James Jordan born 4-20-1833, Charleston, S. Carolina
James Jordan (Parents Unknown) b. 4-20-1833 (location is debatable - Different Oregon Census show both North Carolina and. South Carolina) d. 4-1-1897 Family Farm, Moument Drive, Merlin, Or.
Research on James Jordan ancestry; Unfortunately, many of the South Carolina County census records rarely name the children, the majority only indicating if its a girl or boy under the age of 10. Also, many birth records of young men in or around Charleston at the close of the Civil War were intentionally destroyed to keep them from falling into the hands of Sherman’s approaching Union Army. In November 1863, Jefferson Davis had visited the city and declared it would better the city be reduced to "a heap of ruins" than surrender. The Union bombardment that began in late 1863 continued on and off for 587 days. Charleston finally surrenders only a month and a half before the war ended.
James Jordan married: Mary Louisa Fidler, 2 FEB 1857, Galice, Or. (daughter of Dr. George Fidler and Jane Strain) b. 10-4-1840 Crawfordville, In d. 4-9-1924, Wolf Creek, Or. Mary died at her son’s home of Edward Jordan
Family stories that have been handed down, tell us that when James Jordan was 10 yrs. old, when he left home, stowed away on a merchant ship where he was befriended by a sailor. Reason for his leaving we do not know, kidnapped or a runaway, but evidently he was worked as a cabin boy, becoming a sailor over the course of the next 7+ years. There is some speculation that he might have had join the service of the Navy (but there are no records of this) It was during the frenzy of the California Gold Rush that he jumped ship in San Francisco in 1850. There in San Francisco he had a dray, hauling supplies to and from the docks. (a low, heavy cart without sides, used for hauling) Three years later, he heard of Gold discoveries in southern Oregon, near Jacksonville. The mines in Galice were booming and thousands were flocking to Galice, Oregon to find their fortunes. It was here that James now 20, met 16 year old Mary Louisa Fidler. Dr. Fidler, Mary's fahter, took a liking to this adventurous young man and approved the marriage. The newly-weds lived in the Fidler home for one year.
Shortly before 1860, the Jordans moved to Whisky Gulch near Williamsburg (aka, Williams Creek) and here they built a two story log cabin and homestead on the East Fork of Williams Creek where ten children were born. Wild life was plentiful for meat and the kids took advantage of the wild berries when in season. Doing a little mining, working for others and using the barter system, James and Mary were able to care for the family. Mary was only 4 feet 9 inches tall, but being a hardy women she was a real help to her husband. Together they built fences around the land they cleared. When the Storch Sawmill was completed next to their property, they had lumber to build a large barn, a grain silo and chicken coops. They raised wheat and hay. It was necessary to have a large barn to protect the animals at night from predators. Bears, cougars and coyotes constantly roam the area. Chickens ran about during the day, but a chicken house was necessary at night to protect them from the varmits that can around at night. Weasels were a real threat, being long and thin, they would slide up to the chickens and suddenly grab them by the neck and suck the blood out of them. Roosting in trees was little protection. Nests were built up high enough to protect the eggs from snakes and rodents. Food was stored in the cellar under the house, cool during the summer protected from freezing in the winters.
Children of James and Mary Jordan
Annabelle Jordan, b. 5-12-1858, Jacksonville, Or.
William Henry Jordan, b. 3-17-1860, Whisky Gulch, Josephine County, Or.
Walter H Jordan, b. 1-24-1862, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Alice Jordan, b. 3-12-1864, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Ethel Jordan, b. 3-9-1865, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
George (Frank) Jordan, b. 3-29-1867, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Isadora Jordan, b. -1869, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Hattie Julia Jordan, b. 10-26-1872, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Edward D. Jordan, b.12-14-1874, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Morris Jordan, died young
Marvin Jordan, b. 11-20-1879, Homestead, East Fork Williams Creek, Or.
Roy Jordan, b. 10-26-1885, Grants Pass, Or.
James had built a productive farm and sold produce in Grants Pass. As the children grew they sold the family farm and moved to Grants Pass, where the children can get a better education. The farm was sold to Fremont Stackpole the same year he married their daughter Ethel. James purchased two lots in Grant Pass and built the Commercial Hotel. James Jordan had a tattoo on his arm from his seafaring days, which he would show his grandchildren only for a second at a time. James and Mary also purchased 280 acres north of Grants Pass on Monumant Drive for $2,500. This would be their last home. James was a heavy smoker and his health declined. He died April 1st, 1897 and was buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, close to his home. Mary was a very independent and spunky little lady and continued to live in the home for many years. She made in own soap and baked her own bread in an outdoor brick oven. She was known for growing strawberries and beautiful roses. She had a reputation as a very neat person, she could wear a white dress all week and never get it dirty. Many of her grandchildren came to live with her at different times as they did not like to see her alone. She died in Wolf Creek at the home of her son Edward on April 9th, 1924, not long after her youngest son Roy was killed in Klamath Falls. She was buried beside her son Roy, in Granite Hill Cemetery.