Marker location: 930 Travis St., Columbus
Marker erected: 1974
(Feb. 9, 1861 - July 12, 1947) Born in Wayne County, West Virginia, as Beauregard Mansfield. His name was changed to Joseph Jefferson Mansfield for his father, a Confederate colonel who was killed soon after Mansfield's birth. Mansfield came to Texas in 1881, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1886, and opened a law office in Eagle Lake (11 miles SE). While in Eagle Lake, he served as mayor, city attorney, and newspaper editor, and in 1888, married Annie Scott Bruce. The couple had 3 children. In 1892, Mansfield was elected county attorney and moved to Columbus, where in 1896, he was elected county judge. During his tenure as judge, in 1912-13, Mansfield served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas Masons. In 1916, he was elected to the United States Congress. As a congressman, Mansfield served as the Chairman of the House Rivers and Harbors Committee, which was responsible for federal funding of flood control on the Colorado River. Mansfield Dam (95 miles NW), constructed in 1934, was named in his honor. Early in 1947, Mansfield donated this property to Columbus for construction of a public Library. He died in Washington, D.C. and many dignitaries, including congressman (and later president) Lyndon B. Johnson, attended the funeral in Columbus. Burial was at Eagle Lake.
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