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Happy Birthday, Dad!

James White Miller VI

Here’s my dad just as he was about to graduate from Orlando High School in 1949. This is a page from his senior Memory Book.

James W Miller HighSchool

Look at those saddle oxfords! And the cuffs on those short sleeves. Signs of the times.

JamesW Miller Memory Book (2)

He was born July 10, 1930 in Kissimmee, Florida. He died April 14, 1989 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The first James White Miller was born April 27, 1824, on a plantation on the Catawba River in Lancaster County, South Carolina. I think Belair was the name of the family home which was established by his father, James Miller who married Sarah White.

James Miller 1825 home site The Millers went from South Carolina to Kissimmee, Florida where they remained until my dad joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas, and during a weekend pass he and a few buddies decided to see how far it was to Oklahoma City.

While cruising downtown the four guys ran into four girls who were on their way to the bus stop after a movie. My mom was one of those girls and that’s how my little branch of the Miller tree ended up in Oklahoma.

Happy Birthday Dad. I’m so glad you made that random trip to meet my mom.

Jan

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2017 in Miller

 

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The Oklahoma Scott Family Reunion 2015

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.

Family of William Charlie Scott

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.

Scott-WmCharlieFam1901

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?

Jan

John Scott > Jeremiah Franklin Scott > William Charlie Scott > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Scott Rose > Darlene Rose Miller > Jan Miller Stratton

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Scott

 

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A Lard is a Lord

Did you know that the name Lard probably came about from a mispronunciation and then misspelling of the name Laird, which is Scottish for the title, lord.

My great great grandmother was a Lard. Judi—maybe Judith—Isabell Lard. Some family notes called her Bell. She was born just after the Civil War, 1867 to be exact, in Waterloo, Lauderdale County, Alabama.

Lauderdale County is the county in the upper left hand corner of the state of Alabama.  That’s the northwest corner. The southern border is the Tennessee River. Waterloo was one of the original town sites established when the county was created in 1818, just a year after Alabama Territory was established. Waterloo, on the bank of the river, flooded and moved a few times through the years but the little town is still there. Pickwick Landing Dam was built upstream from Waterloo and the Tennessee Valley Authority intentionally flooded the area to create Pickwick Lake.

Waterloo also has the dubious honor of being the starting point for the Trail of Tears where the Cherokee, one of the Five Civilized Tribes were forcibly marched from their native lands in the southeast to newly laid out Indian territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The Indian Removal Act was signed in 1830 by President Andrew Jackson and Indian removal started in 1831. The Cherokee were the last to be removed, leaving their native Alabama homes in 1838.

Lauderdale County is kind of “home base” for my Scott family heritage, and July 28, 1885 Judi Lard married into the Scott family, when she wed William Charlie Scott. William Charlie is the grandson of John Scott who was the first Scott to settle there. Charlie and Judi Scott had the first of their eleven children there, including my great grandpa, Avery Albert Scott.

But back to the Lards. Judi was the daughter of James S. Lard II and his wife Nancy Qualls. He was known as Jim, and he was born across the state line in Hardin County, Tennessee. The word is he, along with a couple of brothers, came “from the north” to Alabama to escape their father who was a mean man.

That “mean man” was James Swan Lard Sr. who was born in Rowan County, North Carolina just after the American Revolution. Sometime before 1809 the Lards, like the Scotts, moved west into Tennessee and January 14, 1809 James Lard Sr. married Elizabeth “Betsy” Shons in Davidson County, Tennessee. James and Betsy had a son, Nathaniel Washington in Bedford County, Tennessee in 1816. Another son, Richard, was born in Williamson County, Tennessee in 1825 and ten years later in 1835, James Swan Jr. was born in Hardin County, Tennessee.

James Swan Lard Sr. was born in 1789, the son of Nathaniel Swan Laird. Nathaniel is the immigrant ancestor of this line and he was born in 1755 in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. These islands are north of the far north east shore of Scotland. They are separated from the mainland by about six miles of seaway. The history of the islands goes back to ancient times and they were under Norwegian rule in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Vikings used the islands as a base of operations for their pirate raids into the Scottish mainland and Norway.

Sometime after 1755 Nathaniel Swan Laird came to America. I don’t yet know if he came alone as a young adult, or came as part of a family group with siblings and parents. He was, however, a patriot during the Revolutionary War. I don’t know where he would have landed, but he ended up in North Carolina and that is where is was married in Rowan County. He married Agnes Scott January 17, 1781, Since my Scott historical research only extends to Buncombe County, North Carolina where John Scott was born in 1800 I have no idea if Agnes Scott might be a part of my primary Scott line.

Charlie and Judi Lard Scott came to Oklahoma about 1900-ish and the last of their children were born here in 1902 and 1904. The rest of the Lard family remained in the vicinity of Lauderdale County/Hardin County along the Alabama/Tennessee state line but I’m sure many descendants have spread out to other areas since then.

There’s more to the story of the Lard/Laird family in the Orkney Island and here in America, but this will do for now. I’m writing this because I recently met a 6th cousin along this line.  He descends from Richard Lard, born in 1825, older brother of James Swan Lard Jr. Their father, James Swan Lard Sr., is our 4th great-grandfather. I wonder if he’s heard anything about James Sr being “mean.”

I’d love to hear from anyone out there who knows more about this line, these people and these events. My new-found cousin tells me Richard, his 3x great-grandfather fought for the Union in Tennessee for six months at the beginning of the Civil War. Then he deserted and later fought for the Confederates. Those are the kinds of stories that bring history alive for me.

Let me know if you have anything to add.

Jan

Nathaniel Swan Laird > James Swan Lard Sr. > James S, Lard Jr. > Judi Isabell Lard (Scott) > Avery Albert Scott > Lela Mae Scott (Rose) > mom > me.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Scott

 

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400 Years of Rose Family History

Hey Rose cousins! William Rose, Colonial Virginia, 1650. That’s where it all started.

I’m fleshing out the details, but here’s a rundown on our Rose pedigree, which started on 211 acres on the fork of Gray’s Creek across the James River from Jamestown.

Generation 1: William Rose was born about 1622 in England or Scotland. He married Anne, we don’t know her last name, and they came to Virginia about 1650.

Generation 2: William Rose was born about 1655 in the newly formed Surry County, Virginia. He married Lucy Corker Jordan, a widow with a young daughter.

Lucy takes us back a couple of decades. Her father was Captain William Corker and his father, John Corker was born in 1601. He arrived in Jamestown on the Warwick in 1621.

But back to the Roses.

Generation 3: John Rose was born about 1696 in Virginia, probably Surry County. He married Abigail Hicks in 1728.

Generation 4: William Rose (another one!) was born in 1729 in Surry County, Virginia.  He married Frances, last name unknown.

Generation 5: Samuel Rose is where we start to wander out of Virginia after over 100 years in the vicinity of the James River. Samuel Rose was born about 1755 in Virginia, his wife was Rhoda. When the revolution rolled around Samuel signed up as a patriot in Guilford County, NC. The Guilford County Court House was the site of a significant battle in 1781.

Generation 6: Francis Rose was born in 1775, I think in Virginia. He married Elizabeth “Betsey” Ford. She was born in North Carolina. Francis and Betsey lived in Buncombe County, NC and later they moved over the mountains to McMinn and Monroe Counties Tennessee.

Generation 7: William Rose was born in Buncombe County, NC in 1806. William was one of a passel of kids and he and his brothers would take their generation to the edge of the frontier as it continued to move west through the decades of the 19th Century. William married Elizabeth, last name unknown.

William and Elizabeth crossed over the state of Tennessee and started their family in Chilcot County, Arkansas on the Mississippi River.  After a few years of river living they moved catty-cornered across the state of Arkansas to Benton County in the northwest corner. There they lived near some of William’s brothers and then as Texas was about to become a state they made some trips to Texas, eventually moving there.

Generation 8: David Rose was born in Chilcot County, Arkansas in 1833. His younger siblings were born in Benton County, Arkansas, and he was 17 when his baby sister was born in 1847 in Van Zandt County Texas.  His dad, William Rose, was one of the founders of the county.

JohnHenryRose1

John Henry Rose, born 1860, Shelby County, Texas.

David married Mary Lucinda Wright and they started a family in the Owlet Green community of Van Zandt County. In 1860 John Henry Rose was born and in 1861 David and his younger brother James signed up with the Texas Militia to fight in the Civil War. James was married and had a son before he went off to war. He died in Mississippi in 1864.

Generation 9: John Henry Rose was born 1860 in Shelby County, TX. He married Sally Ida Lake “Mittie” Bryant, a southern belle from southern Tennessee. He brought his family to Oklahoma before statehood first to Chickasaw Territory near Ardmore. Unfortunately the area was full of outlaws and it wasn’t long before the family moved further north to Cleveland County to the community of Buckhorn, east and south of Lexington.

Generation 10: William “Will” Thomas Rose, my great grandpa was born in Cleburne, Johnson County Texas in 1885. He was probably about 20 when his family arrived in Cleveland County and in 1907, the year of Oklahoma statehood he married Bessie Jane Belew, newly arrived from Tennessee. Their first child was born in 1908, John Wesley “Wes” Rose, and in 1909 my grandpa, Thomas Edwin Rose was born. Sadly Bessie died two months later.

Bessie Jane Belew on AmericanSage

Will and Wes moved home to live with his parents, and baby Ed was cared for by his Grandma and Grandpa Belew who lived close by. In 1910 Will married Lizzie Black. The family was reunited and soon joined by more kids.

Rose-Will & Lizzie Family

Will and Lizzy Rose, about 1919. The kids are: John Wesley, b. 1908 (center back); Ed, b. 1909 (far right); James Earldon, b. 1911 (center); the girls are Dorothy, b. 1913; and Wanda, b. 1916,

Generation 11: Thomas Edwin “Ed” Rose was born in Cleveland County in 1909. He married Lela Mae Scott in 1928. He operated heavy machinery and worked road construction much of his life. He and grandma also owned a couple of grocery stores when he was unable to do that. He managed to stay employed, although meagerly, during the Great Depression. He went to where the work was with a job in Illinois, and other jobs all over the state of Oklahoma. Ed and Lela had two kids: Darlene and Sonny. The family was very close to Ed’s brother Wes, and his wife Ruby who had no children. When World War II arrived Wes was drafted and sent to England to prepare for the Invasion in June 1943. Fortunately he didn’t cross with the first wave, but arrived in France with the last wave nearly two weeks later. He fought across France, was injured once and spent some time in a hospital then sent back to battle. In October 1943 he was lost behind enemy lines for three weeks. Letters to Europe were returned and the family got the word he was Missing in Action. He eventually turned up, promising to tell all about it when he got home.  That cold November of 1943 things were hot and heavy across France, Belgium and Germany and plans were underway for the Battle of the Bulge. Three days later Pvt. John Wesley Rose was Killed in Action.

Generation 12: Darlene Nevell Rose, b. 1932; and Sonny Wayne Rose, b. 1936.

Ed Rose  1940

The Ed Rose Family, 1940. Sonny, Darlene, Lela and Ed.

Generation 13: Then there’s us:  Janet, Jimmy and David Miller; Tina, Brent and Lori Rose.

Generation 14: How many kids do we have?

Generation 15: Underway, but incomplete: Jayce, Jett, Rylan, Bodin, Hadden, Owen, Mia, Riley and Avery.

So that’s it. Over 400 years of family history whittled down to about a thousand words.

There’s way more to tell about our early ancestors, they were tobacco farmers, plantation owners, Indian fighters, slave owners, patriot soldiers, frontiersmen, pioneers, and settlers. They helped establish new settlements in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma, always moving to a new area shortly after—and sometimes before—it was available for settlement.

So any comments?  What do you think of our ancestors? They seem like pretty gutsy people to me. Here’s hoping I can find the primary documentation to validate all this.

Jan

Here are links to some of my Rose research.

 

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Rose

 

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More about John and Mittie Rose

I’m on a mission to scan “all” the pictures my mom has in our family stash. When going through the last batch we came across the original photo of the John Henry Rose family I posted recently.

John Henry Rose family, 1894 ~ American Saga

John Henry Rose, his wife Mittie (Bryant) Rose, Ora and Will.

Turns out there’s a wealth of information on the photo mat. First off it’s easy to see the photo was taken while the family lived in Ardmore after moving up from Texas. And it looks like it was taken about 1894.

It also provides additional information about Ora Pearl. I’ve been looking for details about her and was finding all manner of confusion. I found Ora Barnes, Ora Northcutt, Ora Williams… which one was she? Or was she any of them? Turns out she was all three, and thanks to the note on the bottom of the photo I was able to figure it out.

Ora Pearl married Almer Asbury Barnes in 1901 in Ardmore, Indian Territory. They had a son, Almer Asbury Jr., in 1902. Then sometime before 1910 Almer Asbury Barnes Sr. died. In the 1910 US Census Ora was listed as widowed and living with her 7-year-old son Almer, in Cleveland County with her parents.

Ora Barnes and her son Almer on American Saga

Ora Pearl Rose Barnes and her son Almer Asbury Barnes prior to 1910.

Have you ever seen such a cute little towhead? His mom isn’t too shabby either and in 1912 she married Columbus Northcutt in Lexington, Oklahoma. In 1913 they had a son, Marcus Northcutt, and in 1914 Columbus Northcutt died. Now she has two kids and in 1916 she marries for a third time. In 1918 she and Guss Williams have a daughter, Marguarite Williams.

In 1910 John Henry and Mittie Rose had a houseful. In addition to the minor children who were still at home, Ora and Almer were there and Will, who was also widowed, was there with his baby son, Thomas Edwin, my grandpa. Grandpa was just over a year old and his big brother, 2-year-old John Wesley, was living nearby with the other grandparents, John Wesley and Mary Louisa Belew. Will’s wife, Bessie Jane Belew died a year earlier when my grandpa was two months old.

Sons of Will and Bessie Rose: John Wesley (Wes) and Thomas Edwin (Ed) about 1910.

Sons of Will and Bessie Rose: John Wesley (Wes) and Thomas Edwin (Ed) about 1910.

A few months later, in November of 1910, Grandpa Will married Lizzie Black—I recently discovered her given name is Tilda Elizabeth. Before long Will and Lizzie added three more kids to the Rose family: James Earldon, who we called Uncle Earl, Aunt Dorothy, and Aunt Wanda.

Any questions?

Upcoming stories will include:

  • Wes Rose in WWII, letters home to his brother Ed
  • Scott family migration from North Carolina to Alabama to Oklahoma
  • We’re so Scots-Irish we should talk with a brogue
  • Grandma always said we were related to Davey Crockett
  • The Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, the Blue brothers, and cannibalism on the Smokey Hill Trail
  • If you’re related to a president that branch of your family tree is already filled in
  • We fought for the Blue and the Gray
  • Our Revolutionary War Patriots
  • Twelve of thirteen original colonies

Be sure and follow American Saga so you won’t miss a bit of it.

Jan

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Rose

 

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John and Mittie Rose

My grandpa Thomas Ed Rose had blue eyes. His dad, Thomas Will Rose also had blue eyes. And based on this picture it looks like his dad, John Henry Rose also had blue eyes.

This is the John Henry Rose family, circa 1892. John was born in 1860 and Mittie was born in 1863. The kids are Ora Pearl, born in 1883, and Thomas William born in 1885. Their third child, John Wesley, was born in 1887. He died when he was four, about 1891. This was taken after he died and based on the apparent ages of his siblings it looks like this was taken not long after he died.

John and Mittie Rose Family

I love that little smile on Will’s face. He was my great grandpa and I remember he always had a twinkle in his eye and that little boy smile seems just right.

John and Mittie are buried in the Lexington Cemetery and I’ve seen their slate gray granite headstone many times. Just recently I came across a little story written by their youngest child, Melva, who was born in 1907. Suddenly they became real people to me, not just names etched in stone.

So here it is. A family biography about John and Mittie Rose written by their daughter Melva Rose Duffield who died in 1999.

ROSE-BRYANT

John Henry Rose, the third child of David and Mary Lucinda Wright Rose, was born April 4, 1860 in Shelby County, Texas, where Lucinda’s parents, Harden and Hepsebeth* Wright, lived. They moved immediately to Van Zandt County where David’s parents, William and Elizabeth, lived. John’s older sister was Mary Etta and his brother was William Thomas. Sometime about 1863, they moved to Johnson County where two more daughters were born, Margaret J. and Sarah A.E.

Mary Lucinda died about 1868 leaving David with five small children. He married Martha Anne Conley, a girl of sixteen. Coping with five children and soon having another was very hard for her and an active eight year old was too difficult to handle. John often went with his father, who was a teaming contractor. They hauled some of the logs which were used to pave the first streets in Ft. Worth. When John was fourteen, he left home to be on his own, working for other people on farms and ranches. He worked in Van Zandt, Bosque and other counties, but by 1890 he was back in Johnson County working for Mrs. Martha Russell, a widow.

Sallie Bryant was the third child of William Jefferson and Margaret Josephine Cochran Bryant. She was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on January 18, 1864, while her father was in a prison hospital in the North**. She had an older sister named Leni L. and a brother, William E.

When the war was over and Jeff returned home, he wanted to add the name Ida to Sallie because a nurse named Ida Lake had been very kind to him in the hospital.

Times were very hard after the war and Jeff was not well. He bought a mill from his father-in-law, Levi T. Cochran in Marshall County, Tennessee, and operated it for several years. It was both a grist and lumber mill. During this time, five more children were born: Robert Wesley 1866, Mary Francis 1867, Bootie 1869, Samuel Davis 1871 and Maxey B. 1874.

By this time, many friends and relatives were moving to Texas and Jeff and Maggie decided to go along. They found fertile land at Blossom Prairie about nine miles east of Paris, Texas in Lamar County. Clearing the land for cultivation was very hard and Jeff was not strong. The boys were not large enough for much help. Another child was born July 17, 1878 and died August 3, 1878. Jeff died September 10, 1878. Both were buried at Blossom Prairie. Maggie could not manage the farm with all the children so she moved to Johnson County to be near her sister, Eliza E. Cummings (Mrs. J.C.) and family who had come to Johnson County earlier.

One day, in early 1882, while he was looking for a stray animal, John went to the home of Mrs. Margaret J. Bryant. Her daughter, Sallie (nicknamed Mittie), answered his call at the door. After a brief conversation, he asked if she were married. She wasn’t and he asked to call on her. Love blossomed and they were married Easter Sunday April 4, 1882.***

John had a horse and saddle, but no buggy. He borrowed a buggy and they went to get married. The horse was frightened by some­thing beside the road and ran away under a fallen tree. The buggy was broken but they were miraculously spared.

They farmed in Johnson County until about 1892. Three children were born there: Ora Pearl 1883, William Thomas 1885, John Wesley 1887. John Wesley died in 1891 with spinal meningitis.

The family moved soon to Ardmore, Indian Territory. Two more children were born there. Dollie 1896 and Ollie Bessie 1899. Outlaws were very active and they were far from schools so they decided to move to Lexington, Cleveland County, where Melva Lucille was born in 1907. In 1910, they moved to Comanche County, Oklahoma, but were nearly wiped out by a drought. They moved back to Lexington where they lived until John retired. They moved to Norman so Melva could finish high school and college. Mittie died in 1931 and John died in 1936. Both are buried in Lexington Cemetery.

Melva married John B. Duffield in 1931 and moved to Texas, first to Longview, Gregg County, then to Three Rivers, Live Oak County and last to Houston, Harris County.

Wesley Bryant married Rhettie Franks November 19, 1893 and lived in Johnson County near Alvarado until he died in July 1931. Rhettie died in 1942. Both are buried in Buel Cemetery.

Some of the Bryants and Cummings lines are still living in Johnson County.

 by Melva Rose Duffield

*Hepsebeth was Lucinda’s step-mother. Her mother, Mary Nail, died when Mary Lucinda was 5.
**During the Civil War, William Jefferson Bryant was a Confederate. ***Easter Sunday was April 9 in 1882 and online records indicate they married on April 9.

Thanks to Don Rose for putting this story online so I could find it. He descends from James Rose, a younger brother of my 3x great-grandfather David Rose. I found it on his Rose family tree on Ancestry.com.

I am all about context when exploring my family tree and I couldn’t help researching the details of the story. I learned a lot about Mittie’s father’s Civil War experience and imprisonment. I also followed the Rose family back to Buncombe County, NC at the same time my Scott family was there during and following the Revolutionary War. The families took different routes to Oklahoma, but connected for good when my grandparents Ed Rose and Lela Scott met and married.

More about all that in future posts.

Any cousins out there who have stories or memories to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Jan

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in Rose

 

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And Now a Little Something About Grandpa

My Grandpa was a farmer, a rancher and a highway construction worker. He lived on a farm, raised some cattle and worked full-time bulldozing and operating a crane on highway construction all across the state of Oklahoma.

He worked on the original Shield’s overpass to I-35 that survived the May 3 tornado. And for ages he worked on the Little River, first excavating for the lake and then building the Little River Dam, which resulted in Lake Thunderbird here in Norman. He never missed a day of work. On the iciest, coldest snowiest days he got up extra early in order to be at the job site on time—no matter where it was. More than once I got up to find him in the kitchen having coffee with mom after going to the job site to find out work was called off for the day.

Grandpa and me

Grandpa, Thomas Ed Rose, age 45, and me, age 3, Easter Sunday 1956. The dump truck in the background was what Grandpa was driving to his job at the time.

Grandma and Grandpa moved from Oklahoma City to a farm east of Lexington, Oklahoma when I was nine years old. I just recently learned the move was prompted by the Cuban Missile Crisis. They immediately planted a large garden and started putting up food in order to be self-sustaining. If things went bad they wanted to have food enough to feed us all.

Shortly after the move I spent a week with them. It was the first of many such weeks on the farm. After a tiny bout of homesickness, that first week on the farm with just me, Grandma and Grandpa was fairly eventful.

I got my finger pulled into the rollers of the wringer washing machine while helping Grandma do the wash on the back porch. As she put it, “Purt near broke it.” Grandma’s padded bra saved me. That’s what I was feeding into the wringer when I got caught, with my index finger sandwiched inside.

I asked Grandpa to wake me up in time to see the sunrise on Saturday… in the days before Daylight Savings Time, sunrise came at about 4 am in the summer. Grandpa and I sat on the tailgate of his red Ford pick up and watched the sun come up over the horizon while Grandma made breakfast. A hearty farm breakfast of bacon, eggs over easy cooked in the bacon grease, gravy and toast or biscuits filled us for a good start to the day.

After breakfast I helped wash the dishes and clean the kitchen while Grandpa started on the porch we were going to build that day. The house was about 3–4 feet off the ground and we had to climb a set of steps made of concrete blocks to get to the front door. At the time it was the only door into the house.

I’m sure I wasn’t a lot of help, but Grandpa made me feel like I was. I do recall him asking “How come you say ‘How come’ so much?” Evidently I talked a lot and was full of questions. He built an old-fashioned deck-type porch on a base of concrete blocks. The decking was 1 x 4 slats and I hammered all day long with my swollen and bruised index finger still wrapped and bandaged from the wringer incident. The porch was a temporary fix since the house would soon be moved to another location. As I recall, we were nearly finished by the time mom and dad and my brothers arrived later in the morning. The porch was finished by the end of the day and coated with barn red paint.

Grandpa only had part of his right hand. He lost most of his thumb, index and middle fingers in a crane accident. My brother knows more about how that happened than I do. It happened when my mom was a girl, so by the time I came around Grandpa was totally at ease with the parts he had left. There were very few things he hadn’t figured out how to do with the 8 whole fingers he had left.

That first summer on the farm we found out Grandma was severely allergic to wasp stings. Each sting put her in the hospital a few days, and living so far from town and alone all day it’s really a wonder one of those stings didn’t kill her. Grandpa was her knight in dusty overalls. As soon he heard that familiar bzz he would grab the offender and kill it with his bare hands. He received a few stings, and as painful as wasp stings are, I’m sure it didn’t hold a candle to having half his hand ripped off. Everything is relative.

If he hadn’t smoked, there’s a chance my Grandpa would have celebrated his 102nd birthday yesterday. I heard he started that nasty habit when he was 14. He smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes (LSMFT for those old enough to remember cigarette ads on TV).  He developed emphysema and had a stroke which he recovered from fairly quickly. Another stroke just before Memorial Day 1985 put him in the hospital in Purcell. Memorial Day the whole family gathered together to visit him. He couldn’t talk very clearly, but he knew all of us and had a bit of a conversation and even cracked a few jokes. We thought we were there to say goodbye, but it didn’t seem like he was ready to go yet.

Soon after, he was moved to a nursing home in Norman. Grandma drove up from Lexington every day to visit him. Mom visited almost every day. The rest of us visited every week or so. He’d finally quit smoking, although not by choice. If he could have managed on his own, he would have smoked until the last day. As it was, he continued the gesture of bringing the nub of his thumb and forefinger to his lips in the repetitive movement he’d made hundreds of times a day for over 60 years.

It was on my dad’s birthday, July 10, that we got the phone call he was gone. He was only 76 years old. I think of him every time I slide a pan of raw peanuts in the oven to roast them. He always had a bag of roasted peanuts and a trash can close to his chair in the living room. If he was sitting in front of the TV he was smoking a cigarette or shelling and eating peanuts.

Wish he’d eaten more peanuts and left the cigarettes alone.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Rememberies

 

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