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Life in Oak Spring - Ep 25 - 1907

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

An new tub at the house


Activities in the Bevins Family

Myrtle and Caroline had considering acquiring indoor plumbing for a few years at this point. They kept telling themselves it was an unnecessary expense. Then, one spring day, they looked at each other and said: It is time. They called Andrew McKee at McKee Plumbing. He was good enough to come over that afternoon to discuss their needs with them. They were disappointed to hear that there were quite a few families ahead of them, at this point. Andrew said he had just added another crew of workers, and that perhaps it would be their turn faster than his initial projection. He assured them it would not be too long before the crews would get to their home. And it did happen. They were pleased that Andrew supervised this work himself. The septic tank system, the running water, the new toilet, bathtub and shower were wonderful when the mess it made was cleaned up and operating. Why had they not done it sooner, they wondered?

That fall, Ora B and Sarah Jane were Juniors in High School. Sarah Jane did get the female lead in the Junior Class Play, as expected. Ora B had helped her with her lines for the tryout, so she had a lot of confidence this time. With his help for the Play itself, she again performed flawlessly. It was a happy time for both families.

The new Hit and Miss Engine


Activities in the McDonald Family

Having received permission to build a home for themselves as they had requested, both Joe & Beth spend some of their free time planning that project for the spring of 1909. In the meantime they each devoted themselves to their work. Beth wanted to earn enough money on her own to help decorate and furnish their new home her way. Joe was careful to attend every available class and seminar on best farm practices while also putting them to use on their various properties. He worked closely with William to absorb the hidden details of managing a large enterprise. He was also careful to spend some time with his Grandma Jane to soak in her depth of knowledge especially of cattle operations. In the fall, William helped prepare Joe for the submission of a petition for membership in the local Masonic Lodge of which William was an active member of many years standing. There would be three stages of the membership application process, so they each wanted Joe as prepared as possible. William remembered when he and Arvin Edmond joined at the same time that they really had to work to meet all the requirements. They had enjoyed working together on it, but having had more support would have made the process easier. With this in mind, they decided to ask Joe’s classmate, Vernon Rhodes, if he would like to apply for membership at the same time. When he agreed, they all got together regularly to prepare to the two young men to become Masons.

William and Charlotte had gotten a second Hit and Miss Engine that they devoted solely to providing electricity with the generator. It had gotten tiresome hooking and unhooking the engine and generator for the several tasks they used it for. Electricity, it turned out, was very nice to have on a regular basis. Now, they began to think about what the cost would be to run a line on poles from the northeast corner of town the two miles out to their farm. The same poles could then also be used to run a telephone line. By then extending those lines to the houses of the hired men, and his mother’s house, would add efficiency that they had never dreamed of before. William decided it was time to talk to Arthur Loyd, the Utilities Manager, in town who would know if it was feasible, what it would cost and when it could be done.

Orville Anderson, who had worked for the McDonald family for so many years, he lived in the Bunkhouse at the Reeves place, announced that he was retiring and would move to Salem, by the end of January, to be with his niece and her family. By March 1st, the McDonalds had hired Jack Street to replace Mr. Anderson. Jack would live in the bunkhouse.

The oculist instruments


Family Activities around the Valley

Isabel Garrett, wife of Willis, passed away in February, 1907. She had been a cook around town since they left their farm in 1893. Shortly after she passed, Willis moved into the Campbell Boarding House. He died in October. Liam Olson, retired Blacksmith, never married, fell ill in late June and died in late July. Tetisha Cox died in August 1907 after a brief illness. She had been living with her daughter and son-in-law, Simeon Bishop. Silas Adams died in September. His widow, Rhoda, moved into the Campbell Boarding House in short order. Theodosius Rhodes passed away in October. His widow, Lillian, moved into the Campbell Boarding House. Martin Wilhite’s wife, Martha, had a stroke and passed away on December 15, 1907. Cordelia Street died on Christmas Day.

In 1907, Frank Stafford had entered into an apprenticeship with the Mason and Bricklayer, Mr. Homer Martin. Shortly thereafter, Frank married Amanda Wingfield. Alexander McKee was married to Emma Key. He would continue to work in the family plumbing business while she would continue work with the family clothing store, Key Clothiers. The following week, Lee King married Alma Weston. By fall, he was working as an Apprentice Ice Man with the Williams family. The last weekend of June, Charles Nichols married Inez Parks. He would continue his work as an Electrician.

David Die had gone off to college where he studied business but also received a minor in farm operations, rather unusual for the times. Returning home to farm with his father on the family farm, he and Mabel Kendricks married in November. Late in December, an Oculist, an Eye Doctor, arrived in Oak Springs. His name was Ernest Elgin. He was single.

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Video Book Trailer


John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 05, 2021:

Hi Bill, it has been awhile since I managed to comment on any of your articles in the series. I haven’t read them all but manage to catch a few. Just saw the mention you gave me on one of Val’s articles, so had to find a way to reciprocate. Luckily this was still on my feed.

It reminded me of all the things required to set up a new house on a property. Been there done that. Always a feel-good read. Thanks.

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on February 05, 2021:

Thank you, Mike. Hope you have a great new season. ;-)

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on February 05, 2021:

Good observations, Bill. Thank you for your comment. Technology provides many changes in our lives, for sure!! ;-)

Mr Archer from Missouri on February 05, 2021:

Dr. Bill, I just love your articles. And I WANT that tub!!! And speaking for me, I do wish we could experience that time again, then maybe make today a better place that it has become.

Hope you're ready for a cold snap. We here at Indian Point are readying ourselves for the snow Saturday and ice Monday night (That is, if the weather guessers are remotely correct this time!). Stay safe across in Hollister!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 05, 2021:

Fascinating stuff, my friend. It's amazing how quickly they became "dependent" on things like electricity. They got a taste of it and wanted more....and so it goes with technology, even today.