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 »


Jennifer Eckel

DOUGHERTY, FRANCIS M. (1826–?). Francis (Frank) M. Dougherty, also spelled Daugherty, merchant and Texas legislator, was born in Florence, Alabama, on February 13, 1826, son of Isaac Dougherty. Francis M. was raised near Oakland, Mississippi, in Yalobusha County. At eighteen he came to Texas and settled in Hopkins County where he worked at various jobs, including as a hand on a cattle ranch and as a clerk in a store.

After 1850 Dougherty relocated to McKinney in Collin County where he ran a mercantile business and began to accumulate a fortune. While in Collin County Frank Dougherty was elected to the Texas House of Representatives; he served one term from 1855 to 1857. One historian lists Dougherty among the dozen candidates elected in 1855 with the support of the American Party or Know-Nothing Party. On November 6, 1856, Frank Dougherty married Louisa Huffman in Collin County; the couple had four children.

In 1858 Dougherty moved to Gainsville, Texas, and sold goods there until 1861 when the Civil War began. Although he had not supported secession, Francis Dougherty enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 and was elected captain of Company A of the Sixteenth Texas Cavalry. Dougherty fought with the Sixteenth Texas in the Red River Campaign at the battles of Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and Jenkins' Ferry. He remained with his unit throughout the war. Following surrender Frank returned to his mercantile in Gainsville where he remained until he sold the business in 1878. Dougherty then turned his attention to farming, ranching, and a career in banking. He also served two more terms as a Democrat in the state legislature from 1879 to 1883 as a representative of Cooke County.

Dougherty was an investor in the Denison and Pacific Railway and reportedly donated to several charitable causes. In 1904 Dougherty had a house built for him in Terry County near Brownfield, Texas, a town founded by Dougherty's son-in-law. The Old Daugherty House still stands and is a recorded Texas historic landmark. Although his headstone does not list a death date, Frank Dougherty was buried in Brownfield Cemetery sometime after the first burial occurred there in 1905. Dougherty in southeastern Floyd County, Texas, is named for Francis M. Dougherty.


William S. Speer and John H. Brown, eds., Encyclopedia of the New West (Marshall, Texas: United States Biographical Publishing, 1881; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978).

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, Jennifer Eckel, "DOUGHERTY, FRANCIS M.," accessed July 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fdo64.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on November 25, 2014. 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...