Company K, 165th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

  Bio-Pen Pictures


James Malcom was born April 6, 1835, in the city of New York.  His father, Robert Malcom, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to the United States in 1824.  He settled in New York, where he was married to Esther Lowry, a native of Belfast, Ireland.  In 1842 Mr. Malcom moved to Chicago, where he followed the business of contractor and builder, living there until his death, in 1871.  His widow still resides there.  They had twelve children, of whom four are now living.  James Malcom lived with his parents until he was twenty-one years old.  He early in life attended the public schools of Chicago, and alter on went to Hathaway Academy, of the same place, and finally to the Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, where he completed certain courses of study. 

            He learned the mason’s trade of his father, and when he was nineteen years old his father retired from active life, and James, together with his father’s foreman, took the business and continued it under the firm name of Malcom & Grant, which partnership continued until the fall of 1856.  He was at this time married to Miss Fannie Floyd, of Chicago, daughter of Thomas Floyd, an iron and hardware dealer.  A short time afterward Mr. Floyd died, and James Malcom, together with Mr. Floyd’s son, John R., took hold of the business, under the firm name of Floyd & Malcom, in which they continued until 1858.  The trying times of 1857 greatly affected business circles in general, and the house of Floyd & Malcom was one that had to succumb to the inevitable.  Mr. Malcom then took a position in the Chicago post-office, where he remained until 1863.  The War of the Rebellion at this time going on was the source of a great many changes.

            Mr. Malcom organized a company and was nominally made Captain.  This was Company K, 165th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  He went with the company into quarters at Camp Douglas, and it was about this time he had a brother killed in battle at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, a member of the Nineteenth Illinois.  Upon hearing of this event his wife insisted upon his resigning his commission, which he did.  In 1864 he went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as chief clerk in the office of Superintendent of Military Railroads at that point, where he remained until the close of the war.  Returning to Chicago, he went into the office of Phillips & Brown, large lumber dealers, as book-keeper, where he remained until 1875, at which time he severed his connection with them and took a position in the office of the County Treasurer at Chicago, remaining there until 1879.  He then came to California and located in Colusa County, as agent of the Puget Sound Lumber Company.  He served in this business until 1883, at which time he was sent by the Utah Powder Company to Ogden, Utah, as agent for the company, and remained there until the latter part of 1885.  He returned to San Francisco, and was appointed Secretary of the San Francisco Chronicle, where he remained until the spring of 1887, when he moved to his present place.

            His first wife died in August, 1871, leaving one child.  He was married at Quincy, Illinois, in September, 1886, to Helen R. Blenis, of that city.  In March, 1887, Mrs. Malcom bought the ranch where they now reside, which contains fifty-seven and one-half acres.  This place has fifteen acres in vines, and the rest in fruit,--apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, and a few apples, all of which are six years old.  In 1887 the place had about thirty-five tons of grapes and fifty-five tons of fruit.  Mr. Malcom has for two years been a member of the Order of Chosen Friends, and at present belongs to the Garden City Council of San Jose.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 317-318
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy