Brief Sketch On The Life Of Abram Bledsoe
"A" Bledsoe was born in 1801 in Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky. He was the son of William Miller Bledsoe and Patience Owsley. He was known as "Honest A Bledsoe" because when he was born his father looked at him and said, "He looks like a Bledsoe." Therefore most places where his name appears there is no period after "A," simply A Bledsoe.
His nephew, Judge William Harrison Bledsoe, a state senator of Texas in the early 1900's, was responsible mainly for Texas Tech being placed in Lubbock. A's aunt, Jane Bledsoe, married Walker Baylor. Their son Robert Emmet Bledsoe (Reb) Baylor was the founder of Baylor University.
Abram "A" Bledsoe, pioneer settler, state comptroller, and county judge, moved to Dallas County, Texas, from Kentucky in 1847. He purchased the headright of Captain Roderick A. Rawlins, who later became his son-in-law. Bledsoe subdivided the tract and surveyed a townsite that he called Lancaster. He was elected chief justice of Dallas County in 1865 but lost a reelection bid the following year. He also failed in an attempt to represent the county at the Constitutional Convention of 1866. During Reconstruction he was appointed county judge, a position he held until 1869. He was elected to represent Dallas County at the Constitutional Convention of 1868-69, where his political views aligned him with the Radical Republican faction. He was nicknamed "Iron-clad" after he publicly took the "Iron-clad" oath of loyalty to the United States. He served on the committee that recommended the establishment of the controversial and unpopular State Police to curb lawlessness and violence.
Bledsoe returned to Dallas after the convention and remained county judge until he was appointed comptroller of public accounts. He gained notoriety in this position for his refusal to allow the transfer of $500,000 worth of state bonds to the International Railroad Company and for filing fraud charges of which the rail line was found innocent against the company in state district court in Austin in February 1873. Bledsoe contended that the rail company had arranged to pay a number of state legislators in return for their votes in favor of 1870 legislation authorizing the transfer of $10,000 in bonds for each mile of track constructed by the railroad. Upon the completion of fifty miles of track, the company had demanded $500,000 in bonds, which Governor E. J. Davis signed but which Bledsoe, as state comptroller, refused to sign. The company filed a writ of mandamus in state district court to force Bledsoe to sign and deliver the bonds. The matter eventually reached the state Supreme Court, which, by a three-to-two vote, voided the writ, thereby siding with Bledsoe. The end of Reconstruction in Texas hastened the end of Bledsoe's public career. He died at his home in Dallas on October 8, 1882.
-Sources: Special Thanks To Bob Bledsoe, A Relative of A. Bledsoe
Directions To The Grave Of Abram Bledsoe
South of Dallas, Texas is the city of Lancaster, Texas. On the southern outskirts of the town is the Edgewood Cemetery. On I-35E take Exit 414 and head east on W. Belt Line Rd. Cross W. Main St. and continue on W. Belt Line Rd. When you cross S. Dallas Ave. (Hwy. 342) the road will become E. Belt Line Rd. Go to the 500 Block of E. Belt Line Rd. and turn right on Nokomis Rd. Head south and the cemetery will be on both sides of the road. Enter the Eastwood Cemetery on the left side of the road. Enter the cemetery and go to the right toward the older section at the south end of the cemetery. Look to the left in the old section for the Bledsoe/Rawlins section.
Acc. To 16 ft.
N32° 34.781' x WO 96° 44.836'
or, D.d 32.579679, -96.747262