(August 3, 1814 - March 29, 1898) North Carolina native William Cornelius Dalrymple served in the Texas Revolutionary forces and as a Texas Ranger during the 1830s. He married Elizabeth Wilbarger in Bastrop County, Texas, in 1840, and settled on the San Gabriel River in 1846. He served Williamson County as one of six commissioners to select the county seat, as Tax Assessor/Collector, and as State Representative in 1855 and 1857. In 1860 Texas Governor Sam Houston appointed him his aide-de-camp and Commander in Chief of the Texas Militia. In 1865 he served as State Senator and delegate to Texas' Constitutional Convention. (1995)
Additional Comments Link
Marker Dedication on June 3, 1995
WELCOME Edwin Dalrymple
POSTING OF COLORS Travis Dalrymple and
SALUTE TO THE FLAG Bryson Dalrymple
INTRODUCTION OF SPECIAL GUESTS
SUMMARY OF HONOREE'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Rev. Jack Ware
Georgetown Presbyterian Church
Irene Varan and Dennis Dalrymple
UNVEILING OF MARKER Wm. Cornelius Dalrymple
BENEDICTION Rev. Jack Ware
TAPS Holly Ann Dalrymple
RETIRING OF COLORS
Special Appreciation to:
Georgetown Presbyterian Church
Williamson County Historical Commission Texas State Historical Commission
WILLIAM CORNELIUS DALRYMPLE historical narrative
The grandparents of William Cornelius Dalrymple, John, and Margaret Gordon Dalrymple, with their eight children, emigrated from Stranraer, Scotland to Moore (Now Lee) County, North Carolina in May 1775. (1)
William Cornelius, son of James and Rosanna Dowd Dalrymple, was born on 3 August 1814 on the paternal farm in Moore County, N.C., where he remained until age 21, securing a common school education. Soon after attaining his majority, he started for Texas, although little was known of that country at that time in North Carolina. (2)
Dalrymple served in the Texas Revolutionary Forces from 15 April until 15 October 1836, later receiving a bounty land grant of 640 acres for this service. (3)
In 1837 Dalrymple was a member of the Texas Rangers and served on the Brazos River, and in 1839 he served with his company in guarding the woodcutters who prepared the logs for building the first buildings to house the government in Austin. In 1840 he married Elizabeth Wilbarger of Bastrop County. (4)
The 1840 Census of the Republic of Texas lists W.C. Dalrymple as a citizen of Bastrop County. As of February 1845, W.C. Dalrymple was listed as a Justice of the Peace in Bastrop County. (5)
Before his death, Colonel W.C. Dalrymple was quoted in a magazine article on early cattle trails in Texas as stating the Double File Trail crossed the Gabriel River in Williamson County below the Town's Mill Dam, and that in the fall of 1846 he settled on the North bank of the Gabriel, and that Captain Ross' rangers helped him "raise" his log cabin. (6)
On February 2, 1848, a "Petition of the citizens of the western portion of Milam County" was submitted to the Texas Legislature asking that a new county be created to be named "Clear Water".
Signature 13 on the petition was that of W.C. Dalrymple. The State Legislature promptly approved the creation of Williamson County on March 13, 1848. This act established the county boundaries and also named six men, including William C. Dalrymple, as Commissioners to select the site for the county seat. (7)
In the first election of county officers in 1848, Dalrymple was elected as the first Tax Assessor and Collector, being reelected in 1850. (4)
Dalrymple was elected in 1855 and reelected in 1857 to represent the counties of Williamson and Burnet in the State Legislature. In 1865 he was elected to represent the counties of Williamson, Bell, Milam, Lampasas, and Burnet in the State Senate. In 1866 he was elected to represent the counties of Travis and Williamson in the Constitutional Convention of that year. (2)
On December 30, 1859, Governor Houston ordered Captain W.C. Dalrymple to organize a company of 83 men and on January 14, 1860, appointed him as commander of this "1st Company of Texas Rangers".
He was ordered to the Northern frontier on the Wichita River to protect residents of that area. In the next months, Governor Houston and Captain Dalrymple corresponded frequently concerning the rangers' activity in protecting the frontier from Indian depredations. (8)
In a sealed document dated October 10, 1860, Governor Houston appointed William C. Dalrymple as his "Aid de Camp with the rank of Colonel of Cavalry (Volunteers) to the Commander in Chief of the Texas Militia", placing him "in command of all the troops now in service or that may hereafter be called into service". As of February 1861, Dalrymple's forces were at Camp Belknap. (8)
(The following document, contained in this correspondence file, because of its historical significance is set forth in detail. There has been speculation that if the U.S. Government forces had not surrendered to Colonel Dalrymple's demand the civil war might have begun with this showdown rather than later in South Carolina.)
Headquarters Camp Cooper
February 23rd, 1861
I have the honor to report to your Excellency that this United States Military Post has been surrendered into my hands.
Having intelligence that the State of Texas by the convention of the people, has virtually severed its connection with the Federal Government, and with a knowledge that within little more than two short weeks that government must be administered by men professionally hostile to the institutions of the South and who could and most likely would displace the worthy commander and his officers at this Post, and put in command the assist (?) Republicans, in which case a dangerous nucleus would be formed for any hostile movement against the State within. '. .(?) by the Government of the North, or for plunder by Montgomery and other outlaws and their minions... I also found. . . ., and . . . a large number of armed citizens determined on the capture or destruction of the place. In the meantime, the garrison, consisting of more than two hundred and fifty men making such preparations for defense as the means at hand would permit.
Having been assigned the command of all the force assembled, I determined to interpose my authority and command and save for Texas the Post, prevent if possible the shedding of blood and all the calamities incident to a civil war. Accordingly on the 19th inst. I made in the name of the Sovereign State of Texas, a formal demand of surrender of the Post, with all ammunitions animals and other property here to fore belonging to the Government of the United States, which was accordingly surrendered at 10 O'Clock on the morning of the 21st instant. Accompanying are copies of the articles of stipulation and correspondence pertaining thereto.
Your Excellency will please order me as to the disposition of the property turned over to the State A Quartermaster is engaged in taking an inventory.
I have the honor to be
Aid de Camp to
Your Excellency & Col. Commanding"
When Colonel Dalrymple marched his men against Camp Cooper he had volunteers from the country around Dallas, Ft. Worth, Weatherford, and Palo Pinto. They entered the post with the Texas flag flying and demanded immediate surrender, giving three cheers for the Lone Star. After the surrender Colonel Dalrymple soon left and returned his attention to the Indians. (9)
After the outbreak of the Civil War, Dalrymple, age 48, served from March 26, 1862, until July 12, 1862, as a Private in Company A, Morgan's Regiment, Texas Cavalry, in the Confederate Army in Arkansas, being discharged as "over 35". (10)
In 1867 W.C. Dalrymple, writing for the TEXAS ALMANAC reported that Old School Presbyterian Churches were active at Round Rock, Georgetown, Brooksville, Bagdad, and Cooke's Settlement. (11)
In 1869 Colonel Dalrymple went with Colonel *Snavely and others from Georgetown on a gold-hunting expedition to the Wichita Mountains.
After reaching that dangerous and unsettled region they were attacked by a large party of Indians. In the hand-to-hand fighting which ensued Dalrymple was attacked by one huge * meaning Snively Indian who attempted to thrust his spear through him. He missed his aim, sending the spear through the Colonel's arm. Being a man of great strength Dalrymple seized the handle of the spear and broke it in the middle, riding off as the small group retreated. When he reached a place of safety the spear was removed but he nearly bled to death before the wound could be attended to properly. (12)
In the 1870s many early attorneys studied law by "reading" in the office of an established lawyer. Georgetown had nine practicing lawyers at that time, including W.C. Dalrymple. (13)
The Index to Deeds at the Williamson County Clerk's Office, Georgetown, Texas contains numerous records of land having been bought or sold by William C. Dalrymple over a period of years.
In a deed filed on April 3, 1879, on page 511 of Book 21, W.C. Dalrymple deeded to his daughter, Jennett Dalrymple four lots in the Dalrymple Addition in Georgetown, identified as the "Dalrymple Homestead". On November 4, 1993 inspection of a map at the county clerk's office disclosed this addition consisted of approximately six city blocks between Hart and Forest Streets and North of 16th Street, or about five blocks south of Williamson County Courthouse.
A biographical summary of Colonel Dalrymple's life published in 1893 summarized much of the information set out above and added that in 1842 he went to San Antonio with General Edward Burleson and showed his courage in helping to repel the invasion of the Mexican General Vasquez. It pointed out that prior to his Confederate Army service he had followed farming and later had engaged in surveying and locating land on the frontier. It stated that his wife, Elizabeth Wilbarger Dalrymple, had died on January 24, 1869. Their children were identified as Jennett of Georgetown who had shown beautiful devotion to her father in his declining years; Sallie who had died unmarried at age twenty-eight; James who married Jane Patterson and was a farmer in Uvalde County; and William Tate, an attorney at Llano who had married Alice Houghton. This summary added that Dalrymple had lived a long, eventful, and useful life, had seen much of the development of Texas, and had aided those of his day in opening the frontier and preparing the way for civilization, contributing to the progress which the newer generation was enjoying. (14)
The Annals of Travis County and of the City of Austin, Chapter XIX, reported that Colonel W.C. Dalrymple had died at his home in Georgetown on March 29, 1898, at age 84, and that with him passed a historical figure of the upper Colorado River. He was buried by the Masonic Order, of which he was a prominent member. (15)
The March 31, 1898 obituary in the Williamson County Sun also pointed out that Colonel Dalrymple was a member of the Presbyterian Church, of the Masonic Order, and was respected and loved by all who knew him.
He was reported as a brave and courageous man and a useful citizen and son to Williamson County and the State of Texas. He was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Georgetown.
Research and narrative by Edwin Dalrymple
William Cornelius Dalrymple Footnotes
- Newsome, A.R., "Records of Emigrants from England and Scotland to North Carolina, 1774-1775", Pg.11
- "Williamson County Sun", Georgetown, Texas, March 31, 1898 (Obituary)
- Miller, Thomas L., "Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835-1888", Pg.207
- “Williamson County Sun", April 6, 1898
- Moore, Bill, "Bastrop County, 1691-1900", Nortex Press
- "Frontier Times", magazine, March 1929, Pg.230
- Hinds, Walton, "History of Williamson County, 1716-1870", Southwestern University Thesis, 1928
- Manuscript Holdings, Archives Division, Texas State Library: "Dalrymple, (Wm. Cornelius) Papers, 1851-1909, Correspondence, 1856-1909"
- Haley, J.Evetts, "Fort Concho and The Texas Frontier", Pg.102
- "Records of Commissioner of Pensions, State of Texas", Archives Division, State Library
- Scarbrough, Clara Stearns, "Land of Good Water", 1973, Pg.224
- Wilbarger, J.W., "Indian Depredations in Texas", 1899, Pg.637
- "Williamson County Sun", June 10, 1965
- "History of Texas, Together With a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop. Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties", 1893, Pgs.698, 699
- Brown, Frank, "Annals of Travis County and of the City of Austin", Chapter XIX, Pg.47 - At Archives Division, State Library
William Cornelius Dalrymple – BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brown, Frank, "Annals of Travis County and of The City of Austin", Chapter XIX, Pg.47 - At Archives Division, State Library
"Frontier Times", magazine, March 1929
Haley, J.Evetts, "Fort Concho and The Texas Frontier", Pg.102
Hinds, Walton, "History of Williamson County, 1716-1870", Southwestern University Thesis, 1928
"History of Texas, Together With a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop. Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties", 1893, Pgs.698, 699
Manuscript Holdings, Archives Division, Texas State Library: "Dalrymple, (Wm. Cornelius) Papers, 1851-1909, Correspondence, 1856-1909"
Miller, Thomas L., "Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835-1888", Pg.207 Moore, Bill, "Bastrop County, 1691-1900", Nortex Press
Newsome, A.R., "Records of Emigrants from England and Scotland to North Carolina, 1774-1775", Pg.1l
"Records of Commissioner of Pensions, State of Texas", Archives Division, State Library Scarbrough, Clara Stearns, "Land of Good Water", 1973, Pg.224
Wilbarger, J.W., "Indian Depredations in Texas", 1899, Pg.637
"Williamson County Sun", Georgetown, Texas, March 31, 1898 (Obituary)
"Williamson County Sun", April 6, 1898 "Williamson County Sun", June 10, 1965
from the book "History of Texas
WILLIAM CORNELIUS DALRYMPLE was born in Moore County, North Carolina, on the paternal farm, August 3, 1814, where he remained during his first twenty-one years, securing in the meantime a common-school education. Soon after attaining his majority, he started for Texas, although but little was known of that country in the interior of North Carolina at that early day. In 1837 he did duty in the ranging service, scouting the waters of the Brazos River. In 1839 he was again engaged in military service, this time stationed at the embryo city of Austin, guarding the wood-choppers who built the first Government cabins in that city. In 1840 he married Miss Elizabeth Wilbarger, in Bastrop County. When he was under General Ed. Burleson at San Antonio, in 1842, to repel the invasion of the Mexican General, Vasquez, he again showed his courage as a warrior. He removed in the winter of 1846, to San Gabriel, six miles below the present site of Georgetown. When the county of Williamson was organized Mr. Dalrymple was appointed, in 1848, one of the Commissioners to locate a county-seat, and they selected the present one, Georgetown. The same year he was elected its first Assessor and Collector, being re-elected two years later. In the year 1855, he was elected to represent the counties of Williamson and Legislature, being re-elected in 1857, serving through the sixth and seventh Legislature of the State. On the 30th of December, 1859, Mr. Dalrymple was authorized by Governor, Houston to recruit a ranging company for the defense of the frontier, which he did, marching the command to Red river, making his headquarters near the headwaters of the Little Wichita River. On the 10th of Oct., 1860, Governor Houston conferred upon Captain Dalrymple the appointment of de-Camp, with the rank of Colonel of Cavalry (volunteer), also of Commander in Chief of the Texas militia, and on the 29th day of December, 1860, Colonel Dalrymple received orders from Governor Houston to repair to the frontlet and take command of all the troops now in service, or that may hereafter be called into Service, until further orders." As early as February 1861, Colonel Dalrymple found himself in command of six companies, Making his headquarters at the " Old Comanche Agency," on the Clear fork of the Brazos River, near Camp Cooper, a five-company United States military post, which he eventually captured, saving the property of the post to the State rather than see the same, pillaged by a threatening band of citizen soldiers that were encamped in the vicinity, for secession was then rampant in the land. Colonel Dalrymple remained on the frontier until the following June. In 1862 he served for a time in Arkansas, as a private soldier in the Confederate army. He represented Williamson and Travis counties in the State constitutional convention of 1866, and also represented, in the State Senate of the Eleventh Legislature, the counties of Williamson, Milan, Bell, Lampasas, and Burnet. Previous to the war Colonel Dalrymple followed farming, and since that time he has been engaged in surveying and locating land on the frontier. On one occasion a party of seventeen men, to which he was attached, was entirely broken up by a large number of Indians at the head of the Concho River, in which engagement Colonel Dalrymple received, at close quarters, a severe spear wound.
The parents of our subject were James and Rosanna (David) Dalrymple, the former born in Scotland in 1763, the latter in North Carolina in 1774.
Our subject is the only one of ten children now living, and also survives his beloved wife, who died January 24, 1869, having been a most estimable and noblewoman. The four children born to their union are as follows: Jennet, an honored resident of Georgetown, whose unselfish devotion to her father and aunt in their declining years is most beautiful; Sallie, who died unmarried, at the age of twenty-eight years; James, residing on a farm in Uvalde County, Texas, married Jane Patton; and William T., an attorney at Llano, married Alice Houghton.
Mr. Dalrymple is now near the sunset of a long, eventful, and useful life.
He is palsied and walks with measured tread. During his life in the State, he has seen much of the development of Texas, and has aided those of his day in opening the frontier and preparing the way for civilization, and has progress which generation now enjoys.
The parents of Mrs. Dalrymple were John and Anna (Pugh) Wilbarger and came from Pike County, Missouri, to Bastrop County, Texas, in 1837.
By his first marriage Mr. Wilbarger had eight children, namely: Josiah, who came to Texas in 1827, ten years before the remainder of the family, and was scalped by Indians not far from the present site of Austin; he survived the outrage, but died about 1845, his widow still resides in Bastrop, and is now Mrs. Chambers; the next child, Margaret, married William Clifton after coming to Texas, but both she and her husband are deceased; Sallie, a resident of Georgetown, came to Texas with her parents in 1837, was married, and is now living at the advanced age of eighty-eight years, her faculties being well preserved; Mathias, father of Mrs. Dr. Walker; Elizabeth, deceased, was the wife of W. C. Dalrymple, who is now an honored citizen of Georgetown; John Wesley, deceased, married Lucy Anderson, and his wife now resides near Round Rock: he was the author of a work called Indian Depredations in Texas; the next child, Harvey, was a farmer and died in Missouri, never coming to Texas; and the youngest child was Mary. By his second marriage Mr. John Wilbarger bad two daughters: Susan, afterward Mrs. Willis King, now deceased, who never came to Texas; and Ann, who became Mrs. Samuel King, marrying a brother of her sister's husband. This is one of the oldest, best known, and highly respected pioneer families in this portion of Texas.