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Home: Surnames: Edmiston Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: James Ewen Edmiston
Posted by: Claudia Cumming (ID *****4539) Date: June 18, 2010 at 03:05:35
In Reply to: Re: Beyond Turk Edmiston notes by Barbara of 643

I am a direct descendent of JAMES EWEN EDMISTON, born Washington County AR 1849 and his nephew JAMES EWEN EDMISTON born Dayton WA Territory 1887.

My great-great grandparents MOSES ALEXANDER and LUCINDA JANE (Diven) EDMISTON had 4 sons, all born in Washington County AR; JAMES EWEN born 29 Mar 1849, DIVEN E. born 1851, FRANCIS L. (FRANK) born 1852 and ALBERT A. born 1857. Frank is sometimes listed as FRANCIS F., but FRANCIS L. is the correct name.

While the Edmistons were originally from Scotland they had lived in the Washington County AR area for many years, having come from North Carolina and Tennessee in mid 1700's. They were known to be of Scottish descent, but I have never seen exactly when they came from Scotland. Lucinda Jane Diven's fathers family emigrated from Ireland and her mother's family (Crawford) from Scotland in the early 1700's, but also had a long history in that part of the country.

MOSES ALEXANDER EDMISTON died in 1857 and Lucinda remarried William Pasley in 1866 and had 4 children with him.

In 1870 Lucinda Jane's widowed mother HANNAH CRAWFORD DIVEN came West with her son ROBERT MACKLIN DIVEN's family to Oregon. They settled near Baker. ROBERT MACKLIN DIVEN had lived in West Texas 1860 - 1865 where he was a Texas Ranger. He returned to Arkansas in 1865 and emigrated to Oregon with his mother and family in 1870. Of 10 children born to Robert Macklin & Mary Jane (Kellam)Diven only 2 lived to adulthood.

JAMES EWEN (b. 1849) married HELEN E. LACEY in 1873 in Corvallis OR. Her parents had come to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. He graduated from Bentonville College in Arkansas in 1870, so emigrated to Oregon sometime between 1870 & 1873. Maybe he came with his Uncle ROBERT MACKLIN DEVLIN? He graduated from Corvallis College in 1873 and started teaching school in Colfax WA the same year. In 1876 they moved to Dayton WA where he remained the rest of his life.

JAMES EWEN and HELEN LACEY EDMISTON had 5 children (Arthur, Albert, Freddie, Lenora & Lacy) who all died in childhood and are buried in the Dayton City Cemetery 1878-1888. He did not have a child named James Ewen. In 1885 he was admitted to the Washington Bar & became Prosecuting Attorney for Columbia County in 1886. He became Washington Penitentiary Commissioner in 1888 and also served on WSU Board of Regents. He was a well respected member of the community. He died in Dayton WA 08 May 1900. He is buried in the Dayton City Cemetery with his children. Helen outlived him by many years, not sure where she is buried.

My great grandfather FRANCIS L. (FRANK) EDMISTON married MARY E. (MOLLY) AKIN in 1878, most likely in Colorado. Their first child William L. Edmiston was born in Colorado in 1882. I do not know exactly when he came West, but he was still with his mother and stepfather in Washington County AR census in 1870. Molly Akin's family were neighbors in Marrs Hill AR in 1870, having fled Southern Illinois during the Civil War. The AKINs moved to Rosita, Colorado sometime between 1870 & 1876. I have not been able to track down their marriage certificate, but it seems logical that Frank came West to Colorado, married Molly and they moved to Dayton WA to be near his brother James Ewen.

Frank & Molly lived in Dayton WA Territory 1885 - 1887. My grandmother HELEN DORCAS EDMISTON was born in Dayton WA Feb 1885. Her brother JAMES EWEN EDMISTON was born in Dayton WA 31 Aug 1887. In 1890 FRANCIS L (FRANK)EDMISTON was Warden at Walla Walla Territorial Penitentiary. Family history tells that Frank never had to pull his revolver even on the toughest prisoners. Frank D. Edmiston was born in Sprague WA in 1895 and Annie W. Edmiston was born in 1897. FRANCIS L. (FRANK) EDMISTON was City Marshall in Sprague WA 1895 - 1897. The family moved to Lewiston ID where Annie W. died in 1899. When he was not working as a lawman Frank was a carpenter. FRANK L. EDMISTON died 20 OCT 1902 in Lewiston ID & is buried there. MOLLY AKIN EDMISTON died in Tukwila WA in 1930 but is buried with Frank & Annie in Lewiston ID. I have not found death records for William L. or Frank D.

My grandmother Helen's brother JAMES EWEN EDMISTON was married to FLORENCE EDMISTON. My father remembers that Aunt Florence had red hair. They spent summers in Oregon and my father has memories of his cousins Jimmy, Helen and Mary and his Uncle Jim. I have photos of Uncle Jim and Aunt Florence visiting my dad's family in Portland OR in the 1920's. James Ewen owned a huge fruit warehouse at one time.

I do not believe there is a Lewis & Clark connection for the Edmistons from Washington County AR. JAMES EWEN & FRANCIS L. (FRANK) EDMISTON came West after the Civil War. JAMES EWEN may have come across the Oregon Trail with his Uncle Robert Macklin Diven. Not exactly sure when or what route FRANK EDMISTON took. Most of this branch of the Edmiston family remained in Arkansas. Lots of lawmen and some pretty tough guys from what my dad has told me.

Hope this is helpful!

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