James P. Magill, farmer and state legislator, was born on March 5, 1825, in Lincoln County, Kentucky, son of Samuel P. and Nancy (Shackleford) Magill. He came to Texas around 1846, and while on the road to Austin from Houston, he learned that the first battle of the Mexican War had taken place. Magill joined the state rangers under Captain Henry Eustace McCulloch. He was elected second lieutenant and spent the war patrolling the Indian frontier. After the war James Magill returned to Kentucky to marry Angelina S. Evans on March 5, 1850, in Wayne County; they had fourteen children. He moved to Burnet County, Texas, later that year, joining his older brother William. Here Magill served as county clerk for eight years. He resigned to represent Burnet, Llano, and San Saba counties in 1861 in the Ninth Texas Legislature.
Magill remained active with the rangers. In 1865 he was wounded in the side by an arrow during a skirmish with Indians. In 1869 he bought a farm of 800 acres in Williamson County. He served one term as commissioner of Williamson County. Magill was a Presbyterian and a Democrat. He was also a Mason and served as secretary and Worshipful Master of Valley Lodge in Burnet. He obtained all chapter degrees.
Magill died on April 7, 1903, in Williamson County. He is buried in Bagdad Cemetery in Leander.
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Family Search, "James Magill" (http://www.familysearch.org), accessed October 2, 2006. History of Texas, together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee, and Burleson Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893).
Ninth Legislature (1861-1863)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Stephanie P. Niemeyer,
“Magill, James P.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
September 2, 2008