Joseph Bledsoe biography

The late HON. JOSEPH BLEDSOE, of Sherman, was at one time chief engineer of the Texan Emigration and Land Co., and furthermore one of the very prominent men of North Texas. Of Revolutionary ancestry, of Virginia stock, he was grandson of a Kentucky pioneer of 1802, his father, Hiram Bledsoe, being a very small boy at the time of the removal to Kentucky. Hiram Bledsoe was a wealthy farmer and later a minister of the Christian church, being converted to the doctrines of Alexander Campbell from those of the Baptist church in which he was reared.

Judge Joseph Bledsoe received his early education in a little log schoolhouse in Kentucky, where his advantages were rather meager, and after the removal of he family to Lafayette county, Missouri, in 1839, he had better advantages in that state, attending the high school at Lexington, and later the Bethany College of West Virginia, of which Alexander Campbell was president, graduating in that institution in 1850. In that year also, having studied law, he was admitted to the bar. After teaching school one year in Hinds county, Mississippi, he accepted the position of chief engineer of the Emigration and Land Company and came out to the wild country about the Brazos river, where he was engaged in the rough life of the frontier before any settlements had been effected. He was then engaged in the practice of law at Austin until 1858, resided two years at Denton, and then at McKinney, where he was at the outbreak of the war. He served throughout the war, rising to rank as captain, and the returned to his law practice at McKinney, where he lived until he moved to Sherman in 1870. Here he led a career of unusual prominence, serving as district judge, and is one of the able characters that deserve mention in the history of his section of the state.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. I (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), p. 84.