Friday, June 27, 2014



In 1870 there settled near Wayside, in Montgomery county (KS), the gentleman whose name precedes this article, together with a considerable family, all from the "Blue Grass State" of Kentucky. His children have been reared in the precincts of the county and are now respected members of different communities in the west, and filling responsible places in society. The family is held in high esteem in the county, always having stood for virtue and equity wherever they have resided.

Joseph L. James was born in Ohio county, Kentucky, on the 7th of March, 1827, the son of Samuel James and Sally Borah. The family is of English descent, grandfather John James having immigrated to Virginia in an early day, where he was prominently identified with the tobacco business, having been an inspector of tobacco at Richmond for a number of years.

Samuel James was reared to manhood in the "Old Dominion State" and came to Kentucky with his parents and their family of ten children and located in the then vast wilderness in the eastern part of the state. There the parents continued to reside until their death. Samuel James' education was limited, owing to lack of facilities in that primitive region, but he managed to secure enough to be able to transact the ordinary business of life. He remained in the home neighborhood until his marriage to Sallie Borah, a native of Pennsylvania and of Dutch ancestry. To this marriage there was born ten children, as follows: Jefferson, deceased at sixteen years; Magdalene, Mrs. Lloyd Rodgers, of Kentucky; her children are: Sarah, Emerson, John and Alphonso (twins). Several of these sons are quite prominent in public life in the '"Blue Grass State." The third child of Samuel James was Joseph L.; the next younger was Lucy Jane, who married Captain Devol; Sally; S. M., also a resident of the home county; John A., killed during the war; and Kelly, who died in infancy.

Joseph L. James was reared to manhood in the "'Blue Grass State," and on December 25, 1850, was joined in marriage with Martha A. Shelton. This lady was a daughter of Ralph Shelton of Butler county, Kentucky, and came to Kansas with our subject, where she died October 25, 1892. Mr. James continued to reside in Kentucky until the year 1870,  when, on July 5, he arrived in Montgomery county and located on the farm which is now his home. His preemption consisted of one hundred and sixty acres and consists of every line land upon which he has erected many substantial improvements since the date of his settlement. He passed through the hardships of the pioneers of that early day, but has a rich reward in the splendid home which is the result of his labor.

During his residence in the county. Mr. James has taken an active interest in the welfare of his community, serving in the different unremuneratiye offices of school district and township and always evincing a lively interest in affairs. A Democrat in his earlier years, he has, since seen the rise of the Reform party, given his allegiance to the furtherance of reforms in government as proposed by its platforms. In matters of religious moment, he and his family have been loyal supporters of the Church of Christ, and have been a source of great strength to that denomination since their coming to the county.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. James have all grown to mature years and have families of their own. The eldest was Paulina A., born October 1, 1857, and died December 6, 1858; Sylvanus A., born January 17, 1853, married Melissa Webster and is a farmer of Rutland township; his children are: Hettie, Allan, Curen, Padith, Ella, Paul, and Alice; Mary James born March 18, 1855, married John Sewell, proprietor of a hotel at Bolton; her children are: Seymour, Lloyd, Etta, Mary, Gertrude, Grace, Lilly, and Ethel; Diogenes S., who is mentioned extendedly in this volume; Harry K., born September 11, 1858, is a farmer and school teacher, and married Eliza Kelly; his three children are: Opal, Pearl, and Ruby; Aurora, born July 8, 1860, married William C. Sewell and lives in Fawn Creek township with her children: Gentry, Annie, Walter, Stella, Harry, Paul, and James; Sally O., born April 17, 1862, lives in Oklahoma with her husband, A. J. Puckett; Laura J., born April 21, 1861, married John Finley., a druggist of Bartlesville, Indian Territory; Joseph B., born March 26, 1860, married Ella Bell, of Caney township, and now resides on Mr. James' farm with their daughter, Hazel Lucile; Martha A., born June 18, 1868, is wife of Walter Hudson and lives in Rutland township with their three children— Earl, Harold, and Marie; Moriah A., born January 26, 1870, married Carrie Roberts and is a farmer and school teacher in Oklahoma; they have two children — Ralph and Cecil.


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