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Confederate Obituaries

These obituaries were collected by Kathleen Tatum and first appeared in the 12th volume of the  Matagorda County Genealogical Society quarterly, Oak Leaves.


Col. John Holt

While, in a measure prepared for the sad news, the notice of the death of our beloved fellow-citizen, Col. John Holt, which has cast a pall of sorrow over the city and was received with extreme sadness by the numerous friends of the family, all of whom were with him when the end came.


Col. Holt was one of Matagorda County's oldest and most prominent citizens. He has spent a long life as a resident here and was a man of exalted mind and bearing. He has figured prominently in all of the county's development and saw Bay City grow from an open place in the prairie to its present city-like status. His name has been associated with the affairs of Matagorda County, business and social, from an early day on down through the long span of his over 80 years of life. In the earlier days, when homes were scattered and the population sparse the Holt home stood as one celebrated for its Southern hospitality and "open door" policy. And this fame, so richly deserved, was maintained during the later years of his life.


Chivalrous by birth and spending most of the years of his life here, Col. Holt possessed all the traits of the true Southern character and nobleness of nature, for which the South has ever been celebrated.


Col. Holt is survived by his wife, a life-long companion, and two daughters, Mrs. E. J. Kilbride and Mrs. J. S. Mayfield.


A more fitting tribute to the memory of the life of this excellent man, which has been furnished The Tribune by a life-long friend, is published in another column of today's paper.

The Tribune
, April 1, 1921

In Memoriam.

John F. Holt


To the Rector, Wardens and Vestrymen of St. Mark's Church, Bay City, Texas:

Your special committee appointed to submit resolutions upon the death of John F. Holt, respectfully submit the following: Be it Resolved,


In the decree of an All-wise Providence there has been removed from our midst an old, honored, respected and much beloved member of our church and for many years Senior Warden on this Vestry.


His service on this Vestry and in the capacity of Senior Warden had been continuous for over 25 years, and upon retirement this Vestry unanimously elected him honorary Senior Warden for life without duties, and now this position has been made vacant by his death to the extreme sorrow of this Vestry, and every member of St. Mark's Church.


And now bowing to the will of a merciful Father, we state that in the death of Jno. F. Holt (Frank, as his intimates were wont to call him), the church and this Vestry have sustained a distinct loss, and we sorrow as if one mind that a great and good man and member has been taken from us for service in God's vineyard elsewhere.

Mr. (Col. as he was often called) Holt came to Texas and to Matagorda County at the age of 12 years. He was born in Andover, Mass., in the year 1838, and had reached the ripe old age of 82 years, 11 months and 3 days at the date of his death, having died at 7 o'clock on the morning of March 31, 1921. In 1861 he joined the first company organized in Matagorda County, known as Dr. Peareson's Company of Matagorda, and was afterwards assigned to the Sixth Texas Infantry and took part in many of the leading battles of the War Between the States, including Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Arkansas Post, in the latter battle he was captured--and held prisoner at Camp Butler for five months, and exchanged but promptly re-entered for the balance of the war, and was wounded in the Battle at Atlanta and returned  home, and in 1866 he married Miss Nell Wilkinson, who survives him, together with two daughters, Mrs. Jas. S. Mayfield and Mrs. E. J. Kilbride, all of whom reside in Matagorda County, Texas the latter in Bay City and the two former at Tanglewild, in said county, which is the name of his palatial residence, some several miles distant from Bay City, where the weary traveler was always a welcome guest and entertained in a princely manner. There also survive him several grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.


Besides long a member of the Episcopal Church, Jno. F. Holt was at his death an honored member of Matagorda Lodge No. 47 I. O. O. F. and has been a continuous member in good standing of this lodge for over 50 years, and the 50-year-old Jewel in this order had been awarded and bestowed upon him by his mother lodge at a special meeting for that purpose. During his career he engaged in many public enterprises in his adopted county, and was one of the organizers of the Colorado Canal Company, in this county in the year 1893, and for many years was president of said company, which canal opened up many thousands acres of Bay Prairie to irrigation and rice growing, and in this as in other movements he has been a public benefactor.


Jno. F. Holt was one of God's noblemen in the true sense of this expression; a useful citizen, unostentatious, nothing boisterous of unseemly about him; a man of true dignity of rare judgement, of prudence and vigilance in business, or energy and purpose where action was necessary, and tolerant and broad-minded in all the affairs which elicited his interest.


He was never intemperate of judgement or speech. He possessed an innate love of culture, was just in his relations with his fellow-man, was never known to speak ill of anyone and in all his long life he was an exemplar of those fine qualities of manhood which...American citizenship. At all times a disinclination to court prominence, modesty was one of his pronounced characteristics. He was indeed a man of truth and honor, and one who served his day and generation well.


It is hereby ordered that a copy of the resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the Vestry, a copy furnished the family, and a copy given to the Tribune for publication.


Respectfully submitted,

___ E. Austin: Committee

John F. McNabb

November 6, 1919

Matagorda, Texas, November 6--An old land mark and Matagorda pioneer is gone, in the passing away of Mr. John F. McNabb Monday morning, Nov. 3, 1919, at 8 o'clock after an illness of several weeks, caused from a breakdown brought on by the ravages of influenza last winter.


In order that he might have every attention of his children in the last days, his daughter, Mrs. E. P. Layton, had him removed from the old family home to her residence, when he first began to feel so badly and that was where he died.

The funeral services were partly performed at the home and concluded at the cemetery and conducted by Rev. Marvin Pettit of the Episcopal faith of which Mr. McNabb was a member.


Many friends both from Bay City and Matagorda showed their regret, and sympathy by assembling at the home to attend the burial services and look their last upon the face of him whom they had called "friend" all down the years.


A large procession of automobiles followed the hearse to the cemetery and as is usual, evidence of faithful friendship was carried out in the lining of the grave with florals and evergreens over a white background and here he was lowered and covered for his last long sleep. The beautiful floral offerings were splendid and the grave was a solid mass of ferns and flowers with tall potted show white chrysanthemums at the head and foot.


The Rev. Pettit in a beautiful way implored the protection of the Divine one over the grave and offered the blessing found in Num. 6:24-26.


Mr. John Francis McNabb was of Scotch-English parentage. His mother was Mary Ann Brockleyhurst of England and as a newly married couple his parents came to this country and settled in Philadelphia, Penn., and there Mr. McNabb was born in 1839, and when only three months old, his parents moved to Matagorda with him and his sister, the late Miss Mary McNabb and here he was reared in the home where he lived until his demise when he was 80 years, 3 months and 26 days old.


He is one of the last of the Confederate Veterans for when war was declared between the States he enlisted in the 6th Texas Infantry Company D in 1861 and was in service for the duration of the war. His comrades surviving him are Messrs. A. C. Bruce, J. F. Holt, Christian Zipprian, J. B. Phillips and Wm. Dunbar.


A few years after the war he was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Carter of which union there were six children of whom three survive him, viz: W. E. and A. W. McNabb and Mrs. E. P. Layton, also four grandchildren, Roy Traylor, John B. McNabb, Aenone and Evylin McNabb.


His wife died when the youngest child, A. W., was a mere baby and he has had to be both father and mother to them these 38 years, and only those who have had like experience will realize how greatly they will miss him always.


The family home can boast of four generations within its walls as he, with his parents, resided there all of his children and two grand children were born there and now the doors are closed, the windows boarded up and once so happy home is now desolate. Their many friends sympathize with the bereft ones and they will miss his kindly voice and genial smile as he always had a pleasant word for all as they passed along.


Those attending the funeral from Bay City were Mesdames Geo. Austin, J. D. Moore, R. A. Klein, J. W. White, W. R. Franz, T. J. Hamilton, S. R. Sholars, J. R. Cookenboo, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Highly, Mr. and Mrs. Von Doebek, Mr. and Mrs. Amos _____, Mr. and Mrs. Seth Taylor and Capt. Billy Austin.


Arthur Cleveland Bruce

October 28, 1921

Mr. Arthur Cleveland Bruce, a long time resident of the town of Matagorda, passed away at his home in Matagorda October 11, 1921, at the ripe age of 83 years, 8 months and 20 days.


Mr. Bruce was born on the west side of the Colorado River in this county, Jan. 24, 1838, and when war was declared between the states, he volunteered and was in Company D, 6th Texas Infantry.


He was first lieutenant and color bearer and on one occasion his life was saved by a pair of boots that he had captured from the enemy the previous day and he immediately donned them.


The next day his feet were so blistered he was sent behind the lines to recuperate and the flag bearer, taking his place, was hit in the forehead with a bullet and immediately killed.


At another time, in the battle of Chickamauga, the enemy seemed to take the flag for its target and Mr. Bruce has laughingly related many times how he reversed it, putting the flag down and the staff up.


He served the South faithfully until sent home on furlough and the war closed during that period.


In 1866 he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Smith, also a native of this county, and there were eight children, six of them and his widow surviving. They are Mrs. Thos. Kain, Mrs. G. B. Culver, Mrs. J. B. Hawkins and C. A. Bruce of this place; Mrs. J. J. Funk of San Marcos and Gene Bruce of Palacios. There are also a number of grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. He and the late C. D. Bruce were brothers.


Mr. Bruce was a gentleman of the "old school," quiet and unassuming, "a friend to all and enemy to none" and always had a pleasant word for everyone, consequently he will be greatly missed by all his friends in his home town.


He as a member of the Baptist Church and attended services whenever able. Of late years he has been continually in poor health and even though his death was expected his family are none the less grieved and their friends sympathize with them in their bereavement.


J. B. Phillips

July 12, 1926

Mr. J. B. Phillips, for many years a resident of Matagorda and a veteran of the civil war, died at his home Thursday morning, July 8, 1926, at 5 o'clock. Deceased lived to the ripe old age of 69 years and 5 months. Funeral services were held from the home that evening at 5 o'clock. Rev. John Sloan of Houston conducting the service.


Deceased is survived by four daughters and one son, viz: Mrs. J. D. Moore of Bay City, Mrs. J. H. Inglehart, Mrs. C. P. Williams, Mrs. M. Pennington, and J. B. Phillips, Jr., all of Matagorda; also 12 grandchildren mourn his loss, his wife having preceded him to the grave 17 years ago.


S. H. Anderson

Mr. S. H. Anderson, aged 87 years, 9 months and 19 days, an ex-Confederate soldier, died at the home of his son-in-law, Mayor John Sutherland last night at 8 o'clock, and was buried this afternoon in Cedarvale cemetery.


Decedent leaves three daughters, Mrs. John Sutherland of this city, Mrs. John G. Towns of Luling and Mrs. J. M. Hennigan of Uvalde.


Mr. Anderson was born in Amitte County, Mississippi, on February 13, 1827, served as first sergeant in a Mississippi company during the Civil War and came to Texas soon after the war. For the past several years he has been living with his son-in-law and daughter, Mayor and Mrs. John Sutherland in this city.


He belonged to the Baptist Church and lived a life of a consistent Christian gentleman.


The funeral ceremony was held at the residence today at 2 p.m. conducted by Rev. O. B. Falls of the First Baptist Church, after which the funeral took place at Cedarvale Cemetery in the presence of an unusually large concourse of friends of the family.

The Tribune joins the many friends of Mayor and Mrs. Sutherland in sympathy in their bereavement.


The Tribune, December 4, 1914

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