Gordon, James Oscar Jr.

Birth Name Gordon, James Oscar Jr.
Gender male
Age at Death 65 years, 4 months, 3 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth 1839 Michigan City, LaPorte, Indiana, USA Birth of Gorden, James
Death 1904-05-04 Michigan City, LaPorte, Indiana, USA Death of Gordon, James


Relation to main person Name Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Gordon, James
Mother Quick, Sarah Anne
    Brother     Gorden, Galatia
         Gordon, James Oscar Jr.
    Sister     Gordon, Keziah
    Sister     Gordon, Martha Ellen


    Family of Gordon, James Oscar Jr. and Burns, Mary Ann
Married Wife Burns, Mary Ann
    Family of Gordon, James Oscar Jr. and Enright, Ellen W.
Married Wife Enright, Ellen W.
Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Marriage 1865-11-09 Wisconsin, USA Marriage of Gordon, James Oscar and Enright, Ellen W.




BY: Patti Townsend

March 16, 2010

James Gordon, a son, brother, husband, father, war hero, grandfather. Many of these our own ancestors were, but James ultimately became the town drunk and local colorful figure. How did he get there? What is his story?

James was born January 1, 1839. His father was James (born 1804) and his mother was Sarah Quick. His maternal grandfather was Henry Quick, one of the original settlers of Michigan City, Indiana. James (1804) had moved north at some point as he was born in South Carolina.

James (1804) and Sarah, maiden name unknown, married on the 27th of November 1834 in LaPorte, Indiana. According to the records he was a shopkeeper. Their first child was Galathia Lafayette, born in 1837, followed by James in 1839 and daughters Keziah in 1841 and Martha Ellen in 1852.

Knowing that James (1804) was a shopkeeper, would make the assumption that these children were city bred a natural one. Also that would give rise to the speculation that they had a fairly easy life.

Indiana in the 1830’s would not be as polished as the east cost. It was still the frontier after all. But, again we can make an assumption that being city children they all learned some basic read, writing, and ‘rithmetic.

In 1861 war broke out and James (1839) joined as a private. He was one of the Hundred Day Soldiers to start with. The war according to both sides was not going to last long after all and both sides thought they would trounce the other side quickly and be home before the fall harvest. History of course shows that it was not so quickly done.

So James came home and joined the 9th Indiana Infantry and went in for the duration. They left the state for western Virginia, went into quarters at Cheat Mountain and soon was engaged at Green River. In February 1862 they were transferred to Buells Army and sent to Nashville and joined the bloody battle of Shiloh. James and his troops joined in the pursuit of Braggs Army to Wildcat Mountain and fought at Stone’s River. In 1863 he marched on to Chickamauga and was wounded. I am not sure how long he was on

leave for this, but know he returned to his troop and was promoted to corporal.

Towards the end of the war James was sent with the rest of the 9th to Texas as part of Sheridan’s Army of Occupation and he was mustered out on September 5, 1865. The 9th was forever after known as the Bloody 9th as it had suffered a 45% casualty rate.

My Great Great Grandfather lived until 1904. I regard him as a casualty of the Civil War. He came back to Michigan City, married Ellen Enright. They had four children; my Great Grandmother Huldah Anne born in 1868, another daughter Alice Louise, John Henry, and James Oscar who died of dropsy in 1887 at age 10.

He was an alcoholic and had lived a precarious existence doing odd jobs about the saloon. During his last months of life it is agreed that he had stopped drinking. I believe that he and Ellen lived apart as the 1900 U.S. Census lists her as living in Chicago with my great grandparents. James died outside of I.I. Spiros law office at 10:15am when he suddenly slumped to the ground. It is presumed he died from heart disease or apoplexy.


  1. Gordon, James
    1. Quick, Sarah Anne
      1. Gorden, Galatia
      2. Gordon, James Oscar Jr.
        1. Burns, Mary Ann
        2. Enright, Ellen W.
      3. Gordon, Keziah
      4. Gordon, Martha Ellen