A History of Texas and Texans, Volume III by Frank W. Johnson Editor: Eugene C. Barker, Ph.D. The American Historical Society, Chicago and New York, 1914
[Page 1520] HON. WILLIAM W. DIES. A resident of Kountze since about 1894 and county judge of Hardin county since 1909, barring one term when he did not serve. Judge William W. Dies is one of the best known men and one of the ablest legal lights of the city or county. He is not a native Texan, having been born in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, in 1866, and he is a son of David W. and Sallie (Pyburn) Dies, the latter born in Jackson Parish and a daughter of George Pyburn, a wealthy planter and slave holder of the ante-bellum days. David W. Dies was born in Pike county, Mississippi, but removed to Jackson Parish, Louisiana, when a young man, and there married, spending several years in that community. With his family he came to Texas in 1876, locating first in Limestone county and later moving to Freestone county, where he spent the remainder of his life. At the time of his death he was principal of the Fairfield College, and he was not only an educator, but also a physician. Besides William W. Dies, there are three other sons of David W. Dies who achieved success and prominence in East Texas, to which part of the state these sons came in about 1892. They are Martin, Jack, and Tom Dies. Martin Dies is now serving his third term in Congress, representing the Second Congressional District. He was elected first in 1908, again in 1910, and still again in 1912. In the last mentioned campaign he had four opponents, but it is recorded that he got more votes than all the others. His home is at Woodville, the county seat of Tyler county. When first he came to East Texas Martin Dies identified himself with newspaper work as an editor and publisher at Groveton, in Trinity county, but he later studied law, and in 1892 was admitted to the bar. He then removed to Woodville and engaged in the practice of law, also serving as district attorney and as county judge of Tyler county. The three other brothers have all served as county judges. Jack and Tom Dies are ex-county judges of Hardin county, and both are now practicing law in Beaumont.
Judge William W. Dies was elected county judge of Hardin county in 1912, his first service in that office being in 1909. On coming to East Texas Judge Dies located at Groveton, in Trinity county, and there he edited a newspaper for a while, as did his brother Martin. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1894, soon after which he located at Kountze, the county seat of Hardin county, where he has since been successfully engaged in the activities of his profession. He has served twice as a member of the legislature, serving in the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth sessions, from 1896 to 1900, and was a presidential elector on the Democratic state ticket in 1908.
The Dies family, brothers and sister, have been characterized by having clung together through every circumstance, no conflicting interests or ambitions marring the perfect accord of family life They are what might be described as "plain, honest people," and make no pretense of being other than just what they are. The boys are practically self-educated, having had very little schooling of any kind, coming up on the farm, and making their own way in the world. Their natural heritages of sturdy common sense and general integrity and industry have stood them in excellent stead, doing more for them than could the most costly advantages, without those attendant qualities. Judge Dies married Miss Jessie Collins, a daughter of E. H. Collins, of Hardin county, where she was born, and where her father was a pioneer citizen and county clerk of the county, in the days when it was first organized. They have two children: William W., Jr., and Mary Jessie Dies.