December 29, 2009

Christopher Columbus "Lum" Slaughter (1837-1919)

C. C. Slaughter, ranching pioneer, banker, and philanthropist, was born on February 9, 1837, in Sabine County, Texas, one of five children of George Webb and Sarah (Mason) Slaughter; he claimed to be the first male child born of a marriage contracted under the Republic of Texas. He was educated at home and at Larissa College in Cherokee County. As a boy he worked cattle with his father and at age twelve helped drive the family's ninety-two-head herd to a ranch on the Trinity River in Freestone County, where the family moved in 1852. There, because of his expertise in herding cattle across the often swollen river, he was regularly employed by drovers bound for Shreveport with Brazos-country livestock. At age seventeen he made a trading expedition hauling timber from Anderson County to Dallas County for sale and processing Collin County wheat into flour for sale in Magnolia, Anderson County, a trip that yielded him a $520 profit. With this money he bought his uncle's interest in the Slaughter herd. Having observed the better quality of the Brazos stock, he persuaded his father to move farther west. They selected a site in Palo Pinto County, well positioned to provide beef to Fort Belknap and the nearby Indian reservations, and in 1856 the younger Slaughter drove 1,500 cattle to the new ranch.

In 1859, with the outbreak of open war with Indians, he volunteered his service and was in the expedition that unexpectedly liberated Cynthia Ann Parker from a Comanche camp. With the withdrawal of federal protection during the Civil War, Slaughter continued to fight Indians as a lieutenant in the Texas Rangers; he also served under Capt. William Peveler in Young County in the Frontier Regiment, part of the effort to maintain frontier protection during the war. With the loss of the war and continued Indian harassment, Slaughter and other ranchers started for Mexico in search of new ranchland. During the expedition Slaughter suffered an accidental gunshot wound that incapacitated him for a year, causing a nearly ruinous decline in his cattle business. After his recovery he started a cattle drive to New Orleans in late 1867, but en route contracted with a buyer for a Jefferson packery to sell his 300 steers there for thirty-five dollars a head in gold, a large sum. With his new stake he began regular drives to Kansas City in 1868, selling his herds for as much as forty-two dollars a head. He sold his Texas ranching interests in 1871 and in 1873 organized C. C. Slaughter and Company, a cattle-breeding venture, which later pioneered the replacement of the poor-bred longhorn with Kentucky-bred blooded shorthorn stock. By 1882 a herd shipped to St. Louis received seven dollars per hundred pounds.

In 1873 Slaughter moved his family to Dallas and a few years later dissolved his partnership with his father. About 1877 he established one of the largest ranches in West Texas, the Long S, on the headwaters of the Colorado River and there grazed his cattle on the public domain. Desirous of becoming a "gentleman breeder," he purchased in 1897 the Goodnight Hereford herd and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair grand champion bull, Ancient Briton. In 1899 he acquired the famous Hereford bull Sir Bredwell for a record $5,000. Through these purchases Slaughter's purebred Hereford herd became one of the finest in the business. Around 1898 Slaughter undertook a major land purchase in Cochran and Hockley counties. He bought 246,699 acres, leased more, and established the Lazy S Ranch, which he stocked with his Hereford herd and mixed breed cattle from the Long S and consigned to the management of his eldest son. In 1877 Slaughter helped organize the Northwest Texas Cattle Raisers' Association (later the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association), for which he also served a term as president (1885). He was the first president of the National Beef Producers and Butchers Association (1888), an organization formed to combat market domination by the meat-packing industry. Frequently titled the "Cattle King of Texas," Slaughter became one of the country's largest individual owners of cattle and land (over a million acres and 40,000 cattle by 1906) and was the largest individual taxpayer in Texas for years. For a time "Slaughter Country" extended from a few miles north of Big Spring 200 miles to the New Mexico border west of Lubbock. By 1908-09, however, he opened his Running Water and Long S Ranches to colonization and sale. Yet by 1911, much of the land reverted to his ownership upon the failure of the land company promoting colonization there, and under the management of Jack Alley, it was restored to profitability by 1915.

Slaughter maintained strict control over his operations until 1910, when he suffered a broken hip that crippled him for the remainder of his life, compounding problems caused by his failing eyesight. He consequently turned the business over to his eldest son, George. In addition to ranching, Slaughter participated in banking in Dallas where he helped organize City Bank in 1873 and invested in the bank's reorganization as City National Bank in 1881; at that time he became its vice president. In 1884 he helped establish the American National Bank, which evolved by 1905 into the American Exchange National Bank (later First National Bank). He was vice president from its organization until his death. On December 5, 1861 (possibly 1860), Slaughter married Cynthia Jowell of Palo Pinto, Texas; they had five children. After being widowed in 1876, he married Carrie A. Averill (Aberill) in Emporia, Kansas, on January 17, 1877; they had four children. Slaughter was a Democrat and Baptist; he contributed two-thirds of the cost for the construction of the First Baptist Church in Dallas and served as vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, as president of the state Mission Board (1897-1903), and as an executive board member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (1898-1911). His support of a plan to retire the consolidated debt of seven Texas Baptist schools and coordinate their activities into a system capped by Baylor University assured its acceptance by the general convention in 1897. Slaughter also contributed generously to the establishment of the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium (later Baylor Hospital) in Dallas. He died at his home in Dallas on January 25, 1919. Source

COORDINATES
32° 48.038
-096° 47.834

Block 22
Greenwood Cemetery
Dallas

December 22, 2009

James J. Nash (1875-1927)

Born in 1875 in Louisville, Kentucky, Nash entered the army in his early twenties and fought in the Spanish-American War with Company F, 10th U.S. Infantry as a private. While in Santiago, Cuba on July 1, 1898, he rescued several wounded soldiers while under fire, saving the lives of many that would have bled out on the battlefield. He was issued the Medal of Honor for his actions on June 22, 1899, and afterward moved to Bexar County in Texas.

CITATION
Gallantly assisted in the rescue of the wounded from in front of the lines and under heavy fire from the enemy.

COORDINATES
29° 25.276
-098° 28.076


Section I
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

December 15, 2009

Rienzi Melville Johnston (1849-1926)

Rienzi Melville Johnston, newspaper editor, son of Freeman W. and Mary J. (Russell) Johnston, was born at Sandersville, Georgia, on September 9, 1849 (some sources say 1850). Early in his life he began work in a print shop, and at the age of twelve he became a drummer in the Confederate Army (1862-63). After discharge he reenlisted in 1864 and served until the end of the war, when he returned to newspaper work. In the early 1870s he was city editor of the Savannah Morning News. He traveled to Texas in 1878 to edit the Crockett Patron. After a year he edited the Corsicana Observer and established the Independent there. In 1880 he moved to Austin, where he was associated with the Austin Statesman. The Houston Post secured his service as correspondent to cover the state capital. Johnston was chosen editor-in-chief of the reorganized Houston paper in 1885, and later he became president of the Houston Printing Company. As an editorial writer he was quoted by the press throughout many states. For two years he was first vice president of the Associated Press. Johnston was one of the leaders of the Democratic party in the South. He declined the nomination for lieutenant governor of Texas in 1898. From 1900 to 1912 he was a member of the Democratic National Committee. Early in 1913 Governor Oscar B. Colquitt appointed him United States senator to fill the unexpired term of Joseph W. Bailey. Johnston served from January 4 to February 2, 1913, when he returned to Houston and resumed his duties as active head of the Post. He retired in 1919 and served as state senator from the Houston district; he resigned when he was appointed chairman of the state prison commission by Governor William P. Hobby on January 12, 1920. Johnston married Mary E. Parsons in 1875, and they had three children. He died on February 28, 1926, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 45.835
-095° 23.198

Section H2
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

December 8, 2009

Augustine Blackburn Hardin (1797-1871)

Augustine Blackburn Hardin, early settler and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, second son of Swan and Jerusha (Blackburn) Hardin, was born in Franklin County, Georgia, on July 18, 1797. By 1807 the family moved to Maury County, Tennessee, where Augustine married Mary Elizabeth Garner in 1819; they had a son. Hardin was deputy sheriff and constable while his father served as justice of the peace in 1825. Augustine Hardin's wife had an affair with Isaac Newton Porter, of which Porter bragged publicly. Augustine and his brothers met Porter and William Williamson in Columbia on October 1, 1825; during the confrontation that followed, Augustine fatally shot Porter, and his brother Benjamin Franklin Hardin killed Williamson. In order to avoid arrest and possible conviction, Augustine, after returning his unfaithful wife and son to her family, left for Texas.

He arrived at Nacogdoches in the fall of 1825 and settled on the Trinity River in what is now Liberty County before being indicted for murder on December 21, 1825. Other Hardin family members arrived in Texas by the end of 1828, and no extradition occurred, despite requests from the United States. Augustine Hardin received his land grant in 1831. On January 16, 1827, he enlisted in a volunteer company organized by Hugh Blair Johnston. The unit marched to Nacogdoches to help quell the Fredonian Rebellion. Hardin represented the Liberty District at the Consultation in 1835 at Columbia and San Felipe de Austin, and again at the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. After the convention, Augustine was in charge of escorting the Hardin family members to Louisiana during the Runaway Scrape. After returning to Texas, he served in the Army of the Republic of Texas from July 7 to October 7, 1836.

Hardin married Maria Dever, on February 9, 1828, in Liberty. They had seven children, five of whom survived childhood. Maria died in Liberty County in 1844, and Augustine did not remarry. His son by his first marriage, Augustine B. Hardin, Jr., moved to Texas in 1839 and lived with his father before moving to Leon County, Texas. The elder Augustine was a Catholic, the only Hardin to practice the faith after the Texas Revolution. From 1836 until 1871 he spent the majority of his time in Liberty County with his ranching and agricultural operations. In 1849 he was one of the founders of the Liberty Masonic Lodge. He died in Liberty County at his daughter's house on July 22, 1871, and was buried in the Hardin family cemetery north of Liberty. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission placed monuments in his honor at his grave and on the Liberty County Courthouse square. Source

Note: The family cemetery is private and kept locked, but it lies on the shoulder of FM 1011 and can be viewed in its entirety from outside the gate.

COORDINATES
30° 06.076
-094° 45.971


Hardin Family Cemetery
Liberty

December 1, 2009

Johnny "Clyde" Copeland (1937-1997)

Songwriter and blues guitarist Johnny Copeland was born in Haynesville, Louisiana, on March 27, 1937, the son of sharecroppers. Copeland developed an interest in the blues at an early age. His parents separated when he was six months old, and his mother took him to Magnolia, Arkansas. When his father died a few years later Copeland inherited a guitar and began learning to play it. When Johnny was thirteen years old, the Copelands moved to Houston, where the boy first saw a performance by guitarist T-Bone Walker. In 1954, influenced by Walker, Copeland and his friend Joe "Guitar" Hughes formed a band, the Dukes of Rhythm. While his musical interest grew, Copeland engaged in boxing and acquired the nickname Clyde.

The band played regularly in several leading Houston blues clubs, including Shady's Playhouse and the Eldorado Ballroom. While with the Dukes of Rhythm, Copeland also played backup for such blues figures as Big Mama Thornton, Freddie King, and Sonny Boy Williamson II. In 1958 he recorded his first single with Mercury Records, Rock 'n' Roll Lily, which became a regional hit. In the 1960s he achieved only limited regional success as he recorded with various small and independent labels. His hits included Please Let Me Know and Down on Bending Knees, recorded with the All Boy and the Golden Eagle labels, both based in Houston.

During the early 1970s Copeland toured the "Texas Triangle" - Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas - and developed a reputation as one of the most frenetic live performers in Texas-style blues. In 1974 he moved to New York City, where he worked at a Brew 'n' Burger during the day and performed in clubs at night. In a few years Copeland became a major draw, attracting receptive audiences at clubs in Harlem and Greenwich Village, and leaving his mark by "brandishing his sizzling guitar, like a slick, sharp weapon." In 1981 he signed with Rounder Records, which released the album Copeland Special, recorded in 1979 with saxophonists Arthur Blythe and Byard Lancaster. This album inspired Copeland to cut a series of albums with the label in the 1980s, including Make My Home Where I Hang My Hat (1982) and Texas Twister (1983), which also featured guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. With this recording success, Copeland toured the United States and Europe. In 1986, while on a ten-city tour in West Africa, he recorded Bringing It All Back Home, using local musicians. The album included imaginative hybrids of blues mixed with African idioms. Copeland thus became the first American blues musician to record an album in Africa. That same year he won a Grammy for the best traditional blues recording for Showdown! (1985), an album he recorded with fellow blues musicians Robert Cray and Albert Collins. His follow-up album, Ain't Nothing But a Party (Live), earned him a Grammy nomination in 1988.

Throughout the decade he played and recorded with a furious Texas-style blues guitar, performing burning guitar licks that became his trademark and earned him another nickname, the "Fire Maker." Despite adversity, Copeland continued to perform throughout the 1990s. He showed off his songwriting talents when he released his albums Flying High for Verve Records in 1992 and Catch Up With the Blues for Polygram in 1994. The albums included the hits Life's Rainbow and Circumstances. In 1994 he was diagnosed with heart disease, and he spent the next few years checking in and out of hospitals and undergoing a series of open-heart operations. He had been placed on an L-VAD (left ventricular assist device), a battery-powered pump designed for patients suffering from congenital heart defects. He appeared on CNN and ABC-TV's Good Morning America wearing the L-VAD, an event that gave both Copeland and the medical device greater national exposure. He lived a remarkable length of time, twenty months, on the L-VAD.

On January 1, 1997, he received a successful heart transplant, and in a few months he resumed touring. During the summer his heart developed a defective valve, and he was admitted to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York for heart surgery. He died on July 3, 1997, of complications during surgery, and was buried in Paradise South Cemetery in Pearland, Brazoria County, Texas. He was survived by his wife, Sandra, and seven children. Copeland had a lasting impact on Texas-style blues and played a major part in the blues boom of the 1980s. In his career he earned a Grammy, four W.C. Handy awards, and the album of the year award from the French National Academy of Jazz (1995). In 1984 he also became one of the few blues musicians to perform behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Source

COORDINATES
29° 34.076
-095° 20.912

Block 3
Paradise South Cemetery
Pearland

November 24, 2009

George Eastland Christian (1927-2002)

George Eastland Christian, Jr. , a fifth-generation Texan, was born January 1, 1927, in Austin. He graduated from Austin High School in 1944 and enlisted at 17 in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as a rifleman in the Second Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force-Pacific, and was among the first troops to occupy atomic bomb-ravaged Nagasaki, Japan. After World War II, he attended the University of Texas on the G.I. Bill of Rights and became sports editor of the Daily Texan. His close association with U.T. continued thereafter. His professional career began with a seven-year stint as capitol correspondent for International News Service under bureau chief Bill Carter. He was recruited by Jake Pickle and Joe Greenhill in 1956 to work on the staff of U.S. Senator Price Daniel. After Daniel became governor, Christian was his press secretary and then chief of staff. He later joined Governor John Connally as press secretary, a post he served at the time Connally was wounded during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

In 1966, Christian joined the White House staff, working with National Security Advisor Walt Rostow and then succeeding Bill Moyers as President Johnson's press secretary. He served three turbulent years at the White House during the height of the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, the Vietnam conflict, and some of the nation's most severe racial crises. After serving President Lyndon Baines Johnson from 1966 to 1969, Christian began a successful career as a public affairs and political consultant. He also volunteered a large part of his time to fundraising for the University of Texas, historical preservation projects, and many other causes. A prolific writer since his teens, Christian wrote hundreds of speeches for public officials, authored a book, The President Steps Down, commissioned by Macmillan in 1969, and edited or contributed to a number of others, including The World of Texas Politics and LBJ: The White House Years. He was guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News for many years and also wrote frequently for the Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle. He was a frequent guest on television, news and history programs, both nationally and in Texas. He remained active in all respects until his death in 2002. Source

COORDINATES
30° 15.914
-097° 43.613

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

November 17, 2009

William Henry Barnes (1841-1866)

Born in St. Mary's County, Maryland, Barnes was a 23 year old farmer when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 11, 1864. Only a few months after his enlistment, the morning of September 29th, 1864 found Private Barnes on the outskirts of Richmond, VA. His regiment, the 38th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), along with the 4th, 5th, 6th and 36th USCT were about to lead an attack on seasoned and entrenched Confederate soldiers, including five infantry regiments from the Texas Brigade, led by Col. Frederick Bass. The Battle of New Market Heights (a.k.a. Battle of Chaffin's Farm) would be the first major battle in Virginia where African American troops led an assault. It was a brutal morning for these men, and the last for many. After crossing hundreds of yards of rising ground, the 4th and 6th regiments neared the rebel lines and were killed in great numbers when their advance was stopped at the first line of barricades (abatis).

Sgt. Major Christian Fleetwood, 4th USCT, described the battle in his diary. "It was a deadly hailstorm of bullets sweeping men down as hailstones sweep the leaves from trees. It was very evident that there was too much work cut out for our two regiments.We struggled through two lines of abatis, a few getting through the palisades, but it was sheer madness". A second assault was ordered that included the 5th, 36th and 38th but the results were similar to what had occurred to the 4th and 6th regiments. Colonel Alonzo G. Draper, commander of the 2nd Brigade USCT, filed a report while recuperating from wounds sustained in the battle in which he described the assault, "After passing about 300 yards through young pines, always under fire, we emerged upon the open plain about 800 yards from the enemy's works. Within twenty or thirty yards of the rebel line we found a swamp which broke the charge. Our men were falling by the scores. All the officers were striving constantly to get the men forward." Ultimately, the fire from the rebels began to lessen as they withdrew from their positions and the USCT continued to their objective and finally entered the confederate position after great loss of men killed outright or wounded. The battle of New Market Heights was considered a great success by the Union Army officers as it was determined they could count on African American soldiers to fight to the death if called upon. A soldier from the Texas Brigade, J.D. Pickens, summed up the fighting of the USCT they faced that day writing, "I want to say in this connection that, in my opinion, no troops up to that time had fought us with move bravery than did those Negroes".

On April 6, 1865, Private William Henry Barnes was awarded the Medal of Honor. His citation reads: "Among the first to enter the enemy's works, although wounded." Fourteen of the 16 recipients of the Medal of Honor awarded to black soldiers in the Civil War were for action at New Market Heights. Barnes and approximately 200 more members of the USCT would also be awarded the Butler Medal, created by Gen. Benjamin Butler to honor the USCT under his command. After the end of the Civil War in May 1865, Barnes came to Texas with his 38th USCT after it was assigned to assist in Reconstruction as part of the 25th Corp. On July 1, 1865, William Barnes was promoted to Sergeant. This was the highest rank that he could achieve as a soldier in the Union Army. The service of the 38th USCT in Texas would include Brownsville and various points on the Rio Grande, Brazos Santiago Island, Galveston and finally Indianola. While the number of African American troops in Texas eventually became the majority of all Federal troops in the state, numbering close to 26,000, they began to withdraw in the fall of 1865 with the last leaving in 1867. On Christmas eve of 1866, Sgt. Barnes died in the City Hospital and was buried at Indianola. He had been ill since July 1866 with tuberculosis or "consumption" as it is described as the cause of death in his service records. After the Civil War, soldiers that had died at, or near, Indianola, were disinterred and reinterred in the San Antonio National Cemetery in a common grave. A marker was erected at the San Antonio National Cemetery in memory of William H. Barnes. From this marker, the group burial site where Barnes is interred can be seen. In 2013, a Texas Historical Marker in honor of Sgt. William H. Barnes was placed at the Indianola Cemetery. Source

CITATION
Among the first to enter the enemy's works; although wounded.

COORDINATES
29° 25.276, -098° 28.022

Section MA
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

November 10, 2009

Wyly Martin (1776-1842)

Wyly (Wiley) Martin, soldier, judge, and legislator, was born in Georgia in 1776. As a young man he worked as a clerk, as a teacher, and at a variety of other occupations. During the War of 1812 he was commissioned a third lieutenant in the Ninth United States Infantry on August 9, 1813. He served as a scout for Gen. William Henry Harrison and fought under Gen. Andrew Jackson at the battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama. He was promoted to first lieutenant in the Thirty-ninth Infantry on July 29, 1813, and to captain of the Third Rifle Regiment on March 17, 1814. He was honorably discharged on June 15, 1815, and reinstated on December 2. On June 1, 1821, he transferred to the Sixth Infantry. He resigned his commission on July 21, 1823, reputedly because he killed a man in a duel.

In 1825 he immigrated to Texas, where he was appointed alcalde of Stephen F. Austin's colony. In 1835 he was acting jefe político of the Department of the Brazos. He was a delegate from San Felipe de Austin to the conventions of 1832, 1833, and 1835. As a member of the so-called "Peace party," Martin disavowed the actions of William B. Travis and others of the "War party" at Anahuac and was opposed to Texas independence from Mexico; but with the coming of the Texas Revolution he signed the declaration of war against Antonio López de Santa Anna's Centralist regime, on November 7, 1835. At Bexar in December he drew a pen-and-ink sketch of Travis, the only known portrait of the man done from life. Martin raised a company that joined Sam Houston's army at Columbus. He was promoted to major and detached to guard the crossings of the lower Brazos River, then flanked out of his position at Fort Bend when the Mexican army crossed at the site of present Richmond. Although both Houston and secretary of war Thomas J. Rusk approved his action in falling back before superior numbers of the enemy, Martin was irate because he had been given an inadequate command - forty-six men - to observe the four fords and ferries he was responsible for holding. When he was ordered on April 13 to rejoin the main army at the Donaho plantation, he marched his force back to Houston's headquarters and relinquished his command. Subsequently, he was an outspoken opponent of Houston and his political policies.

Martin saw little service for the remainder of the war, and on May 15 Rusk regretfully accepted his resignation. After independence Martin made his home in Fort Bend County, where he was appointed chief justice of the county on December 29, 1837, and was elected to the post on September 6, 1841. He was admitted to the bar in 1838. He was elected to represent Austin, Colorado, and Fort Bend counties in Congress. At age sixty-five, he was the oldest senator in the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas. He died at the home of Randal Jones in the Fort Bend settlement on April 26, 1842, in the interval between sessions. Martin County is named for him. Source

COORDINATES
29° 34.659
-095° 45.420


Dyer Cemetery
Richmond


November 3, 2009

Jimmy Nelson (1919-2007)

T-99 Nelson was an American jump blues and rhythm and blues shouter and songwriter; he got his start singing in church. In 1941, he saw a performance by Big Joe Turner while he was visiting Oakland, California, and realized he wanted to sing the blues. Turner taught Nelson about singing, performance and the music business. Nelson, in turn, absorbed the shouting style of his mentor. From 1951 through 1961, Jimmy Nelson and the Peter Rabbit Trio released eight singles with the Bihari Brothers' Modern/RPM label. The biggest of these was T-99 Blues (which referred to the old Texas Highway #99), which debuted in June 1951. It stayed on the US Billboard R&B chart for twenty-one weeks and reached number 1.

In 1952, Nelson had another RPM hit with Meet Me With Your Black Dress On. He began touring, performing with bands led by Joe Liggins and Roy Milton, and playing venues including the Apollo and Howard theaters. He cut singles for a number of labels including Kent, Music City, Paradise and All Boy, and Chess. In 1955, Nelson married and adopted Houston, Texas as his hometown. For the next 20 years, he settled down and took a job working construction, though he continued to write songs and sit in with bands. In the 1980s, Nelson came to the wider attention of blues fans when Ace issued ten of his sides on an album. Sweet Sugar Daddy, a compilation album from the Japanese P-Vine Records, which mainly consisted of unreleased studio recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, was also released in 1988.

He resumed touring and in 1999, released a comeback album Rockin' and Shoutin' the Blues from the Bullseye Blues & Jazz label. This album was nominated in two categories of the W.C. Handy Awards the following year. Two more newly recorded albums followed on his own Nettie Marie label prior to his death, both featuring an all-star back-up band including Duke Robillard. In 2004, Ace released Cry Hard Luck, featuring re-issues of Nelson's Kent & RPM recordings from 1951-1961. Nelson died of cancer at a nursing home in Houston on July 29, 2007.

Note: Jimmy Nelson's grave is presently unmarked. It is located beneath Yolanda Flanagan's and to the left of Robert Taylor's markers.

COORDINATES
29° 33.738
-095° 21.163

Section 19
Houston Memorial Gardens
Pearland

October 27, 2009

Martin Dies (1870-1922)

Martin Dies, congressman, son of David Warren and Sarah Jane (Pyburn) Dies, was born in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, on March 13, 1870. The family moved to Freestone County, Texas, in 1876. Dies attended public school in Texas, and some sources indicate that he graduated from law school at the University of Texas, although others claim that at the time in question he was working at various occupations in East Texas, including blacksmithing, railroading, teaching, and sawmilling. He was admitted to the of Texas bar about 1892 and practiced law at Woodville, Beaumont, Colorado City, and Kountze. He edited a newspaper in Freestone County and served as county marshal. He was elected county judge of Tyler County in 1894. Dies used his legal offices to secure land titles in the East Texas timber region until he moved south to Beaumont in 1897. During the Spanish-American War he joined the Beaumont Light Guards, which became Company D, Third Regiment, of the Texas Volunteers. After his return he was elected district attorney of the First Judicial District in 1898. Dies suffered a financial setback when he could not repay a debt to his friend John Henry Kirby. As a result he moved his family to the West Texas town of Colorado City in 1899. In 1908 he defeated the incumbent, Samuel Bronson Cooper, in his campaign for Congress. He represented the Second Texas Congressional District in the Sixty-first through Sixty-fifth United States Congresses (1909-19). During his tenure he opposed large military expenditures, American "imperialism," and high tariffs and supported an income tax. He was an outspoken nativist. Dies was opposed to woman suffrage and in 1916 opposed Woodrow Wilson's preparedness program. He chose not to run for reelection in 1918. He married Mrs. Olive Cline Blackshear on May 15, 1892, and they had two daughters and one son, Martin Dies. The marriage ended in divorce. Dies was a Democrat and a Methodist. He died in Kerrville on July 13, 1922, and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 45.919
-095° 23.196

Section F1
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

October 20, 2009

Lloyd Millard Bentsen (1921-2006)

Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr., businessman, United States representative and senator, and secretary of the treasury, was born on February 11, 1921, in Mission, Texas. He was the son of Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Sr. (informally known as Big Lloyd), and Edna Ruth Colbath (informally known as Dolly). Bentsen grew up on the Arrowhead Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the Rio Grande Valley, where his father was in the ranching, oil, and banking businesses. The younger Bentsen graduated from Sharyland High School and later earned a law degree in 1942 at the University of Texas at Austin. He married Beryl Ann Longino (informally known as B. A.) of Lufkin in 1943. Bentsen served as a B-24 pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces and flew combat missions over Europe during World War II. He earned the rank of colonel and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. A Democrat, Bentsen was elected Hildago county judge and served in that role from 1946 to 1948. In 1948 Bentsen was elected to serve in the U. S. House of Representatives, where he was a protégé of Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. (Rayburn would autograph a photo of himself to Bentsen with the inscription, "For Lloyd Bentsen, who likes ugly things." The keepsake photo was eventually given to the Sam Rayburn Library in Rayburn's hometown of Bonham.)

In 1955 Bentsen stood down from elective politics and moved his family to Houston, where he worked in the financial industry and solidified his financial position. During this time he founded Consolidated American Life Insurance Company. By the late 1960s he was chairman of Lincoln Consolidated Inc., a financial holdings company. While Bentsen was not seeking office during these years, he remained in touch with Democratic Party politics. In 1970 Bentsen decided to reenter politics, this time as a candidate for the United States Senate. He won an upset victory over incumbent U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough in the Democratic primary and then went on to win the general election over the Republican nominee, U. S. Rep. George H.W. Bush. Bentsen was reelected to the Senate in 1976, 1982, and 1988, eventually serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976 but lost. In the Senate, he was known for his pro-business stance and was a supporter of the oil and gas industry, free trade, and the real estate industry. In 1988 Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis won the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency. Dukakis chose Bentsen to be his vice presidential running mate in the general election. Thanks to Texas election law, Bentsen was able to seek both the vice presidency and his Senate seat, which was up for reelection, that year. Bentsen was easily reelected to his Senate seat. However, the Republican ticket of Vice President George H.W. Bush and U.S. Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana won the presidential election. Despite the loss of the Dukakis-Bentsen ticket, Bentsen received notoriety for his performance in the nationally-broadcast vice presidential debate. When Quayle compared his political experience to that of President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, Bentsen replied, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy."

In 1992 Bentsen was urged to seek the presidency but chose not to make the race. The Democratic nominee, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, won the election. Clinton asked Bentsen to serve as secretary of the treasury. The Senate confirmed Bentsen to that post, and he resigned his Senate seat. As secretary, Bentsen played an important role in the formation of the Clinton Administration's early fiscal policies. Bentsen served as secretary from 1993 to 1994, and left, he said, because he had planned to retire from politics in 1994, upon the conclusion of what would have been his fourth Senate term. Clinton recalled Bentsen as a "conservative Democrat, a fiscal conservative who thought more prosperous people like him should pay taxes so that those who were less fortunate should be able to get a good education and have some opportunities in life." In 1999 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Bentsen, who had suffered a stroke in 1998, died in Houston on May 23, 2006, at the age of eighty-five. He was survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, two brothers, a sister, and seven grandchildren. He was a Presbyterian. Bentsen was buried at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 42.946
-095° 18.261

Section 30
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery
Houston

October 13, 2009

Mary Smith Jones (1819-1907)

Mary Smith Jones, wife of Republic of Texas president Anson Jones and first president of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, was born in Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory, on July 24, 1819, to John McCutcheon and Sarah (Pevehouse) Smith. After Smith died in 1833, his wife and her five children moved to Texas and settled in January 1834 in Brazoria. There Sarah Smith married John Woodruff, a widower with six children. In April 1836 the Woodruff family and other Brazorians lost their homes when a division of Santa Anna's army forced them to flee toward the Sabine River. The Woodruffs found shelter in the timber of Clear Creek, eight miles from the battlefield of San Jacinto. After December 1836 the family resided in Houston. On July 23, 1837, Mary Smith was married in Houston to Hugh McCrory, a soldier in the Army of the Republic of Texas. McCrory died suddenly seven weeks later.

In Austin on May 17, 1840, Mary married Anson Jones, a prominent doctor and politician from Brazoria. Jones's political career eventually included a two-year term as senator from Brazoria, service as secretary of state under President Sam Houston, and election as president of the Republic of Texas in 1844. That year the Joneses built their plantation house at their estate, Barrington, four miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos. The estate was later sold at a loss, and after Jones's suicide in January 1858 Mary and the children were destitute. They moved to Galveston, where Ashbel Smith helped Mrs. Jones to buy his brother's 460-acre farm on Goose Creek, near the site of present Baytown. She moved to San Jacinto in 1871 and to Willis in 1874. In 1879 she returned to Houston, home of her son Cromwell, chief justice of Harris County. After his death, she lived with her daughter. One of her driving ambitions in later years was to rectify what she considered gross misrepresentations of her husband's role during the annexation controversy. To that end she repeatedly contacted authors and publishers in an unsuccessful attempt to produce a favorable biography of Anson Jones and to publish his book, Republic of Texas. Her major means of support during these years was the sale of family land in Matagorda, Bastrop, Bexar, and Goliad counties. Mrs. Jones served, largely in a symbolic role, as the first president of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas from 1891 through 1907. She was a Democrat and Episcopalian and was influential in establishing a church in Washington and St. Paul's College in Anderson. The Joneses had four children. Mary Jones died on December 31, 1907, at the residence of her daughter in Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 45.940
-095° 23.123

Section F1
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

October 6, 2009

Jesse Holman Jones (1874-1956)

Jesse H. Jones, businessman and New Deal official, son of William Hasque and Laura Anna (Holman) Jones, was born in Robertson County, Tennessee, on April 5, 1874. Jesse's mother died when he was six years old, and his father's widowed sister, Nancy Hurt, became the Jones children's surrogate mother. When Jesse was nine, the family moved to Dallas, Texas, where William Jones managed his brother's lumberyard in Terrell. Two years later they moved back to a farm on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. After completing the ninth grade, young Jesse was placed in charge of one of his father's tobacco factories. In 1891 the family returned to Dallas where Jesse entered Hill's Business College. In 1895 he went to work in his uncle's firm, the M. T. Jones Lumber Company, in Hillsboro, Texas, and later became manager of the company's Dallas lumberyard, then the largest in town. In 1898, after his uncle's death, Jones went to Houston as general manager where he remained with the company for another seven years. During this period he established his own business, the South Texas Lumber Company. He then began to expand into real estate, commercial buildings, and banking. In a few years he was the largest developer in the area and was responsible for most of Houston's major prewar construction. Besides owning nearly 100 buildings in Houston, Jones also built structures in Fort Worth, Dallas, and New York City. Gradually he sold his lumber interest, except for one yard in Houston, and began to concentrate on real estate and banking.

In 1908 he bought part of the Houston Chronicle. Between 1908 and 1918 he organized and became chairman of the Texas Trust Company and was active in most of the banking and real estate activities of the city. In 1909 he switched his religious affiliation from Baptist to Methodist. By 1912 he was president of the National Bank of Commerce (later Texas Commerce Bank, and by 2008, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co.) During this period he made one of his few ventures into oil as an original stockholder in Humble Oil and Refining Company (now EXXON). As chairman of the Houston harbor board he raised money for the Houston Ship Channel. During World War I President Woodrow Wilson asked Jones to become the director general of military relief for the American Red Cross. He remained in this position until he returned to Houston in 1919. In December 1920 he married Mary Gibbs of Mexia. He became the sole owner of the Houston Chronicle in 1926. Jones served as director of finance for the Democratic National Committee, made a $200,000 donation, and promised to build a hall. These actions were instrumental in bringing the 1928 Democratic national convention to Houston. At the convention Jones was nominated as a "favorite son."

On the recommendation of John Nance Garner, President Herbert Hoover appointed Jones to the board of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a new government entity established to combat the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Jones chairman of the RFC, a position he held from 1933 until 1939. In this capacity, Jones became one of the most powerful men in America. He helped prevent the nationwide failure of farms, banks, railroads, and many other businesses. The RFC became the leading financial institution in America and the primary investor in the economy. The agency also facilitated a broadening of Texas industry from agriculture and oil into steel and chemicals. Jones's success in Washington was closely associated with Roosevelt and Garner. Roosevelt realized that his outstanding weakness was his lack of rapport with business. Jones provided a connection as businessmen respected him. Garner and Jones were conservatives, however, and did not always approve of the politics of the New Deal. During Roosevelt's regime, these two were undoubtedly the second and third most influential men in Washington. Jones's control extended to such RFC subsidiaries as the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Electric Home and Farm Authority, the RFC Mortgage Company, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and the Export-Import Bank. Moreover, the RFC helped to finance many public works programs. Jones's tough business acumen made the RFC the most powerful and successful agency in the Roosevelt administration.

In 1939 Roosevelt appointed Jones to head the Federal Loan Agency. Jones resigned as head of the RFC, but as Federal Loan Administrator continued overall control of the RFC. He also had general supervision over the Federal Housing Authority and the Home Owners Loan Corporation. After flirting with the vice-presidential nomination in 1940, Jones was offered the post of Secretary of Commerce. With congressional approval, he was allowed to retain his post as FLA chief during the war years, when he supervised more than thirty agencies that received federal money. Jones's relationship with the president and some members of his cabinet, however, deteriorated. In 1944 Roosevelt believed that Jones was allied with Republican Thomas E. Dewey against him. On January 20, 1945, Jones received a letter from the president asking him to resign so that the post could be given to Henry Wallace, his former vice president. Jones was offered other positions but declined and returned to Houston. From this time to his death he occupied himself with his business ventures and philanthropy. He also broke with the Democratic leadership and supported the Republican ticket in 1948 and 1952. After a brief illness, he died on June 1, 1956, and was buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Houston. The Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in Houston was named for him. Houston Endowment, which he established in 1937, was the nation's fifteenth largest by 1979. In 1988 the Jesse H. Jones and Mary Gibbs Jones Endowed Presidential Scholarship in the University of Texas at Austin Graduate School of Business was established by a gift of Houston Endowment. Collections of Jones's papers and memorabilia are housed at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, at the Library of Congress, and at Houston Endowment. Source

COORDINATES
29° 42.997
-095° 18.273

Chapel Garden
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery
Houston

September 29, 2009

Henry Stevenson Brown (1793-1834)

Henry Brown, early settler, trader, and Indian fighter, was born in Madison County, Kentucky, on March 8, 1793, the son of Caleb and Jemima (Stevenson) Brown. In 1810 he moved to St. Charles County, Missouri, where he was later sheriff. He volunteered for the War of 1812 and participated in the battle at Fort Clark, Illinois, in 1813. He married Mrs. Margaret Kerr Jones about 1814, moved to Pike County, Missouri, in 1819, and carried on trading via flatboat between Missouri and New Orleans. In December 1824, accompanied by his brother John (Waco) Brown, he landed at the mouth of the Brazos River equipped to trade with the Mexicans and Indians. In 1825 he was in command of a party of settlers that attacked and destroyed a band of Waco Indians at the site of present Waco. Brown was in Green DeWitt's colony in 1825 and in 1829 was in command of a company from Gonzales on a thirty-two-day campaign against the Indians. From 1826 to 1832 he engaged in the Mexican trade from headquarters in Brazoria, Gonzales, and San Antonio. At the time of the Anahuac Disturbances of 1832, Brown carried the information on the Turtle Bayou Resolutions from Gonzales to the Neches and Sabine River settlements and under John Austin commanded a company of eighty men in the battle of Velasco. He was a delegate from Gonzales to the Convention of 1832 at San Felipe de Austin and in 1833 was a member of the ayuntamiento of Brazoria. He died in Columbia on July 26, 1834. Brown County was named for him. Source

COORDINATES
29° 08.388
-095° 38.844


Columbia Cemetery
West Columbia

September 22, 2009

Samuel Hamilton Walker (1817-1847)

Samuel H. Walker, Texas Ranger and Mexican War veteran, son of Nathan and Elizabeth (Thomas) Walker, was born at Toaping Castle, Prince George County, Maryland, on February 24, 1817, the fifth of seven children. He attended the common country school and afterward worked as a carpenter's apprentice. In May 1836 Walker enlisted in the Washington City Volunteers for the Creek Indian campaign in Alabama. He was stationed in Florida and apparently saw no combat. After his enlistment ended in 1837, Walker remained in Florida as a scout until 1841. He may also have been a railroad superintendent. He traveled to Galveston in January 1842, where he served in Capt. Jesse Billingsley's company during the Adrián Woll invasion. He then enlisted in the Somervell expedition and took part in the actions around Laredo and Guerrero. He also joined William S. Fisher's Mier expedition. Walker escaped at Salado, was recaptured, and survived the Black Bean Episode. In 1844 Walker joined John C. Hays's company of Texas Rangers and participated in the battle of Walker's Creek near the junction of Walker's Creek and West Sister Creek northwest of present-day Sisterdale in Kendall County. During the engagement the rangers, using new Colt revolvers, successfully defeated about eighty Comanches. When Gen. Zachary Taylor requested volunteers to act as scouts and spies for his regular army, Walker enlisted as a private and was mustered into federal service in September 1845. In April 1846 he formed his own company for duty under Taylor. On April 28 Walker was ambushed with his company en route to join Taylor at Port Isabel. He reached Taylor's camp on April 29; his reports caused Taylor to move his encampment.

Walker performed exemplary duty as a scout and courier on numerous other occasions. His company was the only Texas unit at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. He was presented a horse by the grateful citizens of New Orleans in the spring of 1846 for his numerous exploits with Taylor's army. Walker served as captain of the inactive Company C of the United States Mounted Rifles until the outbreak of the Mexican War. When the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Riflemen, was organized in June 1846, Walker was elected lieutenant colonel. He fought in the battle of Monterrey in September and on October 2, 1846, mustered out of federal service, activated his commission as captain of the mounted rifles, and proceeded to Washington, D.C., to begin recruiting for his company. During his recruitment excursion Walker visited Samuel Colt. Colt credited Walker with proposed improvements, including a stationary trigger and guard, to the existing revolver. The new six-shooter was named the Walker Colt. After arriving with his new company at Vera Cruz, Mexico, Walker was detailed on May 27, 1847, to the First Pennsylvania Volunteers, stationed at Castle San Carlos de Perote to counter Mexican guerrilla activities between Perote and Jalapa. On October 5, 1847, Walker left Perote with Gen. Joseph P. Lane to escort a supply train to Mexico City. According to J. J. Oswandel, author of Notes on the Mexican War, who wrote about the incident, Walker grew increasingly embittered against the enemy: "Should Captain Walker come across guerillas, God help them, for he seldom brings in prisoners. The captain and most all of his men are very prejudiced and embittered against every guerilla in the country." En route Lane was informed of a sizable enemy force at Huamantla and ordered an attack. With Walker's mounted rifles in the lead, the assault force reached Huamantla on October 9. During the spirited contest that followed Walker was either shot in the back or killed by a man on foot carrying a lance. Following his death his unit took revenge on the community of Huamantla. Walker was buried at Hacienda Tamaris. In 1848 his remains were moved to San Antonio. On April 21, 1856, as part of a battle of San Jacinto celebration, he was reburied in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery in San Antonio. Source

COORDINATES
29° 25.277
-098° 28.182


Odd Fellows Cemetery
San Antonio

September 15, 2009

James Edward "Pete" Runnels (1928-1991)

Born January 28, 1928 in Lufkin, Texas, the 6 ft, 170 lb Runnels batted left-handed and threw right-handed. A master at handling the bat, he was a notorious singles hitter who had one of the best eyes in the game, compiling an outstanding 1.35 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Altogether, he batted over .300 six times, once with the Senators, five with the Red Sox. Despite winning the batting title in 1960, he drove in just 35 runs, a record low for a batting title winner. Solid and versatile with the glove, Runnels started as a shortstop with the Senators, but ultimately played 644 games at first base, 642 at second, 463 at shortstop, and 49 at third. Twice he led the American League in fielding percentage, at second base in 1960, and at first base in 1961. He was not a good base stealer: in 1952 he set the record for most attempted steals with no successes, at 10. In his career he stole 37 bases and was caught 51 times.

In five seasons with Boston, Runnels never hit less than .314, winning two batting crowns in 1960 and 1962, and just missed the 1958 American League Batting Crown by six points to his teammate Ted Williams on the final day of the 1958 season. On August 30, 1960, in a double-header against the Tigers, Runnels hit 6-for-7 in the first game and 3-for-4 in the second, tying a Major League record for hits in a double-header. In 1962, Runnels played in his third All-Star Game for the American League and hit a home run off the Philadelphia Phillies' Art Mahaffey. He went on to win the American League batting title that year. After the season, however, Runnels was traded to the Houston Colt .45s (forerunners of the Astros) in exchange for outfielder Román Mejías. Runnels was released by Houston early in the 1964 season.

He coached for the Red Sox in 1965-1966, serving as an interim manager for the last 16 games of the 1966 season. Under Runnels, the Sox played .500 baseball and escaped last place by one-half game. However, he was replaced for the 1967 season. Runnels was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in November 2004. After leaving Major League Baseball, Runnels returned to his native state and opened a sporting goods store in Pasadena, Texas. He helped found and operate a co-ed camp, Camp Champions in Marble Falls, Texas, which is still in existence. After suffering a stroke while golfing on May 17, 1991, Pete Runnels died three days later at Bayshore Hospital in Pasadena, Texas.

COORDINATES
29° 30.826
-095° 07.439

Section 210
Forest Park East Cemetery
Webster

September 8, 2009

Edward Mandell House (1858-1938)

Edward Mandell House was born in Houston on July 26, 1858, the last of seven children of Mary Elizabeth (Shearn) and Thomas William House. His father was one of the leading citizens of Texas, a wealthy merchant, banker, and landowner. Edward had a privileged youth: he spent six months in England in 1866, met many prominent people who visited the large family homes in Galveston and Houston, and enjoyed the colorful life of his father's sugar plantation near Arcola Junction. As a boy he rode and hunted, admired the gunfighters of the era, and roamed the flat, vast coastal plain near Houston. Initially House attended Houston Academy, but after the death of his mother on January 28, 1870, his father sent him to boarding school, first in Virginia and then in New Haven, Connecticut. House was not a serious student, and he and his closest friend, Oliver T. Morton (the son of Senator Oliver Perry Morton of Indiana), became absorbed in the Hayes-Tilden election of 1876 and the long crisis following it; they frequently traveled to New York and Washington.

In the autumn of 1877 House entered Cornell University, where he remained until the beginning of his third year, when his father became ill and the younger House left school to care for him. When T. W. House died, on January 17, 1880, his son decided to stay in Texas and help manage the estate, which was to be divided among the five surviving children. On August 4, 1881, House married Loulie Hunter of Hunter, Texas. After a year in Europe the couple returned to Houston, and House supervised the family's extensive landholdings scattered throughout Texas. In the autumn of 1885 he moved to Austin in order to escape the heat of Houston and to be closer to his cotton plantations. He became a prominent member of Austin society and, in the late 1880s and early 1890s, pursued a variety of business activities, including farming and land speculation. In June 1892 he completed a great mansion at 1704 West Avenue, designed by the New York architect Frank Freeman. The house was one of the finest examples in Texas of the Shingle style of residential architecture. With a minimum of decorative detail, it made innovative use of red sandstone, sweeping shingled roofs, and an open-plan interior in a style that suggested future architectural trends. It was razed in 1967.

House was drawn into state politics through his friendship with James Stephen Hogg, who in 1892 faced a formidable challenge for renomination and reelection from conservative Democrats and Populists. House directed Hogg's campaign, established a network of contacts with influential local Democratic leaders, manipulated the electoral machinery, and bargained for the votes of African and Mexican Americans. Hogg triumphed in a bitter, three-way race and rewarded House on July 20, 1893, with the honorary title of lieutenant colonel. The press soon shortened the title to colonel. Fascinated more with the process of politics than with the substance, House proceeded to build his own faction - "our crowd," as he called it - which became a powerful force in Texas politics. He was an ambitious political operator, skilled in organizing and inspiring others. He worked largely behind the scenes, developing ties of loyalty and affection with his close associates and using patronage to rally party workers behind his candidates. From 1894 to 1906 House's protégés served as governors of Texas. He and his associates managed the gubernatorial campaigns of Charles Allen Culberson, Joseph D. Sayers, and Samuel W. T. Lanham. House was especially close to Culberson, whose elevation to the United States Senate in 1898 the colonel directed. House served as a political counselor, often dispensing advice and controlling patronage for all three governors.

By the turn of the century he was bored with his role in Texas politics and was restlessly searching for broader horizons. He sought further wealth, first by attempting to profit from the discovery of oil at the Spindletop oilfield in 1901 and 1902. With the backing of eastern financiers, he formed the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway Company. He also felt the pull of the East. For years he had spent the summers on Boston's North Shore, and gradually he began to winter in New York, severing most of his ties with Texas and only occasionally visiting the state. After 1904 he was never again involved in a gubernatorial campaign. As a youth House had dreamed great dreams, yearning for a place on the national political stage. A conservative, sound-money Democrat, he disliked William Jennings Bryan and in 1904 supported Alton B. Parker. Discouraged by the prospects of the Democratic party after Parker's defeat in 1904 and Bryan's in 1908, House found solace in leisurely tours of Europe and in spiritualism. He continued his search for a Democratic presidential candidate, and on November 25, 1911, met Woodrow Wilson; the two formed a close friendship that lasted for years. House participated in Wilson's campaign for the presidential nomination by using his influence to secure the forty votes of the Texas delegation and the approval of William Jennings Bryan for Wilson's candidacy. After Wilson's victory House refused any official appointment, but was responsible for the appointment of several Texans to cabinet positions. He quickly established himself as the president's trusted adviser and confidant, especially on foreign affairs.

After the outbreak of World War I, House undertook several important European missions for the president. When the United States became involved in the war, he won British and French acceptance of Wilson's Fourteen Points as the basis for the peace. House was appointed one of the five American commissioners at the peace conference and served as Wilson's second in command. When the president temporarily returned to the United States during the negotiations, House took his place at the head of the American delegation. After signing the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, Wilson appointed House to represent him at London in the drafting of provisions for operation of the mandate system set up by the treaty. The relationship between the two men deteriorated after Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke in the fall of 1919, and during the Republican party's ascendancy in the 1920s House ceased to exercise direct influence on public affairs. Until his death, however, he maintained close contact with important national and international figures. He took an interest in Franklin D. Roosevelt's nomination in 1932, but made no effort to resume the political influence he enjoyed under Wilson. House died on March 28, 1938, in New York City and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 46.000
-095° 23.232

Section C-4
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

September 1, 2009

Frances Sanger Mossiker (1906-1985)

Frances Mossiker, writer, was born on April 9, 1906, in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Elihu and Evelyn (Beekman) Sanger. She was raised in wealth derived from the family business, the prosperous manufacturing and retail establishment Sanger Brothers. She frequently visited her mother's family in France and became fluent in French and German. She attended the Hockaday School and Forest Avenue High School and attempted to join the circus at fifteen but was stopped by her grandfather, Alexander Sanger. She enrolled at Smith College but was prevented by college policy from remaining a student after she eloped with Frank Beaston, an actor, about 1922. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard in 1927, did graduate work at the Sorbonne in Paris, then moved to Detroit and to Hollywood with her husband; the marriage ended in divorce about 1929, and she returned to Dallas. Frances Beaston worked as a radio commentator in Dallas and Fort Worth. She married businessman Jacob Mossiker on October 15, 1935. The couple traveled widely and lived comfortably. They had no children. When she was in her early fifties, while recovering from a radical mastectomy, Frances Mossiker began to research the disappearance of a diamond necklace in eighteenth-century France. Through family and friends she gained access to primary documents in France, and the result was the nonfiction mystery The Queen's Necklace, published in 1961. The book won the Carr P. Collins award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Mossiker was the first woman to win the prize. She followed this book with the Literary Guild selection Napoleon and Josephine: The Biography of a Marriage (1964), The Affair of the Poisons (1969), More Than a Queen: The Story of Josephine Bonaparte (1971), Pocahontas: The Life and Legend (1976), and Madame de Sevigne: A Life and Letters (1983). She donated her papers to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, to Boston University, and to Smith College. She died on May 12, 1985, in Dallas and was entombed in Hillcrest Mausoleum. Source

COORDINATES
32° 52.093
-096° 46.815

Hillcrest Mausoleum
Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery
Dallas

August 25, 2009

Frank Everson Vandiver (1925-2005)

Frank Vandiver, noted military historian, professor, and university president, was born on December 9, 1925, in Austin, Texas. He was the son of Harry S. Vandiver, a mathematics professor who taught at the University of Texas, Princeton, and Cornell. Initially Frank Vandiver attended public schools but was eventually pulled out of the school system for private tutorship. At an early age he displayed a great interest in Confederate history, and while still a teenager, he published an article on the subject in a scholarly journal. Vandiver did not receive a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree, but through examinations he was admitted to graduate school at the University of Texas and received a Master of Arts in 1949. He received his Ph. D. from Tulane University in 1951 and an M.A. by decree from Oxford University.

Vandiver received recognition as a prominent young scholar when, at the age of twenty-four, his biography was included in Who’s Who in America. His early accolades included two Rockefeller Fellowships in 1946 and 1948 and a Fulbright Fellowship in 1951. His first book, Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance, was published in 1952. Vandiver taught at Louisiana State University and Washington University before joining the history faculty at Rice University in 1955. He filled many positions at Rice University including chairman of the history and political science department, provost and vice president, and acting president from 1969 to 1970. From 1979 to 1981 Vandiver served as president of North Texas State University (now University of North Texas), and he was president of Texas A&M University from 1981 to 1988. After stepping down as president, he became founder and director of the Mosher Institute for International Policy Studies, a defense think tank at Texas A&M. Vandiver was active in numerous organizations and served as president of the Southern Historical Association, the Texas Institute of Letters, the Philosophical Society of Texas, Association of American Colleges, White House Historical Society, and the American Council on Education. He taught at Oxford as the Harmsworth Professor of American History from 1963 to 1964. One of his main focuses was on the papers of Jefferson Davis for which he was chief advisory editor from 1963 until his death.

His many works include Mighty Stonewall (1957), Their Tattered Flags: The Epic of the Confederacy (1970), Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing (1977), Blood Brothers: A Short History of the Civil War (1992), Shadows of Vietnam: Lyndon Johnson's Wars (1997), 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the Civil War (2000), and 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About World War II (2002). He contributed to numerous other books about American military history.  Frank Vandiver married Susie Smith on April 19, 1952. They had three children. After her death in 1979, he married Renee Carmody in 1980. He died on January 7, 2005, in College Station, Texas. He was buried at Memorial Oaks Cemetery in Houston. Source

COORDINATES
29° 46.856
-095° 36.898

Section 12
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Houston

August 18, 2009

Walter Prescott Webb (1888-1963)

Walter Prescott Webb, historian and author, was born on a farm in Panola County, Texas, on April 3, 1888, the son of Casner P. and Mary Elizabeth (Kyle) Webb. His father was a schoolteacher and part time farmer. The Webb family had moved from Aberdeen, Mississippi, to Caledonia in Rusk County, Texas, then to Panola and westward past the 100th meridian to the Stephens-Eastland counties area. These moves from the woodlands to a new and arid environment made a distinct impression on the young boy, and the geographic dichotomy formed the basis for his later writing about the Great Plains. Webb found farm life on the family homestead in the Cross Timbers area near Ranger harsh and unappealing. In desperation he wrote a letter to the editor of a literary magazine, the Sunny South, asking how a farm boy could get an education and become a writer. William E. Hinds, a toy manufacturer from New York, responded to the boy's query and encouraged him to "keep his sights on lofty goals." Webb finished at Ranger High School in Eastland County and earned a teaching certificate. He taught at various small Texas schools and, with the assistance of his benefactor, William Hinds, eventually attended the University of Texas, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1915 at the age of twenty-seven. Webb interrupted his teaching career to work as a bookkeeper for Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcos and to serve as an optometrist's assistant in San Antonio.

He was teaching at Main High School in 1918, when he was invited to join the history faculty of the University of Texas. Webb wrote his master's thesis on the Texas Rangers in 1920 and was encouraged to pursue the Ph.D. His year of "educational outbreeding" (as he referred to it) at the University of Chicago was unsuccessful, and he returned to Texas determined to write history as he saw it. The result was the publication in 1931 of The Great Plains, acclaimed as "a new interpretation of the American West," acknowledged by the Social Science Research Council in 1939 as the outstanding contribution to American history since World War I, and winner of Columbia University's Loubat prize. On the basis of this book Webb received the Ph.D. from the University of Texas in 1932. In 1939, after a year as Harkness Lecturer at the University of London, Webb became director of the Texas State Historical Association. During his tenure (to 1946), he expanded the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and launched a project to compile an encyclopedia of Texas, published in 1952 as the Handbook of Texas. With the assistance of H. Bailey Carroll, he established a student branch of the association, the Junior Historians of Texas, in 1940 to encourage secondary school teachers and students to investigate local and regional history. Respected as a teacher both at home and abroad, Webb returned to Europe in 1942 as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford.

At the University of Texas he became famous for his books and seminars, especially those on the Great Plains and the Great Frontier, in which he developed two major historical concepts. He proposed in the Great Plains thesis that the westward settlement of the United States had been momentarily stalled at the ninety-eighth meridian, an institutional fault line separating the wooded environment to the east from the arid environment of the west. The pioneers were forced to pause in their westward trek while technological innovation in the form of the six-shooter, barbed wire, and the windmill allowed them to proceed. The Great Frontier thesis became the crux of a book of the same title, published in 1952, that Webb declared to be his most intellectual and thought-provoking. The Great Frontier proposed a "boom hypothesis": the new lands discovered by Columbus and other explorers in the late fifteenth century precipitated the rise of great wealth and new institutions such as democracy and capitalism. By 1900, however, the new lands disappeared, the frontier closed, and institutions were under stress, resulting in the ecological and economic problems that have plagued the twentieth century. Although not universally well-received at the time, the Second International Congress of Historians of the United States and Mexico examined the Great Frontier thesis as its sole topic during its 1958 meeting, and the concept was again an object of discussion at an international symposium in 1972.

In all, Webb wrote or edited more than twenty books. In 1935 he published The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense, the definitive study of this frontier law enforcement agency, but regarded by Webb as being filled with "deadening facts. Divided We Stand: The Crisis of a Frontierless Democracy (1937) analyzed the practices of modern corporations, which Webb contended promoted economic sectionalism to the disadvantage of the South. More Water for Texas: The Problem and the Plan (1954) reflected Webb's interest in the conservation of natural resources. A collection of his essays, An Honest Preface and Other Essays, appeared in 1959, and at the time of his death he was working on a television series on American civilization under a grant from the Ford Foundation. Webb was one of the charter members and later a fellow of the Texas Institute of Letters. He was also a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and president of both the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (1954-55) and the American Historical Association (1958). He received honorary degrees from the University of Chicago, Southern Methodist University, and Oxford University in England. He held two Guggenheim fellowships, acted as special advisor to Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson on water needs of the South and West, and received a $10,000 award from the American Council of Learned Societies for distinguished service to scholarship. The United States Bureau of Reclamation also gave him an award for distinguished service to conservation. Webb was married on September 16, 1916, to Jane Elizabeth Oliphant, who died on June 28, 1960. They had one daughter. On December 14, 1961, he married Terrell (Dobbs) Maverick, the widow of F. Maury Maverick of San Antonio. Webb was killed in an automobile accident near Austin on March 8, 1963, and was buried in the State Cemetery by proclamation of Governor John B. Connally. A statue of Webb and his old friends J. Frank Dobie and Roy Bedichek stands in Zilker Park in Austin. Source

COORDINATES
30° 15.920
-097° 43.613

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

August 11, 2009

Samuel May Williams (1795-1858)

Samuel May Williams, entrepreneur and associate of Stephen F. Austin, was the eldest child of Howell and Dorothy (Wheat) Williams. He was born on October 4, 1795, in Providence, Rhode Island, where his father, a descendant of Robert Williams, the founder of Roxbury, Massachusetts, was a sea captain. Three of Williams's four brothers lived in Texas during the 1840s and 1850s, and two of his three sisters made an extended visit. Henry Howell Williams of Baltimore served as Texas consul from 1836 to 1838 and moved to Galveston in 1842 to assume control of the McKinney and Williams commission house, where he remained off and on until the 1850s. In 1838 Matthew Reed and Nathaniel Felton Williams opened a sugar plantation on Oyster Creek in Fort Bend County purchased from their brother; it became Imperial Sugar Company in the twentieth century.

Samuel Williams was educated in Providence and apprenticed around the age of fifteen to his uncle, Nathaniel F. Williams, a Baltimore commission merchant. He journeyed as supercargo to Buenos Aires, where he remained for a time mastering Spanish and Latin American business practice. He settled in New Orleans in 1819 before departing for Texas in 1822 using an assumed name, E. Eccleston. He resumed his true identity in 1823 when Stephen F. Austin employed him as translator and clerk. For the next thirteen years Williams was Austin's lieutenant; he wrote deeds, kept records, and directed colonial activities during the empresario's absences. In 1826 he was named postmaster of San Felipe and was appointed revenue collector and dispenser of stamped paper by the state of Coahuila and Texas the following year. He became secretary to the ayuntamiento of San Felipe in 1828. For these services he received eleven leagues (49,000 acres) of land which he selected on strategic waterways including Oyster Creek and Buffalo Bayou.

Williams earned notoriety in 1835 while attending the legislature at Monclova by contracting for two of the 400-league grants offered by the state government as a means to raise funds to oppose President Antonio López de Santa Anna. He and six others were proscribed as revolutionaries, but he escaped arrest by going to the United States. He entered a partnership with Thomas F. McKinney in 1833 and used his family's mercantile contacts in the United States to secure credit for the firm. Their commission house, located at Quintana, dominated the Brazos cotton trade until 1838, when they moved to Galveston. The firm of McKinney and Williams used its credit in the United States to purchase arms and raise funds for the Texas Revolution in 1835-36. Neither the republic nor the state was able to repay the $99,000 debt in full, and the partners realized only a small portion of their investment in addition to the passage of favorable relief legislation. As investors in the Galveston City Company, McKinney and Williams aided in developing the city by helping to construct the Tremont Hotel as well as the commission house and wharf. McKinney withdrew from the partnership in 1842, when Henry Howell Williams assumed his brother's interest in the firm, which became H. H. Williams and Company.

Sam Williams concentrated on banking after 1841, when the commission house received special permission from the Texas Congress to found a bank to issue and circulate paper money as an aid to commerce. In 1848 he activated his 1835 charter, obtained from Coahuila and Texas and approved by the republic in 1836, to open the Commercial and Agricultural Bank of Galveston, which also printed its own money. Jacksonian anti-banking sentiment inspired his enemies to attack the bank through the state courts on the grounds that it violated constitutional prohibitions against banks. The Texas Supreme Court sustained the bank in 1852, but subsequent suits brought its demise in 1859. Williams, a political supporter of Sam Houston, represented the Brazos district in the Coahuila and Texas legislature in 1835 and Galveston County in the lower house of the Texas Congress in 1839. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the United States Congress in 1846. In 1838 he received a commission to negotiate a $5 million loan in the United States and to purchase seven ships for the Texas Navy. President Houston sent him to Matamoros in 1843 to seek an armistice with Mexico, an unsuccessful ploy. Williams lived quietly with his wife, Sarah Patterson Scott, on a country estate west of the city. His home, a one-story, frame, Greek Revival residence on brick piers, is operated by the Galveston Historical Foundation as a house museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built between 1839 and 1844, it is among the oldest structures on the island. Williams died September 13, 1858, and was buried by the Knights Templars whose chapter he had founded. He was survived by his wife and four of his nine children. One son, William Howell Williams, was Galveston county judge from 1875 to 1880. Source

COORDINATES
29° 17.588
-094° 48.697


Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston