The Matagorda Maddens

Chapter 4

"The Texas Maddens Before Willie"

Uncle Willie was one of the third generations of Maddens to be living in Texas. His father William Hanna was the third oldest of the six children of Dr. James Frederick and Eveline Bludworth Madden who had come to Texas from Nachitoches, Louisiana. William Hanna’s other siblings were Mary, James Henry, Frank, Flavilla and Vandon Totoon Beauregard. Relatives of this family are living on the Texas gulf coast today and can be traced through many sources.  Their relatives live from Corpus Christi to Port Lavaca and all have enjoyed living on the coast. Many have left the area from time to time, but some have returned to spend their days in various coastal Texas towns.

The oldest was Mary Elizabeth Madden (1845-1926). She married Thaddeus Allen Bunker (1843-1913). Their children remained in the Cuero, DeWitt County, Texas area. He was a sailor from New York that jumped ship at Matagorda Island, a Calvary soldier with Duff’s Partisan Rangers (33rd Regiment, Texas Calvary CSA), a cattle drover and a gunsmith. He was the stereotype of the Texas Cowboy legends that is imprinted into our American Culture. Mary’s younger brother James Henry Madden and Thaddeus Bunker served all four years with the Duff’s Partisan Rangers which probably resulted with their introduction and marriage at Caranchua, Jackson County, Texas in 1865.

James Henry Madden (1846-1935) married Elvira “Amanda” Logan (1850-1930). Their children remained in Aransas and Calhoun Counties, Texas (Black Jack Peninsula, Seadrift, Fulton, and Rockport). The Logan Family was from North Carolina, by way of Tennessee, Clarke County, Alabama and Polk County, Texas. Amanda’s Uncle James Pinckey Henderson (1808-1858) was a Brigadier General of the Texas Army during the 1835-36 Texas Revolution; Attorney General for the Republic of Texas for the deceased Founding Father of Texas, Stephen Fuller Austin; Republic of Texas Minister to France and England; First Governor of Texas; Major General of the Texas Rangers in the 1845 War with Mexico, and United States Senator from Texas. Amanda’s Great Uncle was Colonel James Henderson (1775-1815) who was a personal friend of President Andrew Jackson and hero of the War of 1812 (Battle of New Orleans) and the Creek Indian Wars (1813-1815) in which he was killed in action. James Henry Madden was a Private with Duff’s Partisan Rangers (33rd Regiment, Texas Calvary CSA); cattle drover; sailor, including the Morgan Steam Line that ran from New Orleans, Galveston, and the Ports of the Texas Coastal Bend; and a ship fitter at the Madden Shipyard near Saluria on Matagorda Island, Texas.

James Henry is the name that has been perpetuated through the ages and the current James Henry V is one of the 6th generation Maddens.  James Henry, Sr. and his wife lived and worked in the Rockport area. He died 11 December 1935 in Fulton, Texas and was buried in the Rockport Cemetery, Aransas County, Texas.  Elvira died before him 17 May 1930 and they are buried next to each other.

James Henry, Sr. appeared in the U.S. Census in 1860 in Calhoun County, Texas, in 1880 in Jackson County, Texas and in the census of 1900 he lived in Refugio County, Texas. By 1910 he had moved to Aransas County, Texas. 

William Hanna Madden (1849-1938) married Margaret Wilkerson (1852-1931). Their children also remained in the Calhoun, Aransas, and Harris Counties, Texas. The Wilkerson family was from Leeds, Kent England who arrived at Saluria, Matagorda Island about 1850. Margaret’s father (John H. Wilkerson 1818-1903) was a ship’s carpenter on Matagorda Island. William Hanna Madden was a stockman, cattle drover, and sailor on Matagorda Island and the Blackjacks. His son Frederick John Madden (1883-1968) married into the Davis Family whose father-in-law was Andrew Jackson Davis (1846-1921) who also served in the Duff’s Partisan Rangers (33rd Regiment, Texas Calvary CSA) and cattle drover with Thaddeus Bunker (1843-1913) and James Henry Madden (1846-1935).

Not much is known about Franklin Poitevent Madden (1855-1875). What is known is that he died as a result of the First Hurricane of Indianola in 1875 at Saluria, Matagorda Island.

Flavilla Eveline Madden Brundrett (1836-1920) was the fifth child born to Dr. James and Eveline Bludworth . She was born 9 April 1858 in Louisiana, and died 18 August 1942 in Rockport, Texas. She married George Albert Brundrett on 27 February 1884 in Aransas County. He was the son of George Albert Brundrett and Mary Hannah Hollingsworth. George was born 28 January 1836 in Detroit, Michigan and died 9 October 1920 in Rockport, Texas. He was buried in Rockport. Their children remained in the Blackjacks (present Aransas National Wildlife Refuge) in Calhoun and Aransas Counties, including Rockport Texas. The Brundrett family was from Lancashire, England by way of New York and Detroit Michigan. His father was George A. Brundrett, Sr. who was a Sea Captain in the Great Lakes prior to bringing troops and supplies to the Texas Coastal Bend during the Mexican War of 1845. George Sr. was one of the first aldermen of Corpus Christi. He operated a sailing vessel between Corpus Christi and Port Isabel and was thrown over overboard while crossing the Aransas Bar and drowned in 1847. His widow (Hanna) and children (Sarah Ann, George Jr, John, Mary, Eliza, Thomas, and nephew Henry) moved to Bludworth Island, St. Joseph Island, and eventually to Lamar, Texas. George Albert Brundrett Junior was an infamous Boat Captain running the US blockade in shallow bay waters from Galveston to Port Isabel during the US Civil War. He served as a Private in Hobby’s 8th Regiment, Texas Infantry and after the war was a prominent Sea Captain, Stockman in the Blackjacks, and Cattle Drover.

They lived in Rockport and had nine children. Those that remember her recall that she loved children and was always helping out families of the area who were “in need.” She was a staunch Presbyterian and was very active in her church until the day she died.

Vandon Totoon Beauregard (1861-1888) was the youngest of the children. He died as a result of the Second Indianola Hurricane of 1888. He was named for Colonel Earl Van Dorn (1820-1863) and General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893) as a result of Colonel Van Dorn coming to Indianola during his birth to organize the Confederate States of America military forces for the Texas Coastal Bend.

By the time of the 3rd generation of Matagorda Maddens the family was well established on the Texas coast. William Robert “Willie” was the 4th oldest of the children. He was born 18 February 1878.  On 19 July 1911 he married Lottie Zelphia Weber. In this generation of Maddens, three of the children married into the Weber family. His siblings who also married Webers were Mary Edith “Minnie” married William Edward Weber and Estella “Stella” Inez who married James “Jim” Oliver Weber. George Weber, Sr. and his family came to Aransas County about 1875. There were many family members living in the Rockport/Fulton area at the time.

Raymond Bryant Madden was the 5th oldest child of James Henry, Sr. and Elvira Logan. Ray was born 28 March 1880. He married Dora E. Strawn 2 March 1909. On 19 October 1957 he died of basilar artery thrombosis. He is buried in Seadrift Cemetery. Dora died from pancreatic cancer. He and his wife Dora came to Port O'Connor in 1910 with their baby Arthur. They came for Ray to work at the O'Connor's Townsite. He was a handyman and could build almost anything. The O'Connors owned all the land and ranched it before deciding to make it a township. They built hotels, homes, a bank and the pavilion in the bay. At that time the fishing industry was being built up and there were many fish houses built to process the fish, shrimp and oysters from the bays and gulf. The township increased in population until 1919 when a hurricane destroyed the town.

The history of the Texas Coastal Bend has been shaped by the opportunity of westward expansion into land previously occupied by the Spanish and later the Mexicans, the shipping industry, the cattle industry, the Civil War and its aftermath in Reconstruction, the shrimping industry and finally the tourist industry. The building up and tearing down of the cities and towns of the area has also been impacted by the many hurricanes and tropical storms that have devastated the area and will no doubt continue to shape the area in the future.

-Much of the information about the early Maddens was researched

by John Phillips and written in his Texas Coastal Bend History