While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


David Minor

BRALLEY, FRANCIS MARION (1867–1924). Francis Marion Bralley, college administrator, was born at Honey Grove, Texas, on March 6, 1867. He attended county schools and, after graduating from Wilcott Institute in 1885, enrolled in Methodist College, where he graduated two years later. During the next five years he taught in the public schools of Fannin and Lamar counties. On March 17, 1892, he married Melida Meade. The couple had four sons. In 1882 Bralley became superintendent of Fannin County schools. Six years later he returned to his hometown to serve as superintendent of the Honey Grove school system.

In 1905 he began a three-year appointment in Austin as the chief clerk in the State Department of Education (later part of the Texas Education Agency). He resigned in 1908 to become the general agent of the Texas Conference for Education. Although he served in this position for only one year, Bralley is credited with the success of an amendment to the Texas Constitution that allows school districts to levy local taxes for construction and needed repairs. In 1909 he accepted the presidency of the Texas School for the Blind. In November of the same year Governor Thomas Campbell appointed him to complete the term of R. B. Cousins as state superintendent of public transportation. The following year Bralley ran unopposed for the elective office. He was reelected in 1912 and resigned on September 1, 1913, to become head of the University of Texas extension department. He resigned that post the next year to accept the presidency of the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas Woman's University) at Denton. Bralley served as president of the college for eleven years. During his tenure the school's academic reputation increased. Its enrollment grew from 700 in 1913 to 2,000 in 1924, and the school property increased in value from $325,000 to just over $2 million.

Bralley was president of the chamber of commerce and the Rotary Club and chairman of the board of the Christian church of Denton. He was a Mason and Knight of Pythias and president of the board of regents of the State Teachers College (now the University of North Texas). On August 23, 1924, he died in Dallas of a bronchial infection. He was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Denton.


Dallas Morning News, August 24, 1924. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, David Minor, "BRALLEY, FRANCIS MARION," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbr18.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on May 1, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...