Thomas M. Cain, merchant, lawyer, Confederate officer, and state legislator, was born in Tennessee on October 10, 1832. Cain immigrated to Texas in the mid-1850s, settling in Hunt County. Here he engaged as a merchant, and on February 23, 1858, he married Elizabeth Bess Hooker. This couple had at least one child, a son. By 1860 Cain was relatively prosperous, claiming $900 in personal and real estate property. At the outbreak of the Civil War Cain volunteered for service in the Confederate Army, joining the Eleventh Texas Cavalry Regiment as captain of Company H. At the cessation of hostilities Cain returned to Hunt County and undertook the study of law. When Rains County was formed in 1870—from sections of Wood and Hunt counties—Cain established residence in Emory, the seat of the new county. In 1873 Cain won election as representative on the Democratic ticket for District Ten—comprised of Hopkins, Hunt, Rains, Wood, and Delta counties—to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. Cain returned to state office in 1879 as representative for District Twenty-two—comprised of Kaufman, Rains, Wood, and Van Zandt counties—to the Sixteenth Texas Legislature. Following his turn at public service Cain concentrated on business pursuits and the development of Rains County. He owned and operated both a general store and a gin mill and contributed to several local business enterprises. He served in the Twenty-eighth Texas Legislature as a senator for District 5—representing Collin, Hunt, and Rains counties—from January 1903 to January 1905. Thomas Mabry Cain died in Rains County on August 11, 1915, and was buried there at Hooker Ridge Cemetery. He was a Methodist and Mason.
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June Applen, Cemetery Inscriptions, Rains County, Texas (St. Louis: Ingmire, 1981). Frances T. Ingmire, Johnny Rebs of Hunt County, Texas (St. Louis: Ingmire, 1977). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939). Rains County—1884–1885 List of Businesses (http://ftp.rootsweb.ancestry.com/pub/usgenweb/tx/), accessed August 2, 2007. Texas Family Group Sheet for the James Hooker Family (http://www.fgs-project.com/texas/), accessed August 2, 2007. Homer S. Thrall, People's Illustrated Almanac: Texas Handbook, and Immigrants Guide for 1880 (St. Louis: Thompson, 1880).
Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
Sixteenth Legislature (1879)
Twenty-eighth Legislature (1903)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Cain, Thomas Mabry,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 30, 2008
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 19, 2014