The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923 Page: 51
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Life and Service of John Birdsall 51
chancel in Christ Church, corner of Texas Avenue and Fannin
Street bears his name as one of the Vestry of 1838.
Ever mindful of the uncertainty of life, he had made and signed
his will, which bequeathed his property under the trusteeship
of Executors to his wife and only child in New York.
The Reverend Chapman of the Episcopal Church read the fun-
eral service at the Capitol and at the grave. A band of music led
the procession over the six long miles of winding road through
an otherwise unbroken forest, which lay between Houston and
Harrisburg, the solemn silence enhanced by the sighing of the
wind among the pines, making a requiem of exquisitely sad
The remains were laid to rest in the graveyard dedicated to the
Harrises and Birdsalls which overlooks Buffalo Bayou at a deep
bend just below the town. This spot had been selected on account
of its picturesque situation, and John Birdsall was the first to fill
a grave there.
In recent years adjoining lots have become the property of the
Glendale Cemetery Association, and its bounds now include this
There were doubtless portraits of Birdsall in one or more homes
in New York, but for us there remains only the contemplation of
the form and features of his mind rather than his person--the
record of his honorable character and upright conduct in the
service of Texas. His untimely death was deeply deplored by
relatives and friends, and his amiable qualities often discussed by
them. The impression left upon my mind by their encomiums
prompts the adoption of the words of a classic writer as admirably
suited to convey a just conception of his worth:
"Posterity may wish to form an idea of his person. His figure
was comely rather than majestic, in his countenance there was
nothing to inspire awe; its character was gracious and engaging.
You would readily have believed him a good man, and willingly a
great one. And indeed although he was snatched away in the
midst of a vigorous age, yet if his life be measured by its glory it
was a period of the greatest extent. For after the full enjoyment
of all that is truly good, which is found in virtuous pursuits alone,
what more could fortune contribute to his elevation ? Immoderate
wealth did not fall to his share, yet he possessed a decent affluence.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 26, July 1922 - April, 1923, periodical, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101084/m1/57/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.