John W. Hale
May 6, 1856, to August 2, 1858
John W. Hale was born on December 24, 1824, in Tennessee. In 1826, the Hale
family relocated to northeast Texas, becoming settlers of the Republic of Texas. On
November 29, 1849, he married Mary Elizabeth Fullingham. They had one daughter, Rowena.
After her birth, Hale moved his family to Hopkins County where he lived until July 13,
1854, when he came to Wise County.
Hale had been a settler of Wise County for two years when the county was
officially organized, in 1856. On May 6, 1856, Wise County citizens elected Hale as the
first sheriff. He served as sheriff until August 2, 1858. After serving as sheriff, Hale
was elected the first county surveyor. He held this position until his death on June 17,
1885. He also served one term in legislature. He took his oath of office on February 9,
1863. He was considered a steadfast democrat.