For the whole period of a generation of human life James L. Duckett, living four miles and a half northwest of Grand Junction, has been a resident of Colorado, and during the whole of that time has been engaged in aiding to develop the resources and push forward the progress of the state. He was born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, on August 31, 1827, and is the son of Joseph and Sarah (Hipps) Duckett, both natives of South Carolina but reared and married in North Carolina, where they passed their useful lives and were finally laid to rest beneath the soil that was hallowed by their labors. The father was a carpenter and farmer, and the scion of a Revolutionary family, his paternal grandfather, Jacob Duckett, having been in active service in the struggle for independence from its beginning to its close. The Ducketts are of Welsh and the Hippses of German ancestry. James Duckett grew to manhood in his native county and received there a limited education at the subscription schools of the time.
His mother died when he was a young man, and soon afterward when he married he took charge of the paternal homestead, which he conducted for a number of years.
In 1871 he came to Colorado and, locating in Fremont county, took up and engaged in farming, remaining twelve years. In September, 1883, he moved to Grand valley where he bought one hundred and sixty acres of land adjoining his present home on the west. This he afterward sold and bought another quarter section, a part of which is the farm of sixty-eight acres which he now owns and occupies. Here he has been continuously occupied in ranching, but making a specialty of raising hay since that time. He has recently retired from active pursuits himself and has his land farmed by a tenant. His first marriage occurred in North Carolina in 1845 and was to Miss Sarah McCracken, a native of that state. Thirteen children were born to them, of whom nine are living, two of them in Mesa county, Elbert M. and Sarah J., the wife of John T. Gavin. Their mother died on September 25, 1888, and on August 21, 1889, Mr. Duckett married Mrs. Mary E. (Cooley) Chapman, a native of Indiana, and a widow with two sons, George T. and William L. Chapman, both residents of Grand valley. In politics Mr. Duckett is a Prohibitionist, and in fraternal circles has been a Freemason for over forty years. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.