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Abner Kuykendall

Birthplace: North Carolina, United States
Death: Died in San Felipe, Austin, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Adam Robert Kuykendall and Margaret Kuykendall
Husband of Sarah Kuykendall
Father of Barzillai Kuykendall; Gibson Kuykendall and J Hampton Kuykendall

Managed by: Hatte Anne Blejer
Last Updated:

About Abner Kuykendall

Texas State Historical Association

KUYKENDALL, ABNER (1777?–1834). Abner Kuykendall, Austin Colony pioneer, son of Adam and Margaret (Hardin) Kuykendall, was probably born in Rutherford County, North Carolina in 1777. The family was in Logan County, Kentucky, by 1792 and moved on to the Arkansas territory about 1808. Abner married Sarah (Sally) Gates. The number of their children has been reported variously as nine and twelve. With his brothers, Abner left Arkansas Territory for Texas in October 1821, probably in company with his father-in-law, William Gates. At Nacogdoches they were joined by another brother, Robert H. Kuykendall, Sr., and the three brothers were among the first of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred colonists. Abner commanded the militia of Austin's colony. Robert and a brother, Joseph, settled near the later site of Columbus on the Colorado River, but Abner and Thomas Boatwright moved ten miles west of the Brazos and on January 1, 1822, established a settlement on New Year Creek. Sarah Gates died about 1823. Abner never remarried. In November 1823 Abner Kuykendall moved back to the Brazos and settled about eight miles above San Felipe. He received title to 1½ leagues and two labores of land now in Fort Bend, Washington, and Austin counties on July 4, 1824. The census of March 1826 classified him as a stock raiser and farmer, a widower aged over fifty. A grown son, Barzillai Kuykendall, was another of the Old Three Hundred.

In July 1824 and May 1826 Kuykendall went on campaigns against the Karankawa, Waco, and Tawakoni Indians. In 1827 he was sent by Austin as a member of a delegation to try to persuade leaders of the Fredonian Rebellion to give up their plans. During the rebellion he was detailed by Austin to patrol the Old San Antonio Road to watch for possible Indian invasions. In 1829 he led a scouting expedition from the Brazos to the mouth of the San Saba River. In 1830 he went to Tenoxtitlán to confer with Mexican authorities about Waco depredations and in the same year served on a committee at San Felipe to superintend the building of a jail. He was a public official at San Felipe in February 1832 and at the time of the Anahuac Disturbances led a party of from forty to sixty men to assist the Anahuac citizens. Kuykendall was stabbed at San Felipe in June 1834 by Joseph Clayton and died in late July. Clayton was convicted and hanged in what was probably the first legal execution in Texas. Abner Kuykendall's grave has never been found.


New Year Creek

By Lauren Stucky

Special to the Courier Published Jan. 3, 2008

  In early fall of 1821, the Boatwright, Kuykendall,
  Gilleland, Williams and Gates families - all members
  of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred - traveled
  down Trammel's Trace to Nacogdoches, Texas. In early
  December, they departed for Austin's colony, and on
  New Year's Eve 1821, the families used La Bahia
  Crossing on the Brazos River to enter Austin's
  Spanish land grant.
  The families of Thomas Boatwright and Abner
  Kuykendall traveled 10 miles west of the crossing
  and established a settlement on present-day New Year
  Creek on New Year's Day, 1822. The creek begins two
  miles south of Gay Hill and runs southeast for 20
  miles through Washington County before reaching the
  Brazos River on the Waller county line.
  Boatwright and Kuykendall received their land grants
  in 1824. Boatwright's land fronted the Brazos River
  in present-day Austin County. Kuykendall's land was
  in present-day Fort Bend, Washington and Austin
  A few of Kuykendall's contributions to Texas freedom
  include commanding the militia of Austin's colony;
  campaigns against the Karankawa, Waco and Tawakoni
  Indians; patrolling the Old San Antonio Road during
  the Fredonian Rebellion; leading a scouting
  expedition; serving as a public official and
  supervising the building of jail in San Felipe; and
  assisting Anahuac citizens during the Anahuac
  In 1834, Kuykendall was fatally stabbed at San
  Felipe by Joseph Clayton, whose hanging was probably
  the first legal execution in Texas. His son,
  Jonathan Hampton Kuykendall, served as aide and
  interpreter to General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican
  War and represented Fayette County in the House of
  the Sixth Texas Congress (Handbook of Texas Online).
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Abner Kuykendall's Timeline

North Carolina, United States
Age 26
Age 30
June 28, 1834
Age 58
San Felipe, Austin, Texas, United States