Notes for Joseph Benjamin Jenkins: I have noticed a variation in the various family references to Joseph Benjamin Jenkins. Throughout his life, he went by Benjamin. He commonly went by Ben, and is listed as Benjamin in many public sources, and much of our family correspondence about him. I have seen public references to him as both Joseph Benjamin and Benjamin Joseph.
His family commonly called him Ben, and we nephews and nieces called him Uncle Ben. In the Christiansen and Winans genealogies, he is listed only as Benjamin Jenkins.
The common way I have seen or heard his full name is Joseph Benjamin Jenkins. I found that on the JenkinsLife.com website, members of his family have referred to him there as Benjamin Joseph Jenkins. That site is managed by a grandson, and one of the contributors is a daughter of Ben. In previous email correspondence, a great grandson refers to Ben as I have known his name, Joseph Benjamin.
Information from Julia Virginia Jenkins, Ben's step-mother, gives his name as Joseph Benjamin. This is in family information given to Lou Ila Jenkins in the 1950s.
Ben's grandson Bruce Jenkins says his father Brian told him that Ben changed his name around after an event in the army, when he and some army buddies in San Francisco were attacked by a Chinese gang. Ben was so badly injured doctors had to put a plate in his head. At some time after that event he changed his name by switching the order of his two given names.
Since early sources, such as the 1910 census cited below, show his name as Joseph B(enjamin), it appears that this was the original form of his name. This would follow the pattern of names in his father Joseph Asa and grandfather Joseph Sanford. Also note his cousin Joseph Benjamin Christian.
He is in the 1900 Chickasaw Nation census as Joseph B Jenkins. Stephens County, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, Page #310, Family #133 Jenkins, Joe Head W M Jun 1866 33 M-13 TX SC GA Farmer Jenkins, Joseph B Son W M Oct 1889 10 TX TX TX
His registration for military service for WWI, his card has the name Benjamin J and he signs his name that way. This seems to indicate he changed the order of his names while still a teenager, before he entered the service. The card image is attached. Though it is a poor scan you can make out the main facts. The date of birth differs, appearing to read Oct 12, 1890 (instead of Oct 21, 1889). But the numbers are made with a flourish. His address is given as Healdton (Carter County), Oklahoma.
His age appears to be 27, which would make this in about 1917, going by the declared birth date of 1890, or 1916, going by the actual birth date in 1889. It is a bit puzzling to the modern mind why he gave his birth year as 1890, instead of 1889, which is the date in family history info and in the 1900 census. I wonder if this indicates the difference in worldview perspective from that time to this. Our culture in the last half of the 20th century became very information conscious and detail-focused.
Variations in dates often differ in that era. Names do too. A person might have a totally different name from one census to the next. Most census enumerators recorded only one name, not the full name of the person. In earlier years they wrote whatever the family told them the child's name was, and many nicknames appear as the only name in censuses.
People were not oriented to the formalities of dates in the objective sense that we are. Ben probably had not focused so much on the actual date, and the slight difference in dates could reflect a lapse of memory on the exact details. The variations in name could also represent a cavalier attitude toward a name. Your name could be whatever you wanted it to be. Many cultures are still that way today, and a person will change a name at a particular stage or event in his life.
In the 1920 census in Oakdale, Washita County, Oklahoma, he is listed as Benjamin J Jenkins. Benjamin J Head M W 30 TX TX TX Lena F Wife F W 18 OK MO KY Benjamin J Son M W 1 yr 2 mos OK TX OK
Oakdale was an early name for Mountain View. That portion of Washita County later became Kiowa County. Children were born in Healdton before and after the 1920 census. It appears that Ben and Lena lived on the oilfield assignments, but maintained a permanent residence address in Oakdale/Mt View, where they were registered in the census, rather than Healdton, where they lived in somewhat deprived conditions. As work diminished during the recessions and conditions worsened, they joined many other Oklahomans and migrated to California in 1924 or 1925, after the birth of Robert in Oklahoma, settling in Los Angeles County.
Daughter Kathlyn Dale Lanford tells their story on the family website: http://jenkinslife.com/stories/jlife-stories1.htm
In the 1930 census in Los Angeles County, he is listed as Joseph B. This probably indicates that this was still his formal legal name.
3460 Bell Drive, Los Angeles (Norwalk) District 1191, page 7B-8A, Hse #180, Family #168 Joseph B Jenkins 39 Lena F Jenkins 29 Benjamin J Jenkins 11 Billy Jenkins 9 Edgar Jenkins 7 Robert Jenkins 6 Betty Lou Jenkins 4 Joan Jenkins 5mos
Bruce Jenkins says Ben "took care of 9 children through the Depression and owned a large house in Bellflower [California]. When WWII broke out and some of the older boys enlisted, he joined the merchant marines to do his part for the war."
Bruce also reports that later in life, Ben lived with his daughter Betty Lou Strickland for awhile.
More About Joseph Benjamin Jenkins: Date born 2: 12 Oct 18904898 Burial: Mar 1978, Westminster, Orange County, California.4899 Military: Bet. 1941 - 1945, Merchant Marines.4900 Occupation: 1923, Oilfield Superintendent.4901 Occupation2: 1930, Oil well drilling.4902 Residence: 1900, Marlow, Chicaksaw Nation, Indian Territory.4903 Residence2: Abt. 1917, Healdton, Carter, Oklahoma.4904 Residence3: 1920, Oakdale, Washita, Oklahoma.4905 Residence4: 1923, Healdton, Carter, Oklahoma.4906 Residence5: Bet. 1930 - 1962, Bellflower, Los Angeles, California.4907, 4908, 4909 Social Security Number: 564-24-7106.4910 SSN issued: California.4910
More About Joseph Benjamin Jenkins and Bessie Amanda Ann Winans: Marriage: 13 Oct 1907, Marlow, Stephens, Oklahoma.4911
Marriage Notes for Joseph Benjamin Jenkins and Bessie Amanda Ann Winans: Joseph Benjamin Jenkins married Bessie Amanda Ann Winans in October 1907. Though the marriage register spells the name Wynans, other family sources, including a letter from a grand-daughter to Jenkins family members, uses the spelling Winans.
Ben was a few days short of his 18th birthday. The marriage register gives his age as 18. His brother Everett also married in 1907.
Harold K. Christian reports this as a short marriage. I estimate that the marriage lasted between one and two years. Ben is known to have moved to Mountain View to work with his brother Everett in a dry cleaning business, but it is not certain when he moved to Mountain View.
More About Joseph Benjamin Jenkins and Lena Fairy Stinson: Divorce: Orange County, California.4912 Marriage: 20 Feb 1917, Hobart, Kiowa, Oklahoma.4913, 4914
Marriage Notes for Joseph Benjamin Jenkins and Lena Fairy Stinson: Kathlyn Jenkins Lanford reports that her parents divorced after 30 years: "After thirty years and nine surviving children later, my parents divorced. My mother, who desperately tried to keep the family intact, ended the marriage emotionally scarred but not defeated." -- http://jenkinslife.com/stories/jlife-stories1.htm
Children of Joseph Benjamin Jenkins and Bessie Amanda Ann Winans are: