WILLIAM H. HOLLIS, the present sheriff of Jones county and one of its prominent citizens, represents an old family that settled in the state at an early day. His father, Thomas H. Hollis, was a practicing physician in Texas for many years and served as a surgeon in the Confederate army during the Civil war. He was a native of Tennessee and when a young man came to Texas with his parents, arriving here about 1838, long before the admission of the state into the Union. He settled in San Augustine where the old Hollis home is still standing. At the time of hostilities between the north and the south he espoused the cause of the latter and enlisted in Walker’s Division of Texas Cavalry as a surgeon, rendering valuable aid to the soldiers of the Confederacy who were wounded upon the field of battle for became ill because of the rigors and hardships of war. A more extended account of Dr. Hollis will be found on another page of this work in connection with the sketch of Dr. L. W. Hollis.
William H. Hollis was born in San Augustine, Texas, October 1, 1859, and is the eldest member of his father’s family. Following the close of the war the family removed to Nacogdoches, Texas, where the family removed to Nacogdoches, Texas, where Mr. Hollis of this review spent the greater part of his boyhood and youth. He attended school there and remained his majority. Before the Texas & Pacific Railroad was built through the state he came to western Texas in company with his brother, Dr. Hollis. This was in the year 1878, when all the western county was in its primeval condition. Only here and there was an occasional ranch and there were long distances between the settlements. Mr. Hollis obtained employment with some of the ranch owners handling horses and cattle, being thus employed for some time. In 1886 he became deputy sheriff of Jones county under George A. Scarborough, who was then sheriff and who was afterward killed in Mexico. He acted in that capacity at a time when there was a large rough element in the country such as is always found in a pioneer district, but he proved a brave and courageous officer, acting as deputy for two years under Mr. Scarborough and also under his successor, E. M. Tyson, for a period of six years. In the fall of 1904 Mr. Hollis was elected sheriff of Jones county and is now acting in that capacity, having been well qualified for the office during his previous service as deputy. During the interval which elapsed after his retirement from the office of deputy until his election to the position of sheriff, covering a period of ten or twelve years, Mr. Hollis secured a farm about seven miles southeast of Anson and devoted his time to the cultivation of his land and the further improvement of the property.
On the 15th of July, 1897, occurred the marriage of William H. Hollis and Miss Lula M. Hunter, a daughter of C. S. Hunter. She is a native of Alabama but was reared to womanhood in this state and by her marriage has become the mother of two sons and a daughter, namely: William H., Charles T., and Hattie K. Hollis.
Mr. Hollis has been a permanent resident of the county since he first made his way into this a part of the state and during the many changes that have taken place he has not only been a constant observer but has also aided in the work of progress and improvement. He thoroughly knows the conditions and characteristics of the country and of its people, and during the years of his residence here he has seen the rougher element almost entirely disappear, being replaced by an enlightened civilization and a law-abiding citizenship. As a public official he has won high encomiums, no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil darkening his pathway in the performance of his public duties.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 516-517.