Dunbar Bragg


Contributed by Ann Farnsworth

Dunbar Bragg was born 3 April 1821. He was the son of Thomas Bragg and Margaret Crossland. His siblings were Alexander, Catherine, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary, Sarah, John, Thomas, a Governor of N.C. and Att. Gen. for CSA, Braxton, CSA General, and William who died while serving in CSA.

He married Martha O.J. Gordon 31 October 1843 in Wilcox County, Alabama. Dunbar and Martha are listed on Freestone Co., Texas 1860 census. He is listed as a merchant. They are not listed on 1870 or 1880 census, but records indicate they resided in Freestone County. The couple apparently had no children.

The first meeting of Fairfield Masonic Lodge was held 3 October 1851. Dunbar Bragg was a petitioner and also the first Secretary for Lodge.

Dunbar Bragg was appointed the first postmaster for the newly formed City of Fairfield 17 November 1851. He was appointed again 26 May 1854. On 19 August 1864 he was appointed the postmaster of Fairfield by the Confederate States of America.

An act of Texas Legislature in 1858 created the Freestone County School Association. Fairfield Female College was founded by this association 13 February 1858. Dunbar Bragg was a member of the Freestone County School Association.

Freestone County court in November 1856 appointed a committee of men to devise and draft a plan for a new jail. Wm. M. Peck, Dunbar Bragg, John Karner, and C. Yarbro were appointed.

Dunbar Bragg died 29 January 1882 and is buried in Fairfield Cemetery, Freestone County, Texas. 

Martha O. Bragg was born 6 September 1822 in Alabama. She was the daughter of Alexander Gordon Sr. and Mary Ann Margaret Gregg. Mary Ann Margaret’s second marriage was to James Henry McIlveen July 27, 1837 in Wilcox Co., Alabama.

Martha died 19 April 1891 and is buried in Fairfield Cemetery, Freestone County, Texas. Her obituary from The Fairfield Recorder dated 24 April 1891 reads:

“Mrs. M.O. Bragg died last Saturday night at the residence of her brother, Mr. J.H. McIlveen, of our town, after an illness of only 2 or 3 days. She had long been a resident of Fairfield, having come to this place from Wilcox Co., Alabama in 1850. She was the widow of the late Capt. Dunbar Bragg, the last surviving brother of General Braxton Bragg; a highly cultured educated lady and was a member of the Episcopal church; a good christian lady and loved by all who knew her. Her death is the fifth one in the family within the last three months, her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon of Groesbeck, both having died recently. Her remains were interred in Fairfield cemetery, Sunday evening. She was 66 years old.”

**J.H. McIlveen was Martha’s half brother.

Excerpts from The Fairfield Recorder, “History Appreciation Week Edition” 11 April 1974:

“A Committee of eight citizens were elected to name the new county seat. Mrs. Dunbar Bragg suggested the name Fairfield because she had come from Fairfield, Alabama to one of the committeemen, Zeno P. Clough. He then submitted the name to the committee.” (ca 1851)

“ First store in Fairfield was built with logs by Robert Ussery, a brother in law of Dunbar Bragg in spring of 1851.”

Wilcox Co. Alabama Marriage Records
Freestone County History Books 1 & 2
The Fairfield Recorder
1860 Freestone Co. Texas census
Ancestry World Tree
Personal research of Bragg family