Stockdale was born in either 1823 or 1825 in Russellville, Kentucky as one of eight children of Thomas W. and Laurinda Stockdale.
By 1856, Stockdale had moved to Calhoun County, which he represented in the Texas Senate from 1857 to 1861. Stockdale was an executive member of the 1861 Secession Convention that was held in Austin. During 1862 and 1863 he held the position of aide to Governor Francis R. Lubbock.
He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1863, and served in that post until late May 1865 when he became the Governor of Texas after then-Governor Pendleton Murrah fled to Mexico. Stockdale filled the vacant post of Governor for three months, until provisional governor Andrew J. Hamilton assumed office in August 1865.
Stockdale had served Texas during very troubling times. Lawlessness, Indian attacks, and severe deterioration of the government during the American Civil War had plagued his 18 month tenure as a political executive in Texas.
Stockdale was again a member of the Texas State Senate in 1868. In 1875, during the Texas Constitutional Convention, he served on the committees of judiciary & land grants and participated in various debates to establish a free public school system in Texas. He served as a delegate to the national Democratic conventions of 1872, 1876, and 1880.
Stockdale was selected as one of the Texas Democratic convention's vice presidents of 1873. In 1876, 1882 and 1888, Stockdale was a member of the committee on resolutions and platforms at the Texas Democratic convention, where he chaired the committee in 1876.
Later life and family
Stockdale's first wife had died on April 17, 1865.
Stockdale married his second wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Texas politician Gustav Schleicher, on July 11, 1877 in Washington, D.C. They had three children. They resided in Cuero, Texas, until his death 4 February 1890.
- "STOCKDALE, FLETCHER SUMMERFIELD," Handbook of Texas Online , accessed January 27, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas
- Texas Legislative Reference Library
Samuel Addison White
|Texas State Senator
from District 26
Nathan George Shelley
John McClannahan Crockett
|Lieutenant Governor of Texas
George Washington Jones
|Governor of Texas
Andrew J. Hamilton