Lewis, Gideon K. (ca. 1823–1855)

By: William E. Bard

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 19, 2020

Gideon K. (Legs) Lewis, soldier and newspaperman, was born in Ohio about 1823. At an early age he moved to New Orleans, where he worked as a printer's devil. In the spring of 1842, following the invasion of Rafael Vásquez, he enlisted in Capt. H. W. Allen's Orleans Company for service in Texas. At the breakup of the volunteer companies, he remained in Texas and enrolled in Ewen Cameron's company to resist the invasion of Adrián Woll. Lewis joined the Somervell expedition and continued on the Mier expedition. He survived the Black Bean Episode and was released from Perote Prison on September 16, 1844. He settled in Galveston, where he managed a theater and was for a time associated with Willard Richardson in the publication of the Galveston News. Lewis's acquaintance with Samuel Bangs led to his moving to Matamoros, where they established the Matamoros Reveille on June 24, 1846; the paper was discontinued in August at the order of Zachary Taylor. In the meantime Lewis had enlisted in Samuel H. Walker's Texas Mounted Rangers for service in the Mexican War. Upon being mustered out he reenlisted on January 13, 1847, in Walter P. Lane's battalion and served until June 30, 1848. During this enlistment Lewis acted as express rider and was eventually promoted to captain. He made his home at Corpus Christi, where he published the Nueces Valley and formed a partnership with Richard King. In 1851 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. From September 1, 1852, to March 13, 1853, he was captain of a company of mounted volunteers. On April 14, 1855, he was shot and killed by Dr. J. T. Yarrington, with whose wife Lewis had had an affair. Lewis had accumulated a considerable estate and was, at the time of his death, again a candidate for Congress from the Western District.

John Henry Brown, History of Texas from 1685 to 1892 (2 vols., St. Louis: Daniell, 1893). Thomas J. Green, Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (New York: Harper, 1845; rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Tom Lea, The King Ranch (2 vols., Boston: Little, Brown, 1957). Coleman McCampbell, Saga of a Frontier Seaport (Dallas: South-West, 1934). Texas State Gazette, April 28, 1855.


  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters

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

William E. Bard, “Lewis, Gideon K.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 28, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/lewis-gideon-k.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 19, 2020