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Private Franklin Travis "Sonny" O'Rear

U. S. Army

September 2, 1919 - July 23 1937
Cedarvale Cemetery
Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas

Gold Star Mother
Prudie Allen O'Rear




Bay City High School

Freshman Class


Private Franklin Travis
Sonny O’Rear [September 2, 1919 - July 23, 1937] United States Army, was born to Prudie (Allen) O’Rear [September 25, 1882 - September 11, 1945] and W. D. [William Daniel] “Dan” O’Rear [July 20, 1882 - December 12, 1957] at Bay City, Matagorda County, Texas. He attended school in Bay City and during his Sophomore year he enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1936, and was assigned to Troop “F, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City, Starr County, Texas.  While performing guard duty on two prisoners, his horse began bucking and threw him to the ground. He was flown from Fort Ringgold to Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas where he died at the station hospital from a skull fracture and severe concussion.  He was returned to Bay City for burial and was interred at Cedarvale Cemetery in Section 4.  At the time of his death he was survived by his mother and father, sisters: Lottie Fay and Cleatis M.; brothers: Artis W. and Harvey Daniel Dan,” his grandmother, Mrs. Permelia "Millie" Emma High O'Rear and numerous aunts and uncles.

Travis O'Rear
Expires In San Antonio

Travis O'Rear, 18, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan O'Rear of this city, expired in San Antonio Saturday following an accident. He received a fractured skull when he fell from a horse he was riding at an army camp there.

Funeral services were held here Sunday under the direction of Taylor Brothers. A more complete account of this young man's life will appear in a later issue of this paper.

The Daily Tribune,
July 26, 1937


Travis O'Rear, age 17 years, 10 months and 22 days, son of Mr. and Mrs. Dan O'Rear of this city, who expired in San Antonio Friday, was buried here Sunday. Rev. Odis Rainer conducted the funeral from the Baptist Church and interment was at Cedarvale Cemetery under the direction of Taylor Brothers.

Pallbearers were: C. B. Keener, Keith Curtis, John Wilkinson, Lewis Hagerman, Joseph Nolan and Buster Keller.

Travis O'Rear was born and reared in Bay City. In October of 1936 he joined the cavalry at Fort Ringo, Texas. He was very progressive in military work. Thursday while he was guarding two prisoners, the horse that he was riding began pitching and he was thrown to the ground. He received a fractured skull and was rushed to San Antonio in an airplane for medical attention. He never regained consciousness. He passed away Friday, July 23, at 3:30 p.m.

This fine young man had many friends in Bay City who will join the Tribune in extending sympathy to the following who are left to mourn: his parents; two sisters, Miss Fay of Wichita Falls and Mrs. D. E. Lynch; two brothers, A. W. of Los Angeles and Dan Jr. of this city.

The Matagorda County Tribune, July 29, 1937

Sympathy Expressed To Mrs O'Rear

The Tribune is in receipt of the following telegram from Fort Ringgold:

Matagorda County Tribune,
Mr. Carey Smith, Jr.

We wish to join Mrs. Dan O'Rear in mourning at the loss of her son, also soldier Fort Ringgold, Texas. Private Franklin Travis O'Rear, whom was thrown from his horse being critically injured and later died in the Army Hospital located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. We wish to say that there has never been a better soldier in the United States service than the late Franklin Travis O'Rear.

Private Thomas A. Rice, Jr. and Fort Ringgold as a whole.

The Daily Tribune, July 31, 1937

Mrs. Dan O'Rear Dies Today At Lubbock

Mrs. W. D. (Dan) O'Rear, 64, died Tuesday morning at 4:00 o'clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Sam Byers, in Lubbock. Her death followed an illness of long duration.

A resident of Bay City for many years, Mrs. O'Rear is survived by her husband, two daughters, Mrs. Sam Byers of Lubbock and Miss Cleatis Lynch of Los Angeles, California. Two sons, Artie of Los Angeles and Dan, Jr., of the United States Navy, and two grandchildren also survive.

Funeral services are at Lubbock Wednesday afternoon at 4:00.

Matagorda County Tribune
, September 13, 1945

Marker photo courtesy of David Sifford.

O'Rear Services Will Be Monday

Funeral services will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Taylor Brothers Funeral Home Chapel for W.D. "Dan" O'Rear, 75, who died at Matagorda General Hospital Thursday morning.

Mr. Gle Walton of the Church of Christ will conduct the services. Interment will be at Cedarvale Cemetery.

He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Cleatis Cobb of California, Mrs. Lettie Byers of Marlin; two sons, H.D. O'Rear of Bay City and A.W. O'Rear of Los Angeles; five sisters, Mrs. Jennie Lawless of California and Mrs. Kate Fathering of Boling, Mrs. Ethel Cotrell of Levelland, Mrs. Ora Hite and Eva Murphy of Arkansas; and three brothers, Ed O'Rear of Sweeny, Ben O'Rear of Denton and Monroe O'Rear of California.

The Daily Tribune, December 13, 1957


Mrs. F. M. O'Rear

Mrs. F. M. [Permelia "Millie" Emma* High] O'Rear, age 75 years six months and 26 days passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. W. Sparks at Clemville, Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock.

She is survived by five daughters, Mrs. E. O. Lawless, Mrs. Earl Cotrell, Mrs. Isac Hight, Mrs. Eva Murphy and Mrs. J. W. Sparks. Four sons, B. F., W. D., Monroe and E. B.

Funeral services will be held from the Walker-Matchett Funeral Home this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with Rev. Ira Keys of the Methodist Church officiating, burial in Cedarvale Cemetery,

Matagorda County Tribune, April 11, 1940

*1900 Federal Census for Hamilton County, Texas gives her name as Permelia E. [Emma] O'Rear.

Franklin M. O'Rear

July 29, 1849
July 12, 1936

Oakwood Cemetery
Denton County, Texas

Marker photo courtesy of
Find A Grave


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