Maverick, George Madison (1845–1913)

By: Anne Leslie Fenstermaker

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Updated: August 11, 2020

George Madison Maverick, lawyer and businessman prominent in the development of San Antonio, son of Samuel Augustus and Mary Ann (Adams) Maverick, was born at Matagorda, Texas, on September 7, 1845. He was the third son of six surviving children. He attended Xenophon Boone Saunders's school in San Antonio. In April 1862, at the age of sixteen, he joined Company E of Col. Peter C. Woods's Thirty-second Texas Cavalry, Confederate Army, under his brother, Capt. Lewis Antonio Maverick. With his gun Sam weighed only 100 pounds. He served chiefly in East Texas and Louisiana and fought at Blair's Landing, where Lewis was wounded. Maverick remained a private throughout his service of three years. In 1865 he and his younger brother Willie traveled through the South to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to attend the university. The railroads were inconsistent, and sometimes they had to walk and carry their trunk between them. They carried Spanish doubloons in a leather belt for their school expenses. Atlanta appeared to them so lawless that they split the night into two watches so that one of them could always guard their belongings. From 1865 to 1867 Maverick attended the University of North Carolina, where he entered the sophomore class on probation and through hard work stood first in the junior class of 1867. From 1867 to 1869 he attended the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he graduated in 1868 and took his law degree and license in 1869.

He married Mary Elizabeth Vance of Castroville, Texas, in 1872 in Red Wing, Minnesota. They moved to Sedalia, Missouri, in 1873, and then to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1876, before returning to San Antonio in 1897. They had six children, including daughters Mary Rowena (Rena) M. Green and Lucy Madison Maverick. Maverick practiced law and worked for the development of San Antonio. In 1897 he built the headquarters on Houston Street for the United States Army. He later remodeled the building into the Maverick Hotel, located where the present-day Maverick Building stands. Often called the "father of Houston Street," he served as vice president and a director of the San Antonio Hotel Company, which built the Gunter Hotel. He was an Episcopalian and a Democrat. On November 16, 1889, he published in the St. Louis Republic an account of the origin of the term maverick (see MAVERICKS AND MAVERICKING); in 1896 he worked with his mother to shape her diary, Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick. He also wrote two diaries and a review of his college days. In 1907 he bought the Maverick Ranch, Wassenberg, in Bexar County. He died in London, England, on September 16, 1913.

Rena Maverick Green, ed., Samuel Maverick, Texan (San Antonio, 1952). San Antonio Express, September 18, 1913.

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

Anne Leslie Fenstermaker, “Maverick, George Madison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995
August 11, 2020