James Patterson Alexander

Portrait of James Patterson Alexander Headstone Photograph


James Patterson Alexander
Apr. 21, 1883 - Jan. 1, 1948
County, Judge McLennan County
1917 - 1921
Professor of Law, Baylor University
1920 - 1940
District Judge, 19th District
1921 - 1925
Associate Justice, Court of Civil Appeals,
10th Supreme Judicial District
1931 - 1941
Chief Justice, The Supreme Court of Texas
1941 - 1948

Elizabeth Akin Alexander
Sept. 30, 1894 - Oct. 4, 1989
Full Name: James Patterson Alexander
Location: Section:Republic Hill, Section 2 (C2)
Row:L  Number:1
Reason for Eligibility: Judge, 19th District Court; Associate Justice, 10th Court of Appeals; Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Texas 
Birth Date: April 21, 1883 
Died: January 1, 1948 
Burial Date: January 3, 1948 

ALEXANDER, JAMES PATTERSON (1883-1948). James Patterson Alexander, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, was born in Moody, McLennan County, Texas, on April 21, 1883, the son of John Newton and Mary (Patterson) Alexander. He attended Baylor University in 1901 and received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1908. After a summer of postgraduate work at the University of Chicago in 1908, he began a law practice in McGregor. He moved his practice to Waco in 1911 and was elected county judge of McLennan County in 1916. He married Elizabeth Akin of Waco on August 2, 1916, and they had two daughters. From 1920 to 1924 Alexander served as judge for the Nineteenth District Court. He retired to private practice in 1924 but in 1930 became an associate justice of the Tenth Court of Civil Appeals at Waco. From 1920 to 1940 he was a member of the Baylor law faculty. While there, he taught civil trial procedure and instituted a series of student practice trials. In 1940 he was elected chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, in which he served until his death. One of his primary concerns was to revise the code of civil procedure so that cases would move through the judicial process more efficiently.

Alexander was a Baptist, a Mason, and a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas. He also served as director of the State Bar of Texas and as president of the National Council of Judicial Councils. He farmed and raised bees as a hobby. He died in Austin on January 1, 1948, and was buried in the State Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 51. Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

A. L. Weinberger

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "ALEXANDER, JAMES PATTERSON," http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/AA/fal9.html (accessed September 8, 2005).

Additional Multimedia Files To Download:
No additional files available.

Search by Name.