Mary Berry Kenison

Kenison, Mary Berry

Mary Berry was born on September 30th, 1776 in Candia, New Hampshire, according to her obituary.  There are some people on ancestry that think she was born in Quebec, Canada though the only thing that I have to go on at this time is what her obituary says.  I haven’t yet be able to determine who Mary’s parents were, either.

Mary married Jacob Kenison, (the spelling of Kenison has changed several times over the years. It seems a second n was added in the next generation to make it Kennison, which is how my own Grandmothers family spelled it.)

The couple had twelve children. Most of them were born in Quebec, Canada.  That could indicate that maybe Mary was originally from Quebec.

From a letter to her son David in 1847, it seems that Mary was a very religious woman.  The letter is transcribed below.

From Mary’s obituary, we see that the family moved west.  They were living in Iowa when Jacob passed away on November 16th, 1855.  The couple had been married for over 60 years.

Mary passed away when she was just a few weeks shy of 81 years old, on September 15th, 1857.

She is buried in the Ion Methodist Cemetery in Ion, Iowa.

Mary Berry Kenison Headstone - Iowa

At the top of Mary’s headstone is a carving of a Weeping Willow tree.  The inscription reads:  Mary Wife of Jacob Kenison – Died Sep 15, 1857  Age 80 Yrs, 11 mos.

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Letter from Mary Berry Kenison to her son David

(Blank lines indicate where I couldn’t make out the word.)

Belmont New York
June 22, 1847

My Dear David,
I send you these few lines to inform you that I am well as is also your father.
Abraham & Wife & Children are well. Peter, Hariett and his family are well.
Jonathon, Wife and Family are well. Benjamin C.__ Wife and Family are well. William Collins Wife & Family are well and in good health. There are no distempers with any of our friends and neighbors only that of sin. I want you Dear David to send me word by letter that you may inform me what state your Uncle John is in and Country and Town, that I may write to him and inform him of your Aunt Doras death. I feel much in trouble of mis respecting her preperations for her Eternal State on accord of her being taken so suddenly. I warn you David and Polly to have __ the Wedding garments and Oil in your Lamps to go forth to meet Jesus at his comming for the time draweth near. Prepare to meet they god and if on this earth we meet no more, I hope we shall meet in the eternal state in Christs Kingdom. I want you to give my love to John and hope he will live close to god that he may reign here upon this earth with Christ Jesus our lord and his halo horse. And let John know he went away from here in a manner which caused me trouble of mind. I want you to gife my love to all _________ friends and to write me a letter as soon as you possibly can and let me know every thing respecting the family. Now Dear David I want you to be watchful and prayerful and look forward to a comming and ease all your cares on Christ who careth for all in the praise of god.
Mother Mary Kenison

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Obit appeared in “The North Iowa Times,” M’Gregor, [Clayton Co., Iowa], Wednesday, October 7, 1857. Transcription rec’d by MAK from Elaine Mershon, Grants Pass, OR; 17 Nov 2004.

“Died on the 15th inst., at Ion in Allamakee County, MARY KENISON, widow of the late Jacob Kenison, in the 81st year of her age; leaving numerous descendants in the State of Iowa, and followed to her last resting place by a large number of children and grand children. She was a native of the State of New Hampshire but removed with her husband to the State of New York at an early age, and from thence followed the tide of emigration to the West, from State to State until she has at length found a resting place on the Western bank of the Mississippi. Having ever preserved and maintained a constant religious character as well as that of a gentle and affectionate mother, a kind and forbearing spirit towards her neighbors, her loss at her extreme age, though not altogether unexpected, is deeply deplored and regretted, not by her connexions (sic) only, but by her acquaintances generally. In full possession of her mental facilities, to the last she lived amoung friends and died instantaneously. G.S.”

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Mary Berry Kennison was my 4th great-grandmother.

Kenison, Mary Berry Line

 

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Chester Emery Dallas

Dallas, Chester Emery Headstone

Chester Emery Dallas was born on the 18th of November, 1850.  His parents were Dr. Leander J. and Nancy B. (Hood) Dallas and they lived in Belmont, Ohio at the time.  Chester was the sixth of eight children.

By 1860, the Dallas family had moved to Palmyra in Kansas territory.  It seems that Chester’s father had given up practicing medicine and was farming instead.  In January of 1861, Kansas became the 34th state in the union.  By the next year, the Civil War had started and Kansas was a really rough place.  It seems that one of the very first battles of the war was fought right here in the area that they lived.  Scary stuff.

When Chester was 20 in 1870, he was working as a laborer in Chetopa, Kansas, according to the 1870 census.  I have found that he had been a student at Baker University in Baldwin City.  Chester had gone to work on a newspaper in Chetopa that was owned an operated by a past president of the university.   Chetopa is down on the Kansas Oklahoma border and was in the heart of Osage country.  The first post office was established there in 1867, just a few years before Chester shows up in Chetopa on the census.

Chester’s father passed away in 1874 when Chester was 23 years old.  By 1880, he had moved back home and was farming.  He’s shown as living with his mother, so I’m guessing that when his father died, he went home to take care of things.

On the 24th of November, 1881 Chester married Margaret “Maggie” Harker.  He was 31 years old and Maggie was 24.  From notes that my grandmother left with my uncle, the Dallas family was Scotch-Irish and Maggie was French-Canadian.  I haven’t been able to find pictures yet of either of them.

The couple welcomed a son, Walter Clark Dallas, on the 25th of November, 1884.  They were still living in the Palmyra, Kansas area.

Sometime between 1885 and 1900, Maggie passed away.  In the 1900 census, Chester was listed as a widower and living in a boarding house in Mound City, Kansas.  He was a newspaper man, the publisher and editor of the Linn County Democratic Herald.

By 1910, Chester had remarried.  His new wife was named Helen Corn.  Chester was 60 years old,  still running the newspaper and the couple owned a home on Pine Street in Mound City.

By the 1930 census, right before his death, Chester was working as a real estate agent in Mound City.  Interesting!

Chester passed away on the 21st of May 1930 at 79 years old.  He is buried in the cemetery at La Cygne, Kansas.

There is so much more that I want to know about Chester’s life.  I feel a research trip to Kansas coming up.

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From:  Transactions of the Kansas State Historical Society, Volumes 1-2

J.W. Horner – The Chetopa Advance was started January 4, 1869, by Corey & Horner.  Mr. Corey retired in May, 1869.  January 4, 1870, S.A. Fitch purchased a half-interest and became joint proprietor and editor. John W. Horner was born at Harrisiburg, Penn in 1834; in 1855 graduated from the State Normal School of Michigan, and in 1858 at the Michigan State University; served in the army from May, 1861, till July, 1865 in all the positions from Lieutenant to Colonel of the Eighteenth Michigan Volunteers; came to Kansas in 1865; became President of Baker University, and in the fall of 1867 a professor in the State University; resigning after one year to engage in establishing the Advance. Of J.M. Cavanass, foreman of his office, Col. Horner says:  “He is a graduate of Baker University; a young man of excellent literary tastes, who never looses an hour, never swears, never smokes, never chews, never gets drunk, never loses his patience, never goes to see the girls.”  Chester Dallas, another employee, also a Baker University pupil, was equally virtuous. January 4, 1870, the paper took the name of the Southern Kansas Advance.

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(Chester is my 2nd great-grandfather on my mom’s side of the family.)

Dallas, Chester Emery Lineage

 

 

James Franklin Sannar

Adah and James Sannar

James Franklin Sannar was born on September 20th, 1883 to William Isaac and Eliza Ann (Carper) Sannar.  He was born in Fayette county, West Virginia.  Some records say Oak Hill and some say Mt. Hope.  These are both towns in Fayette county, in the heart of coal mining country, though his father was listed on the 1880 census as a farmer.

James, it seems, was known by Frank and was born the sixth of twelve children.  The family packed up and moved to Wallowa county, Oregon sometime in the late 1890’s, when Frank was between 12 and 15 years old.  I’ve always heard that they came by wagon and settled in the Promise area because some of their West Virginia neighbors had already settled there and wrote for the family to come.

In 1900, Frank was 16 years old when the census taker came around.  He had gone to school up to the 7th grade, could read and write, and was working as a farmer.  At age 26, in 1910, Frank was still living in the family home and working as a farm laborer.

On November 28th, 1912 Frank married Adah Gertrude Hescock, who was only 17 at the time.  Frank was 29.  The couple lived in Promise and welcomed their first child, Ida Ann, on June 30th, 1913.  That same summer, Frank’s younger brother Orval drowned in the Grande Ronde River while out fishing with friends.

Two years later, on October 3rd, 1915, Frank and Adah had a son, Walter Albert. Another son, Willard Woodrow, was born on February 11th, 1918.  Then came my own grandfather, Charles Alvin, on August 7th, 1920.

In the 1920 census, Frank own’s their home, which is listed as a “General Farm” and is working for himself as a farmer.  The land is mortgaged.  From the records, I believe that the Sannar family moved from their farm at Promise to somewhere closer to the town of Wallowa.

Tragedy strikes the family on November 6th, 1921 when little Willard dies of pneumonia.  He was only 3-1/2 years old.  I have always heard that the little guy fell in a creek and caught a cold that quickly turned into pneumonia.  He was buried the very next day in the Wallowa Cemetery.

Willard Woodrow Sannar Gravestone - Wallowa Oregon

(Gone But Not Forgotten, his headstone reads.  Willard Woodrow Sannar – Feb. 10, 1918 – Nov. 6, 1921)

On the 28th of January, 1925, Frank and Adah welcomed a baby girl, Julia Frances.  Two years later a baby boy was born on June 22nd, 1927.  He died at birth.  In 1928 Ruby Gertrude joined the family.

By the 1930 United States Federal Census, Frank was no longer farming, but working as a painter.

The last child, James “Jimmy” Orval was born the 29th of July, 1931.  It was a hard birth, one where the doctor had to use forceps.  Jimmy had brain damaged that was caused by his birth.  He would always live at home with his family.  Frank was 47 years old.

In the 1940 Federal Census, the family owned their home on Diamond Prairie Road in Wallowa, Oregon.  Frank was now working at the local sawmill as a foreman.  He made an income of $1,300 a year.

World War II began and in in 1942, Frank registered for the draft. At 58 years old, he would have been considered too old to serve.

About 1944, the family moved to Milton in Umatilla county.  The town is now called Milton-Freewater.  I’m not sure if Frank had retired by then or if he worked somewhere in Milton.

He passed away at the age of 67 on the 16th of December, 1950 and is buried in the cemetery in Milton-Freewater.  Years later, Jimmy and Adah were buried beside him.

Sannar, James Franklin and Adah Gertrude Headstone - Milton Oregon

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Sannar, James Franklin Obituary- from the La Grande Observer, December 27th, 1950

Frank Sannar Dies At Milton

Word has been received here of the death of Frank Sannar of Milton, who is a former resident of Wallowa county. James Franklin Sannar was born in Raleigh county, West Virginia, Sept. 20, 1883. His family came to Oregon while he and his brothers and sister were small. They lived north of Wallowa. He later homesteaded in the Promise area. On Nov. 28, 1912 he was united in marriage to Miss Ada Gertrude Hescock. Around 6 years ago, they moved to Milton. He was a member of the Christian Church. He is survived by his widow in Milton; three daughters, Mrs. Ida Scott of North Powder, Mrs. Francis Whitmore of Milton, and Mrs. Ruby Anderson of Walla Walla, Wash.; three sons, Albert and James of Milton, and Alvin of La Grande; a brother, Charles Sannar of Gridley, Calif.; three sisters, Mrs. Pearl Lively of Wallowa, Mrs. Lela Frank and Mrs. Letha Carper of La Grande; also 15 grandchildren,

(the rest of the obituary was cut off and unreadable. I’ll keep looking!)

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Like always, if you knew Frank, or even remember other folks talking about him, please share your memories!

(James Franklin Sannar is my great-grandfather.  He is the father of Charles Alvin Sannar, who is the father of my own dad, Thomas Alvin Sannar.)

Rolin Clay Simmons

Simmons, Rolin and dog

When I think of my Grandpa Simmons, I picture him coming home from work.  He’s wearing a white t-shirt and brown jeans, carrying his black metal lunchbox, his white hair shining in the sun and a twinkle in his blue eyes.  His name was Rolin Clay Simmons and I wish I had known him much longer than I did.

Rolin came into this world on the 20th of February in 1918.  He was born in Ontario, Oregon to Clay Taylor and Martha Alameda (Rowe) Simmons.  Rolin was the youngest of three children.  His two older siblings, Alta and Estel, were his half siblings.  Martha had been married to Thomas Sager previously in a marriage that ended in divorce.  After meeting and marrying Clay, Rolin was born.  I don’t remember there ever being any talk of “half brother and sister”, Alta and Estel were simply his sister and brother.

rolin-clay-simmons-age-7-july-4-1925-ontario-oregon

Here Rolin is 7 years old and eating ice cream on the 4th of July.  Look at those shoe’s!

The only thing that I know about his childhood years is that the family lived in the Ontario, Oregon area and his dad was a farmer.  By the 1930 census, the family had moved to Oroville, California and Rolin’s dad was doing bridge work.  Rolin was 12 that year.

Simmons - Clay, Martha, and Rolin

(Clay, Martha, and Rolin Simmons)

When Rolin was 21, he married Leoma Nesta Dallas in Reno, Nevada on December 23rd, 1939.  The couple made their home in Mineral, California where Rolin was working as a miner.

Simmons, Rolin and Leoma - California

Leoma and Rolin – I don’t have a year or a place on this picture, so if anyone else knows, please let me know!

Rolin and Leoma’s first daughter, Marvelene Jean, was born in Oroville, California on February 2nd, 1941.  A son, Philip Clay, followed the next year on June 14th, 1942, in Redding, California.

The family had moved to Redding and Rolin was working on the construction of Shasta Dam.  He worked in the rock quarry that was being used to build the dam.  Rolin was 24 years old.

The family was growing!  Next came a daughter, Janice Sharon on January 9th of 1944, (my mom!), then Judith Leoma on May 24th, 1945.  The youngest child born into the Simmons family was Randy Neal born on the 10th of July, 1946.

Around 1946, the Simmons family moved to the northeastern corner of Oregon, to Elgin.  There’s much that I don’t know about why they choose to move there and what Rolin did in their early years in this part of Oregon.

For a few years when my mom was a teenager, the family had moved to Wallowa and Grandpa and Grandma had a hardware store there.  I believe they only lived in Wallowa for about two years.

When I was growing up, Rolin was a contractor and they owned and operated Elgin Hardware, later known as Simmons Supply and Lumber.  I loved going in to the hardware store and helping grandma.  She would put us to work doing inventory, counting out the nails one by one.  It has only occurred to me as I’ve gotten older, that she was simply keeping young hands busy and out of her way.  Sneaky, Grandma, sneaky.

Simmons, Rolin House - Elgin Oregon

This is the house in Elgin where my Grandparents raised their family and the one that I have so many memories of myself.  Behind the house, there was a fire-pit with Grandpa’s great big fat hotdogs roasting away and long stone benches that were so cool to lay on on a hot summer day. So many cousins running around, so much love.

Leoma and Rolin Simmons

Que once again my grandfather coming home from work, his lunch box swinging in his hand and a twinkle in his eye.  His grandkids accost him, hoping for one of those special candies that he always has in his lunchbox.  He chases us a minute, affectionately tells all his “poopdecks” to simmer down, and goes inside to place a kiss on grandma’s cheek.

I remember him as a fairly quiet man with a dry sense of humor.  Gruff at times, but never really meaning it.  Grandpa was a collector of stamps, of coins, of books.  I loved going in his office and looking through his books full of the art of Charles Russell and Norman Rockwell.  The times when he would sit with me, his big magnifying glass in hand, and tell me about his stamps were some of my favorite times.

Those special candies that were always in his lunchbox were because Rolin was a diabetic and needed them for when his blood sugar would dip too low.  One of my earliest memories is getting up in the morning after having stayed the night with them, to find Grandma boiling Grandpa’s needle on the stove and then giving him his insulin shot.

Grandpa had a way about him, a special spark that made each one of us feel special. For me, he said he loved my biscuits and always asked that I make them for him.  Now, I know I wasn’t a spectacular cook, but Grandpa knew that I liked to do it, so he always made me feel like I was the best biscuit cook this side of the Mississippi, quietly, simply by asking me to bake them for him.  It was just his way.

Rolin passed away far too soon.  He had his health struggles;  carbon monoxide poisoning on a job in the 1970’s, a stroke about 1980, then he frostbit a toe and, being stubborn, didn’t go to the doctor until it was too late.  They were going to need to amputate, but before that could happen, Rolin suffered a heart attack while in the hospital and passed away.  It was the 17th of February 1982.  He was only 63 years old.  I still remember that evening like it was last week.  Forever missed.

Simmons, Rolin Clay Headstone - Elgin Oregon

Rolin is buried in the cemetery at Elgin, Oregon between his beloved wife, Leoma, and his daughter, Janice.   I remember standing at the graveside after my grandmother’s burial, when it was only the family left, and in a moment of lightness my uncle quipped, “Poor Daddy.  Now he’ll never get any rest.”

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Please please share your memories and I’ll add them in right here.

“The summer of 1980 I worked for my Grandpa Simmons. He was building a small shop just a few blocks from Grandma and Grandpas house. I was 15 at the time and had my drivers permit. Grandpa tried to teach me to drive his stick shift “Scout”. He had the patience of a saint. I killed it every time so we would walk the short distance to the job site.
One of my favorite Grandpa quotes is “You’ve got to get up early to get ahead of me.” ” – Stacey Sannar Roth

” He was a very caring and loving father. He worked very hard to support a family of seven. Sometimes we would not see him for one to two weeks at a time. He would be working out of town, doing construction. When he did return home, he would always have a surprise for us. One time it was a wild caught Badger, it was so mean. He wanted us to learn about it and then he took it back and let it loose. I was about 7 or 8 at the time.  He taught us so much. I truly miss him a lot.” –  Judy Simmons Hulse

“I remember Rolin as you aptly described him. He was a hard -working, soft-spoken man. He was very polite and helpful in his store.
I have fond memories of teenage years with Jan, Judy and Phil.
The greatest gift Rolin and Leoma gave me is a wonderful sister-in-law Judy, whom I dearly love. Such good memories!” ~ Elaine Hulse Durrer

 

Janice Sharon Simmons Photo – 1945

Simmon, Janice Sharon - Oct 4 1945

What a cutie pie!  This sweet picture is of Janice Sharon Simmons.  It was taken on October 4th, 1945 when she was 21 months old.  The family lived in Redding, California at the time so I think this picture was taken in Northern California, though it wasn’t much longer before they moved to Elgin, Oregon.

(Janice is my mother.  She is the daughter of Rolin and Leoma (Dallas) Simmons.)

Edna Winifred (Weaver) Kennison Coleman

edna-winifred-weaver-kennison-coleman-age-66-july-4-1969-wallowa-oregon

(Edna Coleman – July 6th, 1969, 66 years old, Wallowa, Oregon)

Edna Winifred Weaver was born on November 25th, 1902 in Wallowa, Oregon to Elijah and Mary Pearl (Hulse) Weaver.  She was the second born of twelve children.

At the age of 18, on October 28th, 1921, Edna married Harry Kennison in Enterprise, Oregon.  The couple made their home in Wallowa’s Lower Valley where Harry worked building roads.  He was one of the road builders on the Minam Canyon road that links Wallowa county with Union county.

harry-and-edna-kennison-1922-in-shaniko-oregon

This great picture of Harry and Edna was taken in 1922 in Shaniko, Oregon.  Harry was doing road work down there, so they were living in this sheep wagon.

On the 4th of July, 1923, Harry and Edna’s first child was born, my grandmother, Shirley Marcilee Kennison.   Edna was 20 years old.  A Dr. Gregory delivered the baby, but Edna had been so toxemic that she was unable to wear shoes for several months before the birth.  The baby was born and she was fine but Edna wasn’t doing very well, so the doctor stayed with them at their home for a few days after the birth to help Edna recover.

Son Harry Alvin Kennison, Jr.  came along in 1926, and the couple’s youngest daughter, Laurena Winifred Kennison in 1930.

On December 14th, 1934 the family’s life was to change forever when Harry had a sudden heart attack and passed away at the age of only 31 years.  My grandmother, Shirley, was the oldest child.  She was 11 when her dad died and had to run by herself on a dark night to bring the doctor back to their home.  That story always broke my heart a little bit each time I heard it.

After Harry passed away, the family was very poor and got some type of assistance from the county.  It was not at all the same as the welfare system is today and was apparently random items brought to their home from time to time.  One of the items that the family was given at one point was bed sheets.  Their house has a dirt floor, which was not so uncommon in those times and I always heard stories how Grandma’s dirt floor was always swept so clean and hard packed that you could eat off of it.  Well, the family didn’t need any sheets, so Edna took them and hung them up on the walls and the ceiling to help keep the dirt out.  She was very resourceful, from all accounts that I have heard.

Edna’s parents gave the a milk cow, but they had no place to keep it at their home, so it stayed at her parents house.  Shirley, being the oldest, was sent over to her grandparents to milk that cow every morning.  There is a family story that her two young uncles, the twins Doc and Marshall, (who were younger than Shirley), thought that the cow should be theirs instead. One morning when Shirley went to milk, the three of them got in a fist fight.  Apparently she came home with a black eye but the boys were the worst for the wear!

On February 5th, 1940, at the age of 37, Edna married Trell Haney Coleman in Union, Oregon.  From all accounts, Trell was a wonderful man and the family adored him.

Coleman, Edna and Trell - July 1963

(Edna and Trell Coleman, July 1963, Wallowa, Oregon.)

They were married for 29 years before Trell passed away on June 29th, 1969.  Edna followed less than a year later on April 29th, 1970.  She is buried in the Cemetery at Wallowa.

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Wallowa County Cheiftan Newspaper
Enterprise, Wallowa County, Oregon,
dated Thursday May 7, 1970
Edna Coleman Services Held
Mrs. Edna Winnifred Coleman of Wallowa passed away on Wednesday, April 29, 1970 in a La Grande hospital where whe had been a patient for ten days.
She was the daughter of Elijah and Mary Weaver and was born Nov. 25, 1902 at Wallowa where she had lived all of her life. On Oct. 28, 1921 she was married at Enterprise to Harry Kennison who passed away Dec. 14, 1934. On Feb. 5, 1940 she was married at Enterprise to Trell Coleman who passed away June 29, 1969.
Her survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Alvin (Shirley) Sannar and Mrs. Ray (Laurena) Vance, both of Ketchikan, Alaska; one son, Harry Kennison of Baker and one stepson, Edward Coleman of Enterprise; two sisters, Mrs. Chas. (Blanche) Schaeffer of Wallowa, and Mrs. Francis (Myrtle) Armon of Perry; five brothers, Wayne Weaver of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Lloyd and Martin Weaver, both of Wallowa, Kenneth Weaver of Yakutat, Alaska, and Selby Weaver of LaGrande; and seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held Monday at 2 p.m. at the Wallowa Christian Church, conducted by the Bollman Funeral Home with Rev. Gary Johnson officiating. Mrs. Wanda Sorweide was organist, and Mrs. Catherine DeBoie sang “In The Still of The Night” and “In The Garden.”
Casket bearers were: Keith L. Weaver, Beryl Weaver, Gregory Weaver, Lowell Armon, Dallas Armon and Mike Holloran. Interment was in the Wallowa Cemetery.

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Weaver, Edna Kennison Coleman Headstone Wallowa Oregon

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Please pass on any stories about Edna and her life so that I can add them here.  I know some of you remember her~!

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“This is my Aunt Edna..Dad’s sister..and all of you that attended Wallowa High School..Trell Coleman was our favorite janitor!!! Such a kind caring man..” ~ Janice Weaver McLaughlin

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(Edna is my great-grandmother, the mother of Shirley Marcilee (Kennison) Sannar.)

Weaver, Edna Kennison Coleman Line

 

 

 

George Washington Carper

Georeg Washington Carper

George Washington Carper was born on April 7th, 1831 to Joseph and Virginia (Shumate) Carper, the third of eleven children.  The family lived in Brush Creek, Virginia when George was born and lived there for his entire childhood.  Brush Creek is part of West Virginia now and is a small unincorporated coal town.

When George was eighteen, he married Delilah Phipps on November 29th, 1849 in Fayette County, West Virginia.  (Then Virginia, as well.)  The couple took up residence in Frederick County, Virginia where George is listed as a Farmer on the 1850 census.

Carper, George Frederick County Virginia

In November of 1851, George and Delilah’s first child was born, a girl, Mary Elizabeth.  Mary Was born in Raleigh, Virginia and was the oldest of fourteen kids, including my own great-great grandmother, Eliza Ann.

The 1860 census finds the family living in an area called Scotts Ridge in Raleigh county,  Virigina. The nearest post office was in a small town called Table Rock.  I’m not sure if the town is still in existence, though the post office is not.  George was again listed as a Farmer.

The Civil War began in April of 1861.  On September 12th, 1862 George enlisted in Charleston, Virginia.  He was 35 years old and listed as a Private in the 36th Regiment Battle Unit of the Virginia Infantry, Company C, 2nd Kanawha Infantry – The Raleigh Rangers.  It looks like the Rangers unit was reorganized in May of 1862 and maybe George went home then, because in late December of 1862, George and Delilah had another daughter born to them.  He was certainly home sometime during that spring!  You can read a bit more about the 36th Regiment here.

Carper, George and Delilah

The 1880 census finds George and Delilah still living in West Virginia, (which by now IS West Virginia, having seceded from Virginia.)  George is still listed as a Farmer at 49 years of age.  About 1885 they have emigrated to Promise, Oregon where Delilah passes away on April 4th, 1904 at the age of 70 years.

Wallawa Christian Church - 1901 - George Preached here

George is a preacher as well as a farmer.  This is a 1901 picture of the congregation of the Wallowa Christian Church in Oregon where it is said that George preached.

Carper, Reverand George - Promise Oregon 1910 Wedding

This one was taken in 1910 at a Carper wedding in Promise, Oregon that George officiated.  He is the gentleman with the white whiskers and black hat on the left hand side of the picture.  (These two photographs, the one of the church congregation and the one of the wedding were shared by a user on Ancestory.com.  Thank you for that!)

George was lonely after Delilah passed away, so in 1905, at the age of 74, he married Caroline Lyon Griffith in Wallowa, Oregon.

George passed away January 5th, 1910 at the age of 79.  He is buried in the cemetery in Promise, Oregon.

Following is the text from his obituary printed in a local paper:

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Pioneer Preacher Dies at Promise

Rev. G.W. Carper 40 years in ministry-First Preacher in Promise

Rev. G.W. Carper, first preacher in Promise and one of the first settlers in that community, died at his home on January 5, 1910, lacking but 2 months and 2 days of being 80 years of age.  He had been 40 years a preacher and had spent an active life much of it on the frontier of Oregon.

George Washington Carper was born in West Virginia April 7, 1830.  He and the wife of his youth together united with the Christian Church early in life.  Mr. and Mrs. Carper about 15 years ago came to Promise where some of their children had already come.  Mr. Carper preached the first sermon ever preached in Promise in Mr. Mann’s house in June 1885.  Most of the time since then he has lived in Promise and preached in different parts of the country until the state of his health prevented him from such labors.  During the last few months, Mr. Carper has been a constant sufferer.  His life came to a peaceful close January 5, 1910.  The funeral services were held at Promise school house conducted by Rev. Fred G. Potter.  The remains were laid in the Promise cemetery where his first wife was buried several years ago.  Mr. Carper was the head of a large family.  He was the father of 13 children, three of whom died in childhood, two live in West Virginia and eight live in the Promise country and were near him at the time of his death.  He had nearly 100 grand children and about 35 great grand children.  Very fittingly was he generally called Grandpa Carper.  A wife who has been a comfort to his declining days, also remains to mourn for him.  Death came to his as a relief from toil and suffering.  He was cheered by the hope of immortality in the blissful beyond in which he had so great faith.

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Carper, George Washington Headstone - Promise Oregon

(George was my 3rd great-grandfather.)

Carper, George Washington Line

 

 

 

Clay Taylor Simmons

Clay and Martha Simmons 1939

Clay Taylor and Martha (Rowe) Simmons, taken in Ontario, Oregon in 1939.  This picture is one of my favorites.  It reminds me of the classic American Gothic painting and just seems so iconic.  Clay Taylor Simmons is my great grandfather and this is the only picture I have of him.  I don’t know much about him or Martha either, so if anyone reading this knows more, please share!

Clay was born on November 8th, 1882 in Millville, California to Shelby Huggins and Nancy Jane (Newton) Simmons.  Sometime around 1890, the family moved to Harney county, Oregon where Clay’s father passed away when Clay was sixteen years old.

In 1918, Clay registered for the draft for World War I.  From that draft card, I know that he was a farmer and he was of medium height with a slight build, light blue eyes and brown hair.  I like that we can see his signature on this card.

Simmons, Clay Taylor WWI Draft Registration Card

1918 also brought the birth of my grandfather, Rolin Clay Simmons.  I haven’t been able to find a marriage record, so not sure what year Clay and Martha got married, but it would have been sometime before 1918.

In both the 1900 and 1920 censuses, he was listed as a Farmer, living in Harney county, Oregon in 1900, still in 1918 on the draft record, but then listed in Malheur county, Oregon in 1920.  By the 1930 census, the family had moved to Oroville, California where Clay was listed as a laborer doing bridge work.  He was 48 then.

When Clay was 61, his wife, Martha passed away in Redding, California where Clay lived until his death in 1953 at 70 years of age.

Simmons, Clay Taylor family line