Samuel S. Lewis, early Texas settler and congressman, was born July 4, 1784 in Virginia. Lewis founded Orleans, Indiana, and served with the Indiana militia in the War of 1812. In the mid-1820s he moved to Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, where Lewis became justice of the peace. He sent his slaves and some of his property to the Mexican state of Coahuila and Texas in 1830 and followed with his family in 1832. Lewis served as lieutenant colonel in the battle of Nacogdoches in 1832 and participated in the Siege of Bexar in 1835 with his eldest son Martin Baty Lewis. He was a Bevil delegate to the Consultation of 1835 and represented Jasper County in the First and Second congresses of the Republic of Texas. He died on February 10, 1838, at his plantation in the Bevil district.
Charles Zanco, defender of the Alamo, son of Frederick Zanco, was born at Randers, Denmark, in 1808. Zanco and his father emigrated to America in 1834 after the death of Charles’s mother. They settled in Harris County, Texas. The Zancos were farmers, and Charles was also a painter by trade. In the fall of 1835 Zanco joined the first volunteers at Lynchburg for service in the Texas Revolution. He helped design the company’s flag, which featured a painted star and the controversial legend, “Independence.” Zanco may have been the first person ever to paint a Lone Star on a Texan flag. He took part in the siege of Bexar as a member of the Texan artillery. He remained in Bexar as part of the garrison under Lt. Col. James C. Neill. He was promoted to lieutenant and served as an assistant to the garrison’s ordnance chief. Zanco entered the Alamo on February 23, 1836, at the approach of the Mexican Army. He died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
William Linn, Alamo defender, was at one time a resident of Boston, Massachusetts. He traveled to Texas from New Orleans as a member of Capt. Thomas H. Breece’s company of New Orleans Greys, took part in the Siege of Bexar, and is listed on the roster of Lt. Col. James C. Neill’s Bexar garrison as having been taken prisoner. It is possible that Neill wrote this list earlier than February 1836 and that Linn had been taken prisoner during the Siege of Bexar and then released after the Mexican capitulation. It is believed that Linn served in the Alamo garrison as a member of Capt. William Blazeby’s infantry company, and that he died in the battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
Creed Taylor, soldier and Texas Ranger, was born on April 20, 1820, in Alabama, one of nine children of Josiah and Hepzibeth (Luker) Taylor. Josiah Taylor, a relative of Gen. Zachary Taylor, came to Texas in 1811 and served as captain in the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition; he fought at La Bahía, Alazán, Rosales, and Medina. He brought his family, including four-year-old Creed, to Texas in 1824 and settled in DeWitt’s colony. At fifteen, Creed Taylor helped defend the Gonzales “come and take it” cannon and took part in the battle of Concepción, the Grass Fight, and the Siege of Bexar. Late in January 1836 he was with the Texas forces at San Patricio; he was placed on detached duty as a scout or courier until March 1, 1836, when he was ordered to join Col. James C. Neill in Gonzales. After the fall of the Alamo, Taylor led his mother and family to safety in the Runaway Scrape. He then caught up with the Texas army at Buffalo Bayou on April 20 and fought in the battle of San Jacinto the next day. In 1840 Taylor took part in the battle of Plum Creek against the Comanches with Daniel B. Friar’s company. In 1841 he joined the Texas Rangers and fought Indians with John Coffee Hays at Bandera Pass; the following year he was wounded in the battle of Salado Creek. In the Mexican War he enlisted as a private in Capt. Samuel H. Walker’s company of Texas Mounted Rangers, which mustered into federal service on April 21, 1846. Taylor fought at the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterrey, and Buena Vista. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on February 13, 1864, in Col. John S. (Rip) Ford’s command. He dictated his recollections to James T. DeShields, who published them in 1935 in Tall Men with Long Rifles. Taylor died on December 26, 1906, and was buried in Noxville Cemetery, where the Texas Centennial Commission set up a marker in his honor in 1936. The same year the commission erected a monument in Cuero honoring DeWitt County pioneers. Taylor is mentioned twice: as a soldier in the Texas army in 1836 and as a participant in the battle of the Salado in 1842.
Francis Menefee White, settler, soldier, and public official, was born at Pulaski, Tennessee, on August 11, 1811, son of Jesse and Mary (Menefee) White. The family moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama, and then to Jackson County, Texas, in 1830. On October 1, 1835, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Texas army and later participated in the Siege of Bexar, the Grass Fight, and several other minor skirmishes while serving under Rawson Alley and George Sutherland. Voters in the Matagorda district elected White as their representative to the Consultation in San Felipe, but, occupied with his military duties around Bexar, he was unable to attend. White later left the army to care for his pregnant wife. After independence, White was named commissioner of Jackson County in 1837 and was elected justice of the peace in 1838, 1839, and 1840. White attended the Convention of 1845 and as a member of the House represented Jackson County in the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth legislatures. He was a member of the Board of Land Commissioners and also served as chairman of the House Committee on Public Lands. In 1857 he won the post of commissioner of the General Land Office, which he held until 1862. Provisional Governor Andrew J. Hamilton recalled White to oversee the Land Office during the early stages of Reconstruction, and he served until 1866, at which time he left public life. White returned to his Jackson County home and spent his remaining days farming and practicing law. He died on March 22, 1897, and was buried in the Wells family cemetery ten miles southeast of Edna.