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James Oscar Blakey



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. (1)

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...., 192.

Documentation reproduced with permission of Chris Hunter and the Normal School Company website



Updated June 28, 2001