Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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TRASK, OLWYN J. -- Arrived in Texas at sometime between May 2, 1835 and March 2, 1836. In the Headright Certificate issued in his name and delivered to his heirs by the Harrisburg Board of Land Commissioners May 3, 1838 it is stated that he came to Texas before March 2, 1836. Had he arrived prior to May 2, 1835 it would have been so stated in the certificate.

Mr. Trask was born in Essex County, Massachusetts, a son of Israel Trask. He was a member of Captain William H. Smith's Cavalry Company and was mortally wounded in the skirmish of April 20th. In Wooten's Comprehensive History of Texas Mr. Moses Austin Bryant states that Mr. Trask had his thigh bone broken. In the sketch of the San Jacinto campaign written by Dr. Nicholas Labadie, who ministered to Mr. Trask, and published in the Texas Almanac he stated that Mr. Trask was conveyed to Galveston on the boat with President Burnet and others and there died about three weeks later. On a joint monument erected in 1881 on the battlefield at the graves of those who fell in the battle, Mr. Trask's name is included among those buried there.

On page 394, Book A of the Deed Records of Harris County, it is shown that on November 2, 1837, Frances J. S. Trask, a sister of Olwyn, was living at Independence, Washington County, Texas, and was on that day appointed representative of Israel Trask of Massachusetts, who was heir to the property of his deceased son.

Thomas S. S. Trask, brother of Olwyn and attorney for his estate, appeared before the Board of Land Commissioners of Harrisburg May 3, 1838 and made application for the one-third of a league of land Olwyn J. Trask was entitled to receive. Donation Certificate No. 92 for 640 acres of land due Mr. Trask's services at San Jacinto was issued to his heirs, in his name, May 15, 1838.

The following is copied from an affidavit made by Israel Trask in New Orleans, November 22, 1837, and recorded in the Book J, Deed Records of Fayette County:

"To all persons to whom these presents shall come, Greeting Know ye, that I, Israel Trask of Gloucester in the County of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, One of the United States, Esquire have made, and by these presents, do make, ordain, constitute and appoint, my daughter Frances J. S. Trask of Coles Settlement, in Texas, my true and lawful attorney, for me and in my name to collect recover and receive all and Singular the Sum and Sums of Money, goods and other things coming or in any way belonging to me as the father and heir at Law of Olwyn J. Trask who was wounded at the battle of San Jacinto, and died of his wounds at Galveston, also in my name and as my attorney to receive the conveyance, and take possession of any lands or other real estate which, as bounty or otherwise has been or may be adjudged or owned by my Son or to me as his heir at law; also in my name and as my attorney to take and receive a conveyance from Edmond Andrews now or late of the Jurisdiction of Brazoria, of certain lands in fulfillment and performance of an obligation entered into by said Andrews with my said son Olwyn J. Trask Feby 18" A. D. 1836 and to recover performance of said oblication and to receive the avails and proceeds, the performance being now due to me as heir at law to my said son, also to pay all taxes and assessments which may be due, or may become due on any property belonging to me, and I hereby give and grant to my said daughter full power and right to substitute one or more attorneys under her with any or all the powers hereby granted and the powers of said Substitute and Substitutes to revoke at her pleasure, hereby granting to my said attorney and to her substitute and substitutes full power and authority to do and cause to have done all necessary and proper acts in the prosecution and attainment of the foregoing objects ratifying agreeing to ratify and confirm all and singular her and their acts and doings in the premises,

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Twenty Second day of November in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Seven."

Note: Miss Emma F. Larkin, a descendant of early Trask family.

There was no attack after the morning attack by the Mexicans until Sherman made the attempt to capture the Mexican's twelve-pounder long brass cannon; several horses were killed and wounded, and Trask had his thigh-bone broken, and afterwards died...

A Comprehensive History of Texas
Vol. 1, page 279.

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.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Wounded in Battle: Wounded in leg during the skirmish on April 20; died of the wound.
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. William H. Smith

Personal Statistics

  • Birthplace: Massachusetts, Essex County
  • Came to Texas: 1835?
  • Date of Death: 1836 May
  • Burial Place: San Jacinto Battleground
  • Donation Certificate: 92