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History of Tennessee Treasurers

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Miller Francis

Miller Francis

1st Treasurer; Years Served: 1836–1843

Tennessee County of Residence: Rhea

Place of Birth: Virginia

Date of Birth: Not Available

Date of Death: August 22, 1845

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Treasurer's Report: 1841-43


Miller Francis is notable for serving as the first State Treasurer of Tennessee. While his official birth date is unknown, he most likely was born in Virginia and migrated to Tennessee like many other early settlers. On April 26, 1807, Treasurer Francis married Hannah Henry in Roane County, Tennessee; she was the daughter of William Henry from Virginia. Treasurer Francis and his wife Hannah had four children, named Teresa, Woodson, Malinda, and Margaret.

In 1808, Treasurer Francis became the first sheriff of Rhea County. He served as sheriff for the county from 1808 to 1817. After serving as sheriff, Miller was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1817. He served as a member of the House of Representative for two years and represented Rhea County.

During the early 1800s, Tennessee had several regional treasurers representing certain areas or divisions of the state, and Treasurer Francis began working with the treasury. In 1827, Treasurer Francis was elected as the treasurer of East Tennessee and served in the position from 1827 to 1836. During his time as East Tennessee Treasurer, he lived in Knoxville.

As a result of the changes to the Tennessee State Constitution of 1836 which stipulated that instead of having several treasurers serving certain regions of the state, there would be one Treasurer who would serve the entire state, elected by the Tennessee General Assembly for two years, Treasurer Francis was then elected by the General Assembly as the State Treasurer. He served in the position from February 6, 1836 to 1843. During his time as State Treasurer he lived in Nashville in Davidson County. Only two years after leaving the State Treasurer position, Miller Francis died on August 22, 1845.

After working as East Tennessee Treasurer for nine years, Treasurer Francis was appointed as the first State Treasurer of Tennessee in 1836.

Reference: Robert M. McBride and Dan M. Robison, Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly, Vol. I (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1975); William Speer, Sketches of Prominent Tennesseans Containing Biographies and Records of Many of the Families Who Have Attained Prominence in Tennessee (Nashville: Albert B. Tavel, 1888), 473; “Miller Francis,” Tennessee Marriages 1780-2002, Nashville, TN: Tennessee State Library and Archives; “Tennessee State Treasurers Under the Tennessee Constitution"

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Tennessee State Treasurer
Tennessee State Capitol, 1st Floor
600 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Nashville, TN 37243-0225