Gaines, Abner



Gaines, Abner


Gaines, Abner Legrand




A member of the prominent Gaines family, Abner Gaines (b. 1766) purchased property in southern Boone County from Archibald Reid in circa 1813. Gaines continued to operate a tavern and inn, building a striking new house in circa 1814, which is preserved today as the Gaines Tavern History Center.
Gaines also became the proprietor of the first stagecoach line that carried mail and passengers between Cincinnati and Lexington; a thirty-four hour trip in 1818. Gaines was a Boone County Justice from 1805 to 1817, at which time he was appointed Sheriff.
Abner and his wife Elizabeth (née Matthews) had 13 children; several of them experienced some notoriety in various areas of the United States. Abner's oldest son, James Matthews Gaines, became the first postmaster for the community referred to as Gaines Cross Roads, now Walton, in 1815. Woodford Gaines became a paymaster in the regular army and spent time at Fort Smith, Arkansas. President Andrew Jackson appointed Richard Gaines U.S. District Attorney of Mississippi. Legrand Gaines became a wealthy cotton farmer in New Orleans. Benjamin Gaines owned extensive plantations in Chicot County, Arkansas. William H. Gaines made a successful claim for a large portion of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Major John Pollard Gaines was a soldier and a statesman, also the original owner of the Maplewood farm along with Margaret Garner and her family before he sold to his brother, Archibald, and moved to the Oregon Territory to assume his position as governor. Archibald K. Gaines was the infamous owner of Margaret Garner when she escaped and was later tried for murdering her child, as well as the alleged father of at least three of her children.
In 1810, Abner Gaines held four enslaved people. He held eight in 1820, and nine in 1830.


Birth date

12 Feb 1766

Place of birth



Pollard, Mildred Bland

Life event(s)

Marriage: 8 Dec 1792; Augusta County (Va.)


Matthews, Susan Elizabeth


Gaines, William Haney
Gaines, Richard M.
Gaines, Benjamin P.
Gaines, Augustus W.
Bush, Mary Wright Gaines
Gaines, Abner Legrand
Hubbell, Elizabeth Harrison Gaines
Davies, Mildred Pollard Gaines
Gaines, Harriet B.
Gaines, Ann M.

Death date

30 Oct 1839

Death and burial information



Employed by

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Enslaved held in 1820: Males, under 14, one; Males, 14 thru 25, one; Males, 26 thru 44, one; Females, under 14, three; Females, 14 thru 25, one; Females, 45 and over, one
Enslaved held in 1830: Males, under 10, two; Males, 24 thru 35, two; Females, under 10, two; Females, 10 thru 23, one; Females, 24 thru 35, one; Females, 36 thru 54, one

Bibliographic citation(s), memorial #135514433


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Title Alternate label Class
Gaines, Archibald K. Father Person
Gaines, James M. Father Person
Gaines, John Pollard Father Person
Title Alternate label Class
Colonel Abner Gaines House (Walton, Ky.) Related resource Location
Title Alternate label Class
Gaines, James, Jr. Child(ren) Person