Ed James in what appears to be a 1916 Willy’s Overland, identities of the ladies are unknown. One of the ladies might be his wife, Ida James. The photograph was taken at his home, 701 N. Devon St.

Old News

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Like the mines he supervised, Ed James’ life boomed and busted

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

Edward Alfred James was born on Feb. 29, 1868, in Jefferson County, Neb., the son of John G. and Rebecca James, who had immigrated to the United States from Wales.

By 1880, Edward was living with his mother and siblings in Webb City. Edward’s two older brothers were working as miners while he attended school. In 1900, Edward and his mother were living at 522 N. Allen (Main) St. with his nephew, Ulysses Allen and his wife Daisy. Edward was making a living as a blacksmith at this time.

In June 1901, Edward married Ida Wren in Columbus, Cherokee County, Kan. By 1910, Edward and Ida had moved to 701 N. Devon St., and he was working as a zinc mine superintendent.

Ida James died on Nov. 16, 1918, at the age of 38, from pulmonary tuberculosis. She was buried in Carterville Cemetery.

Edward married Emma Ellen Bailey Miner, widow of James R. Miner, who died on Jan. 28, 1918, from pulmonary tuberculosis. The Miners had been neighbors of Edward and Ida, living at 606 N. Devon Street.

Edward and Emma were married until she died on Feb. 11, 1927, from pulmonary tuberculosis leaving two young sons, James B. Miner from her first marriage, and Edward B. James from her second marriage.

Edward James died on May 9, 1939, at the age of 72. He is buried in Carterville Cemetery by his two wives, Ida and Emma. 

Edward’s obituary stated that the one-time wealthy mine operator died in the county almshouse. 

He had been a veteran mine operator and made several sizeable fortunes in his mining ventures. He had worked in the mines here several years during the early history of the town before starting out for himself. 

He had been a resident of Webb City about 60 years and served as councilman from the 3rd Ward and as constable of the Joplin Township.

Sentinel bound volumes are now in the Genealogy Room

The WCAGS has accepted ownership of the complete collection of bound volumes of the Webb City Sentinel, from 1983 (after the fire) until the final issue on Dec. 30, 2020.

Those issues can also be viewed on microfilm, along with much older issues.

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

WCAGS members staff the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Webb City Public Library. Current hours are noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Geanealogy Room.

Everything you want to know about Jasper County Missouri Schools is available at a site compiled by Webb City Area Genealogical Society member Kathy Sidenstricker.

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