William Lee Horton 1871 - 1952

a biography

William Lee Horton was born 1871 near Fulton Station, Fulton County, Kentucky. He was the son of Mason Dodson Horton of Rutherford County, Tennessee and Cealy Ann Wadley of Kentucky.

About 1900 he married Salena Elizabeth Bradford, born 18 Apr 1878 in Alabama to Columbus Randolph BRADFORD and Sarah Elizabeth NEWBERRY. They were married in Palo Pinto County, Texas. Children of this couple (all died in December, as did their mother):

  • Celia Elizabeth HORTON, b. 4 Jan 1902, d. 5 Dec 1989 .
  • Bradford Dodson HORTON, b. 3 Jun 1906, d. 11 Dec 1965. He died on the same day (not year) as his mother.
  • James Alford HORTON, b. 10 Aug 1910, d. 6 Dec 1919. He died of drowning at Ivan, Stephens County, Texas.

William Lee HORTON was a railroad worker. He was a small man with olive skin and gray eyes. At the end of his life, he belonged to the Tonk Valley Church of Christ.

Some family members believe William Lee HORTON was part Cherokee Indian. As evidence they cite that his children recalled visits to Sayre, Oklahoma located in the Indian Territory. However, the town of Sayre sprang up in 1901 as the result of a railroad line built across the Indian Territory, and the town was occupied by "Sooners", not Native Americans.

Per Wikipedia: "A rail line was extended from Weatherford, Oklahoma, to Texola, Oklahoma, by McCabe & Steen Contractors, in July 1901. Entrepreneurs would buy land near were the new tracks where being laid, and also near a source of water. The Choctaw Town site and Improvement Company did this, and when the railroad crossed the North Fork of the Red River in Western Indian Territory an instant town sprang up, on 14 September 1901. The Choctaw Townsite & Improvement Company began selling lots to new “Sooners” arriving to start a new life. The seeds of new town were on, businessmen came to sell their wares to the new town folk, and within one year the town’s population was up to around 1,000. The chief engineer, and a stockholder, for the railroad gave his name to the newly formed town, Robert Heysham Sayre, of Pennsylvania."

Since William Lee HORTON was a life-long railroad worker, it is reasonable to suppose that the Horton family resided, at some time, near Sayre. That time period was probably between 1890 and 1900 as William cannot be located in the 1900 federal census. There, he probably had relatives and friends. In addition, William was born in Kentucky far away from Indian Territory. His descent is well documented, and we find no evidence to support a Native American lineage, which would be intriguing if true.

In 1880, William was living with his father in Hill County, Texas. In 1900, he marries in Palo Pinto County, TX. In 1910, he appears in the Palo Pinto County, TX federal census.

By 1930 William and his son Bradford Dodson HORTON were in Young County, still engaged in railroad work and oil field work. William died age 83 living at 109 Smith Street in Graham, Young County, Texas. He was a member of The Tonk Valley Church of Christ. He passed away from chronic Myocarditis. He is buried at the Tonk Valley Cemetery near Graham.


  • 1870 Fulton County, KY Federal Census, 1870; Census Place: District 5, Fulton, Kentucky; Roll: M593_462; Page: 275; Image: 551, 2007, Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.com.
    No children in M. D. Horton household.
  • 1880 Hill County, TX Federal Census, Precinct 2, Hill, Texas; Roll 1311, Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.com
  • Census, 1910. Palo Pinto County, Texas Dist 186 Prec 4 territory East and North of Buck Creek crosses Erath Co line to Palo Pinto Creek to bridge on Santo Palo Pinto Rd to old Palo Pinto rd by Larkin Jones place to Prec road... Wharton spelling instead of Horton...
  • 1930 Young County, Texas Federal Census, Graham, Young, Texas; Roll: 2413; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 16; Image: 89.0, Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.com.
  • Death Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate

© 2010 Mark Fields. This work may be reproduced and redistributed, in whole or in part, without alteration and without prior written permission solely for genealogy research purposes, provided all copies contain the following statement: " © 2010 Mark Fields. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Mark Fields, his heirs, or assigns."

© 2009 RelativelyConnected.com, all rights reserved