Buchanan County, Missouri
Biographies
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Emsley C. James.
Noteworthy among the active and valued citizens of Clinton County is Emsley C. James, of Plattsburg, who is rendering the county and its people admirable service as county clerk. Courteous, honest, industrious and thoroughly conversant with his duties, he has made an excellent record as a public official. A son of the late William James, he was born near Stewartville, DeKalb County, Missouri, February 22. 1870. coming from pioneer ancestry.
A native of Missouri, William James was born and bred in Buchanan County, his birth occurring in 1840. During the Civil war he enlisted in the Confederate army, and proved himself a brave and gallant soldier. He took part in various engagements, was wounded in battle, and later being captured by the enemy was for nine months confined in the prison at Andersonville. He subsequently located near Gower, Missouri, where he resided until his death, in 1913, at the age of seventy-three years. He was a man of strict integrity, upright in his dealings, and held in high esteem throughout the community. Fraternally he was a member of Temple Lodge, No. 37, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons. Religiously he was an active member of the Baptist Church, in which he served as deacon. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Victoria Rose, six children were born, namely: Emsley C, with whom this brief sketch is chiefly concerned; Mrs. Eva Hudson; Charles of San Francisco, California; Mrs. Nora Wilson; Mrs. Mamie Snyder; and Samuel, also of San Francisco.
Having acquired an excellent education in the public and county and state normal schools. Mr. James entered upon a professional life at the age of twenty years, and for a number of terms taught school very successfully, being' well liked as a teacher, popular with pupils and parents. In 1906 he was elected county clerk of Clinton County, and retired from professional duties in the spring of 1907 to assume the position to which he had been chosen by the people, and which he has since so efficiently filled.
Mr. James married, in 1896, Miss Ella Gorrell, who was born in Cameron, Missouri, a daughter of Hiram Gorrell. She was a woman of talent and culture, having advanced her public school education by an attendance at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, and at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, that state. Not many years after their marriage the grim angel of death invaded their pleasant home, Mrs. James, passing to the life beyond in 1910, when but thirty-seven years of age, leaving one child, Eileen. She was a devout member of the Christian church, ever faithful to its teachings. Mr. James has always taken an active interest in local matters, more especially in educational affairs, and for four terms of two years each served as school commissioner. Fraternally he is a member of Plattsburg Lodge, No. 113, Ancient Free and Accepted Order of Masons; of Plattsburg Chapter, No. 120, Royal Arch Masons; of Plattsburg Commandery, No. 62, of which he is eminent commander; and of Moila Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at St. Joseph.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

 

James, William K.
When a judge has established himself in the public mind as an exponent of justice and equity in the discharge of his legal duties he reaches a point where his probity and integrity are beyond question. Among those whose character and services have lent dignity and distinction to the bench and bar of northwestern Missouri, Judge William K. James stands out prominently, and he is recognized as one of the foremost members of the bar of Buchanan county. For more than thirty years he has been engaged in the practice of his profession in St. Joseph, and is regarded as a man of high attainments and exalted ideals. He displayed signal ability while presiding on the bench of the circuit court and has been a valued factor in the political activities of his section of Missouri as a stalwart and effective advocate of the cause of the democratic party. He always gives hearty cooperation in the furtherance of religious, educational and other worthy purposes, not the least of these being his activity as president of the board of trustees of the Bartlett Agricultural and Industrial School at Dalton, Chariton county, for the education of negroes along industrial lines.
William K. James was born in Sussex county, Delaware, August 20, 1852, and is a descendant of families whose names have been long and worthily linked with the annals of American history. He is a son of Urias T. and Eliza J. (Knowles) James, and was a boy of about fourteen years when in 1866 his parents removed to Missouri and located in Pike county. In 1871 they went to Fremont county, Iowa, and established their home on a farm in the neighborhood of Hamburg, where the father developed a valuable property and became one of the prominent and influential citizens of the county, esteemed for his integrity and lofty character. There he and his wife continued to reside for the remainder of their lives.
The healthy and hardy life of the farm formed the environment in which the boyhood and youth of Judge James were spent in both Missouri and Iowa. His early education was obtained in the public schools of his native state and Missouri and Iowa, and he also availed himself of the advantages of the village school at Ham* burg. That he made excellent use of the. advantages thus offered is shown by the fact that at the age of eighteen he proved himself worthy of pedagogic honors and began teaching in the district schools of Fremont county, Iowa, making dally a three mile trip, morning and evening, between his home and the school. After he had taught for one winter term with marked success, he entered Central College, at Fayette, Missouri, where he purs tied higher studies for one semester. Thereafter he taught one term in the graded school at East Nebraska City, Fremont county, Iowa, and in 1872 again entered Central College as a student. Desiring to secure a still broader and more liberal education, he entered Yale University, where he completed the regular classical course and was graduated from the university as a member of the class of 1876, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. It was in August of that year that he located in St. Joseph, and in this city he studied law, having for his preceptor the Hon. Willard P. Hall, former governor of the state. Keenly active and devoted to his legal studies, he made substantial progress in acquiring knowledge of the science of jurisprudence and in 1879 was admitted to the state bar.
Judge James virtually set aside all other interests in response to the demands and exactions of his chosen profession, in which he has won advancement and high prestige through his technical ability, close application and conscientious devotion to duty. He has established a just claim as a resourceful and versatile trial lawyer, and his thorough knowledge of legal principles and precedent has given him distinctive priority as an adviser, besides creating an unique position for the exercise of judicial functions. Judge James built up a substantial practice, to which he continued to devote his attention until 1898, when he was elected to the bench of the circuit court. As a candidate on the democratic ticket, he led the same by more than eight hundred votes, which fact indicated his personal popularity and the appreciation of his professional ability and sterling attributes of character. He made an admirable record on the bench, on which he served for four years, and not many of his judgments met with reversal by courts of higher jurisdiction. He retired from office in 1902 and resumed the general practice of the law, having as a partner William B. Norris, and the firm of James & Norris continued to command a large and lucrative law business until it was dissolved by the election of Mr. Norris to the office of city counselor of St. Joseph in 1905 since which time Judge James has continued in practice alone. He has acted as advocate in many noteworthy suits in the courts of this section of the state and has conducted many cases before the supreme court of Missouri.
Judge James has ever given undivided allegiance to the democratic party and has been much sought after as a campaign worker. He is a logical and convincing speaker. In 1896 he delivered many vigorous and telling speeches in all the counties of northwestern Missouri. Sincerity is his keynote in every relation of life, and thus his political addresses have been the more potent and fruitful of good, especially in view of the fact that he is admirably fortified in his convictions concerning matters of public policy and has been a close student of political and economic problems. Judge James has held no other public office with the exception of that on the circuit bench and that of member of the St. Joseph board of police commissioners, to which he was appointed by Governor Folk.
Judge James became a member of the church at the early age of fourteen and during long residence in St. Joseph has been an ardent and valued member of the First Presbyterian church, of which he has been an elder for many years. A thorough churchman and one of practical faith, he has ever been influential in the affairs of the local church and of the synod with which he is identified, his knowledge of ecclesiastical law and his ripe judgment having made his counsel particularly valuable. His wife is equally zealous in church affairs. Judge James is president of the St. Joseph Young Men's Christian Association, his interest and services, however, not being confined to the work of the local organization but extending also to embrace the affairs of the national body. He is president of the board of trustees of the Bartlett Agricultural and Industrial School; also president of the St. Joseph Art Society; first vice president of the St. Joseph Commercial Club; and is a liberal minded and public-spirited citizen. He holds membership in the Country Club and the Benton Club, whose headquarters are at St. Joseph, and he is affiliated with Invincible Lodge No. 470, I. O. O. F., of which he is past noble grand.
In 1883 Judge William K. James was united in marriage to Miss Mary Tootle, a member of the influential and honored St. Joseph family of that name, being a daughter of Thomas E. and Ellen (Bell) Tootle. Judge and Mrs. James are the parents of two children: Ellen Tootle James and Thomas Tootle James. As in everything else with which they are identified Judge James and his wife take an abiding interest in the social and cultural activities of the community in which they reside, their aid ever being extended to all movements designed for the welfare of the public.
(Source: Centennial History of Missouri, One Hundred Years in the Union, 1820-1921, Vol. V, Published 1921)

 

J. T. JAMISON; of the firm of Poe & Jamison, dealers in general merchandise, Gower. This popular young gentleman is a native of Buchanan County, Missouri, and was born August 6, 1853, his father, Allen, being one of the early settlers of the county. J. T. was raised on the farm, receiving the benefits of the common schools. After attaining his majority, for two years he was an attendant of the State Normal School at Kirksville, the latter portion of the time being employed as a teacher. For several years he pursued the vocation of teaching in Buchanan and Clinton Counties, and engaged in his present business in the spring of 1881.
(Source: The History of Clinton County Missouri; published 1881; O.P. Williams & Co.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack)

 

Charles E. Jones. One of the best known bankers of northwest < Missouri is Charles E. Jones, president of the First National Bank of Plattsburg. This bank has the reputation of being the strongest institution in the Third district of northwest Missouri, with a capital of $100,000 and surplus of $70,000. Its record has been that of a safe and conservative banking house, managed on the principle of safety first, but at the same time it has always been an effective bulwark to the business interests of Clinton County. Mr. Jones is president, J. A. Winn is vice president, H. R. Riley is cashier, and F. M. Riley is assistant cashier.
Charles E. Jones' has been identified with this bank for the past twenty-four years. He is the representative of an old family in northwest Missouri, and was born in Clinton County in 1857. While best known as a banker, Mr. Jones has always kept close to the soil, and to his friends would confess as strong an attachment to farming as to banking. He is owner of several good farms both in Missouri and Kansas, and land and cattle have always had a strong hold upon his interests and affections. Mr. Jones' father was Daniel Jones, a native of old Virginia, and of Welsh stock that was early established in that state. Daniel Jones, a farmer by vocation, came West in 1838, became one of the early settlers in northwest Missouri, and was a substantial farmer in Clinton County. He married Almina Stigall, who was born in Kentucky. The children in the family of the parents of Mr. Jones were four in number, as follows: Amanda; Eliza, deceased; John M., deceased; and Charles E. The father was a democrat in politics, a member of the Christian church, and his death occurred at the age of fifty-five, while his wife passed away at the age of forty.
Charles E. Jones grew up on a farm, and is indebted to its environments and training for his physique and splendid constitution, which has enabled him to pursue his business without interruption and at a high point of efficiency. In 1885 Mr. Jones married Georgia Winn, a member of a Clinton County family well known and highly respected. Mrs. Jones received her education in the Missouri State University at Columbia. Her father was George W. Winn, now deceased, but who for many years was a citizen of Clinton County and at one time sheriff. Mr. Jones and wife have the following children: William P., who died at the age of twenty-five years at El Paso, Texas, being a man of great promise, but taken away practically at the beginning of his useful life; Almina Jones is a graduate of the Monticello Seminary at Godfrey, Illinois; and Charles E., Jr., aged eighteen, is in high school. Mr. Jones supports the democratic party, is a member and deacon in the Christian church, affiliates with the lodge, chapter and commandery of York Rite Masonry, and a life member of the Moila Temple of the Mystic Shrine at St. Joseph. He is one of the charter members of that body.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

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