James Aaron Walls March 26, 1857 - December 30, 1919
James Aaron Walls was likely born a slave on March 26, 1857 in Nashville, Tennessee. James came to southwest Missouri sometime before 1886. In that year, he married Levina “Vine” England of Seymour, Missouri. By 1900, the couple and their children had settled near Ash Grove, where James worked as a day laborer. By 1910, they had moved to Bentley St. in Ash Grove, and James had secured a job firing lime in the Ash Grove lime kilns. James' death certificate indicates that he continued this line of work until his death of bronchial pneumonia on December 30, 1919. According to his death certificate, James was interred in "Ash Grove, MO" on January 20th. If this interment date is accurate, the long period between James' death and burial suggests conditions were too cold for the community to inter him earlier in January (Russell 2012).
Grave Marker: The grave marker for James Aaron Walls is a concrete monument in the shape of a bird bath set into a circular depression in a rectangular concrete base. The monument appears to have been painted white at one point, as white pigment adheres to portions of the surface. The monument also commemorates James' wife Levina "Vine" Walls; JA-VINE is inscribed on the west side of the marker, as shown below. Excluding the base, the monument is 16 x 21 x 17 inches in size. The base is 20 x 18 x 4 inches in size.
West side of monument with inscription slightly visible