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 »

Lindsey, William F. (1801–1852)

Kyle Schlafer Biography Entry

William F. Lindsey, surveyor and founder of San Marcos, was born on May 17, 1801 in Jefferson County, Georgia. He became a farmer and gold prospector and moved to Texas in 1836. While prospecting in Texas, Lindsey met Robert Trimble, and the two of them eventually became the surveyors of Galveston Island. The secretary of the treasury, under the authority of the Congress of the Republic of Texas, had the responsibility of selling individual lots of land. The treasury hired Lindsey and Trimble to survey the island, and they completed it in 1837.

In 1838 Trimble and Lindsey moved to San Antonio where Lindsey accepted the position of deputy county surveyor of Bexar County. He received the appointment as county surveyor in 1839 and served for two years in that capacity. After the Mexican Army occupied San Antonio in 1842, Lindsey moved to the La Grange area. He served as district surveyor of Fayette County from 1843 to 1847. In 1848 Lindsey moved to Hays County and opened a land and real estate company with his cousin, J. E. McCord. William Lindsey, Edward Burleson and Eli T. Merriman surveyed and laid out the town of San Marcos on March 1, 1851.

Lindsey married Mary Chandler, and they had six children. William Lindsey died at his home in San Marcos on November 16, 1852.

Frances Stovall, ed., Clear Springs and Limestone Ledges: A History of San Marcos and Hays County (San Marcos: Hays County Historical Commission, 1986). Lindsey Family Biography, San Marcos Hays County Collection, San Marcos Public Library. Lindsey Family Papers, Texas State Library and Archives, Austin, Texas. San Marcos Daily Record, September 25, 1936.

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas

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

Kyle Schlafer, “Lindsey, William F.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.