VISER, WILLIAM WALLACE
VISER, WILLIAM WALLACE (1830–1901). William Wallace Viser, merchant, real estate dealer, postmaster, educator, and Confederate officer, was born in Fayette County, Tennessee, on June 19, 1830. He was the son of William and Rachel (Brazelton) Viser. The Viser family moved to Mississippi in 1833 and to Texas in 1839 and settled in Walker County. By 1850 Viser had established himself as a merchant, real estate dealer, and postmaster in Danville, Montgomery County. His store also served as the county post office. On January 6, 1853, Viser married Amanda M. Johnson in Walker County. This couple had four sons and one daughter. Later in 1853, the Viser family moved to Midway, Madison County, Texas. Around this time Viser became the guardian of an orphaned nephew. In 1855 Viser joined the faculty at Midway School. By 1860 he was among the leading citizens of Madison County and boasted real and personal property worth of $4,200 including the ownership of ten slaves.
On May 4, 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, Viser enlisted for one year as a private in the Danville Mounted Riflemen, a cavalry unit formed in Montgomery County. Following this enlistment, on March 10, 1862, Viser enlisted as a lieutenant in Company B of Gould's Cavalry Battalion, which formed near Houston. From May 3 to May 24, Viser served as adjutant for the battalion. He received promotion to captain and commander of Company B on May 24. This unit was at various times independent as well as attached to the Thirteenth Texas Cavalry Regiment and to Gen. Horace Randal's Second Brigade, Walker's Texas Division. Viser saw extensive action, including the battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864, where he was wounded and the battle of Pleasant Hill. He received promotion to major on November 12, 1864, and was with the Sixth Texas Cavalry Battalion at Hempstead, Texas, when it was disbanded at the Confederate surrender in the spring of 1865.
Following the war, Viser returned to Madison County, where he resumed his leading role within the community. In 1870 he opened a private school in Madisonville. Following the death of his first wife, Viser married her sister, Cynthia Ann Johnson Malone, on February 24, 1872. This woman soon died, however, and Viser married Elizabeth Ann Wycough Hawkins in Madison County on August 10, 1873. In the late 1870s Viser continued to work as a merchant and served as county clerk. He died in Madisonville, Madison County, on September 25, 1901, and was buried there.
Madison County Historical Commission, A History of Madison County (Dallas: Taylor, 1984). James Marion McCan (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~barrettbranches/Researchers/Karen%20Hett/biographies/jmmccan.html), accessed March 31, 2011. Texans in the Civil War: Gould's Battalion, 6th Texas Cavalry Battalion (http://www.angelfire.com/tx/RandysTexas/page53.html), accessed March 31, 2011. W. W. VISER (http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~barrettbranches/Researchers/Karen%20Hett/biographies/wwviser.html), accessed March 31, 2011.
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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, Aragorn Storm Miller, "Viser, William Wallace ," accessed August 30, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fvi36.
Uploaded on April 11, 2011. Modified on June 1, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.