Thomas Alan Hord, early town marshal, cotton buyer, and land developer, was born on March 10, 1841, in Obion County, Tennessee, the son of Judge William H. and Mary Jane (Crockett) Hord. His family moved to Texas in January 1845 and settled near the site of Dallas. At that time there were fewer than twenty people in the area. When he was nine, Hord trapped and killed a bear on the wooded banks of Cedar Creek. After attending the school his mother had opened in Dallas, Hord went back to Tennessee to study at Cumberland Law School in Lebanon. In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, he returned to Dallas and enlisted in the First Texas Battery of Dallas and Tyler (Good-Douglas Battery). He served in the unit throughout the war and saw action on both sides of the Mississippi. After the war Hord became a land developer and cotton buyer. He lived in Port Sullivan, Bryan, and Calvert in the late 1860s and early 1870s. At the request of the townspeople of Mexia in 1876, he became town marshal; he survived several shootouts and was a "terror to outlaws" until 1889. On September 23, 1887, Hord married Katherine Caldwell of Danville, Kentucky, with whom he had two children. He moved to Dallas in 1891 after a brief stay in Rockport and helped to develop Oak Cliff. He was active in community affairs and was one of the founding members of the Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church. Hord died in Dallas on October 28, 1914, and is buried in the Oak Cliff Cemetery.
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George Jackson, Sixty Years in Texas (Dallas: Wilkinson Printing, 1908; rpt., Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1975). W. B. Jackson, Our Sunny Friend . . . Old Newspaper Columns Appearing in the Mexia Daily News (Mexia, Texas: Inquiry Club, 1981). 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).
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
John Alan Hord,
“Hord, Thomas Alan,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
February 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 31, 2019
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: