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Veteran of US Civil War (1861-1865) – Maple Grove Cemetery, Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas

Pvt. James Janes enlisted in the US Civil War on January 1, 1864, in Co. I 7th IA Infantry. While in service, James contracted measles as well as rheumatism. He was honorably discharged in 1865.

James Janes was born in 1834 in England. At the age of 19, he came to America. James was an early settler as he came to Ford County, Kansas in 1876. He settled on a homestead three miles northeast of Dodge City.

Catherine Beardsley became his bride in 1879. The couple had no children. James was well known around Dodge City as he would wear a bright red scarf and mitten in the winter. As odd as it sounds, James grew watermelons and was known as the watermelon king. He grew as much as 11 acres of watermelons. When James sold his property in 1905, the price was set at $8.50/acre.

Catherine’s health began to decline so they moved to Arkansas. Catherine passed away in 1920 and is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery. James moved to Fort Leavenworth but was transferred to the National Home for Disabled Soldiers at Hampton, Virginia. He passed away on March 14, 1925. His body was brought back to Dodge City and is buried alongside his wife.

The March 28, 1925 issue of the Hutchinson News reported the following, “James Janes, Civil War veteran was buried here yesterday. A few hours before his funeral the body of James Jones, another Civil War veteran, was exhumed. A year ago it was reported that James Janes was dead. The body was brought here and buried. It was that of James Jones. He was buried as Janes. The mistake was not discovered until the death of Janes. The body of Jones will be sent to the National soldiers’ home at Leavenworth for burial.”

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