William M. Gellatly, also listed as Gellately, attorney, farmer, and state representative, was born in New York, New York, on July 16, 1834, the son of Robert and Nancy (Sturrock) Gellatly. The Gellatly family immigrated to Texas immediately prior to the Texas Revolution; Robert Gellatly served in the Revolutionary Army during this conflict and received a tract of land in Sabine County as compensation. He was a prominent citizen and public official in this area during the Republic of Texas and early statehood period.
During the Civil War William Gellatly served as a lieutenant in Company F of the Eleventh Texas Infantry; his brothers David and Peter also served in the company. On October 24, 1866, he married Mary Cassandra Collier; they had one son and two daughters. Gellatly engaged as a farmer and, following his admission to the bar at Hemphill on February 16, 1869, practiced law in the Sabine County area. Gellatly established himself as a prominent Sabine County citizen in the postwar years. In 1873 he won election as representative for District Two—comprised of Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine, Shelby, and Panola counties—to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. Following this turn at state office, Gellatly returned to Sabine County and served as county attorney from 1875 through 1882. During the 1887–1888 academic year William Gellatly was a teacher in the county common schools. His final turn at public office was as postmaster for Milam from June 1895 through September 1908.
William M. Gellatly died in Sabine County on June 6, 1909, and was buried there at Old Milam Cemetery.
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Kathryn H. Davis, Linda E. Deveraux, and Carolyn E. Ericson, Sabine County, Texas, in the Civil War (Nacogdoches: Ericson, 2001). MyKindred.com: "Robert Gellatly" (http://www.mykindred.com/cloud/TX/getperson.php?personID=I16317%20&tree=mykindred01), accessed August 8, 2007. Index to the Cemeteries of Sabine County, Texas, 1836–1964 (Center, Texas: J. B. Sanders, 1964). Robert Cecil McDaniel, Sabine County, Texas (Waco: Texian Press, 1987). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939). H. L. Bentley and Thomas Pilgrim, Texas Legal Directory for 1876–1877 (Austin: Democratic Statesman Office, 1877).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Gellatly, William M.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 18, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
July 23, 2008
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 20, 2014