C. E. Gilbert was born July 4, 1855 in Livingston, Sumter County, Alabama. His father, Louzinski “Love” E. Gilbert, was born April 7, 1833 in Columbus County, Georgia and his mother, Elizabeth Fairchild Jackson Gilbert, was born October 10, 1835 in Stanford, Connecticut. His paternal grandparents were Abraham and Elizabeth West Gilbert and his maternal grandparents were John and Drucilla Lindsay West. C. E. learned the printing trade from his father. At age 15, C. E. was listed as a printer on the 1870 census of Pickens County, Alabama, along with his father. The Gilbert family lived in Greene, Walker, and Pickens counties in Alabama.
In 1876, C. E. moved from Alabama to Navasota, Texas where at the age of 21, he began publishing the Navasota Tablet. He then went back to Carrollton, Pickens County, Alabama and married Elizabeth Gertrude Wilson on December 20, 1877. They returned to Navasota and he successfully ran the paper for five years, but was lured to Abilene, "The Future Great City of West Texas," which was established by the Texas and Pacific Railroad.
Gilbert was a founding member of the First Methodist Church in Abilene and superintendent of the Sunday School.
Gilbert published his first issue of the Abilene Reporter on June 17, 1881, from his tent office. A fire destroyed his entire operation which he rebuilt only to later have problems with a rival newspaper which resulted in a duel. The Taylor County News printed the following story about the confrontation on April 24, 1885.
San Jacinto’s Day Celebrated by a Shooting
Match—An Editorial Encounter In Which They Try to Prove That The
Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen
San Jacinto day was celebrated in Abilene by a shooting match between Gilbert and Gibbs. C. E. Gilbert and W. L. Gibbs, the former the editor of the Reporter and the latter of the Quill, had a difficulty in front of the First National Bank last Tuesday during which both parties brought their pistols into play. Five shots were fired in all, and after the smoke of the battle had cleared away, Gilbert was found to have received a glancing shot across the forehead, and Gibbs had a bruised arm by blow from a loaded whip. The difficulty is the result of the newspaper warfare which has been going on for some time, and was hastened, probably, by an attack made upon Taylor Thompson of the Quill force by Gilbert. Both parties were arrested and placed under bonds. It is an affair which all good citizens cannot fail to regret.
The first issue of the new Matagorda News was published August 15, 1912.
Two of the Gilbert's children married while the
family lived in Matagorda County.
Most all responded to the invitation of the linen shower tendered Miss Helen Gilbert by her friend, Miss Lula Belle Salley at the home of the hostess Wednesday afternoon.
The guests began to come in at 5 o'clock and a steady flow of ladies kept Miss Salley at the entrance where they passed through and were welcomed by the receiving line composed of the honoree and Mrs. E. L. Salley, Mrs. E. M. Salley of Bryan, Miss Lula Duffy, Mrs. C. E. Gilbert, Miss Gertrude Gilbert, Miss Myrtle Duffy, Miss Elizabeth Gilbert, Miss Lucile Duffy of El Paso, and Miss Josie Sargent--the last directing them to the dining room where a huge punch bowl on a handsome embroidered lunch cloth, with beautiful lavender colored altheas sprinkled over it, adorned the center of the dining table, the same being presided over by Miss Sallie Sloan of Brenham and Mrs. W. G. Thornhill. After this delicious cooling draught with chocolate wafers, little Miss Mildred Salley of Bryan ushered the guests into the living room where many handsome gifts were on display, such as table damask, lunch cloths of Mexican drawn work, embroidered linen towels, pillow slips, kerchiefs, doilies, buffet scarves and many other exquisite pieces. These beautiful gifts were viewed by Mesdames W. E. McNabb, E. L. Lawson, J. H. Ellerkamp, G. B. Culver, W. E. Bedford, E. C. Baker, D. S. Burke, J. A. Bruce, E. J. Savage, J. W. Miller of Bay City, W. C. Berg, George Sargent, F. P. Hamilton, W. H. Smith, A. W. McNabb, E. R. Inglehart, Goodwin Sterne, George Buhler of Victoria and Mrs. Chester Rugeley. That evening from 8:30 to 11:30 the shower was continued, only young people attended.
They all collected at the Salley home and after partaking of iced punch and cake and placing their equally as handsome gifts as those left in the afternoon with them, the boys were given miniature keys and the girls locks. They matched these for partners and started for the pavilion--the groom and bride elect, Mr. Amos Duffy and Miss Helen Gilbert, in the lead.
The evening was spent in dancing by those who cared to, followed by an iced watermelon feast. The personnel of the party was Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Salley of Bryan, Mrs. R. A. Kleska of Bay City, Amos Duffy and Miss Gilbert, the honorees; the hostess, Miss Salley and Julian Inglehart, Douglas Serrill and Miss Beth Phillips, Frank Smith and Miss Lula Duffy, Collins Baxter and Miss Gertrude Sharkey, Jacob Smith and Miss Lucile Duffy of El Paso, Maynard Rugeley and Miss Gertrude Gilbert, Harold Swagerty and Miss Myrtle Duffy, Scott Phillips and Miss Mary Dixon, Sam Lawson and Miss Vera Burke, Harold Feathers and Miss Jessie May Serrill, Sambo Rugeley and Miss Imogene Inglehart, Rugeley Serrill Miss Estabrook Taylor of Sealy, John May Williams and Miss Reba Rugeley, Hugh McPhaill of Corsicana and Miss Sallie Sloan of Brenham, Clay Seward of Brenham and Miss Josie Sargent.
The four-room cottage of Amos Duffy has been repainted, repapered and refurnished throughout preparatory to occupancy when he and his bride return home from their wedding trip.
The Matagorda County Tribune, August 1, 1913
The 1900 Travis County, Texas, census listed the following children for the Gilberts: Julia G., born ca Oct 1878, Elizabeth B., born Nov 1883, Charles E., born Jan 1888, Helen G., born Oct 1890, and Philip S., born Jan 1893.
In 1930 Gilbert, his wife and two daughters who were public school teachers were living in Harris County, Texas. He was interviewed by the Abilene Reporter in 1931 and was quoted as saying, "There are fond recollections of Abilene. While I had some ups and downs during my five years there, I always loved the town and the people. Of course, when I left for Dallas it was only the ambition of youth to try a larger field... I have often wished that it had been my fortune to remain in Abilene."
"The Story of a Prairie Newspaper" by Kathryn Duff, April 19, 1991
"120 Years in Abilene," Abilene Reporter-News, June 17, 2001
Abilene Reporter, 50th anniversary edition, 1931
To read more about the ancestors and descendants of Charles Edwin Gilbert, go to
Descendants of Jesse Gilbert
of Charles Edwin Gilbert
THE MATAGORDA NEWS
THE MATAGORDA NEWS AND MIDCOAST FARMER
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AMONG THE FARMERS
Copyright 2007 -
Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
February 8, 2007
February 12, 2007