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DENISON, FRANKLIN LODOWICK (1831–1889). Franklin Lodowick Denison, lawyer, journalist, and Confederate Army officer, was born on April 7, 1831, in Stonington, Connecticut. When he was two years old the family moved to Ravenna, Ohio, where he was raised and educated. At age eighteen he moved to Aberdeen, Mississippi, where he published a newspaper and studied law. In 1854 he moved to Texas and established a legal practice at Waco. There, on October 10, 1856, he married Cornelia Anne Evans; she died in 1857. On August 11, 1859, he married Hannah Gibson Lambdin, the daughter of Rev. William M. Lambdin, president of Waco Female College. This couple had nine children. For five or six years Denison served as the state's prosecuting attorney. At the outbreak of the Civil War he helped to raise a company of infantry for service under Lt. Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes in Arkansas. Future governor Richard Coke was elected its captain and Denison its first lieutenant. Denison resigned from the army due to ill health and returned to Waco, where he was appointed tax collector for McLennan County.

After the war he established the Register. Because of continued ill health, however, he gave up the paper and traveled in Mexico for six months. After regaining his health he moved to Bryan and established the Millican News-Teller. In 1879 he moved to Belton and established the Courier. Its plant was destroyed by fire a few years later. He then founded the Texas Farmer, which he sold at a handsome profit. Finally he founded the Belton Reporter, which he edited until his death. He died on February 7, 1889, and is buried in the North Belton Cemetery. Denison and his wife were Methodists.


Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian, 1972). A Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell, and Coryell Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893; rpt., St. Louis: Ingmire, 1984). Amelia W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, eds., The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813–1863 (8 vols., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1938–43; rpt., Austin and New York: Pemberton Press, 1970).

Thomas W. Cutrer

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Thomas W. Cutrer, "DENISON, FRANKLIN LODOWICK," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.