Dinsmore, Silas (ca. 1796–1846)

By: Diana J. Kleiner

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Silas Dinsmore, state and county official, was born around 1796 and moved to Texas from Mobile, Alabama. In 1810–11 he was a government agent for the Choctaw Indian Reservation in Alabama and Tennessee. He represented Mina Municipality at the Convention of 1832 and served on the 1833 Brazoria Committee of Safety, designed to protect citizens from Indians. Dinsmore was appointed by President Sam Houston as first chief justice of Matagorda County in December 1836, reappointed by President Mirabeau B. Lamar on January 23, 1839, and elected to the same office by the Fourth Congress in January 1840. He was also involved in establishing the Texas Navy. He later moved to Austin, where he was involved in the real estate business and witnessed the survey of the Montopolis area. Dinsmore had a wife and daughter and was an Episcopalian vestryman in 1839. He died on September 13, 1846, and was buried at his plantation, Wells Point, ten miles west of Palacios.

Lorraine Bruce Jeter, Matagorda: Early History (Baltimore: Gateway, 1974). Sam A. Shuler, "Stephen F. Austin and the City of Austin," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (January 1966). Ralph W. Steen, "Analysis of the Work of the General Council, Provisional Government of Texas, 1835–1836," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 40–42 (April 1937, January-July 1938). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

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

Diana J. Kleiner, “Dinsmore, Silas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/dinsmore-silas.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994