Breeden, Charles Goodwin (1860–1925)

By: W. Lamar Fly

Type: Biography

Published: November 1, 1994

Charles Goodwin Breeden, businessman, son of Paul Hamilton and Mary (Kibbe) Breeden, was born in Victoria, Texas, on January 27, 1860. His father was a captain in the Confederate Army. Charles was named for a noted physician in early Victoria, Dr. Sherman Goodwin. As a boy he worked for the Victoria Advocate as a printer. In 1875, on his fifteenth birthday, he moved to the new town of Cuero to work in the printing office of the Cuero Weekly Star, then published by J. H. Tucker. In 1876 Breeden resigned from newspaper work to work for Otto Buchel, a merchant and banker in Cuero. After twelve years in Buchel's employ, Breeden became associated with the business firm of P. J. Willis and Brother. In 1889 he joined his eldest brother, Walter Kibbe Breeden and his brother-in-law, Robert Henry Wofford, to establish the firm of Breeden Brothers, merchants in cotton, wool, pecans, sugar futures, agricultural implements, and groceries, both wholesale and retail. This firm occupied a leading position in the economic life of South Texas for the next half century.

The Breeden Brothers firm merged in 1911 with Henry Runge's company to form the Breeden-Runge Wholesale Company. C. G. Breeden assumed the presidency, a position he held until his death. Breeden-Runge developed branches in Kenedy, Alice, Yorktown, and for a short time in San Antonio. The Texas counties served by the company included Lavaca, Gonzales, DeWitt, Karnes, Wilson, Victoria, Jackson, Calhoun, Bee, Nueces, San Patricio, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Duval, Brooks, Jim Hogg, Live Oak, and Goliad. Breeden was a director and vice president of the First State Bank and Trust Company of Cuero and held interests in the Cuero Packing Company and other DeWitt County enterprises. He served two terms as a director of the Cuero Chamber of Commerce and was a charter member of the Cuero Rotary Club, a member of the Jewel Lodge of the Knights of Pythias, and an Episcopalian. He was also a member of the first fire-fighting company established in Cuero, known as the Stonewall Fire Brigade, and of the Council of Defense during World War I. He was married to Mabel Claire Hall on December 15, 1915. They had two daughters. He died on December 30, 1925, and was interred in Hillside Cemetery, Cuero.

Cuero Record, December 30, 1925, January 24, 1926. DeWitt County Historical Commission, History of DeWitt County, Texas (Dallas: Curtis, 1991).

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

W. Lamar Fly, “Breeden, Charles Goodwin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994