Absalom Bishop (1804-1883) began his military service as a captain of militia in the Seminole War in Florida. He later attained the rank of colonel. Bishop lived in several states before arriving in Hopkins County, Texas, in 1852, and then in what would become Wise County in 1855. One year after his arrival, he was successful in convincing the Texas legislature to create Wise County out of Cooke County. Bishop was one of the first settlers to acquire land at the townsite he helped convince voters to select as county seat. He originally wanted the town to be called Taylorsville after General and President Zachary Taylor. However, when Taylor switched to the Whig Party, Bishop, a passionate Democrat, persuaded the legislature to name the town Decatur in honor of U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur.
Bishop built a mercantile store which would eventually be used as a temporary post office and stage stop on the Butterfield Overland Stage Line. The colonel along with other Wise County residents convinced the Butterfield Overland Stage Line owners to relocate their route to run through Decatur and on to Bridgeport. In order to do so, they oversaw the building of bridges over Denton Creek, Sandy Creek and the West Fork of the Trinity River. By doing so, commerce increased and stage travel from Decatur to Austin also became a reality. Colonel Absalom Bishop passed away on November 30, 1883, and was buried alongside his wife in Oaklawn Cemetery. Bishop, called "The Father of Wise County and Decatur," was a colorful figure who brought to Texas a broad range of experience that allowed him to help mold a raw and wild land into a bustling town and new county.
Marker is Property of the State Of Texas
Addendum plate on reverse:
GFWC - TFWC
Decatur Woman's Club