Benjamin Francis Weems
Major Benjamin Francis Weems (1839-1923), was born on June 23, 1839, son of Dr. Francis Marion and Frances E. (Ewell) Weems of Virginia. Frances E. Ewell was a sister of General Richard S. Ewell, Commanding General of the Second Corps. of the Army of Virginia. Major Weems was the grandson of Mason Locke (Parson) Weems, George Washington’s first biographer and inventor of the cherry tree story. He studied engineering in the schools of Virginia and York, PA. At the early age of 16, he went to Illinois as a civil engineer for the C.B. & O.R.R. Then, on to the Isthmus of Tehuanyeoec where as chief of the party a road was laid across the Isthmus.
There were many other projects of importance before coming to Houston in 1860 at the age of 21 to work on a railroad extension. However, it was discontinued because of the threat of war.
While in Texas, Major Weems visited with a cousin in West Columbia. The South seceded and he joined Captain John A. Wharton’s company of Terry’s Texas Rangers. Throughout the war, he fought with the Army of Tennessee and in the Trans Mississippi where he won promotion for gallant service. He and Wharton were both wounded at Murfeesboro. His rank at the end of the war was Adjutant General on the staff of General John A. Wharton. After the war, he returned to Houston and entered into the business community. On December 7, 1876 he married Miss Maria Nash Carrington. They lived in the family home on Rusk Avenue for over fifty years raising three sons and one daughter. Wharton Ewell Weems, Carrington Weems’ father was a member of the prestigiuous law firm of Vinson, Elkins, Weems and Searls of Houston. Major Benjamin Francis Weems died on June 28, 1923. His career as a soldier, business man, husband, father and citizen was an inspiration to all who knew him.
He rose to Major in the Confederate Army where he was the collector and preserver of the original achieve of Terry’s Texas Rangers. There will be an auction of these goods on April 4 & 5, 2013. For registration and more information, please visit Dorothy Sloan’s website. Registration forms can be found here.
|Birth:||Jun. 23, 1839|
|Death:||Jun. 28, 1923|
From the Book of Distinguishable Men:
Photographs of Benjamin Francis Weems’ home from 1872 which still stands at the corner of Rusk & Jackson in Houston, Texas. The rocking chair remains in F. Carrington Weems’ possession today.