William R. Friend, state legislator, son of Nathaniel and Ann (Robertson) Friend, was born at Petersburg, Virginia, in 1832. After studying law at Princeton University, he was admitted to the bar at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in January 1852. He visited Texas in 1854, then returned in 1857 to settle at Clinton, DeWitt County. He married Ella Lightfoot of Iuka, Alabama. His Civil War career began with his enlistment as captain of the DeWitt County Rifles on April 22, 1861. On September 1, 1861, he joined the Eighth Texas Cavalry (Terry's Texas Rangers). He was elected first lieutenant of Company E on November 18, 1862. He was wounded at Macon, Georgia, on November 26, 1864, and was paroled at Demopolis, Alabama, on June 6, 1865. Friend was elected to the Texas Senate in 1875 and as a legislator helped bring order out of the chaos of Reconstruction. When the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Cuero in 1877, the Friend family joined in the general exodus from Clinton to Cuero. Friend was a Mason. He died in 1889 and was buried at Cuero.