Clarence Marion and Maudia Ethel (Atwell) James

Clarence Marion James was born 10 May 1884 in Chase County, Kansas. Maudia Ethel Atwell was born 11 July 1890.

Marriage license issued on 16 Nov 1905 by B.W. Ladd, probate judge, Wilson Co., Kansas to Clarence James of Fredonia, Kansas, aged 21 years, and Miss Maude Atwood[sic], of Fredonia, Kansas aged 15 years; consent of M. E. Atwood, father of Maud Atwood. Marriage preformed at Prairie Township, Wilson Co., Kansas, by Frank Caraythorn, justice of the peace, on 16 Nov 1905.

The following is a quote from a newspaper clipping at the time of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1955:

"They moved to a farm near Coyville and until their retirement when they moved to Fredonia nine years ago they have been farmers. They have lived in Wilson county all of their married lives. They were the parents of 13 children, three dying in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. James are proud of the fact that all of their ten children are high school graduates."

The following is an oral history of Clarence Marion and Maudia Ethel (Atwell) James shared by their son Walter M. James in May 1993.

Information in [ ] was added by their granddaughter Carolyn

Cress-Dawson corner is eight miles due north of Fredonia, two miles north of where Highway 96 turns toward Wichita. One-fourth mile back south on west side is the old Crepe-Myrtle place, that is where Clarence and Maudia James lived when they first married.

They next lived about one-half mile north of the six mile corner on the west side at the Penney place.

Then to the Lafferty place over east of New Albany, from Weakley Cemetery go one mile east and about one-half mile north. Marion and William were born there. [about 1910-1912]

Next they lived about one and one-quarter mile east of Benedict, Lillie was born there. [about 1916]

Then they moved one mile east of Benedict, Ray, Lois, and Walter were born there and Ray died while they were still living there. [about 1917-1919]

Next they moved to the "44 place," from the location where 44 school stood, go around corner and up the hill to the first corner was "44 place." Opal, baby, Ira and Minnie were born while the family lived here. Clarence laid in bed with pneumonia for 44 days while living here. The doctor stayed at the home for three days straight, then was called to another home due to illness. When he returned, he called the whole family together and informed them that the only thing he hadn't tried that might work was to medicate with stricnyn, but that the dosage would be by guess only, and that the family had to agree to the risk, but that was the only thing he could think of to try. Maudia spoke for the family and indicated that if there was a chance to save Clarence to go ahead and try. The treatment was started and Clarence began improving. While he was sick in bed, neighbors from all around came in and in one day planted (listed) the season's row crops such as milo, corn, and caffercorn. Then in the late 1920's the family moved one-fourth mile north on east side of Grand Valley school district 59. Wretha and Lee were born here. [about 1920-1926]

In 1929 they moved to the old Hess place (in the Wilson County history this is referred to as Broad Acres) north of Fredonia. Howard was born here.

Next to the Quill-Ridlon place 12 and one-half miles north of Fredonia. While living here, Marion and Walter were cleaning the apple orchard and Marion leaned up against a tree and his hand started moving up the trunk, he removed his hand and replaced it on the trunk, and it started moving again. They looked and he was placing his hand on a black snake. They pulled several six foot snakes out of a nest in the tree.

Then the Arthur Sutcliff Place on the banks of Verdegris River. Opal, Ira and Minnie went to school at Kelly School (there is a picture in the Wilson County History.) Lois and Walt went to Altoona.

Next to the Shellenburger place across road from Weakly Cemetery. (1937-1938) Lois and Clyde married while the family lived here.

Then the Davis place, west of Rest. Walter and Ruthia, William and Amanda, Ira and Martha, and Opal and Ray, married while the family lived here. Five of the children had married in about 6 months. [about 1940]

Back to the place one mile east of Benedict. Then to the Davis place. Clarence had farmed through all of these moves, he was a good farmer, but he moved to try and improve his chances. Before leaving the Davis place, Clarence sold out and moved into Fredonia. [about 1946]

In Fredonia they lived on North 7th Street.

Maudia died 12 March 1963 at Cherryvale, Kansas, in the home of her daughter Lois. Clarence died 27 December 1963 in the hospital at Osawatomie, Kansas. Both are buried in Weekly Cemetery, New Albany, Wilson County, Kansas.

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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