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Kristi Nedderman
Isaac C. Naylor (1824–1885).
Isaac C. Naylor (1824–1885). Courtesy Dallas Municipal Archives.

NAYLOR, ISAAC C. (1824–1885). Isaac C. Naylor, attorney and mayor of Dallas, was born in Morgan County, Ohio, to Jonathan and Jane (Marshall) Naylor on July 1, 1824. He graduated from Marietta College in Ohio in 1851 and soon left for Texas and eventually settled in Galveston. He operated the Select Academy in Galveston until 1856 and also studied law. At some point he moved to Dallas, and the October 21, 1856, edition of the Galveston Weekly News published an advertisement announcing that Naylor would practice as an attorney in Dallas. In that city, he also joined the Tannehill Lodge No. 52 and served as its secretary.

Naylor was elected mayor of Dallas in April 1858. However, in June 1858 Dallas citizens voted to adopt a new city charter. As a result of this change, a new mayoral election was held, and on August 2, 1858, Anderson Doniphan Rice was elected mayor.

While Naylor was mayor, he also served on the defense team of city marshal Andrew M. Moore, who was charged with the murder of Alexander Cockrell. After a two-day trial in July 1858, Moore was declared not guilty of the crime.

Naylor left Dallas after the August election and returned to Galveston. In September 1858 he married Henrietta Wood, daughter of Edward Stout Wood and Ann (Outterside) Wood. During the Civil War, Naylor may have left his family in Galveston and moved to California. Information, however, is not clear on his whereabouts, and he was listed on Dallas County tax rolls for the years of 1860, 1863, 1864, and 1865, and on Galveston County tax rolls for 1861 and 1862. Isaac Naylor lived in Galveston after the war and was listed as a bookkeeper working for Edward Stout Wood, his father-in-law. The 1870 census listed his occupation as a post office clerk. Apparently he also cultivated an orange grove in Florida, and periodically visited that state. He obtained a law license to practice for one year in that state in 1876.

Isaac Naylor died at the age of sixty, purportedly of an aortic aneurism, on April 16, 1885, in Galveston and was interred in Old City Cemetery there. The 1880 census shows Henrietta and Isaac as having three sons named Edward, Isaac, and Charles.


Dallas Herald, July 31, 1858. Galveston Evening Tribune, April 16, 1885. Galveston Weekly News, October 21, 1856. George Jackson, Sixty Years in Texas (Dallas: Wilkinson Printing Company, 1908). Naylor Family Papers, Rosenberg Library, Galveston, Texas. Darwin Payne, ed., Sketches of a Growing Town: Episodes and People of Dallas from Early Days to Recent Times (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1991).

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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, Kristi Nedderman, "NAYLOR, ISAAC C. ," accessed August 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fnayi.

Uploaded on May 28, 2020. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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