Francis William Latham, rancher and legislator, was born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1818. He came to Texas during the Mexican War and served in the military. In 1848 Latham settled near Brownsville and began to farm and ranch.
Latham, a Democrat, was first elected as a representative from Cameron County in 1855 and served in the House of the Sixth and Seventh legislatures. In 1858 President James Buchanan nominated him to serve as the customs collector for Brazos de Santiago. In addition, Latham served as a county clerk. He was a member of the Secession Convention and voted to secede from the United States on February 1, 1861. After the war Latham served in the House of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth legislatures, and was the chairman of the Committee on Claims and Accounts during the Nineteenth and Twentieth.
Latham was married to Mary Anna Sprague of Providence, Rhode Island. He remained politically active throughout his life. He was a Mason.