James Lockhart was born in Auburn on 13 February 1806 and received his education in the schools of his native village. He relocated to Ithaca in 1826 and operated a woolen mill there until resettling in Indiana in 1832. There, he studied law and began the practice of his profession at Evansville in 1832. He was soon involved in a life of public service, becoming city clerk (1836-37), county prosecutor for Vanderburg County (1841-45) and a judge of the fourth judicial district (1846-51). A Democrat, he was elected to the House of Representatives and served in the thirty-second Congress (1851-53). Declining to run for re-election, he resumed the practice of law at Evansville, and accepted an appointment by President Franklin Pierce as superintendent of construction of the marine hospital at Evansville. Lockhart was again chosen to represent his district in Congress and was a member of the thirty-fifth Congress from 4 March 1857 until his death in Evansville on 7 September of that year.
Lockhart did not forget his boyhood home in Cayuga County. His gravestone in Evansville does not mention the city where he had lived for most of his life, and which had chosen him as their representative in Congress. It does, however, make clear that he was a proud son of Auburn.
Gravestone of James Lockhart,
Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana
If you're interested in reading about other Auburnians who have served in the United States Senate or the United States House of Representatives, see also Auburn in Congress.