The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930 Page: 115
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The Political Career of Willuamson Simpson Oldham 115
This defeat did not crush Oldham's ambitions, for in June, 1848,
he resigned his place on the Supreme Court to make the race for
the United States Senate, since the death of Chester Ashley had
left a vacancy." When the Legislature met, in the fall of 1848,
it seemed that Oldham would be elected, but Alfred M. Wilson,
who had become Oldham's bitterest enemy, had gone to the Legis-
lature with the sole purpose of preventing Oldham's election.
Politics centered around old grievances and personal matters. Old-
ham received the largest number of votes on the first ballot, but
not enough to elect him, and on the sixth vote W. K. Sebastian
was elected.16 It seemed that Wilson accomplished his purpose in
defeating his old neighbor and friend.
After two such humiliating defeats, it is no wonder that Oldham
turned his thoughts again to the west and new political fields. In
the spring of 1849 he moved to Austin, Texas.17 His wife died
near Waco as they were coming to Austin, and this sorrow added
to his troubles, for he had five small children. When Oldham
arrived in Austin, he found a small village of about two thousand
people. There were many professional men in Austin, but the
lawyers outnumbered the others, for there were twenty-five.s" Old-
ham took his place among these lawyers and was soon identified
with the public affairs of the town. He was a successful lawyer.
Many people came to see him about their land titles and he became
one of the best land lawyers in the State. The lawyers had some
good times together. Oldham was one of the lawyers who met on
the corner of Sixth and Congress, or the Hancock corner, as it
was called then, and rode horseback to Barton's Creek for a cool
In 1850 Oldham married Mrs. Anne Kirk of Lockhart, and in
the next year he built one of the first two-story houses in Austin,
on the corner of Twelfth and Guadalupe Streets. The house is
still standing and is the property of Mrs. A. 0. Watson, the daugh-
ter of John H. Pope, who bought the place.20 The house was a
"ArTcansas Banner, June 13, 1848.
1Journal of the House of Representatives, 1848, pages 87-91.
1TDe Bow's Review, XXXVII, 874; Lynch, Bench and Bar, 255.
1South Western American (Austin, Texas) November 13, 1852.
"A. W. Terrell, "The City of Austin from 1839 to 1865," TEXAS HIS-
TORICAL ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY, XIV, 120-121.
2001dham sold the house to Frank Brown who sold it to J. H. Pope.
The description of the original house was obtained from reminiscences of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930, periodical, 1930; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/m1/129/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.