Union Soldiers Buried In Matagorda County, Texas

Union Soldiers Buried in Matagorda County, Texas

Please email if you know of another soldier that should be on this list.

For more on these men visit Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Graves Registration Database

Marker dedications for Pvt. Samuel V. Jewel and Pvt. Thomas E. Morris



Cemetery Abbreviations

CV - Cedarvale
CP - Collegeport
HW - Hawley
MP - Matagorda Peninsula
PA - Palacios

SF - St. Francis

Biographies researched and written by Kenneth L. Thames Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438 Historian.
Marker photos also courtesy of Ken Thames.

Name Birth Death Cem State Rank



Anderson, George Washington

11 Jun 1845 03 Sep 1931 HW IN Cpl

6th Regt IN Inf


Beck, Hiram

15 Dec 1830 29 Jun 1924 PA IL Sgt

104th Regt IL Inf


Bonnett, Benjamin Lewis

30 Nov 1838 11 Feb 1932 CP OH Pvt

43rd Regt OH Inf


Carr, Theron Francis

25 Apr 1842 01 Jan 1929 CV MN Pvt

MN Cavalry


Cool, George E. aka Cole, George E.

03 Mar 1844 26 Jun 1918 PA NY Pvt

34th Regt NY Inf


Crawford, John J.

Feb 1839 23 Feb 1908 PA KY Pvt

49th Regt KY Inf


Crowder, Aaron

27 Jan 1843 13 Dec 1922 HW NY Pvt

151st Regt NY Inf


Fox, Ralph Osborne

07 Feb 1829 30 Oct 1912 PA WI Pvt

48th Regt WI Inf


Frisbie, Henry

19 Dec 1840 26 Aug 1916 PA MO Pvt

35th Regt MO Inf


Helmer, George H.

27 Apr 1843 27 Mar 1929 PA NY   13th Regt NY Cav
3rd Regt NY Cav

Hensel, Frederick C.

16 Dec 1846 28 Jan 1932 PA OH Pvt

188th Regt OH Inf


Herreth, Francis, Jr.

08 Sep 1842 20 Mar 1920 SF WI  

7th Regt WI Inf


Jewel, Samuel V.

05 Feb 1841 20 May 1914 PA IN/OH Pvt

55th IN Inf/4th OH Cav


Large, Isaac E.

09 Nov 1830 20 Nov 1916 CV IA Fife Maj

21st IA Vol Inf


McClanahan, Charles Henry

29 Jul 1843 16 Apr 1925 PA IL Pvt

68th Regt IL Inf


Melbourn, Samuel C.

24 May 1842 31 May 1920 HW NY  

3rd Regt NJ Inf


Miller, James William Huntington

11 Oct 1849 02 Nov 1921 CV NY Drum    

Morris, Thomas E.

09 Feb 1847 16 Jun 1935 PA IN Pvt

151st Regt IN Inf


Myers, Charles C.

c1842 29 Dec 1863 MP OH Mus

16th Regt OH Inf


Nichols, Schuyler B.

05 Feb 1846 16 Sep 1925 PA NY Pvt

1st Regt NY Cav


Shuey, Samuel P.

20 Jul 1844 05 Nov 1922 PA KS Pvt

9th KS Cav - Co


Sisson, Henry H.

[12] Jan 1846 25 Dec 1915 PA IL Pvt

124th Regt IL Inf & 33 Regt IL Inf


Spencer, Joseph W.

28 Apr 1846 08 Apr 1932 PA OH Pvt

42nd Regt OH Inf


Viniard, John

25 Mar 1813 17 Sep 1917 PA TN  

2nd Regt TN Vols


Williamson, William

21 May 1835 25 Sep 1912 PA OH Pvt 167th Regt OH Inf G

York, Silas Wilson

31 Dec 1843   PA        


Obituaries of Union Soldiers Buried in Matagorda County, Texas


George Washington Anderson was born to Daniel* and Margaret Myers Anderson on June 11, 1845 at Bartholomew County, Indiana.  His known siblings were:  William H.H., Eldridge H., Mary Ann, John Burke III, Wyatt N., America J., Liza Ellen, Daniel E., Caroline, Albert R. and Leman.

With the beginning of the Civil War George, who was living at Elizabethtown**, Bartholomew County, Indiana, joined Company G, 6th Indiana Infantry Regiment on September 20, 1861 as a Corporal.  He was mustered out of service as a Corporal on September 22, 1864 at Chattanooga, TN. According to his obituary he and four of his brothers enlisted with the 6th Indiana Infantry Regiment and served until the end of the war.

The 6th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry (3 years) was re-enlisted for three year service from the original 6th Indiana (3 months) at Madison, IN, on September 20, 1861, by Col. Thomas T. Crittenden. The 6th Indiana Infantry Regiment was the first volunteer regiment mustered into Federal service from IN during the Civil War. Major battles the regiment participated in included:  Battle of Shiloh, TN; Advance on and Siege of Corinth, MS; Battle of Stones River, TN; Battle of Chickamauga, GA; Siege at Chattanooga, TN and Chattanooga – Ringgold Campaign; Orchard Knob, TN; Missionary Ridge, TN; Atlanta Campaign, GA; Battle of Resaca, GA; Adairsville, GA; Pickett’s Mills, GA and Peach Tree Creek, GA to name a few.   The regiment mustered out of service on September 22, 1864 at Chattanooga, TN; it had suffered 9 officers and 116 enlisted men killed in battle or died of wounds, and a further 2 officers and 140 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 267 fatalities.

After the war he returned to Sandcreek Township, Batholomew County, IN where he was engaged in working as a carpenter, and on February 21, 1869, he married Miss Julia Almiria Carley who also was born in Indiana. Over the years George and Julia raised four children***:  Ora P. (1869), Morita A. (1872), Frederick C. “Fred” (1875) and Jesse B. (1877).

The family remained in Indiana until 1890, when they moved to Kansas where they remained until 1910.  From Kansas they moved to Dunbar, Matagorda County, Texas, a farming community just west of the Tres Palacios River and a mile north of the Farm Road 521 bridge, and six miles northeast of Palacios where he took up farming. Besides farming, Dunbar also shipped peaches and cattle. In 1926 the family moved to Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.

Julia died on November 9, 1928 at Palacios and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.  On September 3, 1931 George died at Palacios and was buried at Hawley Cemetery, Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas.

*George’s death certificate gives his father’s name as William.

**Elizabeth Town was a town inside of Sandcreek Township.

***George’s obituary gives three children – one may have died young.

George W. Anderson


George W. Anderson, who passed away at his home in Palacios Thursday evening, Sept. 3, was born at Elizabethtown, Ind., on June 11, 1845.

At the beginning of the Civil War, he, with four of his brothers, enlisted with the Sixth Indiana Regiment and served throughout the war. After the war he was married to Miss Julia Carley and to this union were born three children. Mrs. Anderson died at their home here, Nov. 9, 1928.

Mr. Anderson, with his family, lived in Indiana until 1890, when they moved to Kansas. Twenty years later he moved to Texas and settled on a farm near Dunbar. Five years ago he moved to Palacios, where he spent his last days.

While a young man, Mr. Anderson obeyed the Christ and worshipped with the Christian Church at West Port, Ind., and throughout his life he has been an ardent and devoted servant of his Master.

He is survived by one sister, who lives in Indiana, a son, Fred Anderson and a daughter, Mrs. S. B. Lee, both of Palacios, besides a multitude of friends, who will miss him as he took his long walk every day or sat and talked with some of his associates.

Burial was made in the Hawley cemetery east of Blessing on Friday afternoon, with services conducted by Rev. C. F. Conner.

Mr. Anderson was well passed the four score milestone of an earthly career and had lived a life of habits and deeds that leaves an influence not soon forgotten.

The Palacios Beacon, September 10, 1931



Hiram Beck was most likely the first child born to Jesse S. and Eliza Elder Beck.  He was born December 15, 1830 at (Spring?), Centre County, Pennsylvania. In the 1850 Federal census for Centre County, Jesse and Eliza are living with six of their children:  William, Henry, Mary, Malvina, Harietta and Martha.

Hiram and Hannah Ellen Jackson, who was born in Indiana on August 26, 1839, were married in Iowa on April 8, 1858.  Of this union, from 1859 until 1880 they reared 11 children:  Clarence, Laura, Lida, Arminda, Minnie, Effie May, May, Mary, Dan, Daisy Belle and Jessie.

The family, with baby Clarence, had moved to Medota, LaSalle County, Il c.1859.  With the outbreak of the Civil War Hiram enlisted in the Union Army.  He was mustered in as a Private with Company C, Illinois 104th Infantry Regiment on August 27, 1862.  He was discharged as a Sergeant on June 6, 1865 at Washington, D.C.

The 104th Illinois Infantry Regiment was organized at Ottawa, Il in August 1862, and was composed almost entirely of LaSalle County men.  On December 6, 1862, in their first battle, the 104th was completely surrounded by Confederate troops after other supporting units fell back, and they were taken prisoner of war.  The regiment was paroled in April 1863 at which time they rejoined the army of the Ohio.  After rejoining the Army of the Ohio the regiment was engaged in numerous battles, including:  Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain/Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga), Atlanta Campaign [Buzzard’s Roost Gap, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, Jonesborough] and the infamous March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia. 

On November 15, 1864, after looting and burning Atlanta, Sherman’s Army of 70,000 men organized into four corps started across Georgia. Farms were looted for food, houses and farms burned, and railroads were torn up and destroyed.  Sherman’s March to the Sea was the first example of “modern war” taking the war to the supporting population and destroying the will of the population to resist.

On May 19, 1865 the regiment participated in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C., and was mustered out on June 6th. On June 8th they left Washington for Chicago, arriving there on the 10th.  The men were paid, and then returned to their homes.

After the war the growing family returned to Iowa where they lived until 1880.  From Iowa they moved west to Nebraska, then turned south to Kansas where they made their home until 1910.

Hiram and Hannah, now in their 80’s, along with their widowed daughter Minnie Franz moved next to Palacios, Texas according to the 1920 Federal census. It is unknown why they made the move from Kansas to Texas at their great age.

Hiram died on June 30, 1924 at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas and was buried in the Palacios Cemetery.  Hannah died on November 28, 1925 at Palacios and was buried next to Hiram. Their youngest daughter Jessie (Jess) died on January 10, 1957 at Holdenville, OK and was brought to Texas to be buried beside her parents.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Beck.




Lewis  Benjamin Bonnett was born to Simon L. and Marinda Boggs Bonnett on November 30, 1839 at Coshocton County, Ohio.  His known siblings were:  Mary E., Rebecca A., Henry W., and Thomas O. The family is in the town of Perry, Coshocton Co., Ohio in the 1850 census.

On February 27, 1860 he married Jane Horn at Knox County, Ohio.  Jane was a native of Knox County, and would be his wartime bride.  Two children are known to be born of this union:  Luella A., and Elmer Elsworth.

Lewis enlisted as a Private in Company K, 43rd Ohio Infantry Regiment on January 13, 1862 at the age of 22.  He was mustered out of the regiment on January 15, 1865.

The 43rd Ohio Infantry was organized in Mount Vernon, Ohio September 28, 1861 through February 1, 1862 and was mustered in for three years Federal service.  The regiment was involved in many battles and skirmishes throughout the Civil War, to name a few:  Battle of Island No. 10, MO/KY; Siege and Battle of Corinth, MS; Battle of Iuka, MS; Atlanta, GA Campaign [Siege & Battle]; Battle of Resaca, GA; Battle of Dallas, GA; Battle of New Hope Church, GA; Battle of Allatoona Pass, GA; Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, GA; Battle of Jonesboro, GA; Battle of Lovejoy’s Station, GA; the infamous Sherman’s March to the Sea; The Carolinas Campaign and the Battle of Bentonville, NC and participated in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C. on May 24, 1865.  The regiment mustered out of service at Louisville, KY on July 13, 1865.

The regiment lost during service 4 officers and 61 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 2 officers and 189 enlisted men by disease, for a total of 256 men lost.

After the war Lewis took up farming and stock raising; he and the family moved to Felix, Grundy County, Iowa, where they lived for a short while before moving to Lincoln, Adams County. Ohio.

It was while they were living at Lincoln Jane died on October 23, 1892.  She was buried at Oakland Cemetery, Corning, Adams County, IA.  She was fifty years of age.

Around 1894 Lewis married Crista _______ who was born in Ohio on September 7, 1847.  This marriage lasted until sometime around 1900 – 1910 and apparently ended in divorce.  Crista Bonnett died on February 14, 1919 and was buried at Lincoln Center Cemetery, Lincoln Center, Adams County, IA.  Her monument gives:  Wife of B. L. Bonnett.

In the 1910 Federal census Luella and her husband Joseph Krauth were living at Victoria, Cass County, IA with their two sons Clarence R. and Ollie B.;  now 70 years old Lewis was living with them.  Lewis states he is a widower.

Shortly after the 1910 census had been taken Lewis moved to Matagorda County, Texas; he is now 70+ years old and was living in Markham, where on November 11, 1912** he married Mrs. Nannie K. [Mannie K/C] Brown, a widow who was also living at Markham with her daughter Flora. Nannie is 59 years old.

Shortly after their marriage they move to Wharton County, then back to Markham, where Lewis died on February 11, 1932 at the age of 92***.  The funeral was held at their home in Markham, and he was buried at the Collegeport Cemetery, Collegeport, Matagorda County, Texas.

After his death Nannie moved to Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas.  She died on April 6, 1938 and was buried beside Lewis at the Collegeport Cemetery.

*Throughout all the records that were found on Mr. Bonnett his first and middle names were continuously switched.  In the 1850 census, where he is living in his parent’s household his name was given as Lewis B. Bonnet.  His last name also was spelled either Bonnett or Bonnet.

**Obituary gives November 12, 1912.

***Death Certificate gives age of 93.

Lewis Bonnett


Mr. Lewis Bonnett, age 92 years, 2 months and 11 days, died Thursday and was buried in Collegeport at 4 p.m. the same day.


The religious services were conducted by the Christian Science Society. The funeral was under the direction of Walker Furniture Company.

The Matagorda County Tribune, Friday, February 12, 1932


Lewis Bonnett


Funeral services for B. L. Bonnett Civil War veteran and long-time citizen of Matagorda County, were held at his home in Markham, February 12 at 2 p.m. Mrs. Williams, prominent member of the Christian Science Church of Bay City officiated at the funeral, and interment was made in the cemetery in Collegeport, Texas.


Mr. Bonnett was born in the state of Ohio, Nov. 30, 1838. Growing to manhood in that State, he enlisted in the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and remained in the service until he was discharged at the close of the conflict. He then settled in Iowa, where he spent a number of years as a successful farmer and stock raiser of that state. For a number of years he has been living in Texas.


Mr. Bonnett was thrice married. His first wife, who was married to him before the Civil War, is buried in Ohio, and his second wife is buried in Iowa. After coming to Texas, he married on November 12, 1912, Mrs. Nannie K. Brown who now survives him. He is also survived by two grandchildren in Iowa and a niece and nephew in Ohio.


Although Mr. Bonnett was not a member of any church, he was the son of a Methodist minister and in his later years has been greatly devoted to the Christian Science Church to which Mrs. Bonnett  belongs. Relatives and friends feel keenly the departure of one who has attained the distinction of having lived so many happy years. Surely his noble example of longevity can only lead everyone who knew him to a better understanding of that scripture which says, "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness."


 The Daily Tribune, Wednesday, February 24, 1932


Mrs. B. L. Bonnett - Nannie K. Brown Bonnett

Mrs. B. L. Bonnett, age, 85 years, passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. George Hill in Richmond , Texas , yesterday at 12:30 p.m.   Mrs. Bonnett had made her home there for the past 9 months. She formerly lived at Markham , Texas.

Mrs. Bonnett is survived by two daughters, Mrs. George Hill of Richmond, and Mrs. Kimball Roberts of Snyder , Texas , 5 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Funeral services were held from the Walker-Matchett Funeral Home this afternoon at 2:30 with the Christian Science service being read. Interment in Collegeport Cemetery .

The Matagorda County Tribune, April 7, 1938


Theron Francis Carr was born to James D. and Jane C. Truesdale Carr on April 25, 1842 at Cedarville, Herkimer County, New York.  The family moved from Cedarville to Marcellon, Columbia County, Wisconsin by 1850; by 1860 they were living in Cannon City, Rice County, Minnesota.

On July 6, 1861 he married Harriett Emaline Kirkpatrick, in Pine Island, Goodhue County, MN. Harriet was born in Van Buren County, Iowa. Their first child, Celia Delphinia was born June 12, 1863 in Paynesville, Sterns County, MN. She died on August 14, 1864.

With the Civil War raging, Theron joined Company G, 2nd Regiment, Minnesota Cavalry as a Sergeant on November 12, 1863 at Cannon City, Rice County, MN and was discharged as a Sergeant on December 29, 1865.

The 2nd Minnesota Cavalry was organized during the fall and winter of 1863 and was mustered in during January 1864.

The unit was never involved with the fighting going on between the North and the South. Rather, when they were not involved in garrison duty they were totally involved with fighting the Sioux Indians who were marauding in the area. On July 29, 1864 they engaged approximately 5,000 Indians in the Battle of Tahkahokuty Mountain (Killdeer Mountain).  They engaged in battle again on August 8, 1864 at Mauvaise Terre, Dakota Territory; on November 8, 1864 at Rosemount, MN and on May 7, 1865 at Blue Earth River (in southern MN).  All of these battles were with the Sioux Indians.

After his discharge from the Army Theron and Harriet returned to Iowa where their second child, Thomas James (M) was born on December 15, 1865. The little family moved frequently over the years, and grew as they went along.  Willie Byron (M), 1867, at Butler County, Iowa; Ella Jane (F), August 26, 1869, at Sauk Center, Sterns Co., MN; Herbert Pearl “Bertie” (M), 1872, at Boone Co., AR; Charles Milligan “Charlie” (M), October 7, 1874, at Montgomery Co., MO;  Joseph Francis “Frank” (M), December 9, 1876, in MO; Sidney Lee (M), January 16, 1881, in MO and Effie Mae (F), November 26, 1885 in MO.

In the 1900 Federal census Theron, Harriet, Charles, Sidney, Effie and Frank were living in Wharton County, TX and in the 1910 Federal census we find Theron, Harriet, Sidney Lee and Effie had moved to Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, CA.

By 1916 Theron, Harriet, Effie and Sidney Lee with his wife Lela had returned to Texas and settled in Bay City. Sidney Lee and Lela’s first child, Francis Ray, was born February 12, 1917.

Harriet Emaline died on October 27, 1927 and was buried at Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas.  Theron died on   January 1, 1929 and was buried next to Harriet at Cedarvale.

Note:  Sidney Lee’s second son was Lee Kirk Carr who married Lilly Richers Lawhon on March 31, 1951. Lee died on August 14, 1984.

Note:  Bert (Herbert Pearl “Bertie”) Carr was Matagorda County Sheriff from 1914 – 1920.  He died in 1968.

Note:  Frank (Joseph Francis) Carr was Matagorda County Sheriff in 1921, and served two terms. He became City Marshall in 1928, and served until his death in 1949.

Note:  James Kirkpatrick “Jimmy” Carr was the son of Frank and Ida Carr and married Ethel Darby.  Their daughter Barbara Ann married Vim X. Rye.  Vim and Barbara had two daughters, Vicki Kay and Debbi Ann. Vicki Kay married Wayne Head on April 5, 1975.

Read the Indian War Diary of Theron Carr                     In Memory of "Grandmother" Carr


In Memory of Theron F. Carr, Sr.

Who Died January 1st, 1929


“So let him sleep that dreamless sleep,

  Our sorrows clustering round his head;

  Be comforted, ye loved, who weep,

  He lives with God; he is not dead.”


Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Once again death hath summoned a brother Oddfellow, and the golden gateway to the eternal city hath opened to welcome him to his home.

 He has completed his work in the ministering to the wants of the afflicted, in shedding light unto darkened souls, and in bringing joy unto the places of misery, and as his reward has received the plaudit “Well Done”, from the Supreme Master.


AND – Whereas, he having been a true and faithful Brother of our order, therefore be it resolved that Bay City Lodge No. 81, I.O.O.F. of Texas, in testimony of our loss, tenders to the family of the deceased Brother our sincere condolence in this deep affliction.  That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family, the daily paper, and Texas Oddfellow, and placed on minutes of this lodge.


                        R. C. Williams, Carl Thompson, A. A. Fryou  Committee


The Matagorda County Tribune, January 19, 1929                                        [Cedarvale Cemetery, Bay City, Texas]


Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Mrs. T. F. Carr Sr.

Just as we were closing the forms this afternoon the office was notified of the death of Mrs. T. F. Carr Sr., which occurred at her home shortly after 1 o’clock.

In a later issue a full account of the life of this beloved Christian woman will be given in these columns.

Matagorda County Tribune, October 28, 1927

Mrs. Carr Laid to Rest

A great throng of sorrowing friends formed the funeral procession which accompanied the remains of Mrs. T. F. Carr Sr. to Cedarvale this afternoon.

It was one of the most universally attended funerals ever held in the city.

Tomorrow’s paper will contain an especially prepared article concerning the life and death of this good woman.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 4, 1927

Resolutions of Sympathy

To the Officers and Members of Bay City and Matagorda Reviews:

We, your committee appointed to draft resolutions of sympathy for our sisters, Mrs. Frank and Mrs. Bert Carr, beg to submit the following:

Whereas, it has pleased our Heavenly Father to remove from her earthly home, Mrs. T. F. Carr Sr., mother-in-law of our sisters;

Be it therefore, resolved, that we extend our heartfelt sympathy to our sisters in their grief and commend them to the care of our Heavenly Father;

Be it further resolved, that a copy of these resolutions to be sent to the family of our sisters, a copy to be spread on the minutes of our Reviews and a copy be sent the local paper.

Respectfully submitted,

Committee—Addie Baxter, Alma Sisk, Dora Schwebel, Maggie E. Harrison.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 4, 1927

Card of Thanks

To Our Many Friends in Bay City and Vicinity:

We can not find words to express our heartfelt thanks for the kindly assistance during her last illness and the many words of sympathy and the beautiful flowers after the death of our wife and mother.



Matagorda County Tribune, November 4, 1927

In Memory of “Grandmother” Carr

Away back yonder in bonny Scotland, there came into being a family of people to be known to the world as “the Kirkpatricks” of Scotland. After many generations had made the family into a dignified and very religious tribe, a part of it decided to come to America, and become a part of the liberty loving, free and easy citizenry of this land. And so as the years passed into history. Among the younger members of this family who had settled to make a home and fortune in Georgia was the father of Harriett Emeline Kirkpatrick Carr, in whose memory this tribute is written. This little blue-eyed girl came into the home, a welcome guest, and while she was yet a small child, the father and mother moved on to find for themselves a home, into which they might plan and find expression of their ideals of life. They were a very religious family, the father being a preacher of the Methodist faith, and a presiding elder in that church. So we see where the little Harriett received her strict training in church life.

She grew into young lady-hood under these environments—religion, romance and chivalry. In the year 1854, her father moved again to Minnesota, and ‘twas there that the real romance of her life began, when she met Theron F. Carr. Theirs was a real friendship from the very beginning, and has lasted through the years till last Thursday when the “tomorrow” of her life was changed into the “today” of her eternity.

“Grandmother Carr” was born in July, 1842, and lived to be more than 85 years old. She, with her husband, lived through many story [stormy] days, but there were also the days that fragrant with the “roses that bloomed beside life’s door.”

In her young lady-hood, she attended Hamlin University of Minnesota, and ‘twas there that she and Mr. Carr studied music together, as it were, getting the harmony of life tuned just together. ‘Twas there that the rough places, and the discords, were worked over to make the melody of their paths smooth and easy. Later, they studied in what was known as “the select school” of Minnesota, studying organ music, and in July of 1861 they were married in Pine Island, Minn. Of those who attended their wedding, Mr. Carr is the only one left among the living.

After they were married they followed the example of their parents, and moved into a new part of the world to start their lives together. They selected for their homestead tht lovely lake country, and picturesque. Soon their wedded bliss was disturbed by the rumors of Indian wars, and just as they were about to gather their first crops, she was left in the little home nest to care for it, while her gallant young husband went out to trail Indians. Their little log cabin became the refuge of many who came to them for shelter, while the men of the families joined in the Indian war. During these days of hardships, Mrs. Carr would spend her time molding bullets for the Indian chasers. They lostg their all in the war by the burning torch of Indians, and after it was over, they moved to Missouri, and still later to Louisiana. The last years of their lives have been spent in Texas and California, back and forth they have been, to be with their children. All of their six sons and one daughter are left to testify to the nobleness of the character of the mother who has just left them. All of her life was Grandmother Carr a devout Christian character. She lived during the days when sometimes it was hard  to see that the hand of God was guiding her destiny, but through it all, she never wavered, but held fast to the truth of her Bible, which was the strength of her being. The last few years have been hard for her, physically, but she smiled through the tears of suffering, looking forward to the “land that is fairer than day.”

Mrs. Carr has been a long and faithful member of the Methodist Church, and was a member also of the Order of the Easter Star. The few weeks just past had left her in a very weakened condition, and her suffering made them around her unhappy, but her only words would be that she was tired, and wanted to be at rest. The “rest” came to her quietly, and she just went to sleep in her home here, to awaken in the “home prepared for her, eternal in the heavens.” She left the one who had travelled through this life with her, very sad and desolate, comfortless. But his mind is so fixes on the other “home,” that the pain of parting is not very real. He is near the homeland himself, and at best, the separation is not for long, and in his child-life faith, he seems almost to hold communion with “Harriett” as of old. They had spent sixty-six years in married life, and their thoughts had become almost one.

The home is sad, is all but broken up, but the sons and daughter realize that their mother was ready and anxious to “go” and their sadness is not a grief, but just a hurting in the heart, and a longing to be with “Mother.” We would offer our sympathy to them, understanding the emptiness of it, for only they who have “passed under the rod” can know what the vacant chair by the fireside can mean. They long for the touch of the old withered hand, all in vain. We, too, loved “Grandmother Carr,” and can only say to the ones left lonely, “We shall meet on that beautiful shore.”

Just one of God’s children gone home!

Matagorda County Tribune, November 11, 1927

Photos courtesy of Jim Wright.


George Erwin Cool was born to John and Sarah (Sally) Drum* Cool on March 3, 1844 at Stratford, Fulton County, New York.  He had five siblings:  William, Sarah, John, Henry and Mary.

He enlisted as a Private in Company K, 34th Regiment, New York Infantry on October 19, 1861 at Salisbury, Herkimer County, New York. He was discharged as a Private on June 30, 1863.

The 34th, the “Herkimer Regiment,” was composed of five companies from Herkimer County, two from Steuben County, one from Albany County, one from Clinton County and one from Essex County and was mustered into U.S. service at Albany June 15, 1861, for two years.  The regiment fought in1861 at Seneca Mills and Dranesville MD and at Goose Creek, VA near Edwards Ferry, MD.  In 1862 they participated in twelve engagements in Virginia; Siege at Yorktown, Tyler House, Fair Oaks, White House, Seven Days Battle, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, White Oak Swamp Bridge, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Antietam (MD) and Fredericksburg. On May 3 – 4, 1863 they fought at Marye’s Heights and Salem Church, VA.  The regiment returned home and was mustered out of service at Albany on June 30, 1863.  From the regiment’s inception until it was mustered out of service there were:  3 officers and 91enlisted men killed or mortally wounded; 9 officers and 184 enlisted men wounded; 2 officers and 65 enlisted men missing for a total of 354 casualties.

No record can be found as to where he lived between June 30, 1863 and when he was married in 1871.

On March 5, 1871 George and Sarah Jane Lay were married at Genoa, Ottawa County, Ohio. Of this union they had eight children between 1872 and 1893:  Franklin (Frank) Elias, Minnie Emma, William Allen, Ruby Alice, Luttie, Lydia Evaline, Georgia Ella and Velma Edith.

The 1900 Federal census reveals the family had moved from Ohio to Madison Crossroads, Madison County, Alabama.  According to the 1910 Federal census George, Sarah and Velma had moved from Alabama and were living in Wayne County, Tennessee.

It is unknown why George and Sarah moved to Texas, but it may be assumed they had heard of the land opportunities being offered by the Burton D. Hurd Land Company in the Collegeport area and decided to buy land in the area. 

George died at Palacios on June 26, 1918 and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery, Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.  Sarah Jane died on April 20, 1934 at Palacios and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery next to George.

*Note:  On his death certificate Sarah gave his mother’s name as Sarah E. Summers.  This was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames

George E. Cool

George E. Coole died Tuesday night, June 25, after a long illness. He had been a highly respected citizen of Palacios for a number of years. The funeral was conducted by Elder J. W. Tompkins and was attended by a large concourse of people. Interment was made in the Palacios Cemetery Wednesday afternoon of last week, at 5 o’clock. The Beacon extends condolence to the bereaved family.

Palacios Beacon, date unknown

George E. Coole

W. A. Coole [Cool] of Austin came in Wednesday to attend the funeral of his father, G. E. Coole, who died Tuesday night.

Palacios Beacon, June 28, 1918

Mrs. Sarah J. Cool

On Friday April 20, 1934, Mrs. Sarah J. Cool passed away at her home in this city after having spent 82 years, 3 months and 20 days on this earth.

Sarah J. Lay was born at Sandusky, Ohio, Dec. 31, 1851. In March 1871 she was married to George W. Cool, and to this union were born two sons and five daughters. In 1913 they came to Palacios and made their home. Mrs. Cool was left a widow on June 26, 1918, and one son and one daughter have preceded her to the other shore. At the age of 18 she joined the Christian church and was a loyal member ever after. Was a faithful attending at church when able to go and spent much of her time reading her Bible and lived accordingly.

Funeral services were held at the home Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. E. F. Kluck after which the remains were taken to the Palacios cemetery and laid to rest under the direction of Duffy Undertaking Co.

One son, Wm. A. Cool, of Houston, and four daughters, Mrs. Minnie E. Manning of Huntsville, Ala., Mrs. W. H. Melton, Waynesboro, Tenn., Mrs. Lydia Cheshire and Mrs. Ruby Redmon, of Palacios, and a number of grand-children and great-grand children survivive.

Palacios Beacon, April 26, 1934


John James Crawford was born in February 1839 to John and Cassandra Baker Crawford at Knox County, Kentucky.  He was the first born of six children.  His siblings were: Andrew Hamilton, Mary, Nancy J., Sarah Minerva and Charity S.

In 1860 the family was living at Harlan Courthouse, Harlan County, Kentucky. John and his brother Andrew joined Company B, 49th Regiment of Kentucky Infantry (Union) at Camp Nelson, Kentucky on September 19, 1863; he joined  as a Corporal. In October 1864 he was reduced to Private by a Regimental Courts Martial for unauthorized absence. He was discharged from the regiment on December 26, 1864.

From October 1863 until January 1864 the regiment remained at Somerset, KY. They moved to Camp Burnside, KY in January 64 and remained there until August.  The unit was at Lexington in August and then moved to Camp Nelson until October.  The regiment was ordered to TN October 1st and performed railroad guard duty near Murfreesboro and between Wartrace and Mill Creek, TN until November. The unit returned to Lexington, KY where they were mustered out on December 26, 1864. The regiment lost during service one enlisted man killed and one officer and 74 enlisted men died from disease, for a total casualty count of 76 men.

After the war he returned home and in 1868 married Lizzie J. Crawford. They resided in Bell County, Kentucky from their marriage until sometime after 1880. Of this union they had eight children: Louise, Fred  L., Dorah, Ollie (daughter), Conie E., Minnie, John M. And Albert L.

In 1900 John and Lizzie had moved to Victoria County, Texas with two of their sons, John and Albert.

It is unknown where the family was living when John died on February 23, 1908, but it is presumed to be either Jackson County or Matagorda County.  He is buried at the Palacios Cemetery, Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.  It is also unknown when his wife Lizzie died or where she is buried.  Their son Fred L. Crawford was residing in Palacios when he died in 1923 and is buried in the Palacios Cemetery.

* Middle name obtained from Fred L. Crawford’s death certificate.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Crawford.                                          Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames


Aaron Crowder was born to John and Eva Ann McAfee Crowder on January 27, 1843 in Ontario, Canada.  According to the 1910 Federal census he migrated to the United States in 1844.

In the 1860 Federal census Aaron and his family were living at Wilson, Niagara County, New York.  On October 22, 1862, when he was 19 years old, he enlisted in Company B, New York 151st Infantry Regiment, at Lewiston, New York.  He served with the 151st throughout the Civil War and mustered out of service on June 26, 1865 at Washington, D.C.

The 151st was involved in many campaigns and battles in Virginia, including: Wapping Heights, McLean’s Ford, Catlett’s Station, Mine Run Campaign, Locust Grove (many casualties), Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Assault of  Petersburg  and Cedar Creek to name a few.  The Regiment was present at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865 when General Lee surrendered to General Grant.

Aaron first married a Melvina Clapsaddle in 1865, and they were living in Clayton, Genesee County, Michigan according to the 1870 Federal census, and they had one son, James.

He then married Susan Rose Bostwick on October 8, 1880 at Plum Creek, Dawson County, Nebraska .  Of this marriage they had eight children: Aaron, Rosa, Emma Evalena, George Washington, Viola, Augustus (Gustav) Brunette, Ollie (Olive) and Alice Avaniel.

By 1910 the family had moved to Blessing, Texas and set-up their home, and Aaron was working as a truck farmer.

Aaron died on December 13, 1922 and was buried at Hawley Cemetery, Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas.  Susan died on February 4, 1936 and was buried beside him.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Crowder.

Mrs. Susan Crowder

Mrs. Susan Crowder died at the family residence near Midfield Monday morning after an illness of a few days. Mrs. Crowder is survived by five daughters, Mrs. Rose Talbott, of Palacios, Texas, Mrs. Emma Herring, of Monte Celo, Calif., Mrs. L. Marcaurelle, of West Columbia, Texas, Misses Ollie and Alice Crowder, of Midfield, Texas, and one son, G. W. Crowder, of Anchor, Texas.

Funeral services were held Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock at Hawley Cemetery, with Rev. E. A. Peterson, of the First Methodist Church officiating. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of Taylor Bros.

Matagorda County Tribune, February 6, 1936


Ralph Osborne Fox was born to Francis and Cynthia Fisk Fox on February 7, 1829 at West Leyden, Lewis County, New York.  Other than one brother, Stephen, it is unknown how many siblings Ralph had.

By 1850 the family had moved to Mackinac County, Michigan where Ralph and Mary Ann Pauline “Polly Ann” Page were married in April 1850 at Beaver Island of the same county.  It is unknown why, but the marriage did not last. Ralph and Polly Ann had at least two children:  Ebenezer Ensign and Henry Edwin.

On January 27, 1858 Ralph re-married to Marinda V. Foster, also of New York, at Oshkosh, Winnebago County, WI. Through the years Ralph and Miranda raised an additional four children:  Alice (1858), Olive Jane (1860), George R. (1862) and Charlie P. (1868).

Besides Oshkosh, the family lived at Calumet, Fond Du Lac County, WI and Packwaukee, Marquette County, WI until Marinda’s death on April 3, 1879 at Packwaukee. She is buried at Montello, Marquette County, WI.

On February 7, 1865, at Rushford, Winnebago County, WI Ralph enlisted as a Private in Company E, 48th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment for one year.  He was mustered out as a Private on December 30, 1865 at Leavenworth, KS.

The 48th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was organized on February 1, 1865 at Camp Washburn, Milwaukee, WI for a one year enlistment term.  Eight companies left the state on March 22 and reported at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, MO where they were ordered to Paola, KS.  Co. C was ordered to Lawrence, Co H to Olathe, F and G were retained at Paola, and A,B,D and E were sent to Fort Scott.  Cos. I & K left WI March 8, and arrived at Fort Scott April 28.

The regiment was employed by detachments in getting out timber for fortifications, protecting the country from guerrillas, constructing bridges, and erecting new buildings.

On August 10 the 48th was ordered to Lawrence, KS; on September 6 they departed for Fort Zarah, KS where Cos. E & G were stationed and the remainder of the regiment moved to Fort Larned.

On October 1, the regiment was divided into detachments and sent to various posts for the purpose of guarding mail and government trains against the Indians.  Companies A, H, E and G were mustered out at Leavenworth, KS on December 30, 1865.  The remaining companies were mustered out in February and March 1866.

The original strength of the regiment was 828 men.  Gain by recruits, 4 for a total of 832.  Loss by death, 9; desertion, 67; discharge, 36; mustered out, 720.

After Marinda’s death Ralph and the family moved from Packwaukee to Prairie Du Chien, Crawford County, WI where they lived until around 1910. According to the 1910 Federal census the family had moved to Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.  Ralph, now 81, was living with his son Henry and his wife Matilda. His daughter Olive “Ollie” Doxtater, now a widow, was also living in the household.

Ralph died on October 30, 1912, at age 83, at Palacios and was buried in the Palacios Cemetery.

Photo of Mr. Fox courtesy of Gary.

Death of Mr. R. O. Fox.


Ralph Osborne Fox was born at West Leydon, N. Y., Feb. 7, 1829, departed this life 7 a. m., Oct. 30, 1912. He had therefore reached the advanced age of 83 years, 8 months and 23 days. Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock, conducted by the pastor, Rev. D. A. Williams, followed by interment at the city cemetery.


He was the father of four sons and two daughters, of these two sons and one daughter are now living. Their mother died thirty-three years ago. His daughter, Mrs. Doxstador has never been separated from him but five years of her life. There are 21 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren.


He was a soldier for his country having served in the 48th Wisconsin Infantry, and he was also a true soldier of Jesus Christ. He loved the Lord, and his faith was strong to the end. He often spoke of being ready to go when the call should come.


He had a peculiar love for the flag of his country, and on special days, his flag was always seen flying. He gave direction that it should be raised to half-mast when he was gone. This was no childish notion, but sprang from an abiding patriotism.


His affliction was such that he was rarely seen beyond his own door yard, therefore he was not known by many; but to those who did know him he was always the same cheerful soul. Very patient indeed in his last illness. He is gone, but not dead, we shall see him again.

His Pastor.


Palacios Beacon, November 1, 1912                                                         

Soldier’s Grave Marked

Last week the Federal government sent and caused to be established a nice tombstone for Ralph O. Fox, who had been one of the government soldiers. The government stands ready to do this for each deceased soldier if requested to do so. Steps are being taken to secure a like stone for Mr. Jewel’s grave. Ralph O. Fox was the father of Mr. Henry Fox and Mrs. Olive Doxtater.

Palacios Beacon, November 3, 1916

Henry Frisbie
Palacios Cemetery

Henry Frisbie was born to Levi Sidney and Sarah Stumbaugh Frisbie on December 19, 1840 in Madison County, Indiana. He had as of the 1850 Federal census 8 siblings: Ann, George, John, Katherine, William, James, Nelson and Jane.

When the Civil War began in 1860 he was working as a laborer in Davis County, Kansas Territory.  He may have been returning to the family home place in Madison County when he enlisted in the Union Army at Cainsville, MO on August 24, 1862.  Cainsville is approximately half way between Kansas Territory and Indiana.  He enlisted as a Private in Company F, 35th Regiment of Missouri Infantry.

During his enlistment he served as a nurse and as a cook.  He was appointed a Corporal on December 6, 1864 and was discharged on May 29, 1865.

The 35th Regiment Infantry was primarily a garrison force and saw little battle.  While  garrisoned at Helena, Arkansas the unit was involved in the repulse of Holme’s attack on Helena on July 4, 1863. From the time the unit was organized in 1862 until it was mustered out on June 28, 1865 the regiment lost 2 officers and 8 enlisted men killed and/or  mortally wounded and 2 officers and 234 enlisted men who died from disease for a total casualty count of 246 men.

On November 12, 1865 he married Miss Melissa Jane Mary Baker at Bethany, Harrison County, MO. Between 1865 and 1900 they resided at: Bethany, Lindley and Crane Creek, MO and raised 8 children: Cliff, Florence, Sara Elizabeth, Mary, John, Charles, Walter and Birte (son).

According to the 1910 Federal census he and Mary had moved to Jackson County, Texas along with Walter, and Birtie and his brother James. They were living and farming at Carancahua.

Henry died on August 26, 1916 at the age of 75 and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery, Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.  It is unknown when Mary died or her place of burial. 

No obituary could be located for Mr. Frisbie.

George H. Helmer
Palacios Cemetery

Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames


George Henry Helmer was born to William Henry and Gietty Weaver Helmer on April 27, 1843 at Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. His known siblings included Adelia Marie, Pemelia, Laurana, William Roselle "Roselle" and Clarinda Eva "Clara.".  By1850 the family had moved to Pamelia, which was a small town close to Watertown.

In 1863 at the age of 19, George traveled north to Oswegatchie, New York where he enlisted in Company G, New York 13th Cavalry Regiment as a Private.

The 13th Cavalry was also known as the Seymour Light Cavalry. He transferred to Company B, New York 3rd Cavalry on August 17, 1865 when his old unit consolidated with the 3rd Cavalry.  On September 21, 1865 he mustered out of service at Camp Barry, Washington, D.C. as a Private.

The 13th Cavalry Regiment moved south and fought in many battles in Virginia.  They were involved in a number of repeated battles at Fairfax Court House, Aldie and Piedmont Va. and they also fought at Alexandria, Bristoe Station and Leesburg to name a few of the other locations. 

After the war George began to travel across the United States, arriving in Bloomingdale, Du Page County, Illinois by 1869 where he married Mary Louise Lilley, who hailed from Illinois, on February 16, 1870.

From Illinois the family traveled to Iowa where they lived up until 1900.  Their little family steadily grew over the years and by 1900 the children included:  Lillie Geitty, Rosetta Eva "Rose", Daisy May, Flora Belle, Iva Clarinda, Callie Amelia, George Alpheus, Mary Myrtle. and Manette Pearl "Pearl."

In 1910 George and Mary along with Callie and Pearl had moved to Jackson County, Texas and by 1920 George and Mary were living in Matagorda County, Texas. Throughout his lifetime George farmed the land.

George died on March 27, 1929 in Palacios, Texas and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.  Mary moved back to Jackson County where she died on May 8, 1932. She was buried next to George at the Palacios Cemetery.

G. R. Helmer

Mr. G. H. Helmer, who has been in declining health for the past several weeks, passed away Wednesday afternoon, at his home. Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon. Deepest sympathy is extended the bereaved family. Obituary will be given in next week’s Beacon.

Palacios Beacon, March 28, 1929

George Henry Helmer

George Henry Helmer was born near Watertown, New York, April 27th, 1843, and passed away at his home in Palacios, Texas, March 27th, 1929, being 85 years and 11 months of age at the time of his death.

He spent most of his boyhood in New York state. He was one of the early settlers in northern Iowa, settling in Grundy County in 1869.

In 1870 he was married to Mary Louisa Lilley at Bloomington, Ill. He came to Texas in 1909, living at Carancahua a few years then moving to Palacios.

He was converted in boyhood and has ever since been a faithful member of the Methodist Church. For many years he was Steward and Trustee of the church at Goldfield, Iowa, and has always been ready to help in every worthy cause.

Two of his daughters preceded him in death, Calla, who died in 1910, and Rose, in 1913.

The bereaved who remain are his wife, six daughters, Mrs. L. Brown, of Molalia, Ore.; Mrs. J. B. Rasmussen, and Mrs. John McCutcheon, of Goldfield, Iowa; Mrs. John Pehl, of Rennick, Iowa; Mrs. M. R. Whyman, of Ganado; and Mrs. L. J. Slaikeu, of Carancahua; and a son, George A. Helmer of Palmer, Iowa; a brother, R. W. Helmer, of League City, and a sister, Mrs. C. E. Wilson, of Albuquerque, New Mex., also 28 grand-children and 12 great-grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Helmer celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary last month.

He was always a loving husband and a tender father and will be sorely missed by his family as well as numerous friends and neighbors, who knowing his well, loved him.

Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church, Thursday afternoon at 3:00 o’clock, conducted by Rev. F. G. Clark, assisted by Rev. C. I. Rogers, pastor of the First Baptist church of Ganado.

Palacios Beacon, April 4, 1929

Mary Helmer
April 29, 1846 - May 8, 1932

Mrs. Mary Helmer, aged 86 years and 9 days, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. L. J. Slaikeu, in the Carancahua community Sunday, May 8, at 3:45 a. m. Funeral services were held here Sunday afternoon with Rev. R. Paine of the Methodist Church officiating. Active pall bearers were F. Frankson, D. F. Frankson, L. E. Frankson, J. W. Farmer, C. L. de St. Aubin and G. A. Salsbury.

Interment was made in the Palacios cemetery under the direction of the Palacios Funeral Home.

The deceased is survived by six daughters, Mrs. Lille Brown, of Molalla, Oregon; Mrs. Daisy Rasmussen, Mrs. Ivy McCutcheon and Mrs. Myrtle Pehl, of Goldfield, Iowa; Mrs. Flora Slaikeu, Palacios, Texas; Mrs. Pearl Whyman of Ganado, Texas, and one son, G. A. Helmer, Palmer, Iowa.

Palacios Beacon, May 12, 1932

Photos of Mr. & Mrs. Helmer courtesy of Georgia Ann Varner

Find A Grave      George Henry Helmer      Mary Louisa Lilley Helmer



Frederick C. Hensel was born to Martin (1785 - ____) and Elizabeth Bechtol Hensel (1820 - 1892) on December 16, 1846 at Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.  His parents were married on September 4, 1842 in Franklin County; his father was born in Germany and his mother in Pennsylvania, and his father was 35 years older than his mother. The only siblings that have been identified are two older brothers, John M. and Charlie August, and two younger sisters, Augusta Ellen and Mary.

On January 31, 1865 while a resident of Hebron, Licking County, Ohio, Frederick, at the age of 18, enlisted as a Private in Company D, 188 Regiment, Ohio Infantry.  He mustered out of Co. D on September 21, 1865 at Nashville, TN.

The 188th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio between March 2 - 4, 1865, to serve one year.  Left for Nashville, TN, March 4th.  Attached to 1st Brigade Defenses, Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, Department of the Cumberland, to April 1865.  Provost duty at Murfreesboro, TN ‘til May 1865.  At Tullahoma, TN ‘til July, and at Nashville, TN ‘til September 1865.  Mustered out at Nashville on September 21, 1865.  Regiment lost during service 45 enlisted men by disease.

Frederick married Elizabeth A. Patrick (1845 - 1920), on January 9, 1868 in Logan County, Ohio. Elizabeth was the daughter of Alexander S. Patrick (1813 - 1898) and Jane Harrod Patrick (1818 - 1880), and was born at Mc Arthur, Logan County, Ohio.  She had two older brothers, Milton H. and Samuel J. and a younger sister, Sarah J.

Over the years Frederick and Elizabeth raised seven children: Those identified are, Franklin (Frank),  Claude, Roy, Fred, Elsie and Edna*.

The family remained at Columbus, where Frederick was engaged in the mercantile business, as a wholesale liquor merchant.  He held a very prominent position in the business and political life of the city and state, and was especially prominent in politics, being high up in the counsels of the Republican party. In about 1886 they moved to Hebron, Thayer County, NE where he became interested in farming, and also held the position as District Manager for International Harvester, Co. They remained at Hebron until just after 1910, when they moved to Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas. As a citizen of Palacios he served on a number of boards, and was always in the forefront of everything that was good for the city. Elizabeth died on June 9, 1920 at the age of 72.  Frederick died on January 28, 1932 at the age of 85 and was buried next to Elizabeth at the Palacios Cemetery.

*Note: Edna married Robert J. Sisson, son of Henry Hardy Sisson.  The Hensels and the Sissons lived at Hebron, Thayer County, Nebraska before they moved to Palacios, Texas.  See Henry Hardy Sisson.

Frederick C. Hensel


Frederick C. Hensel, age 84, died Thursday in Palacios [at] his home. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. R. J. Sisson of Palacios, Mrs. G. C. Harold of Wood River, Neb., and three sons, Claude P. of Lincoln, Neb., R. A. of Bloomfield, Iowa, Dr. Fred B. of Billings, Mo. Also surviving him are 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.


Interment will be in Palacios Cemetery, Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Taylor Brothers, funeral directors, are in charge of funeral arrangements.


Matagorda County Tribune, February 4, 1932


Obituary of F. C. Hensel


The funeral service for F. C. Hensel was held in the Presbyterian Church on Sabbath afternoon Jan. 31st, at 2 o'clock. The relatives present were Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Sisson, Harry Sisson, Elizabeth Sisson and one son, Claude Hensel, Sheriff of Lancaster County, Lincoln, Nebraska. Rev. G. F. Gillespie, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Driskill, had charge of the service. There was a large and representative attendance. Interment took place in Palacios Cemetery.


F. C. Hensel was born in Columbus, Ohio, Dec. 16th, 1846, and passed to his rest on Jan. 28th, 1932. His wife entered into rest on June 9th, 1920 at Palacios. There were seven children, of whom five are living.


He joined the Northern Army at the early age of fifteen, and saw service all through the war between the States. Returning from the war, he completed his education and engaged in the mercantile business in Columbus, Ohio. He occupied a very prominent position in the business and political life of the City and State. He was especially prominent in politics, being high up in the counsels of the Republican Party. He was on intimate terms with many well-known men in the State which is called "the mother of Presidents." The family moved from Columbus to Hebron, Nebraska, about the year 1886, where he became interested in farming, and also held a good position as District Manager for the International Harvester Co. He moved to Palacios in the year 1910, having lived here for about 22 years. He took a deep interest in the well-being of Palacios. Being of an optimistic disposition, and capable of much enthusiasm, his faith in the future of Palacios never wavered. He served on a number of Boards, and was always in the forefront of everything that was for the good of the city. The citizens decided in 1920 to install a sewerage system. Being in receipt of a pension from the Government, he took entire charge of the work without any thought of compensation--such was his public spirit. No one rejoiced more than he when the National Guard of Texas decided on Palacios as its annual training ground. His enthusiasm was equally great when the $3,000,000 county-wide bond issue was carried for the hard-surfacing of our roads and he rejoiced at the coming of Highways 58 and 71, and too, the near coming of the Hug-the-Cost road.


He left the following poem in [a] prominent place in one of his private boxes, and it was evidently his favorite:--



"That's good, read on" Earth's light was growing dim,

But he--he knew time endeth not for him;

He viewed eternity in wonderment,

Then quietly abided there--content.

He who taught bigness took no narrow room;

He who loved mankind saw no shade of gloom.

"Read on and on," this page is not the last,

Nor is the glory of his years forecast.

The footprints he has made are not effaced,

While time shall last they cannot be erased.

How pitifully weak the small of soul

Compared to him who fought and won his goal!


Prophetic words, "Read On And On And On."

Stronger in Death Than Life, He Is Not Gone.


The Pastor of the Presbyterian Church chose as his text at the funeral service the words from the Book of Acts, ch. 13, vv. 36 and 27--"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep , and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption. But He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption." The preacher said he thought that F. C. Hensel would have liked his life to be described as a life of service [that] served his own generation, [from the] point of view of community ___ unweariedly and ____ the end of life_______ how______ the arena when any cause that appealed to him needed to be championed. It is only fair to say that he had the defects of his qualities. Strong-minded men are often impatient and intolerant at times of the weakness of others. But when this is admitted, what then? F. C. Hensel was through everything a kind-hearted neighbor and very loyal friend. Until he was about 75 years of age, he was noted for his quickness and firmness of step, commanding voice, his tenacious memory, his quickness and sureness of mind--these all were a kind of immortality. During the last few years the flashing eyes had grown dim, the energetic limbs had grown feeble, but he still retained all his powers of mind and memory. His is a well-earned rest. When the Angel of death comes, we all comfort ourselves with the words of Jesus; "Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

[Blanks were included where a portion of the paper was torn.]

Palacios Beacon, February 4, 1932



Francis Herreth

St. Francis Cemetery


Herreth Family

Mr. Herreth's Service Record

Birth and death dates provided by
the Herreth family.

September 2, 1842 - April 19, 1920

Photo of Mr. Herreth courtesy of
A. C. & Georgia Herreth

Francis “Frank” Herreth, Jr.

Francis was born on September 2, 1842 at Vienna, Austria.  His parents were Francis and Mary Haesler Herreth.  It is unknown how many siblings he had.  In the early censuses he gave his name as Frank, and according to the 1910 Matagorda County census he immigrated to the United States in 1860.

His life in the United States begins at Eagle Point, Chippewa County, Wisconsin at the beginning of the Civil War.  He entered the Union Army on December 21, 1863 as a Private and was assigned to Company A, Wisconsin 7th Infantry - one of several units that made up the “Iron Brigade”. He worked as a tailor during the time he was in service. On March 9, 1865 he was discharged due to disability.

The 7th Wisconsin was raised at Madison, Wisconsin, and mustered into Federal Service September 2, 1861.  It saw severe fighting in the 1862 Northern Virginia Campaign and also fighting at Brawner’s Farm during the early part of the Second Battle of Bull Run.  During the subsequent Maryland Campaign, the 7th attacked Turner’s Gap in the Battle of South Mountain, and then suffered considerable casualties battling Hood’s Texas Brigade in the D.R. Miller cornfield at Antietam. The 7th also participated in the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, and in 1864 , the 7th Wisconsin fought in the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg.

After the war he returned to Chippewa County, Wisconsin where he married Anna Swoboda on June 2, 1869. Of this union they had three children.  Anna passed away February 8, 1873 in Tilden, Wisconsin.  Francis remarried on January 27, 1874 to Katherine S. Bleskacek.  He and Katherine had 9 children, plus the children from his first marriage.  Katherine passed away July 28, 1895 in East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas.

Francis and his family lived in many places throughout the years, First at Chippewa County, Wisconsin, then McCook , Dakota Territory, where he was a successful stockman and farmer. The family moved to Gainesville, Texas  because of Katherine’s failing health, and then Francis settled at Ashby, Matagorda County, Texas. 

Throughout his life he was a farmer and a tailor.  He died during the night of April 19, 1920 at Ashby, Texas and was buried at St. Francis Cemetery near Wadsworth, Texas.  Francis Herreth, Jr. was the grandfather of A. C. Herreth, Jr. of Bay City.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Herreth.

Samuel V. Jewel was born in Mercer? County, Ohio, Feb. 15, 1841, and died at his home in Palacios, Texas, May 20, 1914, age 73 years, 3 months and 5 days. He was reared on a farm in a new country, with very limited opportunity of schooling.

Mr. Jewel had five brothers and two sisters, five of whom survive him as follows: Seth of Merrill, Michigan; Eliakim, of Coleman, Michigan; G. B. of Van Wert, Ohio; C.F. of White Plains, N.Y.; and Mrs. Elizabeth Winkler, of Willshire, Ohio.

Mr. Jewel was a soldier in the civil war, having first enlisted in the 55th Indiana infantry for three months, and at the expiration of that time, he with his brothers William and G. B. , enlisted in the 4th Ohio Cavalry for two years or during the war. They were in several important engagements, and served until the end of the war when they received honorable discharges.

February 27, 1866, Mr. Jewel was united in marriage with Miss Lucretia A. Redman. To this union was born six children, all of whom died in infancy. About thirty-five years ago, he (then in the employ of a railroad company) was converted to God on his engine while waiting on a siding for a passing train. He joined the Friends church, and soon after was sanctified, and called to preach, and in this capacity he labored the remainder of his life.

Several years of the latter part of his life was spent in evangelistic work in which he was very successful in the salvation of souls.

We have just given a brief outline of Mr. Jewel's life up to the time when we first became acquainted with him and his wife, and now we are going to tell you a little of what we know of the life and character of this good man by living neighbors to and being intimately acquainted with him for seven years. We first knew brother and sister Jewel in 1907 in Skidmore, Texas, where we lived neighbors for about a year, when both families moved to Palacios and located on adjoining lots.

Feb. 13, 1911, death entered the home of Bro. Jewel, taking the beloved wife, thus severing the last family tie he had on earth, leaving him alone and without a relative in fifteen hundred miles. This was a severe blow to him, but he bore his affliction with great fortitude, and like the man he was, shouldered his burden and took up the daily routine of life without a murmur or complaint. He did all his housework and outside work for more than three years, and while he had nothing costly or extravagant, his little home was at all times a model of neatness and order, both indoors and out, and many strangers, as well as townspeople, passing by stopped to admire the beautiful flowers artistically arranged, and the well kept garden

Today we look over to the little cottage erected by brother Jewel's own hand, standing under the spreading China trees, the seed for which were planted by him, the fruit trees, the beautiful flowers that decorate his little home, the well kept garden, all remind us of him, but all is silent over there now, not a sound of human being, no familiar form can be seen going to and fro, and we are sad. But with this comes another thought, that our departed brother has gone to his reward, and is now with his Savior and kindred loved ones.

Brother Jewel believed in, and preached a salvation that saves from all sin, and his character and daily walk in life was strictly in accordance with his profession, a fact to which his neighbors and friends can testify. He had many friends, but a great many people did not understand his deep spiritual experience and there fore failed to appreciate him. He was a great reader and was well posted generally, and few people have the knowledge of the bible(sic) and the deep things of God as did he. He was poor in worldly possessions, but rich toward God. He had "layed up treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal," and has now gone to possess them.

After he began preaching he felt his duty to tithe his income, giving one tenth to the Lord. This practice he adhered to through life.

He had no time for worldly frolicking, banqueting churches, "having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof." He believed in calling things by their right name, and that people should say what they mean, and mean what they say.

He loved to tell "The Old Story," and preached in the [ ] and also preached on the streets of Palacios, leaving messages that will meet people in the judgement. He was called many times to Bay City to preach, and during the last two years of his life he preached a great many times to the people of Turtle Mott, four miles northwest of Palacios, often walking out and back, and making no charge for his services. He also held cottage meetings in his neighborhood, and in his own cottage. He greatly enjoyed the Holiness meeting held here by evangelist Jernigan and Cluck(?) closing March 8th, and expressed himself as having a great feast.

Mr. C.F. Jewel, of New York, repeatedly urged his brother to come and make his home with him, but he declined this request, reasoning that he had not long [to] live, that he had his little home here, had sufficient means to keep himself, and that he had declared to his companion on her dying bed, that he would never leave her. Each week since his beloved wife was taken from him, he could have been seen wending his way to the cemetery with flowers to strew on her grave.

Bro. Jewel took to his bed March 13th; and the duration of his illness was sixty-eight days. During this time he so far recovered as to be able to walk out, and it was hoped that this favorable condition would be permanent, but in a few days a relapse took place causing him to take to his bed again. During his illness he often sang songs and praised God, and was anxious to go and join his loved ones.

Several times during his illness, he expressed his gratitude to his friends and neighbors, for their kindly help and sympathy, and he greatly appreciated Dr. Wagner's faithful and skillful treatment. God used this good man on his dying bed in exhortation and example, and many hearts were touched and many tears caused to flow.

There are a great variety of jewels in the world, and some represent great financial value, but the world is dying to-day(sic) for need of such Jewels as our departed brother.

G. B. Jewel of Van Wert, Ohio, arrived April 2d and was with his brother almost constantly till the end came.

Brother Jewel's requests as to his funeral and burial were carried out as nearly as possible. Funeral services conducted by Bro. W. H. Calloway, was at the cottage, and the remains were intered(sic) beside his companion in Palacios Cemetery.

J. W. Belknap

Palacios Beacon, May 29, 1914

Died. -- At the family home in the north part of the city; on Monday the 13th inst., Mrs. S. V. Jewel, aged 67 years and 27 days. Funeral services were held Tuesday, conducted by Dr. S.W. Dunn, assisted by Rev. Dallas A. Williams, pastor of the Methodist church, followed by interment at the city cemetery. The deceased was born at Vanwert, Ohio, and from which place she and her husband removed to Palacios. She is survived by her husband, who with all the members of the family have the sincere sympathy of the people of the city in their bereavement.

Palacios Beacon Supplement, Feb 17, 1911

Isaac S. Large

Hannah E. Large

Photos courtesy of Betty Crosby

Mrs. C. H. McClanahan - Saluda Evans McClanahan

Members of the family from a distance who were here to attend the funeral of Mrs. C. H. McClanahan were her sister, Mrs. G. M. Hoad, of LeCompton, Kansas, who arrived Thursday of last week; and the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan—C. M. McClanahan, of LeCompton, Kansas; J. A. McClanahan and son, of Belle Fourche, S. Dak., and Marion McClanahan, of Pierce, Texas.

Palacios Beacon, June 19, 1914

Mrs. C. H. McClanahan - Saluda Evans McClanahan

Members of the family from a distance who were here to attend the funeral of Mrs. C. H. McClanahan were her sister, Mrs. G. M. Hoad, of LeCompton, Kansas, who arrived Thursday of last week; and the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan—C. M. McClanahan, of LeCompton, Kansas; J. A. McClanahan and son, of Belle Fourche, S. Dak., and Marion McClanahan, of Pierce, Texas.

Palacios Beacon, June 19, 1914

Charles Henry McClanahan

Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames

Charles H. McClanahan was born July 29, 1843, at Bowling Green, Ill., and lived there until the beginning of the Civil War. He enlisted and served in the army until the close of the war. At the close of the war he moved to Lecompton, Kansas. In 1871 he was married to Miss Florence Evans and established a Christian home. To them were born seven children, five of whom are still living.

Mr. McClanahan and family moved to Texas in 1909, and settled in Palacios where he bought a home, which he sold after the death of this wife several years ago.

He suffered some from the unusually cold weather of last winter and has not been real well since, frequently complaining of pains in his chest. After a few brief weeks of sickness at the home of Mrs. F. G. Berger, his daughter, he died on April 16, 1925. He passed away gently and calmly, in fulfillment of God’s promise. “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh, in his season.”

During his last sickness he showed much patience and never murmured, but with a child-like faith in those who ministered to him, he took his medicine and accepted all their ministrations as being for his good.

Mr. McClanahan was a familiar and well known figure on our streets, and he had many warm friends in Palacios who will sadly miss his jovial company, cheerful disposition, and kindly greeting. His was a beautiful Christian character and he enjoyed reading his Bible and communing with his Savior, and he very often told his pastor and other friends of the delight he experienced in these daily communions.

On account of being afflicted with deafness he was sorely handicapped in the enjoyment of the services of his church, but he was often seen in his pew at the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a faithful member. He loved the Sunday school, and when his health permitted he was usually seen in class, though he could not take active part in the lessons.

Those of his friends who knew him so well and appreciated his fine traits of character, desire to express to Mr. and Mrs. Berger and the other children our heartfelt sympathy in their bereavement, and we feel that we too have sustained the loss of a true and sympathetic friend, whom we will miss from our midst.

The funeral was held at the home Friday afternoon at five o’clock, conducted by Rev. G. F. Gillespie. Many friends showed their sympathy by their presence and by many beautiful gifts of flowers.

“Now the laborer’s task is o’er;
Now the battle day is past;
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.
Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.”

Card of Thanks

We wish to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks for all the thoughtfulness and kindness of the many friends during the time of the last illness and death of our father.

J. A. McClanahan
J. W. McClanahan
C. M. McClanahan
Mrs. F. G. Berger
G. M. McClanahan

The Palacios Beacon, April 23, 1925, page 2                                 Palacios Cemetery


Charles Henry McClanahan was born to Dr. John Alexander and Susan Caroline Clark McClanahan on July 29, 1843 at Bowling Green, Fayette County, Il.  His siblings included:  James Wright (1825); Wright Clark (1827); Catherine Elizabeth (1832); Harriet Isabelle (1835); Thomas Marshall (1837); Susan Caroline (1842); David Hodge (1845); Alice (1847); John Franklin (1849); and Margaret Mildred (1851). Half siblings: Sarah (1854); Edward (1857); Alexander (1858); and Edmund (1860).

Susan died in 1851 and Dr. McClanahan married Ellen Jeffries in 1853.  Dr. McClanahan died June 9, 1862 in Bowling Green.

On May 31, 1862 Charles and his younger brother David enlisted as Privates in Company D, 68th Illinois Infantry Regiment for one year. They were mustered out as Privates on September 26, 1862 at Camp Butler, Springfield, IL.

The 68th Illinois Infantry was enlisted in response to a call made in the early summer of 1862 by the Governor for some state troops to serve for the period of three months as State Militia. The muster of the regiment was effected in early June. 

Shortly after the regiment was organized a petition was circulated and very generally signed by both officers and men, asking that the terms of enlistment be changed from that of State Militia to Illinois Volunteers, and that the Regiment be sent into the field.  In accordance with the petition the Regiment was mustered into the United States service at Camp Butler, Springfield, Il, and on 5 July received their marching orders. Moving by train they were assigned provost duties in the Alexandria and Washington, D.C. areas.

The 68th Regiment, though in the service only a short time, had some companies that were thoroughly drilled in the manual of arms, and in company and battalion movements.  The skirmish companies of the Regiment, “F” and “G” were especially proficient in the school of the soldier and in skirmish and Zouave drill.

Though the men of the 68th were never under fire, they did the duty assigned them with alacrity.  It was theirs to care for the wounded as they were sent into Alexandria from the disastrous field at Bull Run.

On September 17th the Regiment was ordered to report back to Camp Butler to be mustered out.  The men were mustered out on the 26th and received their pay October 1st. 

Around 1865 or 66 Charles married Miss Saluda Florence “Pinky” Evans at LeCompton, Douglas County, Kansas.  To this union seven children were born:  Gertrude Evans (1867); James Alexander (1872); Charles Henry Jr. (1873); Thomas W. (1876); Clarence Marshall (1878); Jefferson  Lewis (1886) and Gilbert Marion (1892).

The family remained at Lecompton until 1909 when they moved to Texas. Charles, Florence and Marion along with Gertrude who had married Fred G. Berger and their four children, made the move and settled at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.

Florence died June 12, 1914 and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.  After her death Charles sold the home place and moved in with Gertrude and her family.  They cared for him until his death on April 16, 1925.  He was buried at the Palacios Cemetery next to Florence.

Mrs. Charles McClanahan

Mrs. Charles McClanahan was born in Richmond, Virginia, Sept. 24, 1854, and passed away at her home in Palacios, Texas, June 13, 1914.

When about two years of age she was brought by her parents from Richmond, Virginia to Lecompton, Kansas. On August 17, 1871, she married Mr. McClanahan. To this union was born six sons and one daughter. One son died in infancy; one lived to maturity, but died in Seattle, Washington about four years ago; two sons live in South Dakota, one in Kansas and one in Southern Texas. The daughter, Mrs. Fred Berger, lives in Palacios, and was with and cared for her mother during her last illness.

Mrs. McClanahan was converted when about 16 years of age and united with the U. B. Church. Since coming to Palacios she united with the Presbyterian church and when ever her health permitted was found in her place doing her duty as her Father made it known to her. She helped to organize the W. C. T. U. at this place and her presence and work was an inspiration and a help to the entire membership.

She made a brave fight for life, for she wanted to live for her husband, until disease became so firmly fastened upon her and then she said, “Others can do better for him than I. I want to go and be at rest.”

She was buried from the Presbyterian church Saturday afternoon. The text used and music rendered were her selections.

The floral offerings from friends and the decorations of the church for the funeral were profuse and very beautiful.

It can be well _____ her that,

“The pains of death are passed:
Labor and sorrow cease,
And life’s long warfare closed at last,
Her soul is found in peace.

“Servant of God, ‘Well Done.’
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle fought, the victory’s won--
Enter thy Master’s joy.

Members of the family from a distance who were here to attend the funeral of Mrs. C. H. McClanahan were her sister, Mrs. G. M. Hoad, of LeCompton, Kansas, who arrived Thursday of last week; and the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan—C. M. McClanahan, of LeCompton, Kansas; J. A. McClanahan and son, of Belle Fourche, S. Dak., and Marion McClanahan, of Pierce, Texas.

Palacios Beacon, June 19, 1914

Mrs. C. H. McClanahan

Members of the family from a distance who were here to attend the funeral of Mrs. C. H. McClanahan were her sister, Mrs. G. M. Hoad, of LeCompton, Kansas, who arrived Thursday of last week; and the three sons of Mr. and Mrs. McClanahan—C. M. McClanahan, of LeCompton, Kansas; J. A. McClanahan and son, of Belle Fourche, S. Dak., and Marion McClanahan, of Pierce, Texas.

Palacios Beacon, June 19, 1914

Samuel C. Melbourn


Samuel was born on May 28, 1842 at Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  His parents were Joseph and Catherine (Carkhuff ?) Melbourn.  According to the 1850 Federal census he had one brother, George and three sisters, Nancy, Margaret and Sarah. According to the 1860 Federal census, Samuel, now age 19, and his 12 year old sister Sarah had moved in with the William B. Kirhl family at Raritan.

With the Civil War in progress, he enlisted as a Private on 27 April 1861for three months with Company H, 3rd Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry at Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey as a teamster. He was discharged as a Private at Trenton, New Jersey on 31 July 1861.

The 3rd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry served in the Army of the Potomac. It was recruited and mustered into Federal service in May 1861, and was brigaded with the 1st New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, the 2nd New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, and the 4th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry to make up the famed “First New Jersey Brigade”.  The regiment and brigade served as the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the VI Corps, and participated in numerous battles from the June 27, 1862 Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia to the final assaults on Confederate positions at Petersburg, Virginia in April 1865.  The remnants of the 3rd New Jersey volunteers were mustered out in June 1865.

After being Honorably Discharged, he continued to serve the Union as a civilian teamster working in and around Washington DC until the end of the war.  During that time he also served a short stint as a train engineer for the government. Near the end of the war he drove a team from Washington, DC to Springfield, Illinois, where his civilian government employment was then terminated.

Little is known of Samuel after the Civil War.  He lived until 1869 at Springfield, Illinois, then later lived at Calvert, Robertson County, Texas. From there he moved to Temple, Bell County, Texas where he was married to Ladosia McMillian who hailed from Arkansas, on August 7, 1878.  It is unknown when Ladosia was born, but she died on February 11, 1889, presumably in Bell County.

Samuel and Ladosia shared in the love of four children:  Pearl Sue, (Oct 2, 1881 - Nov 9, 1949), married a Wyman, William Casey, (Dec 31, 1882 – 6 Dec 1953), Joseph Hillery (Cowboy Joe), (June 15, 1884 – Aug 1, 1965) and Maude (Dec 22, 1886 -     ), married 1) an Allen, 2) a Harris.

The historical record closes until 1910, at which time Samuel applied for a Union military pension at Blessing, Matagorda County, Texas.  Samuel died at the home of his son Joseph, at Midfields, Matagorda County, Texas on May 31, 1920 and was buried at Hawley Cemetery, Blessing, Texas.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Melbourn.

James William Huntington Miller


James William Huntington Miller was born to George Washington Miller and Sarah Adelia Huntington on 11 October 1847 in New York City.  He was the oldest of five children.  His siblings were Elanor A., George W., Jr., Arthur Eugene and Emily.


When he was about 15 years old, James left home to join the Civil War.  He was too young to fight so they made him a drummer boy.  The family story is that he joined the Confederate Army, but the 1910 census shows him to be a veteran of the Union Army.  When his grandson, P.M. Miller, Sr. used to visit with him after school, James W.H. told him that he sympathized with the South.  That may have been the reason his grandson thought he was in the Confederate Army.

The picture of him in his uniform with his drum was taken in New York while he was still living there with his family.  The 1870 census lists him in New York with his family.  James was a sign painter and decorative painter in homes and businesses.  He used gold-leaf in his work and was very much in demand.  One of the family stories is that he traveled with a Shakespearean theatre group and painted their scenery.

Sometime between 1870 and 1880, he came to Texas.  He met Lorena Freeman Kilbride in Corpus Christi and they were married  6 March 1880.  During the years that their children were born, they lived in several different cities in South Texas:  Corpus Christi, Goliad, Victoria, Rockport, Matagorda and Bay City.  Their children were William Huntington Miller, Arthur Eugene Miller, James Herman Miller, Lillian Lorena Miller Jasmin, and Ethel Florence Miller Jones Cooper.


While in Rockport he registered a cattle brand with the County Clerk and he also affiliated with the Rockport Masonic Lodge.  After moving to Bay City he was very prominent in the Masonic Lodge and helped to build it up.  They lived in Bay City many years until James W. H. died 2 Nov 1921.


Courtesy of P. M. & Jeannette Miller

Prominent Mason Died This Morning Suddenly.

Mr. J. W. Miller, aged about 74 years, died at his home in this city this morning at 6 o’clock of heart trouble. Yesterday he was in the city transacting business as usual and greeting his friends in his customary jovial manner. His sudden demise, therefore, came as a surprise and a shock to his many friends.

The body has been prepared for burial and is now resting at the home, awaiting the arrival of children before the final funeral arrangements are made.

Decedent was a very prominent Mason and by his work, largely, the local Masonic order was built up to one of the strongest in the state. He was Eminent Commander of the Knights Templar, Past High Priest Bay City Chapter, Royal Arch Mason, and a member of the Arabic Temple, Mystic Shrine, Houston.

Mr. Miller was a man of modest mien and temperament kind-hearted, genteel and jovial in nature. Everybody was his friend and he was everybody’s friend.

The funeral will be held under the auspices of the Masonic Lodge.

Later. As we go to press we are informed that the hour set for this funeral is 3:30 tomorrow afternoon, at Cedarvale Cemetery.

Daily Tribune, Wednesday, November 2, 1921

Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby

Mrs. J. W. Miller
[Lorena Jennie Freeman Miller]

Mrs. J. W. Miller passed away at her home in San Antonio Friday morning, Nov. 23, 1928. Her remains will arrive this afternoon at 4:35 and will be carried to the Episcopal church, of which she has been a member for many years.

The funeral service will be held Sunday morning, 9:15 o’clock, after which she will be laid to rest by the side of her faithful husband who preceded her in death just six years ago this month.

Mr. and Mrs. Miller were citizens of Bay City for many years and leave a host of friends who join the Tribune in extending sympathy to the loved ones.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 20, 1928

James W. H. Miller in drum corps uniform

James W. H. Miller
Photos courtesy of P. M. & Jeannette Miller

James W. H. & Lorena Jennie Freeman Miller

Pvt. Morris' Marker Dedication

Thomas E. Morris

Pvt Co C 151 Indiana Infantry

February 9, 1847 - June 16, 1935

Palacios Cemetery

Thomas Elwood Morris was born in Indiana on Feb 9, 1847, and died at his home which was near Palacios, on Jun 16, 1935, age 88 years, 4 months and 8 days. His parents were John Tom and Rebecca Jay Morris.  According to the 1860 Federal census he had five brothers and sisters.  He moved to the Palacios area shortly after 1930 from Miami, Dade County, Florida. He worked both as an electrician and a shoe maker.

During the Civil War he served as a Private in the 151st Indiana Infantry, enlisting on Feb. 16, 1865 and was discharged at the end of the war on Oct. 17, 1865.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Morris.



Charles C. Myers was born in Summit County, Ohio c 1842.  His parents were Jacob and Rhoda Myers.  He had as of the 1860 census, six siblings: Daniel, Servilla, Allen, Marshall, Jonathan and Tobitha.  He joined the 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment on September 13, 1861 at Camp Tiffen, near Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio - which is adjacent  to Summit County.  During his enlistment he participated in battles at: Cumberland Gap, TN Apr 28, 1862; Tazewell, TN Aug 6, 1862; Chickasaw Bayou, MS Dec 28,29, 1862; Ft. Hindman, AR (Arkansas Post) Jan 11, 1863; Port Gibson, MS May 1, 1863; Champions Hill, MS May 16, 1863; Big Black River, MS May 17, 1863; Vicksburg, MS (1st Assault) May 19, 1863; Vicksburg, MS May 22, 1863; Siege of Vicksburg, MS May 19 to July 14, 1863; Jackson, MS Jul 9-16, 1863.

Sometime after the 7th of September 1863 the 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry sailed from New Orleans and arrived on Matagorda Peninsula at DeCrows Point. At an unknown date they returned to New Orleans arriving on April 21, 1864.  While still at DeCrows Point, Drum Major Myers became ill and died on December 29, 1863.  He was buried with full military honors on December 30, 1863 at DeCrows Point.  

Account of the death of Charles Myers

Taken from Diary and Letters of Thomas Buchanan Linn, Drummer, 16th OVI

Decrow's Point, Texas, Dec. 30, 1863

Sundown-- I have just returned from beating the dead march at the funeral of our Drum Major who died last night at 10 o'clock. He was buried this evening with the honors of war. His name is Charles Myers. I will tell you how he was buried. First marched a Sergeant in command of sixteen men marching in two lines with arms reversed - that is with the muzzle down and pointing back; then came the band playing the dead march; next came the coffin and an old minister in the 114th Ohio regiment and after them came all who wished to join in the procession. Arriving at the grave his body was lowered and a few shovels of dirt thrown over it - the preacher made some remarks and prayer which I could not hear for the wind and sea -- three volleys were fired over his grave and we returned beating quick time.


Entire account: Diary and Letters of Thomas Buchanan Linn, Drummer, 16th OVI



Memorial Marker located at Matagorda Cemetery, Matagorda, Texas.
Installed December 30, 2011, the 148th anniversary of his burial.

Schuyler B. Nichols

Feb. 5, 1846 - Sep. 16, 1925
Private, Co. B, New York 1st Cavalry Regiment


Ben Nichols was born  to Eaton Charles and Phoebe DeVoe Nichols* near Elmira, New York on February 5, 1846.  His two known siblings according to the 1850 Federal census were: Lyman and Matilda Jane.

On August 24, 1863 he enlisted as a Private in Company B, 1st New York Veteran Cavalry Regiment at Elmira, New York .  Hr was mustered out of Company B on July 20, 1865 at Camp Piatt, West Virginia.

Ben originally enlisted in the 17th New York Cavalry Regiment; the unit never fully organized and the men enlisted so far, two companies, were transferred to the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry Regiment on September 17, 1863.

The 1st New York Veteran Cavalry Regiment had several nicknames: “The Lincoln Cavalry”; “The Carbine Rangers”; and the “The Sabre Regiment”.  The Regiment participated in many battles and skirmishes in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland and was mustered out of service June 27, 1865.

During its service the Regiment lost by death: killed in action - 3 officer & 22 enlisted men; died of wounds received in action - 2 officers &21 enlisted men; died of disease and other causes - 2 officers & 118 enlisted men; total: 7 officers, and 161 enlisted men; aggregate, 168; of whom 44 enlisted men died in the hands of the enemy.

In January 1876 in Kansas he married Ora Mae Brown who was born February 15, 1859 in Wisconsin**.  In the 1880 Federal census Ben (34 yo) and Ora (22 yo) are living in Parson, Labette County, Kansas.

As of the 1900 Caddo Parish, Louisiana Federal census they had been married 24 years and had no children.  They did adopt a daughter, Florence who was born in February 1858 in Michigan.

Ora Mae died on March 7, 1925 at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.  Ben, who was a retired locomotive engineer for M  K & T Railroad, died on September 16, 1925 at Palacios, and was buried beside Ora Mae at the Palacios Cemetery.  Over the years, the location of both Ora’s and Jim’s unmarked graves at the Palacios Cemetery, have been lost. A memorial Union marker has been ordered for Mr. Nichols and will be placed in Section 1 of the cemetery.

*Note: Death certificate gives Mother’s name as Matilda Roe.  His sister’s name was Matilda and she married Joseph Miller Roe on December 3, 1879.

** Note: Death certificate gives Michigan.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Nichols.

Obituary Mrs. Ben Nichols [Ora Mae Brown Nichols]

The friends of Mrs. Ben Nichols were shocked by the news of her death at 2:30 p. m. Saturday, after a few hours of intense suffering from acute digestion.

The funeral service, conducted by Rev. H. G. Fraser was held a t the home Sunday afternoon at 2:30, after singing “Have Thine Own Way Lord,” by a mixed quartet, prayer and Scripture reading, 1 Cor. 15:12-20, 2 Cor. 5:1-9, very comforting words were spoken to the bereaved husband and friends, having for a text the words in the last clause of John 16:20. After singing “Jesus Lover of My Soul” the dear body was tenderly laid to rest in the Palacios cemetery.

Ora Mae Brown was born in Wisconsin, February 15, 1859, after which her parents moved to Kansas, where she grew up to womanhood and in January 1876 married Benjamin Nichols, a pioneer M. K. & T. railroad engineer. Through all the years which lack only a few months of being fifty, the _____ always a beautiful, cheerful welcome at the end of the run. “None knew her but to love her, none named her but to praise.” We who loved her here know so little of the details of her faithful life as wife and mother to the one devoted daughter, that we can only picture in our minds from the reminiscence she sometimes indulged the many thoughtful kindnesses with which her days were filled. Superlatives are often not good taste, but we who knew her can only give expression in such terms. The most unselfish, most thoughtful, most loyal, most devoted, most Christian neighbor and friend.

And when the King shall say unto those on his right hand, “Come ye blessed of my father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in; I was sick and ye visited me; naked and ye clothed me; I was in prison and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord when saw we thee and hungered and fed thee or thirsty and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger and took thee in or naked and clothed thee? And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.”

She will be with that bright robed throng because her christianity was expressed in that quiet way. So unconscious of the kindness that he was surprised by the recognition of it.

“Love thy neighbor as thy self,” was her natural attitude toward life.

M. H. E.

Palacios Beacon, March 12, 1921


Henry Hardy Sisson was born to John Wesley and Martha Jane Eaton Sisson on January 12, 1846 at Jersey County, Illinois. His known siblings were Sarah S., John F., Louisa M., Hanah, Eliza, and Susanah.

On February 13, 1864, with the Civil War in its fourth year, Henry joined Company C, 124th Illinois Infantry Regiment at Otter Creek, Jersey County, Il.  He was mustered out of this unit and transferred to Company C, 33rd Illinois Infantry Regiment on August 16, 1865.

The 124th, nicknamed the “Excelsior Regiment” was mustered in at Henry County, Il.  Company C – the “Springfield Company” was mustered in from Jersey County.  Throughout its service the Regiment was involved in battles and skirmishes at:  Operations against Vicksburg, MS; the Central Mississippi Campaign; Battle of Port Gibson, MS; Battle of Raymond, MS; Battle of Jackson, MS; Battle of Champion Hill, MS; Siege of Vicksburg, MS; the Mobile, AL Campaign; Battle of Spanish Fort, AL; and the Battle of Fort Blakely, AL.

The 33rd was involved in many of the same battles as the 124th. A unique part of their Regimental history involved Texas.  In November 1863 the Regiment was ordered to Brownsville, Texas, but, before landing, was ordered to Aransas Pass. The Regiment disembarked on St. Joseph Island, marched up St. Joseph Island and Matagorda Island to Saluria, participating in the capture of Fort Esperanza. They then moved to Indianola and Port Lavaca.*

In 1867 he married Clara E. Robinson, the location of their marriage is unknown, but is presumed to be Logan County, Il.  Of this union there were three children:  Frank Augustus (1868); Robert Jay (1882) and Pauline (1884-1888).  They also had one adopted daughter Fanny.

The family lived in Logan County, IL for about 16 years, then in 1885 moved to Thayer County, NE where they developed a large farm.  As Henry and Clara became older they turned the farm over to their son Frank and moved into Hebron, the county seat.  Henry served nine years as a county commissioner of Thayer County. It was here, c 1910 Clara died.  It is unknown where she was buried.  After Clara’s death, and with declining health, Henry moved to Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas where he took-up residence with one of his sons.  Frank and Robert (who had married Edna Hensel** while at Hebron) were living at Palacios at the time.  Henry died on December 25, 1915 and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.

*See Principle Musician & Drum Major Charles C. Myers

**Note:  Edna Hensel was the daughter of Frederick C. Hensel.  The Hensels and the Sissons lived at Hebron, Thayer County, Nebraska before moving to Palacios. See Frederick C. Hensel.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames

In Memory of H. H. Sisson


Mr. H. H. Sisson died at his home at 2 o'clock Saturday morning, the 25th inst., at the age of 69 years, 11 months and 13 days. Funeral services were held at the family residence on Moore avenue Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, conducted by Rev. W. L. Shepherd, pastor of the Presbyterian church, followed by interment at the city cemetery. The services were attended by a large concourse of the neighbors and friends of the deceased and his family. Resident members of the Knights of Pythias, a fraternity of which Mr. Sisson was a member, but of which there is no lodge in the city, marched as an escort to the cemetery, and after the benediction by the minister, marched around the grave and deposited therein sprigs of evergreen, the Pythian significance of which is that the memory or the departed will be kept ever green in the hearts and minds of the brethren. The body was laid to rest in a water proof brick and concrete vault.


The whole service was most impressive, and the floral offerings from friends an associates of the family were numerous and most beautiful. Three of the floral designs came from Houston; one from Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Regan, one from Dissen & Schneider, wholesale produce merchants and one from W. D. Cleveland & Son, wholesale grocers.


At the home during the service and at the cemetery Miss Nora Hayes and Mrs. O. C. Arnold sang appropriate hymns with feeling expression.


Mr. Sisson came to Palacios nearly five years ago on the advice of his Nebraska physicians who told him that nothing but a change of climate would prolong his life beyond a few months. The change added to his days a number of years; years that gave him a large measure of happiness and comfort. His genial nature and happy disposition made for Mr. Sisson friends of all with whom he came in contact, and he was held in highest esteem by all who knew him. In their loss the families have the sincere sympathy of all the people of the city.



A good citizen has gone from among us. To say of a man that he was a good citizen is saying much. H. H. Sisson was a good citizen. In a world where kindness is the supreme need, he was kind. In a world where integrity is not so common, but that it distinguishes a man, he was distinguished.


He held a place of honor in the community in which he lived for his kindness, his integrity, his dependableness and his generous civic spirit. He had faith in men, therefore, men had faith in him and were drawn to him in friendship. A public spirited man, always he worked for and encouraged that which made for civic beauty and civic good. Notwithstanding the fact that man has compared himself as an individual to a grain of sand on the seashore, and his life to a bubble on the fountain, when such a man goes he is missed and his place not easily filled.


It might be said of Mr. Sisson that he had a genius for home making. He loved shrubs, trees, orchards, groves, the birds that nest and sing in them, and all the beautiful out doors. His love for birds and tress was almost a passion.


"How few have time for hearing

Above the clatter of their cares

The thrush's song so cheering!"


He had time for hearing. He loved to plant, nurture and watch a tree grow.


"What does he plant who plants a tree?"


He plants shade and shelter, comfort, foot it may be, and beauty and grace for those that come after. He saw all this in a tree and his love for it never grew less. This love of the tree was part of his genius for home making, with the help of Mrs. Clare Sisson whom he married in early manhood as Miss Clare Robinson whose immaculate housekeeping supplemented his work on the outside, adding the grace that woman's hand alone can give to the ideal home--it may be said that they made three homes. Their first home was made in Logan County, Illinois, near Lincoln, the county seat. Here on 240 acres of the finest farming land in the world, they planted shrubs, trees, orchard and grove, all of which flourished, making the beautiful setting that every home needs. It was here they passed their honeymoon, gathering about them a host of friends, and doing a generous part in dispensing the gaieties and good cheer of a prosperous farm home, where cream and butter, fruits and vegetables and meats seem so free and abundant as the water pumped from the wells by the windmill. This home was consecrated by the birth of their three children, two sons, F. A. and R. J. Sisson, now living in Palacios, and a daughter, Pauline, and also by the adoption of a daughter when a child whom they loved and roared as their own, and who is now Mrs. W. H. Wood, of Hebron, Nebraska. After sixteen years of life here, Mr. and Mrs. Sisson, on a visit to the west, fell in love with the rolling prairies of Nebraska, and seeing opportunities there that Illinois no longer afforded, in 1885 they moved to Thayer county, that state, and on a section of as fine farming land as is to be found anywhere, covered with grass and not a stump to uproot, they began the planting and building for another home. First the shade trees, orchard and grove and then a commodious farm house, that was long known far and near as a center of hospitality. Good dinners, good suppers, Christmas turkeys, Thanksgiving feasts and fun at this home made life a pleasure to many less fortunate pioneers, while friendships never to be broken off, were formed among their neighbors. It was while living in this house that their lives were saddened by the death of their lovely little daughter Pauline, at the age of four years.


As time passed and they found themselves less vigorous, they left their eldest son F. A. Sisson on the farm and moved to Hebron, the county seat of Thayer county, but were not among strangers as they had already made many friends there.


While in Hebron Mr. Sisson served three terms as county commissioner, making nine years in all. While he was in office the Thayer county court house, one of the finest in the state was built and the grounds around it beautified, the work giving entire satisfaction. Many bridges over streams and troublesome draws were also built and the work commended by the taxpayers as being carefully and economically done. As showing in what estimation Mr. Sisson was held as a man, we quote a portion of a letter from J. P. Baldwin, lawyer, and at one time county attorney of Thayer county, written Dec. 8, 1915 to Mr. Fletcher while visiting in Palacios. Mr. Baldwin says: "I am exceedingly sorry to her of the bad health of H. H. Sisson. I served with him at the court house for such a long time, that I am certainly grieved for his bad luck. I have known lots of public officials, and been associated with a great many of them and but few have I found as honest, clear headed and upright in all their dealings both public and private as Harry Sisson. I wish that he might recover his health and live to a ripe old age."


After a residence in Hebron of 15 years where he had endeared himself to the community by his manifestation of true civic pride, failing health caused Mr. Sisson to seek a home in the south. His friends regretted his departure and said and did what they could to keep him among them. But after visiting Palacios, Texas, so beautifully situated on Tres Palacios Bay and finding people eating strawberries and gathering roses at Christmas time and sitting on their porches taking sunbaths with deep breaths of fresh air while the people of Nebraska were contending with ice and snow, he was charmed into moving his family here where he built one of the beautiful homes of the city, making a rose garden of his lawn. Before his departure his friends would have given him a banquet, where speeches would have been made and a "God Speed!" spoken, but Mr. Sisson was not equal to the ordeal, and the silver "loving cup" that was to be presented at the close of the banquet was given to him quietly as a memento of their regard.


H. H. Sisson was a civil war veteran, enlisting in Company C, of the 124th regiment in 1863, at the early age of 18 years, and serving till the close of the war in 1865. His judgment was never so clouded by prejudice as not to admit that the "boys in gray" fought nobly, fully equaling the "boys in blue" in skill and courage.


Mr. Sisson's two sons F. A. and R. J., already mentioned, whose homes are in Palacios, were in close attendance at his bedside during his last illness, giving him every care and attention. The adopted daughter, Mrs. W. H. Wood, arrived from Hebron, Neb., Tuesday evening to attend the funeral.


Palacios Beacon, December 31, 1915


Joseph William Spencer was born to David G. And Margaret Ferrell Spencer  on April 28, 1843 at Sullivan Township, Ashland County, Ohio. Only two of his siblings have been identified: his older sister Mary Ellen and his younger brother, Charles Ferrell.

With the Civil War ongoing he enlisted in Company H, Ohio 42nd Infantry Regiment at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio on November 27, 1861.

The 42nd Ohio Infantry was organized at Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio September through November 1861 and mustered in for three years service on December 7, 1861 under the command of Colonel James Abram Garfield who would later become the 20th President of the United States.

First moving by railroad and then by steamer up the Ohio River, the regiment arrived at Catlettsburg, KY on December 17th.  The first blood was shed at Middle Creek, KY, then the regiment engaged in several expeditions against guerrillas.  Other notable battles that were participated in included: Battle of Tazewell KY, Battle of Chickasaw Bayou MS, Battle of Arkansas Post AR, Battle of Port Gibson MS, Battle of Champion Hill also known as the “Hill of Death” MS, Battle of Big Black River Bridge MS, Vicksburg MS (siege & assaults), Siege of Jackson MS and the Red River Campaign.

After his discharge he returned to Sullivan where he took  work as a farmer with his father. On May 11, 1871 he married Elnora “Nora” Jane Bolles also of Ashland County who was born in October 1847. No children have been identified, though they were the guardians for a Mildred  Hawes who later married a Elmer Johnson who was a hired  hand of the Spencers.  Mildred and Elmer cared for Joseph in his later years at Palacios.

The family remained at Ashland County through 1880 at which time they went to Kansas taking up a homestead with other Ohio families in Wabaunsee County. They made Kansas their home until 1908. 

The record is unclear as to whether Nora accompanied Joseph to Texas in 1908/09 or not.  It is known she returned to Ashland County, Ohio where she died on October 14, 1909 at the age of about 62 years.

Joseph purchased property on the Tres-Palacios River in 1908/09 and established his new home.  He died on April 8, 1932 at the age of 88 years at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas and was buried in the Palacios Cemetery.

Note:  No reference is made in his obituary about his military service.

Joseph W. Spencer


Joseph W. Spencer passed to his eternal reward at his home near Palacios, Texas, on April 8th, 1932. Funeral services were held in the Palacios Methodist Church Saturday, April 9th, at 3:00 p.m., with Rev. R. Paine, conducting the service, assisted by other pastors of the city. Interment was made in the Palacios Cemetery after a Masonic service at the grave.


J. W. Spencer was born in Sullivan, Ohio, May 28, 1843. He was married to Elnora J. Bolles on May 11, 1871. They went to Kansas in 1880, taking up a homestead along with other Ohio families and made that state their home until 1908, when they came to Texas and purchased property on Tres-Palacios river to make their future home. Mrs. Spencer preceded her husband in death in October, 1909.


Palacios Beacon, April 21, 1932

John Henry Viniard*
March 25, 1843 - September 17, 1917
Co D 2 Tenn. Vol. Cav. U. S.

John Viniard was born to Greenberry Washington and Mary Polly Ingram Viniard on March 25, 1843 in Blount County, Tennessee.  It is unknown how many siblings he had.

On January 25, 1860 he married Mary Elizabeth Cupp in Blount County, she would be his war bride.  Of this union there were 7 children born over the years:  Andrew Filander, Charles D., Lauri Ellen, Serena, Henry Clay, James C. and John Franklin.

After the Civil War began John joined the Union Army at Maryville, TN and was mustered into Company D, 2nd Tennessee  Cavalry on September 1, 1862.  At the same time and place a Samuel A. Vinyard also mustered into the same unit.  It is unknown what the relationship was between Samuel and John; their physical descriptions as given in their service records are identical, Samuel was 19 and John was 22.  Samuel died while in camp near Murfreesboro, TN on February 20, 1863.

The 2nd Tennessee Cavalry Regiment was organized at Cumberland Gap in the months of August and September 1862, and was composed of loyal citizens of Knox, Blount, Sevier and surrounding counties, numbering in the aggregate about 1,175 men.

The regiment arrived in time to participate in the battle of Stone’s River, where it lost several officers and men.  From that time until June 23, 1863, with the remainder of the Federal cavalry under Gen. Stanley, it was employed on the front and flanks of Rosecran’s army, doing severe duty**.  At the latter date it moved with the army from Murfreesboro to Tullahoma and pursued Bragg across the Cumberland Mountains. From this time until the end of the war the regiment was involved in many skirmishes and battles in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.  In the pursuit of Hood’s retreating army from Nashville the command to which the regiment was attached marched 280 miles in 7 days and nights of unusually severe weather, and during that time were engaged in six different actions, capturing a large number of prisoners and material of every kind.

It is unknown if Mary Elizabeth died, or if there was a divorce.  Their last child, James died at birth in 1877.  All of the children were young enough they would have required a mother to care for them.

John remarried in 1894 to Rachel Lee who was born in 1863 at Nashville, TN. Of this union there were 6 children: Melinda Jane, Sarah, Brittana, Nellie Mae and Jonnie Gladys.  In the 1900 Federal census John, Rachel and the first four girls are living in Choctaw, Oklahoma County, OK. The family is next found at Ogle, Quay County, New Mexico where Gladys is born in 1907.

It may only be speculated, for no reason is known why John and his girls moved to Matagorda County, but most likely they came because of the land development that was occurring at Collegeport and other areas in the county.

John died on September 18, 1917 at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas at the age of 74, and was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.  Rachel and Jonnie Gladys remained in Palacios where Gladys married a Mr. Griest who died shortly after their marriage.  Rachel died on July 14, 1935 at the age of 71 and was buried next to John at the Palacios Cemetery.

*Note:  The name Viniard as spelled on John and Rachel’s grave markers was also found spelled as:  Vineyard, Vinyard.

** Samuel Vineyard most likely was killed or mortally wounded during this battle.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Viniard.                                                   Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames

William Williamson

May 21 1835 - September 25, 1912

Co. G, 167th Regt OH Inf

William Williamson was born to John and Huldah Doty Williamson on May 21, 1835 at Lemon, Butler County, Ohio.  William’s father died in 1846 when he was 11; his mother Huldah took over the farm and ran it with the help of her children.  William’s known siblings are: Darel, Joseph, Eleanor, Elias, Mary, Abner, Sarah and John.

On May 2, 1864 he enlisted in Company G, 167th Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a Private.  He  mustered out of service with his company September 8, 1864 as a private.

The 167th Ohio Infantry was organized in Hamilton (county seat), Butler County, Ohio and mustered in May 14, 1864 for 100 days of service under the command of Colonel Thomas Moore.  The regiment left Ohio for Charleston, West Virginia, May 18.  Six companies moved to Camp Platt May 22, and four companies to Gauley Bridge.  All served duty at these points guarding supply trains and stores until September.  The 167th Ohio Infantry mustered  out of service September  8, 1864.

Over 35,000 Ohio National Guardsmen were federalized and organized into regiments for 100 days service in May 1864.  Shipped to the Eastern Theater, they were designed to be placed in “safe” rear areas to protect railroads and supply points, thereby freeing regular troops for Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s push on the  Confederate capital of Richmond, VA.  As events transpired, many units found themselves in combat, stationed in the path of Confederate Gen. Jubal Early’s veteran Army of the Valley during its famed Valley Campaigns of 1864.  Ohio Guard units met the battle-tested foe head  on and helped blunt the Confederate offensive, thereby saving Washington, D.C. from capture.  Ohio National Guard units participated in the battles on Monacacy, Fort Stevens, Harpers Ferry, and in the siege of Petersburg.

After the Civil War he moved to Ohio Settlement, Douglas County, Il where he married Anna Maria Jacoby on February 14, 1865.  Of this union three children were born between 1866 - 1879: Mary Huldah, an infant daughter who died shortly after birth, Omar David and Josephine.  The family remained in Douglas County until around 1900 when they moved to Champaign, Champaign County, Il.  Anna Maria died sometime between 1900 and 1910 at Champaign, Il.

In the 1910 Federal census William is found living with his daughter Josephine who had married Ellsworth E. Piper, a school teacher, and their son Ellsworth Jr. in Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas.

William died at Palacios on September 25, 1912 at the age of 77 and was buried in the Palacios Cemetery.

No obituary could be located for Mr. Williamson.

Silas Wilson York AKA Wilson Silas York

Wilson Silas York was born on December 21, 1843 near Waynesville, Pulaski County, Missouri to Andrew York, a farmer who was born in Tennessee, and Ellen “Nelly” Evans York, who hailed from Missouri.

As best as can be ascertained, he had nine brothers and sisters: Henry J. (1836); Louisa J. (1838); William E. (1839); Lucinda E. (1841); Christopher C. (1846); Sarah “Sally” Ann (1849); John (1851); Harriet (1853); and Ann Elizabeth “Eliza”(1856).

In the 1850 Pulaski County, MO Federal census his name is entered as Wilson  S. York.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, many Missourians were forced to choose sides, especially when the state’s neutrality came under test when pro-secessionist forces began organizing, and fighting between Unionists and secessionists became imminent. The total number of men who served on the side of the Union was approximately 110,000 and 90,000 on the side of the Confederacy, the total number will never be known for sure.

Wilson S. York and his older brother Henry J. York enlisted as Privates in Company G, 10th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (CSA), most likely in Oregon County, MO on August 6, 1862.  At the time of their enlistment it was called Moore’s 10th Regiment Infantry Volunteers.

On December 15, 1862 he was listed as a deserter.  According to an account he gave to his Union captors - under the name Silas W. York - the following occurred: “21 years old live 10 miles from Waynesville Pulanski Co Mo. have been in Rebel Army McBride’s Regt. Co was not organized while I was in Regt Was left sick in hospital at Pocahontas Arkansas [Randolph Co., AR is across the state line from Oregon Co., MO] & Federals came in & took me prisoner.”Sic

He further states: “Took the oath of Allegiance [as Silas W. York] Nov 1862 there and got a pass to go home never broke the oath since” [sic]

After taking the oath of allegiance he was mustered in as a Private in the Union’s Missouri 40th Infantry Regiment [most likely not willingly].  It was from this unit he received a pass to go home.  He was later arrested as a deserter from his unit and was jailed at the Myrtle Street Military Prison at Waynesville, MO.  From there, on August 31, 1864, he was transferred under guard to Schofield Barracks* for transportation to his command for courts-martial.  During this transfer his record suddenly stops.  There is no indication he ever made it to Schofield Barracks - or back to his unit. It is unknown what transpired after he left the Myrtle Street Military Prison.

The record resumes on Silas W. York** at Pilot Point, Denton County, Texas, which is located just North of Dallas-Fort Worth. 

On November 17, 1868 he married Miss Catherine Holland at Pilot Point, Texas.  Catherine was born September 29, 1851 on the Mississippi River as it flowed along the Illinois & Missouri state lines; her parents, Charles and Lela Henderson Holland, were moving from St. Joseph, MO to Texas on the river.

In the 1870 Federal census Silas, working as a farmer, and Catherine have a son named Christopher who is 1/12 years old.  Using the Federal censuses, we next find the little family living at Brown County [county seat Brownwood] in 1880; the children are listed as Columbus [Christopher], M.A. [daughter], and twins, Lila and Rosia. Their post office is listed as Byrd’s Store.  In the 1900 Federal census the family has relocated to Haskell, Haskell County, Texas which is North of Abilene.  The family has grown in the 20 years since the 1880 census.  Lila and Rosia, now 24 years old are still living at home, a son, named Pammy, age 19 is listed, also sons Elbert age 16 and Ferman age 12 are listed along with baby sister Viola age 9. In 1910 we find the family now living at Knox County, Texas, adjacent to and North of Haskell County. Lilly [Lila], now 34, has married and is listed as a widow living in the household along with her brother Burt [Elbert] who is 26.  Silas is listed as 66 years old and Catherine is 58.

It is unknown what motivated Silas and Catherine to again move, but possibly because some of their children were living at Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas, and their advancing old age, they relocate to Palacios. They are listed in the 1920 Federal census with widowed daughter Lillie, and son-in-law William E. Hillar, a widower, along with his 10 year old daughter, Evyline living in the household with them.

Catherine died on November 22, 1923 and following a funeral service at the home place, was buried at the Palacios Cemetery.

Sixteen days after Catherine’s death, Silas died on December 8, 1923.  After having his funeral service at the home place, he was buried beside Catherine at the Palacios Cemetery.***

Listed as survivors in their obituaries are three sons and four daughters out of the 10 children that were born to them: Mrs. Alice Tucker and W. E.[?] York were living in Oklahoma; Mrs. Viola Franklin, in Guthrie, Texas; P. E.[Pammy] York in Lamesa, Texas; and Mrs. Lillie Hurgis, Mrs. Rosa Keller and F. F.[Fermen] York were residing in Palacios.

It seems ironic that this sentence was included in Silas’s obituary: “We have all reason to believe that he with his devoted christian(sic) wife have answered the last roll call and are at peace with the many soldiers who have gone before.”

*Note: Alexander Barracks (Union) was located in the city of St. Louis, MO and was renamed Schofield Barracks near the end of the war in honor of Union General John M. Schofield. Schofield Barracks Hawaii, established in 1908, was also named in his honor.

**Note: Wilson S. York, after changing his name following his capture by Union forces, never reverted back to his original given name.

***Note: The graves of both Catherine and Silas are in Section 1; her grave is unmarked, his grave is marked with a small gray granite block marker.

Catherine York

Mrs. Catherine York was born on the Mississippi river, on Sept. 29, 1851, while her parents were moving from St. Joe, Mo., to Texas, and after several years of affliction she peacefully closed her eyes in death on Nov. 28, 1923.

Miss Catherine Holland was united in marriage to Mr. S. W. York on the 17th of November, 1868, at Pilot Point, Texas. To this union were born ten children, six sons, and four daughters. Two sons died in infancy and one at the age of 23 years. Sister York is survived by her aged husband, three sons and four daughters; Mrs. Alice Tucker and W. E. York are in Oklahoma, Mrs. Viola Franklin, in Guthrie, Texas; P. E. York, in Lomesa, Tex.; Mrs. Lillie Hurgis, Mrs. Rosa Keller and F. F. York are here in Palacios.

In very early life she obeyed the Gospel and has ever since lived a devoted christian life, a member of the Church of Christ. She was a devoted wife and loving mother, her life being given in faithful service to her family and her God.

After funeral services at the home Saturday morning conducted by Bro. Connor the remains were conveyed to the city cemetery and tenderly laid to rest. We join the many friends in extending condolence and sympathy to the bereaved family.

Palacios Beacon, November 29, 1923

S. W. York Dead.

Silas Wilson York, son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew York was born in Missouri, December 21, 1843, died at his home in Palacios, Texas, December 8, 1923, aged 79 years, 11 months, 17 days.

At about the age of 22 years he came to Texas, where he has resided for nearly 60 years, and where he met and married Miss Catherine Holland, November 17, 1868, who passed away only 16 days before her companion. To this union 10 children were born, two dying in infancy, another at the age of 23 years. Of the remaining seven, two live in the northern part of the state, two in Oklahoma and three at the home in this city.

Brother York obeyed the gospel after his marriage, not long after he came out of the war, and has ever lived a consistent christian life. He had been afflicted for a great while and has had many trials, but in all he was ever cheerful and hopeful. We have all reason to believe that he with his devoted christian wife have answered the last roll call and are at peace with the many soldiers who have gone before.

Funeral services were held at the home Sunday afternoon, conducted by Bro. Connor, after which the remains were conveyed to the city cemetery and tenderly laid to rest.

Palacios Beacon, December 14, 1923

Photo courtesy of Kenneth L. Thames


Copyright 2008 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jun. 24, 2008
Aug. 15, 2012