NAMESAKE OF TOLAR, TEXAS
It is not known if Captain Alfred Hamilton Hayes Tolar ever visited the town named after him in Hood County. We do know that in about 1890 a decision was made to change the name of Squaw Creek Station to Tolar. The suggestion was made by Colonel W.L. McGaughey, an area resident and state leader, who wanted to honor his friend Alf Tolar who lived in Abilene.
Over the years many people thought Tolar was a Confederate general. Tolar was not a former general, but was certainly a hero to Colonel McGaughey who thought he was most worthy to have a town named after him.
Tolar, of French descent, was born July 26, 1845 in Cumberland County, North Carolina. He was one of 10 brothers. Tolar was a nephew of Major Micajah Autry who fought and died at the Alamo during the Texas revolution against Mexico in 1836.
Tolar signed his name as Alf H. H. Tolar.
He enlisted at age 15 at Elizabethtown, Bladen County, North Carolina on April 26, 1861 as a Bladen Guard. The organization soon formed into Co K 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, remained intact, and surrendered at the close of the Civil War. Tolar was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant at the organization of the regiment in 1862. He was promoted to Captain of his company by Brigadier General Jos. H. Love in the spring of 1864.
Tolar was cited for gallant conduct and severely wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 and never fully recovered. He remained on light duty with his regiment until he “resigned” on March 23, 1865 due to the surrender of the armies of Lee and Jackson at Appomatax. The Civil War officially ended in April 1865.
Tolar married Adelaide Alston. She was born November 1, 1847 at Deep River, Moore County, North Carolina. They married on March 12, 1865 in Harnett County, North Carolina – just 11 days before he left the CSA.
Tolar came to Texas in November 1870.
In 1881 Tolar was in west Texas, cutting hay on the open prairie and grading road for the Texas & Pacific Railroad where present-day Colorado City is located. He lived in a pitched tent and was considered the first actual settler of that town.
Tolar prospered in Colorado City and purchased the first newspaper, the Courant, which became the Colorado Clipper. Later Tolar founded the Abilene Reporter.
In 1889 Tolar was elected state representative of the 29th District. Colonel McGaughey was also a state representative of the 40th District, from 1885-1890, for Hood, Erath, Bosque, and Somervell Counties in Austin. We can now surmise that McGaughey and Tolar met at the state capital while conducting their elected duties. McGaughey went on in 1890 to become the Commissioner of the Texas Governors Land Office – the second most powerful state position at that time.
In an affidavit, Tolar is referred to several times as Dr. Tolar in his Confederate Pension Application.
Tolar became a real estate agent in Houston. His residence was 2604 Pease Avenue in Houston. From correspondence dated in 1915, his letterhead was finely engraved with the following:
|Alvin Country Lands at Owners’ Prices|
ALF H. H. TOLAR
LAND AND INVESTMENT AGENCY
Lands Inspected and Titles Examined
Coast Country Lands and City Property
Room 5, Kiam Bldg.
Tolar died July 1, 1927 in Houston. Mrs. Tolar died January 30, 1932 in Houston.