Medlock, David, Jr. (1824–ca. 0000)

By: Paul M. Lucko

Revised by: Anthony L. Carr

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Updated: February 24, 2015

David Medlock, who represented Limestone, Falls, and McLennan counties in the Twelfth Texas Legislature, was born in Pike County, Georgia, in 1824. He was the son of David Medlock, Sr., and Elizabeth “Betty” Medlock. His father, was a slave preacher and farmer, and the Medlock family was owned by the Strouds. David, Jr., was possibly owned by Beden Stroud or his brother Ethan Stroud (father of Logan Stroud) and was brought to Texas possibly in the mid-1830s. Ethan Stroud settled in Robertson County, Texas, near Calvert in 1837. His son Logan brought much of the family and slaves to Limestone County in 1842, though it is not clear if the Medlocks were brought with them. After Ethan Stroud’s death in 1846, the Medlock family may have been passed through inheritance to another son, Napoleon Stroud, who lived in Limestone County, Texas. In his book, History of Negroes in Limestone County from 1860 to 1939, author Walter Cotton listed David Medlock, Sr., his wife Betty, and their children as the property of “Governor Stroud,” a nickname for Napoleon Stroud.

David Medlock, Jr., married Elvia Echols (also from Georgia) about 1848, and they had nine children. With the death of owner Napoleon Stroud in 1863, Medlock, Jr., and wife and children were most possibly transferred through Napoleon’s will to his brother Memory Stroud, who owned a plantation in nearby Leon County. David Medlock, Jr., and his family came to Limestone County, Texas, after emancipation about 1866, to be near other family members, including his parents, who had been slaves on the Logan Stroud plantation. The 1870 census for Limestone County listed Medlock as a laborer. Both he and his wife listed their native state as Georgia, and the household included their nine children, ages twenty-one to two. All of the children had been born in Texas.

During Reconstruction Medlock won election to the Texas House of Representatives for the Twelfth Texas Legislature. He served from February 8, 1870, until January 14, 1873 and was on the Federal Relations Committee. He sponsored a bill that incorporated his hometown, Springfield, and sought the return of taxes to Limestone County for the building of a jail. He also joined the Radical Republican Association, organized to support Governor Edmund J. Davis's vetoes of railroad development bills.

Medlock’s wife died while he was serving in the legislature, and he married her sister, Francis Echols. They had three children. David Medlock, Jr., died sometime before the 1880 census.

Alwyn Barr, "Black Legislators of Reconstruction Texas," Civil War History 32 (December 1986). Doris Hollis Pemberton, Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Walter F. Cotton, History of Negroes of Limestone County from 1860 to 1939 (Mexia, Texas: Chatman and Merriwether, 1939). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Ray A. Walter, A History of Limestone County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). Logan D. Wilson, “No Beginning—No Ending: My Family History,” Brady Wilson Collection, Columbus State University Archives, Columbus, Georgia.

  • Peoples
  • African Americans
  • Politics and Government
  • Twelfth Legislature (1870-1871)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Reconstruction

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

Paul M. Lucko Revised by Anthony L. Carr, “Medlock, David, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995
February 24, 2015

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: