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WILLIE, JAMES (1823–1863). James Willie, legislator and jurist, son of James and Caroline (Hoxey) Willie, was born in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia, on January 5, 1823. Left an orphan before reaching his majority, he joined his maternal uncle, Dr. Asa Hoxey, in Washington County, Texas, settling near Independence in the early 1840s. The Willies and Hoxies were instrumental in selecting the name for Washington-on-the-Brazos in honor of their hometown in Georgia. In 1846 Willie was elected to the First Legislature of Texas. Joined by his younger brother, Asa H. Willie, he practiced law at Brenham in 1847. In 1856 Willie was elected attorney general and, with John W. Harris and O. C. Hartley, was appointed by Governor Elisha M. Pease to revise and arrange the civil and criminal laws of Texas. On July 20, 1845, Willie married Sally Johnson, daughter of Judge Thomas Johnson, attorney for the Washington District. James Willie was a general in the Confederate Army from 1860 to 1863, when he became ill and returned to Houston, where he died. He was buried in Old Cemetery at Independence.


James D. Lynch, The Bench and Bar of Texas (St. Louis, 1885). Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940). Charles F. Schmidt, History of Washington County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1949).

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"WILLIE, JAMES," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.