Hughes, Thomas Proctor (1826–1899)

By: Carolyn Hyman

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

Thomas Proctor Hughes, lawyer, public official, soldier, and judge, was born in Washington County, Kentucky, on December 18, 1826, the son of John and Martha (Nantz) Hughes. He graduated from Centre College in 1848 and, after studying law for two years, was admitted to the bar. In February 1851 he established his practice in Georgetown, Texas. He was elected by a large majority to represent Williamson County at the Secession Convention. On February 1, 1861, he was the first to vote against the ordinance of secession. He was joined by only seven others among the approximately 175 delegates. In the popular referendum that followed he helped persuade Williamson County voters to reject secession. In spite of his Unionist beliefs he joined the Confederate Army and served through the war in Arkansas and Missouri as a private in Company A of Lt. Col. Charles L. Morgan's cavalry battalion. He was elected district attorney for Williamson, Burnet, Llano, San Saba, Brown, and Lampasas counties in 1872. A wealthy man in his later years, Hughes had extensive real estate holdings in the Georgetown area and contributed heavily to Southwestern University. He was also a strong advocate of prohibition. He had three children by his first wife, the former Susan Doxey, and two by his second, the former Jennie Lowrie Duncan. Hughes died on December 31, 1899, at his home in Georgetown.

Walter L. Buenger, Secession and the Union in Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984). History of Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1896; rpt., St. Louis: Ingmire, 1983). Buckley B. Paddock, History of Central and Western Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1911). Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carolyn Hyman, “Hughes, Thomas Proctor,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 02, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995