Aragorn Storm Miller

THOMSON, WILLIAM DOWSING (1806–1866). William Dowsing Thomson, farmer, businessman, public servant, and state representative, was born in Georgia on November 14, 1806. He was the son of Alexander S. Thomson, Jr., and Elizabeth Maury (Dowsing) Thomson. He was raised in both Georgia and Giles County, Tennessee. On October 25, 1831, Thomson married Permelia Ann Evans in Maury County, Tennessee. They had eight children. Between 1830 and 1832 he accompanied his father, a surveyor and partner of empresario Sterling Robertson, on several expeditions to Texas. Working from the town of Nashville, Texas, they helped establish the first Anglo-American colonial settlements at Robertson’s Colony in present-day Burleson and Milam counties. During the Texas Revolution, Thomson volunteered for duty with Sam Houston’s forces and participated in the battle of San Jacinto. Following the establishment of Milam County in 1836, he served as first county clerk and postmaster from 1837 to 1842. He also served as an engrossing clerk in the House of Representatives during the First Congress of the Republic of Texas, held at Columbia in 1836.

In 1838 Thomson brought his family to Texas from Tennessee and worked as a farmer, hotel keeper, and Brazos River ferry operator in the town of Old Nashville in Milam County. Following the entry of Texas into the United States, in 1846 Thomson served in a group of commissioners charged with establishing the county seat in Cameron, Texas. In 1847 he received a grant of land in Milam County for his service at San Jacinto, and by 1850 Thomson was among the prosperous and influential citizens of Milam County and claimed $12,000 in personal and real property. Thomson represented Milam and Williamson counties in the House of the Fourth Texas Legislature from 1851 to 1853. In 1855 he relocated to Austin. Thomson died in Burleson County on November 4, 1866, and was buried at the Thomson Family Cemetery in Yellow Prairie, Texas (later known as Chriesman, Texas).


History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893). L. W. Kemp, ed., “Early Days in Milam County: Reminiscences of Susan Turnham McCown,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 (January 1947). Mrs. John T. Martin and Mrs. Louis C. Hill, Milam County, Texas, Records (2 vols., Waco, 1965, 1968). Olive Todd Walker, "Esther Amanda Sherrill Cullins," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (January 1944).

Aragorn Storm Miller

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, Aragorn Storm Miller, "THOMSON, WILLIAM DOWSING," accessed February 19, 2020,

Uploaded on November 11, 2014. Modified on November 18, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...