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Life in Oak Spring - Ep 26 - 1908

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

Newspaper photo image of the start of the race


Activities in the Bevins Family

In February, Ora B enjoyed reading about the first “around the world car race” from New York to Paris. Only three of six competitors survived the challenge. An American team won, driving a 1907 Thomas Flyer. Ora B was fascinated by cars, but even more about trucks. They were now beginning to show up in Oak Springs as useful vehicles. There were now two plumbing trucks, in town, gasoline powered. They could fill their gasoline tanks at the Bricker Gas Station, drive to their work location. Do their jobs, then drive on to the next job, or back to their shop, without having to take care of horses pulling a wagon. Someday, Ora B could see how that might be useful on the farm.

In the Fall, Sarah Jane once again earned the lead role in the Senior Class Play. This time, it was THE lead role. Few plays had female leads but this year the Drama Teacher knew it was the right thing to do. Everyone enjoyed the performance, and Ora B was very proud of having helped Sarah Jane to such success with the role. Ora B and Sarah Jane were pleased to now be Seniors in the High School. They each worked diligently to complete all the requirement for the Spring graduation next year.

In October, the newspaper made note that Henry Ford introduced his Ford Model T with an initial price set at $850. This was the car for every family that he had promised. In November, with the support of his friend, President Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft won the Presidential Election over William Jennings Bryan.

The Ford Model T in 1909


Activities in the McDonald Family

Late in the spring, Utility crews began running the poles from the edge of town east on Houston Road toward the McDonald properties. Under the agreed arrangement, Herbert Street and Jack Street worked with them and under their direction. They learned the process so they would be able to properly place and wire poles within the McDonald properties and maintain them after the crews were finished bringing both electricity and telephone services to the rural properties. By fall, each of the McDonald properties had been connected to both electrical and telephone service. Poles were in place at Joe and Beth’s home site, just awaiting connection when their construction plans called for them. Each of the hired hand families were pleased to be a part of this new service. Jane felt much more secure, being able to make a telephone call to any of them, as well. William and Charlotte were very happy to have moved ahead with this project, regardless of the cost. Others in the neighborhood were now beginning to ask when they could be connected, too, of course. William and the Utilities Manager had anticipated this, of course, and had a plan of action that would be mutually beneficial to them when they were ready to put the plan in motion.

In the fall, Joe and Beth were pleased to see the ground being prepared on the site where their new home would be built in the spring. They enjoyed visiting the site in their spare moments to visualize this dream coming true. Joe continued to work on his Mason application, planning to submit it after their wedding, next July.

Jane McDonald hired Kay King, a May High School graduate, as a live-in, full time personal assistant (listed as servant in census). Kay was the grand daughter of Karl and Katherine King, the farm family who had been so involved in getting the school organized in those early years. [See The Kings of Oak Springs stories, ebooks published at ] She was the daughter of their son, Kent, and his wife, Janet (Carver) King… he had been in charge of operating their farm for a number of years.

Parks Wagon Works became Parks Carriage Works to start building truck bodies.


Family Activities around the Valley

In January, John Farley came to Oak Springs and purchased Lots 3 and 4 of Block FF at the east end of Main Street for a new Farley Funeral Home. He came from Maryville where he worked and learned in the Funeral Home there. Vern Hay returned from Barber College in March to join Shorty Cox. In June, Vern and Hilda Carver were married. Hilda would continue to be affiliated with the Campbell Boarding House. George Stafford married Bessie Pruitt on Memorial Day. He planned to continue farming with his father.

Trey Parks and his ownership group announced that as of 4-1-1908, the business name would change from Parks Wagon Works to Parks Carriage Works. They would be going forward focused on building truck carriages for various industries. Bernie Cox, long-time manager at the Freight Station, retired as of June 30, with the intent to move to California. Effective July 1, James Carver, became the Manager.

Delta Wingfield, wife of Abner, passed in April after having suffered a stroke two months earlier. At the Duncan Boarding House, Jasper Die passed away in September and Millie Carver passed away in October.

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Vernon Rhodes married Joan Garrett in the first week of June. He would continue to work on the family farm in the West Valley. Frankie Gifford married Mattie Johnson on the second weekend in June. They each planned to continue to work in town. Perry Snyder returned to the family farm in the West Vally from two years at college to work for his father. He married Effie Die the last weekend in June.

Late in the year, it was learned the Guy Presley, of Independence, had purchased Lot 4, Block EE, with the intent of building an automobile dealership building with an upstairs apartment where he would live. He was in the process of gaining a Ford dealership, but would handle both new and used vehicles of any brand. He hoped to hold a Grand Opening Celebration by April 1, 1909.

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


William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on February 12, 2021:

Ah, the mundane. It is so important to share in these times. Thank you, Bill, for your support! ;-)

William Leverne Smith (author) from Hollister, MO on February 12, 2021:

Thank you, MG!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 12, 2021:

What a wealth of information and so interesting to read.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 12, 2021:

The mundane was so important back then, like a Senior Class Play, great entertainment for the whole town...simpler times....I love this series.

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