Dwain Cover McDonald's and Yvonne Lucille Petersteiner's Family Tree
Home Surnames Photos Guestbook Search Contact Us


1834 - 1906




Everything which has been written to this point is preludial to the following chapters, which deal with my father, Jacob Harrison Young and his descendants.  Father was a small, strikingly handsome man.  When he was in his prime, he was about five feet four inches tall and weighed around 150 pound.  He had steel-gray eyes and "dark luxuriant hair.  When I knew him, he was a little more spare, his eyes were fading and his hair was thinning and streaked with gray.  He never wore a mustache or beard, except maybe a three-day one when he neglected to shave.  In earlier years, a horse had fallen on him and injured one leg causing it to be shorter than the other.  Consequently, he walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

Father had many admirable qualities.  He was very persuasive and remarkable in his ability to command respect.  He ruled with an iron hand and was very consistent in his discipline.  Without exception, we got a licken when we disobeyed.  His word was his bond and appointments and obligations were meticulously met.  He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, he expected full attention.  I often wonder what he could have accomplished in his life, had it been channeled in the right direction.

Father was an unmistakable product of the stark adversity and predicaments of the stormy nineteenth century.  He was the ninth child of aging parents who had suffered some financial reverses and who already had six sons, (ranging in ages from nineteen to seven), and two infant daughters.  A month before he was born, his grandfather, who had lived with the family, died leaving a terrible void.  His eleven-month-old sister had also died ten months previous to his birth, probably causing his parents to be overly protective towards him.  Then, after six years of being everybody's pet, (and perhaps losing another sibling in between), he was presented with a newborn sister who displaced him as the long-standing baby of the family.  Less than nine years after that time, when my father was going through his challenging fourteenth year, his mother and defender passed away, leaving him, a mere boy, pretending to be a man.  Six months after his mother's death, his only older sister got married and he and his sixty-two year old father and nine year old baby sister, (who would soon be going to live with Aunt Eliza Kercheval)  were left to their own devices.


How long father remained at home after this, I don't know.  But, my mother once told me the following story, which if true, took place some time during the next four-year period.  "When your father was in his teens, he married a little girl close to his age.  The new bride's parents gave the young couple $300.00 to set up housekeeping.  She went off somewhere, and when she returned, she had spent all of the money.  She carne down to the mill where your father was apprenticed as a miller, and asked him if he were going to live with her.  When your father told her no, she drank a bottle of poison in his presence.”  Just how much of the story is based on fact, and what the occasion was, I don't know.  If it is true, no doubt there is much more to the story than the $300.00.  Even though that amount of money could buy a great deal in father's youth.  I was browsing through an old May 16, 1860 copy of "The Virginia Republican" newspaper, when I came across the following ad:




Kip Boots worth $4.00 at $2.25

Men's Patent Leather Gaiters worth $ 3.50 for $1.95; Calf do, $1.50

Lined and Bound Men's Calf Shoes $1.25; do kip, 90 cents

Ladie's Lasting Gaiters, 65 cents

Children's heavy-soled shoes, 40 cents

Dry Goods, Sumner silks as low as 65 cents per yard

Fine Lawn, 6 to 13 cents per yard

Ladie's Hose 8 to 10 cents; Misses 6 to 8 cts; Men's half hose 6 cts.

Misses gloves at 5 cts. and long silk mits at 30 cts.

Hoop Skirts- A large assortment of hoop skirts at low prices:

40 hoop skirts at $195; 30 do. $1.45; 30 do. $1.25; 15 do. $1.12

12 do. 75 cts. 8 to 10 at 50 cts.  Children’s at 15 cts.

Reed hoops, large size, 2 cts. each.

Groceries of all kinds. Good Imperial Tea worth $1. for 60 cts; black,

do. at 30 cents per pound; starch 6 cents per pound.

essence of peppermint, lemon and cinnamon, 3 cents per vial;

Good cider vinegar 16 cents per gallon; etherial oil, 60 cents per gallon;

Fish of every kind, by the barrel or in quantities to suit customers.46

For $10.00, a person could have bought some of everything in the ad.

I imagine Martinsburg was a beautiful place to live.  I have been told that it was the gateway city to the Shenandoah Valley I and that the Potomac River curved east and north about ten miles from the city.  I went back to see for myself, and while there, I was told that Martinsburg is one of the best apple-growing regions in the United States.  I could see evidence of that everywhere.  Most of the orchard crops in the West Virginia of today still come from that little area.  There are beautiful mountains that cover the eastern third of the state.  They must have presented a sharp contrast to father when he later crossed over them into Missouri.

From the time father’s brothers were youngsters, to the time father appeared on the scene in Martinsburg, the city had progressed from a backwoods area to a thriving community.  People were no longer doing the bulk of their traveling on horse-trails.  And, there was even talk of building a turnpike.  "The Virginia Republican", of January 8,1834, (the year father was born), proclaimed that, "On January 1, the Commissioner of Roads was instructed to inquire into the expediency of building a turnpike with the capital of $25,000 from Martinsburg to Shepherdtown or some other part of Jefferson County on the Potomac.”  The new roads were an important consideration, as more traffic would be going through the city with the coming of the Railroad.  I imagine that this was an exciting time in father’s young life.  When he was seven years old, "The Martinsburg Gazette" of March 25, 1841, gave the following account of the strides being made in bringing this modern convenience to Martinsburg:

The work on the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road is advancing to completion the whole distance from Harper's Ferry westward...Immediately east of the town the force of labourers, under the direction of Mr. Fleming, appears to be making headway through the rockbound hill, and the boom of the blast, as rock after rock is dislodged, reminds us of the noisy celebration of the triumphant Whigs last fall.

The course of the Railway is quite ornamental to our town and if it contributes as much to, its interest, as it does to its appearance, none will have cause to complain.  The Road crosses the Opequon Cr., a short distance below" the county bridge on what will be a handsome viaduct, at the western abutment of which, commences the deep fill through Mr. Couchman‘s fine meadow - thence it runs up the valley of the Tuscarora to within a few feet of Mrssrs. McGanby & Co’s Foundary and curves around the "Muster Hill", as we were wont to call it as boys.

It will be an era in the annals of Martinsburg, when its citizens will collect in crowds along the eastern declivilty of the town, to see the whizzing locomotive, with its long train, careening through our hills and valleys - and placing us as it were in the suburbs of the “city of monuments” - when we can step into the cars, from our doors, and find ourselves by teatime in Baltimore, or Washington, or whereverelse (sic.} we like.

The age of steam, is doing wonders for hundreds of villages in our land and it rejoices us to reflect that our good old town, is at last, to cone in for a participation.47

As I read the above account, I could picture father playing on Muster Hill" and watching, with great interest, the progression of the railroad.  I could even imagine him clapping his hands over his ears as the rocks were blasted from the hillside.  Some of his older brothers may have been among the "force of labourers" mentioned.  But, whether they were spectators or participants, they must have shared in the excitement caused by the new method of transportation.  The following account paints a vivid picture of the scenes witnessed by father and his big family:

She’s coming!  She’s coming!!!  Whoop!!  Here she comes!  Did you hear the whistle?  Whoo-ee!  How she squeals!

These and a thousand other merry, joyful and ludicrous exclamations accompanied more shouts and huzzas than we have heard since the Log Cabin days marked the arrival of the first steam engine at Martinsburg on Saturday 'last (May 21).  Old Tony Weller would have said, “it was better nor any play ever was wrote, “to witness the tip-toe curiosity that was manifested by the vast number of those who had never seen an engine or smelt steam, their wonder at seeing what manner of a looking concern it was, and to hear droll remarks of the children; as the engine train cane at a dashing pace, smoking, whistling, and thundering through the hills up to the Pillar Bridge.  A steam engine is a queer thing at best but the appearance of one among the Opequon hills is a bit of an epoch, and the arrival here on Saturday did not fail to attract as much admiration and wonder as commonly belongs to such things.  48

Father would have been seven years old when the above article appeared in the May 26, 1842 "Gazette".  The paper stated that the train arrived in Martinsburg at about 2 o'clock and that an immense crowd, consisting of the whole population of the town turned out to witness the event.  It recorded that even the soldiers broke ranks and rushed to the brow of the hill when they heard the piercing shriek of the whistle.

The coming of the train made a notable difference in the lives of the citizens of father's hometown.  They no longer found themselves complete strangers when they traveled ten miles from home.  Their friends were visiting neighboring towns too.  All they needed was $4.00 and they could travel all the way to Baltimore and the eastern seaboard.  They could earn that in less than a week, as there were jobs on the railroad which employed men for as much as $1.00 a day.  Many people began to travel west in order to establish their homes on the frontier.  They came from the cities, and brought new ideas and more worldly ways of doing things.  Trains also speeded up the pace of living and carried eastern markets and unforseen problems to outlying areas.

One problem which had not been thought of in the excitement of welcoming the railroad was the advent of train accidents.  When father was about eight years old, the first mishap was recorded in "The Martinsburg Gazette":


On Saturday morning the first accident heard of on the extension of the Rail Road from Harper's Ferry to Hancock since its opening in May Last (occurred).

A train of burden cars ran into a wagon of Mr. John L. Weaver's crossing the track near Mr. S. E. Tabb’s.  The negro was driving the wagon carrying a threshing machine and did not hear the train.  The engine was thrown from the track without great injury.  One horse was killed and the driver was severely hurt.  Neither the engineer nor the driver were to blame for the accident.49

About five month before grandmother died, when father was in his fourteenth year, hotels and public eating and drinking places began flourishing in the area.  There were more people coming and going and there was more to spend their money on.  Perhaps that was why temperance societies began springing up, and demonstrations were staged.  When father was thirteen, the following notice appeared in the July 17, 1848, "Virginia Republican":

The Sons of Temperance, Martinsburg Division No. 46, will celebrate July 23, 1848, by having a great procession.  An address and presentation of a Bible may be expected on that day.  All brethren of neighboring Divisions in regular standing are respectfully invited to be with us on that occasion.50

With a better means of transportation at their disposal, people began traveling for pleasure.

Merchants saw the opportunity for expansion and began to capitalize on the possibilities for more nightlife.  "The Virginia Free Press", told of "Etherial Lamps... to be used instead of candles without the slightest danger and with a great saving of expense..." which could be used to great advantage by "keepers of Hotels and Public Houses.”  It stated that they would be found "useful as well as ornamental.”  Inventive people were always searching for better ways to light up their surroundings.  Five years before that time, when father was about nine, the following note appeared in the above newspaper, on April 27, 1843:


Among the inventions for burning Lard, we have seen none more complete than the lamp of Mr. John H. Blondel of Martinsburg.  It gives a light equal to 2 candles, at a very small cost, and is easily kept in order.  We have tried it and know of its value.51

In our age of electricity, such a method for lighting a home or business sounds crude and very inadequate.  However, it would certainly be more economical than our modern methods.

Father didn't talk much about the fun things he did as a boy.  But, I used my own imagination when I found a notice in an 1850 Martinsburg paper which appeared nine months after grandmother died.  Father would have been fifteen and a half years of age.  It told of an Independence Day celebration and program:

The fourth of July celebration as announced by Edmund P. Hunter, Chief Marshall, is as follows: A procession with the Cecillian Band will be formed in front of the Court House at 11 0' clock, A.M., consisting of Ladies, the Rev. Clergy, Civil Officers of the town and County and Citizens, where the Orators and Reader will be received and escorted to the Church that shall be provided for the literary exercises, which will be in the following order:

Music, Prayer, Music,.  Reading of the Declaration of Independence, Music, Orator, Music Benediction

The procession will then form again and immediately proceed to the grove on the land of Daniel Burkhart, Esq., the ground selected for the barbecue.  After dinner the procession will be formed again and return to the public square and be dismissed.52

I don't know where dad was when all of those things were going on, but do know that he loved music, and was very fond of eating.

Father's older sister, Eliza, moved to Marshall Missouri when he was about twenty years old.  He must have stayed in Martinsburg until he ventured out west in his early twenties.





Sometime before 1859, father, who was seeking his fortune in Missouri, found it when he married Nancy Johnson.  I'm not sure whether his new bride was his reason or compensation for venturing into the unsettled tempestuous climate of 1857 pro-slavery Missouri.  His niece, Ida Dawes, stated that father and Nancy married near Saline County, Missouri, and his grandson, General Gerald C. Thomas, is convinced that the young couple were married in Virginia before they made their home in Missouri.  Whatever the case, when father was in his early twenties, he left Virginia and reestablished himself, with Nancy near the small town of Marshall in Saline County, Missouri.

Father was just one of many settlers from "old Virginny" who had been descending on Missouri for several years.  Large numbers of them were using it as a "way-station" for the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.  Near-by St. Joseph was also the eastern terminal for the Pony Express mail system.  It was the "jumping off place" for many.  But, for father who needed a spot to establish a home, it was a place to take up a homestead with his new bride.

Father undoubtedly received reports about the opportunities in Missouri from his sisters, Eliza and Margaret, who had moved there previously.  Most of Missouri's early settlers were much like father.  They were independent small farmers and tradesmen from the neighboring states to the east, who were driven by debt during the worldwide depression which had begun in the 1840s.  The Homestead Act was in effect, and any head of family or single adult could pre-empt 160 acres of public land and then pay the minimum price of $1.25 per acre when the land was officially opened for settlement.  Pre-empt meant the settlers who took up government land without authorization should have first chance to buy the land at the minimum price.

By 1860, hundreds of thousands of farm families including "shoals” of Yankee abolitionists moved into the "Middle Border States".  Most of the railroads built during the 1850s were in the west, which included Missouri and Indiana.  Father was still trying to ply his trade as a miller, so probably wasn't interested in farming on a large scale.  However, he did want a place to raise food for his family and undoubtedly would have been anxious to take advantage of any opportunity to obtain land.

Advantages in Missouri were also fraught with many difficulties.  During those pre Civil War days, settlers of the state were divided in their sympathies.  They and the residents of anti-slavery Kansas were living in constant fear of scattered warfare, which was being waged between the two states.  When Father moved west from Virginia, the bloodshed had already begun in Missouri and Kansas, and continued unbroken into the Civil War.

Missouri was the center of national concern in 1861, when the country wondered if she would join the Confederacy.  Most Missourians wanted to remain neutral.  Father and his brother, Bob, were Yankee sympathizers.  Other family members leaned towards the Confederate cause.  Father must have had many mixed feelings in his family associations.  During father's stay in Missouri, the government was wholly Confederate in temper, but every Missourian supported his own cause.  The state was retained by the union as an "indecisive slave state" with about 20,000 Missourians fighting with the south and 100,000 joining the union armies.  There was much bloodshed and heartbreak in the state as brother fought against brother.53

In those trying circumstances, but with courage and hope for the future, father and Nancy began their new life together.  And into the world of turmoil, just two years before the Civil War was officially declared, they brought a new son.  He arrived in the fall of the year on October 2, 1859.  Father was twenty-four years of age at the time, and Nancy was probably several years younger.  They named their first-born after his Uncle Robert, father's older brother.

When little Robert appeared on the scene, mental and physical hostilities were very much a part of his environment.  The Lincoln and Douglas debates had taken place the year before and heated discussions between Yankee and Rebel were the order of the day, even in his own family.  While father and his brother, Bob, fought to preserve the union, his five other brothers, Cobe, James, John, Joseph and George were struggling for southern independence.

Virginia's climate was not healthy either.  She was also a pro-slavery state infiltrated with Yankees.  On October 2, 1859, just seventeen days after father's baby boy was born, John Brown captured the United State's Arsenel at Harper's Ferry near Martinsburg, Virginia.  News that the citizens in father's old hometown were being shot in the streets reached his family's ears and some of his relatives responded to a call for retaliation.  Virginians who were trying to ignore the issues were also involved as their households were raided by Confederates who were looking for food, grain and especially salt which was scarce in the south.

Perhaps the Civil War had something to do with father and Nancy's children being six years apart.  Father was apparently enrolled in the Missouri Militia, as his name appears on a list of Company F, 71 Regiment volunteers along with his brother Robert F.  The following list appears on page 347 of the History of Saline County:

H. Mayfield, not ordered into service.

Robert McKittock, not ordered into service.

Wm. Nye, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

Jo Pittman, relived from duty, April 7, 1863.

F. Pittman, discharged, December 23, 1862.

A. J. Pruit, discharged, December 23, 1862.

Wm. Parsons, transferred, November 20, 1862.

John Ricehouse, discharged, December 23, 1862.

W. S. ,Renick, discharged, December 23, 1862.

J. C. Rogers, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863

Wm. Roe, not ordered into service.

Chris Speck, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

John Stephens, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

A. J. Seaman, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

Ben Sullivan, relieved from duty, April 7, 18t33.

J. C. Seltner, re1ieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

W. R. Skidmore, discharged, December 24-, 1862.

Jra Tilman, discharged, September 20, 1862.

Joe Tilman, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

W. H. Thompson, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

Charles Ulrey, no note.

Ash 'Warren, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

D. Weeden, discharged, November 20, 1862.

John White, relieved from duty, April 7, 1863.

Morgan Welsh, discharged, December 23, 1862.

H. R. Wedlen, discharged, September 9, 1862.

R.F. Young discharged. November 6. 1862.

H. Young, discharged, November 6, 1862.

M. Zimmerman, re1ieved from duty April 7, 1863. 54

On page 287 of that same history, it states that in August of 1862, Col. Huston, then at Lexington, called in all of the Militia in Saline County as a "big fight" was expected.  The battle took place at Lone Jack instead of Lexington.  Major McKee was leading the Missouri Cavalry volunteers and issued the following order to Lieutenant A. Burnsides of father’s regiment of enrolled Missouri Militia:



Lieutenant: Orders have just been received from Gen. Totten, by telegraph, directing that the companies of the 7th Cav. now at Mars­hall and all loyal militia of Saline County be ordered, forthwith to march to Lexington.  You will, as soon as possible, on receipt of this communication, march, with your entire command, including the militia, to this post.  You will, before leaving, publish an order, directing all the loyal citizens between the prescribed ages, in Saline County, to repair forthwith to Lexington, and state therein, that all who do not come will be held as traitors, and hereafter can claim no protection from the Federal government.  You will subsist and forage the militia upon rebels of all shades.  When it is absolutely necessary to take from Union men, give them receipts in the name of the state of Missouri.  Arms and ammunition will be furnished at Lexington to those who have not got them...also for every man that has a horse, to bring him.  You must provide yourselves with the necessary cooking utensils and blankets.  Let every man bring with him two or three day’s provisions.

Tuesday at 12 o’clock

Daniel McKee, Major, Com’d’g Post 55

Whatever father’s involvement in the conflict he was with Nancy in 1864, because on October 25, 1865, she gave birth to their second child, a daughter they called Laura Catherine.  About the time she was born, fighting had reached its climax in Missouri.  That year, General Sterling Price had tried to recapture the state for the south, in a daring raid.  He was defeated at what is now Kansas City.  That defeat marked an end to full-scale fighting in the state of Missouri.  But, peace was only a dream during father and Nancy's seven years of marriage.  Bands of both Union and Confederate guerrillas still terrorized the countryside.  Shortly before Laura was born, guerrillas burned and looted towns in their neighborhood and murdered innocent people.

After the war ended, in 1865, Missouri adopted a new constitution, which included a clause denying the right to vote to anyone who refused to swear that he had not sympathized with the south.  The clause probably didn't affect father, but it symbolized the bitterness that existed and has remained with many, even to this day.  The clause wasn't repealed until 1870, when father was thirty-six years old.

I don't know where father's wife, Nancy, died, and I know very little about her life, but I've been told that she was buried near Slater, Saline County, and that her death was a result of complications resulting from little Laura Catherine's birth.

Even though father was nearly thirty when he lost Nancy, he must have felt ill equipped to serve as mother and father and care for his six-year -old son and his new-born daughter.  Consequently, he allowed them to be raised by their aunts.  His sister Margaret, who didn't have any children of her own, took little Robert.  And Nancy's sister, Liz, became a second mother to the infant, Laura.


Little Robert stayed with Aunt Margaret and Uncle Robert Marshall until he was old enough to make his own way.  Uncle Robert was an ex-Confederate soldier and young Robert was probably confused with the different persuasions of his father and uncle.  When he was sixteen, he went back to Virginia to find his roots.  While there, he sought out his Uncle George who was father's older brother.  Uncle George, who had no children of his own, welcomed Bob who lived with and worked for him.  Brother Bob and Uncle George were both born on October 2, thirty-five years apart.  They were able to celebrate their birthdays together.

About this time, Bob lost contact with father, who had remarried, and they didn't see each other again for a quarter of a century.  Robert wandered around the country until he was nearly thirty years old.  Then he settled down in his home state of Missouri where he met and married a fine girl named Emma Venable.  She became the mother of his nine children and supported him in everything he did.  Their first six children were born in a seven-year span.  And, their ninth was born when their oldest was only twelve.

Shortly after Bob and Emma’s wedding day, they moved to a little town called Adrien, in Bates County near Butler, Missouri.  It's south and west of Slater almost to the Kansas border.  With nine children, six then and three more after they moved to California, they must have had many happy and memorable times together.

Their lives were also filled with growth experiences and challenges.  Their story, which was a resistive struggle against insurmountable odds, is one of the most touching I have ever witnessed.  Hardly a year went by without a major tragedy occurring in their lives.

I felt close to Bob's family because father and Bob were reunited when I was a child, and I grew up knowing Bob's children who were close to my age.  Their first son, Edgar, was born on June 17, 1894, ten months before I was.  But, he wasn’t too old to play crack the whip and leap frog with us.  Their second child was a girl whom they named Alberta.  She was born on August 12, 1895, just four months after my birth.  We would undoubtedly have been close friends, but before I was able to meet her, she drank some coal oil she found on a window ledge and died shortly afterwards.

In those days, coal oil was used for medication as well as for lighting lamps.  A flannel rag was soaked in oil, then lard, and placed on the ailing family member's chest.  It was an improvement over turpentine and lard which caused blisters, but compared to today's remedies, was still very crude.  Little Alberta was only two years old when she died.  That seems to be the age when children are most inclined to drink harmful products.

She had a darling baby sister named Ida Mae who was only fifteen months younger than she was.  Ida was born on November 30, 1896.  The fourth child in the family was a boy, born less than a year later on November 15, 1897.  They named him Robert Fulton after his father.  Bob and Emma had two more children while they lived in Missouri. They named their fifth, who was born on March 23, 1899, Thomas Price and their sixth, who was born on November 6, 1901, Sophia Henrietta.  They had lots of birthdays to celebrate in November.

About a year before little Sophia was born, brother Bob surprised us by coming to our home near Rantoul, Kansas for a visit.  He hadn't seen my father for about twenty-five years and it was really a glorious reunion.  He brought little Robert, who was about three years old, with him.  I was only five at, the time, but I remember it clearly.  We all had a jolly time.  Bob, who had left home when he was about sixteen, was forty-one then, and dad, who had been forty-one when he last saw his son, was sixty-six.  They went fishing together, and enjoyed each other's company for about a week.  They caught an eel, which frightened everyone except dad.  Eels are long and thin and look more like snakes than fish.  The other family members didn't know what it was.  But the long wiggly animals are quite common in Virginia and dad had caught them before.

In about 1902, while Brother Bob was still living in Adrien, Missouri close to the Grand River, we made a big trip to his home by covered wagon.  All the family members who had been living at home were there except Luther who had joined the militia.  It was raining the day we planned to begin our week long journey.  Dad said, "We just as well go anyway".  He calculated that we could make about ten miles that day, but he didn't tell us how torturous the miles would be.  We traveled over many rocky, dusty trails before we reached our destination.  After we arrived in the little town, we stayed about month.  Dad and Bob worked on a farm for one of the neighbors.  One day while we were playing with our nephews in the barn, and jumping out of the hayloft, Robert, who was younger than the rest of us, and afraid to jump, got talked into it by Edgar.  When he landed, he bloodied his nose by hitting it on his knee.  We ran to the house with him and he swore that Edgar had pushed him.  Bob whipped Edgar, and, dad gave Leonard and I a real licken because we were parties to the crime.

While we were at their home, we were able to get well acquainted with the five children who were living.  They were all old enough to play with us except baby Sophia Henrietta who was just learning to crawl.  Bob's wife, Emma, was a big strong healthy looking woman.  But, we later learned that she wasn't as robust as she appeared.

A couple of years after our visit, the family who had been suffering from poor health, decided to move to sunny California.  Emma's sister, Sophia Arbuckle, who had lived by them in Missouri, had gone to California the year before.  She encouraged them to make the move.  The sisters had always been close, and Bob and Emma had named their little girl after this special aunt.  In 1904, when they left the mid-west and settled on their small fruit farm, Emma was expecting another baby.  We had high hopes for them, and tried to keep in touch.  I remember one box they sent us contained some juicy grapes.  I still remember how sweet they tasted.

Three more children, their seventh, eighth and ninth, were born to them in California, in 1904, 1905 and 1906.  These little ones were all girls and they named them: Zella, Irene and Florence.

In 1905, one-year-old Zella and infant, Irene both died.  In 1907, Bob's wife, Emma, and little one-year-old Florence passed away.  Then, two years later, in 1910, Ida Mae, who was only fourteen died.  The entire family had become victims of the dread disease tuberculosis, or consumption as it was called in those days.  It was once so wide-spread that the sickness was referred to as, "the white plague".

To relieve the coughing, patients were given dry table salt, or even snails boiled in barley water.  One well-known remedy which circulated among the afflicted was put feet in mustard-water as warm as can be borne.  At the same time, give small doses, from fifteen to thirty drops of syrup of ipecac, repeating half-hourly 'till free vomiting takes place.  Bathe neck and chest with camphorated oil, and keep warm with layers of flannel.  "Equal parts of goose oil and honey rubbed on the throat and chest is first-rate."

In those days people did all they knew to do and resigned themselves to their fate.  Even doctors used the above remedies.  But with all of their mental preparations, they could never be quite ready for the loss of loved ones.  Brother Bob had lost his wife and five daughters.  His three sons and little Sophia Henrietta were all he had left.  Sophia was nearly eleven years old, and I imagine Bob was very fearful of trying to raise a girl.  Emma's sister, Aunt Sophia Arbuckle, offered to take little Sophia and raise her as her own.  Brother Bob stayed close by with his boys and did all he could for all of his children, but the California climate didn't seem to be accomplishing what the family had hoped.  The boys had T.B. and were getting worse each year.

In 1916, after twelve years in California, Bob came to Montpelier, Idaho to see my brothers and I.  He brought with him his son, Robert, who was about nineteen and his younger boy, Price, who was seventeen.  Both of the young men were very much affected with consumption and didn't look like the boys I had played with in my child-hood.  Their father said they were just shadows of their former selves.

Bob caused quite a sensation in Idaho when he drove into town in the first car many of the children had seen.  It was a four-cylinder Ford with shining brass bars holding up the windshield.  He went to my brother, Luther's home and Luther's girls, Tillie and Oma were delighted to have him there because he helped with the housework and cooking.  He was also a great hand as a rancher.  In spite of his domestic knowledge, he must have had some challenging times trying to be both father and mother to his sons because when they arrived at Luther's, they had nineteen shirts to be laundered.  Luther's wife, Bertha, scrubbed them all up on the washboard and filled her clotheslines.  Bertha was a little concerned that her children might get T.B., but they must have been healthy enough to ward it off.

Brother Bob was a tender, kind man.  Everyone who met him spoke in glowing terms of his considerate ways.  Perhaps, as a result of the tragedies in his life he had learned the importance of keeping his priorities straight.  He spoke with great tenderness about his sweet wife, Emma, and said she had spoiled him by always having a big cake on the table.  He encouraged his niece, Tillie, to bake and bought her her very own bag of sugar.

Bob hoped the drier Idaho climate might be good for his boys, but the severe winters in that area were probably anything but beneficial.  He rented the old Reader farm that Luther had been farming for about five years.  It was located near Wardboro, about four miles south of Montpelier.  He and his two sons farmed there until March 24, 1917, when nineteen-year-old Robert passed away.  Brother Bob and his younger son, Price continued to work the land for two more years until the boy became progressively worse.  Bob put Price in the Montpelier Hospital where he died on March 5, 1919, just eighteen days before his twentieth birthday.

After his second son's death, Bob felt like his own life had come to an end.  We assured him he still had a family.  He had stayed with Erma and I for a short time in the past.  In fact, he was with us when our little son, Harley was born.  He had also spent some time living with Leonard and Ella.  He felt at home at our places.

He came and stayed with Erma and I on the old Bacon place in Georgetown.  He drove a milk wagon for Mutual Creamery.  His route took him from Stringtown to the creamery located down by Bear River.  It was quite a haul and became a little complicated.  In order to simplify his route, so he would only be required to make the one trip back when he returned with empty cans, he stayed with Tom Hayes.

While he was there, he developed pneumonia.  We called Dr. Ashley who examined him and said he also had T.B. and was going to die.  When we went to visit with him, he was sitting up in bed.  He said, "I know there have been a lot of men sicker than me who have recovered, but I am going to die. “  We notified his son, Edgar, who was in Wyoming.  Then we called Bishop Schmid.  Bob had joined the Church earlier, and was a very religious man.  We had enjoyed many discussions on gospel subjects, some of them rather "heated".  Bob had made the Bible his lifelong companion and knew it well.  Bishop Fawn Berry of Wardboro also drove the sixteen miles to be with Bob.  He ordained him an Elder on his deathbed.  He was buried in Bern with his two sons.

Shortly before Bob's death, he asked Leonard's wife, Ella, to make sure his work in the Latter-day Saint Temple was taken care of.  The conversation Ella had had with him slipped her mind until one night several years later, she dreamed of Bob.  In the dream, he asked her why she hadn't done his temple work.  Immediately thereafter, she saw that it was taken care of.

A year before Price died, in 1918, Bob's oldest son, Edgar got married.  He had been in the service the year before and was stationed in Tacoma, Washington.  He was about twenty-four years old at the time.  His new wife's name was Ida Parker.  They had a still-born child in 1920, but death wasn't a new experience for Edgar.  He had lost his mother, five sisters and two brothers, all while he was still a young man.

Edgar went into partnership with me for a short time before he moved over to Nounan, Idaho to take up a homestead.  He lived there for about a year then sold his little home and went to Green River, Wyoming and later to Rock Springs where he was working when his father passed away.  After his father's death, he went up to Oregon and several western states before moving back to Clovis, California fifteen miles from Fresno, where he had lived with his dad.

In 1928, when Edgar was about thirty-four years old, he lost another member of his family.  His wife died.  He later married again.  His new wife had a couple of grown sons.

Edgar had a very strong personality and didn't seem to let much get him down.  He had been through "the refiner's fire".  When his second wife died, he married a third lady who had a daughter.  I was privileged to meet that wife when I stayed over night in Clovis with them.  During that period in Edgar's life, he was taking care of a ranch for a moving picture man named Victor McLaughlin.  I am called "Uncle Thornt" by many, but Edgar was my first and oldest.  In fact, he was older than me.

In 1961, my wife, Erma, and I called at his home in Clovis for a short visit.  Edgar had never been very robust.  He was sixty-seven years of age, but seemed much older.  He had been through several operations, and looked "very bad".  He was suffering from arthritis and was only able to walk with great difficulty.  In 1967, when Edgar was about seventy-three years old, he passed away having out-lived everyone in his immediate family.

None of Brother Bob's sons had children, so he had no grandsons to carry on the Young name.  In fact, if it hadn't been for Sophia Henrietta he would have had no grandchildren at all, even after being the father of nine children.

Sophia, who lived through the deaths of her mother and seven of her eight brothers and sisters, came to Montpelier, Idaho when she was about nineteen years old.  Her father, Bob, was living in Georgetown at the time.  She had been raised by her mother's people, so we hadn't associated with her for a number of years.  Nevertheless, we were very glad to see her when she found us boys out in Dry Valley running a dairy.  I remember thinking what a pretty girl she was.  She visited around with family members for a time and got reacquainted.  While in the area, she met a young man by the name of Lorain Henry Grunig.

He was ten months younger than she was, and I think he was the first boy Sophia had ever taken a fancy to.  She once shared one of her letters from Larain with me.  It was really a flowery love letter, and she was surely sweet on him.

The following year, on December 22, 1922, they were married and had a really Merry Christmas.  This special couple became the parents of eight lovely children.  They named their first son Lorain Robert, after his father and grandfather.  He worked at the train station as a watchman at the crossing.  I still remember his two big dogs.  They called him Robert.  He was twenty when he got married, and though it doesn't seem possible, he and his wife, Thelda Nowland, have already celebrated their thirty-sixth wedding anniversary.  They were recently sealed in the Logan Temple, along with Robert's brothers, Frank and Glen and their wives, Beverly and Judy.  Robert has enjoyed his activity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived a rich full life.  He felt that he had found his special niche when he served as Ward Clerk.  He has a nice home and a bunch of apartments in Montpelier, Idaho.  When I met him, I felt we were kindred spirits because we are both so crazy about fishing.  Robert and Thelda are the parents of three children, Barbara, Roger and a son Stephen, who passed away.

Sophia's second child was also a boy and they named him Harold J.  He married Naomi Nield when he was nineteen years old.  He has a tract of land in Smithfield, Utah and is Principal of the school there.  He and his wife have both had heart surgery, but it hasn't slowed them down.  They are a special couple with a choice family.  They live in a lovely home.  At present he is working on his own history and genealogy.  His brothers and sisters say, "Harold is the cream of the crop."  He and his wife are the parents of five: Allen, Ellen, Michael, Terry and Gail.

Sophia's third child, a girl, was called Janice (pronounced Jeniece).  She was born on January 8, 1928 and died six years later on April 30, 1934 of a ruptured appendix.

Sophia's fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth children were as follows: Mariel Fern, Frank Sterling, Glen Dean, Richard Wayne, and Phyllis Barbara, (also known as Elean).  When the baby, Barbara (Elean) was less than three years old, her mother, Sophia Henrietta passed away in Montpelier, Idaho, leaving her husband, Larain, with the responsibility of eight young children.  Their oldest, who was twenty-one, was the only one married at the time.  Their second son, Harold, got married two weeks later.

Though Sophia was barely forty-three years of age, she had been suffering with gall-bladder problems which developed into heart trouble.  On April 12, 1945, she had a fatal heart attack.

Since Sophia's daughter, Janice, had died, little Mariel, the next daughter, who was only twelve years old when the children lost their mother, was the oldest child at home.  She felt a great responsibility to help take care of the family.  She had never been afraid of work, and their loss gave her renewed determination.  (Now that the children are grown, she gives her dad the credit for keeping the family together, and there is no doubt that he was a remarkable father.  Aunt Rosella, in Nounan, Idaho, who helped by raising the baby, Barbara and caring for little Dick who was still under four was also a great help).  But, in spite of all they could do, Mariel was the stabilizing force in their lives.  The family all agrees that she became a second mother to the children and added a woman's touch to a home with a father and five brothers.

Mariel is afflicted with multiple sclerosis, but she seems to have a song in her heart.  She lives in St Anthony, Idaho with her husband, William Wuthrick who she married when she was twenty-one.  He is a road master and an ambulance driver and repairs televisions and other appliances on the side.  In the evenings, when his work is done, he enjoys sitting by the fire where he sings and plays his guitar.  Mariel, who learned the art of homemaking early in life, is a busy little housekeeper and manages beautifully from her wheelchair.  She has three children: Janice, Jody and William Junior.

Frank, Sophia's fifth child was only nine years old when his mother died, but he must have learned the lessons of childhood well.  He has remained active in the church all of his life and has enjoyed serving in many positions.  He was president of the Sunday school for four years while his wife, Beverly Jacobson, served as secretary of the Primary.  Frank is a great father to their lovely family of five children.  Their first three daughters: Linda, Terry and Cindy were all married in the temple.  Their marriages were performed by three Apostles, Delbert L. Stapley, LeGrande Richards and Spencer W. Kimball (who is now the Prophet).  Frank's fourth and fifth children are still living at home.  They are: Mark who is seventeen and baby Lana who is fourteen.  Their family resides in a lovely home in Bountiful, Utah.  Frank owns and operates a service station in Salt Lake City.  He is a first-rate mechanic.

Sophia and Lorain's sixth child, Glen was just six years old when he lost his mother.  He was probably the youngest one who remembers her.  He is a very ambitious boy and not only runs a farm, but works in a mine.  He married Judy Rasmussen when he was twenty-two years of age.  Last year, in 1979, they were sealed to each other in the Logan, Utah Temple.  Their five children's names are: Bret, Patty, Debbie, Tammy and Sammie.

Sophia's seventh child was also a son.  They named him Richard Wayne.  He wasn't quite four years old when his mother died, but he was well taken care of, both physically and spiritually.  He was baptized two days after he turned eight.  When he was only seventeen years of age, he met and married Gloria Lane.  He is mechanically inclined like his brother, Frank, and also runs a service station.  He and Gloria are the parents of three children: Bryan, Sally and Amy.

Phyllis Barbara, the baby and eighth child in Sophia's family, was born in 1942, just two and a half years before her mother passed away.  She was raised by her uncle and aunt who saw to it that she was baptized as soon as she reached the age of accountability.  She, Robert and Mariel were all born in October which seems to be a popular birthday month in the Young family.  When Phyllis, or Elean as the family calls her, was nineteen, she married Farrell Arnell.  He works at Monsanto Chemical Company in Soda Springs, Idaho and is a good provider for the family.  Barbara enjoys being a homemaker and mother to their three children: Kelley, Chad and Eric.

In spite of the challenges this family faced, they have met them with fortitude and have been a credit to the entire Young clan.  I have been impressed with their high morals and their faithful church activity.  They are praised in their communities for their ambition and congeniality.  Those who know them best, say they are the greatest of neighbors and friends.  I am just sure that my brother, Robert Fulton, who is their grandfather, is extremely proud of them.


It had been such a choice experience to know Brother Bob during my childhood that when I was eighteen years of age I had a nagging urge to write to and get better acquainted with Sister Laura who was Nancy's other child in father's first family.  She was Bob's only full sister.

I knew that she was born the year the Civil War ended and that she had been raised by her mother's family.  I calculated that she would be about thirty years older than me.  I had been told that she was a June bride who married nine years before I was born and that her husband was Amos Martin Bond.  I also knew that she had nine beautiful children, four boys and five girls and that some of them would be close to my age.  I wanted to become acquainted with them.  I had done some sleuthing and found out that their names were: Raymond Jedadiah, Ruby Mae, Gertrude Agusta, Florence Reva, Coin Allen, Morris Benjamin, Ralph Amos, Kathleen Orianna and baby, Laura Kathrine who was named after her mother.

It's not that Laura had been lost to the family.  She knew who she was and had even come to see us when I was a boy of five.  She brought her three-year-old son, Coin, and his two-year-old brother, Morris to meet us too.  But, that had been years ago, and I felt cheated that I had missed their association for such a long period of time.  Laura lived and had given birth to all of her children in Slater, Saline County Missouri, and we were only in Rantoul, Kansas, but in those days of dirt roads and wagon travel, our trips were few and far between.  We had made the trip to Adrian to see Bob, but that was less than half as far and represented supreme effort.  Maybe I could not make the trip to her home, but I would visit my half-sister by mail.

I wrote a letter to Laura and was surprised when her third child, Gertrude Agusta, answered it and said her mother had been dead since 1907.  That meant she had only lived forty-five years and was gone by the time I was twelve.  The news of her passing started me on a lifelong search to find and get acquainted with her children.  If I couldn't know my sister, Laura, I could meet her indirectly through her descendants.  Thus began my whirlwind relationship with a new set of nieces and nephews.

My brother, Bob" told me that Laura’s daughter, Agusta or "Gussie" as the family called her, was a very lovely girl.  He said she had married Marvin W. Laller, a member of an outstanding family in the Marshall Missouri area where he was well acquainted with the people.

Gussie was thrilled to receive a letter from me, which paved the way for future correspondence.  She was a choice person with a special spirit and I was grateful to have found her by mail.  When Marvin Laller died, Gussie married a man named Davis.  Apparently, that marriage was not as happy as her first.  I was anxious to meet Gussie in person, so I sought her out in Denver, Colorado in 1930.  We wern't able to visit long, but it was a delight to see her and to realize that she was my sister's daughter.  Much to my sorrow, we lost track of each other through the years.  Consequently, I have no record of the rest of her life or her death.

As part of a 1930 trip to Missouri, which was a high point of my thirty-fifth year, I had the privilege of staying over night with Laura's oldest son, Raymond.  He was a friendly person with a lovely home and my visit was a memorable one.  Raymond was working as a carpenter.  I met the whole family of five or six children, some of them were in their teens.  They were all very congenial and warm.  While I was there, I got a few dates to put in my family history.  I found that Raymond was born March 11, 1887.  That made him just six years older than me.  His children were: Thelma, born July 6, 1908, Mildred Lot born July 22, 1910, Marvin A" born February 12, 1912, Medelene B., born January 16, 1915, and Ida Ruth, born May 27, 1917.  All of these children were born in Slater, Missouri.  His wife's name was Minnie Jackson.  She was a little bit older than him as she was born on March 31, 1885.  I imagine they have many descendants by this time.

I have tried to keep track of them through the years.  I learned that Raymond lost his wife, Minnie and later married again.  I do not know his second wife's name and I have no record of children who may have resulted from this union.  Perhaps, some day, we may be able to locate more relatives than we ever dreamed of having.

Sister Laura's second child was Ruby Mae who married William Calvin Harris.  She passed away before we became acquainted with the rest of the family.  When I met her brothers and sisters, I didn't think to enquire about her life.

Laura's fourth child, who, of course, was after Gussie, was also a girl.  Her name was Florence Reva.  Shortly before she turned nineteen, she married Luther W. Wood.  I was able to locate this couple's third daughter, Lois.  I learned from her that the other two children in that family were Herbert and Robert.  I have received several letters from Lois, whose full name is Emma Jean Lois.  She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and seems to be a delightful girl.  I'm just sorry don't know more about her.

I have met Laura’s fifth child, Coin, about four times in my life.  The first meeting was in 1900 when his mother was still alive and brought her two small sons, Coin and Morris, to our home.  They stayed a week, and I thought they had come along especially to play with me.  I was the big five-year-old protector and could introduce them to the secret hiding places on the farm.

Thirty years later, when I made my big trip to Kansas, I was able to locate Coin Allen, and became acquainted with him as an adult.  He was on the Kansas City Police Force.  This time our roles were reversed.  He could serve as a protector and show me some of the places in his area.

In 1950, when we were both middle-aged, I made another trip to the Midwest, and was able to see him in his fabulous home in a fashionable section of Kansas City.  It was like I was following his progress through life during each major stage of development.

My last trip to see Coin was when I was eighty-three years old and he was eighty-two.  It was still a pleasure to fill my role as Uncle Thornt.  He lived in the John Knox Foundation Retirement Home.  It was a community within a community.  He had everything he needed.

But, Parkinson's disease had affected his speech.  It was nice to see him again, but a little difficult to visit.  The John Knox Village is in Lee Summit, Missouri.

Coin originally married Zelma Mable Reid on March 10, 1921.  She was born on May 15, 1901.  They had a daughter who they called Laura Kathrine after her grandmother.  She died in 1923.  They also had twin daughters born December 5, 1921.  They named them Mable Reid and Betty Ann.

After Coin's first wife died, he married again.  His new wife's name was Edna Serta, who was born on April 28, 1896.  Their wedding took place on her fifty-eighth birthday, April 28, 1954.

Coin's younger brother, who was Laura's sixth child, was named Morris Benjamin Bond.  He and Coin were always very close.  Morris and his wife, Floretta Marie Hammond, had five children.  They were all born within a six-year span between 1925 and 1931.  Their first two were boys and their last three were girls.  They named them Harold Ralph, Philip Edward, Ruth Lorraine, Edith Mae and Evelyn Arlene.  Those were all very popular names in the twenties and thirties.  When I traveled to Missouri with friends in 1950, we visited Morris's family in Lincoln.  I was fifty-five years old and he was fifty-two.  He and his family were living in a trailer camp.  One of his daughters had married a wealthy farmer named Mr. Johnson.  Things looked extremely prosperous around their place.  They made us feel warmly welcome and we came away wishing we could spend much more time visiting with them.  My early meetings with Morris, once in our extreme youth and once when he was older, had established a bond that helped me feel a connecting link between us.  It always seemed so natural for me to visit with family members.  My chance to enjoy his company passed when in 1975, he died.

Seven has been classed as a lucky number, and I certainly felt this to be the case when I had the privilege of meeting Laura's seventh child, Ralph Amos, in 1967.  He came to my home, and attended our first Young family reunion.  It had taken us a lifetime to get together as he was sixty-six and I was seventy-two.  He was a fine looking specimen of robust health and was jolly and full of fun.  I had to agree with him when he said, "I don't look like I'm full of cancer."  He didn't act like it either.

I was certainly grateful that we met at that time because he passed away shortly afterwards.  When the reunion was over, he went on a little tour down through Grand Canyon.  He was a lover of nature and anxious to enjoy some of the beauties of the desert before returning home to the forested area of Lewiston, Idaho.  He had lived a full rich life, and just days before he turned yellow and passed away, he "went a fishing" on Ponderosa Lake.  Ralph, who was born in 1901, had been named after his father.  He was a big tall handsome fellow who weighed about 215 pounds and carried himself like a king.  I would have been awfully disappointed if I had missed meeting him.

Ralph's wife was Hazel Linda Snyder.  They enjoyed many happy years together and had a choice family.  I met his very beautiful eldest daughter right after she had separated from her husband.  She lived in Clarkston, Washington, a rugged breathtakingly beautiful area across the river from Lewiston, Idaho.

Ralph's second child was also a girl.  They called her Jean Kathrine Bond.  I imagine the Kathrine was after my sister who was her grandmother.  She was living in Kennewick, Washington when I visited Lewiston.  However, I was never privileged to meet her.  I did receive a little letter from her and she appears to be a charming thoughtful person.  I wish I knew more about her.

Ralph's number three daughter is a little doll" named Reva Bond.  She married Gene Bursch and they became the parents of five fine sons.  They then adopted a beautiful little girl.  When I met them, Reva's husband was employed in Spokane, Washington where they lived.  It was a joy to visit them in their home.  They had loads of musical talent and wonderful personalities.

In 1971, when I was seventy-six years old, Reva and Gene came down to Orem, Utah.  They brought their entire lovely family with them.  Even grandmother, Hazel came along.  They camped at a park and came over to enjoy associations with family members.

Hazel Bond has since remarried.  However, I don't have a report of her marriage.  She is certainly my kind of person; outdoorsy, sturdily built and a lover of people.  She can go hunting and kill her elk or dear, then dress it out all by herself.  She loves to fish and is just a good, jolly, happy-go-lucky, well-rounded gal.  I appreciate her immensely.

Ralph and Hazel had a boy they named Ralph Gary.  He lived in Delta, Colorado when we had our 1969 reunion.  That was the year I turned seventy-four.  He made a special effort to attend the gathering with his sweet wife and her grandson.  His wife had two little boys when she married him.  The grandson brought his sweetheart along, and it was a joy to meet all of them.  Just where the family is now, I don't know.  I assume they are still in Colorado.  We were extremely appreciative of their special visit at reunion time.  Hazel, Ralph Gary's mom, has been here to see us a number of times.  We are always thrilled with her visits and feel blessed to have her in the family.

The eighth child in the Amos Bond family was a girl named Kathleen Orianna.  She married Earl Everett Gaylor.  He passed away on February 3, 1966, in Lewiston, Idaho.  Kathleen was a special lady.  She and her husband had three children.  The oldest was Alice Evelyn, born October 16, 1922, who married Lawrence Oliver Hutchings, probably in Lewiston, Idaho.  Her husband had two saw-mills and was very prosperous.  One mill was extremely large.  The other was electric powered and took much of the backbreaking work out of milling.  When visiting their milling operations, it was easy to see that they had been very industrious and hard working.  They also owned a farm in a little town called Weiser on the Oregon border south of Lewiston.  It was in a wilderness country where there were lots of game: bear, elk, deer and etc.

After we had visited the Hutchings in Idaho, they came to visit us in Orem.  They had a nice family, a boy and a girl.  Their boy had been wounded quite severely by the saw mill while hauling logs when we were at their home.  Their girl got married and moved down to Kansas, some place close to Great Bend.  She had a good husband and a number of children, and was still there the last I heard.

Jack, Kathleen's middle child was a boy born September 21, 1926.  He married Geraldine Bursch.  We visited their family in Spokane, Washington.  Jack was a truck driver and they had two children.  Their daughter has since married and their boy, they called "Bus" was an aviator, and still single the last I heard.

Jack and his wife are a lovely couple.  They made us feel loved and welcome when we visited them in Spokane.  They invited us to come up to the World's Fair when it was held in Washington.  We felt sad that we wern't able to make it.  Jack writes a beautiful hand, almost perfect.  We regard his family very highly and are proud to have them as part of our family tree.

Kathleen Orianna Gaylor had a third child who was born March 13, 1924.  She was still-born, but they gave her the name of Dorothy Allen Gaylor.  Kathleen had lots of sickness in her last years.  She was always very religious and active in her church.  And, extremely devoted to her family.

The ninth child of the Amos Bond family was born on June 6, 1907.  They named her Laura Kathrine after her mother who passed away with complications resulting from her birth.  Laura Kathrine carried on her sweet mother's name as well as her good works.  Little Laura married Floyd Elwood.  I don't know much about him, but he and Laura lived for many years on their farm in Sterling, Colorado.  She endured a great deal of trouble and sickness during her lifetime.  The only time I ever saw her was when she and her husband attended the Young reunion in 1967.  I was so grateful that our family gathering provided an incentive for them to come.  Since then, I have received many letters from Laura.  There is a special friendship that develops through correspondence.  If I remember right, she raised one of Reva's girls, Lois, who later married Mr. Campbell and lived in Cincinnati.  Laura died in about 1976.  I believe she is buried in Sterling, Colorado.

This family had contributed much to our great Jacob Harrison Young heritage.  I am so grateful that I know them as people and not just names.  They are all descendants of father and Nancy's two children, Bob and Laura.  It amazes me to think that so many could come from so few in such a short span of time.  I am even more in awe when I think of how many of them I have become acquainted within my eighty-six short years.

I set out with a dream to draw family members into our net of love.  I feel that my search has been richly rewarded.  Even the hundredth part of their accomplishments that I am aware of has been impressive to me.





About three years after father's first wife, Nancy, died, he met a young Missouri girl named Adoline Sidna Carthrae, or "Sweet Adoline" as she could easily have been called.  Actually, she was known as "Addie" and was named after her parents: Addison Carthrae and Sidna Brown.  Following several years of loneliness, father must have felt greatly relieved and joyful when he finally found Addie.

He was thirty-four years at the time and she was twenty-two.  I know nothing of their meeting, but their grandson, General Gerald Carthrae Thomas, made the following statement in a letter.  He said, "My grandfather, Jacob Harrison Young and my grandmother, Addie Carthrae, met at the Boston Conservatory of Music where both were students".

I don't have any idea where he heard that story.  I did find a little bit about Addie's family in the History of Saline County.  According to the account in the book, Addie's parents had moved to Missouri from Virginia.  Her father was from Rockingham County and her mother was a native of Albemarle County.  Addie was born in Saline County, Missouri where she lived on a farm with her parents until she was grown.  Her father died during the Civil War and her brother was taken to Indiana as a prisoner, and stayed there until the conflict was over.  Addie's brother was a lawyer in Marshall and later went into the mercantile business.56

Unlike father and Nancy, who lived in Missouri when it was a major Civil-War battle-ground, father and Addie began their marriage during the post-war adjustment period when the frontier had all but disappeared and slaves who had worked many of the fields were replaced by tenant farmers.

Life was not all sunshine and roses for them.  There were many bitter feelings among countrymen as people continued to fight their own little wars.  Jessie James, who was from near-by Clay County, had been a Confederate guerrilla during the Civil War.  He didn’t stop when the South surrendered.  He continued, for sixteen years to stir up the area with his wild escapades.

Father and Addie began their new life together in or near Lafayette County on the western borders of Saline.  During the five years they were married, they lived in happiness and were blessed with three little daughters.  Virginia, whose birth took place on June 15, 1870, was their first.  She was born the year the great Mississippi steamboat race took place and ended with the victory of the "Robert E. Lee".  I can imagine some of my relatives "waiting on the levey," as the song says.  Father and Addie's second child made her appearance on October 15, 1872.  Baby Jessie's birth and death took place in 1873.

Addie, who was only twenty-seven years old when she gave birth to their third child, died shortly afterwards.  In those days, there was considerable risk of infection during the first three weeks after childbirth.  Mothers who survived felt very fortunate.

Before father was forty, he had watched loved ones die of T.B. and fever, and had lost both of his wives in childbirth.  As if these ordeals weren't enough, he had experienced wrenching separations from his parents through death and his children through feelings of inadequacy when he contemplated caring for them.  With the death of Addie, his family was split up again.  Addie's grandson and Virgie's son, General Gerald Carthrae Thomas was told the following by his mother.  Said he, "My grandmother Addie Carthrae Young died when my mother was still an infant.  Her mother's family cared for her for several years.  Then, when she was nine years old, she went to live with her father's sister, Margaret Young and her husband, Kentuckian James Robert Marshall."

Adoline's brother and sister-in-law whose names were Carthrae, took little one-year-old Minnie Estelle.  Since they were placed in different households, Virgie and Minnie were separated most of their lives.

When Virginia was about twenty-two years old, she married twenty-year-old Ovander Wyatt Thomas who was born March 10, 1872.  They were married in September 1892, probably in Marshall, Missouri.  Ovander passed away on August 17, 1963, and is probably buried in the Orearville Cemetery, just outside of Marshall.  Ovander's father was David Wyatt Thomas.  His mother was Ellen Wood.

My sister, Virginia and her husband, Ovander had six children.  I have been so grateful for my associations with them.  Getting to know these nephews and nieces helped me to feel close to Virginia and I began calling her "Virgie".  I felt doubly related to her, because she was raised by Aunt Mag, my father's sister, and Uncle Robert Marshall, my mother's uncle, as well as my own.  I know it's confusing, but the double relationships seem to make family ties even stronger.

Virgie and Ovander's six children were almost like grandchildren to Aunt Mag and Uncle Robert.  And, Virgie named her first-born after this favorite uncle.  That number-one son, Robert Shelton Thomas, was born on June 23, 1893 in Marshall, Saline County Missouri.  In his youth, he married Irene Short and they had one daughter born in Bloomington, Illinois April 18, 1918.  They called her Geraldine.  When their girl was nineteen, she married Cecil Cooklin.

My Cousin Robert Shelton Thomas later married Helen Hall.  He worked for the railroad as an engineer until he was forced to retire as a result of a severe heart attack.  He and his wife, Helen moved to National City, California where they purchased a drugstore.

I had the privilege of meeting them at their California residence.  Robert was very ill at the time and could barely move around.  I was so grateful for the opportunity of visiting him in his home.  He was very handsome and had a cheerful disposition in spite of his ill-health.  He joked and was full of fun.  Walking into his home was like stepping into a scene from the past.  It was beautifully furnished in priceless antiques from the Abraham Lincoln era, and accentuated with family heirlooms that had belonged to Aunt Mag and Uncle Robert.  I loved hearing the history of each piece of furniture and bric-a-brac.  It was almost like going back for a visit with my ancestors.  In many instances, a hand seemed to be guiding me to my family members.  I felt lucky again to have found Robert because in August 1952, a short time after our visit, he passed away.

Virgie and Ovander's second child was another boy.  He is about six months older than I am.  During the past few years, as a result of our common interest in our ancestors, we have become very close.  On his next birthday, he will be eighty-seven years old.  This special nephew's name is General Gerald Carthrae Thomas.  He was born on October 29, 1894 in Slater, Saline County, Missouri.

He entered the marines at a very early age, and was stationed on an island when I visited with his mother in the 1930s.  I asked his mother about him and she told me some of the circumstances centered around his birth.  She said, "The doctor was late in arriving and missed the event completely.  An aged black lady, and a midwife we called Aunt Angeline took over.  I am pleased to report that they performed adequately."

Gerald attended the Angelic Church, and went to "William of Orange".  He was also enrolled at the Illinois Wesleyan University, at Bloomington, for three years.  He is a Doctor of Law and holds a Doctorate from the Marines.  There are several titles attached to his name.  But, he is still very approachable and down-to earth.

He had eighteen and a half years of foreign service in the Marines, has traveled widely, and has lived in many places.

In about 1919, when Gerald was twenty-four years old and stationed at Port-Au-Prince, the Capitol of Haiti, he returned home on a furlough and married Mary Ruth Darrett, daughter of Sally Darrett of Marshall, Missouri.  He said that the marriage wasn't too successful, and that she died about a year afterwards.

On July 2, 1924, he married Lottie (Palmer) Capers Johnson in Charleston, South Carolina.  Lottie's father was William Henry Johnson, an M.D.  Her mother was Lottie Palmer.

While Gerald spent his life serving in the Marines, he and his wife reared a family of four children.  Their oldest was a girl they named Lottie Capers III, after her mother and grandmother.  She was born on January 17, 1926 at Charleston, South Carolina.

Their second child was a boy they named Gerald Carthrae Junior after his dad.  He was also born at Charleston on May 6, 1929.  Their third child was another girl who they named Virginia after my half-sister who was their grandmother.  She was born in Fredricksburg, Virginia, so her name was doubly appropriate.  Her birth date was January 25, 1935.

They evened up their family with a fourth child who was a boy.  He was born in Peking, China, on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1939.  They named him William Henry Johnson after his mother's father.

Gerald has written a story of his life which he allowed me to read.  It was very interesting.  I was impressed with some of the hardships he was subjected to during the many years he served his country.  He told of how they sometimes went for days without food or drink.  They had no real cooks, only Marines who took turns preparing the food, if it could be called such.  When they got good food, they mixed it all together and prepared what they called "slum gullion".  While serving in Belleau Woods, he received severe mustard gas burns.  He went through every kind of exposure and hardship from wet muddy trenches to sleeping in all kinds of unlikely places.  Often they went for days without any sleep all.  The whole company had "cooties" or lice, as we call them today.

After the First World War, he was retained as an officer and went to Officer's Training School where he studied several hours a day for fifteen years.

When Gerald first entered the service, he had no idea what he was getting into.  He tells many exciting stories about the rigors of training, then marching to the front with only what they could carry in their hands or on their backs.  He tells of his feelings as he waited for the enemy to act, or experienced sickness at sea.  He tells of traveling with James Roosevelt, James Bowden and Burr and many notables and watching large numbers of them die.  At one time in his narrative, he speaks of 802 killed and 3633 wounded out of an over-all strength of 8000.

Gerald went through three wars and has earned the right to rest.  He began his career as a private and retired as a Four-Star General.  Very few people have been able to accomplish such a feat.  He says he is trying to grow old gracefully, but sometimes forgets that he is not still in command.  One time he went into a barber-shop and commanded a man to cut his hair.  The man tried to protest but he would not allow him to reply.  After the shearing, he learned that the man had not had any experience.  Gerald was forced to wear his hat for several weeks.

A whole book could be written about his interesting experiences. I hope someday his children publish the story of his colorful life.  The following is an extract from one of his journals:

I was three-fourths of the way into receiving my degree in Chemical Engineering when the First World War began. I decided to enlist in the army, but growing impatient with administrative delay transferred my allegiance to the Marines.  I was accepted in Chicago and sent immediately to The Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island South Carolina. This was the beginning of my career from Private to Four-Star General…

I served in World Wars I and II and also took part in the Korean conflict.  I enlisted May 1917, became a Corporal September 1917, became a Sergeant February 1918 and a First Lieutenant August 1919.  At the end of World War I, I received a Silver Star for action in Belleau Woods, and five Battle Stars.  I was also made Gunnery Sergeant and Battalion Intelligence Chief....

Once when stationed with my company of Sixth Marines, in part of St. Nazaire, after a fierce battle, our Lieutenant Burr, was missing.  I went back towards the enemy attack and found him in a shell-hole, completely exhausted.  After this, we were good friends.  I did not receive a star for this act of bravery, but should have...57

Virgie and Ovander's third child is just a name on my records.  I know nothing about her except that she was born in June of 1900, in Slater, Saline County, Missouri, and died thirteen months later in July of 1901.  I imagine she was named after Aunt Mag, her adopted grandma.  Perhaps there is not much more to know since she died so early in life.

Virgie's fourth and fifth children were twins, a boy and a girl.  They were born two years after their sister, Margaret died.  Their parents named the boy Louis O'Vander, after his father and the girl Inez.  Their birthday was August 15, 1903.  One record states that little Inez lived to be six years of age, another states that she died very soon after birth.

Her brother, Louis still lives to bless the family, and is very interested in ancestral research.  His brother, Gerald, says, "My brother, the Rev. Louis O'Vander Thomas, has been very alert to pick up any family information."  Louis is a very outstanding individual and has lived a full and interesting life.  He has lived in many different places including: Slater Missouri, Bloomington and Peoria Illinois, Marshall Missouri, Winnsboro South Carolina, Burmingham Alabama, Jackson Mississippi and Natchez Mississippi, all since 1946.  He attended the Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, the A B Philadelphia Divinity School and The University of The South at Shawanee, Tennessee (B.D.).  Music and painting are his hobbies.  He married Alice N. Martin in Alabama on October 10, 1939.  They went to Hendersonville, North Carolina on their honeymoon.  He has served as an Episcopal Clergyman for forty-five years, from 1936 to the present time.  He enjoys the beauties of nature and has traveled to Canada and Mexico, as well as touring many places in the United States.  He now lives at 308 So. Commerce St., Natchez, Mississippi 39120.

The last child in Virgie's family was Mary Francis Thomas.  Her names are very common ones on our family tree.  She was born on October 26, 1906, in Saline County, and was Virgie's only daughter who lived to maturity.  She taught school practically all of her life.  After retiring from teaching, she made her home in Illinois.  I enjoyed corresponding with her for some time.  She seemed to be a very warm-hearted girl.  I have a picture of her and she is also very attractive.  She devoted her life to children, but as far as I know, she never married.

We owe her a lot, as she was instrumental in helping us find other family members.



Father and Adoline had another daughter who lived to maturity.  Her name was Minnie Estelle Young.  She was Virgie's sister, but they didn't know each other very well.  She was born in La Fayette or Marshall, Missouri on October 15, 1872.  (Twenty-three years before I was born.)  She was raised by her mother's brother and his fine wife.  They were kind enough to take her in when her mother died and left father alone.  Minnie married at a fairly early age, at least before she was twenty.  We have no record of her first marriage, but she had a son before she was twenty-one.  She named her little boy Archie Beaver, but she didn't live with his father too long.  Minnie later married a man by the name of William Benjamin Manness.  He was born near Shilo, Alabama in January 1858, which made him about fourteen years older than her.  When they were married, they legally adopted Archie Beaver.  William must have been a good man, because he was the father of some wonderful children.  Archie never married.  He was a great fellow to fish and hunt and brought home a lot of game for his mother to cook.  He lived with her all of his life.  After his step-father died, he still stayed at home.  Archie preceded his mother in death, some time in the early 40s.

William and Minnie also had a little girl who only lived until she was six or seven years of age.  She was born on April 16, 1899.  They named her Hazel, which was a popular name during that period.

The next child born to William and Minnie was a son.  They named him Melvin.  There are many exciting stories connected with each of these families.  At this point in my narrative, I can't resist the urge to tell a little bit about the circumstances which lead to the finding of my sister Minnie.

I had grown up knowing that Minnie and her sister, Virginia existed, but I had never seen them and didn't know where to begin looking for them.  Their names were always in the back of my mind, and there was an unsuppressible urge to find these long-lost half-sisters.  Finally, after trying unsuccessfully, for a number of years, to locate Minnie through another half-sister, my little niece, Norma Young Ericksen, who was gathering some genealogical data, wrote to an elderly gentleman in Missouri.  I believe his name was Gilman.  He told her that the only Young he knew, who was still living in the area, was Minnie Young.  He didn't know her married name or address, but he did give us the name of Virgie's daughter, Mary Francis Thomas.  I wrote to Mary and she sent me the married name of Minnie which was Manness, and her address which was in Wellington, Kansas.  I wrote her a long letter on my business stationary.  I later learned from her son, Elton, that it lay around the house, unopened for about a week.  It looked so impersonal in the large envelope that they figured it was an advertisement.  Finally, Elton came in one day, and out of boredom picked up the letter and read it.  He said, "Mother, do you know you have a brother?”  "No!" she said,.  "I haven't any brother.”  "The hell you haven't, here's a letter from him.”  After reading my letter, she was convinced, but somewhat stunned.  She must have been pleased, because I received a long answer from her as soon as she had read the letter.

She stated how surprised and elated she was to learn that she had a brother.  She later learned that she had seven.  It wasn't long until Christmas, and she sent me a nice big cake.  She wrote that if she had only known about her brothers years ago, she could have spent so many days, weeks and months with us in Utah.  Her husband, William, was a "railroader", and had a lifetime pass on the railroad.

One evening, when I was away from home working, a man knocked at my door.  It was Melvin Maness, Minnie's son, looking for his "old gray-headed uncle".  I didn't arrive home until after he had gone to bed.  When he discovered me the next morning he was very surprised to see that I was just nine years older than he was.

I took him all around and showed him my crops, since I was in the produce business in American Fork, Utah.  We had planted a large variety of vegetables.  I'll never forget his reaction when I showed him some of the celery, which was about six inches high.  I told him we only planned on grossing about $1,000.00 an acre for this product, as there was a lot of expense involved in raising it.  He didn't make a comment, but he looked rather skeptical.  After conversing for some time he said, "You know, if I could get a job as good as the one I have back home, I believe I'd like to move out to this country."  I asked him what he got.  He said he'd been with the Continental Oil Company for seventeen years as a bookkeeper, and was making $275.00 a month.  This was back in 1946.  I said, "Well, Melvin, I'll give you $275.00 a month if you'd like to come out and work for me.”  He said, "I'll talk it over with my wife."  A couple of weeks after he returned .home I got a letter from him.  He wrote, "We've sold our home and we'll be out in about a week."  When he arrived, we put him to work down in Cedar City, Utah, running an operation we had in that area, grading carrots and potatoes and supervising about sixty-five men.  He and his wife, Ruth worked there all that season until the fall shipping was completed.

The thing that amused me a great deal was Mel's reaction when I told him we figured on about $1,000.00 gross per acre on the celery.  He said, "You know, at the time you told me that, I thought, 'there's one of the biggest damn liars I've ever seen, right in my own family," But he was surprised to see that instead of grossing $1,000 per acre out of our celery that fall, we netted a little over $2,800.00 an acre.  It was an extra good year.  The Japanese had been shipped out of California into relocation camps because of tie Second World War, and New York had experienced a number of floods.  (New York is the second largest celery producing state in the nation.)  With California and New York handicapped, little Utah had everything her way that year.  Celery brought us $4.25 a crate straight through.

We had a lovely year and had many good times with Melvin and his wife, Ruth.  All of the members of the Young clan who lived in the area, joined together, and we went up to the American Fork Canyon about every other week for a steak or chicken fry.  I wore my big white apron and had fun serving as chef.  We enjoyed one another’s company immensely.  After the meal, we sang around the campfire in the dark and shared many choice feelings and experiences.  The Youngs always sing wherever they go; whether it be around a campfire, a guitar, a piano, or just while traveling in a car.  They all just burst into song.

Mel worked for us for two or three years.  Then he did a lot of bookkeeping for businessmen in the neighborhood.  Finally, he became a bookkeeper for Dick Miller who had a large building project consisting mostly of schoolhouses.  Mel was his secretary and bookkeeper for several years.

Mel was always a good sport.  We even had him working in the L.D.S. Church though he wasn't a member.  He was the chorister in Mutual for some time and he took part in dramatic productions.  He and his wife were associated with the little Community Church in American Fork and were quite settled in it.  He sang in the choir and enjoyed the companionship of the little group.

Melvin was driving off the freeway ramp one night about six o'clock when he had a severe stroke.  He died in the hospital the next morning.  He gained consciousness just long enough to answer a few questions, but was in a great deal of pain.  His death occurred on June 16, 1969.  They shipped his body to Kansas, and he is buried in the Wellington Cemetery.  His wife, Ruth Varney and his sister, Lucile went back to Kansas at that time and they are still living in Wellington.

Ruth made a great wife for Mel, because she also had a terrific sense of humor and a gift for dry wit.  She was famous for her quick "come backs".  When asked once how she felt about dieting, she said,  "It's my favorite pastime, I've lost thousands of pounds.”  Ruth is a redhead with a very fair complexion.

Mel and Ruth tried several ventures while they were in Utah.  Along with managing Utah Celery Company in Cedar City, and working as a secretary and bookkeeper, Mel also operated a teletype, and he even tried farming for a year.  He bought a little six-acre farm across from me and planted onions, but he didn't think very much of the farming proposition.  He sold the farm and bought a lovely home up in North-east American Fork.  He was the supervisor at the State Training School in American Fork while Ruth managed the cottages.  He even bought two restaurants in Lehi and tried his hand at that.  After all of his ventures, he went back to bookkeeping, which seemed to be his niche.  He was a super bookkeeper and kept one of the neatest sets of books I have ever seen.  His penmanship was outstanding.  He lived on a very high plane, had a natural bent for religion, and did everything to perfection.

Mel was also very talented.  He and I put on skits and stunts at musical productions.  These comic sketches always seemed to go over big.  I took the part of the woman, and Mel took the part of the man.  After a fun performance at my niece, Iva Young's wedding reception, one of the prominent men in American Fork asked me if we had done that professionally in the past.  All in all, we had some unforgettable times.  And I want to tell you, we surely missed Mel and Ruth when he passed away and she went back to the Midwest.  He was a good old scout, and I'm sure he and his family will be remembered for all of the great things they have done.

Now we come to Mel's younger sister, Lucile Manness.  She was the third child born to William and Minnie.  She and Mel were always really close, and when he came to Utah she did too.  Lucile was born to this special family on November 2, 1906.  She belonged to the Baptist Church, and was a very religious girl.  She participated in many activities and the last I heard, she was still singing in the choir in Kansas where she returned when Mel died.  Lucile never married, but she enjoyed her extended family a great deal.  She can always be counted on to send a cheery note and a Christmas card, even to second and third cousins.  Lucile worked as a telephone operator for many years - first in Texas, then in American Fork, Utah, (from 1945 through 1946) and finally in Salt Lake City, Utah where she transferred and worked until she retired.  She kept her own little apartment all of her adult life and enjoyed traveling on special tours, and getting together with the family.  She retired shortly before Mel's death and went back to Kansas with Ruth at the time of her brother's passing.  We have missed her a great deal since she left, because we had so many good times together.  Ruth was operated on recently and is not too well.  Lucile has Parkinson's disease and isn't able to do as many things as she would like to.  Both Ruth and Lucile live in their own little apartments and we hear from them occasionally.

Mel & Lucile's mother, Minnie, married again in later years, to Mr. Hutchinson.  She had one son by him and they named him Elton.  I went back to their home in 1945 or 46 to meet my sister, Minnie.  We had several choice visits, but I always regretted the fact that it had taken me so long to find her.  I couldn't have expected her to find me, because she didn't even know I existed.  While visiting in Minnie's home, I had the privilege of meeting her son, Elton and his wife and family.  They were living with her at the time.  Elton and his wife, Lula were a lovely couple with two beautiful children.  Their boy, Gary was about eight at the time and Marilyn must have been about two.  Elton was running a service station.  He was a big tall handsome fellow with personality plus.  I don't think he ever met a stranger.  He had a beautiful singing voice, as did his brother, Mel.  I was so grateful for the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Elton, and so glad that he was part of our family.  While Elton was still a young man in his late 40s, he developed cirrhosis of the liver and passed away.

Elton's two children, Gary and Marilyn both came out to Utah when they grew up.  Gary went to school here for some time, but finally went back to Wellington where he got a job with the Santa Fe Railroad.  I believe he is a conductor at this time.  He has a lovely wife, Marlene, and four darling children, Kevin, Marla, Julie and Joni.  The first two were twins.  They are all doing well in Kansas.

His sister, Marilyn, took up beauty culture and is a beauty operator in Witchita.  She is a special girl with a winning personality and has the added bonus of being beautiful.  She has been out to Utah with her mother, Lula, several times.  Lula was also a very charming person who was a gourmet cook and a delight to be around.  She came west with Elton before he passed away, and also a few years later to bring her children.  On her last visit, she seemed to be the picture of health.  When I told her how well she looked, she said, “I'm not though Thornt".  A short time after she went back home she passed away.  She had some kind of liver trouble that had occurred in several members of her family.  After they got the disease, they only lasted a short time.  The doctor could just about tell when their time would come.

Elton and Lula's children are my sister Minnie's only descendants.  We are sure they will carry on the great family traditions established by their grandmother, Minnie Estelle Young




Sometime after father's wife, Adoline passed away, he sought companionship and became quite intimately acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Peter Catlet Marshall, or "Cat" and "Betty, as he called them.  Father, who was about forty years old at the time, spent many evenings conversing around the fire and playing cards in the Marshall home with his young friends: Catlet, thirty and Betty, twenty-one.  The couple had married when Betty was only sixteen years of age and had been together for over five years.  They had two small children: little Jessie, three and new-born, "Frankie".

Father was among friends and felt almost like family.  "Cat's" brother, Robert had married father's sister, Margaret.  And, father had known the family since he moved to Missouri, seventeen years before.

His acquaintance with Betty Gorrell's family had been even longer.  He had been aware of her parents back in Berkeley County, Virginia, before the Gorrells preceded the Youngs to Missouri.  The family of Gorrells who lived next door to him when he was growing up were just one of many.  The Gorrells were very prominent and numerous in father's home town of Martinsburg.

"The Martinsburg Gazette" mentioned Gorrells in every issue.  One gentleman who was having troubles with trespassers had the same name as Betty's father.  The following article appeared on August 21, 1812:


All persons are herby cautioned against hunting, fishing, throwing down fences, carrying off apples, passing through the fields, or any other enclosures, cutting down and hauling off the timber, or trespassing in any manner on my farm on Opeckon, as prosecutions will positively be commenced against all offenders from the date hereof.


The Youngs were also advertising in the paper.  On January 22, 1813, five months after the above article appeared, Nathan Young, who had been appointed co-executrix for the Thomas Middleton property, advertised land for sale:


To be sold at public sale, on Thursday, the 4th day of March (1813) next, at the subscriber's on the premises, on Back Creek, opposite to Mill's Gap, 16 miles from Winchester, 12 miles from Martinsburg and 3 from Gerrard's Town, an excellent plantation, the property of Thomas Middleton, deceased.  It contains one-hundred and between forty and fifty acres, about eighty acres cleared, twenty acres of good bottom, fifteen acres of good meadow, and as much more can be made.  The whole plantation is very level, and natural to grass with pretty good buildings, such as houses, barn; blacksmith's shop, smokehouse, and other out-houses, with a good pump at the door, and water in every field, a very excellent orchard, the whole under fence, and in good order.  One-third of the purchase money will be expected to be paid down, the balance in two equal annual payments.

Also will be sold at the same time and on the same terms, a house and lot containing 2 acres, in Gano Town.


 NATHAN YOUNG           Ex'rs

January 22, 1813 59

Betty Gorrell's grandmother was a Van Meter whose ancestors came from Holland and England.  Her family was also very well known in Martinsburg and many of them intermarried with the Gorrells.  They were landholders and were constantly offering land for sale.  On March 18, 1824, John Alburtis was attempting to sell the following land for them:

I am authorized to sell the third part of land upon which I at present reside situated on Opeckon Creek, near Newcomer's Mill, being part of the farm lately owned by J. Van Meter sen. dec' d. 60.  This part contains about 120 acres...60

John Van Meter was a school teacher in the area.  Ten years before the above ad appeared, he ran the following notice in the newspaper.  It apparently made him unpopular with the young fishermen in the area:


The subscriber having sustained considerable loss from evil disposed persons passing through his farm, on Opeckon Creek in this county, pulling down fences, cutting wood on his land, injuring his meadows, by fishing in the creek, and committing other depredations much to his injury and vexation, is determined not to submit, any longer, to any kind of trespass upon his property, therefore gives this public notice, that he will prosecute, every person who nay in the future be guilty of any of the above or the like immoral and illegal practices.


March 31, 1814 61

A few weeks after the above notice appeared, it was followed by another complaint submitted by the same subscriber, John Van Meter.  It almost makes him appear to be the "town’ crank".  It was only April 28, and somewhat early for fishing, but the following ad seems to be the result of retaliation.


Within the 2 months last past the school house belonging to the subscriber situated in sight of the Baptist meeting-house and near the old bridge on Opeckon has twice been assaulted with stones, by several evil disposed persons, the windows thereof broken etc.  In order that these depredations nay be brought to justice their crimes demised, I will give a reward of fifteen dollars to any person who will give such information as will convict the offenders.

JOHN VANMETER April 28, 181462

John VanMeter was also active in politics and was appointed to represent Hardy County in Washington D.C. in November 1823.  The delegates were concerned about the Potomac CanalHardy County was a little ways from Berkeley County.  Perhaps he had moved by then.

Apparently, the Gorrells, VanMeters and Youngs lived close to each other as they were numbered by each other in the census records.  It's interesting to read the newspapers of their day.  It helps us to know what goods and property they owned and to be aware of their business of the day.  On October 7, 1824, William Gorrell Jr. was selling some of his property.  It was another Administrator's Sale:

Will be offered at public auction on Wed. 20th Oct. inst.  At the subscriber's farm, two miles from Martinsburg adjoining the Sulphur Spring farm, Work Horses, 3 first-rate brood mares, cows, hogs and sheep, farming implements of every description such as wagons".  Ploughs, harrows, an excellent sleigh etc.  Household and kitchen furniture-a first-rate sideboard etc. etc. Nine months credit will be given the purchaser giving bond with approved security, for all sums over 5 dollars - under that sum, cash.  The sale to commence early in the day.


I can't imagine anything on the above being under $5.00.

In 1843, the Joseph Gorrell family moved from Berkeley County, Virginia to Saline County, Missouri, stayed a year and then moved on to Pettis County, Missouri where the father of the family, William Gorrell died around 1856.  On page 644 of "The History of Saline County", published in 1881, it states:

Joseph, the oldest son, stayed with his father until 22 years of age.  In 1858, he came to Saline County, Missouri and settled on the farm on which he now lives, 100 acres of farm land, 10 miles east of Marshall.(Note - Orearville is about 10 miles north east of Marshall.)

He was first married in 1833 to Miss Priscilla Blue of Berkeley County, Virginia.  They had three children, all living:  William, James P. and John P.  His first wife died in 1948.  He afterwards married Miss Elmira Miller and they had one child, a girl.  (This was Elizabeth (Betty) Correll.)  His third wife died, and he was married the fourth and last time to Widow Marshall, daughter of Robert Orear.64

I wish I knew more about father's connections with these families.  All I know is he spent enough time with Betty to gain her love.  And, in about 1877, she decided to leave her husband, Catlet Marshall and go with my father.  They took her two small children, Jessie four, and Frank under a. year, and went across the Missouri River into Valley Falls, Kansas.

Much is left to the imagination, but whatever her circumstances, Betty didn't turn back.  She stayed with father for the rest of her short life and bore him six children in twelve years.

According to tradition, father took a job as a miller in Valley Falls.  He was paid $75.00 a month, a good living for the time, and furnished with a house and other incidentals to take care of his newly acquired wife and two children.

On January 6, 1878, while they were still in Kansas, the first child of their union was born.  They called him "Harry" after his father.  However, his full name was Benjamin Harrison the same as the Congressman who became President of the United States ten years later.  They now had three children, father's step-daughter, who was born in 1873, his step-son, who was born during the Centennial year, 1876, and their new baby.

One night after father had retired for the evening, something went wrong at the mill, and they called him out of bed to go fix it.  He pulled on his clothes, made a trip to the mill to take care of the problem, and hadn't much more than returned home and crawled back into bed, when they came again pounding on his door calling for help.  Apparently, the job had been very demanding.  Father resented the intrusion and invasion on his privacy, became irritated, and quit his job.

Father and Betty then moved back across the river and down to a little Missouri community called Woodruff, where they obtained a small wooded farm.  Father had to clear the timber from most of the patch o ground before he, could begin to sew his seeds.  Many farmers were plant­ing tobacco and hemp to sell, but father, who never had more than a few acres that he could farm to feed his family, raised potatoes, corn, tomatoes and table vegetables.  His only luxury was a little patch of tobacco for his own use.

The Marshalls had been rather well-to-do and Betty probably had not been used to the challenging situations in which she found herself.  But, her courage was apparently undaunted as she did all she could to help make a living on the small farm.  She raised turkeys and chickens, and the turkeys enjoyed eating the big green worms which they picked from the large leaves in father's tobacco patch.  As a result of Betty's resolve to meet the rigors of her new life, the family did fairly well in spite of crowded conditions in their tiny home.

When Benjamin Harrison was two years old, Betty Gorrell gave birth to another son.  He was a winter baby, just as her others had been, born February 10, 1880.  They named him Kennie Lewis.  At the time of his arrival the headlines in the paper centered around the $5,000.00 reward for the arrest of Jessie James.  But, in Kennie's little birthplace town of Woodruff, too small to even appear on the map, there was probably less concern than there was in the areas where banks were being robbed and trains were being held up.  The only place near them that might have had enough money to rob, was a small town called Weston where they did their trading.  It was located close to the Kansas border.

In 1882, the year Jessie James was finally killed by a member of his own gang, father and Betty had enough life and death struggles to worry about within the walls of their own home.  It was a full-time job just to keep bread on the table.  And they had recently added another mouth to feed, when Betty gave birth to their third child, a little girl they named, Zella.  She was born on April Fool's Day, which made her two years and two months younger than her brother, Kennie.  But, her nine-year-old sister, Jessie probably considered her a special April surprise after having three little brothers in a row.

With the new arrival, the house was bulging at every seam.  Father had no choice but to build on a new addition to their house to help accommodate his large, ever-growing family.  He cut and sawed his own logs and added a lean-to.

They must have had many "ups" during this period in their lives, but the stories I've heard centered mostly around the "downs", as father struggled for survival.  At one time, during their nine-year stay in Woodruff, father had accumulated seventy-five to a hundred fat hogs, which must have been bought at great sacrifice to the family.  Just when father planned on realizing some money from the sale of his animals, they began a siege of severe vomiting and dysentery.  Their faces became pinched, their bellies caved in, and all but one died of the cholera.  This was a crushing blow to father, and put him in a state of depression.

At that time, he had to use all of the ingenuity he could muster to keep the family from starving.  One money-making project consisted of cutting the excess timber from his land, burning it, and selling the charcoal in the nearby towns.  It was certainly a dirty job, but he didn't shrink at anything.  There was a little mill on the creek between Woodruff and Weston.  When they needed another hand, father worked there.  A more industrious man never lived than my father.  He worked hard and he worked continuously, but he never seemed able to get ahead.  Perhaps this was due to poor management.

When he got in a bind, he had no extended family to fall back on.  He had ostracized himself from his relatives when he left Marshall, Missouri with Betty Gorrell.  His six brothers and two sisters and even his cousins and friends all disowned him.  He was left alone to pay the price for his unorthodox behavior.  He started a new life, and after that, never corresponded much with the people from his old one.

In 1884, when Zella was two years old, Betty gave birth to another little son.  They named him Johnie, but didn't get to enjoy his associations for long.  He died when he was only three or four years old.  A year after Johnie's birth, Betty, who was only thirty years old, was expecting her seventh child.  It was her fifth since her marriage to father.  This child was born on the first day of December.  They named him Luther VanMeter Young.  The middle name was the surname of Betty's grandmother.

Less than three years after Luther's birth, Betty, who was still young and pretty became pregnant again.  This delivery cost her her life.  The baby, who was born on their first son, Harry's eleventh birthday, January 6, 1889, was named Elizabeth, after her mother.  But, within a two-week period after her arrival, she and her mother were both dead.

While father was still in shock over the loss of his beautiful Betty, and their baby, Elizabeth, he made preparations for their burial.  In the cold January weather, when the ground was partially frozen, he dug their grave.  Nine-year-old Kennie and seven-year-old Zella looked on.  The experience painted indelible pictures on their young minds.  They remembered seeing him take the lines out of his harness and put them around the casket to lower it into the grave.  As long as they lived, they could still picture his tear-stained face as he dabbed at his eyes with a black-bordered white handkerchief.  Sixty-nine years after the experience, when the children visited the grave in their old age, they identified the spot without any difficulty.  It was by a little meeting house at Pleasant Hill, Jackson County Missouri, approximately thirty feet from the north east window on the west side of the church.  Years later, my mother told me how petite and beautiful Betty was.  Mother spoke of her long auburn hair and flawless complexion.

Luther, who was about four years old at the time of his mother's death, became the baby of the family, since Johnie just older than him and little Elizabeth just younger, had both died.  Father was very attached to Luther and didn't want the family split up.

When father left Woodruff, he had lost his wife and baby, his home and farm and all of those hogs.  He had a doctor bill to pay and even burial costs, though he had done much of the work himself.  He built a new home, with materials he had mortgaged his little place to purchase.  When he was unable to pay the debt, his home was taken from him by creditors.

Seven-year-old Zella stayed in Woodruff with a special family until she grew up.  I assume Harry lived with someone else too, because he was only eleven and couldn't have survived on his own.  Even though he was very independent, and had a great deal of pluck.  He made it to adulthood, and somehow or other, worked his way through college at Chillicothe, Missouri.  I have a picture of him, but I never remember of seeing Harry in person at any time.  As a result of the separate paths our lives took, he seems more like a distant relative than a brother and uncle.  If this book falls into the hands of any of his descendants, perhaps we can get to know them, and feel closer to Harry as a result.  I do know that this oldest boy of father and Betty married Della White from Little Rock, Arkansas, and moved to Montana where he worked for Western Photography.  After their only child was born, he and Della had problems and were away from each other when he heard that their baby was sick.  He started home to see the little one, but on the way, received word that his child had died.  While still in a state of shock, he discontinued his journey and never returned home.

Harry had many struggles as a youth, probably more than we'll ever know about.  He weaned himself from his kindred at an early age, but apparently still felt the pull of family ties.  In about 1897, when he was a lad of nineteen, he went to Woodruff, Missouri, to spend two weeks with his seventeen-year-old brother, Kennie.  The rest of the family lived down in Franklin County at the time.  Six years later, when he was twenty-five, he wrote a couple of letters to his sister, Zella.  He wanted her to help him get a special girl he was courting at the time.  He later married the girl, and we lost track of him.

We do know that while Harry was in Montana, he worked for Great Northern Railroad, either as a brakeman or a fireman.  He lived in the County seat of Livingston, in south central Montana, just a little north of Yellowstone Park.  It has been a hundred and two years since he was born.  He must have passed on, and we could have access to the records.  I hope a family member takes on this special project, as we know nothing whatsoever about his death, possible family, or the last years of his life.




Probably no child felt the loss of a mother as keenly as did sixteen-year-old, Jessie Marshall who had worked so closely with her mother, Betty, in assuming responsibility for the large family of younger children.  Jessie, who was less than eighteen years younger than Betty, had enjoyed a lifelong relationship as her mother's special confidante and friend.  Now she was on her own.

Father, who had buried three companions, and lost everything else he had except his children, took Jessie to wife and they moved across the Missouri border into Leavenworth, Kansas to continue their struggle for survival as a family.  He worked at whatever odd jobs he could find, and they stayed there for a long, bleak winter.

Kansas was quite a unique state.  During the Civil War, she had sent more men to the Union Army, in proportion to her population than any other state.  After the official fighting had ceased, thousands of union veterans and newly freed slaves flocked into Kansas to claim land.  Other groups descended on Kansas too.  In the 1870s, Mennonites from Russia carne and brought their unique style of living.  They carried with them a variety of wheat called Turkey Red.  It became a popular crop in the area because the farmers were able to plant it in the fall instead of the spring.  That way it was harvested early and escaped lots of insects and diseases.  Those who had land were beginning to prosper, but father was not among them.  He counted his wealth in children.  And, Jessie, who had given up her childhood to help raise the family, after the death of Betty, devoted the rest of her life to helping hold them together.  Her thirteen-year-old brother, Frank, along with her eleven-year-old step-brother, Harry, and her seven-year-old step-sister, Zella, (who elected to live elsewhere) were only with the family part of the time.  But, to nine-year-old, Kennie and four-year-old, Luther, she became a second mother.

In the early spring of 1890, on March 27, just twenty-four days after mother's seventeenth birthday, she gave birth to her first-born son.  He had very blue eyes, dark curly hair, and small hands and feet like his mother.  They named him Leonard Kane Young.

He was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, which is the oldest city in the state.  It's on the Missouri River about thirty miles north-west of Kansas City.  The fort, which is close to the city, was established around 1827.  For a number of years, it was the most important army post on the western frontier.

Jessie had been accustomed to helping her mother care for the babies in the family, but, somehow, having her very own child was different and a little more frightening, especially when a covered wagon home was their only protection against the windy March and rainy April weather.

There had been a horrible draught in Kansas during the late 1880s and the farmers were trying to pick themselves back up.  Fath­er must have felt some pangs of desperation too, because about this time, he swallowed his pride and wrote to his brother, George, who was ten years his senior, apparently asking for help.  In father's letter, he must have mentioned a share of something because George wrote back and said, "Well, Harry, you seem to have had your share of women."  This offended father and he never wrote to his brothers and sisters again, even though he must have had many occasions when he longed for their loving support.

Because father married so many times, he may have appeared, to a casual observer, to be a "lady's man".  But, all of his wives were lost in death.  While they lived, he firmly adhered to duty and stayed loyal and true to one at a time.

Once, when father was in his fifties, Kennie went with him to do chores for a neighbor whose husband had been called away from home.  Kennie said the wife made advances at father, who even at that age was apparently still handsome.  Father said, "I have a wife at home, and one woman is enough for any man".

As soon after the birth of Leonard as Jessie could travel, the family moved a short distance out of Leavenworth and rented a small piece of land with no house on it.  They spent the entire summer living in their wagon.

When it was spring, and time to plant, dad and ten-year--old, Kennie farmed the patch of ground and raised enough food for the family to exist on.  Jessie, without any outside help, took care of the needs of four-year-old Luther and her new little son.  She hauled water to do the wash, cooked out of doors, fed and changed a new baby and tried to make a home in the wilderness.  Harry, who was only twelve, had been there a while, but left shortly after the baby was born.

Some of the farmers were doing quite well, but they were the "big guys" in 1894, just before I was born, wheat became the leading crop in Kansas, and the state was called, "the Bread Basket of America".

With no reason to stay in the area after the crops were harvested, the family moved to another tiny dwelling in Sarcoxie, Douglas County, Kansas, somewhere near Tonganoxie.  There wasn't much town to the place, but there was another patch of ground to be planted and a small dwelling they could move their few belongings in to.  The folks called it "The White House".  I can't imagine why, unless it had traces of white-wash left on the weathered boards.  It was a little shack set up on blocks.  Father cut a big log to prop to one side in an effort to keep the house from being blown over by the wind.  And, mother made it into a home.

In those humble circumstances, father and Jessie's second child, a beautiful little girl whose smile brought a ray of sunshine into the home, was born.  Her birth occurred on November 10, 1892, when Leonard was two and a half years old.  They named her Olive Lorena.  But, to the family, she was never anything but "Ollie".  In those days, most people used midwives or "handmaidens", as they called them, to deliver all of their children.  The woman who assisted Jessie with the birth of Ollie was an old colored lady.

After Ollie was born, the family moved, in a road wagon, to Tonganoxie.  The dirt trail they traveled on was rough and unlovely except for the colorful autumn leaves on the rows of sycamore trees which made a beautiful backdrop for the crumbling rail fences.  The family didn't know what a paved road was.  In 1900, there were only two-hundred miles of paved roads, outside of big cities, in all of the United States.

On April 2, 1895, after the family had established themselves at their new location, in another little modest home, I was born.  We were still in Douglas County, in the backwoods country of Kansas and it was corn-planting time.  Father, who may have considered himself an outcast, must have felt some tugs at his heart-strings when he thought of family ties, because he named me Joseph Thornton after his minister brother who was thirteen years older than him.

Father and his brother, Joseph Thornton, in addition to sharing the same parents had at least one other thing in common.  They were both born in December.  I've been told that my hair was blond, and that I looked a lot like mother.

Our family lived in the Tonganoxie area for about a year, then moved to a farm they called “The Carsey Place".  It was south towards Lawrence.  While there, our situation became progressively worse.  Before the move, dad had raised corn which sold for fifteen cents a bushel.  Now, while on "The Carsey Place", the big crib of field-corn they raised could not be sold for a penny.  We owned no stock to feed it to, so we burned it through the winter in place of firewood.  My older brother, Kennie, told me that, father gave the family cow to the landlord for rent because he had nothing else to pay.

At that time, the family made a big move.  They traveled way south to about eight miles north of Ottawa, (still in Kansas) and settled on what they called "The Old Barker Place".  In the tiny house on that property, mother gave birth to another baby girl, her fourth child and father's fifteenth.  They named this little dimpled beauty Hazel Marguerite.  Her arrival on October 10, 1897; marked the end of an era.  She became the baby of father and mother's children.  Father had sired eight girls and seven boys, twelve of whom lived to maturity.  Mother was only twenty-four and a half years of age and had already given birth to all of the children she would have.  Our family stayed on the old Barker Place for one or two years.

Then, on a cold February day, we moved twenty miles away to a little farm along the Marais des Cygne River near Ottawa.  This place was rich bottomland, but flooded out about every other year because it was on level ground so close to the water.  When the river swelled the least bit, it covered the surrounding areas.

We lived on the riverbank for two years, (1900 and 1901) then moved across the water and up the hollow to a place near Rantoul, Franklin County, Kansas.  It was in the timber and equipped with a small two-room house.  Our bed was reached by climbing a crude make-shift ladder to some quilts on the rafter boards.  The place had a little ground that was cleared for planting corn.  Dad built a barn and we had an old dirt cellar close by the house.  There was a beautiful little spring down under the hill about fifty yards from our door.  I can picture it all in my mind, and from this period of time on, I remember many things.

One vivid memory centers around the old -dirt cellar which mom used as a shelter.  Whenever a tornado threatened, she grabbed all of us kids and took cover until the danger had passed.  While we were hiding out, waiting £or the wind to subside, dad slept in the house or went about his business in the yard and laughed at us.

That year I remember dad got out some logs and the older boys helped him build a little barn.  The chickens roosted in it and the nests were above our heads.  When we reached to get the eggs, oc­casionally we'd grab hold of a big black snake.  They liked eggs too.  I also remember the horseflies that pestered the cows and the rats that played "hide and seek" in the corn crib.  There were pleasant sights too, wild violets, mountain daisies, rooster heads and, of course, the sunflowers.  This farm is all tall timber now.  Three oil wells have been drilled on the place.  Land is worth one-hundred times its original cost.

Dad planted a couple of acres of what they called "bloody-butcher" corn.  It was a very early variety, kind of brown and speckled in color- a really nice crop.  Dad always had a few cantaloupes, a watermelon patch and his little stand of tobacco.  I remember watching him go up to this new ground.  The timber had just been cut off.  Even the tops hadn't been burned yet.  He cleaned up the ground, clear back to the canebrakes, burned the tops from the stumps, and planted half an acre to an acre in watermelons.  And, Oh!  Such melons as father did have.  He could really grow watermelons!  I remember very distinctly making two trips with him to carry loads of these melons he had taken from this little patch.  We went to Paola.  It must have been ten or twelve miles, straight east from our home.  After we unloaded the big melons, we unhooked the horses and fed them; then went up the road and entered a saloon.  I remember dad bought him a beer and ordered me a ginger ale .I sure thought that was something.  I was about seven years old at the time, but felt like a man.

Kansas may be considered a dry state, but drinking was always a problem there.  The people in the state had been used to fighting for their rights and many of them were very stubborn.  The saloons were selling hard liquors, in violation of Kansas' prohibition law.  Things were changed a little bit when a woman named Carry A. Nation became famous for smashing up a number of saloons with a hatchet.

I have many fond memories of my seventh year, but central to all of them is my picture of mother.  I guess every young boy sees his mother as beautiful and I was no exception.  She stood about four feet eleven inches tall, on feet that wore a size three shoe.  But, she seemed big to me.  Her eyes were blue with a twinkle in them, and her hair was long and brown and usually wrapped around her head in a twist.

Mother had tiny hands, but they weren't afraid to do whatever task was required of them.  She had an old stove that only baked about half of the time.  But, she could cook just about anything and make it taste good from side meat and greens with a biscuit or corn-bread, when pickings were slim, to chicken and dumplings topped off with berry pies when they could be had.  She sewed and made clothes with whatever could be found and used left-over scraps to fashion hand-pieced quilts.

She was very generous with everything she had and would not turn a stranger away hungry if she could find a morsel of food.  In later years, when she had a little money, she became a "pushover" for every traveling salesman who came to her door.

She was very proud of her heritage and claimed relationship with all of the Marshalls.  Every family member was dear to her and the more she could have around her, the better she felt.

In many ways, mother seemed to be a girl all of her life.  She was always ready to do things with her children.  When my sisters grew up, many people mistook them for mother’s sisters, especially Ollie.  Mother loved fun and music, from the sounds of her yellow canary to the sounds of her family singing around the piano, that she acquired in later life.  She was fond of all beautiful things.  After her family was raised, she wore flowered dresses and spent her money on rose-sprigged china plates.

She loved all of our Father in heaven's creations from the beauties of nature to her little Manchester Terrier named "Dickie" who became her constant companion in her declining years.  But, many of these memories are of later times.  During my childhood, she made do with less than the bare essentials.

Pa, as we sometimes called him, played the fiddle and had a good singing voice.  He never sang before a group, but was always singing “little ditties” wherever he went.  The one that stands out most forcibly in my mind is, "Old Dog Tray never fails me, grief cannot drive him away.  He's gentle he is kind, I'll never never find, a better friend than Old Dog Tray."

Father didn't talk much about religion.  In fact, he didn't talk much at all.  The only time I ever remember seeing father attend church was one time when he got dressed up and went with mother to some camp meetings.  He was quite independent, and seemed to have formed his own code of ethics.

Father always kept his word, it was his bond.  If he had an appointment, he made sure he was there.  He was also very consistent in his discipline.  Any time we did something he told us not to, we got a licken.  There were certain things he didn't allow, and we knew ahead of time what they were.  Father didn't think it was necessary for us to run off with our friends.  When I wanted to go squirrel hunting with the neighbors, I got so I wouldn’t ask.  I'd just go anyway, and take the licken when I got home.

In spite of being flooded out on a couple of occasions while we lived on the south side of the river, we raised enough food that we were able to accumulate a bit of stock with our harvest money.  When we moved to our next home, we had three or four cows, a little old team of horses, and wonder of wonder, some money that mother had heired from her namesake, Uncle Jessie.  He was an old bachelor with no children to leave his money to, so he specified that it should be divided evenly between mother and her brother, Frank.  They were to receive $800.00 each.

Mother had the full $1600.00, and had a hard time locating Uncle Frank so she could give him his share.  She wrote to Walla Walla, Washington where he was supposed to be, and the letters kept coming back.  Finally, she sent a note with a thirty-day return, and that letter stayed long enough to find him.  He apparently didn't get into town to often and must not have been concerned, about mail.  He was kind of a bronko twister and frontier man, but a great man with a horse when he controlled his temper.

Uncle Frank came and they divided the money.  It put us on our feet a little bit.  We took our $800.00 and went out south of Rantoul two miles and bought an eighty acre, farm for $1,600.00 with a promise to pay the other half later.  The place had a rock-chimneyed, story, and a half house that was in fair condition.  It was set on a hillside with a tall foundation on the east of the structure and a very little foundation on the west.  It was situated back off the road with a big front yard that ran down to the main drag, probably two-hundred yards.  The entry way was set off with two large rows of pine trees that ran nearly all the way to the road.  There was a big bunch of peonies planted between each pair of trees.  It made a pretty nice setting for a home.  It had a barn out back and acreage on the south that the boys and father put in red clover and timothy.

No fertilizer had been added to the farmland for years.  It was foul full of cockleburs and saw briers and pretty run down.  The orchard was still producing and had peach, apple and apricot, trees on it.  Dad and the boys used what ground they could to plant corn and a variety of vegetables for our table.

Luther worked for mother and dad the first year we moved out there.  He was nineteen years old and they paid him $20.00 a month.  They felt a little richer than they were and bought a big team of horses, which they should never have purchased.  They also raised a bunch of hogs, and for a while got along fairly well.

Dad salted down the pork and cured it himself.  He made loin sausage out of the meat pork chops are made of today.  Mother raised chickens and was not above cleaning and plucking them before she prepared them for the table.

Life was going on around us and we were somewhat aware of it.  In 1904, the World's Fair was held in St. Louis, Missouri and everyone was singing, "Meet Me In Saint Louis Louie.  We were in Kansas, but even in our backwoods area, we heard about it.  The big spectacle at­tracted over 20 million people from the United States and other countries.  A popular exhibit featured automobiles.  We were impressed because one of the horseless carriages had been driven all the way from New York City to Saint "Louie" under its own power.

In April 1905, Kennie married Myrtle and three months later in July, Luther and Bertha "tied the knot".  Kennie was twenty-five years old, and I believe Luther would have been twenty on his next birthday.  When they were gone, that left dad and Leonard and I who were still pretty young to do the farming.  Leonard had just turned fifteen the last part of March, and I was barely ten.  Dad was getting old and tired.

In December, just a short time before Christmas, dad had been out cutting hedge posts.  The hedges in that part of the country grow up fifteen feet or better and make dandy fences.  Some of the stems are six to eight inches through.  Dad came in from his job, and I remember it all so well.  He said, "I'm sick", and he looked really bad.  He went to bed and never worked another day after that.  His feet swelled up to twice their original size and turned so purple they were almost black.  Our neighbor, Allie Scoville came and helped mother.  On February 19, 1906, he passed away.  Luther and Kennie weren't able to attend the funeral because they had the measles, but the rest of us were there.

His death left our family in dire circumstances.  We had a $115.00 doctor bill to pay plus dad's funeral expenses.  Uncle Frank, mother's brother who had bought a farm east of us a ways, came to our rescue.

He loaned mother enough money to put dad away and pay the doctor bill.

A short time after that, in the early spring, Uncle Frank decided to sell out and go back to Washington.  He had to have his money.  Previous to that, Luther had come out from Osawatomie where he lived after his marriage, and had traded the equity in our farm straight across for a little frame house in Osawatomie, Kansas.  Luther lived in the house until after his first child was born, as mother was living with the people she worked for.  In order to give Uncle Frank his money, mother mortgaged the little home for the $300.00 she owed him.  She was never able to pay the mortgage, so she lost the house before she ever got to live in it.  This left our family homeless and destitute.  We each went our separate ways.  The memories I relate barely scratch the surface as I recall some of the experiences each of my special brothers and sisters had, especially the six with whom I was most closely associated.



46The Virginia Republican, May 16, 1860.

47M.H. Gardiner and A.H. Gardiner, pp. 97-98.

48The Martinsburg Gazette, May 26,1 842.

49M.H. Gardiner and A.H. Gardiner, p. 102.

50The Virginia Republican, July 17, 1848.

51The Virginia Free Press, April 27, 1843.

52The Virginia Republican, July 4, 1850.

53TheWorld Book Encyclopedia, M Book, p. 557.

54Missouri Historical Society, History of Saline County

St. Louis Missouri: Historical Company 1881, p. 3 7.

55Ibid, p. 287.

56Ibid, pp. 659-660.

57Thomas, Gerald Carthrae, Story in his-possession.

58The Martinsburg Gazette, Aug. 21, 1812.

59Ibid, Jan. 22, 1813.

60Ibid, March 18, 1824.

61Ibid, March 31, 1814.

62Ibid, April 28, 1814.

63Ibid, October 7, 1824.

64Missouri Historical Society, History of Saline County.

        St Louis Missouri: Historical Company 1881, p. 6



Email Us