Anahuac honors early settler
The dead was brought to life again at the
Anahuac Cemetery Sunday afternoon, but no one in the
group surrounding the grave of Charles Willcox, batted
About 20 people attended the second
re-enactment of the life of a Chambers County pioneer
sponsored by the Chambers County Historical Commission.
Charles Willcox, who lived from Jan. 18, 1785 to
Feb. 2, 1876, is believed to be one of the first
settlers in Anahuac. He was portrayed in the
re-enactment by his descendant George “Pudge” Willcox,
who described the pioneer as the “Mr. Anahuac” of his
Charles Willcox first moved to Anahuac in
1831. He owned a general merchandise store with Dr.
Nicholas Labadie, served as the justice of the peace in
1836 and as postmaster from 1849 to 1855. However,
Willcox was most influential in naming the town.
In 1838, he battled Thomas Jefferson Chambers in
court over the ownership of the Anahuac townsite, which
included control of the post office, named Anahuac, and
the name of the town, then known as
Although Willcox won the suit, the
town was called Chambersea until Chambers was
assassinated in 1865.
He married Phoebe Caroline
Smith when he was 53 years old and was the father of
eight children. “That’s pretty remarkable, I think,”
Willcox also purchased Chambers’
home and raised his family there. He was at first buried
in a small cemetery near his family home, but after 1933
he was removed and placed in the Anahuac Cemetery next
to his wife and other members of the Willcox family.
Vice Chairman of the Chambers Historical
Commission Bob Scherer, also a direct descendant of
Charles Willcox, helped Willcox research the pioneer for
the re-enactment. He recommended others trace their own
family history. For families who have lived in Chambers
County or the surrounding communities for several
generations, Scherer recommends going through archives
at Wallisville Heritage Park, the Sam Houston Library
and the San Jacinto Monument Museum.
haven’t done so, you’ll find it pretty interesting,”
Scherer said. “The older we get, the more history means
The first re-enactment by the Historical
Commission was in May about Florence M. Swinney, who
lived from 1863 to 1929 and served as county treasurer
and justice of the peace.
Save Mail Print Comment