Friday, July 27, 2012

Jabez Burns McPherson, Jr.: My Story of Jabezes, Part 6

circa 1910  Jabez Burns McPherson "Dude"
Rockford, Illinois
Courtesy of the Margaret B McPherson Burmeister Family

 Jabez Burns, Jr., born on the 18th of November, 1873 in Mt. Vernon, Wisconsin, was the first-born of Jabez Burns McPherson, grandson of James Peter McPherson, and great grandson of Peter McPherson of Scotland.  He was also the grandson of Mary Burns McPherson, great gandson of William Gibson Burns, the  great-great grandson of Joseph Burn and the grand nephew of Jabez Burns, the Baptist minister.

As previously noted, his mother Mary Housel McPherson died shortly after the birth of his baby brother James Berdetta McPherson.  Jabez, Jr.at nineteen and as pictured below, was the oldest of the six children.  He was closer in age to his aunt Margaret Burns McPherson than he was to his younger siblings, Furman and LeRoy, eight and ten, respectively.  His aunt Margaret, who was just seven years older, referred to him fondly throughout her life as "Dude."

circa 1891 Jabez Burns McPherson, Jr.
Dodgeville, Wisconsin
Courtesy of the Margaret B McPherson Burmeister Family

Although very little information survived concerning the family's whereabouts after the mother's death, we do know that by 1900, Jabez, Jr.,  was living in Rockford, Illinois.  He married a young woman by the name of Lula Dunham on July 12.1897 in Kane, Illinois.. In the 1900 Census Report he was listed as being 26 years old, and Lulu, 22;  they had been married for three years and they had no children..  Jabez was working as a barber.

California called Jabez to it's warm climate.  Jabez, Jr., registered for the WWI draft on September 12, 1918 while living  in West Imperial, California.  At that time he listed his wife as Leila J. McPherson and his occupation as a laborer for the Imperial Water Co. #5.   It was during this period in the Imperial Valley that Jabez, Jr., met up with another Jabez Burns McPherson (my grandfather).  As the story was reported by my Uncle Ralph Jabez McPherson,  Jabez, Jr., stopped Ralph on a dusty street in Calipatria and asked if he was related to Jabez Burns McPherson.  "Yeah, that's my dad," replied Ralph.  "Well, I'm Jabez Burns McPherson too, and I got a letter here, but it's not for me.  So I figured I had kin nearby," replied Jabez, Jr, "so I started lookin."

I don't know if there was much contact between these two Jabez Burns McPherson cousins.  My  grandfather and his family stayed in Calipatria for several more years and Jabez, Jr., appeared to move further west..  By 1920, Jabez, Jr., lived in San Bernadino, California with his wife Leila J., who was born in Kentucky, and was 10 years younger than Jabez; her being 26, to his 36 years of age. Apparently, Jabez's Illinois marriage to Lulu did not last, for whatever reasons.  In San Bernadino, he again worked as a barber and she as a dressmaker.  It is also interesting to note that Jabez, Jr.'s father Jabez Burns McPherson, was also living in San Bernadino, while working as a placer miner.  I would assume that father and son made contact during these years, but perhaps that is just wishful thinking.

By 1930, Jabez, Jr., and Leila had moved to Los Angeles.  In 1930, Jabez still worked at his barbering trade, while Leila worked as a merchant in dry goods.  They would live out their rest of their lives in Los Angeles.

Jabez, Jr., died on March 25, 1954 in Los Angeles, California.  Leila died on March 5, 1979 in Los Angeles.  They had no children.

Obituaries for Mary Housel McPherson
1880 Federal Census, Dodgeville, Iowa County, Wisconsin
1897 Illinois marriage record for Jabez McPherson and Lulu Dunham
1900 Federal Census, Rockford, Winnebago, Illinois
1918 WWI Registration Card, West Imperial, California
1920 Federal Census, San Bernadino, San Bernadino, California
1930 Federal Census, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Pictures, courtesy of the Margaret B. (McPherson) Burmeister Family and the JGH/Roots'n'Leaves Archives. 

Jabezes, Part 1
Jabezes, Part 2
Jabezes, Part 3
Jabezes, Part 3, Addendum
Jabezes, Part 4
Jabezes, Part 5
Sad and Untimely Death Of Mary Housel McPherson
Housel family in Springdale
Burns Brass Band

~ ~ ~
 © Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. He looks so distinguished!!

    Great post!

  2. Joan -

    The second paragraph of this article explains the "flipcard" feature:


    I think you have to be in Windows 7....but I am not 100% positive. Good luck!!