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 FRANKLIN DENHAM is a farmer and breeder of cattle, residing three miles southwest of Rocklyn. He came to this vicinity in the fall of 1885, without money but with a goodly supply of the natural elements that ensure prosperity and friends, located a homestead near his present home, and began at once to make improvements. He started in with the business he has made a success of and is still following. There were but few settlers in Lincoln county at that time, and many were the hardships endured and the ups and downs he passed through in gaining a start, such as the disadvantage of having to market his produce at Sprague, a distance of thirty miles, the heavy loss of stock during the severe winters, and last, and probably the greatest of all, the panic of 1893. However, he is now a man of means, owning five hundred and seventy-five acres of grain land where he lives, a section of fenced pasture land adjacent, a good house and barn, choice orchard and other improvements in keeping, besides a herd of well-bred cattle.
James F. Denham was born April 19, 1853, in Saline county, Missouri, the son of George W. and Emily (Delaney) Denham, both of whom are now dead. The father was a native of Kentucky, came west in 1890 and made his home with our subject until his death in February, 1902, being at the time eighty-six years of age. The mother was of French ancestry, but came of an old American family. William H. Denham, the only brother of James F., makes his home at Tacoma.
Mr. Denham was reared on a farm, and his education was limited during his growing period, but after attaining manhood he took a course in the Kirksville normal school, thus receiving quite a finished working education. Upon reaching his majority James F. assumed the management of his father's farm. They suffered heavy losses during the Rebellion, in fact the elder Denham was left practically bankrupt as a result of the war. In 1879 our subject went to California, and worked for various farmers in the vicinity of Marysville. In the summer of 1883 he shipped from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, and from that city came to Walla Walla, where he worked on salary until coming to Lincoln county.
He is regarded by his neighbors as being a frugal, industrious and intelligent tiller of the soil, and is a man of wide acquaintance and marked influence in his county.