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Jordan, Louis John (1890–1918)

Martin Donell Kohout Biography Entry

Louis John Jordan, the first Texas officer killed in World War I, son of William and Auguste (Keller) Jordan, was born in Fredericksburg on January 30, 1890. As a boy he attended public school in Fredericksburg and worked on the family ranch in Live Oak. At the age of sixteen he received a four-year state teaching certificate; he worked at Stein's Lumber Yard in Fredericksburg and then taught at the Honey Creek school. In 1910 he attended San Antonio Academy for a year and graduated with a scholarship to the University of Texas, Austin. At the university, where he majored in electrical engineering and was nicknamed the "Big Swede," Jordan was a member of the Old Capital Club and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity; he was an assistant instructor his senior year. He also played guard on the football team, of which he was captain, and was named to the All-American team by Walter Camp. After graduating in 1915 Jordan returned to San Antonio Academy to teach, but resigned to join the San Antonio Public Service Company.

He volunteered for military service in 1917 and completed his training at Leon Springs First Officers Training Camp. (see LEON SPRINGS MILITARY RESERVATION). He was commissioned a first lieutenant in August and arrived in France with the 149th Field Artillery on October 4. He was killed in his dugout during an attack near Lorraine on March 5, 1918, and was buried with full military honors on March 7 at Benemenil, France. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre posthumously, and both houses of the Texas legislature passed resolutions in his honor. He was reinterred in Fredericksburg on June 11, 1921. The American Legion post in Fredericksburg was named in his honor, and flagpoles dedicated to his memory were erected on Pioneer Place in Fredericksburg by his family and at Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas by university alumni from Fredericksburg. On November 9, 1957, Jordan's name was inscribed in the Longhorn Hall of Honor, "in recognition of those qualities that brought credit and renown to the University of Texas."

Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974).

Time Periods:

  • Progressive Era

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Martin Donell Kohout, “Jordan, Louis John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.