I may be able to help with this James Samuel (or Samuel James) Bliss mystery. If my records are correct:
His parents: Elenora "Nora" Simpson and Samuel S Bliss; married in 1864 in Hillsboro, Highland Co., OH. I don't know if he died or if they separated. Next she married my great-great grandfather: George J Hoffman, a barber, in Hillsboro.
James was raised by George and seems to have sometimes used the name George Hoffman as well as James Huffman, as you mention. It looks like he has quite a record of getting in trouble. George trained James as a barber.
I suspect that Nora was a bit difficult. At one point she abandoned her children in Cincinnati and they were taken to the hospital for care (like temporary shelter).
She and George Hoffman eventually separated. I was told by an aunt that Nora then married Leonard Scherhog. Nora died in 1907 in Cincinnati. I do not have death information for James's father, Samuel S Bliss.
I hope this helps!