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Wilson, Hugh (1794–1868)

Louise Kelly Biography Entry

Hugh Wilson, Presbyterian minister, was born on March 16, 1794, in the Bethany congregation, North Carolina. His father was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and his mother, Margaret (Hall) Wilson, came from a family of ministers. Wilson was graduated with B.A. and M.A. degrees from Princeton College and Princeton Theological Seminary. On June 12, 1822, he was married to Ethalinda Hall. After her death in 1856, he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Loughridge Reid in 1858. In 1822 Wilson and his wife were commissioned as missionaries to the Chickasaw Indians. He resigned in 1832 to go to a pastorate in Tennessee. In the summer of 1837 he made a tour of Texas and in the spring of 1838 moved his family to San Augustine. On June 2, 1838, he organized Bethel Presbyterian Church, four miles west of San Augustine. He moved to Independence in October and worked for two years as a teacher and administrator at Independence Female Academy. In 1839 Wilson organized the Mount Prospect Presbyterian Church, reputedly the second Presbyterian church in Texas. In 1844 he served as chaplain of the House when Congress met in Washington-on-the-Brazos. In 1846 he made four tours of 100 miles each and preached regularly at four churches. In 1857 he served as the fifth moderator of the Synod of Texas and received a D.D. degree from Austin College, which he had helped to establish. In 1850 he moved to Burleson (present Lee) County and in 1852 organized the String Prairie Church, which he served until his death on March 8, 1868; he was buried near Tanglewood, Lee County. Four daughters survived him.

William Stuart Red, A History of the Presbyterian Church in Texas (Austin: Steck, 1936).


  • Religion
  • Presbyterian

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas

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

Louise Kelly, “Wilson, Hugh,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995