Truitt, James W. (1845–1922)

By: Ruth A. Allen

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: January 23, 2019

James W. Truitt, state legislator, son of A. M. and Johanna Todd (Goodbread) Truitt and grandson of James Truitt, was born near Shelbyville, Texas, on November 7, 1845. After four years of service in the Confederate Army, James W. Truitt married a Miss Bryan, from whom he was later divorced. There were three children, with one of whom, Henry, he made his home during the later part of his life. Truitt served as a member of the Seventeenth and Twenty-third legislatures during the administrations of Oran M. Roberts and James S. Hogg, to both of whom he was a trusted adviser. He was active and influential in setting up the Railroad Commission. His interest in the prohibition movement led him to support actively the local-option amendment to the Constitution of 1876. Later he secured a license to practice law. He was interested in the penal problems of the state and was concerned especially about unjust convictions. In 1877 Truitt and his brother John H. established a paper at Center called The Laborer's Champion, which after about two years was reorganized under new management. For some time during the 1880s Truitt had a lumber business in Fort Worth. In 1906 he was private secretary to Congressman H. L. Brooks and spent two years in Washington. He died on August 29, 1922, and was buried with Masonic honors at Tenaha.

James W. Truitt Papers, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Ruth A. Allen, “Truitt, James W.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 12, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 23, 2019