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