Not many people know about the grave off Amoco Road just south of Beaumont. I never knew of it until it was pointed out to me while I was working at Oiltanking Beaumont (formerly Amoco). After looking over the cracked stone, I knew there was a story there, but what story, I did not know.
That night I did an internet search for Elisha Brewer, the name on the headstone, and found an article written by W. T. Block, which was first published in the Beaumont Enterprise on November 13, 1999. It told the story of Elisha O. Brewer, who, after visiting the deathly ill mayor of Beaumont, Columbus Caswell, had been un-harnessing his wagon when his horse had kicked him in the groin. Elisha died a short time later. He was 31.
Elisha Brewer was the grandson of Christian Hillebrandt, a cattle baron, who was the namesake of Hillebrandt Bayou. His wife Mary was the granddaughter of John Sparks, the first settler and founder of the Sparks settlement (Aurora), which was the precursor to the city of Port Arthur.
It is unclear why Elisha O. Brewer had been buried in what would have been his backyard 129 years ago. Possibly it was out of haste or necessity, but whatever the reason, we can assume from the words on his gravestone that he was deeply missed.
“Since thou canst no longer stay
To cheer me thy love
I hope to meet with thee again
In yon bright world above.”
Elisha O. Brewer
February 2, 1852 – August 5, 1883
The grave is located less than a hundred yards from Amoco Road, and the small fence surrounding the hallowed site can be seen from Highway 347. Although it is technically on Oiltanking Beaumont’s property, it is not located in a fenced or restricted area. With that said, I do make a point of driving past the grave and up to the guard shack and explaining to security why I’m there and what I am doing.