top of page

The Lasting Impact of Marcus Dewitt Carlock, Sr.

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

Photo from "History of the carlock family and Pioneer Americans"

Texas is rich in History, which is why so many are interested in this State. Many of the most prominent characters in History come from Texas. Without these men and women, the State would not be what it is today. Among those characters is Marcus Dewitt Carlock Sr.

The Carlock Family had a long history of serving the United States. His Great Grandfather, George Carlock, served in the Revolutionary War and fought for the independence of the United States, and his Father fought in the Civil War, as did Marcus himself.

Marcus Dewitt Carlock Senior was born December 3, 1852, at Dooleys Ferry in the County of Hempstead, Arkansas. His Father, Samuel Green, joined the Confederate army when the Civil War started. He was wounded at the Wilsons Creek battle in Missouri and returned home only to decide to re-enlist once his wound healed. This Grit was passed along to his son Marcus who went along with his Father on his second campaign. Marcus was very young at this time which was not unusual as the Confederate Army had no absolute age limit for enlisting. The Father /Son duo ended up in the Elk Horn Battle, also known as the Pea Ridge battle. This is where Marcus DeWitt Carlock would see his Father, Samuel, for the la t time. According to Marcus, his Father rode up and told him he was to return home, which he did, walking the entire way (200 miles) back to the Red River in Arkansas. Afterward, the family moved to Pittsburg, Texas. This was where he went to school and continued his service to the country, becoming dispatch and messenger between army camps. In 1881at the age of 29, he became the Enumerator for Camp county, and the following year moved his family to Winnsboro.

Marcus DeWitt Carlock was known to be an outspoken Democrat, and when he ran for the office of Justice of the Peace, he was to file his campaign expense report to the county clerk within 30 days. He did so but attached to the news was this message:

As Justice of the Peace, he was known for holding court on the front porch of his grocery store; however, His stint as Justice of the peace only lasted 14 months as he opened up a Law Practice after passing the Bar exam in 1879. Mr. Carlock was always the businessman, owned his Law firm, and held stock in several lucrative businesses in the town of Winnsboro. Winnsboro, at the time, was still very young, less than 50 years old, and rough around the edges. The Bowery, as it was called (now Market Street), was full of saloons and brothels. Still, Marcus saw the potential of this town, and his business practices soon made him enough money to Build a Mansion. He used the wood from a sawmill that he partly owned, the Schulter-Whiteman Lumber Company. The home was a jewel in the rough little town of Winnsboro and still is, although it is now a Bed & Breakfast we know as Oaklea Mansion.

Marcus DeWitt Carlock's influence did not stop there. He hosted many influential and important people in his beautiful home. Especially those Connected to Jim Hoggs' campaign for Governor.

In 1888 He started a company of the Texas State National Guard, which was affectionately known as "Jim Hogg Rifles." He served as captain of the brigade until it disbanded 3 years later. In 1912 he had the privilege of becoming an electoral ticket for the Democratic party, which elected Woodrow Wilson. He was a staunch Democrat and attended Democratic Conventions often. He also served on the Democratic Executive Committee for several years.

When World War I started, he again offered his military service to the United States. They rejected his offer based on his age (62). However, in 1917 they let him serve on the legal advisory board as his experience as an attorney lent him to that capacity. He served the rest of the War as such. He was instrumental in capturing German propaganda that came through the Southern States during that time and helped bring in and destroy over 1800 volumes of it.

At the end of the War, he returned to his home in Winnsboro, where he lived until May 10, 1931. He is buried in the City Cemetary in Winnsboro.

His legacy Continued in Winnsboro through his Son Marcus DeWitt Carlock Jr., Who also was a lawyer and Leader in the Town.

When You visit Winnsboro, make sure you stop and see the mansion. See if you can hear the many people who influenced this country walking through its halls, Learn some of the amazing History of our little town, and most of all, enjoy your stay.

Book Your stay at Historic Oaklea Mansion Here:


bottom of page