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Confederate Obituaries

These obituaries were collected by Kathleen Tatum and first appeared in the May 1993 issue of the  Matagorda County Genealogical Society quarterly, Oak Leaves.

They were typed for this page by Janet Davis.






Another old soldier, who tramped the bloody battlefields in defense of the “Lost Cause” for four long weary and dreary years, on yesterday afternoon, at 2:40 o’clock, obeyed the summon of the Great Commander, stacked his arms on earth and answered to the eternal roll call with former comrades in the greatest of all muster rolls, and was bivouaced with the departed spirits of the illustrious sons of the South in the eternal presence of the Immaculate God before whom all must eventually appear. He entered these, his last ranks, peacefully and with the same faith and heroism with which he answered the call to arms in ’61.

Doyle O’Hanlon Coston was born at Wilmington, N.C., on June 4, 1843, the son of H. T. and Tabitha K. Coston, and moved to Texas in 1856.

When the call to arms was sounded throughout the Southland, he volunteered for service at Centreville, Leon County, Texas, in July 1861, as a private in company “C,” Fifth Texas Regiment, Hoods famous brigade. This was the first company of soldiers mustered into service for the Confederacy from Texas.

Students of the history of the Civil War are familiar with the part Hood’s Brigade played in the progress of the war. It was first in battle, the first called into pitched battles and hard places and was relied upon for good service in trying campaigns. General Jackson at the Second Battle of Manassas cried out: “Give me an army of soldiers like General Hood has and I will have Washington and the war won before a week has passed. All through their lives Confederate veterans who belonged to Hood’s Brigade have been especially honored for the part they played, their bravery, and heroism, as they fought in front line trenches from the First Battle of the Manassas to the surrender at Appomattox.

In Mr. Coston’s company when the final surrender took place at Appomattox, April 9, 1865, there were left only eight men. Mr. Coston and a brother, James T. Coston were out foraging on the command of their captain and never surrendered.

On April 6, 1875, decedent was united in marriage to Miss Hannah A. Wyatt, at Sipe Springs, Comanche County. To this union were born eight children, three of whom survive. These are Mrs. W. B. Barbour, Grover C. and Doyle O. Jr. of Yoakum.


In 1891 Mr. Coston and family moved to this county settling at Matagorda and in the early days of Bay City moved here where their home has been since.


There was never a better man than Doyle O’Hanlon Coston and he numbered his friends by legions. Quiet, in nature, unassuming and modest in deportment, kind-hearted and considerate in his daily walk in life, a devoted husband, an indulgent father and a neighbor who doted on and loved his neighbors even better than he loved himself, he gathered about him the esteem and confidence of everyone. He sought no earthly honors, except an honorable life, no ostentation and lived as he believed, in simplicity and submissiveness to the Great Master.


The funeral took place this afternoon at 3 o’clock from the Episcopal Church, the Rev. J. Mervin Pettit officiating.


The Tribune extends to the bereft widow and children its sincerest sympathy in this, their greatest trial.





Captain Jack Elliott died at El Campo yesterday morning of an illness which probably owed its fatality to the effects of a long and severe attack of the grippe of which he suffered last winter. From that he had never entirely recovered, and during the past year had made several trips to different health resorts in a vain quest of his wonted hardy and rugged health. The burial takes place at Wharton this morning, and a number of Bay City’s best citizens who had known and loved Captain Jack Elliott went up to pay their last respects to his mortal body.


Captain Elliott landed in this county fifty years ago, from England a member of a large party of immigrants from the mother country. A number of these pioneers are still with us, among whom the writer recalls the names of “Uncle Billy” Elliott, the Pybuses, Rowleses and Downers.


Up to four years ago Mr. Elliott had resided continuously in this county, where he gathered a comfortable fortune. His third wife survives him as do his brother, “Uncle Billy,” and a daughter, Mrs. WM. Johnson of Van Vleck.



In Memoriam.


John Elliot, born in England, February 18, 1833, died at El Campo, Texas, February 10, 1904.

Just as the hands pointed the hour of seven, the soul of this good Christian man passed away. His end was most peaceful, and he died without the least shadow of pain. Standing at his bedside in his dying moments were his devoted wife, his daughters, Mrs. Fannie Bird of Waco and Mrs. Annie Johnson of Van Vleck; his sister in-law, Miss Rosa Dawdy of Wharton, and his granddaughter, Mrs. Nora O’Connell of Van Vleck.


It was hard to stand there and see that loving wife, who had been his counselor and companion for many years give up her loved one: but, thank God, we can all take comfort in this. The last words he uttered were to his wife, who hastened to him, hoping there might be a change for the better.


Had he lived a few days longer he would have been seventy-one years old. In this long and useful life he had made friends wherever he went. Many and willing were the hands of these friends to aid him, but, alas! nothing could be done but to watch and wait. God’s will be done!


Sleep on, dear grandfather,

Take they rest;

God called thee home—

He thought it best.                    


 Nora O’Connell

Van Vleck, Texas.




(February 17, 1831 – December 15, 1904)


Matagorda County today mourns the loss of another of its old citizens. Conrad Franz died at 9 o’clock last night, at the age of 73 years, after a long period of affliction that had made him an invalid and kept him for the greater part of the last year in bed. The funeral services were held at the Methodist Church at 3:30 o’clock this afternoon and interment took place in Cedarvale cemetery an hour later.

Deceased was one of this county’s oldest citizens, reckoning his residence here back to youth’s vigorous period, and his life has been one of honor and rectitude for every day of it. He was a ship carpenter and bridge builder by trade, and for many years was a prominent contractor. Back in the old days he served as sheriff and tax collector.


He was a member of the Methodist church, and until age and disease rendered him incapable of active work, was a devoted and earnest churchman, giving liberally of his services and means at every call of his organization.


He lived so as to win the respect and esteem of every man, and dying leaves behind, to a large family of sons and daughters, the priceless legacy of a good name. December 16, 1904.





Death has called again in its inevitable and irresistible visitations, this time taking from the midst of loving relatives, kind friends and admiring comrades a devoted husband, a kind father and a sincere friend.


T. J. Lewis, an ex-confederate veteran and a member of the E. S. Rugeley Camp, Confederate Veterans, has made his last stand, fought his last fight, and now lies intrenched in that eternal breastwork, the grave, where yesterday he was laid away by the hands of friends and surviving comrades to await the final command of the Great General of all the world.


Decedent several days ago contracted grip, which speedily developed into pneumonia and on Sunday night at 10:15, despite the efforts of physicians, succumbed to the ravages of this dread malady in the seventy first year of his age, being at the time of his going 70 years, 10 months and 27 days of age.


During the war he served the Confederacy in Company J 23d Alabama Infantry, and served his country gallantly for the State in which he was born.


He leaves besides the sorrowing and heartbroken wife, the constant companion of all his years of trials, efforts, adversities, successes, woes and happiness, three sons and three daughters. These are, S. R. Oscar and Paul, Mrs. Frank Swinford, Mrs. Aaron Kelly, of this city, and Mrs. J. M. Daniels, of Temple.


The funeral was held yesterday at 3 o’clock from the residence under the auspices of the E. S. Rugeley Camp of Confederate Veterans, the funeral services being conducted by Rev. O. B. Falls of the Baptist Church of which decedent was a member.


May the ashes of this good and grand old man rest in peace.  February 18, 1916




Mr. William Edward McGlaun, an ex-Confederate soldier, aged 71 years, died this morning at 12:30 at the home of A. J. Head. Funeral services will be conducted at the Methodist Church tomorrow evening at 3:30 o’clock after which the funeral will take place in Cedarvale Cemetery at 4 o’clock.


The cause of Mr. McGlaun’s death was rheumatism of the heart. His death was sudden.


Decedent was born January 9, 1842, in Chattahoochee County, Georgia, and served as a private in the Confederate army.


He had many acquaintances and friends in this city and vicinity who join the Tribune in sympathy for the bereaved family.




Rev. John Wesley McMahan, a retired Methodist preacher, died last night at 12 o’clock at his home in this city with Bright’s disease and apoplexy of some two week’s duration.


Decedent was born in Richmond, Texas, September 3, 1845, and was at the time of his death 69 years, 6 months, and 18 days of age. He leaves besides his widow six children, Mrs. C. E. Matchett, Miss Bertha J. McMahan, Mrs. Daisy Cookenboo, J. Wesley, Jr., Linn and Walter, the two last mentioned being in the army in Company “G,” Third Regiment, T. N. G.


Rev. McMahan was a retired Methodist preacher and a Confederate veteran. At one time he was captain of the E. S. Rugeley Camp, Confederate Veterans of Bay City.


The Funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Methodist Church.


The active pallbearers will be his sons and grandsons, while the members of the E. S. Rugeley Camp will act as honorary pallbearers.


The Tribune joins the many friends of the family in sympathy in their bereavement. May 26, 1916





John Wesley McMahan, son of Thompson Hardin and of Eliza Jane McMahan, was born in Richmond, Texas, September 3, 1844. He was married to Miss Fannie Lewis, June 4, 1866 in Galveston, Texas. To this marriage were born seven children, four of whom survive him. His first wife having died he was again married to Mrs. Fannie Thomas, daughter of Rev. J. M. Wesson, December 16, 1892, in Navasota, Texas. To this marriage were born two sons, who with the devoted wife, _______ survive him.


Reverend McMahan was licensed to preach in 1886 at West End, Galveston, and joined the Conference the same year at Brenham, Texas. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Key at LaGrange, Texas, 1889, and ordained elder by Bishop Hendricks at Navasota, Texas, 1893. His was a definite call to the ministry. He was _______ and true to his convictions.


He served the following charges: Wharton, 1887-8; Eagle Lake 1889; Navasota, 1890-91; Rockdale, 1892-4; Columbia and Brazoria, 1895-6; Franklin, 1897; McKee Street, Houston, 1898; Columbus, 1899-1900; LaGrange, 1901-2. Here, at his own request, he was honorably located and moved to Navasota where he lived a quiet life with his family until 1908, when he again took work as a supply, serving the following charges: Winsboro Circuit, 1909-10; Bay City Mission, 1911, and served that charge until he was stricken with apoplexy from which he never fully recovered.


He died triumphantly at his home in Bay City, surrounded by all his loved ones, May 22, 1916, and was laid to rest in Cedarvale Cemetery in the presence of his family and hosts of loving friends.


The writer was his pastor and preached his funeral. He counts it a blessing to have known him. He was in his home quite frequently and with him a little while before he passed to the Great Beyond. The way was clear and bright with him for he was ready and ripe. He could say with the veteran Apostle Paul, “I have run the great Race; I have finished the Course; I have kept the Faith. And the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just Judge will give me on “That Day”—and not only to me, but to all who have loved his Appearing.”


                                                                                                                        Jas. F. Carter


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Copyright 2007 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
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May 19, 2007
May 19, 2007