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Crosby County Biographies

In Remembrance of

James Edward Overhuls

James Overhuls

Rose Spray


U.S.Flag   Sergeant Union Army Company A Sixth Kansas Calvary 1861-1865


James Edward Overhuls was born December 26, 1838 to Cornelius Overhuls and Sarah Ann Bigham Overhuls in Darke County, Ohio and died July 17, 1895 Mount Blanco, Crosby County, Texas.

He entered the Union Army August 1, 1861 at Fort Levenworth, Kansas and was honorably discharged at DeValls Bluff, Arkansas on July 18, 1865.

He married Emeline Jane White on August 17, 1865. They had six children:

    1. Josephine (John Smith)
    2. George Henry (Odie Viola Linn)
    3. Cornelius E.(Mary Thomas)
    4. Mary Ethel (Josiah Flournoy Leonard)
    5. Octavia (Henry Schweitzer)
    6. Emma

Emeline died August 29, 1876 at age 32 somewhere near Jacksboro, Texas. He then married May C. Jones Lewis on January 3, 1888. They had three daughters:

    1. Fannie Eugenia (Lebo)
    2. Margurite (Barnes)
    3. Ida Louise (Beattie)

James Edward homesteaded in Kansas following his marriage to Emeline and all of their children were born there. He moved the family to Jack County, Texas so he could hunt buffalo in the 1870's. After the buffalo were gone he brought his family to West Texas and homesteaded in Crosby County where he farmed, ranched, and did construction work until his death in 1895, at Mt. Blanco, Crosby County, Texas.

He has been in an unmarked grave in the Estacado Cemetery since a clean-up fire burned the wooden cross that marked his burial place.

Emeline Jane, the fourth or fifth child of twelve was born to George W. and Margaret Minter White in Pope County, Arkansas on February 6, 1844. She lived with her family in Arkansas until 1848 when they moved to Dade County, Missouri. they lived in Missouri until the beginning of the Civil War.

In 1861 George White moved his family to Jackson County, Kansas. George was a strong backer of the Union and he was no longer welcome in Missouri. Kansas was a Union State so they settled there and he and wife Margaret lived out their lives in Jackson County, Kansas. Emeline Jane along with her brothers and sisters grew to adulthood here.

James Edward Overhuls moved with his brothers to Jackson County, Kansas from Coles County, Illinois following the death of their mother in 1857. James Edward served in the Civil War in the Union Cavalry for the duration of the conflict. When he returned to Kansas he and Emeline Jane married on August 17, 1865.

They homesteaded in Kansas following their marriage and six children were born to them.

James Edward heard of much work to be had in Texas and New Mexico so he moved his family several times. Emeline Jane died August 29, 1876 at the age of 32 near Jacksboro, Texas. She is buried in Jack County in an unmarked grave.

A memorial marker for Emeline Jane White Overhuls was erected July 5, 2008 in her honor and all the other strong-willed women who helped settle the Western Frontier.

Submitted by Barbara West and Gilda Bryant

Others Researching This Family

Mary Ann Thomas

Burial Site

Site Map Location

Headstone Photograph, Inscription & Sentiments

VA Marker

Additional Documentation

James Edward Overhuls was born December 26, 1838 in Darke County, Ohio to Cornelius and Sarah Bigham Overhuls. He lived in Indiana and Illinois with his parents as they moved west.

He enlisted in the Union Army at Fort Scott, Kansas on August 1, 1861, and was enrolled in Company A, 6th Regiment of the Kansas Cavalry at Ft. Leavenworth on August 6, 1861. He fought in several skirmishes and his horse was killed in action in September, 1861 at the Battle of Drywood Creek in Missouri. He was honorably discharged July 18, 1865 at DeValle Bluff, Arkansas.

He married Emeline Jane White on August 17, 1865 in Jackson County, Kansas. They had the following children: Josephine M. (married John Smith), George Henry (Married Odie Viola Linn), Cornelius E., Mary Ethel (married Frank Leonard), Octavia (married Henry Schwitzer), and Emma, who died as a young child. Overhuls farmed in Jackson County, Kansas before moving to Jack County, Texas. Emeline died August 19, 1876 (at age 32) in Jack County, Texas near Jacksboro and Fort Richardson. This man managed to keep his young family together with his oldest child being only ten years old. Overhuls and his children moved to Crosby County, Texas in the mid 1880's.

Overhuls married May Jones Lewis January 3, 1888. They had a small cow operation at Mt. Blanco, in Crosby County, Texas. They had the following children: Fannie (married Charles H. Lebo), Marguerite (married John Quincy Barnes), and Ida Louise (married William H. Seattle). As the result of a stroke, Overhuls died July 17, 1895, at Mt. Blanco and was buried at the Estacado Cemetery.

He was a farmer, rancher, and herded sheep for a short time in Las Vegas, New Mexico. He and his son, George, gathered buffalo bones on the plains to sell for fertilzier. he was one of the builders of the Hank Smith house, located in Crosby County.

His survivors include: granddaughter, Carlie Barnes Simpson of Amarillo, Texas; grandsons, Hugh McKnight of Amarillo; John McKnight of Cincinnati, Ohio; Philip Umphries of Dallas, Texas; Joe Umphries of Los Angeles, California; Geraldine Waybourn Key of Matador, Texas; Barbara Waybourn West of Amarillo; Bert Schweitzer and Fraces Schweitzer Moss of Lubbock; and many I, II, III, and IV great grandchildren.

Our grandfather has been in an unmarked grave in the Estacado cemetery since a clean-up fire burned the wooden cross that marked his final resting place.

It is with great pride that we honor James Edward Overhuls. He was a true patriot, one of the first frontiermen in West Texas, and a beloved family man.

Descendants of James Edward Overhuls in Attendance of Dedication:
George Henry:
Great, great Grandchildren:
Gilda Viola Bryant
A. Lynn Day
Larry Day
Great, great, great Granddaughter:
Mollie Elizabeth Bryant
Mary Ethel:
Great grandaughters:
Geraldine Waybourn Key
Barbara Waybourn West
Great, grea grandson:
Floyd Key
Great, great great, great, granddaughter:
Emeline Nicole Fulton
Great grandchildren:
Bert Schweitzer
Frances Schweitzer
Great, great grandson:
Mike Schweitzer
Great grandson:
Hugh McKnight
Joe Umphries
Phillip Umphries


James Edward Overhuls
Barbara West, left; Gilda Bryant, right
Barbara West on left and Gilda Bryant on right.


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