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Just added 22 more neglected Texas Centennial markers to my Neglected Cemeteries site. These are just the ones I have found so far, no telling how many more are out there. The ones in Washington are NOT an isolated case. These markers have been shot at, knocked over, and had the bronze emblems stolen by vandals. The maintenance crews have damaged them with mowers, or ignored them altogether and allowed the site to be overgrown.
Now I'm headed to google and flickr to see how many more I can find. If any of you have photos of neglect, please send them to me. I have added the name of the town they are in or near.
I have added an album called Loved markers, so you can see what can be done to regain the respect these Texas Heroes deserve.
Ok no more posts, email me off-list if you want to be added to my update list.
John William Smith, known as El Colorado, was the last messenger from the Alamo, sent by Travis to the Convention of 1836. He was mayor of San Antonio during the 1830s and 1840s. As one of our Texas heroes, he was honored with a 1936 Centennial grave marker. He is buried in the Washington Cemetery at Washington-on-the-Brazos next to fellow hero Asa Brigham. Smith's bio is at
Asa Brigham was a representative from Brazoria to the Convention of 1836 and was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. He was the first treasurer of the Republic of Texas, and became a Houston alderman while serving. In 1842 Brigham became mayor of Austin. His bio is at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/fbr49.html .
TSHA online says the graves are at the Park but they are NOT. When I found their markers yesterday I was HORRIFIED at the condition of the cemetery. There are more photos of neglect to be taken but my battery warning light kept flashing and I had 3 more markers to photograph in the park, so I will go back next week. What pictures I took are at http://www.picturetrail.com/neglected_cemeteries in the first album.
These men were true Texas heroes and deserve more respect. The State Park is just down the road and they know they are there, why don't they help? For that matter, why don't we pass a law that ALL cemeteries with Centennial grave markers be given maintenance assistance, if they need it, by the Texas State Parks Department. The Highway Department should help with the historical markers and highway markers. I will be sending out an email for both men to every Texan I know. Hopefully the word will spread.
For the past couple of months I have been researching the Texas Centennial and taking photos of markers, memorials, statues, and museums. The Texas Historical Commission's Atlas is incomplete and often incorrect, so I am going by the Texas Centennial Commission's book published in 1938. I spent the past week in East Texas, and along the Independence Trail, and took photos of probably 75 or more of the 750 big granite markers that are out there. Only a few were damaged or missing. One was spectacular, lovingly cared for in a small family cemetery for the past 70 years, and looked brand new, with the bronze emblem sparkling. It made me stop and really think about what these men and women did for us. The words of the "Storytellers" say it so well:
"It goes to deep pride
That they fought to make and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding
That they were doing it for us.
That we might be born who we are.
That we might remember them. So we do."
Here are the email addresses of the TEXANS I will be writing:
My state and federal reps & Senators
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Highway Department
Texas Historical Commission
Everybody from Texas in my address book
All the Texas mailing lists on Rootsweb
Please get involved in the blitz.
REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
for 2010, the 150th anniversary of the creation of Wilson County. According
to an article in the "Wilson County News" -- what would we do without
Elaine? -- the Commissioners Court has appointed a committee to coordinate
the Sesquicentennial. The committee members are:
Shirley and John Grammar