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 Q. Branch Eubank, who were married in Maury County in March of 1826. Two years later, his sister, Martha Ann, was born about two years later 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 Green Eubank was listed in Williamson County, Tennessee. Probably not long after that, Stephen Green Eubank and Susannah Quarles Branch Eubank, 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 as James Joseph Eubank.
After sending James Joseph back to Tennessee to live with the Branch family, Stephen Green Eubank took his 5 year old daughter, Martha Ann, and 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 Stephen Green Eubank, and William Herndon was Abraham Lincoln's law firm partner in Springfield. The Herndon home is 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 back to Springfield, Illinois. Their second daughter, Margaret Green Eubank, was born in Springfield in either 1838 or 1839.
While visiting the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois, in 2012, I found information about a website that lists all of Abraham Lincoln's court cases he tried when he was in Springfield. Stephen Green 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 death. Evidently, they failed to convey a deed for the sold property, and that was the nature of the lawsuit.
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 Q. Branch Eubank 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 and has a very large monutment.
After the death of Mary Ann Phillips, her two daughters with S.G. Eubank, Mary Susannah, and Margaret Green Eubank, were sent to live with Mary Ann's brother, Moreau Phillips, in Springfield, Illinois. They lived with their uncle Moreau Phillips until sometime before 1850 when they were reunited with their father who had married his third wife, Sarah Armstrong Waggoner, on August 7, 1845, in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois.
Supposedly, from about 1841-1845, after Mary Ann Phillips Eubank's death, S.G. Eubank 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 which is located on 8th Street and 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.
After S.G. Eubank married his third wife, Sarah, they 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 Green Eubank 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 other sons, Robert, George and Lorin never survived to adulthood--only their daughters survived.
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 Eubank is sketchy, but the U.S. Census taken in August of 1850, shows James Joseph Eubank(s), 22, a cabinetmaker was living in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, with his wife, Nancy Ann, 17, and their 1 month old son, William A., who I learned from a later census record was disabled and was suffering from paralysis. In another census record he was listed as "dumb."
Either before or shortly after they had their second son, James Gideon Philo Eubank, in 1853, James Joseph left his family 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 two boys. She married Peter Shult 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 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!
I did find an 1860 U.S. Federal Census taken on July 12th for a James Eubank, 30 years old, born in Tennessee, who was living in Refugio, Texas, next door to a Susan Eubank, 25, and children Lucy, 6, Jennie, 4 and Julia, 6 months old. James was working as a laborer. Could this have been a relative that James was living near after returning from California? Susan Eubank was born in Alabama, and the three children in Texas. I'm not sure that this is my great grandfather, since James Joseph Eubank would have been 33 years old in 1860, not 30 years old. Also found a Texas County Tax record for James Eubank living in Bastrop County, Texas in 1855, but again, I doubt this was my great grandfather, James Joseph Eubank.
We don't know exactly where James Joseph went when he returned to Illinois from California around 1861 and found his wife married to 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. Then on August 14, 1862, James Joseph joined the U.S. Army as a private in Company C of the 124th Illinois Infantry, and was served in the Civil War. His brother-in-law, William Hawkins Wickersham, the husband of James Joseph's half-sister, Margaret Green Eubank, joined up the same day and the same place as James Joseph. William also served in Company C of the 124th Illinois Infantry.
On June 29, 1863, James was wounded by a shell to the back of his knees during the Battle of Vicksburg. 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 Sgt. 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 disability caused by the shell wound to the back of his knees at Vicksburg. 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, white, 5'9" tall, with grey eyes and light colored hair, born in Maury, Tennessee, occupation 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 Sgt. from Private Company C., 124th Regiment Illinois Infantry. He was discharged August 28, 1865, for disability due to the injury at the Battle of Vicksburg.
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 Volunteers. He was promoted to Sargent in Company "M", 5th Mississippi U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, on December 31, 1863, 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. James Joseph was discharged from service on August 28, 1865, due to injuries and debilities he suffered while at the Battle at Vicksburg.
Sadly, James Joseph's half sister, Margaret Green Eubank Wickersham and her husband, William Hawk 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, where he and James Joseph served 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, or if was simply a coincidence that little Frankie's name was Franklin.
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, IL. 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 sometime before 1859.
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. I believe 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 that has yet to be confirmed.
There was a fairly large land grant which took place in Kansas in 1854 after the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law on May 30, 1854, so perhaps that is why the Eubank family moved to Kansas around 1859 to take advantage of the land grant and have better opportunities for financial advancement.
By the 1870 U.S. Census, S.G. Eubank, his wife Sarah, and their children, along with S.G.'s first-born son, James Joseph Eubank, and his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser Eubank, and his third child, Uselle (aka Stephen James Eubank, my grandfather) were living in Clay Township, Lafayette County, Missouri. James Joseph married his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser, in Wathena, Kansas, in 1866, and their first child was born in Sedalia, Missouri, in February of 1868. This leads me to believe that James Joseph must have gone to Kansas to visit his father's family after staying with Martha in Illinois for a while after the Civil War ended in 1865, and that is where James Joseph met and married his second wife, Elsie Jane Rouser Eubank.
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 also unknown. However, we know that S.G. Eubank's first wife, (and James Joseph's mother) Susannah Quarles Branch Eubank, had died in Palmyra, Missouri, in about 1833. Maybe there were other Eubank family members living in Missouri and that's why S.G. and J.J. 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.
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 during their lives.
A Eubank cousin tells 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!
In a 1820 census record for James Branch, James Joseph's maternal grandfather, his family owned about 17 slaves, and around 11 slaves in the 1840 census, 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 there 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 family member of S.G. Eubank still has that trunk somewhere.
In the 1870 census, living with James Joseph and his second wife, Elsie, was their first child, Uselle, (or my grandfather, Stephen James Eubank) who was 2 years old in this census record. Uselle was listed in the census as a female child, but that was obviously an error on the part of the census taker. Stephen James Eubank was born in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, according to my grandmother's written Bible records. I can find no other public records for a Stephen James Eubank born in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1868, only this 1870 census record of his parents and a two year old female child named Uselle, so this child had to be my grandfather Stephen James Eubank.
James Joseph Eubank completed a pension application on March 31, 1873. The service record on that application states that his service included: Company C, 124th Illinois Infantry, then M 4 U.S.C. Heavy Artillery, then M 4, U.S.C. Heavy Artillery, and finally M 1 Mississippi U.S.C. Heave Artillery.
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 back to Sedalia 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 Susanna 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 was once again living in Sedalia, Missouri, where he was listed as being a 53-year old house carpenter, living with his wife Elsie (mis-spelled as Asly) and sons Eucell (Uselle), 12, Lee Edward, 9, and daughter Laura Elsie, 6. This census record says that James Joseph's father was born in Tennessee, and that Elsie was born in Ohio, and her parents were born in Pennsylvania, which is correct.
In 1877, public records indicate James Joseph paid cash for 120 acres of land in Nevada County, California. Sometime after 1880, James Joseph moved back to California. It is assumed that his family moved with him at that time, because pension application records indicate his wife Elsie was living in Hollywood, California, when he reapplied for his pension in California. There are also voter registration records for James Joseph and his two sons, Euzell, and Lee Edward, living in Tulare, California, in the 1890's.
James Joseph's voter registration records from the 1890's show he was living in Tulare, California, which is about 170 miles north of Hollywood. Perhaps his land in Nevada County, which is 265 miles north of Tulare County, was 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 late 1870's and early 1880's, when he was already in his 50's, and that is why he purchased land in Nevada County, but did not live there.
California Voter Registration records from the 1890's show James Joseph and both of his sons, Euzell and Lee Edward, were living with or near him in Tulare, California. The California Voters Registers, 1866-1898, with a registration date of 9/15/1890, showed James Joseph Eubank(s), age 64, living in Tulare. The record states 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. 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. 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.
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 is 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 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 Eubank 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.
For some reason James Joseph's son, Euzell, (or rather 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 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.
In the same 1902 U.S. City Directory Listing, his father, James Joseph Eubank was living alone 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.
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 the 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.
In a 1904 U.S. City Directory listing, Stephen James Eubank was listed as "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 back at the Old Soldier's Home in 1904, but where was Lee Edward? I know that he and a neighbor girl, Jessie Pugh, had 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 a later census record, and 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 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, 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 about 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.
A U.S. City Directory listing shows that Stephen and Dorthea Evelyn were living in Portland, Oregon, in 1917 and 1918. 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, Thelma and Gladys McKinney.
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 around 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 or 1926.
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, born about 1826, was 5'8" tall, had a light complexion, grey eyes and hair, with his right eye out, and was a carpenter born in Tennessee.
However, there was also an 1896 listing in the "U.S. City Directories (1821-1989)", specifically, Maxwell's Los Angeles City Directory and Gazeteer of Southern California, showing James Joseph Eubank, 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 the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, James Joseph's second wife, Elsie Eubank, 59, who was born in August of 1840 in Ohio, was living in Los Angeles, Ward 6, at 947 54th Street. The record states 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 the 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.
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 in 1904. It seems like this family had kind of a "musical chairs" existence as to their living circumstances from about 1891 to 1907.
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. And just two years later, Stephen James Eubank was living in Arizona with his new wife, Dorthea Evelyn Rollins Eubank, who were married in April of 1909.
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. 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 her father's death in 1844. That may be why James Joseph named his first child he had with Elsie "Uselle" or "Euzell" (Stephen James Eubank) in honor of the aunt and uncle who raised him for sixteen years after his mother's death. I'm not sure of the exact spelling, since James Joseph's son is listed alternately as either Uselle, Eucell or Euzell in various census records, but I'm fairly certain that his aunt Sarah's last name was spelled Uzzell.
Sarah Uzzell's sister, Mary Ann, married another of Susannah's brothers, William Branch, who was the twin brother of James Goode Branch, so perhaps the Uzzell sisters had quite an affect on James Joseph growing up. They may have even been surrogate mothers to him during the 15 or 16 years he lived with his Branch family members in Tennessee after his mother's death in Missouri in 1832 or 1833. It appears that James Joseph stayed in Tennessee until he was about 21 or 22 years old and went to live near his father's family in Petersburg, Menard County, Illinois, about 1848 or 1849, which was the year he married his first wife, Nancy Ann Trent, in Petersburg.
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 name 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. The 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 the Uselle for his aunt Sarah Uzzell Branch's maiden name.
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 have Eubank cousins somewhere that I will never know.
James Joseph Eubank's widow, Elsie J., 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 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 is 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 Petersburg, Illinois, Helen asked Margaret where they 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.
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!
Della Dale Smith
His great grand daughter
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!
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