William "Willie" Archie Madden

23 October 1887 - 11 September 1961

74 years old

Third Generation Madden

Son of:

William Hanna "Willie" Madden

15 June 1849 - 12 Nov 1938


"Fred" and "Willie" Madden

William "Willie or Billy" Archie Madden was born 23 October 1887 in Seadrift, Texas. His parents were William Hanna Madden and Margaret Wilkinson Madden. He was drowned in Hurricane Carla in September, 1961. His body was found on LaSalle Ranch after the storm was over. He was buried in Seadrift Cemetery, Calhoun County, Texas on September 11, 1961. The gravestone inscription states, "VICTIM OF HURRICANE CARLA - Found on La Salle Ranch." Hurricane Carla , a Category 5 hurricane, hit the town of Port O'Connor with winds up to 170 mph and a tidal surge of 18.5 feet. Port O'Connor was virtually wiped out. Stories say that he had $2,000 sewed into his pants which was used to pay for his burial expenses.

Article of William Archie "Willie" Madden's Drowning, The Calhoun County Times, Page 1-A, October 24. 1961.

Willie Madden's Gravestone
Seadrift Cemetery


When I met Willie he was living in a little shack that he had built across the Intracostal Waterway from Port O'Connor, Texas. He lived there by himself selling fish and oysters to the people of the town. He had lived on the little island for some time after he and other inhabitants had been evicted from Matagorda Island by the U.S. government in 1940 when the island was condemned to be used as a temporary training facility for the Army as a bombing range.

He had been married to Nona "Noni" at one time. Some say his grief after his divorce caused him to move to the little island.

This photo was made in Jul., 1952. Fred Madden is polling across the Intracostal Waterway at Port O'Connor with Ken Bower seated. In the distance you can see Willie's shack on the little island.