The town was named for Thomas Walker Gilmer, Secretary of the Navy. On 28 February 1844, after only nine days in office, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer was one of several dignitaries killed when a cannon exploded on board the steamer USS Princeton.
CHAPTER LVIII. An Act to incorporate the Town of Gilmer.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the citizens of the town of Gilmer, in Upshur county, be, and they are hereby declared a body politic and corporate, under the name and style of the corporation of the town of Gilmer, who shall have the power of suing and being sued, pleading and being impleaded, and to hold property, real and personal, within the limits of said corporation, and at their pleasure to dispose of the same.
Sec. 2. That it shall be the duty of the Chief Justice of the county, to order an election, to be holden as early as practicable after the passage of this act, upon giving ten days notice thereof, for the election of one Mayor and five Aldermen, a Collector, or Constable, a Treasurer and Secretary, who shall hold their office for the term of one year from the time of their election. In case a vacancy occurs by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy for the unexpired term shall be filled by a new election, as follows: in case of vacancy of the office of Mayor, then the election to be conducted by a quorum of the board of Aldermen; but in case of vacancy in the board of Aldernen, Collector, Treasurer, or Secretary, then the election shall be conducted by the Mayor; and all persons residing within the corporation shall be entitled to a vote for the above named officers, who may be entitled to a vote for members of the Legislature.
Sec. 3. That the Mayor and a majority of the board of Alder-man shall constitute a board to transact business.
Sec. 4. That the Collector, Treasurer and Secretary shall give bond in such sum, and with such securities as shall be approved of by the Mayor and board of Aldermen; and that all officers, elect-ed by virtue of this act, before entering upon the duties of their office, shall take and subscribe an oath for the faithful discharge of the duties of their respective offices.
Sec. 5. That it shall be the duty of the Mayor to cause an election to be holden annually, at least ten days previous to the expiration of his term of office, for all the officers mentioned and required to be elected by this act; who shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices upon the expiration of the term of their predecessors.
Sec. 6. That the Mayor shall have jurisdiction, and exercise the powers now conferred by law on a Justice of the Peace in criminal cases, over all offences committed against the ordinances and decrees of the Mayor and Aldermen within the limits of the corporation.
Sec. 7. That the Mayor and Aldermen shall have power to pass such ordinances and decrees as they may think necessary; to the establishment of the schools and the support of education; for the regulation of the police, and the preservation of good order; to prescribe penalties; to levy taxes for the removal of nuisances, keeping the streets in order, and such other purposes as the board may deem necessary and proper within the limits of said corporation; provided, that such ordinances and decrees shall not conflict with the laws and constitution of this State.
Sec. 8. That the limits of said corporation shall embrace all that tract of land originally included within the limits and plats of said town. and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage. Approved, January 24, 1852.
Source: Gammel's The Laws of Texas
Image: Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection,