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DOBIE, JAMES MADISON (1856–1929). James Madison Dobie, rancher, son of Robert S. and Amanda (Hill) Dobie, was born on January 18, 1856, near Houston, Texas. He became a freighter before he moved to Live Oak County, where he ranched and raised horses to send to Dodge City, Kansas. After several years in Live Oak County, he moved to Indian Territory but returned to the area in 1895 almost broke. However, in San Antonio he managed to gather a herd of 25,000 cattle by year's end. He took this herd to Live Oak County and soon had one of the largest ranches in the area, with 30,000 acres in parts of Live Oak, McMullen, Webb, and La Salle counties. In 1905 he married Ida Mae Taylor.

According to his nephew, J. Frank Dobie, he claimed that one man was enough to handle the worst stampede of cattle and usually took control himself in such cases. Dobie not only had business interests in cattle, horses, and ranchland, but also owned real estate in San Antonio and at one time owned the Princess Theatre. He was active in shaping policies of the old Texas Cattle Raisers' Association and later the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. After establishing a permanent home with his wife in San Antonio in 1924, Dobie died there on May 21, 1929.


Emory A. Bailey, Who's Who in Texas (Dallas: John B. McCraw Press, 1931). San Antonio Express, May 22, 1929.

Richard Allen Burns


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

Richard Allen Burns, "DOBIE, JAMES MADISON," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.