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Walter James
July 8, 1839–April 19, 1935
Walter James, 95, Oldest Resident of County Died Here

Funeral services were held Easter Sunday for Walter James, Wyoming's oldest resident and believed to be the oldest resident of Jones County. The 96-year-old Civil war veteran died early Friday morning at his home in Wyoming.
Services were held at the Methodist church, conducted by the pastor, Rev. S. V. Williams. A quartet including Mrs. Lena Shimerda, Mrs. Frank Pealer, M.E. Miller and W. J. Beckwith furnished special music, accompanied by Miss Betty Jane Levsen. Interment was In the Wyoming: cemetery.
Full military honors were accorded the grand old man, with the Wyoming post of the American Legion in charge. Pallbearers were August Thomson, George Herzberger; W. B. Scarcllff; Â Ernest Reitz; Howard Countryman and Raymond James. The firing squad, was commanded by Lee M. Sherrill, and taps were sounded by Florelne Herzberger and Robert Hansen. Chaplain Robert Alden read the' service at the grave.
G.A.R. veterans attending included Comrades Moats, of Center Junction; Lawson, of Olin; Hahn of Mount Vernon, and Morse and General James, of Wyoming.
The services were attended by a very large crowd of friends and relatives, including many from a distance.
Mr. James was exactly the same age as John D. Rockefeller. He had been confined to a wheelchair for some time, but his mind remained clear to the last. Sickness the past winter weakened him, and he joined his comrades in blue very quietly, without pain.
Walter James was the son of Walter and Susannah Ault James. Born July 8, 1839, in Maryland, across the Potomac from Harpers Ferry, he was one of a family of ten children, three of whom still survive: G.W. James, Wyoming; Watkins James of Royal, Iowa; and Benjamin James of Center Junction.
At the age of sixteen he came to Iowa with his family, going overland through West Virginia and by boat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi to Dubuque. He settled first at Canton, where he was time keeper in the big lumber mill, and later he worked on the farm until the call for troops to put down the rebellion
He was one of the first to enlist in Company B, Iowa Infantry under Captain John Niles on August 12, 1861. From Corporal he rose rapidly to be first Lieutenant; at the time of his discharge, July 18, 1865, at Louisville, Ky. His company saw some of the hardest fighting of the war and suffered heavy casualties. His family was one of those tragically divided by the war, a brother fighting through the war with the Confederate forces.
While home on leave he was united in marriage to Miss Mary Sherman, February 24, 1864. Six children were born, all of them living. The family enjoyed a remarkable life together, the circle remaining unbroken for sixty-seven years of fellowship. In 1930 Mr. and Mrs, James celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary and she died in December, 1931. The children are Mrs. Ida Oesterle of Prosser, Washington; Philip G. James of Wayne, Nebr.; Mrs. Lottie Potter of Anamosa; George Dan James of Anamosa; Mrs. Sarah Kegley of Cedar Rapids; and Mrs. Olive Roose of Los Angeles. There are 19 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.
Since retirement from the farm in 1891 they have lived in Wyoming. With his wife Mr. James united with the Methodist church at Pleasant Valley in their early married life. He was a true friend, a good neighbor, a splendid father. His memory will always be revered by everyone for his fairness, his understanding and his never failing kindness. Though in failing health for some time, he loved to be out on the street in his wheelchair among his many friends, and the memory of this brave soldier and splendid gentleman will be enshrined for always in the hearts of the people of this community. His departure leaves but two of the boys in blue living in this community.

Submitted by: Steve Hanken
Source: Wyoming Journal, April 25, 1935

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