Rankin, Frederick Harrison (1794–1874)

By: Ann Patton Malone

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 29, 2017

Frederick Harrison Rankin, son of Margaret "Peggy" (Berry) and Robert Rankin, was born in Kentucky on February 15, 1794. He lived in Alabama and Mississippi before coming to Texas in 1822. On July 7, 1824, as one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists, he received title to a sitio and a labor of land in what later became Harris County. The census of March 1826 listed him as a farmer and stock raiser with a household including his wife, Elizabeth "Polly" (Smith), two sons, and three servants. Rankin had eight children. His house at the head of the San Jacinto River was a polling place in October 1830. After several years he moved near to Spring Creek and in 1832 to Polk County. He attended a meeting of "Old Texians" held in Houston in March 1849 to recommend quieting of land titles in the state. In 1850 he was living in Polk County. He subsequently resided in Navarro County and in 1874 was living on Chambers Creek in Ellis County. He later purchased the Ellis County property, eighteen miles south of Waxahachie, and settled there. He died on July 2, 1874, and was buried in Myrtle Cemetery at Ennis. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission erected a monument at his grave.

Charles A. Bacarisse, "The Texas Gazette, 1829–1831," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 56 (October 1952). DeWitt Clinton Baker, comp., A Texas Scrap-Book (New York: Barnes, 1875; rpt. 1887; facsimile rpt., Austin: Steck, 1935). Eugene C. Barker, ed., The Austin Papers (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1924–28). Lester G. Bugbee, "The Old Three Hundred: A List of Settlers in Austin's First Colony," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (October 1897). Clarksville Northern Standard, March 31, 1849. Memorial and Biographical History of Ellis County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., as Ellis County History, Fort Worth: Historical Publishers, 1972). Harold Schoen, comp., Monuments Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Centenary of Texas Independence (Austin: Commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebrations, 1938). Telegraph and Texas Register, April 14, 1841. William Barret Travis, Diary, ed. Robert E. Davis (Waco: Texian, 1966).

Time Periods:
  • Mexican Texas
  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Ann Patton Malone, “Rankin, Frederick Harrison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 08, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/rankin-frederick-harrison.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 29, 2017

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