Ruby Lee Hunt-Whitney has died. Distantly related to the James through her ancestry among the Ironmonger family and the royal families of England, Ruby bore the unique distinction of also being related to the family of Sheriff Wyatt Earp, and his Earp relatives in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky.
Ruby is more closely related to the James through her ancestry in the Randall family, an in-law family of the James, many of whom still reside upon the original settlement lands of John M. James in Shopville, Pulaski County, Kentucky.
Her obituary follows:
From Commonwealth News Journal, Somerset, Pulaski Co KY
January 14, 2011
Somerset — Ruby Lee Hunt Bowling Whitney, passed away Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at Fountain Circle of Winchester, Ky. She was 80.
Ruby Lee was born on November 17, 1930 in Somerset, Ky., beloved daughter of the late Charles and Buleah Coyler Hunt. She was a long time member of the Beacon Hill Baptist Church in Somerset, Ky.
For many years, Ruby Lee and her late husband Howard enjoyed outings in their boat on Lake Cumberland. Ruby Lee loved the water. She also loved playing card games with her children and grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Whitney was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Whitney, in 2005; six brothers; Lester Hunt, Marshall Hunt, Robert Hunt, Roy Hunt, Curtis Hunt, Everett Hunt; three sisters; Bessie Hunt, Grace Hunt and Edna Hunt Correll. She is survived by three sisters; Ella Bee Hunt Turner (and Bob) Hedge, Elva Hunt (and Arlee) Smith, Margaret Lou Hunt (and Gerald) Wilson; four daughters, Barbara Bowling (and Tom) Campbell of Winchester, Ky., Constance Bowling (and David) Boepple of Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, Debbie Whitney Turner of Batavia, Ohio and Sandie Whitney Long of Dolthan, Alabama; seven grandchildren; Patrick (and Kara) Abele, Shannon (and Heidi) Boepple, Tiffany (and Duane) Gorman, Sierra Boepple, Jerry (and Delphia) Turner III, Brandi Turner McGlone, Christopher (and Jessica) Turner; and nine great-grandchildren, Taylor Abele, Hannah Hacker Boepple, Hunter Elmore, Liam Boepple, Keauna Gorman, Caleb Gorman, Keyley Gorman, Brayden McGlone, and Kelton McGlone.
Ruby Lee’s family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the staffs of Fountain Circle and Hospice East for the special care and kindness she received while she was a resident.
Memorial Service will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church (204 South Main Street, Winchester, Ky. 40391). The family request no flowers. In lieu of flowers the family has requested memorial contributions to First United Methodist Church, 204 South Main Street Winchester, Ky., 40391, Hospice East, 407 Shoppers Drive, Winchester, KY 40391 or Rose Mary C. Brooks Place, 200 Rose Mary Drive, Winchester, Ky. 40391.
RHODA MAY (1806-1889) is the stalwart spouse of the “talented, but erratic” Rev. Joseph Martin James (1791-1848).
Rhoda withstood all transgressions, indignities, & social ostracism that her husband created with admirable Teutonic stoicism.
When acute alcoholism took Joe’s life at age fifty-seven, Rhoda became a forty-two year old widow, left alone to raise nine children.
For the next forty-one years of her life, Rhoda May James resolutely carried the social burden of her husband’s disgrace. She watched as the Civil War divided her children and tore apart her family. She never remarried.
Thanks to Gwen Smith-Gershwin, who is a fourth great granddaughter of Rev. Joseph Martin James & Martha McAlister, Joe’s first wife, this tintype image of Rhoda May now can be appreciated.
The original tintype was handed down in the family through Rhoda Alice Owens-Cole-Dowell, Rhoda May’s granddaughter & namesake.
Prior to the contribution of this tintype image to The James Preservation Trust, the only known image of Rhoda May was a framed oval colored photograph. This colored image still hangs in the home of Nelva Anne Herrin, a great granddaughter of Joe Martin & Rhoda May James. Nelva Anne’s contemporary home, built by her father Lem Garland Herrin, sits opposite the decayed ruin of the home built & occupied by her great grandparents Joseph Allen Herrin & Susan Harriet James on the original settlement lands of John M. James at Shopville in Pulaski County, Kentucky. Susan Harriet James is a daughter of Joe Martin James & Rhoda May.
SOME CHILDREN OF RHODA MAY-JAMES
EDWARD PERRY JAMES (1847-1931) was only a year old when his father died. He grew up in his father’s stone house in Shopville, married Elizabeth Langford, & raised a family of nine children in the same house. His youngest child, he named Rhoda May James, after his beloved mother. Progressively selling off his land holdings in Shopville, he removed his family to a new home he built in Berea, Kentucky, where he died.
SUSAN HARRIET JAMES (1843-1920) was five years old when Joseph Martin James died. She was thirty years old when she married Joseph Allen Herrin, a Union veteran of the Civil War.
In a diary Herrin kept during the war, he noted the wounding of Susan Harriet’s brother, Andrew James.
Herrin was returned from the war for almost a decade, when he and Susan Harriet married in the home of Rhoda May.
On the land of Susan Harriet’s grandfather, John M. James, in Shopville, the couple built themselves a new home. The home remained occupied by her descendants until about 1947, when the couple’s grandson, Lem Garland Herrin, built his bride, Thelma Hayes, a new home directly opposite the lane of the old home.
MARY HARRIET JAMES (1842-1935), nicknamed Mary Jane, was age ten when her father died. Left alone with Rhoda May to defend the family home during the Battle of Mill Springs, she successfully retained hold of the single horse they owned against marauding soldiers, by claiming half her family fought on one side while the other half fought on the other. Shortly after the war, she married Union veteran Daniel J. Owens, who had been imprisoned during the conflict. She was mother to ten children. At age ninety, she flew in an airplane for the first time. Flying over five states, she sang “Glory, Glory Halleluiah” and exited the airplane singing “Nearer My God to Thee.”
Rev. MARTIN NALL JAMES (1833-1911) was fifteen when Joe Martin James died. He became a Baptist preacher, but not one like his father. At twenty-five he married Susannah Elizabeth Matthews. The couple elected themselves Baptist missionaries & migrated into Missouri. During the war, he fought on the Confederate side. The couple bore eight children.
CYRENIUS WAITE JAMES (1831-1911) was age seventeen at the time of his father’s death He was Rhoda’s second eldest child. Cy bore witness to much of the abuse suffered by his mother. He and his other siblings also suffered the social stigma brought upon their family by their father’s bigamous third marriage to the youthful Permelia Estepp. Though his half-siblings with Permelia lived in plain view across Flat Lick Creek, the two families remained completely estranged from each other. Cy fought for the Union in the war and was taken prisoner. In prison in Georgia, he awoke to a nightmare of his daughter dying, at the same time she choked to death on some corn In Illinois. Prior to the war he removed his family there. Afterward, he walked them to Texas, where his descendants live today. No picture of Cy is known to exist. His daughter, Rhoda Ann James, named for his mother and shown here, operated his bank in Rhone, Texas.
A NEPHEW OF RHODA MAY-JAMES
JOHN SMITH MAY (1835-Aft. 1891) was a farmer and a teacher before the Civil War started. Shortly after joining the Confederate Army he was captured & imprisoned in Ohio. After the Battle of Chancellorsville, he was exchanged. He joined John Hunt Morgan in Sparta, Tennessee, but was captured later again with Morgan, David Hunt James, & Richard Skinner James. He was secondly incarcerated at Camp Douglas in Chicago, but later sent to Virginia. He surrendered with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Afterwards he returned to Kentucky to resume teaching. By Elizabeth McQueary he had ten children and by Sallie Thurmond two more. In Pulaski County, he became Superintendent of Schools, the Court Clerk for the county, and was elected to the lower house of the Kentucky State Legislature. He and Rhoda May-James died within a few years of one another.
Official website for the family of Frank & Jesse James – Living lives, telling the story. Knowing self.
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