Social events were many in 1887 Duval County

For our readers interested in genealogy and family histories, we will list a number of social events from 1887, including weddings, deaths, marriages and births. No hard facts involving crime or politics in this blog.

At the beginning of 1887, Caroline Brandis died in San Diego at the age of 55. She was the daughter of Joseph Wright Sr. and a member of the Episcopal Church. Brandis was survived by a husband and two children.

Other deaths reported in early 1887 were James D. Latta and Laura Wright. Latta, a native of Glasgow, Scotland was only 35 when he died on March 13 in San Diego. He was survived by a wife and two children. Wright died in San Diego three days later, on March 16. She was the wife of Duval County Sheriff L. L. Wright, and the sister of R. R. Savage. She moved to Texas in 1877 with her brother and married in 1881. She was a Presbyterian. At the end of the month, on March 30, W. S. Halsey died in Benavides of paralysis. He was 58 and had been sheriff of Starr County at one time. Halsey had only recently moved to Benavides to open a mercantile business. He was survived by a wife, five daughters, and one son. Halsey was buried in Corpus Christi.

In today’s San Diego, the Catholic church is the dominant Christian faith, but in the early days, as seen in the above deaths, many other Christian groups also practiced their faith in the “capitol of Duval.” In April 1887, for example, the San Diego Methodist church held a festival to raise funds to pay for the minister’s salary, putting in new benches, and improving the church. The festival was held at the old Spann Building. A. Nuil provided vocal and instrumental music, and the children enjoyed games such as post office, fish pond, grab-bags, etc. The festival was well-attended and raised $100 during hard economic times. Volunteer helpers included Gertrude Gravis, Lillie Ridder, Nettie Smith, Ardel Lewis, Carrie Farnum, Addie Luby, Miss Croft, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Coymer, and Mrs. Peterson.

Dr. T. C. Hannelly and wife returned after extended absences to New York and Monterrey, respectively. On May 27, Dr. Hannelly went for a walk while in Corpus Christi and did not return. A friend went looking for him and found him lying on ground dead near the power house just north of city. He apparently had a stroke and died. Dr. Hannelly was viewed as a good physician, kind husband, and good citizen. Mrs. Hannelly’s father was Julian Palacios of Concepcion. A number of local residents, including E. G. Perez and his daughter, Sheriff Wright, and others went by train to the funeral. The widow returned to San Diego with family friends.

Early Duval County also had a sizable Jewish population. In 1887, two weddings were announced among the “Hebrew population”, and another prospect was possible as the town photographer also looking to get married.

S. J. de la Vega, who had recently married, died suddenly in May. His death was unexpected.

Father J. P. Bard from St. Francis de Paula in San Diego served Catholics in an area extending from Banquete to 20 miles South of Concepcion.Father Bard was always on the move, performing marriages, consoling the afflicted, and preaching. “Father Bard can marry more couples and bind them together than any person and no divorce follows,” reported Jeffreys in the Corpus Christi newspaper.

Still, the district court in San Diego was hearing four divorce cases and the more were expected to follow. In county court, meanwhile, Andres Martinez was being tried for lunacy before Judge Luby. The jury found him insane.

The social happenings for the second half of 1887 will continue in next week’s blog.