|Birth: ||Mar. 23, 1828|
|Death: ||Nov. 7, 1899|
Spouse: Ann Eliza
PLEASANTS, HENRY CLAY (1828–1899). Henry Clay Pleasants, the district judge credited with ending the Sutton-Taylor feud in DeWitt County during Reconstruction, was born on March 23, 1828, in Goochland County, Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia, was admitted to the bar in 1852, and practiced law in Virginia until about 1854, when he moved to Clinton, Texas, the seat of DeWitt County. He continued in private practice and in 1858 married Ann Eliza Atkinson of Gonzales, Texas, who had also come from Virginia; the couple had four children.
During Reconstruction, Pleasants was elected judge of the Twenty-third Judicial District and was serving during the period of the Sutton-Taylor feud. When Pleasants insisted on bringing the criminals to trial in the Brassel murder case in December 1876, he appealed to the governor for the help of the Texas Rangersqv under Jesse Lee Hallqv. Hall's rangers aided in arresting suspects and keeping order during the trial, though Pleasants himself held court with a double-barreled shotgun across his knee, in response to threats that he would be killed if he returned a guilty verdict. Accounts of the feud credit Pleasants more than any other single individual with ending the first phase of the lawlessness that characterized this Reconstruction episode in DeWitt County.
Judge Pleasants was elected to the newly formed Court of Civil Appeals of the First District in 1892 and served until his death in Galveston on November 7, 1899. He was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Cuero. His son Robert finished his father's term and was later elected chief justice of the Court of Civil Appeals in the First Supreme Judicial District.
Citation: Craig H. Roell, "PLEASANTS, HENRY CLAY," Handbook of Texas Online
(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpl03), accessed August 25, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association
The following info sent by Cindy S. Munson
Obit-Gonzales Inquirer Nov. 14, 1899
All that was mortal of one good, true pure man was laid to rest in beautiful Hillside cemetery yesterday afternoon and the largest funeral ever known in Cuero was the last tribute of love and respect paid his legion of friends in South Texas.
The funeral occurred from Grace Episcopal church, the church of his adoption, at 2 o'clock , and the services held over the remains were indeed beautiful and impressive. Right Reverend J. S. Johnson, D. D., bishop of this diocese, preached the funeral service and seldom in a life time are we permitted to hear such an impressive address and appropriate eulogy as came from this holy man on this occasion. The seeds sown must bear their harvest among the young men who listened to this eloquent sermon, delivered, as it was, with the life of Judge Pleasants as the example, so beautifully and truthfully pictured. When the reverend gentleman concluded his words he led the procession with the local rector, while the choir sang and the remains taken in charge by the pall bearers and following were conveyed to the hearse, and the solemn march to the grave yard was taken up.
When the head line of the procession had reached the cemetery the rear was still on Esplanade street, the line of vehicles extending a distance of nearly a mile.
The pallbearers were: W. J. Raker, O. L. Crouch, G. J. Schleicher, F. H. Crain, S. C. Lackey, W. H. Harris, C.A. Summers and A. B. Davidson, all members of the Cuero bar and they walked on either side of the hearse to the cemetery. In the line of march was the mayor and city council in a body; the three fire companies in their full uniforms marching two a breast and the line of vehicles mentioned. Relatives and friends from a distance were here in numbers, almost the entire bar of Victoria being present. The offices of the court house closed as did all the stores in town and the schools were dismissed for the funeral. The attendance was only a reflex of how deceased was revered by the people among whom he lived.
When the mound was made at the grave it soon became a hill of flowers tastefully arranged by lady friends, which spoke in language plainer than they themselves could express their friendship and love.
Numerous telegrams of condolence and sympathy were received by the family from friends who could not attend, which only further shows how beloved a man we have lost.
Mary Pleasants Cocke (1858 - 1923)*
Maintained by: Sherry
Originally Created by: Bernard-Trigg
Record added: Apr 11, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50960290