James H. Dorsey, attorney at law, Edinburg, was born at the town of St. Paul, Shelby County, Ind., August 28, 1860, and is a son of Dr. James and Lydia A. (Hart) Dorsey. The father was a native of New Jersey, but in early youth was taken by his parents to Butler County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He was a physician of extensive practice, and during a long and varied professional experience earned the reputation of one of the most successful medical men of southern Indiana, having moved to this state a number of years ago. He began the practice of his profession in Shelby County, and until his death, in March 1862, commanded a large and lucrative business in the counties of Shelby and Decatur. Lydia A. Hart, wife of Dr. Dorsey, was descended from Scotch ancestry, on the father’s side, and maternally from Irish. Some years after the death of her husband, she married Robert Armstrong, of Edinburg, who departed this life in 1873, leaving one daughter, viz.: Mary Armstrong. By her first marriage Mrs. Armstrong had two children, the subject of this sketch being the younger. James H. Dorsey was reared principally in Johnson County, Ind., and at the age of seventeen graduated with honors from the Edinburg high school, delivering the valedictory address upon the occasion. He afterward became a student of Moore’s Hill College, in which he completed the prescribed course, his grades of examination during the period of his attendance averaging ninety percent, the maximum of the institution. Impressed with a strong desire to enter the legal profession, Mr. Dorsey read law as opportunities would admit, under the instruction of William A. Johnson, and after obtaining a knowledge of the profession, was admitted to the bar in 1881, being at the time barely twenty-one years of age. He began the practice in Edinburg, with the late C. W. Snow, Esq., and soon succeeded in establishing quite a profitable business, which he subsequently discontinued, and removed to Colby County, Kan., where he was for some time engaged in the real estate and abstract business. Owing to the poor health of his wife he was compelled to leave Kansas, and return to Indiana, where he was since resided in the enjoyment of a lucrative practice in the courts of Johnson and other counties, being at this time city attorney of Edinburg. Politically, Mr. Dorsey wields an influence for the republican party, and in his professional and social relations, enjoys in a large measure the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens. Miss Adda, daughter of Alexander and Rebecca (Thompson) Breeding, became his wife on the 10th day of September 1881, a union blessed with the birth of two children, namely: Howard A. and Fred J. Mrs. Dorsey died on the 12th day of April 1885, and lies buried in the Edinburg cemetery.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 413.