James Lanier Walton
of Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index | Sheriffs of Navarro County || Civil War Index

Written by Mary Leonard Haston ca 1967
Copyright John C. Berry, Jr.
Used by permission

James came to Texas with his father in 1845 and began life for himself at age 18, working with stock as a hired man for five years.  He then began farming, and a short time later was elected Constable for two years in the 1850s.  James registered his Brand in Navarro Co., Texas 6 Oct 1860.  When the Civil War broke out he enlisted in Parson's Brigade, Company F of the 12th Texas Regiment under Captain McKee.  He served in the Trans-Mississippi Department and participated in the battles consequent to the Banks' and Steele's raids.  After the Yellow Bayou fight, having been wounded, he received a furlough and came home.  Sixty days later James rejoined his command at Moscow in east Texas performing only picket and camp duty the remainder of the war.   Following the War, he served another term as constable and later followed in his father's footsteps by serving as Sheriff from Nov. 1884 - Nov. 1886.   James lived four miles northeast of Corsicana on the Walton property of some 400 acre of which 320 acres was farm land.  James Lanier's land near Petty's Chapel is where oil wells were first drilled in 1894.  He was a Mason and a member of the International Organization of Odd Fellows.  James was laid to rest in a private family cemetery located in a grove of Cedar trees on the Walton farm.  Also buried there was his wife Mary, son Jessie, and daughters Della, Littie, and Minnie.  Later, the family graves were moved to Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana, Texas.

(Source:  Reprint of Biographies from The Lone Star State, Lewis Publishing Company, 1893)  

History of the Twelfth Texas Cavalry Regiment:
Field and Staff:  William Henry Parsons, Colonel; Lochlin J. Farrar - Major; Andrew Bell Burleson, Lieutenant Colonel; William G. Vardell, Adjutant; R. A. Terrell, Captain; Frank Ayers, Commissary; Rev. J. Fred Cox, Chaplain.

Non-Commissioned Staff and Band: H. A. Highsmith, Sergeant-Major; Dan Price, Orderly Sergeant; W. A. Calfee, Chief Bugler; K. Lane Oldham, 2nd Master Sergeant.

The men of Ellis County organized a cavalry regiment in August 1861 which later was known as the Twelfth Texas Cavalry, Parsons' Brigade. Three companies, E, F and H, were mustered into the regiment and when the Nineteenth Regiment was later organized in Dallas County, Ellis furnished two more companies - A and C, this "putting into the field five companies of as good soldiers as ever mounted a horse." September 11, 1861, was a day of great importance to Ellis County and adjacent areas, as the companies formed under the supervision of William Henry Parsons, by authority of Edward Clark, Governor of the State of Texas.  They met at Rockett's Spring to organize a regiment of cavalry for service to the State of Texas in the then imminent war between the North and South. People began arriving early in the morning and a large crowd quickly assembled to witness this event. At 10 a.m., at the sound of the bugle, ten companies (comprising about 1200 men) marched to form a hollow square. They then proceeded to elect officers with W. H. Parsons unanimously elected Colonel. [Source:  A report read at the fourth reunion of the Brigade in August 1883, at Alvarado, Johnson County, Texas.]  The 12th Texas Cavalry served exclusively in the Trans-Mississippi as part of Parsons' Cavalry Brigade. It participated in several minor actions in Arkansas in 1862, in the Little Rock Campaign in 1863, and the Red River Campaign in 1864. The regiment was in service when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered on May 26, 1865.

Not all source information is included, but this is the best I have to date on my g-grandfather and g-gg-randfather [ Sheriff Jesse Simon Walton ].  Submitted by George Walton

Photo, courtesy of Walter Earl and Elaine Parker of Corsicana.  Elaine is the Granddaughter of James L Walton.


James L. Walton, ex-Sheriff of Navarro county, and a farmer by occupation, was born in Tennessee, October 22, 1836. His father, J. S. Walton, was born in Virginia, November 24, 1807. He was an early settler in Tennessee, and about the year 1840 moved his family to Arkansas, where he lived until 1845, when he removed to Texas, locating near Bonham, in Fannin county, where he engaged in farming and stock-raising. In 1852 he bought a tract of land on Briar creek, Navarro county, and opened up and began farming. He was elected Constable of his precinct, and proved himself so efficient an officer that he was afterward elected Sheriff of his county, performing the duties of that office several years before the war. Mr. Walton married Eliza, a daughter of James Lanier, of Virginia, and they were the parents of seven children; Mary, deceased; Eliza, deceased; Elizabeth, wife of Elias Reeves; William, deceased; J. L., our subject, and Thomas and Jesse, twins. The mother of the subject of this sketch died in Arkansas, in 1842; his father is now living in Glen Rose, Somervell county, Texas. The grandfather of our subject, William Walton, was a native of Virginia, and a soldier of the war of 1812. He was twice married, and for his second wife he married Mr. Walton's grandmother, Lanier.

J. L. Walton began life for himself at the age of eighteen years, working with stock as a hired man for five years. He then began farming, and a short time afterward was elected Constable of his precinct, which office he satisfactorily filled two terms. When the late war broke out he enlisted in Parsons' Twelfth Texas Regiment, Company F, under Captain McKee. He served in the Trans-Mississippi Department, and participated in  the battles consequent to the Banks' and Steele's raids. After the Yellow Bayou fight, having been wounded, he received a furlough and came home, but sixty days later rejoined his command at Moscow, east Texas, and did only picket and camp duty the remainder of the war. After the close of hostilities Mr. Walton was reelected Constable, serving one term. In 1884 he was elected Sheriff of the county, to succeed E. E. Dunn, and since that time has given his entire attention to agricultural pursuits. He owns 400 acres of fine land, 300 acres of which is under a good state of cultivation.

In 1859 our subject was married to Mary L., a daughter of George and Mary (Redden) Patty, of Tennessee. Her father died in 1886 and her mother now resides with her. To this union has been born nine children, viz.; Jesse, deceased; Lue, with of J. H. Pitman; Della, deceased; George; Thomas; Lillie, deceased; Willie, Minnie and Martin. In politics Mr. Walton it a Democrat. Socially, he affiliates with the Masonic orders and I.O.O.F.; and religiously is a member of the Methodist Church.

Memorial and Biographical History of Navarro, Henderson, Anderson, Limestone, Freestone and Leon Counties Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1893

Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox