Stephen L. Hardin

KYLE, WILLIAM JEFFERSON (1803–1864). William Jefferson Kyle, a prominent planter in Brazoria and Fort Bend counties and one of the largest slaveholders in Texas, was born on November 11 or November 20, 1803, in Hawkins County, Tennessee. Around 1831 he had a son, William Rufus Kyle. William J. Kyle and Benjamin F. Terry purchased Nathaniel F. Williams's Oakland Plantation at Sugar Land in 1853 and continued the raw sugar mill and grew sugarcane and other crops. By 1860 Kyle, in partnership with Terry, owned 105 slaves in Fort Bend County. That same year he also appeared on the census for Brazoria County, where he had real property valued at $112,500 and personal property valued at $65,750. In Brazoria County he and Terry had seventy-five slaves and a plantation with 600 improved acres that produced 3,000 bushels of corn, 50 bales of cotton, and 200 hogsheads of sugar. Kyle died in January 1864 and was buried at Sandy Point, Brazoria County.


Randolph B. Campbell, An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821–1865 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989). Ralph A. Wooster, "Notes on Texas' Largest Slaveholders, 1860," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 65 (July 1961).

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, Stephen L. Hardin, "KYLE, WILLIAM JEFFERSON," accessed November 12, 2018,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 23, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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