Quinan, George E. (1819–1893)

By: Merle R. Hudgins

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

Updated: April 30, 2019

George E. Quinan, lawyer and judge, was born in Dublin, Ireland, on August 12, 1819, and immigrated to Texas about 1840. He worked in a commercial house in Brazoria, then studied law and opened a law office in Wharton. He was appointed district attorney during the last years of the Republic of Texas, and was elected state senator in the Seventh and Eighth legislatures, 1857 and 1859. On February 7, 1850, he married Mary Barnes Jackson Blythe, widow of Alexander Jackson, Jr. (son of Alexander Jackson, Sr., one of the Old Three Hundred), and of Samuel Blythe. She had a son and daughter by her first two husbands. She and Quinan had no children. Quinan lived on a plantation bordering Peach Creek three miles north of Wharton in northeastern Wharton County. In 1860 he owned twenty-four slaves. When the Civil War began, he joined the Wharton Rifles, a volunteer company, as a private. He also served the Confederacy as district tax collector for Wharton County. In the early 1870s a community was named Quinan (now Hungerford) in his honor. It was located in the Alexander Jackson league four miles north of Quinan's home. In 1879 Quinan was appointed judge to sit on the first Commission of Appeals, established to help clear the Texas Supreme Court's civil docket. He served until January 5, 1882. On July 15, 1882, Judge Quinan attended the organizational meeting of the State Bar of Texas in Galveston. On March 2, 1885, he was asked to give the dedication speech for the laying of the new Capitol's cornerstone. The speech was published in the March 3, 1885, edition of the Austin Daily Statesman. Quinan died on January 25, 1893, in Wharton County and was buried on his property on Peach Creek, next to his wife and stepson.

Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).

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

Merle R. Hudgins, “Quinan, George E.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 18, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/quinan-george-e.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995
April 30, 2019