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Sunday, February 15. 2009
Thereâ€™s another famous relative in my family tree, a Great Uncle, Morgan G. Sanders (1878-1956).Â He was my Grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders Wallaceâ€™s, brother and was a Democrat back when southern Dems were very conservative.Â But thatâ€™s getting ahead.Â Morgan was a teacher, newspaper owner, Assistant Clerk of the Texas Senate, lawyer, County Attorney, District Attorney and then, he really hit the â€˜big timeâ€™.
In 1920 he was elected to the United States Congress and served from March 4, 1921 until January 3, 1939.Â In 1921, he also was admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court.Â When John Nance Garner was sworn in as Vice President in 1933, Morgan took his seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.Â This is the committee that originates taxes, tariffs and funding of our Government.
Morgan was a staunch supporter of states rights and a balanced federal budget and broke with President Roosevelt over the packing of the Supreme Court and many other New Deal programs.Â He sure sounds like my kind of legislator!Â Breaking with FDR proved costly because he lost his reelection bid in 1938 and then returned to Texas. Â
Morgan died in 1956.Â â€œUncle Morgâ€ was one of Motherâ€™s favorites and she spoke about him often.Â I never met him but I did meet his Son, Dr. Gurley Sanders.Â Iâ€™m fortunate to have men like Morgan Sanders in my ancestry!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 09:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, February 26. 2008
The following story, one of my favorite family stories, has been handed down in my family since, I imagine, these events took place. On one occasion, I also saw a version of the story in print in the "Texas Co-op Power" magazine.
When the Southern soldiers returned from the War Of Northern Agression, they found a serious situation, carpetbaggers, crooked politicians and a general lack of law enforcement. The returning Van Zandt County soldiers gathered together and formed The Free State of Van Zandt. The Unionist quickly responded by sending Colored Federal Cavalry to suppress the "revolt". Shots were exchanged and the Federal troops were driven off which ignited a party by the victors, causing most of them to become very drunk.
The Federals returned, and without a shot being fired, captured the entire lot of the revelers, hand cuffed them all and put them in a hastily built stockade. Big trouble for the former Confederates! However, during the first night, a violent rainstorm hit the stockade, causing the hastily built facility to, literally, come apart. Since the Federal troops had sought shelter from the storm and weren't guarding it, and the stockade came apart, the Confederate prisoners simply walked out and went back to their homes. There were no further arrests and the matter was dropped, so ended The Free State of Van Zandt.
My Great Grandfathers, Levi Lindsey Sanders and Shaw Wallace, were former comfederate soldiers from Van Zandt County, and since another of my Great Grandfathers, Brinson Murrill Bryan, also a Confederate, was from directly across the Trinity River from Van Zandt County, and family legend has he never missed a fight or party. My family history doesn't say if my Great-Grandfathers were involved or not.
These 3 were ardent Confederates and two of them from Van Zandt County, so the reader will have to draw his own conclusions.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, February 23. 2008
Over the past year, I have posted several stories written by my Great Uncle, Lee Wallace. I believe this is one of his best!
One Eyes Sextet, By Lee Wallace
â€œLee, Iâ€™ll give you a thousand years to guess who I overtuck â€˜tween Grand Saline and Edgewood, Friday. I mean Iâ€™ll give you a thousand guesses. Donâ€™t you â€˜member that Eli Moss? That pidgin-toed feller with one eye out, that tangled-headed feller with unmatched jaws, that bowlegged chap, you used to go cotton-pickin with every fall?â€
â€œYesâ€ I said, â€œvery distinctly do I remember Eli.â€
â€œOut into Ellis County every fall. Saddle up your old grass bellied fan tails, each of you with his fiddle in a flour sack hung to the horn of your saddles, and light out. Great days: Always a big dance the night before you left and a bigger one the night after you got back.â€ (Here I dragged him back on his subject.)
â€œOh yes, Eli. Heâ€™s got a show, a good one at that. â€˜Texas Museumâ€™ he calls it, built like a wagon, cages on wheels; a one eyed nigger without salary for a driver, which adds to it. The go from place to place â€œExhibitingâ€. The nigger drives, and Eli with a one-eyed dog hunts on first one side then tuther on the road. Heâ€™s got an old capped and balled rifle. He furnishes plenty of meat for them and the meat eating part of the show. Yes, and his two mules they just got one eye each. Says he got â€˜em cheap for that. Heâ€™s got hawks, owls, and badgers and woofs, and snakes and spiders, and just one Vinegarroon, that bites you just one time and after that you just got seven minutes for prayer.
The day I over tuck him, I stayed all night with him and his show at Edgewood. After supper and the show, and we had talked, he got his fiddle, (same one he had when he was a boy) and jerked off a few paragraphs of them Van Zandt melodies. I then called for his specialty, â€œThe Dying Cowboyâ€, the one he always sings while he plays. I joined in, the nigger joined in, the dog, too and the woofs and the rattle snakes and even the mules, and it shore nuff seemed to me like the doxology to a â€œWild Westâ€ show.â€
Authorâ€™s note: Exactly true, this was and is strange, strange story especially as to a one-eyed aggregation of unfortunate creatures.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Random Thoughts at 21:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, October 15. 2007
Bow season has started in most places and those of us that only hunt Deer with firearms are busy getting ready for the season opener, I thought we all needed a break.Â The following is a story that has come down through my family and I hope it brings a smile to everyone.
"The Free State Of Van Zandt"
The following story was handed down in my family. On one occasion, I also saw a version of the story in print in the "Texas Co-op Power" magazine.
Across the south, when the southern soldiers returned home from the â€œWar Of Northern Aggressionâ€ they found a serious situation; carpetbaggers, crooked politicians and a general lack of law enforcement. The returning Van Zandt County, Texas soldiers gathered at Grand Saline and together formed The Free State of Van Zandt. The Unionist quickly responded by sending Colored Federal Cavalry to suppress the "revolt". Shots were exchanged and the Federal troops were driven off which ignited a party by the victors, causing most of them to become very drunk.
The Federals returned, and without a shot being fired, captured the entire lot of the revelers, hand cuffed them all and put them in a hastily built stockade. Big trouble for the former Confederates! However, during the first night of incarceration, a violent rainstorm hit the stockade, causing the hastily built facility to, literally, come apart. Since the Federal troops had sought shelter from the storm and hadnâ€™t posted guards, and the stockade came apart, the Confederate prisoners simply walked out and went back to their homes. There were no further arrests and the matter was dropped, so ended The Free State of Van Zandt.
My Great Grandfathers, Levi Lindsey Sanders and Shaw Wallace, were each from Van Zandt County, and since another of my Great Grandfathers, Brinson Murrill Bryan was from directly across the Trinity River from Van Zandt County, and family legend has it that he never missed a fight or party, my family history doesn't say if my Great Grandfathers were involved or not. They were ardent Confederates and two of them being from Van Zandt County, so the reader will have to draw his own conclusions.
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, May 27. 2007
I recently posted stories on my blog about my Great Grandfatherâ€™s, Brinson Bryan and Shaw Wallace. No reminiscence of my youth would be complete without a mention of my Grandmother, Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace.
Pictured in 1946, is my Grandmother, Linnie Ross (Sanders) Wallace, 1866-1953, my Mother, Ruth (Wallace) Bryan, 1895-1979, my Sister, Helen Ruth Anthony 1923-2003 and my Niece, Cheryl Anthony 1944-1964. Four generations of Wallace women. Because of at least 2 house fires, this is one of the very few pictures of my Grandmother Wallace.
My first memories of her were singing to me and telling me the story of the following song, author unknown:
â€œBackward turn backward o time in thy flight,
Make me a child again, just for tonight.
The tears on my pillow, thy loving watch keepâ€™
Rock me to sleep Mother, rock me to sleepâ€.
Her mother died in 1877 when she was 11 years old.
Linnieâ€™s Father, Levi L. Sanders, spent 3Â½ years fighting with the 6th Texas Cavalry during our Civil War. Being born in 1866, she was a â€œCivil War Baby Boomerâ€. She was a Texan and a â€œRebelâ€™s Daughterâ€ and taught me the First verse of Bonnie Blue Flagâ€. It was first the Regimental song of the 8th Texas Cavalry, Terryâ€™s Rangers, and later the anthem of the Southern States.
â€œBonnie Blue Flagâ€, by Harry McCarthy
â€œWe are a band of brothers and native to the soil,
Fighting for our liberty, with treasure, blood and toil.
And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.
For southern rights hurrah,
Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star.â€
She also made sure that I knew what â€œDecoration Dayâ€, now known as our Memorial Day, was and how it started. Before the end of the Civil War, in the Spring, Southern ladies began placing red, white and blue â€œbuntingâ€ on the graves of the Confederate dead. This practice spread all over the South and in 1868, in the North, May 5, was officially designated Memorial Day.
Our family legends say that during the latter part of our Civil War, some type of significant event occurred between her Dad, Levi Sanders and Sul Ross, the Brigade Commander of the Texas Cavalry Brigade and future Governor of the State of Texas, causing Levi to say that he would name his next child after him and Sul replying he would pay that childâ€™s way through college. Legend doesnâ€™t say what the event was, but my Grandmother, Linnie Ross Sanders, born in 1866, was named Linnie Ross, and she told me that Sul Ross paid her way through college at Baylor, then located at Independence, Texas.
Another very interesting story that she told me several times, and was recently verified by another of her Grandsonâ€™s, George Pyland, my Cousin, was that when she was 5 years old, of her seeing Cynthia Ann Parker. Cynthia Ann was captured by Comanches in 1836, lived as an Indian for 24 years until she was re-captured in 1860 by Sul Ross leading a company of Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann had 3 children, her oldest son being Quannah Parker, the last War Chief of the Commanches. Quannah surrendered to Col. Ranald McKenzie, "Three Fingered Kenzie" being his Indian nickname, and then Quannah led his people to the reservation in Oklahoma and later became and extremely successful businessman.
Cynthia Annâ€™s Brother, Issac Parker, was a neighbor in Van Zandt County, Texas, of Levi Sanders, Lennie Rossâ€™ Dad, and she tells of seeing Cynthia Ann several times and how she â€œscaredâ€ her. Never re-adapting to civilized life, Cynthia Ann Parker died of a â€œbroken heartâ€ in 1871.
Linnie taught school in East Texas for several years before marrying Dr. Harmon Elliott Wallace, my maternal Grandfather. Before the turn of the 20th century, Linnie and Harmon moved to west Texas where he practiced medicine for over 20 years. They had 8 children, 7 surviving to adulthood, including my Mother, Ruth Wallace Bryan. Their oldest son, Horace Harmon, was not in this 1915 era picture. He was away playing professional baseball. I visited the house in the background in 1949 in Ovalo, Texas, west of Abilene and at the foot of Bald Eagle Mountain.
Linnie Ross was a fine Christian lady, a good Grandmother to me and a credit to our state!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Ancestry at 08:10 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, March 7. 2007
I just finished re-reading the stories, for I donâ€™t know how many times, and still found them enjoyable, and they fit well in my â€œHill Country Happeningsâ€. Kerrville, Texas, where many of these stories took place, is one of the many beautiful areas in our Texas Hill Country!
From time to time I plan on posting a story of Leeâ€™s. They were copyrighted in 1946 and published by the author. So, I believe it is fitting to offer a brief bio of Lee Wallace.Lee Wallace was born in Van Zandt County in â€œdeepâ€ East Texas in 1868, a Civil War baby boomer. The 1880 census lists Lee as â€œworking on farmâ€. He was all of 12. His father, Shaw Wallace, was my Maternal Great-Grandfather. Shaw, was a Confederate veteran, born in Northern Ireland in 1819 and died of pneumonia in Ben Wheeler, Texas, in 1906 . Shawâ€™s life and times are another good story.
I met Lee Wallace one time in 1950 when I was 14. Lee had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer and since he was my Momâ€™s favorite Uncle. She wanted to visit him before he became too ill. Lee died July 2, 1953.
He was a lawyer and judge. He attended Sam Houston College in Huntsville, Texas. but did not attend law school. He was twice married but had no children. Lee came to Kerrville in 1896 and he told me he arrived there with â€œa bull whip and a Bibleâ€. A number of years ago, a friend of mine from Kerrville told me that Judge Wallace was â€œa tough old guyâ€. I have been told he was a protÃ©gÃ© of Captain Charles Schreiner, a very prominent resident of Kerr County and Kerrville and that later in his career was appointed a District Judge and served in that position until he retired, due to poor health, in 1936.
Lee was known for his wit and oratorical skill and his most famous quote was â€œI have never forgotten a friend nor forgiven an enemy.â€ In later years he modified this as follows, â€œIt is too much trouble to have an enemy, since you have to work to dislike someone and you have to keep remembering a grudge.â€
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hill Country Happenings at 14:04 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
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