McGary, Daniel L.
Group of Letters pertaining to newspaper publisher and editor, Sgt. Daniel Leonidas McGary, Confederate States Army veteran of Houston and Wallisville, Texas, 1893-1916

13 letters, 17 pp., dated 12 October 1893 to 26 January 1916; plus 43 pieces of related ephemera and 1 photograph; two of the letters undated; one letter badly chipped, lacks lower portion, affecting text; ephemera consists mostly of tax receipts, cancelled checks, newspaper clippings, etc. The letters concern McGary and his family.

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      Daniel Leonidas McGary (1833-1902)

Daniel Leonidas McGary was born 28 January 1833 at Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky. He died on 22 April 1902 at Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. His ancestors were among the pioneers of Kentucky. His great grandfather, Hugh McGary, accompanied Daniel Boone to the "dark and bloody ground" and took the first Bibles into that section. The parents of Daniel L McGary died when he was very young, and when old enough he was sent to St Louis and placed in the commercial house of relatives, where he clerked by day and studied law by night. After finishing his law studies, he removed to Nebraska Territory, and on 10 May 1855, was appointed the first United States district attorney of Nebraska territory for the southern district. He is said to have been intimately associated with J. Sterling Morton and for a time assisted in the publication of the Nebraska City News.


In the later 1850s Mr. McGary married Martha Jane Summers Jockley (1832-1902), a widow, and the couple, with their possessions in wagons, migrated to Uvalde, Texas, then an extreme frontier town. Here McGary practiced law and fought Indians until the Civil War commenced, when he moved his wife and two children to the home of Tacitus Clay, an uncle living at Independence, Texas, and enlisted in the Confederate army. He fought until the close of the war, was several times wounded, but was never captured and never surrendered. He served in the Confederate States Army first as a private for temporary service for three months with W.C. Adams Co., in Col. Ford’s Regiment; then later as 1st Sgt. Sweet’s Company in the 2nd Texas Cavalry Regiment, enlisting on 1 January 1862 at Uvalde, Texas for 12 months.


McGary returned home after the war and remained until his death an unreconstructed rebel. Immediately after the war he established a weekly newspaper at Brenham, Texas, calling it the Southern Banner, the stars and bars being conspicuous in the headlines. He made life miserable for the carpet baggers who flocked to Washington County after the war and was eventually thrown in jail for allegedly inciting rebellion. While in jail he was fed by the white people of Brenham and continued to edit his paper from behind the bars. Later the "military boss" of the city detached a file of soldiers who burned the Banner office, and the same fire destroyed the entire business portion of the city, for which citizens of Brenham unsuccessfully endeavored to secure relief from Congress.


McGary also established a newspaper in Galveston and was for many years the editor and proprietor of the Houston Age, a paper which had a national reputation, although insignificant in size. The paper was a daily paper, considered the oldest daily in Texas “with one exception.” The paper was founded on 15 May 1871 at Houston and later, on 15 March 1897, moved to Wallisville in Chamber County, Texas. Throughout the state he was known as "Uncle Dan'l," and counted among his personal friends the most distinguished citizens of Texas.


His wife died in March of 1902, and he never recovered from the shock of her death, and followed her to a grave in Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont, just four weeks later. McGary and his wife had at least seven children:  Nettie McGary (1860-1869);  Percy McGary, born 1861 at Texas and died 10 April 1916 at Independence, Washington County, Texas; he lived at Cold Springs, Texas; was enumerated on 1910 Census at Justice Precinct 6, Liberty, Texas, listed as a publisher in the newspaper industry on his own account. He was not married and was fifty years old. He was the publisher of the Sentinel at Cold Springs, Texas; Daniel Clay McGary (1862-1891) he married Ona Dell Eberly (1895-1970); Samuel Hopkins McGary (1866-1908), principal owner and manager of the Daily and Sunday Journal, Beaumont, Texas; Arteus McGary (1867-1867); Annie Statira McGary (1867-1949); and Vibella Martha McGary (1870-1943).


      The letters are written to members of the McGary family, or friends, or business associates, attorneys, government officials.

3 letters of Daniel L. McGary, of Houston (2) and Wallisville, Texas(1); all three letters are written on the letterhead of McGary’s newspaper “The Age.” McGary writes to his wife (letter badly chipped lacks lower portion, loss of text); to his son (grandson?) Daniel Crowley McGary; and to his grandson (unnamed); McGary writes to his family members about the general health of himself, others in the family, proposed visits, other family matters.

4 typed letters of C.M. Butler, Tax Assessor, Cold Springs, Texas; Butler writes all four letters to J.M. Walsh of Butte, Montana. Butler writes to Walsh about the taxes on properties Butler owns at Shepherd, Texas, fronting the railroad.

1 typed letter of James M. Walsh, of M.J Connell Company, importers and wholesale dealers, of Butte, Montana; Walsh writes to F.G. Bryan, Esq., attorney, of Cold Springs, Texas. Walsh writes to attorney Bryan asking him to look into his property at Jacinto County, Texas, as his correspondence with the tax assessor, C.M. Butler, is “very strange” and wishes Walsh to look into the matter.

1 letter by Ernest, of Humble, Texas; he writes to his sister Fannie McGary; on the letterhead of Gaddis, McLaurin & Company, merchants, jobbers and cotton buyers, of Raymond, Mississippi.  He writes to let Fannie know where he is, what he is doing (keeping the books for Gaddis, McLaurin & Co.), news about other family members, etc.

1 letter of H. Cohn, dealer in choice wines, liquors and cigars, of Cleveland, Texas; writing to his friend Percy McGary; Cohn writes to McGary about money he collected for him, wants to know what to do with it, send it, bank it, etc.

1 letter of Percy McGary, Cold Springs, Texas to Judge C. N. Smith. McGary writes to the Judge asking for help with paying his taxes on his property at Cleveland, Texas. The verso of the letter carries Judge Smith’s response stating that he took care of the tax bill.

1 letter of Grand Pa (S.H. McGary?), Beaumont, Texas; on the letterhead of the Beaumont Journal, a daily and semi-weekly at Beaumont, Texas to his grandson; “S.H. McGary” is listed on the letterhead as the publisher; “Grand Pa” writes to his “little grandson” inquiring about his health, letting him know he is sending him something for Christmas, etc.

1 letter of Joann Conklin, of Udine, Harris Co., Texas; written to Ona McGary of Hockley, Texas. Conklin writes McGary, with the late family news, etc.