(From the local newspaper)
James Horton, the one-time DA in Castro County and an assistant DA there for the last four years, has passed away. Horton leaves legacy of full life.
Known throughout the community as not only the former District Attorney, James Horton is remembered for wearing many different hats during his many years in Castro County.
Horton was born in Carlsbad, Texas in 1936, and grew up in San Angelo and Odessa, Texas. He graduated high school in Odessa.
He then entered Baylor University, obtained a degree in economics in 1958, then his law degree at Baylor Law School in 1961.
From college, Horton entered the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General for three years, stationed at Walker AFB, formerly known as Roswell Army Air Field, in New Mexico, base for the Strategic Air Command and the B-29 Superfortress, and later the 6th Bomb Wing (Heavy).
After leaving the USAF, Horton finally got a job in a field he loved more than the law – banking – and arrived in Dimmitt, Texas to work at First State Bank of Dimmitt. He worked in this job for the next 21 years. He was hired by Bob McLain who founded the bank. According to his family, this was the job he claimed to love the most.
After leaving the banking business, Horton went into private practice for several years before deciding to run for district attorney in 2000. He was elected and sworn in in 2001 and served the people of the county for the next 12 years until his retirement.
As fate would have it, he wasn’t quite ready to retire and he went to work part-time for the newly elected District Attorney and family member, Shalyn Hamlin, as her assistant in her new position. He served in this role until the time of his passing in November 2017.
Horton had the pleasure of having two wonderful families during his lifetime. He married Maxine Horton in 1958 and the couple had three children. Horton later married Jerrie Booe, and added her four children to the family.
Other hats worn by Horton in addition to his banker, lawyer, father, and husband hat included his special interests and hobbies of flying and fishing.
Horton attained his private pilot license in single engine aircraft and also a glider rating. During his lifetime he owned several planes and was a member of the Caprock glider group in Littlefield.
As a young student in college, Horton also wore still yet another hat, he worked for a mortician. Needless to say, he knew what it was like to earn money and make a living. He was a doer and never stopped during his lifetime.
While living in Dimmitt he also served on the hospital board, was a member of the Rotary Club, and had a hand in getting the migratory housing built. He also owned a lot of rental property.
Horton is best remembered by those who saw him about town and at the courthouse in his later years as the man wearing the suit, western hat, and boots, a man with a quick smile and good friend to many.
With his passing, the community, the Horton family, and his many friends will miss him.