Love, Gilbert Harvey (1819–1884)

By: Eleanor Hanover Nance

Type: Biography

Published: March 1, 1995

Gilbert Harvey Love, pioneer civic leader, plantation owner, and soldier, son of Martha (Wilson) and Joseph Love III, was born September 22, 1819, in Williamson County, Tennessee. Members of the Love Family were Scots Highlanders who settled in Virginia as early as 1700. Joseph Love, Sr., and his wife, Margaret Bryan, were killed in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1758 by Indians. Their son, Joseph Love, Jr., fought in the American Revolution, for which service he received land in Kentucky. From Kentucky he moved to Tennessee, became a lawyer, and practiced in the Nashville area. The Loves were Cumberland Presbyterians. Love moved to Texas in January 1836 with his medical books and his four brothers. Their uncle Samuel Love had arrived in Texas in 1821 and received a grant of one-third of Matagorda Island. Another uncle, John Gilbert Love, had moved to San Augustine, Texas, in 1825. Gilbert and his brothers settled in Robertson's colony in the Fairfield area of Freestone County, Texas. After two visits from Tennessee to Texas to see his sons, Joseph Love III moved to Texas in 1839, with his two daughters. He settled temporarily in Freestone County and later moved to Franklin, Robertson County, where he became district clerk on April 22, 1840.

The Love brothers were prominent in the development of Texas, distinguishing themselves as Indian fighters, educators, and soldiers in the Texas Revolution. Gilbert served in an early ranger company composed of men from the Wheelock area, for protection of the frontier against Indians. He and his brothers William and David and a cousin, Robert Love, were at San Jacinto, where David and Robert fought in the battle, and Gilbert and William tended the sick and wounded in the camp hospital. William Love attended Tulane Medical College in New Orleans and returned to the Fairfield area to practice medicine the rest of his life. Gilbert returned after the battle of San Jacinto to the Wheelock area, where he married Martha Ann Curry, the daughter of Thomas Curry, Jr., on January 9, 1845. They lived on Cedar Creek in northeast Brazos County, south of the Old San Antonio Road and across the creek from Hiram Hanover Place. They had nine children, one of whom was killed with his mother in a surrey accident on March 27, 1865. Love was a Brazos county commissioner in 1850 and assistant marshall in 1860. He also served as enumerator for the 1860 census of Brazos and Robertson counties. He married Olivia Jane Lewis on July 22, 1866, and they had four children. The family moved to Wheelock, where they lived in a two-story house on State Street, next door to the Cavitt family and across from the town square. The Love children attended nearby Wheelock Academy. Love was a Mason and the last worshipful master of the Gillespie Lodge of Wheelock, which was disbanded at the beginning of the Civil War.

In August 1863, at the Cedar Creek home of G. H. Love, Company C volunteers and conscripts from Brazos County, Second Regiment, Eighteenth Brigade, Texas State Troops, was organized and assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department. Love was elected captain. The men were from Brazos, Leon, and Robertson counties. The regiment was eventually sent to Louisiana, where it participated in the battle of Mansfield. Love ministered to the sick and wounded in the camp hospital. The regiment was disbanded in May 1865. After the war Love returned to Wheelock, where he became a member of the original Cedar Creek Masonic lodge. He died of pneumonia on April 27, 1884, and was buried in the Wheelock Cemetery with full Masonic honors.

Glenna Fourman Brundidge, Brazos County History: Rich Past-Bright Future (Bryan, Texas: Family History Foundation, 1986). Verna C. Floyd, Cemeteries in Robertson County, Texas (Houston: Armstrong, 1980).
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

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

Eleanor Hanover Nance, “Love, Gilbert Harvey,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995