GREAT-GRANDSON OF JESSE JAMES & DANIEL BOONE, DONALD JAMES BAUMEL, IS DEAD

“If all I did was to walk around saying that I’m a descendant of Daniel Boone and a descendant of Jesse James, I wouldn’t have a life of my own.”
– Donald James Baumel to Eric F. James, 2002

Donald James Baumel, James Gang & Family Reunion, 2002, Paso Robles, California

The ancestry which Donald James Baumel inherited from America’s iconic outlaw Jesse James and Kentucky’s iconic explorer Daniel Boone determined how Don lived and died. Central to his life was what Don valued most – his privacy.

Don Baumel died on April 27, 2011. Family members delayed announcement of his death, considering whether to announce it at all. If Don had his way, he would have probably preferred to slip away into history totally unnoticed, with no recognition either of his life or of his death by anyone.

Don was last seen among his family at the James Gang & Family Reunion, held in Paso Robles, California in 2002. Months of coaxing by Judge James Randall Ross, Don’s first cousin, finally got Don to show up. Among 200 family and friends attending the reunion, Don went virtually unnoticed among them as he circulated freely through all the events. No one had seen Don in years. He talked with few people.

At a break in the events, Judge Ross and I went to lunch with Don. He ordered a sandwich, but picked at it sparingly. We then went shopping for a western outfit, so Don could be dressed western style like the rest of us. But in every store, Don resisted. Nothing was purchased. That night at the banquet, however, Don appeared in a western outfit that had more worn authenticity than anyone else in the dining room. He looked like he just had stepped out of the California West when Frank and Jesse last visited Paso Robles. The clothes were Don’s own.

Touring historic sites the next afternoon, Don rode with me, my niece Kathryn Craft, and Steve Leonard of the James Preservation Trust. For once, Don was not silent at all. We showered him in questions. Don not only responded generously, he gave us an exclusive insight into his life, which no one ever had heard before.

Don was born a twin. His twin sister Diane survives him. In high school in Los Angeles, Don and Diane both were considered “joiners.” If a group existed, they joined. Years later in 2007, I met Barbara Clemens from their high school class. Barbara confirmed the fact. Diane and Don were elected by their classmates, together with three others, as “Ephebians,” the top graduation honor awarded to those who demonstrated the highest grade averages, and who were the most socially and politically active. Don was Vice-President of the student body.

About this time, Don learned he was a direct descendant of the notorious outlaw Jesse James. Like most others among the James family who stumbled upon the family secret, Don was advised not to advertise the fact, but not to deny it either, if questioned. Don chose to avoid the question altogether.

When he joined the U. S. Army, Don’s life began to change. He was assigned to a security group, and stationed at a radio squadron in Mobile, Alabama. Don learned tools of the secrecy trade. Exiting the Army, Don enrolled at UCLA in California. He no longer was the socially and politically active student that he once was in high school. Don had changed.

Don knew little of his family history, unlike his cousin Jim Ross, who had grown up in the household of Jesse James Jr. For himself, Don seemed to live in a growing fear of the past. As he did, Don’s life appeared to become directionless. When his father Mervyn Baumel died in 1964, Don was left a trust fund instead of an outright inheritance. Unlike his cousins descended from Thomas Martin James, the Kansas City millionaire merchant, Don didn’t need to worry about having money or a career, and the possible exposure that came with it

Most of his life, Don lived in San Francisco. Like a couple of his less recognized cousins, Rev. William Henry James who maintained a mission for the poor and homeless of Kansas City, and Luther Tillman James who founded the Kansas City Provident Association to financially support programs for the poor and homeless, Don developed an affinity for the disenfranchised of San Francisco. Among the faceless of Market Street, Don found he could live and work as he pleased, both comfortably and anonymously. Money meant little, if nothing, to Don. Anything he had, he was happy to share or give away. Like Rev. William Henry James, like his ancestral Mimms cousins, and like his third great grand Uncle Drury Woodson James, Don lived in a hotel.

A heart attack took the life of Donald James Baumel, as it did his cousin Jim Ross in March of 2007, and also Jim’s mother Jo Frances James in March of 1964.

ERIC JAMES
Danville, Ky.
September 28, 2011

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DON’S DESCENT FROM JESSE WOODSON JAMES
Jesse Woodson James & Zerelda Amanda Mimms
. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan
.. Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James
… Donald James Baumel

DON’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE
Daniel Boone & Rebecca Ann Bryant
. Nathan Boone & Olive Van Biber
.. Alfred M. Hosman & Mary Boone
… Luther Alfred McGowan & Mary Frances Hosman
…. Alfred Monte McGowan & Martha Ann Wood
….. Jesse Edward James Jr. & Estella Frances McGowan
…… Mervyn Baumel & Jessie Estell James

…… Donald James Baumel

RELATED STORIES

High School Photos of Jesse James Great-Grandchildren

Russell William Adams Has Died

Russell William Adams, born Sept. 4, 1943, went home to our heavenly father Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. His passing from his earthly home to heaven was at 6:32 a.m. at the University of Kentucky Hospital. This was after a very long illness.

He was born in Eubank to the late James Finley and Anna West Adams of Eubank. He was a dedicated Christian man, a loving husband and very devoted father. He was a kind and likable man with a wonderful outlook on life. His one last wish was that those who have not yet been saved and come to know the Lord would do so. A special scripture from the King James Bible states in Isaiah 55, verse 12, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forward with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” He was loved by all and will be sadly missed by those that had the privilege of personally knowing him. He proudly served the United States in the 3rd Recon, 4th Cavalry unit, attached to the 25th Tropic Lightning Infantry division of the United States Army.

He retired as the director of security on July 31, 2000, from the Kentucky State Psychiatric Center (K.C.P.C.) in Lagrange, Ky., after 33 years of service with the department of corrections and the department of human resources.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 32 years, Roberta Auxier Adams; two sons, William Benjamin Adams of Seattle, Wash., and Russell Andrew Adams of Science Hill, Ky.; and three daughters, Deann (and Brian) Davis of Seattle, Wash., and Melissa (and Jeff) Spears and Susan Mofield–Loveless-Shadoan (and David) Colyer, both of Science Hill, Ky. He is survived by a brother-in-law, Benjamin Harrison (and Debbie) Auxier of Fountain Green, Utah; a brother-in-law, George Auxier of Stanford, Ky.; a mother-in-law, Margaret Edmonds Auxier of Stanford, Ky.; a very special uncle and aunt, John and Marianne (Auxier) Kirby of Danville, Ky.; and his siblings: Mary Gilland of Cincinnati, Ohio, Allene Fetter of Goshen, Ohio, Brenda Adams of Frankfort, Ky., Oscar Adams of Burnside, Ky., and Leslie Adams and his girlfriend Rhonda Stevens of Woodstock, Ky.; eight grandchildren: Ariel and Brandon Davis of Seattle, Wash., Rhubin and Curtis Spears, Amanda and Andrew Adams, Tyler Loveless and Sidney Shadoan of Science Hill, Ky., in addition to many special nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews; and a sister-in-law, Kathleen Adams of Woodstock, Ky.

He was preceded in death by seven brothers: Carl, James (Jamup), Edison (Honey), Elbert, Hartford, Norman and Lester; one sister Joyace Rose; his father-in-law Benjamin Harrison Auxier of Danville, Ky.; and sister-in-laws Ruth Adams and Lucille Adams.

His memorial service will be Sunday, Sept. 11, at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary at the Mintonville United Methodist Church in Mintonville, Ky. Pastor David Green will be performing the service.

Somerset Undertaking & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences can be expressed to the Adams family at: www.somersetundertaking.com.

PEDIGREE

Russell William Adams
. James Finley Adams & Anna West
.. Andrew Jackson Adams & Nancy Ann Shadowen
… John James Shadowen & Lucinda Asker
…. Samuel Chaudoin Sr. & Sarah James
….. Rev. Joseph Martin James & Martha McAlister

Put Jesse James on Your MasterCard or Visa

Last week Capital One Bank approved the image of Jesse James for the face of the MasterCard of Eric James, president of The James Preservation Trust. This image never has been published before. The original full image of Jesse will be published for the first time on the book cover of Eric’s new book about the Jesse James family Jesse James Soul Liberty, Behind His Family Heritage of Stigma & Silence.

The funding campaign to publish Jesse James Soul Liberty remains in effect until August 14, 2011 at Kickstarter.com

To encourage additional pledges, The James Preservation Trust will now make this previously unpublished image of Jesse James available to anyone who registers a pledge of $25 or more, or who increases an existing pledge, between now and July 30, 2011. When the funding goal is successfully achieved, those who pledge will receive the image of Jesse James to put on their credit cards, together with the Rewards offered by the pledge amount selected.

Make your pledge today on Kickstarter.com . Put Jesse James on your bank credit card. And put Jesse James Soul Liberty and the history of the Jesse James family on the shelves of America’s bookstores and libraries.

Kickstart the book JESSE JAMES SOUL LIBERTY

WE ARE LAUNCHED!

Come join the party for JESSE JAMES SOUL LIBERTY – BEHIND HIS FAMILY HERITAGE OF STIGMA AND SILENCE.

I’m thrilled to invite you to join me in this final leg of a twelve year journey to research, write, and publish the only book ever written about the Jesse James family.

Join me at Kickstarter.com where you can enjoy the book’s exclusive backstory in addition to viewing the video below.

Give SOUL LIBERTY your own kickstart. Then be sure to tell your friends. Thanks for making a little bit of history with me.

Best regards,
ERIC JAMES

Official website for the family of Frank & Jesse James

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