It is with pleasure that we are enabled to grant to this gentleman a representation in the volume of his County’s history, since he is one of the men whose labors have transformed the Nez Perces reservation from wilds to fine farms, and also because he is a man of intrinsic worth and intelligence and is the recipient of the confidence and esteem of his fellows.
James S. Jacks was born on October 9, 1868, near Winterset, Madison County, Iowa, being the son of Benjamin R. and Mary M. (Rhodes) Jacks, mention of whom is made in another portion of this work. James received a good education from the common schools and remained with his parents until 1889. Then he went to eastern Oregon, working at printing for a year at Athena, haying learned this trade in Des Moines, Iowa. Later he worked at this trade in Tacoma and in 1891 he came to the Potlatch country.
When the reservation opened up he at once filed on his present place, one and one half miles east from Gifford. The date of his filing was November 19, 1895, the next day after the reservation opened. In addition to doing a general farming business, Mr. Jacks is devoting considerable attention to fruit raising. He has now over five thousand trees, many bearing, making an area of about sixty-five acres to orchard. The varieties that Mr. Jacks finds best for this section are the Gano, Jonathan and the Black Ben Davis, all hardy winter apples. Mrs. Eva J. Miller, a widowed sister, keeps house for Mr. Jacks, he being one of the happy bachelors of the community.
On June 25, 1898, our subject enlisted in Company C, Independent Battalion of Washington, enrolling at Pomeroy, being under Captain Harry St. George. He was mustered out on October 26, 1898. The following winter was spent at home and on August 14, 1899, he enlisted again, this time at Lewiston. He was sent to Vancouver barracks and attached to Company I, Thirty-fifth United States Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Plummer, who got his commission a little later. The captain of the company was C. D. Roberts.
Mr. Jacks was in service from August 14, 1899, to March 15, 1901. He fought in the battle of Balobad Hill and later served as a noncommissioned officer in Company A on detached service in scouting. His regiment was stationed in the province of Bulacan. Mr. Jacks aid faithful and efficient service and since the war he has been paying special attention to the development of his farm and is one of the highly esteemed and intelligent citizens of the County.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903