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George W. James
Born September 7, 1844


George W. James, familiarly known as General James, is one of the prominent and prosperous agriculturists and stock raisers of Jones county and owns an excellent farm of two hundred and eighty acres in Madison township. He was born close to the Virginia and Maryland line on the 7th of September, 1844, his parents being Walter and Susanna (Atilt) James. They came to Iowa in 1855, taking up their abode in Canton, Jackson county, where the father was employed in a sawmill for about two years. At the end of that time he made his way to this county, locating on a farm in Madison township, one mile west of the present home place of our subject. His property comprised two hundred and ten acres, in the cultivation and improvement of which he was actively and successfully engaged until he put aside the work of the fields and took up his abode in Wyoming, where his remaining days were spent. He had attained the ripe old age of eighty-four years when called to his final rest and had long been numbered among the most substantial and respected residents of his community. His political allegiance was given to the democracy but he had no desire for the honors and emoluments of office, preferring to devote his undivided attention to his private affairs. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they took an active and helpful interest.
George W. James was reared under the parental roof and obtained his edification in the district schools. On the 15th of August, 1862, when not yet eighteen years of age, he enlisted in defense of the Union, becoming a member of Company K. Twenty-fourth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close of the hostilities. He was wounded at Winchester on the 19th of September, 1864, and was confined in a hospital at Philadelphia for about two months, at the end of which period he rejoined his regiment. He was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, on the 15th of August, 1865, and returned home with a most creditable military record, having never faltered in the performance of any task assigned him. He was married in 1866 and established his home on his present farm in Madison township, though at that time it comprised but eighty acres. He had purchased this property a short time prior to his marriage and it has continued his place of residence to the present time. He has, however, extended the boundaries of the farm by additional purchase until it now embraces two hundred and eighty acres of valuable land, which annually yields bounteous harvests as a reward for the care and labor bestowed upon it. He feeds all of his grain to stock and raises shorthorn cattle on an extensive scale, being very successful in this line of activity. The prosperity which he now enjoys is but the merited reward of his untiring industry and capable management and he is well entitled to recognition among the substantial and representative citizens of the county.
Mr. James has been married twice. In 1866 he wedded Miss Phoebe Richardson, of Madison township, Jones county, by whom he had four children, two of whom still survive, as follows: Raleigh, who follows farming in Kossuth county, Iowa; and Walter, a commercial salesman of Chicago, Illinois. The mother of these children passed away in 1874 and subsequently Mr. James was again married, his second union being with Miss Carrie B. Burch, of Madison township, this county. Unto them have been born nine children, namely: Lee R., a commercial salesman residing in Cedar Rapids; Viola M., who married James C. Glenn; Florence E., a dressmaker of Wyoming; James, a resident of Cedar Rapids; and Cora B., Ethel M., George E., Raymond F. and Hazel B., all of whom are at home.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. James has cast his ballot in support of the men and measures of the republican party but has never sought office as a reward for his fealty. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. A resident of the county for more than a half century, he is widely known within its borders and the sterling qualities which he has displayed in his social and business relations have gained him a high place in the regard and good will of his fellow-townsmen.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 274.

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