Tedford Fielden Williamson, known as Ted Williamson (born December 11, 1957), is a Texas businessman who is the scion of a politically-connected family from northwestern Louisiana. He is a former member of the Round Rock City Council in Round Rock, north of Austin in Williamson County, Texas. Williamson hence coincidentally bears the same name as his former county of residence. Though municipal elections in Texas are all conducted on nonpartisan ballots, Williamson identifies himself as a Republican. Williamson was elected to a partial term in November 2005 did not seek a full two-year term on the council in the elections held in May 2007, having cited business and family obligations which precluded further service.
Williamson was born in the city of Shreveport and reared in Vivian in northern Caddo Parish, to Earl Guyton Williamson, Sr., and second wife, the former Mary Jane Hearne (1926-1992). Earl Williamson was a Vivian businessman and local Democratic politician who served for forty years on the Caddo Parish Police Jury (renamed in 1984 as the Caddo Parish Commission, the parish governing body), as a Vivian alderman, and for twelve years as mayor of Vivian, a community of some four thousand inhabitants. Earl Williamson was a strong supporter of the Louisiana Long dynasty, having been close friends as well a political associates of Huey Pierce Long, Jr., and Earl Kemp Long. Mrs. Williamson, a Vivian native, was descended from pioneers for whom the city of Hearne, near Bryan-College Station is named. Ted Williamson, through his mother's lineage, is a distant cousin of John B. Connally, Jr., former governor of Texas. Mary Jane Williamson served on the Caddo Parish Levee Board under appointment from Governor John J. McKeithen, another chief executive whom Earl Williamson worked to elect.
Tedford Fielden Williamson is named for former Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright, who was Strom Thurmond's vice-presidential choice on the States Rights Party. (The middle name "Fielden" does not exactly match "Fielding", however, as there was an oversight in recording the actual intent of his father.) Earl Williamson was a Mississippi native and supported the Thurmond-Wright ticket, which was also the official Democratic slate in Louisiana in 1948.
Ted Williamson graduated in 1976 from North Caddo High School (formerly Vivian High School), where his mother was the school secretary. Thereafter, he studied building construction at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then called "Northeast Louisiana University". He moved to Austin in 1983, after graduation from ULM, and was employed by Texas Industries. In 1985, he relocated to Round Rock. Subsequently, he became affiliated with businessmen Jack Wheeler and Charles "J. R." Gregory in Ironhorse Concrete, Limited Partnership, based in Hutto.
Williamson has four half-brothers and a half-sister by his father's first marriage to the former Mamie Greer (1904-1948). Two of those half-brothers also carved out political careers. James Whitfield Williamson, a Democrat, served for just over fourteen years as mayor of Vivian (1972-1986) and for a single term on the Caddo Parish Commission. He succeeded his father in the latter position. Donald Wayne "Don" Williamson (born 1927) is a former member and president of the Caddo Parish School Board and a member of both the Louisiana House of Representatives and the state Senate. Another half-brother, the retired Earl G. Williamson, Jr. (born 1923), worked in industrial development and eschews politics.
Williamson has an older brother, Clayton Lamar Williamson (born February 7, 1952) of Montgomery, Texas, near Houston, a counselor. Like Ted Williamson, Clayton Williamson graduated from North Caddo High School in Vivian. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. At the time, Clayton Williamson was a member of the LSU-S student government which lobbied for a change from two-year to four-year status for the institution. And state Senator Don Williamson was successfully getting the legislation for LSU-S through the legislature. Clayton Williamson later obtained a master's degree in public administration from the University of North Texas in Denton. While at the university, he was the assistant city manger in Garland in Dallas County. Thereafter, Clayton Williamson became the city manager in Bovina (Parmer County), Brady, and Tomball, Texas. He is also a former right-of-way acquisitor for Houston Light and Power Company.
Williamson recalls as a still five-year-old (nineteen days before his sixth birthday) the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. He was in his father's Williamson Motors, the Chevrolet dealership in Vivian, when Earl Williamson entered the business and shouted in dismay: "Some SOB has just shot Kennedy!" Ted Williamson said that his father's high-powered public profile caused his brother Clayton and himself to become keenly interested in the political world. He recalls having heard a family about his father and then Governor Earl Long going to the races in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and loading a 1948 Cadillac with buttermilk in the trunk. They forgot the time and drove from Hot Springs to Baton Rouge with the buttermilk intact but ruined. Both Earl Long and Earl Williamson were avid buttermilk drinkers. Round Rock City Council.
Ted Williamson (like his half-brother Don but not his half-brother James) left his father's Democratic ties and became a Republican. In May 2005, Williamson ran unsuccessfully for the Round Rock Council. When a vacancy occurred on the council some six months later, he ran in a special election and was victorious with 63 percent of the ballots.
Ted Williamson is divorced from the former Mary Jane Peters. He is the father of one son and two stepdaughters. He grew up in a United Methodist home, but, like half-brothers James and Don, Williamson is Southern Baptist. Williamson's accomplishments have been recognized by the group Outstanding Young Americans (OYA), founded in 1965.
1. Billy Hathorn, "The Williamsons of Caddo Parish: The Unfolding of a Political 'Mini-dynasty'", North Louisiana History, publication of the North Louisiana Historical Association, Winter 2008, hereinafter cited as NLH, pp. 25-43.
2. NLH, p. 40.
3. NLH, p. 41.
4. a b NLH, p. 42.
5. Concrete firms gear up - Austin Business Journal
6. ^ NLH, p. 26.
7. NLH, pp. 40-41
8. NLH, p. 30.
9. Outstanding Young Americans _rushmore.gif.