Richard David Orton, Civil War soldier and Nacogdoches County sheriff, was born on October 2, 1841, in Nacogdoches County, to Sidney Maury and Louisa M. (Timberlake) Orton. He volunteered for the Confederate military service in May 1861 and was a private under Capt. J. R. Arnold in the Fourth Brigade of Texas Militia. Orton was elected sheriff of Nacogdoches County in 1868, 1871, and 1882. In 1870 he certified the muster roll of the Nacogdoches Militia, which comprised the names of all Black and White males eighteen to forty-five years of age in the county. In 1871 Orton helped end the so-called Linn Flat Raid. He established a weekly newspaper, the Nacogdoches Chronicle, which he sold to R. W. Haltom in 1876. Orton was divorced from his first wife, Maggie Taylor of Tennessee, and married Lizzie Houston of Nacogdoches on December 17, 1877. He died on April 30, 1885, and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Nacogdoches.
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Nugent E. Brown, comp, The Book of Nacogdoches County, Texas (Nacogdoches, 1927). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Nacogdoches, Gateway to Texas: A Biographical Directory (2 vols., Fort Worth: Arrow-Curtis Printing, 1974, 1987). Carolyn Reeves Ericson, Muster Roll of Reserve Militia, Nacogdoches County, Texas, 1870 (n.d.). Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, December 8, 1928.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Linda S. Hudson,
“Orton, Richard David,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 6, 2021