If you’ve lived in the Lake Houston area long enough, you ought to know who Pleasant Humble is. He was a Civil War veteran from Louisiana who established a post office in his home in the 1860s that eventually bore his surname which later became the name of the City of Humble.
But, before there was Pleasant Humble, there was a Liberty, Texas farmer named Joseph Dunman who moved to what was then Mexican Texas in the 1820s. Dunman played an essential role in the creation of the Republic of Texas and in developing what is now Humble and the Lake Houston area, years before Pleasant Humble arrived in Harris County.
As area historian Dr. Robert Meaux wrote, Texas soldiers took over the Alamo Mission in San Antonio as part of their battles against Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna. Greatly outnumbered, Col. William B. Travis wrote a letter pleading for reinforcements to The Alamo. Dunman was the courier who delivered Travis’ letter to Liberty and then to Anahuac.
A dedicated group of Humble-area ladies, spearheaded by Judy Lee, have decided it’s time to give Joseph Dunman the recognition he deserves for being a veteran of the Republic of Texas, an Alamo courier and a true Texas hero.
The ladies are members of the Seth Hurin Bates Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. They have commissioned an aluminum-forged medallion marker that will be placed in the Humble City Cemetery, a burial ground that originally was the Dunman family graveyard.
The marker will be dedicated at a special public event Saturday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at the City of Humble Cemetery, 405 S. Houston Ave. Meaux will speak about Dunman. City of Humble and Harris County Precinct 4 officials are expected to attend, as well as officials from several local lineage societies and historical and genealogical societies. A reception will follow at the Humble Civic Center.
“Our vice-president, Judy Lee, and president, Sarah Potter, along with Meaux, have done extensive research on Joseph Dunman’s contributions to the settling of the Humble area,” said Martha Richards, the group’s treasurer. “Judy Lee is very active in the Humble Museum and all things Humble and it has been a passion of hers to create a medallion in memory of him.”
The Seth Hurin Bates Chapter, named after an early Texas settler, hosts meetings with speakers on topics relevant to the Republic of Texas history. They sponsor fourth- and seventh-grade Texas history essay contests, the Outstanding Texas History Teacher awards and educational programs about Texas history in local schools.
The chapter meets the third Thursday of most months at the Rosemont Assisted Living facility in Atascocita. Any female over age 16 is eligible for membership as long as she is a lineal descendant of a man or woman who rendered loyal service for Texas prior to the annexation of Texas into the United States, according to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Several descendants of Joseph Dunman from throughout the U.S. are expected to attend the May 28 ceremony.
Members of the planning committee for the Veteran Medallion Memorial Ceremony in memory of Dunman are Barbara Stevens, president general of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas; Potter; Lee, Memorial Ceremony chair; Sandie Coleman; Marsha Richards; Natalie Ascevedo; Kay Dawes; Roberta Francis; and Gail Work.