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.