Kilgore, Constantine Buckley (1835–1897)

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

Constantine Buckley (Buck) Kilgore, judge, state senator, and Confederate veteran, the son of Willis Kilgore, was born in Coweta County, Georgia, in 1835. He moved to Texas with his parents in 1846, and they settled in Rusk County. He attended the Fowler Institute, clerked for Timothy Pillsbury, and was admitted to the bar after a year of study. Despite his opposition to secession, Kilgore volunteered during the Civil War in the Tenth Confederate Cavalry and was advanced to the rank of captain of Company G after reorganization of the regiment at Corinth. On the Kentucky campaign, Kilgore was made adjutant general of his brigade. He was wounded at Chickamauga, captured, and imprisoned at Fort Delaware from 1864 to March 1865. He returned to Rusk County after the war, resumed his law practice, and represented the county at the Constitutional Convention of 1875. In 1877 he moved to Wills Point. In 1880 he served as a Democratic elector, and in 1884 he represented the Seventh District in the Texas Senate, where he was elected president pro tem. He resigned in 1886 to run for the Fiftieth Congress and subsequently represented the Third District from March 1887 to March 1895. On March 20, 1895, he was appointed United States judge in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) by President Grover Cleveland; he served in that office until his death. Kilgore was a Presbyterian and a Mason. He married Frances Barnett in 1858. He died in Ardmore, Indian Territory, on September 23, 1897, and was buried in the White Rose Cemetery at Wills Point. He built a home at the terminal of the International-Great Northern Railroad in 1872. The site later became the town of Kilgore, named in his honor.

C. W. Raines, Year Book for Texas (2 vols., Austin: Gammel-Statesman, 1902, 1903).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

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

Anonymous, “Kilgore, Constantine Buckley,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 20, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995