Aragorn Storm Miller
James Madison Willis
James Madison Willis. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grave of James Madison Willis
Grave of James Madison Willis. Courtesy of T. Bradford Willis.

WILLIS, JAMES MADISON (1822–1907). James Madison Willis, physician, state representative, and Confederate officer, was born in Jones County, Georgia, on December 11, 1822. Willis was raised on a Georgia plantation and, upon reaching adulthood, attended the University of New York, where he studied medicine and surgery and graduated with honors in 1847. Willis returned to Georgia and settled in Barnesville. On January 18, 1848, he married Dorothea Cordelia Blalock. This couple had six sons and two daughters. During the 1850s Willis engaged in state politics and served as a delegate representing the Georgia Know-Nothing Party at its convention in Cincinnati. In 1857 he relocated with his family to Texas and settled in Cass County where he continued to practice medicine and engage in politics. He won election as representative for Cass County (renamed Davis County during the Civil War) to the Tenth Texas Legislature and served from November 2, 1863, to August 6, 1866. During this time, he also served as a brigade surgeon for the Confederate army in the Western Theater. Following the war, Willis moved to Waco and continued his practice until retirement. He was an active Mason and Odd Fellow, a steward of the Fifth Street Methodist Church in Waco, a founding member of the Waco Medical Association, and a trustee of Waco Female College. He died on February 24, 1907, and was buried in Waco’s Oakwood Cemetery.


Barnesville News Gazette (Georgia), March 7, 1907. George Plunkett [Mrs. S. C.] Red, The Medicine Man in Texas (Houston, 1930). Waco Times-Herald, February 25, 1907.

Aragorn Storm Miller

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, Aragorn Storm Miller, "WILLIS, JAMES MADISON," accessed November 13, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwicn.

Uploaded on October 22, 2014. Modified on December 19, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox