Happy Birthday Great Grandmother!

One hundred seventy-five years ago today, Austin’s first recorded birth of a female child took place in a small cabin on Pecan Street. Elnora Van Cleve was born on the 14th day of April 1841. Parents Margaret Smith and Lorenzo Van Cleve married in July; one of six marriages in the first year of Austin’s existence.

Lorenzo made a canopy bed for his bride; adding a small trundle bassinette which pulled out from underneath. The bed is on display in Anson Jones’ restored home at Barrington Farms, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park.

Her maternal grandfather, Thomas W. Smith, would be killed by Indians before she was four months old. Her mother died when Elnora was nine. She helped her father raise five brothers. In the census of 1860, three of her siblings still lived with her and Dan Brown, who she married September 13, 1859. Elnora and Dan Brown had 14 children, the last my grandmother Lilly Brown-Bowles born December 19, 1880.

Elnora was truly a Daughter of The Republic of Texas; born just blocks from the first permanent capitol, five years after the Battle of San Jacinto.

Great grandmother, Elnora Van Cleve-Brown, died January 2, 1900 at home on the family ranch at Spicewood, Texas. She is buried on private property near Pace Bend Park Road (FM 2322), Spicewood.

Great Grandmother

Golden Shore

Home is where the RV is parked; the mantra of a full-time RVer. Today’s post is about where full-time RVers park their home on wheels. There are RV resorts where one rents a spot on a weekly or monthly basis. Campgrounds provide daily camping where tents are allowed. Then there are trailer parks, which will be another post. Costs vary by location and the amenities offered, just like hotels.

After 10 years of the RV lifestyle, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in some of the worst and the best! One of the best was Golden Shore RV Resort in downtown Long Beach, 101 Golden Shore. This is a small boutique 5 Star Resort that is nestled on the water’s edge with a view of the Queen Mary, only blocks from the Catalina Ferry. I spent a fun-filled two weeks there in June of 2012. If you go, don’t be surprised to be parked next to a million dollar custom motor coach of the rich and famous.

David's Toys


Savior of Austin

In downtown Austin, Texas near Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, stands a bronze statue of Angelina Eberly holding a torch, igniting a canon. From where the monument stands, the Tennessee native fired the opening shot in the short-lived “Archives War” and earned the innkeeper the title of “Savior of Austin.”

Sam Houston ordered the Capitol of the Republic of Texas moved to Houston on March 10, 1842. The estimated two hundred remaining residents of Austin knew if the national archives were removed, Austin would never again be the Capitol. They formed a vigilance committee and loaded the cannon with grape shot in anticipation of a raid of the national records.

On the morning of December 30, 1842, twenty-six men in three wagons, on orders of President Sam Houston, arrived to take the national archives. Land Commissioner, Thomas William Ward or “Peg Leg” as the locals called him, directed the loading of eleven boxes. By noon the wagons were ready to roll, angry vigilantes’ shook their fists at Ward and the soldiers, as Angelina fired her famous shot. Shrapnel hit the Land Office, but no one was injured. The wagons took off north toward Kenny Fort on Brushy Creek. The vigilantes caught up with them, a short gun battle ensued. Houston’s men surrendered and the records were returned to Austin.

angelina eberly statue2

Texas French Connection

France was the first government to formally recognize the Republic of Texas after declaring its independence from Mexico. King Louis Philippe sent a French Ambassador named Alphonse Dubois de Saligny to Austin in 1840. The French Legation, built in 1841, still stands in its original location at 802 San Marcos St., just east of Memorial Stadium. The museum is open to the public and operated by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Viva la France and long live Texas!

Texas Ranger Memorial Cross Dedication

TxRangerBadgeEarly Travis/Hays County settler and Texas Ranger, Henry Garrett Thurman, Jr. (1855-1928), will be honored by the Former Texas Ranger Association (FTRA) and Moses Austin Chapter Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT). The Memorial Cross Dedication will be conducted by retired Texas Ranger Captain Carl Weathers of Lubbock, Texas. SRT Color Guard and Black Powder Boys in period uniforms will provide military honors accompanied by musket and cannon salute.


Saturday, October 3, 2015 – 10-11 a.m.

Wallace Mountain Cemetery

Highway 290

Dripping Springs, Texas

Directions from Dripping Springs: Going east on Hwy 290 from Dripping Springs, the cemetery is exactly ½ mile east from RM12 (formerly known as Ranch Road 12), directly across from the water tower. There are NO signs for the cemetery. Look for the letter “S” on the open gate. You will be directed to the private cemetery.

Directions from Austin: Going west on Hwy 290 from Austin, the cemetery is exactly 2 miles west from Deep Eddy Distillery, directly across from the water tower. There are NO signs for the cemetery. Look for the letter “S” on the open gate. You will be directed to the private cemetery.

Henry and Caroline Maxey-Thurman had 10 children, many still live in Travis and Hays Counties. Organizers hope that all their descendants will attend. Some of the earliest family names were Puryear, Pearson, Cox, and Ellis.

For more information contact Event Coordinator, Will Barkley at FTRA willb@formertexasrangers.org or David Bowles, Family Member Sponsor david@westwardsagas.com phone 210-827-4122.


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