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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Antonio in Bexar County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

John Lang Sinclair

(November 26, 1879 - January 4, 1947)

 
 
John Lang Sinclair Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 31, 2010
1. John Lang Sinclair Marker
Inscription.
In 1899, John Lang Sinclair became a student at the University of Texas (UT) in Austin. The first UT band was formed in 1900 and Sinclair, possessing an aptitude for music, joined it as well as the Glee Club. The student head of the Glee Club, Lewis Johnson, urged Sinclair to write a school song in 1903. His first attempt was “The Jolly Students of Varsity.” His second, to the tune of “I've Been Working on the Railroad,” was “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You.” University of Texas president William L. Prather, formerly a student at Washington College (later Washington and Lee University), had often heard Robert E. Lee admonish his students, “The eyes of the South are upon you.” Prather altered the saying for use at UT, and Sinclair borrowed it for his song. “The Eyes of Texas,” first performed at a minstrel show at Austin's Hancock Opera House to benefit the UT track team, was an instant success.

Sinclair graduated in 1904 and returned to his family's dairy farm in eastern Bexar County. When Prather died in 1905, his family requested a performance of “The Eyes of Texas” at his funeral. Sinclair moved to New York City, where he and his wife, Stella Anderson of San Antonio (also a UT graduate) were active in the New York Texas Eyes' Association.

The
John Lang Sinclair Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 31, 2010
2. John Lang Sinclair Marker
Looking WSW across Commerce Street in the background.
song was so popular throughout the nation that many confused it with the official state song of Texas. After years of copyright battles, the University of Texas acquired the rights to it in the 1980s. According to the university magazine, The Alcalde, the chimes atop the UT Tower played “The Eyes of Texas” during Sinclair's San Antonio funeral. Though he revised the words from the original version, the spirit of the song remained the same. Its popularity continues at the dawn of the 21st century.
 
Erected 2000 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11751.)
 
Location. 29° 25.186′ N, 98° 28.159′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. Marker is on E. Commerce Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in the Masonic Cemetery, off E. Commerce Street between Pine and Monumental Streets. Marker is in this post office area: San Antonio TX 78205, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Clara Driscoll (a few steps from this marker); Confederate Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Steam Locomotive No. 794 (approx. half a mile away); Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 794
John Lang Sinclair Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 31, 2010
3. John Lang Sinclair Grave Marker
(approx. half a mile away); Southern Pacific Passenger & Freight Station (approx. 0.6 miles away); "Flower the Tower" (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Confluence of Civilizations in the Americas (approx. 0.9 miles away); Alamo Funeral Pyre (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in San Antonio.
 
Also see . . .  Eyes of Texas. (Submitted on April 26, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCemeteries & Burial SitesEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,845 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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