Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon


DAVIDSON, CHARLES E. (1856–1944). Charles E. Davidson, lawyer, rancher, and county judge, was born on July 10, 1856, in Nicholas County, Kentucky, and spent his childhood on a farm in Iowa. After attending Cornell University and the University of Iowa, he received his law degree in 1882 from the Hastings School of Law, San Francisco, and went to work for a San Francisco law firm that dealt in Texas land and land scrip. His first case yielded him a fee of twenty-five sections of land in West Texas. He moved to Texas immediately and, with his brother Glen, opened a land and law office in San Angelo in 1883. The young lawyer and surveyor soon branched out into the cattle business and in 1891 moved to Ozona. That section of the state was then a part of Bexar County, but under Davidson's leadership the separate Crockett County was organized. Davidson was elected the first county judge and county school superintendent on July 7, 1891. His tenure as county judge is probably unparalleled in the United States: during his fifty-one years on the bench he never sought reelection. In 1893 Judge Davidson married Dixie R. Friend; they reared seven children. Davidson briefly published the Ozona Stockman. He successfully combined the career of county judge with that of lawyer, rancher, surveyor, educator, publisher, businessman, and philosopher. His long service in behalf of his community earned him the nickname "Godfather of Crockett County." He was a Methodist and a Mason. Davidson died at his ranch home near Ozona on July 25, 1944.


Cattleman, September 1944. Crockett County Historical Society, History of Crockett County (San Angelo: Anchor, 1976).

Gene Hollon


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Gene Hollon, "DAVIDSON, CHARLES E.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.