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HAMBY, WILLIAM ROBERT

HAMBY, WILLIAM ROBERT (1845–1915). William Robert Hamby, Confederate soldier, journalist, and legislator, was born in Paris, Tennessee, on July 24, 1845, the only child of Robert J. and Louise V. Hamby. His father died when the boy was eight years old, and Louise Hamby and her son moved to Austin, where Hamby was educated. In 1861 he enlisted as a private in Company B of the Fourth Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade, locally known as the Travis Rifles. Although only sixteen, Hamby distinguished himself in the early battles of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia until he was wounded at the second battle of Manassas (Bull Run) on August 30, 1862. On September 30 he was detailed as a nurse and on November 4 was discharged for disability.

At the end of the war he returned to Austin. In the spring of 1866 he began a course of study at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. After a year there he dropped out to become a journalist and was one of the founders of the Tennessee Press Association. He entered politics in Tennessee and was elected Democratic presidential elector for the Eighth Congressional District; he served two terms as the state's adjutant general during the administration of Governor James D. Porter. In this capacity Hamby organized the first of the competitive drill meets that soon became highly popular throughout the South.

He was then offered a colonel's commission in the army of the khedive of Egypt but declined to accept. He returned in 1882 to Austin, where he became managing editor and part owner of the Austin Daily Statesman. In 1888 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Twenty-first Legislature, where he served as chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. He also pursued an interest in veterans' affairs, establishment of the Railroad Commission, the improvement of public education, and antitrust legislation. Hamby was also a director of the Austin Board of Trade and of the American National Bank, which he served as cashier from 1890 to 1906. He was president of the Citizens Bank and Trust from 1906 until his death.

Hamby was a president of the Hood's Brigade Association and treasurer of the committee that raised the monument to the brigade on the Capitol grounds. He was married in Tennessee to a daughter of Michael Burns, of Nashville; they had four children. Hamby died in Austin on January 23, 1915.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Frank B. Chilton, comp., Unveiling and Dedication of Monument to Hood's Texas Brigade (Houston, 1911). Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men in Texas (Austin: Von Boeckmann, 1890). Harold B. Simpson, Hood's Texas Brigade in Reunion and Memory (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1974).

Thomas W. Cutrer

Citation

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

Thomas W. Cutrer, "HAMBY, WILLIAM ROBERT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fha31), accessed July 29, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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