Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Atkinson and Lippincott - Their Ancestors and Descendants

Atkinson and Lippincott - Their Ancestors and Descendants is a 61-page book about these Monroe Co., Ohio families. Co-authors of the piece were: Robert R. Guilinger, Gary K. Chesney, Richard E. Henthorn and Thomas W. Lambert. Mr. Lambert posted the information on the Internet.

Family Tree Maker's Genealogy Site: User Home Page Book: Atkinson and Lippincott - Their ancestors and Descendants: Title Page

"Conger Family of America"

Libraries Holding
Conger Publications
H. Maxine (Crowell) Leonard
(Donors Names in Parenthesis)

Note: If you are able to provide further information that would add to this list your input would be welcome. In particular, I would like to record the names of libraries holding copies of Volume Two. I'm also willing to add the names of individuals who own copies. Richard Henthorn owns copies of both Volumes One and Two.

Conger Family of America
Volume One

  • Los Angeles Public, Los Angeles (Maxine Leonard)
  • Vallejo Public (Dave L.)
  • Denver Public, Denver (John F. Conger)
  • Fort Collins Public, Fort Collins, CO
  • LDS Library, Colorado Springs (Maxine Leonard)
  • Connecticut State, Hartford
District of Columbia
  • Library of Congress (Maxine Leonard)
  • DAR Library
  • Atlantic Public, Atlanta ( Ledlie W. Conger & Ledlie W. Conger, Jr.)
  • Newbury Library, Chicago (Lauren T. Conger)
  • Indiana State, Indianapolis
  • Iowa Historical Society, Des Moines (Maxine Leonard)
  • Iowa Genealogical Society, Des Moines (Maxine Leonard)
  • LDS Library, Ames (Maxine Leonard)
  • NE Iowa Genealogical Society, Waterloo, (Maxine Leonard)
  • Jonathan Clark Conger House, Washington (Maxine Leonard)
  • Iowa State Historical Society, Iowa City (Maxine Leonard)
  • Oelwein Public, Oelwein (Violet Sims)
  • New England Historical and Genealogical Society, Boston (Maxine Leonard)
  • Michigan State, Lansing (1973 Conger-Gregation Cousins)
  • First Regional Library, Hernando, MS (James Frank Conger)
  • St. Louis Public, St. Louis
  • Jefferson Memorial, St. Louis
  • Kansas City Public, Kansas City (Maxine Leonard)
New Jersey
  • New Jersey State, Trenton
  • New Jersey Historical Society, Newark
  • Somerset County Library, Somerville (Clyde Conger)
  • Woodbridge Public, Woodbridge (1973 Conger-Gregation Cousins)
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick
New York
  • New York Public, New York City
  • Onondaga Public, Syracuse
  • New York State, Albany
  • Buffalo Public, Buffalo (Norma Harvey)
  • Cincinnati Public, Cincinnati
  • Western Reserve, Cleveland (Eunice Halls and Peninsula Cousins)
  • Lyme Church, Bellevue (Maxine Leonard)
  • Preble County Historical Library, Eaton (Jack Daugherty and Maxine Leonard)
  • Justin Potter Library, Smithville (Fannie Conger Hayes)
  • Dallas Public, Dallas (Nanette Reichert)
  • Clayton Library, Houston (Keith Conger)
  • Southwestern Genealogical, El Paso (Maxine Leonard)
  • Salt Lake City Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City (Maxine Leonard)
  • Everton Publishers, Logan (Maxine Leonard)
  • State Historical Society, Madison
  • Ontario Genealogical Society, Ontario (Maxine Leonard)

"The Conger Family of America, Volume 1," is on LDS, microfilm #1307658, Item 2, and may be ordered for use at your local Family History Center.

Conger Family of America
Volume Two

District of Columbia
  • Library of Congress (Maxine Leonard)

The Conger Confabs
Quarterly Newsletters 1975-1994

District of Columbia
  • Library of Congress (Maxine Leonard)


Revised: 12 Sep 1998
Revised 30 Sep 2009
File: CFA.txt

Yoho Genealogy

Yoho Genealogy

Yesterday and today I worked on a project to create Delicious bookmarks to Yoho Descendant Charts, shared by researcher, T. Vernon Anderson, on the USGenWeb Marshall county, West Virginia website.

You can see the links and a few lines about each chart by clicking on any of the following links:

Find all Mr. Dickie's Yoho bookmarks

Find all Mr. Dickie's Anderson bookmarks

Find all Mr. Dickie's Yoho and Anderson bookmarks

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wayback Machine

The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theoloy tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way. ... We are spinning our own fates, good or evil ... (William James in Excuses Begone! by Wayne Dyer, p. 17)

Explore all possibilities and listen to your intuition. (Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Day 265)

Let me not force my own certainties on others. I could be wrong. A generous tolerance can smooth out many rough places in my day-to-day living. (One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, 16 September)


Yesterday I learned how to copy and paste text for the Delicious "Note" field when I want to create a posting from Firefox.

I learning about the Wayback Machine. I discovered that some of my webpages from the old AOL website can be found at this website. To find the pages I need to remember the URLs of the various places where I uploaded the pages. I plan to write more about this on my genealogy "News" blog and in reply to a posting on GenForum that asks what happened to the website.

Mr. Dickie

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

GenForum Message Posting History

Message Posting History
Richard (Dick) Henthorn

Link to GenForum:
Posting History

Ahnentafel Chart for John Henthorn

Ahnentafel Chart
John Henthorn of Licking Co., Ohio
Who Married
Nancy Jane Gaverson

Paul I. Yoho Ahnentafel Chart

Ahnentafel Chart
Paul I. Yoho
Created By
Dick Henthorn

Most Wanted - Parents of Elijah Henthorn(e)

Most Wanted
Parents of Elijah Henthorn(e)

A long standing research question is, "Who were the parents of Elijah Henthorn(e) of Otisco, Clark co., IN?". Some researchers think he was the son of Robert and Mary (Nicholson) Henthorn. Norma L. Henthorn and Raymond M. Bell think he was the son of John Henthorn and Nancy Jane Garrison and that his grandparents were William and Jane Henthorn.

Here's some of the information that has been shared over the years.

Name: Elijah HENTHORN(E)
AKA: Eligah
Birth:15 Apr 1803 Wheeling, Ohio Co., VA
Death: 3 Sep 1896, Clark Co., IN
Burial: 5 Sep 1896 Otisco, Clark Co., IN, Otisco Cemetery
Probably Father of:
  • Louisa Henthorn--1833;
  • Miranda Henthorn--1838;
  • Matalida Henthorn--1839;
  • James A. Henthorn--1839;
  • Margaret Henthorn--1842;
  • Isabel Henthorn--1844;
  • Jane Henthorn-1845;
  • Sarah Henthorn-1847;
In the 1990 work of Norma L. Henthorn and Raymond M. Bell, "The Henthorn Family, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, with notes on Cresap and Quinn Families," page 12, they list Eligah Henthorn as a son of John Henthorn and Nancy Jane Garrison. Robert Henthorn who married Mary Nicholson Henthorn is listed as the brother of John Henthorn who married Nancy Jane Garrison. The father of Robert and John is listed as, William Henthorn who married, Jane. William lived in Ohio co., VA and Clark co., IN where he died in August 1823. Here's the family of John Henthorn:
  • John Henthorn b. ca 1776 d. ca 1855 m. Nancy Jane Garrison.
  • Lived in Licking co. Oh. and Clark co. Ind.
  • Issue:
  • 1. Isaih [sic] b. ca 1800 d. ca 1845 m. Anna Ceurry.
  • 2. Eligah b. 15 Apr 1803 d. 3 Sept. 1896 m. 1st Nancy; m. 2nd Mary Alstatt.
  • 3. Isabel b. ca 1808 m. Turner Campbell.
  • 4. Margaret b. ca 1809 d. 28 June 1855 m. Reece M. Reid.
  • 5. John b. ca 1827 d. 1 Sept. 1890 m. Olive M. Brooks.
  • Other children unknown.
In another typed, unpublished document, prepared by Norma Henthorn in May of 1958 she again listed the family of Robert Henthorn and did not list a son, Eligah. This document did not list the family of John Henthorn of Licking Co., OH.

Rose Caroline Henthorn claimed that her father, Elijah came to Clark County, IN when he was about 10 years old. Family notes indicate that he was a riverboat captain. His wife, Mathilda, was from Davenport, Iowa which might have been on his river route.

MARRIAGE: Marriage of Elijah Henthorn and Mathilda Burch on 5 Jul 1827 at Jefferson Co., IN is recorded in Book A, page 76. It is also listed in Indiana Source Book I "Jefferson County Marriages 1811-1831."
(Furnished by Florence Hunstein)

MARRIAGE: Marriage of Elijah Henthorn and Mathilda Burch 5 Jul 1827, Minister, C.W. Ruter. Gen. Cal. #929.30 (or 929.3D), John Paul Chapter G.A.R., Page 18, Jefferson Co., IN Marriage Records.
(Furnished by Alan F. Smith)

Census: 1850 in Clark Co., IN
  • Elijah Henthorn,
  • Mahalia 19,
  • Louisa 17,
  • (not legible) 13,
  • James A. 11,
  • Matilda 12,
  • Margaret 8,
  • Isabel 6,
  • Jane 5,
  • Sarah 3,
  • Joseph B. 30.
(Census data furnished by Florence Hunstein)

Marri: Batch #: 5000492, Sheet #: 42, Source Call #: Not Available
Elijah Henthorn and Mary Alstott, 30 Dec 1851, Charlestown, Clark, IN
QUESTION: Has anyone obtained the film of this record and read it?

MARRIAGE: Marriage of Elijah Henthorn and Mary Alstott. License was obtained on 30 Dec 1851 and the marriage took place on 1 Jan 1852. Recorded in Jefferson Co., IN records
(Furnished by Florence Hunstein)

MARRIAGE: Clark County Marriages 1825-1855 at the New Albany, IN Library,
Elijah Henthorn and Mary Alstott, License, 30 Dec 1851
(Furnished by Florence Hunstein)

Census: 1860 in Iowa
Robert Allstott, age 77 was listed with Elijah Henthorne.
[Note: Robert F. Allstott was the father of Mary Frances Allstott. REH]
(Furnished by Alan F. Smith)

Census: 1860 in Scott Co., IA, Winfield Twp.
  • Eligah, 50, b. PA, farmer;
  • Mary 35, b. IN;
  • James, 23, b. IN;
  • Alice, 12, b. IN;
  • Joseph, 10, b. IN;
  • John, 7, b. IA;
  • Mary, 4, b. IA;
  • Florence, 3, b. IA;
  • Sarah M., 3/12, b. IA.
[Note: If Eligah was 50 at the time of this census his birth year would have been Abt. 1810, seven years after 15 Apr 1803. REH]

It appears that the first four children of Elijah and Mary Frances Alstott Henthorne were born in Iowa and that Ella, the last of the four was born in that state Abt. 1860. The remaining four children born to this couple, beginning with William Spencer Henthorne, born 1 Mar 1863, were born in Clark Co., IN.

DEATH: Ray Alfred Stewart and Florence Hunstein found a death record for:
Elijah, age 93, on 3 Sep 1896 in Clark Co., IN.
Henthorn, Elijah; M W; 93; 3 Sep 1896; Otisco, IN, died of old age, born in VA, no parents names listed.
(Source: Death Record Book, Clark Co., IN, page 109, reference book H 23 15)

Otisco, July 22, [1896]. -- Elijah Henthorn is at the point of death and can not live but a few hours. He was born in Ohio, April 5, 1803,
[Note: the day of birth is listed as April 5th, probably an error. REH] and moved with his parents to this county when he was 13 years old. He lived in this county ever since, with the exception of ten years spent in Iowa.
(Source: National Democrat, 24 Jul 1896 - furnished by Florence Hunstein)

Otisco, Sept. 7 [1896] -- Mr. Elijah Henthorn was buried on Saturday at the Otisco cemetery. Uncle Lige was in his 94th year and had been a resident of this place for many years. He leaves a wife and several children to mourn his loss. The children that lived in Iowa and New York did not arrive for the funeral.
(Source: Evening News, 9 Sep 1896 - furnished by Florence Hunstein)

According to Alan Frederick Smith this Elijah Henthorne is buried in the Otisco Cemetery at Otisco, IN. Alan states, "There is another Elijah Henthorn stone in a cemetery 5 miles east and a little south of Otisco, IN."
QUESTION: Who is the Elijah Henthorn buried at the location south of town?

Florence Hunstein reports that there is a large marker in the Otisco cemetery for Elijah Henthorne. It is believed that Mary Alstott is also buried there but the inscriptions on the stones do not show it. A photograph of the tombstone reveals an inscription that can clearly be read.
It states: "Elijah Henthorne, Born Wheeling, West Virginia, April 15, 1803, Died September 3, 1896. Erected by his devoted daughter Florence."
[Note: There is an "e" on the end of the name, inscribed on the stone. REH]


Posted: 9 Feb 1999
Revised: 27 Sep 2009
File: Elijah.txt

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tim Yoho's Homepage

Atkinson in Monroe County, Ohio

GenForum link about an Atkinson family Bible.

Most Wanted - Parents of Elijah Henthorn(e)

Most Wanted
Parents of Elijah Henthorn(e)

Can anyone help solve a mystery still unsolved after years of research?

I am searching for the parents of my great grandfather, Elijah Henthorn(e) born 15 April 1803, VA now Wheeling, Ohio Co.,WVA. He moved with his family to Clark County IN in the early 1800s.

He married first, Mathilda Birch 08 Jan 1827, Dearborn Co. IN; In 1850 Clark Co. census, he is listed with 9 children, ages 19 to 3 yrs; no wife.

He married second, Mary Alstott 01 Jan 1852, Clark Co. IN, daughter of Robert Alstott and Sarah Long. Elijah and Mary moved to Iowa sometime after 1851 and before 1853 when their first child, John W. was born 1853. Three more children born in Iowa: Mary b. 1856; Florence Eugena b. 1857; Ella b.1860.

Sometime after 1860 - the family was recorded in the 1860 Iowa census - they moved back to Clark County where four more children were born: William, b. 1863; Rose Caroline b. 1865 (my grandmother); Buena Vista, b. 1867 and Charles E. b. 1870.

Conflicting records by other researchers claim Robert Henthorn b. 1775, son of William b. 1745 is Elijah's father. Other claims Robert's brother John Henthorn b. 1776. No source or documentation noted for either.

Problem: Was Robert Henthorn, Elijah's father? He lived in Clark County until removing to Iowa where he died in 1845. Elijah moved to Iowa a few years after Robert's death. Why? John Henthorn was in Clark County but removed to Ohio. None of Elijah's children was named Robert. His first born by Mary Alstott was named John W. There are a few clues but no proof. Any help will be very much appreciated. This has been a mystery much too long! Please let me hear from you.

Researcher: Florence (Allen) Hunstein, Sun City West, Arizona.
Written: Feb 1999

Revised: 9 Feb 1999
Posted: 26 Sep 2009
File: WhoElij.txt

John Henthorn of Pike Co., Illinois

John Henthorn

John Henthorn, son of Abraham and Mary Henthorn, was born on 20 Apr 1820, somewhere in Lancashire, England.

It is believed that he is the John Henthorn who was baptized at Royton, Lancaster, England on 24 Jun 1842.

John learned weaving by the hand loom in England and work at the weaving trade, probably around Manchester, in the area of Shaw, Crompton, and Oldham.

John Henthorn of Crompton, Lancaster, England, a weaver, son of Abraham Henthorn, a weaver, was married, 24 Jun 1842, to Betty Holt, of Crompton, a spinster, and daughter of Abraham Holt, a weaver, at the parish church in the Parish of Prestwich in the County of Lancaster, England. Witnesses were: James Greaves and James Sheldrick.

He was one of eight children, most of whom came to IL. With his brother Charles, he emigrated to America in 1844, stopped first in New York state, where for 2 years he superintended a factory where 62 looms were run.

They moved to Adams county, IL in 1850 and to Pike county in 1852. By 1880 he owned 360 acres of land, in good cultivation and well stocked. He was School Director several terms and was a Democrat. (Source: the "History of Pike County, IL 1880.")


John Henthorn, a pioneer of Pike County, a highly successful farmer of Fairmount Township, and a worthy citizen, this gentleman enjoys the esteem of his acquaintances. His estate which is located on section 17, comprises four hundred acres of land and is considered one of the most valuable pieces of property in this section of the country. The residence which was erected in 1878 is located on an eminence and commands an excellent view of the larger part of Fairmount Township. Altogether the homestead is one of which Mr. Henthorn may be justly proud for it represents the results of his own unaided toil.

England was the birthplace of our subject and in Lancastershire, April 20, 1820, he was born to Abraham and Mary Henthorn, also natives of England. The parental family included eight children most of who are located in Illinois. In company with his brother Charles our subject came to the United States in 1844 and has since continued to reside in this country. Prior to coming hither he received a common education in England and there learned the trade of weaver.

The marriage of our subject was solemnized in Lancastershire, England, May 27, 1842, when Miss Betty Holt, a daughter of Abraham and Anna (Holt) Holt became his wife. The parents of Mrs. Henthorn were English people and lived in the old country until quite advanced in years and then emigrated to the United States. They first located in the State of New York whence they removed to Adams County, Ill., and there died. They were weavers in their native land but engaged in farming after coming to America.

Mrs. Henthorn was a lady of refinement and culture, universally beloved for her many noble traits of heart and mind. She accompanied her husband to America where for many years she labored side by side with him and was of material assistance to him. She passed from the scenes of an active existence October 26, 1880, at the age of fifty-seven years. Her death was mourned throughout the whole community where they lived so long. She was a consistent Christian, a true wife and a wise and loving mother.

The children born to Mr. Henthorn and his estimable wife are named as follows: Mary C., who died September 7, 1845; Sarah, Mrs. E. F. Cooley, resides on a farm in Fairmount Township; Abraham who resides in Hadley Township married Miss Anna Cory; Franklin P. is a resident of Fairmount Township and married a lady who bore the maiden name of Miss Jane Weaver; John D. is a resident of Aurora, Neb., and his wife prior to her marriage was Miss Mattie J. Phillips; Janie, Mrs. John Lewis, is a resident of Miami County, Kan., Charles married Miss Minnie J. Powers and lives in Aurora, Neb., William H. who was united in marriage with Miss Mary A. Rust, lives in Fairmount Township.

The tract of land owned and operated by Mr. Henthorn is under excellent cultivation and he keeps on his place the latest improvements in farming machinery and follows the most approved methods in cultivation of the soil. The buildings are substantial and conveniently located and excellently adapted for their various purposes. From time to time our subject has added to his original purchase which was made in Fairmount Township in 1884, until the estate is now a very large one and is widely known as Fairview Farm. Prior to coming to Pike County Mr. Henthorn passed eighteen months in Adams County, this State, but has never regretted his removal here. He belongs to the Democratic party and manifests great interest in both National and local politics, having often been called upon to fill offices of trust and responsibility. He is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church to which his wife also belonged.

The father of our subject was a weaver by trade and when later improvements caused the hand loom to go out of use he entered this factories of Lancaster and died at a very advanced age. The mother also passed her entire life and finally died in Lancaster. Both parents were members of the Church of England. (Source: "Portrait and Biographical Album" Pike Co., IL, pages 526-527)

Census: 1880, in Pike Co, IL, Fairmount Twp. In the 1880 census he was listed as a farmer. Besides his wife the following children were listed as living at home: John, Jun., 22, son, farmer; Charles, 19, farm laborer; William, 15, farm laborer; and Susan Scoutan, 35, servant.

DEATH: Date of Death, 21 Aug 1895, from gravestone in Woodland Cemetery, Pike Co., IL. Woodland Cemetery is located alongside of the road leading directly south from Fishhook, IL.

Note: John Henthorn was born on 20 Apr 1820 in Lancashire, England. He died on 21 Aug 1895 at Fishhook, Pike Co., IL. He was the great-grandfather of researcher, Dick Henthorn.


Posted 26 Sep 2009
File: HentJohn.txt

Friday, September 25, 2009

Norris G. Henthorne

Norris G. Henthorne,
Former World Editor,
Civic Champion, Dies
Newspaper Career,
Almost Spanning a Half-Century,
Paralleled Growth of Tulsa

Printed in
The Tulsa World
Monday, December 10, 1962

Norris G. Henthorne, whose life was intimately connected with The Tulsa World and the city of Tulsa for nearly 50 years, died at 10:34 p.m. Sunday in St. John's Hospital. He was 71.

Henthorne, noted for his civic interests in Tulsa's parks, aviation, and health, had been ill since January 1960 when he retired as president of the World Publishing Company and editor of The Tulsa World.

A member of Oklahoma's Hall of Fame, Henthorne was one of the titans of journalism in Oklahoma and the Southwest.

He started his career with The Tulsa World in 1913 when he joined this paper as a bookkeeper, but, as he put it, really functioning as a handyman, keeping books, handling want ads and taking subscriptions. In this "handyman" capacity, Henthorne participated in an early-day World milestone when he signed up the paper's 10,000th subscriber.

The man who handled both editorial and business projects for the World with equal facility was born at Ironton, Ohio, March 22, 1891. Born in modest circumstances, Henthorn, as a youngster, held a series of jobs that nowadays has the ring of glamour from another era. However, in those days they were humble jobs but, in his case, led up.

As a small boy, Henthorne's first job was with an Ironton blacksmith who paid him $1 a week to help around the shop. His most responsible duty was to shoo flies from the horses while the blacksmith shod them.

Page Boy in Ohio

Between the ages of 10 and 12, Henthorne was a newspaper carrier.

Warren G. Harding, lieutenant governor of Ohio and later President of the United States, appointed 13-year-old Norris Gifford Henthorne to his first, and only, political post. He became a page boy in the Ohio state Senate. Henthorne served three terms as a page, gaining an insight into politics at an early age.

As a teen-ager, he worked on the crew of an excursion steamer plying between Cleveland and Chicago. In 1908, Henthorne, then 19, went to Columbus, Ohio to take a job with the Union National bank. When the bank was closed by federal action in 1911, he embarked on his life-long newspaper career "by accident." He went to work for a Columbus printing house getting his first taste of the publishing business.

Came to Tulsa in 1913

In March 1913, he migrated to Oklahoma. He came to Tulsa chiefly because an older brother, Clifford Henthorne, lived here. Shortly after he arrived, he met Gladys Roberts, another native of Ohio. Born at Findlay, the soon-to-be Mrs. Henthorne had moved to Bartlesville in 1904. They were married in Tulsa in 1914.

Henthorne served on the Tulsa park board for more than 30 years, serving as its president in 1920, 1921, 1922 and from 1933 to 1958 when the board's park and airport functions were divided.

Following the split, Henthorne became chairman of the Tulsa Airport Authority, a post he resigned early this year. Always aviation-minded, he was one of the leaders in creating Tulsa's new $10 million airport, one of the nation's finest.

Heard Rites Via Phone

Due to poor health Henthorne was unable to attend the dedicatory dinner for the new facility in November 1961. He listened avidly via telephone which linked the ceremony to his home at 1543 S. Yorktown Place. He retired from his Tulsa airport authority post in May of this year.

Henthorne and the board members were credited with being primarily responsible for one of the most important things that ever happened to Tulsa -- the acquisition of the American Airlines modification center.

Tulsa became a city of parks during Henthorne's long tenure on the board. One of the most spectacular contributions was the wading pool program which provided pool facilities for small children in almost every part in the city.

In the 1920's, Henthorne and E. Fred Johnson, president of the Fourth National Bank and a longtime park board member, interested oilman Frank Reed in the park program. Through their efforts, Reed built the first wading pool here and established a $100,000 trust fund with which to build pools over the state. The fund has constructed nearly 50 pools in Oklahoma, including several in Tulsa.

Two years ago a new eight-acre park at 48th St. and Quincy Ave. was named Norris G. Henthorne park in recognition of his long and fruitful service.

Henthorne, who became editor of the World in 1932 and president of the World Publishing Company in 1950 -- the year after former owner-publisher Eugene Lorton died -- kept up a steady flow of outside activities in addition to his newspaper duties.

Appointment by Governor

He served as a member of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission from the time he was appointed by the late Gov. E.W. Marland in 1938 until his death. He served as chairman of the commission for more than 20 years.

Henthorne, a 1918 charter member of the Kiwanis Club, served as it president in 1920 and was on its board of directors for four years.

Another area of active service in Henthorn's life was his connection with the Tulsa Public Health Association. He was president of the organization from 1921 to 1940. He became a director in 1941 and was appointed a life-time director in 1949. Henthorne's health service dated as far back as 1918 when he was chairman of the dispensary committee of the anti-tuberculosis committee of the Tulsa County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Ex-Chamber Director

Henthorne, a former director of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, was especially interested in the organization's highway committee, serving first on the panel in 1936.

During World War II, Henthorne was chairman of the Oklahoma State War Council, a civilian assistance group.

Activities he engaged in over the years were diverse. In 1930 he was named to a special Oklahoma commission to study ways of reducing illiteracy in the state. In the 1950's he was a member of former Gov. Roy J. Turner's citizens advisory council which directed the expenditure of a $36 million bond issue for the expansion and improvement of state mental institutions.

Honored by Press Club

Henthorne, a trustee of the Southwestern Art Association, a Mason, and a member of Southern Hills Country Club, was honored for lengthy service in the newspaper field in 1958 when the Tulsa Press Club name him a "Headliner," the organization's highest honor. Two years later, in January 1960, he wrote "30" to his career, stepping down from his posts at the World after an association of 47 years.

Henthorne also had served as president of the Oklahoma Press Association.

He is survived by the widow and four children and five grandchildren.

The children are:
  • Norris G. Henthorne Jr., 2750 S. Evanston Ave.;
  • John R. Henthorne, 3737 S. Evanston Ave.;
  • Charles Thomas Henthorne, 4100 E. 61st St.;
  • Mrs. Fred L. Lewis, Denver, Colo.
Other survivors include a sister, Mrs. Leon H. Miller, 2207 S. Delaware Court, and a brother, Leslie Henthorne, Chicago.

Services are pending with Stanleys Funeral Service. Burial will be in Rose Hill Mausoleum.

(Article included a photograph - furnished by Bill Henthorn, Enid, OK)


Posted: 25 Sep 2009
File: StoNorr.txt

My Family's Trip In A Covered Wagon

My Family's Trip In A Covered Wagon
Mary Elizabeth (West) Henthorn
Ventura, California
October 26, 1983

When Gary Henthorn and his family, of Castro Valley, CA were here the first weekend of October 1983, Opal and I were telling about things that happened when our family went from Missouri to Kansas in a covered wagon. Gary asked me to write about what I can remember.

It would be around 1909. Eddie was a baby a year or so old. I remember we had a chair that Mama would tie him in while she cooked our meals over an open fire. That would make Opal around three years old, Maudie five and me seven.

We had two nice brown horses, Nance and Brady. I know you have seen pictures of covered wagons. As I remember this one, our bed was one ig bed that covered the wagon bed, even wider and very high from the ground because of supplies underneath the bed.

We went through what was a very large city, to us, anyway it had streets, large homes in rows (we had never lived anywhere but only on farms). Sometimes we got to go to the little country town, with a couple stores, livery stable, a small train depot, a few dwelling houses scattered around, no laid out streets or side walks. This was Mansfield, Missouri, my birth place, although I was born at Grandpa Keith's farm (Mother's parents) about seven miles out in the wooded, hilly country of the Ozarks. Of course, Mansfield today is much different. Many stores, banks, laid out streets, homes, schools and all that makes a town.

Back to this large city. And what did we see? Papa said, "Look there's a car!!" Really, we kids (that's not the right word - for that word was never used in those days unless you were speaking of young goats). I should say we girls. Well, we didn't even know there was such a thing as a "car." We knew wagons, buggies and the pretty surreys with the fringe on the top. Very few of these classic buggies where we lived. Papa knew about the car for he had probably read about them. I think he had been to Kansas before to work in the "harvests." As many men in the Ozarks would go to other states to work in the summers. Well, that was the first car we had ever seen. I have no idea what make it was. As I remember it was like a roadster, sitting at the curb.

I guess the most exciting time, I should say The Most Exciting Thing that happened on our trip to Kansas in a covered wagon was: We three girls always rode on the big bed, Papa and Mama in the spring wagon type seat, Mama holding the baby, Eddie. I don't remember what we did most the time to entertain ourselves, sometimes napping I'm sure, and I know it must of got boring. We didn't have "toys" or "games" to play, or books or crayolas (never heard of them).

Anyway we got to blowing into one another's faces and, of course, we would try to hide our faces or dodge when coming at one another. We were giggling and laughing. I think Papa told us to quiet down for we were really noisy and having fun, we thought. Well, anyway, Maudie blew into Opal's face and she was near the opening in the back of the canvas top. What would I call it? Well, what makes a covered wagon. And as she dodged she fell out through that hole, which was quite a fall. Maudie and I began calling to Papa and Mama, and they thought we were still playing. Finally we got it to Papa that Opal had fell out. He stopped the horses and ran back and picked her up, she was limp and very pale.

We were just entering a little village, I still can see it now, and right before us in the fork of the road was a drug store. Papa went to the drug store and got something for her to smell to revive her. I can't remember the name of it. I use to know. Just comes to me, they called it Sweet Spirits of Nitre. Mama put wet cloths on her head. She laid very still as we travelled on, and Maudie and I talked to her. Mama said for us to keep her awake. Well, we didn't play that game anymore.

And if I have it correct in my memory, that evening when we stopped to camp. It was a wooded place, not large trees but small shrubbery like trees, oh, some large ones. When we were ready to eat, called and called, but no Opal. Papa, Maudie and I started out in different directions calling "Opal," "Opal," no answer. I found her in a fence corner. (She couldn't go any farther.) She was bad at not answering when called. I don't remember if she got a spanking for not answering. (By the way I never heard of that word "spanking" in those days. It was called a whipping" and a whipping it would be!) Oh yes, when I found her she was eating "poke berries" and her mouth and face were purple from the berries. Poke berries were a wild berry that was not poisonous, but still not very good to eat. As I remember, very tasteless.

When we were going through very sandy country after we got into Kansas, it was rolling sand hills, we came upon a large field of watermelons. The melons were very large. I mean LARGE, the largest melons I have ever seen in my life. Unbelievably large. There was a tent (by the roadside) in the field. Papa called and called like they use to do when you'd drive up into anyone's yard and you see no one around. You would call out "anybody here?" several times. When no one answered or showed up, Papa decided to gather a couple, maybe it was three. There were so many. And he and Mama together had a hard time getting them up into the wagon. One was so large they had to give up on getting it up into the wagon. Oh, some were long, very long and others Big and Round.

After that we came to a farm. It was many miles after that and the folks were distant cousins of Mama's. So a melon was cut, and as I remember, delicious! There was quite a crowd of us. I believe we stayed overnight there.

I think I'll tell it here about the first ride in a car. It was later. We had a neighbor lady that owned a car, and one day she took Mama to the little town Lewis, Kansas, to trade. That's the term used in those days for what we call shopping today. Because trade was that you could take farm produce as eggs, etc., and trade for sugar, salt, flour and such. I remember the first dry cereal or breakfast food was "Post Toasties." It was so good, really delicious, we had a milk cow and the cream was so good on the Post Toasties. Now back to the first car ride - there was a long lane into our house from the main road. We three girls, Opal, Maudie and me, ran to meet them when we saw them enter the lane. The lady stopped to let us get in to ride. It was just a one seated coupe, all open, no top. Mama had the baby, Eddie, on her lap. We crowded in, sitting in the floor, and as I remember Maudie bumped the switch on the dashboard that turned the engine off. It scared us. We didn't know what had happened. But the lady said don't be afraid. She got out and cranked it up again.

My, what excitement our first car ride! Probably the length of a block. We had a neighbor whose name was "Passwater," I'm not sure if that was her name.

The first house we lived in in Kansas was very small, a farm hand house. Papa worked for two brothers, called the Olsen Brothers, I've forgotten their first names. By the way, children were not allowed to call adults by their first names (sometimes called their given names). These brothers were not married. They owned acres and acres of wheat land and some cattle or stock.

The story now; How I came to have the scar on my right cheek near my eye. The yard of this place had nothing but sand and weeds, and in these weeds a small burr called "sand burr." As we had only this to play in we would get stickers from the burrs in our feet, legs, hand and arms. Sometimes had to be picked out. Papa picked one out of my cheek, using a pin (he said later was probably the reason I got infection in it) and it wouldn't heal. I had what they called a running sore on my cheek for nearly a year. In those months it would almost heal up, then flare up sometimes almost into my eye. So many, I remember, telling my folks what to use. One thing they were told to use was called "olenuer mud." That was terrible, it would pull the scab off. (I think that's what is called antifestgestive now.) It's not used anymore. I don't know why I wasn't taken to a doctor. It had to be something really serious, not just a sore on your face.

When I was growing up the scar was very noticeable, and I was very conscious of it. Many asking about it. I don't remember just when, I realize it was just part of me and everyone had to accept it along with me. I guess it was when "Pop" (my Dear Elba) loved me, even with the bad scar, I finally just forgot about it and, of course, it has faded through the years. (That would be 70 some years now.)

We didn't live in this small house for very long. But into another farm house that had a large dining room and a long dining table. You know why? When harvest time came the large fields of wheat needed to be harvested. Many farmers in a locale getting together with harvest hands (workers to reap the harvest). They would go from farm to farm harvesting the whole countryside.

Now Mama and some other ladies (farmers wives) cooked the noon meals for these hard working harvesters. I can remember watching them prepare the food. (My duty to take care of the little children). The table loaded with food, the men dirty and sweaty, washing up on a bench outside by the doorway with wash pans (no bath rooms).

How they would enjoy eating the food, joking and teasing one another. I remember this well for they were happy and having fun although working very hard.

There's something that comes to mind I'd like to tell you that was the way of doing in my childhood. When there was any dinner anytime that all could not get around the table at the same time, the adults always ate first. The children waited for what they called the second table before they could eat. There was no refrigerator or ice box. They had a small house called "spring house." Water running through it on gravel and flat rocks to set the containers on that you wanted kept cool. The water from a windmill.

Now some things that happened when we moved into another very nice farm house that was closer to the little town of Lewis, Kansas. Maudie and I started to a little country school. Our "first" school. Of course, we walked, I don't remember how many miles. No such thing as a school bus. I know we couldn't see the school from our house, and it was flat or level country. We walked on a railroad track part of the way. It was a one room school and thirteen pupils. I have a picture of it. Maudie and I being the youngest and the only ones in first "reader" as it was called then instead of grades. I remember some of the big boys and girls were grown up.

Maudie and I started with a primer then into readers. I read up through the third reader that term. (I loved reading and still do.) Just come to mind, Opal wanted to go with us to school so much. The teacher told us to bring her to visit. I can see her now, setting on the teachers lap, behind her desk.

A memory I'd like to tell. One time Maudie and I came home from school and Papa and Mama were gone. We changed our school clothes into play clothes. Then it began to get dark, and they had not returned. We began to get frightened and started crying. We changed back into our school clothes, I don't know why, unless we thought we might go to a neighbor's, but it was so dark to do that. We would cry, then listen to see if we could hear the wagon coming. We had a little pet pig (Stubby was his name). We put him in a box (I guess to take him with us). We didn't know what to do, only cry, then listen. Finally we heard a wagon, so kept listening until we could hear it start up the lane into the house. We were crying our hearts out. Mama quickly came to us and consoled us. Papa had gone to help a neighbor, and it had took longer than they had expected.

Oh, there's something I must tell you. I remember very plainly watching "Haley's Comet." Many evenings after it would get dark, I really don't know how long it appeared. It fascinated me. I couldn't understand how a good sized star hung in the eastern sky with a beautiful tail hanging down. I remember them saying we wouldn't see it again for many years. Now I believe its to appear again soon.

A few other things that happened at this place involves Opal. One day she and Eddie were hollering into a rain barrel (a barrel at the corner of the house to catch rain water). To holler they would hear their echo. Opal tells me they were taking turns. She thought Eddie was taking too long and she wanted her turn, so she pushed him in. Then she began trying to pull him out crying "Ishem, you Ishem." (That was Eddie's name then, he changed it later.) It happened that Papa was up in the windmill nearby working on it. He heard her and could see what was happening. He came down quickly and pulled Eddie out. He was almost drowned, took a bit for him to draw a breathe. She was sorry and very good to him, wanted him to come play with her. She was one that could play by herself, make believe and talk to herself.

Eddie had dark red hair, and just in pretty ringlets. One day Papa gave him a hair cut. Opal didn't know it. Papa took Eddie to where she was playing and told her "Here's a little boy to come to play with you." She took Eddie by the hand and lead him away to play with her. I don't know when she realized it was Eddie.

We had a neighbor we called Auntie McGill. She made over Opal. One day Opal, I don't know if she had been scolded or what, anyway, she tied a red bandanna on her head and started for Auntie McGill's. I happened to see her when she turned the corner of a big corn field quite some distance away. Mama sent me to get her.

Oh, I must tell you what happened the night Harold arrived in this world. January 26, 1910. We were told the doctor brought him, and that the doctor got stuck in that kind of uphill long lane into the house. (The same lane we had our first car ride.) The doctor was in one of those famous cars of those days. You know roads were all dirt, didn't know about blacktop. As it was winter time, rain and snow, so always mud. Really the horse was the best transportation in the winter. Well, Papa had to take his team of horses to pull the doctor's car on up the lane. I don't know how he got back through the mud. Probably down hill he could make it.

I remember a Christmas at this place. We would always hang our stockings up Christmas Eve. Then the excitement next morning. Santa Claus had come and filled our stockings with small toys, candy and nuts. This year we had an orange to top it, which was very rare. I think the first time to see an orange.

There was a Christmas in a small house in Missouri. I don't remember the year (was after our time in Kansas). We three girls all received a doll for Christmas. Mine was larger than Maudie and Opal's. And, oh, how beautiful I thought she was. Its the only doll I remember. I'm sure I had others. A neighbor friend of Mama's, an old maid they called her, I didn't know what that meant. I remember her name, "Nettie Cline." She made such beautiful dresses for our dolls. I guess that's the first time I learned who Santa Claus really was. How I loved that pretty doll. I thought I would keep her forever. But, with the many moves, I don't know what happened to her.

Mama and we five children went back to Missouri from Kansas on the train to Grandpa Keith's. I don't remember anything of this train trip. Papa drove back in the spring wagon because he wanted to keep his team of horses. I don't know what happened to the covered wagon.

We children were playing in the meadow in front of Grandpa's house, when some man that was driving by stopped and began to talk to us. He was asking questions, our names, where we lived and such. I can't remember just how or what he said, "but it was Papa." He had grown a mustache and we did not recognize him. We thought he was a stranger.

Just one more memory (I have many others). We lived then on what was called the "Hunter Bond" place, a farm. Maudie and I went to "Roy School," walked up a steep wooded hill. Opal was not old enough to go yet, for you had to be seven years old before you could start to school. What I started to tell you was Papa and Mama went at night to a "protractive meeting" that's what they call revival meetings today,
or crusades.

I don't know how far away they went in the spring wagon. They left me with Maudie, Opal and Eddie. Harold was a baby, so took him with them. Most the time we would go to sleep. Other times I couldn't sleep, be so frightened, would listen and listen to hear the wagon coming in. I would be so happy to hear them drive in.

I don't know where to stop, but maybe it would be interesting to tell you about our next school. Maudie and I went to, it was a river or near a river we had to cross to get to the school, called Bryant School. The name of the river.

In the summer we could wade the river (as we always went bare foot in the summers) to get to the school. Winter months, with the rains and snow, the river would be too high to wade. We could only get across to the school by a big tree log put across the river, and we had to walk on the log -- quite scary at times.

Shall I tell you of something else that you probably never heard of. Some children had lice on their heads. We never got them that I remember. Mama would keep our heads clean, shampooed with homemade soap. We smelled like homemade soap that's kinda like homemade lye. Really all children did. We didn't know of hand soap then. Homemade soap did the trick of eliminating the head lice, if you kept faithful.

My parents: Homer West and Julia Keith West were parents of nine children. We first six, were 18 or 19 months apart. Number 7, Keith, was 13 months old when I was married. The two, Ruth and Derrek, younger than our first son, Leroy.

  • Mary Elizabeth West Henthorn, born Oct 15, 1902
  • Delia Maude West Dye, deceased, born June 24, 1904
  • Minnie Opal West Dart, born Aug 13, 1906
  • Edward Ishem West, deceased, born Mar 21, 1908
  • Harold Alvin West, born Jan 26, 1910
  • James Benjamin (Ben or Bennie) West
  • Homer Keith West, born July 17, 1912
  • Virginia Ruth West Custer Meyers
  • Elba Darrell West
Next 3 paragraphs are additional recollections added on a Friday in September 1986.

Just thinking of something in my childhood - Why? I don't know. Things come to mind like film strips.

Papa took me with him to the mill to have corn ground into cornmeal. As I remember, a beautiful horse to a buggy. He suddenly was frightened by something (it was a winding wooded country road), and he began to run out of control. (What we called "run away horse.") Papa took and threw me out by the roadside, I was not hurt only frightened. When he got the horses in control, came back and got me.

Then there's a time when we lived in Kansas. We had a buggy horse that was blind in one eye. Mama would hitch her up to the buggy, take us, me, Maudie, Opal and Eddie, to visit a neighbor. On the way home she decided to drive by where Papa and others where threshing wheat. Can't remember the horse's name (I should). Anyway, the noise from the threshing machine frightened her and she started to run away. Mama couldn't control her. She finely ran into a barbwire fence, then quieted down. I remember Mama was pulling tight on the reins and talking to her.

I've added many things not on "the covered wagon trip." I'll have to write other things that might be of interest to my descendants. As my childhood, was so much different than today, like another world.

I see I started writing "The Covered Wagon Trip," October 26, 1983. Today is July 11, 1984. I've made several rewrites, thinking of other incidents to include.

Signed: "Nana Mary" Mary E. Henthorn.


Email Dick Henthorn:
Posted: 25 Sep 2009
File: StoWest.txt

Herbert Kyger's Experience

A Plucky Engineer
Herbert Kyger's Experience
Shot in the Muscles of the Right Arm at Virden
He Comes Home and Tells His Story
Bloomington, Ill, Thursday Morning, October 13, 1898

Herbert Kyger, the courageous young Alton engineer, who was pulling the train load of negroes yesterday into Virden, and who was shot by the strikers, arrived in this city last evening at 7 o'clock on the evening accommodation, and was taken at once to his home, 210 West Graham street, where an anxious wife, mother and family were awaiting his arrival. There were all sorts of rumors as to the nature of his injuries but they are not of a serious nature. He was shot in the muscles of his right arm, the bullet glancing upward and lodging near the shoulder. It is an ugly wound and was undoubtedly made by a weapon of a large caliber.

The report that the engineer had been injured created great excitement on the west side yesterday afternoon and there were all sorts of rumors afloat as to the nature and extent of the trouble.

Like hundreds of similar circumstances on the Chicago & Alton the man who was injured yesterday was off his regular run and taking some other engineer's place. Had Engineer Kyger's engine remained in good condition it would not have been he but Art Watkins who would have been suffering from an ugly bullet wound.

The trouble existing at the Virden mines is familiar to all who have been reading the telegraphic accounts of the affair in the newspapers. It culminated yesterday in a riot on the attempt of the mine operators to bring in negroes over the Chicago & Alton.

The Train

A special train left East St. Louis early yesterday morning bound for the Virden mines. It was composed of six cars, including caboose.

Four of the cars were from a Alabama railroad and were passenger coaches. These cars were filled with negro miners destined to take the place of the striking miners. Next to the engine was one box car containing the baggage and equipment of the negroes. On the end of the train was the caboose. The train left St. Louis pulled by engine 94, engineer, Art Watkins, and had a slow schedule.

Kyger Changed Engines

At Godfrey the north-bound limited due to arrive in this city at 12:55, came along and overtook the train of negroes. The limited was pulled by Engineer Kyger and Fireman Albert Anderson was opposite him. They were on the 88 which has seen many thrilling experiences on the rail. The engine gave out due to a hot driving box.

The officials ordered the engines changed and Kyger and fireman with the 88 were given the train of negroes to take to Springfield, while Watkins and fireman were placed on the Limited with the 94 and brought the train in safely, though delayed on account of the change.

Engineer Kyger did not know that he was soon to face a storm of bullets and be the target of hundreds of infuriated men. The orders from the officials on the road were to stop the train at the stockade and unload the negroes and the engineer was ready to obey the mandate.

The Arrival at Virden

The train which Engineer Kyger was pulling, he said, pulled into Virden at exactly 12 o'clock and went by the depot at the rate of 15 miles an hour. Engineer Kyger said that when he arrived in sight of the depot he saw the armed miners in great numbers. He sat in the cab window and kept his arm on the throttle until the train came to the stockade.

Acting under orders from the officials the engineer brought the train to a full stop. He said it was right in front of the stockade and on each side of the train were a swarm of armed miners. It was only a few minutes after the stop that the firing commenced.

The Engineer's Escape

Engineer Kyger and the fireman were in the cab while six armed deputies and one negro were on the engine. Some of the deputies were in the gangway, others on the tank and also a couple on the hind end of the tender. All were heavily armed. The train had just stopped when a bullet struck the engineer in the arm. He uttered a moan and some one called to him to get down from his seat in the cab and he did so standing on the deck. This was the signal for firing on both sides and the engineer said he had just been shot when the deputies returned the fire. In an instant the whole train was riddled with bullets.

The engineer saw the trend of affairs and with quick wit grabbed the throttle and pulled the train out of the city at lightning speed. Although suffering from the bullet wound Kyger struck to his post and with a shattered arm ran the engine to the next station about six miles. He was getting faint from loss of blood and turned the throttle over to Fireman Anderson who pulled the train to Springfield, the brakeman taking the fireman's place in the cab.

Taken to Hospital

Kyger was taken into the caboose with several other injured deputies and colored men and brought to Springfield. He was taken to a hospital and two physicians probed for the ball but could not find it. He then asked to be sent home and arrived at 7 o'clock. A local physician made a critical examination of the wound but after probing some time could not fine the ball. The engineer stood this ordeal without flinching and though small in stature and physical make-up, evidenced great pluck and never flinched. He will go to Deaconess hospital this morning and after being placed under the influence of chloroform the doctors will cut Mr. Kyger's arm open under daylight and then it is thought the bullet can be found and blood poisoning prevented. The ball is probably imbedded deep in the muscle of the shoulder and is hard to locate.

A Miraculous Escape

Mr. Kyger said the bullet must have been a spent ball or it would have ... his body. He believes it went through one and a half inches of the cab wood before entering his arm. His elbow was resting on the window sill of the cab while his hand was on the brake valve. The bullet, he is positive, was fired by someone at the bottom of the embankment near the track.

As great as the excitement was, Kyger had time to observe some of the results of the shooting. The engine and cars, he said, were full of bullet holes. The wooden part of the cab where he was sitting was a mass of holes and had it not been for the fact that he was told to step down he would have been killed instantly. The boiler head and other parts of the engine were riddled with holes. Half a dozen balls passed through the window where the engineer had been sitting a moment before. The windows were all shot out. One ball passed through the cab window and was found imbedded in the copper tube which ... ... ... . If it had pierced the tube the engineer and fireman would have been scalded to death and the train probably ... .

Negroes in the Cars

The wounded man was ... in .... to ... much, but said the cars were a sight to behold after ... ... the fire. The negroes had ... ... ... in the bottom of the ... ... ... and would not get up. T... ... ... were on the platform ... ... ... the caboose also crowded ... ... escaped. Fireman Anderson ... ... ... in sight after the train reached ... He was down near the ... ... ... ... not see any of the ... . Kyger said the wounded negroes who were taken to the hospital with him said they did not know they were going to take the place of strikers.


Posted: 25 Sep 2009
File: StoKyger

Eldon Henthorne In Show Biz

The Swede, The Tramp, And the Girl
Eldon Henthorne In Show Biz
Janice A. Sime
Epitaph - News
Viola, WI
18 Jul 1991

In April of 1928, 21 year old Eldon Henthorne was working for a roofing company in LaCrosse. He was laid off - two weeks before his wedding to Sophie Hammer of Avalanche. He accepted the only job he could find. He and Sophie joined the Dalton Show, a vaudeville company passing through this area.

The company was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Carl Dalton and was showing a combination of melodrama and acrobatics called "Sis of the Circus." Including Eldon and Sophie, the show employed fifteen people. They were people of varied talents ranging from musicians to acrobats to loose wire artists. The only problem was that the show was losing money. In the twenties, many people in small towns felt that they had been cheated by circuses and circus people. As a result they were reluctant to come to the show with the word "circus" in the title.

Mr. Dalton decided drastic measures were called for - so he laid off the entire company except for Eldon and Sophie. He then took the show to Ortonville, Minnesota where for the next two weeks they did nothing but read lines and fish. Presently, they opened in Big Stone City, South Dakota (across the lake from Ortonville) in a new show called "The Swede, the Tramp, and the Girl". Mr. Dalton played the Swede - the hero, Sophie played the Girl, and Eldon played the villain of the piece, the Tramp. Eldon also helped out by playing the piano. For their work, the Henthornes were paid $65 per week plus traveling expenses. Eldon says: "It was a good, clean show - a good show that made people laugh." The Dalton Show toured Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Montana. They gave a performance six nights a week. Each performance was in a different opera house in a different town.

Although the Daltons had a caravan wagon in which they slept, the Henthornes lived in a tent. Eldon recalls that it was really quite comfortable. They had a bed, a camp stove, and a little cupboard.

When they weren't performing or rehearsing, the company spent a lot of time fishing. In Minnesota there were many private lakes owned by Norwegian farmers, however, these lakes were often posted for "No Fishing." Eldon would send Sophie down to the farm houses to ask if they could fish there, as she could speak Norwegian. Many times they were allowed to fish where others could not.

Eldon notes with interest that Mr. Dalton was a very nice person, although he was very superstitious. Perhaps this is a trait of many performers. He would drive miles out of his way to keep from crossing a black cat's path. Every day in a new opera house, he would count the rows of seats. If there were thirteen rows he would insist that one row be added or removed. At the end of the 1928 season, the Daltons asked Eldon and Sophie to go to Florida with them. However, the young couple decided that since they were going to start a family, they would come back to Readstown [WI]. Here Eldon got a job working in the creamery. Several years later the Dalton Show did play the Shamrock Opera House in Viola [WI]. At that time, Eldon and Sophie introduced their growing family to their former road companions.

Although Sophie's foray into show business was the season with the Daltons, Eldon had performed before. He began his musical career with a clarinet and piano duet with his sister Mildred on the platform of the Sugar Grove Church of Christ. They played "Love's Old Sweet Song." While recovering from a particularly serious appendicitis operation at the age of seven, he learned to play the clarinet. He was taught to play the instrument by Sam and Neli Asperheim, who were proprietors of the Sugar Grove store. He also took piano lessons from Helen Lake, who lived in the present day Don Krahenbuhl farm. After he finished school, one of the bands he played in was Readstown's own "Wisconsin Five." This band was headed by Leon Callaway (brother of the late Bernie Callaway) and included Elmer Mason, Orvin Salmon, Ted Callaway, and Eldon. They played at dances all over the area. In those days, bands played for a 60/40, 60% for the band and 40% for the management. A musician could average $14 per night. Admission was often $1.00 with 10› War Tax. The bands typically played waltzes, one steps, and fox trots. Popular songs included "Three o'clock in the Morning," "Sleep," "Stuttering," and "Moonlight and Roses." He played at a dance in Mt. Sterling on the night of the mysterious Clara Olson murder in that town. He remembers seeing both Clara and her husband at the dance.

Eldon was working at the village creamery in 1927 when the Rusk Comedy Show came to Readstown. They pitched their tent in the uptown park. This was a medicine show run by a son of former Governor Rusk - Frank Rusk. He sold such things as patent medicines and candy. Tickets were imprinted with the letters "SS." The buyers were told that these were the initials of the prizes the holders of the tickets would win, for example, a pair of shoe strings or a sugar shell. Once in a great while a silverware set was given away. The show was looking for a musician, so Eldon left his job with the creamery and signed on for $45 per week. The band included Eldon on clarinet, Gene Mitchell of Thorp on trumpet, Floyd Shepherd of Mt. Sterling on trombone, and Leona Barry of Alton, Illinois on piano. Leona's husband, Bert, was a tap dancer.

Eldon did not have to do any of the show's hustling and selling but the musicians did have to help put up the big tent. The show stayed about a week in each place. Eldon's last engagement was at the Viroqua Fairgrounds.

After he left the Rusk Comedy Show, Eldon and several friends (George Ewing, Pearlie Gochenaur, and "Skinny" Walters) took off for Carter, Oklahoma to pick cotton. Eldon and George had a career as cotton pickers that lasted exactly one day. Pickers were paid a penny a pound. For his day's work Eldon earned 37›. By chance Eldon and George met up with the local postmaster. He also managed the local opera house, which showed silent movies six nights a week and twice on Saturday. Week days he showed the movies in rural school houses. He hired the two boys to play for these movies and paid them $3 each for every performance. He also allowed all four boys to sleep in the opera house at night. Eldon spent several months in Oklahoma. He returned to Readstown on Thanksgiving Day.

Eldon was born in 1907 to Mertie and Herman Henthorne in the Sugar Grove, [WI] area. His parents farmed where Leroy McKittrick lives today. He attended the Coher school from grades one to seven. In 1921 his family moved to Readstown where Eldon went to eighth grade and two years of high school. After high school, Eldon did farm work and worked with his father in the creamery. He also worked in other creameries in the area, including Steuben and Soldiers Grove.

In 1932, Sophie and Eldon moved to Jump River, Wisconsin. They would later live in Ft. Atkinson and Hannibal, Wisconsin and Marquette, Michigan. Eldon retired in 1969 and the couple moved back to Readstown in 1980. Sophie passed away in 1989.

Looking back on their experiences on the road, Eldon says: "I liked it and Sophie liked it too. We saw a lot of country and got to know a lot of nice people. We saw life as it really is."

(The article appeared on page 1 and included two photos - furnished by Arthur Glick)


Posted: 25 Sep 2009
File: StoEldon.txt

Prickett's Fort

Link to Prickett's Fort in West Virginia. This place has a connection to the Morgan who founded Morgantown, WV.

Prickett's Fort

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Join HenthornFam Group on Yahoo

Benella (Norris) Henthorn(e)


The mother of Patty Pardee, Serena (Henthorne) Miller, had recorded in her notes: Bennie Ellen Norris Henthorne, b. 25 Mar 1869, d. 2 Nov 1899 in Ironton, OH.


Descendant Robert Lott Henthorne reports that Bennie Norris was killed by a stray bullet during a gunfight in the street while she was knitting inside their home. Robert was told this by his father's mother and years later by Serena Eloise, the daughter of Bennie (Norris) Henthorn.

A Fugitive's Bullet
Cuts Short the Life of Mrs. Lot Henthorn

One of the most sensational occurrences in the history of Ironton [OH] was enacted on South Third street about 2 o'clock this afternoon.

Ironton officers attempted to arrest W.C. Moore, of Green River, Ky., for disorderly conduct, and he resisted. Officers Mayne and George used their clubs, and Moore drew a big 48-caliber Colt revolver and began shooting.

On south Third street, between Vernon and Washington, the officers took refuge behind buildings and telegraph poles and returned Moore's fire, but apparently without effect.

Officer George Mayne was standing behind the corner of Jones' livery stable and one of the balls from Moore's revolver struck him in the little finger of the right hand, making a wound which may necessitate the amputation of the first joint. Another bullet passed through his coat collar, tearing a big hole in the cloth.

One of the officers, Ed. Rafferty was standing behind a telephone pole, just above Lot Henthorn's residence on Third street, between Vernon and Washington. Moore opened fire on him.

Mrs. Lot Henthorn and a young lady who was in the house, heard the shooting. The young lady ran outside to see what occasioned the fusilade and Mrs. Henthorn stepped to the south window of the upper front room of her residence.

When the young lady returned to the room, Mrs. Henthorn was lying unconscious on the floor with the blood streaming from a bullet wound just below her mouth. A small bullet hole in the window and a shattered pane, indicated that one of Moore's bullets had gone wild and struck the unfortunate woman.

The young lady gave the alarm and willing hands soon rendered assistance. Dr. W.E. Pricer was hastily summoned and did all that medical aid could accomplish to bring the lady to consciousness but she died in a few minutes.

In the meantime, the authorities and an infuriated crowd of citizens gave chase to the renegade whose bullet had accomplished its work of destruction. It was a running fight. Moore emptied his Colt at his pursuers, reloaded and emptied it again. The officers returned the fire and as the fusilade continued the wildest excitement prevailed.

Running out of ammunition the officers secured shot-guns and continued the pursuit. In the alley above Gills's saloon at Third and Quincy, Officer George run in on Moore and knocked the fight out of him with a club. He was taken in charge by Officers George and Rafferty, who escorted him down Fourth street to Vernon and towards the Mayor's office.

An immense crowd, attracted by the shooting and enraged at the news of Mrs. Henthorn's death, followed the officers and their prisoner, and the frequent cries of "lynch him!" "string him up!" and like expressions induced the officers to change their plans and take their prisoner to the county jail.

Moore is from Green River, Ky. He has been here at different periods for some time and is rated as a bad citizen. This afternoon he was at Furlong's saloon, where he got some colored boys to dance for him and then refused to pay them. The proprietor remonstrated with Moore and the latter drew a revolver on him. Thus originated the complaint to the authorities and the tragedy which followed.

During the excitement the report was started that the gun user was a Hatfield, and then again that he was one of the Chatfields, and this seemed to add to the fury of the crowd which had gathered. However, the officers stayed firmly with their prisoner and landed him in jail.

Officer George said, "I don't know when Mrs. Henthorn was shot, but should judge it was when Mayne was behind the post in front of her residence. It could hardly have been when he was behind Jones' stable, where he was shot."

Officer George Mayne substantiates his statement, and says he received his wound when he was behind the livery stable corner.

Officers [sic] George emptied his gun at Moore and was handed a shot-gun by some unknown party. This also was emptied at the fugitive. He did not strike Moore, but the latter voluntarily surrendered his revolver. He cannot account for the wound in the back of Moore's head, unless it was caused by a bullet or club of one of the officers.

Mrs. Henthorn was the wife of Mr. Lot Henthorn, a salesman at Brumberg's clothing store. She was 30 years of age last March, and besides her husband, leaves four small children. She was one of the most active members of the Christian church and a lady respected by all.

The Register is informed that Moore has been working at the steel plant in Ashland, Ky., and has a wife and four children in that city. He expressed the deepest regret over the occurrence and begs that he be protected against any violence on the part of the citizens of this community.

Sheriff Dovel, while not entertaining serious fears that an attempt would be made to secure possession of Moore, had taken precautions to protect the prisoner. The jail residence was lighted up during the entire night and it was understood that sworn deputies held vigil behind the closed doors, ready to sustain the strong arm of the law should an assault be made.

The prisoner had his preliminary hearing, Tuesday, and was remanded to jail without bond.

Mrs. Henthorn's Funeral

The funeral of Mrs. Bennie Ella Henthorn, wife of Mr. Lot Henthorn, and the unfortunate victim of Monday afternoon's tragedy, will take place from the Christian Church, corner of Third and Washington streets at 2 P.M. Wednesday. The funeral services will be conducted by Rev. J.W. Maddux, assisted by Rev. W.H. Hampton.

The family of the deceased desire it announced that there will be no viewing of the remains at the church. After the services the remains will be laid to rest at Woodland cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Norris of Columbus, mother and father of the deceased and her brothers and sister from that city, are here to witness the last sad rites.
(Source: The Ironton Register, Thursday, November 2, 1899, Vol. 50, No. 15, page 1 - furnished by James Fathbruckner)
[Note: The shooting took place on Monday, 30 Oct 1899. The funeral was held on Wednesday, 1 Nov 1899. The newspaper article about the incident and the funeral appeared on 2 Nov 1899.]


After their mother's death the 4 Henthorn children went to Columbus, OH to live with the Norris grandparents. They were there at the time of the 1900 census.

Census: 1900, in Franklin Eo., OH, Columbus, 54 127, 13 99

  • Joseph B. Norris, b. Mar 1841 VA VA PA teacher, married 33 years, 6 children 4 living;
  • Serena E., b. Aug 1846 KY VA VA;
  • George B. b. Jun 1872 KY VA KY;
  • Mary S., b. Aug 1876 KY VA KY;
  • John S., b. Aug 1879 KY VA KY;
  • Evett P., b. Apr 1883, KY VA KY;
  • Clifford Henthorn, b. Mar 1888, OH OH KY;
  • Norris Henthorn, b. Mar 1891, OH OH KY;
  • Will Henthorn, b. Jul 1893, OH OH KY;
  • Serena Henthorn, b. Nov 1897, OH, OH, KY
(Census data furnished by James Fathbruckner)


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Posted: 24 Sep 2009
File: Benella.txt

Azor Jefferson Henthorn

Azor Jefferson Henthorn


This sterling citizen of Oklahoma county has achieved more than a local reputation as a practical agriculturist and stock-raiser. Coming to this territory a few years ago, he has been closely associated with its upbuilding, and keenly watches its progress, with pride and with unswerving faith in the brilliant future before our people. As the proprietor and editor of the "Home, Field and Forum," which without question, is the leading journal devoted to the interests of farmers published in this territory, he is constantly adding to his laurels, and winning hosts of new friends. Though the paper was formerly published in Guthrie, the plant was removed to Oklahoma City by its present owner, and during the short period of three years that it has been in his possession, the circulation has been increased over eighteen thousand, a remarkable showing.

On the paternal side, Mr. Henthorn is of Scotch descent, his grandfather, Robert Henthorn, having been a native of the land of the thistle and heather. The parents of our subject were Amos and Elizabeth (Sharp) Henthorn, the former a native of Indiana and the latter of Pennsylvania. At a very early day Robert Henthorn went to the Hoosier state, where he was numbered among its founders. In 1844, when Iowa was an infant in civilization and development, Amos Henthorn cast in his lot with her few inhabitants and improved a homestead. When he had reared five sons and a daughter to maturity, he concluded to join the tide of immigration setting towards the great west, and in 1872 became a settler in Kansas. Though the great grasshopper plague was at it worst in that state during the early years of the family's residence there, they were not easily discouraged, and, so to speak, "weathered the gale," and ultimately reached a secure haven of success.

The birth of A.J. Henthorn occurred January 25, 1858, near Trenton, Iowa. His early years were spent at his birthplace in Iowa, whence, when in his sixteenth year, he removed to Kansas. About that time Wichita was one of the frontier towns, but was so unpromising a place that Mr. Henthorn declined an offer of a quarter-section of land (situated a mile and a half from the center of the village) in exchange for a team of mules, little dreaming that that very land would later sell for more than a million dollars. About twenty-two years ago he pre-empted a farm in Cowley county, Kans., and for the next five years devoted himself assiduously to its improvement. The prospects of the state were then extremely flattering, and, seeing a good opportunity for amassing a fortune more speedily, he went to the town of Burden, Kans., and embarked in the real-estate business. Continually making investments and buying and selling land extensively, he finally was worth between forty and fifty thousand dollars, but, like the breaking of a bubble, this wealth vanished by a sudden depreciation in property values and the subsequent panic in financial circles.

The brave spirit of his ancestors is not wanting in Mr. Henthorn, and, after carefully considering the situation, he resolved to locate in Oklahoma. Thoroughly investigating the country, he decided to settle in the vicinity of Oklahoma City, and this time fortune favored him, for though the claim which he chose, four miles west of the city, is very valuable valley land, no one contested his rights. He possessed small means with which to make needed improvements, but he diligently struggled along, doing as well as possible, and was ultimately rewarded with success.

He made a specialty of breeding thoroughbred Poland-China swine, and disposed of them to the enterprising farmers of this region. The $3,000 which he thus made, in the last year of his occupancy of that farm, he invested in four hundred acres of rich valley land, and, after making suitable improvements, has increased its value to its present rating of about $10,000. He also has loaned $10,000 at a fair interest, and recently sold part of his original homestead for $6,500.

Desiring to be nearer Oklahoma City, in order that his sons might have better educational advantages, and because of his business interests, he then bought a homestead near the city limits, and is making a model farm of the place. He is dealing largely in thoroughbred swine and Hereford cattle, and through his efforts the standard of the live stock being raised in the territory has been elevated.

The marriage of Mr. Henthorn and Miss D.C. Hennagir, daughter of Lorenzo Hennagir, a native of Canada, was celebrated in Iowa in 1878. Seven children were born to this sterling couple, namely: Miles J., James G., Samuel, Caton, Robert, Charles and Dewey. They are all at home, and are receiving excellent educations, thus being qualified for the duties of citizenship.
(Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Oklahoma, Chapman Pub., 1910, p. 734-735)


About 1907, he began buying land for a ranch near Mustang, Oklahoma. DRL Okla Gen Soc Qtr; Vol 23 1978 #3; Oklahoma County Land Owners 1907; p. 147, Oklahoma Township, Sect 31, T12N R3W of Indian Meridian; Henthorn, A.J. and p. 149, Council Grove Township, Sect 4, T12N R4W; Henthorne, A.J.

By 1911, he owned 1400 acres. A prominent stockman, he exhibited his stock at various fairs throughout the country and he is well represented in the annals of the Oklahoma State Fair.


In 1910, he helped to organize the First State Bank (now the Fidelity National). He was the vice-president of this bank and was on the board of directors for many years.

Early in the 1920's he moved to his house on Pennsylvania Avenue and there his wife died, of cancer, in 1926.

For three years after the death of his wife he lived with his daughter Laura.

In 1929, at the age of 73, he was married to May Stone and he moved to 1701 N.W. 1st St.; Oklahoma City, OK and lived there until his death.

Newspaper articles from the Daily Oklahoman
  • 4 Mar 1934 - The City's First Big Dream
  • 17 Oct 1938 - Heart Disease Fatal to City Settler of '89
  • 1 Nov 1938 - Retired Farmer's Estate is $23,000
OKC Library Biographical Card Files

Henthorn, Azur Jefferson; born 25 Jan 1858, Trenton, Iowa; educated in public schools; came to Okla 1889; engaged in general farming and stock raising; resident of Oklahoma City; (Portrait and Biog Rec of Okla, 734); Married Miss D.C. Hennagir, daughter of Lorenzo Hennagir, native of Canada: 1878; had 7 children: Miles J,; James G.; Samuel; Caton; Robert; Charles; Dewey.

The City's First Big Dream

[Note: On 5 Sep 1889, a group in Oklahoma City, OK formed, the Oklahoma City Ditch and Water Power Co. and a subsidiary the Oklahoma City Light and Power Co to build an industrial canal similar to one in Arkansas City, KS. The following is an extract from an article about this project. REH]

A.J. Henthorn, on whose farm, west of Oklahoma City, the canal company's dam was located, lives at 1701 West First street, Oklahoma City. Henthorn was very familiar with the west half of the canal.

"During the winter of 1889, I supported my family on the farm selling several hundred dollars worth of dam timber to the company, says Henthorn. "In addition I received $75 for dam site privileges. Building of the canal provided work for hundreds of men and teams during the first winter in Oklahoma City. There was no other work, and there was no crop to speak of that year, owing to the fact that the settlers were not allowed to enter until too late in the season to plant much of a crop, even if they had the money."

Speaking of the gopher depredations, Henthorn says: "The dam site had an altitude 24 feet above the mouth of the canal, which was about six miles east of the dam. To transport the water from the dam across two miles of river bottom, without losing altitude, a grade was thrown up, just like a railroad grade, and the canal, 34 feet wide and eight feet deep, was dug in the top of the grade. The inside was timbered to prevent washing. Gophers dug holes in the base, and so much water leaked out, not enough reached the turbines, six miles east. The canal was flumed across the North Canadian river twice. The canal crossed the river the second time at the west end of West First street, almost exactly where the Mulligan's Gardens' bridge is built. Idea of getting to the high ground with the canal was to have the canal above flood waters and also to obviate building six miles of expensive grades."
(Source: Daily Oklahoman, March 4, 1934 (includes sketch of A.J. Henthorn - furnished by Bill Henthorn)

Retired Farmer's Estate Is $23,000

The estate of Azor J. Henthorne, retired farmer, who died October 16, [1938] was valued at approximately $23,000 in a petition for appointment of administrators filed in county court Monday. The petition asked that the widow, Mrs. May Henthorne, 1701 Northwest First street, and a son, Robert Henthorne, Mustang, be named joint administrators. Henthorne's estate included cash, stocks and real estate in Oklahoma City and Canadian, Roger Mills and Greer counties. Heirs were listed as Mrs. Henthorne, eight sons and a daughter.
(Source: The Daily Oklahoman, Tuesday, November 1, 1938 - furnished by Bill Henthorn)


Articles about the death of Azor Jefferson Henthorn appeared in The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK on the following dates: Monday 17 Oct 1938, p. 14; 18 Oct 1938, p. 12 (2 items); 21 Oct 1938, p. 17-18.

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Posted: 24 Sep 2009
File: Azor.txt

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Divorce for Uncle Wash

No Divorce for Uncle Wash
T. Clifford Morgan
Warsaw, MO

Washington Fain Reser was born the 30th of November, 1849. As a very young man, he had strong convictions as to what was right. He enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War, serving in Co. I of the 14th Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Calvary.

At the end of the War, in 1865, he was not yet 16 years old. He was tall, thin and had steel gray eyes that seemed to be piercing those who disagreed with him.

When he was about 28 years old, he married my great-aunt, Cynthia Ann Morgan, who was then a girl of 20 years. He probably figured that she understood in those days that a man was boss. The husband ruled the roost and didn't get any static from his wife or children. Aunt "Sint," as she was called, believed that a wife had just as many rights as her husband, but she didn't tell him until after the wedding. She was a "Women's Libber" long before this became fashionable in the 20th Century.

Uncle Wash didn't believe in divorce, so he made the best of staying married to a woman, who made him toe the mark at times during their long married life.

Uncle Wash saved every penny that he could from his hard work. He was able to own a general store in the town of Black Oak in Hickory County, Missouri (Later renamed, Preston). He was Postmaster for several years there. The money he saved was loaned on real estate for 8% interest. The interest alone made him a wealthy man. His store was kept open for long hours. When it was close to dark he would close the store and walk one half mile to the large two story house that he had built for his young wife.

One of his first encounters with Aunt "Sint's" temper came one morning when he complained about the kindling wood she had brought in the evening before. She told him that she would continue to carry in wood but the kindling would be his business. She wanted him to understand that she wouldn't touch kindling wood for the rest of her life. Uncle Wash didn't like this, but he didn't believe in divorce.

One of the disagreements concerned Aunt "Sints" helping her poor relatives. Uncle Wash felt he didn't have any trouble supporting his large family, so why couldn't every man support his wife and children. He lost that battle too, for Aunt "Sint" continued to help her sisters and brothers whenever they needed it.

As their large family reached school age, Uncle Wash made it known that he thought they should finish school at age 16. After all he had done very well with little schooling. Uncle Wash won the argument as far as the girls were concerned, but all the boys went to college.

His son, Winer, became a merchant. Ott was a Doctor. Horance became a dentist and Otis was a Doctor. Tom was also a Doctor. One of the girls, Fanny, married a Doctor. I believe I remember their names correctly. When I was a young boy, Uncle Wash was an old man. He still had those steel gray eyes.

I have talked to many of the people who knew Uncle Wash and Aunt "Sint." One of those who loved to talk about Uncle Wash was his nephew, Elias Padget, son of Seraphina, who was a sister of Aunt "Sint."

I visited Elias Padget in the 1970's. My son, Tom, and I would go backpacking in the Grand Canyon during my summer vacation. We hiked most of the well known trails. When we left the Canyon with tired feet, we would stop in the Oklahoma Panhandle to visit with Elias and Leona Padget. Elias was my cousin. He was about 80 and was a World War I Army Veteran.

One evening as we sat on Elias's front porch, I asked him about his memories of Uncle Wash. He told me a story of Uncle Wash and the kindling wood.

Elias was a little "tad." The winter was coming on. His parents had been through a drought. They had no money and not much food stored. Aunt "Sint" agreed to take young Elias for the winter and clothe and feed him. Uncle Wash didn't think much of spending money on one of her relatives. Elias's mother instructed him to be good and to help Aunt "Sint" out. He was told to be especially nice to Uncle Wash.

Elias helped carry in the wood. He was an early riser and would get dressed in the cold upstairs. Then he could hurry downstairs where Uncle Wash was building a fire in the potbelly stove. Sometimes he would get down before Uncle Wash came in carrying the lantern and the kindling wood. He wondered why Uncle Wash didn't get the kindling wood when he came in from the store while it was still daylight.

Uncle Wash wore a night gown and a night cap and was sort of an amusing sight as he knelt on the floor and blew on the fire to get it started. Elias would sit and rock in Aunt "Sint's" rocker, which Uncle Wash would not allow if Aunt "Sint" were present. When the fire got started, Uncle Wash would sit and rock in his rocker until the fire made some coals. Then he would take coals in a little shovel to the cook stove to start a fire there.

With the fires going well, he would go upstairs to wake up Aunt "Sint" and the kids. They would get dressed while Aunt "Sint" got breakfast for the large family. Breakfast always consisted of biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs. After breakfast Uncle Wash would feed the cattle and horses, milk two cows, and then go to the store.

As time went on and the winter got worse with more snow and cold, Elias got more concerned as to why Uncle Wash didn't get the kindling wood before dark the evening before. He asked his cousins, but only got the answer, "That is Dad's business." One day he thought it would be nice if he would bring in the kindling for the next morning. Aunt "Sint" caught him and told him to take the kindling back to the wood pile and never try that again.

Finally, young Elias decided that he would ask Uncle Wash why he didn't get in the kindling in the evening while it was daylight. The trouble was that Elias couldn't get up the nerve to ask him.

One cold evening with a cold blizzard bringing wind and snow, Elias thought surely Uncle Wash would stop at the wood pile to find some kindling wood, but Uncle Wash passed up the wood pile as usual. The next morning Elias got up quickly. Going downstairs he looked out the window at all the snow. He saw Uncle Wash out at the wood pile with the lantern kicking the snow trying to find some kindling. At last he heard Uncle Wash stamping his boots to rid them of snow. Elias opened the door and in came Uncle Wash trying to hold on to the lantern and the kindling.

It was time to ask Uncle Wash about his method of gathering in the kindling. Elias waited until Uncle Wash had the fires started and sat down to rock. "Uncle Wash may I ask you a question?" Uncle Wash stopped rocking and leaning forward he stared at the brassy brat who dared to ask him a question. Young Elias squirmed under his gaze and wished that he was elsewhere. Finally Uncle Wash held up one finger and said, "Elias I will let you ask one question." Then he went back to rocking.

Elias was scared and to make matters worse Uncle Wash was amused to see how scared Elias was. Elias decided to drop the matter. After a while, Uncle Wash stopped rocking and stared hard at Elias. He asked in a amused tone, "Elias, what was it you wanted to ask me?" Elias had to ask the question. He began, "Uncle Wash, when you came home from the store yesterday, it was starting to snow. It looked like a real blizzard would snow the wood pile under, why in the world didn't you find and bring in the kindling then?"

The question seemed to hit a sore spot with Uncle Wash. He went back to rocking, and no longer seemed amused. He kept glancing up the stairs as if he wondered if Aunt "Sint" was listening. After a while he stopped rocking, and his voice seemed to be almost pleading for understanding. "Young Elias, let's you and I do some supposing. Now suppose I did bring in the kindling wood the night before. Let's keep on supposing. Suppose I had died before morning. What do you suppose would happen to my kindling then? Well, I'll tell you what would happen, someone else would get to use my kindling wood." Uncle Wash went back to rocking and Elias never again asked him a question.

The year went by fast for young Elias. His father heard the next Spring about the Oklahoma Panhandle being opened up for settlement. With the family in a Concord wagon, he started west. Seraphine said good-bye to her brothers and sisters, whom she was never to see again. Young Elias almost didn't survive the trip. These long trips by wagon were hard on children. Elias got cold and hungry. They stopped once at a settler's cabin. Elias and the family had a good meal of beans. Elias felt like he might make it when his stomach was filled so well and they started on.

The land they settled on had no trees for building a house or for fuel for a stove. They lived in a dugout while Elias's father went to Liberal, Kansas to work on the railroad. The children would pick up buffalo chips to fuel the wood cook stove. They had to carry water from miles away. Elias probably looked back on his life with Aunt "Sint" and Uncle Wash and wished he was still there.

The years went by fast for Uncle Wash and Aunt "Sint" too. There children grew up, got married, and moved away except for Winer. He took over Uncle Wash's store, which sold groceries, dry goods, and even caskets. As they grew older Aunt "Sint" and Uncle Wash spent much time in their rocking chairs. In the summer they moved their chairs out on the porch. Their Last Will and Testament divided their large estate equally among their children. Both of them agreed on the will.

A bone of contention arose when the roof of the house started leaking. Aunt "Sint" wanted to spend money to get a new roof put on the house. Uncle Wash refused to spend money for this project and he won the battle. The roof continued to leak and Aunt "Sint" put pans and buckets under the worst leaks. The water even ran down the walls and ruined the family pictures hanging there.

Aunt "Sint" died the 25th of February, 1927 and was laid to rest in the cemetery where others of her family were buried. Uncle Wash continued to live on in the old, house. On days when he felt good, he would walk to the old store to visit with Winer and the customers, who had fond memories of him.

The leaky roof got worse and the children agreed that they would pay for the new roof. They elected Mabel to break the news to Uncle Wash. She seemed to have more nerve than her brothers and sisters. She approached her father with the news that she and the others would pay for a new roof. He struggled out of the rocking chair. He stood up and shaking his finger at Mabel, informed her, "That as long as he lived, that old roof would be good enough for him."

Uncle Wash died in October of 1942 and was laid to rest by Aunt "Sint," who as a young girl had married him 65 years before.

His grandson, Fain, restored and reroofed the old landmark, which had served as home for the large family. It still stands, vacant in 1995.

Dr. Tom Reser of Cole Camp erected at the entrance to the cemetery a large granite stone inscribed to the memory of his parents, Washington F. and Cynthia Ann Reser. The engraving on the stone reads, "In this final resting place, only virtues are remembered." You can see this stone at Fisher cemetery near Preston, Missouri.


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Posted: 23 Sep 2009
File: MorWash.txt