July 29, 2014

Randolph Foster (1790-1878)

Randolph Foster, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, the son of John Foster, was born in Mississippi on March 12, 1790. During the War of 1812 he served with Randal Jones, later his Texas neighbor for fifty years. Foster married Lucy Hunter in Mississippi, and they became the parents of seven children. In 1822 the couple joined John Foster and Isaac Foster to move to Texas and establish a camp in what became Fort Bend County. On July 16, 1824, Foster received title to a league of land in an area that is now Waller and Fort Bend counties. On October 11, 1835, Richardson Royster Royall dispatched Foster to retrieve 800 pounds of lead reported to be at William Stafford's plantation. Foster later helped supply the army with meat and furnished food and escort for his family and neighbors during the Runaway Scrape. In 1836 he made a trip back to Mississippi, then returned to Texas to establish permanent residence in Fort Bend County. In December 1845 he signed a proclamation at Richmond commending Sam Houston for his work for the annexation of Texas and inviting him to dinner at Richmond. As a fellow Mississippian, Foster, in August 1865 wrote David G. Burnet requesting him to go to Washington, D.C., to ask President Andrew Johnson to release Jefferson Davis from prison. On August 18, 1878, Foster died in Fort Bend County at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mary L. Blakely. Source 

29° 41.965
-095° 54.574

Fulshear Cemetery

July 22, 2014

Louis George "Long Gone" Dupre (1939-2001)

L. G. Dupre was a professional American football running back for seven seasons in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts and the Dallas Cowboys. Originally from New Orleans, he played at Baylor University in 1952-54, gaining 1,423 yards over his three seasons and scoring 19 touchdowns. In 1953 he was part of a backfield that became known as the “Fearsome Foursome”, that comprised him, quarterback Cotton Davidson, halfback Jerry Coody and fullback Allen Jones. In his last two seasons at Baylor, the team went 7-3 and 7-4 and played in the Gator Bowl in 1954. He was given the nickname "Long Gone" by sportscaster Kern Tips. He finished his career with 311 carries for 1,423 yards and 19 touchdowns. In 1981, he was inducted into Baylor's Athletic Hall of Fame. Dupre was a third-round (27th overall) selection in the 1955 NFL Draft, played with the Baltimore Colts from 1955-59 and won two NFL championships. As a rookie he was second on the team in rushing, registering 88 carries for 338 yards, with most of his production coming after the fifth game. The next year with the addition of rookie Lenny Moore, he was forced to develop into a receiver out of the backfield and was third on the team with 216 receiving yards. His production would decrease in the following seasons, with Moore taking a bigger role in the offense. He also was a part time punter. He was a part of the 1958 NFL Championship Game against the New York Giants, famously known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played". He started the game by gaining 30 yards on 10 carries. In 1959, Dupre played in only the first 4 regular games of the season. His only touchdown was a 2 yard pass from John Unitas against the Chicago Bears on October 18, 1959. Dupre was a member of the 1959 Baltimore Colts championship team, but due to his season-ending injury he sustained while driving home from practice, he did not play in the rematch against the Giants, which the Colts won 31-16. He was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft. In the Cowboys 1960 inaugural season, he led the team in rushing with 104 carries for 362 yards in 11 games. He also scored 3 touchdowns in the tie against the New York Giants, helping avoid losing all of the games in the season. He was released on September 4, 1962, retired from the sport and began working at General Electric in Dallas, Texas. On August 9, 2001, he died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

29° 31.039
-095° 07.453

Section 201
Forest Park East Cemetery

July 15, 2014

Weldon Philip H. "Juke Boy" Bonner (1932-1978)

Juke Boy Bonner, blues guitarist, vocalist, and harmonica player, was born in Bellville, Texas, on March 22, 1932, one of nine children of sharecroppers Emanuel and Carrie (Kessee) Bonner. His parents died when he was young, so he was raised by another family on a nearby farm. Bonner became interested in music when he was six and sang with a local spiritual group when he was in elementary school. By the time he was twelve he had taught himself to play the guitar. He quit school when he was a teenager and moved to Houston to find a job. When he was fifteen he won a talent contest held by Trummy Cain, a local talent coordinator. This led to an appearance on KLEE radio.  For the next decade Bonner worked as a one-man band in lounges, bars, and clubs throughout the South and in California. He frequently worked in juke joints accompanied only by jukebox music; hence his nickname. In 1956 he cut his first record, Rock with Me Baby, with Well Baby as the flip side, on Bob Geddins's Irma label. Bonner made his next record for Goldband Records in 1960 and continued to record for Liberty, Sonet, and other labels during the 1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s he toured Europe, where he recorded on the British Flyright and Storyville labels. His best work, however, came in the late 1960s on the Arhoolie label. Songs such as Going Back to the Country, Struggle Here in Houston, and Life Is a Nightmare reflected his impoverished youth and the dangers he had faced living in big cities. Bonner continued to tour, work local venues, and record. He was married in 1950 and was later divorced. He died in Houston on June 29, 1978, of cirrhosis of the liver. Five children survived him. Source 

29° 52.667
-095° 25.768

Restlawn Cemetery

July 8, 2014

Joseph White (?-1830)

Joseph White, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, was born in Georgia. He received title to a sitio of land in the area of present Brazoria County on August 16, 1824. The census of 1826 classified him as a farmer and stock raiser, aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, two sons, a daughter, and five slaves. White was elected alcalde at San Felipe on December 21, 1828. In December 1829 he bought several lots in San Felipe de Austin and took over a debt owed by Horatio Chriesman to the ayuntamiento. White died in San Felipe de Austin on June 14, 1830. In October 1830 alcalde Thomas Barnett published notice that Zeno Philips, administrator of White's estate, would have a public sale at White's last residence, of half a league of land on Clear Creek, west of Galveston Bay; two lots; a negro woman slave; household and kitchen furniture; and personal property. Sources indicate that a Joseph White served with the artillery corps at San Jacinto. Source

Note: Joseph White's grave is unmarked. During the Texas Revolution, the town of San Felipe was largely destroyed by Mexican troops chasing after the Texan army. Nothing was spared, not even the town graveyard. The majority of those buried here prior to 1836 are no longer marked, so although Joseph White is known to be buried here, the exact location has been lost. The photo below shows the oldest section of the cemetery where it is possible he still rests.


San Felipe de Austin Cemetery
San Felipe

July 1, 2014

Macario Garcia (1920-1972)

Macario García, recipient of the Medal of Honor during World War II, was born on January 2, 1920, in Villa de Castaño, Mexico, to Luciano and Josefa García, farm workers who raised ten children. In 1923 the family moved to Texas; they eventually settled in Sugar Land. Like the rest of his brothers and sisters, he contributed to the family's support by picking crops. He was working on the Paul Schumann Ranch near Sugar Land when he was drafted into the army on November 11, 1942. García distinguished himself on the battlefield. He was wounded in action at Normandy in June 1944, but after his recovery he rejoined his unit, Company B, First Battalion, Twenty-second Infantry Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division. On November 27, 1944, near Grosshau, Germany, he single-handedly assaulted two German machine-gun emplacements that were blocking his company's advance. Wounded in the shoulder and foot, he crawled forward alone towards the machine-gun nests, killed six enemy soldiers, captured four, and destroyed the nests with grenades. Only after the company had secured its position did García allow himself to be evacuated for medical treatment. He was awarded the Medal of Honor with twenty-seven other soldiers at a White House ceremony on August 23, 1945, by President Harry S. Truman. García also received the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge, as well as the medal of Mérito Militar, the Mexican equivalent to the Medal of Honor, during a ceremony in Mexico City on January 8, 1946. After three years of active service, one of which was overseas, García received an honorable discharge from the army with the rank of sergeant. He returned to Sugar Land and found that he had become a celebrity around the state. Newspapers published accounts of his heroism, and he was asked to appear at meetings and banquets. The League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 60 in Houston, presided over by president Fernando Salas Aldaz and vice president John J. Herrera, honored him at a special ceremony at the courthouse.

   In September 1945, shortly after his return to Texas, García again attracted media attention when he was denied service at a restaurant in Richmond, a few miles south of Houston, because he was Hispanic. Outraged that he was treated like a second-class citizen after having risked his life for his country, García fought with the owner until police were called in. He was arrested and charged in the incident. His case immediately became a cause célèbre, symbolizing not only the plight of Hispanic soldiers who returned from the war, but the plight of the Hispanic community as a whole. Numerous groups and private citizens rallied to his aid. LULAC Council No. 60 and the Comité Patriótico Mexicano sponsored benefits in his honor to raise money to pay for his defense. Garcia’s legal defense was headed first by John J. Herrera and later, James V. Allred. During 1945-46, the case was repeatedly postponed, until all charges were finally dropped. On June 25, 1947, García became an American citizen. He earned a high school diploma in 1951, and married Alicia Reyes on May 18, 1952. They raised three children. Like other GIs who returned from the war, García encountered many difficulties in finding employment. He eventually found a job as a counselor in the Veterans' Administration, and remained with the VA for the next twenty-five years. In 1970 García and his family moved to Alief. He died on December 24, 1972, in a car crash and was buried in the National Cemetery in Houston. At the graveside ceremonies an honor guard from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio performed the military rites. In 1981 the Houston City Council officially changed the name of Sixty-ninth Street to Macario García Drive. This 1½ mile thoroughfare runs through the heart of the city's east-side Mexican-American community. In 1983 Vice President George Bush dedicated Houston's new Macario García Army Reserve Center, and in 1994 a Sugar Land middle school was named in García's honor. Source

While an acting squad leader of Company B, 22d Infantry, on 27 November 1944, near Grosshau, Germany, he single-handedly assaulted 2 enemy machine gun emplacements. Attacking prepared positions on a wooded hill, which could be approached only through meager cover, his company was pinned down by intense machine gun fire and subjected to a concentrated artillery and mortar barrage. Although painfully wounded, he refused to be evacuated and on his own initiative crawled forward alone until he reached a position near an enemy emplacement. Hurling grenades, he boldly assaulted the position, destroyed the gun, and with his rifle killed 3 of the enemy who attempted to escape. When he rejoined his company, a second machine gun opened fire and again the intrepid soldier went forward, utterly disregarding his own safety. He stormed the position and destroyed the gun, killed 3 more Germans, and captured 4 prisoners. He fought on with his unit until the objective was taken and only then did he permit himself to be removed for medical care. S/Sgt. (then private) Garcia's conspicuous heroism, his inspiring, courageous conduct, and his complete disregard for his personal safety wiped out 2 enemy emplacements and enabled his company to advance and secure its objective.
29° 55.858
-095° 27.066

Section Ha
Houston National Cemetery