James Alexander Ketchum (September 22, 1852 - August 09, 1929)
Mary Jane Brown (June 14, 1855 – April 17, 1940)
James Alexander Ketchum was born September 22, 1852 in Rolla, Missouri. He married Mary Jane Brown on August 10, 1873 in Phelps County, Missouri. Mary Jane was born June 14, 1855 in Dent County, Missouri. She was the daughter of James Brown and Elizabeth Arthur. James died August 09, 1929 in Comanche County, Oklahoma because of sarcoma (cancer) of the wrist. Mary Jane died on April 17, 1940 in Comanche County, Oklahoma. They are both buried in the Letitia Cemetery, Comanche County, Oklahoma.
James was not only a farmer but Superintendent of Bethel Schools, Comanche County, Oklahoma 1906 – 1913.
Census records of 1920 Stephens County, Oklahoma (T625, Roll 1484, Line 94) show: Ketchum, James A. age 65; was able to read & write; born in Missouri; father & mother born in Tennessee; Ketchum, Mary J. age 63; was able to read & write; born in Missouri; father & mother born in Kentucky; Ketchum, Carrie age age 23; was able to read & write; born in Texas; father & mother born in Missouri. Census records of 1930 show: 1930 Stephens County, Oklahoma (T626 Roll 1932, Line 5) Ketchum, Mary J. age 73; widow; married at age 19, born in Missouri, father & mother also born in Missouri -- shown living with daughter (Note: Not known why there is difference in place of birth of parents between 1920 & 1930 Census); Ketchum, Carrie age 34(?); single; born in Texas; father & mother born in Missouri.
Story submitted by Kitty Ketchum Ingram: During the time that Jim was Superintendent of Bethel School, his grandson James Artice "Boots" Ketchum and Mary George Burns (who later became Boots' wife) were students there. Mary does not remember seeing a fountain pen nor any other type of ink pen at the school; neither was there any carbon paper or typewriter. The students used round cedar pencils and Big Chief tablets. Erasers came separate from the pencils and were forced onto the tops of the pencils. They also used chalk and slates. Some of the chalk was wide and flat, some round but smaller than the pencils. There were large blackboards on the walls. The school accommodated one teacher at a time, and about fifty students (kindergarten through the eighth grade). William Isaac Burns (Mary George Burns's father) was a member of the school board during that time.