Hollingsworth, Orlando Newton (1836–1919)

By: Carolyn Hyman

Revised by: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 20, 2022

Orlando Newton Hollingsworth, legislator and education leader, son of Benjamin and Joycie (Jones) Hollingsworth, was born in Calhoun County, Alabama, on April 5, 1836. The family moved to Rusk County, Texas, in December 1845. Hollingsworth attended the University of Virginia from 1859 to 1861. In 1861 he enlisted in Robert H. Cumby's Company B, Third Texas Cavalry, and became company adjutant. He was badly wounded during the Battle of Corinth in 1862 and was transferred to the topographical corps. He married Ruth Grace Katherine Platner in Rusk, Texas, in 1864, and the couple had at least six children.

After the Civil War, Hollingsworth taught at a private academy in San Antonio until he founded Coronal Institute at San Marcos in 1868. He was admitted to the bar and in 1872 was elected to the Thirteenth legislature, representing Hays and surrounding counties.

A conservative Democrat, Hollingsworth was elected superintendent of public instruction in December 1873 and took office in January 1874. He served as secretary of the state board of education from 1876 to 1884, living in Austin at the time. In 1880 he established the Texas Journal of Education, which he sold in 1882. After serving as receiving clerk at the General Land Office, he disappeared from public life. By 1900, Hollingsworth was living with his wife in the area of Atlanta, Georgia, but at some point he returned to Austin, Texas, and died there in 1919.

Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Jessie Eula Doherty Ezell, Orlando N. Hollingsworth: A Texas Educator (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

  • Education
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Activists
  • Lawyers, Civil Rights Activists, and Legislators
  • Politics and Government
  • Government Officials
  • House
  • State Legislators
  • Thirteenth Legislature (1873)
  • Military
  • Confederate Military
Time Periods:
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas

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

Carolyn Hyman Revised by Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Hollingsworth, Orlando Newton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 11, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hollingsworth-orlando-newton.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 20, 2022

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