Monday, November 23, 2015

Angero Gray Camp (1827-1888)

Portrait from "Personnel of the Texas State Government", 1887.

   I can always count on Texas to offer up more odd named political figures, which is precisely the case with today's write-up on Limestone County, Texas resident Angero Gray "A.G." Camp. A physician and three-term member of the Texas State House of Representatives, A.G. Camp was a native of Kentucky, being born at Valley Station in Jefferson County on April 4, 1827. A son of Thomas Pollard and Susan Magruder Camp, "A.G." Camp (as sources often list him) received his education in Louisville and would later attend the University of Kentucky, earning his medical degree in 1856.
   In the late 1850s Camp served as resident physician at the Louisville Marine Hospital but left after a short period. He relocated to Saint Joseph, Missouri where he continued his medical practice and during the Civil War returned to Kentucky, where he "organized a company of boys" to help protect trains carrying "contraband of war" on their way to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Camp would later become a surgeon under General Joseph E. Johnston, being transferred to the Market Street Hospital at Nashville. Camp would later be stationed in both Mississippi and Georgia, eventually being named to a board of medical examiners at Ringgold, Georgia. Here he would remain until the war's conclusion, and in July 1865 married to Juliet Tims Jayne (1837-1900), with whom he would have two daughters, Lula Belle (1874-1963) and Margaret (1876-1933). 

Dr. A.G. Camp, portrait courtesy of Find-A- Grave.

   Following his marriage, A.G. Camp returned to St. Joseph, Missouri. He remained here until 1870, whereafter he and his family removed to Groesbeck, Texas, where they would reside for the remainder of their lives. After establishing his roots in Groesbeck, Camp established a medical practice as well as a drug store, and soon became a popular member of the community.
   In 1882 the citizens of Limestone County elected A.G. Camp as their representative to the Texas General Assembly. He would be returned to that office twice more, and during his service gained the reputation as a highly effective law-maker, with the Personnel of the Texas State Government noting:
"His characteristic is watchfulness. No job escapes his vigilant eye, and no measure against the interests of the people can pass the legislature after a scathing rebuke administered by the member from Limestone County. No man in the house is as much feared by jobbers and lobbyists as Dr. Camp. Always in his place and always informed about every measure proposed, he stands as a sentinel on the watch-towers, and his fellow members have so much confidence in him that a measure opposed by him has small chance of success."
   During his three terms at the Texas capital Camp served on a number of legislative committees. including Internal Improvement, Public Roads, Ferries and Bridges, Federal Relations, Public Health and Vital Statistics and Private Land Claims. He also chaired the committee on State Asylums during the 1885-1887 and 1888 sessions of the legislature. 
  A.G. Camp died in office on September 8, 1888, at his home in Groesbeck. He was subsequently memorialized as a "chivalrous and knightly man" by his fellow representatives, as well as an "honest and faithful tribune of the people." He was survived by his wife Juliet, and following her death in February 1900 was interred alongside her husband at the Faulkenberry Cemetery in Groesbeck, Texas.

Portrait courtesy of the Texas Legislative Reference Library.

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