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Biography: Charles Gibson born ca. 1800



(ca. 1800 – May 30, 1883)

Lawrence County, Alabama

In 1818, Charles Gibson, son of John Gibson, moved with his parents from Georgia to Lawrence County, Alabama, near Oakville when Charles was about 17 years of age. His father was a farmer and Charles education was limited to only the common schools of Georgia. He was only able to attend school when he was not needed on the farm.

He married Clarrisa McDowell, daughter of John McDowell 1823. John McDowell was an Irishman and a Revolutionary soldier. Charles and Clarrisa Gibson were married over 40 years and raised six sons and four daughters. He was a farmer for over fifty years and was very successful. He owned 20 slaves in the 1850 census.

Charles became interested in military affairs after his marriage and became a captain, then adjutant, then major and colonel. “Colonel Gibson, whilst busily engaged on his farm, was constantly improving his mind and kept well posted as to public affairs. Those who knew best his sterling honesty and excellent common sense, at length urged him forward as a candidate for office, but his first efforts were unsuccessful. He was too independent a character to succeed well in this line. His temper was not supple enough, and he was too firm and tenacious of his opinions; in short, he lacked tact in electioneering. But when the people were fully informed in regard to his just claims he became a decided favorite.”

He served as a member of the Commissioners’ Court for twenty years. In 1858, Col. Gibson was elected Probate Judge and served in this capacity during the Civil War by taking charge of donations made for soldiers’ families and distributing them. He was devoted to the Southern cause and because there was a scarcity of supplies, the judge had to go to Montgomery frequently to draw funds and scour the country to purchase articles of necessity at high prices.

In Russellville, he found a lot of molasses sent there for fear of falling in the enemies hands, bought it and hauled it to Moulton for the soldiers’ families. In Gadsden, he found 100 sacks of salt and procured ten wagons to carry it but he found many sacks in such bad condition that the salt might be lost so he repaired them with his own hands before his teams of wagons came up. He bought additional salt from Tuscaloosa, corn and meat from the commissaries and cotton cards for clothing but the burden of obtaining supplies grew heavier each month. “Many a soldier from our county, when he heard that Charles Gibson was charged with the duty of providing for his dear ones at home, slept soundly by the camp fire, even while the earth was shaken with the thunder of artillery. He was re-elected Probate Judge in 1864, and was disfranchised before two years of this term had expired.”

In 1875, he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention, and then retired from public life. When he was sixty-five years of age, he married a second time to Mrs. McCulloch. He was a member of the Baptist Church. Judge Charles Gibson became ill around May 15, 1883, and died May 30, 1883.

Judge Gibson had the following children:

  1. John C. Gibson, who became a wealthy farmer in Ellis county, Texas. John was married four times and had one child by his first wife, two by his third and one by his fourth.
  2. J. J. (commonly called Mack who was a farming in Moulton.
  3. Sylvanus, who died at twenty-one years of age.
  4. William who belonged to the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment and was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro James S., who was in the Sixth Arkansas Regiment, and was wounded in the head three times, though not severely at the battle of Shiloh. He was a Baptist preacher and merchant at Landersville.
  5. Charles was the youngest and studied law. He went to Texas and married a Miss Ellis and was clerk of the District Court in Ellis county. He was a member of the Legislature in 1878. “Charles was a member of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment at Shiloh; had a bone in his leg broken at the battle of Murfreesboro and afterward, at the battle of Chickamauga, was wounded in the same place.”


Judge Gibson’s daughters:

  1. daughter married Darius Lynch, Esq. of Moulton
  2. Another daughter married J. T. Adair, of Trinity but they never had any children.
  3. Third daughter married Robert Prewit, brother of J. W. Prewit and lived east of Moultain. Robert Prewit and his wife died before 1880 but they had one son Talbot Prewit
  4. Fourth daughter Martha married William L. Kirk, of Texas.



  1. Obituary, Moulton Advertiser, microfilm Huntsville Library
  2. Saunders, Edmund, Recollections of North Alabama, p. 68
  3. Messrs. John and Charles Gibson , of Waxahachie, Ellis county, Texas, accompanied by Mrs. John Gibson and Col. J. W. Harris, of Russelville, are at present in Moulton, called here by the illness of our honored fellow townsman, Judge Charles Gibson , who is now lying in a very critical condition, with scarcely a hope of recovery.
  4. (Moulton Advertiser 17 May 1883)
  6. Lawrence County.
  7. Probate Court, May 21st, 1883.
  8. Estate of Charles Gibson, deceased.
  9. Came D. Lynch and C. G. Lynch and filed in said Court for probate and record and instrument of writing purporting to the be the last will and testament of Charles Gibson , deceased, and the 25th day of June 1883 having been appointed a day for hearing their said application. Notice is hereby given to John C. Gibson and Charles R. Gibson, who resides in Ellis county, Texas, and Martha A. Kirk and her husband Wm. L. Kirk, who resides in Grayson county, Texas, and M. E. Gibson, who resides in McLemore county, Texas, and R. S. Lynch, who resides in Grayson county, Texas, and all other persons interested, to appear at the Court House, in Moulton, on the said 25th day of June 1883, and contest the said application if they choose.
  10. J. H. McDonald, J. P. C (Moulton Advertiser 24 May 1883)
  11. Hon. Charles Gibson , son of our illustrious townsman, has been re-elected to the Texas Legislature from Ellis county. Charlie is a good democrat, and his Alabama friends will be glad to learn of his popularity in the Lone * State. Onward, Charlie. (Moulton Advertiser 11 Nov 1880)
  12. On the first page of today’s paper will be found the closing proceedings of the late session of the Texas Legislature. Hon. C. R. Gibson, a native of this county, and a son of the late Judge Charles Gibson , was Speaker of the House, and was the recipient of an elegant silver tea service and gold-headed walking cane. We shall watch Charlie’s future movements with a great deal of interest. (Moulton Advertiser 24 May 1883)


This biography can be found in Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume V

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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