Gibson, Charles Reese (1842–1925)

By: Robert J. Haaser

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

Charles Reese (Uncle Charlie) Gibson, newspaperman and political figure, the son of Judge Charles and Clarissa (McDowell) Gibson, was born on June 21, 1842, in Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama. The elder Gibson was a well-known jurist in pioneer Alabama. Charles, after receiving a basic education at Speake School near Oakville, traveled to Moulton and Somerville for additional instruction offered by an organization known as the Immortal Freemen. When the Civil War began, he was attending law school at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. He enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private and was assigned to Company F of the Sixteenth Alabama Infantry. Under the command of Col. W. B. Wood, Gibson advanced to the rank of sergeant major. The Sixteenth surrendered at Decatur, Alabama, in the spring of 1865. After the war Gibson obtained a license to practice law in Moulton.

He moved to Waxahachie, Texas, at the beginning of 1867. He served as district and county clerk of Ellis County from 1869 to 1873 and was elected to the lower house of the state legislature in 1878 as a Democrat. He served in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth legislatures and was elected speaker of the House for his last term.

In 1874 he published the first newspaper in Waxahachie, the Ellis County News, which opened with the motto, "Uphold the Right...Denounce the Wrong." After selling the News, Gibson founded the Waxahachie Enterprise and published the first issue of that paper in January 1876. Upon election to the state legislature he sold the paper. He edited the Waxahachie Mirror in 1881 and returned to the city newspaper staff in 1900 to write his morning "squibs" for the Waxahachie Daily Light and the Weekly Enterprise. This work gave the veteran newspaperman much enjoyment and recognition, because, until his death, he was considered to be one of the most interesting "paragraphers" in the area.

Uncle Charlie, as he was called in his later years, was a distinguished member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and helped establish lodges in fifteen Texas towns. He was a member of the Canton, the highest degree of Odd Fellowship, and lent his experience and expertise to the organization by editing and publishing the Texas Odd Fellow, the official organ of the lodge. He was also one of the founders of the IOOF Widows' and Orphans' Home at Corsicana. With fifty-four years of continuous membership, Gibson was the last surviving charter member of Waxahachie Lodge No. 80.

In 1867 he married Sallie N. Ellis of Waxahachie. After bearing four children, she died on April 20, 1877. He later married Emma Jane Driscoll of Austin, and they had two children. Gibson died at his home on October 22, 1925. Funeral services were held at Central Presbyterian Church. He was buried in the Waxahachie City Cemetery.

Dallas Morning News, October 23, 1925.


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives

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

Robert J. Haaser, “Gibson, Charles Reese,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 09, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995