Judge John Somerset Conway


Judge John Somerset Conway

Death 10 Jun 1924 (aged 81)
Gonzales County, Texas, USA
Burial Gonzales, Gonzales County, Texas, USA
Plot Lot 68 space 1
Memorial ID 45799639 View Source
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Obit-Gonzales Inquirer June 1924

Final Tribute Paid Memory of Judge John S. Conway
Veteran Gonzales Jurist Laid to Rest With Masonic Honors

Consigned to a last resting place with Masonic honors, all that is mortal of Judge John S. Conway, veteran Gonzales county jurist, beloved soldier of the Old South, and veteran member of the Gonzales Masonic Lodge, now repose in the family burying ground in the Masonic cemetery, not far from his home, amid the scenes that he loved and the community of which he was a prominent and honored citizen for a period of years extending back to early boyhood.
The funeral was held Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock, with services conducted at the family residence by his pastor, Dr. J. E. James, of the Presbyterian church, in the presence of relatives and friends of the family, and old comrades and associates of Judge Conway.
The old hymns, the precious passages of scripture with their precious promises of eternal life and a simple, beautiful tribute to his career, constituted the service, Dr. James giving a brief sketch of his long and useful life, touching on his standing as a citizen, soldier of the Southland, his public service, and in various official capacities that render him an outstanding character in the history of Gonzales and Gonzales county.
At the close of the services many old friends and members of Camp Key, Confederate Veterans, of which he was commander for the past 25 years, took a last look at the familiar face of their old friend, who form was clad in the Confederate uniform, his casket embowered in a profusion of the beautiful flowers o the Southland that he loved so well.
The pallbearers, all Masons, included A. E. Scheske, W. F. Robertson, T. E. Stephenson, W. M. Atkinson, K. A. Jones and W. T. Miller, and represented members of his church, the Confederate Veterans and the Gonzales bar.
T. F. Harwood acted as master of ceremonies, conducting the impressive burial service, at the conclusion of which Mr. Harwood paid him a splendid personal tribute, stating he had found him a man of the highest sense of honor and a gentleman of the Victorian era.
The floral tributes that mantel his last resting place were especially beautiful, rendering it a bank of bloom and fragrance, exquisitely expressive of the love and esteem in which he was held, and betokening the warm sympathy felt for the sons who mourn the passing of a venerable and honored father who has left them a wonderful heritage in his memory.
Among the special tributes was a beautiful wreath in evergreen with the Confederate flag and ribbons in the Confederate red and white, sent by the Gonzales Chapter U.D.C., and a large cross in ferns and sweet peas with wide white satin ribbons bearing in gold the letters "A tribute of love from the Gonzales Inquirer," Judge Conway having been a member of the first Inquirer office force in 1853, starting a five year apprenticeship at the time. There were many beautiful offerings from Gonzales old families, and numerous other lovely offerings from friends of later years and of the sons who survive him.
After his apprenticeship in the Inquirer office, Judge Conway continued his education in the Old Gonzales College, then one of the leading educational institutions in the State. He then taught school in the country a short time. However, in the fall of 1861 he laid aside all private interests, volunteering his services to his beloved Southland in the conflict that broke out that year the civil War. He enlisted as a member of Company C. Sixth Texas Volunteer Infantry under command of Col. R. R. Holland, which became a part of a Texas brigade. He served distinction throughout the four years war and was twice taken prisoner, suffering much hardship in prison at one time.
Judge Conway participated in some of the greatest battles of the war, notably those in Tennessee, including, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, besides many smaller engagements in that region, and he was acting commander of his company in the two days battle of Jonesboro near Atlanta.
After the close of hostilities he was pareled, June 15, 1865, and sent home. Resuming the profession to teaching, and later clerking for a while he finely took up the study, of law in April, 1868, in the office of Maj. T. M. Harwood, who was a prominent young attorney in Gonzales as early as 1854. Later he became a number of the firm, with which he remained until 1875, after which he practiced alone.
Judge Conway enjoyed the distinction of having been the first county judge of Gonzales county under the new constitution adopted in 1878, being re-elected for five successive terms, after which he refused to serve longer.
In 1890 he was nominated county judge by the Democratic party and elected, serving until 1896. Thus Judge Conway enjoyed the distinction of having served as judge of Gonzales county longer than any other incumbent, having served sixteen years.
It was during his last regime the present court house and jail were built.
Retiring from the bench, he left an honored record that was signally free from judicial bias, commanding the entire confidence of the bar, and public, retaining the good will and high regard of all concerned.
This confidence was again evidenced in 1900 when without solicitation, he received the Democratic nomination as Representative to the Legislature from this county, serving one term. He declined to serve longer.
As an orator, Judge Conway also enjoyed an enviable record, having been, during his active years, in great demand on every patriotic occasion in Gonzales and all over this section, his masterful logic and eloquence of speech having stirred thousands.
In his passing Gonzales and the county are bereft of one of the splendid citizens of the old grime, who leaves a wonderful record that is seldom equaled, a record of achievement that is distinctive, since his success was almost entirely due to his own efforts, a worthy example of the self made man.
In the evening of life the love of study and the books with which he surrounded himself were a source of entertainment in which he delighted as he patiently awaited the final summons to lay aside life's interests and come up higher.
He was a kind and considerate husband and father, a friend as true as steel, and a typical example of the gallantry and chivalry of the Old South.
May we not feel that when he came into the presence of the Master he was greeted with the words-
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy o thy Lord."

Contributor: Cindy S Munson (47210136) •

Old Conway Homestead Sold
Tract Embracing Eleven Acres Brings Twelve Thousand Dollars.

A real estate deal in which one of the oldest properties in Gonzales figured has just been closed, heirs of the late Judge J. S. Conway selling the old Conway homestead on North Avenue. M. H. Davis of San Antonio, one-time Gonzalian, is the purchaser and the price paid is $12, 000. This property includes the Conway residence and a considerable tract of ground, 11 acres in all.
This property has been in the Conway family for probably half a century.
While no plans have been announced as to what the owner proposes doing with the property, it is presumed a portion at least will be divided into building lots and placed on the market.
Gonzales Inquirer Feb. 4, 1924
Contributor: Cindy S Munson (47210136) •

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