James O. Blakely was from Elma, Erie County, N. Y., located near
Buffalo. He taught for 5 years before entering the Normal School,
from which he graduated in July 1862. Just a month later, he enlisted
in the Normal School Company, and was named a corporal. On December
30, 1862, he was promoted to sergeant. He remained with the company
until December 1863, when he received a first lieutenant's commission
in the 19th U. S. C. T. He was promoted to captain on November 19,
1864, and remained in the service until his regiment was mustered
out on June 15, 1867. His fellow soldier James Woodworth considered
him a warm friend, willing to help his fellow soldiers. On one cold
night, he even brought the mail to the pickets, who were grateful
to be able to read news from their loved ones, under the moonlight.
In 1863, while still in the service, he had married Jane L. Bowen,
with whom he eventually had 5 children. After his discharge, he
taught for 6 years near his home in Erie County. He then moved out
to Tulare, California, where he taught for another 6 years. He also
served as a bookkeeper for 3 years, before beginning work for newspapers.
He worked for 2 years with newspapers before becoming proprietor
of the Tulare County Journal. In 1895, he was listed as living in
Clearwater, California, and in 1911, his address was listed as 258
North Union Avenue, Los Angeles, California. (2)
1. James Woodworth to Phebe Woodworth.
2. Historical Sketch of the State Normal College at Albany, N.Y....,
Documentation reproduced with permission of Chris Hunter and the