Grapeland Texas

Queen City Of The Sand Flats

Josh was born in Africa and sold into slavery, a destiny that brought him to America and finally to Texas.

Grapeland Texas

Wagner Family



Josh was born in Africa and sold into slavery, a destiny that brought him to America and finally to Texas. In 1840, General Sam Houston of San Jacinto came into possession of Josh and he became the general's trusted Negro body servant. Josh traveled with General Houston on diplomatic missions of the Republic of Texas and to Washington after Texas had been admitted to the United States (the Union). Josh's motto was, 'leave a trail and someone will follow'. Josh and his family were freed around 1864 and they left Huntsville, Texas, moving to Houston County. He had saved $3000 in gold. Josh used some of his savings to buy a 200 acre farm, including a log cabin which served as a school and church Josh had married a woman of Irish and Indian descent in 1856. Her name was Annie Liza. Their children were Joe, Lucy, Andrew, George and Julie. Julie was the grandmother of the Wagner’s. In 1865, Coleman Wagner married Julie Houston, daughter of Josh Houston at Hall's Bluff in Saint Daniel Baptist Church. They were both members of the church. Joseph George Wagner who owned a large plantation in Round Top, Texas had come to Hall's Bluff. Coleman Wagner had worked as a houseboy for the Joseph George Wagner family. Coleman's mother, Matilda, was their prized cook. Coleman's father was an Irishman. The Coleman Wagner family, which included a brother-Cecil and a sister Maggie, had come from South Carolina. When Coleman's master, Joseph George Wagner, passed away, Coleman and his family received some money willed to them by the plantation owner. In time, Coleman would be the proud owner of a farm consisting of 160 acres where he would farm and raise his children. Coleman and Julie Houston Wagner had nine children: Walter, Hubbard, Joe, Tom, John, Sarah, Alice, Mariah, and Lucy. Hubbard Wagner married Ollie Mitchell. Hubbard and 011ie were the parents of Ben Wagner Sr. Ben Wagner Sr. married Addie Mae Smith and they had four children. The four children and their descendents are as follows: 1. Ben Wagner’s Jr. married Emma Owens and had Lawanda Gail, Benjamin, Bridgette and Timothy. 2. Henry Lanier Wagner had two children- Henry Eugene and Kenneth Wesley. 3. Evelyn Lorethia Wagner married Willie Wright Jr. and had A. Senarene Wright and Courtney Ayana Wright. 4. Ginger Nell Wagner married John Chappell and had Ivan Pavlov Wagner and Kenneth Alonzo Chappell. When Coleman first came to Hall's Bluff, Julie Houston was living on the Josh Houston estate. The stalwart patriarch, Josh Houston, had passed on and was returned to Huntsville, Texas for burial. His grave marked with a plain marble slab, indicates his final resting place. Julie had kept the old Josh Houston place in fine form-a neat clean house with a beautiful yard filled with flowers. For many years, crepe myrtles graced the premises and are attributed to Julie. Julie Houston Wagner passed away in 1918 and Coleman Wagner passed away in 1929.