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 »


David Minor

YOUNG, JAMES (1866–1942). James Young, United States representative and lawyer, was born on a farm near Henderson on July 18, 1866. He left the family farm at the age of twenty-one to travel to Austin. He received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1891. That same year he was admitted to the bar and married Allie Nash of Kaufman. For the next twenty years Young remained in the county seat of Kaufman, practicing law, running a farm, and raising his son and daughter. Young was a lifelong Democrat and supported James S. Hogg. He developed a reputation as an ardent supporter of prohibition; he refused to defend any person accused of violating the liquor laws and volunteered his services to the county district attorney to assist in prosecuting violators. In 1911 Young, who had never run for public office, announced his decision to seek election as representative for the Third Congressional District. His successful campaign in 1911 was the first of five electoral victories. During his tenure in the House (1911–21), Young focused his efforts on assisting Texas farmers, when he served as a member of the House Committee on Agriculture. His colleague, Sam T. Rayburn, believed Young to be, "one of the first of the outstanding advocates of relief of the agricultural classes." Young was also a bitter opponent of the federal income tax. Although he was unopposed in 1921, Young surprised his fellow Democrats by announcing his retirement from the House. He returned to Kaufman, where he resumed his law practice. In 1928 he again surprised his political colleagues by publicly supporting Al Smith. Young announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1930. One of eleven candidates, Young's campaign centered on raising money for the depression-ridden state. He advocated taxes on sulfur, gas, and pipe lines. The former congressman finished fifth and immediately announced his support for Ross S. Sterling in his runoff with Miriam "Ma" Ferguson. Following the election of 1930 Young returned to Henderson. He continued to practice law until 1937, when he moved to Dallas to live with his daughter. On April 29, 1942, he died at his daughter's home. He was buried in the Baptist cemetery at Kaufman.

Norman D. Brown, Hood, Bonnet, and Little Brown Jug: Texas Politics, 1921–1928 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1984). Biographical Directory of the American Congress. Seth Shepard McKay, Texas Politics, 1906–1944 (Lubbock: Texas Tech Press, 1952).

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, David Minor, "YOUNG, JAMES," accessed May 24, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fyo08.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. 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...