November 28: Silas Hare (1908)

Silas Hare was a soldier, explorer, lawyer, judge, and legislator.  He was born on November 13, 1827, in Ross County, Ohio. He was raised by his grandfather until the age of fourteen, when he walked barefoot 100 miles to rejoin his mother and family, who had moved to Indiana after his father’s death. During the Mexican War, Hare was a private in the First Indiana Infantry. Seeking to improve his health, Hare traveled to Mexico, Central America, the Sandwich Islands, Oregon, and California. He subsequently moved his family to Belton, Texas, to be near his wife’s relatives and enjoy the warm climate. He practiced law for six years but in 1858 joined the Hardeman expedition to explore the Panhandle and Llano Estacado. Due to numerous hardships, all but eight of the original party of ninety men had returned home when Hare and the remainder, near death from thirst, discovered artesian pools (now called the Hundred Springs) in the Sand Hills.

The Hare family was living in Mesilla, New Mexico, when the Civil War broke out. In June 1861 United States troops evacuated Fort Stanton and Captain Hare entered the fort and proclaimed New Mexico part of the Confederate States. He was appointed chief justice of the territory but resigned in 1862 to join the Confederate Army. In San Antonio he was appointed captain and quartermaster in the Arizona Brigade and remained with this unit throughout the war; he was promoted to major in 1863. After the war Hare located his family in Sherman, Texas, where he founded the Sherman Courier. He formed a partnership with Joseph Bledsoe and became one of the most successful civil and criminal lawyers in North Texas. He was appointed criminal judge of the Dallas, Collin, and Grayson district in 1873. He was elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. After failing to be re-nominated, he resumed his law practice in Washington, D.C. Hare died on November 26, 1908. His funeral was at Epiphany. Four years later, his second wife’s funeral was held there as well.

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