Claire and Meta Hawkins Lewis
Descendants of J. C. Lewis stand in front of one
of the trees from the first J. C. Lewis oak tree
to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sale
Left of tree, (left to right)
(front row) Frank Lewis, Janet Lewis Peden, Meta
(back row) Austen (cq) Furse, Janie Furse, John
Rt of tree (left to right)
Jim Lewis, Mary Furse Friedman, Margaret Lewis
Maredith Friedman and ZZ Friedman.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Doubek
James Claire Lewis Family
Claire "Jim" Lewis
was born in
Texas, on November 28,
son of Emma Lee
Eagle Lake and
He became President of the First
was made Chairman
of the Board.
the lobby of
behind his desk. He
Land and Cattle
in the Bay
Independent Rice Dryer
Under Jim Lewis'
served as City
years, and served as
was named in
served on the
Chamber of Commerce, and
received the Public
Episcopal Church and
instrumental in the
building of Matagorda House.
In 1962 the
to Jim Lewis.
married Meta Hawkins,
their children were: Frank Hawkins, Jr.,
July 7, 1956.
the First National
the Hawkins Ranch.
Historic Matagorda County Volume II, pages 322-323
Dean of Banking, J. C. "Mr. Jim" Lewis,
Civic Innovator Dies
Director of the Independent Rice Drying and
Warehouse Company, and Director of the Union Warehouse and
He has served the community in many ways,
including 16 years on the Bay City Council. Many of those years
he served as Mayor Pro Tem, serving as Mayor for nine months
when Mayor Paris Smith was elected to the State Legislature.
Mr. Lewis has served as a trustee of the city
gas system for over 30 years and has served as a member of the
Board of Trustees for the Bay City Public Library for more than
34 years. In these capacities he was largely instrumental in the
creation of the fine new building for the Library.
He has served as a member of the Board of
Managers of the Matagorda General Hospital for many years;
member and past president of the Chamber of Commerce; member of
the Board of Directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority of
Texas, serving as Secretary in 1961, and later as Chairman. The
LCRA Building was dedicated to Mr. Lewis Feb. 16, 1978.
A member of St. Mark's Episcopal church, he
is a Past Senior Warden and member of the Vestry.
In recognition for his countless
contributions to Bay City and Matagorda County, he was awarded
the plaque for Outstanding Citizen by the Chamber of Commerce in
He was married to Meta Hawkins on Oct. 15,
1917 who passed away Jan. 7, 1975. She was the eldest daughter
of Frank and Elmore Rugeley Hawkins, one of the country's
He is survived by two children: a daughter,
Mrs. Austen H. Furse of Austin; a son, Frank H. Lewis, and eight
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 2,
at 2 p. m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church with Rev. Melton
McWilliams officiating. Interment will be in Cedarvale Cemetery.
Daily Tribune, May 1, 1978
Mrs. Meta Hawkins Lewis
Mrs. Meta Hawkins Lewis passed away at her
home on Tuesday, January 7, 1975. Mrs. Lewis was born March 11,
1891 at the Hawkins Lake House. She was the daughter of Mr. and
Mrs. Frank Hawkins and the granddaughter of Colonel and Mrs. J.
B. Hawkins, pioneer settlers who came to Texas in the early
Mrs. Lewis attended Kidd Key preparatory
school in Sherman, Texas, and Chevy Chase College in Washington,
D. C. She was a member of the Colonial Dames, Daughters of the
American Revolution, and served as County Chairman of the
American Red Cross throughout World War II.
Shortly after coming to Texas from North
Carolina, her family established a sugar cane and cotton
plantation on Caney Creek at Hawkinsville where they built one
of the first sugar mills in Matagorda County, and Texas. In
later years they turned their attention more and more to cattle
She was a life long member of St. Mark's
Episcopal Church where she married James Claire Lewis October
Mrs. Lewis is survived by her husband, one
son Frank Hawkins Lewis, one daughter Margaret Lewis Furse, a
sister Mrs. Elmore Hawkins McDonald, and an uncle Rowland
Rugeley. Surviving grandchildren are Frank H. Lewis, Jr., Janet
N. Lewis, Meta C. Lewis, James N. Lewis, Janie H. Furse, Austen
H. Furse III, John Lewis Furse and Mary Elmore Furse.
Services will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal
Church, Bay City, Texas, Thursday morning January 9, 1975 at
10:00 a. m., and burial in Cedarvale Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that
those who desire to do so send a memorial offering to the Bay
City Public Library or to St. Mark's Episcopal Church or any
Charity of one's choice.
The Daily Tribune, January 8, 1975
Meta Hawkins Lewis
Meta Hawkins Lewis, 83, of Bay City died
January 7 at her home. She was a life-long resident of Matagorda
County. A member of the Episcopal Church, the Colonial Dames and
U. D. C. Survivors include: husband, J. C. Lewis; daughter, Mrs.
Austen Furse of Austen; son, Frank H. Lewis; sister, Mrs. E. L.
McDonald, all of Bay City; 3 grandchildren. Funeral services
will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal, January 9th at 10 a. m.
with Rev. Milton McWilliams officiating. Interment will be in
the Cedarvale Cemetery. Pallbearers are W. F. Green, Don Haley,
W. M. Penny, Marvin Landry, John H. Wilson and E. M. Landrum.
Arrangements with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.
Frank Hawkins Lewis Sr., 83, of Bay City died
at his home June 6, 2003.
He was born January 11, 1920 in Bay City and was a lifelong
resident and prominent civic leader in Matagorda County. Mr.
Lewis was the son of the late James Claire Lewis and Meta
Hawkins Lewis. He was a graduate of Bay City High School,
Woodberry Forrest School in Virginia and Princeton University,
where he graduated cum laude with a B.A. degree in Economics in
During World War ll, he served as Captain, Field Artillery in
combat in the Solomon Islands and the Philippines. He was also
assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division for occupation duty in
Japan. After completing four years of military service, he
returned to Matagorda County in 1946 and was actively engaged in
ranching, farming and banking. During his banking career he held
offices of Chairman of the Board, Trust Officer and remained an
Executive Officer of The First National Bank of Bay City from
1962 until 1995.
Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed Mr. Lewis to the Texas Water
Quality Board and the Texas Air Control Board where he served as
chairman. Mr. Lewis was elected as a Director of the Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in 1954, and served as
President from 1970 -1972. He served ten years as a member of
the Advisory Committee of the Texas A&M University Agriculture
Research and Extension Center and as director of the Texas Rice
Council for Market Development. He received the Outstanding
Cattleman Award of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce, served two
terms as president of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce, and was
a longtime Board Member of the Bay City Library Association, the
Matagorda County Fair & Livestock Association, and the Bay City
Cemetery Trust. He was a lifetime member of St. Mark's Episcopal
Church of Bay City and served on the Vestry. Mr. Lewis was a
past president of the Bay City Country Club, a member of the
Argyle Club in San Antonio and a member of Rancheros Visitadores.
Survivors include: two sons: Frank Hawkins Lewis Jr. of Bay
City, and James Neely Lewis of Austin; two daughters: Janet
Lewis Peden and husband, Scott Peden of Bay City, and Meta Lewis
Hausser and husband, Albert Ford Hausser of San Antonio; two
grandsons: John Hawkins Peden and Albert Ford Hausser, Jr.;
sister: Margaret Lewis Furse of Austin and numerous nieces,
nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife
Florence Neely Lewis.
Funeral Service will be 11 a.m. Monday, June 9, 2003, at St.
Mark's Episcopal Church with the Rev. Bruce Bonner and the Rev.
Harley Savage officiating. Interment will follow at Cedarvale
Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Scott Peden, John Peden, Albert
Hausser, Ford Hausser, Austen Furse, Ill, John Furse and Paul
Hemmer. Memorials may be made to the Bay City Public Library,
1100 7th St. Bay City, TX 77414, Matagorda County Museum, 2100
Ave F, Bay City, TX 77414, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Foundation, 1301 W. 7th St. Ft. Worth, TX 76102-2665 or to a
charity of your choice.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Melba Edison,
Charita Preston, Dorothy Allen, Michelle Smith, Yolanda
Mitchell, Edna Polk and Edna Dickson for the care, love and
companionship. Arrangements with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home.
The Bay City Tribune, Sunday, June 8, 2003
Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby
Florence N. Lewis
Florence N. Lewis, 73, of Bay City, died June
21, 1996 at Matagorda General Hospital.
Mrs. Lewis was born Aug. 2, 1922 in Amarillo,
to the late H. t. and Lucile Moore Neely. She was a member of
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, a resident of Bay City since 1949,
she organized the local chapter of the Junior Service League in
1959 and served as President for the first two years, and she
was very active in other various civic organizations.
Funeral services will be 2 p. m. Monday, June
24, 1996, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church with the Reverends Nick
Novak and Karl Choate officiating. Interment will be at
Survivors are: Husband, Frank H. Lewis, Sr.
of Bay City; two Daughters and Sons-in-law, Janet and Scott
Peden of Bay City and Meta and Albert Ford Hausser of San
Antonio; two Sons, Frank H. Lewis, Jr. and James N. Lewis both
of Bay City; Sister and Brother-in-law, Shirley and Bill Irwin
of Amarillo and two Grandchildren, John Peden and Fort Hausser.
In lieu of usual contributions, donations may
be made to The Bay City Library, Matagorda Co. Museum or the
charity of your choice.
Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral
Daily Tribune, June 23, 1996
Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby
Austen Henry Furse, Jr., a Texas attorney and
thirty-six year resident of Austin, died Tuesday, February 16,
2010. He was 87 years old.
Born in Fort Worth on February, 20, 1922, he was the elder son
of Lillian Ann Brazile Furse and Austen H. Furse, who had
emigrated from England and worked in the west Texas oil business
in Eastland, Texas. It was there that Mr. Furse grew up and in
1939, graduated from high school before attending Phillips
Academy, Andover, Mass.
Following his post-graduate year at Andover, where his
classmates continued his lasting nickname, Fuzzy, he entered
Yale University's Class of 1944. He became an English major and
a starting player on both the freshman and varsity football
With the outbreak of the Second World War, he enlisted in the
Army Air Corps and served as a bombardier in the Pacific
theater, including the air offensives of the Philippines and
Japan. For his conduct in action he received the Distinguished
Flying Cross, as well as the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf
clusters and the Asia-Pacific Theater Ribbon with six Bronze
Discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in late 1945, Mr. Furse returned
to Yale to complete his studies and play a final season of
football. He then entered the University of Texas Law School
where he received his LL.B. degree and was an editor of the Law
Review. In 1957 he received his Master of Laws degree from
After law school, he settled in Houston, where from 1950 to 1956
he was an attorney for the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company and later,
an associate of Butler, Binion, Rice & Cook law firm. He also
lectured on property law at the South Texas School of Law. He
subsequently moved to Bay City, Texas to become a partner in the
firm of Bell, Camp, Gwin & Furse. In 1967 he was elected County
Judge of Matagorda County.
In 1973, Mr. Furse moved to Austin to become an Assistant
Attorney General of the State of Texas and Chief of that offices
Oil and Gas Division. In the course of his ten years in
government, he successfully litigated numerous land and mineral
cases on behalf of the state. In 1983, he became a counsel of
the General Land Office of Texas.
During their life together, he and his wife, Margaret, traveled
throughout the world and often participated in informal courses
offered abroad. They were also avid theatergoers with as much
appreciation for the American musical theater as for the works
Mr. Furse took a lifetime interest in reading the classics, in
music of all kinds, in politics, and in the game of football.
Quick-witted in conversation, he also had a gift for writing
playful verse that delighted his family and friends.
As a result of a fall in August of 2000, he suffered a spinal
cord injury, which confined him permanently to a wheelchair. Yet
he managed to travel with some frequency to New York and New
England to see friends and classmates.
Austen Furse is survived by his wife of 55 years, Margaret Lewis
Furse, a past member of the faculties of Rice University and the
University of Texas, and by four children and their spouses:
Austen H. Furse III and Anne Seel Furse of Houston, John L.
Furse and Susanne Nitter Furse of Boston, Jane Furse Friedman
and John H. Friedman of New York City, and Mary Furse and Bill
McMillin of Austin, as well as by six grandchildren.
A memorial service was held yesterday (Saturday) at the
Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin. A graveside
service in Bay City is tentatively planned for April 1.
Bay City Tribune, Published February
Frank Hawkins Lewis Jr.
August 3, 1950 - January
Hawkins Lewis Jr., 65, of
Bay City, Texas died
unexpectedly on January 27,
born August 3, 1950, in Bay
City, and was a life long
resident. Mr. Lewis was the
son of the late Frank
Hawkins Lewis and Florence
Neely Lewis, and was the
grandson of the late James
Claire Lewis and Meta
Hawkins Lewis, Ted Neely and
Lucille Moore Neely. He was
a graduate of Blue Ridge
University, where he earned
a B.A. degree in Business
and the TCU Ranch Management
was a long time member and
Director of the Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Association. Some of his
passions in life included
travel, alligator hunting,
family genealogy, TSCRA
Directors meetings, card
games and telling jokes. He
will be remembered for his
generosity, sly whit,
culinary skills and
incredible detailed memory
of family history.
is survived by his brother,
James Neely Lewis and his
husband Paul Gerard Hemmer
of Austin; his sisters,
Janet Lewis Peden and her
husband Scott Peden of Bay
City, Meta Lewis Hausser and
her husband Albert Ford
Hausser of San Antonio; two
nephews, John Hawkins Peden
of Bay City, and Albert Ford
Hausser Jr. and his wife
Rachel Holt Hausser of Fort
Worth; two aunts, Margaret
Lewis Furse of Austin and
Shirley Neely Irwin of
Amarillo; and numerous
memorial service for Mr.
Lewis will be Thursday,
February 11, 2016 at 3 p.m.,
at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home
in Bay City, Texas.
can be made to the Matagorda
County Museum, 2100 Ave. F,
Bay City, Texas 77414; Ranch
Management Program, Texas
Christian University, TCU
297420, Fort Worth, Texas
76129; Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers
Foundation, 1301 W. 7th
Street, Fort Worth, Texas
76102-2665; or the charity
of your choice.
condolences may be shared
with the family by visiting
Arrangements are with Taylor
Bros. Funeral Home in Bay
City, Texas. 979-245-4613.
Bay City Tribune, February 3, 2016
Photo courtesy of Betty Crosby