John Wesley Gaines Jr., the third of eleven children of John Wesley and Sarah Elizabeth Cohron Gaines, was born in Calhoun County, Mississippi, on August 27, 1864. The Gaines family moved from Mississippi to Texas in 1882. Sarah Cohron Gaines died in 1886, and is buried at Damon's Mound, Brazoria County. John Wesley Gaines, Sr., died in San Saba County, Texas, on February 22, 1904
John Wesley, Jr. studied law under W. S. Brooks and D. E. E. Braman of Matagorda, and was admitted to practice in 1889. He served as county attorney in 1890, and in 1896 he was district judge for a short period.
John Wesley met Martha Lorena Montgomery while they were students at Mississippi Baptist College in Clinton, Mississippi. Martha was born in Franklin County, Mississippi, on August 29, 1864. In September of 1890 John W. returned to Jefferson County, Mississippi, to marry Lorena on September 24, at "Hollywood," the home of her parents, Samuel Swayze and Laura Herrington Montgomery. After their marriage, they returned to Matagorda. Lorena's sister, Olive Eugenia, married Anthony Winston of San Marcos in the Gaines home on January 14, 1893, with the Montgomerys from Mississippi in attendance. Several years later, Samuel S. and Laura Montgomery moved to Bay City with their son, Samuel S., Jr. Samuel S. Montgomery, Sr., (December 26, 1831 - September 23, 1902) and Laura Herrington Montgomery (February 26, 1839 - June 29, 1908) were buried in San Marcos.
Samuel Swayze Montgomery, Jr., (February 13, 1874
- January 6, 1922) married Mary Carrington in Bay City on December
21, 1898. They were the parents of four children:
John W. and Lorena Gaines were the parents of six
John W. Gaines had been reared a Baptist and Lorena as a Presbyterian. After marriage, they became Episcopalians and were confirmed at Christ Church at Matagorda, on December 6, 1891. When St. Mark's was established in Bay City in 1895, as a mission of Christ Church, John W. served on the first vestry.
The Gaines family moved to Bay City when the town was founded. He practiced law for several years with Thomas J. Hamilton and W. C. Carpenter. Later, he was in partnership with John M. Corbett and others.
John W. was involved in civic and political activities in the growing town. The Gainses were involved in the school activities of their children, their church, and the social activities of Bay City.
In 1920 the Gaines family moved to San Antonio, where John W. continued his law practice. His son, Carroll, joined the firm shortly as a junior partner. John W. was known as an authority on irrigation laws in Texas, and he and others were instrumental in implementing gas service in the Rio Grande Valley.
Lorena Gaines died on January 24, 1930, and John W. Gaines, Jr. died on September 20, 1939. They were buried in Mission Burial Park in San Antonio.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp
Sheriff Hamilton and Attorney Gaines were in the city last Tuesday, looking after their improvements, and Mr. Gaines selected some good resident property. Both signified their intentions to build residences and move their families to Bay City at once.
Bay City Breeze, October 25, 1894
Bay City Breeze, August 15, 1895
Carroll Montgomery Gaines, son of John W. and Lorena Montgomery Gaines, was born in Matagorda on October 2, 1891. Carroll attended school in Bay City and after his graduation, attended Texas A & M College until he transferred to the University of Texas where he received his law degree. He returned to Bay City to enter law practice.
Marguerite Josephine Hamilton, daughter of Thomas J. and Fannie Sargent Hamilton, was born in Matagorda on April 19, 1892. Marguerite attended school in Matagorda and for a while at St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio. The Gaines and Hamilton families moved to Bay City when it was founded, living in the hotel while their homes were being built. Both Carroll and Marguerite were baptized at Christ Church in Matagorda. Fannie Hamilton moved her family back to Matagorda following her husband's death in 1900, however, Carroll and Marguerite's friendship continued and they were married at Christ Church in Matagorda, November 26, 1918. After a honeymoon in New Orleans, they moved into their new home in Bay City. Their first child, Carroll, Jr., was born in Bay City on November 26, 1919.
In 1921 Carroll and Marguerite moved to San Antonio and Carroll became a junior partner in his father's law firm. On December 12, 1921, their daughter, Marguerite was born, and on February 29, 1924, their daughter Anne was born.
The children attended public schools. After graduation from high school, Carroll, Jr., attended Texas A & M University where he was graduated with degrees in Petroleum and Mechanical Engineering. Marguerite attended Incarnate Word College and Anne attended Trinity University.
Carroll, Jr. was a Captain during World War II. He married Ruth Dobyns Schrieler on September 10, 1949 and their son, Carroll M. Gaines III, was born the next year. Ruth and Carroll divorced in 1972. In April of 1973, he married Bettie W. Weisenberger. Carroll III married Nancy Monk in Houston on March 27, 1981. Carroll, Jr., died March 27, 1981, and is buried in the Houston National Cemetery.
Marguerite married James Gipson Badgett in San Antonio on January 14, 1943. He served in the U. S. Air Force in the Pacific during World War II, and had attained the rank of Colonel when he was discharged after the war. Marguerite and Jim had two children, Linda Carol and Barbara Anne. Linda Carol, married Frederick William Forward, Jr., on January 22, 1966. Linda and Bill had two children, Tracy William and Marcia Elise. Barbara Anne married Gary Lynn Luedtke and they were divorced in 1972. She married Lester Dudley Brady III on November 28, 1974.
Anne married Robert Lee Gulley, Jr., in San Antonio on December 7, 1943. He served in the U. S. Army Tank Forces in Europe during World War II, and was a Captain when he was discharged after the war. Anne and Bob had twin sons, Robert Lee III and Michael Hamilton. Robert married Jane Danner and they had one child, Amanda Jane. They were divorced and he married second Carol Cockrell Adams on December 2, 1978. They had one daughter, Annalee Earl. Michael Hamilton Gulley married Martha Ann Riley on August 28, 1965. They had three sons, Shawn Patrick, Timothy Marlyn and Loren Michael.
Although Carroll and Marguerite lived in San Antonio many years, Matagorda County was always "home." Carroll, Jr., spent most of each summer with Annie Jay and "Doc" Sholars when they lived at "The Nursery." Marguerite and the two girls spent several weeks there each year. Carroll, Sr. drove down each weekend. Later, vacations were spent at the cabin on the Bernard River and in Bay City.
Carroll, Sr. died in San Antonio on November 13, 1965, and Marguerite died in Conroe on October 11, 1980. Both were buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City. Carroll had served as president of the San Antonio A & M Club, Former Students Association, and Lighthouse for the Blind. He was chairman of the Board of the Lighthouse for the Blind and attorney for Texas A & M Research Foundation when he died.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, p 168
Marguerite Hamilton Gaines
Marguerite Hamilton Gaines, 88, of Conroe, died October 11 in Conroe. She was born April 19, 1892 in Matagorda. Survivors are: daughters, Marguerite Gaines Badgett of Conroe and Ann G. Gulley of San Antonio; son, Carroll M. Gaines, Jr. of Houston; 5 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Graveside services will be held Monday, October 13 at 1:00 p. m. at Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City with the Rev. Don Keeling officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. James Episcopal Church of Conroe or to the Genealogy Section Montgomery County Library. Metcalf Funeral Home of Conroe is in charge of arrangements.
Daily Tribune, October 13, 1980
LIEUTENANT PIERCE GAINES WRITES HOME
Letter to Mother is Cheerful and Optimistic
The Tribune is permitted the
pleasure of reproducing the following brief but very interesting
letter from Lieut. Pierce Gaines to his mother.
The letter follows:
American Expeditionary Force, June 2, 1918.―Dear Mother: For a little rest we are brought, and we do need it too. But outside of being tired I am feeling fine and dandy.
Jim Ward (of La Ward) was slightly wounded
the other day―three machine gun bullets in his leg. Moore, the boy I
roomed with when I was with the machine gun company, was also
slightly wounded―hit in the hand and arm by machine gun fire. A good
many of my friends have been hurt, but none seriously as yet. I am
sending you a clipping that may tell you something. We are having
fine weather and good prospects for it to continue. I never knew it
could go so long in France without a rain. It looks as though the
allies have again stopped a big drive. The Germans seem to be trying
to bring this war to a close―but it wont be a favorable close for
them. They seem to be especially spiteful towards Americans, and
they are finding that the so-called “easy” new-comers are a hard lot
to deal with after all.
There is nothing I can tell you.
Love to all. Devotedly, Pierce.
The Matagorda County Tribune, July 5, 1918
LIEUT. GAINES WOUNDED; DOING FINE
A cablegram was received yesterday by Mrs. Jno. W. Gaines in the following language: “Am feeling fine, duty soon. Love, Pierce.”
As Lieut. Gaines has not been ill
and as he has been in some of the hardest fighting on the
front, and the fact that he deemed it necessary to send a
cablegram, the inference is that he has undoubtedly been
wounded. The cablegram was sent from Nantes, France.
The Matagorda County Tribune,
August 2, 1918
LIEUT. GAINES REPORTED MISSING IN ACTION
Mrs. John W. Gaines received a telegram yesterday from Washington informing her that her son, Lieut. J. P. Gaines, has been missing in action since July 20.
There is some error in this report, and Mr. Gaines is now investigating it. Pierce was wounded in action on July 20, and was taken to the base hospital at Nantes on July 23. On August 10 he was discharged from the hospital and returned to his company. Later than that date his parents have received letters and one cablegram from him. Only last week the writer received a card from Lieut. Gaines stating: “Just a word from a far distant friend. Am alive and feeling fine.” This card was posted at Nantes, France.
From these evidences it is apparent that some error has been committed, either ignorantly or through the careless mixing of dates. As Mr. Gaines took the matter up immediately with Senator Sheppard, some light will be thrown on it within the next day or two.
The telegram read: “Extremely sorry to inform you that your son, Lieut. J. P. Gaines is officially reported as missing in action July 20. Will let you hear further as soon as definite information can be had.”
The Matagorda County Tribune, September 6, 1918
GAINES ON WAY HOME
Wired Parents His Safe Arrival
in New York
Cited for bravery on the battlefield in France and granted an extensive furlough that he might visit his parents, Lieut. J. P. (Pierce) Gaines wired his safe arrival in New York this morning.
Yesterday’s official casualty list published in State papers had Lieut. Gaines among those reported missing in action. Instead of that, he is now on his way home on a much deserved furlough after some terrible battle experiences at the front in which he was wounded, and where he was compelled to take a conspicuous part after seeing his major and captain both killed.
On July 20, Lieut. Gaines was wounded after having led his company into and through action. He was sent to the base hospital at Nantes and from there wrote home to parents and friends, telling them as much of the story as he could. Later on Mr. and Mrs. Gaines received an official telegram informing them that their son had been reported missing in action on July 20. On August 12 he wrote his mother that he was well and able to be back at the front, and now, having been cited for bravery, he is on his way home. The report of yesterday that he is missing in action emanates, no doubt, from the former official report, and is an error.
The Daily Tribune, September 13, 1918
LOCALS AND PERSONALS
From Friday’s Daily.
Lieutenant Pierce Gaines arrived in the city last night for a visit to his folks. He has just been returned to this country from the trenches in France, where he has seen active service, and will no doubt have some interesting stories to tell.
From Tuesday’s Daily.
Quite an interesting meeting was enjoyed by the Masons last night at the hall, where they gathered to honor Lieut. Pierce Gaines. Several interesting talks were made and Lieut. Gaines told of some of the experiences the American soldiers are going through on the battle front in France. At the conclusion of the meeting light refreshments were served, and the members bid God’s speed to Lieut. Gaines who will probably return to the front.
The Matagorda County
Tribune, October 25, 1918
OFFICER TO BE AWARDED SERVICE CROSS SATURDAY
Will Be First Service Cross Presentation Made in San Antonio
San Antonio Express.
Lieut. John P. Gaines of the 35th Infantry will be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross at a special review of the 36th Infantry Brigade of the 18th Division Saturday morning at 9 o’clock at Camp Travis.
Gen. George H. Estes, commandant of the division, will make the presentation. “He stayed with his command and led it to its final objective near Soissons, France, July 20, 1918, after being wounded; directed the consolidation of his position, and yielded his post only at the command of a superior officer,” the official war statement reads.
Lieutenant Gaines is from Bay City, Texas. He has been in France eleven months, all of which time he has been stationed within a hundred miles of the front line and the majority of the time about fifty miles from the firing line.
Immediately after his arrival in France Lieutenant Gaines was sent to a school conducted by the English. He went to the line in October, but during the winter was detailed for instruction “somewhere in France.”
Eventually he was assigned to Company C, 26th Infantry, First Division of the American army. He said that the division was first sent to Grandecourt.
Trenches are Different
“The trenches are very different from those seen in training camps,” Lieutenant Gaines said. “In the training camps they are dug according to the plans of an engineer. They are generally perfect from an engineer’s standpoint. It is not so in France. The trenches are dug by the men to provide shelter and protection. Sometimes they are merely improvised shell holes. They are from two to three feet wide―wide enough for two men to pass or a stretcher to be carried through.
“Where the sector has been inhabited by troops for some time the trenches are more elaborate. They are joined with communication trenches at regular intervals. Through these dispatches and food are carried.”
Distributing food to the soldiers is one of the most difficult feats in an active sector, Lieutenant Gaines said. The kitchens must remain some distance in the rear. The smoke from the chimneys must be carefully concealed. The food is wheeled in two-wheeled carts as near the front line trench as possible. Retails are then sent back through communication trenches to bring the food to the men.
“Distributing food in the trenches is generally done at night. The passing of a detail through the trenches would be observed by the enemy. Fire probably would be opened upon them. Therefore, the work must be done under cover of darkness.”
The lines of communication which have been established by the Americans are not less an honor to their ingenuity than their success on the battlefield is an honor to their valor, Lieutenant Gaines said. The success of the fighting army is largely due to the excellent railroads, telephones, telegraphs and motor transport systems that have been rapidly evolved and connect all parts of France.
Battle Is Described
In describing the battle in which he was wounded Lieutenant Gaines said: “We went to the front line trenches on July 18. That morning we went over the top and into the trenches of the Hun. They retreated to strongholds and protected themselves in shell holes. After that it was practically an open warfare.
“There was little hand-to-hand fighting except when we drove them out of their trenches. This was but a brief interval. The fighting continued for three days. I was struck by a bullet the morning of July 20. I continued to lead my men for nearly six hours. It did not seem long, there was do much doing.
“The men go forward eagerly. They seem to know no fear. Of course, every one is afraid. Everyone realizes the terrible danger. They do not seem to think of the danger, they think of what they are fighting for―to kill Huns and the honor of America.
“You never hear a man discussing the horrors of war in the trenches. But they may be seen in twos and threes laughing. No particular joke―just some funny remark at the uncomfortable life. The joking is partly to conceal their real feelings. It takes their minds off the terrors about them. It is always a joke, a cheer, a song, even to the time they go over the top into the thick of the fray.”
The following was taken from a paper published in France just after Lieut. Gaines had been cited for exceptional bravery:
Second Lieut. John P. Gaines, Infantry. He remained with his command and led it to its final objective, near Soissons, on July 20, 1918, after being wounded, directed the consolidation of his position and yielded his post only at the command of a superior officer. Next of kin, John W. Gaines, father, Bay City, Texas.
The Daily Tribune, Thursday, November 14, 1918
The John W. Gaines-Henry Rugeley-John J. LeTulle, Sr.-Burton LeTulle home was built in 1910 in Moore's 2nd addition of the Bay City townsite on Block 6, lots 1, 2 and 3 is an example of many old homes built between 1900 and 1912 in Bay City which was founded in 1894. Green & Briscoe were the architects.
Floor plans for the house are in possession of the present owners and according to Mrs. Burton LeTulle, the house today is much the same as those original plans. A south side porch on the second floor has been converted into a bathroom and the front porch on the second floor was screened in many years ago. An elevator was installed while Lela Lee LeTulle was living. The first floor consists of a living room and parlor, dining room, breakfast room, kitchen and butlers pantry. The large hallway as you enter the front door is used as another room. The second floor has five bedrooms with two baths and the same large hall as the first floor; this room serves as the family den.
Through the past eighty-three years (1910-1993) the home was occupied by the original owners and builders, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Gaines from 1910 to 1920; second, Henry and Susie LeTulle Rugeley from 1920 to 1938; third, John J. and Lela Lee Bond LeTulle from 1938 to 1966, and finally from 1966 to the present, Burton and Tommy Z. LeTulle, brother of Susie LeTulle Rugeley.
All of these families have been prominent in the founding and the development of Bay City which will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 1994.
John Wesley Gaines, Jr. and family lived in the home until 1920 and the home was recorded as a designated homestead in 1919.
Henry and Susie LeTulle Rugeley were likewise active in the development of Bay City in the early 1900s. Henry was on the first school board in 1898, one of the directors of the Matagorda County Rice and Irrigation Co. which was founded and chartered in 1900; on the first Rice Carnival committee in 1901; one of three directors of Bay City Bank which was founded in 1898 serving first as cashier and later president. When Bay City was incorporated in 1902 he became the city's first treasurer. He was a city alderman 1905-1911 and a first director of the Bay City Library in 1915. Mrs. Rugeley was active in U. D. C. and the Bay City Civic Club. They had three children.
John J. LeTulle, a rice farmer and a rancher, with his wife Lela Lee Bond owned the home and lived there with their five children from 1938 until the death of Mrs. LeTulle in 1966. LeTulle was credited as being one of the first cattlemen to successfully develop the Braford breed of cattle.
Burton and Tommy LeTulle, the present occupants of the home in 1993, are also active in the community carrying on the tradition of their predecessors. Burton has dedicated his life to the development and growth of Matagorda County. He engaged in ranching, rice farming, insurance and real estate and has at the same time participated in the civic affairs of the area. Burton is a lifetime member of the Bay City Gas Board.
Burton is an active director of the Lower Colorado River Authority having served as the chairman. Tommy has served as a council member for the City of Bay City and has just completed (1989-1992) a successful term as mayor of Bay City. Active in many community affairs, Tommy serves on the Library Board and the Matagorda County Tourism Committee.
Through the years this home has been the scene of
many social events including formal balls and dances on the third
floor, weddings, receptions, New Year's Eve parties and May Fetes in
the 1920s and 1930s. Two of the LeTulle sisters, Jean and Virginia,
had a double wedding in the home on May 25, 1939 and fifty years
later the two couples celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversaries
in the home. The home has been used as a setting for senior
photographs and Rice Festival contestants.
Bay City, Tex., Jan. 16.--John Gaines has let a contract to O. E. Hatchett for a home which will cost, when completed, about $11,000. This will include a beautiful home of colonial design, ample barn and servants' room. A Houston architect has drawn the plans and work will begin very soon.
San Antonio Daily Express, January 17, 1910
Mrs. J. W. Gaines delightfully entertained the young society set Wednesday evening in honor of Miss Rachel Peden of Houston and and Pierce Gaines, who leaves Monday for Virginia where he will enter college. After contests and various games delicious ice cream and cake were served. Those enjoying this charming hospitality were Misses Helen Kilbride, Ruth Keller, Shirley Carter, Catherine Poole, Louella Baker, Gladys Moore, Ola Lee Wright, Mabel Kennedy, Grace Moore, Stella Sutherland, Daisy Cookenboo, Annie Lu Gillett, Lois Moore; Messrs. Carroll Gaines, George Sutherland, Sammy LeTulle, Joe Milner, Leslie Cookenboo, Carol Cookenboo, Sherman Baker, Henry Lee and Harol Carter.
Houston Post, September 10, 1911
Mrs. John W. Gaines entertained the ladies of the Eastern Star Monday afternoon in honor of Miss Posey of Brownwood. Those present were: Mesdames Winnie McClare, Walter Brown, H. B. Eidman, J. R. Reynolds; Misses Essie Bell and Eula Sims.
Houston Post, October 22, 1911
The beautiful colonial home of Mr. and Mrs. John Gaines was the scene of a most enjoyable reception and dance Monday evening, given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Gaines' two sons, Carroll and Pierce, and the members of their house party, which include Misses Mollie Bell Matthews of Glen Flora, Alma and Irene Ratcliff of Shreveport, La.; Nannie Campbell of Mississippi, Rachel Peden of Houston, Tom Darst of Richmond and Milton Winston of San Marcos. The punch bowl, in a pretty little bower, was presided over by Mrs. Winnie Baker McClave. Those present were Misses Janie Hawkins, Lizzie Hawkins, Lillie Miller, Zalie Austin, Helen Kilbride, Adele Moore, Ruth Keller, Mabel Kennedy, Jeannette Austin, Shirley Carter, Zora Samuels of Greenville, Louise Wortham of Gainesville, Lucile and Kate Ruckman of Las Esperanzas, Marguerite Hamilton of Matagorda, Lucile Ladd of Alpine; Emmie Eidman, R. T. Bigelow, H. Parker, Roland Rugeley, Murphy, G. Sutherland, S. LeTulle, Sherman Baker, H. Lee, Ellingwood, R. Cookenboo, C. Cookenboo, Jack Pitluk, Perry Moore, B. Frazier of Eagle Lake, Mrs. Jesse Matthews of Glen Flora, Mrs. Winnie Baker McClave, Mr. and Mrs. George Serrill.
Houston Post, July 14, 1912
Copyright 2015 -
Present by Gaines & Hamilton Families
Dec. 27, 2015
Dec. 27, 2015