Search billions of records on

Baptist Home For Aged Ministers
Palacios, Texas


Palacios College Served As Two-Fold Purpose

Executive Board For Convention Adjourns
Gambrell is Re-Elected Field Secretary
Decide to Use Property at Palacios as Home for Aged Ministers, Their Wives or Widows

Special to the News.

Dallas, Tex., Dec. 12.--The executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas adjourned tonight at 10 o'clock after a session lasting two days. Among the business matters attended to today were the election of Dr. J. B. Gambrell of Dallas as corresponding secretary of the convention, the election of general officers and evangelists to serve the ensuing year, the decision to establish a home for aged ministers and their wives or their widows at Palacios, using the property which has been used in the past for an academy, and the apportionment of funds to the many small churches and missionary enterprises of the church scattered over the state.

Dr. John A. Held presented a resolution recommending that Dr. R. T. Hanks be made superintendent of the home for aged ministers, their wives or widows, to be established at Palacios, at a salary of $1,500 per annum. The resolution was adopted.

Galveston Daily News, December 13, 1917

Old Minister's Home For Palacios.

Through the efforts of Rev. R. T. Hanks, a one-time resident of this city, the Baptist Academy will be converted into an Old Ministers Home.

It is probably a number of additional cottages will be built to accommodate the number of members expected.

Palacios Beacon, December 28, 1917

A Home for Aged Preachers

At the suggestion of our brother, Deacon J. F. Barnett, of Palacios, the executive board of the Baptist General Convention had been resolved to utilize the...former Baptist [school] in Palacios for a home for aged preachers and their wives or widows. That school has been discontinued but the property is left on our hands.

There are 30 acres of land, 5 buildings and a flowing artesian well of pure free-stone water. The property fronts on the beautiful east Palacios bay. The five buildings consist of four large, roomy dormitories, one of them a new brick building of well furnished rooms; another a neat chapel where services can he held.

There is an indebtedness against the property, accumulated while the school was in the correlation, and this will have to be handled by our denomination, and so handled, even if we did not use the property for the home proposed. It surely can be handled as easily (we think more so) if we use the property for this noble purpose than if we sacrificed it. This financial matter is in the hands of a committee of wise business men, appointed by our Executive Board. Their efforts will be seconded, of course, by the good men who proposed the board of the Palacios Baptist Academy, who have been requested by the Executive Board to act as the present board of the home.

The location is ideal, the climate is warm in winter, admirably suited to thin-blooded old people, and cool in summer, being fanned by Gulf breezes. All who have attended our B. Y. P. U. meetings there in July can testify to this. Vegetables of all kinds, grapefruit, figs, etc., grow there in abundance. And, as "Uncle Gideon" suggested: "Of course the fishing is good."

The grounds of the State B. Y. P. U. are located where the East and South bay come together. It will be a great event in the lives of our heroes to be able to attend the annual meetings of the State B. Y. P. U., the greatest of the kind on earth.

In maintaining this home we will use two kinds of funds: Amounts given for current expenses, "sweet charity"--to buy meat and bread, clothing and bedding for these dear old people, and we hope this fund will come largely from collections every year in the churches; and next, interest on large sums given for endowment.

Many of us will want our contributions to go to put bread in the outstretched, withered hands which have lost their cunning and no more sacred duty or blessed work could appeal to us. These old people have given their lives in fighting the greatest battle in the walks of men, the battle of winning souls from death unto life, from sin unto the Savior, and while they were so engaged, it was not possible for them to lay up a competency. We got their services for just as little as we could secure them for. They trusted God, and God's children, and toiled on, largely unrequited, and now they can no longer provide even the little upon which they lived, they look to you and me to care for them. Shall they look in vain? Your heart, as my heart; your faith as my faith, answers, no!

But again; there are men and women of large means who will want to give largely to this good work, but who will want their gifts safe-guarded, so that these gifts will live on to do good after they are gone, and the interest only used; we are prepared for that and all such gifts will be well and securely invested and the interest only used.

All the other denominations are doing large things in this direction and while "we can not pattern after them," yet we will not refuse to do our duty because they are doing a large thing of the same sort. We are determined that our policy and doctrine, in which the individual church is magnified, and our denominational organizations have no "authority," shall not keep us from voluntarily organizing to do all of the very best works of our Christianity. Hence our voluntary efforts combined to support our Buckner's orphan home, our sanitatia, to aid our indigent young preachers in getting an education, and now this movement to take care of our old and dependent preachers. We have not been "waiting" in this matter. We have been expending through our Executive Board thousands of dollars each year in giving a hundred of these old men ten dollars per month. The time has come, however, when we should do more than that for those who are absolutely dependent; hence this "home," with its irresistible appeal.

The last Southern Baptist Convention recognized this duty and appointed a committee to raise $4,000,000 for this purpose and to devise a plan for its use. We hope to get our movement on foot by the time they succeed, and then our work will be correlated with theirs. We will then have the quota of Texas and money ready.

If you "live on easy street," out of gratitude for the comforts about you, help the meritorious needy; if you have but little, share that little with those who have nothing and
"The least you do in Jesus
Will be precious in His Sight."

R. T. Hanks, Representative of the Home, Palacios, Texas.

An Additional Word

Your statement that through my efforts the property of the Palacios Baptist Academy is to be used as a home for the aged preachers an their wives or widows is only a part of the whole truth. Of course what I was enabled to do in our last Convention and in the Executive Board, as was intended, prepared the way for this movement, but the actual suggestion that this particular property be used for this purpose was made in open board meeting by Mr. J. F. Barnett, of the First State Bank, of your city. Mr. Barnett is a member of the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and his influence was felt in the last meeting and his wisdom was soon recognized by the other members.

Palacios Beacon, January 11, 1918

Palacios Baptist College Transferred.
Will Become Home for Aged Ministers

The executive board of the Palacios College held a called meeting here Thursday for the purpose of transferring the college property to the board of the Old Ministers' Relief Association of the Baptist General Convention.

It will be remembered, that some months ago, at a regular meeting of the Baptist General Convention, that the trustees of this convention recommended the closing of Palacios College as an educational institution and at that time suggested that the board controlling Palacios College make a legal transfer of the property to the Baptist General Convention for the purposes stated above.

Rev. R. T. Hanks, former pastor of Palacios Baptist Church, will have control and operate the property as an old ministers' home, and also for their wives and widows.

The property will henceforth be known as the Baptist State Home, for old and indigent Baptist ministers.

The following ministers and members of the board were present: M. M. Wolf, of Houston; R. T. Hanks, of Palacios; A. Ammons, of Palacios; Jack Barnett, of Palacios; and Revs. McLaughlin, of Eagle Lake; Payne, of Wharton; Hudson, of El Campo; Gilliam of Bay City; Marshall, of Columbus, and John Sutherland and Bon Smith of Bay City.

Matagorda County Tribune, January 23, 1918

Baptist Church
Reporter, Miss Annie Laurie Best

The church has the good fortune of having Rev. R. T. Hanks again as a member, he having moved to Palacios previous to the removal of the old minister's home here, over which Rev. Hanks will have the supervision, and is now making all necessary arrangements to have the retired ministers quite comfortable in their new home.

Palacios Beacon, January 25, 1918

Palacios College to be Ministers' Home

Bay City, Tex., Jan. 25.--The executive board of the Palacios college held a called meeting here Thursday for the purpose of transferring the college property to the board of the Old Ministers Relief association of the Baptist general convention.

Several months ago, at a regular meeting of the Baptist general convention, the trustees recommended the closing of Palacios college, as an educational institution, and at that time suggested that the board controlling the college make a legal transfer of the property to the Baptist general convention for the purposes above stated.

Rev. R. T. Hanks, former pastor of Palacios Baptist church, will have control and operate the property as an old ministers' home, also for their wives and widows.

The property will henceforth be known as the Baptist State home for old and indigent Baptist ministers.

The following ministers and members of the board were present: M. M. Wolf of Houston, R. T. Hanks of Palacios, A. Ammons of Palacios, Revs. McLaughlin of Eagle Lake, Payne of Wharton, Hudson of El Campo, Gilliam of Bay City, Marshall of Columbus and John Sutherland and Ben Smith of Bay City.--Houston Post.

Palacios Beacon, February 1, 1918

An Explanation

The favor with which the new enterprize of utilizing the property of the P. B. A. for a home for aged preachers and their wives or widows has met in Palacios is very gratifying. We hope to make it a worthy institution, which will ultimately contribute its share toward the welcome of the town.

The numerous inquiries as to when we will open the home to the aged preachers, justifies the explanation that there will be necessary delay in the transfer of the property from its former use to the board of the Home. The charter will have to be gotten,...level requirements of the transfer committee with. It will all be done as quickly as possible, and yet will take some time.

Money will have to be gotten for running expenses, but the indications are that this will be provided as soon as we may be ready otherwise to open the Home.

Messrs. J. F. Barnett, Bon Smith and M. M. Wolf are a committee to provide the charter and will lose no time in the work.

R. T. Hanks

Baptist Notes

Rev. Hanks brings encouraging reports for the Old Ministers Home, which he hopes to open at an early date for the "Homecoming of the veterans of Faith."

Palacios Beacon, June 7, 1918

Rev. G. V. Browning of the Old Ministers Home went to Markham Saturday for a visit.

Palacios Beacon, August 1, 1918

The Home For Aged Preachers

The Home opened with Rev. R. T. Hanks as superintendent, Mr. A. A. Hayes, manager, and Mrs. A. A. Hayes, matron. By November there were twelve old ministers living in the Home and a visitor found everything very nice, all happy and comfortable.

The Home was closed in May, 1921 after nearly three years of operation. It its life it had cared for approximately 32 inmates with an average of about 15 at one time.

On September 7, 1928, The Baptist Executive Board approved the sale of the property to J. F. Barnett.

A History of Palacios College by Rupert Ayres Elliott, August, 1938, p. 102

The Old Preachers’ Home

Editor Beacon:

We appreciated very much your visit and write up in your paper. Since Thanksgiving we have had other additions to our number, two preachers and one widow of a preacher.

We are all delighted with the location, surroundings, outlook, mild climate, genial associations, domicile, and service of the home. Everything considered, perhaps no better could be found and furnished in the State of Texas.

These Veterans of the Cross are the old pioneers of the Cross, preachers of the gospel of the kingdom, and promulgators of the doctrines of the church. Enduring hardships, faithful, devout, brave, Christian soldiers, measuring swords with the opposers of truth and righteousness, as they understood and believed it, accomplishing untold good in the communities where they lived and wrought.

Now, having served the great hosts to whom they ministered, superannuated, retired, laid aside, or whatever you may call it, they are here to spend the remnant of their days in comfort and enjoyment, well supported and cared for, until the Captain of their Salvation shall order them “up higher.” Still ready and willing to do some service for the good of the Cause and welfare of humanity, when necessary. Not forgetting the many battles fought and won for the right, their heads are still cool, and hearts warm, the eye flashes fire, and the rough and almost palsied hand is ready to grasp the old gospel blade, and again enter the arena for conflict. Woe betide the man who dares to knock off the theological chip carefully poised on the broad, square shoulder, or even attempt such a thing!

Like the ancient Apostolical gladiator, these old soldiers have fought a good fight, and stand ready and willing to do it again. They “have kept the faith” and are more than able to keep and defend it again even yet, are more than able to keep and defend it...yet.

(The last column is damaged)

Notwithstanding, they are a peaceable [family], and companionable ___ folks, if the fur is stroked and smoothed the right way.

We have our ups and downs and ins and outs ___ day as our …was returning from…

One brother [said] the sun rise, so absorbed him that he becomes oblivious to everything until the breakfast bell breaks the charming spell.

We had another good dinner Christmas day fit for princes and princesses. And come to think of it, what are we if we are not they? Better than our Thanksgiving feast, Santa Claus remembered us with cards and many substantial tokens of his special esteem. A Sunday School class of [eager] boys and girls of the First Baptist Church, Sherman, Texas, sent in some beautiful furnishings for one of the rooms in honor of their pastor, Dr. F. F. _____, now in France with the Y. M. C. A.

Charlie Strickland, a soldier boy, came to see his parents Christmas day. His mother has been quite ill for some weeks.

Christmas evening was spent at the Home with the appropriate exercises for the benefit of those who could not attend the Christmas trees in town.

Mr. and Mrs. Hayes took Christmas dinner with their son, Noble.

This is wishing everybody Happy New Year.        QXZ

Palacios Beacon, December 27, 1918


The girls dormitory (brick building in the front) of
Palacios College and Palacios Baptist Academy
became the "Old Ministers' Home."

The classroom building with the tower was frame
and was moved to the Baptist Young Peoples'
Union Encampment when the academy closed.



Baptist Home


Aged Preachers


M. M. Wolf
John Sutherland
B. H Smith
J. P. Gilliam
A. W. Lewis
J. F. Barnett
W. M. Teal
E. Ammons
R. A. Armstrong
L. A. Payne
I. A. Heath
J. W. Cook
C. M. Hudson


Rev. D. H. Richardson of the Old Minister's Home, went to Matagorda via Bay City Saturday to fill his appointment there Sunday. Mr. Richardson speaks in the highest terms of the Home.

Palacios Beacon, June 27, 1919

Rev. W. A. Goff and wife from North Texas, who have been at the home of the Baptist Ministers on East Bay on account of Rev. Goff's health, find Palacios so much to their liking that they came in last Monday and bought the C. D. McDonald home on Morton Avenue and will move to it in a few days. Mr. Goff expects to do repairing and painting on this place and it will soon look quite different and the neighbors in that part of town are all in smiles because they are to have these lovely people come among them--but it is not an unusual thing, and it will not be long till you will find no other kind here.

Palacios Beacon, August 1, 1919

Aged Preacher Reaps Unexpected Fortune

One of the old preachers at the Home for preachers, here, has come into good fortune. Years ago he deeded an acre of land in Eastland County, near Ranger, to some school trustees for school purposes, with a reversion claim in the deed. The school house was moved off several years ago, and now the land reverts to him. An oil company has already put down one producing well--2,000 barrels per day--and is boring another. Some fifty thousand dollars royalty has already accumulated. The old man is in Eastland perfecting his title, and arranging to collect his royalty. He says "there is no place like Home"--our Home is Palacios--and he expects to live and die here.

Palacios Beacon, January 31, 1919

Dr. R. T. Hanks left for Eastland Monday, where he expects to attend an oil suit of Mr. Hillyard, a former member of the Old Ministers' Home. The Home is vitally interested in this suit. Dr. Hanks expects to be able to return before the Encampment closes.

Palacios Beacon, July 11, 1919

Owns $500,000 Oil Property

Court Grants This Amount to Rev. Mr. Hilliard of the Old Ministers Home

I have just returned from a trip "up the State." All the Coast Country is suffering alike from too much rain. A good farmer assured me that not more than a third of a crop would be made, taking the entire Coast Country over.

Middle Texas is doing better. There, a good corn crop and other feed stuff are made and the cotton is neither very good nor very bad--just middling.

In West, Texas, or rather in what should be called "the middle West," the crops are simply fine--great. Wheat, oats, corn, sorghum, milo maize, hay etc., are already made and the cotton was never more promising.

The ranges in strictly West Texas are fine and the cattle are doing well. The trouble is, the two year's drouth so thinned out the cattle, until there was not half as many as the pastures could carry. The compensation for this will come in the high prices and the much needed rest of the land. Then too, a drouth is nature's way of drawing up from the subsoil those properties which make vegetation and after all a drouth is a blessing. You always see great crops after a drouth.

My Trip.

Many of your readers already know that Rev. A. A. Hilliard who is an inmate of our "Home" in Palacios, has recently been declared by the Judge of the Circuit Court of Eastland County, the owner of all the oil that has run out of an acre of land he gave to the neighborhood for school purposes. The trustees leased the land to an oil man and he found difficulty in getting pay for the oil, because oil companies doubted the legality of the lease. So the trustees went into court to get the lease declared legal. Mr. Hilliard answered the suit, and the decision was; the trustees had a right to use the surface for school purposes, but the oil belonged to Mr. Hilliard. The books showed that something like $500,000 worth of oil had been drawn out. This gives Mr. Hilliard the title to a fortune.

The Delay

Of course the party who leased the land will not surrender until he has to; so it is expected he will appeal his case, and the lawyers say it will take at least two years to get the case through the higher courts. Shakespeare said "the law's delay" was one that made the question, "to be or not to be." I do not expect the case to be reversed because it was decided by a competent, honest judge, and not by a jury.

The Interest of the Home

Of course I was interested in my brother's welfare and in the heirs. He is a good man, thoroughly loyal to the cause of Christ and so has formed the purpose to give the cause one tenth of all he gets. As the Home for aged preachers and their wives or widows is a Palacios institution, I have taken it for granted, your readers will be interested in this matter.

R. T. Hanks

Palacios Beacon, August 15, 1919

The Old Preachers' Home

Editor Palacios Beacon:

We have passed our first Anniversary, and are all growing--older, if not better. The home itself, is growing, also. Some have been very feeble and very much afflicted, incident to their age; but it is very gratifying that no one has died during they year. Some have greatly improved in health and spirits.

With the wars, storms, afflictions, pestilences, changes, removals, catastrophes and high cost of living, all about us, from the first, we can congratulate ourselves that the Institution survives, is doing well, and all are in the best of spirits, considerin'. Some have gone away, while others have come to take their places to receive its benefits and enjoy its privileges. O yes, we all have our peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, possibly, a little more marked than some, but the Christian religion and human experience have taught the old preacher some lessons he could hardly forget, and these are of good service to him here, in his new home. So, you see, we have grown, improved, progressed, nevertheless, notwithstanding, etc. The excellent, good management, from our capable Superintendent on down to the least one who serves among us, is responsible for what has been accomplished since our opening.

The recent destructive tidal waves did us very little damage, because of our favorable location. The trees, plants and flowers are putting on new foliage, with very few exceptions, and the "florist" is now, serene.

One very venerable brother celebrated the other day his 90th birthday anniversary, as cheerfully as tho he had been many years younger. An old minister's widow, 93 years of age has been recently added to our list of worthy veterans of the Cross to join our blessed association. She is a relative of Daniel Boone, first pioneer of Kentucky, and her middle name is Boone, in honor of this old hero. They both are able to go to their meals, and are happy in their new environment.

Dr. Hanks, Supt., has issued a neat, informing little folder, descriptive of the Home--its location, inmates, purpose, administration, etc.

Among other important things he says: "We are demonstrating that the saying "Old people cannot live together in peace," is not so. The way they love and serve one another is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. We have two old preachers, who are helpless, he says. One is 83 years old. If we did not minister unto him, he would die of neglect. Another is old, blind and paralyzed. He has to be cared for like a baby. Two brethren, tho bearing the weight of many years, have taken upon themselves the special care of these helpless old preachers. Heaven's blessing upon them."

The following Verses illustrate the spirit of the one who thus serves his less fortunate brethren:

A "little palace," by the Sea,
In the "Aged Ministers' Home"
Is where I'm permitted to be,
Contented--no longer to roam!

I can be served, and yet--can serve,
In faithful, loving ministry,
Tho "on the shelf," I need not swerve
From my privilege and duty!

And thus, in service still for GOD,
Well cared for, while helping others,
The Gospel I preach, in "doing good,"
As strength permits, to my Brothers,
Other Veterans of the Cross,
In such noble Institution,
Living, and giving without loss--
Easy problem, in solution!

And so, still, I may, day by day,
The Gospel's gracious power declare,
In this good Home, where here I stay,
Till called to "the Home, over there!"


Palacios Beacon, October 17, 1919

BOOKS FOR SALE--Being almost blind I will sell my library consisting of 30 volumes of valuable books all for $7.50 if taken at once. A great many of these books originally cost $2.00, but could not be replaced for that amount now. Apply to Dr. R. T. Hanks, or Rev. J. H. Moore, Old Ministers Home.

Palacios Beacon, March 12, 1920

About twenty ladies, members of the Baptist missionary society, drove to the old ministers home Monday afternoon and surprised the inmates with a canned and preserved fruit shower. Every one was generous and numerous quart and pint jars of fruit and jellies were left to make the breakfasts and dinners more tasty. There were also several cakes. A very fine program was given in connection with the shower.

Palacios Beacon, December 24, 1920

Mr. J. G. Foreman came from Athens, Texas, this week to accompany his father-in-law, Rev. J. L. Blackwell home. Rev. Blackwell has been studying [staying?] at the Baptist Ministers' home but he is now more than eighty-five years old and an invalid and feels the need of a daughter's care.

Palacios Beacon, January 21, 1921

Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Browning, who have been residents of the Baptist ministers' home, left for Rockdale Thursday where they expect to reside.

Palacios Beacon, January 28, 1921

R. L. Lindsey, who has been making his home at the old Minister's home left Wednesday for Houston where he will enter the Baptist Sanitarium for a short time and then go to New Castle, Texas, to make his home with his daughter.

Palacios Beacon, March 4, 1921

Dr. and Mrs. R. T. Hanks left to-day with Mrs. Agnes Holmes who will make her home in Copperas Cove, this state, now that the old minister's home is to be closed.

Palacios Beacon, April 29, 1921

Death of Rev. Mr. Andrews

At eight thirty o'clock Sunday night Jan. 1, God saw fit to call home one of his aged servants, Rev. Mr. J. M. Andrews. Bro. Andrews was of a ripe age, being 93 years, 3 months and 11 days old at the time of his death. He was one of the inmates of the Ministers home while it was kept as such, since when he has been with the care-taker of the home property, G. W. Curtis. Through Mr. Andrews' illness all aid was given him that skill and willing hands could do, three of his children being at his bedside. He leaves to mourn his loss several children: Mrs. Will Broughton, Bay City; Mrs. Gibson, Houston; Dr. Andrews, Wharton; Mrs. J. M. Edwards, Austin and two others that the writer doesn't know. We don't think we could give us a purer, better, cleaner, brighter man than Bro. Andrews. Every body who knew him loved him. His life was an influence to make his associates want to live better and closer to the Master. No doubt he has done a great work as a minister of the gospel. We know he raised a large family of refined and God-loving people.

A Friend.

Palacios Beacon, January 6, 1922

[Actual name was Absolom Mitchell Andrews. He was born September 20, 1829, died January 1, 1922 and buried at Wharton City Cemetery, Wharton, Wharton County, Texas. He was married to Nancy Ann Ragsdale and they had six known children: James Walter Andrews, Judson Montgomery Andrews, Madison LaVert Andrews, Lenora Andrews, Tempie Franklin Andrews Broughton and Cora Andrews.]


1920 Matagorda County, Texas Census

Line Name Rel Sex Col Age S/M/W Read Write Born Father Mother Occ
SD: 9, ED: 138; SH: 3B; Precinct 3; January 22, 1920
096 Hanks, Archie R. Head M W 69 M Y Y AL NC SC Manager
097 Hanks, Katherine S. Wife F W 66 M Y Y GA SC SC  
098 Moore, James H. Boarder M W 72 Wd Y Y TX WDC TN  
099 Long, Jane Boarder F W 75 S Y Y GA SC TN  
100 Gordon, William F. Boarder M W 71 Wd Y Y KY KY VA  
SD: 9, ED: 138; SH: 4A; Precinct 3; January 22, 1920
001 Andrews, Absolom M[itchell] Boarder M W 90 Wd Y Y SC SC SC  
002 Lindsey, Romelus Boarder M W 79 Wd Y Y MO KY KY  
003 Richardson, Dempsey H. Boarder M W 74 Wd Y Y AL NC NC  
004 King, Susan K. Boarder F W 75 Wd Y Y MS NY AL  
005 Homes, Agnes B. Boarder F W 93 Wd Y Y SC SC SC  
006 Blackwell, James L. Boarder M W 83 Wd Y Y TN VA VA  
007 Yokes, George H. Boarder M W 65 Wd Y Y IL NJ NJ  
008 Burnett, Lillie E. Cook F W 19 M Y Y TX TX TX Cook
009 Curtis, George W. Manager M W 39 M Y Y TX AL AL Asst. Manager
010 Curtis, Myrtle Cook F W 34 M Y Y TX NC MS Cook
011 Curtis, Reba Boarder F W 13 S Y Y TX TX TX  
012 Curtis, Lucile Boarder F W 11 S Y Y TX TX TX  
013 Curtis, Elliot Boarder M W 9 S Y Y TX TX TX  
014 Curtis, George W., Jr. Boarder M W 7 S Y Y TX TX TX  
015 Curtis, Robert O. Boarder M W 5 S     TX TX TX  
016 Curtis, Wilson A. Boarder M W 18 S     TX TX TX  


Girls' Dormitory - Old Ministers' Home - Tres Palacios Country Club

June 1926 Map


September 1944 Map

After the Ministers' Home closed, the building was converted
for use as the Tres Palacios Country Club.


Robert Taylor Hanks

Rev. R. T. Hanks was born in Olney, Alabama, April 23, 1850. His father A. M. Hanks, was a merchant, farmer, and preacher. His mother--nee Miss L. C. Sanders--was one of the wisest and best of women. When but a boy, his father moved from Olney to a farm called Chestnut Hill, near Spring Hill, Alabama, where he and two prosperous farmers established a school. His post office was Pickensville. His father had a theory that a child should not be started to school until he was ten years old. At that age in the life of R. T. Hanks the war between the States broke out, and all the teachers went to war. By the time the war closed he was fifteen, and knew about farming, knew Negroes, mules, dogs, etc., but was ignorant of books. He had four older brothers in the army, and there was too much to engage the family to think about home education.

After the war he walked four miles to school at Pickensville, taught by Rev. John W. Taylor, a graduate of Howard College and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. John A. Broadus said of him: "He was the only student I ever taught whom I never had to correct. I never put a single red mark on any of his exercises." Young Hanks was exceedingly anxious to learn. Notwithstanding he had to stay out of school for six weeks that Fall to haul corn from the farm of Mr. William Dupree, in Mississippi, some twenty miles away, he began practically at the beginning, but passed through Webster's spelling book, the first book of rhetoric and half through the second, through Coleman's Mental Arithmetic, Davies' Arithmetic, Davies' Algebra and through four books of geometry that session. He never made any such progress any more, and, too, except for a time in Carrollton, Alabama, he never had Mr. Taylor for a teacher.

When Mr. Hanks was in his twenty-first year, he went to Dalton, Georgia, to read law under his uncle, Col. J. A. R. Hanks. He had already felt called to preach; had joined the church under Mr. Taylor, in Pickensville, when a boy of fourteen, and from that day on was resisting his call as hard as he could. He fancied that if he left loved ones and old acquaintances he would not care if men were lost. He joined the church in Dalton, under the pastoral care of Rev. Geo. A. Lofton, and tried to be a faithful church member. And he devoted himself to the study of law, and as his uncle had a large law library and a fine practice and no children, and as he was to be partner at first, then heir if his uncle should be called away first, he had every worldly inducement to stick to the law. But all at once, and unexpectedly, deacon Blanton made a motion in conference that "our young brother, Robert Taylor Hanks, be licensed to exercise his gifts in the gospel in public." The young man was dumbfounded, for he had been hiding behind the fact that nobody except himself had seen and felt his call.

It was "the last straw," and it did the breaking. The young man surrendered, that's the word—surrendered. Pastor Lofton announced an early appointment for him to preach. He did not preach; he tried; he failed. He talked some five or ten minutes, turned blind from confusion and quit. Deacon Black prayed, and "thanked God for the failure of our young brother."

Not knowing any better, the young brother went off to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Greenville, South Carolina. He knew he needed more education, and he had heard the Seminary was a school where they educated preachers. After two sessions, and having taken all the English course, he saw he needed to know languages, especially Greek. So he went to Richmond College. No; at first he went to Howard College, Marion, Alabama. But his health broke down, and he went home to "recuperate," as Dr. Wilkinson, the college physician, put it. He recuperated by running his father's farm that year, and by working a corn crop with his own hands, with the proceeds of which he went to Richmond College. He borrowed twenty-five dollars with which to start to the Seminary, getting there with four dollars and fifty cents. He managed by the aid of the Students' Fund, by economy, by industry, and by an unfailing faith, to pull through the two years and to pay back the twenty-five dollars. For instance, while in the Seminary, through the influence of Dr. John A. Broadus, a Mr. Martin, of North Orange, New Jersey, sent him a hundred dollars. It ought to be said here also, that, while sick with typhoid fever at Howard College, Mrs. Crenshaw took him to her home and nursed him back to health, no doubt saving his life.

He spent three years in Richmond College, having Rev. B. W. N. Simms for a most congenial and helpful roommate, and making his way by preaching to the churches at Louisa and Cool Springs, "supplying" the other two Sundays when wanted, and helping in meetings during vacation. One vacation he supplied for the First Baptist church, Petersburg, Virginia, between the pastorates of Dr. William E. Hatcher and Dr. T. T. Eaton. He was to get $100 for two months' work, and his board. The church paid him $233.

After leaving Richmond College, he went back to the Seminary. He left the Seminary to accept the call to the church at Dalton, Georgia. There he remained four years. During this first settled pastorate, he married Miss Mattie Bernard Jones, of Louisa, Virginia, daughter of Colonel F. W. Jones, sister of Rev. J. Wm. Jones, D. D., and aunt of "the Jones boys." He has often been heard to say: "God gave me the best wife a pastor ever had," and all who knew Mrs. Hanks will testify that she certainly was one of the Lord's best.

After Dalton he was pastor four years in Albany, Georgia; seven years of the First Baptist church, Dallas, Texas; seven years of the First Baptist church, Abilene, Texas; one year each at Sweetwater and Stamford, Texas; two years at Caldwell, Texas; five and a half years of Calvary Baptist church, El Paso, Texas, and two years at Palacios, Texas. There God called Mrs. Hanks up higher and he resigned, accepted an election as general missionary by the State Board, and moved back to Abilene, Texas, where he has two sons living; with the older of the two he makes his home.

For four times, between several pastorates, he has been general missionary. He was elected five times, but could not accept one time.

He resigned his pastorate in Dallas four times, but never did get it accepted. The last time he said to the church: "I am going to quit, whether you accept my resignation or not, as I feel called of God to make another newspaper for the Baptists of Texas." The senior deacon replied: "You may leave us, if you will, but this church will never put an acceptance of your resignation upon its minutes." He did leave that good church, and made The Western Baptist. After two years he sold the paper to Rev. M. V. Smith, of Belton, Texas, and Rev. J. B. Cranfill, then of Waco, Texas, and they changed the name to The Baptist Standard, and now it is the Baptist paper of Texas.

When he went to Dallas, there were two First Baptist churches in the city. The church had a contention and divided. Something like eighty-three of the members went off and claimed to be the church. Some three hundred or more remained, and claimed to be the church. Within six months they made friends, and the minority took the name of the Live Oak Street church. Within a year they reunited. They had two pastors and both resigned. Without a nomination or a committee, the united church balloted for pastor, and Mr. Hanks got absolutely every vote.

While Mr. Hanks was pastor in Dallas, Rev. Kit Williams started a Sunday-school supply store and a Sunday-school paper. He employed Dr. B. H. Carroll and Mr. Hanks to write the lessons for his paper. Mr. Hanks began writing an analytical lesson, the first of the kind that had appeared up to that time. The style was adopted by a good many lesson writers, but has since fallen into disuse. It required immense work.

Besides his pastorates, and being a representative of the State Mission Board, Mr. Hanks has been offered some denominational positions. At one time he was approached by influential members of the trustees to know if he would consider the position of President of Baylor College, at Belton, Texas; and the president of the Board of Trustees of Simmons College wrote him at one time that he was the unanimous choice for the presidency of that institution. He has been a trustee of Baylor College, of Simmons College, and is now a trustee of Palacios Baptist Academy, and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

During his pastorate in El Paso he had the experience of uniting two churches, which had originally not been on friendly terms, and again he was the unanimous choice of the united church for pastor.

He has often been called through the deep waters. He has buried six little children, his remarkably gifted daughter who grew to young womanhood, Bess Page Hanks, and who was of inestimable help in his work, and finally, in Palacios, God took his wife. Now he walks alone, and yet in Christian resignation and cheerfulness he pursues his work, counting it all joy that he might finish his blessed ministry.

Baptist Biography, Volume 1, pages 189-193

Rites Conducted For Robert Hanks

Funeral services were conducted at 4 p. m. Saturday at First Baptist Church for Dr. Robert Taylor Hanks, 81, kinsman of Abraham Lincoln and long a prominent Baptist minister, who died Friday at the residence of his niece, Mrs. Clara B. Hemphill, 1217 North Beckley, Oak Cliff. The body was sent to Abilene where burial will take place.

He is survived by two sons, Marshall B. Hanks and Manley Hanks, both of Abilene.

Dallas Morning News, February 21, 1932

Death Claims Dr. R. T. Hanks

Father of Bernard and Manley Hanks to Be Buried Here

Dr. R. T. Hanks, former Abilene resident and an early pastor of the First Baptist Church, died yesterday afternoon in Dallas, at the home of a niece, Mrs. Bradley Hogue.

Word of his passing was received here by his son, Manley Hanks, from Mrs. Hogue. Death, occurring while he slept, was unexpected, improvement having been shown in Dr. Hanks' condition since Thursday. He would have been 82 years old in April.

Believing his father to have passed the crisis in an illness from pneumonia. Bernard Hanks, publisher of the Abilene Reporter-News, another son, left Dallas yesterday for a short business trip to Corpus Christi. He had been at the bedside since Tuesday night.

Funeral Here

Funeral arrangements were incomplete last night, but the service is to be held here from the First Baptist church, probably Sunday afternoon. A short service is planned for this afternoon in Dallas, at 4:30 o'clock.

Dr. Hanks, who had been in frail health for some time, was removed from the Baylor hospital to the home of Mrs. Hogue two weeks ago. Pneumonia developing last Sunday was complicated by the heart involvement.

After spending some time here in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Hanks, Dr. Hanks went to Dallas nearly two years ago to be with his only sister, Mrs. Sarah Bogan. Following her death a year later, he remained with her daughters, Mrs. Hogue and Mrs. Clara Hemphill.

R. T. Hanks was born in Alabama, April 19, 1850. He was educated at Louisville, Kentucky, and at Richmond college, Richmond, Virginia. At the latter place he met and married Miss Mattie Bernard Jones. From Dalton, Georgia, the couple moved to Dallas in 1883 and Dr. Hanks was pastor of the First Baptist Church there for seven years. Coming to Abilene in the early nineties, he accepted the First Baptist Church pastorate, which he held for seven years.

After leaving Abilene he served as pastor at Sweetwater, El Paso, Caldwell, Jewett and Palacios. Mrs. Hanks died at Palacios, November 17, 1915. Several years later Dr. Hanks married again. The second wife died at Palacios about two years ago.

Patty and Betty Lou Hanks of Abilene are granddaughters.

Abilene Reporter-News, February 20, 1932

Photos courtesy of Find A Grave volunteers Jim and Judy #47752495

Mrs. R. T. Hanks Passes Suddenly Tuesday Night

Mrs. R. T. Hanks passed away at her home in this city Tuesday night, after a short illness. Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock at the First Baptist Church, conducted by Rev. Carroll B. Ray, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Rev. J. A. Derrick, and Rev. G. F. Gillespie, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, after which remains will be laid to rest in the Palacios Cemetery.

Palacios Beacon, January 9, 1930

Mrs. R. T. Hanks

Katherine Sanders was born in Newman, Ga., January 16, 1853, died January 8, 1930. After the early death of her mother she was lovingly and tenderly given a home in the family of her oldest sister. Reared and educated according to the traditions of the most cultured and aristocratic Southern families she was an outstanding social leader. Her charming qualities of heart and mind and beauty of character as well as face, made a place for her for which she was eminently fitted.

Miss Sanders was married to Mr. Simmons when quite young, after his death she married Dr. McGee, with whom she came to Palacios in 1914. Dr. McGee died in 1917. Mrs. McGee and Dr. Hanks were married in June, 1919.

This union was most romantic and ideal. Both reared in the same county in Alabama, with very much the same opportunities and family traditions, with very loyal affectionate dispositions, and well developed sense of humor, they very much enjoyed each the other and were most companionable.

For many years Mrs. Hanks was a member of the Methodist Church South, but after her marriage to Dr. Hanks, she became an intelligent, faithful Baptist.

During Dr. Hanks' illness after the fire she spared herself not at all. Her friends marveled at her endurance.

Her death was no doubt very largely due to her over exertion in helping care for him.

Dr. Hanks said, an angel from heaven could not have been better to her smitten husband than she was.

Mrs. Hanks was much loved by her friends and neighbors. Always jolly and optimistic, ready with witty repartee she will be sadly missed by those who survive her.

Palacios Beacon, January 16, 1930

Children of Robert Taylor Hanks
and Mattie Bernard Jones Hanks

All buried
Abilene Municipal Cemetery
Abilene, Taylor County, Texas

A. M. Hanks
Baby Daughter Hanks
Bessie Pace Hanks
Manly Hanks
Marshall B. Hanks





Copyright 2013 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Aug. 10, 2012
Aug. 12, 2013