The high fraternalist Colonel James Thomas Nix was a force of nature. Born in South Carolina in 1852, Col. Nix was the son of The Rev. John Darling Nix, who had fought with General Robert E. Lee as a lieutenant. Colonel Nix was also the great grandson of Colonel John Darling Nix, who had fought with General Francis Marion in the American Revolution.
After the Civil War, a federal officer gave the 12 year-old James a chance at a quality education. By the age of 19, he was winning a reputation as a fierce lawyer.
Ms. Evelyn Beatrice Flemming Nix married Colonel Nix in 1885. A strong woman, Ms. Evelyn Nix gave birth to three boys and a daughter in seven years while moving from South Carolina to Colorado and, eventually, New Orleans. As children of a Lutheran married to a Baptist, the boys were brought up in a religious home. The youngest child, Ann, died of malaria in 1895 before her third birthday.
By 1893, Colonel Nix moved his young family to New Orleans, where his brother John Darling Nix was already working as an attorney. As a successful and prominent lawyer, Colonel Nix became an established fixture in the New Orleans social scene.
Col. Nix was known as formidable competitor who championed justice regardless of money, color, or popularity. Col. James Thomas Nix died in November 1912 from a fall from a horse.
Ms. Evelyn suggested, shortly before her unexpected death in 1928, that a Nix Memorial Public Library be built in 1930.
Edited by Sarah Hartje
Hartel, Rosary.” The Gift of Healing: Dr. James Thomas Nix” Cross, Crozier and Crucible: A Volume Celebrating the Bicentennial of the Catholic Diocese in Louisiana. New Orleans, 1993. pp. 388 - 403.
Fortier, Alcée ed. “Col. James T. Nix Sr.” Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. Vol 3. Century Historical Assoc. 1914. pp 325- 7.