Saturday, March 2, will mark the 183rd anniversary of the day Texas declared her independence, triggering the tragic fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836. The massacre at Goliad occurred Palm Sunday, March 27, of that year, and the great victory at San Jacinto was April 21.
Benjamin Highsmith, a courier from the Alamo, narrowly escaped death, as he was returning from his mission when the fortress was overtaken. In later years, his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Andrews, wife of William G. Andrews, and their family lived in Junction. Their home, originally built by the Denman brothers for their mother, Emily Ann Alsup-Denman Turner, is the oldest house in Junction and is a landmark in the Junction City Park. Descendants of each of these above-mentioned families are present-day residents of Kimble County.
Nancy Jacoby of Fort McKavett will be guest speaker at Tuesday’s meeting of Chanes Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. The session will be held March 5 at noon in Isaack’s Restaurant, and visitors are welcome.
Condolences are extended to the family of my former neighbor, Tami Lea Atkins Alvarado of London, who passed away Saturday, February 16. Graveside services were February 23, in the century-old London Cemetery. She was the wife of David Alvarado and left behind three children, Keisha, Luke and Dallas.
I have learned of the death of a longtime friend, Nona Inez McMillan Evans of San Saba. Daughter of the late Jack and Odell Solomon McMillan, Nona passed away Sunday, February 10. Memorial services will be at a later date in her hometown of London, Texas.
During a telephone conversation with Pat Collins Nixon, she relayed the news of the death of her brother-in-law, Ronald Nixon of Hobbs, New Mexico. Brother of the late Raygen Nixon, Ronald passed away December 26. He and his wife, Jolene, have been my friends for a long time.
When Pat Green mowed my weed-overgrown lawn, she ecstatically reported a granddaughter, Nikki Hernandez, had been crowned the Valentine Queen for the Junction eighth-grade. Pat is not unlike a description in Proverbs 31 – she does not eat of the bread of idleness.
Janell Appleby of Mason reported the Seaquist House is currently undergoing repairs, and there will not be a public tour on March 2. Edwin Lowgren, the longtime owner/operator of Lowgren Boot Shop in downtown Junction, immigrated from Sweden to Mason, Texas, where he learned the trade from Oscar Seaquist, who, too, had arrived earlier from his native Sweden. Edwin (who was a United States veteran in World War One) and his wife, Mattie Kidd Lowgren (who was a member of Kimble County Historical Survey Committee) were parents of a daughter, Edwina (who later married JHS bandmaster, Wilbur Hall). The Halls remained my dear friends throughout the years and became generous benefactors of Kimble Historical Museum.
Michael Lay of Boerne telephoned regarding his ancestor, James Noah Harlow, who died in 1903 and was laid to rest in the Copperas Cemetery. Chevis and I placed a Confederate marker at the gravesite a number of years ago, and Michael wanted to express his appreciation.
Harlow’s wife was Lucy Smith, a sister of Columbus “Lum” Smith, who along with his family, is buried at Copperas. Lucy died in Llano County and is buried there. In times past, I wrote an article about “Lum” Smith and plan to send a copy to Michael. Additionally, I compiled a research paper entitled “An Indian Skirmish at Cates Flat” and read it at an Edwards Plateau Historical Association meeting in Burnet. One of my maternal great-great uncles, William Thomas Cates, was in the fight, as well as Columbus Smith and his brother, Marion Smith. The latter was killed by the Indians during the fracas. Last October, I wrote an article relating an account of the killing of Hiram Wolfe and the capture of George W. “Wash” Wolfe, Jr. at a nearby location during the same Indian raids. They were brothers of my paternal great uncle’s wife, Sarah Rebecca “Betty” Pearl. I presented the Wolfe story at the fall EPHA meeting in Junction, as Wash was rescued by a posse in Kimble County.
Thomas J. Fisher of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, called during the week to report he plans to be in Junction on April 1. A retired history professor, he is photographing the graves of noted governors, and wanted to visit the gravesite of former Texas Governor Coke R. Stevenson. His project also includes taking pictures of Confederate Generals and Colonels. I informed him of two Confederate Colonels buried in local cemeteries– John Griffith at Copperas and Barney Ford at Little Saline.
Among others with whom this columnist enjoyed long-distance telephone chats were Nancy Light of Cherokee, Joan Wilks of Abilene, Sharon Murphy of San Angelo, Gaylan Harrison of Coahoma and Jesse Morgan of San Angelo.
I am grateful for the readers of “Meanderings” and appreciate their comments.