While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


T. Bradford Willis
Alexander Archer Beville (1841–1930).
Alexander Archer Beville (1841–1930) practiced dentistry in Waco beginning in 1870. Courtesy T. B. Willis Photograph Collection in partnership with The Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas Libraries.
Dental Instruments of Alexander Archer Beville.
Mother-of-pearl dental instruments (made by S. S. White) and used by Alexander Archer Beville in his practice of dentristry in Waco. The instruments were preserved by Beville's granddaughter, Jane Katherine Beville, and purchased by the author at her estate sale in 2007. Photograph by T. Bradford Willis.

BEVILLE, ALEXANDER ARCHER (1841–1930). Alexander Archer Beville, early Texas dentist, was born on July 11, 1841, in Amelia County, Virginia. He was the son of Alexander and Catherine (Walthall) Beville. During the Civil War, Beville enlisted as a private on July 20, 1861, at Wytheville, Virginia. A member of Company C, Fifty-first Virginia Infantry Regiment, he served as a clerk for the brigade commander, and, according to his own description on a Confederate pension application, on August 25, 1864, he was wounded in the foot by a bullet at the battle of Leetown.

After the Civil War, Beville married Margaret Jane Keister in Blacksburg, Virginia, on December 24, 1867. They had two sons and two daughters, but one son and one daughter died in infancy. The family moved to Waco, Texas, in 1870. According to several sources, Beville, was the first dentist to permanently reside and practice in Waco. After fellow dentist William R. Clifton arrived in Waco about 1871, he and Beville formed a dental partnership which lasted one year. In 1876 Beville’s office was located at 49½ Austin Street. Beville’s son Alexander Jacob graduated from the dental department of the University of Maryland in 1892 and then joined his father in the practice of dentistry in Waco. Their office was located at 401½ Austin Avenue.

Grave marker of Alexander Archer Beville.
Grave marker of Alexander Archer Beville. In 2008 the author obtained a granite grave marker from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the stone was erected at Beville's gravesite at Oakwood Cemetery, Waco. Photograph by T. Bradford Willis.

Alexander Archer Beville was one of the organizers of the Texas Dental Association and served on its executive committee. On September 1, 1873, he was elected secretary of the Texas Dental Association. He was elected second vice-president of the association in May 1887 and served on its finance committee. In 1894 he was elected president of the Texas Dental Association.

Active in the community, Beville was a charter member of the Austin Avenue Methodist Church of Waco and was a member of the Pat Cleburne Camp and the local Masonic lodge. He was retired well before 1920 when he was listed on the census as sharing a household with his son and family. Alexander Archer Beville died at his residence, 1712 Austin Avenue, on October 16, 1930, and was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery of Waco.


James A. Davis, 51st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1984). Buckley B. Paddock, History of Central and Western Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1911). Walter C. Stout, The First Hundred Years: A History of Dentistry in Texas (Dallas: Egan, 1969). Waco Daily Examiner, May 4, 1887. Waco Times-Herald, October 17, 1930; December 23, 1957. Waco Tribune-Herald, April 7, 2012.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, T. Bradford Willis, "BEVILLE, ALEXANDER ARCHER ," accessed May 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbevi.

Uploaded on May 8, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...