Menefee, John Sutherland (1813–1884)

By: L. W. Kemp

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 11, 2020

John Sutherland Menefee, merchant, soldier, and public official, was born in Anderson County, Tennessee, on June 24, 1813, the son of Lucy (Sutherland) and Thomas Menefee. In 1824 the family moved to Morgan County, Alabama, and again in 1830 to Jackson County, Texas. Menefee was elected captain of a militia squad and participated in the battle of Sandy Creek against local Indians in the summer of 1832. In 1835 he opened a mercantile business in Texana in partnership with Robert Mills and George Sutherland. Menefee joined the Texas army on February 29, 1836, and fought at San Jacinto as a private in Moseley Baker's company. He was honorably discharged from service on May 31, 1836, and was thereafter an active member in the Texas Veterans Association. He received a headright certificate for land in Jackson County in 1838. In 1836 Menefee was named postmaster at Texana. In 1837–38 he also served as county clerk of Jackson County; in 1839–40 he represented the county in the House of the Fourth Congress. In 1842 he once again joined the army and became captain in a company commanded by Clark L. Owen, when the incursion of Mexican general Adrián Woll threatened a renewal of hostilities. After his military service Menefee returned to Jackson County, where he served as county judge in 1846. In 1874 he held the office as justice of the peace, his last recorded public office. On July 17, 1839, Menefee married Angelina Clark; they had two children. Angelina died on February 19, 1841. Menefee married Frances Jane Dever on November 25, 1847, and they had two children. He was active in the organization of the Methodist church in Jackson County. In 1880 he wrote a series of articles, "Jackson County History," for the Texana Clarion. Menefee died in Jackson County on November 4, 1884, and is buried in the family cemetery on the Navidad River near Edna. In 1936 the Texas Centennial Commission erected a monument at his grave, and he is also cited as an early pioneer settler on the Jackson County marker on the courthouse grounds in Edna.

Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

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

L. W. Kemp, “Menefee, John Sutherland,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 07, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 11, 2020