(February 22, 1858-July 30, 1934) James Henry Dishman was forced at the age of six to assume a man's role after his father's death in the Civil War in 1864. A native of Cherokee County in East Texas, he eventually moved to Kaufman County and developed a successful ranching operation. He sold his ranch in 1892 and headed to the South Texas Gulf Coast in search of lucrative ranching opportunities.
In 1893 James purchased a remote and undeveloped section of school land in this area of northern Cameron County. He built a homestead and by 1895 had establised a working ranch. He increased his land holdings and within a short time gained a reputation for industriousness and uncommon generosity. He was gravely wounded by a cattle rustler in 1897. Aided by brothers Dr. Fred and Dr. Joe Combes of Brownsville, he was able to recover in six months.
In 1904 Dishman donated acreage for the railroad right-of-way that led to the creation of the town of Combes. In 1924 he donated over 5 acres to the Combes community as a site for a Baptist church and cemetery. In 1928 he donated money and this site for the construction of an elementary school which when completed in 1930 was named for him. Dishman was buried beside his mother at Harlingen City Cemetery.