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Francis, Charles Inge (1893–1969)

Sheana Dempsey Biography

Charles Inge Francis, attorney, was born in Denton, Texas, on September 1, 1893, the third son of Mr. and Mrs. William Byrne Francis. He attended the University of Texas, where he earned a B.A. in 1915 and bachelor's and master's degrees in law in 1917. He played shortstop and third baseman on the Longhorn baseball team that, coached by William J. (Billy) Disch, won both the Texas Intercollegiate and the Southwest Association championships. Francis then joined the army and served in France in World War I, after which he moved to Wichita Falls and became a partner in Weeks and Weeks, a law firm. He was also in on the discovery of a Permian Basin oil well, which he and his partner sold to Magnolia Petroleum Company in 1924 for $2 million.

In 1933 Francis was appointed special assistant to the United States Attorney General in Washington and served as counselor to the Petroleum Administration Board. In 1934 he moved to Houston, where he spent sixteen years as a partner in Vinson, Elkins, Weems, and Francis. In 1940 he was appointed special assistant to the secretary of war. In 1946 he and E. Holley Poe, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and New York, purchased the "Big Inch" and "Little Big Inch" pipelines from the government for $143,127,000. They called their new company Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation. Francis eventually became vice president, general counsel, and director of the company. In 1950 he opened his own Houston law office. He retired from the board of Texas Eastern in 1967, whereupon he was made director emeritus.

He served on the University of Texas Board of Regents from 1929 through 1935 and from 1931 through 1933 was president of the Texas Ex-Students' Association. In 1952 he helped form the UT Law School Foundation, of which he was president from 1952 until 1967. In 1958 he was named the most distinguished alumnus of the law school, the first person to receive that award. That same year the Law Day Program was dedicated in his name. In 1964 he was again honored as a distinguished alumnus. In 1968–69 he donated a professorship in law for a professor who had achieved excellence in lecture and other classroom skills. Francis was also a regent for North Texas State University (later the University of North Texas) and a member of the Centennial Board of the University of Michigan. He was director of the Reed Roller Bit Company and vice president of Southland Life Insurance Company. He served on the state Democratic executive committee and was a consultant to the United States Department of the Interior as an expert on oil and gas. He married Adelle Adickes of Wichita Falls in 1920, and they had two daughters. Francis died on November 11, 1969, after suffering a stroke, and was buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Charles Inge Francis).


  • Education
  • School Trustees and Regents
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law
  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Oil and Gas and Natural Resources Law
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

Time Periods:

  • Texas in the 1920s
  • Great Depression
  • Texas Post World War II


  • Houston

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

Sheana Dempsey, “Francis, Charles Inge,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 24, 2020,

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