James A. Jenks, Sheriff of Grand Forks County. It would be difficult to find in Grand Forks County or Polk County, Minnesota, a more popular man than Mr. Jenks. Coming to the country in April, 1871, when there was not a house where Grand Forks now stands, he became acquainted with the settlers as they arrived. For a number of years he resided over the river in Minnesota. His pursuits have been diversified. He was for a time engaged in farming, is now serving his second term as Sheriff and acted officially as Deputy four years prior to his election to his present position. Mr. Jenks is interested in land in Grand Forks County. He is also Deputy United States Marshal. (Andreas Historical Atlas of Dakota, A. T. Andreas, Chicago, The Lakeside Press, 1884, Page 254)
Jas. A. Jenks arrived in 1871, in company with Thos. Walsh, from Henderson, Minn. He came on a tour of observation, expecting to be absent a couple of months, but it was seven years before he returned. He was sheriff of this county several years and now operates one of the finest farms in the county. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday Morning, December 11, 1891, Volume XXI, Number 35, Page 2)
DEATH OF J. A. JENKS. Was Prominent in the Politics of North Dakota. James A. Jenks, a leading citizen of Grand Forks, N. D., died at St. Luke’s hospital Tuesday, June 18. His remains are at Dampier’s undertaking establishment on Wabasha street. Mr. Jenks was a prominent Mason, and was quite active in politics, having been sheriff for over two terms in Grand Forks county. Deceased was forty-seven years old, and died of cerebral hemorrhage. The funeral will take place at 9:15 this morning, and will be attended by Masonic honors. (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Thursday Morning, June 20, 1895, Volume XVIII, Number 171, Page 5)
A PIONEER GONE. Death of Jas. A. Jenks at St. Paul Yesterday Morning. The sad tidings came from St. Paul yesterday morning (June 18, 1895) that Jas. A. Jenks was no more. His death occurred a few minutes after 6 o’clock at St. Luke’s hospital, where he had been for treatment for some time past. In March last Mr. Jenks was stricken with a severe attack of grip, accompanied at first by rheumatism. After a week or two he apparently partially recovered and was able to be out a little, but soon had a relapse, and he was again confined to his room in the syndicate block. The disease soon took a very aggravating form, affecting the nerves in his face and neck causing excruciating pains almost continuously, so much so that his physicians were obliged to keep him under opiates much of the time. The disease in its various forms baffled the skill of the physicians and it was decided to send him to St. Paul, where he could be under the treatment of a specialist in nervous diseases. For a time he seemed to improve, but the improvement was only temporary, and two weeks ago Mr. Jenks suffered a paralytic stroke, partially recovering afterwards from the effects of this, but has since been steadily sinking and for the past few days his friends had no hope of his recovery.
Mr. Jenks was one of Grand Forks’ earliest citizens, coming here from Henderson, Minn., in 1871, when Grand Forks was but a small hamlet. He soon after located on a farm across the river. In 1876 Mr. Jenks went to the Black Hills gold country during the gold mining excitement there. He remained only about a year and returning to Grand Forks located on a farm near Arvilla, where he has since spent most of his time farming very successfully. In 1881 he was appointed sheriff of Grand Forks county and (was) elected to the office in the following year and also re-elected for another term, making a most efficient and popular official. He also held for several years a commission as deputy United States marshal. The death of his wife occurred in this city some three years ago. Mr. Jenks was a man of scrupulous integrity, and highly esteemed by all. He was one of the charter members of Acacia lodge A. F. and A. M. of this city, and also a member of Corinthian chapter No. 3, Grand Forks commandery No. 4, El Zagle Temple and Carmel lodge Scottish rite No. 6. He leaves three sisters, Mrs. E. C. Crain and Miss Edith Jenks, of Arvilla, and Mrs. Spencer, of Washington, and two brothers, W. H. and Charles, of Arvilla. The funeral will take place at Buffalo, Minn., tomorrow leaving St. Paul at 9 a. m. Quite a delegation of Grand Forks Masons will go down to attend the funeral. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Wednesday Morning, June 19, 1895, Volume 14, Number 198, Page 4)