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 James Arthur Gorman

James Arthur Gorman

Birth
Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Death 30 Aug 1898 (aged 54)
Rankin, Ellis County, Texas, USA
Burial Bardwell, Ellis County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 52813344 · View Source
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Family legend has it that James Arthur O'GORMAN (he was supposed to have dropped the "O" when he came to America from Canada) was born in 1844 in Kingston, Ontario. When he was about 21 years old, his father offered to bring him into the family business or give him $500 cash if he decided to strike out on his own. James took the money and came to the post-Civil War American Frontier to seek his fortune. He became a teamster by trade, owning several teams of oxen, mules and wagons which he used to carry freight for hire.

He was found in the 1870 census record for Ellsworth County, Kansas where he was working on the "D & B Powers Farm" for recruiting and wintering stock. The census recorded his age as 28, born in Canada, occupation as Wagon Master.

James appears to have gotten into the buffalo hunting business when the Union-Pacific railroad started pushing through Kansas. As a teamster, he likely hired out his wagons and drivers to haul the buffalo meat back to the kitchens feeding the railroad workers. Then, later got involved in hauling buffalo hides when they became more valuable than the meat. By 1875, most of the Northern Buffalo herds had been hunted to extinction and the Buffalo hunters had moved on to West Texas to hunt the Southern Herd there. It was in the fall of 1876 that he showed up in Waco, Texas at Chrismas time. Waco was a stopover point for him while hauling freight from Galveston to Fort Griffin in Shackleford County. He may have used Waco as his base of operations for he had a number of friends there. It was in December of 1876, when he laid over in Waco on his way Fort Griffin, that he had to have some work done on his wagons and horses and mules shoed by blacksmith Robert Patterson. During this time, he met Robert Patterson's sister-in-law, Frances Catherine Hines and thus began a two year romance and courtship.

For the next two years, James operated out of Fort Griffin by hauling Buffalo hunters and their supplies (food, lead and gun powder) out onto the Texas High Plains at Camp Reynolds near the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. He also narrowly missed being scalped by Indians who left the Oklahoma reservation try to drive off the hunters. He and Catherine exchanged letters and the relationship grew.

By the end of 1878, most of the Southern Buffalo herd in Texas had been eradicated and James returned to Waco. He married Frances Cathereine Hines of Waco, Texas in December 1878 in Hillsboro, Texas. He was thirty-four years old and she 22 at the time. James and Catherine settled in Telico, Ellis County, about 3 miles east of Ennis near the Trinity river. He may have initially engaged in several business activities related to freighting and hauling. (My grandmother said that he was a contractor and that he built the first dam for Lake Ennis about 1890). About 1896 he moved to Rankin in Ellis County were he accepted the position as manager of a cotton gin owned by the Waxahachie Cotton Seed Oil Company.


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  • Maintained by: William Gorman
  • Originally Created by: KBounds
  • Added: 24 May 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 52813344
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Arthur Gorman (22 Feb 1844–30 Aug 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 52813344, citing Elm Branch Cemetery, Bardwell, Ellis County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by William Gorman (contributor 47658044) .