While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Claudia Hazlewood
James Marion West
Portrait of James Marion West. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
West Ranch
James Marion West owned the 30,000-acre West Ranch in southeastern Harris County. Courtesy of the Friendswood Development Company Archives and Houston History Magazine. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

WEST, JAMES MARION (1871–1941). James Marion West, banker and publisher, son of Silas W. and Mattie (Clark) West, was born in Waynesboro, Mississippi, in 1871. The family moved to Trinity County, Texas, in 1880 and settled near Groveton, where West attended public school and began work in a drugstore in the late 1880s. In the middle 1890s he established a lumber business in Trinity County at a site called Westville. He married Jessie Dudlin of Georgia in 1895. After moving to Houston in 1905, he went into the real estate business and became president of the Fort Terrett Ranch Company. He was later president of the South Texas Hardwood Manufacturing Company, a director in several banks, director on the boards of Texas Technological College and Southwestern University, and an officer in the Gage Cattle Company. In 1939 West was appointed chairman of the Texas Highway Commission but was refused Senate confirmation because he supported the Republican presidential candidate, Alfred M. (Alf) Landon, in 1936. His other activities included participation in the oil industry, management of the West Lumber Company, publication of the Dallas Journal, and an interest in the Austin Tribune. West became publisher of these papers because he feared the "collectivism of the Roosevelt administration." In 1938 he established the West Foundation, the funds of which were to be devoted to religious, charitable, educational, literary, and scientific purposes. He was a Mason. West died in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 24, 1941, and was buried in Houston.


Emory A. Bailey, Who's Who in Texas (Dallas: John B. McCraw Press, 1931). Mary Whatley Clarke, "Jim West of Texas," Cattleman, December 1952. Dallas Morning News, August 25, 1941. Ellis A. Davis and Edwin H. Grobe, comps., The New Encyclopedia of Texas (4 vols., 1929?). Marcellus E. Foster and Alfred Jones, eds., South and Southeast Texas (n.p.: Jas. O. Jones, 1928). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Claudia Hazlewood, "WEST, JAMES MARION," accessed August 04, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwe33.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on August 1, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...