Woodford Haywood Mabry, soldier and public servant, son of Abbie (Haywood) and Hinche Parham Mabry, was born in Jefferson, Texas, on September 3, 1856. He attended Virginia Military Institute before entering the wholesale business. He became adjutant general of Texas under Governor James S. Hogg on January 22, 1891, and continued in that office until May 5, 1898. During his years as adjutant general Mabry brought the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers and the Texas Volunteer Guard to a high standard of efficiency. He secured donations for the purchase and installation of a permanent campground. Camp Mabry in Austin was named in his honor by vote of the companies in 1892.
In 1891–92 Mabry led two companies of rangers against Catarino E. Garza, a Mexican rebel who was directing a revolution from the Texas side of the Rio Grande. As head of the ranger force, Mabry prevented the Maher-Fitzsimmons prize fight of February 1896 from being held in Texas (see BEAN, ROY). In January 1897 he prevented mob violence in the case of George Harrison, who was being tried for murder at Woodville. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Mabry resigned his office to become a colonel in the First Texas Infantry. He died in Havana, Cuba, in January 1899. In recognition of his services, the United States Congress granted a life pension to his widow, the former Lucy Allen of Jefferson.