Courtesy Of Find-A-Grave
Brief Sketch On The
Life Of Abram Bledsoe
Bledsoe was born in 1801 in Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky. He was the
son of William Miller Bledsoe and Patience Owsley.
He was known as “Honest A Bledsoe” because when he was born his father
looked at him and said, “He looks like a Bledsoe.” Therefore most
places where his name appears there is no period after “A,” simply A
Judge William Harrison Bledsoe, a state senator of Texas in the early
1900's, was responsible mainly for Texas Tech being placed in Lubbock. A's
aunt, Jane Bledsoe, married Walker Baylor. Their son Robert Emmet Bledsoe (Reb) Baylor
was the founder of Baylor University.
Bledsoe, pioneer settler, state comptroller, and county judge, moved to
Dallas County, Texas, from Kentucky in 1847. He purchased the headright of
Captain Roderick A. Rawlins, who later became his son-in-law. Bledsoe
subdivided the tract and surveyed a townsite that he called Lancaster. He
was elected chief justice of Dallas County in 1865 but lost a reelection bid
the following year. He also failed in an attempt to represent the county at
the Constitutional Convention of 1866. During Reconstruction he was
appointed county judge, a position he held until 1869. He was elected to
represent Dallas County at the Constitutional Convention of 1868-69, where
his political views aligned him with the Radical Republican faction. He was
nicknamed "Iron-clad" after he publicly took the "Iron-clad" oath of loyalty
to the United States. He served on the committee that recommended the
establishment of the controversial and unpopular State Police to curb
lawlessness and violence.
returned to Dallas after the convention and remained county judge until he
was appointed comptroller of public accounts. He gained notoriety in this
position for his refusal to allow the transfer of $500,000 worth of state
bonds to the International Railroad Company and for filing fraud charges of
which the rail line was found innocent against the company in state district
court in Austin in February 1873. Bledsoe contended that the rail company
had arranged to pay a number of state legislators in return for their votes
in favor of 1870 legislation authorizing the transfer of $10,000 in bonds
for each mile of track constructed by the railroad. Upon the completion of
fifty miles of track, the company had demanded $500,000 in bonds, which
Governor E. J. Davis signed but which Bledsoe, as state comptroller,
refused to sign. The company filed a writ of mandamus in state district
court to force Bledsoe to sign and deliver the bonds. The matter eventually
reached the state Supreme Court, which, by a three-to-two vote, voided the
writ, thereby siding with Bledsoe. The end of Reconstruction in Texas
hastened the end of Bledsoe's public career. He died at his home in Dallas
on October 8, 1882.
-Sources: Special Thanks
To Bob Bledsoe, A Relative of A. Bledsoe
To The Grave Of Abram Bledsoe
South of Dallas,
Texas is the city of Lancaster, Texas. On the southern outskirts of the town is
the Edgewood Cemetery. On I-35E take Exit 414 and head east on W. Belt Line Rd.
Cross W. Main St. and continue on W. Belt Line Rd. When you cross S. Dallas Ave.
(Hwy. 342) the road will become E. Belt Line Rd. Go to the 500 Block of E. Belt
Line Rd. and turn right on Nokomis Rd. Head south and the cemetery will be on
both sides of the road. Enter the Eastwood Cemetery on the left side of the
road. Enter the cemetery and go to the right toward the older section at the
south end of the cemetery. Look to the left in the old section for the
Acc. To 16 ft.
N32º 34.781' x WO 96º 44.836'
or, D.d 32.57968333333333, -96.7472666666666
View Larger Map
Abram Bledsoe Plot On Left; Roderick
Rawlins Plot On Right
Jan. 8, 1801
Nov. 8, 1882
V.E. Rawlins. M.O. Bledsoe,
W.A. Bledsoe. B.C. Spruance
F.C. Bledsoe. J.C. Bledsoe.
An Honest Man, The Noblest
But Not Forever
In Memory Of Margaret R.
Wife Of A. Bledsoe
Aug. 31, 1873
Aged 66 Years,
11 Mo. 13 Days.
Virginia E. Rawlins
Betty C. Spruance