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Lockhart, John Washington (1824–1900)

Cheryl Ellis Vaiani Biography Entry

John Washington Lockhart, physician and author, was born on July 4, 1824, in Union Town, Alabama, one of seven sons of John and Eliza (Alexander) Lockhart. He traveled with his family to Texas when he was sixteen, and they settled in Washington-on-the-Brazos. Lockhart attended Tulane University and graduated from Louisville Medical College in 1847. He then returned to Texas and set up practice in Chappell Hill, a short distance down the Brazos from Washington. He served as a horse soldier in the fight to repel the advance of the Mexicans and served as secretary of the commission making a treaty with the Indians at Fort Marlin. In 1848 Lockhart acquired 1,000 acres of land near Chappell Hill and began overseeing a working plantation. During the Civil War he served as assistant surgeon general in the Confederate Army and fought in the battle of Galveston. With doctors and nurses from Galveston, he attended patients during the yellow fever epidemic of 1867. That epidemic was the beginning of the downfall of Chappell Hill as an educational and cultural center. Lockhart's writings chronicle the social history of life along the Brazos in the last six decades of the nineteenth century. His letters and recollections were published in articles in the Galveston Daily News and Brenham Banner. Gen. Sam Houston and his soldiers were his special heroes. In 1849 Lockhart married Elmina Corolina Wallis; they had two boys and two girls before Elmina's death in 1857. In 1860 Lockhart married Sarah Ann Elizabeth Browning. They had three sons and one daughter. Lockhart survived the Galveston hurricane of 1900, but he died on October 5, within a month of his return to Chappell Hill after the storm.

Mrs. Jonnie Lockhart Wallis, Sixty Years on the Brazos: The Life and Letters of Dr. John Washington Lockhart (1930; rpt., New York, 1966).


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

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

Cheryl Ellis Vaiani, “Lockhart, John Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed April 21, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: