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GAYLE, ALEXANDER T. (1815–1857). Alexander T. Gayle, early official and stock raiser, was born in Virginia in 1815. He was trained as a civil engineer. Before moving to Texas in 1836 he operated the brig Argo between New Orleans and Galveston. Gayle applied for Texas citizenship at San Felipe de Austin on February 4, 1839. He seems to have been well off, for he brought several slaves with him when he came to Texas. In 1844 he moved to Texana, Jackson County, where in 1851 he founded an Episcopal church. He was elected county commissioner in 1850 and became county surveyor in 1852. He was a Democrat. Gayle raised cattle and sheep, but his primary interest seems to have been the breeding of thoroughbred horses. He married Frances A. Sutherland. Although a proponent of slavery, he anticipated the abolition of the institution and sold many of the family's bondsmen, remarking that he wished to teach his children how to work before they lost their slaves. He died in Jackson County on March 8, 1857.


Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938). A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).

Stephen L. Hardin


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

Stephen L. Hardin, "GAYLE, ALEXANDER T.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.