The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 65
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Historical List of Justices of the Peace, Dallas County, Texas 1846-2000
Historical List of Justices of the Peace
Dallas County, Texas
Abstracted by Shirley Remnant Sloat
The Justice of the Peace function has often been a stepping stone for those wishing to serve the public. Many JP's have
gone on to serve as County or District Judges, as members of the Commissioners Court, as State Representatives and in
various City positions.
One interesting example of dedication is Justice John Henry Brown who reversed the usual order of service. He was Mayor
of Galveston, a State Representative, a Dallas alderman and eventually the Mayor of the City of Dallas. When he retired as
Mayor in 1888, he was appointed to be a Justice of the Peace in Dallas County. When he finally retired, his last act as a
public servant was to write the following as the last entry in his Civil Docket Book:'
With a clear conscience at 12 o'clock M. on this the 18'h day of November, 1890,
I deliver this and all other books pertaining to my office to Edw. S Lauderdale as my Successor, and pray God to
guide and bless him in the path of duty.
John Henry Brown, JP
A list of those serving as Justices of the Peace for Dallas County has never before been compiled, due probably to the fact
that the task required referencing a multitude of sources - from published official election returns("ER")2, Commissioners
Court Minutes ("CCM")3, County Auditor's reports("AUD")4, newspaper election accounts ("DTH" and "DMN")5, City of
Dallas directories ("DIR")6, the Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County(M&BH)7 and, in some cases, actual
Early election registers usually named the Justices but did not always specify the precinct or place. Commissioners Court
Minutes sometimes name the precinct and place number and the date when a Justice's bond was posted and actual
commissioning took place. In addition, these Minutes provide details about resignations and replacement appointments
that do not necessarily appear in election registers.
The time period during and after the Civil War caused many changes to the Justice of the Peace function -local and
statewide elected officials were replaced by appointees named by the interim government, and precinct numbers and
boundaries were changed. During the Reconstruction period, Justices were appointed for four years instead of two, and
Dallas County, TX Civil Docket Book, Precinct 1, 1889-1890; originals stored in the Dallas County Record Depository.
2 Election Registers, 1838-1972; microfilm produced by the Texas State Library State Record Center, Archives Division,
1987; copies available at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Dallas Public Library.
3 Commissioners Court Minutes, 1846-Current; originals maintained by Dallas County.
4 County Auditor's Report on Justices of the Peace, Dallas County (Dallas, Office of County Auditor); copies of reports
from the 1960s through 1980s are available at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Dallas Public Library.
5 Dallas Times Herald (DTH) and Dallas Morning News (DMN) (including election results); microfilm copies available at
the J. Erik Jonsson Central Dallas Public Library.
6 City of Dallas Directories (Dallas, Evans and Worley); microfilm copies are available at the J. Erik Jonsson Central
Dallas Public Library.
7 , Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas(Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892
[reproduced by Walsworth Publishing Co. Inc]), available at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Dallas Public Library.
8 JP records inventoried and archived at the Dallas County Record Depository.
The Dallas Journal
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/71/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.