James William LOONEY [Parents] [scrapbook] 1 was born on 22 Apr 1809 in Kentucky. He died on 16 Jan 1879 in Freestone Co., Texas. He was buried in 1879 in Cotton Gin Cemetery, Freestone Co., Texas. James married Mary RUSHING about 1874 in Oakwood, Leon Co., Texas.
James William Looney was born 22 Apr 1809 in Kentucky. James served two terms as the county sheriff (likely Cumberland Co, Kentucky) (Robert Riddle) (note that there were no Looney's listed in Cumberland Co. during the 1830 census). James married Frances "Fanny" Smith before 1835 in Kentucky. They remained in Kentucky until about 1838 or 1839 when they moved to Weakley County, Tennessee where they resided until about 1851. (Weakley Co. is in northwest Tennessee and borders Kentucky). In the 1840 census, it is seen that two boys and two girls, all under the age of five are in their household. James was employed in "agriculture." The children are Frederick, Susan, and the youngest child at the time, James (the younger James). The fourth child is an unknown female who apparently died before the 1850 census.
Annual tax lists from 1842-1850 for Weakly County, Tennessee indicate James and Fannie lived in District 12, which was the far southeast section of the county (near present day Gleason, TN). In the 1850 census James' occupation is listed as "blacksmith" and he and Fannie have six children in their household: Frederick (14), Susan (13), James (10), John (8), Billy(6) and Rebecca (4). During this period no land or slaves were recorded under ownership.
Around 1851, the family would move to southeast Arkansas (Ashley County), a journey of more than 300 miles. From the 1860 census, it is seen that James and Fannie were living in Marie Saline Township of Ashley Co. Arkansas. Four children are in the household: Susan, Rebecca, William and Jesse (age 9), with Jesse being born in Arkansas (his name appears to have been recorded as "James" in the 1860 census). In 1860, James' occupation is again listed as "blacksmith," but he must have been farming some land since the value of their land was $5500. The value of their personal property was $1500.
In about 1863 the family would move to Freestone County, Texas (Robert Riddle), which was soon followed by Fannie's death in February, 1864. (From Ashley Co. Arkansas to Freestone Co. Texas is around 340 miles). An 1870 census record has not been found for James Looney. About 1874 James would marry again, to Mary Rushing. Mary was allegedly younger than James' oldest daughter, Susan, which created an interesting situation (Edward Looney letter).
James and Mary had two children, Edward and Fannie, both born in Oakwood, Leon County, Texas (note that Oakwood is on the border of Freestone and Leon Counties, and is some 35 miles from Cotton Gin). James would also outlive Mary, who died on 8 Jan 1876 (Robert Riddle). Mary's death was apparently from complications with the birth of Fannie, born the same day. It's interesting to note that this last child was named after James' first wife.
James would live another three years and died 16 Jan 1879. He is buried beside his first wife, in Cotton Gin Cemetery, Freestone Co., Texas (it is assumed they are together, though the Freestone Co. cemetery listing does not explicitly state so).