James, on Farm Road 3245 twelve miles southeast of Gilmer in southeastern Upshur County, grew up just after 1900 near the junction of two railroads: the Marshall and East Texas and the St. Louis and Southwestern. The community was originally named Jamestown, for W. P. James, a prominent local citizen; in 1915 its name was shortened to James. A post office opened there in 1914. Around the eve of World War I James had several stores, a cotton gin, and a depot. The community continued to grow during the 1920s and by 1929 reported a population of 150. In the mid-1930s James had two churches, several stores, a number of houses, and fifty residents. Its population peaked at 200 in 1952, but many of its residents moved away, and by the mid-1960s all that remained of the community was a cemetery and a few scattered houses. In 1990 James was a dispersed rural community.