Amid the economic turmoil and many failed business ventures of the Texas Republic, “Gibbs Brothers & Company” stood out. Thomas Gibbs and Gardner Coffin founded the small mercantile operation in 1841. When Coffin died, Thomas’s brother Sandford came on board. Businessmen and planters began depositing their money in Sandford’s safe, so he opened a bank in the back of the store.
Sandford’s wife, Sallie, took over upon his death – and installed her two sons as the bank managers (it was considered “improper” for a woman to lead the business!). But many say she was the one who really developed the business into a leading financial, real estate, and timber enterprise. It eventually evolved into today’s investment firm and perhaps the oldest continuously operating Texas family business still on its original site.
Gibbs Brothers and Company