TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Robert Simonton Gould Papers, 1828-1942
Robert Simonton Gould, law professor and Texas Supreme Court Justice, was born December 16, 1826 in Iredell County, North Carolina. His father was a Presbyterian minister and his mother ran a boarding house. He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1844 when he was 17 years old and began teaching mathematics there and studying law. He then practiced law in Macon, Mississippi, before moving to Centerville, Leon County, Texas, in 1850.
A practicing lawyer in Texas, Gould was elected district attorney for the Thirteenth District in 1853 and attended the Secession Convention in 1861. Soon after becoming elected judge of the District, he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a captain, raised a battalion that earned his namesake, and served as colonel of a regiment. He returned to Centerville and was elected judge again in 1866. He moved to Galveston four years later.
When the University of Texas officially opened in 1883, Gould became one of the two law professors hired. He resigned in the spring of 1904. He served as Associate Justice (1874-1881) of the Texas Supreme Court. Governor Oran M. Roberts appointed him Chief Justice in 1881 but he failed re-election to the post in 1882.
Gould married Serena Barnes in 1855 and the couple had one son. He died in Austin on June 30, 1904.
Justices of Texas 1836-1986, University of Texas School of Law Tarlton Law Library
The Robert Simonton Gould Papers, 1828-1942, are primarily composed of the family correspondence of Gould, his wife Serena Barnes Gould, his mother Zilpha Simonton Gould, and his brother Ebenezer P. Gould during the 1850s through the 1870s. The correspondence concerns family news, political and religious sentiments, the Secession Convention of 1861, the Civil War, and Gould’s law career. Of special note are the letters of Ebenezer Gould, which contain vivid descriptions of Civil War battles.
The papers also include Gould’s diary during the 1840s, his reminiscences, and an 1828-1829 fragment of the diary of his father Daniel Gould, a Presbyterian minister. A small portion of the collection consists of scrapbook materials, financial and legal records, and a photograph of Robert S. Gould, Jr. at age 12.
This collection is open for research use.
Robert Simonton Gould Papers, 1828-1942, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Lynn Bell, December 1983.
Subsequent revisions were made by Jessi Fishman, January 2016.