Kilgore family papers
A Guide to the Collection
Samuel Grafton Kilgore was born in DeWitt County, Texas, on January 27, 1858. His parents, James Thomas and Caroline Buchwalter Kilgore, were devout Christians who had moved to Texas from Ohio in 1850. Samuel Kilgore graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1879. In 1880 he was received on trial by the West Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Rev. Kilgore’s appointments in the West Texas Conference included Del Rio (1880-1881), Camp Woods Mission (1881-1882), Fort David American Mission (1883-1884), and Chihuahua Mission (1884-1885).
In 1885 the Mexican Border Mission Conference separated from the West Texas Conference. Rev. Kilgore served the Chihuahua Mission of the Mexican Border Conference from 1885 until 1893. His ministerial leadership contributed to the founding of Bethel Chapel and Palmore College in Chihuahua. In 1893 he was appointed Presiding Elder. However, a year later his health deteriorated and he retired from the ministry, relocating to New Mexico. In 1906-1907 Kilgore was recalled to teach Bible at Palmore College and to assist with ministry in nearby towns.
Samuel G. Kilgore married school teacher Cassie R. Chase on May 4, 1886. Their children were Abbie Kilgore, Catherine (“Catarina”) Kilgore Johnston, Samuel G. Kilgore, Jr, Juanita Kilgore Urton, James T. Kilgore, and Moody Chase Kilgore.
Rev. Kilgore’s brother, James A. Kilgore, D.D. (1865-1950), was a founding faculty member of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) School of Theology (now Perkins School of Theology), 1915-1934; acting Dean of the School of Theology, 1919-1920 and 1926-1933; and acting President of SMU, 1922-1923.
Rev. Samuel G. Kilgore died in Puente, California, on September 3, 1924 and was buried in El Paso, Texas. Cassie R. Kilgore died ten years later in 1934.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Journal of the Rio Grande Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1859-1885. Texas: Distributed by order of the 1942 session of the Southwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church (U.S.), 1943.
Verduzco, Pablo Garcia, and Leland E. Fiske. Sketch of Samuel G. Kilgore, Early Methodist Missionary to Mexico. Dallas: James A. Kilgore, 1971.
“Testamento y Voluntad de Samuel G. Kilgore.” La Estrella. Las Cruces, New Mexico. October 25, 1924, page 1.
The Kilgore family papers comprise documents, photographs, and publications generated or collected by three generations of the Samuel G. Kilgore family. These records primarily detail Rev. Kilgore’s association with the Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and family relationships, as revealed through personal correspondence. Other items of interest include a letter from Methodist missionary Mary C. Kelso (who served in Singapore with her husband, Rev. C. C. Kelso), and photographs of Chase family relatives. The collection also contains temperance literature in Spanish and English reflecting Catherine Johnston’s participation in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.
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[Identification of item], Kilgore family papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Arranged and described by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2016.
Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2016.
Ada Negraru, 2016.
Detailed Description of the Collection