Caleb S. Ives
By Mary Belle Ingram
Caleb S. Ives was born in Vermont and educated at Trinity College,
Hartford, Connecticut, and General Theological Seminary, New York
City. On September 25, 1838, he was appointed missionary to Texas by
the Foreign Committee of Board of Missions.
He arrived in Matagorda on December 12, 1838, and celebrated Holy
Communion on December 25, 1838, the first to be held in the Republic
of Texas that was in accordance with the Liturgy of the Protestant
Episcopal Church. On January 27, 1839, he guided his small
congregation into organizing a parish under the name of “The Rector,
Church Wardens and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Matagorda.” It was
the first Protestant Episcopal Church in the Republic of Texas. With
the aid of his wife, he established and successfully operated
“Matagorda Academy” from 1839 to 1849.
Caleb Ives was one of four pioneers to whom is attributed the laying
of the foundation for educational progress in Texas. He organized a
Sunday School for slaves in Matagorda. Ives was proposed, but not
elected, bishop of Texas at the General Convention in 1841. On May
8, 1843, he was one of three men who proposed organization of a
diocese. He petitioned the General Convention of 1844, for Episcopal
supervision of Texas at missionary level. This dream was realized
when the Diocese of Texas was created by the convention assembled in
the parish he organized.
Failing health, brought on by his arduous labor, caused him to
return to his native Vermont in the summer of 1849. He died in
Vermont on July 27, 1849, at the age of 51. In giving the diocese
its mother church, he also gave his life. Surely, greater love has
no man than this.
Historic Matagorda County, Volume I, page 569
Additional information from Ancestry.com
Rev. Ives was born September 29, 1798 either in
Tinmouth, Vermont or Hoosick, Rensselaer County, New York. He was
the son of Jared and Joanna Smith Ives.
The death date on his tombstone at Oakwood Cemetery in Tinmouth,
Rutland County, Vermont is August 22, 1849.
His wife was Katherina [Katherine] Duncan Morison who was born July
16, 1806, in Jamaica, West Indies. In 1880, she was living
with her son, Hugh in the Village of Hastings-on- Hudson,
Westchester County, New York.