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."