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Confederate Veterans Buried at Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Texas

John V. Nuckols

John V. and Sarah Jane Nuckols came to Texas from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, around 1880, settled around Hillsboro, and remained there until 1900 when they moved to Wharton County. John farmed in the area and Sarah operated a rooming house in El Campo. In 1905, Sarah Jane bought the Nuckols Hotel, formerly named the Martin House, in Bay City, and the family moved to a new home. The hotel was a large, two story frame structure on the southwest corner of the square in Bay City. The hostelry bore the name of its owners and served as “home” to the travelers coming in and out of Bay City for many years. During the devastating storm of 1909, it served as headquarters for those helping with relief work in the storm stricken area, and the Nuckols girls cooked and served meals, dried wet clothing, and provided what help they could for the weary storm victims. In happier times, the hotel was filled with young people from the Matagorda and Wharton areas who came “to town” for balls in Hamilton Hall and for social and cultural events.

John and Sarah had a large family, seven girls and two boys: Ida, Trannie, Beulah, Andrew, Etta, Harvey, Carrie, Willie, Clyde and Nora. John died in 1916, and Sarah Jane in 1920. They were buried at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City.

Several of the girls operated the hotel for a short time, and then sold it to the Badouh family. The landmark was destroyed on February 8, 1945, in a spectacular fire that threatened the south and west sides of the square.

Maurine DeLano Cole, Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, page 380

William Henry Presley, Sr.

Mr. William Henry Presley, Sr. a long time citizen of Bay City , a Confederate veteran and a man with many friends died at the home of Mr. George Graham, Monday, March 22, 1920 and was buried in Cedarvale cemetery this afternoon under the auspices of the E.S. Rugeley Camp U.C.V.

Mr. Presley was 76 years, 11 months and 2 day of age at the time of his death. He had been in poor health for sometime and while every care and attention was given him he could not be brought back to himself and passed away surrounded by friends and members of the family.

The Tribune will have more to say about this good man in a later issue.

The friends of the family join the Tribune in sympathy in the loss of their dear loved one.

Matagorda County Tribune, March 26, 1920                                                             Picture of reunion badge courtesy of Zia C. Miller*


Photoa courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Additional information courtesy of Zia C. Miller:

PRESLEY, William H. [William A.?] (captured, Gettysburg, and never exchanged.

47th Alabama Infantry Muster Roll  -   Co. "D" (Chambers County; initial muster at Camp Shorter, near Loachapoka, AL, 22 May 1862 by Colonel James M. Oliver, for three years or duration of the war)

William Henry Presley was born 24 Feb 1843, in Chambers Co, AL and died 22 March 1920, in Bay City , Texas . He was buried in Cedarvale Cemetery .

*The reunion badge was received by Mr. Presley when he went back to Alabama--date of the reunion unknown.


Frank Rugeley

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham


(By Cora B. Moore)

May 23, 1925 

Henry L. Rugeley was born into the family of John and Eliza Colgin Rugeley on January 12, 1838, and passed into the beyond on May 6, 1925.  In that span of years a man of great usefulness walked among men, and then passed them by.  His father and mother lived in Lowdenboro, Alabama, until the year 1846, when they came with their children to find fame and fortune in the wilderness of Texas.

Their boys grew to manhood, and Henry L. decided on his career—at the age of 21 years, he graduated from the University of North Carolina with his A. B. degree and went at once to the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1861 with his M. D. degree.

Along about this time came the high call to service in defense of his home land.  He enlisted in the Confederate army and became a member of Brown’s regiment for only a short time.  He was transferred to De Bray’s regiment, where he served as assistant surgeon of the army during the entire war period.  Returning to his home he met and wooed the charming Elisabeth Elmore of Waverly.  The real romance of these two lives began on December 14, 1865, when Elisabeth became the wife of the young surgeon, Dr. H.  L. Rugeley.  From that day their lives were blessings to the community in which they lived.  Their services were never sough in vain, and while her doctor husband diagnosed and prescribed the wife administered and nursed.  They had trying times—times of hardship and self denial in their professional lives, but through it all, and from it all, came the grand characters of Dr. and Mrs. H. L. Rugeley.

The writer had the honor of the friendship of these two great characters, and many many times have we listened to the Doctor tell of his escapades as a college boy, also of the dreadful scenes of later years in which he served the Confederate army.  They were Dr. and Mrs. Rugeley, people of the old South, they believed in her rights—her greatness and her nobility.  To the end of their lives, they lived for the Southland.

Their life in Bay City, rather in Matagorda County, is part of the history of the county.  They helped lay the foundation of the very prosperity we younger ones now enjoy.  Their lives were fruitful in that they gave of themselves to all that was for the good and lasting—scorning everything that did not meet with their ideals of honor and chivalry.

In the passing of Dr. Rugeley, one of the striking and notable characters of Texas is removed.  His heritage was lofty ideals, intelligence, endurance.  His father and his father’s father put these ambitions into their own lives, and “like father, like son,” the Dr. was fired with the same enthusiastic zeal as were his ancestors.  Dr. Rugeley lived the life of a Southern gentleman and died the death of one who had lived his life and served his people.

His funeral at the Methodist Church attested the love and esteem in which Matagorda County held him.  His going was made less sad by the expression of love and sympathy from the throng of friends assembled to mingle tears with the sons and the daughters left without father and mother. The children, grandchildren and great grand children have a memory worth all the world in the lives of Dr. and Mrs. H. L. Rugeley, lived so worthily and died in the faith of their christian religion.


John T. Sargent

James H. Selkirk

Baxter Smith
Reunion Picture

William Charlie Steinmeyer

C. C. Strait

Photo courtesy of Faye Cunningham

Samuel Watkins

Angus Williams

Christopher Harris "Kit" Williams

W. D. "Dock" Williams & Sarah Ann "Siddy" Williams

Ashby     Cedarvale     Hawley     Matagorda     Palacios      Family Cemeteries     Various     Unknown


Copyright 2010 - Present by E. S. Rugeley Chapter 542 UDC
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This page was created
Sep. 3, 2010
This page was updated
Sep. 3, 2010