Andrew Jackson Nicholson, plantation owner, Confederate officer, and state representative, was born in Arkansas on May 19, 1827. He was a soldier in the Mexican War and fought in the battle of Monterrey. Nicholson married T. C. Parish on December 20, 1848. The couple had seven children. By 1861 he had settled his family in Fannin County, Texas, where he owned a 6,500-acre plantation and eighteen slaves. This property was able to produce 16,000 pounds of cotton annually.
With the coming of the Civil War, Nicholson was elected as one of three delegates from Fannin County to attend the 1861 Texas Secession Convention. On February 1, 1861, Nicholson and his fellow delegates signed the Ordinance of Secession of Texas. Texas then joined the Confederate cause. Being a leading citizen of his county, Nicholson organized and equipped about 120 men for service as an infantry company and was elected captain of this unit. On July 26, 1861, however, the unit was converted into cavalry and designated Company F of the Eleventh Texas Cavalry. Nicholson himself was promoted to lieutenant colonel on May 8, 1862, but due to wounds received at a battle at Elkhorn Tavern, he was unable to continue service with the Eleventh Texas Cavalry. He then joined James Bourland's Regiment of Texas Cavalry, which he served in until the end of the war.
After the Civil War, Nicholson returned to Fannin County, where he assumed a prominent role in community affairs. In 1873 he won election as representative for District Eleven—comprising Fannin and Lamar counties—to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. He was chairman of the Committee on County Government and County Finances. He later served in the Twentieth Texas Legislature from 1887 to 1889. He was also a Royal Arch Mason. Nicholson died on June 14, 1895, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Honey Grove, Fannin County, Texas.