James Family Archives
• Researching the Past
• Education for the Present
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Children of Alfred “Ab” Clark James (1870-
1. Daniel Arthur James: born July 26, 1892 in Franklin County, Alabama; married
Nellie Hall (1897-
2. Lula Modena James: born December 16, 1893 in Franklin County, Alabama; married
Bonnie Peterson (1889-
3. Joe Clark James: born August 6, 1896 in Franklin County, Alabama; married Elizabeth
Geneva Crowder (1902-
4. Robert “Rob” A. James: born November 7, 1898 in Alabama; married Estain Clyde
5. John Earl James: born July 5, 1902; married Kate Burks (1905-
6. Lela Burton James: born May 8, 1904; married Lee Hoyle Easterling (1904-
7. Claudius E. James: born July 14, 1906; married Rozzie Ginn (1914-
8. Edna Lucille “Peg” James: born March 28, 1908; married Wilmer Leeroy Thrasher
9. Bonnie Mae James: born April 9, 1911 in Saltillo, Lee County, Mississippi;
married June 27, 1931 to Elias R. Warren (1898-
10. Alice Beatrice “Bea” James: born August 12, 1913; married Verlon C. Ginn (1905-
Alfred “Ab” Clark James (1836-
Autobiography of Joe Clark James (1896-
“I was born in Franklin County, Alabama, eight miles southeast of Red Bay. [Born 6 Aug 1896] My parents were poor yet we were happy and content with our lot. My birthplace was a one room log cabin in the well known Freedom Hills. It was located at the foot of a mountain which broke into a beautiful plain in order to give space for the big Cedar Creek that carried the water from the many hills and springs to the Alabama River. This home was near that of grandmother [Cynthia James, nee Richardson] and grandfather [Elias James].
When I was small it was my greatest delight to go to their home and get her [grandmother] to go fishing with me. A great part of my time was spent with her. When we were not fishing or playing, I would go out and help grandfather make boards. [Note: His grandfather, Elias James was conscripted in the Confederate Cavalry, Co E 4th Alabama “Roddey’s” Cavalry and served until severely wounded Dec 24, 1864. He passed away 24 Jan 1917].
When quiet young I was taken from these pleasures: the rocky hills and mountains, the clear flowing springs, the mountain breeze, my mountain home, and brought to Union County, Mississippi. At this time papa owned a one horse wagon, a cow, and an old gray mule. We settled down on a little place; papa sold his mule and wagon and made three crops on halves. He then bought a horse and managed to pay for it. After this we moved to Lee County where we have gained through labor what little property we now possess. [Joe’s father was Alfred Clark “Ab” James].
Although I was not a good boy, I never cared to leave my mother [Cammie Racheline James, nee George] and follow other boys off and get into trouble. You could not call me a George Washington, however, because I can and have told lies. When Saturday would come the time for papa to go to the mill and town, I did not do like most boys now do and like my brothers did, go to town with papa, but stayed at home and did all that I could to help mother and sister in their work.
Being raised on the farm and having spent a greater part of my time in the open air and taking plenty of exercise in work, I developed a healthy body. I have never been sick enough to need a physician.
My parents were and are yet uneducated. They realized the need of an education and have not failed to spare time nor means for educating their children. I remember very definitely my first teacher, a Mr. Hugh McGill. He was very kind to all the pupils and would very often invite us to his home to a picnic or a play. He was so good and kind to us that it seemed as if were only a pupil with us and not a teacher. The method which he used in teaching reading was not the modern method, yet, in some way I learned to read.
I think that I must have been somewhat odd from most other boys, in that I
have always loved to go to school, yet I must admit that I know just how to be late
and miss a hard arithmetic, but that method has never known to simplify a problem.
It has been my motto, since I came to realize the necessity of an education, to be
in school every day. I was in rural free schools until I reached the age of fourteen;
when papa bought a farm, one mile from town, and moved on it. Then I attended high
school there until I came to the Mississippi Normal College. I spent the 1915-
As I am not very good on reading futures, I will end my autobiography. The End.”
[Note: This was written sometime in 1917. With the entry of the U.S. in World War I, Joe C. James, would soon become educated by the U.S. Navy at the Harvard Radio School, learning wireless telegraph code. He then served as a radioman onboard the U.S.S. Mississippi and U.S.S. Idaho. After the war, he would work as a radioman on commercial barge lines for tugboats on the Mississippi River. He would marry in Memphis, Tennessee to Bess Geneva Crowder. They would relocate to Minnesota for a short time before moving to St. Louis, Missouri where Joe would work as a radio engineer at WIL radio. He and Bess had two children: Joe Mitchell and Betty Jean. On retirement Joe and Bess James built a new home in Lee County, Mississippi. Joe continued his interest in code/voice radio as a HAM radio operator (W5NDO) and kept connected with his old ship mates that lived around the world. Joe C. James died 31 Aug 1985.]
(Notes in brackets have been added by grandson, Scott K. Williams.)
Information on the children of Alfred “Ab” Clark James (1836-
Daniel Arthur James (1892-
Lula Modena James (1893-
Joe Clark James (1896-
Robert A. James (1898-
John Earl James (1902-
Lela Burton James (1904-
Claudius E. James (1906-
Edna Lucille James (1908-
Bonnie Mae (James) Warren (1911-
Alice Beatrice James (1913-
Joe Clark James (1896-
Rozzie (Ginn) James (1914-
Bonnie Mae James (1911-
Updated: June 11, 2021