100 YEAR OLD JAMES FARM
Posted By: Administrator
Date: 2/6/2006 at 15:42:53
The Fairfield Daily Ledger, November 292, 1958.
MANY COUNTY FARMS IN SAME FAMILY 100 YEARS.
The Arvel JAMES farm 2 ½ miles southeast of Batavia is one of several farms in Jefferson County that have been in the same family for over 100 years. A member of the James family has owned and farmed it since it was originally acquired from the government in 1845. The original deed was written on sheep skin with red ink and signed by James Polk, president of the United States…..
The JAMES farm is one of the oldest on record in Jefferson County. The present owner has lived on the place all of his life, and so has his son. Arvel JAMES, who is now 80 years of age, said the land was acquired by his grandmother shortly after her arrival from Ohio. The JAMES family, including seven children, made the trip to Iowa Territory in a covered wagon. The father died enroute and was buried at Burlington. Only three of the seven children grew to maturity. The others died at an early age.
The present owner said he has heard his father tell how the pioneers settled on the west edge of the Iowa Territory, waiting for land further west to be opened up by the government. The west boundary of the territory at that time was 1½ miles east of Batavia. When the land was opened, Sarah JAMES acquired the farm on which Arvel JAMES now resides. There were 160 acres in the original place.
Sarah JAMES passed away a few years later and the farm was acquired by her son, William JAMES. The deed from Sarah James to William James is dated March 1, 1854. While William JAMES owned the farm, he sold 40 acres of the original plot. William JAMES remained on the home place until his death in 1895. Following his death, his son, Arvel, remained on the home place with his mother. She passed away in 1926 at the age of 98.
Arvel JAMES was married to Mabel COPELAND in 1903. They began housekeeping on the home place. As a result, Arvel JAMES has lived on the same farm all of his life. After gaining possession of the home farm Arvel JAMES re-purchased the 40 acres that had been sold by his father, keeping the farm in tact as it was when it was first acquired from the government. Mrs. JAMES passed away in 1938. One son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Arvel JAMES. He is Donald JAMES. Mr. and Mrs. Donald JAMES now reside with his father on the home place. “Some day it will be his,” the father commented.
The farm today is well improved. The present house was constructed 31 years ago, replacing the original six-room home first built on the farm. Mr. JAMES has a tax receipt dated Dec. 24, 1863. The amount of taxes paid was $4.85.
Jefferson Documents maintained by Joey Stark.
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