Russell, James Gordon (1859–1919)

By: Gerald F. Kozlowski

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

James Gordon Russell (Gordon James Russell), United States Congressman and jurist, was born in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, on December 22, 1859, the son of Henry A. and Mary (Gordon) Russell. He graduated from the University of Georgia, Athens, in 1877. He taught school in Dalton, Georgia, and also practiced law there after admittance to the bar in 1878. In 1879 Russell moved to Texas. In 1880 he was residing with J. P. Hobbs in Van Zandt County. Russell practiced law with W. B. (Buck) Wynne under the firm name of Wynne and Russell. On April 3, 1884, he married Jennie Matthews. His second wife was Annie Ford. He had three daughters and one son. Russell held many local offices as a Democrat. Between 1884 and 1902 he served consecutively as Van Zandt county judge, district attorney of the Seventh Judicial District, and district judge of the Seventh Judicial District. He resigned from that position when he was elected to the Fifty-seventh Congress in 1902 to fill the term of R. C. De Graffenreid, who died in office. Russell was reelected and served in the Fifty-eighth through the Sixty-first congresses as a representative of the Third Texas Congressional District. He resigned from Congress to become United States district judge of the Eastern District of Texas in 1910. He held this office until his death in Kerrville on September 14, 1919. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Tyler.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1859-). Dallas Morning News, September 16, 1919. Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

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

Gerald F. Kozlowski, “Russell, James Gordon,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995