History of the Restoration Movement

General Richard Montgomery Gano


-From Ligon Portraiture, 1899

G.A. Obituary On The Life Of General Gano

We have seen notice of the death of Gen. R.M. Gano, of Dallas, Texas. He was in his eighty-fourth year. He was born in Bourbon County, Ky., a son of John Allen Gano, a preacher of force and power. The Ganos were of a family of preachers. They were from the French Huguenots. Two or three members of the family were Baptist preachers of note in New York before and during the Revolutionary War. Some of the family removed to the blue-grass region of Kentucky; and when the division between the Baptists and disciple of Christ came up, John A. Gano, the father of R.M. Gano, stood with the disciples firmly for the sufficiency of the word of God to lead and guide men in the way of righteousness and truth.The Ganos, so far as their lives are known, possessed a happy combination of qualities and characteristics. They were men gentle and kind in spirit, with true courage of convictions and strength and force of character. The could be strong and firm for the truth and the right, yet kind and gentle toward all men, especially toward those who opposed the truth. The Christian religion is intended by God to school and train men for these qualities, that they may be effective in exhorting and persuading men to become Christians. It is a happy condition when men inherit these helpful qualities. They could speak in kind and gentle tones, yet be steadfast in their convictions. Such men make good exhorters and are successful in persuading men to do their duty. The Ganos were good exhorters and successful preachers. General Gano was gentle and suave in his manner, but firm in his convictions and steadfast in his purposes. He graduated at Bethany College with a degree of honor, studied medicine, and began practice at Baton Rouge, La. Though no a preacher at that time, he soon gathered a band of disciples who met to worship God. After a year or so he moved to Grapevine, Texas. The Indians gave the people trouble, and he raised a company of soldiers and began a military life. About this time he was elected to the Legislature of Texas and served a term in this position. The Civil War came on; he entered the army, was put forward as a soldier, and made for himself a military character. He was through Middle Tennessee, and figured at Lebanon, Gallatin, and Hartsville. He was pleasant and popular as an officer with the soldiers and with the people. After the close for the war, he went to preaching. His reputation as a soldier commended him to the mass of the people in this country, and he held meetings at the placed mentioned and in Odd Fellows' Hall in East Nashville, which gave the churches of Christ a start in East Nashville. Prof. James F. Lipscomb, who died in Texas a few years ago; Horace G. Lipscomb, who died in this city about a year ago; and Mrs. L.V. Clough, of Fort Worth, Texas, were staying at my house, and all, with others, became obedient to the faith during this meeting. I became well acquainted with General Gano during the meeting and learned to respect and honor him for his earnestness and fidelity to what he thought was right. I used to boast sometimes of abstemious habits; that I had never drunk a cup of coffee, smoked a cigar, or took a chew of tobacco or a drink of spirits as a beverage. I told this to the general. If I mistake not, he added that he never had drunk a cup of tea, in addition to my restraints. I yielded the palm of praise to him, as he had been through the war, and especially as he had been in the Legislature. He was entitled to higher credit than I could claim. There was a year's difference in our ages. He spent the years of the war in fighting for his country and took and active interest in the political affairs of the country. I spent the years of the war in teaching that Christians cannot fight for the kingdoms of earth and give their lives to building up these kingdoms. I trust God for approval of my course. I hope the General may be justified and saved. This my seem strange, "But with God all things are possible." (Matt. 19:26). The last years of this life he served as an elder in the church of Christ in Dallas, Texas and died respected and honored by those who knew him.

-David Lipscomb, Gospel Advocate, May, 29, 1913, page 514;

Gen. R.M. Gano Baptized 4,000

GANO STREET, which abuts City Park in South Dallas, is named for one of the more remarkable Dallas Pioneers, Gen. Richard M. Gano, minister of the gospel, physician, farmer, rancher, banker, and native of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Born in 1830, he appreciated two of his native county's most famous products-beautiful women and fine-blooded horses. But as a lifelong prohibitionist, the general had no use for liquors, including whiskey heard around the world under the name of the County of Bourbon. There is a question as to whether General Gano cut a wider swath as a soldier or as a preacher.

Graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia in 1847, he received his medical degree from the Medical College at Louisville two years later, practicing medicine for the next eight years, first in Kentucky, then in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before moving to Texas in 1857. Gano was accompanied to Texas by his young family. He and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Welch of Crab Orchard, Kentucky, had been married in 1853. With them to Texas went their three children. (Nine more would be added to the family over the years.)

He took up land on Grapevine Prairie in Tarrant County within sight of the present-day city of Grapevine, Lake Grapevine, and the acreage for the proposed new regional airport. His initial frontier homestead is still standing and in use.

When trouble started popping up on the northwestern frontier of Texas in the advent of 1858 raids by the Comanche Indians in Parker and Wise counties, Gano helped a defense force pursue the redskins. The campaign lasted a number of weeks, and when the company returned home to the citizens of Tarrant County presented a costly sword to Gano in recognition of his leadership, and also elected him Tarrant County Representative in the legislature at Austin.

Gano resigned from the legislature in January, 1862, to enter the Confederate Army as a captain of the cavalry. He rose through the ranks to brigadier general and served with the Army of Tennessee in forty-two engagements, beginning the spring of 1863 at the Battle of Chattanooga. He later commanded Texas cavalry units along the Red River. In all, he served in seventy-two engagements "but was never taken prisoner" and "was successful in all but four." His left arm was broken by a minie ball and "while in service he had five horses shot from under him, three animals being killed."

After the Civil War, Gano returned to Texas, settling in Dallas County where he resumed farming and "stock raising"-as ranching was then termed in Texas. One of the first Texas cattlemen to import fine-blooded cattle into the state, he later developed a ranch to breed and train harness horses.

In 1866, Gano , who had joined the church in Kentucky by profession of faith, began his own active career in the ministry of the Christian Church. At the end of the next quarter century it was stated that "he had been very successful, having baptized about 4,000 people , besides establishing a large number of churches." Among those was the First Christian Church of Dallas.

Gano came from a long line of ministers. His great grandfather, Rev. John Gano, established the first Baptist Church in New York City. He also served as an army chaplain during the American Revolutionary War. Chaplain Gano was said to have been "an intimate friend of Gen. Washington." One account is that at a critical point in a battle Chaplain Gano personally rallied the American forces in which he was serving, but he was admonished by Washington for having exposed himself to too much personal danger.

Another account tells of Rev. John Gano having baptized General Washington in the field by immersion, as "Gen. Washington had become dissatisfied with the baptism which had been administered by his own church" (the established Church of England). The baptism of General Washington was performed in the presence of about forty people, according to the same account. "Very little was said about this, as the Rev. Mr. Gano transgressed the rule of his church by baptizing anyone who was outside the pale of his own denomination, but felt that he could not draw church lines too close to the Army, and so all were baptized by immersion who desired."

General Gano's own father was John Allen Gano of Bourbon County, Kentucky, who, during an active ministry of sixty years in the Christian Church, was credited with baptizing 10,000 men, women, and children as "an earnest and able co-laborer of Alexander Campbell and other leaders of the reformation" associated with the rise of this denomination.

General Gano retired from active business in 1882, although he retained directorships in several of his more important corporate connections. A contemporary sketch of Gano's career mentioned that he had also excelled "in worldly matters, making a success of whatever he touched, including real estate, farming, stock-raising and banking."

-Acheson, Sam, Dallas Yesterday, "Chapter 6: Pioneer Churchmen," 1977, SMU Press, Pages 247, 248, 249.

Two Civil War Generals: R.M. Gano & James A. Garfield
by Jerry Rushford - At Faulkner University 03.2015 - .mp3

Two Civil War Generals: R.M. Gano & James A. Garfield - Presentation
by Jerry Rushford - .pdf

Directions To The Grave Of R.M. Gano

Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas is the final resting place of R.M. Gano and many of his family. The cemetery is located in the southern part of Dallas, Texas at 3900 Malcolm X Blvd. On I-45 south of Dallas take Exit 283, Martin Luther King Jr. and go east. Go about six or seven blocks and turn right on Malcolm X. Just after the 11th street on your left you will see the entrance to the Oakland Cemetery. The office sits in the front, and the entrance is from either side of the house (office). The actual cemetery gate will be behind the office. Head straight into the cemetery on Main St. and to the large obelisk straight ahead. The drive goes around the obelisk. If you will turn left at the obelisk and look immediately to your left, you will see the Gano family plot. R.M.'s stone is in the rear of the family plot.

While in the cemetery be sure not to miss visiting the grave of Lawrence W. Scott.

GPS Coordinates
N32° 45.767' x WO 96° 45.472'
or D.d. 32.762761,-96.757829
Grave Facing NE
Accuracy to 26ft.
Section 3, Lot 63
Oakland Cemetery: (214) 421-2244

Gen'l. R.M. Gano
June 8, 1830
Mar. 27, 1913
Mattie J. Gano,
Wife Of
Gen'l. R.M. Gano
Oct. 8, 1832.
Sept. 22, 1895
A Devoted Christian
Wife And Mother

*R. Lee Gano

Feb. 22, 1867
April 3, 1911
Sidney **J. Gano
Feb. 22, 1867
July 7, 1921
*"R" = Robert
**"J" = Johnston

Richard M. Gano, CSA
In Morgan's Raids, KY., Tenn.
Commanded Gano's Brigade,
Texas Cavalry, In Ark.
Captured Union Train With
$1,500,000 Stores
State Of Texas, 1965

Two Civil War Generals: R.M. Gano & James A. Garfield
by Jerry Rushford - At Faulkner University 03.2015 - .mp3

Two Civil War Generals: R.M. Gano & James A. Garfield - Presentation
by Jerry Rushford - .pdf

The Life Of John Allen Gano, 1972 Master's Thesis, by Jerry Rushford, PDF
with a chapter dedicated to the life of R.M. Gano

History Home

History Index Page