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HUTCHINGS, JOHN HENRY (1822–1906). John Henry Hutchings, Galveston merchant and banker, was born in North Carolina on February 2, 1822. At thirteen he became a clerk in a dry-goods store at Raleigh and at twenty-one started a business in New Orleans. He moved to Galveston, Texas, in 1845. In 1847 he went to Sabine, where he formed a partnership with John Sealy, but in 1854 the partners returned to Galveston to establish, with George Ball, the banking and commission firm of Ball, Hutchings, and Company. When the bank of McKinney and Williams closed, the firm's good will passed to Ball, Hutchings, and Company, later Hutchings-Sealy National Bank. In 1859–60 Hutchings, as alderman of Galveston, negotiated the bonds for the first bridge across the bay and was also instrumental in improving the harbor and in bringing the Mallory Steamship Line to Galveston. During the Civil War the firm moved to Houston, where the partners were active in importing arms and other war matériel, exporting cotton, and running the blockade on a large scale. Hutchings also served as state judge and commissioner of the Confederate States court. At the close of the war the firm returned to Galveston, where Hutchings was president of the Galveston Wharf Company (see GALVESTON WHARVES). He also held important offices in the Galveston Gas Company, Galveston Insurance Company, Land and Loan Company, Southern Press Manufacturing Company, Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railway Company, Galveston Cotton Oil Company, Galveston City Company, and Texas Land and Loan Company. Hutchings married Minnie Knox, a niece of Robert Mills, on June 18, 1856; they were the parents of nine children, eight of whom were still living at the time of Hutchings's death, on March 31, 1906.


John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Earl Wesley Fornell, The Galveston Era: The Texas Crescent on the Eve of Secession (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). S. C. Griffin, History of Galveston, Texas (Galveston: Cawston, 1931). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895). National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol 9.

Carolyn Hyman


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

Carolyn Hyman, "HUTCHINGS, JOHN HENRY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 31, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on March 4, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.