Oxsheer, William Wilson (1815–1905)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: March 29, 2014

William Wilson Oxsheer, farmer, county official, and state representative, was born in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, in March 1815. He was the son of Samuel and Sarah (Wilson) Oxsheer. Oxsheer was raised in Tennessee; in 1836 he relocated to the residence of an uncle in Morgan County, Alabama. He accompanied this relation on a prospecting expedition to Texas in 1837. Oxsheer returned to Alabama six weeks later and emigrated from that state to Texas in 1839. He and his relations initially lived near Wheelock in Robertson County before settling in the vicinity of Cameron, Milam County, in 1842. Oxsheer himself obtained approximately 2,000 acres of land in Milam and Bell counties and engaged as a farmer and was a member of the local Methodist church. On December 1, 1842, he married Martha Elizabeth Kirk. They married in Robertson County. They had eight children.

Beginning in the early 1840s, Oxsheer assumed a prominent role in the public affairs of Milam County. In 1846, when Burleson County was formed from a section of Milam County, Oxsheer was charged with executing the transfer of a cache of papers and records from the new county to the old. Oxsheer served as Milam district clerk from 1846 through 1852. From 1849 through 1852, he was deputy district surveyor for the Milam land district. Following an 1870 fire which destroyed several public buildings at Cameron, Oxsheer donated land for the construction of Cameron Baptist Church and San Andres Lodge. In June 1875 he was a subscriber for the construction of a new county courthouse. Around this time Oxsheer became active in state politics. In 1873 he won election on the Democratic ticket as House representative for District 17, comprised of Milam, Falls, and Bell counties, to the Fourteenth Texas Legislature. He represented these counties again during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Texas legislatures. Oxsheer died in Milam County on December 13, 1905, and was buried in Oxsheer-Smith Cemetery in Milam County.

Lelia M. Batte, History of Milam County, Texas (San Antonio: The Naylor Co., 1956). Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 24, 1905. L. W. Kemp, ed., “Early Days in Milam County: Reminiscences of Susan Turnham McCown,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 (January 1947). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: William Oxsheer (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=4262&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=oxsheer~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed March 19, 2014. Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: Texas Legislature, 1939). The Oxsheer Family (http://www.sutphen.org/genealogy/oxsheer/oxsheer.htm), accessed March 19, 2014. E. W. Swindells, A Legislative Manual for the State of Texas (2 vols., Austin: 1879–83). “William Wilson Oxsheer,” Find A Grave Memorial (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33046180), accessed March 19, 2014. William Wilson Oxsheer and Martha Kirk Oxsheer (http://www.sutphen.org/genealogy/oxsheer/williamwilson.htm), accessed March 19, 2014.

  • Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
  • House
  • Sixteenth Legislature (1879)
  • Seventeenth Legislature (1881-1882)

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

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Oxsheer, William Wilson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 05, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/oxsheer-william-wilson.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 29, 2014