Joseph Henry James (1855 - 1908)

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more added 2/2007

more added 2/2007


2/2007. More than 2300 now entered. thks!


Somerset, England


This is a work in progress so please be patient as we add more information.


The 150th Anniversary of Joseph Henry James' Birth
Click below for more information.      return to main 150th page     

Tue & Wednesday - Our arrival Friday - To Hop Valley and Pacheco
Thursday - Placing the headstones Saturday - The memorial service


Tuesday, April 18th   - About 40 of us met at the Holiday Inn this evening preparing to leave the next morning for the trip across the border and on to Nuevos Casas Grandes.  Some of us hadn’t seen each other since we were kids and others of us had not met before.  We had a grand time just bumping into each other in the lobby or at the restaurant and sharing family stories.  My son, one of the young ones there (age 37), later said to one of his cousins that was not there that, “it was funny to see all these people, many that didn’t know each other, but they all looked alike and acted a lot alike.”   I attribute it to good genes! 

Wednesday, April 19th  - Between 9 and 10 AM we gathered in the parking lot at the Holiday Inn and consolidated in the cars that would travel to Mexico.  Some left about 9 AM so we wouldn’t clog the border by all arriving at the same time.  Some of us waited around till 10 AM to make sure we got everyone that was traveling at this time.  It was about a 20 or 30 mile trip to the border and then a few hiccups happened.  First there are three steps at the border on the Mexican side 1) you go through the initial check where they look in the car, ask a simple question, and about every 5th or 6th car is directed over to place to look at the contents.  If you are not checked you are waived on and then are supposed to pull over to a little parking lot and 2) get your personal entry papers and 3) get the permit for your vehicle.  Here are the hiccups that added a lot of flavor and conversation when we got to Nuevo Casas Grandes. 

  • Something was not correct about Verdene Kornegay’s auto registration and it could not be taken into Mexico.  She had to go back across the border and find a place to park her car safely. Meantime some cell phones were not working and she was left sitting alongside the road with 3 peoples luggage looking for a ride.  We had to go back to Palomas so eventually we found this lost soul sitting in the sun.  Tough lady, no panic, still smiling.  We picked her and the luggage up and joined the rest in Mexico, distributing her passengers among other cars.
  • Some did not have birth certificates and had to return to Palomas for a notarized document saying they were US citizens.
  • 4 or 5 cars did not realize when they got waved through the first checkpoint that they had to stop and get tourist cards or auto papers so, glad that they were not waved into the area for the luggage check, they proceeded to drive on.  Not till they were 90 miles into Mexico were they stopped at another checkpoint and sent all the way back to the border for the correct papers.  Bummmmer.

Like I said, it made for good dinner conversation later on.  The drive down is a pretty nice, 2 lane highway.  A couple of small towns along the way.  At the first ‘rest stop’ we got a little taste of local culture as the ladies had to make a contribution in order to get a little TP.  Cost wasn’t high just an unexpected test to see if we understood the local currency.  About half way down to Nuevos Casas Grandes is the town of Ascencion.  This was the border check when Joseph Henry James and family came into Mexico and was also the very close to the first community they developed.  This first community was know as Colonia Diaz and the family lived there for a number of years and quite a few of the children were born there.  The old Mormon community of Diaz is completely gone now.  It was burned at the time of the Exodus and there is nothing remaining to see.  The photo shows the countryside and what it is like, i.e. very nice farmland, and is about where the community would have been.  

Next we were off to the Hotel Hacienda in Neuvo Casas Grandes.  The hotel was very nice.  Had a pool, nice restaurant, gated parking lot and quite clean. 

We were all given rooms close to one another so people just left their doors open when they wanted visitors and people wandered from one room to another to visit or their was a nice lobby in the building we were in that was another gathering spot. With the challenges at the border we were a little later than we planned so rather than go to Colonia Juarez (20 miles away) to visit the cemetery we decided to wait till the next day.  By this time we were already counting heads and realizing we had lost some along the way.  Fortunately, even with the trip back to the border, most made it in time for dinner.