Maverick, Samuel, Jr. (1837–1936)

By: Anne Leslie Fenstermaker

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Updated: March 30, 2018

Samuel Maverick, Jr., soldier and businessman, son of Samuel Augustus and Mary Ann (Adams) Maverick, was born at Montpelier Plantation, near Pendleton, South Carolina, on May 14, 1837. He was the first of the Mavericks' six surviving children and was brought to Texas as a baby. The family arrived in San Antonio on June 15, 1838. Maverick grew up in San Antonio during the days of the republic and early statehood. He remembered the Council House Fight in 1840, during which his life was saved by the family's black cook, the evacuation of San Antonio before the army of Rafael Vásquez in 1842, and his father's return in 1843 from Perote Prison. With his father he witnessed the removal of Ben Milam's body from the garden of the Veramendi house to the Protestant cemetery west of town. Tutors provided Maverick's early schooling, and later he attended local schools kept by X. B. Saunders, George Denison, Mrs. Volney Howard, and Rowena Felt Baldwin Vance. In 1856 Maverick sailed to Scotland and enrolled at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated about a year before the Civil War began. In 1861 he joined Company B, First Texas Mounted Rifles, under Colonel Henry McCulloch. Wishing more action, he joined Company G of Terry's Texas Rangers (the Eighth Texas Cavalry) the following year and fought throughout the South. At Fort Donelson, Tennessee, he swam into the icy Cumberland River and ignited a Yankee gunboat padded with bales of hay. For that act he was made a second lieutenant. Maverick left vivid accounts of these times in two memoirs.

After the war he returned to San Antonio and ran an irrigated farm on family property that is now Brackenridge Park. In 1867 he passed the state bar examination. In 1879 he was running a lumberyard and general store on Houston Street, and in 1884 he built the Maverick Bank on that site, at the corner of East Houston Street and Alamo Plaza; the bank failed about 1892.

Maverick was involved in the construction of San Antonio's first streetcar line, to Prospect Hill, and founded the Maverick Lithographing Company, later Maverick-Clarke. He attempted to buy the long building at the Alamo to preserve it as a monument to the Alamo heroes, and in 1888 he pledged $10,000 toward an Alamo monument. The following year he took the Belknap Rifles by boat to New York to perform in the centennial of the founding of Manhattan. He donated Maverick Park to the city of San Antonio. He married Sallie Frost on May 14, 1871, and they had six children. He died in Austin on the night of February 27 or early morning of February 28, 1936, at the age of ninety-eight, the last member of Terry's Rangers. He was buried at Mission Burial Park in San Antonio.

Austin American-Statesman, February 28, 1936. Rena Maverick Green, ed., Memoirs of Mary A. Maverick (San Antonio: Alamo Printing, 1921; rpt., Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1989). Samuel Maverick, Reminiscences (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). Cecilia Steinfeldt, San Antonio Was (San Antonio Museum Association, 1978).

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

Anne Leslie Fenstermaker, “Maverick, Samuel, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 21, 2022,

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April 1, 1995
March 30, 2018