James H. Bracken was born on 8 September 1881 (or 1882) in Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky, son of William B. Bracken and Sarah Ann Morris. On 21 June 1900, James lived with his uncle Asa Bracken [spelled Brackin] and Asa’s wife Eliza in Hale County, Texas. Asa and Eliza did not have any children and Asa worked as a farmer. James had attended school for three months in the preceding year.
He was married in 1907 to Addie C. Greathouse. Addie was born on 9 June 1881 in San Saba County, Texas, daughter of Archibald Donohue Greathouse and Sarah Ann Jackson.
On 16 April 1910, James and Addie lived in Lake Arthur, Chaves County, New Mexico. James was working as a house carpenter. They were attempting to patent the N ½ of the SW ¼ of Section 2 and the N ½ of the SE ¼ of Section 3 in Township 13 South, Range 25 East of the New Mexico Meridian, totaling 160 acres.
James was working as a stockman and sailed to Europe on a buying trip in 1912, staying in London at the end of his time abroad. He boarded the Titanic as a second class passenger for the return home, paying 13 pounds for his ticket (#220367). Nothing is known about his activities on the ship. His body was never identified.
Afterwards the American Red Cross established a trust fund for Addie, who was living on the New Mexico homestead with her elderly mother. There had been no life insurance and Addie told the Red Cross that James had been carrying between $3,000 and $4,000 in cash. The Red Cross established a trust fund for her and she had received $108.74 from other sources. Family members would later state that Addie had refused to take the Red Cross money.
Addie received the title for her land on 25 June 1913 from the Roswell, New Mexico General Land Office.
Addie went to live with her sister Lilly (Greathouse) Boyd and her family in El Paso, Texas in 1918. A few years later she moved on to her sister Belle (Greathouse) Greenwood’s family home in Carbon, Texas.
Addie was living in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas in 1928. The City Directory for that year indicates she was a machine operator for the Fort Worth Tent & Awning Company and that she lived at 416 S. Jennings Avenue. In April 1940, Addie (listed as Bonnie Bracken) was living at 3031 Avenue G in Fort Worth. She rented her home for $8 a month.
Addie reportedly was visiting family in the 1930s and when she left she vowed to her family that they would never see her again. Her family asked the American Red Cross to locate her, but they were never successful. She was apparently living in a convalescent home in Fort Worth towards the end of her life.
Addie died from myocardial infarction on 31 May 1969 at Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. The informant on her death certificate was the American Red Cross. She was buried in the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Fort Worth.
References and Sources
Photo courtesy of James Pylant (Genealogy Magazine)
Addie Bracken entry, Bureau of Land Management Patents, online at www.glorecords.blm.gov
Addie Bracken entry, Social Security Death Index.
Addie Bracken entry, Texas Death Index 1903-2000; online at Familysearch.org.
Addie C. Greathouse memorial on Findagrave.com
Asa Brackin household, 1900 US census, Justice Precinct 02, Hale County, TX.
Bonnie Bracken entry, 1940 US census, Fort Worth, Tarrant County, TX.
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
James H. Bracken household, 1910 US census, Lake Arthur, Chaves County, NM.
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Mrs. Addie Bracken entry, 1928 Fort Worth City Directory, p. 275.
Still Bringing Up Stories, Fort Worth Weekly, October 2012
The Emergency and Relief Booklet by the American Red Cross (1913), case no. 51.
The Titanic Passenger and His Mysterious Wife
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Homer Thiel, USA
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