Born August 24, 1857, at Patoka, Illinois.
Died October 24, 1939, at Juneau, Alaska.
Married October 27, 1880.
James became a lawyer, admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1880. He ventured west that same year to become a probate judge for Pierce County in Tacoma, Washington. He next served as Tacoma City attorney from 1892 to 1898, and was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1898 to 1900. He was appointed United States District Judge for Alaska's new Third Judicial District at Eagle in 1900. He is considered one of Alaska's most outstanding judges, and many Alaskan landmarks are named in his honor: Wickersham Wall on the west face of Mt. McKinley; Mount Wick, on the Seward Peninsula; Mount Wickersham, northeast of Palmer; Wickersham Dome, 27 miles northeast of Fairbanks; and Wickersham Dome, in Mt. McKinley national park. The last part of his career was as a lawyer in Juneau. The state of Alaska is now the custodian of his Juneau home, library, and personal papers.