Friday, August 22, 2008

James Jaynes - A TwigTale

James Jaynes
8/9/01 - 10/21/89

James Jaynes was my maternal grandfather. He was the middle child of 'Tom' Jaynes and Cora Hines Jaynes. Cora always called him Jimmy, and said that was what she intended to name him. I don't know much about his growing up years. He never talked about it. I do know that he and his brother, Harry, were not close. Harry was a heavy drinker all his life. I believe there was some trouble between those two that never healed.

At 19, October 8, 1920, he married Della Mae Alexander. They did not have a large wedding. They were married at the courthouse in Brownstown, Jackson, Indiana. At the time he was working at the Ebner's Ice Factory. His father worked there as well, as the fireman. In the beginning they lived with Tom and Cora. My grandmother loved Cora. She talked about her passionate temper and warm, loving nature. My grandmother's family had been cool and rigid about rules and all the do's and don'ts. My grandmother talked about how she loved the warmth of Cora.

Jim (as he wished to be called) and Della finally settled into a house of their own in a small community called Chestnut Ridge, just outside of Seymour, Indiana in Jackson County. The factory was located in Seymour, so to get to work, Jim walked the railroad tracks several miles back and forth every day. When the Depression hit, it wasn't as hard for them as it was a lot of families. He did have a job, and the need for ice was still there.

My grandfather was a saver. He had saved and saved, hoping to make his own dreams a reality. His hard earned money was safely in the bank. Of course, he was one of those who lost everything. This so scarred him that he never put a dime in the bank again. Later in life he bought and sold property. Yes, he did so with cash. Closing on sales always took longer as the bank always had to wait a few days to get the cash together. He had a large, monster of a safe in his bedroom that he kept every dime in. It didn't matter that everyone assured him his money would be safe this time. He simply wouldn't believe it.

He and Della had a boy, Donald, and then 3 girls. In 1938, Donald died of leukemia. He never talked about his feelings during that time. But when he died, Donalds last photo was still in his billfold.

When his father was unable to work, Jim made sure they had a house and plenty on the table. He believed firmly in taking care of his own. He parents never needed for anything. His mother died in 1948, and his father in 1954.

He did finally put together a business of his own. He became a plumber and electrician. He never turned anyone down because they couldn't pay. He often was paid in goods. They never needed for anything. He provided well for his family, all his life.

He built 2 houses on O'Brien Street in Seymour. The first, they lived in for a few years. The second one, next door was the one they would spend the rest of their lives in. Here is where you can read about it and see a photo.

I remember the phone rang at their house all the time. When it did at dinner time he would turn the air blue as Grandma ran behind him fussing that the 'kids' were listening! It was a joy! We thought it was so funny. He also had some funny words he used often. No one knew what they meant. He would say something that sounded like 'Poo-ay' , but I don't have a clue how to spell it. He thought it was funny.

He loved bingo. He also loved to fish, though he wasn't very good at it and didn't start until very late in life.

I was going through a box from a collection to be put on the Jackson County site and came across a receipt from 1948 for work my grandfather did. Talk about serendipity! What a treasure to me. He stayed quite busy until a few years before his death.


- This was written for:
Genea-Blogger Group Summer Games
4. Write, Write, Write!
D. Write a brief biographical sketch on one of your ancestors.
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