James K Potter CLEVELAND 1917-2004

James K Cleveland

Born November 16, 1917 in Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, the second son of William Jasper and Helen Lucille Cohen Cleveland.

James grew up on the Oak Thicket Ranch near Bisbee, Arizona.

When James was almost two years old, his brother Calvin was born. By the time James turned 7 years old, the family consisted of father, mother and 5 boys: George born in 1916, James, Calvin born 1919, Charles born 1920, and Robert born 1924. His youngest brother Walter was born in 1931.

According to the 1930 Federal Census, the family was living in Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona: William CLEVELAND age 50, Rancher; spouse Helen age 30, Children: George age 13, James age 12, Calvin age 11, Thomas age 9, Robert age 6.

In 1933, James’ mother left the family, taking the two youngest boys, Robert and Walter, with her to her mother's house in Bisbee. (Read more about her story on the Helen Cohen page.)

In 1937, at the age of 19, James was living in Patagonia, Arizona. In a letter to his mother he wrote “lost my job at the Rail X”, “I sent Hankerchives, Blue and Red for Walter and the other one for you”.

In October 1940, at age 23, James completed a WWII Draft Registration card, listing his father as the person who would always know his address, and his employer as J. T. Potter of Sulphur Spring Valley. He signed the card "James Cleveland". {WWII Draft Registration Card}

The Bisbee District Directory of 1942 shows James working as a helper at Creek Fuel and Feed Company, residing with his father near Bisbee, AZ.

James married Elizabeth A. Peek in Bisbee, AZ on 10 June 1944.

For a few years between 1944 and 1947, James lived and worked as a shop foreman in Yuma, AZ.

In 1946 James is seen in the Bisbee District Directory as a mechanic at Southern Arizona Auto Company, residing in Don Luis with a Lowell, Arizona address. The same directory shows Elizabeth Cleveland (known to the family as Betty) as his wife, working as a bookkeeper for Hack’s Motor Sales.

James' father moved to Yuma, AZ in 1946, and died about a year later.

In 1948, Jim and Betty are found in the city directory for Gainesville, FL.:

  • Cleveland Elizabeth A Mrs, bkpr Hal C Batey Sls Co, r 448 N Yulee
  • Cleveland Jas K (Elizabeth A) mech Melton Mtrs, 448 N Yulee

1955 finds Jim and Betty still working in Gainesville area, with the following city directory entry:

  • Cleveland Eliz G ofc mgr Hughes Sup r Lochloosa Fla
  • --- Jas K mech State Rd Dept

Gainesville City directories for both 1958 and 1959 show only Jim – no entry for Betty:

  • Cleveland, Jas K equip mech State Road Dept r Lochloosa Fla

Sometime after 1990, James and Betty moved back to Arizona, with records showing their residences in Bisbee and in Douglas in the late 1990s.

James K Cleveland died in Lordsburg, Hidalgo County, New Mexico on 19 January 2004.