|Birth: ||Oct. 6, 1898|
|Death: ||Oct. 13, 1962|
James, of Broken Bow, was of the native Choctaw Nation and very honorably served for the United States in France in WWI in the 142nd [36th?] Infantry Division during the Mousse-Argonne Campaign. He was a "Choctaw Code Talker," even when technically his Nation was not considered citizens of the United States until 1924. It wasn't until 1989 when the French government awarded him and other Choctaw Code Talkers (after their deaths), their highest "Merit" award on the steps of the Oklahoma City Courthouse.
James attended Armstrong Academy in Caddo, OK and the Folsom Methodist Training School in Smithville, OK. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and served the Choctaw People as pastor of the Indian Methodist Church.
An article about acquiring his gravestone states:
"A special ceremony celebrating the unveiling of a tombstone marking the place of rest for WWI Choctaw Code Talker James M. Edwards, will be held at 4 p.m. April 20 at the James-Folsom Cemetery at Whitesboro, OK. The granite marker was placed at the site recently, thanks to inquiries and requests sent to the Dept. of Defense by Tribal Judge Juanita Jefferson. She said she was visiting the grave of some of her relatives and noticed that a permanent marker had never been placed at Edwards' plot. As a veteran, Edwards was eligible for a stone, free of cost. The ceremony will feature a presentation of a Presidential Citation by Chief Gregory E. Pyle to Edwards' son, James Edwards. The Choctaw Color Guard and Choctaw Singers will also participate in the program. Invited speakers include Rev. Bertram Bobb, Speaker Kenny Bryant and Major General Leroy Sisco. The public is invited to attend the unveiling."
From the April, 2004 issue of "Bishinik."
Other Choctaw WWI veterans and Code Talkers were:
Corporal Solomon Lewis
Private First Class Mitchell Bobb
Calvin Wilson Goodwater
Otis Leader (see memorial)
Joe and George Davenport
Albert Billy (see memorial)
Joseph Oklahombi (see memorial)
There are great DVD documentaries available for the history of Code Talkers.
IF ANYONE HAS TOMBSTONE PHOTO DOCUMENTATION, PLEASE CONTACT ME and insert your grave photo into this memorial. THANK YOU!
Le Flore County
GPS (lat/lon): 34.69695, -94.84097
Created by: msb
Record added: Nov 24, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62086503