Sunday, December 2, 2012

Reuben A. Reeves of Todd County, Kentucky

Gravestone of William O. Reeves, son of Reuben, at the city cemetery in Palestine Texas
Reuben A. Reeves was the son of Ottway Curry Reeves and Mary Ann Mansfield, the grandson of Brewer Reeves who was one of the earliest settlers of Christian County, Kentucky. The act creating Christian County was passed in 1796 and specified "that the Justices to be named in the commission of the peace for said county" should meet at the house of Brewer Reeves and organize for business. Brewer, his wife Martha and their family had immigrated to Kentucky from Augusta County, Virginia.

In January of 1846, Ruben married Sarah Mills in Todd County and soon afterward left Kentucky for Texas which had just been admitted to the United States. Anderson County was a popular destination for the stream of immigrants flowing into Texas from various U.S. states. By 1848, Reuben had established a law practice in Palestine, the county seat of Anderson County. He and his young family are found there in the 1850 U.S. census and by 1857, Reuben had been elected a district judge in Palestine.

After the civil war began, he enlisted on the 11th of April 1863 in Terrell's Regiment of Texas Cavalry of the CSA and became captain of Company E. A year later when the term of James H. Bell, associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court expired, Ruben Reeves ran for and was elected to that office in August of 1864. The resignation of his commission from the CSA was written on the 19th of September 1864 in Tyler, Texas.

Letter by Capt. Reuben A. Reeves Resigning his Commission
Reuben Reeves served as associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court until the war's end and participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1866. He was then elected district court judge for the Ninth Judicial District but on November 30, 1867 when Texas came under federal military control, he was among the officials removed from office as "impediments to Reconstruction". When Governor Richard Coke was elected, Reuben Reeves was reappointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of Texas on January 30, 1874 and served until April 18, 1876 when he returned to Palestine to practice law. At one time his son William also held the office of district judge in Anderson County.

President Grover Cleveland appointed Reuben Reeves to the Supreme Court of New Mexico Territory in the 1880's, and he served in that office until 1889. He died in Dallas at the home of his daughter on January 30, 1908, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Read more about Reuben A. Reeves at The TSHA Handbook of Texas Online

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