Today, Texas celebrates 174 years of its Lone Star Identity.
This past year has given me a closer connection to this piece of Texas history. Research has now connected our family to Willis West.
Willis West arrived in Texas in March 1835 and is enumerated in his father’s household (Richard, a widow) as a single man, age 19 in the Bevil Colony Census of May 1, 1835. Four siblings are also enumerated: Milissa age 17, James 15, Alfred 13 & Mary Ann 8. Next door is his sister, Presilla West Dickerson 25 with her family & brother Jefferson 22 with his. Additional West family members are on the Bevil Census. After joining the “Jasper Volunteers” under the command of Captain James Chessire, Willis fought at the siege of Bexar Dec. 5-10, 1835. Luckily he had the good sense to take his discharge and go home to Jasper after Bexar. Had he stayed in the Army he probably would have perished with the others at the Alamo. ~ Prepared by Candice (Clark) Allmand.
This research has enabled my cousins to apply to the DRT, Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
DAUGHTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is the oldest patriotic women’s organization in Texas and one of the oldest in the nation. In 1891 Betty Ballinger and Hally Bryan (later Hally Bryan Perryqv) formulated plans for an association to be composed of women who were direct descendants of the men and women who established the Republic of Texas. They were encouraged in their efforts by Hally Bryan’s father, Guy M. Bryan, a member of the Texas Veterans Association. The organizational meeting was held on November 6, 1891, in the Houston home of Mary Jane Briscoeqv. Mary S. M. Jones, widow of the last president of the Republic of Texas, agreed to serve as president. The motto “Texas, One and Indivisible” was suggested by Colonel Bryan. The name first chosen for this group was Daughters of Female Descendants of the Heroes of ’36; the association was renamed Daughters of the Lone Star Republic, then Daughters of the Republic of Texas at the first annual meeting in April 1892. The organization was planned as a companion to the Texas Veterans Association, and the two groups held joint meetings until the veterans disbanded in 1907. ~ via Handbook of Texas Online – DAUGHTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS.
One of the ongoing projects of the DRT is the maintenance of the Alamo in San Antonio. They became the custodians of the site in 1905 and have restored and maintained ever since. Part of their agreement with the state is that admission must remain free…So, every time I am in San Antonio I go and visit the shrine of Texas Independence. Now it has a special meaning for me. Had my ancestor hung around, I would never have been…So goes history.
It is also the twenty-second birthday of my youngest son…Happy Birthday, Jerm…