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W. E. Oakes
Aug. 24, 1868
W. E. Oakes
in the State of
||William E. Oakes
||Section:Republic Hill, Section 1 (C1)
|Reason for Eligibility:
||Delegate, Constitutional Convention of 1868-69
||August 24, 1868
|OAKES, WILLIAM E. (1829~1868) William E. Oakes, Union veteran, Chief Justice of McLennan County, Texas and delegate to 1868-69 State Constitutional Convention, was born in Kentucky or Tennessee in May of 1829 or 1830, to Charles and Susan Neal Oakes. The family migrated to Texas in 1845, where Oakes married Eleanor Turney, the daughter of Moses Turney. Together, they had one daughter, Mary Susan, who was most likely born in McLennan County, circa 1860.
From 1860 to 1862, Oakes served as Chief Justice of McLennan County, but did not seek reelection, as he joined the Union Army. After joining the service, he killed his enrollment officer and escaped to Mexico, where, in March, 1865, he helped organize a company of US soldiers at Brazos Santiago, Texas. After its organization, he served as Second Lieutenant and then Captain of Company C, 2nd Texas Cavalry US. The regiment was assigned to the Texas/Mexico border and participated in expeditions from Brazos Santiago, May 11-14, and fought at the last battles of the Civil War, Palmito Ranch, May 12 – 13, and White’s Ranch, May 13. The Regiment was mustered out of service on November 10, 1865.
Following the War, Oakes returned to Waco, and twice served as Chief Justice, now called County Judge, of McLennan County. In February, 1868, Oakes was elected to represent McLennan, Falls and Bell Counties in the State Constitutional Convention in Austin. The Convention assembled on June 1, 1868, at the State Capitol. Oakes was believed to have been a Republican.
On August 24, 1868, only days before the Convention was adjourned due to lack of funds, Oakes passed away and was buried in the Texas State Cemetery.
After his death, Oakes’ wife, Eleanor, married John Clark on July 28, 1869, and moved to Brown County, Texas. Oakes' daughter, Mary Susan, married James Clark, John Clark’s son.
Information taken from: History of The Waco Medical Association with Reminiscences and Irrelevant Comments by William O. Wilkes, M. D.; William E. Oakes website, http://www.rootsweb.com/`txfalls/bioOAKESwilliam.htm; National Park Service website, http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss; Texas Civil War Battle Palmito Ranch American Civil War website, http://americancivilwar.com/statepic/tx/tx005.html; "CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1868-69." The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Wed Aug 27 11:32:43 US/Central 2003].