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Savage Family

Savage Family Cemetery


Emilius Savage

By Barbara Stell


On January 27, 1829, the schooner Little Zoe arrived at the mouth of the Colorado River. There is an entry for Emilius Savage on the passenger list. In Austin’s Register of Families he is listed as:

Emilius Savage age 38, farmer, New York, 1829
Mary, his wife, 30
1 male child

There is also a letter signed by Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1929, staging that the above named thirty-five persons [39?] have emigrated from the state of New York in the company of Elias Wightman, and “have been received by me as part of the settlers which I am authorized by the government to settle this colony,” Emilius Savage is listed. Emilius served in Captain Fowler’s Company of the Texas army during the Revolution. He received a land grant of 4,446 acres in Fayette County, being League #27 granted by the Government of the United Mexican States, which he sold in 1836. Records show that he had a tract of land in what is now Burleson County in 1835. There are several land transactions concerning Emilius in Matagorda. Among the tracts he purchased were the 300 acres on Tres Palacios Creek which he deeded to his son, Norman, in 1848. The two acres that Norman gave to the Trespalacios Baptist Church were part of his tract and were the site of what is now Hawley Cemetery.

Emilius’ exact death date is not known, but his last land transactions were in 1848. Tradition has it that he was buried in Hawley Cemetery, and his death and burial were the inspiration for Norman’s gift of the two acres. It is known, however, that Emilius’ widow, Mary, married Manley Sexton on October 1, 1849. She died in 1872.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, page 92


Norman Savage

By Barbara Stell

Norman Savage was born March 26, 1826, in New York. In 1829 he came to Texas with his parents, Emilius and Mary Savage, as part of a group of thirty-five [39?] persons destined for Stephen F. Austin’s colony.

Norman grew up in Matagorda County, married Mary Smith, daughter of Jacob Smith, on June 17, 1850. Their daughter, Charlotte M., was born on October 15, 1851. Norman’s wife, Mary, died on June 6, 1852. Norman then married Marinda Adams, daughter of John Adams, on June 7, 1854. They were the parents of four children: Greenberry, Isbella, Edward J., and May.

Norman engaged in ranching and was noted for his herd of imported beef cattle and his fine horses. His “O” brand was registered in Matagorda County on February 30, 1829.

Norman was a circuit-rider preacher and elder in the Methodist Church. He preached at Tres Palacios and various sites in the county. In August, 1854, Norman deeded two acres of land on Tres Palacios Creek near Deming’s Bridge to Daniel M. Wheeler, Horace Yeamans, and Samuel Pilkington, trustees for the Trespalacios Baptist Church. These two acres became Hawley Cemetery.

During the Civil War, Norman served in Captain George Burkhart’s Reserve Company of Matagorda County, and later in Company F, 4th Battalion, Texas State Troops.

Norman Savage was a member of the Trespalacios Masonic Lodge No. 411 at Deming’s Bridge. The Trespalacios Lodge building was later moved to Blessing.

Norman Savage met an untimely death on May 5, 1878. His death is described in a letter from Marinda to her son-in-law, J. H. McCain captioned:


Sunieside, Texas, May 27, 1878, “…He and the boys had went to the lot to milk, and Budie had roped a wild cow and his Pa went up to take the rope off the cow when she threw her head around and struck him just above the ear with her horn. He staggered back and Eddie caught him in his arms. In a minute there was a knot swelling out as large as a hen’s egg. Eddie helped him in the house where he lay down but would not let us send for a doctor, but he got no better and Eddie went for the doctor anyway. Before he came back he (Mr. Savage) had sunk into sleep from which we never could wake him. He died a little after 2 o’clock in the morning and was buried [in Matagorda Cemetery] on the 8th with Masonic honors.”


Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, page 92

Matagorda Cemetery

Photo of Norman Savage courtesy of Matagorda County Museum and photo of cemetery marker courtesy of Freda Daniel.


Greenberry Savage Family

By Margaret G. Seerden and Barbara Stell


Greenberry Savage was born on April 9, 1855, to Norman and Marinda Adams Savage. He grew up near Matagorda and attended school there. Greenberry, sometimes called Budie and later Uncle Bud, was Norman’s and Marinda’s oldest child. During his early years his knowledge and love of ranch life developed as he helped his parents on the ranch. His personal dignity, kindness, and determination was surely nurtured by his Methodist Circuit Rider Preacher father, Norman, and his mother, Marinda, who continued to ranch, buy land, and lead a productive life long after the death of Norman.

On November 28, 1878, Greenberry married Amanda Jane Franz in a ceremony at the home of her parents, Conrad and Demis Baxter Franz, conducted by Reverend J. N. McCain. They started their ranch about ten miles south of Bay City, and lived in the typical, sturdy, handsome, Savage ranch house. It boasted a large kitchen and dining room and a story-and-a-half living and bedroom area with a dog-trot separating the two areas. A beautiful organ stood in the living area which Amanda Jane played no doubt. What a perfect place to rear their eight children: Beulah, Gay, Stewart, Rob, Mae, Lucille, Hamilton and Janie. Greenberry planted a large orchard, had a flourishing garden, and managed his cattle and livestock. As his father before him, he had a large herd of prize horses of which he was especially proud.

But tragedy struck again in 1878. By this time Greenberry and Amanda had seven living children and had lost two little girls at birth. At the birth of their tenth child, Jane Gober, Amanda Jane died, and Greenberry was left with eight children. The Franz grandparents, Conrad and Demis, assumed the responsibility of rearing the infant Janie. Their oldest child, Beulah, was only sixteen, but she and her father managed the home and the children and saw them to adulthood. Greenberry took the boys with him as he did his ranch work, and, as was the custom of the day, when he helped friends and neighbors with their “cow work.”

In later years, Greenberry married Minnie Hull and they were the parents of two daughters, Ivy and Lilly Belle.

Greenberry continued to ride until shortly before his death, and would regularly ride the long distances between his children’s homes to visit. He is remembered by his grandchildren as a dignified, handsome, man with a long white beard and kind, sparkling, brown eyes. He would arrive on his horse clad in khaki, wearing high boots, and carrying a knapsack filled with fruit and goodies for the children.

Greenberry died on February 28, 1930, and was buried beside Amanda Jane in the Savage Family Cemetery situated near the location of the old Savage ranch house.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 464-465



Copyright 2011 - Present by the Savage Family
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Jun. 21, 2011
Jun. 21, 2011