Stout, William B. (ca. 1807–1867)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: October 21, 2009

Updated: April 23, 2019

William B. Stout, farmer, land agent, attorney, Texas Ranger, Confederate officer, and state representative, was born probably in Virginia about 1807. Some census records list Illinois as his birth state. He was the son of James and Abigail (Holloway) Stout. The Stout family immigrated to Texas around 1820, settling in present-day Red River County. Here, Stout became one of the leading citizens of the community, working both as a farmer and land agent. Conflicting evidence exists regarding whether Stout fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. He is not listed on any muster rolls, and correspondence in the archives of the Texas General Land Office questions the existence of any evidence supporting his military service. The only known document in support of Stout's presence at San Jacinto was written on October 14, 1842, by Thomas Rusk, former secretary of war under Sam Houston. Rusk certified that William B. Stout participated in the battle, and Stout, therefore, received the 640 acres granted to all veterans of San Jacinto. He later served as a captain in area border defense forces, including the Texas Rangers, from 1840 through 1841. In December 1838 he established thepost of Fort Sherman in present-day Titus County in response to ongoing conflict between Anglo homesteaders and various native and migrant Indian groups.

By the early 1840s Stout had married Matilda Richey of South Carolina. They had three sons and one daughter. Around this time the Stout family had located at Clarksville. He practiced law here and in 1842 served as chief justice for Red River County. Stout won election to state office as well. From 1847 through 1848 he represented Red River County in the Second Texas Legislature. In 1853 he served as representative for District Eleven, comprised of Fannin, Hopkins, and Red River counties, in the Fifth Texas Legislature. Throughout the 1850s, Stout continued to be among the prosperous citizens of Red River County. By 1860 he claimed more than $23,000 in personal and real estate property. In June 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized the William B. Stout Company of the Red River County volunteers. Muster rolls listed Stout as company captain. Ultimately, he served as a general in the Texas State Troops—local militia units that rarely saw military action—prior to the cessation of hostilities. Stout died in 1867.

Mary Stinson Claunch Lane and Elizabeth Blevins Booth, copiers and indexers, 1860 Federal Census of Red River County, Texas (Fort Worth?, Texas: Mary S.C. Lane and Elizabeth B. Booth, 1978). Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas from 1846 to 1939 (Austin: State of Texas Press, 1939). James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002). Red River Volunteer Units: William B. Stout Company (, accessed October 13, 2009. Martha S. Stroud, Gateway to Texas: History of Red River County (Austin: Nortex Press, 1997). Gifford White, The First Settlers of Red River County, Texas (St. Louis: Frances Terry Ingmire, 1981).

  • Second Legislature (1847-1848)
  • Fifth Legislature (1853-1854)
  • House

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

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Stout, William B.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 21, 2009
April 23, 2019