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Life in Oak Spring - Ep 24 - 1906

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

A Newspaper Scene of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake


Activities in the Bevins Family

Late April brought news of the San Francisco Earthquake in California. As a result of the epic earthquake devastating fires hit the city that lasted for days. More than 3,000 people died and 80% of the buildings in the city were destroyed. Ora B, Myrtle and Caroline followed the story for weeks, of course. The loss was unimaginable. It was the biggest natural disaster in the history of the country.

As 15 year-olds in the fall, Ora B and Sarah Jane continued their activities in the Drama Club. This time they each ended up with small parts in the Sophomore Class Play, so they also volunteered for the Set committee. They enjoyed spending several evening, along with other classmates, constructing, painting and decorating the various sets for the play. It was a new experience for each of them which they found very fulfilling.

With the horse, Betsy, and the shay, they found many opportunities to ride together going places as well as just riding for pleasure. They enjoyed talking as they rode around the valley, observing the way of life on the farm. They soon realized that they would be doing this together for their future. They had opportunities to talk with their parents about a future together and realized they had strong support there for that future. It had become clear, also, that neither Cecil nor Lucy had interests that would keep them on the Waters farm. Cecil had continued his drawing and related creative activities that pointed to going to college to exploit them in however that worked out. Lucy was a good student, and was likely headed in a similar direction. Ora B was going to be a real farmer. That made the whole circle of family members happy. What could possibly be better, … this was the way Ora B felt.

Joe and Beth Graduated High School


Activities in the McDonald Family

Just as High School graduation parties were held for each of the graduates around town and around the valley, Joe, Beth and their classmates got the word they had been dreading. The Methodist Minister announced that he, and, therefore, his family, would be leaving Oak Springs for a larger charge in Joplin. Jay would finish high school in Oak Springs but then would attend college in Joplin. About the same time, Wade Carr let it me known that he would be attending the State University. Shortly thereafter, Rosy McKinney said she would also be attending the State University to pursue a teaching career.

With all these announcements, Joe & Beth held off on their not unexpected announcement of planned marriage until July 1. It would be July 1, 1909. Three years in the future. They would be using those three years to prepare for their future life together. Joe would be working full-time on the farm continuing to learn more each year. He would also attend each class and seminar that was offered by the local extension service to learn the latest farming techniques available. Beth had been obtained a position in Judge Arvin Edmonds law office.

The new Methodist Minister was Rev. Donald Graham, with his wife, Mary. They were in their mid-fifties, and had no children at home. For that reason, one of the first initiatives they planned to work on was involvement with Young Adults and Newly married young people in the church. They had noted from talking to Rev. Alexander that this had now been an emphasis in recent years. Joe and Beth were among the first young adults to express interest in this activity in the fall.

Since Wade and Rosy would still be at home until fall, they along with Joe and Beth did get three singing engagement they felt they could fulfill during the summer. One was on a Saturday, so Joe and Beth took Wade and Rosy to the site of their “our place,” in the grove of trees along the Houston Road to share their plans with them, before they left. In fact, it turned out to be picnic. It was a great place for a picnic. After taking them home, Joe and Beth decided it was time to talk with William and Charlotte, and Grandma Jane, about their plans…hoping they would approve.

Many of the Graduates Chose to Stay on their Farms


Family Activities around the Valley

In the east valley, Wayne Green married Florence Derryberry. Wayne would continue to work with his father on the farm and they would live there. Also, Gilbert Polk married Gladys Cox. He would continue working with his father pm the home farm and they would live there. Arthur Nichols and Josephine Jacobson were married the first weekend in June. He worked as an Electrician and she planned to continue to work with her family at the North Side Dry Goods Store. Earnie Nelson married Melvina Bishop. He worked with his family at the North Side Cafe.

Grover Johnson married Julia Garrett in late June and they were hired as a couple in training to run the Tavern and tend bar. In the west valley, William Carver married Lillie Cox. He would continue to work with his father on the farm and they built a cottage there for their home. Maggie Ring had returned from college hoping to get a teaching position but none were available. She stayed with her parents and took what work was available in the meantime.

Fred Powell died in January 1906 leaving his wife, daughter and son to look after the Furniture Store. Joshua Cox passed away in October of 1906, It was learned that a series of private contracts had taken place prior to his passing that ended up with Simeon Bishop, his son-in-law, becoming the owner of the Lumber and Seed Company he managed, a family trust that would support Tetisha Cox, and the Cox interest in the rental home properties going to his business partner, Abner Wingfield.

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.

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 saga 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

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


Annette Lamb on January 29, 2021:

I always find the connections with national and global events interest for the context they provide.

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on January 29, 2021:

Thank you for your comment, Bill. I enjoy your perspective on the stories. Neat! ;-)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 29, 2021:

So many changes; so much excitement; to think, 100 years from now, someone will be writing a similar series about life in 2021. Very cool to think that we are living history.