James Robert Cade was born at Highland Ferries, North Hamptonshire, England, on June 15, 1845. After reaching man- hood he came to the United States in 1869 and to Houston in January, 1873. In July, 1874, he became an employee of the Southern Pacific Railway and served for many years as master car builder, retiring shortly before his death.
He was Senior Warden of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for a number of years and was instrumental in the erection of their building. He served on the Houston School Board during the first administration of Mayor Rice.
He received the Craft Degrees in Gray Lodge as follows: 1º October 1, 1874, 2º December 14, 1874, and 3º April 24, 1875. After serving as Junior Warden in 1885-1886, he was Master in 1886-1887. He was Secretary from 1896 to 1912.
He was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason on May 15, 1884, in Washington Chapter No.2, served as High Priest in 1890- 1891 and as Secretary from 1895 until his death. He received the Order of High Priesthood on December 5, 1895.
He was Knighted on November 3, 1887, in Ruthven Commandery No.2, K. T., was Eminent Commander in 1895 and Recorder from January, 1897, until his death.
He was a 32° Scottish Rite Mason, served as Venerable Master of San Jacinto Lodge of Perfection in 1907 and as Wise Master of Houston Chapter of Rose Croix in 1911. He was also a Past Worthy Patron of Ransford Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, a Shriner of EI Mina Temple at Galveston and was “prominent in the civic and Masonic life of Houston.” His name, along with that of Past Master J. H. Rothwell, has been perpetuated in Cade-Rothwell Lodge No. 1151 of Houston.
He died November 5, 1912, and the Houston Post referred to him as “a kindly man, a good citizen, happily married and the father of four sons, his years were filled with marks of the esteem of his fellows, and he went to a well-earned rest with the love and respect of all who knew him.”