FRENCH, JAMES HENRY
FRENCH, JAMES HENRY (1835–1893). James Henry French, mayor of San Antonio, was born on March 26, 1835, in Warrenton, Virginia, to James and Sarah Butler (Henry) French. He attended Columbia College in Washington, D.C., before he moved to San Antonio, Texas, in October 1851. On October 15, 1856, he married Sarah L. Webb; they eventually had five children. French and his wife moved in 1856 to Atascosa County, where he served two terms as sheriff and managed a ranch. He returned to San Antonio in 1859 and in May 1861 enlisted in the Confederate Army. He served in the adjutant general's office until October 1861, then was appointed captain and assigned to the commissary department under Gen. Paul O. Hébert. He served this assignment on the Rio Grande under Gen. Hamilton P. Bee. In January 1863 French was transferred to the purchasing department at San Diego, Texas, and in March 1865 took charge of the reserve department of supplies for the forces operating under Col. John S. Port.
After the war he made his home in San Antonio, where he instituted many reforms in city government during his period as mayor (1875–1885) and alderman (1885–89). These reforms included a system of street names and house numbering, increased city control of public schools, and an increase in the school tax by 10 percent. In addition, during his tenure the International-Great Northern Railroad was built into San Antonio. French died on September 6, 1893, and was buried in the City Cemetery in San Antonio.
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, Carolyn Hyman, "French, James Henry," accessed May 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffr12.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles