Pease served as Texas governor from 1853 to 1857. He and family lived in the antebellum mansion Woodlawn, designed by Abner Cook, the architect of the Texas Governor’s Mansion. Woodlawn has been restored and stands a few blocks west of the park at the corner of Niles and Pease Road.
Pease was a pro-Union man and opposed secession, although he supported slavery (think Thomas Jefferson). He was appointed provisional Governor by President Andrew Johnson in 1867 after the Civil War. He resigned subsequently because of his strong disagreements with both former Confederates and Union sympathizers.
Governor Pease and his wife gave the acreage we now know as Pease to the City of Austin in 1875, with the understanding that it be developed as a park.