Addison, Oscar Murray, Sr. (1820–1898)

By: Karen Yancy

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1994

Oscar Murray Addison, Methodist minister, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 20, 1820, the son of Isaac Simmonds and Sarah (Murray) Addison. The family moved to Texas in 1835 and settled in Burleson County. Oscar was converted to Methodism in 1844 and licensed to preach in 1846. He was admitted to the East Texas Conference of Methodists that year but immediately transferred to the Texas Conference. Bishop James O. Andrew ordained him a deacon in 1849 and an elder in 1850. His first charge was the New Washington Mission, at which his chief activity was going from one cotton plantation on the Brazos to another and preaching to the slaves. As a circuit rider he covered an area from Huntsville to Brownsville and also served the Victoria and Springfield districts. Another transfer in 1866 made him a charter member of the Northwest Texas Conference. Addison married Mary F. Hines in 1866. She died six years later, and in 1879 he married T. H. Smith of Johnson County. He retired in 1889 and settled on a farm near Eulogy in Somervell County, where he assembled a large collection of historical material concerning Texas Methodists.

Sometime before the Civil War Addison wrote and published Yankee Slave Trader, intended as an answer to offset Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), but the book did not receive wide distribution. During the Civil War he served as chaplain in Colonel Bates's regiment at Velasco and kept a journal of his war experiences. He later wrote his memories of the Runaway Scrape and the experience of his family during the Texas Revolution. In retirement he wrote works on sanctification and the liquor question. Addison died at his farm on October 11, 1898, and was buried at Eulogy. His papers are at the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Methodist Episcopal Church, South , Journal of the Northwest Texas Conference, 1898. Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924); A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Karen Yancy, “Addison, Oscar Murray, Sr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994