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Red Bluff Cemetery Project

This cemetery is located on private property on the north side of State Highway 35 on the east side of the Colorado River. There are several known graves and probably many more since the Red Bluff Church building stood adjacent to the cemetery. Any markers that are there are covered with at least 18 inches of soil. DIRECTIONS


Susan Virginia T. Lee Mangum b Aug 1850 in Maury County, Tennessee and died sometime after 1882 in Matagorda County. She was the daughter of Edwin Lee and Rebecca Cavender Lee. Susan was the first wife of Arthur William Mangum and they married c 1870. She was buried in the northwest corner of the cemetery under a large cottonwood tree.

Other Mangums buried in Red Bluff in close proximity to Susan include:

*Samuel Jackson Mangum, Sr. born Jan 1, 1836 in Talbot county, Georgia, died 1891 in Matagorda County. He was the son of Robert S. and Rutha Jane (Arnold) Mangum.

*Arthur William "Willie" Mangum b. about 1870 in Matagorda county. (Willie was killed by a horse at 18 years of age.) He was the son of Samuel Jackson, Sr. and Martha Jane White Mangum.

Additional burials include:

Allie Bond born February 10, 1878 - Died August 28, 1882

J. T. Wofford  died October 22, 1903
Private, Company E, 31st Texas Cavalry (from list of E. S. Rugeley Camp, UCV, No. 1428)
Mr. Wofford was said to be the person who moved the Red Bluff Church building into Bay City.

*Information from Mike Cox


Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans
Mechanized Cavalry, Company C
visit the grave of Samuel J. Mangum in March 2014
to clean the marker site


Allie Bond

Rudolph Hayes

Taken by Nantie Pier Lee, August, 1984
Pictures courtesy of Rev. William F. Lanigan, Jr.

Rudolph Rufus Hayes

born January 15, 1847, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
died December 20, 1880, Matagorda County, Texas

son of
Jacob Hayes
born May 5, 1794 in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
died December 29, 1834, Jefferson County, Texas

Alzena _____ Hayes

(Information from Ancestry)

1880 Census, Matagorda County
R. Hayes, 60, stock raiser b in LA, LA, LA
Elzena, 53, b in LA, LA, LA
Mary J., 30, b in LA, LA, LA
Elijah, 15 b in TX, LA, LA
James, 12 b in TX, LA, LA
Elzena N., 8 b in TX, LA, LA
There is a M. R. Hayes, 24, b in TX, LA, La living nearby who is also a stock raiser, Rudolph's son.

Families on the same page include A. W. Mangum, D. P. Moore, J. P. Lee  and William Lee

Last Will and Testament of Rudolph Hayes

The State of Texas, County of Matagorda

Know all men by these presents that I, Rudolph Hayes of the County of Matagorda in the State of Texas being now of feeble health, but of sound and disposing mind and memory do make publish and declare the instrument of writing as and for my last will and testament hereby specially revoking any and all wills by me ever at any time heretofore made.

First: I direct that all my just debts shall be paid and as soon after my death as practicable out of my estate by my Executor hereinafter named and that the Legacies hereinafter given shall after the payment of my debts be paid out of my estate by my said Executor.

Second. I hereby give and bequeath to my daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Morgan, wife of Alvin Morgan of Brazoria County Texas the sum of ten dollars in money as and for her full share and part in and of my estate and under no circumstances is she to have more than said sum of ten dollars.

Third. I hereby give and bequeath to my beloved wife Alzena Hayes the sum of three thousand ($3000.00) in money to be paid to her out of my estate by my executor hereinafter named as soon after my decease as conveniently may be done.

Fourth. I hereby give and bequeath all the residue of my estate remaining after the payment of my debts and the special Legacy to my daughter Sarah Elizabeth Morgan and the one to my said wife, unto my said wife Alzena Hayes and to my children Mary Jane Hayes, Matthew R. Hayes, Ann Eliza Bailey, wife of Oliver Bailey, Elijah Rudolph Hayes, James Elisha Hayes and Nora Alzena Hayes, residents of said Matagorda County and the last three of my said children being minors, under the age of twenty one years. This last legacy to my said wife and my said six children is to be held, owned and enjoyed, share and share alike and this arrangement and disposition of the residue of my estate being entirely satisfactory to my said wife, she having consented thereto before the final execution thereof, and the same being done to meet her wishes and ideas as well as my own.

Fifth. I hereby constitute and appoint my friend John Brownson of the County of Victoria in said State the trustee of the property herein given and bequeathed to my said minor children Elijah Rudolph, James Elisha and Nora Alzena Hayes, and I hereby empower him to sell or dispose of their share or part of the property herein given to them or any part of the same if in his judgement it be best and to invest the proceeds thereof as advantageously as may be possible so that the principle will make or produce something and to expend the interest revenue or income there of or so much thereof as may be unnecessary for the support, education and maintenance of my said children and if necessary to do so to expend the principal or any part of the same for said purpose. It is my desire that the said Brownson retain the custody and control of said property until the marriage or majority of my said children of any of them and as each one marries or attains his majority it is my wish and I hereby so direct that they take possession and control of their part of said property or the proceeds thereof, or any property which may be acquired with the same and upon the happening of either of said events the control, power, and authority of said trustee shall cease and determine as to the part of share of the one so marrying or attaining majority, but as to the other shall continue on.

Having full confidence in the integrity as well as the business capacity of my said friend John Brownson, I do not desire to place any restriction or limitation upon his powers and authority as trustee in relation to the said property and I hereby give him the most plenary and absolute authority in relation thereto or the proceeds thereof knowing he will be faithful in his trust and that he will always do what he thinks is for the best interests of any said children.

Sixth. I hereby nominate and appoint my son, Matthew R. Hayes the sole executor of this my last will and testament, and it is my wish, and I hereby so direct and provide that he be not required or forced to give any bond or security as such Executor and I specially exempt him from given any.

Seventh. It is my wish and I hereby so provide and direct that no other action shall be had or taken in the County Court or any other Court hearing probate jurisdiction in relation to the settlement of my estate than the probating and recording of this my last Will and testament, and the return of an inventory, appraisement and list of Claims of my estate.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name this the eleventh day of December A. D. 1880 in the presence of J. K .Johnson, Waldo Thompson, Joseph Mangum, Fred C. McCamly who attest the same at my special request.

Rudolph Hayes

The above instrument of writing was now here subscribed by Rudolph Hayes the testator in our presence of each other sign our names us attesting witness.

Fred C. McCamly
Waldo Thompson
J. K. Johnson
Joseph Mangum

Filed January 4th A. D. 1881
Recorded March 9th A. D. 1881
Wm. E. Austin Clerk C. Ct. M. Co.

Proof of will filed 17th day of January A. D. 1881.
Recorded March 9th A. D. 1881
Wm. E. Austin
Clerk Co. Ct. M. Co.

The marker of Rudolph Hayes was unearthed in 1983 and again about 2000.
These are pictures from 2000 courtesy of Mary Belle Ingram.


Copyright 1997 by Rev. William F. Lanigan, Jr.

The Lee-Mangum-Bond Cemetery is located approximately fifty yards north of the westbound span of the Colorado River Bridge on Texas Highway 35 in Matagorda County, Texas. It was established by early members of the Methodist Church at Red Bluff who were predominantly of the Lee, Mangum, and Bond families1. This cemetery was continually deluged with river silt due to the many floods of the Colorado River caused by the "river raft", a blockage of debris that collected in the river and impeded navigation of the river about half a mile downstream from the cemetery. After the Texas legislature passed an act in 1923 to allocate funds for clearing the river raft; General George Goethals, who engineered the Panama Canal, was employed in an advisory capacity and the raft was cleared by using dynamite leaving the cemetery high and dry. One of the persons responsible for carrying out Goethals' recommendations was John Thomas Bond whose family relations are buried in this cemetery2.


b. February 10, 1878
d. August 28, 1882
  b. January 15, 1847
d. December 20, 1880

     1This information was stated by C. E. "Buzz" Lee in an interview on the geography of the Lee, Mangum, and Bond families which was taped and conducted by Nantie Pier Lee sometime in the mid-1970's. Mr. Lee states that he saw the tombstones there in the late-1920's or early-1930's when he was gathering cattle in the river bottom. Lee further states that the tombstones were of marble and granite. All of this information was confirmed by Mr. Lee's widow-- Nantie Pier Lee, daughter-- Laura Lee Lanigan, son-in-law-- William Lanigan, and grandson-- William Lanigan, Jr. in the summer of 1983 or 1984. At that time the aforementioned graves were found.

     2Information concerning the river raft is mentioned in Bay City and Matagorda County: A History by Junann J. Stieghorst, 1965. John Thomas Bond is also mentioned in this book, but the information concerning his family relations comes from family records in the possession of descendants and relatives.

     3Allie Bond is listed in the 1880 Census of Matagorda County as the daughter of John A. Bond {a.k.a. "John A. Barnes"} and Isabella (Elliot) Bond. She was the younger sister of the aforementioned John Thomas Bond.

     4Rudolph Hayes is listed in the 1880 Census of Matagorda County, Texas.



Texas Department of Transportation Survey - Red dot marks the cemetery



Copyright 2004 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 2, 2004
Mar. 14, 2009