Hunt, William Hudson (1815–1864)

By: Morris L. Britton

Type: Biography

Published: February 1, 1995

Updated: January 30, 2019

William Hudson Hunt, a pioneer Texas surveyor, landholder, and rancher, was born in Ithaca, New York, on May 1, 1815, the son of Horace W. Hunt, who provided him with an excellent education. He moved to Texas in 1836. He became a surveyor in Brazoria County after the Texas Revolution and later surveyed school lands in other areas of the Republic of Texas. In 1840 he was appointed engineer for the Military Road expedition under the command of William G. Cooke. He explored and mapped a vast area of the upper Trinity and Red rivers. After returning to Austin he became engineer for the Texan Santa Fe expedition. After his release, he returned to Fannin County and married Catherine Lowery. In 1845 he surveyed the town plat of Preston for Holland Coffee. Hunt formed a land company with John D. Black, acquired large holdings, and later became a surveyor for the Mercer and Peters colonies. In 1855 he settled in the western part of Wise County in a home he called Cactus Hill. He was involved in building the first toll bridge over the West Fork of the Trinity River. Hunt was an active Mason and organized the First Methodist Church of western Wise County. He had five children. He was injured in an accident involving a runaway team near Bridgeport and died shortly thereafter, on January 13, 1864. He was buried in the family cemetery. His grave was moved to East Side Cemetery of Bridgeport during the construction of Lake Bridgeport.

Cliff D. Cates, Pioneer History of Wise County (Decatur, Texas: Old Settlers Association, 1907). Rosalie Gregg, ed., Wise County History (Vol. 1, n.p: Nortex, 1975; Vol. 2, Austin: Eakin, 1982).

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

Morris L. Britton, “Hunt, William Hudson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 12, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995
January 30, 2019