William W. Bridgers biography

HON. WILLIAM W. BRIDGERS, engaged in the practice of law in El Paso, was born in Montgomery county, Texas, November 6, 1869, his parents being W. W. and Melissa C. (Tinsley) Bridgers. The father, a native of Tennessee, came to Texas in the year 1855, locating in Montgomery county, where he resided for two decades. About 1875 he removed to Austin and spent his remaining days in the state capital. Mrs. Bridgers, the mother of our subject, was born in Newberry district of South Carolina, and when a child came with her parents to Texas, the family home being established in Huntsville, where they were among the early settlers. She saw the first penitentiary of Texas at that place. The old Tinsley homestead is still standing near Huntsville—a mute reminder of the many changes that have occurred. James Tinsley, father of Mrs. Bridgers, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war, enlisting with the South Carolina troops, and his two brothers were also valiant defenders of the cause of liberty and were made the subject of an interesting historical sketch published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1854. They served throughout the war, taking prominent part therein and were present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. The Tinsleys were prominent in the early history of South Carolina and as the years passed representatives of the name aided in the substantial improvement of other sections of the country to which they removed. James Tinsley becoming an active factor in the development of Texas. His daughter, Mrs. Bridgers, long surviving her husband, lived for many years in El Paso and she passed away on the 1st of February, 1905, at an advanced age. Three sons of the family have become pioneer residents of El Paso, and Leigh Bridgers is yet a resident of this city, but Sam Bridgers is now living in Mexico.

William W. Bridgers was only about three years old when his parents removed from Austin and his youth was passed in that city and in El Paso, his education being acquired in the schools of both places. He came to El Paso in 1881 and is thus numbered among its pioneer residents, for it was in an embryonic stage at that period. Following the completion of his literary course Mr. Bridgers took up the study of law, was admitted to the bar in 1889, and has since engaged in active practice with growing and gratifying success. Before his admission to the bar he served as justice of the peace for two years and for six consecutive years he was a member of the Texas legislature, serving in the twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth general assemblies as the representative of the El Paso district. During the last session he was chairman of the land committee, and in fact during his entire connection with the house he gave particular attention to the two most important interests in Western Texas—cattle and land. The latter involves the lease question, which is a most important one, largely affecting the welfare of this part of the state. Mr. Bridgers was also an important factor in legislation involving the quarantine line for cattle, a question which came up for settlement during his incumbency. Mr. Bridgers is now serving as assistant district attorney of the El Paso district and is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of district attorney subject to the election of November, 1906. In his legislative career he has been actuated by lofty purpose and a public-spirited devotion to the general good. He is greatly esteemed in the community where he has now resided for a quarter of a century, and he has commanded the respect and confidence of the leading men of the state whom he has met in legislative halls and in political councils. At the bar he is an earnest and able advocate and is a wise and safe counselor, having a wide and comprehensive knowledge of the principles of jurisprudence. He is correct in his application of the law to the questions in litigation, is forceful in argument and logical in his deductions.

In June, 1895, he married Victoria Bradley, of Freestone county, Texas, of a pioneer family of Texas. They have one daughter, Sarah.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. I (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 468-469.