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An Abbreviated Account of

Alfonso Steele's Life


By John Troesser

Alfonso (Alphonso) Steele, last Texas survivor of the battle of San Jacinto, was born in 1817 in Hardin County, Kentucky. At the age of seventeen he traveled by to Louisiana, where in 1835 joined volunteers bound for Texas. Arriving at Washington-on-Brazos, only to find that Texas had not yet declared Independence from Mexico, Steele worked at a local hotel until independence was declared. He then set out with a company to bolster Travis' command at the Alamo. Upon hearing that the Alamo had fallen, Steele's company then fell in with Houston's army on its retreat from Gonzales and marched east toward what would become one of the Ten Greastest Battles of World History (in terms of long-reaching affects and exchange of real estate).

At San Jacinto Steele was a private in Sidney Sherman's regiment. He was wounded in the first volleys of the battle but continued until it ended. Houston rode Steele's horse through part of the battle and it was one of the horses shot from under Houston. Steele was discharged and made his way to Montgomery County, where he spent a long recuperation. He farmed and raised cattle. He married Mary Ann Powell in1838 and a few years later they moved to a region of Robertson County that later became Limestone County. Mrs. Steele died in 1903. In 1907 was a guest of honor at San Jacinto battleground where he gave a first person account of the battle, retracing positions and providing valuable information.

In 1909, the Texas Legislature acknowledged Steele as one of only two living survivors of San Jacinto. He outlived his co-survivor and died on July 8, 1911. He is buried in Mexia.

A portrait of Alfonso Steele hangs in the state Capitol at Austin.

Alfonso Steele in Limestone County
Marker for the roadside park dedicated to Alfonso Steele in Limestone County.

Photo courtesy TXDoT

The above photo of the marker was printed on April 17, 1941.
On the back it says:

Donor tablet
Limestone Co.
in park so. of Mexia
Dist. 9 4-E

The top part of the marker says
THIS SITE WAS DONATED
FOR PARK PURPOSES TO THE
STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
OF TEXAS

The rest of the marker is very hard to read, I think it says
LIMESTONE COUNTY IN MEMORY OF
ALFONSO STEELE LAST SURVIVOR OF
BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO FIRST
SETTLER OF THIS COMMUNITY

- Anne Cook, Librarian for TxDoT's photo library




Alfonso Steeleelated Articles:

  • Limestone County roadside park dedicated to Alfonso Steele

  • Steele Creek Community



  • Alfonso Steele Forum

  • Subject: Alfonso Steele
    Alfonso Steele was my great, great grandfater and lived in Thornton, Texas. I saw Rushin Steele sent an e-mail about the abandoned roadside park in memory of Alfonso. How do I find Rushin Steele and how do I find out if there are any descendants left in Thornton or Limestone Co.? - Betty Ware, May 07, 2006



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    People
    Texas Black History


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