John Henry Brown.

Indian wars and pioneers of Texas online

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more inviting regions.

From the close of the Mexican war they devoted
their talents, means and much of their time to
bringing about that reformation which eventuated
in banishing from that part of Texas the despera-
does, thieves and predatory savages that inhabited
it. They shunned no danger in the defense of their



neighbors' rights and in upholding the cause of law
and order. Texas owes them no small debt of

Capt. Kenedy died March 14, 1895, at his home

in Corpus Christi. His remains are interred at
Brownsville, beside those of his beloved wife.

His name is indissolubly connected with the his-
tory and development of Texas.



Mrs. Petra V. Kenedy was born in Mier, Mex-
ico, June 29th, 1825. Her parents were Gregorio
and Josefa (Besendez) Vidal. Her first marriage
was to Louis Vidal in December, 1840, by whom
she had six children, Louisa, Bosa, Adrian, Guada-
lupe, Concepcion and Maria Vincenta. The Vidal
family was originally from Athens, Greece, and
removed first to Spain and thence to Mexico, where
a number of its scions figured conspicuously and
honorably in local history. Her uncle, Marin
Besendez, was Catholic Bishop of Zacatecas, Mex-
ico, and her father, Gregorio Vidal, was Provincial
Governor under the Spanish crown of the territory
lying between the Nueces and Bio Grande rivers
and had charge of all the Indian tribes in his
province. He was killed by mistake, by a band of
Indian warriors, under the chief Castro, in 1832,
or 1833, at the Alamo ranch, in Texas. He was
returning from one of his ranches (Beteno) and on
his way to Mier to attend to important business
matters, when he was killed.

Three of his daughters, who accompanied him,
were captured by the Indians. One was ransomed
in San Antonio, another escaped from them about

sixty miles from the Bio Grande and made her way
to friends, and the third, Paulita, was never heard
from, although an uncle searched for her among
the Indians for fifteen or twenty years.

The second marriage of our subject was at
Brownsville, Texas, to Capt. M. Kenedy, April
16th, 1852. Six children were born of this union :
Thomas, James, John G., Sarah J., William and
Phoebe Ann, of whom two only are now living:
John G. Kennedy and Mrs. Sarah J. Spohn.

Mrs. Petra V. Kennedy, died at Corpus Christi,
March 16, 1885. Her remains were taken to
Brownsville and laid in the family tomb. She was
considered one of the handsomest women of her
day. She was a woman of superior accomplish-
ments and great natural intelligence and was highly
respected for her womanly qualities. She possessed
one characteristic for which she will ever be
remembered in many a heart and home — her un-
bounded charity. A friend of the poor and humble,
none ever left her empty-handed, and she gave for
the pure and unalloyed happiness she found in
giving. She was a well-fitted help-meet to her
husband and was a devoted wife and loving mother.



Jno. G. Kenedy is a son of the late Capt. M.
Kenedy, who was one of the wealthiest cattle rais-
ers in Texas in his day ; the man to whose energy,
clear-sightedness, public spirit, and liberality,
Southwest Texas is indebted for the construction of
the San Antonio and Aransas Pass and other lines
of railway within its territory. The subject of this

memoir was born in Brownsville, Texas, April 26,
1856, attended a private school at Coatesville,
Penn., where he remained four years, returned to
Texas in 1867, and attended St. Joseph's College
at Brownsville for nearly a year and then entered
Spring Hill College, Mobile, Ala., where he was a
student during the succeeding four years. He



completed a commercial course in 1873, spent a
few months at his home in Corpus Christi, and then
went to New Orleans, where he accepted a position
with Perljins, Swenson & Co., bankers and commis;-
sion merchants. He remained with this firm for a
year and a half, and then, in 1877, returned home.
In April, 1877, he started on the cattle trail from
Laurelas, his father's rancli, to Fort Dodge, Kan.,

owned 600 square miles of pasture lands, all under
fence and supplied with windmills, tanks, and every
modern convenience, and well stocked with cattle.
In 1884, he became general manager and took entire
charge of his father's ranch. This ranch has 160
miles of fencing, a water front on Bafflns Bay, and
Laguna Madre of sixty miles and fifty-one wind-
mills, and is stocked with about 50,000 head of im-


accompanying 18,000 head of cattle. He remained
two months at Fort Dodge, drove a herd of 2,000
cattle to Ogalala, Neb., returned to Corpus Christi,
worked for his father on the Laurelas ranch for
six months and then went into the sheep business
on his own account, in which he remained until
1882, when he sold out to Lott and Nelson. After
the sale of the Laurelas ranch, Mr. Kenedy became
secretary of the Kenedy Pasture Company, which

proved cattle, and 1,000 saddle horses, and employs
seventy-five or eighty cow boys, and other helpers.
Mr. Kenedy married Miss Maria Stella Turcotte, of
New Orleans, January 30th, 1884, and has two
children living: Jno. G. Kenedy, Jr., and Sarah
Josephine Kenedy. Mis. Kenedy is a daughter of
the late Joseph Turcotte, a well-known merchant
and prominent citizen of New Orleans. Mr. Jno.
G. Kenedy has inherited the "abilities of his father,



who fully appreciated his capacity. He will add
largely to the princely estate which has come to him
hy inheritance, and, no doubt, be as great a factor

for good in Southwest Texas, in his day and gen-
eration, as his father was in his and add new lusher
to the family name.



The German element in Texas has been a very
important factor in the history of the State, and in
addition to the colonies which are mentioned at
some length in this work there are many individual
instances of intelligent enterprise and good citizen-
ship deserving of notice as illustrative of the
character of the men and women of that race who
have helped to settle the country, found its insti-
tutions, give direction to its energies and standing
to its society. One of this number is John Mark-
ward, for the past forty years a resident of
Lampasas, being one of the oldest citizens of that

Mr. Markward is a native of Prussia, born in the
province of Pomerania on the Baltic Sea, in the year
1834. His boyhood and early youth were spent in
his native place, in the schools of which he received
what would, in this country, be the equivalent of a
good high school education. At about the age of
seventeen having heard a great deal of Texas
through the different colonization enterprises then
on foot in Germany, he determined to try his
fortunes in the New World. He sailed from
Bremen aboard the Diana, a vessel then exten-
sively engaged in the transportation of emigrants,
and landed at Indianola, this State, on the 2d of
November, 1852. He came in company with a
considerable number of his countrymen, perhaps
150 or 200, none of whom, however, he knew, and
not having come out as a member of any colony he
immediately struck out for himself, going from
Indianola to Gonzales. At Gonzales he found em-
ployment in a few days and remained there some
months, going thence to De Witt County, where he
remained the better part of three years. This time
was spent in the employ of a Frenchman named
Guichard who was a merchant and trader residing
on Peach creek. Young Markward was variously
engaged while with Guichard peddling, clerking
and doing carpenter's work; but, in all, advancing
hittself in a knowledge of the ways and means of

getting on in the world, and saving some means
from his earnings.

In the fall of 1856 he concluded to go to the
" up-country," and in company with an aequaint-
affce, went to Coryell County, where he had in-
tended to locate, but on account of the drouth and
bad crops left at the end of the first year, and, in
the fall of 1857, settled in Lampasas, then a frontier
town in a newly organized county. His first
employment at Lampasas was in the capacity of
miller for George Scott, whose little grist-mill situ-
ated on the outskirts of the town was one of the
chief industries of the place and liberally patronized
throughout that section. Scott and his mill have
both long since passed away but are remembered
by many of the old citizens. Mr. Markward
worked for Scott until a short time before the open-
ing of the late Civil War, when on account of a
failure of health he was forced to seek other pur-
suits. Joining two of his acquaintances he bought
up several hundred pounds of bacon which he
hauled overland with wagon and ox-teams to Alex-
andria., La, where he sold it at a good profit
and, reinvesting the proceeds in tobacco, brought
that back to Texas and sold it at a still better
profit. Then the war came on, and in the- spring
of 1862, he entered the Confederate Army, enlist-
ing in Gurley's Regiment, Gano's Battalion, with
which he was in active service in Arkansas and
Indian Territory till the close of hostilities. Soon
after enlistment Mr. Markward was made the
apothecary of his regiment, his knowledge of bot-
any and drugs, acquired as part of his education in
his youth, together with his steady habits, qualify-
ing him in a speciaF degree for the discharge of the
duties of this responsible position. He was more
than a mere "pill-mixer." In difficult cases he
acted as nurse and sometimes in the absence of the
physician of the regiment he prescribed in such
cases as he felt sure he could apply proper reme-
dies. An amusing incident is told of the way he



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cured three chronic cases of rheumatism which had
baffled the skill of the regimental physician for
nearly three years. There were three brothers
(their names will be omitted) who had been trying,
almost from the time of their enlistment in the
service, to get discharged on account of feigned
rheumatic troubles, one being afflicted with the
trouble between the shoulders, another with it in
the back, and third in the hips. The doctor had
treated them until he had become satisfied that
there was nothing the matter with them and
had tried other means to arouse them to a
sense of decency, but had signally failed, and
finally in the presence of the captain of the com-
pany, to which they belonged, said: " Mark ward,
I am done with those fellows. If you think you
can do anything with them, take charge of their
cases." Mr. Markward replied that he did not
know what he could do, but that he would try and
see. Calling the patients up he informed them
that the doctor had turned them over to him for
treatment, and that he proposed to resort to heroic
measures. He told them that cupping was the
thing for rheumatism, and that he was going to
begin to operate on them at once. So, making
each one bare his back, Mr. Markward got out all
the cups he had, heated them, and slapping on
four cups to the patient gave each a first-class
cupping. As a result all of them had sore backs
for several days, and the joke getting out in camp
and the patients, not knowing what nest to expect
in case they continued their complaining, concluded
to "give under." They did so with as much
grace as the nature of the case admitted of, and
after that till the close of the war made very good
soldiers. Mr. Markward met one of them some
years afterwards, and the conversation turning on
the incident the latter confessed to the fraud which
he and his brothers had been guilty of, and laughed
heartily over the very effectual way the " pill-
mixer " of the 'regiment had cured the three
chronic cases which had set at defiance the pro-
fessional efforts of the regiment's physician.

At the close of the war Mr. Markward embarked
in the mercantile business at Lampasas, the money
which he had made in his Alexandria venture,
about $600, constituting the capital on which he
began. His beginning though unassuming, was
auspicious, and it was not many years until his
establishment came to be one of the first in the
town wherehe was located, and he took rank as one
of the solid men of the community. That he has
been successful much beyond the average man
is well known to those familiar with his career
and the manner of his building up equally well
known. It was by the observance of a few simple

rules : Employing strict integrity in all his deal-
ings, living within his means, never leaving to
others what he could do himself, treating all cour-
teously, and extending aid where he could without
injury to his business, avoiding debts of a spec-
ulative nature and shunning the ruinous pastimes
of youth and early manhood, which destroy first
one's business, and afterwards his character.

Mr. Markward did not marry till late in life.
His marriage took place at Lampasas, and was to
Miss Adelphia Florence White, a daughter of Maj.
Martin White, an old and respected citizen of Lam-
pasas. Mrs. Markward died, May 22, 1894, leav-
ing three children, two daughters and a son, two
children having preceded her to the grave.

Of Mr. Markward's public career there is but
little to be said. He has been solicited to run for
office many times but has persistently refused to do
so, and the only public position which he has ever
occupied was that of postmaster at Lampasas, which
he held for eight years, immediately after the war.
But whatever has been suggested as being of public
necessity or public benefit has always found in him
a willing and able supporter, and this is especially
true of all those aids to order, law, morality, edu-
cation and good societj'. Mr. Markward's connec-
tion with one enterprise is especially worthy of
note, that being the railway that now traverses the
county in which he lives. When the Gulf, Colorado
and Santa Fe Railway was projected through that
section of the State it fell to his lot to secure the
right of way for the road through Lampasas County.
He spent the better part of two years in the under-
taking, meeting with many obstacles, but was finally
successful, securing the right of way for a dis-
tance of seventy-five miles at the nominal cost of

Mr. Markward is a man of considerable individu-
ality of character. He is thoroughly self-reliant.
He is not a member of any order and, though he
votes and acts with the Democratic party, he is not
in any sense a partisan. He was reared in the
faith of the Lutheran Church, but is a contributor
to all denominations, being bound by none. He
believes in every one enjoying the fullest measure
of individual liberty consistent with the rights of

In disposition he is genial and pleasant, full of
life and possessing a keen perception of the humor-
ous side of things.

In December, 1894, Mr. Markward retired from
active business pursuits, since which time he has
devoted his attention to the training of his children,
all of whom are still small, and to the supervision
of his estate, one of the largest in the county where
he resides.





John Richardson Harris was born October 22A,
1790, fit Cayuga Ferry, now East Cayuga, N. Y.,
and May 7th, 1813, married Miss Jane Birdsall,
daughter of Mr. Lewis andMrs.Patience(L8e) Bird-
sail, of Waterloo, Seneca Falls, N. Y. , and for several
years thereafter resided at East Cayuga. During
the war of 1812-14 he volunteered and commanded
a company in the line ; and with his father. Col.
John Harris, is honorably mentioned by Gen. Win-
field Scott in his memoirs of the campaign. He
emigrated to Missouri, and in 1819 was living at St.
Genevieve, where he was joined by his wife and two
children, and where his third child, Mary Jane, was
born August 17th, 1819. Here becoming acquainted
with Moses Austin, who was contemplating the col-
onization of Texas, then a possession of Spain, he
determined to tobark in the enterprise. In July,
1820, providing his family with a fine team suitable
for making the long overland trip back to Cayuga,
he accompanied them on horseback as far as Vin-
cennes. Having taken a contract to build a State
house at Vandalia, be returned to complete this en-
gagement, and then, visiting Texas, selected a loca-
tion for a home in the colony. In 1824 he received
a grant of land from the Mexican government of
4425 acres, which he located at the junction of Buf-
falo and Bray's bayous, about twenty miles from
Galveston Bay; in 1826 laid out a town at this
point called Harrisburg ; soon after brought out
machinery for a steam saw-mill and purchased a
schooner called the " Rights of Man," which,
under the command of his brother David, plied
between this> place and New Orleans, supplying the
colonists with provisions and other necessary arti-
cles, which were kept for sale at his store at Harris-
burg. Holding the post of Alcalde, or local judge,
from the Mexican government, it was said he was
accustomed to hear causes seated under the spread-
ing branches of a large magnolia tree, situated on
a picturesque point of land separating the two bay-
ous. The country was too unsettled to admit of
his family moving to Texas at first, but in 1829
every thing promised well for their early removal
to their new home. There were no saw-mills in
the colony until his was erected. The machinery
was on the ground ready to be put in place
in August, 1829, when he found it necessary to
make a trip to New Orleans. There he was taken
sick with yellow fever and died August 21st,

1829. His widow, Mrs. Jane (Birdsall) Harris was
descended from a family of Birdsalls who emi-
grated from England in 1657-60, and settled
on Long Island, N. Y. Her grandfather, Ben-
jamin Birdsall, was a Colonel in the Revolu-
tionary army, living at that time in Duchess
County, N. Y. He and Gen. Washington were
warm friends and the General usually stopped at
his house when in the neighborhood. Lewis, son
of Benjamin Birdsall, married Patience Lee and
emigrated to western New York, settled first at
Penn Yan and afterwards near Waterloo on a farm,
and in 1829 or 1830 emigrated to Texas, where he
lived on Buffalo bayou until the time of his death,
which occurred in March, 1843. Mrs. Jane (Bird-
sall) Harris, daughter of Mr, Lewis Birdsall, was
a woman of rare courage and determination. These
qualities she displayed in traversing the wild, un-
settled regions intervening between her home near
Waterloo, N. Y., and St. Genevieve, Mo., at a
time when there were few white settlers, and in her
experience in the early days of the colonization of
Texas, which alone would suffice to fill a book of
interesting matter. In 1833, she, with her son, De
Witt Clinton Harris, removed to Harrisburg,
Texas, and participated not only in the hardships
of colonial life in the wild country, but also shared
dangers of the struggle for independence from
Mexico in 1835-36. From March 19th to April
16th, 1836, the home of Mrs. Harris was the head-
quarters of the provisional government of Texas.
When she heard of the near approach of the invad-
ing Mexican army, she and her household went
on board a schooner, which conveyed President
Burnett, Vice-President Zavala and others to New
Washington, and herself and other refugees to
Anahuac. The next day she was conveyed to
Galveston Island and with many others was en-
camped there when the news of the glorious battle
of San Jacinto, fought April 21st, 1836, reached
them. About the first of May she and her two
sons, Lewis B. and De Witt Clinton Harris (who
had arrived at Galveston, April 21st, for the pur-
pose of joining the Texas army), returned to Har-
risburg to find that every house had been burned
to the ground by the Mexicans under Santa Anna.
Her house was rebuilt of logs, hewn by the
Mexican prisoners and with various additions and
improvements stood until October 11th, 1888, when

















W'- '






it was destroyed by fire. Upon the organization of
counties in tlie Republic of Texas, the territory em-
bracing a large tract of land was named Harris in
honor of John Richardson Harris. Mrs. Jane
Harris, his widow, could never be prevailed upon to
leave her homestead and lived there until her
death, which occurred August 15th, 1869. She
left four children, Dc Wilt Clinton Harris, who

married Miss Saville Fenwick, Lewis Birdsall
Harris, who married first, Miss Jane E. "Wilcox,
and, after her death, Mrs. Amanda C. Dell;
Miss Mary Jane Harris, who married Judge
Andrew Briscoe, and John Birdsall Harris, who
married Miss Virginia Goodrich. The only one
of her children surviving her is her daughter, Mrs.



Judge Andrew Briscoe was the son of Mr. Par-
menas and Mrs. Mary (Montgomery) Briscoe. He
was descended from a cavalier family of England.
Four brothers of this family emigrated to Virginia
about the year 1655, in Cromwell's time. His
grandfather, William Briscoe, married Miss Eliza-
beth Wallace in Virginia and, in 1785, emigrated to
Kentucky. Soon after becoming of age, Mr. Par-
menas Briscoe emigrated to the Mississippi Terri-
tory where, on December l-Sth, 1809, he married
Miss Mary Montgomery, daughter of Mr. Samuel
and Mrs. Margaret (Crockett) Montgomery. He
was commander of a company in the Creek War,
and also in the war of 1812-14. He was for
several years General of militia of Mississippi and
served as a member of the Territorial Legislature
and the State Senate. While a member of the
latter body he introduced a bill which urged an
investigation of the status of the numerous banks
which were doing business without a substantial
capital. It resulted in breaking them up. Bris-
coe's bill was famous in Mississippi, as the measure
aroused very bitter feelings. In 1843, he was re-
elected to the State Senate by a larger majority
than ever and was urged to allow his name to go
before the people as a candidate for Congress.
This he refused to do, but continued a recog-
nized leader of Democracy up to March, 1851,
when he went to California. He died on
his return trip in 1851 aboard ship near
Acapnlco, Mexico, and was buried at sea. His
son. Judge Andrew Briscoe, subject of this
memoir, was born November 25tb, 1810, in Adams
County, Mississippi ; emigrated to Texas in 1834,
carrying with him a large stock of goods, and
established himself at Anahuac, the chief port of
entry on Galveston Bay. His resistance to the

arbitrary collection of customs dues June, 1835,
sought to be collected by Capt. Tenorio, the Mexi-
can commander of the garrison, upon goods merely
to be transported from one town in the colony to
another, led to the first active measures of resist-
ance taken by the patriot Texians in 1835. Led by
Wm. B. Travis, a band of Texians collected at
Harrisburg and vicinity, loaded a six-pound can-
non on board the sloop " Ohio," attacked the Mexi-
can garrison at Anahuac, disarmed the Mexicans
and released Andrew Briscoe from the loathsome
prison in which he had been confined for several
days. In October, 1835, he was elected Captain of
the Liberty Volunteers, who participated with him
in the battle of Coneepcion, October 28th, 1835.
He was one of the volunteers who stormed and
took San Antonio, December 6th, 1835, and was
later elected a member of the convention to assem-
ble at Washington, Texas, March 1st, 1836, and
but for this circumstance would have been one of
the victims of the Alamo. He left the army at
San Antonio in the latter part of February, but a
day or two before the town was invested by Mexi-
cans. Arriving at Washington he affixed his name
to the Declaration of Independence, which made
Texas a free and independent republic. He raised
a company of regulars for the army, which, as
Company A., he commanded in the battle of San
Jacinto, April 21st, 1836. Soon after this event,
which assured the tranquillity of the Republic, he
was appointed Chief Justice of Harris County.
August 17th, 1837, he married Miss Mary Jane
Harris, daughter of Mr. John R. and Mrs. Jane

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 45 of 135)