From the Hand Book of Texas:
HENSLEY, WILLIAM RICHARDSON (1800-1849). William Richardson Hensley,
surveyor, legislator, and merchant, was born in
Shelby County, Kentucky, on September 29, 1800. In 1823 he married
Mary Thompson of Tennessee and moved to Johnson County, Indiana.
From there he traveled to Texas in November 1828 and settled in San
Felipe. He surveyed widely, from San Felipe as far west as the
Nueces River. Family records show that the Hensleys established
homes in the areas of present Colorado, Fayette, and Jackson counties.
In connection with his work, Hensley frequently encountered hostile
Indians and so won a name as an Indian fighter.
He was the delegate from the district of Alfred (Colorado County) to
the Convention of 1832.qv William Barret Travis,qv a close friend, lived
with the Hensley family for several years before the Texas
Revolution,qv and it was for him that Travis Hensley, born shortly
after the fall of the Alamo,qv was named. According to family tradition
William Hensley was a member of one of the early war councils of
the provisional governmentqv and also fought in the battle of San
Jacintoqv without benefit of enlistment or assignment.
In the early 1840s he became a merchant in Port Lavaca and soon
controlled great wagon trains to Mexico. He made a number of trips to
Saltillo, Veracruz, and other Mexican cities to trade for hides, silver,
and other commodities. On his return from one of his trading ventures,
he contracted cholera and died in Port Lavaca, on March 20, 1849. He
was buried in an unmarked grave outside the Port Lavaca cemetery
with other victims of the epidemic. He was survived by his wife and
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Texas House of Representatives, Biographical
Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832-1845
(Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).
Helen Ashworth Moore
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