Jonathan Edwards Pierce
(1839-1915), joined his older brother, Abel Head Pierce, in
Matagorda County in 1858. After Confederate service he became a
rancher with large holdings. He and his wife, Nancy “Nannie”
Deborah Lacy (1845-1896) built their home, “Rancho Grande,” on
the Tres Palacios River. Jonathan was the founder of Blessing and
builder of Hotel Blessing.
Abel Head ”Shanghai” Pierce
(1834-1900) was born in Little Compton, RI. At age 16 he moved to VA
and arrived in TX in Dec. 1853. In Matagorda County he first worked
for W. B. Grimes as a cowboy and after serving in the Confederate
Army, set out on his own. He amassed great tracts of property on
which he raised cattle. His wife Frances “Fannie” Lacy Pierce
(1839-1870) is buried with him in the family plot.
George W. Anderson (1845-1931)
was born in Indiana and was a corporal in Co. G, 6th
Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. He married Julia Carley
(1848-1928) and they moved to Palacios between 1910 and 1920.
Homer C. Matthes (1907-1991) received his medical
degree from the University of Texas Medical School Branch in
Galveston and practiced in Panama from 1938-1946. He moved to Bay
City and practiced as a surgeon, obstetrician (delivering 3540
babies) and family physician. He never refused a patient who could
not pay his fee. His first wife, Margaret Lee Martin
Matthes (1911-1993), is buried next to him .
5. Ray Lee
Penland, Jr. (1949-1968) attended school in Palacios
and Port Lavaca. He was a Private First Class in Company I, 3rd
Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division United States Marine Corps. He
was killed in action by rifle fire during a fire fight with the
enemy near Quang Tri, South Vietnam.
Sallie Pearson Rush Hogue
(1888-1980) was the mother of US Army Corporal Carl Wesley
Rush (1921-1943) who was incarcerated and died as a WWII
prisoner of war at Cabanatuan Prison in the Philippines after
surviving the Bataan Death March. He was buried at Memphis National
Cemetery in Memphis, TN.
(1913-2001) moved to Midfield with his family in 1923. He served in
the US Army in WWII and was the Matagorda County Commissioner of
Precinct No. 4 for 24 years. His wife,
Mattie Nora “Totsy” Guynes
Hurta (1918-2002) is buried beside him.
8. Martha Jane
Hess Hawk (1859-1936) and her husband, Joseph W.
Hawk (1858-1935) were Gold Star parents of Private George W.
Hawk (1887-1918) who died of wounds received while serving with
the WWI American Expeditionary Forces in France. Joseph is buried
near his parents.
William George King, Jr.
(1921-2010) graduated from Blessing High School, served 6 years in
the US Navy and was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He married
Marie Matthes (1919-1979) and they lived in Blessing and
Markham. He was a coach, teacher and principal at Markham
Elementary. After retirement he continued with Tidehaven ISD as tax
assessor/collector and business manager.
(1843-1922) was born in Ontario, Canada and migrated to
the US in 1844. He was living in New York when, at 19, he enlisted
in Co. B, NY 151st Infantry Regiment and served from
1862-1865 during the Civil War. He married Susan Rose Bostwick
(1865-1936) in 1880 and the family moved to Blessing by 1910 where
Mr. Crowder was a truck farmer.
(1842-1920) was born in NJ. He enlisted at 19 in Co. H, 3rd
Regiment, NY Volunteer Infantry as a teamster. He moved to IL and
then to Bell Co., TX where he married Ladosia McMillian. By
1910, Samuel was living in Blessing and died in Midfields.
(1839-1920) began driving cattle at age 10 and at 12 was trailing
cattle to MO. After Confederate service as a private in the 1st
Regiment, Texas Cavalry, he married Susan Pierce (1841-1920),
the sister of “Shanghai” and Jonathan Pierce. They ranched near
Deming’s Bridge and later in the Buckeye area. Susan supervised the
operation of the ranch while Wylie was on the cattle drives.
Ellen Inez Swift Partain Rugeley Siringo Sapp (1853-1914)
was born in Matagorda County and married
Thomas E. Partain in
1874. She married Frank Rugeley in 1911, and married cowboy,
Pinkerton detective and author
Siringo for a short time in 1913. Ellen was killed
near Beaumont in 1916 while on a hunting trip with her fourth
husband, E. E. Sapp.
“Jimmy” Partain (1875-1900) was the son of Thomas
E. Partain (1852-1911) and Ellen Swift Partain. He was
engaged to be married to Julia Cornelius in August of 1900, but he
was drowned about 10 p.m. on August 11th when the
rain-swollen waters of the Tres Palacios River washed him and his
horse off Deming’s Bridge.
John Pybus (1816-1909) was born
in Liverton, Yorkshire, England and was living in Matagorda County
by 1860. He was married to
Chloe Pybus (1823-1896) and was a
farmer and stock raiser. He served the Confederacy in the Tres
Palacios Coast Guards, 21st Reserve Company as a
Sarah Ann Gilliland Kuykendall Kensie Tone
(1797-1857) was born in TN and married
Robert H. Kuykendall
in AR in 1814, Peter Kensie c 1833 in TX and Thomas J.
Tone in 1837 in Matagorda County. She is the earliest recorded
burial at Hawley.
Orpha Reid Brown (1881-1980) and her husband,
Herbert L. Brown (1883-1964) were both teachers who moved from
Kansas to Texas. In 1909 they visited the Aikin family in Blessing
and decided to settle in the young town. Orpha received a Texas
county teaching certificate and taught school at the Blessing
Masonic Lodge building. She taught all grades for $60 per month. She
and H. L. also taught at Prairie Center, Midfield and Wadsworth.
William Walter “Pudge” Heffelfinger (1867-1954) was
born in Minneapolis, MN. He attended Yale University and played left
guard on Walter Camp’s football team 1888-1891. He was a three time
All American at Yale and played football for the Chicago Athletic
Association. On Nov. 12, 1892 “Pudge” received $525 for playing and
winning a football game in Pittsburgh, PA. He was the first
documented professional football player in the US. He coached
college teams in CA, PA and MN, published Heffelfinger’s Football
Facts and had the first sports quiz show on radio. He married
Grace Harriet Pierce (1878-1960) and died at their Live Oak Farm
Deming’s Bridge marker