Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 358 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
JAMES ROANE MASTERSON,
James Roane Masterson, though reared in Texas,
is not a native of the State. He was born in
Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn., April 15, 1838.
His paternal grandmother was a Miss Washington,
niece of President George Washington. His father,
a lawyer of Brazoria County, Texas, was a native
Of Tennessee, but removed with his family to Texas
in 1839, and was elected County Clerk of Brazoria
County. His mother, Christiana J. Roane, born
in Nashville, Tenn., January 10, 1818, is the
daughter of James Roane, son of Governor Archibald
Roane, of Tennessee, in whose honor a county
of that State is named; a grandniece of Governor
Spencer Roane, of Virginia, who was at one time
United States senator from that State, and of David
Roane, who was appointed by President Jefferson,
United States District Judge for the State of Kentucky,
and a cousin of Governor John Roane, of
Arkansas. The maternal grandmother of James
R. Masterson was a Miss Irby, of Virginia, a relative
of President John Tyler. One of her sisters
is the mother of John Morgan, United States Senator
from Alabama. Two of her nieces married Thomas
Chilton of the Supreme Court of Alabama, one of
whom was mother of Mrs. Abercrombie, of Huntsville.
Another of her sisters, Mrs. Mary Hooker,
of New Orleans, formerly Mrs. Noble, was the
mother of John I. Noble, of New Orleans.
His paternal uncle, William Masterson, married
the eldest daughter of the celebrated Felix Grundy,
of Tennessee. His brothers, William, Washington
(now dead), Archibald, and Branch T. Masterson,
Were all in the Confederate army and were gallant
soldiers, William and Washington serving as
officers. Harris was a small boy when the war
James R. Masterson's opportunities for obtaining
a thorough education were very limited. When he
was a youth there were no good schools in Texas,
and what education he received is due to his
mother. His early predilections were for the law,
and he began the study of that science at the age
of seventeen. In 1856 he entered the law office of
Gen. John A. Wharton and Clinton Terry, at
Brazoria. He had for four years been an assistant
to his father in the County Clerk's office, and there
gained much information in regard to forms and
practice, knowledge that greatly facilitated his
advancement. He was admitted to the bar in
1858, having been declared of age for that purpose
by the Legislature of Texas. As soon as admitted
to the practice, he located in Houston and there
applied himself to his profession with great diligence
and assiduity. He was studious, careful and
attentive to business. The industry and caution
he displayed in the preparation of his cases gave
him a standing at the bar at once, and secured for
him a large and lucrative practice. By the unanimous
request of the Houston bar, he was, in 1870,
appointed by Governor E. J. Davis, Judge of the
Nineteenth Judicial District of Texas, composed of
Harris and Montgomery counties. He entered
upon the duties of that office with the same energy
and industry that he had exhibited as a practitioner.
His predecessors in office, prior to the
war between the States, were men of acknowledged
ability and were eminently qualified for the station;
and from the time of his appointment, he exhibited
a laudable ambition to worthily emulate their virtues.
His executive ability in the disposition of
judicial business is rarely equaled, and in applying
the law to the facts of the case, few men are more
careful and accurate, and none more conscientious.
Judge Masterson served under the appointment
of the Governor until the adoption of the present
constitution, in 1876. By that instrument his office
was made elective by the people, and he was the
first judge of his district elected under it. He was
nominated by the Democrats and chosen Judge of
the Twenty-first (old Nineteenth) District.
His personal character and official course have
been so eminently satisfactory to the people that
no man in the district could have been elected in
his stead. He has but a very brief military record.
He enlisted in the army to go to Virginia with
Hood's scouts, but was transferred to Elmore's Regiment,
Twenty-first Texas, commanded by Lieut.Col.
L. A. Abercrombie, and served one year, and
was honorably discharged. Politically, Judge
Masterson has always been a Democrat, and in the
days of secession was a follower of Sam Houston
and favored co-operation rather than secession.
He did not endorse the constitutionality or the
expediency of secession, but advocated the co-operation
of Texas with the northern tier of Southern
States. He belongs to the State's Rights school of
politics, but does not believe that secession is a
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, 1880~; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/358/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .