Mexia, Texas

Mexia is located in Limestone County in east central Texas.  It was founded in the 1800s and lies just north of Fort Parker with Groesbeck being the nearest town to the south of the fort.  Before the Anglo settlement began in the area, it was home to Native American tribes including the Comanche.

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Francita Alavéz, the Angel of Goliad

On March 27, some 21 days after the fall of the Alamo, James Fannin and roughly 345 captured soldiers were executed by Mexican General Urrea at the order of Santa Anna after the fall of the Presidio la Bahia.  The bodies of the soldiers were burned.

Out of this story came another one of a Mexican woman who had shown mercy to those who had been captured at other times or feigned death in the massacre.  In various accounts, the woman was referred to by several variations of the name, including Alvarez, but for this account, we will use Francita Alavéz or just Señora Alavéz.

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Emily D. West

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She is the traditional subject of the song “Yellow Rose of Texas” and one of the more compelling characters in the miniseries “Texas Rising” which just completed its debut run on the History Channel.  In it, the character has an affair with Mexican General Santa Anna and is occupying his attention leading up to the battle.  In addition, she may have had personal motives of revenge that led to her desire to see Santa Anna defeated.

The familiar song does not deal with San Jacinto or Santa Anna.  It was composed in the 1800s, although the actual name of the composer is unknown.

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Molly Ann Dyer Goodnight

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Mary Ann “Molly” Goodnight was the wife of Charles Goodnight and was highly involved in the Goodnight ranching operation.  She was born September 12, 1839 in Tennessee to John Henry and Susan Lynch Miller Dyer and her grandfather was the first governor of Tennessee.  The Dyers were well established in Tennessee but her father, noted for his service in the Battle of New Orleans and a former Attorney General of the state, moved the family to a settlement near Fort Belknap in North Texas in 1854.  Ten years later, her mother died shortly to be followed by the death of her father in another two years, after which Molly became the head of her family for her younger brothers.  The oldest, Leigh, went to work for Charles Goodnight in 1867 while Molly continued to raise the younger brothers, several of whom also went on to work on the Goodnight ranches.  Molly served as a teacher in Young County though she had no formal education. Continue reading Molly Ann Dyer Goodnight