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KUYKENDALL, ABNER

KUYKENDALL, ABNER (1777?–1834). Abner Kuykendall, Austin Colony pioneer, son of Adam and Margaret (Hardin) Kuykendall, was probably born in Rutherford County, North Carolina in 1777. The family was in Logan County, Kentucky, by 1792 and moved on to the Arkansas territory about 1808. Abner married Sarah (Sally) Gates. The number of their children has been reported variously as nine and twelve. With his brothers, Abner left Arkansas Territory for Texas in October 1821, probably in company with his father-in-law, William Gates. At Nacogdoches they were joined by another brother, Robert H. Kuykendall, Sr., and the three brothers were among the first of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. Abner commanded the militia of Austin's colony. Robert and a brother, Joseph, settled near the later site of Columbus on the Colorado River, but Abner and Thomas Boatwright moved ten miles west of the Brazos and on January 1, 1822, established a settlement on New Year Creek. Sarah Gates died about 1823. Abner never remarried. In November 1823 Abner Kuykendall moved back to the Brazos and settled about eight miles above San Felipe. He received title to 1½ leagues and two labores of land now in Fort Bend, Washington, and Austin counties on July 4, 1824. The census of March 1826 classified him as a stock raiser and farmer, a widower aged over fifty. A grown son, Barzillai Kuykendall, was another of the Old Three Hundred.

In July 1824 and May 1826 Kuykendall went on campaigns against the Karankawa, Waco, and Tawakoni Indians. In 1827 he was sent by Austin as a member of a delegation to try to persuade leaders of the Fredonian Rebellion to give up their plans. During the rebellion he was detailed by Austin to patrol the Old San Antonio Road to watch for possible Indian invasions. In 1829 he led a scouting expedition from the Brazos to the mouth of the San Saba River. In 1830 he went to Tenoxtitlán to confer with Mexican authorities about Waco depredations and in the same year served on a committee at San Felipe to superintend the building of a jail. He was a public official at San Felipe in February 1832 and at the time of the Anahuac Disturbances led a party of from forty to sixty men to assist the Anahuac citizens. Kuykendall was stabbed at San Felipe in June 1834 by Joseph Clayton and died in late July. Clayton was convicted and hanged in what was probably the first legal execution in Texas. Abner Kuykendall's grave has never been found.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

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). J. H. Kuykendall, "Reminiscences of Early Texans," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 6–7 (January, April, July 1903). Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). Homer S. Thrall, A Pictorial History of Texas (St. Louis: Thompson, 1879).

Marshall E. Kuykendall

Citation

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

Marshall E. Kuykendall, "KUYKENDALL, ABNER," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fku04), accessed April 17, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.