Matagorda Yellow Fever Victims, 1862

(From the minutes of the city council of Matagorda, entered March 3, 1863)

Upon the request of His Honor, the Mayor (D. E. E. Braman) the following was ordered to be entered in the minutes:

Matagorda City has been much celebrated for the salubrity of its climate and the uninterrupted good health of its inhabitants (with few exceptions) ever since its first settlement in 1827. But in the autumn of 1862, the yellow fever appeared among us and before its departure desolated many homes and brought sadness to the hearts of all. As the prevalence of this scourge is a sorrowful epoch in our history we have caused the mournful results to be recorded herein for the information of future generations.

A list of persons who died of yellow fever in the City of Matagorda between the 21st day of September and the 27th day of November, 1862.

About 150 white inhabitants of both sexes and all ages were in the city during the continuance of the disease. Of these 83 were attacked, 45 died and 43 recovered.

Name                                               Age            Died           Where Born


Baxter, Mrs. Wm. A.                        22               Sept. 25     Texas

Burkhart, Miss Rebecca E.             16               Oct. 5        

Burkhart, Mrs. Catherine                 57               Oct. 8         Bavaria

Burkhart, Miss Louisa                      27               Oct. 13       Philadelphia
(Of one family, mother and daughters)

Barbour, Mrs. Wm. D.                     27               Oct. 6        

Bates, Mrs. T. F.                              27               Nov. 18     

Carter, Miss Mary                            18               Sept. 26    

Dreyling, Mrs. Gus                          21               Oct. 24      

Dietrich, Antoine                              14               Oct. 30      

Dietrich, Sebastian, Sr.                   67               Oct. 18       Germany

Dietrich, Mrs. S.                               69               Oct. 13       Germany
(Husband and wife)

Fisher, Mrs. Ann                              67               Oct. 20      
(Widow of Sec. of Navy under old Republic)

Freeman, Miss                                10               Nov. 11     

Frazier, Daniel                                 30               Oct. 18      

Giles, Silvester (Postmaster)         40               Oct. 31      

Haden, Jas. F.                                 49               Oct. 8        

Haden, Mrs. Jas. F.                         37               Oct. 12       Mississippi

Haden, Miss Mary F.                       18               Oct. 12       Mississippi

Haden, Miss Sally                            16               Oct. 14       Mississippi

Haden, Miss Anna                           11               Oct. 17       Mississippi

Haden, Nora (a child)                        8                Nov. 27      Mississippi
(Sheriff of County, father, mother and daughters)

Hillard, Mrs. Wm. (teacher)             40               Oct. 23      

Hillard, Thos. S. (Son of Mrs. Wm.) 17              Oct. 30      Texas



Johnson, Mrs. Peter                        25               Sept. 22     Germany


Layton , William                                68               Oct. 18       New Jersey


McDonald, Alex                               40                Oct. 16       Scotland

McDonald, Mrs. Alex                       45               Oct. 25       Massachusetts (Husband and wife)


Mackey, Mrs. Ruth                           70               Oct. 30       Maryland


Owen, Tremoine                             15               Oct. 10       Maryland


Perry, Mrs. Rebecca                       29               Sept. 28
(Widow late Dr. J. C. Perry)


Robertson, Jacob                           49               Nov. 22      Georgia


Selkirk, Jas. H. ( County Clerk )        48               Oct. 13       Germany


Shultz, Mrs. Ford                             35               Oct. 13       Germany


Stanley, Miss Susan                        24               Oct. 15       Ireland

Stanley , Mrs. Lydia                          64               Oct. 16       Ireland
(Mother and daughter, Mrs. S., mother of W. D. Barbour)


Schmerber, Mrs. M.                        25               Oct. 16       Germany


Vanslyke, Robt.                               6                Oct. 6          Texas

Vanslyke, Miss Lucy                       17               Oct. 12       Texas

(Brother and sister)


Wadsworth , Mrs. A.                         45               Oct. 13       North Carolina

Wadsworth , Albert                           50               Nov. 4          North Carolina (Husband and wife)


Yeamans, Mary                                12               Oct. 10       Texas


Also an infant child of S. W. Fisher, two children of Abner Reeves and a child of Adam J. Miller died of yellow fever during same time. making in all 45 deaths.

There were about 50 slaves in the city. Many of them took the fever and some were very sick but none died.


William D. Barbour, Secretary


Reprinted in The Daily Tribune, August 23, 1945

Additional Notes   Page 2        Page 3       Family Groups


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Jan. 13, 2005
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