Christened General James Crouse by his parents in Indiana, during the War Between
the States, he didn't like the name General and adopted James in childhood. In fact from
early youth he showed his independence. The same independence sent him to Bakersfield, CA.
from Cainsville, MO.
At that time Bakersfield, had one dusty narrow street. As the oil boom had not yet made
the tiniest little pep. His occupation was farming and lumberman. At the time of his
death he lived in Bakersfield. In 1894 in the Panama district James married Flora White,
the daughter of John W. White, one of the county's first supervisors. From this marriage
was Born eight children.
James and Flora celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May of 1944, three years
before Flora's death In the meantime they had farmed in Oregon, returning to Kern County
(Bakersfield, Ca) in 1939.
As a child I can remember he would ride a motor scooter daily from his home across a long
bridge in downtown Bakersfield. The high light of his day was to set on the bus bench and
get somebody to argue politics with him. He was really a politician. I often wonder what
he would think of our country today. I can still remember him talking about Herbert Hoover
and Franklin Roosevelt.
Word got around to his children he was running red lights in town and people would honk
their horns and he would just wave. Well that ended the motor scooter. Then to our surprise
coat-tail flying in the traffic on a bicycle and over the bridge to town. He always wore a tie
and a sport jacket. No doubt his exercise, gardening and cooking helped him live to be 99 years
old. He used to cook and eat everything the doctors tell us now is bad for us.