Browning, Judge James Nathan, Homesite of
Cowboy, lawyer, state official and jurist. Born in Arkansas, Browning received only a few months formal education, but taught himself by reading at night by the dim light of a pine knot. At 16, he came with his family to Cooke County, Texas, but later moved west to become a cowboy. His first job as a trail hand opened a nine-year career as a cattleman. His quick mind and desire for knowledge led him to begin the study of law with a law firm at Fort Griffin. Admitted to the Bar in 1876, he began a dual career of public service and private practice that continued through moves to Mobeetie, Clarendon and Amarillo. He was named first district attorney of the 31st Judicial District, a sprawling area taking in the entire Panhandle; he often had to ride hundreds of lonely miles to attend court. He was elected (1882) State Representative from the 43rd District (which included 69 counties). Re-elected in 1884, 1886, 1890, he became a popular champion of the rights of small farmers and settlers against big ranching interests. He served as Lieutenant Governor, 1898-1902; and on the Board of Regents, University of Texas, 1903-1907. From 1906 to 1914 he served as District Judge in Amarillo. Twice married, he had 10 children. (1969)
Thompson Memorial Park Amarillo, Texas
Year Erected: 1969
Marker Type: 27" x 42"