James E. Wolfe (1909–1965)


James Emmet Wolfe was born on September 11, 1909, near Lost Nation, Clinton County, Iowa. He was the son of Maurice Buckley Wolfe, a farmer in Lost Nation, and Sarah A. McAndrews. Wolfe had four older brothers: Raymond Bernard (b. 1896), Philip James (b. 1898), John Joseph (b. 1901), and Melvin Maurice (b. 1904).


In an essay written in 1975, Jimmy Wolfe’s nephew, Thomas Wolfe, wrote: “He was born in 1909 and promptly began enjoying himself. Life was seldom dull when he was around.”

Wolfe inherited his parents’ farm southeast of Lost Nation and farmed there his entire life. On July 27, 1937, he married Alice Marie Heath (b. 1911), of Waterloo, in Clinton. The couple had five children: Celine (b. 1938), James Patrick “Pat,” Sarah, Alice Maureen, and Raymond.

One of Wolfe’s barns apparently was struck by lightning on July 4, 1939, at two-thirty in the morning. According to a newspaper report, it burned to the ground, but the Lost Nation fire department was able to save nearby buildings. The damage was covered by insurance.

Wolfe died on April 28, 1965, his wife on February 1, 2000. They are buried together at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Lost Nation.

images: Wolfe gravestone, Lost Nation (user aeiou02 / Ancestry.com); Jimmy Wolfe, ca. 1923; notice in the Oxford Mirror, September 16, 1909, page 5

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