Stewart, Centenary News Service
James Family to Introduce
Book, T.L. James: A Biographical Memoir, during Ceremony at 10 a.m.
Feb. 21 in Ruston
T.L. James: A Biographical
Memoir By Lee Morgan, Emeritus Professor of English,
Centenary College of Louisiana
SHREVEPORT, LA -- A new book on the
life of Ruston, La. businessman and civic leader T.L. James will be unveiled
Thursday (Feb. 21, 2002) by the James family in Ruston.
A Biographical Memoir is authored by Dr. Lee Morgan, emeritus professor
of English at Centenary College of Louisiana. The book will be introduced
during ceremonies at 10 a.m. at the former T.L. James family home at 504
North Vienna St.
Described as "a slice of pure Americana,"
the book tells the story of James, who rose from early regional obscurity
to become the founder and head of one of the country's premier highway
construction companies. "What sets James off from many others in that class,"
Morgan writes, "is his single-minded devotion to his family, his church
and his community. His devotion went far beyond immediate categories;
so that his philanthropy extended to colleges and universities, orphanages,
churches outside his own Methodist denomination, the Boy Scouts, and numerous
T.L. James (1879-1944) was the son
of a Welsh immigrant father and a second generation Welsh-American mother.
In his hometown of Ruston, "he truly became a legend in his own lifetime,"
Morgan writes. "His very name became synonymous with honesty, civic-mindedness,
and generosity toward every worthwhile cause. And in the wider spheres
of business, no name commanded more respect for fair and honorable practices
than that of T.L. James."
Since beginning the research for
the book in 1989, Morgan has been able to interview all of T.L. James's
children who survived him and many of his grandchildren, other relatives
and associates. Grandson Tommy James, now of Marble Hill, Ga., represented
the family in this project.
The book, 108 pages, was printed
by Mid-South Press, Inc. in Shreveport, La. The cover design is by
Matthew Johnson of Louisiana Tech University's School of Art. The book
is available for $20 per copy at the Louisiana Tech and Centenary bookstores,
as well as other bookstores in both Ruston and Shreveport.
Dr. Morgan, who retired in 1997,
taught at Centenary for 44 years. He completed his doctoral dissertation
on Dr. Samuel Johnson and, during his tenure at Centenary, taught 18th
Century Literature and Johnson. He authored the book Dr. Johnson's
"Own Dear Master": The Life of Henry Thrale, and has co-authored and
co-edited several books and publications, including three widely used
Oxford University Press and Harper and Row textbooks. He maintains
an office in the Centenary Library.
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