The Matagorda Maddens

The First Generation in Texas

In researching Uncle "Willie" or "Billy" as he was known to many in Port O'Connor, Texas. I found that the first family member who lived on the Texas coast was Dr. James Frederic Madden and his wife Eveline Bludworth (Bloodworth) Madden. Records indicate that Dr. James Frederic was born on 11 September 1820 in Louisiana. He was still living there in 1858. Dr. Madden was listed in the 1860 census as living in Indianola, Texas. All of the records that were recorded in Indianola were lost in the storm of a 19 August 1886. Dr. Madden was 35 years old and Eveline was 34 years old. They had been married on 31 December 1844 in Sabine Parish, Louisiana. In 1860 they lived with their six children, a girl M.E. 14 years old, James Henry 13, a boy Willian Hanna. 10, Franklin P. Madden 6, a girl I.F 5 and Flavilla E. 3. The parents had come to Indianola, Texas from Rapides Parish, Louisiana. At the time the census listed him as a druggist, but census data later listed him as a physician.

They lived in Indianola at the time of the Civil War and he enlisted in the Confederate Army at the rank of Pvt. in the Indianola Guards, Co. A, 24th Brig TST on 27 June 1861 in Indianola. Both Indianola and Matagorda Island were important to both the north and the south during the Civil War.

In the 1870 census Dr. James Frederic and Eveline were listed as living in Saluria, Texas on Matagorda Island Calhoun County. The children that lived with them were Franklin 15, Flavilla 12 and an 8 year old son, Van Dorm (My grandparents always called him "Uncle Van" but his real name was Vandorm Totoon Beauregard Madden - he was named after the famous confederate general Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, but the spelling was in phonetic English not French.)

By 1880 Dr. James Frederic was 59 and Eveline was 54. They were living in Jackson County , Texas with Flavilla 21 and Van Dorn 18. He died at the age of 76 on 6 July 1896 and is buried in the Lamar Cemetery, Aransas County, Texas. His parents are listed as Henry Madden and Mary Wiley.

Dr. James Frederic Madden is my (Kenneth Lee Madden Bower) great-great grandfather. My great grandfather was one of his sons, William Hanna Madden. William H. is only listed as living with his parents in the 1880 census. He married Margaret Wilkinson 27 February 1879 on Matagorda Island, Calhoun County. William H. was known to his friends as "Wille." He was born 15 June 1849 in Rapides Parish, Louisiana. He died at 89 years old on 12 November 1938 in Matagorda Co, Texas. They had six children, Ruth, Aura, Frederick John "Fred", Jane, William "Willie or Billy" and Maggie. Frederick John "Fred" is my grandfather.

Fred was born on Matagorda Island 25 January 1883. His birth records were lost in the 1886 Hurricane in Indianola. He married Dora Lee Davis from Fulton, Texas and they had two children, Preston Edward and Clara Mae. Clara Mae is my mother.