August 29, 2017

Claiborne West (1800-1866)

Claiborne West, political leader and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Tennessee about 1800. He moved to Louisiana and married Anna Garner in 1824. The Wests came to Texas seven years later. West represented the Liberty District at the Convention of 1832 and served as a member of that body's subcommittee for safety and vigilance for the district of Cow Bayou. In 1835 he served in the Consultation from the Liberty Municipality. Upon the formation of the General Council West was selected to represent the Jefferson Municipality. At the Convention of 1836 he signed the declaration of independence from Mexico. During the Runaway Scrape West returned to Southeast Texas, where he furnished provisions to soldiers prior to the battle of San Jacinto. He subsequently enlisted in a company under Benjamin Franklin Hardin and served from July 1 to October 7, 1836. He was elected by Jefferson County voters to the House of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1836-37. After serving as postmaster for the hamlet of Jefferson, West moved to Montgomery County, where 1840 tax rolls include six slaves, four horses, and fifty cattle among his possessions. His wife died on March 3, 1847; shortly thereafter, West married Mrs. Prudence Kimbell, widow of George C. Kimbell. By 1850 the Wests had moved to Guadalupe County, where his estate included $3,000 in real property and nine slaves. After his second wife's death in 1861, West was married for a third time, to Mrs. Florinda McCulloch Day. West was a Mason and the father of nine children by his first marriage. He died on September 10, 1866. Source

29° 33.595
-097° 57.715

Section 5
Riverside Cemetery

August 22, 2017

Robert Hugh "Pete" McClanahan (1906-1987)

Pete McClanahan was born in Coldspring, Texas on October 24, 1906. He began his baseball career in 1927, as pinch hitter for the Palestine Pals of the Lone Star League. In 1929, he was traded to the Shreveport Sports in the Texas League, then traded again in 1931 to the Fort Worth Panthers. He was given his major league shot on April 24, 1931, for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but after only seven games he was sent back down to the minors. In 1933, he played for the Henderson Oilers of the Dixie League before retiring for the sport entirely. McClanahan died at his home in Mont Belvieu on October 28, 1987 and buried in Coldspring.

30° 36.118
-095° 07.916

Oakwood Cemetery

August 15, 2017

Seth Lathrop Weld (1879-1958)

Seth Weld was born on February 19, 1879 in Washington County, Maryland, the sixth child of George and Emily Weld. The family moved to Altamont, North Carolina while he was young. He enlisted in 1899, lying about his age to get in the Army, and was assigned to 39th Company, Coast Artillery at Fort McHenry. Within three years, he had reached the rank of first sergeant. In late 1905, Weld transferred to the 8th Infantry, which was scheduled to move to the Philippine Islands to fight the Philippine-American War, also known as the Philippine Insurrection. He requested the transfer even though it meant moving back to the rank of private. Weld served in the Philippine Islands from April 1906 to April 1908, with the rank of corporal at the time of the 1906 incident that earned him the medal. On December 5, 1906, he saved the lives of a wounded officer and a fellow soldier who were surrounded by about forty Philippine insurgents. Although wounded himself, he used his disabled rifle as a club and beat the assailants back until the three were rescued. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this courageous action on October 20, 1908. The day after, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Philippine Scouts. He remained in the Army his entire life until physical disability forced his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in September 1933. A few months later, he  was advanced to the honorary rank of colonel. He settled in San Antonio, where he died at the age of 79 on December 20, 1958. Source

With his right arm cut open with a bolo, went to the assistance of a wounded constabulary officer and a fellow soldier who were surrounded by about 40 Pulajanes, and, using his disabled rifle as a club, beat back the assailants and rescued his party.

29° 28.511
-098° 25.972

Section AH
Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio

August 8, 2017

Samuel Thompson (1765-1843)

Samuel Thompson, physician, participant in the Revolutionary War, and alcalde of San Augustine Municipality, Texas, was born in 1765, the son of George Thompson of England. He was a resident of the Spartanburg District of South Carolina when he enlisted for service in the American Revolution in 1778 or 1779, at the age of thirteen or fourteen, under Capt. Joseph Wofford. He was an express carrier and wagoner and fought in the battle of Cowpens. Thompson married Precius Wofford after the war, and the couple owned three slaves. They sailed with other members of the Thompson family to Coahuila and Texas in 1826. Dr. Thompson is listed in Stephen F. Austin's register of families, and the first census of Texas enrolled him as a physician owning eighteen slaves. In 1834 and 1835 Thompson was alcalde in San Augustine. Thompson Academy was founded about 1839. The institution, about seven miles east of San Augustine, was donated by Thompson and named after him. He died in 1843 in San Augustine County and was buried on the original Thompson settlement. Source

31° 29.217
-094° 01.183

Chapel Hill Cemetery
Chapel Hill

August 1, 2017

Elisha Marshall Pease (1812-1883)

Elisha Marshall Pease, governor of Texas, son of Lorrain Thompson and Sarah (Marshall) Pease, was born on January 3, 1812, at Enfield, Connecticut. After study at Westfield Academy in Massachusetts he held several minor positions, including a clerkship in the post office at Hartford, Connecticut. In 1834 he sought new opportunity in the West. By early 1835 he had made his way to Texas, where he settled in the Municipality of Mina and continued the law studies he had begun in Connecticut. Almost immediately Pease became embroiled in the developing Texas Revolution. In the spring of 1835 he became secretary of a committee of safety at Mina. Though at first he hoped for conciliation with Mexico, Pease soon changed his position and fought in the battle of Gonzales, the first battle of the revolution, on October 2. He then served as secretary to the General Council of the Provisional Government and, as a member of that body, attended the convention that met at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March 1836. At that meeting he wrote part of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. He then served the ad interim government as chief clerk, successively, of the navy and treasury departments. During the early months of the republic Pease served as clerk to the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives and took a major part in writing the new nation's criminal code.

In the fall of 1836 he served as acting secretary of the treasury but declined President Sam Houston's offer of the postmaster generalship in order to return to Brazoria to continue his legal studies. After his admittance to the bar in April 1837 Pease became the republic's first comptroller of public accounts. He then took up the practice of law at Brazoria and soon became successful and respected in his profession. After annexation Pease represented Brazoria County in the first three legislatures and authored the Probate Code of 1846. In 1851 he made an unsuccessful run for the governorship. Two years later he won the office and was reelected in 1855. Pease was an outstanding governor. Among his important achievements was his pioneering effort to persuade the legislature to establish a system of public education and a state university. Though this effort proved largely premature, Pease's administration did establish the permanent school fund, and his vision laid the groundwork for future achievement. He also worked to encourage railroad construction in Texas, to put the state penitentiary on a self-supporting basis, and to establish reservations to civilize and educate the state's Indian population. In addition, he supervised the building campaign that led to the completion of the Governor's Mansion, the General Land Office building, the State Orphan's Home (now the Corsicana State Home), and a new Capitol. Perhaps his most significant accomplishment was the settlement of the public debt of the state, by which he made available funds for the establishment of a hospital for the mentally ill and schools for the deaf and blind, all of which he had recommended to the legislature.

Upon his retirement from office in 1857, the state was in excellent financial condition. In 1859 Pease aligned himself with the Unionist faction in Texas politics. He remained active in this movement into the early months of the Civil War, after which he quietly maintained his loyalty to the Union until the end of the conflict. In 1866 he lost a bid to become governor again in the first election of the Reconstruction era. Early in 1867 he helped organize the Republican party in Texas. Later that year Gen. Philip H. Sheridan removed Governor James W. Throckmorton from office and appointed Pease in his place. Pease's subsequent efforts to reorganize the state government and bring accountability to its actions were met by conflict within the Republican ranks and bitterness toward the chief executive by the former Confederate majority in the state. Pease resigned from the governorship in 1869 because of differences with Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds over Reconstruction policies that Pease considered radical and despotic. Throughout the remainder of his life Pease remained actively interested in political affairs in the state. He was president of the non-partisan Tax-payers' Convention of 1871, which opposed many of the measures of Governor Edmund J. Davis' administration. In 1872 he was chairman of the Texas delegation to the national Liberal Republican convention. In 1879 President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Pease to the collectorship of customs at Galveston. In the closing years of his life Pease practiced law in Austin, engaged in various business ventures, and lived a quiet life with his wife, the former Lucadia Christiana Niles, of Poquonock, Connecticut, whom he had married in 1850, and their two daughters. A third daughter had died in childhood. Pease died on August 26, 1883, after an attack of apoplexy and was buried in Austin. Source

30° 16.608
-097° 43.631

Section 4
Oakwood Cemetery