STEELE, OLIVER (1835–1911). Oliver Steele, Confederate officer, was born in Albany, New York, on December 19, 1835, to Oliver Steele and Mary Augusta (Livingston) Steele. In February 1860 Steele immigrated to Texas and settled in Galveston. Later that year he organized a company of infantry called the "Galveston Rifles" for militia duty. Steele led this company to Brownsville, where it, in conjunction with other Texas forces, forced the surrender of Federal troops at Brownsville in March 1861. After this, Steele served as instructor of tactics and adjutant for a regiment organized by Ebenezar B. Nichols. On June 11, 1862, he joined Waul's Texas Legion as adjutant at Brenham. During the siege of Vicksburg, Steele received mention for distinguished service from his superiors. He was taken prisoner after the fall of Vicksburg. Following his exchange, Steele returned to Texas where he served as commander of the port of Gonzales and later as lieutenant colonel of the third military sub-district headquartered at Victoria.
After the war, Steele returned to Galveston where he worked in the hardware business and helped establish the Scottish Rite Mason "Lodge of Perfection" in February 1867. He was elected treasurer of the group on May 15 of that year. In the 1870s Steele moved to Georgetown, Williamson County, where he worked as a hardware merchant. By 1880 he had married a woman named Lizzie, and the couple had four children (three sons and one daughter). In 1887 Steele moved his family to Dallas, Texas, where he worked for the Texas and Pacific Railroad until 1910. He was also an active member of the United Confederate Veterans and served as adjutant of Sterling Price Camp Number 31 and as a coordinator for reunions through 1907. Lizzie passed away on March 29, 1910, and Oliver Steele died on December 22, 1911. The couple are buried next to each other at Oakland Cemetery in Dallas.
Sid S. Johnson, Texans Who Wore the Gray (Tyler, Texas, 1907).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "Steele, Oliver," accessed July 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fstbi-0.
Uploaded on June 1, 2011. Modified on January 7, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.