Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 171 of 1,110
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__~ ~~UTOYO ALS OJT 6
Dallas News of July, 1892.
Judge Nat. M3. Burford was among the first
officials to serve Dallas county in a judicial
capacity after it was organized. He possesses
a ready memory and is an interesting
conversationalist. Judge Burford came from
Slnith county, Tennesse, to Jefferson, Texas,
in February, 1846. He lived in Jefferson
until October, 1848, when he came to Dallas,
wher e le las since continuously resided. His
official career began when he was elected district
attorney of the fourteenth judicial district
in 1850. IHe was re-elected in 1852,
and in February, 1856, he was elected Judge
for the new Sixteentll Judicial District, which
lhad jtst been created of the counties of
Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Cooke, Wise, Denton,
Parker, Montague, Jack, Young, Johnson and
While hie was serving as district judge in
1862 lie entered tlle Confederate army, a
member of (Good's battery, and in the fall of
tllat year lie was discharged by the secretary
of war and authorized to raise a regiment of
infitntry or cavalry as to him seemed best.
lie came lholnm and soon had formed the
Nineteentll Texas Cavalry. Hle was elected
('olonel and lie reported in person to tlle
NecretArry of war at Riclhmiond, Virginia. He
comlmandled tlhe regitnlent in Arkansas, Louisiamin
atnd Mlisouri, but owing to failing lhealtl
he resigned and returned home in 1864. In
1862, at tile outbreak of tle vwar, it is said
that tihe Congressional )Demnocratic convention
which iaet in Dallas, would have nominated
him for Congress, but war had been declared
and the convention declined to nominate.
In 1866 he was Speaker of the House of
IRepresentatives of the Eleventh Texas Legislature.
In 1872 or 1874 he was elected
County Judge of Dallas county; in 1878 he
was elected Judge for the new district cornposed
of the counties of Dallas and Ellis. He
served two years and resigned on account of
failing health, terminating his long career as
a public officer. c" I have no more aspirations
to get office," he said in a short speech at the
reunion. "There is not an office in the
world that I would have. All that I desire
is to have the love and respect of my neighbors
and friends and to be permitted to spend
my remaining days in peace. I have nearly
reached tllree-score and ten and I want to be
ready to answer my Maker's call."
I" When I was elected District Judge in
1856," said, Judge Burford, "the district
was composed of twelve counties, and now
with the county of Dallas divided into two
districts there are, I believe, five times as
Inany cases tried in either court at one term
as I tried in my district in a whole year. I
believe this is true of civil suits filed. Even
taking into consideration the increase of population,
I tliink the increase of crime has exceeded
the growth in number of the people.
Crime lias increased in its enormity, but I
don't know that there has been any increase
in misdemeanors. When I was District Attorney
my income arose largely from gaming
cases prosecuted in the older counties of the
district. During my first termn as District
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/171/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.