BRANCH, EDWARD THOMAS
Born in Richmond, Virginia, December 11, 1811. In the Headright Certificate issued to him February 1, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Liberty County Board it is stated that he came to Texas in 1835. At the close of his college term his health having failed him he went to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was joined by two young men and the three sailed on the brig Montezuma for Cuba. The vessel was captured by a Mexican cruiser. After being robbed of all portable property, Mr. Branch was put ashore at Anahuac, Texas and made his way to Liberty where he taught school until he volunteered his services to the army. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 808, December 7, 1837 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 6 to June 6, 1836. He was first Sergeant in Captain William M. Logan's Company at San Jacinto and on July 20, 1838 was issued Donation Certificate No. 223 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. Next he enrolled as Second Lieutenant in Captain Franklin Hardin's Company, serving from July 7 to October 7, 1836, as is shown on a muster roll in the General Land Office.
Judge Branch was married to Annie Cleveland Wharton in Brazoria County, August 15, 1838. Miss Wharton was a daughter of Jesse A. H., and Sarah (Lander) Cleveland, and an adopted daughter of William H. Wharton. She was born in Breckenridge County, Kentucky, December 25, 1821. Her parents left Tennessee in 1833 for Texas and while passing through New Orleans her mother contracted cholera and died upon reaching Velasco, survived by her husband and five children. Annie was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Wharton and lived with them at their famous "Eagle Island" plantation. Her father remained in Brazoria County until 1841 when he moved to Galveston. In 1844 without claiming any knowledge of the theory or practice of medicine, while yellow fever was raging in Galveston, undertook the cure of that disease and was wonderfully successful. He afterward treated more than five hundred cases. His method became famous as the "Cleveland Treatment."
A son of Jesse A. H. Cleveland became a famous lawyer in Galveston.
Judge Branch was a member of the House of Representatives from Liberty County in the First and Second Congresses, October 3, 1836 to May 24, 1838. In 1838 he was elected by Congress to the position of Judge of the Fifth Judicial District, which automatically made him a member of the Supreme Court. In 1853 he represented the district composed of Jefferson and Liberty Counties in the State Senate.
When Judge Branch was elected Judge of the Fifth Judicial District he moved with his bride to Nacogdoches where for a time they lived at the home of General Thomas J. Rusk. It was there that their first child Cornelia was born. In 1840 they moved back to Liberty. Judge Branch died September 24, 1861 and Mrs. Branch died January 27, 1867. Both are buried in the Branch family cemetery a mile from Liberty. Judge Branch was a Mason and he and Mrs. Branch were members of the Methodist Church.
Children of Judge and Mrs. Branch were (1) Cornelia (2) Elizabeth Worley, (3) Wharton, (4) Olive and (5) Judith Branch.
(1)Cornelia Branch was married to H. Clay Stone. Their only child was H. C. Stone, Jr.
(2) Elizabeth Worley Branch was married to a Mr. Cade. Their child was Edith Cade (Mrs. Edith Cade Findlay, Galveston.)
(3) Wharton Branch was married to Lola M. Loomis. Their children were E. T. Branch, May Branch and Olive Branch.
(4) Olive Branch was married to J. L. Briggs. Their children were Clay Stone Briggs and Lillian Briggs.
A grandson of Judge Branch, E. T. Branch, is an attorney in Houston with an office in the Marine Bank Building. Edith Cade Findley, a descendant of Judge Branch lives in Galveston.
Postmaster at Liberty, Liberty County in 1843.