Sister of Louise Underwood.
Grandaunt of Laura Jane Munson.
- Family Background:
- Underwood and Allied Families
Laura, who was born in the Underwood home in Columbia, and the last to live there, was named for two aunts, Laura Jane Underwood and Laura Euphemia Hanks. She attended Ball High School in Galveston. Because of the distance involved, she lived with her Aunt Ella Borden in Galveston during the school year. Travel between Columbia and Galveston was by steamboat.
Laura was engaged to be married when in 1912, her mother, sister and aunt died. She abandoned her marriage plans and devoted her life to making a home for her father and brother John. She also provided many wonderful memories for her nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews. She was a gifted artist and art teacher who always had a blank canvas or a piece of china available for any of the children who showed an interest. The writer never heard her complain, raise her voice, or say a bad word about anyone. I can almost hear her saying, just as I thought I was about to be reprimanded for some mishap, "Accidents will happen in the best-regulated families." I later learned that Charles Dickens wrote that line in David Copperfield.
To Aunty I owe my love of history, family and otherwise. In my memory, she always took a nap in the afternoon. The contents of the trunk beside her bed held endless fascination for me, and she always allowed me to go through it while she napped – or tried to. I was full of questions – Who is this? Where did he come from? Why did he come? What did he do? What is this? What is that? – and on and on. She gave me a number of family photographs, post cards, and some old advertisements from her father's store that were among the contents of that old trunk. Except for the icons, all graphics used in the design of this site were created from scans of that treasured collection of memorabilia.
Laura lived in the Underwood home until about 1958 when she had a series of small strokes that rendered her helpless. She lived briefly with the John H. Munson family, but it soon became obvious that she needed professional care. She was at that time placed in a small private nursing facility in Houston where she stayed until her death in 1960.
Laura Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of her parents, J.P. and L.A.B. Underwood.4
Laura Underwood was named in Louisa B. Underwood's will dated 26 February 1891 in Brazoria County, Texas.2 If Louisa B. Underwood had been the surviving spouse, her children, Kate Underwood, Laura Underwood, John Hanks Underwood, and Louise Underwood would have inherited equally, and providing he was of legal age, John would have been executor.
Laura Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1900 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of her parents, J.P. and Louise Underwood.5
Laura Underwood appeared on the 15 April 1910 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of her parents, Joe P. and Lou A. Underwood.6
Laura Underwood appeared on the 1 January 1920 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of her father Joseph P. Underwood.7
Laura Underwood was named in Joseph P. Underwood's will dated 28 April 1920 in Brazoria County, Texas.1 "I want and direct Laura Underwood to have the following property my Store, lot on which the store is situated, building stock of goods, accounts, debts due the store business, all, every thing, also the money in bank belonging to my mercantile business in Columbia, Texas. Also the block of ground in the back part of the town of Columbia upon which she has erected tenement houses[.] The old homestead ground and house, running back to the parcel of ground I gave to Louise and George Munson. Also all the cash money I may have in bank after paying the amounts herein named". Laura Underwood, John H. Underwood, and Louise Munson were named co-executors and were to share equally in the residue of the estate.
Laura Underwood appeared on the 1 April 1930 Federal Census of East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of John H. Underwood, her brother.8
Laura Underwood organized Asa Underwood Chapter, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, on 24 November 1941 at West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas.
- [S48] J.P. Underwood, Probate file no. 2100, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S57] Louisa B. Underwood will (1891), Brazoria County Will Book U: 605, 606, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S8] Laura Underwood tombstone, block 18, lot 16, site 1, Old Columbia Cemetery, West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas; photographed by the writer on 31 July 1997.
- [S52] J.P. Underwood household, 1880 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 2, Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 18, sheet 5B, dwelling 41, family 41; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 1292.
- [S51] J.P. Underwood household, 1900 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Justice Precinct 2, village of Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 2, sheet 5A/23, dwelling 99, family 103; National Archives micropublication T623, roll 1614.
- [S50] Joe P. Underwood household, 1910 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 2, Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 5, sheet 1A/13, dwelling 6, family 6; National Archives micropublication T624, roll 1534.
- [S38] Joseph P. Underwood household, 1920 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, J.P. 2, East Columbia township, Columbia (unincorporated), Main Street, enumeration district (ED) 3, sheet 2A, dwelling 33, family 37; National Archives micropublication T625, roll 1774.
- [S37] John H. Underwood household, 1930 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct 2, Main Street, East Columbia, enumeration district (ED) 20-7, sheet 2A/60, dwelling 26, family 27; National Archives micropublication T626, roll 2301.