Dempsey Council Pace

b. abt 1819 TN ; d. October 1851, Colorado Co, TX.

Contributed by Charles R. Pace, III

Dempsey Council Pace was the 5th son and 6th child of Gideon Pace and Martha Hunt Pace.  His Parents were Gideon Pace (born 1784 Halifax NC – died Sept. 2, 1829 Schooner Eclipse) and Martha Hunt Pace who migrated to Texas from Haywood Co. TN in 1828.  

Dempsey and his 5 brothers and 2 sisters were orphaned in Texas, when their father Gideon Pace died September 2, 1829 of yellow fever returning from New Orleans to Texas on the Schooner Eclipse owned by James E. Brown Austin, brother of Stephen Austin, and Austin’s Cousin John Austin. James Brown Austin died in New Orleans August 14, 1829 of yellow fever on the same trip.  Samuel May Williams returned to Texas with the Schooner Eclipse.  It is speculated that his mother Martha died in late 1828 at the childbirth of Dempsey’s youngest brother, Gideon, named for his father

According to the Columbus, Colorado Co. Nesbitt Library an advertisement was placed by John McCroskey (member Austin’s Original Colony) on  October 31, 1829 and March 17, 1830 for the sale of Gideon Pace League, on the Colorado river, in the “Texas Gazette”.

William B Dewees served as guardian of the Gideon Pace Heirs. 

On June 24, 1830 James Robert Pace, the oldest of Dempsey Council Pace’s brothers and sisters, submitted a request to Mr. S F Austin.  James R Pace in his letter to S. F. Austin listed the Gideon Pace Heirs in age order.  The request is in the Certificate of Character files in the General Land Office, dated San Felipe de Austin June 24, 1830 from James Robert Pace to Stephen F. Austin.



To Mr. S F Austin Empirisario

James Robert Pace, William Carrol Pace minors over 14 years of age and Albert Gallatin, Wesley Walker, Patsey Jones, Dempsey Council, Mary Anne Elizabeth & Gideon, minors under 14 years of age of the late Gideon Pace request to be admitted under your contracts with ? govt ? for the purpose of obtaining the portion of land, which the Colonization Law affords to families and for which purpose we  wish you to ? ofer ? a certificate in form in our behalf.

Town of Austin 24 June 1830

James R. Pace
for himself & brothers
& Sisters

NOTE:  On the back of this letter is written by others,

The name “Jas. R. Pace” and  428 “Orphans of G. Pace”

In 1835 the “Gideon Pace Heirs” petitioned again and were granted the Gideon Pace “Heirs” League and Title to land in Bastrop Co. TX on May 23, 1838 (See Bastrop Co. TX, Certificate -1st Class,  land title file 373 ) on the Colorado River that also bordered San Antonio Trail/Road for the “PACE HEIRS”. This Certificate –Bastrop 1st Class, indicates this to be in Austin’s 2nd Colony. The Bastrop Co Deed Records, Page 1, documents multiple land transactions by the “Pace Heirs” from 1838 through 1913.

Dempsey Council Pace and three of Gideon Pace’s other sons, James Robert, William Carrol, and Wesley Walker served the Republic of Texas in the Battle of San Jacinto.  James Robert and Dempsey Council Pace also served in the Battle of Bexar. Dempsey Council Pace was a member of Captain John York’s Company in the Storming and Capture of Bexar in 1835.  In Comptroller’s Military Service Record No. 885 it is certified that he served in the army from February 28 to June 1, 1836, when he was discharged at Mina. He was a member of Captain Jesse Billingsley’s Company at San Jacinto and on September 22, 1838 was issued Donation Certificate No. 550 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. It is further stated in Service Record No. 885 that Mr. Pace entered the Ranging Company of Mounted Riflemen under the command of Captain John G. McGehee, August 20, and was discharged at Colorado, November 20, 1836. For this service he received Bounty Certificate No. 3811 for 320 acres of land June 11, 1838.  In headright certificate issued to him by the Bastrop County Board, February 2, 1838 for one-third of a league of land, it is stated that Mr. Pace came to Texas in 1828. 

Dempsey Pace married Elizabeth Dabney, b. April 25, 1822 Mount Sterling KY- d. July 28, 1911.  She was the daughter of John Hayden Dabney and Eliza Anderson Dabney who migrated to Texas in 1832. On November 19, 1832 the Dabney’s Settled in Colorado Co. on a league of land adjacent to Skull Creek and a league settled by James Bowie.   Elizabeth Dabney was one of 5 children.  At the time of her death a Texas newspaper stated that as a young girl she lived not far from the Battle of San Jacinto and nursed the wounded.  In December 1854 Elizabeth married James Robert Pace. They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin TX.  Dempsey Pace’s youngest son, D. C. Pace II is buried next to her.

She married Dempsey Pace in Columbus, Colorado Co. TX, June 30, 1845.

Dempsey and Elizabeth Pace are listed on the 1850 Colorado Co. census - 26B, 17-21 is listed with 2 sons and 1 daughter:

Note: A fourth child was born December 3, 1851, several months after the death if his father.

They had 4 children:

Pace, Wayne W. (3, male, Texas);    b. abt 1847 – died Confederate Army, Houston TX abt 1862.  

Pace, Robert James (2, male, Texas)  b. June 8, 1848 - d. September 4, 1903 Bastrop Co. Married Martha “Mattie” Ellen Keepers October 11, 1870. Children sons/ 3 and daughters /8. One (1) son Charles R. Pace Sr. the grandfather of the author Charles R. Pace III

Pace, Laura (2/12, female, Texas)  b. 1850 – d. unknown after 1893.  Married Max G. Keylich confederate soldier/ Hide Dealer.   Children – Daughters/ 2 Cora b. 1869.

Dempsey C. Pace (II.) was born Dec. 3, 1851- died June 11, 1895, after his father Dempsey C. Pace death in Oct. 1851. In 1873 he married Alice Josephine Moore, b. 1853 daughter of Thomas W. Moore (TN) and Lucy E. Rucker Moore (VA).  He was engaged in the Hide Business with his Max Keylick, his brother –in- law, from 1872-1874, Austin police 1874- 1879.  In 1879 he was appointed Deputy U. S. Marshall, serving til 1887.  He was elected County Commissioner in 1880.  He was Superintendent of Texas State Poor Farm at the time of his death, June 11, 1895 at his home, Travis Co TX. He is buried next to his mother Elizabeth Dabney and James R. Pace, (his step-father and uncle) in Oakwood Cemetery Austin, Travis Co. TX. Children:  sons-2- Edgar Freeman. b May 4 1875-Fayette TX d 1935 and D. C. III b Nov 4 1881-d 1893 ,  daughters-3 Laura E b Apr 1879-1937 SF CA M Arnold, Clara L. b Feb 13 1881- d ? M. Stidham , and Cora A. b Nov 18 1883- d Jan  1970 Spokane WA? M Ridgeway/Fassett Married Dec 25 1909.

Dempsey Council Pace death is stated by the Nesbitt Library as died suddenly.  It is not known the cause of his death or where he is buried.  It is thought by his family he is buried in Colorado Co. on his property or that of John H. Dabney.  John Pinchback the husband of Margaret Dabney Dempsey’s wife sister was appointed administrator of his probate October 27, 1851.

 Do you have biographies which you would like to share?

Return to Colorado County Biographies

Return to Colorado County Home Page