- Following thanks to Kay Melia from his "The Melia Family"
"And then there was Emerson Vernon Melia, the fifth and last son of Patrick and Catherine, Born Oct 29, 1875.
He would become the longest living member of the family. Nobody knew him by his given name of Emerson Vernon. For some reason, he steadfastly disliked the moniker, and became simply, Jim. As his brothers found work in other places in the early days, Jim stayed mostly at home, helping to care for his mother, and helping with the farm. Part of his duties seemed to be to take charge of the cattle operation. He spent many summers herding cattle along the south side of the Arkansas River, near where the Bucklin Bridge now stands. That area, and on east of there, was still mostly government land because homesteaders had mostly passed it by due to the extremely sandy, rolling hills that bordered the river all the way to Great Bend.
Soon, however, Jim was encouraged to go to work for one of the railroads that were making such wild efforts to be the one of choice going through Bucklin at the time. The Rock Island won the war, and Bucklin soon became a division point as work continued to build the line on westward. Of course, it so happened that Newt, Jim's older brother who worked for the Rock Island, already, that did the encouraging. Jim took the advice, and became a railroader, and both boys now worked on the original Rock Island Line between Bucklin and Liberal. It was in the area around Plains and Kismet that Newt met the daughter of one of Meade County's biggest farmers. Her name was Grace Birdie Bisbee who later became his wife.
It just happened that Newt's girlfriend had a sister, Leona Josephine Bisbee, and Newt and Grace introduced her to Jim. And while Newt and Grace were married in 1897, it was not until New Year's Day in 1902 that Jim and Leona tied the knot. They continued to live and work in the Meade County area until Jim had saved enough money to buy three quarters of land adjacent to the original homestead, just east of Ford .In 1905 he purchased 3 quarters just to the west of his mother's place, where he continued to live until his death at Trinity Hospital in Dodge City. Three children were born to Jim and Leona.... Leroy, Bernard, and Marie.
Leona Passed away on July 9, 1955 at the age of 79. Jim remained on the farm until he passed away on Thanksgiving day, 1965 at the age of 90. Both are buried in the Bucklin Cemetery.
INTERESTING NOTE; The Bisbee family, of which Grace married Newt and Leona married Jim- (Grace and Leona were sisters) consisted of five girls and a boy.....the boy the youngest. The Melia family was made up of 5 boys and a girl... the girl being the youngest."