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BECTON, EDWIN PINCKNEY (1834–1901). Edwin Pinckney Becton, physician, Confederate soldier, legislator, and state health official, son of Eleanor E. (Sharpe) and John May Becton, was born in Gibson County, Tennessee, on June 27, 1834. In 1841 the family moved to San Augustine, Texas. Becton attended Austin College and an academy in Rusk County and studied medicine under a Dr. A. R. Hamilton in private offices in New Danville, Texas, and later in Nashville, Tennessee, before entering the medical department of the University of Nashville, where he graduated with honors on March 2, 1857. He did postgraduate work at the University of Louisville, 1873–74, the University of Maryland, 1879–80, and Tulane University, 1885–86. In 1862 he entered the Confederate Army as a private in the company of Capt. J. F. Pegue of the Waterhouse Regiment. He became assistant surgeon in the army and served with the Twenty-second Regiment, Texas Infantry, under Richard B. Hubbard. After the war Becton practiced at Tarrant (Hopkins County) and Sulphur Springs and also represented Hopkins County in the Twelfth Texas Legislature, 1870–71. He was president of the Medical Association of Texas (later the Texas Medical Association) in 1886. In 1895 he was appointed superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind at Austin. In addition to being an active Presbyterian, Becton was a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, a Knight of Pythias, and a member of the Knights and Ladies of Honor Lodge. Becton married Mary Eliza Dickson on November 17, 1857. They had one son and two daughters. After her death in 1866, he married Mrs. Olivia L. Smith in 1867. They had three children. He died in Austin on January 14, 1901.


Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann, 1890). George Plunkett [Mrs. S. C.] Red, The Medicine Man in Texas (Houston, 1930). Transactions of the State Medical Association of Texas, 1901.

Jeanette H. Flachmeier


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Jeanette H. Flachmeier, "BECTON, EDWIN PINCKNEY," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.