Kuykendall, Gibson (1802–1861)

By: Marshall E. Kuykendall

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 18, 2020

Gibson Kuykendall, Old Three Hundred settler, the son of Sarah (Gates) and Abner Kuykendall, was born in 1802, probably near Henderson (Red Banks), Kentucky. The family moved to Arkansas Territory in 1810, proceeded to Texas in October 1821, and crossed the Brazos River on the La Bahía Road on November 26, 1821. They soon moved ten miles west of the Brazos River and settled near New Year Creek, about four miles south of the site of present Independence, Washington County. Later that year they moved back to a farm five miles below the crossing of the La Bahía Road on the Brazos. In December, in an election for civil and militia officers held at the house of Josiah H. Bell, Bell was unanimously elected alcalde, Samuel Gates captain, and Kuykendall lieutenant. In November 1823 Kuykendall's father moved again, this time about thirty miles farther down the Brazos River, and settled on the west side of the river just above the mouth of Mill Creek. Here the family cleared the land for farming and the following season raised their first good crop of corn. In the late spring of 1826 Stephen F. Austin raised a large company of men to make a campaign against the Tawakoni Indians. Gibson and his father joined the expedition in May 1826. The force of 190 men included Gibson's uncle, Robert H. Kuykendall, Sr. The expedition marched in heavy rain to the Little Brazos River area, found the Indian villages but no Indians, returned home, and disbanded. In 1827 Gibson received a quarter-league Mexican land grant as a single man. In 1828, after his marriage to Elizabeth Leakey, he petitioned the Mexican authorities for additional land. The quarter league was located on the east branch of Palmito Creek, known as Mill Creek, and extended from the upper corner of Barzillai Kuykendall's tract on the creek to a point adjoining Earle Robbins's The other tract of three-fourths league was on Caney Creek, back of Joel Leakey's league, and from there it adjoined tracts granted to John Elam and Samuel Miller. In addition to the Mexican land grants, Gibson received three more bounty grants and one grant issued by the Court of Claims under an act of 1856.

In early 1836 the citizens of Austin and Washington counties formed militia companies and converged on the village of Gonzales. Kuykendall was elected lieutenant in March, then captain of Company E, First Regiment, under Gen. Edward Burleson in May. He participated in the Runaway Scrape. When Gen. Sam Houston split the army into two parts to proceed toward San Jacinto, Gibson was ordered to command the reserves at Harrisburg and was unable to be present at the battle. He and several family members serving in his company were left to guard the wounded and the baggage at Harrisburg. He was honorably discharged on October 1, 1836, and received a labor of land in 1838 for his service. In 1840 he appeared on tax rolls as owning 900 acres of land, twenty-five town lots, five slaves, twenty cattle, and two horses. The census of 1850 for Burleson County showed Kuykendall's net worth as $3,000. In 1860 the census lists his net worth as close to $5,000, and his residence as Evergreen in Burleson county. Kuykendall married Elizabeth Leakey in 1828. They had one son before Elizabeth died. On October 19, 1837, Kuykendall married a cousin, Martha Kuykendall, in Austin County; they had nine children. He died on December 1, 1861. In his inventory of property are listed several thousand acres of land in Burleson and Washington counties, a herd of cattle, sheep, hogs, work mules, oxen, and six slaves. His grave has never been found.

Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986). Jonathan Hampton Kuykendall Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January, April, July 1903). Betty M. McCrosky, Captain Robert H. Kuykendall of Austin's Colony (MS, Genealogy Collection, Texas State Library, Austin, 1956). Gifford E. White, Amy White of the Old 300 (Austin: Nortex, 1986).

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Texas Revolution

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

Marshall E. Kuykendall, “Kuykendall, Gibson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 16, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/kuykendall-gibson.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 18, 2020

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