Rowe, James (1811–1868)

By: Aragorn Storm Miller

Type: Biography

Published: July 17, 2014

James Rowe, San Jacinto veteran, state legislator, and tanner, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, on March 17, 1811. He was the son of Joseph and Nancy Ann (Murrow) Rowe. Rowe immigrated to Texas in 1834 and was a settler in the colony founded by Lorenzo de Zavala. On July 24, 1835, Rowe received a land grant of 1,085 acres from the Mexican government. He married Myra Miry Tippett on August 18, 1835. This couple had as many as nine or more children. Following news of the fall of the Alamo in March 1836, Rowe was elected first lieutenant under Capt. William Kimbrough, Second Regiment Volunteers, Eighth Infantry Company, which mobilized against the Mexican army. Rowe saw action with this unit at the battle of San Jacinto the following month.

Rowe was living in San Augustine County by the late 1830s and, as a married man at the time of Texas independence, received a headright certificate for a league and labor of land in 1838. The property was surveyed in Shelby County in February 1838. As a reward for his service at San Jacinto, he received 640 acres of land in 1847. When Panola County was formed in 1846, Rowe was appointed as a commissioner to establish the county seat, which was eventually settled upon as present-day Carthage. In addition to his extensive landholdings, Rowe worked as a tanner. He was also a Mason. From November 3, 1851, to November 7, 1853, Rowe represented Panola County in the House of the Fourth Texas Legislature. He served on the Claims and Accounts Committee and the Engrossed Bills Committee. In 1856 he donated land to establish the Old Center Cemetery in Old Center, Panola County. On December 2, 1868, Rowe died and was buried at this cemetery. A Texas Historical Marker was erected in his honor in 1977.

Sam Houston Dixon and Louis Wiltz Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones, 1932). Leila B. LaGrone, ed., History of Panola County (Carthage, Texas: Panola County Historical Commission, 1979). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: James Rowe (, accessed July 16, 2014.

  • Fourth Legislature (1851-1853)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Aragorn Storm Miller, “Rowe, James,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 13, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 17, 2014