Cody K. Carlson
William Franklin Patterson, Jr.  (1904–1966).
Fort Worth attorney Frank Patterson, Jr., served in the House of the Forty-first through Forty-third Texas legislatures and later was a judge advocate general with the U.S. Army during World War II. Courtesy Legislative Reference Library of Texas and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

PATTERSON, WILLIAM FRANKLIN, JR. [FRANK] (1904–1966). William Franklin “Frank” Patterson, Jr., attorney and member of the Texas House of Representatives, son of William Franklin Patterson, Sr., and Lillie Maude (Petty) Patterson, was born at Fort Worth, Texas, on February 27, 1904. He attended Central High School and Texas Christian University and received his LL.B. from Cumberland University in Tennessee. Patterson, like his father before him, was an attorney and practiced law in Fort Worth. He was first elected as a Democrat to the Texas House of Representatives in the Forty-first legislature as a flotorial representative for Tarrant and Denton counties and began his term on January 8, 1929. While serving his first term, he married Sallie Rebecca Malinda Harlan on September 19, 1931, at the House of Representatives in Austin. The couple had two daughters, Dorothy and Patricia, and a son who died at childbirth (1933).  

Patterson served a total of three terms in the Forty-first through Forty-third legislatures in the Texas House of Representatives between 1929 and 1935 and served as chair of the Common Carriers Committee (Forty-third legislature) and on committees such as Military Affairs, Public Health, Judiciary, and others. He also chaired the committee to select a photographer for the official photograph for the Forty-second Texas Legislature. In 1930 Patterson refused to fill out a controversial questionnaire among House members that would disclose his income. During his 1932 election campaign, his opponent, Democrat and former State Senator R. L. Carlock, made an issue of the fact that Patterson did not own a home and accused him of paying little in taxes. Patterson ran in the Democratic primary for the Texas Senate in 1934 but lost to incumbent Frank Rawlings. In the 1930s he served as an officer in the Texas National Guard with the Thirty-sixth Division. During World War II he was a judge advocate general with the U.S. Army in the European Theater of Operations. 

He retired at the rank of major and returned to his Fort Worth law practice. Patterson was active in a number of area organizations including the Optimist Club, Elks Club, and Dallas Consistory of Scottish Rite Moslah Temple Shrine. He died from lung cancer on March 17, 1966, in Fort Worth and is interred in Greenwood Memorial Park.  


Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Frank Patterson, Jr. (, accessed July 3, 2018. Texas Bar Journal, April 1966. “William Franklin ‘Frank’ Patterson, Jr” Find A Grave Memorial (, accessed July 3, 2018.

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:

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, Cody K. Carlson, "PATTERSON, WILLIAM FRANKLIN, JR. [FRANK] ," accessed February 17, 2020,

Uploaded on July 10, 2018. 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...