James was born in 1817 in Tennessee and relocated to Indiana with his parents sometime before 1841.
Hazard's History of Henry County says at age 24, James was elected for three terms as the County Recorder from 1841 to 1859. and offers this biography on page 987:
"A native of Tennessee who came to Union County, Indiana, in 1819, and being a man of affairs served as sheriff of that county. In 1834 he moved to Henry County with his family and settled in Franklin Township. James A. and his twin brother, Nathaniel, were born in Union County about the year 1819. The other children were Laban, Marshall E., Elliott, Alfred L., Seldon R. and Edghill B., and two daughters, Emily, afterward Mrs. Hugh Rogers, and Lunissa, afterward Mrs. Scott, whose son, James M., was a soldier in Company G, Eighty Fourth Indiana Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863. James A. McMeans married Maria, daughter of John and Ann Taylor. After his term of office expired he moved to Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana, and during the Civil War was chief clerk in the office of Isaac Kinley, provost marshal for the Fifth District. After the war he sought the office of recorder of Wayne County and later moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. A few years afterward he moved to Fairbury, Jefferson County, Nebraska, where for the remainder of his life he kept hotel, and where he died and is buried. His widow survived him for many years, dying within the past year in California."
During these terms of office, he got married (in 1846).
In the 1860 Census, he and his family are relatively wealthy farmers in the Henry township of Henry County, Indiana.
Other records say he was a Probate Judge in 1877 and State Senator in 1878.
In the 1885 census, he and his family run an inn at Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska, United States. 
He passed away in 1888 and is buried in Fairbury, Nebraska.
By George Hazzard
1850 US Census http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1850usfedcenancestry&indiv=try&h=1917645&indivrecord=string.Empty Ancestry.com 1850 US Census
James Mcmeans, "United States Census, 1870" https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX62-FB3 "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX62-FB3 : 12 April 2016), James Mcmeans, Indiana, United States; citing p. 22, family 170, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,870. United States Census, 1870
James A Mc Meanes, "United States Census, 1880" https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8YX-NLM "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8YX-NLM : 9 September 2017), James A Mc Meanes, Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska, United States; citing enumeration district ED 292, sheet 652D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0750; FHL microfilm 1,254,750. United States Census, 1880
US Find A Grave Nebraska http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=McMeans&GSiman=1&GScty=92746&GRid=26626321& Ancestry.com
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