Small Town Celebrities This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 19, 2011
Wind whistled across the hill. There were no houses to be seen, but there were many trees scattered across the landscape. As I looked around this relatively barren scenery, I began to spot what we were here for: the graves. Graves of all sizes protruded from the ground; some of these were small and fading while others were large and well kept. One grave stood out among the rest because of its looming stature and the fact that it was in a fenced off section with a fancy, star encrusted gate. I walked over and opened the gate to go through to the most dominant grave in the cemetery. When I say dominant grave I mean a twelve feet tall monolith with words of dedication covering all four sides. I stood looking straight up at this enormous pillar of a grave. My eyes took in the words and the impressive presence of the monument. Across the front of the grave in bold letters read the name “Robert Hall.” This man, a well-known Texas Ranger, is the reason we took a road trip to our family cemetery in Gonzales County, Texas.

Robert Hall came to Texas in 1835 from Memphis, Tennessee. On June 1, 1836 he enlisted in the Texas army. Hall’s main duty was to stand guard over General Santa Anna after his capture. Something I found very interesting about this time in Hall’s life was evidence that “‘Colonel Hall was a great favorite with General Sam Houston and they were always the warmest of friends’” (Brazos 5). After serving in the army, Hall became a Texas Ranger. He served under Benjamin McCulloch was a front line soldier in many Indian battles. In the book, Life of Robert Hall, his vivid stories cover the pages. One of these stories is about his experience and injury at the Battle of Plum Creek. This battle ended the terrorizing reign of the Comanches. After recovering from an injury to his thigh suffered from an arrow, he went on and continued to protect the frontier. Stories tell about Hall being a skilled hunter; he even made a frontiersman suit out of over 90 different animal skins he had collected from his hunts. The suit was actually displayed at the 1936 Texas Centennial in Dallas.

On my road trip, I began to learn more about the importance of Hall. When my mother and I went to a museum in Seguin, the men asked us who we were researching. Our answer, “A relative named Robert Hall,” made the men start chattering excitedly like young girls. Robert Hall is a celebrity in Seguin because he laid out the town. The men told us that because we are directly related to Robert Hall, we are small town celebrities, too. This road trip allowed me to see my family heritage up close. I learned that one can discover the past, discuss those stories in the present, and can leave a legacy for future generations because of heritage.

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