Head, Henry Oswald (1851–1929)

By: David Minor

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 1, 1995

Henry Oswald Head, attorney and district judge, the son of James Marshall and Barthenia (Branham) Head, was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, on March 17, 1851. He attended public and private schools in Sumner County and studied law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. He moved to Sherman, Texas, in 1871 and joined the law firm of Silas Haine and Joseph Bledsoe. Over the next decade the three men established their practice as one of the strongest firms in the state. In 1878 Head married Sallie Wilson. The couple had three children. In 1886 Head ran successfully for judge of the Fifteenth Judicial District. He stepped down from the bench in 1889 and three years later was elected associate justice of the Court of Civil Appeals. He left the bench again in 1895 to return to private practice. For the next twenty years he established a reputation as one of the most prominent corporation lawyers in the state. One of his clients was the Waters Pierce Oil Corporation (see WATERS-PIERCE CASE). He remained active both in his profession and in the community until his death, on April 24, 1929. He was buried in the Sherman Mausoleum.

Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Commercial and Corporate Law

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

David Minor, “Head, Henry Oswald,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/head-henry-oswald.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995