1829 Shelby Co, IL. James entered 80 acres at the bend of the (Okaw) river. "The bend in the river is nearly the shape of a horse-shoe, and is three and one-half miles around, and at the neck it is only seventy steps between the streams. At this point it is said there is about nine feet fall. He, in the company with his brother, John G, built a water mill on this neck in 1833, and it has ever since been known as the old 'Mill seat.' It was a grist and saw mill, and was operated for several years by the Purvises and others, and finally
3/1830 Sangamon Co, IL. In the proceedings of the Board of Supervisors was a petition to fill the vacancy of Constable by a John Durley. The signatures on the petition included James and his brothers, Isaac and John.
4/1/1830 E Nelson Twp, Shelby Co, IL. James and brother, John, arrived, being only the second in the county behind the Freeman brothers and their families. Historians recorded: They "built a cabin of rough unhewn logs on section 7, where George Purvis still continues to live. They broke the first prairie and put in a crop, and in the following month their father, John Purvis, his wife, and daughter, Malinda, came from Sangamon county. They all lived in this cabin one year." Other records verify that George also came with his father.
In the history of the village of Old Nelson it states: "This village was located just south of the "Mill Seat" in section 17. Mr. Vandakin failed to get a deed to this tract before James Purvis, the owner, died, and the heirs being minors, could not convey; hence the place
became extinct. Soon after the death of Mr. Purvis, his brother, John G. Purvis, Dr. Montague and Jonathan Dazey, laid out a tract a half mile east, into lots and blocks, and called it East Nelson."
11/12/1830 He was still living in Shelby Co when he purchased 80 acres in Moultrie Co at S17 T13N from a federal land sale for $1.25/acre. According to land records, James was the first of the family to purchase any Federal lands of IL, the next not until 6 yrs later.
One family listing says he moved to KS but if that was true, he must have returned before he died.