10/6/2013 – Telephone conversation with Joyce Marlene Burgan Meyer. Joyce is the great granddaughter of Sarah Ellen McCollum.
James Northcross McCollum left Tennessee in about 1855
to seek his fortune in the California gold fields. He returned to Tennessee in 1886 to live with his daughter Sarah. According to Joyce who heard this story from her grandfather, Mack C Depew, his father Henry Eli Depew used to leave the house every morning on his way to the fields. As he left, he would look at James Northcross McCollum and say, “Jim, you need to be gone when I get home.” Every day he would return from the fields to find Jim sitting in the same place next to the fire, whittling away. He never left.