Judge Stephen Reaves of Tyler, Texas

This cabinet card portrait came from the same antique photo dealer in Arkansas that the ladies in boater hats did in the previous post.  An inscription on the back says simply, “Judge Stephen Reaves.”

Judge Stephen Reaves of Tyler, Texas 3


According to his obituary and other articles published at the time of his death, Stephen Reaves (1816-1905) practiced law in Tyler, Texas, for nearly 60 years.  In 1851, when he was 35, Judge Reaves represented Rusk and Smith counties in the state senate.  During that time he was offered a seat on the Texas Supreme Court by Governor P.H. Bell, which he declined.

Businesses in Tyler closed for an hour in observance of his funeral.

Judge Stephen Reaves of Tyler, Texas 2

5 thoughts on “Judge Stephen Reaves of Tyler, Texas

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  1. A wonderful share! But then I’m a bit biased as I live in east Texas. That was a beautifully written obituary. He was clearly a well thought of gentleman in his time. To be the oldest known resident of your community, my goodness. I am very intrigued and will do a bit of research on my own to see what I can find! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Judge Reaves finally has a visitor! Come right in and sit down, young lady. The judge hasn’t had a visitor in a while. Lost his eyesight a couple of years ago, but the old memory is just fine. Ask any question and he’ll tell you a great story. Nobody ’round here has seen as much as the judge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a warm welcome! Thank you for the lovely invitation. I should be happy to rest a while and hear the Judge’s stories. I can only imagine all he’s witnessed in so long a life. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Erin! I’m very glad you found this photo. Judge Reaves was a pioneer and by all accounts a remarkable man. I bet he would be very pleased to know that some of his descendants are still living in the community he helped build. He served Tyler in so many ways.


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