John Boyd (Texas politician)

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John Boyd
BornAugust 7, 1796
DiedMay 4, 1873
Occupationsettler, politician, philanthropist
Spouse(s)Elizabeth McLean
RelativesLinn Boyd (brother)

John Boyd (1796–1873) was an American settler and politician. He served as a Congressman for the Republic of Texas and as a member of the Texas State Senate.

Early life[edit]

John Boyd was born on August 7, 1796 in Nashville, Tennessee.[1][2][3] His father was Abraham Boyd and his mother, Nancy Linn.[4] His brother, Linn Boyd, went on to serve as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1851 to 1855.[4]


By 1835, Boyd settled in Sabine County, Texas with his wife and children.[1][2] He then served in the Texas Revolution.[2]

Boyd served as a member of the Congress of the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845.[2] In 1845, he moved to Limestone County, Texas, where he staked a claim near the Tehuacana Hills, northwest of Tehuacana.[2]

From 1862 to 1863, Boyd served in the Texas Senate.[2] By then, he had become a secessionist, in favor of the Confederate States of America.[1][2]

Boyd was also a landowner in Nashville.[5] He donated 1,100 acres of land as well as financial assistance for the establishment of Trinity University.[2]

Personal life, death and legacy[edit]

Boyd married Elizabeth McLean.[1] They had nine children, but only three reached adulthood.[1] He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.[2]

Boyd died on May 4, 1873.[1][3] After his death, the land he owned in Nashville, Tennessee was inherited by his granddaughter, Rachel Douglas Boyd Smiley, the wife of Senator Henry S. Foote.[5] They built a house, Old Central, which was later acquired by Vanderbilt University, on whose campus it still stands today.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cecil Harper, Jr., "BOYD, JOHN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed October 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845, 1942. , pp. 54-55 [1]
  3. ^ a b Legislative Reference Library: Texas Legislators: Past & Present: John Boyd
  4. ^ a b Judge Prestley Kettedge Ewing and Mary Ellen (Williams) Ewing, The Ewing genealogy with cognate branches: a survey of the Ewings and their kin in America
  5. ^ a b c Carey, Bill (April 8, 2002). "Old Central built by former governor who slugged Jefferson Davis". Vanderbilt Register. Retrieved November 5, 2015.