Mansfield, Joseph Jefferson (1861–1947)

By: W. A. Flachmeier

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 1, 1995

Joseph Jefferson Mansfield, lawyer, county official, and congressman, was born in what is now West Virginia on February 9, 1861. In 1881 he moved to Alleyton, Texas. After working on a farm, in a nursery, and on the railroad, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1886. He began practice in Eagle Lake, where he was city attorney, mayor, editor of the first newspaper, and county attorney of Colorado County from 1892 to 1896. He was county judge from 1896 to 1916. He organized two companies of the Texas Volunteer Guard and was appointed adjutant of the Fourth Texas Regiment with rank of captain. Mansfield represented the Ninth Texas Congressional District in the United States Congress from 1916 to 1947. He served on the Merchant Marine Committee and on the House River and Harbors Committee, of which he was long the chairman. He became paralyzed in 1920 and thereafter used a wheelchair. Mansfield was grand master of Texas Masons in 1912 and for twenty years was a vestryman in the Episcopal Church. He married Annie Scott Bruce of Eagle Lake in 1888; they were the parents of three children. He died on July 5, 1947, and was buried at Eagle Lake. Mansfield Memorial Library in Columbus, Texas, and Mansfield Dam at Lake Travis were named for him.

Colorado Citizen, July 17, 1947. Congressional Record, July 14, 1947. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • World War II

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

W. A. Flachmeier, “Mansfield, Joseph Jefferson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 27, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995