Dougherty, Francis M. (1826–unknown)

By: Jennifer Eckel

Type: Biography

Published: May 8, 2008

Updated: November 19, 2014

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).

  • Sixth Legislature (1855-1856)
  • House
  • Sixteenth Legislature (1879)
  • Seventeenth Legislature (1881-1882)

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

Jennifer Eckel, “Dougherty, Francis M.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

May 8, 2008
November 19, 2014