John B. Jaques – Part IV – The Final Years

When we left off with the story of John B. Jaques (see Part III), it was 1870 and he was living in Newark with his wife Mary and sons Walter and John (Civil War veteran, former drummer boy highlighted in a recent post). John Sr. was still estranged from his father at this point, and had yet to seek help with his rehabilitation from a serious addiction to alcohol that had driven him to a life of petty crime and at least one stint in state prison.

In March of 1872, John was arrested for stealing some coats, as reported in the New York Tribune on the 28th of that month. Somewhere between then and his 1879 reunion with his father (documented in the past post, Wayward Jaques son returns home), he sought and found help to get sober and straighten out his life. He was in his late 50s by then.

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

New York Herald, 28 Mar 1872 (www.fultonhistory.com)

After I read in the Oswego paper about the father-son reunion, my first thought was about whether John Jr. managed from then on to live in a permanent state of sobriety. His father died the following year; with dad gone, did John Jr. have the will and courage to continue coping with the numerous temptations that would naturally have come his way in normal, everyday life?

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

1880 Census Record, 12 Jun 1880

On 12 Jun 1880 (two months before his father Isaac’s death), John and Mary were living together alone on Court Street in Newark; the children were out of the nest, settled down, and married, and having children of their own. John reported his profession as “Tailor” but had experienced some unemployment that year as evidenced by the tick in box 14 of the record. At some point in the next six-plus years, Mary passed away (or divorced him, but I think the former is more likely). I found a marriage record showing John’s remarriage to someone named Margaret A. Wambeld, a lady some 26 years younger than he. The marriage took place in Newark on 14 September 1886. Did she help keep John on the straight and narrow, or did she serve as an enabler of his bad habits? (Or, was she into all those bad habits herself?)

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus, widow of James W. Angus, probably circa 1890

One answer to that question came from a New York Times article published on 3 September 1892, about an Elizabeth, NJ, robbery of the Walter P. Angus home at 25 Reid Street, and I thank blog reader Mary Keenan for pointing the article out to me. John’s first name is never given, but it is crystal clear from the contents that it was he who perpetrated the crime. Walter P. Angus was one of John’s nephews, a child of John’s late sister Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus. This was the home Wealthy lived in until she died some six months earlier, so with “big sis” permanently out of the picture, little brother with the alcohol problem seized a moment when the family was on holiday in Ocean Grove (NJ) and Walter was at work in NYC to break in and rummage through the household. John walked off with roughly $200 worth of clothing and jewelry. The police were called and after a bit of discussion and investigation, it was determined that an old man named Jacques, a relative of the Angus family, who had been boarding in this city perpetrated the crime. The article went on to mention that John was wanted for a charge of forgery, having paid his latest board bill with a forged and worthless check. The search for John had thus far proven to be fruitless: They have been unable to find any trace of him, and he is supposed to have left the city. Jacques’s father many years ago was one of the largest real estate owners in the central part of the city, and one of the streets there is called after him. Jacques is supposed to be somewhere in New-York City.

So, no, sadly it appears that John fell off the wagon at some point and was engaging in the classic activities of an addict– either drinking or looking for a way to finance his next drink.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

Newark Alms House on the Elizabeth/Newark line.

St. Michael's Hospital, 1900

St. Michael’s Hospital, 1900

Final confirmation of John’s sad demise came in the form of his death record, which I received in the mail some two months ago:  John died of stomach cancer on 19 Dec 1895, at the age of 73 (it’s rather amazing he lived that long, given his lifestyle). The death occurred at St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, and prior to that, John had been living at the Newark Alms House (aka the poor house). According to the website The Poor House Story, Poorhouses were tax-supported residential institutions to which people were required to go if they could not support themselves. They were started as a method of providing a less expensive (to the taxpayers) alternative to what we would now days call “welfare” – what was called “outdoor relief” in those days. Evidently, Newark’s first alms house was a godforsaken place where the down-and-out and society’s deviants were dumped. The Old Newark website provides a description (click here). A glimpse of the situation for one poor soul who met his maker there in 1867 was described in this NY times article. Whether a new alms house was in existence by the mid-1890s, I don’t know. The census of 1880 gives an idea of the types of people who ended up here (visit the Newark Research website). Margaret may well have been residing there with John. I found a death record for a ‘Margaret Jaques’ for 31 December 1896 (just over a year after John’s death), and this may have been her; had she been an alcoholic, too, a death at 50 would have come as no surprise.

John B. Jaques was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ. If he was buried in his father’s plot, he is in an unmarked grave as no marker appears for him in that vicinity.

That is the extent of what I know about John B. Jaques Jr. He has numerous descendants “out there,” and I have managed to track down a few lines into the early part of last century. It still amazes me to think that John’s existence had been hidden from us until quite recently, and it took the Fulton History newspaper archives website to reveal him to me. I can now attest to the veracity of that site’s tagline: Finding the Angels & the Devils in the Family Tree since 2003!

1-John Barron Jaques b. Mar 1822, New York or New Jersey, USA, d. 19 Dec 
  1895, St. Michael's Hospital, Newark, Essex Co., NJ, bur. Evergreen Cemetery, 
  Hillside, Union, NJ
 +Mary F. Briggs b. Cir 1827, New Jersey, d. Bef 1886
|----2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. Cir 1845, Pennsylvania, United States, d. Bef 8 
|      Mar 1918
|     +John Seaman b. Cir 1842
|    |----3-Mary Seaman 
|----2-Mary Jaques b. 1847, New Jersey
|----2-John B. Jaques Jr. b. 15 Oct 1848, Elizabeth, Twp, Essex Co., New 
|      Jersey, d. 13 Jun 1911, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
|     +Katherine Griffith b. Nov 1849, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |----3-Mary F. B. Jaques b. Sep 1871, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |     +Horace E. Apperson b. 1869, New Jersey, d. After 1930
|    |    |----4-Charlotte Apperson b. Jun 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |    |----4-Apperson b. 6 Jun 1894, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|    |----3-Isaac Jaques b. Jan 1872, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ida E. b. Jun 1875, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-William C. Jaques b. Mar 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |    |----4-Russell Jaques b. 13 Jul 1894, New Jersey, d. After 1920
|    |          +Edna b. Est 1899, New York
|    |         |----5-Joseph R. Jaques b. 13 May 1916, New York
|    |----3-William S. Jaques b. Aug 1874, New Jersey, d. After 1910
|    |     +Ann 
|    |----3-Ida Jaques b. Cir 1877, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
|----2-Margaretta Jaques b. 10 Jul 1851, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
|     +Sylvanus Stansbury b. 1854, New Jersey
|    |----3-Ella May Stansbury b. 1880
|----2-Walter M. S. Jaques b. 4 Nov 1853, Newark, Essex, New Jersey
      +Anna Corigan b. Cir 1856, New Jersey, d. Bef 1900
     |----3-Jaques b. 7 Apr 1876, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
     |----3-Lillie B. Jaques b. Cir 1878, New Jersey, d. After 1900
     |----3-Josephine Jaques b. Jan 1880, Rhode Island
     |----3-Catherine Jaques b. 4 Sep 1885, Newark, Essex Co., New Jersey
 +Margaret A. Wambeld b. cir. 1848, d. Poss 31 December 1896
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Categories: Angus, Crime & Punishment, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Jaques, Newark, Essex Co., Scandal, US Federal 1880 | Leave a comment

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