Terrell, Edwin Holland (1848–1910)

By: Robert Bruce Blake

Type: Biography

Edwin Holland Terrell, San Antonio businessman and Republican party official, was born in Brookville, Indiana, on November 21, 1848, the youngest son of Martha (Jarrell) and Williamson Terrell. After his mother's death in 1849, he was reared in the family of George Holland, an attorney in Richmond, Indiana. In 1871 Terrell graduated as valedictorian from Asbury (now DePauw) University in Greencastle, Indiana. He moved to Texas in 1871 as an aide to his brother, Col. C. M. Terrell, who was stationed in San Antonio. In 1872 he accompanied his brother to Omaha, Nebraska, and the western frontier, before entering Harvard Law School. He graduated in 1873 and then studied international law and modern languages at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1874 he was admitted to the bar and became a partner in Barbour, Jacobs, and Terrell at Indianapolis, Indiana. Terrell moved to San Antonio in 1877 and became vice president of the San Antonio Gas Company and the San Antonio Board of Trade; he was also a promoter of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. In 1887 he was defeated for mayor of San Antonio. Two years later he was appointed minister to Belgium by President Benjamin Harrison. He also served as United States representative to the International Congress on the Slave Trade in 1889–90, to the International Conference on Customs Tariffs in 1890, and on the Commission Technique, which revised the tariff provisions of the Berlin Treaty of 1885. In 1891 he concluded a treaty of commerce, amity, and navigation between the United States and the Congo Free State with Belgian King Leopold II, who later decorated Terrell for his services. He was also one of the United States delegates to the International Monetary Conference of 1892. As a leader in the Republican party in Texas, Terrell was a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1880, 1888, and 1904, and was a member of the state executive committee, 1894–1900. On August 17, 1874, Terrell married Mary Maverick, daughter of Samuel A. Maverick of San Antonio. They had six children before her death in Brussels in January 1891. On February 7, 1895, he married Lois Lasater, and they had three children. Terrell died in San Antonio on July 1, 1910.

Dictionary of American Biography. Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1894; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Buckley B. Paddock, ed., A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis, 1906).

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

Robert Bruce Blake, “Terrell, Edwin Holland,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/terrell-edwin-holland.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.