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WILDER, ALLEN W. (ca. 1845–?). Allen W. Wilder, who represented Washington County in the Thirteenth Legislature in 1873, was born a slave in North Carolina about 1845. The 1870 federal census report described him as aged twenty-five, unable to read or write, the father of five children, and married to a woman named Annis or Amis. Wilder worked in an engineering or mechanical occupation before entering politics. In 1872 Washington County voters elected him to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served on the Committee on Public Lands and Land Office. Wilder supported the incorporation of Giddings in Lee County. He did not serve in the Fourteenth Legislature but won a close election to the Fifteenth Legislature in 1876. However, a committee of the House of Representatives determined that certain votes in Washington County came from illegal voters; exclusion of those votes gave the election to Wilder's opponent and ended his legislative career. Wilder ran for the Texas Senate in 1878 but lost. He had become a teacher and lawyer by 1880. Sometime during the 1880s he encountered legal difficulties in which he faced charges involving illegally signed school vouchers and perjury.


Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Lawrence D. Rice, The Negro in Texas, 1874–1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971).

Paul M. Lucko


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

Paul M. Lucko, "WILDER, ALLEN W.," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.