Gillette, Levi Elliott (1831–1908)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: April 13, 2011

Levi Elliott Gillette, also listed as Gillett, lawyer, businessman, Confederate officer, and state representative, was born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, on December 16, 1831. He was the son of Charles Randall and Nancy Libby (Elliott) Gillette. The Gillette family left Pennsylvania in 1833, locating at Ashtabula County, Ohio, before settling in Bureau County, Illinois, in 1835. In December 1852 Gillette immigrated to Texas and settled at Harmony Hill, Rusk County, where he engaged in carpentry. On September 20, 1855, he married the widowed Ruth Myrtle (Jones) Grear. They had no children. Gillette relocated in 1859 to Panola County, where he was a postmaster and a business agent at Grand Bluff. On April 14, 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, Gillette volunteered for service in the Confederate Army and enlisted as a private in Cook's Cavalry Company. This unit was eventually incorporated into Well's Battalion. Gillette participated in engagements throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma, including the battles of Elkhorn Tavern and Fort Washita. He received promotion to captain following the latter engagement and received promotion to major by the autumn of 1863. At the cessation of hostilities Gillette returned to Texas and joined his wife at Rusk County. The couple relocated to Towash in Hill County in the late 1860s. There, Gillette engaged as a farmer and miller and played an active role in community affairs. In 1872 he won election, on the Democratic ticket, as representative for District Twenty—comprising Ellis, Hill, Kaufman, and Navarro counties—to the Thirteenth Texas Legislature. In 1875 he relocated to Dublin, where he engaged in the mercantile business and served as justice of the peace. His wife died in June 1880, and Gillette married Arizona Vera Leslie on April 30, 1881. This couple had three sons and one daughter. Gillette switched occupations again in 1892, this time undertaking the practice of law and operating a real estate brokerage. He died on February 18, 1908. He was a Baptist, a member of Dublin Masonic Lodge No. 504, and a member of Knights of Pythias Lodge No. 107.

History of Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1896). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939).

  • Tenth Legislature (1863-1864)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Gillette, Levi Elliott,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 13, 2011

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