William Riter & Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders

This blog post is about my maternal great grandfather, William Sherman RITER. William was married to Laura Ann BULLOCK. I’ve written about William in the following blog posts, in case you’re interested in catching up before you read this post:

Times for Remembering (includes a much better photo of William)

Lost and Found (the first of a two-part series about William’s life after the war)

Lost and Found, Part 2 (the second of a two-part series about William’s life after the war)

Week 4- Weekend Wrap-Up (includes a short paragraph about William)

For one week every summer I have all my grandsons over to my house for Cousin Camp. One of the activities I was planning for this coming summer was a family history related activity so they can begin to learn about their ancestors and the stories that belong to those ancestors. The activity involves some cute little magnets I created on Shutterfly. Here’s William RITER’s:

I tried to get a better picture of it, but you get the general idea. So if this magnet were chosen, I would tell the boys the story about my maternal great-grandfather, William Sherman RITER, and how he was one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. In the process of planning this I thought it would be fun to get a picture book about Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders to read to the boys so they could learn more. I was unable to find a picture book that I felt was appropriate for my grandsons so the thought entered my mind that I could write one and self-publish. I began doing some research in preparation to write a short picture book story. In the process of gathering information I have begun to doubt whether William RITER was really a Rough Rider. But let’s back up to the beginning so I can show you how the whole Rough Rider story came to be.

Rough Rider in Town!

The above article was taken from Newspapers.com. It’s a copy of a news item from The Sedalia Democrat, Page 1, 30 March 1899. William had just been mustered out at Augusta, Georgia on 27 March 1899. He had served in the Spanish-American War with Company E, 15th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry out of St. Paul, Minnesota. The 15th Minnesota had an outstanding reputation and, at least according to newspaper articles of the time, the people of Georgia were sad to see them leave. What I found interesting when looking through newspapers was that you could follow his train trip home by watching newspapers along the route he took. Every time a group of the 15th Minnesota arrived in town, the newspapers were covering it. So, between March 27th and March 30th I could follow his progress from Georgia to Oklahoma. (By the way, when he enlisted for this war he lived in Wheaton, Illinois but at some point he acquired land in Oklahoma and that’s where he went after the war.) As I continued researching, I learned that the Spanish-American War was a war that Americans very much supported (thanks to false and misleading stories pushed by the media- sound familiar???) and the servicemen were loved and welcomed back home (unlike the shameful situation with Vietnam and the servicemen returning from that war).

In researching William’s service online, I found such conflict in the records that I don’t know what to believe anymore. In addition to the question of whether or not he’s a Rough Rider, there is the issue of whether he went abroad during his service. According to newspapers, the 15th Minnesota was going to go to Camp Allyn Capron in Puerto Principe, Cuba on 27 November 1898. The plan was for them to serve a short stint and come back home in 1899. Wikipedia supports the statement that on 27 November 1898 the 15th Minnesota sailed from Savannah, Georgia to Nuevitas, Cuba for “occupation duty”. However, Theodore Roosevelt’s own book about the Rough Riders says nothing about William RITER or the 15th Minnesota. (You can find his book online at https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Index:Theodore_Roosevelt_Rough_Riders.djvu.) Then there is this website that shows the 15th was in Cuba between December, 1898 and December, 1899 as well as the above article referencing William as a “Rough Rider”. In any case, by late November 1898 the war was over. According to newspaper articles, the 15th Minnesota was mustered out and sent home from Augusta, Georgia on 27 March 1899 without having gone abroad to serve.

But what about the Rough Rider claim? Well…if William was a Rough Rider, I haven’t been able to prove it through records. The only positive indications I have are the story that Granny BATES always told and the newspaper article at the top of this blog post that referenced him as a Rough Rider.

Below are William’s pension cards:

I have been unable to obtain his service records from the National Archives although I know someone in the family does have them because once I saw one paper out of his service file. The National Archives told me the records were “lost”. I have a hunch they were being filmed and if I requested them again I might actually get them- as long as I paid them another fee, of course!

So, once again I’m leaving you with a mystery. My quest to write a little story for my grandsons hasn’t gone so well this week. I have no idea what story I will tell them in place of the Rough Rider story but I’m sure I’ll come up with something that will interest them. In the meantime, I want to leave you with a few more photographs that I found interesting.

This is Company H of the 15th Minnesota Infantry. I include it because I would imagine an image of Company E would look much the same. This photo was found at the US Genweb website.
The 15th Minnesota Spanish American war drum. This photo was found at the Minnesota Historical Society’s website.
The 15th Minnesota Regimental battle flag. This photo was found at the Minnesota Historical Society’s website.

Stay warm and dry this week, friends!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Week 4- Weekend Wrap Up

There is so much to tell you and I’m just going to jump right into it!!

One of our good friends (and DeReK’s good friends), Herman Garcia, messaged me with a photo and story after I posted the blog about DeReK. Herman was unable to message during the week leading up to the post because he was in drills and did not have access to his phone. Here is the photo and story he sent:

Herman’s story:

photo was taken when I helped Derek move to Dallas. He was a big OU fan obviously and we enjoyed watching, talking crap on Texas longhorns. Every start of football season I think about watching games together when we were at NSU.

I miss him and another thing I wanted to share was how he has inspired me even today on establishing a relationship with the Lord. I faced some trials in life and I often think about how strong his faith and I wish sometimes I could call him and talk about scripture and what I could do to grow my faith but I know one day in heaven we’ll be able to hang out and hang out with God talking about OU football. Marley recently asked me where she got a caterpillar and I told her uncle Derek got it for her and I told her how he was daddy’s friend and how he was a good man I even showed her this photo. She said we were silly which she was right. Being around him you knew you were going to laugh about something. I love you and Bart and Shaina and August, Melissa. Happy Birthday Derek.

We’re so proud of Herman. He’s become an incredible man and father. He’s a proud American and a great law enforcement officer. We love Herman and his family and I was so glad to hear from him.

William LARKIN and Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN (Dad’s family); and, William and Laura (BULLOCK) RITER (Mom’s family)

Going back a couple of weeks ago to when I was talking about William LARKIN: I was able to acquire both of the death certificates I talked about in that blog post. The one that I speculated might be Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN was, unfortunately, not her. However, the person it was is related so I want to talk about that for a minute. I actually wanted it to be it’s own blog post (and maybe it will be someday) but for now I’ll just give you the straight information without a story. It turns out the death certificate was for an infant that did not live. The baby belonged to Samuel Anglus and Frances DEAN (or possibly BEAN) LARKIN. Samuel was a brother to our William listed above so the baby was our William and Minerva’s nephew. The baby was not named therefore there was no name on the death certificate other than her last name. She died the same day she was born- 19 March 1917. I do believe she lived a few hours since the death certificate says she lived 1 day as opposed to saying she was stillborn. The cause of death was “premature labor”. She was born in McBride, Cherokee County, Oklahoma and is buried at Baldridge Cemetery in Gans, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. I don’t know if her grave is marked but I’m hoping to go see about it soon. I would say that it probably is not marked for the simple reason that when I looked up that cemetery online, there were only 2 graves listed and neither was hers. I created an online memorial for her if you would like to go leave flowers. You can find it here . Even though her mother’s surname on the death certificate is BEAN, the marriage certificate for Samuel and Frances says “DEAN”. If I had to choose one, I would say the correct name is probably DEAN. I’m sure Frances was upset and stressed at the time the baby died. The doctor wrote up the death certificate information. I’m sure he wrote what he thought he heard which accounts for the BEAN name. I could be wrong but that’s my guess and my theory. I’m not going to include other details because I’m looking for an opening in my schedule to tell you about this family soon. Most likely, there is no death certificate for Minerva UNDERWOOD LARKIN but I’m going to keep searching until I’ve exhausted all avenues.

The next death certificate was the one I hoped was for our William LARKIN. If this William LARKIN is related, I haven’t found the connection. This William was born in 1851 in Illinois and died in 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. None of our direct-line LARKIN’s went through Illinois so if he’s related it would have to be through a collateral line (brother/sister of our direct-line ancestor).

One more issue with William LARKIN. I attempted to get more information about the mine he owned. Mom and I visited the Missouri Southern State University Archives & Special Collections and spoke with Archivist Charles Nodler. He oversees an incredible collection of Tri-State Mining maps. I was able to narrow down the section of Aurora where the mines are located but was unable to locate the specific mine William owned.

See all those tiny dots on the map? Each tiny dot is a mine shaft! This is only the town of Aurora.

All is not lost- there are other places I can look but I wanted to keep you updated on the search for the mine that was once in the family. While there I asked if there were documents that might list miners in the area and associate them with a particular mine – employment records or whatever might list names and associate them with mines. Bart and I and even our daughter-in-law all have many miner-ancestors who were working in the Tri-State area. The archivist didn’t know of any employment records and pointed us back to city directories. I have access to some directories online but he did take us to the directories he had on hand. We were able to find my mom’s grandparents, William and Laura (BULLOCK) RITER in the 1925 Polk’s Directory for Joplin. I wrote about Laura in week 1 and have written about William *****in the Lost and Found series that starts here.


The same week I wrote about William LARKIN, I also wrote about Ralph LARKIN and his sister, Alice EDENS. I hypothesized that Alice was Ralph’s sister and not his aunt. I gave my reasons for this belief. Here is one more piece of documentation that further supports the theory that Alice is Ralph’s sister, not his aunt.

(Jess is Ralph’s brother.)

In addition to this article, I found one more news article this week about Ralph and Bess announcing the birth of their son, Paul, so I thought I would share it here:


Last week I wrote about Dettie Louisa GIBSON BATES and her sibling, half-siblings, and step-siblings (all 23 of them!!). When Mom and I visited the archives at Missouri Southern State University, we looked not only at the Tri-State Mining Maps collection but also at a small file about the Old Peace Church Cemetery in Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri. Dettie’s mom, Lucinda DOW ALBIN GIBSON JONES GATEWOOD, is buried there but we’ve been unable to locate her exact burial spot. We were hoping to find it or at least get a little closer. Unfortunately, what we discovered is that we will probably never know for sure where her burial spot is. Information in the file shows that no burial records were ever kept and in fact, information about burials were so bad that sometimes bodies were buried on top of other bodies. I haven’t given up, but I’m not holding out much hope we’ll ever get any closer than we’ve already gotten.

Troy and Jessie RITER BATES

Remember last year when I wrote about finding a deed? I took one of the deeds and compared it to Satellite maps on Google and came up with finding directions. (See blog post here) Well, one day this past December when Bart was off work I asked him to go driving around with me and we found what we believed was the property listed in the deed. Then this week I took my mom back to that area and asked her to show me where their old property was and she took me to exactly the place Bart and I had gone. (It’s nice to have validation!) She had so many stories to tell me connected with that place. I took photos both times I went and when I get an unscheduled day on the blog (soon) I’m going to post the photos and stories for you. It was a nice trip. She also showed me some of the properties where her grandparents lived and I’ll be using photos of these properties later in the year on future blog posts.

Enjoy your weekend, family! I start my new job next week so I’m hoping I can keep up with the blog!! Bart starts jury duty next week too, so it’s going to be a crazy week here.

Until tomorrow,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives


Today’s theme is ‘antique’. That’s like saying “go search for Sam Williams”. WHICH ONE??? I go from “almost impossible” (‘sky’ theme) to “the world is available” (‘antique’ theme). Feast or famine, I guess. Today’s antique is something my grandma (Audrey DRAKE- ‘Mam’) made. I believe this one was made in the late 1980’s but I can’t be sure. I also have some individual blocks that I framed. They were supposed to be coasters but I wanted to keep them from getting stained so I framed them.

Crochet runner made by Audrey DRAKE

Mam- Audrey DRAKE

Over the years I’ve acquired a variety of homemade items. Mam often made things for Christmas, weddings, etc. I have several pieces she’s done. Somewhere packed away I also have a doll that Bess LARKIN crocheted for me. I have several quilts that hold special meaning. Some were made by Jessie BATES (‘Granny’) for me, some were made with individual blocks she made but never put into a quilt or with extra fabric she had on hand when she died. I have quilts Kay DRAKE (‘Mom’) made, quilts that Joyce WILLIAMS (my mother-in-law) made, and quilts I’ve made and not given away. I have paintings that Becky DRAKE has done and given me, things my kids and Melissa SCHREIBER (my daughter-in-law) have made for me, things my nieces and nephew and Jared DRAKE (my brother) have made, etc. I love these items dearly. Each of these items is very special to me. Each time the items are used or viewed I remember the person who made them and what that person means to me.

Framed quilt block. Block was made by Granny.

Jessie BATES- Granny

Some of my favorite Christmases were the ‘handmade Christmases’ we had at my Mom and Dad’s house. Everyone should give that a try at least once. I need to start labeling my treasured items soon so if I should die at least people will know what each item is and why it’s special. This is a task Becky and I have talked about doing for a while now. We need to get moving on it! I encourage each of you to post a photo of one homemade item you treasure and why it’s special to you. You may be the only one on earth who knows the significance of a particular piece. Mark your items this week whether you do it by video, by photograph, in writing- however you choose to do it. Make plans for who will get the item when you pass and make your wishes known. If you don’t make plans for your special items they may end up in the trash when you die if for no other reason than no one else recognizes what those items are. Enjoy your week and get busy with your ‘assigned task’.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

You Got a Document for That?

Today’s theme is ‘document’ and we’ll be looking at documentation for my Nation American heritage.

My 3rd great-grandfather was Jefferson LATTY. (For my family, the line goes from Granny BATES to her mom Laura BULLOCK to Laura’s mom Druziller Mahala LATTY to Druziller’s dad Jefferson LATTY. Researchers believe that Jefferson’s wife, Irena WALLS, was also Native American- 1/8 Cherokee and 1/8 Catawba- but I have not seen any kind of proof for that.

Jefferson was Cherokee and was censused with his family on the Drennen Roll. The Drennen Roll was called the “Trail of Tears” census. Some believe this census was a list of those who walked the Trail of Tears but no evidence has been found to prove this is true. It was the first census of the Native Americans after the Trail of Tears happened. Jefferson was living in Saline District, Indian Territory at the time of the census and was living with A-ke, and Na-ne LATTY. If all my records were not packed away I think I could tell you who A-ke was. I believe Na-ne was his mom but couldn’t be certain until I get my hands on those records I have packed away. They were living near the TINER (also spelled TYNER) family who intermarried with LATTY’s and were also living near Allen, David, Diver, and Peggy LATTY. I know Peggy and Allen were siblings of Jefferson’s. I cannot remember the connection with David and Diver. (I really need to unpack all that genealogy so I can share it with you!)

Jefferson is toward the bottom in the left hand column.

Jefferson gave testimony in front of the Commission regarding his Native American heritage but he was not given a roll number. I can’t remember if the reason was that his sister had previously given testimony to the Commission that he was dead and somehow that was used against him or if it was because he did not still live in Indian Territory when roll numbers were issued. When I can find his testimony I will definitely update you on that.

Jefferson lived in the Saline District. You can see the old Saline District Courthouse for yourself. It’s in the country near Rose, Oklahoma. They have been restoring it for some time now with the hopes of opening it to the public. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place. You can also read about the Saline Courthouse Massacre here.

You can see more photos of the courthouse and get directions to find it here.

A few more facts about Jefferson

Jefferson was born in Tennessee around 1832. He married Irena WALLS in 1856 and they had five known children. He fought for the Confederates in the Civil War.

Fold3 image of service record.

He died in 1892 and is said to be buried in Jane Cemetery in Jane, McDonald County, Missouri but I have not found his grave or definitive proof he is buried there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Jefferson. He’s someone I’d really love to know more about. Sure would be nice if we could somehow prove our Cherokee heritage (and/or our Catawba/Cherokee heritage through his wife.) Maybe one day we’ll get there. If you want to help advance our family history please consider taking a DNA test. I recommend Family Tree DNA since they only require a cheek swab (much better for people with certain illnesses/conditions and older people since we don’t produce enough spit to fill a tube) and they don’t sell you DNA to big pharma and research companies. The tests are on sale right now and will likely go on sale again around Christmas. If you are interested, please let me know. I’d be glad to help you get started on that path to helping advance our family’s genealogy.

Until then,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Home is Where Your Heart Is

We’re back to Tuesday. Today’s @genealogyphoto theme is ‘home’. (Don’t forget to visit Becky too.) Home means a lot of things to a lot of people. When Bart and I were in the beginning years of our marriage I told him for me, home was wherever he was. I might go somewhere else with him now but I’d probably go kicking and screaming the whole way. We’ve lived in a lot of places in our marriage. When we were first married we lived in a tiny little travel trailer. Our first week of marriage was his last week of college and we parked the travel trailer in the state park for a week.

I think this might be where we parked for a week.

After graduation he was working in Tontitown, Arkansas and we parked the travel trailer on a lot in Baldwin, Arkansas for $85 a month. Oh the days of cheap rent. It wasn’t long before we were in a rental house.

Google Earth photo- Crutcher Street in Springdale, Arkansas. I really can’t tell you which house it was but it was one of these two houses. This is where we lived when Derek was born.

We’ve lived in a mobile home too. We lived in the mobile home on my in-law’s place when Shaina was born. It’s gone now and my father-in-law’s log home that he designed and built is there now. We were fortunate to get to help him a little in building it.

Later, when we first moved to Idaho, Bart’s dad bought the old Landmark Missionary Baptist church building in Wilder, Idaho and renovated that and we lived in the church for a few years.

This is a Google Earth photo. I think this might be the house we lived in. It’s at the intersection of C Avenue and 3rd Street.

If I had my pictures out I’d be including all these buildings. Sadly, all my pictures are packed away. I really need to fix that.

We bought our first home in Kuna, Idaho. That home was probably my favorite.

This is what it looks like now on Google Earth. Armand Street. If my kids remembered any of our homes from Idaho it would be this one.

Then we moved to Oklahoma. We lived with our parents until we could get back on our feet. When Bart started traveling for his job he spent a lot of years living in hotels. When I went on the road with him we lived in the travel trailer that’s in the background of this photo.

Our travel trailer.

Now we live in a metal building.

Our home in the country.

It was going to be the garage and we were going to live in it until we got a house built. That was 10 years ago. Time really flies. Maybe one day we’ll get that house built. This house is the most sentimental for me because Derek, Bart, our fathers, and my great uncle helped us build it. My great-uncle, Ray LARKIN, witched our well. We’ve put a lot of hard work in here. We love it here. The first time I came to this place it was on a Friday night. Derek was playing a football game that night- Moseley vs. Colcord. He was in 7th grade then, I think. I knew as soon as I found it that this was the place.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my car. Sometimes I felt like IT was my home.

Home away from home.

My ancestors have lived in some crazy places. Granny and Papa BATES once lived in a corn crib after their house burned. They lived there in the winter (with very young children) until they could get a house built.

A 15 x 4 and 11 ft high corn crib from the blog Good Things by David.

Poppy Lonzo DRAKE once owned a place with a cave on it. So did my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary MOBLEY BATES BRINEGAR. I’m not sure if they actually lived IN the caves but I sure would like to know.

Like I said, ‘home’ means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. In the end, I’m just a sojourner here. God is building a place for me right now. That’s my home. I can’t wait to get there. It will be quite the homecoming, I’m sure. Until then, I’m living here- Delaware County, Oklahoma, USA.

It’s election night. This is the weirdest election cycle I’ve seen in my life. I’ve thought back to my first voting experience. I was about 7 months pregnant living on Molly Wagnon Road in Baldwin, Arkansas (which is, officially, Fayetteville, Arkansas). I can’t remember if I had no car or if it wasn’t running or what but I set out walking to my polling place a few miles from our home. I was determined to vote. At some point one of my neighbors saw me and offered me a ride. I was glad. Voting has always been important to me. What happens in the next four years will be important. It will affect me, my family, my home. I’m not going to stress about it though. I’ll wake up tomorrow in this home that I love and God will still be in control. Life will go on. Maybe I’ll still get that new house. Or maybe not. In the end it won’t matter because this is not my real home- I’m just passing through.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:2-3, The Holy Bible

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Savory Saturday- The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

This blog post will seem long but it’s mostly pictures so keep reading!


“We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic,” Numbers11:5, The Holy Bible

Memories connected with food are strong memories. I’m sure each of us can come up with food memories both good and bad. We write songs about food (Fried Green Tomatoes is one we enjoyed introducing to our kids), we view and paint art about food:

Mom, Shaina, and I with our paintings after the Mother-Daughter paint at my church, February 2015.

We write books about food:

We photograph our food:

Yum! Prime rib!!!

We photograph each other eating food:

Edith HUBBARD DRAKE and her mother, Laura BUTLER HUBBARD- photo courtesy of Deloris NORRIS and Barbara DRAKE BRATTON.

We collect recipes:

(I’m panicking!! Where are my recipes from Kendra and Georgiann?!?! This was part of a group of recipes I received as a going away gift when we left Idaho coupled with recipes I collected from friends while in Idaho.)

We gift food:

Photo courtesy of my sister-in-law, Becky- the master jelly maker and photographer and blogger.

We medicate with food and we forage food:

This is a photo from a series of photos I took. One photo out of this series was published in a book the same year my sister-in-law, Becky, had some photos published.

Bart and I foraging mushrooms earlier this year.

We watch movies based around food (I enjoyed Julie and Julia), and we plan events around food (really- you know we have Thanksgiving just for the food). We love food!

I’m going to share a few recipes here and include a short explanation of why I treasure each one and then I’m going to set you free to enjoy your weekend- and maybe a fabulous meal!


“Hunger is the best sauce in the world.” ~ Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra

One of the things I make that my family really loves is a sauce for meatloaf. Sounds pretty insignificant, doesn’t it? But when I discovered this sauce it took meatloaf to a whole new level. Here it is (from memory so you may have to adjust it to suit your tastes. I lost the recipe a few years back.)

Lisa’s Meatloaf Sauce recipe
UPDATE: Becky corrected my recipe. You can see where I scribbled on mine because I was unsure. I should have left it alone. Here’s my recipe in Becky’s handwriting (the correct version):


Cool coleslaw trivia: 1) Colombians use it on hot dogs and it is delicious!! 2) Coleslaw got it’s name from the Dutch ‘kool sla’- kool meaning cabbage and sla meaning salad. (Foodreference.com) 3) Coleslaw was made popular as a side dish thanks to NYC deli owner Richard Hellmann who created a formula, bottled it, and marketed it to consumers as a dressing for shredded cabbage. (Foodreference.com)

My mom always made a great coleslaw to take to meals at church. That’s really what I associate this with- potluck meals of my childhood at our small country church (Poynor Baptist Church). You can see by the picture that the recipe is a loved and used recipe. Those are always the best!!

Kay’s Coleslaw


“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing…And they all ate and were satisfied…”
Matthew 14: 19-20, The Holy Bible

My granny loved fish. On days when we took Granny with us to town, she would often choose to eat McDonald’s fish sandwiches or eat at a restaurant like Long John Silvers or Captain John’s. Here I will share my granny’s fish batter recipe in her handwriting followed by my mom’s Green Tomato Relish recipe.

Granny’s Fish Batter

Kay’s Green Tomato Relish


“You can’t go wrong with relatively simple comfort food. It’s also about ease. Some cook to impress. I cook for people to enjoy the food.” ~ Al Roker

Mam cooked for people to enjoy the food. I don’t have any handwritten recipes from my dad’s mom but she cooked and canned a lot. I’m not sure she even used recipes! Two of my favorite things that she made us were chocolate gravy and blackberry pies. Here is the recipe I use for chocolate gravy (Somewhere I have this recipe in my husband’s handwriting from my mother-in-law, Joyce, but it must be packed away somewhere).

Mix 2 Tbsp butter with some flour to make a roux. Add milk- start with 1 cup, add more if necessary. Add about 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder and 4 Tbsp sugar. Let blend. Taste test and adjust as necessary. Let it cook at a low temperature until it is the consistency of gravy. Pour over buttered biscuits and enjoy.
As you can see I sort of swag this one. You’ll get the hang of it. Or else my mother-in-law or husband will comment here and adjust my instructions. lol


I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!– lyrics by Howard Johnson/Billy Moll/Robert King
You must see this! It’s a real song: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream.

What I remember having at Mark and Edith’s was homemade ice cream. So delicious! I don’t have their recipe. I don’t recall a recipe ever being used for the ice cream. I’m including a link to one here just as a tribute to their memory.

A Hundred Years Ago blog Black Walnut Ice Cream. I’m pretty sure I would have had this flavor made by Mark and Edith at some point during my childhood.


Fun fact about Redbud trees: They are the official state tree of Oklahoma.

Redbud trees.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include my sister-in-law’s jelly in this blog post. One of my favorite recipes is the redbud jelly. I foraged and she cooked. I’m not sure if the recipe below is the recipe she used but it is one of a few that we passed around. I know I have her jelly recipe- I just can’t seem to find it. Here is one that we looked at as a possibility at one point. It will be close enough to taste like her jelly (unless she used a secret ingredient).

This is Becky’s redbud jelly- newly canned. I hope she doesn’t mind that I stole her photo for the blog.

3 cups of redbuds
Approx. 2 cups boiling water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons sure-jel powder
2 cups sugar
Rinse the blooms and put in a large jar, pour boiling water over to cover. Cover and let sit till room temp the put in fridge for 24 hours. Pour through strainer into a pan, discard flowers and heat to boiling. Add lemon juice and sure-jel, heat to boil again, add sugar and heat to boiling. Boil hard for 1 minute. Put in sterilized jars and seal. It’s that simple. Made 3 1/2 jelly jars.


“Life is rather like a tin of sardines- we’re all of us looking for the key.” ~ Alan Bennett

My dad has memories of Ralph LARKIN fishing every weekend and Bess canning the fish. They would can small fish whole. The canning process softened the bones so there was no need to bone the fish first. Dad says the canned fish were good. I don’t have a recipe for canned fish but here is a website I trust that talks about canning fish. Becky and I may have to try it sometime.

Ralph and Bess LARKIN fishing.


“Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.” ~ Buddy Valastro

I don’t have a recipe for (nor do I have a memory of) Laura’s angel food cakes but when I was young my mom shared with me her memory of Laura’s cakes and now whenever I make an angel food cake, I do this as a nod to Laura. When Laura made angel food cakes she put candy sprinkles in the batter before baking so it came out with colored dots all through the cake. It makes a pretty cake and is safe for diabetics to eat for dessert.

Candy sprinkles that I use in my angel food cakes.

I would love to see your family recipes or food memories. Share them here or on Facebook. I hope this weekend is all “comfort food and sprinkles” for you.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

I Know What You Did That Day

What if I told you that I know *for sure* that on 15 December 1961 at 2:00 p.m., Troy (“Lum”) and Jessie BATES were in Bentonville, Benton County, Arkansas? Would you believe me? I mean after all, I wasn’t even born yet in 1961. How could I know for sure?! Well, I can tell you I *do* know and they *were* there. I can tell you that bit of information thanks to a warranty deed I found at the Benton County Circuit Clerk’s office this week. Becky (my SIL- you can catch her genealogy blog here), my mom, and I are trying to learn more about the kinds of information we can find at a county courthouse. We started this month with land records. This was our first trip to the courthouse for this learning exercise. I thought (naively) that it would be a quick day trip. Joke’s on me! We were there several hours and hardly scratched the surface of all the land records available. We’ll definitely be going back. In the meantime, I wanted to show you what I found and why I thought it was blog-worthy.

Short version: We found two warranty deeds for Troy and Jessie BATES, a warranty deed for Albert BATES (Troy’s dad), a warranty deed for George and Mary (SEELY) BATES (Troy’s grandparents) and – SURPRISE!- a warranty deed for Charles SEELY! The SEELY deed also happened to involve George and Mary (SEELY) BATES.

Troy and Jessie BATES’ property

Troy and Jessie BATES warranty deed, 1961

This warranty deed tells me that Lum and Jessie sold 200 acres of land (minus the railroad right of way as mentioned in the deed) for $8000 to J. B. and Flora FULLER. Jessie had an aunt who married a FULLER so I am currently trying to figure out whether the FULLERs who bought this land were related or not. I have not found a connection yet but am still looking. This deed was executed 15 December 1961. My mom says that the following summer (1962) they moved to South West City, McDonald, Missouri. One of things that excited me the most about this deed is that Lum and Jessie both signed it so I now have copies of both their signatures.

Troy and Jessie Bates’ signatures from 1961 deed

Before we left the building I told mom I wanted to see if they would sell us a Township-Range map of Benton County so we could later locate the properties for which we had deeds. It turns out Benton County will sell you a map- but you can go online and utilize their digital maps for free. I still think I want to buy a map when we go back but the digital maps were interesting and I wanted to show you what you can find with their digital maps. I took Troy and Jessie BATES’ 1961 deed and entered the Section, Township, and Range for part of their property into Benton County’s map database. It pulled up the section. By manipulating the map with overlays I was able to see an aerial view of part of the property as it looks now.

Benton County AR maps homepage. Accessed 24 August 2016.

If you wanted to go to this property yourself, you wouldn’t be able to actually get onto the property but you could drive alongside it. Here’s how you would get there. Take Highway 59 into Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas. Turn West on Fickinger Street. Keep heading West to South Horse Creek Road. Go South on South Horse Creek Road. This road will turn into Bird Mountain Road. You will continue South and pass North Big Springs Road. You will pass 4 chicken houses sitting in a row on your left. When the road curves back beside the railroad tracks, Troy’s former property will begin. Look to your left to see it. It runs the length between the railroad track and Bird Mountain Road. When the road turns due West again you will be moving away from this section of his property.

I’m hoping to get a chance to take a road trip over to Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas soon and try to find the property just for fun. It is now owned by NSS Land Company LLC out of Little Rock, Arkansas. They specialize in excavation/grading and building construction.

The Troy & Jessie BATES 1939 deed is equally interesting. In this deed they were buying instead of selling- if you could call it buying. For “One Dollar and other valuable consideration” Lum and Jessie bought 160 acres from “Julia DAVIS, survivor wife of Ben C. DAVIS, deceased”. Typically when a property is “sold” to a close family member it is sold for “One Dollar and other valuable consideration”. Basically, the grantor (Julia DAVIS) is giving the land to the grantee (Lum & Jessie BATES). Jessie’s great-grandmother was Sarah DAVIS so again I’m wondering whether Julia DAVIS was related- especially given the amount “paid” for that amount of land. However, my husband brought up a good point that needs consideration. Lum was a trader- and a good one at that. He made sure he came out on top. It’s possible Julia was someone who owed him money and so she deeded him land in lieu of money. Another possibility is that he promised her work in return for land. These are things to consider.

Albert BATES’ 1962 Deed

Albert L. BATES was Troy’s dad. By the time this warranty deed was executed Albert’s wife, Dettie (GIBSON) BATES, had already passed away. The deed confirms that he was unmarried at the time the deed was executed as it refers to him as “Albert L. Bates, a single person”. In this deed, Albert “sold” his 2 city lots on Block 3 of Pierson’s Addition in the town of Gentry for “Other consideration and One Dollar” to Lloyd C. and Minnie JANUARY. None of my research has ever turned up a JANUARY family connected to our family. I’m working on finding the connection right now. If you know the connection, please let me know in the comments. Mom once told me that she thought his house in Gentry was where a beauty salon is now at the current intersection of highways 12 and 59 at the northwest corner of the intersection. If you happen to hit that light red (or you stop in the parking lot across the road) you can take a minute to view it and reflect. If I remember correctly mom said it has been added on to since Albert lived in it.). Again, one of my favorite things about this deed is it has Albert’s signature.

Albert Bates’ signature from 1962 deed

I will blog another day about the Charles SEELY deeds. He is my target person this year so I want to spend extra time on them and these deeds are very old and handwritten so it’s going to take me longer to analyze them. The deeds were fun to look at. One of the things I loved most about finding these deeds is that I now have copies of my grandparents’ and great-grandfather’s signatures and what is possibly my 2nd great-grandparents’ and 3rd great-grandfather’s signatures. The women working in the Circuit Clerk’s office were wonderful and the room they gave us to research in was very comfortable. If you’re planning a research trip there, be aware that you should wait until you get onsite to get copies of deeds. The copies are half price if you get them while there as opposed to ordering them from the website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the signatures and a glimpse of what one of Troy & Jessie’s properties looks like (now versus then- but still interesting). If you’re interested in learning more about courthouse research, I am utilizing Christine Rose’s book, Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures . Don’t forget you can also enjoy my friends’ blogs:

Down in the Root Cellar by my SIL, Becky
Recipes from Lena by my friend, Teresa
Theology for Mom by my friend, Rochelle
Digging Genealogy by my distant cousin, Annie

Enjoy your week!

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Two Men and a Passel of Huntin’ Dogs

I'm going back to the first week that I missed (two weeks ago). The theme was “favorite photo”. I knew right away that I wanted to write about my Papa- Troy Columbus BATES- and also about my paternal great-great-grandfather Alford Allen HUBBARD. Even though these two men were from opposite sides of my family and were born 34 years apart, they share a few things in common. One that I find intriguing is that they both owned the same piece of land in Delaware County, Oklahoma, but at different times. They also both had middle names that were handed down through generations in their respective families.

The other thing they have in common is that they both loved to hunt with their coon dogs. I have a photo of the men each with their own pack of hunting dogs. Those are two of my favorite photos.

^^ Troy "Lum" BATES with one of his hunting dogs and a nights' worth of 'coon hides.

^^ Alford Allen HUBBARD with several of his hunting dogs.


Troy was always called Lum. I never knew him to be called anything else. Columbus is a BATES family name that was handed down through the generations in Papa's family. He was born to Albert and Dettie (GIBSON) BATES in 1912 in Benton County, Arkansas. He lived in Benton County until at least 1940. Sometime after the 1940 census, he and his wife Jessie, and their family would move to McDonald County, Arkansas. Lum and Jessie owned a grocery store and a cafe at different times throughout their lives. Lum once worked one day for the WPA during the depression. He walked off the job that same day because he wasn't working and found it distasteful to draw a paycheck without working for it. He was very patriotic but never once voted. He had an extreme distaste for the government and was also very superstitious. He was known to go miles out of his way rather than cross the path of a black cat. He chewed Red Bull tobacco and always had a spittoon by his chair for as long as I can remember. He kept the house at least 100 degrees and always wore several layers of clothing even with the house that hot. He loved playing cards and he enjoyed watching Hee Haw when it was airing on television. But the one thing he truly loved to do more than most anything else was 'coon hunt.

I remember when Papa BATES was keeping a young 'coon in a cage. It sure was a mean little creature. If you got too close it would hiss at you like a cat. The only time Papa's Georgia history came out was when he would yell at his hunting dogs. I never knew why he said “here” like that until I learned that his family was from Georgia and then it made sense why he said that word with the accent he did. Lum had lots of hunting adventures over the years.  Some recall a time he was out hunting and came across a huge marijuana patch.  My mom told me that Papa got so desperate to go hunting once that he actually took her and Aunt Mae with him so he could go hunting. That's dedication- on their part and his! My dad recalled many hunting trips with Papa BATES including one where he got lost and ended up walking a couple extra miles because of it. Other family members threw in their hunting stories as well but my favorite hunting story is this one. When my son was about 9 or 10 we were visiting Granny and Papa. Papa took my son hunting with him, my dad, and my husband. I loved that my son got to share in that tradition while my grandpa was still well enough to do it with him. Derek talked about that hunting trip for years. Derek used to own a hat that looked much like the one Papa BATES always wore. When he wore it it always reminded me of Papa. Derek even had some senior photos taken with that hat on. I miss both of them deeply.  I was unable to locate any of my pictures of Papa Bates with his hat on, unfortunately.

^^ DeReK with his "Lum" hat.

^^ Lum and Jessie BATES

^^  The only picture I could find of Lum with his hat on.


Alford was born in 1878 in Harrison County, Missouri to John Allen and Nancy Jane (CHAMBERS) HUBBARD. Even though Alford's official documents spell his name "Alfred", older members of the family insisted it was spelled "Alford" and that is how they said his name.  The name Allen has remained a family name handed down through the generations to the present day. Unlike my BATES family, my HUBBARD family did not stay put for long periods of time. Sometime after 1880 they left Harrison County, Missouri. In June of 1900 Alford was working as a Teamster in the railroad tie industry in Shannon County, Missouri. He was living in Cordz-Fisher Lumber Company's camp as a boarder in the home of William and Nancy WOODS. Later that year he married Laura BUTLER in Douglas County, Missouri.

Cordz-Fisher Lumber Company Camp.  Photo found at http://thelibrary.org/lochist/periodicals/ozarkswatch/ow601h.htm.  This website has some other photographs and some interesting history about the lumber industry in Missouri around this time period.

By 1902, when their daughter Rosa was born, the family lived in Christian County, Missouri. Alford was working in a sawmill at the time of the 1910 census and the family was living in North Marion Township in Christian County, Missouri.

Although he listed his employment as being at the sawmill in 1910 and his residence as N. Marion Township, on his 1918 World War I Draft Registration he stated he was a farmer and living in Seymour, Webster County, Missouri.  His physical description states he was medium height and medium build.  He had blue eyes and brown hair. (See below.)

By 1920, they were living in Webster County, Missouri where their youngest child Anna was born. Alford was working as a Tie Inspector at a Tie Yard (railroad ties). They had two sons and three daughters including my great-grandmother, Edith HUBBARD. (See my previous post for information about Edith at http://happy-girl-24.livejournal.com/15638.html).

^^ Railroad tie yard photo found at Missouri Digital Heritage http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/msaphotos/id/477/rec/4.

By 1930 they were in McDonald County, Missouri where Alford was working as a railroad tie buyer.  Below is a 1932 Delaware County, Oklahoma school census record for the family.

In 1940 they were in Delaware County, Oklahoma where Alford and Laura were living with a cousin named Alice Gann. They were listed as Alice's caretakers. Below is a World War II Draft Registration card for Alford from circa 1945.

Alford died in 1950 and is buried in South West City Cemetery in McDonald County, Missouri.

I don't have many stories about Alford. I just have the facts I've been able to gather from documents.  I have lots of stories about Lum, but then you probably have many of your own.  So I'll leave you to reminisce about your own experiences with Lum and reflect on the life of Alford.  The next time you hear a hound dog barking, maybe you'll think of these men and the lives they led.  When you're done reading and reminiscing, don't forget to check these other blogs: http://downintherootcellar.blogspot.com, https://recipesfromlena.wordpress.com/, and https://theologyformom.wordpress.com/.

Until next week,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

My Granny

After a two-week hiatus I'm back and I brought a friend with me to write today. This week's theme is “live long”. I knew right away that I wanted to write about my granny, Jessie Ann (RITER) BATES, for this week's theme. Then my niece Ashley said she wanted to co-write a blog post about Granny and I knew this was perfect timing. There are many stories that can be told about Granny but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that one of our youngest up-and-coming family members wanted to write about Granny so much that she spent part of her spring break doing it. That's dedication and love! So here is our blog post. We hope you love it. Please feel free to leave your memories of Granny BATES in the comments section.

^^ Granny and Papa right around the time they were married.

Few, if any, of us remember Granny as she was in the pictures above. But we all remember how much we loved her. These are Ashley's memories of Granny.

When I was little I would go to my great grandma’s house with my grandma.

My great grandma had dementia and we got to look after her. We would go

to garage sales and play Yahtzee. Sometimes I would go pick apples off of

her apple tree in her front yard. Some days we would visit Aunt Mae before

we went to Great Nanny’s house. My Nanny Kay and I would also go

shopping and help Great Nanny shower. I will never forget the horribly sad

day when she passed away at 100 years old.

^^ Ashley and Granny.

^^ Granny at her 100th birthday party.  She always said she was going to live to be 100 years old.

I think Ashley captures Granny's favorite pastimes perfectly. I also love that she said she “got” to look after Granny. Ashley already embodies the beautiful spirit of the BATES women who have always put family first and cared for their family members in all circumstances without complaint. She's following a beautiful tradition of caregiving set by her parents, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. She also reflects the Christian spirit of caring for others. I'm so proud of her!

Here are a few more pictures of Granny for you to enjoy as you reflect on your own special memories of her.

^^ Granny with Papa and all her children except David and JD.  (By the way Ashley, behind them is the apple tree I remember when I was growing up.  Seems like Granny always had an apple tree.)

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^^ Granny with David.

^^ Granny with Kay.  Love this one!

^^ Granny with Derek and Shaina.

^^ Granny quilting.  One of my all-time favorite pictures of Granny.

Don't forget to check out Becky's blog at http://downintherootcellar.blogspot.com/.  Also check out my friends' genealogy blogs at https://theologyformom.wordpress.com/ and https://recipesfromlena.wordpress.com/.

Until next week,

~ Lisa at Days of Our Lives