Settled in the Wilderness, Raised a
Family and Accumulated Prop-
erty—Opposed Secession.

Taylor, Tex., Oct. 14 [1896].—In the death of David H. McFadin, who died on Wednesday afternoon at 6.10 o’clock at his family residence on the San Gabriel river, near Circleville [Texas], Williamson County loses one of its most honored citizens, a hero whom anyone should delight to honor. In portraying the lives of the pioneers of Texas, the heroes of San Jacinto and the first settlers of what is now known as Williamson county, none is more worthy of mention than David H. McFadin.

Mr. McFadin was born in Montgomery county, Tennessee, May 22, 1816, and was the only child of William and Sarah (Jett) McFadin, both of whom were natives of the same state as himself, where they were raised and where they resided for many years. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, also David McFadin, was a native of Ireland and came to America at an early date. The father of the subject of this notice was a farmer, who joined the tide of western emigration in 1828, moving with his family overland from the old home in Tennessee to the new and wild country which was then a part of Mexico, but is now the great state of Texas. There were but few civilized settlements in this part of the country at that time, and one of these was situated in what is now known as Liberty county, in which the McFadin family cast their lot, and there set about making their frontier home.

Mr. McFadin was then 12 years of age and for three years assisted his father in opening up a new farm. The hardships of those early days, however, served to quickly mature precocious intellects and teach self-reliance and independence. Thus it was at the early age of 15 young David became desirous of beginning life on his own account. Accordingly he left the parental roof to accept employment in the stock business, which he followed without interruption until the spring of 1836. By this time the oppression and tyranny of the Mexican government became so strongly felt that the settlers resolved to endure it no longer and war was declared. Mr. McFadin joined the army, which was composed of as brave a class of men as any to be found on the globe. They were willing to emulate the example of those men who fell at San Antonio and Goliad. The little army was reorganized under the able leadership of General Sam Houston, who resolved to make a last resistance to Mexican authorities. Accordingly the battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836, when a gallant little army of 783 brave men, poorly equipped, scantily clothed and half starved, marched up and in less than a half hour (eighteen minutes says General Sam Houston’s report) disintegrated an army of 1500 men, splendidly accoutered, comfortably clothed and well fed and under the able leadership of Santa Anna.

This is a little short of marvelous, but each man proved a Hercules in determination and their war cry was “Remember the Alamo!” Ten thousand men could not have daunted their courage, for they were fighting for their lives and those of their loved ones, besides avenging the death of those who had been murdered by the Mexicans.

This little army was composed of such hardy, determined men as David McFadin, and they followed their leader, General Houston, with no thought of anything but victory, and such men as these gained for Texas her independence and placed her among the greatest states of the union. The posterity of these men will look back over the history of Texas with pride in cognizance of the fact that their forefathers fought so bravely to defend and lay the foundation of their privileges which the younger generation now enjoy.

After serving six months in the Texas army and helping to gain the victory at San Jacinto, Mr. McFadin returned to his home in Liberty county, where in November, 1836, he was married to Miss Jerusha Dyches, a native of Louisiana and a daughter of Joseph Dyches, a well known pioneer. She came to Texas in 1832. She possessed great force of character, with superior ability and was well fitted to become the companion of a man who had his own fortunes to make in a frontier country. She contributed her quota to that success which he achieved, making for him a comfortable and happy home, consoling him under misfortune and encouraging him to renewed vigor.

After the war Mr. David McFadin engaged in the stock business on his own account, following the same for a number of years. In 1842 he was elected sheriff of Jefferson county and discharged the duties incumbent upon him with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He also served at various times in many minor offices of responsibility and trust He subsequently traded with his cousin for a headright of land in what is now Williamson county, but which was then on the frontier of civilization. In December, 1846, he removed with his family to this land and began the task of making a permanent home in the midst of a vast solitude and interminable plain, there being at that time but four white men within the borders of what is now Williamson county. He cultivated this land and engaged extensively in the stock business, and was the owner of a number of slaves. Success attended his efforts and prosperity smiled on his endeavors.

Mr. McFadin was cosmopolitan in his views and of great probity of character. He was a true and tried patriot, and as his birthplace was in a union of states he was opposed to disintegration. Like his old commander, General Houston, and many other noble men, he opposed secession with all his forces, and when the state finally seceded, he took no part in the ensuing struggle. He has been highly successful in his undertakings and has accumulated a large and varied amount of landed interests, which he used to the best advantage in surrounding himself and family with all the comforts and many luxuries of life, as well as contributing largely and liberally to advance the welfare of the community in which he resided.

Mr. and Mrs. McFadin had eight children, three of whom attained maturity and two raised families of their own. John N., deceased, was an able man in affairs political in this vicinity; William D., born in 1840, entered the army during the civil war in 1862, and has not been heard from since; Irvin A., who was also a prominent citizen of this community, died a short time ago; Sidney died at the age of 2 years, as did George; Sarah died in infancy, as did the youngest two brothers.

On July 7, 1880, Mr. McFadin was called upon to mourn the death of his faithful wife, who had been his loving companion for forty-four years, enduring with him the privations and hardships of frontier life and participating with him in the prosperity which followed their united and intelligent efforts. She lived to see her two sons happily married and surrounded by families of their own and in the enjoyment of prosperity and the respect of the community.

In 1881 Mr. McFadin was married to Mrs. Armstrong, widow of the late Colonel James Armstrong. She was born in Kentucky, but was reared in Missouri. Her life was spared for eleven years after marriage, her death occurring June 9, 1892. Previously, in 1887, Mr. McFadin was bereft of his son, Irvin, and November 4, 1891, his only surviving son, John, joined the other members of the family in the spirit world. Thus Mr. McFadin lived to see his whole family pass away from this transitory sphere, and lived upon the old homestead which he built fifty years ago near Circleville until last Wednesday evening at the close of day, when he, too, was beckoned to come and join those who had gone before.

[Souce: The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Saturday, October 17, 1896, p. 4, col. 5]


—Hon. D. H. McFadin, one of the eight surviving San Jacinto war veterans, and a resident of Williamson county for the past fifty years, died at his home, near Circleville, on the 8th inst.

[Source: The Temple Weekly Times, Temple, Texas, Friday, October 16, 1896, p. 4, col. 5.]



Funeral of Hon. D. H. McFadin.

Taylor, Tex., Oct. 9.—The funeral of Hon. David H. McFadin, one of the eight surviving San Jacinto war veterans, took place yesterday afternoon from the family residence near Circleville, in which he has resided for fifty years past. The funeral was largely attended and the remains were interred in the McFadin burying grounds near the old homestead. Judge McFadin was 81 years old and has been a resident of Williamson county for more than fifty years.

[Source: The Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Saturday, October 10, 1896, p. 9, col. 2]