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Finger, George W. (1857–1899)

William N. Todd IV and Gerald Knape Biography Entry

George W. Finger, attorney and land commissioner, was born on June 21, 1857, in Tarrant County, Texas, the son of Louis and Christena (Pless) Finger. He entered Mansfield College at age seventeen and graduated three years later. He then studied law in several Fort Worth law offices and was admitted to the bar in 1878. On December 19, 1880, he married Jessie L. Butler; they had at least three children. Finger spent the next several years in Arlington, during which time he was elected the first mayor of the town. He then moved to Fort Worth and practiced law in the firm of Stedman, Ayres, and Finger until 1891. He served as reading clerk for the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-second legislatures. He was chief clerk in the Twenty-third Legislature and temporarily presided over the House of the Twenty-fourth Legislature. In 1894 he became legal examiner for the General Land Office and on January 16, 1899, began his duties as land commissioner. Finger's brief service as commissioner did not allow time for any major changes in the land office. He preferred landless buyers as recipients of state lands. He died on May 4, 1899, at Marlin, Texas, and was buried at Arlington.

E. H. Loughery, Personnel of the Texas State Government for 1885 (Austin: Snyder, 1885). Garry Mauro, Land Commissioners of Texas (Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1986). C. W. Raines, Year Book for Texas (2 vols., Austin: Gammel-Statesman, 1902, 1903).


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • Land Law and Real Estate Law


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

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

William N. Todd IV and Gerald Knape, “Finger, George W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 22, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: