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Stanley James Gillette


Stanley James Gillette

Stanley James Gillette was a native of Matagorda County, and was undoubtedly one of the best known and most popular citizens of Bay City, where he was proprietor of the Green Cafe and Confectionery and had made a business of providing service to the many hundreds of hunters and other visitors who sought the game preserves of Matagorda County.

Mr. Gillette was born in Matagorda County, November 27, 1884. His father, James Stanley Gillette, was born in Matagorda County, Texas, in 1854. His father, August Gillette, was a native of France and came to America when a lad of twelve and settled in the Medina Colony near San Antonio.  The family later moved to Matagorda and Galveston, a pioneer family of Texas.

James Stanley Gillette made two trips up the trail with herds of cattle made up in Matagorda County-in 1878 and 1879-going to the northern markets. He established a ranch in Matagorda County where the Town of Gulf now [1930] stands, and continued to operate his ranch, raising cattle, sheep and horses, until about 1890 when he moved to Bay City about the time the town was founded [1894]. Here for a number of years he was identified in the mercantile business, later devoted his time to farming and trading. James Stanley Gillette was for several terms deputy sheriff of Matagorda County and a leading rancher and stock man. His two trips to the northern market with cattle required several months each and there was considerable trouble with Indians and outlaws on the way.

His wife, Mattie Lorena Williams was born in Matagorda County, Texas. Their six children were: Fred, born in 1883; Stanley James; Walter S., born in 1887; Katherine, born in 1889; Anna Lou, born in 1892; and Elouise, born in 1895.

Stanley James Gillette was educated at Bay City, attending high school and also a business college there. He had a general commercial experience, including several years of work as a salesman, and from 1920 to 1922 he had some interesting experience in Mexico City. On returning to Bay City he opened a cafe, sold that in 1925 and then bought the Green Frog and Confectionery, with motto "Service with a Hop." He made it a very popular place. He also leased land in several portions of Matagorda County, built cabins and operated a hunting lodge for the benefit of many prominent sportsmen who came to this section of the Gulf Coast during the hunting season.

Mr. Gillette married Pauline Thompson, daughter of J. E. and Byrd (Baxter) Thompson. Her father was a stock man and a rancher. Mr. Gillette was a democrat, affiliated with the Masonic Lodge and Odd Fellows of Bay City, and was a member of the Episcopal church. During the World War he was with the colors over a period of two years with the infantry, and served at Fort Sam Houston, Fort Crockett and Mexico, was on the Border and was mustered out with the rank of sergeant. Mr. Gillette's hobby was all out-doors sports, such as hunting, fishing and golf.

Texas Under Many Flags, Clarence W. Wharton, American Historical Society, 1930

Matagorda County Genealogical Society Publication, Oak Leaves, Vol. 8 #3, May 1989


Copyright 2007 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Apr. 11, 2007
Apr. 11, 2007