The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Lacey, William Demetris (1808–1848)

L. W. Kemp Biography Entry

William Demetris Lacey, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, was born in Virginia in 1808 and reared in Paducah, Kentucky. In 1831 he moved from Tennessee to Texas, where he established a tanyard and saddle shop near the site of what is now Columbus. On March 28, 1831, he obtained title to 1,107 acres in the Colorado District. In 1832 he married Mrs. Sarah Ann McCrosky, daughter of David Bright; they had four children. Lacey was one of the delegates from the Alfred District to the Convention of 1832. On January 9, 1836, he was elected second judge of the municipality of Colorado by the General Council of the provisional government. He was also one of the two delegates from Colorado in the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he signed the Declaration of Independence. After the convention Lacey escorted his family and other refugees to Galveston Island. On April 18, 1836, he joined the Texas army; he was stationed at Galveston under James Morgan until May 12. From July 8 until September 17, 1836, he served under George Sutherland. Upon retiring from the army, Lacey settled on the Tres Palacios River in Matagorda County. In May 1848 he moved his family to Paducah, Kentucky, where he died on October 14, 1848. His wife brought the children back to Texas, where Nannie Lacey later married Jonathan Edwards Pierce and Fanny married Abel Head (Shanghai) Pierce.

Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (Salado, Texas: Anson Jones, 1944; rpt. 1959).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

L. W. Kemp, “Lacey, William Demetris,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.