Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Aragorn Storm Miller

DEAVENPORT, MATTHEW WATSON (1828–1911). Matthew Watson Deavenport, businessman, banker, professor, and Confederate officer, was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, on August 25, 1828. He was raised and educated in Lawrence County, Tennessee, and studied medicine at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. On July 27, 1848, Deavenport married Louisa J. Evans in Lawrence, Tennessee. This couple had two sons and three daughters. After his marriage, Deavenport joined his father's mercantile business.

In 1852 Deavenport brought his family to Tarrant County, Texas, where he settled near Grapevine and worked as a miller. In the early 1850s he joined the Lonesome Dove Baptist Church in Grapevine, served as superintendent of the Sunday school, and maintained his membership there for the remainder of his life. On June 27, 1862, Deavenport enlisted in Company E of the Thirty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment as a captain at Camp Allston near Shreveport, Louisiana. He was promoted to major on October 15, 1862. On August 27, 1863, Deavenport resigned his commission due to an incapacitating heart condition and returned to Grapevine. He resumed milling through 1873, served on several councils, and also as mayor pro-tem. His first wife passed away during the 1870s, and by 1880 he was married to Larinia J. Deavenport. In 1878 Deavenport moved to Roanoke in Denton County. By 1900 he moved to Quanah, then Wellington, where he served as president of the Wellington State Bank until his death from pnuemonia in February 1911. He was buried at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Denton.


Civil War Veterans (, accessed March 9, 2011. Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington.

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:

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, Aragorn Storm Miller, "DEAVENPORT, MATTHEW WATSON ," accessed April 21, 2019,

Uploaded on March 30, 2011. Modified on April 5, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox