Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 820 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
WILLIAM A. WORTHAM,
W. A. Wortham, Superintendent of the State
Orphans' Asylum, situated near Corsicana, was
born in Maury County, Tenn., November 3, 1830,
and came to Texas in 1842, with his widowed
mother, who settled in Harrison County. He was
principally educated at Marshall. Desiring to be
a printer, he placed himself in a printing office as a
bound apprentice and served three years, at the
end of which time he was an experienced journeyman
printer. On the 11th day of June, 1852, he
was united in marriage to Miss Adeline E. Ashcroft,
daughter of Dr. Levy and Elizabeth Ashcroft, of
Tyler, Texas, and in 1854 settled in Sulphur Springs,
where he now claims his home. They have five
children: William B. (State Treasurer); Louis J.,
Albert A., Thomas, James, and Levy D. Wortham.
Col. Wortham has been a member of the M. E.
Church South thirty-eight years, and his consistent
deportment during the dark days of war, and
since, is ample proof of his faith in the promises of
God. As a soldier he was kind to all in distress
with whom he came in contact, and on one occasion
he stopped for a moment, in the midst of battle in
August, and gave to a wounded and dying Federal
soldier the last drop of water in his canteen, not
knowing when or where he would get any more.
The greater part of Col. Wortham's life has been
spent as a newspaper publisher and editor. In
December, 1861, he was a volunteer in the Confederate
At the organization of his company he was
elected First Lieutenant and was attached to
Crump's First Texas Battalion. The battalion.
was afterward attached to Ector's Brigade. At
the close of the war he was Lieutenant-Colonel
commanding the Thirty-fourth Texas Cavalry. He
participated in many of the bloody engagements of
the war-Elk Horn, Richmond (Ky.), Perryville,
Murfreesboro, Jackson, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill,
Yellow Bayou, and many other engagements or
skirmishes of less note.
He has served as Justice of the Peace and District
Clerk; represented Hopkins County three
times in the House of Representatives of the Texas
Legislature; represented his district during one
term in the State Senate, and in 1891 was appointed
by Governor James S. Hogg superintendent of the
State Orphans' Asylum at Corsicana.
Col. Wortham is one of the oldest, most widely
known and ablest editorial writers in Texas.
During the dark days that marked the reconstruction
era he fought fearlessly, through the
columns of his paper, the cause of civil liberty and
honest government, while being daily threatened
with incarceration in the Federal barracks, in Sulphur
Springs, where he was editing The Gazette, if
he did not withhold his caustic criticisms of the
conduct of those in authority.
He has always been a Democrat-taking the
extreme Southern view of the rights of the States
as enunciated by Thomas Jefferson and advocated
by the great Southern leaders in 1860 and 1861,
and never abandoned that doctrine until it was settled
by the arbitrament of the sword. When that
was a fixed fact he counseled obedience to the
altered condition of affairs, and earnestly desired
to witness a complete reconciliation between the
He has taken part, on the hustings, in many campaigns.
He has no patience with the so-called
" independentism "
another name, viewed in the
most charitable light, for a want of settled convictions,
and, in the true light, for demagogy and
a want of principle. The kind of independentism
he has followed throughout his long career as a
newspaper man, has been to freely criticise Democratic
leaders, when criticism was necessary to the
preservation of party integrity, and its adoption of
correct lines of public policy. Thus, helping to
keep the grand old ship true to her course, he has
been among the foremost when the enemy was to-be
met and victory won or defeat sustained. Believing
ardently that upon the ultimate triumph of the
principles of political economy, that forms Democratic
faith, depends the preservation of a truly
Republican government, and the protection of the
rights, liberties and happiness of all the people, he
has devoted himself with unselfish, patriotic zeal,
to the cause of Democracy throughout his long,
useful and honored life. As a member of the
House and Senate of the Texas Legislature, he
served on many important committees, took an
active part in legislation, and made an excellent
record. His discharge of the duties of his position
as superintendent of the State Orphans' Asylum
has been characterized by great ability, and he -has
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/820/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .