McClellan, William Brownlow (1810–1871)

By: A. L. McClellan, Jr.

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: April 1, 1995

William Brownlow McClellan, printer, newspaper publisher, and editor, son of John and Margaret (Brownlow) McClellan, was born at Abingdon, Virginia, on May 17, 1810. He was on the staff of the Grenada, Mississippi, Bulletin in 1838. In the summer of 1839 he sold his property, probably to join the party of R. M. Spicer, which arrived in Austin, Texas, in early August. McClellan was on the staff of the Austin City Gazette during its first three years in Austin (1839–42). He was printer of the Austin Daily Bulletin in 1841–42, owner and editor of the La Grange Intelligencer from January to May 1844 and from August 1845 to September 1846, owner and editor of the La Grange Paper from February to September 1855, copublisher and editor of the Houston Bayou City Advertiser from May 1856 to at least January 1857, editor pro tem for the La Grange True Issue from March to May 1863, owner and editor of the La Grange Patriot from June 1863 to July 1865, and office manager of the Austin Daily Republican from May 1869 to February 1871. McClellan was county tax assessor and collector for Fayette County from November 1849 to August 1854 and clerk of the district court from September 1865 to July 1866. He was an elder at Clear Creek Church (Cumberland Presbyterian) in Oldenburg, which he helped found and, later, at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Austin. He was a member of the executive committee of the Texas Bible Society (1845). With others he helped found La Grange Female Institute (1846), La Grange Collegiate Institute (1848), and later Ewing College, where he was a trustee. McClellan married Caroline Rollins (Rawlins), who died in Austin in 1840. On October 6, 1844, he married Amanda Melvina Fitzallen Moore in Rutersville. Amanda was a student in the first (1840) session of Rutersville College, the first chartered college to begin operation in Texas. They had ten children. McClellan died in Austin on February 7, 1871, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery there.

A. L. McClellan, William Brownlow McClellan (El Cerrito, California, 1990). Douglas C. McMurtrie, "Pioneer Printing in Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 35 (January 1932). Julia Lee Sinks, "Editors and Newspapers of Fayette County," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 1 (July 1897).
  • Journalism
  • Newspapers
  • Editors and Reporters
  • Publishers and Executives

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

A. L. McClellan, Jr., “McClellan, William Brownlow,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995