On this day in 1895, William Carrol Crawford, the last surviving signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, died while visiting his son in Erath County. Crawford, a native of North Carolina, moved to Texas in 1835 and settled near Shelbyville. He and Sydney O. Penington represented Shelby County at the Convention of 1836, which wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas and established the ad interim government. Crawford, who later lived in Camp, Hill, and Johnson counties, died ten days before his ninety-first birthday.
On this day in 1834, three pioneer Methodist ministers, Peter Hunter Fullinwider, John Wesley Kenney and Henry Stephenson, held a camp meeting on Caney Creek near the site of present Kenney. In spite of the Mexican government's prohibitions against Protestant worship, Methodists had been active in Texas since William Stevenson, a member of the Tennessee Conference, preached at Pecan Point in what is now Red River County during an exploratory journey in the fall of 1815. When Claiborne Wright's family moved to Pecan Point in 1816, they became the earliest Methodist family known in Texas. Fullinwider, considered by many to be the first Presbyterian missionary in Texas, made a missionary tour through East and South Texas in 1831. He distributed Bibles and other religious books and preached as he journeyed. In September 1835 Fullinwider and the Cumberland Presbyterian Sumner Bacon assisted Kenney and Stephenson in another Caney Creek camp.
On this day in 1847, San Antonian Simon Menger, musician and soap maker, composed the Mis[s] Paschal Polka. Menger, a native of Thuringia, taught in Europe for many years before immigrating to Texas as a member of Henri Castro's colony. In June 1847 he moved to San Antonio to teach piano. The next month he founded the San Antonio Männergesang-Verein, possibly the first formally organized male singing society in Texas. During this period he also composed several pieces for piano, including the Mis[s] Paschal Polka and simple études for his students. In 1850 he opened a soap and candle factory, San Antonio's first industrial enterprise. Though his time was increasingly taken up with his business affairs, Menger played an important role in the development of musical institutions in San Antonio. He died in 1892.