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First Odd Fellows lodge chartered in Texas
July 25, 1838

On this day in 1838, the first Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge in Texas was organized at Houston. Jacob Raphael De Cordova, Texas land agent and colonizer and the Grand Master of the Odd Fellows in New Orleans, visited the Republic of Texas to install members in the lodge, the first established outside the United States. Prominent early members of the Houston lodge included John W. Moore, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and early Texas official; Texas Revolutionary War veteran Thomas Jefferson Golightly; soldier and printer Ezekial Humphreys; and official and railroad promoter Dewit Clinton Harris.

Texas enlistee dies heroically and is awarded Medal of Honor
July 25, 1953

On this day in 1953, Staff Sgt. Ambrosio Guillen died in Korea. He had enlisted in El Paso and was a member of Company F, Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division. In action against the enemy near Songuch-on, he and his platoon were defending an outpost ahead of the main lines. Pinned down at night and in unfamiliar terrain, he maneuvered his platoon into fighting position. He deliberately exposed himself to heavy artillery and mortar fire to direct his men and supervise care and evacuation of the wounded. Though critically injured, he refused medical attention and continued to lead his men until the enemy was defeated. He died a few hours later. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor. Sergeant Guillen is buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, El Paso.

Old Galveston lives again in restored Ashton Villa
July 25, 1974

On this day in 1974, the restored Ashton Villa, one of the first brick structures in Texas, was opened to the public. The historic Galveston home was built in 1859 by James Moreau Brown, who by the late 1850s had developed the largest hardware store west of the Mississippi. Brown purchased four lots at the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Twenty-fourth Street in 1859. He designed the building and employed slave labor and skilled European craftsmen. His wife, née Rebecca Ashton Stoddart, named the new family residence Ashton Villa in memory of one of her ancestors, Lt. Isaac Ashton, a Revolutionary War hero. The imposing three-story home is in the Victorian Italianate style, distinguished by deep eaves with carved supporting brackets. The home is administered by the Galveston Historical Foundation and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.