October 29, 2019

Francis Jarvis Cooke

   Francis Jarvis Cooke, Texas revolutionary fighter and merchant, was born on July 13, 1816, in Beaufort, Carteret County, North Carolina, the son of Henry M. and Frances Barry (Buxton) Cooke. Mrs. Cooke died in February 1833. Henry Cooke, a successful merchant, shipper, and collector of customs, remarried the following January and soon departed for Texas with his new wife, Naomi, and with Francis and his six brothers and four sisters. On the journey Henry grew ill and died, on March 4, 1835, in Randolph, Tennessee. Naomi returned to North Carolina, but all eleven children continued to Texas, where they arrived on April 3, 1835. They originally settled in Matagorda County and planted crops, but were forced by a flood to flee. In Montgomery County they settled in a log cabin by a creek, but were again flooded out; this time they lost all they owned. They moved to higher land, were helped by neighbors, and started over again.

   Francis and his brother Tom heard William B. Travis's plea for help from a courier and, with ten or twelve others from the area, joined Col. Albert C. Horton's company on its way to join James W. Fannin, Jr. The two brothers traveled to Victoria and there volunteered with seventeen others to transport a wagonload of lead and powder from Dimitt's Landing to the main army at Beeson's Ford. They were successful in this mission and fortunate to have volunteered for it, as most of the men who stayed at Victoria were killed. In the meantime, the rest of the Cooke family was fleeing in the Runaway Scrape; they eventually returned to their home after the war.

At Beeson's, Tom and Francis joined Capt. Robert J. Calder's company, in which Francis and his brother fought at the battle of San Jacinto. The night before the battle a friend in his company, Benjamin Brigham, asked someone to stand guard duty in his place, since he had been on duty the last two nights. Francis gave Brigham his bed for the night. Brigham was one of the first to be killed the next day in battle, and it is said that Mirabeau B. Lamar wrote his poem on the battle after viewing the body of Brigham and others. Francis Cooke continued to serve for a short time after the battle and served as one of Santa Anna's guards.

   After the war he received 320 acres of land for his service from March 17 to June 20, 1836, and later 640 acres of land for his part at San Jacinto. In 1842 he enlisted again in the army for three months in Col. Joseph L. Bennett's regiment to take part in the campaign against Adri├ín Woll, though he did not join the Mier expedition. He served in the Texas Rangers for six weeks in 1843.

   Cooke tried his skills as a merchant in both Houston and Brenham. While in Brenham, he fell ill and was nursed back to health by Mr. and Mrs. Hugh McIntyre, Sr. On December 28, 1845, he married their niece, Emily Stockton. He was involved as a partner in businesses in Brenham, Houston, Chappell Hill, and Hempstead before retiring to his farm near Hempstead. He and Emily had eleven children, one of whom grew up to be "Senator" Annie Cooke, an influential figure in Texas politics in the first half of the twentieth century. Cooke died on November 11, 1903, and was buried in Salem Cemetery, near Howth. He was a member of Holland Masonic Lodge No. 1 of Houston and of the Texas Veterans Association. Emily died on September 4, 1908. In 1936 the state had a Texas Centennial monument placed at their graves, probably under the influence of Annie Cooke.

COORDINATES
30° 10.145, -096° 05.565


Salem Cemetery
Howth

October 22, 2019

Edward Millican

   Elliott McNeil Millican, pioneer physician and legislator, the son of Nancy Jane (McNeil) and Robert Hemphill Millican, was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1808. In December 1821 he arrived in Texas as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists with his parents, eight brothers, and two sisters. He received title to a sitio of land adjoining his father's grant on March 31, 1831. He was appointed constable of Washington County in 1839 and was elected sheriff of Navasota County in 1841. When the Congress of the Republic of Texas formed Brazos County in 1843, Millican was appointed sheriff. In elections held in Brazos County in March 1839 he was elected to the office, which he held until 1844, when he was elected representative for Brazos County to the Ninth Congress of the republic (1844–45). When Austin was chosen to replace Washington-on-the-Brazos as capital, Millican signed a resolution protesting the move. He was elected representative from Brazos County to the First, Second, and Third Texas legislatures. He was elected senator from Brazos County to the Fifth and Sixth legislatures. He resigned from the Senate during the sixth session because of a widespread epidemic; as one of the few physicians resident in Brazos County, he thought he was needed there. He devoted himself to his medical practice until his death. Millican married Elizabeth Clampitt, a member of Austin's second colony and daughter of Susanah G. Clampitt, on June 14, 1827, at Fort Tenoxtitl├ín. They had four sons and three daughters. After Elizabeth's death Millican married Marcella Elizabeth Boyce Triplett, who had a young son by a previous marriage. The couple had four more sons. As members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Millican and his first wife donated 1½ acres of land for a church building; the Millican United Methodist Church still occupied this land in 1990. In 1859, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway extended its line to his community, Millican sold land to the railroad for its right-of-way; the tracks were still in use in 1990. Millican's home was known as the Log Cabin Inn and served as a popular hotel and restaurant. Millican died at his home in Millican during a cholera epidemic on October 13, 1860. Source

COORDINATES
30° 28.286, -096° 12.997


Weaver Cemetery
Millican

October 15, 2019

William Millican

   William Templeton Millican, pioneer, attorney, and public official, the son of Nancy Jane (McNeil) and Robert Hemphill Millican, was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in the 1780s. As a member of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists he arrived in Texas in December 1821, in company with other members of the Millican family. He received title to one sitio of land in what is now Brazos County on July 16, 1824. Horatio Chriesman had surveyed the land by October, but by September 1825 Millican had moved to land purchased from Henry Whitesides and Jack C. Davis and was in conflict with Henry and Boland Whitesides over his title. The census of March 1826 listed Millican as a farmer and stock raiser, aged between twenty-five and forty. His household included his wife, Libitha, two sons, two daughters, and one slave. In July 1826 his home was a polling place for the election of delegates to a provisional judiciary for the colony. He was elected as a delegate from the Washington district to the Consultation of 1835. In 1839 he was elected justice of the peace for Washington County. He was appointed agent for various Washington County residents in 1840, and in 1841 he was elected justice of the peace for Navasota County. Millican served in the Texas army during the Texas Revolution and was to receive a bounty warrant for 320 acres from the secretary of war for service from April 25, 1836, to July 25, 1836. He died in September 1843, however, and the Brazos County land was not patented to him until October 10, 1845. In a letter filed in the probate court of Brazos County, his brother, Dr. Elliott McNeil Millican, stated that their mother was William Millican's only heir-at-law, and she received title to his land. At his death, Millican was survived by his wife, three sons, and four daughters.

COORDINATES
30° 28.283, -096° 21.030


Weaver Cemetery
Millican

October 8, 2019

Joe Tex

   Soul singer Joseph Arrington, better known as Joe Tex, was born at Rogers, Texas, on August 8, 1935. He was the son of Joseph Arrington, Sr., and Cherie (Jackson) Arrington. He moved to Baytown at age five with his mother after her divorce from his father and attended school there. While in Baytown, Arrington performed song and dance routines to enhance his business as a shoeshine and paper boy. He also sang in the G. W. Carver school choir and the McGowen Temple church choir.

   During his junior year of high school Arrington entered a talent search at a Houston nightclub. He took first prize over such performers as Johnny Nash, Hubert Laws, and Acquilla Cartwright, an imitator of Ben E. King. He performed a skit called It's in the Book and won $300 and a week's stay at the Hotel Teresa in Harlem. There Arrington performed at the Apollo Theater. During a four-week period he won the Amateur Night competition four times. After graduating from high school in 1955, he returned to New York City to pursue a music career. While working odd jobs, including caretaking at a Jewish cemetery, he met talent scout Arthur Prysock who paved the way for him to meet record-company executive Henry Glover and get his first record contract with King Records.

   Arrington, now known as Joe Tex, introduced a style of music that has been copied by Isaac Hayes, Barry White, and others. In songs and ballads in particular, he slowed the tempo slightly and started "rapping," that is, speaking verse that told the story in the middle of the song before repeating the refrain and ending the song. The biggest hits of Joe Tex included Hold On To What You Got, Papa Was Too, Skinny Legs and All, and South Country, an album of country songs; his biggest seller was I Gotcha, which went platinum  in 1971.

   In 1972 Arrington gave up show business and began a three-year speaking ministry for the Nation of Islam which he joined in 1968. He became known as Yusef Hazziez or Minister Joseph X. Arrington. He said he was through with singing, and he would follow Allah and Elijah Muhammad. But after Muhammad's death in 1975, and with the approval and blessing of the Nation of Islam, Arrington returned to show business in order to deliver the Nation of Islam's message to his fans. He enjoyed moderate success with no hit singles until the 1977 smash hit I Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) put him back on the top of the charts. After that single he left the music scene and performed at local clubs and benefits. Arrington died on August 12, 1982, of heart failure at his home in Navasota. He was survived by his wife, Belilah, and six children.

COORDINATES
30° 21.799, -096° 02.395


Dennis Bryant Cemetery
Navasota

October 1, 2019

George H. W. Bush

   George Herbert Walker Bush, forty-first president of the United States, was born on June 12, 1924, in Milton, Massachusetts. He was the second of five children of Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy (Walker) Bush. George Bush was named for his maternal grandfather, George Herbert Walker, and he had two middle names because his parents couldn’t decide whether to name him George Herbert Bush or George Walker Bush. Bush grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he attended Greenwich Country Day School. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He played baseball and soccer and was president of his senior class.

   When the United States entered World War II following the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush was eager to enlist in the military. At the age of eighteen and just after graduation, he volunteered to join the United States Navy. He completed his preflight training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in June 1943 was commissioned an ensign and thus became one of the youngest aviators in the U. S. Navy. He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT 51) in the Pacific Theater and carried out missions as pilot of a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber off the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto. On August 1, 1944, he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade. On September 2, 1944, over the Pacific island of Chichi Jima, Bush’s airplane was struck by anti-aircraft gunfire and caught fire. According to Bush’s account, he ordered his two crewmates, William “Ted” White and John Delaney, to put on their parachutes and bail out. Bush did the same and landed in the ocean. He kicked off his shoes to reduce his weight and inflated his life jacket. Then he swam to an uninflated life raft, which he inflated and climbed aboard. He was rescued by the submarine USS Finback. Both his crewmates were killed. The episode deeply affected Bush, who said he always wondered why he was spared. He returned to the USS San Jacinto in November 1944 and, in total, flew fifty-eight combat missions. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation (awarded to USS San Jacinto). Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to a training wing for new torpedo pilots in Norfolk, Virginia.

   When Bush returned from the war, he married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York, on January 6, 1945. The two had met at a Christmas dance in 1941. After his discharge from military service, George Bush went to Yale University, where he played varsity baseball, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, joined the exclusive Skull and Bones society, and earned his degree in economics in 1948. After graduating from Yale, Bush decided not to follow his father into the investment banking business. He wanted to try something different. In 1948 George, Barbara, and their young son George Walker moved to Odessa, Texas, where he began his oil and gas career as a clerk with IDECO (International Derrick and Equipment Company, a subsidiary of Dresser Industries), for a $375 per month salary. Bush worked his way up in the business.

   In 1950 the Bush family moved to Midland and grew to include John Ellis (Jeb) Bush, Neil Mallon Bush, Marvin Pierce Bush, and Dorothy Walker Bush. Another daughter, Pauline Robinson (Robin) Bush, died at the age of three of leukemia in 1953. With partner John Overbey, George H. W. Bush founded an oil exploration company, Bush-Overbey Oil Development, Inc., that later merged with another enterprise to form Zapata Petroleum in 1953 and Zapata Offshore Company in 1954. In 1959 the family moved to Houston, where Bush continued his oil and gas career. He eventually resigned as chief executive officer of Zapata in 1966.

   Inspired by his father, who by this time was a Republican U.S. senator from Connecticut, Bush wanted to go into politics himself. He began his political career when he was elected Harris County Republican Party chairman. In 1964 he ran for the United States Senate but lost to incumbent Texas senator Ralph Yarborough. Two years later, Bush was elected to the first of two terms as U.S. representative from West Houston. In 1970 President Richard M. Nixon persuaded Bush to try again for the Senate against Yarborough. Bush decided to run, but the more conservative Lloyd Bentsen upset Yarborough in the Democratic primary and defeated Bush in the general election.

   Nixon nominated Bush for U. S. ambassador to the United Nations, and he was confirmed in 1971. This was the first of several appointed positions that Bush would hold over the next few years. Nixon in 1973 named him Republican National Committee chairman, and Bush defended Nixon during the Watergate crisis. When it was disclosed that Nixon did in fact know about the Watergate cover-up, Bush wrote Nixon on August 7, 1974, urging him to resign. Nixon announced the next day his intention to do.

   Upon succeeding Nixon as president, Gerald Ford asked Bush at which foreign post he wanted to serve. Bush chose China and served as head of the U.S. Liaison Office there. In 1976 Ford appointed Bush director of the Central Intelligence Agency. When Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976, Bush offered to remain as director but left the office in 1977 when Carter named his own appointee. Bush returned to Houston.

   George H. W. Bush sought the 1980 Republican presidential nomination but lost to former California governor Ronald Reagan, who asked Bush to be his vice-presidential running mate. Bush accepted, and the Reagan-Bush ticket won the general election and handily won reelection in 1984. As vice president, Bush oversaw a number of task forces to address the reduction of federal regulations and to assess drug policies, and he traveled the world as a representative foreign dignitary.

   In 1988 Vice President George Bush was eager to succeed Reagan, who left under term limits. The odds against Bush were long, as no sitting vice president had been directly elected to the presidency since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Bush won the Republican nomination, and in November he defeated the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, to win the presidency.

   Some historians have suggested that Bush’s presidency, from 1989 to 1993, focused on foreign policy. The Cold War, which had divided the United States and its allies against the Soviet Union and its allies, had been going on since the end of World War II. Bush worked closely with other Western leaders to manage the process as the Soviet Union and its allies were collapsing politically. Of particular interest was the reunification of Germany, which had been divided since the end of World War II. He believed that bringing East Germany and West Germany together would mark the true end of World War II. “German reunification had a very personal meaning to me,” Bush said. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989.

   In late 1989 Bush authorized the U. S. Army to spearhead Operation Just Cause, in which troops were sent to Panama to apprehend its dictator Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega on narcotics trafficking charges. This marked the largest U. S. combat operation since the Vietnam War.

   In 1990 the Iraqi army, on the orders of dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait, a small, neighboring nation to the southeast. Hussein’s intention was to turn Iraq, and by extension himself, into a more significant player on the regional and world stage because Iraq under Hussein would control 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Bush assembled a coalition of nations to send their military forces to the Middle East. Operation Desert Storm, launched in January 1991, successfully drove the Iraqi army out of Kuwait.

   He also signed with the Soviet Union the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to reduce nuclear arsenals in 1991, and he negotiated a second treaty with Russia in 1992 and signed it in early 1993. While his actions in the arena of foreign policy generally won praise, his cautious response to the killing of pro-democracy student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, in the spring of 1989 drew some criticism in that he did not push for severe sanctions against the Communist regime.

   Despite his triumphs on the world stage and the passage of the civil rights legislation Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Bush faced increased instability and critical scrutiny on the domestic front. The U.S. economy was in recession, and his political opponents were quick to seize the opportunity. They accused him of being out of touch and projecting a “patrician image.” A Bush gaffe helped. In his 1988 nomination acceptance speech, Bush vowed, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Dukakis recalled in the post-election courtesy meeting, Bush said there was no way that he (Bush) could raise taxes in the first year. Dukakis said he realized then that the “read my lips” promise was only a temporary one. Bush wanted to reduce the federal budget deficit. The 1990 budget deal Bush brokered with Congress did that through both spending cuts and a tax increase. But his critics were upset that he broke his word and raised taxes.

   During the Republican primary race for the 1992 presidential nomination, the politically-moderate Bush faced a strong primary opponent in conservative Patrick Buchanan. After winning his party’s nomination for a second term, Bush found himself in a three-way race with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, the Democratic nominee, and Dallas businessman Ross Perot, who was running as an independent. Clinton won the race - the first Democrat to be elected president since Carter in 1976.

   In 1993 Bush left the White House; he retired to Houston and also spent time at the family home at Kennebunkport, Maine. He was disappointed over his loss, but his setback set the stage for his sons to serve in public office. Son George W. Bush in 1994 was elected Texas governor, defeating incumbent governor Ann Richards. George W. Bush was reelected in 1998 and in 2000 defeated Vice President Al Gore to become the forty-third president of the United States. George H. W. and George W. Bush became the first father and son to serve as president since John and John Quincy Adams in the nineteenth century. Bush became known, informally, as “Bush 41,” while his son was known as “Bush 43.” The elder Adams died while his son was in office. George H.W. Bush lived through all eight years of his son’s presidency. Bush’s second son, Jeb, served two terms as Florida governor, from 1999 to 2007, and unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

   In retirement George H. W. Bush enjoyed golfing and speedboating and famously made parachute jumps to celebrate his seventy-fifth, eightieth, eighty-fifth, and ninetieth birthdays. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened on the campus of Texas A&M University in 1997. He authored (or co-authored) several books, including A World Transformed (1998), All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings (1999), and The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President (2008). He partnered with former president Bill Clinton to raise money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina victims on the Gulf Coast and also participated in other disaster relief efforts.

   Bush received numerous honors from countries throughout the world. Houston’s Intercontinental Airport was renamed George Bush Intercontinental Airport in 1997. The headquarters for the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, was officially named for him in 1999. A new Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush, was commissioned by the U. S. Navy on January 10, 2009. President George H. W. Bush received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony on February 15, 2011.

   When Robin Bush died in 1953, George and Barbara Bush buried her in a family plot in Greenwich, Connecticut. After attending former President Nixon’s funeral in 1994, George and Barbara decided that they should be buried at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. They created a small family cemetery on the library grounds and had Robin’s remains relocated there in May 2000. Barbara Bush died April 17, 2018. George H.W. Bush died at his home in Houston on November 30, 2018. After a state funeral at Washington National Cathedral on December 5, he was transported to College Station and, in a private ceremony, buried in the family cemetery on the library grounds on December 6, 2018. Source

COORDINATES
30° 35.874, -096° 21.030


George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
College Station