Hord, William Henry (1809–1901)

By: John Alan Hord

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

William Henry Hord, early Dallas County judge, brigadier general of the Texas Militia, and first settler in Hord's Ridge (now the Oak Cliff section of Dallas), son of John and Martha Stokes (Neal) Hord, was born on April 5, 1809, near the Staunton River in Charlotte County, Virginia, where his grandfather Thomas Hord had been a large landowner. His family left Virginia for North Carolina in December 1816 and moved to Obion County, Tennessee, about 1832. There Hord married Mary Jane Crockett McKenzie, widow of Lewis McKenzie, on January 23, 1839. Mary Jane was a sister of John McClannahan Crockett, early Dallas mayor and lieutenant governor of Texas.

Hord visited Texas in 1839 and fought in an engagement with Indians on the Colorado River on Christmas Day of that year. He returned to Tennessee but in 1844 left for Texas again. William, Mary Jane, their two sons, and her two sons settled on 640 acres of high, oak-shaded land across the Trinity River from John Neely Bryan's settlement on January 12, 1845. The area where they settled became known as Hord's Ridge and in 1850 lost the Dallas county-seat election by twenty-eight votes. The couple had five children, four sons and a daughter. Two of the sons became soldiers in the Confederate Army.

Hord was justice of the peace in Dallas before being elected county judge in 1848. In 1861 he participated in forming the Dallas Light Artillery Battery under Capt. John J. Good. In 1862 he was a director of the Dallas County Fair. In 1863 he became brigadier general of Texas Militia, Thirteenth District. In 1866 he and four others from Dallas signed resolutions approving a National Union convention for restoration to all states of their rights in the American union. In 1868 he presided over the meeting in Dallas for the formation of the county Conservative party. In 1872 a Dallas street was named for him. In 1875 he was a founder and a vice president of the Dallas Pioneers Association. He died at home in Dallas on January 18, 1901. Hord and his wife are buried in Oak Cliff Cemetery, a cemetery of which he was a trustee when it was founded in 1846.

Dorothy Kendall Bracken and Maurine Whorton Redway, Early Texas Homes (Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1956). William L. McDonald, Dallas Rediscovered: A Photographic Chronicle of Urban Expansion, 1870–1925 (Dallas: Dallas County Historical Society, 1978). Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., Dallas: Walsworth, 1976).
  • Military
  • Soldiers
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

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

John Alan Hord, “Hord, William Henry,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 23, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/hord-william-henry.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

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