Judge James L. Harrison biography

JUDGE JAMES L. HARRISON, a well known cattleman and a resident of Panhandle, has recently been the honored incumbent of the office of county judge of Carson county and his connection with both private business and public affairs has given him a place of prominent and esteem in this section of Texas. A native son of the Lone Star state, he was born in Lavaca county in 1858. His father, Samuel Harrison, a native of Tennessee, moved to Alabama and thence to Texas about 1852, locating first in Titus county and later in Lavaca county, where he still lives and is a successful farmer. The mother, Ellen (Boyce) Harrison, who is now deceased, was also born in Tennessee.

Judge Harrison spent his boyhood on his father’s farm, and at the age of sixteen began “cow punching” and has been identified in an increasing degree with the cattle business from that time to this. In 1887 he came to Coleman county, where he was employed a couple of years, and in 1889 came to the foot of the plains, in Motley county. There he entered the service of the Matador Cattle Company as a cowboy, and later became their range manager. Subsequently taking a place with the Home Land and Cattle Company, for several years he managed their cattle interests in New Mexico, and in the fall of 1890 came to Carson county this state with a bunch of cattle for that company, putting them on the White Deer pasture. Later in 1892, still in the employ of the Home Land and Cattle Company, he took a lot if their cattle to Montana, and remained in charge of their interests there till the winter of 1896-97, when he returned to Carson county. Since the Home Land and Cattle Company sold out their interests Mr. Harrison has been in the cattle business for himself, and has become one of the most extensive operators along this line in the Panhandle. His pastures, most of which are leased from the White Deer ranch, lie in Roberts and Gray counties, and consist of about one hundred thousand acres. He also owns in his name a large amount of land.

Judge Harrison came into prominence in Carson county as a public official in 1900, when he was elected county judge, and by re-election in 1902 served altogether for four years, with a most creditable record in every detail of his work. His principal attention, however, has always been given to his cattle interests, and he is a well known member of the Texas Cattle-Raisers’ Association.

Judge Harrison and family reside in the town of Panhandle, where they have a very pretty residence and enjoy a large circle of friends. Judge Harrison was married at Gatesville, this state, to Miss Nellie Hotchkiss, and their son is James Harrison.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 159-160.