Born and educated in Scotland, Thomas Affleck (1812-1868) emigrated in 1832 to the United States, where he became one of the most well-known agriculturalists of his time. A prolific writer, Affleck was associated with several agricultural and horticultural publications. An early advocate of scientific farming, he wrote and theorized on topics such as forage, erosion control, hedging, livestock improvements, and plantation management. His publication, "Affleck's Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation and Garden Calendar," was published yearly from 1845 to 1861.
During the late 1850s, Thomas Affleck and his wife, Anna (Dunbar) Smith, came to Texas and established their Washington County plantation, which included what is now the Gay Hill community. The Affleck plantation, known as "Glenblythe," was extensive and highly organized. It included a wagon factory, where wagons and ambulances were made for the Confederacy.
After the end of the Civil War, Thomas Affleck was active in developing plans for Texas' economic recovery. He traveled to England and Scotland, encouraging investment and emigration. Upon his death at the age of 56, Affleck was buried near this site in the graveyard he established on the grounds of "Glenblythe."