Avery Scott and Caldona Crouch were my great grandparents and they married on October 6, 1906. We called them Mommie and Poppy. I don’t have a copy of their marriage license, but I found a newspaper announcement in some of my grandmother’s old things.
In 1977 the Purcell Register ran a series of old news collected from the Byars Banner which was published from 1904 to 1911. Byars is a little town in McClain County, just a couple of miles south of the South Canadian River which is the county line. My grandmother remembers as kids they would walk to the river and cross on the railroad trestle. Oklahoma Highway 102 crosses there now and in McClain county it’s called Railroad Bridge Drive.
November 9, 1906 the Byars Banner ran this notice:
“Avery Scott and Onie Crouch were married on Oct. 6.“
That’s all. Here, in the left column, you can see what the Purcell Register printed.
A second clipping dated March 1, 1907 says “Mr. and Mrs. Avery Scott have returned from Old Mexico and said they would never return there as things weren’t as presented by the Mexican Colonization Co. They said there had not been any rain in that part of Mexico in more than 1 1/2 years thus one could not grow crops and parrots and blackbirds infest the country.”
It appears to me they got married and headed south. Apparently it didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t the place to be and they came back home before they’d been married less than five months. They married in October. The announcement was published in November and they returned from Mexico by February of the following year.
I would love to find the promotional materials that enticed them to go to Mexico. A library at UCLA, about 1100 miles away, has materials related to the Mexican Colonization Company. However, the Byars Banner is archived on microfilm (yeech! Microfilm makes me dizzy.) at the Oklahoma Historical Society in Oklahoma City. That’s only 12 miles away, so that’s a trip I can make.
My great-grandmother Caldona Crouch was born in December 1892 so she was only 14 years old when she married. With promotional materials created to draw settlers to Mexico, I wonder if the promise of cheap land created a sense of urgency and they married earlier than they otherwise might have. Probably not, but I can just hear Poppy say he’s going to Mexico and if she wants to come with him it’s time to get married.
Avery and Onie had a son, Luther, in August 1907; and my grandmother, Lela Mae, was born in 1911. I have a hunch there will be a snippet of information about the births in the Byars Banner. The Banner stopped publishing in 1911, but grandmother was born in February so I hope I can find something about her. I plan to set a day to go to check out the archives and see what other nuggets I might find.
Finding this clipping helps fill in bits of my family history in a couple of ways. First, it tells me I’ll probably find their marriage records in McClain county. At various times they lived across the river in Cleveland County, and they were just a few miles west of the Pottowatommie County line where they also lived. I couldn’t decide where to go first to look for those family records. And second, I learned Mommie’s nickname. As an adult Caldona was known as “Doan”, so “Onie” is a sweet nickname for a little girl.
Here’s one of the few family photos of the Avery Scott family. It was taken about 1913 because Aunt Syble, Sylvia Estelle, was just a baby and she was born that year. They would have two more children, Dorine, who was called Bill, and Raymond Rayford, who was called Mac.
Don’t ya just love the hats! And grandmother, striking such a stylish pose. So cute.
I have some really, really old eyelet trim that came from a dress my grandmother had as a little girl. They could only afford one “church” outfit so I wonder if that lace is on this dress. Guess we’ll never know. Mommie’s family, George Washington and Rosanner Fortner Crouch also went to Mexico. They stayed longer than a few months but soon they were back in Oklahoma..
Do you know if you had family members who tried to settle in Mexico?
I guess there were land speculator that tried to make a buck off any chunk of available land.