Gilbert D. Kingsbury, writer and orator, was born near Dartmouth, New Hampshire, and was an orphan by age fifteen. He attended Lebanon Academy from 1848 to 1850, studied law in New York in 1851, and went to Ocala, Florida, to aid in establishing a school. He taught in Florida until 1854, when he returned to New York; there he married a woman named Anna and used the name F. F. Fenn. With his wife he traveled down the Mississippi to New Orleans and to Brownsville, Texas, where they arrived on January 5, 1855. In Brownsville he worked under the name F. F. Fenn as deputy county clerk, city secretary, and postmaster. His wife died on August 3, 1859, and none of their four children lived beyond infancy. Because of his Union sympathies he was removed from the office of postmaster, jailed, and charged with treason at the outbreak of the Civil War. He escaped on January 1, 1862, and fled into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, where he stayed until the recapture of Brownsville by the federals. Eventually he made his way back north and, in the fall of 1865, married his high school sweetheart under his real name. That year he returned to La Salle County, Texas. Kingsbury then stayed in the Midwest for seven years and began a career as an orator, lecturing for the Illinois Temperance Society on Texas subjects and frontier life. He returned to his Texas ranch in 1874 and died there in March 1877.