Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The
Big Bend Country, embracing Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties,
State of Washington", published by Western Historical Publishing
JAMES A. BUCKINGHAM was born
in Sangamon county, Illinois, on September 18, 1831. His father,
John B., was a native of old Virginia, and his mother, Amanda M. (Eaton)
Buckingham, was a native of Kentucky. Our subject attended the common
schools of Illinois, which were very primitive at that time and when he
grew to manhood remained in that state until 1852, then the family went
to Pierce county, Wisconsin, where five years were spent in farming.
In 1857, he returned to his old home in Illinois, and farmed until 1867.
At that time, he removed to Pike county, Missouri, stopping there for a
short time, then went on to Audrian county, the same state, in which place
he was a tiller of the soil for twenty years. After the expiration
of that long period, Mr. Buckingham removed to Washington, spending his
first year in the Evergreen State, near Cheney. Then he searched
out a place in Douglas county and settled where we now find him, about
four miles east from Buckingham postoffice. He took land under the
government right and in addition to improving the farm, he gave his attention
to stock raising. Like the other immigrants to this country, he made
annual pilgrimages from this country for the purpose of gaining money for
food. During the winter of 1889-90 he had a small band of cattle
which he succeeded in saving although most of the cattle of the country
died. His base of supplies was Spokane and the lumber of which his
house is built was hauled from Cheney and the Badger Mountains. His
nearest neighbor was Mr. Downey, living six miles west. Mr. Buckingham
labored faithfully and long during the hard years of early life in Douglas
county, and he is now one of the wealthy men of the section. His
place is on the old trail to the mines and was known as one of the leading
places in the county. He has held various county offices and was
appointed postmaster by John Wanamaker, which position he held for nine
years. Mr. Buckingham has two brothers who died in the Rebellion
and two others, John W. and Elisha, who are now living. He also has
one sister, Mrs. Louisa Shannon.
At Trimble, Wisconsin, in July, 1855, Mr.
Buckingham married Martha Ryan, who was born in Meadville, Pennsylvania,
on June 20, 1830. For nearly half a century, she was his faithful
companion in all the reverses and sucesses on their pilgrimage journey
until July, 1901, she departed this life, being aged seventy-one.
She had one brother, Simeon, and one sister, Katherine. To Mr. and
Mrs. Buckingham, six children were born, named as follows; Mrs. Annie A.
Smith, Mrs. Clara Merchand, William O., Albert J., Mrs. Regina V. Shamblin,
and James A.
Mr. Buckingham was raised in the Methodist
church and although not a member of any denomination at the present time
strongly leans toward that faith.