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Harrington, Arabella Gray (ca. 1790–1860)

Joyce Martin Murray Biography

Arabella Gray Deaver (Dever) Harrington, pioneer settler, was born about 1790 in South Carolina, the daughter of Lydia and William Gray. Sometime in the early 1800s she married a Revolutionary War veteran, Nathaniel Deaver. He died in Randolph County, Illinois, in 1810, leaving his wife and several children. Arabella moved back to North Carolina, then to Missouri, Arkansas, and on to Texas. She married John William Harrington, who was killed in a sawmill accident in Arkansas as they moved toward Texas. Three children were born of Arabella's second marriage. She entered Texas in 1826 and made her home at Washington-on-the Brazos. She received a Mexican land grant on March 22, 1831. It consisted of one league on New Year's Creek in what later became Washington County. She is said to have practiced midwifery, tended the sick, and served meals in her home to support herself and her younger children. Both of her sons fought in the Texas revolution. Most of downtown Brenham is built on the Arabella Harrington league, for which purpose she sold 100 acres. She built her home on a hill south of Brenham. She was a charter member of the Brenham Methodist Church, founded in 1844. She died in 1860.

D. L. Vest, Watterson Folk of Bastrop County (Waco: Texian Press, 1963).


  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

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

Joyce Martin Murray, “Harrington, Arabella Gray,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 29, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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