Williams, William M. (1809–1859)

By: A. W. Neville

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: November 1, 1995

William M. (Buckskin) Williams, soldier, lawyer, and legislator, the son of James Mastin and Wilmoth (Walker) Williams, was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on March 28, 1809. He was educated as a lawyer before he came to Texas in 1835 and settled in what is now Lamar County. On September 20, 1839, he married Eliza Emberson. They became parents of five children. Williams represented Red River County in the House of the Fourth Congress in 1839 and 1840 and served from February 4, 1840, until December 1841, as district attorney for the Seventh Judicial District. At the same time he held the contract for carrying mail from Jonesborough to Warren and Coffee's Station and was quartermaster and commissary of the Fourth Brigade, Texas Army. From July to October 1841 he was captain of a company of mounted riflemen. In February 1844 Williams was chosen as one of five commissioners to help mark a road from the Trinity River to the Red River, commonly called the Central National Road. He may also have served as an assistant surveyor on the project. He represented Fannin and Lamar counties in the House of the Third Legislature and in the Senate of the First, Second, Fourth, and Sixth legislatures. While attending the session of the Sixth Legislature in Austin in 1856, Williams received word of the death of his wife. He resigned his Senate seat, returned to Lamar County, and retired from politics altogether. He died on September 8, 1859, and was buried in Sumner Cemetery.

Clarksville Standard, September 17, 1859. Paris News, March 17, 18, 1937.

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

A. W. Neville, “Williams, William M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/williams-william-m.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

November 1, 1995