Francis, Mark (1863–1936)

By: James D. McCrady

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 16, 2019

Mark Francis, first dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University), the son of Abner and Martha Ann (Vaughan) Francis, was born on March 19, 1863, in Shandon, Ohio. He received a degree in veterinary medicine from Ohio State University in 1877. He later studied at the American Veterinary College in New York, at the University of Michigan, and in Germany. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Miami University of Ohio in 1929. Francis became professor of veterinary science at Texas A&M in 1888. He became dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine in 1916 and was chief of the division of veterinary science in the Agricultural Experiment Station System. His fight against the fever tick and his work in developing the subcutaneous injection method of immunizing cattle against Texas fever gave him an international reputation and the cognomen "Father of the Texas Cattle Industry." In 1930 Francis was nominated to receive the Capper Award for Distinguished Service to American Agriculture. He also received the first honorary lifetime fellowship in the Texas Academy of Science and was honorary vice president of the 1935 Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth during the 1930s. He married Anna J. Scott on September 10, 1890; they had two children. He died at his home in College Station on June 23, 1936, and was buried in Shandon, Ohio.

Patton W. Burns, Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University, 1958–1975 (College Station: Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1975). Hubert Schmidt, Eighty Years of Veterinary Medicine at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (College Station: Texas A&M Archives, 1958). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.

  • Education
  • University Presidents and School Administrators
  • Health and Medicine
  • Hospital, School, and Association Administrators
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Veterinarians
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Writers, Authors, Publications, and Literature

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

James D. McCrady, “Francis, Mark,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 28, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 16, 2019

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