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Givens, Newton Curd (1823–1859)

Mildred P. Mayhall Biography Entry

Newton Curd Givens, soldier, was born in Kentucky in 1823, son of William and Elizabeth (Prather) Givens. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy from Madison, Indiana, graduated, and was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant, First Dragoons, on July 1, 1845. In the Mexican War he fought in the battle of Buena Vista and was cited for gallant and meritorious conduct. From 1850 to 1859 he served at various posts in Texas: Fort Croghan, Fort Belknap, Fort Phantom Hill, and Camp Cooper. Givens was commander of a small garrison of troops suspected of setting fire to the buildings at Fort Phantom Hill in 1854, when that despised post was finally ordered closed by the army. He was acquitted in one court-martial and was suspended for nine months (of which 5½ months was remitted) in another. He achieved the rank of captain on February 28, 1857.

Captain Givens, known as a hunter, kept a pack of trained dogs that were often used by other officers for special hunts. His place on a tract of land in Throckmorton and Shackelford counties in the 1850s, known as the Old Stone Ranch, was the westernmost ranch on the northwestern frontier at the time, beyond that of Indian agent Jesse Stem. The remains of two rock houses and two large rock-walled corrals, built in 1856, still stand near Albany.

Givens married Mary Louisa Power; they had one daughter, who died in infancy. He died in San Antonio on March 9, 1859, from tuberculosis.

Don Hampton Biggers, Shackelford County Sketches (Albany, Texas: Albany News Office, 1908; rpt., ed. Joan Farmer, Albany and Fort Griffin, Texas: Clear Fork Press, 1974). Mildred P. Mayhall, Indian Wars of Texas (Waco: Texian Press, 1965). William B. Parker, Notes Taken during the Expedition Commanded by Capt. R. B. Marcy (Philadelphia: Hayes and Zell, 1856; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1984). Rupert N. Richardson, The Frontier of Northwest Texas, 1846 to 1876 (Glendale, California: Clark, 1963). U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Letter Book, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Mildred P. Mayhall, “Givens, Newton Curd,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 05, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.