Phanuel Warner Warriner, minister and missionary, was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on March 17, 1798 (or 1799). He received a B.S. degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, in 1826 and a theological degree from Andover Theological Seminary in Newton Center, Massachusetts, in 1829; he was ordained to the ministry in the Park Presbyterian Church in Boston on September 24, 1829. He was married to Apphia Garrison of New Hampshire on September 28, and the same year he became the first settled pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Monroe, Michigan Territory, where he remained until 1834. From then until 1839 he was pastor of the Presbyterian congregation in White Pigeon, St. Joseph County. Warriner moved to the Republic of Texas about 1840 to serve as a representative of the American Home Missionary Society in Sabine, San Augustine, and Jasper counties. He preached at various places in the area until he became the regular pastor of the Presbyterian church in San Augustine in 1844. Soon after his arrival he became a teacher in the chartered, nonsectarian University of San Augustine, and he also served as head of the Ladies' Academy of the university. He, along with Marcus A. Montrose, John May Becton, and J. H. McKnight, formed the Presbytery of Eastern Texas on February 4, 1843, and agreed to "cooperate with the trustees of the university with their advice, sanction, and protection." This move by the Presbyterian leaders caused a conflict with the Methodists, who then organized a school of their own, the Wesleyan Male and Female College. The rivalry between the two schools led to the ultimate closing of both in 1847 and the subsequent formation of the nondenominational University of Eastern Texas. That same year Warriner took a leading part in the establishment of the Masonic lodge in San Augustine. For many years Warriner was the agent for the American Bible Society in Texas and traveled and preached over much of the upper eastern part of the state. After 1863 his health began to fail, and he was no longer active in the missionary field. At the time of the Sabine County census of 1850 Warriner was fifty-two, his wife was forty-four, and they had four children. Warriner died in Tyler on November 3, 1879.
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George L. Crocket, Two Centuries in East Texas (Dallas: Southwest, 1932; facsimile reprod. 1962). Dan Ferguson, "The Antecedents of Austin College," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 53 (January 1950). William Tellis Parmer, A Centennial History of Sexton Lodge (Milam, Texas: Sexton Lodge, 1960). Jessie Guy Smith, Heroes of the Saddle Bags: A History of Christian Denominations in the Republic of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1951).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Helen Gomer Schluter,
“Warriner, Phanuel Warner,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 01, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
February 16, 2019