Alabama Commissioners of Agriculture and Industries
James Aaron Wade, Alexander City, was born July 10, 1876, near the Tennessee River in Marshall County, Ala., and was the son of John Washington and Sarah Elizabeth (Woosley) Wade, the former from Rome, Ga. Both the Wade and the Woosley families were early settlers in Marshall County.
Mr. J.A. Wade was educated in the public schools of Alston, Ark., and in 1901 graduated from the high school, at Cookville, Texas. He taught school at the latter point, 1903-1904, and at Naples, Texas, 1905-1906. In 1906 he entered the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a special agent, and as such worked from 1906 to 1907 in Texas, and 1907 to 1910 in Alabama. In his work in the field of modern progressive agriculture, he shared in the boll weevil campaigns, both in Texas and Alabama. In 1906 he began a series of experiments, which resulted in the development of the Uncle Sam cotton, for which he received prizes at the State Fair in Birmingham in 1910, and in 1912 the reward of one thousand dollars offered by the American Land and Irrigation Exposition in New York City, for the best short staple cotton developed in the United States to that date. In 1907 he located in Alexander City, and during the succeeding three years organized and conducted farm demonstration work throughout the northern and central parts of the state. In 1910 he resigned his position with the government, and entered upon intensive and modern farming on his own account, in which occupation he was engaged when he was called to the position of Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, Nov. 3, 1914. In this race he defeated Norris Wood, Republican; Sid Berry, Progressive, and F. A. Genaty, Socialist.
Mr. Wade was a Democrat, a Baptist, and a Master Mason. On December 2, 1906, at Mt. Pleasant, Texas, he was married to Abbie A., daughter of John Mann and Cora (Glass) Stephenson, of that place.
Alabama Department of Archives and History, Official and Statistical Register, 1915, 23.