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WRIGLEY, JAMES M. (1822–1896). James M. Wrigley, businessman, farmer, and Confederate officer, was born to James and Sarah (Phelps) Wrigley in Johnson, Montgomery County, New York, on August 13, 1822. Following the death of his parents in 1826, Wrigley was sent to Pontiac, Michigan, where he spent about twelve years before moving to Texas and settling in Liberty County in 1844. Wrigley was one of the leading citizens of the community of Liberty and was involved in mercantilism, cattle, and steamboat interests. Prior to 1850 he married Ann E. Gayle in Liberty County. They had one son and three daughters. He served as first postmaster of Liberty and boasted $17,000 in real estate and personal property by 1860.

When the Civil War began, Wrigley enlisted as a private in an infantry company formed in Liberty County. Soon afterward, however, he raised a company of infantry himself for service in a regiment led by Ebenezar B. Nichols. That unit was disbanded before joining the Confederate Army. At this point his company was incorporated into Waul's Texas Legion, which formed in Brenham, Washington County, Texas, in the spring of 1862, with Wrigley elected as lieutenant colonel in charge of the second battalion of infantry. Wrigley saw action in several engagements with this unit, including the siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863. After being captured at the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, Wrigley was paroled and returned to Texas. Although he reentered the army, Wrigley saw no more active service.

After the war, Wrigley returned to Liberty County, where he was active in the Masons as well as the association of Odd Fellows. In 1875 Wrigley moved to Alvarado, Texas, in Johnson County. He was elected mayor of the town in 1894. He died in Alvarado on May 16, 1896, and was buried in Balch Cemetery.


Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1896. Field Officers Serving in Texas Confederate Regiments (, accessed April 8, 2011. The Journal of J. M. Hall: Colonel James Wrigley 1822–1896 (, accessed April 8, 2011. A Memorial and Biographical History of Johnson and Hill Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1892).

Aragorn Storm Miller


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

Aragorn Storm Miller, "WRIGLEY, JAMES M. ," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on April 21, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.