Francis Menefee White, settler, soldier, and public official, was born at Pulaski, Tennessee, on August 11, 1811, son of Jesse and Mary (Menefee) White. The family moved to Tuscumbia, Alabama, and then to Jackson County, Texas, in 1830. On October 1, 1835, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Texas army and later participated in the Siege of Bexar, the Grass Fight, and several other minor skirmishes while serving under Rawson Alley and George Sutherland. Voters in the Matagorda district elected White as their representative to the Consultation in San Felipe, but, occupied with his military duties around Bexar, he was unable to attend. White later left the army to care for his pregnant wife. After independence, White was named commissioner of Jackson County in 1837 and was elected justice of the peace in 1838, 1839, and 1840. White attended the Convention of 1845 and as a member of the House represented Jackson County in the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth legislatures. He was a member of the Board of Land Commissioners and also served as chairman of the House Committee on Public Lands. In 1857 he won the post of commissioner of the General Land Office, which he held until 1862. Provisional Governor Andrew J. Hamilton recalled White to oversee the Land Office during the early stages of Reconstruction, and he served until 1866, at which time he left public life. White returned to his Jackson County home and spent his remaining days farming and practicing law. He died on March 22, 1897, and was buried in the Wells family cemetery ten miles southeast of Edna.
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