Beddoe, Earl Percy (1822–1876)

By: Helen Gomer Schluter

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: November 1, 1994

Earl Percy Beddoe, pioneer civil engineer, was born on January 30, 1822, in eastern Tennessee, son of Philip Tolbert and Catherine (Parr) Beddoe. He married Martha Caroline Hembree on October 12, 1843, in Tennessee, and they had nine children. In 1845, after an education in civil engineering, Beddoe moved to Texas, lived in Marshall, where he built a tanyard, then in 1850 settled in Sabinetown, where he established a saddle and harness business. He served for a while there as school principal; he was named county surveyor of Sabine County and laid out the town of Hemphill as the new county seat in 1859. Beddoe acted as a courier during the Civil War, and as a civil engineer he figured in the planning of fortifications at Sabine Pass in 1863 (see SABINE PASS, BATTLE OF). He helped plan and execute the embankments or breastworks fortifying Sabinetown in 1864. In 1869 or early 1870 the family moved to Sabine Parish, Louisiana, but soon after 1871 they moved to Navarro County, Texas, where Beddoe died on November 27, 1876, in Chatfield.

Robert Cecil McDaniel, Sabine County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1987). Helen Gomer Schluter and Blanche Finley Toole, 1850 Sabine County Census (Westminster, Colorado, 1979). Virgie Speights, Old Timers of Sabine County (Nacogdoches, Texas: Ericson, 1983).
  • Education
  • School Principals and Superintendents

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

Helen Gomer Schluter, “Beddoe, Earl Percy,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1994