DELANEY, WILLIAM SHELBY (1825–1900). William Shelby Delaney, son of Henry Field and Rhoda (Prince) Delaney, was born in Union County, Kentucky, on September 18, 1825. He graduated from Cumberland College in July 1847 and taught Greek and Latin there from 1848 until 1851, while he studied law in his spare time. He was admitted to the bar in Caldwell County, Kentucky, where he married Gabriella R. Shropshire on July 14, 1850; after her death he married Mrs. Caroline Shropshire, on July 21, 1863. Delaney practiced law in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, from 1854 to 1860, when he moved to Columbus, Texas. He was colonel of a Colorado County regiment in the Confederate Army before he became district attorney of the Columbus district in 1862; he was removed from office as an alleged impediment to Reconstruction in 1865. In 1873 he was appointed to the bench of the Colorado County Court. He represented District Twenty-five in the House of the Fourteenth Legislature, 1874–75, where he served as chairman of the committee on finance. From 1881 to 1885 he sat as judge on the Colorado County Commission of Appeals. Delaney owned large tracts of land in Wharton, Colorado, and other counties and ranked as one of the leading stock raisers in the region. He served as vestryman and licensed lay reader in St. John's Episcopal Church at Columbus. He had five children with his first wife and two with his second. Delaney died at Austin on December 16, 1900, and was buried there in Oakwood Cemetery.

Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). James D. Lynch, The Bench and Bar of Texas (St. Louis, 1885). Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1894; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "DELANEY, WILLIAM SHELBY," accessed February 28, 2020,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...