James Henry Powell

by Edmund Starling, 1886


JAMES HENRY POWELL was born in Henderson County on the eighth day of April, 1839, and is the eldest son of Senator Lazarus W. Powell, deceased. Mr. Powell was sent to the best private schools of Henderson, and then to the Sayer Institute, at Frankfort, where he remained for five years. He was then sent to the University of Virginia, where he remained three years, and, in 1859, graduated. Returning to his home, he commenced the study of law in his father's office, and very soon thereafter stood a successful examination and received a license to practice. On the twenty-first day of October, 1862, he married Miss Mary Ann Alves, second daughter of Robert A. and Mary (Gayle) Alves, a thoroughly domestic and highly esteemed lady, and unto them have been born six children--Robert A., Lazarus W., Henry J., John Stevenson, Hattie Jennings and William Gayle. Lazarus W. married two years since Miss Kittie Walbridge, of Henderson, and they have one child. A few years subsequent to his marriage, the subject of this sketch entered the lecture field, at first confining himself to the subject of temperance, and winning golden opinions wherever he lectured. Subsequently he enlarged his field, and added to his repertoire several themes of literary merit, as well as others of decided humor. Mr. Powell lectured in a great part of the United States and Canada, and received most favorable notice from the leading newspapers of both countries. He closed his lecture life as agent of the Lee Monument Association, under the authority of the Governor of Virginia. Mr. Powell, upon his return home, again applied himself to the law. He served two terms as City Prosecuting Attorney, and was then elected County Attorney, serving two terms. In 1880 he was elected Commonwealth Attorney, and, at the end of the term, was re-elected without opposition. Mr. Powell is an uncompromising Democrat, and has done his party great service in the past. As a stump speaker, he ranks with the best in the State, and, as a successful canvasser, is matchless. He has never known defeat, and, notwithstanding the frequent unpopular duties he is necessarily compelled to perform as Commonwealth Attorney, he is to-day more popular with the masses than when first elected. This is allowing to the purity and sincerity of the man. There is no guile  about him--he is simply a plain, stright-forward, out-spoken, honest, intelligent man and friend, and for that reason his constituency will stand by him almost to a man. He is a candidate to succeed the present member of Congress from this, the Second District, and I feel no hesitancy in predicting his election by a large majority. Mr. Powell is both a Mason and Odd Fellow, but has never attached himself to any church.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 765-66;

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