Ethel Rose Owens

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Ethel Rose Owens (James)

Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
Death: December 21, 1991 (83)
Huntington Beach, Orange, California, USA
Place of Burial: Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Jesse "Tim" Edwards James, Jr. and Stella Frances James
Wife of Calvin Tilden Owens
Sister of Lucille Martha James; Josephine Frances Ross and Estelle Jessie Baumel

Managed by: Patti Kay Gourley
Last Updated:

About Ethel Rose Owens

Birth: Jul. 10, 1908 Nashville Davidson County Tennessee, USA Death: Dec. 21, 1991 Huntington Beach Orange County California, USA

Ethel Rose James Owens, 83, the last of Jesse James' Grandchildren, died Saturday, December 21, 1991, at a Retirement Home in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California.

She was Buried, Sunday, December 22, 1991, in the Family Plot at Inglewood Cemetery, Inglewood, Los Angeles County, CA, beside her Beloved Husband, Calvin Tilden Owens.

Mrs.Owens Married Building Contractor, Calvin Tilden Owens in 1937. They had no Children.

When he died in 1975, she left the Home he built for her on a Hill in Santa Monica, CA; and moved with her Artifacts of her late Grandfather, Jesse James, to Huntington Beach, CA.

She is the Daughter of Jesse James' only Son, Jesse Edward "Tim" James and Stella McGowan James. They were Married January 02, 1900, in the Parlor of his Mother's home, as she was too sick to attend the wedding. They had four Daughters, Lucielle Martha James; Josephine Frances James; Jessie Estell James; and Ethel Rose James.

Jesse Edward James was an Attorney in Kansas City, MO, but suffered from poor health. In 1926 he moved his Family from Missouri to Southern California and continued his Law Practice in Los Angeles, CA.

He wrote a Book Entitled "Jesse James, My Father" that was published in 1899. He appeared in the 1921 films, "Jesse James Under The Black Flag" and "Jesse James As the Outlaw"; along with his Sister, Mary James-Barr. He and his Wife are both Buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, Los Angeles County, CA.

Mrs. Owens worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in Los Angeles, CA for many years.

She was preceded in death by her Husband; her Parents; and three Sisters.

She kept for many years the Artifacts of her Grandfather Jesse James', Guns, Clothing and even his Wallet hidden in her Mobile Home in Huntington Beach, CA. Tucked underneath Cans of Corn and Beans in her Kitchen were the Boots Jesse James wore the day he was Shot to death by Robert Ford in 1882.

A Winchester Rifle, a Colt Revolver and a Shotgun were stashed with other Keepsakes behind a Fake Fireplace in the Den. She also had Jesse James' Spurs, Wallet, Coin Purse, Horse Bridle, Boot Brush, Neck Warmer and Cartridge Belt. She loaned the Heirlooms to the Jesse James Museum in Kearney, MO out of fear they might be stolen.

Her Nephew, Orange County Superior Court Judge, James R. Ross, who persuaded her to loan the Artifacts to the Jesse James Museum and assured her their safety would be guaranteed. This decision was made about three years prior to her death in 1991.

Judge Ross traveled to the Missouri Museum when the James' Memorabilia went on display. To his amazement, he discovered the Pinkerton Detectives had been hired to guard them. It was the Pinkerton Agency that had tried for many frustrating years to Capture the Elusive James Brothers.

Mrs. Owens joked that she hoped they did a better job of Guarding the Artifacts than they had done in finding her Grandfather, Jesse James.

She was preceded in death by her Husband; her Parents; and three Sisters.

Ethel Rose James-Owens was a "Living Tie" to the Old West. She could entertain visitors with tales of sitting on the knee of her Outlaw Great Uncle, Frank James. When she died she took a bit of History with her; a History she said was different than that taught to generations of School Children. The outlaw lives of her Famous Relatives were largely the invention and exaggeration of newspaper writers of the day and the Movie Industry.

She said the James Brothers always wore business suits, not Cowboy Garb as depicted in films. She theorized this was one reason they proved so elusive to Law Enforcement. They blended in with the crowds.

She told about how Religious both Jesse James and Frank James were. She covered the story about Frank James writing to the Governor, saying he would turn himself in if he got a fair trial. He was acquitted twice and lived as a free man on the James Farm.

She grew up listening to her Father, Jesse Edward James', tales of his Father, Leader of the Infamous Gang that robbed banks, trains and stagecoaches from Iowa to Texas. They Launched their Life Of Crime after being Hounded by Northern Officials who were Angry over their Allegiance to the South in the Civil War.

She recalled the times in her youth of going to Kearney, MO with her Father and "people would be all over us. It was fun. I thought my Grandfather was Wonderful." It was here at the James Farm she remembered "having to be quiet" around her famous Uncle Frank James, who died in 1915. She said "He was strained, not relaxed too much."

She said Jesse James left no treasure trove. His Widow found only about $250 in Real Property and had to struggle all her life. She spurned countless offers to sell her Husband's personal effects; but chose to pass them along to her Children and eventually Grandchildren.

DOCUMENTED SOURCES:

  1. 1> Excerpts: Orange County Register Articles, Santa Ana, CA; And Obituary Published: Monday, December 30, 1991.
  2. 2> Family Records From The "Jacob Berry Moore, Sr And Nancy Elizabeth James-Moore" Families; Booneville, Prentiss County, MS.
  3. 3> Excerpts From Research Records of "Families Of Jesse And Frank James".

Family links:

Parents:
 Jesse Edwards James (1875 - 1951)
 Stella Frances McGowan James (1882 - 1971)

Spouse:
 Calvin Tilden Owens (1906 - 1975)*

Siblings:
 Lucille Martha James Lewis (1900 - 1988)*
 Josephine Frances James Ross (1903 - 1964)**
 Estelle Jessie James Baumel (1906 - 1987)*
 Ethel Rose James Owens (1908 - 1991)
  • Calculated relationship
    • Half-sibling

Burial: Inglewood Park Cemetery Inglewood Los Angeles County California, USA Plot: Pleasant View Plot-63 Div A Inside Grave


Created by: Sue Moore-Hardy Record added: Jul 25, 2009 Find A Grave Memorial# 39861478

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Ethel Rose Owens's Timeline

1908
July 10, 1908
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
1991
December 21, 1991
Age 83
Huntington Beach, Orange, California, USA
????
Inglewood, Los Angeles, California, USA