James Richard Fleming, attorney, businessman, and public official, was born in Feliciana, Groves County, Kentucky, on September 10, 1848, the son of William Carpenter and Arlette (Davis) Fleming. His family soon moved to Tennessee, where Fleming attended school until August 17, 1861, when he entered the Confederate service under Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. In 1867 he moved to Columbus, Texas, where he purchased the Columbus Times and published it for one year. He was admitted to the bar on March 16, 1870, and the following November 1 he married Mrs. Mary McLeary Grace. They moved to Comanche County, where Fleming engaged in law, merchandising, and banking. After serving as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1875, he was elected judge of the twelfth judicial district. He resigned from the bench in 1880 and moved to Cisco. He was elected to represent the Twenty-ninth District in the Senate of the Eighteenth Legislature, 1883–84. In August 1883 Fleming, who was then living at Albany, was appointed commissioner to represent Texas at the Southern Agricultural and Cotton Exposition at Louisville, Kentucky. In 1889 he moved to San Antonio, where he was appointed master of chancery for the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company. He was delegate and temporary chairman at the state Democratic convention at Dallas in 1894 and the same year was delegate to the national Democratic convention in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Houston in 1894 and in 1896 to Spokane, Washington, where he died about 1904 at the age of fifty-five. Fleming was a thirty-second-degree Mason and a Methodist.