February 26, 2013

John "Big Hawk" Hawkins (1969-2006)

Rap musician Big Hawk was born John Edward Hawkins in Houston, Texas, on November 15, 1969. He started his rap career in 1994 along with his younger brother, Patrick (known as Fat Pat), and the legendary DJ Screw (born Robert Earl Davis, Jr.). Hawk and other members of Screwed Up Click released their first album Screwed for Life on D.E.A. Records, the label Big Hawk had formed earlier the same year. D.E.A. was short for Dead End Records, which he had named after the dead-end street where he grew up in Houston. Hawk’s best-known songs include Back, Back and Playas Get Chose, both of which were collaborations with fellow rapper Lil’ O, and a solo hit Chillin’ Wit My Broad. Hawk, also known as the “Five-Star General” became the leader of Screwed Up Click, in part due to the deaths of DJ Screw and other founding members.

In 2000 he released a solo album, Under Hawk’s Wings, and in 2002 he established the label Ghetto Dreams Entertainment and released a second work, HAWK. Its single, You Already Know, reached Number 45 on Billboard’s rap charts. Hawk released Wreckin’ 2K4 with fellow rapper Lil’ Keke in 2003. He was featured on the song Swang by Houston rapper Trae in 2005 and recorded a song as a promotion for World Cup soccer in early 2006. Big Hawk advocated non-violence in his music and was known for being an ambassador for Houston rap because of his ability to get along with rappers from all over the area. Big Hawk’s fate was perhaps foreshadowed by the deaths of his brother Fat Pat, who was shot and killed in 1998, and that of numerous other members of the Screwed Up Click, including DJ Screw (drug overdose), Big Mello (car accident) and Big Moe (heart attack). He was murdered outside the home of a friend on the night of May 1, 2006. He was shot several times and eventually died at the scene. Neither his vehicle nor his possessions were taken, leading police to believe that his murder was not a robbery attempt. A public memorial service for the fallen rapper, held on May 8, 2006, in Houston, drew hundreds of fans. Big Hawk was survived by his wife Meshah Henderson Hawkins and two sons. His album Endangered Species was released posthumously in 2007. Source

29° 34.135
-095° 20.960

Block 4
Paradise South Cemetery

February 19, 2013

Charles Stewart (1836-1895)

Charles Stewart, legislator and congressman, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 30, 1836, the son of Charles and Martha (Moore) Stewart. In 1845 the family moved to Galveston, where Stewart began the study of law in 1852 with James W. Henderson of Houston and later pursued his studies with the Galveston firm of which William Pitt Ballinger was a member. Stewart was admitted to the bar in 1854, before his eighteenth birthday, and began the practice of law in Marlin. In 1856 and again in 1858 he was elected prosecuting attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District. In Marlin he also practiced law in partnership with Thomas P. Aycock from 1857 to 1866. In 1860 Stewart married Rachel Barry of Marlin. That year he reported owning $15,000 in real property and $4,425 in personal property, including four slaves. In 1861 he was a delegate to the Secession Convention, where he and Alfred Marmaduke Hobby were the two youngest delegates.

Stewart enlisted in the Confederate Army and served throughout the Civil War, first in the Tenth Regiment of Texas Infantry and later in George Wythe Baylor's cavalry. In 1866 Stewart moved to Houston, where he practiced law with D. U. Barziza (1866?-74), J. B. Likens (1874-78), and G. H. Breaker (1878-?). Stewart gained recognition as both a civil and a criminal attorney. An important part of his civil practice involved land litigation and suits against railroads. He served as Houston city attorney from 1874 to 1876. In 1878 he was elected to the Texas Senate, where he was an advocate of tax-supported public education. After one term in the Senate (1879-72), Stewart was elected as a Democrat to the United States Congress, where he served five terms (1883-93). In Washington, Stewart was a member of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and worked for increased appropriations for harbor improvements on the Texas coast. He also advocated securing a railroad link between the United States and Argentina in order to increase United States exports to Central and South America. Stewart belonged to various Masonic bodies and in 1883 served as grand master of Masons in Texas. In 1892 he declined to run for office again. He returned to Houston, where he practiced law with his son, John S. Stewart. After several years of failing health, Stewart died of phthisis and diabetes in Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio on September 21, 1895, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Houston. His son, who was city attorney at the time of Stewart's death, was his only surviving child. Source

29° 45.918
-095° 23.193

Section C-3
Glenwood Cemetery

February 12, 2013

Lloyd Herbert Hughes (1921-1943)

Lloyd Hughes, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, on July 12, 1921, the son of Lloyd Herbert Hughes, Sr., and Mildred Mae (Rainey) Hughes. Hughes’s parents divorced sometime after his birth. Mildred Hughes found employment as a postmaster in Onalaska in Polk County, Texas, in November 1923. In 1924 his mother married John Raymond Jordan. Between 1927 and 1931 the Jordan family lived in Oak Hurst in San Jacinto County, Huntsville, Josserand, and Refugio, Texas. By 1931 the Jordan family added four sons in addition to young Lloyd who was called “Pete” by family and friends. Lloyd Hughes experienced success in academics and athletics in school. After beginning school in Oak Hurst in 1927, he spent most of his early years in the Refugio school system. Hughes was valedictorian of his seventh-grade graduation class. In high school, he served as the captain on both the football and basketball teams. He also found employment as a roughneck in the oil industry and with a newspaper and ice route during the summers and after school. After graduating from Refugio High School in the spring of 1939, Hughes enrolled at Texas A&M in the fall as a petroleum engineering major. Assigned to the infantry in the Corps of Cadets, Hughes experienced academic problems during his first semester and withdrew at the end of the term.

He then moved to Corpus Christi (where the Jordan family had moved in early 1939) and attended Corpus Christi Junior College (now Del Mar College) for two terms where his grades improved. He enrolled at Texas A&M in September 1941 and remained there until leaving school on December 3, 1941, due to his desire to assist his family and ailing stepfather. On January 28, 1942, Hughes enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in San Antonio. After completing his primary pilot training in Tulsa and his basic pilot training at Enid, Oklahoma, he finished the advanced pilot training at Lubbock, Texas. On November 8, Hughes married Hazel Dean Ewing in San Antonio. He was assigned to the Four Engine Transition School, Combat Crew School at Tarrant Air Base in Fort Worth and finished his training and received his pilot’s wings and his commission as a second lieutenant on November 10, 1942. In early 1943 Hughes was assigned as a pilot to the newly-formed 389th Heavy Bombardment Group at Biggs Army Air Field, Texas. This group was designated as part of Operation Tidal Wave (a low level bombing attack by B-24 heavy bombers on the Nazi-held oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania). After final instruction at Lowry Field, Colorado, and receiving crew formations and assignments to a B-24, the group arrived in England in June for flight training at treetop level. The group departed for Benghazi, Libya, on June 30, and in July Hughes’s unit flew four combat missions over Italy and the Mediterranean and spent ten days of intense low-level training for the raid on Ploesti.

In the early morning of August 1, Hughes’s plane Ole Kickapoo departed Benghazi as part of the 179 loaded B-24 Liberators (divided into five groups) for the 2,400-mile roundtrip to Ploesti. The 389th (nicknamed the “Sky Scorpions”) flew in the rear with two other groups. With Hughes as the pilot, Ole Kickapoo in the last formation approached its target region with enemy defenders fully alerted. Flying through intense anti-aircraft fire, Hughes’s plane took several direct hits that caused gasoline leaks in the bomb bay and the left wing. Aware of the danger and unwilling to leave the formation, Hughes piloted the plane to his assigned target in a blazing area where the bomb load was dropped. Flying away from the target with the left wing aflame, Hughes sought to land the aircraft in a dry riverbed, but the plane “crashed and was consumed.” Only three men of the ten-man crew survived the crash, and one died from burns two days later. The two survivors remained prisoners of war until the end of the conflict. Romanian authorities retrieved the bodies of Hughes and the other crewmen and buried them in Bolovan Cemetery. Fifty-four B-24s did not make it back to Benghazi. Military reports indicated that Hughes’s target area was so damaged that it did not resume production during the war. For his “heroic decision to complete his mission regardless of the consequences in utter disregard of his own life,” the twenty-two-year-old Texan was recommended for the Medal of Honor; four other airmen also received the medal for their performance in Operation Tidal Wave. On April 18, 1944, Hazel Ewing Hughes was presented her husband’s posthumous Medal of Honor by Lt. Gen. Barton Yount in a ceremony at Kelly Field. Second Lieutenant Lloyd Herbert Hughes, Jr., was honored in a number of ways years after his tragic death. In 1950 his body was returned to Texas, and on April 12 he was buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. Texas A&M renamed a dormitory Lloyd H. Hughes Hall in 1969. In Corpus Christi, Del Mar College added Hughes to its Wall of Honor in 1995. A portrait of Hughes hangs in the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M. The Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center at Texas A&M also displays his original Medal of Honor beneath a bronze plaque of the former cadet. Hughes was the first Texas Aggie to receive the Medal of Honor. Source 

For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On August 1943, 2d Lt. Hughes served in the capacity of pilot of a heavy bombardment aircraft participating in a long and hazardous minimum-altitude attack against the Axis oil refineries of Ploesti, Rumania, launched from the northern shores of Africa. Flying in the last formation to attack the target, he arrived in the target area after previous flights had thoroughly alerted the enemy defenses. Approaching the target through intense and accurate antiaircraft fire and dense balloon barrages at dangerously low altitude, his plane received several direct hits from both large and small caliber antiaircraft guns which seriously damaged his aircraft, causing sheets of escaping gasoline to stream from the bomb bay and from the left wing. This damage was inflicted at a time prior to reaching the target when 2d Lt. Hughes could have made a forced landing in any of the grain fields readily available at that time. The target area was blazing with burning oil tanks and damaged refinery installations from which flames leaped high above the bombing level of the formation. With full knowledge of the consequences of entering this blazing inferno when his airplane was profusely leaking gasoline in two separate locations, 2d Lt. Hughes, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of his assigned target at any cost, did not elect to make a forced landing or turn back from the attack. Instead, rather than jeopardize the formation and the success of the attack, he unhesitatingly entered the blazing area and dropped his bomb load with great precision. After successfully bombing the objective, his aircraft emerged from the conflagration with the left wing aflame. Only then did he attempt a forced landing, but because of the advanced stage of the fire enveloping his aircraft the plane crashed and was consumed. By 2d Lt. Hughes' heroic decision to complete his mission regardless of the consequences in utter disregard of his own life, and by his gallant and valorous execution of this decision, he has rendered a service to our country in the defeat of our enemies which will everlastingly be outstanding in the annals of our Nation's history.

29° 28.688
-098° 25.822 

Section U
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

February 5, 2013

James Augustus "Gus" Bailey (1834-1900)

Gus was born in 1834 to carnival folk, and employed in his father's circus once he was grown enough to perform. In late 1857, he met Mollie Kirkland while working as a cornet player in the circus band. The two fell in love, and after her parents refused to let the two marry (Mollie was only fourteen, and her parents were well-off), they eloped. They swiped a few horses and a wagon from her family's plantation - for which Mollie was promptly disinherited - and married in March, 1858. With Mollie's sister Fanny and Gus' brother Alfred joining them, the young couple formed the Bailey Family Troupe, which traveled through Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas acting, dancing and singing, until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Gus enlisted in the Forty-fourth Infantry Regiment at Selma, Alabama, but was later transferred to Hood's Texas Brigade, where he served as the regiment's bandmaster.

On the evening of August 28, 1862 the unit was marching through Thoroughfare Gap to the east slopes of the Bull Run Mountains, where they could see the flashes of Jackson's guns engaged at Groveton, only ten miles east. As they bed down for the night, a group of officers accidentally kicked over an empty oat barrel and sent it hurtling down the slope toward the Texas Brigade's bivouac. Frightened by the noise, a grey pack horse dashed up the hillside, still laden with frying pans, tin cups and other kitchen utensils. Aroused from their deep sleep, the veteran Texans panicked and scrambled several hundred yards downhill, tearing through a well-built fence in the process. Regaining their composure, the Texans laughed off their folly and Gus put the escapade to song. Originally called The Old Gray Mare (Came Tearing Out of the Wilderness), it became the brigade's marching song. When the war was over, the couple traveled throughout the South and then by riverboat with the Bailey Concert Company. Bailey's circus was a success, and at its peak claimed 31 wagons and about 200 animals, including camels and elephants. The circus primarily toured small towns and became well known throughout the state for being free of the cheating and con games typical of other carnivals, as well as it's practice of giving free tickets to veterans, both Union and Confederate. Gus became chronically ill, and, permanently weakened, was forced to retire from the day-to-day operations. He stayed at the circus' winter grounds in Blum while Mollie took over the business entirely. He succumbed to his illness on November 10, 1900 and buried with full military honors in Houston's Evergreen Cemetery.

29° 44.306
-095° 19.317

Section B1
Evergreen Cemetery