Benjamin McCulloch was one of twelve children. He was born November 11, 1811 in Rutherford County, Tennessee to Alexander and Frances Fisher Lenoir McCulloch. His father was a graduate of Yale College and served in the United States Army in Indian campaigns and also the War of 1812. The family migrated west from the eastern coastal states. Ben is thought to have first pursued some other businesses and moved around a lot until he came to Texas in 1835 with another brother and Davy Crockett, a neighbor, in Tennessee. Ben planned to meet up with Crockett and then head from Nacogdoches to San Antonio but was held up as he recuperated from a case of the measles, not arriving in San Antonio until after the Battle of the Alamo. He joined Sam Houston and the Texas Army in time for the Runaway Scrape, Houston’s retreat from Santa Anna.
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The King Ranch lies between Corpus Christi and Brownsville and is currently the largest ranch in Texas. Historically, it was even larger when it was known as the Santa Gertrudis under a land grand from the King of Spain to José Domingo de la Garza. It was later conveyed to José Pérez Ray whose descendants conveyed it in turn to Richard King.
(Image credit: Waco Tribune Herald)
George Bernard Erath was born in Vienna, Austria in 1813. He was educated at Vienna Polytechnic Institute where he studied liberal arts. Young Erath lived on his own and worked for a few years in Europe, eventually setting sail for America. One of the reasons given for his departure was that he did not want to be drafted into service for the Austrian Army. Whatever his justification for not wanting to serve in Austria, he would show no reluctance whatsoever to fight for the State of Texas. In fact, he spent years doing just that. He arrived in America in the summer of 1832 in New Orleans. He then worked in Cincinnati, Ohio before returning to the South again in Florence, Alabama for a short time. Erath then relocated to Texas in 1833 where he would remain for the rest of his life, entering at Brazoria on the Gulf and settling in Robertson County.
(Image credit: sutphen.org)
One of the early settlers near Waco, Neil Love McLennan was born in Isle of Skye, off the western coast of Scotland in 1787. He came to America in 1801, first settling in North Carolina, married the former Christian A. (Darthal) Campbell in 1814, and then relocated in 1816 to Florida. After living there a number of years, in 1834 he and his family along with two brothers and others sailed a three masted schooner from Pensacola, Florida to the mouth of the Brazos. They arrived there in early March and continued on upriver as far as they could.
Samuel Augustus Maverick was born in the summer of 1803 in South Carolina to Samuel and Elizabeth Anderson Maverick. His father operated an import business. Young Samuel worked in the family business, graduating from Yale University in 1825. He left the family business and moved to Virginia in 1828 to study law. For a while he practiced law and in 1833 he moved to Georgia for a year before relocating to Alabama to operate a plantation that had been given to him by his father.
Samuel Hamilton “Sam” Walker is a Texas Ranger legend and is one of only about three dozen Rangers who are in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. Sam was born in Maryland on February 24, 1817 and served as a soldier for most of his adult life. His first recorded term was with the Washington City Volunteers (now Washington, D. C.) in a campaign against the Creek Indians in 1836. It is believed that he then lived in Florida where he took a railway job until he moved to Texas in 1842. He joined John Coffee “Jack” Hays’ Ranger outfit that same year, serving as a scout under Capt. Jesse Billingsley.
There are 254 counties in Texas and 11 of them are named for Alamo defenders: Bailey, Bowie, Cochran, Cottle, Crockett, Dickens, Floyd, King, Lynn, Taylor and Travis counties. Floyd County is one such county. It was named for Dolphin Ward Floyd who is believed to have died on his birthday, March 6, 1836, in Santa Anna’s attack on the Alamo. Ward Floyd was born in North Carolina in 1804 and later moved near Gonzales where he worked as a farmer. In 1832, he married the recently widowed Esther Berry House, a mother of three by her first husband Isaac House, who also lived in Texas.