Notes for Reuben Anderson Reeves

A Wilson Family Tree

Notes for Reuben Anderson Reeves

The Handbook of Texas Online (article on Reuben A. Reeves):

REEVES, REUBEN A. (1821-1908). Reuben A. Reeves, associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court, was born on August 9, 1821, in Todd County, Kentucky. In 1846 he married Sarah Mills in Kentucky and moved with her to Palestine, Anderson County, Texas, where he practiced law. In 1850 his brother-in-law, Roger Quarles Mills,qv moved into his household. At this time the Reeves family had five slaves and real property valued at $2,350. In 1857 Reeves was elected district judge in Palestine. While living in that city, he was instrumental in forming the Palestine school system. By 1860 Judge and Mrs. Reeves had six children. His real property was valued at $10,000, and his personal property, which included thirteen slaves, was valued at $18, 000. Reeves recruited, organized, and became captain of Company E, Terrell's Texas Cavalry (the Thirty-fourth Texas) on April 11, 1863. In August 1864 he was elected associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in the place of James H. Bell,qv whose term had expired. Reeves resigned from the Confederate Army on September 28, 1864, to take the position. He served from November 1, 1864, until the end of the Civil War.qv He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1866.qv On June 25, 1866, he was elected district court judge of District Nine. He was removed from office on November 30, 1867, as an "obstruction to Reconstruction" and was reappointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of Texas by Governor Richard Cokeqv on January 30, 1874. He served in that capacity until the court was reorganized on April 18, 1876. Reeves returned to Palestine to practice law. In 1880 three of the Reeves children were living at home; one of his sons, William, later was elected district judge. Reeves was appointed in the mid-1880s by President Grover Cleveland to the Supreme Court of New Mexico Territory and served until 1889. On the election of President Benjamin Harrison, Reeves moved to Dallas and retired from politics. He was a life-long Democrat, a Mason, and a member of the Dallas Bar Association. He died in Dallas at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jeff Word, on January 30, 1908, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Dallas.

There is some speculation in putting Reuben in Otway Curry's family. My guess is based on the following: The Henry H. Bollinger biography mentions that his mother, Martha Reeves, was the sister of Judge Reeves, "an eminent jurist of Texas." It is suggestive that one of the Bollinger children was named Reuben. It is also suggestive that one of the children was named Otway. Not very solid evidence, but it makes me think that Martha and Reuben were children of Otway C. Reeves. There is also a posting to the Reeves-L mailing list by Joan Reeves, 17 Dec 1999 ( that says that Reuben was the son of Otway and Mary.

Bob Reeves lists Reuben as a son of Otway. He indicates that Reuben and Sarah had eight children, but has no names. One daughter is shown as having married Jeff Ward.

Middle name of Anderson is from the Pendley Family Tree on Other sources just had middle initial A.

There are questions about some of the children of Reuben and Sarah. I'm pretty certain (from information in obituaries and elsewhere) that Florence Ellen, Mary T., William Quarles, and Ottway Curry were their children (which then adds to the confidence that Reuben was a son of the older Otway Curry Reeves). It also looks good for Charles Mills to be a twin of Ottway Curry. Lastly, the 1880 census lists Frank and R. H. as sons. Some family trees list Arthur, Bertram, and Benjamin as children in this family, presumably based on the 1870 census, but that doesn't seem consistent with the other information. More detail:

The 1850 census (Anderson Co., TX) lists Reuben A. and Sarah Reeves with Mary T., age 2. Also living with them was Roger Q. Mills, a brother of Sarah, who later became well known in Texas.

The 1860 census (Palestine, Anderson Co., TX) lists R. A. and Sarah Reeves with Mary (age 11), C. M. (age 9), O. C. (age 9), William (age 7), and Frank (age 3).

The 1870 census is questionable. There is a listing that is hard to read (Jefferson, Marion County, TX), which transcribes as Rueben Ravas, with a note by an Ancestry user that it is really Rueben Reeves. The family includes wife Sarah and Arthur (age 21), Charles (age 18), William (age 15), Frank (age 12), Bertram (age 10), and Benjamin (age 6). The listing for Arthur doesn’t make sense since he was not listed with the family in the previous censuses. Perhaps he was a relative who was staying with them, or something like that. Charles can fit with C.M. in the previous census, and William and Frank fit. Maybe Ottway had already left home. The listings for Bertram and Benjamin are doubtful because they do not appear with the family in the following (1880) census. They could have died or left home by 1880, or they could possibly be visiting relatives. It is also possible that this is simply not the right family. Note that the biography of Reuben A. Reeves from the Handbook of Texas Online did not include information from the 1870 census, so they must have had concerns about it as well.

The 1880 census (Palestine, Anderson County, TX) lists R.A. and Sarah Reeves with W.Q. (age 26), Frank (age 23), and R.H. (age 18). W.Q., Frank, and R.H. are explicitly identified as sons (previous censuses did not include relationships), so R.H. should be included here, but why wasn’t he with the family in 1870? There doesn’t seem to be any reasonable way for R.H. to be Bertram or Benjamin unless the R was a mistake. Once again, though, it is also possible that the 1870 listing is the wrong family.

Note: Some of the information in these pages is uncertain. Please let me know of errors or omissions using the email link above.    ...Mike Wilson

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