December 30, 2016

John Slayton

   Johann Friedrich Schlobohm, also recorded as John Slaburn, John Slayton, John Slighton, John Sleightson, John Slader and John Sladon, was born December 10, 1807 in Hanover, Lower Saxony, Germany. As was the case with Henry Tierwester, his last name was easily misspelled, so he was given various names in his legal and military records, making him somewhat difficult to track. What we know as fact is that he arrived in Texas in 1825 and settled near the Liberty/Harris County line.

   He enlisted in the Texian army on March 6, 1836 (where the muster rolls listed him as John Slaburn, John Sleightson and John Slighton) and was assigned to Captain William Mitchell Logan's Company of Liberty Volunteers (where the company rolls listed him as either John Slayton or John Slighton). He fought at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21 and left the service on June 6, 1836. Three days later, he reenlisted for a period of seventeen months, leaving the army for good on November 4, 1837. He was awarded several land grants for his service, most of which he sold off to an A.B. Grant, and settled in what is now eastern Harris County. Schlobohm died at his home on September 25, 1882. His gravestone records his last name with the correct spelling.

29° 54.992, -095° 19.679

Schlobohm Cemetery

December 27, 2016

Bonnie Parker

   Bonnie Parker, outlaw partner of Clyde Barrow, was born at Rowena, Texas, on October 1, 1910, to Henry and Emma Parker. She had an older brother, Hubert (Buster), and a younger sister, Billie. Her father, a bricklayer, died in 1914, and Emma Parker moved the family to "Cement City" in West Dallas to live closer to relatives. In the public schools Bonnie was an honor student. She enjoyed writing poetry and reading romance novels. At four-feet-ten and eighty-five pounds, she hardly looked like a future legendary criminal. In 1926 she married her longtime sweetheart, Roy Thornton. For the next several years, they suffered a tumultuous marriage; however, she refused to divorce him. Bonnie worked at Marco's Cafe in Dallas until the cafe closed in November 1929. About this time Thornton was sent to prison for a five-year sentence. Bonnie had "Roy and Bonnie" tattooed above her right knee to commemorate her marriage to Thornton.

   She met Barrow in January 1930. Their romance was interrupted when Barrow was jailed a month later. During this time she wrote to him pleading with him to stay out of trouble upon his release. In early March she smuggled into his cell a pistol, which he used to escape. He was recaptured in Middletown, Ohio, after a robbery and sent to Eastham Prison Farm in Crockett on April 21, 1930. He was released in February 1932, more bent on destruction than before; and Bonnie was more determined than ever to prove her loyalty to him, even to the extent of assuming his manner of living.

   Upon his release Parker and Barrow began robbing grocery stores, filling stations, and small banks. In March 1932 Bonnie was captured in a failed robbery attempt and jailed in Kaufman, Texas. Clyde murdered merchant J. W. Butcher of Hillsboro on April 27, 1932. On June 17, 1932, the grand jury met in Kaufman and no-billed Bonnie, thus securing her release. Within a few weeks she connected with Clyde. Once again, they were on the run. The couple killed two officers in Atoka, Oklahoma, where they had attended a dance and were apprehended in the parking lot. For a while they swept through the Midwest and Southwest challenging the law in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Missouri. They gunned down a grocery-store owner in Sherman, Texas, a citizen in Temple, and another law officer in Dallas. Law enforcement agencies from several states initiated a manhunt but to no avail.

   The couple temporarily settled down in a small stone bungalow in Joplin, Missouri, with Barrow's brother and sister-in-law. Not surprisingly, they were rowdy residents, and the neighbors began complaining to the police. Suspicious that this could be the Barrow gang, the officers promptly responded. Upon their arrival they were met by the four inhabitants and a barrage of bullets. After a bloody shoot-out, Bonnie and Clyde escaped. They left behind two more dead lawmen and six rolls of film, from which many of the famous photographs of the couple came.

   Bonnie and Clyde traveled constantly, throughout Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas. On June 10, 1933, Bonnie was burned after their car rolled over an embankment near Wellington, Texas, and was treated at a nearby farmhouse. Officials sent to investigate were kidnapped and later freed in Oklahoma. Near Alma, Arkansas, the two killed the town marshal. Later, their gang holed up in Platte City, Missouri. In yet another bloody face-off with the law, Clyde's brother was killed, and his sister-in-law was taken into custody. In January 1934 Parker and Barrow helped their buddy Raymond Hamilton escape from Eastham Farm, and a guard was killed. At this time the head of the Texas prison system and the governor hired former Texas Ranger captain Francis (Frank) Hamer to track down the couple. By the middle of 1934 Hamer and his associates had begun to follow Bonnie and Clyde.

   One of the couple's most blatant murders occurred on Easter Sunday, 1934, on the outskirts of Grapevine, Texas. According to a witness, a Ford halted alongside a public highway. The occupants of the vehicle, laughing and talking among themselves, tossed whiskey bottles out of the windows. When the two highway patrolmen stopped their motorcycles to check on the "stalled" car, the people in the car leveled guns at the officers and opened fire. Bonnie reportedly walked over to one of the officers and rolled him over with one foot, raised her sawed-off shotgun, fired two more shots, point-blank, at the officer's head and exclaimed, "look-a-there, his head bounced just like a rubber ball." Less than a week later, on April 6, 1934, Parker and Barrow committed their last murder by killing a constable in Commerce, Oklahoma. Afterward they were in continuous flight, with law officers in pursuit. They drove into a trap near their hide-out at Black Lake, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934, at 9:15 A.M. and were gunned down in a barrage of 167 bullets. Bonnie Parker was found riddled with bullets, holding a machine gun, a sandwich, and a pack of cigarettes; Clyde Barrow, barely recognizable, was clutching a revolver. The car was taken to Arcadia, Louisiana, and the bodies were later delivered to Dallas. Thousands viewed the mangled bodies and the car of the legendary lovers. Finally, amid public clamor and hysteria, the bodies were buried in their respective families' burial plots. Source

32° 52.045, -096° 51.835

Block 4
Crown Hill Memorial Park

December 23, 2016

Henry Larkin Chapman

   Born July 20, 1812 to Henry and Lavinia Mobley Chapman, Henry came to Texas in 1834. He settled in what is now Nacogdoches County and practiced law. During the Texas Revolution, he signed up with the Texas militia as a volunteer on March 8, 1836 and assigned to Captain L. Smith's Company as a private. Smith's company was stationed near Harrisburg on April 8 when they were ordered by David Thomas, the ad interim secretary of war, to report to the commander-in-chief of the army. They reached General Sam Houston on April 12, and nine days later, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto as a part of Captain Hayden Arnold's Company. On June 27, he re-enlisted for another three months under Captain William Rufus C. Hays. Once he was discharged, he returned home to his practice and later served as the Justice of the Peace for Nacogdoches County from 1841 to 1843. Chapman died in Nacogdoches County on September 12, 1887 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery.

31° 34.462, -094° 35.197

Fairview Church Cemetery

December 20, 2016

Stevie Ray Vaughan

   Stevie Ray Vaughan, blues musician and guitar legend, was born in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas on October 3, 1954, to Jim and Martha Vaughan. Stevie's exposure to music began in his childhood, as he watched his big brother, Jimmie, play guitar. Stevie's fascination with the blues drove him to teach himself to play the guitar before he was an adolescent.

   By the time Vaughan was in high school, he was staying up all night, playing guitar in clubs in Deep Ellum in Dallas. In his sophomore year he enrolled in an experimental arts program at Southern Methodist University for artistically gifted high school students, but the program did not motivate him to stay in school, and he dropped out before graduation in order to play music full-time.

   By 1972, at the age of seventeen, Stevie moved to Austin, in an attempt to become involved in the music scene. Over the next few years he slept on pool tables and couches in the back of clubs and collected bottles to earn money for new guitar strings. He joined the Nightcrawlers, a blues band formed by Doyle Bramhall with Marc Benno. Doyle Bramhall (1949-2011), who went on to secure his own reputation as a renowned drummer and singer-songwriter, had performed with Stevie’s brother Jimmie in Dallas in their band the Chessmen, and the two later organized the band Texas Storm in Austin. In the Nightcrawlers, Stevie Vaughan played guitar and, impressed by Bramhall’s gravelly soul vocals, adopted that singing style as his own. Bramhall would write or co-write a number of songs that Vaughan would later record, including Dirty Pool, Change It, The House is Rockin’, and Life by the Drop.

   By 1975 Vaughan was playing with another Austin group, Paul Ray and the Cobras. With the opening of Antone’s blues club later that year, he also found an ally in club owner Clifford Antone. Vaughan’s performance with guitarist Albert King onstage at Antone’s, for example, earned him the respect of the blues legend. Recognition outside of Austin, however, eluded him. Vaughan left the Cobras and by the late 1970s was in a group that included Lou Ann Barton, W. C. Clark, and others and was known as Triple Threat. This group eventually evolved into Double Trouble, with Barton, bassist Jackie Newhouse, and drummer Chris Layton. Barton left the band, and Tommy Shannon replaced Newhouse. Keyboardist Reese Wynans came on board in 1985.

   By the early 1980s the group had built a solid following in Texas and was beginning to attract the attention of well-established musicians like Mick Jagger, who in 1982 invited Vaughan and the band to play at a private party in New York City. That same year Double Trouble received an invitation to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. They were the first band in the history of the festival to play without having a major record contract. The performance was seen by David Bowie and Jackson Browne, and Stevie gained even more acclaim as a talented and rising young musician. Browne invited Vaughan to his Los Angeles studio for a demo session, at which Stevie and Double Trouble recorded some tracks for what eventually became his 1983 debut album, Texas Flood. Bowie had Vaughan play lead guitar on his album Let's Dance.

   Vaughan's fame immediately soared. The band signed a record contract with CBS/Epic Records and came to the attention of veteran blues and rock producer John Hammond, Sr. Texas Flood received a North American Rock Radio Awards nomination for Favorite Debut Album, and Guitar Player Magazine Reader's Poll voted Stevie Best New Talent and Best Electric Blues Guitarist for 1983. A track off the album also received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental performance.

   Vaughan's subsequent albums met with increased popularity and critical attention. Double Trouble followed Texas Flood with Couldn't Stand the Weather (1984), Live Alive (1985), and Soul to Soul (1986). All of the albums went gold and captured various Grammy nominations in either the blues or rock categories. Throughout the 1980s Vaughan and his band also became consistent nominees and winners of the Austin Chronicle's music awards and Guitar Player Magazine's reader's polls. In 1984, at the National Blues Foundation Awards, Vaughan became the first white man to win Entertainer of the Year and Blues Instrumentalist of the Year. At the Grammys that year he shared in the Best Traditional Blues honors for his work on Blues Explosion, a compilation album of various artists.

   Although he rapidly gained prestige and success in the music world, Stevie also lived the stereotypical life of a rock-and-roll star, full of alcohol and drug abuse. On his 1986 European tour he collapsed and eventually checked into a rehabilitation center in Georgia. He left the hospital sober and committed to the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Following his recovery, he released his fifth album, In Step, in 1989. It won him a second Grammy, this time for Best Contemporary Blues Recording. In 1990 Vaughan collaborated with Jimmie Vaughan, his brother and founding member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, on Family Style, which also included their friend and musical colleague Doyle Bramhall on drums. The album was released after Stevie's death. This last album brought Stevie's career total of Grammys to four. After his death Epic records released two more albums of his work, The Sky is Crying (1991) and In the Beginning (1992). The Sky is Crying went on to win a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

   Stevie married Lenny Bailey in 1980, and they divorced in 1986, when he was at the low point of his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. At the time of his death, he had a girlfriend, Janna Lapidus. Vaughan died on August 27, 1990, in a helicopter crash on the way to Chicago from a concert in Alpine Valley, East Troy, Wisconsin. The location of the concert was difficult to reach, so many performers stayed in Chicago and flew in before the show. Dense fog contributed to the pilot's flying the helicopter into the side of a man-made ski mountain. All on board were killed instantly. More than 1,500 people, including industry giants such as Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and Stevie Wonder, attended Stevie's memorial service in Dallas. He is buried at Laurel Land Memorial Park in South Dallas.

   Governor Ann Richards proclaimed October 3, 1991, as "Stevie Ray Vaughan Day." The city of Austin erected a memorial statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan on November 21, 1993, by Town Lake (renamed Lady Bird Lake), near the site of his last Austin concert. On May 11, 1995, musicians, including B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Double Trouble, filmed Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan for Austin City Limits. The PBS program also released a posthumous video titled Stevie Ray Vaughan: Live From Austin, Texas, which contained excerpts from Vaughan's two previous appearances on the show. From 1995 through 2007 Sony Music issued several Vaughan and Double Trouble albums, including a box set, live performances, and previously unreleased material. In 2000 Vaughan was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. He is also in the Houston Institute for Culture's Texas Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Austin Music Memorial in 2010. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were inaugural inductees into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2014. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. Source

32° 40.417, -096° 48.774

Vaughan Estates
Laurel Land Memorial Park

December 16, 2016

James S. Patterson

   James S. Patterson was born August 10, 1800.  The census of 1850 and 1870 both give Maryland as his place of birth although his gravestone is inscribed “a native of Kentucky”.  When he was about 10 years old, his father died and his mother remarried.  He was then apprenticed to a hatter but ran away when he was 12 years old.  He made his way to Louisiana, when and by what route is not known, where he claimed to have lived and worked with the followers of the pirate Jean LaFitte.

   He stated under oath that he came to Texas in the fall of the year that Stephen F. Austin came to Texas; his gravestone is inscribed “and emigrated to Texas in 1822”.  He said that he helped build the first house in San Felipe, Stephen F. Austin’s first colony in Texas.  He lived and worked in the Matagorda and Brazoria areas as a farmer, stockman, and a teamster, and could speak fluent French and Spanish.  James S. Patterson was approximately 6 feet tall, had sandy hair, blue or grey eyes, and, generally was not regarded as a handsome man.

   In 1836 when the Mexican Army approached the town of Harrisburg (now within the city limits of Houston), he joined Sam Houston’s army, enlisting as a private in Co. I,  Captain William S. Fisher’s Company (Velasco Blues), with Colonel Millard Commander.  He participated in the Battle of San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, while a member of Capt. Fisher’s company.  He was wounded by a sword thrust above the knee but did not report as wounded and was not, therefore, listed among the casualties.  He enlisted for an additional three months after the Battle of San Jacinto.

   The wound in his knee bothered him a great deal and he returned to Louisiana, and in August 1843 married Eugenia Trahan  (born November 14, 1806 in either France or Louisiana).  They had two children, James W. Patterson (who fought in the Civil War with Hood’s Brigade) and Elvira J. Patterson.  He remained in Louisiana until he heard that Texas was giving land grants to those who had participated in the Battle of San Jacinto and other battles and also for service in the Texas Army.

   He returned to Texas before 1850 and petitioned the Texas Legislature for the land grants (the date to apply for such grants having expired before he was aware of them).  His petitions were granted and he was issued a head right certificate for one-third of a league of land; Donation Certificate Nr. 218 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the Battle of San Jacinto; and, Bounty Warrant Nr. 723 for 320 acres for “3 months service” in the Army of the Republic of Texas. He was issued the 640 acres on August 26, 1850; he was living in Milam County, when on October 6 1851, he sold the certificate of land to Nathan Halbert for $64.00. He could not write but affixed his mark to the deed of transfer. It is probable that he sold the other parcels of land as well, as they are no longer owned by any descendents.  He applied for a pension as a surviving veteran of the Texas War of Independence and this was granted December 21, 1870, Certificate Nr. 173.

   He was in Goliad, Texas, in the early 1860’s but by 1870 he and Eugenia were residing in Austin.  He suffered from the "gravels" and died November 8, 1872.  He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery with his wife Eugenia at his side.

30° 16.528, -097° 43.580

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery

December 13, 2016

Frank Mancuso

   Born May 23, 1918 in Houston, Texas, Frank Octavius Mancuso began playing baseball in 1937 in the minor league system of the New York Giants. After hitting .417 for Fort Smith in 1938, the Giants moved him up to their major league roster for the entire 1939 season as a third string catcher, but he did not get into a single game during the regular season. That disappointment was offset by the opportunity he had to warm up pitcher Carl Hubbell, and sharing the company of other great Giants like OF Mel Ott and manager Bill Terry. He was sent back to the minors before the 1940 season.

   After hitting .300 or more in three minor league seasons, Mancuso entered the U.S. Army as a paratrooper at Fort Benning, Georgia in December 1942. In 1943, he suffered a broken back and leg when his chute opened late and improperly. He almost died from his injuries and was subsequently discharged from the service for medical reasons. A part of his injury was an unfortunate condition for a catcher, where in looking straight up caused him to lose the flow of oxygen to the brain, and he would pass out. As a result, he never regained all of his mobility after the parachute jump and was never responsible for catching pop-ups.

   Mancuso spent the rest of his life with back and legs pains, but he worked himself back into shape and returned to baseball in 1944 as one of two catchers for the only St. Louis Browns club to ever win an American League pennant. He shared duties with Red Hayworth, hitting .205 with one home run and 24 RBI in 88 games. The Browns lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1944 World Series in six games, but Mancuso hit .667 and collected one RBI in injury-limited pinch-hitting duty. His most productive season came in 1945, when he posted career-numbers in games (119), batting average (.268), RBI (38) and runs (39). In 1946 he hit .240 with a career-high three home runs in 87 games. He played his last major-league season with the Washington Senators in 1947 at the age of 29.

   From 1948 to 1955, Mancuso earned further respect as a catcher for top minor league clubs like Toledo and Beaumont, among others, and with the 1953 Houston Buffs, a minors club that preceded the Colt .45s & Astros. He also played winter baseball in the Venezuelan League during the 1950-51 and 1951-52 seasons. In his first season, he hit .407 with 49 RBI and also became the first player in the league to hit 10 home runs in a 42-game schedule. In a four-year major league career, Mancuso played in 337 games, accumulating 241 hits in 1,002 at bats for a .241 career batting average along with 5 home runs, 98 runs batted in and a .314 on-base percentage. He posted a ,987 fielding percentage as a catcher. In his seventeen-year minor league career, he played in 1,267 games, accumulating 1,087 hits in 3,936 at bats for a .276 career batting average along with 128 home runs.

   After baseball retirement, Mancuso served for 30 consecutive years (1963-93) on the Houston City Council. During his political life, he gave of himself generously to the needs of the young people and to causes benefiting disadvantaged children. He also supported the creation of Lake Livingston and Lake Conroe reservoir to meet the city's long-term water needs, the construction of Houston Intercontinental Airport, and was chairmanship of a special committee that recommended the Houston Fire Department have its own ambulance service.  In the late 1990s, Harris County built the Frank Mancuso Sports Complex, a facility that reaches out to the needs of inner city kids, in his honor. His 2003 induction into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame reunited him with his older brother, Gus Mancuso (1905-1984), as the second member of the family to be inducted. Mancuso died August 4, 2007 in Pasadena, Texas at the age of 89. Source

29° 42.903, -095° 18.129

Section 55
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery

December 9, 2016

Owen Ozwin Wilcox

   Owen Wilcox was born in Connecticut in 1809 and arrived in Texas in early 1836. Almost immediately, he enlisted in the Texian revolutionary army and was assigned to Captain William H. Patton's Company, with whom he he served during the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. He was transferred to Captain Benjamin F. Reavill's Company on July 1, then transferred again on October 1 to Captain William D. Burnett's Company. He left the service on December 1, 1836 and resided in Travis County. Wilcox died in Austin on April 5, 1879 and buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

30° 16.488, -097° 43.673

Section 1
Oakwood Cemetery

December 6, 2016

Lisa Gaye

   Born Leslie Gaye Griffin on March 6, 1935 in Denver, Colorado, Lisa came from a show-business family. Her mother, Marguerite, performed in vaudeville theaters and nightclubs as Margaret Allen, and Lisa's three siblings all went into acting - sister Debralee, who became Debra Paget; sister Marcia, who became Teala Loring; and brother Frank, who spent a decade as an actor before becoming a leading make-up artist.

   When Marcia landed a film contract with Paramount, the family moved to Los Angeles and Leslie was taught dancing and acting at the Hollywood Professional School. She made her stage début as a dancer in The Merry Wives of Windsor, starring Charles Coburn, at the Los Angeles Biltmore Theatre. At the start of her Universal contract in January 1953 (her mother insisted that she and her sister work for different studios to avoid competition) she adopted the stage name Lisa Gaye and was given lessons in drama, singing, dancing, fencing and horse riding.

   She made her feature-film debut in a bit part in The Glenn Miller Story (1954) as one of a mob of teenagers. She was Audie Murphy’s reserved fiancée in Drums Across the River (1954), co-starred in Shake Rattle and Rock (1956) and seemed well on her way to mainstream success; however, the studio dropped her after little more than two years, partially because a back injury meant that she had to wear a brace. Gaye left the studio system and appeared alongside Dean Martin in Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), in which she dances to an Italian version of Rock Around the Clock. In La Cara del Terror (1962), a Spanish thriller, she played an escaped asylum patient whose disfigured face is restored to beauty by Fernando Rey’s pioneering doctor - until the serum wears off, of course. Night of Evil (1962) gave Gaye her only top billing, as a raped high-school cheerleader who becomes a stripper, then commits armed robbery. Night of Evil received dismal reviews on release and she decided to seek other outlets for her acting.

   She broke into television in the mid-50s, first in small cameo roles in sitcoms like The Burns and Allen Show, but it was in Westerns that Gaye found her niche. Her horse-riding experience proved invaluable as she dipped into episodes of more than 20 popular series, from Annie Oakley (1956), Northwest Passage (1958), Cheyenne (1960), Rawhide (1960), Maverick (1961) and The Wild Wild West (1966-1967). In Death Valley Days alone, between 1960 and 1969, she acted in 10 different roles.

   In 1955, Lisa married Bently Ware, a business executive, and in 1970 retired from acting to raise their daughter, Janell. Following her husband's death from a heart attack in 1977, she moved to Houston, where she worked for nineteen years as a receptionist at KETH Channel 14, a local religious television station. Lisa Gaye passed away on July 14, 2016 and encrypted at the Houston National Cemetery.

29° 55.837, -095° 26.765

Section C-14
Houston National Cemetery

December 2, 2016

Matthew Winston Cartwright

   Born January 22, 1815, in Washington County, Alabama, Matthew arrived in Texas December 22, 1832 after his father Peter bought some property there. He took part in some early engagements of the Texas revolution, notably at the Storming and Capture of Bexar, (December 5 - 10, 1835) as a member of Joseph L. Bennett's Company. He left the service on December 24 and returned to his father's farm in what is now Montgomery County. he and his brother William enlisted in the Texas army on April 12, 1836. Nine days later, as a member of William Ware's Company, both William and Matthew fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. The two left the army on the same day, June 13, 1836. Cartwright died December 4, 1884 and buried in the Cartwright family cemetery. The State of Texas erected a monument at his grave in 1936.

30° 20.630, -095° 38.127

Rabon Chapel Cemetery