I don't really know anything about his life when he was younger. His parents were a little older when he was born. His dad was around 45 and his mom around 35. His dad was a farmer. I don't think he went to school for very long. Every record has his birth different. According the the 1880 Census he was 13 and working on the farm. All the male members of the family were working on the farm, they probably needed them to work to be able to make enough money to live.
He got married around age 20 to a woman named Catherine Clark. They had three daughters, Dolly, Maggie and Vergie. I have not been able to find anything on Catherine Clark. I found her name listed as the mother on Maggie's death certificate. I know he and his mother were raising the children by 1900. I am pretty sure she must have died young. At that time, many women died in childbirth. I don't know what happened to her but that is a good possibility.
James married my grandmother, Anna, on June 17, 1904. They were married in Bracken County, Kentucky. They had their first child in Kentucky and then moved to Ohio. I am not sure if any of his daughters ever lived with them. I know they had contact with him, but they all lived in the Cincinnati area. I know the youngest lived with her sister for a while.
James and Anna moved to the Brookville/Metamora area and stayed there for several years. He was a tobacco farmer in Brookville. I don't think he ever made a lot of money farming.
When the younger children were almost grown they moved to Connersville. They lived in a house on second street. It is the same house that I lived in when I was young. James worked as a sexton at the cemetery. I'm not sure which cemetery, there are a few that would be large enough to employ someone to take care of it.
James and Anna lived together until he got sick. Anna wasn't able to take care of him. He moved in with his son George for the last few months of his life so they could take care of him. My cousins remember him living there. They weren't allowed to go into the bedroom to bother him because he was sick.
When he died the funeral was held in George's house. They kids remember having it there. There were lots of family members who traveled to the funeral. One of his daughter's from his first marriage had a granddaughter who came to the funeral and she remembers the girls all sleeping in one bed. She said there were about six of them in that bed. He died on April 1, 1943. He is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery in Brookville. His wife Anna died less than four months later, she rests beside him. They were married almost forty years.