David Decatur Rosborough, also listed as Roseborough, farmer, rancher, Confederate officer, and state legislator, was born in Chester County, South Carolina, on September 14, 1816. He was the son of Alexander and Jane Stuart (Porter) Rosborough. He was raised in Tennessee and married Ann Linnier Eastland in Lincoln County, Tennessee, on September 24, 1840. They had three sons and two daughters. By 1854 Rosborough immigrated with his family to Texas and settled near a contingent of kin in the Whitehall area of Bell County. Here he established himself as a prosperous farmer and rancher. In the spring of 1859 Rosborough was a member of an expedition that set out from Bell County to mine for gold along the Pecos River. Upon his return in the summer of 1859, he became a leading Bell County advocate of secession from the Union.
In 1862, following the outbreak of the Civil War, Rosborough volunteered for service in the Confederate Army and enlisted in the Seventeenth Texas Infantry Regiment as a private. He was later promoted to captain and was reassigned as regimental quartermaster. He continued to serve in this capacity through the remainder of the war. At the cessation of hostilities, Rosborough returned to Bell County, where he assumed a leading role in the public affairs of the community. In 1872 he won election, on the Democratic ticket, as representative for District 28—comprised of Bell, Brown, Hays, Comanche, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, San Saba, Travis, Williamson, Concho, Coleman, and McCulloch counties—to the House of the Thirteenth Texas Legislature; he served from January 14, 1873, to January 13, 1874, and chaired the Public Buildings and Grounds Committee. Rosborough served in the Fourteenth Texas Legislature as well, this time representing District 17—comprised of Bell, Falls, and Milam counties—from January 13, 1874, to April 18, 1876. He died in Bell County on October 26, 1907, and was buried there at Moffat Cemetery. He was a Presbyterian and was a charter member of both Leon Masonic Lodge and Camp No. 122 of the United Confederate Veterans.
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Bell County Historical Commission, Story of Bell County, Texas (2 vols., Austin: Eakin Press, 1988). “Capt. David D. Rosborough,” Find A Grave Memorial (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9537925), accessed June 24, 2014. Legislative Reference Library of Texas: D. D. Rosborough (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=4816&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=rosborough~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed June 24, 2014. Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: State of Texas Press, 1939). George Tyler, History of Bell County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936).
Thirteenth Legislature (1873)
Fourteenth Legislature (1874-1875)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Aragorn Storm Miller,
“Rosborough, David Decatur,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed July 07, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
June 25, 2014
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: