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Alfred Givens Kelso, Sr.

Alfred Givens Kelso, Sr. came to Texas in 1829. He joined the Texas Army as First Corporal under the command of Captain William K. Heard’s Company.

After victory at San Jacinto by the Texas Army over Santa Anna’s Mexican forces, Alfred wrote a letter dated April 30, 1836, nine days later, from the battlefield to his brother-in-law, John H. Martin. He describes details of the battle along with other personal updates. In it, he mentions that the families who were left behind hurriedly fled for their lives as Santa Anna’s army approached thus leaving everything they owned. This was known as “The Runaway Scrape.” He and his family were included in this group of thousands. The dangers they faced were often insurmountable; rain, cold, flood-swollen rivers, disease, quicksand, and an alligator attack. Historians estimate hundreds died.

When the battle was over, Alfred later served as sheriff of Gonzales County (now part of DeWitt County) during 1837, 1840, and 1841. During this time, he arrested Ben McCullough for fighting a duel before McCullough was captain in the Texas Rangers. In 1850, Alfred and his family moved to Lockhart, Texas where they owned a business. In 1874 they relocated to Austin, Texas. Alfred died May 12, 1898, at the age of 90 and is buried in Pleasanton, Texas.

*This story was sent to me by Linda Buaas Strickland, a descendant of Alfred Kelso, Sr.

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