Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 51 of 58
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TEXAS AND TEXANS FIFTY YEARS AGO. 51
of the latter's first term. The writer first met Judge Willie in Centreville,
in 1852, at which time he was discharging the duties of
district attorney of the Eighth District.
* * *
WILLIAM B. MIDDLETON was one of the earliest settlers of Leon
county. He was a native of Illinois and came to Texas when a boy.
He helped to build Fort Boggy in. 1839 or 1840, and was a member
of the minute company organized at the fort to guard against the
incursions of the Indians and render the settlement of the territory
of Leon county by the Americans possible. Middleton was a volunteer
in the unfortunate Mier expedition and was captured by the
Mexicans. Like his fellow prisoners, he had to stake his life on the
drawing of a bean, but fortune favored him. He was carried to the
City of Mexico and there placed upon the public works, starved,
beaten, and subjected to every conceivable indignity. Thanks, however,
to a robust constitution, he survived the hardships of his
imprisonment, and with his fellow prisoners was finally liberated
through the intercession of the authorities of the United States.
He returned to his home in Leon county, where the people elected
him to the office of sheriff at the first election after the organization
of the county. He represented the county several times in the Legislature,
and was its representative when the States seceded from
the Union. During the war he was a brigadier general of militia.
After the war he was again elected sheriff of the county, and was
holding that office at the time of his death. No man did more
towards the settlement and building up of Leon county than he, and
no man ever lived in the county who had a greater popularity. He
was social, kind, genial and charitable. At his hospitable home
the latch string always hung on the outside of the door. Every one
that knew him loved him. He died of pneumonia, as the writer
remembers, in 1878, leaving no descendents.
* * *
One of the noted men and early pioneers of Leon county was
Maj. John Durst. He did much to bring into notice and cause the
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/51/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .