Tom, William (1792–1871)

By: Edith Harriette Long

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 13, 2020

William Tom, early settler, Texas Revolutionary soldier, and Texas Ranger, son of William and Nancy (Brown) Tom, was born in Southwest Territory on January 1, 1792. He participated in the battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans in the War of 1812. In 1817 he married Mary Files, and they had five children. After his first wife's death, Tom married Kessiah Hines, and they had six children. He moved his family to Stephen F. Austin's colony in Texas in February 1835 and homesteaded at Washington-on-the-Brazos. In June and July 1835 Tom organized his neighbors for campaigns against the Comanche and Tawakoni Indians. He joined the Volunteer Army of Texas at Gonzales on October 10, 1835, and marched with it to San Antonio, where he participated in the battle of ConcepciĆ³n and the Grass Fight. He was with Ben Milam in the siege of Bexar and remained in San Antonio under the command of James C. Neill until February 11, 1836, when he returned to Washington-on-the-Brazos in time to assist in the evacuation during the Runaway Scrape. Tom commanded a ranger company on the Sabinal River during the period of the Republic of Texas. In 1846 he moved to Seguin and was elected sheriff of Guadalupe County. Mrs. Tom died in 1870, and Tom died in 1871. They were buried in the family cemetery near Seguin, but on July 18, 1937, their bodies were reinterred in the State Cemetery.

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

Edith Harriette Long, “Tom, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 13, 2020