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JAMES ARTHUR JACKSON


Among the brilliant and successful young men of the race in the State of West Virginia must be mentioned James Arthur Jackson, State Law Librarian at Charleston. Mr. Jackson, though still a young man has been in and about the Supreme Court of West Virginia for more than twenty years. He is a native of Montgomery in Fayette County, where he was born on January 17, 1885. His father James B. Jackson, was a barber by trade, and was the son of Thomas Jackson, of Monroe County, W. Va. The mother of our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Emma Hale, daughter of Robert and Eliza Hale, both of Franklin County, Va. Young Jackson went to the public schools of Charleston as a boy and later to the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, but was compelled to drop out before graduation on account of failing eyesight. When about fifteen years of age he secured an appointment as messenger in the Supreme Court. His services there must have been of a sort to commend him to those in authority, as he was promoted assistant librarian, then Supreme Court Librarian, then Assistant Clerk of the Supreme Court and finally State Law Librarian, which position he now (1922) holds. The fact that he has been retained in office through changing administration is the best commentary that can be made on his work. He is thoroughly familiar with the details of court procedure and handles with a facility which makes him almost indispensable about the court all matters referred to him. He has a very wide acquaintance among the judges and lawyers of the whole State by whom he is held in high esteem. On July 22, 1914, Mr. Jackson married Miss Gertrude Diana Campbell, daughter of Levi C. and P. Campbell. Mrs. Jackson was educated at Storer College and West Virginia Collegiate Institute. They have three children, Phillip Ellsworth, Laura Mathews and Jane Lee Jackson. Mr. Jackson is, or course, a Republican in politics, in religion a Baptist.. He belongs to the N. A. A. C. P. He has found help and inspiration in books like the Life of John Bunyan, History of American Pioneers and the lives of successful men of today. Looking back over his career his is of the opinion that the most helpful and potent factor in shaping his life was the counsel, companionship and Christian devotion of his mother, who went to her reward in 1921. He knows of no short cuts to real success. He believes rather, that permanent progress must be built by "cooperation in business and a readiness and a disposition to help, when in position to do so, less fortunate members of the race to acquire property and secure education for the youth, encouragement of the spirit of thrift and the cultivation of the moral courage to stand for what is right."

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