December 31, 2013

Thomas Russell "Russ" Haas (1974-2001)

Russ Haas, professional wrestler, was best known for his work alongside his brother Charlie in Memphis Championship Wrestling and Jersey All Pro Wrestling. He was a collegiate wrestler at Seton Hall University, and was then trained for a career in professional wrestling by Mike Sharpe. He quickly began working on the independent circuit alongside his brother Charlie, with the two forming a tag team known as The Haas Brothers. They won the JAPW Tag Team Championship for the first time in mid-1998, and won it for the second time in mid-1999. They went on to win the Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling Tag Team Championship and the ECWA Tag Team Championship in 2000, and the CZW World Tag Team Championship in early 2000. In late 2000, The Haas Brothers signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation, and were assigned to the developmental territories, the Heartland Wrestling Association and Memphis Championship Wrestling. In MCW, they won the MCW Tag Team Championship on three occasions during early 2001. In September 2001, Haas suffered a heart attack, and three months later suffered a second, fatal heart attack in his sleep. Following his death, JAPW held the Russ Haas Memorial Show in February 2002, and in August 2002 Phoenix Championship Wrestling held The Russ Haas Memorial Tag Team Tournament. In 2004, he was inducted into the ECWA Hall of Fame and in 2007 he was inducted into the JAPW Hall of Fame.

COORDINATES
29° 47.036
-095° 36.920

Executive Estates
Memorial Oaks Cemetery
Houston

December 24, 2013

Robert Wilson (1793-1856)

Robert Wilson, entrepreneur and politician, son of James and Elizabeth (Hardcastle) Wilson, was born on December 7, 1793, in Talbot County, Maryland. His academic education was supplemented by training in the carpentry and machinist trades. He served with Maryland troops during the War of 1812. With his new wife, Margaret Pendergrast, he moved to St. Louis in 1819. The family moved to Natchez in 1823, and Margaret died soon afterward from yellow fever. The couple's two sons were placed with relatives. In Natchez Wilson became a successful contractor and also opened a mercantile business. By 1827 he had formed a partnership with William Plunkett Harris to operate steamboats along the Mississippi and Red rivers. Within a year Wilson had joined his partner's Texas brother, John Richardson Harris, in developing Harrisburg. By the time John Harris died in 1829 from yellow fever, Wilson was living in Harrisburg, where he owned a gristmill and sawmill. He was later accused by Harris's widow of fraudulently claiming much of her late husband's business as his own. Before her suit was settled in 1838, promoters Augustus C. and John K. Allen had dropped plans to develop their new city of Houston on this disputed site.

Wilson married wealthy New Orleans widow Sarah Reed in 1830. At some point he built two customhouses for the Mexican government, at Galveston and Velasco. In 1832 he joined fellow Texans in laying siege to the garrison at Anahuac. Wilson subsequently provided two ships to transport the Mexican troops at Anahuac back to Mexico. In 1832 and 1833 he was elected a delegate to conventions in San Felipe that considered Texas grievances. Wilson volunteered for the army in 1835 and became a colonel. After participating in the siege of Bexar in November, he left for New Orleans to raise money and volunteers. When he returned in May 1836, after the San Jacinto victory, he found that his entire livelihood at Harrisburg had been burned by the Mexican army. Wilson was elected to the Texas Senate in 1836 and served a three year term. He became associated with the Allen brothers in developing Houston and also promoted the town of Hamilton (which merged with Harrisburg in 1839) and a railroad. In 1838 he was a candidate (apparently self-announced) for president, but he received only 252 votes against Mirabeau B. Lamar's 6,995. In 1844 Wilson again quixotically ran for president but was ignored. The next year he was defeated for a delegate position to the convention that approved annexation. For the last ten years of his life he avoided politics and focused on the real estate business. His more successful son James Theodore Wilson twice served as mayor of Houston after the Civil War. Robert Wilson died on May 25, 1856, and was buried in a family cemetery in Houston. His remains were later moved to Glenwood Cemetery. Source

COORDINATES
29° 46.030
-095° 23.251

Section C-2
Glenwood Cemetery
Houston

December 17, 2013

Albert Sidney Burleson (1863-1937)

Albert Sidney Burleson, attorney, congressman, and United States postmaster general, was born in San Marcos, Texas, on June 7, 1863, the son of Lucy Emma (Kyle) and Edward Burleson, Jr. He attended Coronal Institute in San Marcos and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University); he received a B.A. degree from Baylor University in 1881 and an LL.B. degree from the University of Texas in 1884. The following year he joined his uncle Thomas Eskridge Sneed and George F. Poindexter in their law practice in Austin. Burleson became interested in politics and rose quickly through the ranks of the local Democratic party. He served as assistant city attorney of Austin from 1885 to 1890, and in 1891 he was appointed attorney of the Twenty-sixth Judicial District. Among the friends he made during this time was Edward M. House, who later kept Burleson's name in consideration for a position in President Woodrow Wilson's cabinet. Burleson married Adele Lubbock Steiner on December 22, 1889, and they became the parents of three children. Burleson represented Texas in the Fifty-sixth through the Sixty-third United States congresses (1899-1913); he served on the committees of agriculture, census, foreign affairs, and appropriations. He was the author of considerable legislation affecting the development of agriculture. Woodrow Wilson appointed him postmaster general in 1913, and Burleson held that post until 1921. During his tenure the post office developed the parcel post and air mail service. Burleson was chairman of the United States Telegraph and Telephone Administration in 1918 and chairman of the United States Commission to the International Wire Communication Conference in 1920. He retired from public life in 1921 and returned to Austin to devote his time to agricultural interests. Although he rarely took an active role in politics after his retirement, he voiced support for presidential candidates Alfred Smith in 1928 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. Baylor University awarded him an honorary LL.D. degree in 1930. Burleson died of a heart attack at his home in Austin on November 24, 1937, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery. Source

COORDINATES
30° 16.584
-097° 43.552

Section 2
Oakwood Cemetery
Austin

December 10, 2013

William Christian Menefee (1796-1875)

William Menefee (Menifee), lawyer and public official, was born in Knox County, Tennessee, on May 11, 1796, son of John and Frances (Rhodes) Menefee. He studied law and was admitted to the bar sometime before 1824, when his family and that of John Sutherland Menefee moved to Morgan County, Alabama, and settled near Decatur. In 1830 he moved to Texas with his wife, the former Agnes Sutherland, daughter of George Sutherland, and seven children. Another daughter was born in Texas. Menefee settled in the community of Egypt in what is now Colorado County. By 1840 he had acquired title to 1,300 acres of land and owned fifty cattle, four horses, and seven slaves. He was a delegate from the district of Lavaca to the conventions of 1832 and 1833. He represented Austin Municipality in the Consultation and on December 8, 1835, was seated as a member of the General Council of the provisional government. On January 9, 1836, he was elected first judge of Colorado Municipality. He and William D. Lacey were delegates from Colorado to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos and there signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Menefee was appointed the first chief justice of Colorado County on December 20, 1836. In 1839 he was one of the five commissioners who selected Austin as the capital of the Republic of Texas. He was nominated secretary of the treasury of the republic on December 23, 1840, but the Senate had taken no action by January 21, 1841, and the nomination was withdrawn. Menefee represented the Colorado district in the House of the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth congresses of the republic, September 1837 to November 1841, and in the Ninth Congress, December 1844 to February 1845. He was defeated by Edward Burleson for the vice presidency of the republic in 1841. In 1842 he participated in the campaign against Rafael Vásquez. Menefee was elected chief justice of Colorado County on July 13, 1846, but during that year moved to Fayette County, which he represented in the House of the Fifth Legislature. He died on October 28 or 29, 1875, and was buried in the Pine Springs Cemetery, six miles from Flatonia. The state of Texas later moved his remains and those of his wife to the State Cemetery. Source

COORDINATES
30° 15.921
-097° 43.621

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

December 3, 2013

Henry A. McMasters (1848-1872)

Henry A. McMasters, soldier, born Augusta, Maine, 1848, was enlisted with Company A, 4th Cavalry Regiment under Ranald MacKenzie when engaged in combat with the Comanche at Red River, Texas in the late summer of 1872. As Colonel MacKenzie commanded an expedition over the Staked Plains of Texas in 1872 to find and rout hostile Indian forces, Companies A, D, F, I and L of the 4th US Cavalry made a one-day march to reach the North Fork of the Red River, where a large camp of Comanche was sighted. As the cavalry moved towards the 280 lodge encampment, the Indian ponies stampeded and alarmed the Indians to the soldiers' approach. Immediately they engaged the cavalry in fierce combat, during which Troop I was leading the advance to secure the right flank while the remaining companies attacked the left. In the bloody fight that followed, Corporal Henry McMasters of Troop A was cited for his bravery. In this action the camp was taken with the loss of only one soldier killed and three wounded. For the hostile band of the Mow-wi tribe of Comanche, it was a stinging defeat so devastating, they quickly surrendered at Fort Sill ending 17 years of hostilities. McMasters died a short few months afterward on November 11, 1872 and buried at San Antonio National Cemetery. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions the following week.

CITATION
Gallantry in action.

COORDINATES
29° 25.314
-098° 28.022

Section D
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio