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Reynolds, Allen C. (1786–1837)

La Quencis Gibbs Scott Biography Entry

A. C. Reynolds, early settler, was born in Connecticut in 1786 and moved in the early 1800s with his parents to New York. There he married Harriet A. Reynolds on January 26, 1810. Reynolds probably read law at this time and may have become politically active. During the War of 1812 he entered the Third New York Volunteers as a second lieutenant and adjutant on January 20, 1813, was promoted to captain in the United States Twenty-seventh Infantry on April 21, 1814, and was discharged on June 15, 1815. Reynolds apparently visited Louisiana after the war, for his name appears in Jean Laffite's diary. In 1826 Reynolds moved to Texas by ship; he is documented in Stephen F. Austin's register of families. He formed a partnership with William T. Austin and in Galveston ran a mercantile establishment called Reynolds and Austin. Reynolds first owned property near Marion, Brazoria County, and in 1830 he moved his wife and four children to Texas. As early as 1826 Reynolds applied for a Mexican land grant of one league at what is now the site of Houston, Harris County. It was granted in 1831. The A. C. Reynolds survey ran from Buffalo Bayou on the north, south to what is now Holcombe Boulevard, and from Sheppard to the railroad west of Wesleyan Street. Reynolds built a residence north of what is now Wesleyan and Highway 59, and operated a sawmill and gristmill on his property on Buffalo Bayou. His league encompassed what are now the neighborhoods of River Oaks and West University, as well as the business district of Greenway Plaza. Reynolds also owned land near Buckners Creek and Bolivar in Fayette County. In 1835 he sold his land near Marion and his Houston tract to James Spillman. Reynolds then bought the William and Peter Kerr Mexican land grant in Washington County, between Independence and Washington-on-the-Brazos. He built his home on Hidalgo Bluff near the Falls of the Brazos. The citizens of Washington-on-the Brazos, the first county seat, petitioned Mexican authorities for permission to organize a new municipality called Washington. On July 18, 1835, at the election of officers, Reynolds was appointed síndico procurador (attorney for the municipality). Reynolds also assisted Stephen F. Austin with legal matters regarding immigration to Texas. Allen C. Reynolds died in Washington County on March 14, 1837. His wife Harriet died on December 20, 1843. Both are buried in the Reynolds Cemetery on Hidalgo Bluff. A. C. Reynolds left an estate valued at $100,000. His property inventory included a small library, various oil paintings, and expensive furniture. Bills showed occasional purchases from New York. Jane Long submitted a bill for an August 1836 wedding supper at her Brazoria inn for the marriage of Reynolds's daughter Harriet Jane to Deveraux J. Woodlief. Woodlief and Lewis Reynolds administered and managed the Reynolds estate until their death. Thomas C. Woodlief (D. J.'s brother) then ran the estate until he closed it out in the late 1850s.

Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965). Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970).

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

La Quencis Gibbs Scott, “Reynolds, Allen C.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 23, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.