Making Waco Men Better Since 1852

James Nowlin

James Wade Nowlin


Charter Member of Waco Lodge
First Attorney in Waco
First Secretary of Waco Lodge

James Nowlin settled in Waco in 1850. He was the first licensed attorney in Waco working on the court presided over by Judge R.E.B. Baylor. Nowlin opened a law office with future Governor Richard Coke. Together, they were a formidable team of lawmen. As Coke’s political career grew, Nowlin re-established himself as partner of M.D. Herring who joined Waco 92 on December 2, 1854.

In 1851, Nowlin purchased lots of land in “Block 18.” On March 19, 1854, the McLennan County Judge ordered that Nowlin’s law firm be paid $25 for services rendered the county.

His work was not limited to the office. When it came time to build a road from Ross’ ferry landing downtown to Sam Burton’s property six miles out on the Waxahachie road, Nowlin was on the list of workmen.

Nowlin joined the 7th Texas Regiment for the Civil War and it was with that oufit on February 15, 1862 that he died while leading a charge up a hill in the Battle of Ft. Donelson, Tennessee. His commanding officer and fellow Waco 92 member, Hiram Granbury, was also killed later in the War, as were a number of other members of the lodge. Nowlin was buried near the Ft. Donelson battlefield and an impressive monument marks his final resting place.