Back in 1928, at about the time of the season's first norther, the bones of Robert Potter, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, were taken from the ground beneath a copse of tall trees, a spot he had loved in life, and where his beloved Harriet had covered his murdered form with earth and tears four score and six years before.
That same year, the bones of Edwin Waller, also a signer of the declaration, where dug from his resting place in the Waller family cemetery.
The following year, 1929, the same happened to Richard Ellis, Jesse Grimes, and William Bennett Scates, signers all. Their graves where opened and their bones spirited away.
John Wheeler Bunton was taken from Robinson Cemetery near Mountain City in 1932. Yes, he was a signer as well.
Then things were quiet for the signers until 1935, when the Bone Man took Sterling Robertson.
The centennial year of 1936 was the Bone Man's busiest. William Menefee, Bailey Hardeman, William Crawford and ol' Ring Tailed Panther Martin Parmer were pulled from the good earth.
In 1937, Andrew Briscoe and Thomas Jefferson Gazley met that same fate.
Thirteen signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence dug up and carted away.
Who was responsible for this?
The Bone Man was Louis Wiltz Kemp, a Texaco executive and a man deeply in love with Texas history.
The parade of bones he created led to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, a place largely neglected and forgotten at the time. Lou Kemp made it's restoration his personal mission.
And it wasn't just signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence he was re-interring in this place of honor. He also saw that Stephen F. Austin was moved from Peach Point.
Jesse Billingsley was also resettled in Austin, along with William McAlpin "Three Legged Willie" Williamson, Ben McCulloch, and John A. Wharton. And many, many more.
In all, the Bone Man relocated more than one hundred famous Texans to the Texas State Cemetery.
Lou Kemp also helped locate the burial place of Fannin's men at Goliad, and was the driving force behind getting that monument built at San Jacinto.
Not bad for a guy who described himself as, "a retired asphalt salesman who makes a hobby out of history."
Mr. Kemp himself was buried in the State Cemetery in 1956. And the road within the cemetery is named for him. At just over a half mile, SH 165, the Lou Kemp Highway, is our shortest state highway.