Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Bittersweet

Bittersweet in Budde Cemetery

Bittersweet in Budde Cemetery

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deep In The Heart of Texas

The design below is of a unique tombstone that I ran across while photographing some "Famous Texas Heroes" in Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas.  As my Texas heart filled with pride, I just knew I had to have a picture of it.  What a wonderful depiction of the Texas spirit as well as the well-known song, "Deep in the Heart of Texas."  [lyrics by June Hershey & music by Don Swander].  While many Texan elementary children are taught these lyrics every year, many Texans who attend the Astros and Rangers baseball games sing it after singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.  It's what we proudly call, "a Texas thang."

Deep In The Heart of Texas

This tombstone belongs to Russell Gardner Sharp, a long-time citizen of Sugar Land, Texas in Fort Bend County.  While Mr. Sharp cannot be found in any Texas history textbook, he is a wonderful representation of a Texan.  He was a pillar of his community, a graduate of the University of Texas [Sigh. The rival to the university that I graduated from...] and served as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force.  According to his online obituary, among the many things that Mr. Sharp is known for is being "a co-founder of Texas Medical Products in 1973, specializing in Open Heart Surgery Equipment."  [Ah.]  Indeed, this tombstone is quite befitting of this Texan.  May he rest in peace ~ deep in the heart of Texas.  [Russell Gardner Sharp's tombstone has also been posted to the findagrave.com website.]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So, How Do You Pronounce...

Budde Cemetery
Last week I featured a tombstone that was for a beloved family pet named Kitty Budde, which can be found in Budde Cemetery in Spring, Texas.  I'm not related to Kitty nor the Budde family, but I do have a small connection to them...

So, How Do You Pronounce...
When we moved back to Houston, Texas and the surrounding area [which is what we, around here, simply call Houston], we lived in an apartment for a while.  We found this really nice apartment complex located on Budde Rd.  I asked my husband how to pronounce it.  I mean, was it "Budde" as in "buddy", "Budde" as in "booty"?  I was thinking at the time that I'd hate to get that one wrong.  We soon found out from the apartment complex that it was pronounced "Budde" as in "booty." [Sigh.]  Oh, well.  How many times was I really going to have repeat it, and if I was talking to a local, it shouldn't be a big deal.  Right?

Pause, Snort, and Sigh
Wrong.  When I called to set-up the utilties, the response was always the same.  I'd say we need to setup service on Budde Rd., and the customer service representative would pause, snort [yes, actually snort], and reply, "Budde Rd.?"  After I would confirm it, they'd pull it up on their computer and ask, "Are you sure that it's not pronounced "buddy"?  I would reply [with great dignity, of course], "No,  it's Budde." Even the bank's customer service representative was stunned.  Everyone gave the exact same response.  Then when we finally moved, I got the same response when I was transferring the service.  [Sigh.]

 An Old "Friend" Revisited
Several months back, when researching Old Town Spring, Texas and the Wunsche family.  My old friend, Budde, popped up again.  Online I stumbled across and  found 4 self-driving tours of Spring, Texas and the surrounding areas that included all the old German settlements in the area.  When I say "stumbled upon it," I really do mean stumble because it was written by the Klein Historical Society, but it is accessible only through Klein Independent School District's website under their "History of the Klein Area."  [You really have to be looking for it.]  There are 4 tours that include historical homes, cemeteries [including family cemeteries], and property once owned by prominent [mostly] German settlers.  There is no date of when they were written, but it seems they were written about 20 years ago.  Tour Four is entitled, "Wandering in Spring" and it includes Budde Cemetery.  I really wanted to find this cemetery because I wanted to meet the family that had caused so much grief with my address.

 How Hard Could It Be?
Of course, this adventure was "tacked on" to the end of another cemetery visit, and I hadn't mapped it yet, but I figured, "How hard could it be?"  [famous last words]  I thought it would be really easy to find it because Budde Rd. is not a long road and has definite "ends."  What I mean is that it doesn't end, then pick up somewhere else.  It just ends.  I had lived on it, and had driven from end to end. So, easy, right? [The map below is of Budde Rd., Spring, Texas]

View Larger Map

Why I Need/Want an iPhone, or, at the very least, GPS
Wrong.  I combed Budde Rd.  over and over and over again.  I could not find Budde Cemetery on Budde Rd.   I decided then to take a look at the driving tour directions, which I had been using earlier that day to try to find another cemetery.  This other cemetery adventure was unsuccessful, but I was not going home empty-handed.  I didn't consult this at first because the Budde Cemetery was in the middle, and I didn't feel I needed to read the directions stop-by-stop to find it.  [I mean, I had lived on the street.]  After consulting the driving tour directions numerous times, I find out that there is a Budde Cemetery Road [but it's only called Budde Rd. in the tour guide].  So if you're only looking for Budde Rd, you won't find the cemetery.  Budde Cemetery Rd. does pick up where Budde Rd would be if it continued south along Interstate-45.  The street sign is not easily seen from the cross street, Louetta Rd.  Louetta Rd. is a very busy road used by commuters to get to Interstate 45 on their way to the city for work, and Budde Cemetery Rd is very close to Interstate 45. Therefore, it is easily missed.   [But, hey, I was on a mission.]  When I turned down Budde Cemetery Rd., I felt like I was no where near a major freeway.  There were tons and tons of pine and oak trees that silence the "busy-ness" of the world outside.  There were small homes that looked to be a hundred years old or more, and then there were new homes that were huge.  I did recognize some of the surnames on the mailboxes as being the same as some of the ones from the driving tours.  [The first map shows Budde Cemetery ("B" on the map) in relationship to the actual Budde Rd. ("A" on the map).  The second map is a close-up of Budde Cemetery.]

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Spring's Settlers
Budde Cemetery is located at the very end of Budde Cemetery Rd., and what a very lovely "end" it is.  It's definitely quiet.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is so well taken care of, and walking through it [even in 100 degree Texas heat] was even more pleasant.  In fact, it was calming for though I was truly alone, I was amongst those who had first settled the Spring area.  Not only is the Budde family buried there [and Kitty], but many of the first [mostly] German settlers are buried there as well.  I felt like I already knew them, and not just because a lot of  major streets in Spring are named after them, but because I had read quite a bit of the Spring area's history while studying the Wunsche family.

Budde,cemetery,cemeteries,Spring,Budde Cemetery

Wanting To Keep It "Mine"
Now, locating the Budde family was not easy.  In fact, I found Kitty Budde before I found any others.  Then, finally I found a Gottlibe (Gottlieb) Budde.  Her full name was Gottliebe Christiana (Wunsche) Budde and she was the wife of Herman Heinrich Budde, the man with the name that has given me so much grief.  One whose name gets repeated often because, as mentioned before. Budde Rd. is located off a busy cross street and runs parallel to Interstate 45, which is just a block away.]  As  I photographed his wife's tombstone, I wondered if Herman ever thought in a million years that his name would be so well-known in the year 2009 in the area that he helped to settle.  Probably not.  As I got back into my car and turned on the air conditioning, I had this feeling of not wanting to share this cemetery.  It's so well-hidden, and it seems to be a private retreat from all the "busy-ness" of modern life, but here it is.  If you are ever in the neighborhood, I definitely recommend stopping by and visiting the settlers of Spring, Texas.


Finding "Budde's Way"
As a side note, I did look up the origin of the name Budde.  I usually use "Behind the Name" [both for given names and surnames], but it didn't have Budde.  So, I googled the name and only the "Coat of Arms" site seemed to have an explanation of the name:
Biedenweg , an unusual German place name, means "by the way" as a location of where someone lived -- 'way' meaning course or path. An Old Middle German given name was Budde , which evolved into several surnames. Budde's Way, or the path to Budde's settlement or enclosure, might have been taken as a surname for someone who lived along that trail -- as Buddeweg or Budweg .

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  They just forgot to mention that "Budde's way" was hard to find [not to mention "fun" to pronounce].

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Morton Cemetery: Jane Long

Jane Long, "The Mother of Texas", Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas

For information on Jane Long, visit my companion blog Texas Family Stories.

Jane Long Tombstone 2

Jane Long Tombstone 1