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IVES, CALEB SMITH (1798–1849). Caleb Smith Ives, Episcopal priest, was born on September 25, 1798, at Tinmouth, Vermont, the son of Jared and Joanna (Smith) Ives. He received a degree from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1840 and entered General Theological Seminary in New York the same year. He completed his studies there in 1833 and was appointed missionary to Alabama by the Protestant Episcopal Church. On February 6, 1834, he married Katherine Duncan Morison; they had three children. While serving as chaplain and professor of ancient languages at Mobile Institute, Ives was invited to perform duties of priest and schoolmaster in Matagorda, Texas. He arrived late in 1838, in time to celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Christmas Day, to his knowledge the first time it had been celebrated in Texas according to the Episcopal rite. He established one of the first Episcopal churches in Texas at Matagorda. In May 1839 he returned to the United States to raise money for a church building, which was completed in 1841. He held occasional services in Brazoria and organized St. John's parish at Victoria but continued to hold the pastorate at Christ Church in Matagorda, where he and his wife operated Matagorda Academy, said to be one of the best academies in Texas. Christ Church was the first Episcopal parish in Texas and the most southern and western in the whole American Episcopalian church. Ives became ill in the spring of 1849 and went to Vermont in the hope of regaining his health, but he failed to recover and died on July 27, 1849.


Lawrence L. Brown, The Episcopal Church in Texas, 1838–1874 (Austin: Church Historical Society, 1963). Andrew Forest Muir, "Caleb Smith Ives, Priest, and the Beginnings of Christ Church, Matagorda, Texas," Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, December 1959. DuBose Murphy, Short History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Texas (Dallas: Turner, 1935).

Carolyn Hyman


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

Carolyn Hyman, "IVES, CALEB SMITH," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.