James Victor GIBSON
Vesta Van VLACK
Maude May DUNN

Husband: James Victor GIBSON
Birth:  25 May 1885, Cove, Union Co., Oregon
Death:  16 Apr 1946, Baker City, Baker Co., Oregon   
Burial:  Mt. Hope Cemetery, Baker City, Baker Co., Oregon
Father:  James Logan GIBSON
Mary Elmora PLUMMER

Marriage-1:     Oct 1908, California   

Wife-1:  Vesta VAN VLACK
Birth:  Nov 1892, Marion Co., Oregon 
Death:  2 Nov 1908, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., California   
Father:  Francis Phenian VAN VLACK
Mother:  Lucinda Alice LIEURANCE

Marriage-2:       1 May 1920, Canyon Co., Idaho 

Wife-2  Maude May DUNN
Birth:  23 Apr 1902, La Grande, Union Co., Oregon
Death:  21 Feb 1930, Corvallis, Benton Co., Oregon   
Burial:  Feb 1930, Crystal Lake Cemetery, Corvallis, Benton Co., Oregon
Father:  Charles Arnel DUNN
Mother:  Ella Matilda KENNEDA

Children - Marriage-2:  
1. Violet GIBSON, b: 1922, Canyon Co., Idaho
2. James Victor GIBSON Jr., b: 24 May 1924, Baker City, Baker Co., Oregon
                                           d: 9 Jun 1924, Baker City, Baker Co., Oregon      
3. Earl Hoot GIBSON, b: 14 May 1926, Baker City, Baker Co., Oregon
                                 d: 30 Jan 1996, Grants Pass, Josephine Co., Oregon    
It doesn't seem as though James and Vesta actually married because she died so soon after they went to California but, in 1910, he is living with his parents and is noted as a widower.  

Some accounts of her death have been found as follows:

The Daily Capital Journal, Friday, November 6, 1908, Salem Oregon:

Vesta Van Vlack Dead --
F. P. Van Vlack of this city received word yesterday of the death of his daughter, Vesta, in San Francisco.  From the information received by the grief-stricken father, the girl, who was but 15 years of age,
underwent an operation as the result of a severe injury caused by falling from a train.  Vesta Van Vlack eloped with one James Gibson from La Grande two weeks ago after being refused to marry the man, and   the two ran off to California. Gibson wired to the girl's brother of her unfortunate death and is apparently without funds with which to return the body to her home.

Vesta's father didn't get the entire story at first as shown in rthe San Francisco paper:

The San Francisco Call, Friday, November 6, 1908, San Francisco, California

Doctor Arrested for Murder of Young Oregon Girl
Criminal Operation Blamed for Death After Physician Said Appendicitis

As the result of a criminal operation performed by Dr. G. W. O'Donnell, Vesta Van Vlack, a girl not yet 16, lies on a slab at the Golden Gate undertaking parlors, the doctor is in jail facing a charge or murder, and James H. Gibson, the youth who had been living with the girl as her husband, after a vain attempt to legally marry her, is held in detinue at the city prison.

The story, of which these tragic incidents are the culmination is a harrowing one. The young people came to this city some weeks ago from Cove, Ore., where for some months they had been trying to gain the consent of the girl's parents to their marriage, but without success. Without this consent they found it impossible to have the ceremony performed on account of the youth of the girl, and then they decided to come to this city to save her from disgrace.  They arrived here on October 12 and registered at the Winchester under the name of Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert

Here they again tried to become legally united, but without success.  The girl's father, to whom they telegraphed, refused to agree to the marriage, and then, while they were living in a lodging house on Third street, they went to O'Donnell's place at 1720 Geary street in answer to an advertisement in the morning paper which seemed to offer them the only way out of the difficulty in which they found themselves.

Girl Taken to Hospital

The names given in the advertisement were "Drs. Moore and Black," but Gibson identifies O'Donnell as the man who met them and informed them that they would have to pay $50 before he would take the case. Gibson told the doctor that all the money he had in the world was $7, and O'Donnell took the case "on account." Subsequently Gibson procured the remaining $43, and the operation was performed.

Soon after this the girl became seriously ill, and another doctor who was called in advised that she be taken to the emergency hospital, This was done, and from there she was sent to the Hahnemann hospital on October 22, and came under the care of Dr. Ward.  There she was put under close observation by the attendants and physicians, and, according to Dr. Ward appendicitis developed to the operating stage and he performed the operation. Dr. Ward says the girl died of septicemia appendix, and the death certificate furnished to the Golden Gate undertaking parlors was to that effect.

Coroner Orders Autopsy

Yesterday, the undertakers applied for a burial permit, and Coroner Leland considered the circumstances surrounding the demise of sufficient significance to warrant an autopsy, which was held yesterday. It was then announced that death was the result of septicemia following a criminal operation. The voluntary testimony of Gibson was considered sufficient evidence on which to arrest O'Donnell on a murder charge.

According to Gibson's story, when the girl died, he went to Dr. O'Donnell and asked him for part of the $50 which he had paid him so that he could ship the body to Oregon for burial but the physician told him angrily that he would see him dead first; that the firm of which he was only one of the partners divided up the earnings every night, and that he was in no temper to give any money out of his own pocket to pay for the girl's burial.

When the young man was taken to the city prison last night, according to custom, his belongings were taken from him. In an inside pocket was some cheap jewelry, enclosed in an envelope.  When the articles were taken, he broke down, and, sobbing bitterly, asked to be allowed to retain them in prison. "They were the things I gave Vesta back in Oregon," he sobbed. "She gave them back to me in the hospital the day before she died."

Subsequently, James returned to Oregon, married for the second time and the charges were later dismissed against the doctor.

By 1930, Maude had just died and James, Violet and Earl were living with James' brother John and his family

Eventually, James married a third time.

1940 Federal Census Data (T626_3360, Page 356B), Sutherlin, Douglas Co., Oregon,
                                                                          Enumeration District: 10-56, Enumeration Date: 24-Apr-1940, Family #99









Occupation / Industry

 GIBSON, James V








 Carpenter / Building

               Myrtle I









               Earl H








1) Death - Husband: Baker County Oregon Vital Statistics - Deaths, Cert. #02258
2) Death - Wife #1:  San Francisco County California Vital Statistics - Deaths, Cert. #05584
3) Death - Wife #2:  Benton County Oregon Vital Statistics - Deaths, Cert. #00028
4) Death - Child #2 - Marriage-2: Baker County Oregon Vital Statistics - Deaths, Cert. #00086
5) Death - Child #3 - Marriage-2: Josephine County Oregon Vital Statistics - Deaths, Cert. #96-02334