Robert Simonton Gould, Confederate Army officer, lawyer, judge, and law professor, son of Daniel and Zilpha (Simonton) Gould, was born in Iredell County, North Carolina, on December 16, 1826. About 1833 he moved with his widowed mother to Alabama, where he graduated from the University of Alabama in 1844. He taught mathematics for three years and studied law. He obtained a license to practice and opened an office at Macon, Mississippi, in 1849. He moved to Texas in 1850 and resumed his law practice in Centerville. In 1853 he was elected district attorney for the Thirteenth District. In 1855 he married Serena Barnes. In 1861 he was a member of the Secession Convention and was elected judge of the Thirteenth District, but he resigned his office to raise a battalion for the Confederate Army. With the addition of another battalion to his group he became colonel of a regiment. He was wounded and his horse was shot out from under him at Jenkins Ferry. He returned to Centerville, was reelected district judge in 1866, but in 1867 was removed from office as an "impediment to Reconstruction."
Gould moved to Galveston, Texas, in 1870. He was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1874 and was elected to the position in 1876. Governor Oran M. Roberts appointed him chief justice in 1881, but Gould was not reelected to the post in 1882. In 1883 he and Roberts were named by the UT board of regents to be the first professors of law at the University of Texas. Gould resigned his professorship in the spring of 1904 and died in Austin on June 30 of that year.
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James D. Lynch, The Bench and Bar of Texas (St. Louis, 1885). Homer S. Thrall, People's Illustrated Almanac: Texas Handbook and Immigrants Guide for 1880 (St. Louis: Thompson, 1880).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Fred F. Abbey,
“Gould, Robert Simonton,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: