Upton, William Felton (1832–1887)

By: Jeff Carroll

Revised by: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell and Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 12, 2020

William Felton Upton, early Schulenburg settler and legislator, was born on August 31, 1832, near Winchester, Franklin County, Tennessee, the son of John and Ann (Cunningham) Upton. In 1853 he moved to Texas with his mother and became a farmer and store owner in the Blum Hill community, west of Foerster's Creek in southern Fayette County. William married Mary Ann Henderson in Austin on January 21, 1858, and the couple had one son. In 1859 he was joined by his older brother, John Cunningham Upton, who took charge of the farming operations while William concentrated on the mercantile business in the community, which by 1858 was called High Hill. During the Civil War both brothers rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. John served in Hood’s Texas Brigade and was killed during the second battle of Manassas. William enlisted for six months on October 19, 1861, in Galveston as a second lieutenant in Walter L. Mann’s Texas Cavalry. He re-enlisted on June 16, 1864, as a captain in Company H of Charles M. Bradford’s Texas Cavalry that served along the Texas coast and frontier. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in March 1865. On October 20, 1873, the new town of Schulenburg was platted on the route of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway four miles southeast of High Hill. Upton Avenue in the new town was named jointly for the two brothers. In 1875 Upton moved his business to the growing city, where he was elected alderman, and his father-in-law, Alfred Henderson, was the newly elected mayor. Upton served Fayette County as a State Representative in the 11th Texas legislature in 1866 and in the 16th through 19th legislatures from 1879 to 1885. He died in Schulenburg on February 7, 1887, and is buried in the Schulenburg City Cemetery beside his wife, who died in 1911, and her parents. Upton County, established in 1887 and organized in 1910, was named for the two brothers.

Jane Knapik, Schulenberg: 100 Years on the Road, 1873–1973 (Yoakum?, Texas: Nortex, 1973).

  • Military
  • Confederate Military
  • Regimental and Staff Officers
  • Politics and Government
  • Government Officials
  • State Legislators
  • Eighteenth Legislature (1883-1884)
  • Eleventh Legislature (1866)
  • Nineteenth Legislature (1885)
  • Seventeenth Legislature (1881-1882)
  • Sixteenth Legislature (1879)
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

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

Jeff Carroll Revised by Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell and Laurie E. Jasinski, “Upton, William Felton,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 29, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/upton-william-felton.

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August 12, 2020

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