History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

42a

HISTb'TORY OF TEXAS.

pointed First Lieutenant of the Ninth Cavalry
in the United States army; was made
Captain July 31, 1867, and December 31,
1870, on account of wounds received during
the war, was placed on the retired list of the
army. He was brevetted Captain and Major
for gallant and meritorious service during
the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and
Lieutenant-Colonel for similar services at the
battle of Bayou de Glaize, Louisiana, in the
United States army.
May 24, 1871, Colonel DeGress was appointed
Superintendent of Public Instruction
of Texas, holding that office for three years.
In 1877 he was elected to fill an unexpired
term as Mayor of Austin. At the expiration
of this partial term he was re-elected, and was
again elected his own successor in 1879. He
resigned the position in August, 1880. In
July, 1881, he was appointed by President
Garfield as Postmaster of Austin, and was
re-appointed by President Harrison in October,
1889. He was Chairman of the State
Republican Committee for 1888-'89-'90, and
was Commander of the Department of Texas,
G. A. R., for 1888.
Our subject was first married January 1,
1867, to Mrs. Bettie Young, a daughter of
Eliphalet Buckner, who was Judge of the
Castroville district, in western Texas. He
had two children; his son, Thomas L. Buckner,
died in Texas in 1878. Colonel and
Mrs. DeGress had seven children, six of
whom died in early childhood. Cordelia C.,
the only one now living, graduated with the
highest honors at St. Mary's Academy, in the
class of 1891. The wife and mother died
July 5, 1880, at the age of thirty-five years.
She was a member of the Roman Catholic
Church, although her family were Episcopalians.
Colonel DeGress was agai marriedd
August 2, 1882, to Miss W. M. Johnston, a

daughter of Colonel I. W. Johnston, of
Stonewall, Indian Territory. They have three
children: Francis Brackenridge, Bettie Belknap
and Jacob Charles. The Colonel is a
member of the Catholic Church, and his wife
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The
latter is a cousin of General Joseph E.
Johnston, of the Confederate States army.
Our subject takes an active interest in the
Republican party, and is Chairman of the
Ninth Congressional District of Texas. As
a soldier he was courageous, composed and
level-headed; as a citizen, is kind, generous
and hospitable; as a public officer, is prompt,
obliging and courteous. He has made a
record of which his adopted State may well
be proud.
J H. SPARKMAN, of Milani county, is
a son of Rev. J. C. and Louisa (Roundtree)
Sparkman. Three brothers of that
name came from England to this country in
Colonial times. One.located in North Carolina,
from whom our subject is a direct descendant;
another in Maryland, and his descendants
spell their name Sparksman; and
the third in Massachusetts, whose ancestors
spell the name Parkman. The grandfather
of our subject, William Sparkman, was a
volunteer in the Revolutionary war, served
under Colonel William Polk, and after the
close of the struggle moved with his family
to Williamson county, Tennessee. While
there he enlisted for service in the war of
1812, took part in the battle of Canebrake
with Jackson's army, where he was captured
and held a prisoner until peace was declared.
Mr. Sparkman continued to reside in Tennessee
until his death. The father of our
subject, during the infancy of the latter,

Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed October 20, 2014.