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...

Gupton1

Gupton3

Gupton3

"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!
Caroline 

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


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