William James III
Carrollton & Farmers Branch

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William James
by Chip and Mildred James

William James was born in Herefordshire, England, May 24, 1847. He lived with his parents on their farm until he reached his teens, upon which he was sent to boarding school at Oxford University, Oxford, England. At Oxford, however, he spent more time studying boxing than academic subjects. Although standing only 5 ft. 1 in. tall and wearing size 4 shoe, he became skilled enough in the pugilistic arts to attain the rank  of professional. His lack of interest in the academic world, plus the fact that on a visit to his home he was caught poaching pheasants on a neighbor's farm, put him in an unfavorable position with his family. At the age of eighteen, he boarded a cattle boat and came to the United States.

Sometime in 1865 he landed in New York City, his only possession being the clothes on hhis back, a feather bed, and one keg of English beer. Feeling that there would be no shortage of libations in New York City, he promptly gave his keg away. Shortly afterward he contacted dysentery by sampling New York City water, and was forced to live on oatmeal soaked in water till he recovered. Following his recovery, he headed for Canada.

Somewhere near the Niagara Falls area he met a thirty-six year old Scotchman named Allen McDonald. They decided to work their way to the South on the railroads, Mr. McDonald as a cook and Mr. James as a section hand. They got as far south as Arkansas, where another section hand stole Mr. James' money while he was taking a bath in a river. The thief was never caught. Also during their stay in Arkansas, Mr. James was beaned in the head with a whiskey bottle during a saloon fracas, which he started by thrashing a local bully who made fun of his diminutive stature. Finding the atmosphere in Arkansas rather unhospitable, Mr. James and Mrs. McDonald headed for Texas.

In the early 1870's they arrived in Peters Colony, or what is now called Carrollton, Texas, where they began to farm. In 1877 Mr. McDonald bought 160 acres of land from a Mr. Witt. This land was located approximately one mile east of Denton Road, with what is now called Cemetery Hill Road forming part of its western and northern boundaries. Both the and Mr. James farmed this land until 1879, when Mr. James married Laura Smith and moved to a farm owned by the Reverend Loffie Smith, her brother.  They had three sons, Del, Fred, and William, who died at the age of one month. Following Mrs. James' death, Mr. James moved his family back to Mr. McDonald's farm. In April of 1890 Mr. McDonald died, and after some legal difficulties, Mr. James inherited his farm. Also in 1890 Mr. James married Alice Isom.  This union produced three sons, Claude, Earnest, and Ray, who died at birth. In the years to come Mr. James became a very successful farmer, raising sheep and thoroughbred horses, as well as cotton. The James family stayed on the farm until Mr. James became ill in 1921. He passed away on February 25, 1921.  Mrs. James continued to live in Carrollton until her death August 16, 1943. Both Mr. and Mrs. James are buried in Furneaux cemetery.

Elm Fork Echoes - The Peters Colony Historical Society of Dallas County, Texas. Vol. 4 No. 1, April 1976



William James Dead
William James, a pioneer of this community and one of the most respected citizens, died last Friday morning after an illness of some two years. Mr. James was born in Herefordshire, England in the year 1847. He has long been a citizen of our community and was a member of the Methodist church over thirty five years. He is survived by his wife and four sons; Dell James of Dallas, Fred James of Ardmore, Okla, Earnest and Claude James, Carrollton. Mr. James has suffered for over two years with cancer, but since last September he failed very fast.
A large number of friends at tended his funeral which was conducted by his pastor Rev. C. B. Fielder, assisted by Bro. A. C. Goyets, pastor of the Baptist church at Hebron. His remains were laid away to rest in the cemetery at Cemetery Hill. A good man has fallen, how he suffered in his last days no one can know, but with courage and with a sweet disposition he was faithful and loving to his God, his family and his friends to the end.

Card of Thanks
We desire to express to our friends and neighbors our deep appreciation for the many kindnesses shown us during the long illness and death of husband and father. We especially appreciate the many kind words spoken in this time of our own sorrow.
Mrs. Wm. James and Sons.

The Carrollton Chronicle - Friday, March 4, 1921
Submitted by Edward Lynn Williams




Furneaux Cemetery, Carrollton, Denton County, Texas


Carrollton-Farmers Branch TXGenWeb
Supported by Edward Lynn Williams
Copyright January, 2012