John Wesley Duren was First Sergeant of Company I of the 4th Texas Infantry at Sharpsburg in September 1862 and was 2nd Lieutenant at Appomattox in 1865.

This was the view out of his front door in about 1904, as Navarro County put up a new courthouse in Corsicana, TX.

His address was 309 West 3rd Avenue (the courthouse is at #300) and Duren had strong ties to that spot.

His father Abraham Duren (1812-1883) had been County Clerk and worked in the old courthouse before and during the war. Almost as soon as John returned from the war he married Leora Josephine Kerr (1847-1921). Her father was County Judge Samuel Harris Kerr (1823-1894), who, perhaps obviously, also worked in the courthouse. Judge Kerr’s family’s home was across the street, at #309.

Here’s an interesting artifact dated June 1862: a treasury bond issued by Navarro County and signed by both the Clerk (A. Duren) and the Judge (S.H. Kerr).

By 1900 John and Leora Duren were running a boarding house in the old Kerr place and her mother Catherine (1829-1907) was also living with them. I’m guessing they inherited the building when she died, and John was still living there to at least 1921.

Here’s a testimonial his fellow Confederate Veterans made to him on his death in 1925:


The photograph of the courthouse under construction is part of an online exhibit about the courthouse from the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Heritage Trails Program.

The county treasury bond is online from the Libraries of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and is part of the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency. Other examples are available from Navarro County TexGenWeb contributors.

The news clip is from the Corsicana Daily Sun of 8 September 1925 online from

Camp Winkler of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) was named for Clinton McKamy Winkler, who was Captain of Company I of the 4th Texas at Sharpsburg, later Lieutenant Colonel, and he commanded the regiment at Appomattox.

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