Boales, Calvin (ca. 1800–1853)

By: Caroline B. Bass

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Calvin Boales, ranger officer and colonist in Sterling C. Robertson's colony, son of James and Elizabeth (Bradshaw) Boales, was born in Christian County, Kentucky, around 1800. His father was a native of Ireland. In January 1835 Boales left for Texas from Lawrence County, Mississippi. He, his wife, Frances Ann, and their three children were sworn as colonists in Robertson's colony on December 27, 1835. They settled on a labor of land on the Brazos River 1½ miles below the Nashville settlement in what is now Milam County. There Boales and his sons farmed. His headright league later became part of Collin County.

Boales served as fourth sergeant in Sterling C. Robertson's company of rangers, mustered into service on January 17, 1836. The company was organized at Viesca and headquartered at the falls of the Brazos River during 1836 to protect the colony from Indian depredations. Boales was captain of this company, a ranging detachment under Col. Edward Burleson, from July 1836 to January 1837. For his service he received a bounty land grant of 320 acres on the Little River in what is now Bell County. On February 20, 1836, Boales and sixty-seven other settlers in Robertson's colony (Milam Municipality) signed a memorial addressed to the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. The petition stated that the signers were determined to assist the Texas government in conducting the war to a successful conclusion by defending the country from both Indian depredation and Mexican attack. They recommended the establishment of a separate "Register's Office," with records in English, so that they could obtain legal titles to their land and other settlers would be encouraged to come to Texas. This recommendation resulted in the establishment of the General Land Office of Texas on December 22, 1836.

As a citizen of Milam County, Boales signed a petition addressed to the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas on April 20, 1838, requesting protection against Indians. He then served in a ranging company on the frontier of Milam County from March to June 1839 under Capt. George B. Erath. Boales further supported the Army of the Republic of Texas by providing food supplies to Col. Wheeler's troops on their march to the frontier in 1840.

He married Frances Ann Tandy of Virginia on June 22, 1826, in the Bethel Baptist Church, Christian County, Kentucky. In addition to the children that immigrated with them, they had four children in Texas. Boales died in February 1853 in Austin.

Malcolm D. McLean, comp. and ed., Papers Concerning Robertson's Colony in Texas (19 vols., Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1974–76; Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington Press, 1977–92).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Caroline B. Bass, “Boales, Calvin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994