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WILSON, JAMES THEODORE DUDLEY

WILSON, JAMES THEODORE DUDLEY (1820–1902). James Theodore Dudley Wilson, Houston mayor, banker, and soldier, son of Margaret (Pendergrast) and Robert Wilson, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 4, 1820. His mother died in 1823, and his father left him in the care of friends and relatives. Before he reached the age of fifteen, Wilson had lived in Missouri, Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. At the age of fourteen he clerked in a store in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Wilson arrived in Texas in September 1835 and went to work in the store of W. C. White in Columbia. From March until the summer of 1836 Wilson served as a private in the Texas army. He assisted in the capture in 1835 of the Mexican sloop-of-war Correo Mexicano, commanded by Thomas M. (Mexico) Thompsonqv. In 1837 he moved to Houston and worked for his father, who was engaged in the real estate business. From 1852 to 1858 he was a salesman for the mercantile establishment of Van Alstyne and Taylor. As an employee of the military board of Texas during the Civil War, Wilson bought supplies in Mexico for the Confederate Army. After the war when banking was legalized in Texas, he became director and president of the National Exchange Bank. Governor Richard Coke appointed Wilson mayor of Houston in 1874 to replace Thomas H. Scanlan, and a few months later Wilson was elected to the position in a popular election and served until 1875. He was again mayor from 1877 to 1878. On February 1, 1855, Wilson married Mary Adaline Cornelia Cone, and they had four sons and two daughters. Wilson was a Democrat, a Presbyterian, and a member of the Texas Veterans Association. He died on November 23, 1902.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Alex Dienst, "The Navy of the Republic of Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 12–13 (January-October 1909; rpt., Fort Collins, Colorado: Old Army Press, 1987). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895).

Andrew Forest Muir

Citation

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

Andrew Forest Muir, "WILSON, JAMES THEODORE DUDLEY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwi54), accessed December 21, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.