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HALLER, NATHAN H.

HALLER, NATHAN H. (1845–?). Nathan H. Haller, who represented Brazoria and Matagorda counties in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth legislatures, was born in slavery in Charleston, South Carolina, on July 8, 1845. His owner took him to Walker County, Texas, probably before 1860. After emancipation Haller remained in Walker County and worked as a farmer. There he married Paralee Jordan of Huntsville; the couple had two children. After his wife died, Haller married Annie Butcher of Walker County, and they had three children. Haller served as a county commissioner in Walker County and became active in Republican party politics.

By 1892 he had moved to Brazoria County. He was living in Brazoria when he won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives to represent Brazoria and Matagorda counties. Two years later he was defeated in a close election by R. C. Duff. However, the House Committee on Privileges and Elections ruled that the Brazoria county judge had failed to count certain votes from Matagorda County that gave Haller a fifty-vote margin of victory. Thus, by winning a contested election to the Twenty-fourth Legislature, Haller became one of the last two blacks to serve in the Texas House of Representatives between the nineteenth century and 1966. In the House he sat on the Roads, Bridges and Ferries, Labor, and Penitentiaries commitees. He unsuccessfully introduced a bill that would have established a branch of the University of Texas for blacks and opposed efforts to divide Brazoria County and dilute the black vote. After his second term he moved to Houston. He was working as a wagon driver in 1910.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985).

Paul M. Lucko

Citation

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

Paul M. Lucko, "HALLER, NATHAN H.," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhafr), accessed July 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.