James Joseph Eubank
|Birthplace:||Maury, TN, USA|
|Death:||Died in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Cause of death:||His cause of death at the age of 80 was either Dementia or Chronic Intertestial Pneumonia|
|Place of Burial:||Old Soldier's Home - National Cemetery, West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA|
Son of Stephen Green Eubank and Susannah Quarles Branch Eubank
|Occupation:||Carpenter/cabinet-furniture maker, California Gold Miner, Civil War Veteran who was wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863.|
|Managed by:||Della Dale Smith-Pistelli|
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About James Joseph Eubank
James Joseph Eubank was born December 11, 1826, in Maury County, Tennessee, to Stephen Green Eubank and his wife, Susannah Quarles Branch Eubank, who were married in Maury County in March of 1826. Two years later, his sister, Martha Ann, was born in 1828 in Tennessee. James and Martha were probably named for Susannah's parents, James Branch and his wife Martha Minor Branch. In the 1830 U.S. Federal Census Stephen was listed in Williamson County, Tennessee as Stephen G. Ubank. Probably not long after that, Stephen and Susannah moved to Palmyra, Missouri, where Susannah died in a cholera epidemic in 1833. Supposedly they had two other children who also died in the same epidemic, but unfortunately, I do not know their names.
After Susannah's death, Stephen sent his son, James Joseph, to live with his mother's Branch family in Tennessee for about 15 or 16 years before he was finally reunited with his father's family in Illinois around 1848 or 1849. There is some confusion about James Joseph Eubank's middle name. On one genealogical record I found James was listed as James Franklin Eubank. However, all public records I could find for him show his name was James Joseph Eubank.
James Joseph was only about 6 or 7 years old when his mother died in 1833. After her death, James Joseph probably lived with his maternal grandparents, James Branch and Martha Minor Branch, for a while until his grandmother passed away 1839 when James Joseph was 12 years old, and then his grandfather, passed away in June 1844, probably about six months before James Joseph's 18th birthday. After that James Joseph may have gone to live with either of his mother's brothers, his uncle James Goode Branch and his wife Sarah Uzzell Branch, or James Goode Branch's twin brother, William Minor Branch, and his wife, Mary Ann Uzzell Branch, the sister of Sarah Uzzell Branch.
After sending James Joseph back to Tennessee to live with the Branch family, S.G. Eubank and his 5 year old daughter, Martha Ann, moved to Illinois. I read somewhere that Martha may have been sent to live with the Herndon family in Springfield after her mother's death. The Herndon's were friends of S.G. Eubank, and William Herndon was Abraham Lincoln's law firm partner in Springfield. The Herndon home was supposedly where S.G. Eubank met his second wife, Mary Ann Phillips, whose mother was a first cousin to William Herndon. After Lincoln's assassination, Herndon later wrote one of the many biographies about Abraham Lincoln.
On March 10, 1834, S.G. Eubank and Mary Ann Phillips were married in Schuyler County, Illinois, and they had two daughters, the first being Mary Susanna, born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1836, while her father was a constable and tavern owner there. Then in about 1838, the family moved to Springfield, Illinois, where their second daughter, Margaret Green Eubank, was born in 1838 or 1839.
In 2012 while visiting the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, I learned about a website that lists all of the court cases that Abraham Lincoln's law firm handled when he was a practicing attorney in Springfield. S.G Eubank and his second wife, Mary Ann Phillips, were defended by Abraham Lincoln in an 1838 lawsuit regarding property sold by either Mary Ann or her mother around the time of her mother's death. Evidently, they failed to convey a deed for the property they sold, and that was the nature of the lawsuit Lincoln defended for the Eubank's.
Unfortunately, a couple of years later, Mary Ann died from consumption in about 1841 at the very young age of 26 years old, which ironically, was the same age of S.G. Eubank's first wife, Susannah, at the time of her death. Mary Ann was buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, the same cemetery where Abraham Lincoln was buried. Lincoln has a very large monument at the cemetery there.
After the death of Mary Ann Phillips, her two daughters with S.G. Eubank, Mary Susanna, and Margaret Green Eubank, were sent to live with Mary Ann's brother, Moreau Phillips, in Springfield, Illinois. They lived with their uncle Moreau until sometime around 1845 or 1850 when they were reunited with their father, who by then had married his third wife, Sarah Armstrong Waggoner, on August 7, 1845, in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois. Sarah was about 24 years younger than Stephen at the time of their marriage.
Supposedly, from about 1841-1845, after Mary Ann Phillips Eubank's death, and before S.G. Eubank's marriage to his third wife, he and and his daughter, Martha, lived at the Globe Tavern in Springfield. Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary also lived at the tavern from their wedding night in November of 1842 until about 1844 when they rented a home and later purchased their own home there located on 8th Street which is now an historic monument. The Lincoln's first son, Robert, was born at the Globe Tavern in 1843. Supposedly, Martha would occasionally baby sit for Robert, when she was about 15 or 16 years old. One of the reasons the Lincoln's had to move from the Globe Tavern was because other residents complained about their crying baby boy, Robert Lincoln.
S.G. Eubank and his third wife, Sarah, had thirteen children, the first being another daughter, Helen, born in 1846 while they were living near Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, and the last being a son, Lorin, born in 1870 in Wellington, Missouri, just two years before Stephen passed away at the age of 68 in 1872. S.G. Eubank's second son, Stephen Thomas Eubank, was born in 1850, but sadly S.G. and Sarah's three other sons, Robert, George, and Lorin never survived to adulthood--only their daughters survived to adulthood.
James Joseph must have finally moved from Tennessee to Illinois to be near his father's family some time between 1848 and 1849, when he would have been about 21 or 22 years old, because he married his first wife, Nancy Ann Trent, on June 21, 1849, in Menard County, Illinois. Census information on James Joseph is sketchy, but the U.S. Census for Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, taken August 13,1850, shows James Joseph Eubank(s), 22, a cabinet maker, living with his wife, Nancy Ann, 17, and their 1 month old son, William A. Eubank. I learned from later census record that William was disabled and was suffering from paralysis. Another census record listed him as being "dumb," which may have indicated he was mentally retarded or challenged. James Joseph's father, Stephen, and his wife, Sarah, were living nearby with their children in the 1850 census for Petersburg.
Other neighbors on the same census page as James Joseph included a couple of merchants, one from New York, and another from Virginia, two carpenters both from Kentucky, a shoemaker from Germany, a tailor from Kentucky, a physician from Virginia, a couple of farmers, one from Tennessee and one from Illinois, and a county clerk from Ireland.
Either before or shortly after James Joseph and Nancy Ann had their second son, James Gideon Eubank, in 1853, James Joseph left his wife, Nancy, and their two children in Illinois and went to California to join the Gold Rush. He was gone for about eight years, and when he returned to Illinois, was surprised to learn his wife, Nancy, had married another man, Peter Shult, in 1856. I'm told that when James Joseph lived in California he went by the name of Richard Banks, but why he lived under an assumed name is unknown. Maybe he just didn't want to be found!
Supposedly, Nancy had heard from a miner friend of James Joseph (AKA, Richard Banks) that James had died, and since her oldest son with James Joseph, William, was disabled, Nancy probably needed help supporting and raising her family. She married Peter Shult in 1856 in Chicago and they later had three daughters and a son of their own. At the time she married Peter, Nancy had probably not heard from James Joseph for about three years.
When James Joseph returned to Illinois from California in 1861 about eight years had elapsed. Nancy stated in a pension application that James Joseph gave her some wild story about having to take a ship from California around the tip of South America and then up the East Coast where he traveled over land west to Illinois, and that is why it took him so long to return home. This is a very far fetched story, and who knows if it is true. Seems like James Joseph was a bit of a rounder!
Recently, I learned that James Joseph's friend, William Hawkins Wickersham, had accompanied him to California. After they returned from California, William married James Joseph's half sister, Margaret Green Eubank, in Springfield, Illinois in January of 1861. The following year, in August of 1862, both James Joseph and William Wickersham enlisted in Company C, 124th Illinois Infantry, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. They were both at the battle of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863, and James Joseph was wounded there via a shell to the back of his knees.
We don't know exactly where James Joseph went when he returned to Illinois from California around 1861 and learned his wife had married another man, but he may have gone to visit his sister, Martha Ann Eubank Osborn, who was living in Mason City, Illinois, with her husband, George, and their children. One pension application James Joseph submitted after the war mentioned that his doctor was located in Mason City, Illinois.
After James Joseph's discharge from the U.S. Army in 1865, he stated in one pension petition that he "returned home to Mason City, Illinois, where he was treated by Dr. Chamblin". He also mentioned that prior to entering the service, his physician was in Liberty, Adams County, Illinois, which is about 100 miles from Mason City. In about 1865, James Joseph's sister, Martha Ann was living in Mason City, Illinois, with her husband, George Osborn, so perhaps that is why James went there, to see his sister and her family. At that time, his father, step-mother and half-brothers and sisters were living in Raysville, Bourbon County, Kansas, having moved there from Illinois sometime around 1859.
On June 29, 1863, James was wounded during Battle of Vicksburg, and he suffered from this disability for the rest of his life and was in and out of the Old Soldier's Home (now called the VA Hospital) in West Los Angeles due to this injury. He was discharged January 1, 1864, from Company C of the 124th Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and was re-enlisted that same day as a First Sergeant in Company M of the 5th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops Heavy Artillery Division, where he served until August 29, 1865, and was discharged due to his disability. This information was found in the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Solidiers records and showed that he was admitted to the Old Soldiers Home in Sawtelle, Los Angeles, California, in June of 1891, and was discharged at his own request in September of 1891.
There is also a U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Record for James J. Eubank showing that he was 33 years old, born in about 1831, (his age was off by 5 years) was white, 5'9" tall, with grey eyes and light colored hair, born in Maury, Tennessee, and his occupation was as a carpenter, who enlisted January 1, 1864, in Vicksburg, Illinois, by Col. H. Lieb, for a term of 3 years, and that he was appointed First Sergeant. from a rank of Private in Company C of the 124th Regiment Illinois Infantry.
According to Civil War pension application records and other information I found in a book at the library in Peoria, Illinois, James Joseph originally enlisted in the Army during the Civil War on August 14, 1862, at Springfield, Illinois, in Company C of the 124th Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers. He was promoted to Sergeant in Company "M", 5th Mississippi U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, on December 31, 1863, just six months after being wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg, and began serving in that company starting on January 1, 1864. Information from his Civil War pension application stated that James Joseph was born in Maury County, Tennessee, in 1827 (actually he was born December 11,1826), and that he was 5'9" tall, with light complexion, auburn hair and grey eyes and was a carpenter by occupation prior to enlistment. He was discharged August 28, 1865, due to his disability.
Sadly, James Joseph's half sister, Margaret Green Eubank Wickersham and her husband, William Hawkins Wickersham's first-born son, Franklin (known as Frankie) died at the very young age of about two years old when Margaret and Frankie were on their way back from visiting William in Vicksburg, Mississippi, when he and James Joseph were serving their during the Civil War. Frankie was buried somewhere along the Mississippi River when Margaret was on the return trip to Illinois after her visit with William. I have often wondered if William and Margaret's first-born son, Franklin, was named after James Joseph Eubank, or rather James Franklin Eubank, depending on which middle name was correct, since I've seen the middle name of Franklin for him in some ancestral records. Or it may have been simply a coincidence that little Frankie's name was Franklin.
James Joseph's father, S.G. Eubank, was listed in the 1860 U.S. Census for Raysville, Bourbon County, Kansas, but why he moved to Kansas from Illinois is unknown. Maybe it had something to do with the pending Civil War or perhaps it was for better opportunities to make a living. S.G. Eubank had a partner in his cabinet making business in Springfield, Illinois, a Mr. Osborn, and in the 1860 census record for Stephen in Kansas there was also a Mr. Osborn living nearby the Eubank home. Perhaps he was S.G. Eubank's cabinet-making business partner from Illinois. There may have been some type of connection between that Mr. Osborn, and S.G. Eubank's daughter, Martha, whose husband was George Osborn, but I have not yet been able to confirm such a connection.
There was also a fairly large land grant which took place in Kansas in 1854 after the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854, so that may have been why the Eubank family moved to Kansas around 1859 to take advantage of the land grant and have better opportunities for financial advancement.
After the Civil War and visiting his sister, Martha Ann, James Joseph must have finally gone to Kansas to visit his father's family, because he married his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser, in Wathena, Kansas in 1865 or 1866, and their first child was born in Sedalia, Missouri, in February of 1868. That was my grandfather, Stephen James Eubank who was variously listed as either Uselle, Euzell or Eucell in public records from 1870 through the early 1900's.
By the 1870 U.S. Census, S.G. Eubank, his wife Sarah, and their children, and James Joseph Eubank, and his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser Eubank, and their two year old child, Uselle, were living in Clay Township, Lafayette County, Missouri. Why S.G. Eubank and his family, and his son, James Joseph, and his family moved to Clay, Missouri, around the 1868 to 1870 time period is unknown. However, we know that S.G. Eubank's first wife, (and James Joseph's mother) Susannah, died in Palmyra, Missouri, in about 1833. Maybe there were other Eubank family members still living in Missouri, and that could have been why S.G. and J.J. Eubank returned to Missouri in the late 1860's or early 1870's.
I read somewhere that a Eubank relative may have moved from Tennessee to Missouri in the 1820's or 1830's. This may have been because there was a very bad financial depression in Tennessee from the 1810's to 1820's, so perhaps that Eubank family member went to Missouri to improve their financial situation. This person may have been S.G. Eubank's older brother, who was supposedly named Thomas, but I have no proof of that. There was also an Achilles J. Eubank living in Missouri in the 1860's, who was born in 1826 so would have been about the same age as James Joseph, and perhaps they were cousins.
Family legend states that S.G. Eubank's father died when he was very young, and being the second-born son, S.G. did not inherit much from his father's estate. His mother was reported to be a wealthy heiress, but for some reason, she apprenticed Stephen to a master carpenter, and Stephen learned the carpentry trade. Stephen must have taught this trade to his son, James Joseph, who was listed as a carpenter in many of his public records, and James Joseph taught that skill to at least two of his sons, Euzell, and Lee Edward, who also both worked as carpenters for most of their lives.
A Eubank cousin told me that S.G. and James Joseph made cabinets and a desk for Abraham Lincoln which was on display at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, but as yet I've found no written evidence to confirm the story of a Lincoln Desk built by the Eubank's or that it was on display at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. It would be wonderful to actually find a photograph of that Lincoln desk built by the Eubank's!
An 1820 census record for James Joseph's maternal grandfather, James Branch, showed that his family owned 17 slaves, and in the 1840 census 11 slaves, so it seems quite certain that Susannah's Branch family members were very well to do if they owned that many slaves. Another Eubank cousin told me that two of the Branch family slaves were given to S.G. Eubank and his wife Susannah when they married, and there are some family records indicating that S.G. Eubank sold those slaves after the death of his wife, Susannah, before he moved to Illinois with their daughter Martha. Family records show that Martha's nurse, a black woman, was sold for $2,500.00. Martha Ann was only 5 years old at the time, and she cried for her nurse not to be sold.
Family records also show that S.G. Eubank gave one of his male slaves his freedom after Susannah's death, and set him up in the barber profession, and after that the slave was known as Billie the Barber. The story goes that after S.G. Eubank sold his home and slaves in Missouri, the money from the sale was put into a hair-cloth trunk which was stashed in the coach that S.G.'s coachman used to drive S.G. and Martha to Illinois from Missouri, and that Billie the Barber was that coachman. This may, or may not be true, of course! Supposedly the proceeds from the sale of their house in Missouri, their slaves and household goods brought a total of $28,000.00 which was put in that trunk. A descendant of S.G. Eubank still has that trunk somewhere in their possessions.
In the 1870 census when James Joseph and his second wife, Elsie, were living in Missouri with their first child, Uselle, who was 2 years old, Uselle was listed in the census record as a female child. However, obviously that was an error on the part of the census taker, and Uselle was obviously a male child, and was my grandfather, Stephen James Eubank, who was born in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, according to my grandmother's written Bible records.
I've found no other public records for a Stephen James Eubank born in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1868, only this 1870 census record for his parents and a two year old female child named Uselle. Their child was known as Uselle in the 1870 census, Eucell in the 1880 census, and Euzell and Stephen James Eubank in voter registration records during the 1890's and early 1900's in California. From about 1905 to 1909, Stephen James Eubank disappeared from public records until 1909 when he married my grandmother, Dorthea Evelyn Rollins Eubank, in Safford, Arizona. Then he showed up again in public records in 1915 when they were living in Seattle, Washington, with their three children, Frances Amelia, Elsie Louise and James Rollins Eubank.
On March 13, 1873, James Joseph Eubank completed his Civil War pension application, and the service record on that application stated that his service included: Company C, 124th Illinois Infantry, then Company M, 4th U.S.C. Heavy Artillery, then Company M, 5th, U.S.C. Heavy Artillery, and finally Company M, 1st Mississippi Heavy Artillery. His "class" was listed as invalid in the 1873 application, and then his widow, Elsie J. Eubank, filed for his widow's pension on July 8, 1907, the month after James Joseph passed away in the Old Soldier's Home in West Los Angeles, on June 4, 1907.
In 1875 James Joseph petitioned for an increase in his Civil War pension from Sedalia, Pettis County, due to increasing disability. He may have moved from Lafayette, Clay County, Missouri, back to Sedalia, Missouri, (where Uselle was born) after the death of his father S.G. Eubank in 1872. Although I'm not certain that S.G. Eubank was still living in Clay, Lafayette County, Missouri, when he died at the age of 68 in 1972, because an obituary stated he was living at "his residence in Zanesville, Illinois, when he died, and was honored by all who knew him."
S.G. Eubank's daughter, Mary Susannah Eubank Rogers, lived in Zanesville, Illinois, in about 1870, so S.G. may have been visiting or living with Mary when he passed away in March, 1872. By 1880, S.G.'s widow, Sarah, was living in Nilwood, Illinois, with her children, and she probably moved there to be closer to her family members after the death of her husband.
By the 1880 U.S. Census, James Joseph Eubank(s) was once again living in Sedalia, Missouri, where he was listed as a 53-year old house carpenter, living with his wife Elsie (mis-spelled as Alsy) and sons Eucell, 12, Lee Edward, 9, and daughter Laura Elsie, 6. This census record showed that James Joseph and his parents were born in Tennessee, and that Elsie was born in Ohio, and her parents were born in Pennsylvania, which is the correct information for all of the family members.
Sometime in the 1870's, public records indicated that James Joseph paid cash for 120 acres of land in Nevada County, California. However, other public records also show he sold that land in 1875. Sometime after the 1880 census in Missouri, James Joseph moved back to California, and it is assumed that his family moved with him at that time. Later pension application records written by Elsie when she was applying as a widow for James Joseph's Civil War Pension, she stated that they were living in San Diego, California, in 1883.
The land James Joseph owned in Nevada County, was about 265 miles north of Tulare County, which may have been purchased for purposes other than as a residence. Nevada County, California, is only about 45 miles from where gold was discovered in 1848 at Sutter's Mill, located in Coloma, California. James Joseph had been in California for about eight years working as a gold miner from 1853 to 1861, after leaving his first wife, Nancy Ann Trent, and two sons, William and James Gideon Eubank, in Illinois. Maybe James Joseph was still hoping to strike it rich as a gold miner in the 1870's when he was already in his 50's, and that may have been why he purchased land in Nevada County, but did not live there.
When James Joseph applied for an increase in his pension in California in the 1890's, he stated that his wife, Elsie, was living in Hollywood, California. But there were also voter registration records for James Joseph and his two sons, Euzell, and Lee Edward, showing they were living in Tulare, Tulare County, California, in the 1890's. Tulare is located about 170 miles north of Los Angeles, so perhaps they were living apart for some reason at the time.
California Voter Registration records from the 1890's onward show that James Joseph and both of his sons, Euzell and Lee Edward, were living with or near him in Tulare, California. The California Voters Register with a registration date of 9/15/1890, showed James Joseph Eubank(s), age 64, was living in Tulare, and that he was born in Tennessee, and his occupation was as a carpenter.
On the same page of this voter registration record, his son, Euzell J. Eubank(s), (my grandfather, Stephen James Eubank) was listed as being 22 years old, born in Missouri, and also working as a carpenter. Euzell's voter registration date of 10/2/1890 was only a couple of weeks after his father's registration date. Euzell was also living in the town of Tulare, perhaps with his father, but there were no street addresses shown in these voter registration records, unfortunately.
Online records from Family Search.org show that the United States National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was where James J. Eubank was living in 1891 at Sawtelle, California. This place was commonly known as The Old Soldiers' Home. Sawtelle, California, is now known as West Los Angeles, and the Old Soldiers' Home is now known as the Veteran's Administration Hospital. In this record, James Joseph was listed as a Protestant, born in Tennessee, was 64 years old, 5'9" tall, with a light complexion, and his occupation was as a carpenter. The record shows the following sources: NARA publication title, Historical Registers of National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers; NARA publication number M1749; NARA roll number 194; film number 1577623; digital folder number 004172584 and image number 00500.
These records also state that James Joseph's residence subsequent to discharge from the Old Soldier's Home was in Tulare, California, and that he was married to Elsie J. Eubank of Tulare, California. However below her name on this record was a home address of 335 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood, California, which about 170 miles south of Tulare. Perhaps that was an address for Elsie after James Joseph's death in 1907. He was admitted to the Old Soldier's Home on June 15, 1891, and was discharged on September 29, 1891, at his request. This record shows that his rate of pension was $8.00 which I assume meant per month. That amount was increased to $10 and then $12 and then $30, which may have been the amount of pension Elsie received after his death.
James Joseph reapplied for his Civil War pension from Tulare, Tulare County, California, in 1892. The 1892 voter registration record shows Lee Edward Eubank, (James and Elsie's second son), was 5'10" tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair, born in Missouri, living in Tulare. His voter registration date was 8/2/1892. James Joseph was listed on the same page, was 66 years old, 5'8" tall, with a light complexion, gray eyes and hair, and his sight gone in his right eye, born in Tennessee, also living in Tulare. James Joseph's voter registration date is 8/3/1892, the day after Lee's.
James Joseph was listed in the California Voter Register for 1896 showing that he was a 70-year old carpenter, 5'8" tall, with a light complexion, gray eyes and hair, with his "right eye out", born in Tennessee, living in the Old Soldier's Home in West Los Angeles, with a registration date of June 2, 1896. He had been readmitted to the home on March 24, 1896. According to a statement Elsie gave when she applied for James Joseph's pension after his death, the reason his "right eye was out" was because during the Civil War he had been chopping wood and a wood chip flew in his eye, causing it to be damaged. I don't know how long it took for him to be blind in that eye, but he was obviously blind in that eye in 1896, some 30 years after the Civil War ended.
For some reason James Joseph's son, Euzell, (or my grandfather, Stephen James Eubank) was not listed in the 1892 Tulare, California, voter registration records, nor was he found in any voter registration records after the one shown above dated 1890. I don't know where Euzell was living for nearly a twelve year period from 1890 to 1902, when I found a U.S. City Directory Listing for him living at 1918 S. Main Street, Los Angeles. By that time, his parents had also moved to Los Angeles. In the same 1902 U.S. City Directory Listing, his father, James Joseph was living at 947 E. 54th Street in Los Angeles. The address on E. 54th Street and 1918 S. Main Street in Los Angeles are only about 3 and a half miles apart, however, so son and father were not living too far apart in the early 1900's.
By 1902, James Joseph and Elsie's daughter, Laura Elsie had already been married to her husband, Otto Classen, for about four years. James and Elsie's other son, Lee Edward, was living with his mother in the 1900 census at 945 E. 54th Street address, but I don't know where they were living in 1902, but it does not appear they were living with James Joseph at that time. The 1900 U.S. Federal Census for the Pacific Branch of the National Home for disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Los Angeles, California, showed that James J. Eubank was an "inmate" at that facility. But In this listing he was shown to have been born in September of 1822 in Ohio and was a 77 year old widower. This must have been an error on the part of the census taker or this was a different James J. Eubank.
A 1904 U.S. City Directory listing, showed that Stephen James Eubank was "boarding" at 947 E. 54th Street, and his mother, Elsie was at the same address, but neither James Joseph nor Lee Edward were shown in that directory listing. Maybe James Joseph was living at the Old Soldier's Home in 1904, but where was Lee Edward? I know he and a neighbor girl, Jessie Pugh, applied for a marriage license in May of 1901, but if they married, they were not married long, because she was living with her parents again in the 1910 census record. In 1905, Lee Edward and his father, James Joseph, were both living at the 947 E. 54th Street address. Neither Elsie or Stephen James Eubank were listed in the directory listing for 1905, so I don't know where they were living at that time.
The next time my grandfather, Euzell or Stephen James Eubank, showed up in the U.S. Census was 1910 when he was living in Phoenix, Arizona, and was married to my grandmother, Dorthea Evelyn Rollins Eubank. They were married in 1909 in Yuma, Arizona. Soon after, Stephen and Evelyn moved to San Diego, California, where my mother, Frances Amelia Eubank Smith, was born on October 14, 1911.
Dorthea Evelyn Rollins' mother, Dortha Roxana Madsen Rollins McKinney, had a sister-in-law, Margaret Eve Rollins, who married Thomas Harbo Rynning in 1902. He was an Arizona sheriff and head of the Territorial Prison in Arizona. Sometime in the early 1900's Maggie and Tom were living in San Diego, so that may be why Evelyn and Stephen James Eubank moved to San Diego in 1911, to be near relatives. Tom was working as a building contractor around that time, so because Stephen was a carpenter, he may have been building homes with Tom in San Diego. We also know that Stephen had previously lived in Los Angeles from about 1901 to 1904, so he was already familiar with the Southern California area.
Two years later Stephen James Eubank and his wife Dorthea Evelyn and their daughter, Frances, were living in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, where their second child, Elsie Louise, was born in 1913, and Stephen was working as a building and mining contractor on the Alice Arm mine. Two years later the family was living in Seattle, Washington, where their third child, James Rollins Eubank was born in 1915. It appears they lived in Seattle from about 1915 to 1917, then moved to Portland, Oregon, and lived there from about 1917 to 1918. Perhaps they moved to Washington state because Stephen's half-brother, James Gideon Eubank, had been living in the Seattle area from around 1884 until he passed away in 1926. James Gideon Eubank was about 15 years older than Stephen, so he may have been somewhat of a father figure to Stephen after the death of their father, James Joseph, in 1907. Although it does not appear that James Gideon Eubank ever lived with his father after his birth in 1853 when James Joseph was out in California during the Gold Rush.
Both 1917 and 1918 U.S. City Directory listings show that Stephen and Dorthea Evelyn were living in Portland, Oregon. Maybe they were working their way back to California from Canada and Seattle. However, by 1919, Stephen James Eubank and his wife Dorthea Evelyn were having marital difficulties, and shortly after that they separated. In about 1920 or 1921, Evelyn was living in Bakersfield, California, with her three children, and her mother, Dortha, and Dortha's three children by her second husband, Joseph Thomas McKinney, who were Dan Carroll, Thelma Josephine and Gladys Violet McKinney. Evelyn's brother, John Delbert Rollins, was also living in Bakersfield at the time, and was working as an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad. His half-brother, Dan Carroll McKinney, was also working for the railroad as a fireman.
Evelyn was granted a divorce from Stephen on the grounds of "willful desertion" in Bakersfield in 1923 according to her family Bible Records. Evelyn and her children moved to Los Angeles about 1924, and her son, James Rollins Eubank, was baptized in the Adams Ward of the LDS Church in Los Angeles that year. My mother told me that the only other time she saw her father after he abandoned their family was when she was about 14 years old, when he came to visit with her and her mother and siblings. They were living in Los Angeles at that time, which would have been about 1925. Evelyn may have moved to Los Angeles, because other family members were living there, including Stephen James Eubank's sister, Laura Elsie Eubank Classen and brother Lee Edward Eubank. Some of the Rollins and West family members had also moved to the L.A. area in the early 1900's from Arizona and Utah, and they may have provided some support for Evelyn and her children who had no father at that time.
Getting back to James Joseph...he was readmitted to the Old Soldiers Home in West Los Angeles, California, on March 24, 1896. The record does not show a discharge date however. The California Voter Register with a registration date of June 8, 1896, showed that James Joseph was 70 years old, living at the Old Soldier's Home, was born about 1826 in Tennessee, was 5'8" tall, had a light complexion, grey eyes and hair, with his right eye out, and was a carpenter,
But there was also an 1896 listing in a 1896 U.S. City Directories, specifically, Maxwell's Los Angeles City Directory and Gazeteer of Southern California, which showed James Joseph Eubank, a carpenter, was living at 777 Elmore Avenue, with his son, Lee Edward, a mill hand at Alta Planing Mill Company, his daughter, Miss Laura E. Eubank, a dressmaker, and a room mate, Miss A.J. Gastren. However, James Joseph's wife, Elsie, and his son, Euzell, or Stephen James Eubank, were not shown in this directory listing, so I don't know where they were living at the time. James Joseph seemed to be in and out of the Old Soldier's home between the years of 1891 and 1896 and possibly longer, since he died there in 1907.
In a 1897 U.S. City Directory, James J. Eubank was living at 777 Elmore Avenue, but his daughter, Laura, dressmaker, and Miss A.J. Gastren, were living at a 54th Street address near 3rd and west of Central Avenue, and Lee E. Eubank, carpenter, was living with them. But once again, Elsie and Stephen James Eubank were not listed in this directory for some reason. There was an Adah M. Eubank(s) a dressmaker, who was living on Dorchester between Rosedale and Juarez Avenue, and an Alfred S. Eubank(s), carpenter, who was living at the same address. There was also a John W. Eubank(s) working as a waiter and living at 124-1/2 San Pedro Street, but I don't know if they were related to my great grandfather, James Joseph Eubank.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, James Joseph's wife, Elsie Eubank, 59, who was born in August of 1840 in Ohio, was living in Los Angeles, at 947 54th Street. The record stated she was married in 1865, her parents were both born in Pennsylvania, and she had three living children. Living with her at the same address was her son, Lee Edward, 27. Her daughter, Laura Elsie, was not living there since she married Otto Classen, an artist from Germany, in 1898. There was no listing of James Joseph or Euzell, or Stephen James Eubank, in this census record so I don't know where they were living at the time, although James Joseph may have been readmitted to the Old Soldier's Home again by that time.
In a 1901 U.S. City Directory, James Joseph and Lee Edward, both carpenters, were living at 947 54th Street, the address where Elsie and Lee Edward were living the previous year, but Elsie was not listed as living there in 1901. In a 1901 U.S. City Directory, Stephen James Eubank was living at 1918 S. Main Street in Los Angeles, which is about three and a half miles from the 54th Street address of his father and brother.
In a 1902 U.S. City Directory, James J. Eubank was living at 947 E. 54th Street, and his son, Stephen J. Eubank, was working as a laborer for Alexander & Beyrle, and was rooming at 1918 South Main Street. There was no listing for Elsie or Lee Edward in that directory.
In a 1903 U.S. City Directory, Elsie J. and Lee E. Eubank, still an employee for Alta Planning Mill Company, were living at the same address on E. 54th Street, but James Joseph was not listed there, so once again he may have been readmitted to the Old Soldier's home. Stephen James Eubank was listed at the East 54th Street address in the 1904 U.S. City Directory, but none of the rest of his family was living there at that time. It seems like this family had kind of a "musical chairs" existence as to their living circumstances from about 1890 until James Joseph's death on June 4, 1907.
A 1905 U.S. City Directory for Los Angeles showed that James J. Eubank was living at 951 E. 54th Street along with his son, Lee E., a carpenter. On the same directory page were listed a James M. Eubank(s) living at 296 S. Avenue 21, and a Joseph E. Eubank(s) living at 636-1/2 Lamar, who was a partner in a company called Eubanks & Snyder, which was a saloon located at 691 Moulton Avenue. I wonder if they were related to James Joseph Eubank.
Per James Joseph's Civil War pension application, his wife Elsie was living on North Highland Avenue in Hollywood, but maybe that was when James Joseph went back to live at the Old Soldier's Home. By the 1910 U.S. Census, Elsie was listed as a widow living in Hollywood with her daughter, Laura Elsie Eubank Classen, and Laura Elsie's husband, Otto. James Joseph had died on June 4, 1907, and was buried in the National Cemetery in West Los Angeles, just down the road from where he had been living at the Old Soldier's Home. And just two years later, Stephen James Eubank was living in Phoenix, Arizona, with his new wife, Dorthea Evelyn Rollins Eubank, who were married in April of 1909. I wonder if Stephen and Dorthea Evelyn met in Los Angeles or in Arizona?!
James Joseph's California death certificate (issued at the Old Soldier's Home) said he was born in 1827 (actually born December 11, 1826) in Tennessee, but sadly, there was no record of his parents names on his death certificate. The information on his death certificate was given by a staff person at the Old Soldiers' Home, so they probably had no knowledge of James Joseph's parents. His death certificate indicated his death was due to dementia, but I've seen other records stating his cause of death was "Chronic Intertestial Pneumonia".
James Joseph was buried in the National Cemetery for war veterans along Sepulveda Boulevard, which runs parallel to the 405-San Diego Freeway in West Los Angeles. The cemetery is located at 950 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles. His grave is located in Section 13, Row D, Site 13, and his gravestone there reads J.J. Eubank, 1st SGT U.S. Army. This cemetery is just a couple of blocks away from the Old Soldier's Home where he lived off and on from 1891 to at least 1896, and perhaps even longer, maybe even until his death in 1907. I took pictures of his headstone and the area around his grave when I was there in 2010, finally getting to visit his grave over 100 years after his death. Previously, I did not even know that this was his final resting place. Ironically, I worked about five miles from his grave from December of 1968 to April of 1972 and never knew he was at rest so close by.
This is pure speculation on my part but James Joseph may have been named "James" after his mother's father, James Branch, or her brother, James Goode Branch, whose wife was Sarah Uzzell. And James Joseph may have named his son Uselle (Eucell, Euzell or Stephen James Eubank) after his uncle James Goode Branch's wife Sarah Uzzell. Perhaps James Goode Branch and his wife Sarah Uzzell were the family members James Joseph went to live with after his mother's death in 1833, and then her mother's death in 1939 and her father's death in 1844. James Goode Branch had a twin brother, William Minor Branch, who married Sarah Uzzell's sister, Mary Ann, and James Joseph may have also lived with William and Mary Ann for a time. That may be why James Joseph named his first child he had with his first wife, William and their second child James. And he and his second wife Elsie may have named their first-born son, "Uselle" or "Euzell" (Stephen James Eubank) in honor of the aunts, the Uzzell sisters, who helped raised James Joseph for sixteen years after his mother's death, and after his grandparents' death.
James Goode Branch and William Minor Branch and their wives, Sarah and Mary Ann Uzzell Eubank may have been like surrogate parents to James Joseph during the 15 or 16 years he lived with his Branch family members in Tennessee. It appears that James Joseph stayed in Tennessee until he was about 21 or 22 years old and then went to live near his father's family in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, around 1848 or 1849, since he married his first wife, Nancy Ann Trent, in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois in 1849.
My mother knew her father (and James Joseph's son) as Stephen James Eubank, not Uselle or Eucell or Euzell. No one in my family ever mentioned the names Uselle, Eucell or Euzell. Maybe the reason he adopted the name Stephen was for James Joseph's father, Stephen Green Eubank, who died 4 years after Stephen James Eubank was born in 1868. Stephen James Eubank's middle name of James may have been for his father, James Joseph's first name, or that of James Joseph's maternal grandfather James Branch, or his uncle, James Goode Branch, and Uselle was his given name in honor of the Uzzell sisters, his aunts who may have helped raise him.
Sadly, I don't know if any of this is true, and no one from those days is around to verify the theory. It could also be that Stephen James Eubank changed his name from Uselle/Eucell/Euzell because he had a past to hide. Perhaps he was also married before marrying my grandmother, and had another family, just as his father had done, but who knows! He was about 41 years old when they were married and my grandmother was just 23 at the time. It is also possible that he married another woman after he left my grandmother and their children, and if so I probably have more Eubank cousins somewhere that I will never know, which is kind of sad!
James Joseph Eubank's widow, Elsie Jane, was living at 415 North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, as shown in a 1911 U.S. City Directory. According to a California Death Index record, Elsie J. Eubank passed away seven years later at the age of 76 on December 16, 1918, and was buried in Los Angeles, California.
Unfortunately, that is all I know about James Joseph Eubank and his life and family, and I sure wish there was more information! The only other information I have about James Joseph Eubank was in a letter written by his half sister, Helen Eubank Chism (born 1846 in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois), which she wrote in July of 1864, when the Eubank family was living in Kickapoo, Kansas (near Fort Leavenworth) during the Civil War.
In that letter which Helen wrote to her half-sister, Margaret Green Eubank Wickersham, in Springfield, Illinois, Helen asked Margaret where she could write to their half-sister, Martha Ann Eubank Osborn, James Joseph's sister, to have Martha send a "likeness" of Jim to their father. I suppose that what she meant by a "likeness" was a photograph of James Joseph.
Evidently S.G. Eubank had not seen nor heard from his first-born son, James Joseph, for quite a while when he was serving in the Civil War. According to Helen's letter to Margaret, S.G. Eubank carried a letter he received from James Joseph in his jacket pocket for over a year. Evidently S.G. loved and missed his first-born son very much. A transcript of the letter Helen wrote to Margaret is included on Helen Eubank Chism's Geni profile page under the "About Me" section.
Stephen Green Eubank's first-born son, James Joseph, was born in 1826, his sister Martha 1828, and then two more daughters by his second wife in 1836 and 1838, and two more daughters by his third wife in 1846 and 1848, before S.G. Eubank had his next son, Stephen Thomas Eubank, born in 1850, 24 years after James Joseph's birth in 1826. It's no wonder Stephen loved and cherished his first-born son, James Joseph very much.
Della Dale Smith
His great grand daughter
Revised: 11/27/2014, Thanksgiving Day.
P.S. When I went to visit James Joseph's grave at the Veteran's National Cemetery in Los Angeles in 2010, I was really struck by what a beautiful and peaceful place it is, and I took a few pictures of his headstone and the area surrounding his grave. I'm glad I have those photos as a reminder of his memory. Rest in peace, great grandfather. You were obviously loved by many! I am thankful that you were my ancestor even if you seemed to be quite a rascal! And we should all be proud of your service for the Union Army during the Civil War!
I also found a public record for a James Eubank, born in 1826, who married a Jane Garvan in Sevier, Arkansas, on March 20, 1859. This was supposedly the time frame that James Joseph was out in California working as a gold miner. Could James Joseph have returned to the mid-west sometime before 1861-2 (when we know he was in Illinois) and married another woman? Jane Garvan was from Sevier, Arkansas, and was 35 years old at the time she married James Eubank, who was 33 years old at the time of their marriage.
I found another public record for a James Eubank, 30, living in Refugio, Texas, in 1860, working as a laborer and living with someone (a male) named A. Fore. Next door was a woman named Susan Eubank, 25, and children, Lucy, 6, Jennie, 4, and Julia A., 6 months old. Could they have been relatives of James J. Eubank? Were they another of his families? Guess we will never know!
James Joseph Eubank's Timeline
December 11, 1826
Maury, TN, USA
Petersburg, Menard, Illinois, USA
May 29, 1853
Springfield, IL, USA
February 25, 1868
Sedalia, Pettis, Missouri, United States
July 20, 1870
Missouri, United States
October 6, 1873
Missouri, United States
June 4, 1907
Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States
West Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA
Nancy Ann Trent married James Joseph Eubank June 21, 1849 in Petersburgh, Menard County, Illinois