Stephanie P. Niemeyer

HOLFORD, WILLIS (1820–1899). Willis Holford, merchant, cattle trader, and state legislator, was born on October 25, 1820, in Overton County, Tennessee, son of John and Sarah Holford. He married Nancy Jane Tate in Tennessee on September 13, 1838. The couple had five children. Sometime before the Civil War, Holford and his family moved to Grayson County, Texas. By 1860 he owned thirteen slaves. When the Civil War broke out, Holford did not immediately join the Confederate Army, but by August 6, 1863, he was enlisted as a private in Company B of the Fifteenth Texas State Troops. He served for about six months before taking his seat in the Tenth Texas Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives. Holford was reelected in 1866 to the Eleventh Texas Legislature.

In 1870 he owned a dry goods store in Pilot Point, Texas. Nancy died on July 29, 1871, and on November 19 of the same year, Holford married Mary Mildred Taylor Mealer. They had one child. In 1880 Holford was trading cattle in north Texas.

Willis Holford died in 1899 and was buried in the Masonic section of the Pilot Point Community Cemetery. Mary was buried next to him when she died in 1900.


Holford Family History (http://www.holford.org.uk/family/willis.html), accessed October 12, 2006.

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: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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, Stephanie P. Niemeyer, "HOLFORD, WILLIS," accessed August 19, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhoau.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 26, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox