April 28, 2017

Robert W. Montgomery

   Little is known of Montgomery's private history prior to Texas; it is known that he was divorced and had a daughter, Emma Jane, living in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Texas army on February 23, 1836, as "McGready Montgomery" and was a member of Captain Henry Teal's Company at the Battle of San Jacinto. Montgomery left the army on October 10, 1836, and died in Harrisburg (now Harris) County in June 1837.

Note: This is a cenotaph. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day.

29° 45.441, -095° 22.767

Founders Memorial Park

April 25, 2017

Gilbert Leroy "Buddy" Dial

   "Buddy" Dial was born January 17, 1937 in Ponca City, Oklahoma, but grew up in Magnolia, Texas where he played high school football. After graduation, he played as a two-way end at Rice University. In 1956 he had 21 receptions, averaged 17 yards on each, made five touchdowns, and was selected sophomore lineman of the year in the Southwest Conference. In 1957 he had 21 receptions and was named All-SWC. He helped Rice to the conference championship in the Cotton Bowl, and was named to the All-Bowl All-Star team. In 1958 he caught 19 passes. He was the team’s co-captain and named Most Valuable Player. Dial also received consensus All-American and the Columbus Touchdown Club Lineman of the Year honors. For his career at Rice he had 13 touchdowns, tying the school record.

   Dial was drafted in the second round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but was cut by the team before the season started. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he became a star after being teamed with quarterback Bobby Layne. He held the team record for touchdown receptions in a season and was an All-Pro three times. While playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dial recorded an album of inspirational songs called Buddy Dial Sings on Word Records.

   In 1964, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded him to the Dallas Cowboys, in exchange for the rights of their first round draft choice Scott Appleton. However, Appleton ended up signing with the Houston Oilers of the AFL, who had also drafted him in the first round. The transaction became known as the "Buddy Dial for Nothing" trade. His three-year career with the Dallas Cowboys was a disappointment, where injuries and addictions to prescription drugs, limited his playing time. In 1966, while still assigned to the Dallas Cowboys, Buddy Dial recorded a single with Challenge Records 59352, called Baby/Back In The Old Days. Baby became a huge hit in various regional areas, topping the Dallas radio charts in 1966-1967, but failed to make the national charts.

   Dial finished his career with 261 receptions for 5,436 yards, and 44 touchdowns, and 14 yards on four rushes. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1961 and 1963 and inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Injuries during his NFL career led to significant health problems brought on by the abuse of painkilling drugs, before receiving treatment in the late 1980s. He died on February 29, 2008 at the age of 71, of complications with cancer and pneumonia.

Note: Buddy Dial's grave is presently unmarked. It is located between the graves of Gene Ray Austin and Theresa Elizabeth Moody.

30° 08.256, -095° 39.507

Section B
Klein Memorial Park

April 21, 2017

Erastus "Deaf" Smith

   Erastus (Deaf) Smith was born in Duchess County, New York, on April 19, 1787, the son of Chilaib and Mary Smith. At the age of eleven or twelve he moved with his parents to Natchez, Mississippi Territory. A childhood disease caused him to lose his hearing. Smith first visited Texas in 1817 but did not remain long. He returned in 1821 and settled near San Antonio, where he married a Mexican widow, Guadalupe Ruiz Durán, in 1822. The couple had four children, three of whom, all daughters, survived to adulthood. In the fall of 1825 Smith and five other men settled on the claim of James Kerr, the surveyor for the new colony of Green DeWitt, about one mile west of the site of present Gonzales. This tiny community was the first in DeWitt's colony and one of the first American settlements west of the Colorado River.

   Although his loyalties were apparently divided at the outbreak of the Texas Revolution, when a Mexican sentry refused to allow him to enter San Antonio to visit his family, Smith joined Stephen F. Austin's army, which was then besieging the town. On October 15 Charles Bellinger Stewart wrote to Austin that Smith had learned that the troops of Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos were "disaffected to the cause which they are serving". Stewart assured Austin that he knew Smith well and found him to be "perfectly disinterested" and trustworthy "to any extent his abilities and infirmity may warrant." After reporting to Richard R. Royall, president of the council at San Felipe, who found him to be "very importantly useful," Smith returned to Austin's army and took part in the battle of Concepción on October 28, 1835.

   He was responsible for the discovery of the Mexican supply train involved in the Grass Fight. During the siege of Bexar Smith guided Col. Francis Johnson's men into the town. On December 8 he was wounded on top of the Veramendi Palace at almost the same moment that Benjamin R. Milam was killed at its door. Smith, whom Governor Henry Smith called "well known to the army for his vigilance and meritorious acts," remained with the army despite his severe wounds, "as his services as a spy cannot well be dispensed with."

   After regaining his health, Smith served as a messenger for William B. Travis, who considered him "`the Bravest of the Brave' in the cause of Texas." Smith carried Travis's letter from the Alamo on February 15, 1836. On March 13 Gen. Sam Houston dispatched Smith and Henry Karnes back to San Antonio to learn the status of the Alamo garrison. "If living," Houston reported to Thomas Jefferson Rusk, Smith would return with "the truth and all important news." Smith returned with Susanna W. and Angelina E. Dickinson. Houston first assigned Smith to the cavalry but later placed him in charge of recruits with the rank of captain. During the San Jacinto campaign he captured a Mexican courier bearing important dispatches to Antonio López de Santa Anna, and on April 21, 1836, Smith and Houston requisitioned "one or more axes," with which Houston ordered Smith to destroy Vince's Bridge, reportedly to prevent the retreat of the Mexican army. Smith accomplished the mission and reported to Houston before the battle of San Jacinto. It was to Smith that Houston entrusted Santa Anna's order to Gen. Vicente Filisola to evacuate Texas.

   After San Jacinto, General Rusk continued to send Smith out as a scout, and after having been absent from the army for the first two weeks of July he was incorrectly reported as captured by the Mexicans. During this period his family, rendered destitute by the war, was living in Columbia, where it apparently had some dealings with Santa Anna, who was then being held at the nearby port of Velasco. On November 11, 1836, the Texas Congress granted Smith the property of Ramón Músquiz on the northeast corner of San Antonio's Military Plaza as a reward for his military activities. Nevertheless, Smith and his family remained in Columbia. He resigned his commission in the army but raised and commanded a company of Texas Rangers that on February 17, 1837, defeated a band of Mexicans at Laredo. Soon thereafter he resigned from ranger service and moved to Richmond, where he died at the home of Randal Jones on November 30, 1837. On hearing of his death, Sam Houston wrote to Anna Raguet, "My Friend Deaf Smith, and my stay in darkest hour, Is no more!!! A man, more brave, and honest never, lived. His soul is with God, but his fame and his family, must command the care of His Country!" A monument in Smith's honor, paid for by the Forty-first Legislature, was unveiled at his grave in Richmond on January 25, 1931. Smith was the father-in-law of Hendrick Arnold, a free black who served in his spy company. Deaf Smith County is named in his honor. Source

Note: This is a cenotaph. The small Episcopal cemetery that Erastus Smith was buried in was originally located on this site, but in the late 1800s it was razed in order to develop the property for housing. His specific grave location has thus been lost, but is known to be somewhere in the immediate area.

29° 34.810, -095° 45.738

Long-Smith Cottage grounds

April 18, 2017

Clyde Chesnut Barrow

   Clyde Chesnut Barrow, outlaw and partner of Bonnie Parker, was born just outside Telico, Texas, on March 24, 1909, the son of Henry Barrow. The family moved to Dallas in 1922, and in 1926 Barrow was first arrested for stealing an automobile. During the next four years he committed a string of robberies in and around Dallas. In 1930 he met Bonnie Parker, but their relationship was cut short when Barrow was arrested and jailed in Waco on charges of burglary. While awaiting trial he escaped with a handgun slipped to him by Bonnie and fled north, but was captured a week later in Middletown, Ohio. Barrow was found guilty and sentenced to a fourteen-year term at hard labor in the state penitentiary. Unwilling to endure the work at one of the state-operated plantations, he had another convict chop two toes off his left foot with an axe.

   Ironically, a short time later in February 1932, Barrow was given a general parole and released. Reunited with Bonnie and joined by bank robber Raymond Hamilton, Barrow began a series of violent holdups in the Southwest and Midwest. He and his accomplices made national headlines after murdering a number of people, including several law officers, and their exploits continued to hold the public's fascination for the next two years.

   After Hamilton was captured in Michigan, Bonnie and Clyde were joined by Clyde's brother, Buck, who had been recently released from prison, and his wife, Blanche (Caldwell) Barrow. They rented a small garage apartment in Joplin, Missouri, as a hideout, but suspicious neighbors tipped off the police. On the afternoon of April 13, 1933, law officers raided the hideaway. In the shootout that followed, two lawmen were killed. The gang narrowly escaped, but they left behind a roll of film from which many of the famous photographs of the pair originated. For most of the remainder of their brief criminal careers, Clyde and Bonnie were constantly on the move, committing one robbery after the next while managing to stay one step ahead of the law. In Platte City, Missouri, the gang once again was ambushed by police officers; Buck Barrow was killed, and Blanche was taken into custody, but Bonnie and Clyde escaped once again. In January 1934 the two made a daring attack on the Eastham Prison Farm in Texas to free Raymond Hamilton and another prisoner, Henry Methvin, in the process machine-gunning several guards and killing one. With Hamilton and Methvin in tow, Barrow and Parker went on another robbery rampage in Indiana. After a short time, however, Hamilton quarreled with Barrow and struck out on his own, leaving Methvin with the gang.

   Officials, led by former Texas Ranger Francis A. (Frank) Hamer and FBI special agent L. A. Kindell, finally tracked down the Barrow gang at Methvin's father's farm near Arcadia, Louisiana. Hamer arranged a roadside ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana. On May 23, 1934, at 9:15 a.m., Clyde and Bonnie, traveling alone, were killed in a barrage of 167 bullets. The bodies were taken to Arcadia and later put on public display in Dallas before being buried in their respective family burial plots.

   In later years Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were sometimes characterized as latter-day Robin Hoods. Their exploits became the basis of more than a half dozen movies, most notably Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the title characters. The originals were often compared with the other criminal figures of the Great Depression era, including John Dillinger and Al Capone. Barrow and Parker, however, despite their later glamorous image, were both ruthless killers who displayed very little in the way of a social conscience or remorse. In marked contrast to the legendary gangsters of the era, they were in reality small-time hoods whose largest haul was only $1,500. Source

32° 45.957, -096° 84.663

Western Heights Cemetery

April 14, 2017

Matthias Amend Bingham

   According to his recruitment records, Bingham arrived in Texas sometime before March 2, 1835. It is possible he had a legal background, as he was requested to witness a peace treaty signed between Sam Houston and John Forbes on behalf of Texas, and Chiefs Bowles, Big Mush and other chiefs for the Cherokees and associated tribes on February 23, 1836. He enlisted in the army on March 5 of that year as a private in Captain William S. Fisher's Company of Velasco Blues and fought at San Jacinto. Although his enlistment ended on June 5, he apparently re-enlisted, because records show he was a member of Captain Thomas Stewart's Company of Matagorda Volunteers on July 15, 1836. He was living in Houston at the time of his death on January 12, 1861.

Note: Unmarked. Founders Memorial Park, originally founded in 1836 as Houston's first city cemetery, was rapidly filled due to a yellow fever epidemic and closed to further burials around 1840. The cemetery became neglected over a period of time, often vandalized and was heavily damaged by the 1900 hurricane. In 1936, despite a massive clean up effort, a century of neglect had taken its toll. The vast majority of grave markers were either destroyed or missing and poor record keeping prevented locating individual graves. Several cenotaphs were placed in random areas throughout the park in honor of the more high-profile citizens buried there, but a great number of graves go unmarked to this day. Matthias Bingham's is one of them.


Founders Memorial Park

April 11, 2017

Charlotte Marie Baldwin Allen

   Charlotte Marie Baldwin Allen, called "the mother of Houston," was born on July 14, 1805, in Onondaga County, New York, the daughter of Eliza (Warden) and Jonas Cutler Baldwin. On May 3, 1831, she married Augustus Chapman Allen, a New York businessman. The following year Allen and his brother, John Kirby Allen, came to Texas and settled at San Augustine, then at Nacogdoches. Charlotte Allen probably arrived in Texas in 1834, and her inheritance helped the brothers to speculate in land.

   In August 1836 the Allen brothers purchased a half league of land on Buffalo Bayou for $5,000. Four days later they advertised the establishment of a prosperous new city called Houston, which may have been so named at Charlotte's suggestion. In any event, the name apparently attracted settlement to the area and influenced the decision to make Houston the capital of the Republic of Texas, a role it held from 1837 to 1839. The Allen brothers built the first statehouse, near Charlotte and A. C. Allen's home at Prairie and Caroline streets. Sam Houston lived next door to the Allens, and from their home Mary Austin Holley drew the first sketches of the capitol. When John Allen died in 1838 Charlotte and Augustus disagreed over the estate settlement, and they separated in 1850. Augustus moved on to Mexico and Washington, D.C., where he died in 1864; Charlotte remained in Houston and became one of the city's best-known citizens over the next forty-five years. In 1857 she sold the capitol site, which had become the location of the Capitol Hotel, for $12,000. The following year the hotel was the scene of Anson Jones's suicide; the land eventually became the site of the Rice Hotel.

   After the Civil War Charlotte Allen's home became the headquarters for the commanding general of federal troops in Houston. She deeded property, eventually called Market Square, to the city for a city hall and markethouse; because the original deed was lost she deeded it a second time, in 1895. In 1890, the day after her eighty-fifth birthday, the Houston Daily Post referred to her as the "connecting link between Houston's past and present history." Charlotte Allen had four children, but only one, daughter Martha Elizabeth, survived to maturity. She died on August 3, 1895, in Houston, at the age of ninety and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery. Charlotte Baldwin Allen Elementary School was named in her honor in 1907; it was the first public school in Houston to be named for a woman. In 1911 her home was razed to provide a site for the Gulf Building. A Texas Historical Marker was erected in her honor in Glenwood Cemetery in 2009. Source

29° 45.890, -095° 23.231

Section E2
Glenwood Cemetery

April 7, 2017

William P. Massey

   William Massey (Massie) came to Texas in 1835 from parts unknown and enlisted in the Texas army on April 4, 1836. he was a member of Captain Amasa Turner's Company, and on April 21, fought with them at the Battle of San Jacinto. After the battle, Turner was promoted and leadership given to Captain John Smith. Massey was stationed on Galveston Island as part of Smith's Company as shown in the muster roll of December 31, 1836, and discharged on October 25, 1837. He received his first land grant for his military service in March 1838 for a third of a league in Harrisburg, now Harris, County, and his second certificate in October 1838 for 1,280 acres of land in Montgomery County. Massey sold off his headright in Montgomery County and settled in Houston where he lived until his death . He was initially buried in the city's Episcopal Cemetery, but when the cemetery was scheduled to be razed for neglect in the 1950s, he was reinterred in Glenwood.

29° 45.832, -095° 22.896

Section G1
Glenwood Cemetery

April 4, 2017

Shadrack Edmond "Shad" Graham

   Shadrack Edmond (Shad) Graham, filmmaker, was born in New York City on April 24, 1896, the son of Charles Edmond and Edith (Craske) Graham. His father and uncle (Robert E. Graham) were professional actors, and his mother was a well-known ballerina. Shad Graham began his association with the film industry as a child actor in The Great Train Robbery (1903), but his main interest through the years was in the technical phase of the new art form. He spent fifty years with major motion-picture companies in New York and Hollywood and later with his own company, Shad E. Graham Productions. His Our Home Town series, documentaries of small towns in many parts of the United States, especially in Texas, is of historical significance for the period following World War II.

   Graham moved after the war to Houston, where he continued making documentary films while serving as Texas representative for Twentieth Century Fox Movietone News. His Texas City Disaster 1947 won awards for that studio and focused international attention on disaster needs. Graham was a charter member of the Film Editors of New York City and Hollywood and a gold-card member of the Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. He was first married to Helen May in New York City on January 11, 1920; they had two children, and they were divorced in 1927. His second marriage was to Ruth Esther McLain of Houston on July 17, 1947, in New York City; they lived in Missouri City, Texas. Graham died on January 28, 1969, in Houston and was buried there. His documentary films were donated to the University of Texas at Austin, where the Shad E. Graham Memorial Student Film Fund and Memorial Film Library were established in 1969. Source

29° 43.340, -095° 18.226

Abbey Mausoleum
Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery