Joshua Long Halbert
of Navarro County, Texas


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Civil War Veteran, Joshua Long Halbert and his wife.
His son, Joshua Lucius Halbert, was a mayor of Corsicana.

Halbert's Company
Company E, 15th Texas Infantry Regiment
Navarro Countains

Oakwood Cemetery
Photo by Norman Stubbs


Joshua Long Halbert

July 22, 1874, Corsicana Observer

Our city is again called upon to mourn the loss of one of its most prominent and highly esteemed citizens. Death is truly mournful at all times, but when it strikes a shining mark, with such, a short notice, the heart of the public gives utterance of its deep grief in something more than the solemn face.

In the prime of life, he was stricken with disease on Tuesday, and on Sunday morning at 9:30 his spirit took its flight to that world of which the living have but the faintest conception. His funeral sermon was preached at his late residence on Sunday evening by his friend and pastor Rev. H. Bishop, and the remains followed to their last resting place in Oakwood cemetery by Corsicana Lodge No. 174, A. F. & A. M., and the largest concourse of citizens ever assembled in the city on an occasion of this kind. The body was interred with Masonic honors, amid the lamentations of not only his brethren but of the whole people.

Capt. Halbert was born in Aberdeen Miss, in 1833, and was educated for the legal profession. He started out in the practice of his profession associated with his brother-in-law, the Hon. Reuben Davis, but the inviting field of Texas afforded greater inducements to the young and aspiring student, and in 1857 he moved to and settled in this city (Corsicana) where he rapidly rose to the highest distinction in his profession. In 1859 he was married to Fannie, second daughter of Col. Henry Jones of this county (Navarro), who, with fours little children, is left to mourn her irreparable loss.

He was a strict member of the M. E. Church and died in full fellowship.

Capt. Halbert filled several important stations. He commanded a company of infantry in Col. Speight’s regiment during the entire war, and endeared himself to both officers and men by his courage, humanity and moral, upright conduct. After the close of the war he was elected to the first State Convention, in which he took an active and prominent part in forming the new constitution. On the field he was as courageous as a lion; in the Legislative field he was courteous, dignified and mauly; at the bar, profound and logical; in society, gentle as a female, and in his family a model for parents. But he sleeps the sleep of death. No more will we meet him in the walks of men. The last sad offering of a sorrow stricken community has been tendered. His body has been given back to the dust, and the soul has taken its flight to the God who gave it, and we can but repeat the last words that trembled on his dying lip: "All is peace and glory."

September 09, 1874, Corsicana Observer

Joshua Long Halbert was born in Tuscaloosa County Alabama, January 23rd, 1833. Embraced religion when only nine years old, in Aberdeen, Miss. Was educated at Oxford, Miss., and his diploma bears the autograph of Dr. Bledsoe. He was the son of a Baptist minister, from whom he inherited many of the excellent features of his character. His father and mother died when he was small, leaving him in care of his oldest brother and sister. He studied law under his brother-in-law, Gen. Reuben Davis, of Aberdeen, and came to Corsicana and commenced its practice nearly twenty years ago. He blundered in the army and served as a Confederate captain during the war. He then returned to Corsicana, and resumed the practice of his profession, to which he was devoted until his death. He was married to Miss Fannie E. Jones, the daughter of Col. Henry Jones of Navarro County, February 29, 1860/ With four children, she mourns, in hope of reunion in the resurrection. He died Sunday morning, July 19, 1874. To those who knew him not, the truth would seem extravagant. Therefore, with a word of explanation, we give to his friends his dying testimony. Two weeks before his death he said to me: "I am in darkness; my faith is firm; my resolution fixed; I cling to the promises of God, but I have no pledge of my salvation outside of the Bible promises. I lack the witness of the spirit." In ten days from that time, he was on his death-bed. I went to him and asked him about his condition, and this was his answer: "When I was in a much better condition to appreciate things than I am now, I solved the question: Alone, I walked upon the bleak breakers of a troubled, angry sea of doubt and dread. I would place my feet upon a billow, and that billow would be swept away from me, leaving me without a foundation; billow after billow, would roll on, leaving me lost and undone. Before God, I sought the pledge of which I talked to you. I said: ‘O God, I acknowledge that I have done wrong; I have sinned. Spare me and I will be a better man; I will devote my life to thy service.’ I sought in vain; no pledge was given me. On my bended knee, I sought and saw the Lion of the tribe of Judea, but found no relief, and the thought thrilled my soul: how shall I escape so great a damnation! Then I said: ‘O God, for twenty years, in my frail, imperfect manner, I have tried to serve thee, to follow in thy footsteps. Now, I know that no works of mine can save me, but I come and on the broad basis of the atonement demand the pledges promised in thy word.’ And thus I solved the question. I received the pledges, and am as calm as a summer’s dream. By prayer alone I obtained the forgiveness of my sins; by prayer alone, I conquered . Peace reigns, and I thank God for it. But I have gone far ….

Tribute of Respect.

To the W. M. Wardens and Brethren of Corsicana Lodge, No. 174 of A. F. & A. M.

Your committee appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of this Lodge on the death of Bro. Joshua L. Halbert, submit the following:

In Memoriam.

Whereas, It hath pleased the Great Architect of the Universe on the 19th day of July, A. D. 1874, L. L. 5874, to remove from among us our dearly beloved Brother Joshua L. Halbert to that Supreme Grand Lodge, not made with hands, where God forever sits as the Great Grand Master. It is

Resolved 1. That in the death of our beloved Brother this Lodge has lost a member for whom all our brethren acknowledged a profound reverence, and whose zeal as a Mason, whether presiding over his Lodge or laboring with his brethren, ever caused him to be loved and followed as a model of the craft.

Resolved 2. That in our loss we experience the mournful fact that in this Lodge a true workman is gone, and a vacancy is left which can never be filled.

Resolved 3. That we sincerely condole with the sorrowful and grief stricken family of our deceased Brother, whose loss is irreparable, but to whom comfort is promised by faithful adherence to the teachings and hope in the promises taught in the book of God.

Resolved 4. That the Lodge wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.

Resolved 5. That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this Lodge and draped in lines of mourning, and that a copy of these resolutions be furnished the widow of our deceased Brother; also a copy to the editor of the Corsicana Observed with a request to publish.

Committee C. M. Winkler, Sam R. Frost, S. H. Kerr.


Will of J. L. Halbert dtd 24 June 1872; prob. 7 Aug. 1874. Names Wife Fannie J; sons Joshua and James, daughters Helen, Hallie and Fannie and sister Mary. No witnesses.



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