Rev. Stephen Curtis
Research from the Brazos County Historical Commission.
CURTIS, Stephen (b. ca. 1806, d. after 1880) -- Minister and political leader
Endorsement on letter of Capt. E. MILLER S.A.C. dated at Millican, Texas, March 9th, 1867:
Hd. Qrs. Bu. R.F. & A.L.
State of Texas
Galveston, March 12th, 1867
Respectfully returned to Capt. Ed. MILLER S.A. Comr. at Millican with the information that the copies of the contracts with CURTIS have been sent Lt. Chas. GARRETSON A.A.Q.M. You are hereby directed to have the school property deeded and vested in a board of school trustees, to consist of five members, before proceeding with the building.
[signed] J. [?] KIRKMAN
[From Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869, National Archives and Records Service, microfilm publication M821, reel 2, v.1, p.312]
1867: Jul. 8 -- Stephen CURTIS married Adaline CURTIS, Rev. George E. BROOKS performed the service, Brazos County Marriage Records, Book B-167
[Brooks was a Methodist minister, as Curtis is thought to have been; Brooks was a leader of the African Americans at the time of the riot there in the late 1860s.]
Endorsement on letter of Stephen CURTIS fm dated Millican, Tex. July 29, 1867, with the following endorsement by Capt. E. MILLER dated Millican, July 31, 1867:
"Respectfully referred to 1st Lieut. I.T. KIRKMAN 26th U.S. Infantry, A.A.A.G. Bu. R. F. &c., State of Texas, with the following statement. Mr. SEGUIN states that he had hired the boy Spencer who is of a very diminuative size for his age, for $1 a day for every days service as a teamster. He also states that the boy was not able to take the team he intended him for, that he was laid up for three weeks on account of bad weather & that he left his service, after keeping him on all the winter as soon as dry weather set in. As the service rendered by Spencer was very little I have decided that $12 per month was good pay. Stephen CURTIS the father had moreover taken the note of SEGUIN for $25 with which he seemed perfectly satisfied. This was done before the case was reported to me, but he changed his mind and laid the matter before me demanding $75."
Head Quarters Bu. R.F. & A.L.
State of Texas
Galveston, Texas, Aug. 5, 1867
Respectfully returned "The decision of Capt. Ed. MILLER Sub. Asst. Com. is approved."
[signed] Chas. GRIFFIN
[From Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1869, National Archives and Records Service, microfilm publication M821, reel 2, v.1, pp.521-522]
...the total vote cast ... at the election held February 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th, 1868, on the question of a Convention "for the purpose of establishing a Constitution ..." ... the following named persons have received a plurality of the votes cast ... Stephen CURTIS, in the County of Brazos ... Weekly Austin Republican, 29 Apr. 1868, p.3
The State Convention ... Saturday was devoted to the per diem question ... CURTIS, colored, was for economy. He did not want to pay for his loyality. He had hired his time, worked hard all day, and when he had paid his hire found the next profits to be only five cents. $ 8 would be ample pay. $ 5 would satisfy him ... CURTIS is more sensible than RUBY, though not so showy ... Galveston Daily News, 12 June 1868, p.2
Later from Austin ... I send you the resolution in reference to the Millican riot -- it was introduced by the colored delegate, named CURTIS. Of course he never originated the thing. Resolved, by the people of Texas in Convention assembled, That a committee of three be appointed tby the President of this convention, to proceed to the town of Millican, for the purpose of investigating the causes of the late disturbance at that place, and report the result thereof to this body ... . Galveston Daily News, 29 July 1868, p.2.
... There were nine freedmen in the Texas Constitutional Convention, representing all sections of the state. All of them could read and write, and all were property holders. The oldest, a man of sixty years, learned to read after the ballot was given him, being incited thereto -- his own statement -- by his acquired right to vote; thus demonstrating the truth of another of Mr. PHILLIP's sayings about "the ballot being an educator." This freed gentleman, who represented Brazos County, in Middle Texas, writes a small and legible hand. His progress in learning is a wonder to his friends ...(New York) National Anti-Slavery Standard, 1 May 1869, p.1. [This refers to Stephen CURTIS of Millican]
"The Radico-Negro Convention at Bryan...," Houston Daily Times, 5 Aug. 1869, p.2
1870 Brazos Co. census, pp.61-61a (printed book p.121-122)
CURTIS, Stephen 64 mb laborer Va.
, Adeline 28 f b k house Ala.
, Clara 38 f b works on farm Ala.
, Elvira 34 f b works on farm Ala.
CURTIS, Dick 41 mb farmer Ala.
, Dollie 31 f b k house Ala.
, Sam 8 m b Tex.
, Rich 6 m b Tex.
, Wiley 3 m b Tex.
, Austin 1 m b Tex.
CURTIS, Spencer 22 m b farmer Ala.
, Calvin 11 m b Ala.
, Stephen 8 m b Tex.
, Eliza 6 f m Tex.
CURTIS, Sam 46 m b Ala.
, Phillis 15 f b Ala.
, Nelson 8 m b Tex.
, Simon 7 m b Tex.
, Lucy 6 f b Tex.
, Parthenia 1 f b Tex.
, Peter 11 m b Ala.
, Kate 5 f b Tex.
, Orie 2/12 f b (April) Tex.
Bryan ... The Republican County convention ... was called to order by H.A. MOORE, chairman of the Executive Committee ... Willis VAN HOOK, Alfred BURGESS, Stephen CURTIS, Union PILLOW and James ADAMS be selected as alternates to represent Brazos Co. in the Republic State Convention ... Austin) Daily State Journal, 1 May 1872, p.4
Some of the weddings performed by Rev. Curtis include:
1873: Jan. 24 -- Isom BAKER, f.m.c., married Clara WILLIAMS; Rev. S. CURTIS performed the service at Millican. (Brazos County Marriage Records, Book D, p.47)
1873: Mar. 2 -- Carroll WILLIAMS, f.m.c., married Fanny MYRTLE, f.w.c.; Rev. Stephen CURTIS performed the service at Millican. (Brazos County Marriage Records, Book D, p.54)
1873: Mar. 13 -- Isaac HUNTER, f.m.c., married Mattie FOSTER, f.w.c.; Rev. S. CURTIS performed the service at Millican (Brazos County Marriage Records, Book D, p.64)
1873: Mar. 22 -- Mr. Green FOSTER, f.m.c., married Rhoda MILLICAN; Rev. S. CURTIS performed the service at Millican Brazos County Marriage Records, Book D, p.65
1877: Jan. 6 -- Samuel CURTIS married Adaline VANDERS; S. CURTIS performed the service at Millican. Brazos County Marriage Records, Book D, p.351
Ben LEWIS married Charity JOHNSON, 28 Nov. 1879, ceremony performed by Rev. Stephen CURTIS. (Brazos County Marriage Records, Book E, p.165). I have not found any marriages performed by Rev. CURTIS after Nov. 1879. I also have not been able to find him in the 1880 Brazos Co. census.
May have migrated to Kansas in the 1870s.
Census Place Canada,
Family History Library
NA Film Number T9-0384
Page Number 251A
Stephen CURTIS Self M Male B 75 VA Carpenter VA VA
Adaline CURTIS Wife M Female B 40 AL Keeping House MD AL
Eliza CURTIS Dau S Female B 14 TX Servant VA AL
Pasthena CURTIS Dau S Female B 11 TX At Home VA AL
Isaih CURTIS Son S Male B 8 TX At Home VA AL
Allice CURTIS Dau S Female B 5 TX At Home VA AL
Henny CURTIS Son S Male B 3 TX At Home VA AL
Arther CURTIS Son S Male B 1 TX At Home VA AL
Peter CURTIS Son S Male B 20 AL Farm Laborer VA AL
It has not been determined when Rev. CURTIS died. The last time he is found mentioned is in 1880, when he is listed as a superannuated preacher.
The Texas annual conference of the "colored" Methodist Episcopal Church met in Houston in 1880. Some of the attendees are known to have Brazos Co. connections. Annual Conference ... ministers of the colored M.E. Church ... The Texas annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church met in their house of worship in Houston ... [delegates included] ... Stephen CURTIS ... Edward LEE ... Louis LANE ... W. VAN HOOK ... The nineteenth question: Who are the superannuated preachers ? ... S. CURTIS ... Houston Daily Post, 11 Dec. 1880, p.4, col.4
Back to Biography page