The first Sunday in June is the time, and the park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma is the place of the Oklahoma Scott family reunion. We heard about it just in time to go. Wynnewood was the home of William Charlie Scott, my great great grandpa, and for years dozens of descendants of his ten kids would gather for the day.
The family of William Charlie Scott taken on the day of his funeral. He died April 20, 1933. His wife, Judia Isabelle Lard Scott is front left. Nancy Scott, his daughter with Nancy Qualls is next, then his oldest sons Jesse Andrew and Avery Albert. Apart from Mamie, I’m at a loss as to who’s who on the back row. Any cousins out there who can help?
When I was a kid we filled the park. Food covered all the picnic tables in the pavilion and we spread out across the park on lawn chairs and picnic blankets. The food was all homemade, except a couple of loaves of the mandatory Rainbow bread. White bread and butter went with every meal. There was fried chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, baked beans, cole slaw and tons of other stuff. Banana pudding was a mandatory dessert, sometimes several versions, cakes in all flavors, and lots of pie. Apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, peach cobbler, blueberry cobbler, and there was probably a pan of brownies.
Someone brought a set of horseshoes and after selecting the biggest shady spot they could find, the stakes were measured off and pounded into the ground where the men would congregate, most of them smokers. The clank of horseshoes and smell of the air, stopping only long enough for one of the eldest attendees to say grace before the meal. Well the clanking paused for a minute or two, the smoke was continuous. The women folk—that’s old-timey talk for moms and grandmas—set up lawn chairs and spread pallets—usually handmade quilts—under the shade of a different tree. Every patch of that shade was covered with a picnic blanket, usually anchored by a picnic basket or thermos to keep them from blowing away in the Oklahoma wind.
Us kids were left to fend for ourselves so we made use of a few swings, a couple of wooden teeter-totters, and one of those old merry-go-rounds you have to get a dad to push to go really fast, and if you don’t hang on you’ll slide to the edge and get slung to the ground, Probably why most parks have taken them out in recent years. I always sat in the middle and squeezed my eyes tight to keep from getting sick.
There might be seventy or eighty kin gathered for the day. And that didn’t include the kids. But times have changed. This year there were maybe thirty or so adults at the park. There were just a few smokers (all the old-timers died of smoking related causes, mostly heart attacks) and no one brought horseshoes. Much of the food was store-bought. We even picked up chicken at Homeland on our way down. And after the food was spread out (there was plenty!) there was still room for all of us to sit and eat at a picnic table in the shade of the pavilion. No need for lawn chairs or pallets on the ground. Alas.
As far as I know there were only two of Charlie’s ten kids were represented at the reunion with descendants of Jesse and Avery in attendance.
Jesse Andrew Scott, the oldest, born in 1886, had lived in Wynnewood near his folks and some of his kids and grandkids still live in the area. It’s that bunch that organizes the reunion and keeps it going. Some of them came up from Texas just for the reunion. The second son, Avery Albert, born in 1889, was my great grandpa. There were four of us there. Mom, one of her cousins, Kay Scott Talley, her husband Lester, and me.
I printed the ancestry.com person pages for each of William Charlies kids and took it to use as a reference point for introductions. It was very helpful. I wrote the barest bit of family history I could put on a half-a-sheet of paper for those who might not know where we came from. I overheard someone say “They came from Alabama?” so the history was also helpful. Here’s what I wrote.
A Brief Scott Family History
John Scott was born in 1800 in Buncombe County, North Carolina in the vicinity of present day Ashville. About 1820 he moved to Alabama (opened for settlement in 1818) by way of Tennessee where his two brothers settled. John and his sister Isabelle Scott Lambert settled in Lauderdale County in the far northwest corner of the state. John was single when he obtained his land, but in 1823 he married and started a family. He had ten kids when his wife died so he remarried and had four more kids. All 14 of his kids were born along Bumpass Creek near Waterloo, Alabama in Lauderdale County.
John donated some of his land for the Bumpass Creek Free Will Baptist Church, which still has an active congregation. My mom, Darlene Miller painted a picture of the church from a photo taken during a visit to the area. I photographed the painting and have made some postcards of the church.
Jeremiah Franklin was born in 1834, one of John’s of the first ten kids. “Frank” married Mary Harriett Serelda Steely and they started a family in Lauderdale County. They would have 13 kids, all born in Alabama.
William Charlie, born in 1860, was Frank’s 2nd son. Charlie married Nancy Qualls and after they had a daughter Nancy died. Charlie then married Judia Isabelle Lard (Laird) and they had nine kids, eight sons and one daughter.
The Scotts had filled up most of their neck of the woods along Bumpass Creek in Lauderdale County and started moving west. Jeremiah Franklin’s oldest son moved to Texas where he married and had three sons. Of the remaining nine kids, six came to Oklahoma—the others stayed in Alabama—Charlie was one of the six who came and brought his family.
Charlie and Judi had three sons, then between 1891 and 1894 they moved to Oklahoma, near Box in Cleveland County, and had six more kids.
Avery, Charlie’s 2nd son, was my great grandpa. “Aunt Lela” was my grandma. My mom is Darlene Rose Miller and I’m Jan Miller Stratton.
The William Charlie Scott Family, circa 1900. On the front row from the left: Rayford Charley, 1900; William Charlie, 1860; Eldry, 1896; Judi Lard Scott, 1867; Ernal Mason, 1896. On the back row from the left: Jesse Andrew, 1886; Colbert, 1894; Stanley Luther, 1891; and Avery Albert, 1989
This is a picture we’ve had and apart from Charlie and Judi, we didn’t know who was who. But thanks to mom’s cousin Kay Scott Talley, we think we figured it out. She knew for sure the one on the back right was Avery, her grandpa, and the one on the back row with the ruffled collar was Colbert. Based on that we made an educated guess and named the others.
Avery and Colbert would grow up to marry sisters, (Doan and Chub Crouch) so we were double cousins with Colbert’s kids and grandkids.. Colbert and Avery both lived in far southeast Cleveland County near the community of Box so we knew those cousins better than some of the others. Charlie and Judi first settled in Box when they came to Oklahoma, but after all the kids were born they moved south to eventually settle in Wynnewood.
That’s about the sum of it for this year. Colbert and Chub’s kids (there are just a couple of their eleven kids left), grandkids and great grandkids have a “Scott Cousins Reunion” is what they call it. We’ve been invited to that later this summer. There’s talk of a reunion in Waterloo, Alabama as well which I would love to turn into a family research trip if the timing works out for me to go.
Seems like there aren’t as many family reunions as there used to be. How about you? Got plans to see family this summer?
John Scott > Jeremiah Franklin Scott > William Charlie Scott > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Scott Rose > Darlene Rose Miller > Jan Miller Stratton