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Albert C. Horton


Albert C. Horton

Albert C. Horton, who will always have a conspicuous place in Texas history as the first lieutenant governor of the state and acting governor during a considerable part of his term, took upon himself the burdens and responsibilities of public life as a matter of duty. His inclination was always for the life of a planter, and he was one of the most successful of the planters of the old ante-bellum period in the rich and fertile region of Wharton County.


He was born in Georgia, about 1798, and went from his native state to LaGrange, Alabama, about 1822. He was thus a pioneer of that state, which had been admitted to the Union only a few years earlier. In Alabama he met and married Miss Eliza Holliday, daughter of Gen. Thomas Holliday. From LaGrange he moved to Greensboro, Alabama and served one term in the Alabama State Senate. It was in 1832 that he determined to ally himself with the American colonists in Texas, and in 1836 he established his home in the Matagorda District in what is now Wharton County.


He had a prominent part in the movement for the separation of Texas from Mexico, and in the early part of the Texas Revolution he commanded a company of cavalry under Col. Fannin at Goliad. During the era of the Republic of Texas he represented his district in Congress. At the first election after the annexation of the state he was chosen lieutenant governor. Shortly after his inauguration Governor Henderson left the state to command the Texans in the Mexican war, and Lieutenant Governor Horton therefore became acting governor, and upon him devolved the heavy responsibilities of governorship until the end of the war. After this public service he followed his inclination and devoted his energies to the management of his vast estates. He owned a wonderful plantation and was regarded as one of the wealthiest men in Southern Texas before the Civil War. As a result of the war he lost about four hundred slaves and the systematic efficiency of his plantation was demoralized. He died at his plantation in 1865, soon after the surrender of the Confederate armies.


To the marriage of Albert C. Horton and Miss Eliza Holliday were born eight children, but only two lived to maturity, a daughter, Mrs. I. N. Dennis, and Col. Robert J. Horton, who was born March 21, 1844, in the town of Matagorda. At the age of eighteen he entered the Confederate army as a volunteer. On December 30, 1863, he was a participant under Captain Rugeley in a memorable attack on the sand fort of the enemy on Matagorda Bay and was one of those who endured the sufferings of that night of disaster for the Confederate forces. Matagorda Bay was lashed with the fury of a freezing cold norther storm, accompanied with sleet, and Colonel Horton was one of the few survivors of the attack. During the last year of the war he returned home on a furlough and married Miss Mary Hawes, a daughter of Judge Hugh Hawes. Soon after his marriage he resumed his duties in the army and at the close of the war he established his home in Matagorda, moving from there to Saluria Island, and thence to Goliad. In 1886 he returned to Wharton and lived there until his death on October 2, 1904. His last request was that his old Confederate Friends escort his remains to their final resting place, and there were many of the old soldiers then living, and with strength and willingness to perform this last tribute. While a resident of Wharton, Colonel Horton held several public offices. His honest nature and integrity of purpose made him one of the most loved men in the town. He was a brave soldier, a patriotic citizen, and a man of the highest sense of honor. His widow, Mrs. Robert J. Horton, died June 24, 1912. They were the parents of six children, five daughters and one son: Mrs. Carrie Foote, of Houston; Mrs. Jim Davis, of El Paso; Mrs. J. E. Irvin, Mrs. Alex Rugeley, Mrs. T. J. Abell, of Wharton; A. C. Horton, of Wharton.


Texas Under Many Flags, Clarence W. Wharton, American Historical Society, 1930

Matagorda County Genealogical Society Publication, Oak Leaves, Vol. 9 #2, February 1990



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Apr. 11, 2007
Apr. 11, 2007