. He later married actress Ruth Ford. In 1959 they appeared together on Broadway in Requiem for a Nun, a play that novelist William Faulkner had written for Mrs. Scott. Scott and his wife were performing readings from Faulkner's works at the University of Mississippi in early 1965 when Scott grew ill; he died on October 3, 1965, and was buried at Memorial Park in Austin. In 1972 the Zachary Scott Theatre opened in Austin, and in 1988 a chair in drama was established at the University of Texas honoring the Scott family.

GPS COORDINATES
30° 19.836, -097° 44.969

Section 4
Austin Memorial Park Cemetery
Austin

August 29, 2017

William B. Bridges

William B. Bridges (Bridgers), early Texas farmer and public official and one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, immigrated from Arkansas with his wife Cynthia to Texas as early as April 1824 and received a sitio of land now in Jackson County on July 21 of that year. In April 1831 Mexican officials filed a character certificate and a land application under his name, listing him as a single farmer (his wife had recently died) from Arkansas who was twenty-three years of age with three daughters. In 1838, Bridges received a headright certificate for a labor of land in Gonzales County.

He was a member of Capt. John Alley's company, which rushed to aid Col. John H. Moore of Fayette County during the Texas Revolution. He married Eliza Lyons Tribble and moved to Fayette County. They owned land in four counties and were the parents of six children. A farmer, rancher and hat maker by trade, Bridges served as a Fayette County justice of the peace and postmaster of Lyons in 1843. On September 17, 1871, the Columbus Citizen reported the burial of a "William Bridge", who had come to Texas around 1825. Whether this is William Bridges is extremely likely.

Note
Unmarked. Most historians believe that Bridges was buried in the Lyons Family Cemetery, which is shown below in it's entirety. It is now completely enveloped by Schulenburg's City Cemetery.


GPS Coordinates
29° 41.121, -096° 55.164

Lyons family plot
Schulenburg City Cemetery
Schulenburg

August 22, 2017

Zadock Woods

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's 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 the 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-Kreische Brewery State Historic Site in La Grange.

GPS Coordinates
29° 53.339, -096° 52.618


Monument Hill State Historic Site
La Grange

August 18, 2017

Thomas August Graves

Thomas Graves came to Texas in 1831 as part of Robertson's Colony (located in present-day Milam County) and worked as a surveyor while waiting for his application for citizenship and land to be approved. Four years later, he finally received his title to one-fourth of a league of land on November 10, 1835. On January 14, 1836, he enlisted in Captain Sterling C. Robertson's Company of Rangers, but the company shortly afterward disbanded. He re-enlisted April 8, 1836 as a member of Captain Jesse Billingsley's Company of Mina Volunteers and was with them at the Battle of San Jacinto. His enlistment ended on July 8, 1836, and he returned to his estate. He married in April 1837, and later that year was elected the first County Surveyor of Milam County. Several years later, for his service in the Texas army and for fighting at the Battle of San Jacinto, he was granted an additional three-fourths of a league and one labor of land near his homestead in Milam County. Graves died in Washington County in 1861 and was buried in the cemetery in Independence.

Note
Graves' burial site is unmarked and its exact location has been lost, but it is likely he is buried somewhere in the photo below where the majority of those who died in 1860-1864 rest.

GPS Coordinates
N/A


Old Independence Cemetery
Independence

August 15, 2017

William Bacon Wright

William Bacon Wright, Confederate legislator, was born in Columbus, Georgia, on July 4, 1830, the son of John Wright and a relative of George Walton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. According to his obituary in the San Antonio Daily Express he graduated from Princeton at the age of seventeen, but the university has no record of his attendance. He is also said to have established a law practice in Georgia in 1849. After residing briefly in Eufaula, Alabama, he moved to Texas in 1854 and established a law practice in the Lamar County community of Paris, where he soon became one of the region's foremost attorneys. In 1857 he helped to found a male academy in Paris.

Wright was elected as an alternate Democratic statewide elector for the 1860 presidential election. In December of that year he was appointed chairman of a committee to draw up a plan of secession for the state. In October 1861 he was elected to represent the Sixth Congressional District in the first regular session of the Confederate House of Representatives, where he served on the Patents, Claims, Enrolled Bills, and Indian Affairs committees. Although an opponent of taxation, in general Wright supported the policies of the Jefferson Davis administration. His most significant contributions to Confederate legislation were the exemption from conscription of all militiamen serving in frontier defense and the exemption from impressment of all slaves employed in the cultivation of grain. He was defeated in the congressional race of 1863 by Simpson H. Morgan and served for the remainder of the war as a major in the quartermaster corps on the staff of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith.

After the war Wright practiced law for a time in Clarksville before returning to Paris in 1873. He is said to have defended the accused in ninety-three murder trials without losing a single case. He also remained active in politics, serving as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1875. Wright married a Miss Greer of Georgia in 1849, and they had four children. After her death he married Pink Gates of Mississippi in 1868; they had six children. In 1885 Wright moved to San Antonio, where he engaged in banking until his death on August 10, 1895.


GPS Coordinates
29° 25.416, -098° 28.047


Dignowity Cemetery
Austin

August 11, 2017

Francis E. Brookfield

Francis Brookfield was born in 1820 in what is now Fayette County, Texas, the son of William and Lalliet Brookfield, who had come to Texas in 1831 as part of Austin's Second Colony. He participated in the Battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the Texas Revolution, on October 2, 1835. He enlisted in the army on March 16, 1836, and was with Captain William J.E. Heard's Company of Citizen Soldiers at San Jacinto. Brookfield left the army on April 27, then re-enlisted in Captain William Scurlock's Company from July 4 to October 4, 1836, after which he was sent by his parents "to Beardstown in the United States to receive his education".

After his return to Texas, he enlisted in the army once again, this time as a member of Captain Nicholas M. Dawson's Company, who were all killed on Salado Creek in Bexar County, September 18, 1842. His remains and those of his comrades were later placed in a single vault at the top of a hill, since called Monument Hill, overlooking the town of La Grange.

GPS Coordinates
29° 53.339, -096° 52.618


Monument Hill State Historic Site
La Grange

August 8, 2017

James Shannon Mayfield

James S. Mayfield, lawyer, legislator, and soldier, was born in Tennessee in 1809 and moved to Texas in 1837. In January 1839 he was practicing law in Nacogdoches with J. M. White and later that year was chosen to go with Albert Sidney Johnston to propose to the Cherokee Indians that they leave Texas upon payment for their improvements by the republic. Mayfield represented Nacogdoches County in the Fifth and Sixth congresses (1840-42) and introduced the Franco-Texian Bill. From February 8, 1841, to September 7, 1841, Mayfield served as secretary of state under Mirabeau B. Lamar, except for the period from April 30 to September 7, when Joseph Waples and Samuel A. Roberts served consecutively in his place.

On September 16, 1842, Mayfield assembled a company of volunteers from La Grange, to follow Capt. Nicholas Dawson in an attempt to repel Gen. Adrián Woll's Mexican army from San Antonio. His group, joined by others under the command of Jesse Billingsley and W. J. Wallace, arrived at the scene of the Dawson massacre on Salado Creek while it was occurring. Mayfield, as the commanding officer, determined that his group was too far outnumbered and remained in the distance until the following day, when he joined the command of Mathew Caldwell. In 1842 Mayfield was a member of the Somervell expedition but did not join the subsequent Mier expedition. In 1843 he presented himself as a candidate for major general of the Texas army but removed himself from consideration because, he said, of ill health. It is probable, however, that accusations of cowardice during the Woll invasion leveled by Mathew Caldwell and Edward Burleson had much to do with his decision. Mayfield represented Fayette County at the Convention of 1845 and during the same year challenged Burleson to a duel but did not go through with the engagement.

In April 1846 Mayfield helped organize the Democratic party in Texas. He was living in La Grange in 1849, the year he killed Absolom Bostwick in a political argument. In July 1850 Mayfield was one of a committee appointed in a meeting at La Grange to consider insurrectionary movements in Santa Fe County.

GPS Coordinates
29° 54.643, -096° 52.109


Old La Grange City Cemetery
La Grange

August 4, 2017

Alfred Henderson Wyly

Alfred H. Wyly, soldier, presumably joined the Texas army at Groce's Retreat on the Brazos River, where he organized and was elected to command of a small company from the "Redlands" about April 6, 1836. The company was assigned to Col. Sidney Sherman's Second Regiment, Texas Volunteers, and served at the battle of San Jacinto. Wyly was discharged on July 24, 1836. He was married to a widow named Josephine Louise (Burk) Williams, and they had five children. His family lived in Rusk County from 1848 until at least 1855. He died on May 11, 1867, at Hempstead, where he is buried.

GPS COORDINATES
30° 05.054, -096° 04.075


Hempstead Cemetery
Hempstead

August 1, 2017

William Bluford DeWees

William Bluford DeWees, pioneer settler and public official, was born in Virginia on September 8, 1799. He first visited Texas on a keelboat excursion up the Red River in 1819. In late 1821 he accompanied a group of four families from Arkansas to the Austin colony; the party arrived on the lower Brazos River on January 1, 1822. On August 3, 1824, DeWees and his partner, James Cook, who constituted one of the Austin colony's Old Three Hundred households, received title to a league of land on the Colorado River in the southern part of what is now Colorado County, about ten miles below Columbus. DeWees then obtained title to a second half league on the west bank of the river at the site of the Columbus township, on April 28, 1831. As property owner, developer, and early settler of the site he became known as a founder of Columbus. The census of 1825 listed him as a gunsmith, and he appears as a blacksmith in the census of 1826. In 1840 he held title to 1,207 acres, claimed another 887 acres under survey, and possessed a personal estate that included eleven slaves, thirty cattle, nine horses, and a carriage.

DeWees traveled in Mexico in 1826 and 1827, then took up residence in San Antonio, where he lived for almost two years before returning to his home on the Colorado. Beginning in 1837 he held a series of public offices in Colorado County, including justice of the peace, associate land commissioner, and associate justice of the county court. In 1865 he was again elected justice of the peace for Precinct 1 of Colorado County. Later that year he was appointed to a term as county treasurer by provisional governor A. J. Hamilton. But DeWees's political career and reputation were ruined in 1866 when he was charged by his successor with misappropriating $1,200 in county funds and was successfully sued for that amount in district court. His appeal of the decision was denied in 1870.

DeWees married a daughter of Austin colonist Benjamin Beeson, probably named Lydia, in 1823 and eventually became the father of two children. His wife apparently died before 1850, and DeWees probably married a German immigrant named Angelica. In the early 1850s he covertly collaborated with writer Emmaretta Cara Kimball Crawford in producing a journal of his pioneering experiences that purported to be a compilation of his letters to a Kentucky resident named Cara Cardelle; this volume of dictated reminiscences, actually written by Emmaretta Kimball, was published in 1852 under the title Letters from an Early Settler of Texas to a Friend. DeWees died in Colorado County on April 14, 1878.

GPS Coordinates
29° 42.328, -096° 33.071


Old City Cemetery
Columbus

July 28, 2017

Jerome B. Alexander

Jerome B. Alexander, soldier of the Republic of Texas, moved to Texas in January 1832. During the Texas Revolution he served as a private in Capt. John York's volunteer company at the siege of Bexar and as a private in Capt. Moseley Baker's Company D of Col. Edward Burleson's First Regiment, Texas Volunteers, at the battle of San Jacinto. He was elected clerk of the Third Judicial District court in January 1838 and was reelected in January 1842. During this period he was a resident of Fayette County with title to 200 acres of land and an additional 611 acres under survey. He also owned two town lots in La Grange, four horses, fifty cattle, and a silver watch. He had an additional 1,476 acres under survey in Gonzales County.

When Adrián Woll raided San Antonio in 1842, Alexander was elected lieutenant in the volunteer company of Capt. Nicholas M. Dawson. He was killed in action in the infamous Dawson Massacre on September 18, 1842. He was buried with his companions at Monument Hill near La Grange, Fayette County.

GPS Coordinates
29° 53.339, -096° 52.618


Monument Hill State Historic Site
La Grange

July 25, 2017

John Prince Coles

John P. Coles (Cole), one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1793. He married Mary Eleanor Owen in Georgia in 1821. The couple moved to Texas as an Old Three Hundred family and reached the Brazos River in the spring of 1822. Coles received title to 8½ leagues of land in the area of present-day Burleson, Washington, and Brazoria counties on August 19, 1824. His cedar log cabin became the center of a community known as Coles' Settlement. Coles maintained a public house, where David Crockett was reported to have lost eighty dollars in a poker game on his way to the Alamo.

According to inaccurate local tradition, when the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence rode from Washington-on-the-Brazos to spend the night at Coles' Settlement, the name of the village was changed to Independence. The census of March 1826 listed Coles's wife, a son, two daughters, five servants, and four slaves and noted that Coles was building a mill on Yegua Creek. Three other children were later born to the family.

Coles was alcalde of Washington Municipality in 1828 and a delegate to the Convention of 1833 at San Felipe de Austin. On July 2, 1835, he signed a petition for the organization of Washington Municipality. During the Texas Revolution he moved his family east of the Neches and then joined William Warner Hill's company, in which he served from July to October 1836. Coles was elected chief justice of Washington County in December 1836 and represented the county in the Senate of the Fifth Texas Congress, 1840-41. He died on January 19, 1847, and was buried at Independence.

GPS Coordinates
30° 19.720, -096 21.664


Old Independence Cemetery
Independence

July 21, 2017

Isaac Lafayette Hill

Isaac Lafayette Hill, soldier, settler, and legislator, the son of John Hill, was born on February 1, 1814, in Jasper County, Georgia. In 1834 he traveled to Texas with his uncle Asa Hillqv. Isaac taught school in the Cole settlement in Washington County before joining Company D, First Regiment of Texas Volunteers, as a corporal under the command of Capt. Moseley Baker. He was in command of the ferry at San Felipe during the retreat of the Texas army in April 1836 and subsequently fought at the battle of San Jacinto.

In 1845 Isaac settled near Round Top in Fayette County, where he became a prosperous planter and slave owner and represented that county in the Senate of the Fifth and Sixth legislatures (1853-57). In 1863 Hill paid an unknown substitute to serve in his place in Capt. Zebulon M. P. Rabb's company of the Plum Grove Rifles, a Home Guard unit. He later served as a private in Capt. James C. Gaither's company, the Round Top Guerrillas, organized by Brig. Gen. William G. Webb as a volunteer cavalry "to repel armed or hostile invasions of the state." Hill was married three times and had nine children. During the 1870s he was a promoter and stockholder of the Central railroad. He died at his home on July 18, 1889, and was buried near Round Top.

GPS Coordinates
30° 06.523, -096° 41.512


Hill Cemetery
Carmine

July 18, 2017

John Winfield Scott Dancy

John Dancy, early legislator, farmer, and railroad promoter, was born to William and Prescilla (Turner) Dancy in Greensville County, Virginia, on September 3, 1810. He was a descendant of Francis de Dance, a Castilian nobleman who fled persecution in France. Dancy had a sister and at least one brother, Charles, who spent time in Texas. General Winfield Scott was Dancy's cousin. After growing up in Decatur, Alabama, Dancy studied law, science, and languages and attended Nashville University. He received a law license in Tennessee from Judge John Catron, United States Supreme Court justice from 1837 to 1865.

In July 1835 Dancy married Evalina Rhodes. After her death the following summer he decided to move to Texas. On December 28, 1836, he and Francis R. Lubbock arrived at Velasco on the schooner Corolla. Dancy became a citizen of Texas on January 13, 1837, before Judge Robert M. Williamson. He traveled throughout the republic and in 1838 purchased 640 acres in Fayette County. He introduced long-staple cotton to Texas and developed the first hydraulic ram in the state to provide irrigation for his plantation.

In 1841 he was elected Fayette County representative to the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas. He later served in the Senate of the Second and Fourth state legislatures (1847-48 and 1851-53) and in the House of the Sixth Legislature (1855-56). He was considered an eloquent but long-winded speaker. Dancy ran for governor as a Democrat in 1853 but placed last in a field of six candidates led by Elisha M. Pease. In February 1861 he was a delegate to the Secession Convention. His early advocacy of railroad development earned him the nickname "Father of Texas Railroads." During his first legislative term he advocated annexing California and constructing a railroad to connect the West Coast to Texas. He helped secure charters for the Harrisburg Railroad and Trading Company and the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway; he became a vice president of the latter and in 1866 transferred it to the Southern Pacific. In 1850 Dancy proposed using public lands to finance railroad construction.

He maintained a law practice in La Grange and was a developer of Colorado City, the site chosen by the legislature in 1838 for the new capital but vetoed by President Sam Houston. Dancy was a member of the Texas Monumental Committee, formed to raise funds for a monument to men killed during the Mier Expedition and Dawson Massacre, and edited the committee's newspaper, the Texas Monument, from July 1850 to June 1851. He was a founding trustee of Rutersville College. During the Mexican invasions of 1842, Dancy served in the First Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers under John Coffee Hays. From May to July 1847 he served as a private in a spy company of Texas mounted volunteers commanded by Benjamin McCulloch. He also fought in Indian skirmishes. He married Lucy Ann Nowlin of Austin on October 25, 1849. They had a son and five daughters. Dancy died in La Grange on February 13, 1866, and was buried in La Grange Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
29° 54.625, -096° 52.090

Section 1
Old La Grange City Cemetery
La Grange

July 14, 2017

Michael Short

Michael Short was born September 17, 1797 in Georgia. He fought in the War of 1812, and in February 1836 emigrated to Texas from Alabama to enlist in the Texas army. He was with Captain Alfred Henderson Wyly's 2nd Regiment Volunteers Infantry Company at San Jacinto. He died on February 4, 1859 while living in La Grange and buried in the city cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
29° 54.644, -096° 52.057


La Grange Old City Cemetery
La Grange

July 11, 2017

Joshua Parker

Joshua Parker, member of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born on April 13, 1790, in Grayson County, Virginia. He was living in Arkansas in 1821, when he became acquainted with Moses Austin and enrolled in the proposed Austin colony in Texas. He and his colonist partner William Parks received title to a sitio of land in what is now Wharton County on July 24, 1824. Parker's home place on Palmetto Creek was adjacent to Stephen F. Austin's headquarters.

The census of 1826 listed Parker as a farmer and stock man, a single man aged between twenty-five and forty. He married Nancy Whiteside in 1828. Evidently he dealt extensively in livestock. He bought a mule from James Gaines in 1824, ordered horses from Josiah H. Bell in 1826, had Austin buy him an ox ring from Nicholas Clopper in August 1826, and had a quarrel with Aylett C. Buckner while he and Buckner were driving a herd of horses from the Rio Grande. In November 1830 Parker was listed among persons who must comply with the conditions of their grants or have their lots sold by the ayuntamiento of San Felipe. He was an acquaintance of William B. Travis at San Felipe in 1833. Parker died on July 24, 1838, at Independence, Texas.


GPS Coordinates
30° 19.729, -096° 21.675


Old Independence Cemetery
Independence

July 7, 2017

John Wesley Scallorn

John Scallorn came to Texas from Kentucky or Tennessee (most likely Tennessee) in 1834-35. During the Texas Revolution he fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and later became a surveyor in Fayette County, Texas. He married Mariam Spier in 1839 and they had one son born in 1840, named George Wesley. In 1842 Mexico was still sending troops into Texas and in September of that year San Antonio was attacked and captured briefly. Scallorn and his brother, Elam, rode with a reinforcement group of volunteers, mostly from the La Grange area along the Colorado River. This group was led by Captain Nicholas M. Dawson and their intent was to join other volunteers on the way to San Antonio. Before they could join with the other group of volunteers they were met by Mexican forces near Salado Creek, in what is now San Antonio, near where Fort Sam Houston is located today. In the fighting that ensued 36 Texans were killed, among them John Wesley and Elam Scallorn. Fifteen Texans were taken prisoner and marched to Mexico. This terrible battle became known as the “Dawson Massacre”. The remains of John Wesley Scallorn and the other brave volunteers who died in this battle were buried in the tomb at Monument Hill State Park in La Grange, Texas.

GPS Coordinates
29° 53.339, -096° 52.618


Monument Hill State Historic Site
La Grange

July 4, 2017

Dallas Stoudenmire

Dallas Stoudenmire, gunfighter-cum-lawman, was born on December 11, 1845, in Aberfoil, Macon County, Alabama, to Lewis and Elizabeth Stoudenmire. In 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate Army. He arrived in Columbus, Texas, about 1867 and reputedly killed several men. For a while in January 1874 he was a second sergeant in J.R. Waller's Company A of the Texas Rangers. He then lived briefly in the Panhandle before serving a stint as marshal of Socorro, New Mexico. Stoudenmire reached El Paso in early April 1881 and was appointed town marshal on the eleventh. Three days later he engaged in the incredible "Four Dead in Five Seconds" gunfight in downtown El Paso. Rancher John Hale had killed Constable Gus Krempkau, so Stoudenmire reacted by killing Hale, plus an innocent bystander, plus former city marshal George Campbell. On April 17 former city marshal Bill Johnson attempted to assassinate Stoudenmire and was himself shot dead on the city streets.

Stoudenmire returned to Columbus in February 1882 to marry Isabella Sherrington, but was soon back in El Paso. He began feuding with the Texas Rangers, the local politicians, and the press. He especially hated the Manning brothers, George Felix (Doc), Frank, and James, the owners of two saloons. James Manning had recently killed Samuel Cummings, Stoudenmire's brother-in-law. The Stoudenmire-Manning feud ran so deep that local residents prevailed upon both factions to sign a peace treaty that was duly published in the El Paso Herald. In mid-1882, after resigning, Stoudenmire accepted a position as United States deputy marshal. On September 18, 1882, James and Doc Manning killed him in El Paso. The Mannings were acquitted of murder charges, and Stoudenmire's body was shipped to Columbus, Texas, for burial in nearby Alleyton.

GPS Coordinates
29°  42.498, -096° 28.920


Alleyton Cemetery
Alleyton

June 30, 2017

James Seaton Lester

James S. Lester, early settler, legislator, and official, was born in Virginia on April 21, 1799. He was admitted to the bar in 1831 and moved to Mina, Texas in 1834. In 1835 he represented the Mina or Bastrop District at the Consultation and was a member of a committee appointed to plan organization of the provisional government. Lester was recruiting agent at Bastrop for the army to attack Bexar in 1835 and later fought in the battle of San Jacinto.

He served as senator from Bastrop and Gonzales in the First and Second congresses, as representative from Fayette County in the Third Congress, and as senator from Fayette, Bastrop, and Gonzales in the Fourth and Fifth congresses. He was one of the first trustees of Baylor University, chief justice of Fayette County, 1844-48, and a member of the Texas Veterans Association. He lived at Winchester until his death in December 1879 and was buried at La Grange.

GPS Coordinates
29° 54.629, -096° 52.118

Section 1
Old La Grange City Cemetery
La Grange

June 27, 2017

Richard Tice

Richard Tice was born September 28, 1762 in Gloucester, New Jersey and first served as a "fifer" in a company commanded by Capt. Jonathan Williams as he was only 14 years of age and too young to handle a musket.  He later served as a private at the Battles of Trenton, Princeton and Monmouth as well as a number of smaller battles.  He lived in Philadelphia, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and Long Island, New York before coming to Texas some time after October 1842 to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Adam James Hall.  Richard Tice died August 27, 1848 in Independence and was buried in the Old Independence Cemetery.

GPS Coordinates
30° 19.732, -096° 21.637


Old Independence Cemetery
Independence