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MILAM, JEFFERSON (1802–1844). Jefferson Milam, surveyor and planter, was born on October 5, 1802, in Franklin County, Kentucky. He was the only son of Archibald and Susan (Shannon) Milam. In the 1820s he and other family members moved to Missouri, but in 1826 he joined his uncle, Benjamin R. Milam, agent for introducing settlers into the Wavell Red River Colony (see WAVELL, ARTHUR GOODALL) in northeastern Texas. He became surveyor for his uncle and in 1830, as a single man, took up land in the southern part of the area that later became Bowie County. In 1837 President Sam Houston appointed him official surveyor for Red River County, Republic of Texas. In 1831 Milam married Eliza Serene McKinney, youngest daughter of Collin McKinney. They had ten children. Milam was a member of the Disciples of Christ. He died November 26, 1844, and was buried at his homestead in southern Bowie County.


Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas (Chicago: Battey, 1889; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Lois A. Garver, "Benjamin Rush Milam," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 38 (October 1934, January 1935). McKinney-Milam Papers, Archives, University of Texas at Arlington.

Lois Garver


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

Lois Garver, "MILAM, JEFFERSON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.