SummaryFather: William Reeves, Jr.
Mother: Elizabeth Purvis
Birth: 3 September 1816, Hancock Co., GA
Birth Source: Lydia Reaves Bible
Death: 25 September 1905, Tyler, Smith Co., TX
Death Source: Obituary, Tyler Daily Courier
Spouse1: Unknown (possibly Elizabeth Lee)
Spouse2: Georgia Ann Walker
NarrativeChildren of Stephen Reaves and Unknown:
- Alfred Reaves, b. c. 1839, AL.
- Frances Reaves, b. c. 1842, AL.
Children of Stephen Reaves and Georgia A. Walker:
- Texana Dustin Reaves, m. Daniel G. Fones.
- William Lee Reaves, b. c. 1854, TX, m. Hattie Hobson.
- Stephen Douglas "Pete" Reaves, b. c. 1856, TX, m. Bengia Abbott.
- Edwin Thomas Reaves, b. c. 1859, TX, m. Hattie Whitmore.
- Emma Reaves, b. c. 1864, TX, m. Morgan Oden.
- Algernon Sidney Reaves, b. c. 1866, TX. He was unmarried in 1900.
This man is likely the Stephen Reaves, age 20-30 with a female in the same age range, enumerated in Chambers Co., AL, in 1840. They had one male, under age five, shown with them. Stephen is said to have moved to Alabama with his brother John Reaves, who appeared in neighboring Randolph Co., AL, in 1840. Biographical sources (referenced below) state that Stephen resided in Alabama from 1839 until 1847. If the man shown in Chambers County in 1840 was Stephen Reaves, then he seems to have been married prior to moving to Texas. One Stephen Reaves married Elizabeth Lee on 19 July 1839 in Chambers County, Alabama.
This seems to be supported by the 1860 Smith Co., TX, Census, HH 1138/1141, which shows: Stephen Reaves, 43, Lawyer, $2000/$3000, GA; Martha, 35, GA; Alfred, 20, Day Laborer, AL; Frances, 18, AL; Texana, 12, TX; William L., 6, TX; Douglas, 4, TX; Edwin, 11/12, TX. In the preceding household (1137/1140) were M. D. and Elizabeth Walker, also from Georgia, perhaps relatives of Georgia Ann Walker Reaves. Although Reaves's wife in 1860 was shown as Martha, four of the children attributed to his marriage Georgia Ann Walker were shown, and Martha's age in 1860 matches Georgia's age in 1870. It would therefore seem that Stephen's first wife had died between 1842 and 1848 and that Stephen had married Georgia Ann Walker and started a second family about 1847, soon after he arrived in Texas. Further research needs to be done to confirm the date of his marriage to Georgia Walker, however, as well as the identity of his first wife.
A detailed discussion of Stephen Reaves's life appeared in Some Biographies of Old Settlers, Volume I, pp. 96-100 (Sid S. Johnson, Publisher, Tyler, Texas, 1900). The selection also featured a photograph of Judge Reaves.
"Judge Stephen Reaves was born in Hancock county, Georgia, September 3rd, 1816; settled in Alabama in 1839; and emigrated to Texas April, 1847. He is, properly speaking, an old-timer – being the oldest male settler in Tyler at this writing. Judge Reaves is a lawyer by profession, and was enrolled as a practicing attorney at the spring term of the district court of Smith county in 1847, and has since occupied a distinguished position as a lawyer since that time. He has always been a safe counselor, and his advice on a legal point is received as good authority. He is what the world terms a successful lawyer — makes the necessary preparation and is ready for trial. He has the confidence of the people, and receives the best of attention when either addressing the court or jury. Being a pleasant and forcible speaker, he impresses his hearers with the honesty of his convictions. He is logical and pointed, presenting the strong pointsin his case. In the probate practice he is quoted as good authority and his opinion considered as settling any given question. When a member of the Texas senate, he took a prominent part in framing a good code of laws. He is a man of acknowledged ability, and the very soul of honor, and looked to as a leader.
"His life appears to have been a placid and successful one — of pleasing manners and cheerful disposition, he has endeared himself to our people. Having lived a consistent member of the Baptist church, his example has been a model one.
"Judge Stephen Reaves married Miss Amie Ann Walker, daughter of Wm. S. Walker, a prominent and leading man of Tyler, who died a few years after the civil war. Mrs. Reaves was a Christian woman of intellence and popular with those who knew her. She died in this city in 1895, and was buried in Tyler cemetery. They had five children, Texana Dustin, Stephen (Pete) Douglas, William Lee, Edwin Thomas and Algernon Sidney...Judge Reaves at this writing is afflicted with rheumatism and his eye-sight is failing him. He, however, enjoys a good appetite and sleeps well. It is his declining years; and he is cheerful making the autumn of life one of serene happiness and contentment. It has been a busy and useful life with Judge Reaves, the grandest and oldest citizen of Tyler.
SourcesSid S. Johnson, Some Biographies of Old Settlers.
Tyler Daily Courier, 25 September 1905.
1840 Chambers Co., AL, Census
1860 Smith Co., TX, Census.
1870 Tyler Co., TX, Census
1880 Tyler Co., TX, Census
1900 Tyler Co., TX, Census