Fulmore, Zachary Taylor (1846–1923)

By: Ernest W. Winkler

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: October 30, 2019

Zachary Taylor Fulmore, lawyer and judge, was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, on November 11, 1846, the son of Zachariah and Sarah (Bethea) Fulmore. He began studying at Bingham's School in North Carolina but quit in 1864 to enlist in the Confederate Army as a private in Company D, First Battalion, North Carolina Artillery. He was captured at Fort Fisher in January 1865 and held prisoner until May. After the war he completed his studies at Bingham School and in 1867 entered the University of Virginia, where he received a law degree in 1870.

In December of that year he moved to Austin, Texas, and was admitted to the bar. While he was county judge of Travis County (1880–86), finances of the county were improved, a city-county hospital was established, and the county purchased the toll bridge across the Colorado River and made its use free. In 1875 Governor Richard B. Coke appointed Fulmore to the board of trustees of the Texas School for the Blind, and he continued on the board until 1897. Fulmore aided A. P. Wooldridge, his one-time law partner, in the campaign for public schools for Austin in 1880 and for seventeen years was a member of the school board. In 1887 Governor Lawrence S. Ross appointed Fulmore a member of the commission to select a site for and organize the State School for Colored Blind and Deaf (later Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School). In 1891 Governor James S. Hogg appointed Fulmore a member of the commission to revise and digest the laws of the state of Texas. He was chairman of the board of trustees of the Texas Confederate Home from 1903 to 1905 and from 1909 to 1919 was recorder of the Corporation Court of Austin.

Fulmore was a charter member of the Texas State Historical Association, which he served as president from 1913 to 1915. He contributed book reviews, historical notes, and longer articles to the Quarterly of the association (now the Southwestern Historical Quarterly). Among his published works, The History and Geography of Texas As Told in County Names (1915) ranks first and was reprinted in 1929 and 1935.

Judge Fulmore was a member of the Southern Presbyterian Church, the Masonic order, the Woodmen of the World, and the American, Texas, and Travis County bar associations. He married Luella Robertson, granddaughter of Sterling C. Robertson, at Salado on April 4, 1877; they became the parents of five children. Fulmore died in Austin the night of June 22–23, 1923.

Zachary Taylor Fulmore Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893). National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 19. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 4. Dorman H. Winfrey, "Zachary Fulmore Taylor," Texana 5 (Winter 1967).


  • Education
  • Board Members
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

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

Ernest W. Winkler, “Fulmore, Zachary Taylor,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 20, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fulmore-zachary-taylor.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 30, 2019