Lane, George (1813–1885)

By: Sallie M. Lentz

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 22, 2020

George Lane, jurist and public servant, was born in Ireland on February 16, 1813, the son of William and Olivia Lane and brother of Walter Paye Lane. The family sailed to America in 1821, landed in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved on to Ohio, where the children were reared. George studied law and attended Transylvania University, where he graduated in 1837. He moved to Sabine County, Texas, in the winter of 1837 and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1838. He volunteered for service at the time of the Vicente Córdova uprising and was district attorney of the First District when thirty-one Mexicans of the Nacogdoches area were prosecuted for treason. Sam Houston's appointment of Lane as district attorney at San Augustine in November 1838 was not confirmed, but when Houston became president for a second term, he appointed Lane notary public for Panola County (1842). In the 1840s Lane moved to Marshall, where he was associated in law practice with Isaac Van Zandt. He helped organize Trinity Episcopal Church in Marshall in 1850.

Lane served as chief justice of the commissioners' court of Harrison County from 1860 to 1865. He was a member of a committee of prominent Harrison County men that advocated secession in November 1860, and he supported the Confederate cause through the war. After the war he was a supporter of the Citizen's party of Harrison County, which sought to return the county to White control. Richard B. Coke appointed him district judge of the Fifth District in 1874. Lane ran for the office of county judge on the Citizen's party ticket in 1878, in an election marked by fraudulent returns and the intimidation of Black voters. The election results were contested in the district court and the Texas Supreme Court, where Lane's case served as a test case for all the officers elected in the county. The decision in his favor marked the victory of "redemptionist" forces in Harrison County.

Lane married Joanna Curlin in 1841, and they had eleven children. He belonged to the Episcopal and the Methodist churches at different times. He died on February 28, 1885, and was buried in the old Marshall Cemetery.

Randolph B. Campbell, A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850–1880 (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1983). Clarksville Northern Standard, July 23, 1959. Marshall Tri-Weekly Herald, March 3, 1885). 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). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970). E. W. Winkler, ed., Secret Journals of the Senate, Republic of Texas (Austin, 1911).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges
  • Peoples
  • Irish

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

Sallie M. Lentz, “Lane, George,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 29, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 22, 2020