Sunday, May 8, 2011

William Pendleton Gaines (1851-1920)

After a bit more digging around, I found an interesting addition to the Gaines family history. The son of William Baxter Pendleton Gaines and Eugenia Gratia Harris was William Pendleton Gaines, born in Richmond or Columbia, Brazoria Co., Texas on November 20 or 21, 1851 and died in Austin, Travis Co., Texas on March 18, 1920.

William graduated from Lafayette College (Easton, PA), admitted to the bar in 1874, and practiced law in Texas. For a while he dealt in real estate, but ending up entering journalism and seems to have become owner (or at least, part-owner) of the Austin Statesman newspaper. 

He married twice, first to Augusta Evans in 1883, and second to Reba [last name unknown], about 1899. He had one daughter, Celeste, by his first wife, and a son, William Junior, by his second.

The first marriage ended badly, to say the least. I was able to track down a New York Times article dated October 19, 1891, describing the pending court proceedings dealing with the divorce and surrounding events, which make for quite a tale. Further research has not found how the court case was resolved.

St. Louis, Oct 18 [1891]. news article about the divorce proceedings between Mrs. Augusta E. Gaines, "the daughter of one of the most prominent citizens of St. Louis, Capt. Albert J. Evans." The defendent is Col. William P. Gaines of Austin, part owner of the Austin Statesman. Their marriage at St. George's Church in SL, 1883 "was a great social event."

"The fight is for the possession of a little daughter. When the couple separated Mrs. Gaines came to the home of her parents, bringing her little four-year-old daughter with her. Col. Gaines followed and abducted the child under sensational circumstances. The mother employed detectives and soon located the little one in Austin. For eighteen months, the mother made continuous, but fruitless, efforts to get the child, making three trips to Texas for the purpose. Then she resolved to do as her husband had done - steal the girl. She was assissted by her father in making all arrangements. She dressed herself as a school girl and went to Austin, and soon discovered that Col. Gaines, who traveled about considerably, always took the child and a nurse with him.

"She followed the about, and finally her opportunity came in Houston. She drove in a closed carriage to where the child was at play, seized it, and drove to a landing on a bayou that runs into Galveston Bay. Her father, Capt. Ebvans, had a tug waiting, and they boarded it. They were caught in a storm on the bay, and after a rough experience were forced to abandon all hope of reaching Galveston, and put in at a point where the Southern Pacific Railroad could be easily reached. Meanwhile her husband, with a posse of rangers, had started in pursuit, and at the railroad station overtook the abductors. The little girl was disguised in boy's clothes, but the Sheriff insisted on making an examination. The mother, revolver in hand, said she would kill him if he touched the child. Then one of the posse of rangers, shotgun in hand, came to the front and said:

"I will never assist in taking a child from its mother, Madame. I will be your escort to the Louisiana State line."

"He kept his word, and they got away. All this and much more will be brought out during the trial." [New York Times, October 19, 1891]

Sunday, May 1, 2011


While doing some research in an old Galveston newspaper, I came across the mention of William Baxter Pendleton Gaines. I knew the surname from our family tree, and also knew that one of OUR Gaines had married a Pendleton, so I did some further research. It seems this William Gaines is our 3rd cousin (twice), with our common ancester being Richard Gaines (1670 VA-1755 VA) and Henry Pendleton (1683 VA-1721 VA).

The following biography was taken from The Handbook of Texas.

William Baxter Pendleton Gaines, planter and legislator, was born on September 17, 1808, in Abbeville, South Carolina, son of Benjamin P. and Elizabeth (Ware) Gaines. He taught school in Marengo County, Alabama, until 1832 when he became a merchant in Demopolis, Alabama. He was approached to enter into a business arrangement in Texas, and on August 6, 1835, he established himself in Nacogdoches. By October 1835 Gaines was a wealthy man.

He contributed money to the Texas Revolution and served as an officer in the volunteer force from Nacogdoches under Gen. Thomas Rusk that marched to reinforce the siege of Bexar. Gaines acted as a commissary and quartermaster. After the army reorganized, Gaines returned to Nacogdoches to serve as deputy paymaster general of the Texas Army.

Gaines left the army to pursue other opportunities and lived in Galveston while studying law under John B. Jones. He was admitted to the bar in 1840. In 1842 he moved to Brazoria County with a large number of slaves and began a cotton and sugar plantation. By 1860 Gaines had 47 slaves working on his plantation.

In 1846 he joined the United States Army to fight the Mexican War. He fought with distinction during the battle of Monterey and was awarded a sword for gallantry.

In 1850 Gaines married Eugenia Gratia Harris of Charlotte, North Carolina. They had five children. Gaines and his family were devoted Presbyterians.

Gaines, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1855 for Brazoria and Fort Bend counties. When Texas chose to secede from the United States, Gaines strongly supported the decision, and when the Civil War broke out, he left his plantation to join the Confederate army. Despite his age he was elected colonel of the second Regiment of the Sixteenth State Militia Brigade August 31, 1861.

After the war Gaines continued to run his plantation until 1868 when he leased his land and began to buy and sell cotton to Calvert and Galveston. In September 1872 Gaines retired from business and moved to Austin to live with his son, William P. Gaines. William B.P. Gaines died in 1891.”

Source: The Handbook of Texas Online

Article written by Stephanie P. Niemeyer.
Our Common Ancestry
William Baxter Pendleton Gaines (1808-1891), was the son of
Dr. Benjmin Pendleton Gaines (1772-1814), who was the son of
James Gaines III (1739-1788), who was the son of
James Gaines II (1710-1786), who was the son of
Richard Gaines (1670-1755)
Andre' Hutt Newton Jr. (1917-1997), was the son of
Andre' Hutt Newton Sr. (1873-1944), who was the son of

Mollie Hutt Newton (1851-1922), who was the daughter of

Francisa Elizabeth Gaines Hutt (1823-1903), who was the daughter of

Herbert P. Gaines (1785-1849), who was the son of

Rowland Gaines (1758-1805), who was the son of

Richard Gaines (ca1728-1804), who was the son of

William Henry Gaines (1705-1796), who was the son of

Richard Gaines (1670-1755)