August 25, 2015

George Washington Teel (1784-1856)

George W. Teel (Teal), member of the Old Three Hundred, was born in Maryland on May 4, 1784, and was married in Missouri in 1823 to his second wife, Rebecca Johnson. He entered into Texas with the Stephen F. Austin colony in 1824, and on August 3, 1824, received title to a Spanish sitio of land in what is now Fort Bend County. After making some improvements to the land he transferred his title to Michael Turner. By December 22, 1824, Teel was in San Felipe, where he participated in the alcalde election, and by the fall of 1828 he was in the Ayish Bayou District, where he settled six miles west of what is now San Augustine. Sometime in the late 1820s he established a cotton gin in the vicinity of San Augustine. Teel fought in the battle of Nacogdoches, August 1-3, 1832, and was enrolled in Capt. William Kimbrough's company in the summer of 1836. Teel became a successful farmer and landowner. He took an active part in the early Methodist movement in the newly formed San Augustine Municipality. The noted Stevensons, preachers of the Louisiana circuit, held a meeting in Teel's home in 1835. He was selected as one of the fifteen trustees to form the board of the University of San Augustine. George Teel died on August 20, 1856, and his wife Rebecca died on August 10, 1866. They were buried in the family cemetery near their homesite. George Teel's will was probated in San Augustine County. In the early 1990s all that remained of the Teel family cemetery was parts of five broken monuments piled under a nearby tree. Source 

COORDINATES
31° 32.243
-094° 12.873


Teel Family Burying Ground
San Augustine

August 18, 2015

Charles Atherton Hartwell (1841-1876)

Charles Hartwell was born on May 6, 1841 in Natick, Massachusetts to Stedman and Rebecca Dana (Perry) Hartwell. He entered the Civil War as a private in the 7th New York State Militia, but shortly afterward received a commission as a 1st Lieutenant in the 11th U.S. Regular Infantry, where he served as an aide-de-camp to Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. When Congress authorized the enlistment of black soldiers, Hartwell was promoted to Colonel and became the commander of the 77th U.S. Colored Troops. During the War, he fought in several key battles, including Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station, Yorktown, Hanover Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mills, Savage Station and Port Hudson. On December 2, 1865, Hartwell was brevetted a brigadier general for excellence in service. He remained in the army after the war and died in Castroville while on active duty on October 3, 1876.


COORDINATES
29° 25.300
-098° 28.008

Section A
San Antonio National Cemetery
San Antonio

August 11, 2015

Robert Potter (1799-1842)

Robert Potter, legislator, cabinet member, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in June 1799 in Granville County, North Carolina. He joined the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1815 and resigned in 1821 to study law. By 1826 he had been admitted to the bar and had begun to practice law in Halifax, North Carolina. He soon transferred his law practice to Oxford, North Carolina, where in 1826 he was elected to the state House of Commons. In April 1828 he married Isabel A. Taylor, with whom he had two children. That same year he was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms, from March 4, 1829, to November 1831. He resigned after an incident that occurred on August 28, 1831, in which Potter, in a jealous rage, maimed his wife's cousin and another man. For the attacks he was tried in a Granville County court in September 1831, found guilty, sentenced to six months in prison, and fined $2,000. His wife divorced him in 1834. After his release from prison Potter was again elected to the North Carolina House of Commons; he took his seat in 1834. In January 1835, however, he was expelled from the House for "cheating at cards," but the real motivation was probably the maiming. His domestic, legal, and political troubles in North Carolina caused Potter to decide upon Texas as a place for a new beginning.

He arrived in Nacogdoches on July 1, 1835, and almost immediately became embroiled in Texas political and military affairs. On October 9, 1835, he enrolled in Thomas J. Rusk's Nacogdoches Independent Volunteers to assist in equipping men for the siege of Bexar, but he decided to resign on November 21 to offer his services to the fledgling Texas Navy. Also in 1835 Potter was selected as a delegate to the Consultation, which met at San Felipe, but he did not attend. The next year he was elected as one of four delegates to represent Nacogdoches Municipality at the Convention of 1836. There he voted for independence from Mexico, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, assisted president Richard Ellis when questions of parliamentary procedure were raised, and served on the committee appointed to draft the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. Before being appointed secretary of the Texas Navy and commander of the port of Galveston in 1836, Potter participated in the battle of San Jacinto, refused to sign the treaty afterwards negotiated with Antonio López de Santa Anna, and joined those advocating the execution of the Mexican president. In September 1836 he entered into a marriage of dubious legality with Harriet A. M. Ames. The couple had a daughter and a son. In 1837, after Sam Houston was elected to the Texas presidency, Potter retired first to a residence in Harrison County and then to a home built on his headright grant on Soda (now Caddo) Lake in what is now Marion County. Potter's new neighbors elected him their senator in the Congress of the Republic of Texas; he served from November 2, 1840, until his death. He became involved in the Regulator-Moderator War in Harrison County, where he quickly became a Moderator leader. A Regulator band surrounded his home and killed him on March 2, 1842, as he attempted to escape. He was initially buried at Potter's Point near his home, but on October 9, 1928, he was reinterred in the State Cemetery in Austin. Potter County in the Texas Panhandle, established on August 21, 1876, was named in his honor. Source

Note: Both the birth and death dates on his stone are incorrect.

COORDINATES
30° 15.930
-097° 43.648

Republic Hill
Texas State Cemetery
Austin

August 4, 2015

Don Albert Brown (1937-2013)

Don Albert Brown was born in Dayton, Texas, August 20, 1937, and attended Dayton High School where he played high school football from 1953 to 1955. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Houston where he played for the football team as a running back and defensive back from 1956 to 1958, earning an All-American honorable mention during his senior year. He played for the College All-Stars in 1959 against the defending NFL champions, the Baltimore Colts. In the game, he was involved in a serious collision with Bill Pellington which left him unconscious for several minutes. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, but immediately traded for Ollie Matson of the Chicago Cardinals. This trade was significant, as he was one of nine players traded for Matson. After the Cardinals, he had a brief stint with the Green Bay Packers under head coach Vince Lombardi before returning home in 1960 to try out for the newly formed Houston Oilers, where he ended his professional career in 1961. After his retirement from football, he returned to Dayton, bought some land and took up farming with his four brothers. Brown passed away on June 23, 2013 and buried in Dayton.

COORDINATES
30° 03.192
-094° 53.036

Section 8
Magnolia Park Cemetery   
Dayton