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 Co., 1904.
G. W. JAMES, a typical frontiersman,
is deserving of being classed with the leading men of eastern Washington.
While at the present time he is living more retired from the active labors
of life, still in the years gone by, he has been engaged in some of the
large enterprises of this section and has shown himself a man of real worth
and integrity. He was born near Zanesville, Ohio, in 1836, the son
of James and Grizzella (Lyle) James, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio,
respectively. The father came to Ohio when a boy and in 1844, went
to Illinois. The next year he came to Iowa and in 1866 crossed the
plains to California. There he remained until his death in 1891,
being then aged ninety-one years. The mother died previously in Iowa.
Our subject accompanied his father across the plains but previous to that
time, had gained his education in the common schools of Iowa and Illinois.
At the time of the Rebellion, he enlisted in Company I, Sixth Iowa Volunteer
Cavalry, saw much active duty, and participated in some furious Indian
campaigns with General Sully for a year and one half. Before the
war he had taken a trip to California and returned east then went with
his father as stated above, to the Sacramento valley. There he farmed
until 1878 when he moved to Pataha in southwestern Washington, where he
bought fifteen hundred acres of land. He was a prominent farmer in
that section until 1890, then went to the Big Bend country. At that
time he had about thirty thousand dollars worth of stock but in one of
the hard winters lost nearly the whole bunch. Mr. James was among
the first men in Wilbur and built the first hotel there. He is well
known throughout the country and especially on account of his true generosity
and kindness to his fellows. During his long career, he has been
instrumental in assisting many struggling men in getting good positions
and has many friends here.
In 1856, Mr. James married Miss Rosina Sharp,
a native of Indiana. She accompanied her husband on both trips across
the plains. To them have been born the following named children,
Arthur A., Grizella A., George G., Emma, Louis, William, and Ella.
It is well to note that Mr. James has been
on the frontier almost all his life. He won marked distinction as
an Indian fighter and there is scarcely any portion of the United States
that he has not visited in person. He and his wife are now spending
the golden years of their lives in quiet retirement established in the
love and confidence of many friends.