The Clara Driscoll Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas had a busy month during January, with two events taking place within the span of about three weeks.
The Daughters met at the Driscoll Children's Auditorium on Jan. 9.
Special guests at the event were Paul Spellman of Wharton Junior College, speaker for the event. Spellman is the author of several published books, one of which is "Race to Velasco." His topic was entitled "Finding Zadock Woods," who was a Texas Pioneer.
Also on hand was Brandon North, the son of Becky Rooke, winner of the Clara Driscoll Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas seventh grade essay contest. He was presented with a certificate and a cash prize of $50.
Brandon is a student at St. James Episcopal School. He also read his essay, entitled "Rip Ford, Texas Ranger."
On Jan. 26, the Daughters toured several historical sites in the western part of Nueces County. Anita Eisenhauer, Joan Bluntzer, Theresa Baucum, Janie Cone, Lois Welch, Joyce Berkebile and Joanne Arnold met at the site of the Battle of Agua Dulce Creek. This site is not far from the county park in Banquete.
Ralph and Clarence Balko showed the ladies the site of the Centennial Marker that is located on the Agua Dulce Creek. This is the site where an engagement of the Texas Revolution occurred in 1836. James Grant and his party of 26, three of whom were of Mexican nationality, were surprised and defeated by a Mexican force under Jose de Urrea. Six were captured and taken prisoner.
Six of the volunteers escaped and, shortly afterward, five of the men joined James W. Fannin at Goliad and later were killed in the Goliad Massacre.
After touring the battle site at Agua Dulce Creek, the Daughters toured Banquete Cemetery. Eisenhauer, Clara Driscoll Vice President, gave a talk on the area history.
The Banquete Cemetery is located near Banquete Creek. The oldest marked grave is of Joseph Madray, a local rancher who served in the Confederate Army and died of typhoid fever in June 1863.
Also buried there are other Confederate soldiers and Banquete residents, including members of the Elliff, Rabb, Bennett, Wright and Hunter families. By tradition, the cemetery property was once the site of stock pens belonging to Sally Scull, notorious horse trader and cotton freighter of the Civil War Period.
After the tour the group enjoyed lunch at Joe Cotten's Barbecue in Robstown.
The Chapter was celebrating Mirabeau B. Lamar Day, a Texas Honor Day. Mirabeau Lamar is honored as the "Texas' Father of Education."
He served as the second President of the Republic of Texas, from 1836-1841. During his administration, Congress granted each of the existing 23 counties four leagues of land to be used for educational purposes.
In addition, fifty leagues of land were granted for the development of universities. Lamar also supported the Homestead Act of 1839 and, during his term, the Lone Star State Flag and State Seal were officially adopted.