W. W. Viser was the son of William Viser and Rachel Brazelton. He was born 19 June 1830 in Fayette County, Tennessee, but moved to Panola County, Mississippi, with his family in about 1831. From there, the Visers immigrated to the Republic of Texas in 1839, first settling in Montgomery County.
W. W. was the grandson of Andrew Viser (Andre Vasseur), an immigrant from France who came at the time of the Revolution. He was the first half-cousin of Cavalryman James Marion McCan.
By 1850, William was listed as a merchant in the Montgomery County census and was living with two other bachelors. On August 19, 1850, he was appointed post master of Danville in Montgomery County; it is likely that the post office was in his store building.
W. W. and his brother, Washington, bought and sold several Danville city lots in the years 1851 through 1853. On the 6th of January, 1853, he was married to Amanda M. Johnson in Walker County. Amanda was the daughter of B. D. Bede Johnson.
The couple moved to the area of Midway in Madison County after 1853. Some time after 1855, William became a member of the faculty at the Midway School established in 1855 by Prof. Joseph A. Clark. At the time of the 1860 census, he was a merchant with real and personal property valued at $4200.00.
On May 4, 1861, he enrolled as a private in the Danville Mounted Riflemen in Montgomery County, under Capt. S. D. Wooldridge. Wooldridge was married to Williams first cousin. However, William did not enroll in regular Confederate service with Capt. Wooldridge the following year. Instead, he enrolled in Co. B Goulds Btn. at Camp Burnett as a second lieutenant on March 10, 1862, and was promoted to adjutant and then was elected captain on May 24th.
W. W. was wounded in the Battle of Mansfield and was promoted to major in April of 1865, shortly before the end of the war. He was known as Major Viser for the rest of his life.
After the war, William came home to Madison county to his family. He opened a private school in Madisonville in 1870. Amanda died on November 10th of that year, and W. W. married Mrs. Cynthia Ann Johnson Malone on 24 February 1872. She was Amandas sister and the widow of a soldier who served with Captain Wooldridge, Thomas Monroe Malone. After Cynthias death in late 1872 or early 1873, William married Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Wycough Hawkins in Madison County, on August 10, 1873.
It is interesting to note that one of William's sons, Percy Viser (1867-1935), married Martha Elizabeth Lindley (1871-1946), who was a daughter of another one of Captain Wooldridge soldiers, John Lindley.
William was elected county clerk at some point and served for a number of years. After this, he opened a drug store and a general merchandise store on the Madisonville city square across from the courthouse. In a biography of one of his sons, published in Texas and Texans by Johnson (1914), William was called a Methodist and a Democrat.
W. W. Viser died in Madisonville on September 25, 1901. Elizabeth applied for a Texas state pension based on his service to the Confederacy, which was granted in 1914. She died in Houston, Texas, on 31 March 1919; both were buried in Madisonville City Cemetery.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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