Pickerington Times-Sun

Then and Now: Jim Jeffries

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The original home of James Jeffries' birth was moved, piece by piece, and reconstructed on East Columbus Street in the old village area of Canal Winchester.
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1899: June 9, 1899, James Jackson Jeffries became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion after a match in Coney Island, N.Y.

At the time he was 25 years old, 6-feet 2-inches tall and weighed 225 pounds.

After defending his title with six more victories, Jeffries ran out of opponents and chose to retire undefeated in 1905.

Jeffries was known for his enormous strength and stamina.

He was called "Boilermaker Jim" because he had worked in an iron foundry as a boilermaker at age 15.

Jeffries was born in southern Violet Township in 1875 in a two-story log cabin on Basil-Western Road, halfway between what currently is Allen and Carroll Northern roads.

He first attended school at Violet Township's Fishbaugh School where his teacher was Pickerington resident, Segal Moore.

A short time later, the Jeffries family left Violet Township and settled south of Los Angeles.

After Jeffries' boxing days, he owned a downtown LA saloon, trained fighters and worked as a fight promoter on his 100-plus-acre ranch in Burbank, Calif.

He also contributed to many charitable programs, acted in 10 films and toured in vaudeville, doing boxing exhibitions. Jeffries died in 1953.

NOW: The original home of James Jeffries' birth was moved, piece by piece, and reconstructed on East Columbus Street in the old village area of Canal Winchester.

It is part of a private residence.

To learn about more famous people from Pickerington, visit the Pickerington-Violet Township Historical Society Museum, 15 E. Columbus St. in Olde Pickerington Village.

The Museum will offer free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the Olde Pickerington Village Bean Fest Saturday Nov. 3.

Start your holiday shopping at the Museum's Gift Shop, or shop online at pickeringtonhistoricalsociety.com.

Contributions and questions about Then and Now stories can be sent via email to the series creator, Maggie Arendt, at pickhistsociety@hotmail.com.

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