Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor

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R. E. B. Baylor

Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor (May 5, 1793–January 6, 1874) was an ordained Baptist minister, district judge and co-founder of Baylor University. He was a Kentucky native who later moved to Alabama and then Texas. Baylor was also the nephew of Kentucky politician Jesse Bledsoe. He was also related to Colonel George Baylor and to John Baylor and George Wythe Baylor.

Baylor served in the military during the War of 1812. After the war he studied and then practiced law in Kentucky. He was briefly a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1819 to 1820 before he resigned and moved to Alabama.

In Alabama he practiced law, studied theology, was licensed to preach, and was ordained to the Baptist ministry. In 1824 he was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives. Baylor was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-first Congress (March 4, 1829 – March 3, 1831) from Alabama's 2nd congressional district and was an unsuccessful candidate for election in 1830 to the Twenty-second Congress.

In 1839, Baylor moved to Texas where he co-founded Baylor University and Baylor Female College, now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in 1845 with the Reverend William Tryon and Reverend James Huckins—the first Baptist missionary to Texas. As a roving district judge, he was said to have run his section "With the laws of Texas in one saddlebag, the Holy Bible in the other."[1] He was elected judge of the district and supreme courts of the Republic of Texas and was a member of the convention that framed the State constitution of Texas in 1845. Baylor was a district judge for twenty-five years. Despite his prominence, Baylor County, Texas is not named after him; rather, it is named after his nephew Henry Weidner Baylor. R.E.B. Baylor's great-grandson was actor Hal Baylor. Reburial of his remains occurred at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.


  1. ^ Steve Gunn (24 March 1980). "Baylor's McCall vs. Playboy". The Victoria Advocate (John M. Roberts). p. 41. Retrieved 12 July 2012. 

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