II. John L. James


John L. James, was born 4 October 1810 in North Carolina, died on 16 March 1875, and is buried at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Halleck, Buchanan County, Missouri.16  He married Cynthia Whitley, daughter of Sharp R. Whitley,17 about 1837, probably in White County, Tennessee. Cynthia was born about 1818 in Tennessee.

Both John and Henry James begin appearing in White County tax lists in 1836. John appears in 1836-37, 1839-41, 1847-50 and 1863, all the intervening years but 1838 being lost.18 Beginning in 1847, he is generally called John L. James. While there was no census listing for John James in 1840 in White County,19 there was a John L. Jones in District #1, who may be the same person under an erroneous spelling:20

John L. Jones (p.5)
1 male <5         1 female <5
1 male 20<30     1 female 15<20

On 5 January 1841, John James and Hiram Rogers reported to the White County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions that the children of the widow Jones of Sparta were in a suffering condition, which caused the court to order the sheriff to bring such children, namely, William, Jonathan, Arnold, Bluford and Mary Jones, before the court.21

John L. James was listed in District No. 1 in the 1850 census for White County, Tennessee (p. 8; 24 Jul 1850), with property worth $500:22

John L. James 31 Blacksmith 500 b. North Carolina
Syntha " 31   Tennessee
Pleasant Taylor 24 Carriage maker "
Joseph Call 25 Blacksmith "
[Minell Hildon] 19 " "
Elizabeth James 12   "
William H. " 10   "
John R. " 8   "
Tabitha " 6   "
Boling G. " 4   "
Mary E. " 1   "

John L. James, Pleasant Taylor and Joseph Call were on a list of eligible voters of White County as of 1 January 1851.23

John L. James gave an affidavit in December 1848 that Elizabeth James was the widow of Henry James, who died in military service in Mexico. After she remarried in 1852, John L. James was appointed guardian of her five minor children for purposes of receiving the remainder of the pension monies due to them. (pension file).

On 24 July 1851, William James gave his power of attorney to John L. James, which power of attorney was acknowledged on 4 October 1851.24 The subject of the power is not stated in the record.

On 13 September 1851, John L. James bought from John Vincent a town lot in Sparta on the east side of town.25 On 23 December 1851, John L. James of White County purchased from Madison Fisk of the same place, for $500, 25¼ acres adjoining part of the town of Sparta, at the east end.26

On 27 August 1853, John L. James bought 220 acres in District No. 8, White County from Samuel Usrey for $700.27 John sold this land to Samuel Miller for $750 on 24 August 1859.28 John L. James was on a list of voters of Sparta the 1st Civil District of White County in 1854.29

On 2 May 1855, John L. James bought 75 square perches in District No. 1 from William and Thomas J. Usry for $450.30 The land was at the east end of Sparta between Turnpike Street and the street leading from the public square out by Hugh L. Carmick’s old corner, intersecting Turnpike Street, including a dwelling house and stables. On 8 May 1857, John L. James and T. J. Usrey were conveyed by William Usrey "the full amount of all my grocery books and accounts of every name and description and to be by them collected also one half of a slave named Peter also all the town property in Sparta. William Usrey owed the Bank of Tennessee $400 (which note was endorsed by T. J. Usry and James Cole) and other debts, totalling about $1485.31 On 30 March 1858, John L. James gave a trust deed to J. T. Usrey of his house and lot in Sparta where he "now lives." John then owed the Bank of Tennessee and others $330 or more.32 On 16 December 1863, John L. James sold his Sparta property to Mary Jane Travis for $600.33

In 1860, the family is listed in Sparta in White County (p. 82-83; a script capital "S" and "L" are hard to distinguish in 19th century handwriting):

John S. James 49 Blacksmith 600 200 N. Carolina
Cyntha " 41   Tenn
Henry " 20 printer "
John " 18   "
Tabitha " 16   "
Bowling " 14   "
Mary " 11   "
Samuel " 5   "
Ugenia " 4   "
Morgan " 9/12   female "
Jane McCollister 22 Domestic "

J. L. James of District No. 1, White County was taxed on two lots worth $600 in the United States Direct Tax imposed in 1862.34

White County suffered a great deal during the Civil War, from both passing troops and general lawlessness. Guerrilla bands proliferated, some of which were bushwhackers, people who exploited the breakdown in authority produced by the war to engage in lawless conduct for personal gain or revenge. Local loyalties were divided, exacerbating the problems, the more so the longer the war lasted. See E.G. Rogers, Memorable Historical Accounts of White County and Area, pp. 48-57 (Collegedale, Tenn.: The College Press, 1972).

Edna Carsh Chastain tells why the James family left Tennessee:35

Tabitha was a young lady about 20 yrs. of age at the time of the Civil War. Her parents were comfortably fixed as they owned a farm and also a summer place in the mountains where they would go in the summer.36

My father told me that John James, Tabitha's father, made a statement that caused him and his family to leave the South. The statement was: He did not think that the South could win. Some soldiers came to his house and questioned him about it and held a gun on him. His wife knocked the gun out of the soldier's hand. One of the soldiers said, "Wait a minute, he doesn't seem like such a bad fellow. Let's go and if he says anything more, then we can come back."

John James was afraid that they would come back any way, so he sold everything that he had for much less than it really was worth and started for the North.

Mildred Herr adds some additional details:37

The Civil War was going on at this time so my great grandparents (the Jameses) had to leave Tenn. to save their lives. The carpetbaggers got so close to their plantation they could see their neighbors plantations set on fire so Great grandpa James put his family in a lumber wagon, and hitched up a team of horses and headed for the Mississippi river. He traded his team of horses and wagon to the Mississippi boat owner for fare to St. Joe, Mo. for his family. Great grandpa had relatives in St. Joe that took them. The James family in St. Joe helped them. When the James family got on the boat to go to St. Joe it was the boat my Grandpa Charles Carsh was working on. He saw Tabitha Ann James. They fell in love.

My Grandmother (Eva (Carsh) Utermohlen) also told how Charles Carsh and Tabitha James met:38

Grandpa Carsh was a blockade runner during the Civil War. I had to laugh, it tells about him being a Civil War veteran, well he was a blockade runner.

After the Civil War, Grandpa James, most of his money was in slaves, so you see he lost his money. Several of his brothers had moved to St. Joe, so they sold their land and headed up to St. Joe. Grandad was on this ship and he tried to talk to her. She wouldn't have anything to do with him, she wouldn't even look at him. But Grandpa James finally got acquainted with him.

One day after they had moved to St. Joe they looked and here he came and he had 2 sacks of sugar on his shoulders. He had bootlegged this sugar to them. Of course, that was just about like gold, you couldn't hardly get anything like that. And so he came three times and courted her with the sugar and so he really courted Grandpa James, she didn't really care about him.

I have not been able to locate the James family in the 1870 census. On 3 October 1872, Cynthia James of Buchanan County bought from Berry Davenport of Virginia for $200 the northwest corner of B. H. Flemings lot in the village of Halleck (or Taos).39  In 1880, Cynthia James was living with three of her children and a daughter-in-law in Halleck township, Buchanan County (p. 356A):

Sintha James self 61 Keeping House Tenn Va Tenn
Samuel " son 25 Farmer Tenn Va Tenn
Eugenia " dau 21   Tenn Va Tenn
Sarah " dau L 21   Ky Ky Ky
Margie " dau 20    Tenn Va Tenn


i. ELIZABETH JAMES, b. 17 Aug 1837, White Co., Tenn; d. 11 Jul 1901, De Kalb, Buchanan Co., Missouri; m. 30 Apr 1857, White Co., Tenn, THOMAS D. HAMPTON, he b. 11 Apr 1832, Rutherford Co., N.C.; d. 2 Jan 1902, De Kalb, Buchanan Co., Missouri; children:

    1. Cynthia Latitia Hampton, b. 15 Feb 1859; m. James Samuel TAYLOR 1875

    2. Elizabeth B. Hampton, b. 16 Jan 1860;

    3. James B. Hampton, b. 13 Nov 1865;

    4. Nettie A. Hampton, b. 7 Mar 1869; m. A. J. WELLS 1886

    5. William Henry Hampton, b. 1 Jul 1870; m. Ada WALLINGFORD 1885

ii. WILLIAM HENRY JAMES, b. 4 Feb 1840, White Co., Tenn; d. 22 Jan 1915, St. Joseph, Buchanan Co., Missouri; m. abt 1865, MARY T. BRYANT; she b. 13 Dec 1847; d. 8 Apr 1903; children:


    1. Francis D. James, b. 22 Apr 1869; m. Nancy F. NORRIS 1890

    2. Charles L. James, b. 7 May 1871; m. Bertha M. OSBORN 1904

    3. Emma James, b. abt 1874;

    4. Sterling Rose James, b. 13 May 1875; m. Maggie BOYD 1899

    5. Robert H. James, b. Oct 1878; m. Carrie ____

    6. Raymond B. James, b. Aug 1881; m. Myrtle GOLDEN 1901

    7. Elsa E. James, b. Feb 1884

iii. JOHN R. JAMES, b. 24 Nov 1841, White Co., Tenn; d. 10 Apr 1909; m. MARY ELIZA BRYANT, 22 Oct 1865, Buchanan Co., Mo.; she b. 13 Nov 1848, West Virginia; d. 10 Dec 1929; children:


    1. John R. James, Jr., b. 3 Oct 1866; d. 11 Sep 1885

    2. Ladilla James, b. 15 Jan 1868; m. Lafayette Marcus BLAKELY 1887

    3. Minnie James, b. 24 Oct 1869; d. 21 Apr 1889

    4. [son], b. 11 Oct 1871; d. 13 Oct 1871

    5. W. S. James, b. 12 Oct 1872; d. 20 Nov 1872

    6. Dora James, b. 11 Jan 1874; m. Frederick Horace HAMPTON 1896

    7. Effie D. James, b. 5 Sep 1876;

    8. LeRoy Augustus James, b. 2 Sep 1878; m. Carrie BARTLING 1901

    9. Cecil Gaylen James, b. 5 Jan 1881; m. Elizabeth BARTLING 1905

    10. Cynthia Nell James, b. 13 Dec 1883; m1 William F. ROBBINS 1902; m2 Lee A. WALLACE 1906; m3 Nathan G. LINDSEY

    11. Maude James, b. 28 Mar 1888; m. Ray T. WHITAKER 1910

    12. Maggie James, b. 31 Jan 1890; m. William Loren WALLACE 1908

iv. TABITHA ANN JAMES, b. 9 Nov 1843, White Co., Tenn; d. 4 Jul 1894, Richardson Co, Neb; m. CHARLES AUGUST CARSH, SR., 22 Oct 1865, St. Joseph, Buchanan Co., Mo.; he b. 2 Feb 1832, near Breslau, Silesia, Germany; d. 4 Apr 1930, Humboldt, Richardson Co., Neb.; children:


    1. Charles August Carsh, Jr., b. 26 Aug 1866; m. Ida Mary FOWLER 1891   

    2. John Howard Carsh, b. 4 Nov 1868; m. Lucinda Ellen REVELLE 1899

    3. William Henry Carsh, 1 Mar 1871; m. Minnie Louise THOMPSON 1891

    4. Mary Angeline Carsh, b. Mar 1872; m. Walter E. STRATTON 1895

    5. Margaret Lou Carsh, b. Jun 1875; m. Charles A. HYDE

    6. Cynthia Ann Carsh, b. 6 Jun 1879; m. Henry Ellis THOMPSON 1903

    7. Joseph A. Carsh, b. 7 Sep 1882; m. Blanche HOWELL 1912

    8. Robert Frank Carsh, b. 29 Jan 1884; m. Augusta Rosina PLAYER 1905       

    9. Alma Ida Carsh, b. 8 May 1888; m1 Meredith DAVENPORT 1908; m2 Milton CLARK; m3 Elmer NELSON 1925

v. BOLING G. JAMES, b. abt 1845, White Co., Tenn; no record after 1860 census

vi. MARY E. JAMES, b. 8 Aug 1849, White Co., Tenn; d. 23 May 1928, St. Joseph, Mo; m. JOHN SENECA BOYD, 7 Feb 1867, Buchanan Co., Mo.;40 he b. abt 1831, Ky; children:


    1. Lisa Boyd, b. abt 1868;

    2. John Bolden Boyd, b. 22 Feb 1870; m. Dora L. FOSTER 1891

    3. William Columbus Boyd, b. 13 May 1872; m. Lucy COX 1895

    4. Bertha Boyd, b. Jul 1877; m. James W. CAWLEY 1892

vii. SAMUEL R. JAMES, b. 12 Dec 1854, Sparta, White Co., Tenn; d. 13 Jan 1930, St. Joseph, Buchanan Co., Mo.; m. SARAH T. BAYLISS, 14 Aug 1879, Buchanan Co., Mo.; she b. 18 Feb 1859, Green Co, Kentucky, d. 14 May 1928, St. Joseph; children:


    1. Ernest Rupert James, b. 12 Jan 1881; m. Grace CONWAY 1903

    2. Walter James, b. 1884;

    3. Maude Ethel James, b. 4 May 1889; m. Archibald CORRELL 1920

    4. Elmer C. James, b. 19 Feb 1891;

    5. Bessie Fay James, b. abt 1898; m. Frank MORGAN 1916

viii. EUGENIA B. JAMES, b. Mar 1858, White Co., Tenn; m. JOHN A. REVELLE, 4 Jan 1881, Buchanan Co., Mo.; he b. Mar 1860, Mo; to Neb shortly after m.; of Richardson Co, Neb 1886; of Pawnee pct, Pawnee Co, Neb 1900; of Jackson twp (Webber), Jewell Co, Kan 1910; children:


    1. Bertha M. Revelle, b. Jan 1882, Neb;

    2. John H. Revelle, b. Sep 1883, Neb; prob. m. Ida ____

    3. Clara E. Revelle, b. Jan 1887, Neb;

    4. Otis Alexander Revelle, b. 6 Aug 1889, Neb;  m. Elsie Viola SMITH

    5. Ralph B. Revelle, b. 8 May 1894, Neb,

    6. Celie Grace Revelle, b. May 1896, Neb;

    7. Marguery L. Revelle, abt 1901, Neb

ix. MORGANNA JAMES, b. Sep 1859, Sparta, White Co., Tenn; m. ALBERT SINGLETON, 5 Jan 1881, Buchanan Co., Mo.




16.    Gravestone, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Halleck, Missouri.

17.    See Helen Whitley Strader and Routh Whitley Benbow, Our Wandering Whitleys, p. 145 (1974).

18.    Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984.  In 1839, there is both a John James in District 1 (where John James is consistently listed) and a John H. James in District 5.

19.     There was a John L. James in Robertson County, Tennessee, but he was aged 40-49, with a wife aged 40-49, which appears to be too old to be the John L. James, age 30, with whom we are concerned.

20.     Other White County Jones families in 1840: Samuel Jones, John A. Jones (20<30),  Joseph Jones, Joh_ Jones (30<40), Joseph Jones, Warrenton Jones, Nathan Jones, George Jones, John H. Jones (30<40), Levi Jones, Rebecca Jones, John Jones (20<30), Zachariah Jones, Riley Jones, and Hannah Jones.

21.     White County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 1835-1841, Part II, p. 403 (WPA 1941).

22.     The 1850 census for White County frequently lists all members of the household in chronological order, regardless of relationship to the head of household, rather than listing persons who were not members of the nuclear family at the end of the enumeration, as is more typical.

23.     The Upper Cumberland Researcher, XVII, #2, p. 69 (Upper Cumberland Geneal. Assoc. 1992).

24.     White County, Tenn. Probate Deed Books, vol. D, Jan 1848 – Oct 1852, pp. 211, 225 (Tenn. State Lib.).

25.     White County deeds Q:289 (reviewed at Tennessee State Library, Nashville).

26.     White County deeds Q:213 (reviewed at Tennessee State Library, Nashville).

27.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds R:383).

28.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds T:773).

29.     The Upper Cumberland Researcher, X, #3, p. 84 (Upper Cumberland Geneal. Assoc. 1985).

30.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds U:297).

31.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds T:184).

32.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds T:359).

33.     Research by Linda Anne Watson in White County records, 1984 (citing Deeds U:296).

34.     The Upper Cumberland Researcher, III, #5, p. 3 (Upper Cumberland Geneal. Assoc. 1978).

35.    Letter from Edna Carsh Chastain to Bill Utermohlen, 27 Jul 1970 (based on recollections of her father, William H. Carsh, who was then living with her).

36.    Helen Whitley Strader and Routh Whitley Benbow, Our Wandering Whitleys, p. 168, indicates: "Some of the Whitleys lived in the mountain town of Spencer, in Van Buren County at one time."

37.     Letter from Mildred Herr to Bill Utermohlen, 19 Jan 1994.

38.     Interview of Eva (Carsh) Utermohlen by Bill Utermohlen, 30 Dec 1968.

39.     Deed Book 70:266; N210 ft, E150 ft, S210 ft, W150 ft; NW4 of sec. 16, T55, R36.

40.     Mary James marriage identification by Susan Smith, e-mail to William Utermohlen, 28 May 2003; family is next to Cynthia (Whitley) James in 1880 in Halleck, Buchanan County, Missouri.  Buchanan m. rec. gives bride as Mary E. Jones.


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Bill Utermohlen, 1916 Windsor Road, Alexandria, VA 22307;