Richard Montgomery Gano, doctor, soldier, and minister, son of John Allen and Mary Catherine (Conn) Gano, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on June 17, 1830. The elder Gano was a minister of the Disciples of Christ and was associated with Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone in the restoration movement. Richard was baptized into that church at the age of ten. At twelve he went to Bacon College in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. At about seventeen he completed his collegiate course at Bethany College in Virginia and around 1850 graduated from Louisville Medical University in Kentucky. He practiced medicine for about eight years in Kentucky and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1853 he married Martha (Mattie) J. Welch of Crab Orchard, Kentucky. The couple eventually had twelve children, nine of whom lived to maturity.
The family had moved to Texas by 1859 and settled at Grapevine Prairie, where Gano began farming, raising stock, and practicing medicine. He helped organize a company and went in pursuit of a Comanche raiding party when it swept through Parker and Wise counties in 1858. He was awarded a sword by the citizens of Tarrant County for his efforts. In 1860 he was elected to represent the county in the Texas legislature, where he was responsible for a bill on frontier protection and was active in floor discussions relating to livestock interests. He resigned his seat to enter the Confederate Army and began active duty as a cavalry captain in January 1862. Early in the war he organized two companies of Texas cavalry at the request of his friend Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston and joined forces with John Hunt Morgan; he served in Kentucky in 1862. He was promoted to colonel of the Seventh Kentucky Cavalry and served in the Tullahoma campaign of June 1863. He left active service for a short time because of ill health and then was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department in late 1863. There he was assigned by Gen. E. Kirby Smith to the command of a brigade of cavalry and of artillery operating in Arkansas, Indian Territory, and Missouri. On September 19, 1864, at the battle of Cabin Creek in Indian Territory, Gano was wounded as his forces captured an enemy supply train valued at $2 million. He was officially promoted to brigadier general on March 17, 1865, and was recommended for promotion to major general, but the war ended before the commission was issued.
After the war Gano returned to Kentucky and entered the ministry of the Disciples of Christ. By 1870 he was in Dallas County, Texas, where he was a minister and stock farmer. His ministry spanned forty-five years, and he established many churches. He also made a speaking tour during the prohibition campaign of 1887 to promote a Texas prohibition amendment. Gano was responsible for importing much fine blooded livestock into Texas, including cattle, horses, sheep, and hogs. He formed a real estate company with two of his sons and was vice president of the Estado Land and Cattle Company. He also served as director of the Bankers and Merchants National Bank. He was active in the United Confederate Veterans. Gano died on March 27, 1913, in Dallas, Texas, and is buried there in Oakland Cemetery. Gano's log house has been moved from Grapevine to Old City Park in Dallas.
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Dallas Morning News, March 28, 1913. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., Dallas: Walsworth, 1976). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Marcus J. Wright, comp., and Harold B. Simpson, ed., Texas in the War, 1861–1865 (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1965).
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
W. Kellon Hightower,
“Gano, Richard Montgomery,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995
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