James Hill, soldier, legislator, and jurist, was born to James Johnson and Elizabeth Lamb (Rogers) Hill near Nashville, Tennessee, on November 4, 1837. The family moved to Swartwout, Texas, in 1842, and Hill attended Gillette's Academy at Cold Springs. After briefly teaching school he published a newspaper, the Rising Sun, from 1858 to 1860. He married Louisiana native Frances Eugenia Dunman on December 20, 1859, and was the father of six children. In 1860 Hill owned one slave and a horse; the total value of his taxable estate was reported to be $675. Like many Polk County residents, he joined the Confederacy. He served as a first lieutenant in Company G of Col. Richard B. Hubbard's Twenty-second Texas Infantry, Walker's Texas Division. After the war ended he returned to Polk County and fell so deeply into debt that by 1868 his holdings were turned over to a trustee, Arthur T. Watts, for public auction. However, Hill put his economic woes behind him and by 1871 had been admitted to the bar. In 1881 he owned over 1,000 acres in Polk County as well as a town lot in Livingston. He was elected as a Democrat to the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Texas legislatures, where he served as chairman of the Committee on Jurisprudence and Law Reform. He presided as a special district judge and contributed actively to legal journals and reviews. He died in Livingston on October 13, 1916, and is buried there.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
Houston Post, October 14, 1916. Polk County Enterprise, October 9, 1983.
Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
Politics and Government
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Hill, James Ewing,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 22, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995