Cove re-enactment celebrates family's
The hot Texas sun beat down on the two-acre
Icet Cemetery in Cove Sunday afternoon as decedents of
William Icet and his wife Mary Blanchet Icet re-enacted
pieces of their family’s legacy in front of a small
audience of relatives and locals.
great-granddaughter of Icet, played Mary and her cousin
Jay Icet, great-great-grandson of Icet, acted as William
for the Chambers County Historical Commission and
dressed in attire that matched the time period. CCHC has
been re-enacting the lives and history of men and women
that influenced and help pioneer Chambers County in its
early years since last year.
The script was
written by Dyer and detailed some of the history of
Cove, William’s life and personal family
“We did a lot of research on this,” Dyer
said. “We went to different libraries in Houston and
Galveston and read books.”
Today more than 40
souls and descendants of the Icet Family rest in the
The CCHC is working on making the Icet
Cemetery into historical marker, president of the CCHC
Bobby Wheat said. Currently there are three Icet Family
cemeteries in the Cove area, including one slave
cemetery, he said.
“We intend to re-enact a
different story two to three times a year,” Wheat
Nina Presnall, descendent of the Icet
family, worked with her cousin Dyer to create a dress
and bonnet that would match the time period when William
and Mary lived, Dyer said.
“I was very impressed
with the presentation,” Presnall said. “I enjoyed it.”
William was born in 1822 in Wheeling, Ohio and
married Mary, born in Paris, France, in 1854. He came to
Cove by way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in 1859
where he later established a shipyard, cotton and saw
mills. The Icet Family made their home in Cove, and
later the couple had eight children born during the
1860s named Katherine, Clorissa, Mary Emily, William
Steaven, Henry Constant, Daniel Martin, Clara and Peter.
During the Civil War William served as a captain
for the Confederate Navy and ran ammunition from the
South to the North. Eventually he was captured by the
Union in New Orleans and then released in Feb. 1865. To
avoid being confined again William lived in Bagdad,
Mexico, but always kept in contact with his wife
Mary died in 1869 from pneumonia shortly
after Peter was born. Clorissa, Clara and Peter died at
a young age, which left five decedents. Then in Aug.
1899, at the age of 77, William passed away.
When the Civil War ended William returned to
Cove and established his business next to Old River.
According to an interview with Sadie Icet Dugat in 1975,
granddaughter, William buried two metal barrels by the
Old River that he sealed and placed large sums of money
in. However, nobody has been able to find the money or
traces of where the cash was left.
“It was a lot
of fun for members and the public to enjoy in making the
past history known to visitors,” Wheat said.
real proud of my heritage,” Jay continued, “and how [our
family] helped make Texas, Texas.”
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