Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: One of the "Old Three Hundred"

 Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Ft. Bend Co., Texas

William Morton was one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred," [which you can find more about in my companion blog, "Texas Family Stories" here].  The Morton Cemetery is located in Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas., on part of the land grant that William first received when he and his family came from Alabama.  He drowned in 1833 in the Brazos River Flood.  However, before that in 1825, a fellow Masonic brother by the name of Robert Gillespie [from Scotland] died suddenly at William's home, and William, being a skilled brick and stone mason, built this monument for him.  When Santa Ana's army stopped off here right before the Battle of San Jacinto [where Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana, leading to Texas' independence from Mexico], they began to destroy the memorial until they were stopped by a Masonic officer.  The Morton Lodge No. 72 A.F. & A.M. restored the monument in 1936, and in 2001 a marker was dedicated on the 150th  anniversary of the Morton Lodge in memory of William Morton.  There are inscriptions on each side of the monument.


1. The William Morton Marker located i
n Morton Cemetery in Richmond, Texas.
The Handbook of Texas Online
3. All pictures in the designs are of the private collection of Caroline Pointer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: A Beautiful Gravesite

A Fun and Educational Day Trip
Last week on Twitter, I mentioned that my neighbor invited my kids and I to go to the Fort Bend County Museum and the Morton Cemetery.  What a gem of a find!  The museum was chock full of the historical account of the beginnings of Fort Bend County, Texas.  I'll introduce you to this history through the pictures that I took of the tour [that include some beautiful antiques, too] on my Texas Family Stories blog. So, keep an eye out because you do not want to miss those photos and stories.

Morton Cemetery
As we were leaving the museum, I mentioned that we were headed out to Morton Cemetery to take some pictures, and our tour guide graciously told us that all the "important & old" graves were on the left side of the cemetery.  Thank goodness she mentioned this tidbit of information, not because it's a real big cemetery, but because it was so hot outside!  All the "important and old" graves were under big shade trees, but it was still hot in the shade.  However, I was not thinking about that because I was entranced and humbled to be at the sites of so many graves of people who played such an important part in Texas history.  There were so many to take pictures of, but, of course, I had done my homework, and I had a "list" of "must have's."  They weren't too hard to find, and I have plenty of pictures and stories to share with you in the coming weeks.  Along with some historical one's, I took pictures of some that had unique and elaborate tombstones.

He Had Me At "Maroon"
As I was finishing up taking pictures of two very important Texas history celebs' tombstones, I turned around and saw this...




"Wow, or rather, Whoop!" was all I could think.  You see, I am a "Class of '94" Former Student of Texas A&M University [an "Aggie"] along with my Dad and my brother.  [I have a nephew graduating shortly, too.]  It's a family "thang," and we're proud of it.  Apparently, so was John Walter Gupton, DVM!  This certainly qualifies as an Aggie heaven on earth, and it was absolutely breath-taking!  Even if you're not from Texas or not an "Aggie," you can still appreciate the beauty of the gravesite [unless, of course, you're from that "other" school in Texas...*shudder*].

Who was John Walter Gupton, DVM?
Along with being a fellow Aggie [Class of '49] and according to an online obituary of his that I found on the AVMA site, he was a resident of Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas, where he practiced as a veterinarian for 32 years [owned Richmond Veterinarian Hospital].  According to his gravesite, he was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy.  There hasn't been much work done on his family lines that I could find online, but I did find his family in the census. His grandfather, Samuel D. Gupton came from Mississippi to Texas sometime before 1884, which was when he married Dora Christine Jansen [of Denmark and French ancestry]. They had nine children in West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas [an adjoining county and a parent county to Fort Bend County] with John Walter's father, Phillip,  being number seven.  Phillip was a dairy man in 1930 in West Columbia, while his brother Sam was a grocery merchant, his brother Henry a salesman in a grocery store [small town, so probably his brother's store], and his other brother a machinist in a machine shop.  According to Findagrave.com and Interment.net John Walter's father, Phillip, as well as a lot of other "Gupton's," are buried in Columbia Cemetery.  I tried to go a little further back, but it looks like it's going to take a little digging [a.k.a. a trip to the library] to discern the correct Gupton family in Mississippi that this John Walter descends from.  The good news is that, Samuel D.'s [his grandfather's] father was born in North Carolina.  The bad news is that as you go back in time, the Gupton population exponentially increases in North Carolina in relation to Mississippi's population of Gupton's.  Oh well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures of John Walter's gravesite, and certainly his family can be counted as a typical Texas family that came here looking to start a new life, and they did.

Gig'em Aggies!

[Census was accessed through Heritage Quest Online and Ancestry.com.]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: All People Great and Small

All People Great and Small
My family and I took a day trip to escape the rain in Houston, Texas a little over a week ago.  We ended up in Nacogdoches, Texas [a.k.a. the Piney Woods].  While we did not go far away enough to escape the precipitation, we did have some time there to explore between "rains".  One of the places we visited was Oak Grove Cemetery which happens to also be a Texas Landmark.  Though I took many pictures, I thought I'd share with you 2 of them that I think accurately represent the cemetery.  I'll be sharing the rest of my pictures of this cemetery and of other Nacogdoches landmarks on my Texas Family Stories blog tomorrow.
Jessie N. Ingraham
Jessie N. Ingraham
This first collage that I made was of a child's tombstone that my own children pointed out to me.  I took several pictures in hopes of identifying Jesie N. Ingraham.  It wasn't hard to find her story.  She was the daughter of George F. and Martha Ingraham of Nacogdoches, Texas.  Her father George was born in New York and served in the Civil War on the Confederate side for the state of Texas.  He was a lawyer as well as both a county and district judge in Nacogdoches.  He also served on the first Board of Directors for the  Nacogdoches and Southeastern Railroad Company.  Jessie was born 26 Jul 1883 and died on 6 Oct 1884 and was one of nine children belonging to George and Martha.
John S. Roberts
John S. Roberts
Much has been written about John Roberts.  As the pictures indicate in this collage, he was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and one of the four signers who is buried in this cemetery.  He was born in Virginia 13 Jul 1796, and his path of migration to Texas included the states of Tennessee and Louisiana via the miltitary.  He was also a part of the Fredonian Rebellion in Nacogdoches, Texas.  He married a recent widow, Harriet Fenley Collier, and they eventually settled down in Nacogdoches, Texas where he was a merchant beginning in 1827.  He also led the Nacogdoches company into the siege of Bexar in 1835, on the eve of Texas' Independence.

For More of the Story...
For more of Oak Grove Cemetery's story and other landmarks found on this excursion, please read my Texas Family Stories blog tomorrow.



1. Jessie N. Ingraham:

Stephen F. Austin State University, Ralph W. Steen Library, s.v. "," http://libweb.sfasu.edu/proser/etrc/collections/manuscript/personal/ingraham/index.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/NN/eqn1.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).

2. John S. Roberts:

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v."," http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/articles/RR/fro14.html (accessed 2 Jun 2009).