Willis Holford, merchant, cattle trader, and state legislator, was born on October 25, 1820, in Overton County, Tennessee, son of John and Sarah Holford. He married Nancy Jane Tate in Tennessee on September 13, 1838. The couple had five children. Sometime before the Civil War, Holford and his family moved to Grayson County, Texas. By 1860 he owned thirteen slaves. When the Civil War broke out, Holford did not immediately join the Confederate Army, but by August 6, 1863, he was enlisted as a private in Company B of the Fifteenth Texas State Troops. He served for about six months before taking his seat in the Tenth Texas Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives. Holford was reelected in 1866 to the Eleventh Texas Legislature.
In 1870 he owned a dry goods store in Pilot Point, Texas. Nancy died on July 29, 1871, and on November 19 of the same year, Holford married Mary Mildred Taylor Mealer. They had one child. In 1880 Holford was trading cattle in north Texas.
Willis Holford died in 1899 and was buried in the Masonic section of the Pilot Point Community Cemetery. Mary was buried next to him when she died in 1900.
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Holford Family History (http://www.holford.org.uk/family/willis.html), accessed October 12, 2006.
Tenth Legislature (1863-1864)
Eleventh Legislature (1866)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Stephanie P. Niemeyer,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
August 4, 2008
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 20, 2014