Tuesday, March 18, 2014

53 Week Challenge - Week #10 James Le Dane

 This information was found in the:

Washington Post Jul 25, 1910


Mrs. LeDane Relieved to Learn He is at Occoquan.


Septuagenarian Who, According to His Wife Has Not Toiled for Twenty years, Joins the Workers' Colony.  Spouse Thinks He should be cared for in Some Home for Old Folks

James Le Dane is 75 years. Old.  According to his wife he hasn't done any work worthy of the name for twenty years and, with her, is dependent on their daughter and son-in-law for support.
Nevertheless, "Pap" as he is familiarly called, is possessed of an imperious spirit and last May when his daughter, Mrs. Harry Gorbutt, of 1003 Sixth Street southwest, made some remarks that displeased him, he straightened up his six-foot-six, stroked his iron gray mustache, and marched from the sheltering roof.  He hasn't since returned.

After searching for him for two months his son-in-law discovered "Pap" on Saturday, in company with about 40 other unfortunates, boarding a train in Union Station for Occoquan, VA., where the new workhouse is in process of erection.  How "Pap" got into such company his wife doesn't know, but she is relieved to learn that he is still alive.

Was Confederate Sutler.
Le Dane was born in Virginia. When the civil war started he entered the Confederate army as a sutler, most of the time driving a commissary wagon.  After the war he worked as fireman on one of the Virginia division of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for several years.  Coming to this city, he held various jobs, among them that of engineer at the National Hotel and fireman in the Senate side of the Capitol. At 50 years of age he decided to retire, according to his wife, and since then has been living with his son-in-law.

"Work" "Pap" hasn't worked for twenty years' said Mrs. Le Dane yesterday.  "This is, he hasn't supported me for that time.  He should be in some old people's home where he can be taken care of.  He hasn't been well for some time, and has undergone treatment at the Providence Hospital for asthma and bronchitis.  He isn't in any shape to be running around the streets.  He's too old and his mind is weakening. "Mr. Gorbutt has a large family to support and can't afford to care for my husband, it's all he can do to take care of me" concluded Mrs. LeDane.

There are no known photos of James.  He died on 1 August 1914 in the old folks home.  He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC but there is no tombstone for him.  There is much conflict in the information that is found about him.  Several notations state he was born in Maryland.  In this article it states Virginia.  The daughter he was mentioned as to living with was Elizabeth (LeDane) Gorbutt.

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