John Hanks Underwood
Brother of Louise Underwood.
Granduncle of Laura Jane Munson.
- Family Background:
- Underwood and Allied Families
John, the third child and only son of Joe and Lou Hanks Underwood, was born in the Underwood home on the west bank of the Brazos River in what was at that time Columbia, and is now East Columbia. He attended Austin College, and afterward was a lawyer and cattleman in Brazoria County, Texas. Joe Munson told the story that John learned how to do plant grafts and grafted a pink rose onto the white Fortuniana rose that still grows in front of the Underwood home. The graft took, and for years afterward, the rose bloomed in both colors. Catherine Munson Foster wrote in one of her newspaper columns in the Angleton Times that people from miles around came each spring to see it in bloom.
From all reports, John was quite a character. On one of the occasions that his nephew Joe Munson helped him work cattle, John told Joe to kill a cat that was hanging around the water trough. Joe declined, saying that he had heard it was bad luck to kill a cat. John shot the cat himself. They then left the car, a roadster, and went about the day's business. When they returned, they found the car burned, apparently the result of a lit cigarette butt that John had carelessly tossed aside. (He was a chain smoker). John began laughing, and Joe, seeing no humor in the situation, asked him what was so funny. John replied, "I guess it IS bad luck to kill a cat!"
John never married, but Ruth Anna Munson said he was once engaged to Sarah Munson who later married Frank K. Stevens.
John H. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of his parents, J.P. and L.A.B. Underwood.6
John Hanks Underwood was named in Louisa B. Underwood's will dated 26 February 1891.3 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.
John H. Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1900 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of his parents, J.P. and Louise Underwood.7
John appeared on the 15 April 1910 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of his parents, Joe P. and Lou A. Underwood.8
John Hanks Underwood registered for the World War I draft 12 September 1918 at Angleton, Brazoria County, Texas. Described as tall and slender with gray eyes and red hair, he was a stock raiser and lawyer living in Columbia, Texas. He listed his father J.P. Underwood as his nearest relative.5
John H. Underwood appeared on the 1 January 1920 Federal Census of Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, in the household of his father Joseph P. Underwood.9
John H. Underwood was named in Joseph P. Underwood's will dated 28 April 1920 in Brazoria County, Texas.1 "I want John H. Underwood, my son to have the parcel of ground south of the parcel of ground I gave George and Louise Munson, in the old home place running to the line between my old home place and Lauras Digg's line". Laura Underwood, John H. Underwood, and Louise Munson were named co-executors and were to share equally in the residue of the estate.
John H. appeared on the 1 April 1930 Federal Census of East Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 17 April 1930, with his sister Laura Underwood listed as living with him.10
- [S48] J.P. Underwood, Probate file no. 2100, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S1210] John Hanks Underwood, death certificate 41664 (5 Oct 1937), Texas Department of Public Health, Austin.
- [S57] Louisa B. Underwood will (1891), Brazoria County Will Book U: 605, 606, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
- [S8] John Hanks Underwood tombstone, block 18, lot 16, site 6, Old Columbia Cemetery, West Columbia, Brazoria County, Texas; photographed by the writer on 31 July 1997.
- [S918] World War I Selective Service Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, (National Archives Micropublication M1509, roll 1927369). Original images published online by Ancestry.com, Provo, UT, 2002-2005.
- [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.