Swayne, James W. (1855–1929)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 2, 2020

James W. Swayne, lawyer, judge, legislator, and Democratic party official, son of James W. and Amanda J. (Henry) Swayne, was born in Lexington, Tennessee, on October 6, 1855. Educated at Kentucky Military Institute and Lebanon Law School, Swayne was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1877. In January 1878 he moved to Fort Worth, where he opened a law office and served as Fort Worth city attorney, 1883–85. He married Josephine Latham of Terrell on October 6, 1887. They were parents of one child. Swayne represented Tarrant County in the House of the Twenty-second Legislature, 1891–92. He served in the state Senate 1892–94, was county judge 1896–1900, and was appointed to state district judge by Governor Thomas M. Campbell in 1909, serving in this position through 1916. He was a partner to James Stephen Hogg in the Hogg-Swayne Syndicate at Spindletop, spending four years overseeing the business at the coast. Their holdings became part of the Texas Company (see TEXACO). Swayne had failed at attempts for elective office. He was chair of the Texas Industrial Board at the time of his death. In 1896 he was delegate-at-large to the Democratic National Convention. He served as director of the Democratic Publishing Company, the City National Bank of Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Board of Trade. With R. E. Maddox he promoted Hyde Park Addition in Fort Worth. Swayne died in Fort Worth on February 11, 1929, and was buried there on February 12.

Lewis E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Representative Men of Texas (Austin: City Printing, 1887; 3d ed., San Antonio: Maverick, 1892). The Standard Blue-Book of Texas (1914–1915). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.


  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Lawyers
  • General Law


  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Fort Worth
  • North Texas

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

Claudia Hazlewood, “Swayne, James W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/swayne-james-w.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

October 2, 2020

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