Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Robert Wooster

HULING, THOMAS BYERS (1804–1865). Thomas Byers Huling, merchant and politician, son of Thomas and Rebecca (Berryhill) Huling, was born in Perry County, Pennsylvania, on October 19, 1804. After operating a steamboat business on the Mississippi River, he moved to Texas in 1834 and obtained a land grant on the south bank of the Angelina River in what later became Jasper County. A merchant and land speculator, Huling sold and transported provisions to Capt. James Chesser's locally raised unit during the Texas Revolution. He served as judge and postmaster after the war and owned the land on which Zavala was founded. Huling's first wife, known only as Sarah, apparently never came to Texas; she died in 1838, leaving him with one child. He was remarried in May 1839 to Elizabeth Bullock; this couple had eleven children. Huling represented Jasper County in the Fifth Congress of the republic, 1840–41. Seeking to stimulate the growth of the county, and especially his project at Zavala, he attempted unsuccessfully to persuade some sixty English families to colonize the area in 1847. Nonetheless, many of Huling's economic ventures paid high dividends; by 1850 he owned seventeen slaves and estimated the worth of his real property at $100,000. In 1855 he moved to the Sulphur Fork of the Lampasas River. He died on November 2, 1865.

Adele B. Looscan, "Elizabeth Bullock Huling," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 11 (July 1907). Madeleine Martin, More Early Southeast Texas Families (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 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, Robert Wooster, "HULING, THOMAS BYERS," accessed October 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 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...