Governor Oscar B. Colquitt signed legislation creating Jim Wells County on March 11, 1911. Taken from territory formerly a part of Nueces County. The new county was named for prominent Brownsville attorney and business leader James B. Wells, Jr. (1850-1923). The first county elections were held two months later and in January 1912 The citizens of the new county approved a bond election to finance the construction of a courthouse and jail.