Harwood, Thomas Moore (1827–1900)

By: Helen Hoskins Rugeley

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

Thomas Moore Harwood, attorney, was born to Archibald Roane and Martha Lowry (Fauntleroy) Harwood in King and Queen County, Virginia, on September 30, 1827. He attended the University of Virginia and received his LL.B. degree from the school of law at Ballston Spa, New York, in 1850. He landed on Christmas Eve of 1850 at Matagorda, Texas, where he taught school for about eighteen months. He then moved to Caldwell County to become principal of Prairie Lea Academy when it opened in September 1852. In 1853 he moved to Gonzales and entered upon a successful law practice. As an attorney he assisted in bringing the railroad to northern Gonzales County. Harwood, Texas, was named for him in 1875.

In 1886 Harwood was appointed special justice to the Texas Supreme Court, and in the case of Miller v. the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway he ruled against the railroad for failing to build through Belton according to agreement. He continued his law practice until 1894 and declined several other appointments to the bench. He was a member of the board of regents of the University of Texas from 1881 to 1895. He also presided over the board of the Texas Charity Hospital.

In May 1861 Harwood revisited his parental home in Virginia and joined the nearest Confederate unit, an Alabama regiment, but soon returned to Texas to urge recruitment. There he enlisted in the "99 Texas Tigers," which became part of Waul's Legion. At its reorganization, Harwood was elected captain of Company F of Leo Willis's battalion of cavalry; he became its major in November 1862. He fought at Holly Springs, Grenada, and Pontotoc, Mississippi; and Fort Pillow, Moscow, and Cochran's Crossroads, Tennessee.

He was a deacon and elder in the Gonzales Presbyterian Church, a Mason, and a Knight Templar. His wife, Cordelia, was the daughter of Dr. David Franklin and Jane Frances McNeal Brown, early settlers of Bastrop and then Caldwell counties. The Harwoods were avid horticulturists; they produced a grape that they called the Improved Warren, but that others named the Harwood. They had six children, one of whom (Thomas Franklin, also an attorney) was twice president of the Texas State Historical Association. Harwood died on January 29, 1900, at Gonzales and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery there.

Margaret Catherine Berry, UT Austin: Traditions and Nostalgia (Austin: Shoal Creek, 1975). James Burke, Jr., Burke's Texas Almanac and Immigrant's Handbook for 1879 (Houston, 1879; facsimile, Austin: Steck-Warlick, 1969). In Memoriam: Resolutions and Tributes on the Life and Character of Thomas Moore Harwood (Gonzales, Texas: Reese and Beach, 1900).

  • Education
  • Educators
  • General Education
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Railroad and Transportation Law
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Helen Hoskins Rugeley, “Harwood, Thomas Moore,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 13, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/harwood-thomas-moore.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: