James M. Rankins was the son of Marshall Rankins and Mary Steel, born June 4, 1844, according to his gravestone, 1849 according to his death certificate. He died September 25, 1917 of stroke.
Jennie Lee was the daughter of E. A. Lee and Mary Lee, born December 3, 1853, according to her death certificate, 1854 on her gravestone. She died November 18, 1918, from diabetes.
In the 1860 census of Mason County James M. was 15 years of age, living with his parents, and three older brothers – John A., 23; Thomas J., 19; and George W., 17. In the 1870 census of Fleming County, Jennie, 16, is living with her mother, Mary, 48, and sisters Sarah, 19; Emma, 14; and Mary, 8. Her father, E. A. Lee, must have died about 1862/1863 – possibly during the Civil War?
James and Jennie married after the 1880 census was taken, since she still lived with her mother at that time. From a short notice in the newspaper we can estimate that marriage in March of 1882.
Thursday, March 30, 1882
There are three children of the couple listed in census records – James L., Grover C., and Louise N. In the 1900 census, when these three are listed with their parents, Jennie is listed as having five children, three living; the couple is shown as married 18 years.
In The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, of Monday, February 13, 1893, is a notice that ‘Morris, the four-weeks old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rankins, died Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock, of pneumonia, and was buried yesterday. The parents have the sympathy of their friends in their loss.’ I found nothing about the fifth child.
In 1910, only James and Jennie are in the census records for Robertson County .
In one newspaper article I found James Rankins was noted as ‘Colonel’. Was he in the Spanish-American War? He would have been an extremely young colonel for the Civil War.
James drove what was known as a ‘bus line in Maysville. In January of 1903 the icy roads were hazardous and he and his passengers narrowly escaped injury.
Monday, January 12, 1903
He purchased Mr. C. T. Anderson’s interest in this line in 1895, and was then known as Trigg & Rankins. In other articles I found that he owned a livery stable on Third Street, which he sold in 1885. in 1886 he was Deputy Marshall.
In 1885 he and several others helped Charles Johnson, an ex-confederate, renting a house for Mr. Johnson and his family during their time of need. Evidently James Rankins was very conscious of helping others, as well as being civic minded.
Saturday, November 21, 1885
James Rankins also carried the mail between Mt. Olivet and Maysville.
Monday, February 15, 1904
In a 1906 article about his son Grover, he is also noted as Colonel.
Saturday, February 17, 1906
I could not find an obituary for James M. Rankins, but did find one for Jennie Lee Rankins.
Monday, November 25, 1918
Categories: Family Stories