Skip to content

Cousin of Menard County Namesake

2011 May 26
by Jan Wilkinson

Medard Menard (1814–1887)
Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs,
DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries,
Southern Methodist University

MENARD, MEDARD (1814–1887). Medard Menard, businessman, politician, and Confederate officer, was born in Kaskaskia, Illinois, on March 8, 1814. Menard spent his youth along the frontier. He moved with his family to St. Genevieve, Missouri, and fought in the Black Hawk War of 1834. In 1837 he migrated to Galveston, Texas, to join his brother, Michel B. Menard, founder of that city and namesake of Menard County. [UPDATE: Medard is not the brother of Michel]  On November 1, 1838, Medard Menard married Susan Le Clere. This couple had one son and one daughter. In Galveston, Menard established himself as a bookkeeper for various shipping concerns and as a deputy collector for the town port. From 1849 to 1850 Menard represented Galveston in the U. S. House of Representatives.

After the Civil War began, Menard raised a cavalry company which was mustered in the Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry Regiment in March 1862. As a lieutenant colonel, Menard served with this unit in actions along the Red River and in Louisiana. After the surrender of the Twenty-sixth Texas Cavalry in 1865, Menard returned to Galveston, assuming a post as a cotton weigher until his retirement. Menard died in that city on July 12, 1887.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1849-1850 (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field(DOCID+@lit(hj045276))), accessed March 22, 2011.

Photo credit to Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs found at the link: http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/jtx&CISOPTR=321&CISOBOX=1&REC=1

UPDATE 14 Jun 2012: Please cite Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library when using this image file. A high-quality version of this file may be obtained for a fee by contacting degolyer@smu.edu.

Previous Post
Next Post
2 Responses Post a comment
  1. October 31, 2012

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you can find the Menard family. I have the below as a reference for Michael Branaman Menard.

    Michael Branaman Menard
    This county (Menard County) was named for Colonel Michael Branaman Menard, who was born in the village of La Prairie, near Montreal, Canada, December 5, 1805. His parents were French.
    At the age of 16 he engaged in the northwestern fur trade in the employ of an American company at Detroit. Later he went to Missouri at the solicitation of his uncle, Pierre Menard, then Lieutenant Governor of the Territory of Missouri and an extensive fur trader, and for several years was the manager of his uncle’s business. Becoming attached to the Indians, he determined to remain among them and was elected chief of the principal tribe of the Shawnees, which station he held for several years.
    In 1833, Colonel Menard came to Texas and settled near Nacogdoches, where he traded with the Mexicans and Indians. He then became interested with McKinney and Williams in the construction of a mill and trading post on a small stream flowing into the Trinity River near the present line of Polk County, named for him, Menard Creek.
    When the Texas Revolution broke out the Mexicans endeavored to incite the Indian tribes to overrun and desolate the country. At the solicitation of the Texas Government, Colonel Menard went among them, and by his personal exertion prevented an invasion and kept them quiet. He was a member of the convention which declared the independence of Texas and framed the Constitution of the Republic.
    In December, 1836, at the first session of the First Congress, Colonel Menard obtained for the price of $50,000 a grant from Congress for a league of land on which the city of Galveston now stands, then unoccupied by a single habitation. He laid out the town and associating himself with a number of other gentlemen, he formed the Galveston City Company and was its first president, and thus launched the enterprise of the Island City with which he was identified from that date until his death.
    He represented Galveston County in the Congress of Texas in 1839 and was the author and powerful advocate of the system of finance by the issue of exchequer bills which failing to pass that session was recommended by President Houston the next session and adopted, and provided a revenue that saved the country.
    Colonel Menard was a man of rare intelligence and noble character and of the highest order of enterprise and patriotism. He possessed a mind of striking originality, and was most agreeable in business and intercourse. He stood over six feet in height, was of strong muscular build, and possessed undoubted courage. Colonel Menard left a widow, who became the wife of Colonel J. S. Thrasher, and a son, Daniel Menard, all of whom are dead. He died September 2, 1856, of carbuncle. His funeral took place from the Cathedral in Galveston, and his remains were followed to their last resting place in the Catholic Cemetery by almost the entire community.
    from The History and Geography of Texas as Told in County Names, by Z.T. Fulmore, 1915, pp. 85-86.

  2. Gay Paratore permalink
    October 31, 2012

    My aunt was Ermine Clare Menard Hunter; my mother’s brother, Edgar Hunter, was her husband. I met Mrs. Menard in 1943 or 44, she was elderly and bedridden but very happy and alert (I was born in Galveston in 1940 to Cora Hunter Garrigan and Owen Garrigan). I am curious to know from which Menard my aunt was descended.

Leave a Reply

Note: You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS