NORSWORTHY, BENJAMIN H.
NORSWORTHY, BENJAMIN H. (1838–1901). Benjamin H. Norsworthy, Confederate officer, was born in Alabama, on November 26, 1838. Norsworthy moved to Texas immediately prior to the outbreak of the Civil War and in 1865 married Middie E. Wingate, daughter of leading East Texas businessman and landowner David R. Wingate. During the war, Norsworthy organized a cavalry company known as the "Lone Star Rifles." This unit was eventually incorporated into the Twenty-seventh Texas Cavalry Regiment, with Norsworthy advancing from private to major and then lieutenant colonel. Norsworthy was wounded twice—at the battle of Thompson's Station in Tennessee in 1863 and the battle of Jonesboro in Georgia in 1864. After the end of the war, Norsworthy returned to Texas and settled in Orange County and worked as a merchant and rice farmer. In 1876 he served Orange County by leading its first organized militia, known as the "Orange Rifles." This unit served to maintain law and order during the periodic disturbances suffered by the county in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. By 1897 he was the area's second largest planter of rice and owned the county's first steam thresher. He was also elected mayor of Orange three times and served from 1881 to 1886 and from 1900 to 1901. Norsworthy passed away in Orange on February 21, 1901, and is buried with his wife in Evergreen Cemetery.
W. T. Block, "David R. Wingate: An East Texas Captain of Commerce," (http://www.wtblock.com/wtblockjr/davidr.htm), accessed March 22, 2011. Frances T. Ingmire, Johnny Rebs of Hunt County, Texas (St. Louis: Ingmire, 1977). Lt. Col. Benjamin H. Norsworthy (http://www.angelfire.com/tx/RandysTexas/norsworthy.html), accessed March 22, 2011. "Mayors of Orange County, Texas," KOGT.com (http://www.kogt.com/OrangeCo/OC_Mayors.htm), accessed March 22, 2011. Howard Williams, ed., Gateway to Texas: The History of Orange and Orange County (2d ed., Orange, Texas: Heritage House Museum, 1988).
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Uploaded on April 7, 2011. Modified on May 26, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.