Stafford G. DeLesdernier – Captain, United States Army Air Service

Stafford G. DeLesdernier was born at Houston, Texas, on 11 February 1897.  He served as Private, Company B, Third Texas Cavalry, in the Spanish-American War.  He subsequently served as Captain, United States Army Air Service and died at Washington, D.C. on 1 June 1919.  He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.  His wife, Freddie C. DeLesdernier (1881-1974) is buried with him.  She apparently never remarried and lived another 55 years after his death.

We are actively seeking additional information concerning these two individuals.

October 2004:

Short Biographical History of Captain Stafford Grainger DeLesdernier. From a handwritten family history kept by his sister Mabelle DeLesdernier Carr.

Stafford Grainger DeLesdernier was born February 11, 1879 in Houston, Texas, and died June 1, 1919 in Washington D.C. He was married to Freddie Cawthon in Houston, Texas in 1902. Stafford and Freddie had four children: Stafford Cawthon born September 16, 1906 in Houston, Texas; Eleanor Cawthon born November 25, 1907 in Washington D. C.; Susan Cawthon born February 9, 1913, died April 17, 1913 in Washington D. C.; Louis Fredrich DeLesdernier born September 3, 1914 in Washington D C.

Captain Stafford DeLesdernier was buried with Military Honors in Arlington National Cemetery. He was reared in Houston, Texas and graduated from Houston High School. He served with the Houston Cavalry in the Spanish American War. After returning home he entered the service of the government and located in Washington D C. He served in the Treasury Department.

Captain Stafford DeLesdernier enlisted in the aviation section of the Signal Corps at the entrance of America into World War 1. He was promoted to the rank of Captain.

From Genealogical Research by William J. Thomas, Jr.

Stafford was Master of Columbia Lodge No 3  A.F & A. M. Washington D. C.
From: (Evening Star-Tuesday June 3, 1919, Washington D C)

From the Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas
“S. G. De Lesdernier took the Oath to join Houston Calvery April 27, 1898, Captain C. Towles Commander. He was 19 years old Black hair, Brown eyes, Dark complexion, 140 pounds when he was mustered out. He was paid Eight dollars and 32 cents on August 7, 1901. Was a member of Troop B 1st  Texas Volunteer Cavalry. He then enlisted in the United States Army for the war with Spain.”

Stafford was the sixth of ten children born to Louis Fredrich DeLesdernier and Elizabeth Jane (Eliza) Grainger in Houston Texas. Stafford's Father was Louis Fredrich DeLesdernier. At the start of the Civil War Louis Fredrich joined the “Lone Star Rifles” of Galveston and was sent to Brownsville Texas for garrison duty. Then he was made a Purser on the Gun Boat General Price. The Gun Boat was sunk and he was captured and sent to Sandusky Ohio prison from which he escaped and went to Virginia and rejoined his old outfit The Lone Star Rifles. He served with them until the end of the war. He was at Appamattox with Company L 1st Texas Regiment, Hoods Brigade when Lee surrended to Grant.

Stafford’s Grandfather Captain (Sea Captain) George Henry DeLesdernier came to Texas in 1835, with his wife Jane Lucella Robbins, from Eastport Maine, before the battle for Texas Independence at San Jacinto. He was in the service of the Texas government as Mate on the Steamer “Cayuga” for which he was given a First Class Headright Certificate which was good for one League and one Labor of land about 4605 acres just north of Houston Texas.

The DeLesdernier family is an old French/Swiss Huguenot family which fled France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in October of 1695. They settled in Russin, Vaud, Switzerland, later moved to England then Halifax Nova Scotia Canada then Maine and then Texas.

I know very little about Freddie Cawthon, Stafford’s wife. There is only one Cawthon family listed in the 1900 Census for Harris County, Texas  and Freddie is not listed. She might be away from home working?

The Washington Post of November 6, 1974 has a notice from The Eastern Star, Columbia Chapter No 15, notifing members of the death of “Sister Freddie C. DeLesdernier October 28, 1974 in New Mexico “. She was probably living with one of her children.

Mabelle DeLesdernier Carr papers say she and Stafford married in 1902. Probably at Christ Church, Houston, Texas.

To Michael Patterson:

Please feel free to pick and choose what ever you want to keep, however I would like to see the finished article. In case you are wondering about my relationship to the DeLesderniers. My mother, Emilie Bessie Ruegg, was a Sister-in-Law to Stafford Grainger DeLesdernier. She was married to his brother Louis Fredrich DeLesdernier. Louis died shortly after marriage and mother married W. J. Thomas, Sr. my father.

W. J. Thomas, Jr.


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