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Life in Oak Spring - Ep 23 - 1905

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Bernie had a saddle for the deal


Activities in the Bevins Family

On a nice Sunday afternoon, Bernie and Sally Waters had invited Ora B, Myrtle and Caroline out to the farm to celebrate Ora B’s 14th birthday, although it was a few days off of the actual date. Bernie had a special reason for doing this and got around to that reason shortly after they had finished their meal together. Bernie talked about who much help Ora B had been to him, on the farm, and how Ora B had grown in so many ways in recent months and weeks. Getting right to point, Bernie noted how Ora B was really getting too big to ride his pony, as fine as it was. Bernie suggested that he would like to trade Ora B his pony for a fine, four-year-old mare, with foal at side, Betsy, who Ora B knew well. Bernie added that his youngest son and daughter needed a pony they could ride around the farm. The difference in value would simply be a ‘thank you’ for all the work Ora B had been doing on the farm, over and above what he had gained in knowledge and experience. He felt it was a fair trade. Actually he had already gotten approval from Myrtle and Caroline for the trade, but Ora B need not know about that, at the time. Ora B was thrilled, of course. After looking to his mother and grandmother for their approval, Ora B accepted the kind offer from Bernie. Bernie then also noted that he had an old saddle and an old shay they could fix up to go into the deal as well, in trade for the pony saddle. It was a happy day all around.

In the fall of their Freshman Year in High School, Sarah Jane had joined the Drama Club. Since Sarah Jane had, so did Ora B. To her mild surprise, Sarah Jane was chosen for a pat in a One Act Play the Drama Club was presenting. The part involved 23 lines of dialogue, which she had never done before. Ora B offered to help her memorize the lines and act out the part. This actually worked out quite well, to their mild surprise. Ora B found it fun, and Sarah Jane found it comforting. The play went off without a hitch, and they were each very proud of their accomplishment.

The dog kept barking and barking


Activities in the McDonald Family

On the morning of March 10th, Daniel McDonald, and his dog, Butch, went out beyond the barn to count the cattle that the hired men had put in the holding pen the night before. These were the cattle that would be sold at the Sale Barn in a few days. He didn’t need to count them, but it was something he enjoyed doing and did routinely. It also gave him a chance to review the cattle that had been chosen, of course.

Jane was in the kitchen, cleaning up from breakfast when she heard Butch barking. A few minutes later, she realized that was not normal. As the barking continued, she put on her coat, scarf and boots to go out to see what was going on. As she passed by the barn, she saw the problem. Daniel was sprawled on the ground with Butch nearby, barking. Running up to him, she could see Daniel was motionless. No pulse, the life had drained out of his body. She patted Butch on the head and went into the barn to retrieve a blanket to cover the body. It appeared to have been a heart attack. There was no one else around, so she put the saddle on her mare in the barn, and rode over to William’s house to get help.

Later, Dr. Wilcox had confirmed that it had been a heart attack. He said Daniel had likely died before his body had hit the ground. A few days later, there was a large funeral for another of the original settlers of the valley. Daniel was buried in the cemetery on their land near his parents.

Following an August singing appearance, Joe and Beth had stopped off at the grove along the Houston Road that they now thought of as “our place” for a chat before continuing to drop her off at her parent’s farm. Joe mentioned that this might be nice place to build a house. Beth replied that the same thought had passed through her mind. Joe responded that this could be their “Homeplace.” They decided not to mention it to anyone for a while, but they sealed the deal with a hug and kiss.

There was a new bricklayer in town


Family Activities around the Valley

There were several marriages in the valley throughout the year of 1905. Brett Weston married Jewell Polk. He would continue to work with his father and brothers at the Implement Shop. David King married Ola Taylor. He worked on the Street Crew and she worked as a clerk at the Street Department of the Town. Chester Ward married Jessie Johnson. He continued to work at the family store. Leroy Cox married Georgia McKinney. They each worked in town. In the fall, Leona Rhodes married Lee Strckland, the Insurance Agent. Over the year end holidays, Arlie Hay married Cordelia Keith in the east valley. They would be working on their families’ farms.

In town, Hiram Carver died in January. Later, his wife, Millie, moved to the Duncan Boarding House. Judge John Coffee retired after many years of service. Effective 7-1-1905, Arvin Edmond became the new Judge in town. Judge Coffee decided to move to Tennessee to be near his closest relatives. August saw the return of John Warden to set up a Veterinary Clinic in association with his father at the Breeding Company. He also returned with a wife, Violet. In September, Homer Martin arrived in town as a Mason and Bricklayer. Liam Olson semi-retired at the Blacksmith Shop, doing only decorative work as he was inspired to do so. Henry Bishop, son of Simeon and Hattie, returned from Business College, to work with his father. He also brought a wife, Janet.

Note by the Author

This series of stories provide the backstory on the community and families that were first introduced in the novel “Back to the Homeplace” set in 1987. With the restart in 1903 we provide the setting for the marriage of Frank Bevins and Mildred McDonald in 1937, though neither is yet to be born until 1917.

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The stories of the "American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1875)" collection of historical fiction family saga short stories lay the background for the stories of Oak Springs and the Oak Creek Valley. They

have also been published on "The Homeplace Saga" blog (thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com). Four volumes of “The Kings of Oak Springs” (e-books) and related stores are available at https://www dot Lulu dot com/en/us/shop/dr-bill-smith/

“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”

This is "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction, family sage stories

  • "The Homeplace Saga" Blog
    The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned on the blog, regardless of platform.

A useful collection of Founding Stories in "The Homeplace Saga" series

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William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on January 22, 2021:

These stories try hard to be realistic of the rural, small town of the time. This is based on research in family and community history of the place and time. Each of the occupations added is based on census data analysis of time and place. Yes, it is fascinating to see what shows up. This is a time period that has largely been a mystery to date. Nice to dig into the deep details. Thank you for your comments!! ;-)

Annette Lamb on January 22, 2021:

Scary and very real life story of Daniel's death.

I find the occupations interesting like the bricklayer.

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on January 22, 2021:

Great reminder of the complexity of human life. It is at one time a great challenge and a satisfying exercise to share these stories with you. Thanks, Bill, for your support.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 22, 2021:

Old stories end, new stories are written, as the torch is passed down to a new generation - and so it goes for all of us. Well done! Loved this glimpse into Americana 1905.

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