William Henry Palmer was born at “Spring Grove,” in Appomattox County, Virginia. He was the son of Judge Edward Albert Palmer (1825-1862), and his wife, Martha Winifred Branch (1827- ). E. A. Palmer moved to Houston, Texas in 1846, where he practiced as a lawyer and became a member of the Texas legislature from 1852-1854 and a state senator in 1855; he served as a judge of the District court from 1860 until his death in 1862. (Barringer)
William H. Palmer attended Houston private schools until 1863, when he was sent to Paris, France. He studied in Paris for four years. He returned to the United States in 1867 and attended the University of Virginia in session 46 (1869-1870), where he studied Law. He joined Delta Psi fraternity in 1870. He settled in Houston, Texas after leaving the University, and began his practice as an attorney.
On 14 Dec. 1882, Palmer married Susan Manella Shepherd (1856-1920), daughter of B. A. Shepherd, President and founder of the First National Bank of Houston. The couple had two children, Edward Albert and Daphne Winifred Palmer. W. H. Palmer became an officer of the First National Bank, where he worked until his death at Avalon, on Catalina Island, California. He is buried with his wife in Glenwood Cemetery, in Houston, TX.
- Barringer, Paul B., University of Virginia, its history, influence, equipment and characteristics. New York, 1904, v. 2, p. 32-33.
- Delta Psi. Catalog of the members of the fraternity of Delta Psi. 1906.
- Palmer tombstones, Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, TX. Findagrave.com
- “Palmer, Edward A.” in National Cyclopedia of American Biography. New York, NY, 1898, v. 8, p. 160.
- University of Virginia. Catalogue of the University of Virginia. Forty-sixth session, 1869-’70. Richmond, VA, 1870, p. 14.