USA: Texas Gillespie Biographies

From The New Handbook of Texas in six volumes, Volume 3, history of Gillespie men.

James Gillaspie 1805-1867, a prison superintendent and army officer in the Texas Revolution, the Mexican War, and the Civil War, son of William and Elizabeth Gillaspie, was born in Virginia on Jan 5, 1805. He travelled to  Texas in 1835 and on Jan 14, 1836 enlisted in the volunteer auxiliary corps for the Texas army at Nacogdoches. On Feb 1, he was elected the first lieutenant in Joseph L Bennett’s volunteer company. On April 8, Gillaspie became captain of the Sixth  Company, Second Regiment of Texas Volunteer, which he commanded in the battle of San Jacinto.

He was discharged from the army on May 29, 1836. He married Susan Faris of Walker County; they had  seven children. During the Mexican War, he raised a company for the First Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers, for service under John C Hays. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Gillaspie again raised a Walker County company for the Fifth Regiment, Texas Volunteer Volunteers, and was stationed on Galveston Island. Gillaspie was superintendent of the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsvilile from 1850 to 1858 and gain from May 1867 until his death. He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery, Huntsville, Texas.

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Julian Edgeworth Gillespie, 1893-1939. A foreign diplomat, Julian was born in Brownwood, Texas on June 30, 1893, the son of James and Ethel (Muse) Gillespie. After preparatory education in Dallas, he received his B. A. from the University of Texas in 1914. He studied law at the University of Chicago and received an LL.B Degree at Georgetown University. He as admitted to the bar in 1915 and established a law praactice in Dallas.

He was a captain in the American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1920, Assistant Trade Commissioner of the United States Department of Commerce to the Near East and Balkans from 1920 to 1922, Trade Commissioner from 1922 to 1926, and commercial attache to Turkey in 1926.

He also served as economic and financial advisor to American observers at the Allied and Turkish Peace Conference, Lausanne, Switzerland in 1922 and 1923, as American delegate to the International Economic Conference, Geneva May to June 1927, and delegate to  negotiate a treat of commerce and navigation between Turkey and the United States in 1929.

Gillespie married Adrian Inez Posey on March 20, 1924. They had three children. He died on June 23, 1939 at his home in La Plata, Maryland.

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Oscar William Gillespie 1858-1927, congressman, son of T. J. and Mary (McGowan) Gillespie, was born near Quitman, Mississippi on June 20, 1858. He graduated from Mansfield College, Mansfield, Texas in 1885, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1886 and began to practice in Fort Worth.  He was elected Assistant Attorney of Tarrant County and served from 1886 to 1888; he was prosecuting attorney from 1890 to 1894.

He as elected as a Democrat  to the Fifty-eighth and three succeeding congresses. He lost the Democratic primary for renomination in 1910.

Gillespie married Ada Kate Hodges in 1884, and they had five children. He was a member of the Odd Fellows and Masonic lodges He died in Fort Worth on Aug 24, 1927, and was buried in Mansfield Cemetery.

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Robert Addison Gillespie, 1815-1846, merchant, soldier was born on June 12, 1815 in Blunt Co, Tennessee, the son of Robert and Patrsy (Houston) Gillespie .He moved to Texas in 1837, and he and his brothers, James Houston and Matthew Milton in Jan 1838 formed a merchantile and land partnership in Matagorda. James furnished the capital for the enterprise, know as Gillespie and Brothers. By 1839 the Gillespies had moved to La Grange, established a merchantile store and were buying Texas bounty-land certificates.

In 1840 Gillespie joined John Henry Moore’s upper Colorado River Expedition. In 1842 he participated in the battle of Salado Creek, and was a member of the Somervell Expedition. He enlisted in John Coffee Hay’s Texas Ranger Company in 1843 and served almost continuously with the unit until 1845. During his service with Hayes, he fought in numerous Indian engagements, and was severely wounded by an Indian lance in the battle of Walker’s Creek in 1844.

After Gen Zachary Taylor arrived in Texas in 1845, Gillespie formed a company of volunteers, enlisted into federal service and helped to occupy Laredo. When Hays organized the First Regiment of Texas Mounted Riflemen in the Mexican War, Gillespie joined the regiment and formed a company. During the Battle of Monterrey, he was the first to reach the summit of Independence Hill. He was wounded at the assault on the Bishops Palace on Sept 22, 1846, and died the next day.

His body was removed to San Antonio for burial. On April 21, 1856 the remains of Gillespie, along with fellow ranger Samuel H Wallace were reinterred in the San Antonio Old Fellows Cemetery.

Note: Gillespie County in west central Texas is named for Captain Robert A Gillespie, a hero of the Mexican War.

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