James Moorman Howry
|Birthplace:||Virginia, United States|
|Death:||Died in Oxford, Mississippi|
Son of Rev. Daniel C. Howry and Susanna Frederica Fredricka Howry
|Managed by:||Justin Swanström|
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About Hon. James Howry
He was an attorney and judge. At an early age he went to work for Francis Dalzell, a merchant in Rogersville, Tennessee. He was later employed in the office of a chancery clerk, but did not have the means to study law and so for several years after "conducted a mercantile house" for Col. George Howe while studying law in his own time. He eventually entered the law office of Gen. Peter Parsons at Rogersville. He was admitted to the bar 2 years later, and practiced law for a year at Rogersville. He moved to middle Tennessee. In 1834 he was practicing law in Centerville, Tennessee. He lost an appointment as Attorney General for the 12th District by a single vote, but was later appointed to the office by Gov. Carroll. For several years he was Tennessee House of Representatives, and later Secretary of the Tennessee Senate and Clerk of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
In 1836 James Howry moved from Tennessee to Mississippi. In 1840 he was a candidate for Circuit Judge, but was defeated by Judge Huling in an election to fill a vacancy. At the regular election in 1841 he was elected. Huling at first declined to vacate the bench, but was eventually obliged to do so. During Howry's term, he once refused to hold court for some lawyers, because one of them had assaulted him for a ruling he had made, while the others stood by without offering assistance. He retired from legal practice in 1860.
In 1844 James Howry was named as one of the thirteen original members of the board of trustees of the University of Mississippi. He lead "the forces favoring the introduction of the Evidences of Christianity into the curriculum and establishing the University on a basis distinctly Christian." He served as Trustee until a Republican government took control of the state in 1870. Howry Hall was named for him. In 1857 he was elected to the State Senate and served two terms.
James Howry's name appears in Tennessee Masonic records in 1827, when he was 23. He wrote Masonic literature and was friends with Albert Pike and Robert Morris. In 1851 he was elected Deputy Grand Master of Masons in Mississippi, and 1852 he was elected Grand Master. In 1857 he served as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons, and in 1866 as Grand Master of the Grand Council. He also served three times as Illustrious Grand Master of Cryptic Masonry. In 1882 he was appointed one of the Board of Custodians of the Work, a committee concerned with the Masonic ritual.
He was also a member of the Ancient and Accepted Order of Knights Templar, becoming a Master of the Royal Secret. He was elected an honorary life member of that order; the first time such a compliment was paid to any member.
He was a member of Cumberland Presbyterian Church for over 40 years, and a friend of U.S. Presidents Polk and Jackson.