Post, Gaines (1902–1987)

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: Biography

Published: May 1, 1995

Gaines Post, teacher, scholar, and historian, the youngest of four children of Henry S. and Rachel (Ballard) Post, was born on March 7, 1902, in Haskell, Texas. His parents were both descended from area pioneers. He graduated from Haskell High School in 1920 and went to the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his B.A. in 1924. He then went to Harvard University, where he received an M.A. in 1925 and a Ph.D. in 1931. He spent two years, 1927–28, doing research on medieval history and culture at the École de Chartres in France, and also in Italy, Germany, and England. After returning to Harvard in 1929, Post served as an instructor and tutor in medieval history for the next six years. On July 5, 1935, he married Katharine Ann Rike from Haskell County. Two sons were born to them. In the fall of 1935 Post began teaching in the history department at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He was made a full professor in 1941. He was a distinguished lecturer at the Riccoboro Seminar in 1947 and at the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame in 1949. In addition, he was a recipient of a Fulbright research award to France in 1951–52, twice a Gugenheim fellow (1939–40 and 1955–56), a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History. In 1959–60 he was instructor for advanced study at Princeton University. He also was chairman of the Institute of Research and Study in Medieval Canon Law. Throughout that time Post traveled extensively, living in various cities in both the United States and Europe. He published numerous articles on medieval universities and intellectual history in various scholarly journals of both Europe and North America as well as a book of essays, Studies in Medieval Legal Thought (1964). He was a member of the American Historical Association and of the Heidelberg Akademie der Wissenschaften and the Philosophisch-historische Klasse in Germany. In 1964 Post accepted a faculty position at Princeton University, where he remained until his retirement as a professor of history, emeritus, in 1970. After retiring from teaching, he moved back to Haskell, which served as his home base during his last years. He died on December 19, 1987, and was buried in the community cemetery at Haskell.

Rex A. Felker, Haskell: Haskell County and Its Pioneers (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 9.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Post, Gaines,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 15, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 1, 1995