Texas sub commander receives Medal of Honor
August 28, 1945
On this day in 1945, Edwina Dealey, the widow of Navy Commander Samuel David Dealey, received his posthumous Medal of Honor. A member of the prominent Dealey family of Dallas, Samuel was born in 1906. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1930, and took command of the submarine USS Harder in December 1942. He quickly proved to be one of the most aggressive and successful American submarine commanders of World War II. He took the ship in 1943 to the Pacific and made five highly successful patrols, but failed to return from a sixth. He was particularly noted for heading toward enemy destroyers and discharging the sub's forward tubes before making the standard maneuver of diving into silent running; this effective but dangerous maneuver, which Dealey used by permission from the commander of the Pacific Fleet, sank five Japanese destroyers in four days. Dealey officially sank sixteen enemy vessels in all. He was group commander of a submarine "wolf pack" consisting of the Harder, the Hake, and the Hado in waters off Luzon, Philippines. On August 24, 1944, the Harder was heavily and fatally depth-charged. Commander Dealey was declared missing in action and presumed dead on October 2, 1944.
Newt Gresham founds Farmers Union
August 28, 1902
On this day in 1902, Newt Gresham and nine other men founded the Farmers Educational and Cooperative Union of America, now known as the National Farmers Union. Sources have made claims for three different Rains County communities as the site of the first charter, including Smyrna, Point, and Emory. Gresham, an Alabama native, had arrived in Texas with his tenant-farmer parents shortly after the Civil War. In 1902 he helped found the Farmers Union as a successor to the old Farmers' Alliance. Gresham wanted to emphasize economic cooperation and avoid the involvement in partisan politics that he believed had destroyed earlier farm organizations. He wanted the organization to go no further than lobbying for farmers' interests. In 1903 he founded the Farmers Union Password, the organization's official publication. The Farmers Union held its first state convention in February 1904 and its first national convention in 1905. At the latter, Gresham was named national organizer. He traveled throughout the South for the union. After falling ill with appendicitis, while in Tennessee, he died on April 10, 1907.
Hugo Oconór becomes ad interim governor of Texas
August 28, 1767
On this day in 1767, Hugo Oconór became ad interim governor of Texas. Born in 1732, Oconór was an Irishman who attained the rank of major of a volunteer regiment in the Spanish army. His vermilion hair inspired frontier Indians to nickname him the “Red Captain.” After service in Cuba and Mexico City, he worked as inspector general of the eastern Provincias Internas in 1765 and investigated the conflict between Texas governor Ángel de Martos y Navarrete and presidio commander Rafael Martínez Pacheco. After the removal of Navarrete, Oconór’s service as governor ad interim won the admiration of soldiers and citizens alike. He reinforced San Antonio against Apache raids and brought order to the frontier. He returned to Mexico in 1770, and throughout the next decade, as he commanded various offices, he focused on repelling the Apaches farther west. Oconór was governor and captain general of Yucatan at the time of his death in 1779.
María Calvillo petitions Mexican government for ranch title
August 28, 1828
On this day in 1828, María Calvillo formally petitioned the Mexican government for a new title to her father's Rancho de las Cabras ("the Goat Ranch") in what is now Wilson County. María was born at the Villa of San Fernando de Béxar in 1765, the eldest of six children born to Ygnacio Francisco Xavier Calvillo and Antonia de Arocha. Her father acquired Rancho de las Cabras, an outpost of San Francisco de la Espada Mission, after the mission and its lands were secularized. María Calvillo married Juan Gavino de la Trinidad Delgado around 1781. The couple had two sons and adopted three additional children. In 1811 and 1814 Gavino played a major role in the struggle to overthrow the Spanish; as a result of his activities he was declared a rebel against the crown. María apparently separated from her husband at this time. In 1814 Ygnacio Calvillo was murdered at his ranch during a raid; initially the raid was thought to have been perpetrated by Indians, but subsequent investigation revealed that the attackers included Ygnacio's own grandson. At this time María gained control and ownership of the property. When she died in 1856 her will passed ownership of the property to two of her adopted children.
posted by Jeff - 8.28.2011 The Texas State Historical Association