Tag Archives: Mark Twain

High School Photos of Jesse James Great Grandchildren

For the James family, high school photos become really interesting when they are newly discovered photos of Jesse James’ great-grandchildren. The class photos increase in interest when they’re discovered to be provided by a previously unrecognized cousin.

class photos of Don and Diane Baumel

Twin siblings, Don & Diane Baumel, are direct descendants of America’s iconic outlaw. From the history of the Jesse James family, Jesse James Soul Liberty, we learn the following about Don and Diane, and more:

In high school in Los Angeles, Don and Diane Baumel both were considered “joiners.” If a group existed, they joined. Years later in 2007, Barbara Clemens, a classmate from their high school class, confirmed the fact. Diane and Don were elected by their classmates and by school faculty to the Ephebian Society, “on the basis of outstanding character, leadership ability, demonstrated service, and high scholastic achievement.” Don was Vice-President of the student body Diane was class President.

Barbara Wenzel Clemens
Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

These class photos are provided by Don and Diane’s classmate, Barbara Clemens, now age 81. Until Barbara provided these images, she did not know herself that she shared a common ancestor with Don and Diane in the famed explorer Daniel Boone, making all three of them cousins.

Being a great granddaughter of Daniel Boone, also makes Barbara a cousin to several of Boone’s descendants who also were among William Clarke Quantrill’s Raiders. Those are: John M. Ross, Daniel Boone Scholl and George Thomas Scholl, plus James Overton Hinde and Thomas W. Cassell.

Of continuing interest and research is the question of whether Barbara’s ancestry to a Link family also connects her to the Link family of William Link, the owner of Link farm that Jesse and Zee James rented in Waverly, Tennessee, where their children Gould & Montgomery James were born and died.

The class photos of Don & Diane no doubt intrigues other James family members who perceive all the common physical features they share with Don & Diane. Notably clear is the single arched eyebrow that continues to plague James women when they do their makeup. Don’s flat sided ear, addressed elsewhere on Leaves of Gas, is an unmistakable James birthmark, as are the clear jawbones, lips, nose, eyelids, forehead, and overall spatial formations.

If all this isn’t exciting enough, Barbara’s married name of Clemens also links her husband to the family of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known to America as Mark Twain.

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DON & DIANE’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 & DIANE’S’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

BARBARA’S DESCENT FROM DANIEL BOONE

Daniel Boone & Rebecca Bryant

. Jemima Boone & Flanders Callaway

.. Susannah Callaway & Thomas Howell

… John Francis Howell & Sarah Ann McCourtney

…. John Martin Howell & Caroline Virginia Link

….. Vella Martina Ashby Howell & William Percy Carver

…… Mary Vella Carver & Robert Alfred Wenzel

……. Barbara Wenzel-Clemens

RELATED STORIES

Great Grandson of Jesse James & Daniel Boone, Donald James Baumel, is Dead

Surprise Discovery for a Contributor to Jesse James Soul Liberty

Attention James Family…Send Me Your Ears

James Preservation Trust Gets Historic New Digs

Jonathon Nichols Office & Home, c. 1802-1816

The James Preservation Trust soon will occupy the historic, 200 year old building built by Jonathon Nichols in Danville, Kentucky. The structure sits on the Wilderness Road, the entry road from the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky, pioneered by Daniel Boone with his ax-man Johannes Vardeman. Vardeman is the father of Rev. Jeremiah Vardeman who married Betsy James, the daughter of John M. James & Clara Nall. John M. James himself rode this path repeatedly, bringing pioneers from Virginia and North Carolina to settlement in Kentucky.

The structure was built originally in 1802 for Nichols & his hemp farm. Nichols purchased the land from Phillip Yeiser. The dual doors facing Wilderness Road entered Nichols’ one room office on the left & his one room & attic residence on the right.

Jonathon Nichols Home & Office, Original Entry Facade

Sometime before 1816 Nichols added more spacious living space to his original structure. Subsequently, the main entrance to the home was shifted to the side facade.

From this home, Nichols’ hemp farm extended along the streets of today’s Lexington & Broadway Avenues to Danville’s First Street. Constructing hemp rope requires a building as long as the rope being manufactured. It is believed an additional manufacturing structure occupied the property extending up to 400 feet in length. Today, the property’s original Lexington Avenue boundary is occupied by mansion style homes dating to the pre-Civil War era.

Over time, the office-residence housed enslaved people. Joseph McAlister James, who left Pulaski County to settle in Danville, brought his enslaved with him. Prior to the Civil War, Mack set them free, establishing them in their own plantations off Clark’s Run nearby.

At the Boyle County Courthouse nearby, generations of Jonathon Nichols’ descendants have served as County Clerk & Recorder. Nichols family signatures have witnessed the deeds of Joseph McAlister James in the eighteenth century & deeds of Stray Leaves publisher Eric James in the twenty-first century. They also have witnessed the deeds of the Sallee & Samuels family descendants who also lived in Danville.

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TOUR SITES NEARBY

Constitution Square, Danville, Kentucky

Within walking distance of the JPT’s new home are many sites relevant to the James family. One can visit Constitution Square, where John M. James attended Judge Harris Innes in 1784, when Innes petitioned Virginia for the separation of the District of Kentucky to become its own Commonwealth.

James Hotel, c. 1910. When the original wood structure burned in 1876, Joseph McAlister James rebuilt the hotel in brick.

Off Fourth & Main Sts. in downtown Danville, is the site of James Hall, owned by Joseph McAlister James. James Hall was home for decades to Danville’s community & social events, politicking, Chautauqua presentations, & theatricals.

A block away, adjacent to the Court House built by Isaac Hite, is Weisiger Park, the former site of Mack James’ hotel, originally built by Jeremiah Clemens as the Black Horse Inn. Clemens was a relation of the author & humorist Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

Boyle County Courthouse, Built by Isaac Hite

In this same area, William Clark Quantrill, Frank James, the Pences, & the Youngers invaded Kentucky after the end of the Civil War, on their mission to “meet” Abraham Lincoln in Washington. Frank James took the opportunity to acquire some new book while in town. Further down Main St. is the First Presbyterian Church & cemetery, where Mack James was its first cemetery sextant. Adjacent is Centre College where Crittendens & Youngers were schooled.