Born in South Carolina in 1852, Colonel James Thomas Nix (Col. Nix) was the son of Rev. John Darling Nix, lieutenant to General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. Col. Nix was also the great-grandson of Colonel John Darling Nix, who fought with General Francis Marion during the American Revolution.
After the Civil War, a federal officer gave the then 12-year-old James Nix a chance at a quality education. By the age of 19, he developed a reputation as a fierce lawyer.
Evelyn Beatrice (née Flemming) Nix married Col. Nix in 1885. Evelyn Nix gave birth to three sons and a daughter in the span of seven years, all while moving from South Carolina to Colorado and, eventually, New Orleans. As children of a Lutheran and a Baptist, the Nix children were brought up in a religious home. The youngest child, Ann, died of malaria in 1895 before her third birthday.
By 1893, Col. Nix settled his young family in New Orleans, where his brother John Darling Nix was already working as an attorney. As a successful and prominent lawyer, Col. Nix became an established fixture in the New Orleans social scene. An active member of numerous fraternal organizations, Col. Nix was a 32nd degree Mason and served as Grand Chancellor of the Louisiana Knights of Pythias.
Col. Nix died in November 1912 after falling from a horse. Shortly before her death in 1928, Evelyn Nix suggested the construction of the Nix Memorial Public Library which remains in operation today.