William Polk Milby, Republic of Texas congressman and Calhoun County merchant, was born in Delaware on January 5, 1809. After first moving to Maryland, he traveled to Texas by way of Louisiana about 1841 and settled initially in Liberty County. He was elected to represent Liberty in the Seventh Congress of the Republic of Texas. He then moved to Port Lavaca and served as county clerk of Calhoun County from 1848 to 1858. In 1853 he acquired land six miles southwest of Indianola, where he tried to develop the town of Cayloma. Five years later he served as commissioner of the Indianola Railroad Company. By 1860 Milby was living in Indianola, where he owned $55,000 in real and personal property, including two slaves. Milby supported secession and was badly hurt by the Civil War and a fire that destroyed his mercantile house in 1867. By 1870 his property was valued at only $1,600. The Indianola storm (1875) destroyed his home. Ironically, he had been one of a three-man commission that had cooperated with the federal signal service's coastal reporting station. Milby and his wife, Mary, a native of Pennsylvania, had at least eight children. Milby was a Mason and Episcopalian. He died on February 2, 1887.
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Brownson Malsch, Indianola-The Mother of Western Texas (Austin: Shoal Creek, 1977). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Milby, William Polk,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 8, 2020