JAMES B. BADGER, of the Payne-Badger Fuel Company, of El Paso, was born in 1856, in Harris county, Texas, in the old historic town of San Jacinto, where the famous battle of the Texas Revolution was fought. His parents were J. B. and Fannie (Jemison) Badger. The father, a native of Ohio, came to Texas about 1836 or 1837, as one of its pioneer settlers, but later returned to the Buckeye state and when he again came to Texas took up his abode at San Jacinto. He was a ship carpenter by trade and actively engaged in steamboat building, which was an important industry on the lower Trinity river in early days. He departed this life several years ago, but his wife is still living at Houston and is one of the few and well known survivors of the Texas republic. She is a native of this state, having been born within its borders prior to the time when its independence from Mexico was achieved, an event which took place in 1836. She has therefore lived under the flag of Mexico, of the Texas republic, the United States, of the Confederacy and again under the stars and stripes. In her early childhood her parents were both massacred by the Indians and she was reared for the most part in the family of the noted Gale Borden, the inventor of condensed milk, whose fame has spread aboard throughout the world. He lived in Galveston in those early years and afterward removing to New York there promoted his condensed milk industry and became a very wealthy man.
James B. Badger spent the first thirteen years of his life at San Jacinto and then resided for seventeen years in Galveston. He located in El Paso in 1886, when it was still a pioneer city of western Texas and has lived here continuously since. On taking up his abode in El Paso he embarked in the grocery business at the corner of San Antonio and Stanton streets, where he was located for seven years, when he sold out to John B. Watson. In 1897 he engaged in his present business in partnership with W. F. Payne and W. S. McCutcheon under the firm of the Payne-Badger Company, dealers in coal, wood and building materials with yards and offices at the corner of West Second and Chihuahua streets, but recently Mr. Badger has purchased his partner’s interest, and the business is conducted under the name of the Badger Fuel Company. Extending his efforts into other lines, he is now the president of the Southern Independent Telephone Company which has inaugurated an excellent system of automatic telephones in El Paso. Not alone in business life is Mr. Badger’s connection with the interests of El Paso notable, for he has been connected with many important measures for the general good. He has been a member of the city council of El Paso for a longer period than any other alderman, having first been elected from the third ward in 1889, while since that time he has represented the second and first wards in the city council, being now a member of the first ward, while his connection with the council covers altogether a little more than fourteen years. He has acted on some of the most important committees and has taken an active part in the legislation, furthering El Paso’s prosperity, promoting its public utilities and advancing its substantial growth and progress. He is indeed one of the public-spirited citizens of the town and the efficiency and value of his efforts are acknowledged by all.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, p. 495.