William Taylor Thornton
William Taylor Thornton (February 9, 1843 – March 16, 1916) was the 15th Governor of New Mexico Territory from 1893 to 1897.
He joined the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and served in the personal guard of General Sterling Price, and later in a company commanded by his brother Paul. Thornton was taken prisoner in February 1862 and was held in Illinois until his release the following October. he then returned to his company and continued to serve until the end of the war.
Thornton relocated to New Mexico Territory in 1877, seeking a climate that would improve his health. He began to practice law in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and eventually formed a partnership with Thomas B. Catron. Though Thornton and Catron were both Confederate veterans from Missouri, Catron was a Republican, while Thornton was a Democrat. Thornton was also involved in several businesses, including mining, cattle ranching, real estate development, and land speculation.
Thornton was a member of New Mexico Legislative Council in 1880. In 1891 he was elected the first mayor of Santa Fe, and he served one two-year term.
After leaving the governorship Thornton returned to his legal and business interests. He died in Santa Fe on March 16, 1916. He was buried at Fairview cemetery in Santa Fe.
- "Index to Politicians: Thornton". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
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