Rev. James Seaborn York
Navarro County, Texas


Biography Index


James Seaborn York, Rev
Apr. 17, 1834 – Feb. 7, 1924

Rev. James Seaborn York


Rev. J. S. York Visits Resting Place of Wife. Sixty years ago Rev. J. S. York was married in Shelby county, Tennessee. “I stole the prettiest girl in Shelby county and was married at 12 o’clock at night,” he said. Fifteen years ago Mrs. York died and was buried at Dresden and a few days ago Rev. Mr. York visited the place in which the body of his wife has rested all these years. “I paid $2.50 for the lot,” he said, “and it is all the property I own. I expect soon to be resting by her side and often I find myself growing impatient for that time to come,” he said with a tremor in his voice. The Dresden cemetery is one of the oldest burying grounds in the county and some of the county’s oldest and most beloved citizens are buried there. As frequently said in these columns Rev. Mr. York has had an eventful and useful life and although considerably beyond the three score and ten allotment he is enjoying fairly good health and enjoys referring to the past. “It pays to advertise,” he said to the reporter. “Since my photograph appeared in the papers a short time ago, I have received a number of letters. One was from a nephew living in Henderson, Rusk county. I thought his entire family had gone to their reward. I had not heard from them in many years. Another letter came from a lady now living in Fort Worth who entered the church under my preaching in Lamb county, forty-nine years ago, she wrote.



Additional Biography written by himself:


Brief Sketch of Life of the “Texas War Horse.”

Rev. J. S. York, known as the “Texas War Horse,” and a former well known and popular and highly esteemed resident of Navarro county, T. J. York. He is now a resident of Sunset, Montague county, and had been to Cooper to attend the Methodist Protestant church. He calls this his mother conference as he joined it fifty-one years ago when he first went to preaching. He has been in the service constantly since. He will return to his home today and from there will attend the Texas conference, of which he is now a member. This conference convenes in Reno, Parker county, next Friday.

Rev. Mr. York says he feels that the end of his life is near. He does not view it with sorrow nor talk of it in mournful words. On the other hand he speaks of it cheerfully and with the confidence of a man who feels that his house is in order. He has the men selected whom he wants to take part in his funeral exercises. These are Rev. G. W. Sanders of Corsicana, Rev. R. V. Tooley of Henrietta and Rev. R. F. Patterson of Sunset. And he has selected the text upon which he wishes the ministers to base their remarks. This is the 11th chapter and 24th verse of the Acts. Further directions for his funeral are that he wishes the I. O. O. F. Widows and Orphans Home band to meet his body at the station here—he will be buried in Corsicana—and play “Dixie” as his body is being taken to the Methodist Protestant church. This he said because I want it shown that I am loyal to my country as I am to my God.

Rev. Mr. York gave the reporter a sketch of his life, which follows:

I Was born in Franklin county, Georgia, April 17, 1834.

My parents were born in North Carolina and moved to Georgia and lived in that state until 1840, then moved to Alabama.

They raised a family of nine boys and two girls. My father was like the most of men of that day, he was a poor man, not able to educate his children, and I grew up without an education.

I was married in Shelby county, Alabama, in 1855, to Miss M. J. Roach; moved to Texas in 1859 and stopped in Anderson county, in ten days after we there our first child died with pneumonia.

At the beginning of the war I enlisted in Confederate army, in Captain Jowers’ company of Crump’s Battalion, of Palestine, and remained in that company until they were sent across the river.

I was sick seven weeks at Little Rock, and from there I was transferred to Terrell’s Brigade, Co. F. and remained there until the close of the war.

After the hardships of an army life I surrendered my life to fight another battle against sin. I was converted when I was 17 years old and was licensed to preach in 1865. We had no churches to amount to anything then, but plenty of desperadoes, and I have looked into the muzzle of more than one gun to kill me. I carried a six shooter and a bowie knife in my saddle bags with my Bible, but in spite of the devil and all his helpers I have stuck to my job.

My preaching has been on the frontier and was not on flowery beds of ease, but hard and took determination and the Grace of God to fight fifty-one years.

I joined the Methodist Protestant church in 1851, and have answered fifty roll calls at annual conferences. Have had more than 4566 conversions, made my ministry. I was president two terms, attended the church convention that met at Baltimore in 1877. I was elected fraternal messenger nine times to attend other conferences.

I have been a Mason fifty-three years.

I am still in the battle and am true to the principles I fought for in the Confederate army and for the church as well, and am not tired of the battle and because of my sticking qualities they have styled me the “old war horse.”

I have not taken the time to accumulate any of this world’s goods, have given all my time and strength to the work of the church and for this reason I am dependent upon my friends.

My address is Sunset, Texas, Box No. 72.



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Edward L. Williams