Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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SADLER, WILLIAM TURNER -- Born in Tennessee July 26, 1797, and came to Texas from Georgia. In Headright Certificate No. 26 issued to him in 1838 for one league and one labor of land by the Board of Land Commissioners of Houston County it is stated that he arrived in Texas in 1835. He was a member of Captain Hayden Arnold's Nacogdoches Company at San Jacinto and on December 22, 1838, was issued Donation Certificate No. 713 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the battle. On December 22, 1838 he was issued Bounty Certificate No. 6020 for 320 acres of land for having served in the army from March 6 to May 13, 1836.

Captain Sadler commanded a company of volunteers in the fight with Indians October 16, 1838. He commanded a company of the First Regiment of Infantry in 1839.

Captain Sadler was twice married. He was first married to Mary Murchison, daughter of John Murchison. Mrs. Sadler and her infant child were killed by Indians October 18, 1839.

In the Lamar Papers, Vol. 2, page 464 is published the following letter from Captain Sadler, dated Houston County, February 22, 1839, and addressed to President Lamar.

"Sir many have been the vicissitudes through which I've pas'd since I saw you not having saw you since soon after the battle of San Jacinto. I returned to this neighborhood and commenced farming and married in March following and was doing well until the 18th of October last at which time my wife was murdered by the Indians being at the time in the army myself in the command of Major E. Clapp haveing left my companion in the care of her father. . ."

The circumstances connected with the massacre of Mrs. Sadler and others is as follows: Learning of the approach of the Indians, relatives and neighbors of John Eden had on the night of October 18, 1838 congregated at his home on St. Peters Creek, near Crockett, and in retiring the men occupied one room of the double, while the women and children occupied the other. The room in which the women and children were quartered was attacked by Indians and all of them were massacred. The following were killed: Mrs. Eden and her three grown daughters and three of her minor children: Mrs. William T. Sadler and her infant child; Mrs. Murcheson, Mrs. Sadler's stepmother; Mrs. Robert Madden and six members of the Marlin family. All of the men made good their escape. The Indians built a fire outside and threw some of the children in it alive, while others had their brains dashed out against the walls of the house. Next Captain Sadler was married to Parmelia Bennett, daughter of _________ Bennett who came to Texas with the Parkers from Illinois and settled near the site of the present town of Elkhart, Anderson County. Mrs. Sadler was born March 1818 and killed in a cyclone in Anderson County, December 6, 1866. (Note: H. of Rep. from Houston County 1st and 2nd Legislatures.)

Captain Sadler was a member of the House of Representatives in the Ninth Congress of the Republic, December 2, 1844 to June 28, 1845. He died near Elkhart, Anderson County, February 18, 1884, while a member of the Texas Veterans Association. He is buried in the Sadler Cemetery in Anderson County twelve miles north-east of Grapeland. Mrs. Sadler is buried beside her husband.

Children of Captain and Mrs. Sadler, all of whom are deceased, were: (1) Fletcher, (2) William, (3) Martha, (4) Mary Ann, (5) Bettie,(6) Laura, (7) Lessie, (8) Sofia, and (9) Joseph Sadler.

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Hayden S. Arnold

Personal Statistics

  • Alternate Names: William Tanner
  • Date of Birth: 1797 Jul 26
  • Birthplace: Tennessee? North Carolina?
  • Origin: Georgia
  • Came to Texas: 1835? 1831?
  • Date of Death: 1884 Feb 18
  • Burial Place: Sadler Cemetery, Anderson County, Texas
  • Comments: 1st wife & baby killed by Indians-2nd wife killed by cyclone
  • Bounty Certificate: 6020
  • Donation Certificate: 713
  • Wife: 1. Mary Murchison; 2. Parmelia Bennett
  • Children: infant, Fletcher Sadler, William Sadler, Martha Sadler Kennedy, Mary Ann Sadler Day, Bettie Sadler Day, Laura Sadler Day, Lessie Sadler Foster, Sofia Sadler, Joseph Sadler
  • Family at San Jacinto: May have been related to John Sadler at San Jacinto