Family Histories of Coleman County, Texas

by Marie Britton

From A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985 
edited by Judia and Ralph Terry, and Vena Bob Gates - used by permission

Joe B. James was born May 30, 1856 near Jefferson, Texas, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Harriet (Thomas) James.  He and his two brothers, Thomas Franklin (see Asa Britton and Wesley Flint James) and William Love James, moved to Coleman County from Jefferson County in the later part of the nineteenth century.  Joe B. came in the fall of 1885, shortly after his marriage to Dovie Monetta Meadows in Bell County, born near Jefferson, February 9, 1862, the daughter of Asa and Sarah (Fosque) Meadows. Joe and Dovie settled near the headwaters of Home Creek as did his two brothers.  They had four children:
(1) George Flint, born and died in 1886, buried in Oenaville Cemetery near Temple.

(2) Lucy Belle, born December 8, 1887, married Ethan A. Rodden, born September 9, 1873 - died June 19, 1938, on March 16, 1911. (see Rodden).  They had two children: (2a) James Fosque, April 4, 1915, never married, was killed in a car accident near Monte, Old Mexico, October 20, 1971; (2b) David Brannon, November 14, 1920, married Lorene Dyer, May 25, 1946, and now lives in Smithfield.  He is retired from Exxon and he and Lorene have one daughter, Regina, who was born to them after they had adopted six children.  After Regina’s birth, they adopted twelve more to be a total of nineteen children.  Lucy belonged to the Primitive Baptist Church and Mr. Rodden, for many years, was a Bible teacher at the Valera Baptist Church although he was a Presbyterian.  Lucy worked for her father in his dry goods store; Gates and Allen, during their “fire sale;” Saunders-Smith; P. B. Shannon; Mrs. Cole’s Millinery Shop and Paul Maedgen’s Drug Store.  She and Mr. Rodden had their own hardware store, with piece goods and dry goods.  She ran the store for four years after Mr. Rodden’s death, closing in 1942.  Lucy also workd at J . C. Penney Company in Coleman.  She has lived in the same house in Valera for 72 years.

(3) Joseph B., born November 8, 1891, died August 27, 1961, never married.

(4) Bill Isham, born October 21, 1898, died April 13, 1971, married (1st) Maggie Addison, August 23, 1924.  Maggie passed away December 4, 1946.  In December 1963, Isham married (2nd) Beth Arthur and he farmed and ranched until his death.

Joe, fondly known as Uncle Joe to all, and Dovie’s first home was a small two room house built from lumber bought in Abilene and hauled here by wagon.  It took two days each way to make the trip and it was necessary to camp out at night.  The year 1886 was very dry here and they found it necessary to go to Bell County where he worked as a cotton hauler that year.  In 1906, they moved to Valera where he put in a wagon yard and sold feed.  Later, he also owned and operated a grocery store.  Joe died December 29, 1944, and Dovie, January 2, 1956, both buried in Valera as are the rest of their family who are deceased.  Concerning the two brothers of Joe, Tom (Thomas F.) is buried in Hughes Springs and Bill (Wm. Love) is buried in Coleman.

(Images to be added)

Joe James “Home Creek” Home-1901. Tom Gaines, lived in Joe James’s home, Joe s brother, Tom, J. B., Joe’s son, Dog Suzie, Joe, Isham, Joe’s son, Carrie James, Tom ‘s daughter, Dovie James, Joe’s wife, Lucy, his daughter, boy on cultivator is Wesley James, Tom’s boy, and boy on mule, Nat James, also Tom’s boy.

Tom James’s Cotton Crop - 1912. Tom F. James, Lucy James Rodden and her father, Joe James, standing in front of store, Hugh Testner, standing by post, Emmitt Miller, Nat James with Warnock Simmons and E. Rodden, standing, J. B. James, Wesley James and Tom Evans, on horse.  Tom Evans was manager of the P .O. Ranch (Anson Ranch).  Picture taken in front of the Joe James Feed Store, Valera.

Families History Index
Coleman County Index
Please send additional links, comments or suggestions for articles to:

This page last updated November 30, 2005
© 1982 - 2005 Ralph Terry.  All rights reserved.