Congressman and Jurist. He often inverted his first and middle names and was usually called Gordon Russell, James Gordon Russell or J.G. Russell. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1877 and became an attorney in Dalton, Georgia, in 1878. In 1879 he moved to Texas, where he continued to practice law. He settled in Wills Point and was elected Van Zandt County Judge in 1890, serving until he resigned to become District Attorney, an office he held from 1892 to 1896. He became District Judge in 1896 and served until 1904. In November, 1902 Russell was the successful Democratic nominee in the special election for the US House seat left vacant when Reese C. de Graffenreid died, also winning on the same day the regular election for a full term. He was reelected three times and served until June, 1910, when he became US District Judge for Eastern Texas, where he served until contracting tuberculosis in 1918. Though he did not resign when he became ill, he stopped hearing cases while he visited medical facilities in El Paso and Kerrville in an unsuccessful attempt to regain his health.
Bio by: Bill McKern