The Kemp Sketch
MENEFEE, JOHN SUTHERLAND -- Born in Anderson County, Tennessee, June 24, 1813, a son of Thomas and Lucy Menefee. Thomas Menefee was a son of John and Jemima Heard Menefee, whose children in order of birth were John, Quin, Thomas, William, George, Telithia, and Jemima Heard Menefee. Children of Thomas and Luy Menefee were, John Sutherland, born June 24, 1813; George, born July 3, 1815; Susannah L., born June 13, 1817; Frances O., born July 17,1819; Thomas M., born December 31, 1821; William Menefee, born December 15, 1825
In Headright Certificate No. 40 issued to Mrs. John S. Menefee in 1838, by the Board of Land Commissioners for Jackson County for one-third of a league of land, it is stated that he came to Texas in 1830.
The Menefees moved to Morgan County, Alabama in 1824 and settled near Decatur. In 1830 the families of William and John came to Texas with their families of the Heards, Southerlands and others from the vicinity of Tuscumbia and Decatur. Having decided to acquire land in Austin's Colonies they decided in 1829, to send George Sutherland, Jesse White brother-in-law of Sutherland and Anthony Winston to Texas to arrange for land. These three and Stephen F. Austin at San Felipe de Austin, February 19, 1830, entered into contract for land for the following families: William Menefee., Thomas Menefee, William J.E. Heard, Joseph Rector, William Pride, Jesse White, Benjamin J. White, Samuel Rogers and Robert J. Crozier. Upon their return to Alabama, George Sutherland and Jesse White immediately began their preparations to remove to Texas. It was decided that George Sutherland would lead a part of the prospective colony overland while Jesse White would follow up by the water route
Quoting from "early Jackson County History" by John S. Menefee in the Jackson County Clarion , Texana, Texas, May 20, 1880; "Those who came by land were Thomas and William Menefee and families, George Sutherland and family, William J.E. Heard and family and mother and Thomas J. Reed and wife.
"We started out October 30, and came through Choctaw nation by Natchez to the Mississippi at the mouth of the Red River, where we found the boat out of repair and the ferryman not well. Consequently we had to repair the boat and set ourselves over except the ferryman steered the boat and collected ferriage. We crossed the Sabine at Ganes Ferry and came by Nacogdoches and crossed the Trinity at Robbins Ferry, and the Brazos at San Felipe. Between Nacogdoches and the Trinity there were but few houses and none on the road that I recollect from Trinity to the Brazos. Leaving San Felipe, we crossed the Colorado at Beason's Ferry - a little below where Columbus is, and followed the old Attascosita road, crossing the Navidad at Hardy's, thence to Major James Kerr's on the Lavaca, from which we followed wagon tracks made by F.G. Keller moving to Kellar's Creek; and arrived at our destination on the N. Navidad, seven mile above where Texana is, on the 9th of December, 1830."
"On December 2, 1830, the "water contingent" of the "Alabama Settlement", wrote Mr. Menefee, Left Decatur on the Tennessee River. Their mode of transportation was the flat boat..." He then quotes from the reminiscences of Rev. Samuel C.A. Rogers, a passenger, with his wife, Mary, and their little girl. His wife was Mary White, daughter of Jesse White. Some of the others in the party were John Heard, Jesse White and wife, John T. and Francis Menefee White; Mrs. Devers; Lucy Ann Davis; Benjamin White, brother of Jesse, and aunt of John Heard's, Elizabeth. At New Orleans, Jesse White chartered the "EMBLEM" owned by a Captain Baker, to transport the families to Cox's Point. It required two trips, the first company landing February 12, and the other April 5, 1831.
Mr. Menefee was a member of Captain Moseley Baker's San Felipe Company" at San Jacinto and on September 25, 1838 he received Donation Certificate No. 554 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On January 16, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 1890 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 1, to May 30, 1836.
Mr. Menefee was postmaster at Texana in 1836. He represented Jackson County in the House of Representatives in the fourth Congress of the Republic, November 11, 1839 to February 5, 1840. He was twice married, first July 17, 1839 to Angelina Clark, who died February 5, 1841. On November 25, 1847, he married Frances Jane Dever, daughter of James and Elizabeth Dever. She was born in Tennessee July 3, 1815. Children of this union were a son, Stephen Austin Menefee and a daughter Lucy Elizabeth Menefee>
Mrs. Menefee died February 28, 1879, and Mr. Menefee, November 4, 1884. They and Mr. Menefee's first wife were buried in the Menefee's family cemetery on the Navidad a few miles east of Edna, Jackson County, Texas.
Miss Lucy Elizabeth Menefee was on June 27, 1878 married to Thaddeus E. Mercer, son of Elija G. and Jemima Mercer. Elijah Mercer was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto. All of their children were alive in 1936 living near Gando, in Jackson County, Texas. They were John E. Mercer, Austin R. Mercer, Mrs. Frances R. Mercer Betts, widow of Luther L. Betts, William Mercer, and Henry C. Mercer.
Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.
- Died in Battle: No
- Rank: Private
- Company: Capt. Moseley Baker
- Alternate Names: Menifee
- Date of Birth: 1813 Jun 24
- Birthplace: Tennessee, Anderson County
- Origin: Alabama
- Came to Texas: 1830 Dec.
- Date of Death: 1884 Nov 4
- Burial Place: Menefee family cemetery, Jackson County, Texas
- Bounty Certificate: 1890
- Donation Certificate: 554
- Wife: 1. Angelina Clark; 2. Frances Jane Dever
- Children: Stephen Austin Menefee; Lucy Elizabeth Menefee Mercer