Biography of Lee James

A Former Franklin County Boy Who is Making Good in The Business World

Lee James is one of the most successful and progressive business men that Franklin County has produced. He is the eldest son of Aaron A. and Ollie Virginia (Bendall) James, who reside near Russellville, and a great grand-son of Thomas and Elizabeth James and of Ben and Matilda Bendall, pioneers of Franklin County.

Mr. James was born July 11, 1884. He entered the district school at about five years of age under one Prof. John Archie and made rapid progress in his studies. In fact, he is said to have been an extremely brilliant child and read with a passion. Later he was a student in the Mt. Hope school under Prof. R. L. Quinn, now deceased, and still later was a student of the Jacksonville Normal.

He began teaching school at seventeen years of age. He taught in Colbert, Franklin, Winston and Cleburne counties.

In 1905 he received and appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD., but was rejected on account of defective vision. He then took up agency work and traveled to Georgia and later resided at Chattanooga, Tenn., for three years.

In 1911 he and Joe Walker of Tuscumbia opened a furniture store in that city, under the name of “Walker-James Company.” This store became one of the leading furniture stores in Colbert County. L. E. James, a brother, who owns the James Furniture Store at Florence, was also associated with the Walker-James Company of Tuscumbia.

In 1919 Mr. James went out of the furniture business, and in 1920 established the “Lee James Clothing Company” at West Point, Ga. He is now at the head of a chain of clothing stores with headquarters at West Point, and branch houses at Opelika, Roanoke, Sheffield and Decatur, Ala. His agents also work Auburn, Ala., Newman, Ga., and other towns. He himself is an excellent salesman. As a mere child he showed unusual ability along that line.

Mr. James is a devoted student of the Bible, and high class current literature, and keeps thoroughly abreast of the times. He is a leading citizen in his adopted home.

Source: Source: James, R. L. Distinguished Men, Women and Families of Franklin County, Alabama. Russellville, Ala., Private Publication, 1928. 111 p.

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