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T. Bradford Willis
William McKendree Lambdin (1811–1867).
William McKendree Lambdin (1811–1867). Courtesy T. Bradford Willis and available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

LAMBDIN, WILLIAM MCKENDREE (1811–1867). William McKendree Lambdin, Methodist minister, paper mill operator, dry goods dealer, and president of Waco Female College, was born in Wheeling, Ohio County, Virginia, now West Virginia, on January 16, 1811. He was the son of Reverend William Lambdin and Susan (Corner) Lambdin and was probably named after Bishop William McKendree, an early bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. As a youth, Lambdin worked in a paper mill and in a dry goods business, both of which were established by his father in Wheeling. On May 20, 1834, at Wheeling, Ohio County, Virginia, he married Phebe G. Lamb (ca. 1814–1849). After the death of his first wife on October 10, 1849, Lambdin married Susan Amelia Thompson (1830–1910) in 1855. Lambdin had at least six known children. 

In 1857 the William McKendree Lambdin family moved to Waco, McLennan County, Texas, where his sister, Lucretia Patience (Lambdin) Prather and her husband, the Reverend George W. Prather, lived. Lambdin was admitted on trial to the Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as a deacon at its session held in Waco during December 1857. Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh appointed him to serve as the second president of Waco Female College (he succeeded Franklin C. Wilkes). At the November 1858 session of the Texas Conference, Bishop George F. Pierce appointed Lambdin as the minister of the Bosque Mission, now the Bosqueville United Methodist Church in the Waco District of the denomination. At the November 1859 session of the Texas Conference, Bishop Pierce appointed him to the Houston Station and the Colored Mission. The Houston Station was later named the Shearn Memorial Methodist Church (now the First United Methodist Church of Houston); the Colored Mission was later named the Trinity United Methodist Church of Houston. At the November 1860 session of the Texas Conference, Bishop James O. Andrew appointed Lambdin the presiding elder of the Fort Worth District, where he served from 1860 to 1864. At this 1860 session, he was also admitted into full connection in the Texas Conference as an elder. At the 1865 session of the Texas Conference, he was appointed to the Waco Station (later named the Fifth Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South). The Fifth Street Church was eventually renamed the First United Methodist Church of Waco. In 1866 Lambdin was elected a delegate to the session of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At the September 1866 session of the newly-formed Northwest Texas Conference of the denomination, he was appointed as an agent of the Texas Christian Advocate, the denominational newspaper.

Grave of William McKendree Lambdin
Grave of William McKendree Lambdin. Courtesy of T. Bradford Willis.

Reverend William McKendree Lambdin died of yellow fever on September 11, 1867. He was buried at First Street Cemetery of Waco. A Texas Historical Marker was dedicated at his gravesite on June 3, 2001. The marker was a project of the Commission on Archives and History of the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. 


Isabella Margaret Elizabeth Blandin, History of Shearn Church, 1837–1907 (Houston: Pub. for the benefit of Shearn auxiliary of Woman's home mission Society [J. V. Dealy Co., Printers], 1908). Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.  Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817–1866 (Nashville: Cokesbury, 1924). Elizabeth Estlack Mullett and Carol Hassig, Ohio County, West Virginia Marriages, Minister's Returns, 1790–1835 (New Martinsville, West Virginia: Wetzel County Genealogical Society, 1991).  Macum Phelan, A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867–1902 (Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort, 1937). “Rev William McKendree Lambdin,” Find A Grave Memorial (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5585687/william-mckendree-lambdin), accessed May 5, 2018. Waco Tribune-Herald, June 4, 2001. T. Bradford Willis, Some Notable Persons in First Street Cemetery of Waco, Texas, Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana (http://www.genealogycenter.info/search_txfirststreet.php), accessed May 5, 2018.

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

Handbook of Texas Online, T. Bradford Willis, "LAMBDIN, WILLIAM MCKENDREE ," accessed May 29, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/flamb.

Uploaded on May 8, 2018. Modified on May 11, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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