A Guide to the Charles Edwin Gilbert Papers, undated
Alabama native Charles Edwin Gilbert (b. 1855) moved to Navasota, Texas, in 1876. After five years managing The Navasota Tablet, he relocated with his wife Trudie (Wilson), daughter Gertrude, and sisters Mary and Lyda to Abilene in 1881 to capitalize on the expansion of the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Only three months after the town's founding, Gilbert produced the first editions of the The Abilene Reporter out of a tent. A year later, William L. Gibbs founded the Magnetic Quill, a direct competitor to Gilbert that opposed him on nearly every issue, eventually leading to a duel between the two men. In 1886, Gilbert sold the Reporter and moved to Dallas, where he published the Dallas Herald until 1894. He went on to publish newspapers in Nacogdoches, Austin, and Bay City and to found the Texas Afternoon Press Association and Southern Afternoon Press Association.
"120 Years in Abilene." The Abilene Reporter-News, June 17, 2001.
Three typescript drafts of literary productions compose the Charles Edwin Gilbert Papers, undated, documenting life in Abilene, Texas, in the 1880s and Gilbert's work as a newspaper journalist and publisher. A reminiscence by Gilbert concerns his tenure at the Dallas Herald from 1886 to 1894 and describes an Abilene free-grassers' campaign, the Dallas prohibition movement, Dallas politics, and management of the newspaper, among other topics. "Frontier Days in Abilene," a reminiscence by Gilbert's sister Mary Hudson, describes life and activities in the town shortly after its founding, including a sketch of prominent Abilene resident the Earl of Aylesford. Additionally, the collection contains a response by Gilbert to an article by Dr. James Britton Cranfill criticizing Gilbert's analysis of the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
This collection is open for research use.
Charles Edwin Gilbert Papers, undated, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers