It's my genealogy blog, version 2.0, where I tell stories about our famous (and infamous) ancestors- our unsung heroes, our common man, our ordinary people who did extraordinary things- for our children. "[H]istorians talk about events of the past…[r]arely do we talk about the common man, the unsung hero. These people, many times, are unknown to us. All those people’s story mattered just as much as the stories of the great leaders. It’s easy to lose track of all those individuals but they’re there and they deserve to be remembered. One of the great lessons of history, all history, is that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. [T]hey are doing something not just for themselves, but for posterity. For their children." (Author unknown to me) Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (The Holy Bible)
So many changes are coming! I’m opening up a shop! The new name of the website is now the name of my business – Honeysuckle Farm, LLC. The blog will remain and will keep the name Days of Our Lives. I named it that because my paternal grandmother and great grandmother (Audrey and Bess) were always watching soap operas when I was little and when I talk about my blog I always think of them. What can I say? I’m a sentimental person.
I’m attempting to point my Shopify shop here. I have no idea what I’m doing so bear with me! I’m figuring it out as fast as I can. I’m hoping that connecting the shop will help me centralize everything. We’ll see… I only have a free trial of Shopify so if it doesn’t work out I’ll have to figure out something else so changes may continue for a month or two while I get it together. For now, you can view my shop items on the Collections page. Once you arrive there, you can click on the titles under each picture to go to each collection although I will tell you that the only one with products listed right now is the Family History Collection. There are only a couple of items listed right now due to the amount of time it’s taking me to learn the new software and get the information online.
Thanks for your understanding and for sticking with me through these changes. I’ll get back to blogging soon. I forget how insanely busy the last few weeks of the school year are but we’re almost there – just two more weeks and then I can focus just on my shop and my blog (and Cousin Camp because YAY- 2021 Cousin Camp is coming at the end of June!!!).
While you’re waiting on me to pull myself together, here are a few pics of one of my absolute favorite places and a place I took the boys for their Cousin Camp field trip a couple of years ago. It was one of my favorite field trip days with the boys.
If you get a chance to visit Saline Courthouse, go! And while you’re in the area, try to find the Cherokee Nation Buffalo ranch and visit the Buffalo. Here’s a website to get you started. https://www.visitcherokeenation.com/attractions/saline-courthouse-museum. You can view inside the courthouse with that link but it doesn’t do justice to the location. Make time to go there!
This week the theme is ‘multiples’. This theme was almost too broad for me to decide what to write about! After some debate I narrowed it down to two topics. After looking at the 2021 weekly topics list I felt the other story would fit into an October theme and this particular story for this week didn’t really fit anywhere else. So, this week we’re talking about multiple births. I’m going to look into something I’ve always wondered: how many sets of twins did my direct-line ancestors have? I’ll be going back as far as my 2nd great grandparents. I chose that as a stopping point so this blog doesn’t get too lengthy. Out of the 8 pairs of my 2nd great grandparents, 3 of the couples had twins.
Dad’s Family: Double Your Sentiment
In the 21st century the statistical probability of having twins is about 3%, or 3 in 100. That is a higher probability than previous generations. In my family (in that 2nd-great-grandparent generation) mixed sets of twins were more popular (mixed meaning a boy-girl set of twins versus same-sex twins). Out of my dad’s great grandmothers, he had one who had twins. Eliza Emoline BELL WILLIAMS (and her husband, Samuel Morris WILLIAMS) had a set of twins in 1900- two boys named Lorenzo Dall and William Sherman WILLIAMS. Neither baby survived. I’m guessing the babies are probably buried in Oakland Cemetery in Success, Texas County, Missouri since the family lived in that area and other family members are buried in that cemetery but I can’t say for certain where the babies were buried. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this family today because I’ve written about them quite a bit. You can find previous posts at:
My 2nd great grandmother, Sarah C. DAVIS REITER, and her husband Nicholas Wilhelm REITER had a set of twins in 1864. My mom thinks Sarah’s twins were mixed – one boy and one girl. She can’t remember their names but is going to try to find that information for me. I’ve not found their names anywhere but if mom locates that information I’ll be sure to let you know. The babies did not survive. I don’t know where they’re buried but I’m sure it’s in Illinois, in the area of Perry, Pike County, Illinois since that’s where the family lived. This is another family I’ve written about quite a bit so I won’t spend a lot of time on them today. You can read more about Sarah and her family at:
My 2nd great grandmother, Druziller Mahala LATTY BULLOCK (and her husband James Mathaniel BULLOCK), also had a set of twins born in 1892. For this grandma though, both twins survived – one girl named Alice May and one boy named Oscar Morris.
Alice May and Oscar Morris BULLOCK were born 17 April 1892 in Benton County, Arkansas. They remained in Benton County, Arkansas until after they married. Alice married Martin Rotramel when she was 17 years old. Together, Alice and Martin and had 8 children – and no twins. Here is Alice in her later years with her dog, Major. I love this photo.
Alice lived to be 92 years old! The last 52 years or so of her life she lived in Delaware County, Oklahoma. Alice passed away on 1 December 1984 in Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma. She’s buried in Hillcrest Cemetery beside her husband in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas where her parents are buried.
Oscar Morris BULLOCK grew up with his family in Benton County, Arkansas. He served as a Private in the U.S. Army as evidence by the Army transport document below.
I don’t fully understand that document. It looks like perhaps he was transported to a Veterinary Hospital. It would be interesting to know what he did in the Army. Oscar fought in World War I. I do know he arrived in New York in June of 1919 on his way to fight in France.
According to military records, Oscar was serving with Veterinary Hospital #16 MR. as a Private V.C.. Oscar served in France in 1919. During that time, the final US deaths of the war happened and the Treaty of Versailles was drawn up. The treaty was signed the day after Oscar arrived back on US soil. Oscar shipped out from Marseille, France on the ship Taormina and arrived home at New York, USA on 27 June 1919.
Some researchers say that at age 27 Oscar married Stella BROWN. He lived in California at the time but the marriage certificate was in Arkansas. I haven’t done extensive research on this line so I can’t say what really happened. I know that in his obituary no children or wife were listed. Oscar passed away at 80 years of age. He died on 17 February 1973 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas. He was buried in the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas.
Doing the Numbers
So, let’s bring this all together. I looked at all my direct line ancestors from my parents up through all of my 2nd great grandparents. The only generation that included twins were my 2nd great grandparents’. Out of 8 sets of 2nd great grandparents, only 3 couples (2 on my mother’s side and 1 on my father’s side) had twins. The paternal set of twins passed away or were stillborn; their names were Lorenzo and William. One set of maternal twins also passed away or were stillborn and included one girl and one boy; I don’t know their names but they were given names. The final set of maternal twins (Alice and Oscar) lived to adulthood and at least one of them had their own offspring but did not have their own set of twins.
According to official statistics:
The gender chances of a fraternal twin pregnancy are; 25% chance that a mother will have two boys, 25% chance that a mother will have two girls, and 50% chance that a mother will have a boy and a girl. On the other hand, identical twins are always the same gender.
So, according to Health Research Funding, Alice and Oscar were fraternal twins as were the DAVIS twins. Only the paternal twins- Lorenzo and William WILLIAMS- had a chance at being identical twins. I found that very interesting.
I was wondering about what my chances of having twins might have been in my childbearing years. Since 3 out of 8 couples in my 2nd great grandparents’ generation had twins, I felt like statistically I stood a better chance of having twins in my child bearing years. MedlinePlus.gov confirms it as does Washington State Twin Registry. Turns out, fraternal twins- especially if they occur on the mother’s side- are associated with an increased likelihood of twins being hereditary in families. I searched some more and I hit some good information:
A family history of identical twins does not necessarily make it more likely you’ll have multiples, although the offspring of male identical twins may be more likely to have their own identical twins. However, if you have fraternal twins (non-identical) in your family, your chances of conceiving twins rise. If there are fraternal twins on both the mother and father’s side, your odds for twins goes up even higher.
There are other factors that play a role as well. As it turns out, having children when you’re older increases your odds of having multiple births from one pregnancy. So I went back to my charts to check ages of the mothers. Eliza Emoline was 28 years old when she had Lorenzo and William. Sarah C. was 27 years old when she had her twins. Druziller Mahala was 34 years old when she had Alice and Oscar.
I found that tidbit interesting since two sets of the twins I talked about today were born during the 1890’s. I will spare you one last Doublemint commercial. Hopefully the song is now stuck in your head so I don’t have to suffer that fate alone now.
If you’d like to learn more about the BULLOCK family, you can find more of my posts at:
If you’re interested in joining me on this family history writing adventure, well…the more the merrier! You can join at Amy Johnson Crow’s website. There’s a Facebook page that goes along with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. The only rules are the rules you make up for yourself on this writing adventure. Anything you get down in writing is more than you had before so get writing! Don’t miss out on Amy’s blog and podcast either. Both are very good.
It’s been a while since I blogged. You would think during Quarantine I could find the time to write but it seems there’s always something else to do. We are in our 10th week of quarantine. It’s both frustrating and desirable to be stuck at home. I get stir-crazy and think I want to go to town so I go grocery shopping and by the time I’m done all I want is to be at home without people. C’est la vie. (How do you like that, Mom? I used my French from college!) In any case, I’m here and I’m writing. As I opened up a blank post the words of a song came to mind and I’ve learned that when that happens, I should just incorporate them and go with it. I’m sure it will only take a couple of sections (if that) for you to figure out the song. I’m assuming it must have been a favorite of the person I’m about to write about.
“When I find myself in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.”
This quarantine! It’s been at times comforting, at times worrisome and there has been so much time to think! When it gets worrisome I think about my ancestors who went through difficult times and wondered how they handled various situations. One recurring thought has been that at every moment of our lives each of us is prepared/preparing for the next moment. In other words, all my life has been in preparation for this moment of quarantine. Whatever happens, we’ll make it through. And I’ve said before, the movie Aladdin has some truth in it. When Jafar said something to the effect of “It’s amazing what you can live through”- he wasn’t joking.
“And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.”
The 10 weeks of quarantine have seemed like an emotional roller coaster. Something that’s been on my mind a lot are the people that I’ve lost- what I miss about them, what I’d like to talk to them about if I could see them again, and did I say ‘how much I miss them’? Yeah. Today I was doing some cleaning upstairs, clearing out some boxes that have mostly been in storage for a while. I came across a typed letter dated January 14, 1994. I read a line. It was clearly from family. I read a couple more lines and I thought, “Man, this really sounds like Aunt Carol but I don’t remember anything that she’s talking about.” Then the letter mentioned Uncle Junior and I knew it was indeed Aunt Carol. What a blast from the past!
“And when the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, Let it be.”
Aunt Carol had been going through a tough time in 1994. I’d done something for her and she was writing to thank me- 3 pages worth. Isn’t that just like her? I had to laugh. No thank you card for me. Nope. I get a three page letter. I’m glad. It was an emotional trip down memory lane. She told me about some of the trouble they’d been having. She gave me news about my cousins. She talked about how much they missed us. (We’d moved to Idaho two years prior to this letter- almost two years exactly.) She talked about her work and asked when they might see us again. Rather than asking me to pray for her, she talked about how she had prayed for us. To write all this makes me realize how much I’ve missed her.
“For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see. There will be an answer, Let it be.”
On the last page she told me my grandma (“Mam”- Audrey) said hello. She (and Mam) sent me kisses and hugs. That last page. I finally lost it on that last page. When my Aunt Carol spoke to me she called me by my first AND middle name. She was the only one who did that. The last time I saw her she was in the hospital. There is no doctor that will ever convince me she did not hear and understand my final words to her: “Aunt Carol, this is Lisa Anne. I love you.” She responded and no one can tell me otherwise.
“And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me. Shine until tomorrow, Let it be.”
Tonight is a waning crescent moon. There won’t be much light shining tonight but sometimes God gives us the precious gift of someone’s love that shines down on us. That’s the gift I got tonight. There are so many emotions and memories tied to Aunt Carol. She loved butterflies. I think of her every time I see one. She always led the worship service at the church I attended my entire childhood. She would sometimes get all my cousins and I up in front to sing a special.
We often sang In the Garden, a song I still love today.
My husband always wanted her to play I Shall Not Be Moved. That was his favorite. Our pastor at the time was Les Osburn. His granddaughter came to church with him often. She also liked that particular song as I recall.
Aunt Carol wore Avon perfume which, I’m assuming, she bought from my Mam (her mom). I believe the perfume was Sand & Pearls or maybe Pearls & Lace? She and Mam both wore it. I liked the perfume but if you got in a car with both of them to go to town the smell was overwhelming! I can laugh about it now but at the time, driving from Southwest City to Grove was excruciating sometimes!
“I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.”
Tomorrow I’ll wake up, Lord willing, and it’ll be a new day and no matter who I’ve lost, I’ll carry on until the Lord decides my time is up. In the meantime, it’s such a treasure to find memories like this. They help keep me going. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a letter to someone. I’d hate to think that years down the road we won’t have letters to look at anymore because all our writing is digital now. Some traditions need to be kept alive. If not now, when? If not me, who? Maybe tomorrow…
“Let it be, yeah, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom, let it be. Let it be, oh let it be. There will be an answer. Let it be.”
Oh my dear 80’s friends. You have not heard 80’s music with your heart until you’ve heard my 5-year-old grandson sing it in the shower when he thinks no one is listening. I love this kid. WARNING: If you have earbuds in, be ready to remove them. If you’re playing this at work, maybe turn the volume down before you get started. It gets a little loud in places. #HeMightHateMeLater
(Those of you trying to access this on Sunday night may want to try again tomorrow. My internet isn’t very strong at home and likely will not upload the audio file. It will upload tomorrow when I arrive in town and have much better signal strength.)
I’ve decided to go back in and add the actual chorus lyrics to the song he’s singing. The 17-second portion you heard is within the chorus section below.
Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name
Yeah you give love a bad name
The song is You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi (in case you didn’t know). It came out about 1986.
This blog post is in the Stories for the Boys series. This series is written specifically for my grandsons who will (hopefully) one day read these stories and get to know their grandparents a little better. The post is open for anyone to read but the specific intended audience is my grandchildren.
Today is September 11th. We mark the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy when Islamic terrorists crashed two airplanes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City, crashed one plane into the Pentagon, and crashed a plane into a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks killed at least 2,996 people including emergency first responders and injured 6,000 more people. Over the years, others have died of cancer and respiratory illnesses directly related to 9/11. Songs have been written, memorials had, and a museum built. In my memories of that time, one song in particular was moving for me and asked a question I’d like to answer for you boys today. It’s a song by Alan Jackson called Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning. You can listen to it on YouTube here. You can read the lyrics here. You can read the story behind the song here.
September 11, 2001 was our last day living in Idaho. We had already sent Derek and Shaina (your parents) to live with their grandparents in Oklahoma at the beginning of the summer. Going to Oklahoma for 6 weeks each summer to live with grandparents was their normal summertime activity anyway. Your Papa Bart was already living in Oklahoma and working. I had stayed behind in Idaho for the summer to try and sell the house and wrap things up there. The night of September 10th we had loaded the remaining possessions we had on the trailer except for a small television and our pillows which we’d left in the house and would take out right before we left. The morning of September 11th your Papa drove to the gas station to fill up the tank and get a coffee before leaving. When he returned he came rushing in the front door and told me to turn on the television “NOW”! When I turned it on the first tower had already been hit. As it sat there trying to make sense of it, the second plane hit the second tower. I felt so sick! We sat and watched for a long time. I had nightmares for a long time after that and this is what those nightmares were about:
I can’t imagine trying to outrun that debris cloud. It makes me shudder. I know there were worse things, worse photographs, and I had dreams about those too- people jumping out of the towers, firefighters running into the towers…it was horrifying.
We left Idaho later that morning not knowing how far we would make it, what would happen next, if we would be able to get across the country to our children or not. We had saved up enough money to get to Oklahoma and have some left over to live on but on 9/11 gas prices soared. We barely made it back to Oklahoma with the money we had saved. But God was watching over us and we made it.
In the week following 9/11, there were no planes in the sky- the only time I’ve seen a pure sky unmarred by planes or chemtrails. It was eery. What I did love was the renewed patriotism, people going to church and being kind to one another. Of course, that didn’t last long and now we have the world you live in. That makes me sad. In the America of my childhood it felt safe for the most part. You have never lived in an America that feels safe. For that, I’m sorry. My wish for you is a safe America where you can live a good life in peace. I do hope you get that. I hope your children and grandchildren get that.
So, to answer the song’s question…on September 11, 2001, your Papa and I were in a little cream-colored house on Armand Street in Kuna, Idaho when “the world stopped turning”.
Photo from Redfin.com
I hope you never have to live a day like that one. I love you boys more than my life.
Welcome to week 19 of 2018 and week 2 of my short hiatus from blogging about my own personal family (and my husband’s). Just this week and one more and I’ll get back to blogging about our families. During my hiatus, I’m posting information that is not easily found elsewhere. In case you’re just joining me I’ll let you know that I’m posting records of children who passed through the Jasper County Alms House (the “poor farm”) near Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri. Today I’ll be posting about one family and I’ll also be recommending one blog I just found and a couple of podcasts I’m enjoying.
Let’s start with the blog. I just finished watching the most recent season of Relative Race on BYUTV. (If you don’t get BYUTV, contact your satellite or cable company. It’s a family-oriented channel with lots of genealogy and family-friendly programming available.) On episode 8 of Relative Race (Season 3, original air date 22 April 2018), there was a brief mention that Team Black (Johnathon and Rebecca HOYT) had met a relative who podcasts her family history and this relative (Dru MATTIMOE) interviewed Team Black for her podcast. For a long time now, I’ve been thinking about creating a podcast that goes along with my blog so this bit of information caught my attention. I did a little internet sleuthing and found Dru! Before finding Dru though, I found her blog- Coffee and Headphones. The first post I read was entitled, Relevé, Plié. The link above will take you right to that post. Before I could read even a word of her post I was immediately taken back to my childhood ballet and tap days. Some of my friends and I were in dance classes when I was little. Here is a photo of my friend, Genita (on the right), and I in our dance costumes for the tap portion of our dance classes. This was right before a performance. We were standing in her grandma’s yard right next door to my house on the “old highway” in Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma. Her grandma was my babysitter for several years when I was young. I was probably about 8 or 9 years old in this photograph.
I happen to work at the same high school where Genita’s daughter attends now and I saw her within a day or so of reading Dru’s post and thinking about Genita and our dance days. Maybe I’ll take a copy of this photo to her daughter one day before school’s out.
Yesterday I got to talk with Dru. (I was trying to fix the lawnmower yesterday so I hope I didn’t look too wild and crazy for our video chat!) I enjoyed our conversation and I’m looking forward to following her blog as well as her podcasting adventures. So GO READ DRU’S BLOG! I’m enjoying it and I think you will too, especially if you like a little ‘Hollywood’ to go with your history! Speaking of podcasts, I’m in the car often so I listen to a lot of podcasts. I was recently listening to an episode of Always Listening and the host, Joel SHARPTON, recommended Tyler Mahan COE’s podcast Cocaine and Rhinestones (which is both a podcast and a blog that follows along with the podcast). Tyler podcasts the history of country music. Now, I’m not the world’s biggest country music fan but something Joel said caught my interest so I flipped over to Cocaine and Rhinestones and I was hooked on the first episode (which for me, by the way, was Season 1, Episode 3, The Murder Ballad of Spade Cooley). I’m about halfway through Season 1 right now. Go take a listen. Season 1 is all about the old names in country music- the ones my dad played in the cassette player of that dinky little Datsun pickup that my parents somehow managed to fit two adults and three children into back in the days when seatbelts were optional (and rarely used). Sure wish I had a photo of that pickup truck. Here’s a similar one found at CFI America:
Don’t make the mistake of looking at this pickup as anything close to a full-size pickup truck. These things were TINY!!
Now for the orphans. If you aren’t interested, you can cut out now. It won’t hurt my feelings. If you are interested, read on.
Above is the cover and description of the records for anyone interested. Below is the first page of the transcription. I’ll be skipping the second child (#2- Elija ROBINSON). Just yesterday I made a breakthrough on Elija so I’m saving that for next week so I can research it a little more. This week I’ll be discussing children Rhoda and Eva MALONE and their mom, Mary MALONE (#5-#7 on the list).
Here’s what I know about the MALONE sisters. Mary MALONE came to the alms house with her two daughters- Rhoda and Eva- in February of 1883. Mary was born in 1842 in Illinois. She died (presumably at the alms house since it’s in their records) in August of 1886. She came in with her daughter Rhoda who was born in 1863 in Illinois and her daughter Eva who was born in 1874 in Illinois. I want to be clear here, I am presuming relationships based on the same last name and that they were all admitted to the alms house in February of 1883. There is no disability listed with Mary’s name or the girls’ names. Perhaps Mary was too sick to continue caring for herself or the girls anymore or perhaps she was too poor to do so and couldn’t find enough work. I don’t know. The above is literally all the information I had to go on.
So Mary would have been about 41 years old when she was admitted and 44 years old when she passed away. Rhoda would have been about 20 years old and Eva about 9 years old upon admission to the alms house. There is no discharge date for Rhoda or Eva. Looking at all the MALONE families in the area at that time, I think the most likely family for these people was the family of John and Mary “Polly” (HENDRICKS) MALONE. This family (at least the mother and children- I’m not sure about the father) moved from Adams County, Illinois sometime between 4 July 1870 and 15 June 1880 to Jasper County, Missouri. In 1880, Mary (sometimes listed as Polly) had the following children: Rhoda (born about 1863 in Illinois), Adam (born about 1866 in Illinois), Hiram (born about about August of 1869 in Illinois), and Eva (born about 1874 in Illinois). With this information, the gap in age from Rhoda to Eva makes a little more sense! Mary was a widow in 1880. She and her children were living in Preston, Jasper County, Missouri. I can’t find Rhoda in 1900. Eva is a servant in the Arnold household in Golden City, Barton County, Missouri. Adam is living with Hiram and Hiram’s family in Richland, Barton County, Missouri. Hiram, Adam, and Eva all married and had children. Adam passed away in 1921 (of Paresis), Eva in 1943 (of Myocarditis), and Hiram in 1950 (of Pneumonia and infirmities of age). I have contacted a member of this family and am exchanging information with her in an effort to figure out if this is the correct family and, if so, to link the family’s alms house years back into their historical record. In case you’re wondering why I didn’t bring up the death record of Mary, there isn’t one that I can find.
This week I’m trying to ease back into blogging after a couple of busy weeks. I’ve had a couple of stories sitting on the back burner waiting on their turn so I’m telling those this week. (Actually, I have a BUNCH on the back burner! I’m hoping the summer is less busy so I can get those written and pushed out to you all!) Today I want to tell you about a sweet person I “met” via email last month. This guy’s kindness really moved me.
Around the middle of March, I received an email from a man named Koen BOLCKMANS. Koen lives in Belgium. This guy is awesome! Here’s his pic:
So, that’s Koen. He’s pretty amazing. That gravestone he’s kneeling next to? That’s our family. Let me tell you the story.
I’ve heard that many Europeans adopt the graves of American servicemen (sometimes for that person’s lifetime and then they leave care of the grave to a relative to care for when they’re gone). I didn’t know anyone who did this but I’d heard stories. I couldn’t have told you if the stories were true or not but it was a nice “feel good” story. Then Koen emailed me. For the last 23 years (plus a little) he’s been taking care of this grave. The man buried in the grave is Henry CONN- the son of Daniel and Myrtle (BAKER) CONN. Myrtle was the sister of Mary Anne BAKER. Mary Anne was married to Ervin Alonzo (“Poppy”) DRAKE and the two of them were my paternal 2nd great grandparents. Henry CONN is buried at the American War Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. Henry was a Private in 78th Lightning Infantry Division, 311th Regiment, Company G.
BEFORE I FORGET: IF YOU HAVE A PHOTO OF HENRY CONN OR YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOES AND WOULD SCAN AND EMAIL ME A COPY, I WOULD LOVE TO PROVIDE KOEN WITH A PHOTOGRAPH OF HENRY!
Koen told me that he’s tried to research Henry. (Just a note: he’s done more than try! He knew a lot about Henry before he ever contacted me!) Koen said Henry was killed in action on the second day of the assault on Kesternich, Germany inside the village clearing houses on 31 January 1945- the same day Henry’s brother, Ernest, turned 26. Koen sent me a link to Henry’s online memorial. I encourage you to go visit it at the Fields of Honor database. Like I said, I have always heard that Europeans adopted the graves of American service men who died overseas. I just never thought about them caring for one of our family members. I think Koen is doing a fabulous job, don’t you? I do need to mention that his friend, Astrid van Erp, helps him with this endeavor. Astrid had asked a question on a public forum that I answered prior to Koen’s email so I actually “met” Astrid first.
Henry Aubrey CONN was born 23 July 1914 in Reeds, Jasper County, Missouri. His parents were Daniel and Myrtle (BAKER) CONN. Henry was the fourth of six children born to Daniel and Myrtle.
In 1922, when Henry was 7 years old, he wrote a letter to Santa that was published in the Galena, Kansas newspaper:
I have had a lot of trouble following the family through the census records but I do know that in 1925, the family was living in Lafayette, Chautauqua County, Kansas. In 1925, Henry was 10 years old. He was not attending school and he couldn’t read or write.
On 19 April 1940 when the census enumerator (Benjamin RYBURN) came to the CONN home, the family was living in Beaty, Delaware County, Oklahoma. Henry was single, still living with his parents, and was working as a mechanic’s helper at a local garage. In October of that same year he completed his draft card. He listed his residence at that time as San Leandro, Alameda County, California. There are several issues with the draft card. Henry originally listed an Oakland, California address. That was crossed out in 1941 and the San Leandro address was typed in. He listed his mom as living in South West City, McDonald County, Missouri. This is only a small discrepancy because the Beaty area of Delaware County, Oklahoma connects to South West City, McDonald County, Missouri. Apparently the discrepancy between San Leandro, California and Oakland, California is also minor. Henry did state that he worked in Oakland for a man named Billy Rose.
Just over a year later, in November of 1941, Henry enlisted in the Army and eventually went to war in the European theatre in World War II.
He went missing on his brother Ernest’s birthday – 31 January 1945. Henry was 31 years old when he went missing. According to Koen, Henry was “killed in action on the second day of the assault on Kesternich, Germany, inside the village clearing houses on 31 January 1945.” Henry was awarded the Purple Heart. He was buried in American War Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. Koen provided me with this news article giving Henry’s MIA status.
You can read a detailed account of the battle at Kesternich, Germany in this PDF document:
The day before and day of Henry’s death is detailed beginning on the report page numbered 14 (on the PDF it is page 15 of 50).
If you’d like the Wikipedia version, go here. You can also read the historynet.com version at this link. For some great photos, try the Facebook group. You can read about the 78th Lightning Infantry Division at Wikipedia here. A booklet was published about the 78th and you can read that online here. You can find a photo of GI’s with the 78th here. There is a lot of information on the internet about the 78th and about Company G. I encourage you to Google it and take a look at the links.
Before closing, I want to provide this article from The Sarcoxie Record about Koen. He emailed it to me so I thought I would provide it here so you can learn a little more about Koen.
Dear friends (and boys- because I do hope you read these stories when you get older),
I have never been more proud of my profession, my coworkers, my administrators, or my school board. But I am also tired. I am also sad. I am also angry. I am so many emotions I can hardly contain them. Sun up to sun down every day for over a week now. But real life is like that, isn’t it? You hit a brick wall (or maybe just a roadblock, but today feels like a brick wall) and you feel as if you will never get past this moment. I will get past it. I know I will but I’m talking about raw emotion right now. I haven’t written a post since…well, I couldn’t even tell you without looking. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. My life has been turned upside down and I’ve had one singular focus with no extra time for anything else. But I’m bowing out. Just for today. I’m taking a “me day”. I feel guilty. I should be sitting in church right now and Lord knows I need to be there but I just couldn’t. There’s a lot of bitterness and hatred in the world and I’ve felt it was aimed at me (and my friends) this past couple of weeks. I need a break.
This day’s been a long time coming. You see, I am a teacher- a librarian, yes, but surprise- librarians teach, too! I had to get a Masters degree to be a school librarian. I’ve worked in several different schools and have finally found the right school, the right grade levels, and the right community for me. For far too long, professionals in teaching positions all across this nation have been paid far too little for all that they do. We are degreed, certified, professionals. I could make more money at a QT convenience store than I make to help educate your children. How sad is that!
In late February, the teachers of West Virginia had had enough. They weren’t taking it anymore. They walked out. Their strike lasted 8 or 9 days. They got a raised but the funding is questionable. They are committed to striking again if lawmakers can’t do their jobs. Their brave actions set off a chain reaction across the nation amongst teachers who were underpaid, overworked, understaffed, and ill-equipped to do their jobs. My state, Oklahoma, was next in line and Kentucky is right on our heels. Arizona is fast approaching this point as well.
Good Friday, my first day holding a sign. Jay, OK, 2018. I was taking the photo. Left, Matt Nowlin Oklahoma/Arkansas Carpenters/Millwrights Local 216 #UnionStrong. To the right of Matt are my fellow teachers. #StrongerTogether
Oklahoma teachers walked out April 2nd. It is April 8th and we will not be going to school next week unless the legislators do their job and provide funding. We aren’t even asking for all that we should. We are only asking to be funded at the levels we had 10- TEN- years ago. We want textbooks that at least include the Obama presidency. That’s how old our textbooks are- they don’t even include the 8 years of the Obama presidency. There are so few textbooks left that students can’t even take them home to study. Teachers are using textbooks that are falling apart- some duct-taped together so they can be used. Teachers have 200 students and 50 textbooks. Is this what we want for our children?? Our future?? Chairs are broken. Our high school library- my little library- has a collection of books with an average copyright date of 1996. I have books older than me and I’m not talking classics or fairy tales. Actual novels and NONFICTION books older than me! Books that were here when I was in high school here 30 years ago. Books that were here when my children were going to school here in the early 2000’s. Yet teachers go into this environment every day and we still do our jobs the best we can. We still educate and care for the students entrusted to us.
I’m not telling you all this so you pity me. Don’t pity me. What I want is for you to get angry. Get angry that legislators have gotten away with telling you that this is how little your children mean to them! It’s intimidating to call a legislator, much less go visit them. And they are rude- I get that. But sometimes we have to do hard things for the people we love. Teachers have their raises. We could have stayed in school and forgotten about the fact that your kids still need textbooks and chairs and supplies but we didn’t. We care too much for our students. So here we are. We completed Day 5 of the walkout on Friday. Day 6 of the walkout is tomorrow. I’ll be there. Wouldn’t miss it. Will you join me? Yes. Yes. I know. You have jobs. You have lives. You had bad teachers so you’ll never support us. I get it. I do. But this isn’t for “us”. We already have our money (provided they will actually FUND the bill they passed). This is for your children. You have to make your own decisions and care for your own lives. I’ll still be going. Spending my own money on your children (again) and my own time (still) but it would be so much better if you would meet me there. Those legislators need to see YOUR face. They need to see YOUR children that they are shafting. The news is reporting that it’s chaotic and dangerous. That’s a lie. The place is crawling with State Troopers (who were also included in our funding request, I might add). They have been so good at what they do and so good to us. They have said this is one of the most peaceful (and even enjoyable) rallies they’ve ever seen. Teachers are polite, courteous, and pick up after themselves. No big surprise to me. We’ve been cleaning up after ourselves and your children (and legislators) for years.
I’m tired of being called greedy (and much worse). I’m tired of the DHS workers (whom we also included in our request for more funding) saying bad things about us. Saying that we aren’t doing enough when they don’t even show up at a rally designed to get more funding for them too. We didn’t have to include state workers but we did. That’s what teachers do- they care. I’m tired of defending myself, my profession, and my friends. I’m sick at the thought of how little a few of the community members think of us and how vocal they are compared to our supporters. My friends have left Facebook. They can’t take the teacher-bashing any more. They are staying home, trying to rejuvenate going into next week. You can see I’m sitting here (alone) on my couch writing to you because I’m an introvert and writing makes me feel better. I won’t quit though. My students aren’t second class citizens and neither am I. Even with this raise I won’t be earning a lot of money for a degreed, certified professional. I don’t do it for the money though so I’ll take what I can get. It’s been over a decade since teachers got raises. What degreed professional never gets a raise? I could drive 20 minutes further into Arkansas and earn $20,000 more and get a lot more respect but I love my little community. I don’t want to leave. I love our school board and our administrators who have so graciously backed us up and supported us. I will not stop defending them because they did not have to support us like this. I am beginning to wonder whether it’s worth it but I’m going to finish this fight. That way, if my grandsons should ever move to Oklahoma it will be a better place for them to get an education.
I’m not going to edit this post a lot. This is raw. This is how I feel. I’m going to have a good cry then I’m going to pick myself up, go visit my family and then get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, the Women in Black show up at the capitol building. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. See you in Oklahoma City tomorrow.
This past Sunday (18 March) was Ervin Alonzo DRAKE’s birthday. He was better known as Poppy, or Lon.
Above is a photo of Poppy and Annie with three of their children.
It seems Poppy was named after his grandfather, Ervin Alonzo DRAKE. I used to think Poppy’s name was Alonzo Ervin since he was sometimes called Poppy Lon but I’ve since come to think his name really is Ervin Alonzo and he was, perhaps, called Poppy or Lon to distinguish him from his grandfather. Poppy Lon was born in 1875 in McDonald County, Missouri, to William and Hester Ann Eglentine (MITCHELL) DRAKE. He was the first of 10 siblings. It was a known fact that back in the day the DRAKE’s liked to drink and fight. If you want to know just how rough some of them were, take a look at my series about his brother, “Red”, starting with part one. It’s quite a story!
Today I’m going to highlight the most recent released census that includes Poppy.
Screenshot from Ancestry.
The year was 1940. Poppy was living in Beaty Township in Delaware County, Oklahoma. Beaty Township includes the area of Delaware County East of Jay, Southeast of Grove, West of South West City, McDonald County, Missouri, and Northwest of Maysville, Benton County, Arkansas – exactly the area I would expect him to live at. It’s a rural area with no present-day towns. You can find it on this map.
The original of the above map was found at OKGenWeb.
I’ve circled the name Beaty in red to make it easier to find. Also notice in the upper left corner of the map I’ve circled (in green) the town of Echo in Bernice Township. This is where Poppy Lon’s grandfather, Ervin Alonzo, lived before that area was flooded to make Grand Lake. I’ve written a little about that in this blog post. (This was one of my earliest blog posts about my family so it will be a little different than what you might read from me currently.)
In 1940, Poppy Lon was listed as the head of household. He is listed as Ervin L. Drake. Living with him were his wife, Annie (Mary Anne BAKER), his married son Roscoe, and Poppy’s grandchildren (Roscoe’s children) – Lulla Bell (age 14) and James E. (age 12). (Note: Even though he is listed as “married son”, the same entry says he is a widower.) I’m not sure where Roscoe’s wife was at the time. Just a quick glance at records looks like possibly the wife left Roscoe and the children and moved to California and remarried but I’m not certain and I haven’t asked. Interestingly, Nancy wasn’t living with Roscoe in the 1930 census either.
I did find this photo (sorry for the quality) of Nancy and hers and Roscoe’s children. Lulla Bell and James Ervin William are both in the photo. James is on the back row and Lulla Bell is the girl with the darker hair and white blouse on the far right next to her mother. The other girl in the photo is identified as Jolene Lavinia DRAKE (her middle name probably being given in honor of Poppy Lon’s grandmother, Lavina (PILGRIM) DRAKE) and the young boy is James Woodrow LANG and he looks to be from mom Nancy’s second marriage (after Roscoe). Additionally, Lulla Bell’s name is spelled “Lulu Belle”, contrary to the 1940 census.
This photo was shared publicly on Ancestry by Tori Hobbs. I have tried over the years to get in touch with Tori without success.
This is what the 1940 census tells us about Poppy Lon. He was the 79th (and last) family to be censused on 15 April 1940 by enumerator Ben F. Ryburn. Poppy Lon owned his home. When asked the value of the home, the response recorded was “3.50”. I don’t think that meant $3.50- possibly $3500 instead? I’m not sure. Poppy Lon’s place was a farm. His race was listed as “White” and he was 65 years old at the time of this census. He was born in Missouri. He completed 4th grade in school. He was farming that year as his employment and was working 40 hours a week on the farm. He worked 45 weeks out of the year. He earned more than $50 but an amount was not specified. He is person #68 on the farm schedule. Unfortunately, I have not located the farm schedule and it may not exist anymore. In 1940, Roscoe was a laborer with WPA. About this time last year I wrote for WPA records for my grandpa, Troy BATES, and their response was that there was no employment record for Troy even though I know he was hired by WPA. I may decide to write for Roscoe’s employment records to see what type of work he did but I haven’t done that yet. Roscoe was unemployed 20 weeks in the year preceding the census before he gained employment with WPA. That’s almost half the year so I’m sure he was very happy to get a job with WPA given he had a couple of children to support and was living with his parents.
A final note about the 1940 census. Living near Poppy Lon was Raymond Hubbard. Raymond was the brother of Edith (HUBBARD) DRAKE. Edith was married to Mark DRAKE- Poppy Lon’s son and my great-grandfather. So while Raymond wasn’t technically a relative, I’m sure Poppy and Raymond knew each other and had visited each other at Edith’s and Mark’s home. Living next door to Poppy Lon was Poppy’s brother, Henry Arthur (who went by “Ned”) and Henry’s family. You can find a photo of Ned in one of my blog posts here.
I’m going to leave Poppy Lon right here in 1940, farming and taking care of his family. He has another 24 years of life ahead of him. I think that’s a good spot to leave him in.