His father, Jacob Book, died when James was only 9 years of age. The estate he had left to his family was, according to Marybelle Book Anderson, stolen by the executor of his estate, a family "friend". Because of this, James was forced to leave school to help support his family. He worked on farms, doing anything he could find for work. Perhaps this explains why he did not marry until age 36 - a sense of responsibility towards his mother and siblings.
1870 Edinburg Post Office, Wilmington Township, Lawrence County, PA Census
Nevada Morrow to James Book 1895 Allegheny County, PA 33 48 (Allegheny County, PA Vital Records-Volume 289, page 2, Series B. #24143, Marriage Records of 1895)
James and Sierra had three daughters, Margaret, Marybelle, and Laura Matilda. Laura had Downs syndrome and died at age three years. She was in the arms of her father when she died.
The notes on the photo are in her sister, Margaret's handwriting.
The family lived in Moravia, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. Their home has been remodeled but is still inhabited.
Nearby runs the Beaver River which Margaret remembered crossing, first on foot, and later on the bridge structure as it was erected, while on her way to school each day.
1910 Census: PA Lawrence
TESTAMENTARY FILE 13 No. 511 IN ESTATE OF JAMES P. BOOK LATE OF NEW WILMINGTON, LAWRENCE CO., PA DECEASED
SEE REGISTER DOCKET NO. 19 PAGE 590
LETTERS $650 PAID PER LETTERS IN BOX OF ROBERT K. AIKEN, ATTY.
Trans. Tax 2 % indexed 3 -22-28
I James P. Book of the township of Shenango, County of Lawrence, and State of Pennsylvania, do make this my Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me heretofore made.
1. I direct my executrix hereinafter named to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses out of my estate.
2. I give, devise and bequeath to my wife, Sierra Nevada Book, her heirs and assigns, in fee simple, all of my estate, real, personal and mixed, of whatsoever kind and wheresoever situated.
3. I do hereby authorize and empower my executrix hereinafter named to sell and convey at public or private sale any and all real estate in which I may have an interest, and to execute and deliver a deed or deeds to the purchaser or purchasers therefor as fully as I could do if I were living.
4. I hereby nominate and appoint my said wife, Sierra Nevada Book, Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal to this my Last Will and Testament this 17th day of April, A. D. 1918.
James P. Book.
We, the undersigned, at the request of James P. Book, the above named testator, in his presence, and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses to the execution of the foregoing Will.
Robert K. Aikens
J. Roy. Mercer
Application for Proof of Will
To the Register of Wills of Lawrence County, PA.
The petition of Sierra Nevada Book of the Borough of New Wilmington, County of Lawrence, State of Pennsylvania showeth:
That James P. Book, late a resident of the Borough of New Wilmington, County of Lawrence, State of Pennsylvania and a citizen of said County and State, died in the Borough of New Wilmington on the 5th day of March, A. D. one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight at 4"30 o'clock P. M. aged sixty-eight years, testate; that his last Will bears date the 17th day of April, A. D. 1918, and by which deceased nominated and appointed Sierra Nevada Book, Executor, thereof: That the deceased died seized of no real estate and personal estate of the estimated value of nothing.
Testator has not married and no child has been born to him, since the execution of the will offered for probate.
And Petitioner prays to have the said Will, now produced, probated, Letters Testamentary granted thereon, and recorded according to Law.
Dated at New Castle, Pa., this 22nd day of March A. D. 1928.
Sierra Nevada Book
370 Neshannock Ave. New Wilmington, PA.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, County of Lawrence, SS:
Sierra Nevada Book, above named, being by me duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say that the matters and facts set forth in the foregoing petition, are true to the best of her knowledge, information and belief.
Sierra Nevada Book
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22nd day of Mar. A. D. 1928 W. Walter Mahorn Notary Public. My Commission expires Mar. 31, 1931.
Lawrence County SS
I Sierra Nevada Book do swear that as Executrix of the estate of James P. Book deceased, I will well and truly administer the goods and chattel, rights and credits of the said deceased according to law, and diligently and faithfully regard and well and truly comply with the provisions of the law relating to inheritances.
Sierra Nevada Book
22d day of March 1928 Jeannette W. Hutton, Registor.
Lawrence County SS:
Personally came before me Register for Probate of Wills and granting Letters of Administration, etc. in and for said county , Robert Aiken and J. Roy Mercer subscribing witnesses to the foregoing will of James P. Book who being duly sworn according to law, say that they were present and saw and heard the within named Testator sign seal publish, pronounce and declare the foregoing instrument of writing as and for his last Will and Testament, and that at the time of so doing, he was of sound mind, memory , and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief, and that they subscribed their names to the same as witnesses in presence of the said Testator at his request and in the presence of each other.
Witnesses: Robert Aiken J. Roy Mercer.
Sworn and subscribed before me on this 22nd day of March A. D. 1928, Jeannette W. Hutton, Register.
James died in 1929 and Vada died 20 years later on 24 December 1944. Both are buried in Fair Oaks Cemetery, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.