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MIDDLETON, WILLIAM B. (1819–1877). William B. Middleton, pioneer, sheriff, and legislator, was born on August 4, 1819, in Crawford County, Illinois. In 1837 his father moved the family to Texas, and they settled in Leon County. The family and eleven other families built the settlement known as Fort Boggy where they lived for two years. President Sam Houston ordered the men to organize a ranging company to protect the settlement against Indian raids.

In 1842 General Adrian Woll and a force of Mexican troops invaded Texas. Middleton answered the call from President Sam Houston to join the army, and he and his brothers were assigned to a Captain Wilson's company. He joined the ill-fated Mier Expedition and was one of the participants in the Black Bean Episode. Middleton and his brother drew a white bean that allowed them to live, although his brother later died in prison in Mexico City. Middleton was imprisoned in Mexico for two years.

After his return to Texas, he married Mary Jane Potts in December 1845. He was elected sheriff of Leon County in 1846. During the Mexican War, Middleton served as a lieutenant in James Gillaspie's company of the First Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers and returned to Leon County after mustering out. He was elected sheriff twice more. In 1855 and again in 1859 he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.

William Middleton died on March 17, 1877. He is buried in Makamson Cemetery in Leon County.


William DeRyee and R. E. Moore, The Texas Album of the Eighth Legislature (Austin: Miner, Lambert, and Perry, 1860). Family Search, "William B. Middleton" (, accessed August 14, 2006.

Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer


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

Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer, "MIDDLETON, WILLIAM B.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 25, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.