Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 40 Acres And A Mule

"A mule has neither pride of Ancestry nor hope of Posterity"
...Robert Green Ingersoll

Henry Smith and Myrtle Melvin (my husband's grandaunt) on the mule. Circa 1929

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Cornelius Donaldson Burnette 1832 - 1901

Burnett Chapel Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky ~ Spring 1999

Cornelius Donaldson "Neelie" Burnette - Second husband of my great, great grandmother Ursula Ann Martin Davis.

My paternal great, great grandmother Ursula Ann was the daughter of James Monroe and Susannah Grabeel Martin. Ursula Ann married John Miller Davis, son of James and Achsah Jackson Davis, in 1874. John Miller Davis died in 1880 and four years later in 1884 Ursula Ann married Cornelius Donaldson Burnette. Cornelius was married previously to Elizabeth Elam and at least six children were produced from that union. Children of Ursula Ann and Cornelius D. are: Daisy Cordelia, Cora Jane, Hobart Cornelius, and Amanda Ursula. Ursula Ann died in 1900 and Cornelius died in 1901. Ursula Ann's daughter and her husband, my great grandparents, Sarah Frances Davis and Oliver Morton Wallen, became guardians of the four half siblings of Sarah Frances.

Some excerpts from the diary of Oliver Morton Wallen:

"Jan. 4, 1901 - Hauled two loads of wood. Wade Mullins came (for) Sarah and I. Mr. Burnette was very bad, he died at 12 P.M. that night.  Jan. 5 - Staid at Mr. Burnette's place most of the day. Took dinner with J. B. Cummins. Sarah and I staid all night with James Denny.  Jan. 6 - Freemasons buried Mr. Burnette at Burnette's Chappel. Rev. Powel preached the funeral. Sarah and I attended the funeral."

"Mar. 26 [1901] - Went from Mt. Vernon to Brodhead and got W. H. Sowder to go on a bond for me to be appointed guardian for Cordia, Cora, Hobert, and Sula Burnette. Went to Mt. Vernon and received the appointment. "

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of James Davis 1865 Pulaski Co., Kentucky

About Amanuensis Monday: John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

~James Davis 1796 - 1865~

James and Achsah Jackson Davis were the paternal great grandparents of Sarah Frances Davis Wallen, my paternal great grandmother.

Will of James Davis:

Know all men by these presents that I, James Davis, of the County of Pulaski and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind but in bad health and viewing the uncertainty of life, have made this my last will and testament. In the first place I will my soul to the Lord Who gave it me and my body to be decently buried in it's Mother, Earth. 

2d  It is my will that my Executor, herein after named, shall proceed to collect my debts due me and, as soon as can be done, pay off all my own debts and satisfy all the claims that justly come against my estate. 

3d  It is my will that my wife, Achsah Davis, have my farm and all my property, real and personal, of every description, that may be left after the payment of my debts, for her support during her natural life and that she has the entire controll and management of the same and, if circumstances should ever require it for her well doing, she may sell and convey the land and manage the whole matter as may best suit her judgment.

4th  It is my will that after the death of my wife, Achsah Davis, that all and every species of property left by her shall be sold and the money collected by my Executors and distributed in following manner:

1st  That Joseph Alexander Davis, son of my daughter Sarah Ann Roe, have two hundred and fifty dollars given to him. 

2d  That Achsah Pain Davis, daughter of my son John Davis, have fifty dollars given her whenever she becomes of age.

3d  That Sarah Melvina Hamlin, daughter of Darkey Hamlin, have two hundred and fifty dollars paid her when she shall be come of age.

4th  That Leander Sizemore, son of Furney Davis have twenty-five dollars given him when he becomes of age.

5th  That Thomas Hoskins, son of Furney Davis, have twenty-five dollars given him when he shall become of age.

6th That my Grand children by my daughter, Frances Burnet, have fifty dollars each paid to them as soon as they become of age.

*8th  And that after paying out the above sum of money, all that be left of my estate to be paid to my grand son, James R. C. Lathum, whenever he becomes of age. Now it is my will that if any of the above named grand children should die before they shall become of age that their part as above mentioned shall be equally divided among the brothers and sisters of said legatee. Now, be it known that it has been my object to make an equal division of my worldly effects among all my children and those not mentioned in this my last will and testament have all had their parts given them heretofore. And, lastly, it is my will that my good friends I. S. Evans and D. O. Gibson be appointed my Executors in witness whereoff I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 5th day of December 1864.
Thomas Head
Wiley Cash
Lafayette Sproul

James Davis (seal)

Back of last page:

James Davis
Last Will
1865 February 28th
Proven by the oaths of
Wiley Cash and
Layfayette Sproul, two
of the subscribing witnesses
to said will release to record
Att E. D. Perch Clk
Recorded in Book
No 6 Page 394

*[There was no number 7 in this Will.]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: "Thorn Between Two Roses"

The caption my mother wrote on the back of this picture is:
"Kate, Dad & Me 'Thorn Between Two Roses!' Taken Summer of '42 Indianapolis"
Kate Jackson (18) - best friend (a lovely lady still living as of this writing), Lawrence Runyan (49) & Janet Runyan (18) - Father & Daughter 
I'm just wondering about the "summer" part since the ladies have on warm coats!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The MELVIN Gals ~ 1941 Plymouth Sedan ~ Louisville, Kentucky

In this photo are some of the MELVIN women from my husband's family standing in front of a 1941 Plymouth Sedan. Left to right: Cousin LaVerne Moore (daughter of Wm. & Grandaunt Ruth MELVIN Moore), Grandaunt Myrtle MELVIN Robinson, Great Grandmother Edna Metcalf MELVIN-Price, Grandaunt Bessie MELVIN Church. Photo taken somewhere in the West end of Louisville probably around 1943-44.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Knightstown Banner: John Alby Newby - 1923 Obituary And Memorial

~John Alby Newby 1842 - 1923~

John A. Newby was my mother's maternal great grandfather. He died the year before she was born. I was fortunate to obtain both of these very informative articles from the local newspaper in Knightstown, Henry Co., Indiana, The Knightstown Banner.

March 2, 1923 Page 1, Column 2

Death of John A. Newby

    Following an illness of pneumonia of only a few days, John A. Newby, aged 80 years, one of the well known men of Knightstown and an old pioneer resident of the town, died at his home in North Washington street shortly after midnight last Tuesday morning. Mr. Newby came here in the early days from Greensboro and had probably lived here in the neighborood of 50 years. He was a carpenter by trade. Mr. Newby was the youngest old man in this part of the country, as until his last sickness he had been physically able to ply his trade with other craftsmen.
    Surviving are his widow and three sons - Charles, Ed, and Frank Newby, of Knightstown. He also leaves two brothers, L. P. and L. Y. Newby, of Knightstown.
    The funeral was held yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Methodist church, of which the deceased was a member, conducted by Rev. Ice, the pastor. Interment was made at Glencove cemetery in charge of Undertaker C. F. Baxter.

March 9, 1923 Page 2, Column 4


    John A. Newby was born near Greensboro, Indiana, March the 26th, 1842, and died at his home in North Washington street, Knightstown, Ind. Tuesday, February 27th, 1923, being twenty-seven days less than eighty-one years of age.
    He has lived nearly all of his life in this vicinity and has been well known. He was the son of Jacob and Levina Leonard Newby. Much of his early life was spent on the farm, but later he followed the carpenters trade. He has always been an industrious man, never afraid of the hardest kind of work, and a faithful workman.
    When a young man he married Mary Louisa Grunden, at the place which afterwards became Wilkinson. There were six children born to them, their first died in infancy, two daughters lived to womanhood, married and have preceded their father in death, leaving three sons living - Charles, Frank and Edward.
    His wife was an invalid for twelve years and then was taken leaving him with the three children. He held his family together until each established a home of his own, except Frank, who has remained with his father.
    Twenty-two years ago he was married to Mrs. Julia Morris, who survives him. She too, has been almost an invalid for several years. He was always thoughtful and patient, finding real pleasure in any service he could render to his own or to a friend. Many deeds of kindness can be recalled by his many neighbors showing his thoughtfulness. He was so fond of flowers and he and his wife found joy in growing them and sharing them with their friends.
    He was a member of a family of seven children, but three of whom are now living, Leonidas P., Loren Y., and Mrs. William Carroll, of Shirley. A step-son and one step-daughter, and nephews, nieces, grandchildren and one great grandchild are among the sorrowing relatives.
    For probably forty years John Newby has been a member of the Methodist church, a faithful attendant, and a respected consistent member. Not only will his family miss him but the citizenship of Knightstown will miss his coming and going and his always pleasant greeting.
    The relatives of Mr. John A. Newby desire to express their sincere gratitude to the many friends and neighbors who so kindly assisted them during his illness and funeral.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1940 Shotgun Suicide

Obituary of Jesse Claude Runyan

Jesse Claude Runyan 1881 - 1940, oldest child of Robert Noah and Mary Darling Runyan. Married Lena Hudelson 1910. Children: Walter, Marguerite, Thelma, Pearl and Viola. Older brother to my maternal grandfather, Lawrence. One of my mother's fond memories of her Uncle Jess was seeing him standing in front of the mirror in his long johns adjusting his hat this way and that. Mom described her uncle as "dapper"!

dap·per  (dpr) adj.
1.a. Neatly dressed; trim. b. Very stylish in dress.
2. Lively and alert.
[Middle English daper, elegant, probably from Middle Dutch dapper, quick, strong.]


Jesse C. Runyan, age 58, a well-known and prosperous farmer living in the Old Union neighborhood, north of this city, ended his life Monday afternoon about 4:30 o'clock with a shotgun, while in a woods near his country home. Mr. Runyan had been in poor health for several months, following severe head and back injuries suffered when he fell off a load of hay last June.

Mr. Runyan was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Runyan and was born in Spiceland, November 22, 1881, and had spent the greater part of his life in this vicinity. He was highly respected by all who knew him, and was a faithful husband and indulgent father.

He is survived by the window, Mrs. Lena Runyan, and four daughters: Mrs. Carl Jones of Spiceland, and Misses Thelma and Pearl Runyan of this city, and Miss Viola Runyan, at home. Also two sisters, Mrs. Oral Crim, of New Castle, and Mrs. T. J. Spears, of Danville, Ill, and one brother, Lawrence Runyan, of near Lewisville.

The funeral services were held on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock from his late residence, with Rev. Ernest A. Addison, pastor of the local Christian Church, officiating. Burial was made in Glen Cove cemetery; O. M. Wilson, funeral director.

[Note: Obituary hand dated on the back: October 23, 1940. Death was on the 21st.]


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Grave Yard Dawg

Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Pulaski Co., Kentucky 1999

Silent as a ghost, this dog followed my mother and I around the cemetery when we visited in the Spring of 1999. He never came close but seemed to want to hang out with us. I still remember the heavenly scent of  honeysuckle at this old burying ground.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Achsah Jackson Davis 1796 - 1877

Biblical Reference for the given name "Achsah"....

Joshua 15: 17-19 Caleb said,
"Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and takes it,
to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife."
Othniel son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it;
and he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife.
When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field.
As she dismounted from her donkey, Caleb said to her,
"What do you wish?"
She said to him,
"Give me a present.
Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb,
give me springs of water as well."
So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

Achsah Jackson, my paternal fourth great grandmother, was born April 4, 1796 in Ashe Co., North Carolina. She married James Davis on September 16, 1819 in Washington Co., Virginia and died September 12, 1877 in Pulaski Co., Kentucky. Children: Sarah Ann, John L., William J., Francis K., Forney J., Dorcas B., Frances, and Mary Jane. Buried Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of Nathan Owen 1811 Fairfield Co., Ohio


My Owen line is of Welsh origins. Above is the dragon which has long been the symbol of Wales. At the bottom of this article is the Welsh Owen Tartan which I sometimes wear to Celtic events (when I am not wearing my Scottish Anderson Tartan).

My paternal grandparents were William Jesse Wallen and Iva Illinois "Noy" Townsend. Noy's parents were Andrew Melvin Townsend and Mary Ellen Lucretia Owen. Mary Ellen's parents were David Brashears Owen and Sarah Samantha Miller. David's parents were James Owen and Nancy Ann Brashears and James' parents were Nathan Owen and Leah Margaret Hartzell. Nathan was born about 1768 in Northampton Co., Pennsylvania and died in 1811 in Fairfield Co., Ohio. He married once before his marriage to Leah and that union produced one known son David. Nathan and Leah had 10 known children: James, William, Mary, Joseph, Charles, Nathan, Jesse, Thomas (not mentioned in will, may be deceased), Reuben and Levi. This below is a transcription of the Will of Nathan Owen:

In the name of God, Amen. I Nathan Owen of the county of Fairfield and state of Ohio, yeoman being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God; calling into mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die; do make and ordain this my last will and testament - that is to say principally, and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hand of almighty God that gave it, and my body I commend to the earth, to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same - again by the mighty power of God, and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form: First, that all my last debts be paid, my dearly beloved Leah to have the privilege profits and income of all my real and personal estate for the term of ten years after my decease; together with the privilege of buying and selling any personal property for the schooling and maintenance of the children and at the expiration of ten years after my decease it is my will that all my real and personal estate shall be sold, except what shall be excepted hereafter. I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Leah such a part of my real estate as contained within the following boundaries at the expiration of ten years after my decease, viz; Beginning at William Young's corner on Clear Creek and running South to Robert Young's corner, thence east with said Robert Young's land till the N. E. corner of the same, thence North to Clear Creek, thence up said creek to the place of beginning, be the same, more or less, with all the profits arrising from the same during her natural life; I likewise give and bequeath to my beloved wife Leah at the expiration of ten years after my decease, the following property viz, one horse and saddle not under the value of sixty five dollars, two cows, two beds and beding together with the kitchen furniture, all the remainder of my real and personal estate to be praised and sold, giving any of the heirs jointly or singly the privilege of holding the same at the appraisment by paying the other heirs their proper shares; and after the decease of my beloved wife Leah, all the real and personal estate devised to her, by this my last will and testament, the same to be praised and sold for the benefit of the heirs, giving them the privilege of holding the same at the appraisement, as above, reserving out of my whole tract of land, one acre on the north east corner of the same for the benefit of a school, where a school house may be built and a grave yard for the benefit of the public - in general, such religious denominations as is hereafter mentioned to have the privilege of building a house for public worship on said reserve (vis) Old sort of Quakers, otherwise called Friends. Old sort of Manists, Babtists, Lutherans and Presbyterians, and no person or persons whatsoever to dwell or reside thereon. The said reserve to be appropriated to no other use than the purposes herein mentioned. I give and bequeath to my oldest son David by my first wife, eight dollars it being my will that my son James, my son William, my daughter Mary, my son Joseph, my son Charles, my son Nathan, my son Jesse, my son Reuben and the one unborn to have an equal share without distinction of all the monies interest profits and income. It is likewise my will that no sale shall be made of any part of my real estate before the expiration of ten years after my decease any of the heirs that should be of age before that time shall wait till such sale shall take place and money raised, and then to receive interest for the same from the time they become of age till the time they receive payment and the others to receive their shares as the respectively become of age. I likewise constitute make and ordain Martin Sanders Esq. Executor and my beloved wife Leah executrix of this my last will and testament likewise leaving the reserve above mentioned in their care and charge giving them power to transfer their charge of it to my heirs and then their heirs and so on successively hoping that all things herein mentioned and contained be faithfully and truly performed ratifying and confirming this (with they interlining and erasement as above) and no other to be my last will and testament. In Witness whereof I have herewith set my hand and seal this nineteenth  day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and eleven. Signed, sealed, published and declared in the presence of us and we in his presence have hereunto set our hand this day and date herein written. Nathan Owen

Alex McConkey
Hesekiah Hyatt
State of Ohio Fairfield County
At a court of common pleas begun and held at Lancaster in and for the county aforesaid on the 30th day of September AD1811 the within and forgoing last will and testament of Nathan Owen is produced in court and is proven by the oath of Alexander McConkey one of the subscribing witnesses thereto.
Attest Hugh Boyle Clk

At a court continued and holden as aforesaid on the first day of October AD1811 appeared Hezekiah Hyatt one of the subscribing witnesses to the within last will and testament and proved the same as the law directs on which it is ordered to be recorded and letters of executorship be issued to the executor and executrix therein mentioned by the court. 
Attest Hugh Boyle Clk

Welsh Owen Tartan


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day - A Tribute To My Dad

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Robert Leroy Wallen 1921-2000

Son of William Jesse and Iva Illinois Townsend Wallen

My brother Bob wrote the following newsletter article for an Internet health web ring not quite two years before our dad passed away. 

"When I was in first grade, we were all given little paper medicine cups in class, with our doses of the new oral polio vaccine. I don't know why I remember that, but I also remember seeing the posters about polio, with photographs of people being kept in iron lungs to keep them alive. At that tender age, I didn't see the connection, but my father had contracted polio when he was five years old. He was relatively lucky. He lost a lot of strength in his legs, but he could walk alright, with a bit of a limp. I can only remember seeing him run one time, when I crashed my bike in the street at the age of six. 
I never thought of my dad as being "handicapped", because he never thought of himself that way. He pretty much did what everybody else did, and probably more, with never a complaint. The defining event of his generation was World War II. Dad served in the U. S. Army, guarding enemy prisoners of war at the military prison in Huntsville, Texas. On vacations, he didn't shy away from the little trail hikes in the Smokies, and we went fishing, and to the beach. He even took up bicycle riding. He would get out in the steaming Florida sun and cut the grass with a push mower, when he couldn't find me. When we kids were grown, he and Mom would take off on trips all over the country, and spent a good part of those trips camping. 

Dad was always interested in physical fitness. Some of my earliest memories are of the "muscle man" magazines he brought home when I was three or four. Many (many!) years later, when I finally made up my mind to change my couch-potato ways, he gave me "temporary" custody of the set of York Barbells that he had bought before I was born. I still have them.

It wasn't until Dad was pretty close to retirement age that the weakness in his legs and back began to worsen. He began wearing an aluminum orthopedic brace on his weaker leg. That has helped a lot, but the syndrome continues to slowly progress. He says he probably won't be doing much camping anymore.

I never heard of Post-Polio Syndrome until about 1990, and for a long time there wasn't much available information about it. The internet and the Web have changed all that. The information, although still somewhat scanty, is there. And information hubs, such as this web ring, are busy consolidating sources of knowledge and making it easily accessible to those who want it. Web rings like this are also valuable sources of contact between people of like interests who, before, would have had no way of finding others like themselves. 

Post-polio syndrome is something like the land mines that have been hidden in the earth in so many wars, forgotten for generations, only to be reawakened without warning. If you know someone who, like my dad, has had to re-enter the battle with the ghost of this enemy from so long ago, that has been hiding and biding its time, encourage them to explore this web ring. They're sure to find something of interest, and people to share with. 

Hats off to my dad, Robert L. Wallen, father of three sassy 'boomers', 
woodsculptor extraodinaire, and the man I admire most."

Robert Terrill Wallen - Autumn 1998


Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Great 1937 Flood - Louisville, Kentucky - Why Nobody Cried

The Great Ohio River Flood 
Louisville, Kentucky 1937

In January of 1937, rains began to fall throughout the Ohio River Valley, eventually triggering what is known today as the "Great Flood of 1937". On January 27 the water level reached 57 feet in Louisville. 70 percent of the city was under water and 175,000 people were forced to leave their homes. The river in Louisville rose 6.3 feet between the 21st and 22nd. With the river reaching nearly 30 feet above flood stage, Louisville had the greatest height of the flood.

In my stash of memories given me by my husband's family I have two items reflecting the aftermath of this flood, one of death and one of strengthened spirit.

Rose Bodenbender Melvin, wife of Charles Walter "Uncle Bud" Melvin, besides being afflicted with an ectopic pregnancy, contracted pneumonia as a direct result of stress and living conditions during the flood and died on February 23rd. She hadn't quite reached her 33rd birthday.

And then I have this small clipping from the Louisville Courier Journal. I could have trimmed it up but I chose to scan it as I received it. This article was submitted to the Editor by Myrtle Maxine Melvin Robinson, "Myrt The Flirt" as her family fondly called her. Myrtle was my husband's maternal great aunt, sister of his grandmother Florence Polly, "Granny Hide". Bud Melvin mentioned above was their brother.  

Why Nobody Cried


Friday, June 18, 2010

Traveling Pony Photographers: When Cowboys Were Cool!

Remember when cowboys were cool? 

I loved Cowboys and shoot 'em up Westerns, still do! 
Cowboys have always been, and will always be, my heroes.

These pictures below are from the time of the traveling photographer who wandered door to door leading a little docile painted pony all decked out with fancy saddle and studded trappings. Aside from his camera, the photographer usually carried with him a cowboy hat and a kerchief to use for props. Sometimes he might even have a pair of kid sized "cow hide" chaps. Mom signed a form but didn't pay any money until the photographer came back with the photos and if she liked what she saw she paid for them then. 

These are our family cowpokes:

My Uncle Billy Wallen, September 15, 1944, age 10
Indianapolis, Indiana

 Mike, Buddy and Rose Logsdon circa 1951

Lisa Wallen, Temple Terrace (Tampa), Florida
circa 1958


Thursday, June 17, 2010

TURKEY RUN STATE PARK - Marshall, Park Co., Indiana - July 1944

Vintage photos of Turkey Run State Park

My parents, Bob and Janet Wallen, and my maternal grandparents, Lawrence and Fern Runyan, and their dog Honey toured the Turkey Run State Park on a July day in 1944. The first picture above of "West Turkey Run Motor Court and Dining Room" is the best of the photos. The other 4 photos taken inside the forest area are a bit dark.

Grandmother and Granddaddy in the "Ice Box"

Dad, Granddaddy and Mom in the "Devil's Punch Bowl"

Next 2 photos are of "Bear Hollow"

Dad, Granddaddy, Grandmother and Honey

Granddaddy, Dad, Mom, and Honey

For an interesting and descriptive old history on the park click here Turkey Run State Park to see the contents of this vintage 1930 booklet. Great old photos!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Temple Terrace Little League Baseball 1957

The "Builders" Little League Baseball Team
Temple Terrace (Tampa), Florida 1957

My brother, Michael Dean, far right, front row, kneeling.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Oliver's Tomb, Then And Now ~ Sarah's Return

Sonora Cemetery, Sonora, Sutton County, Texas

My great grandfather Oliver Morton Wallen died from Tuberculosis in 1907 at the age of 37 years. He and his family left Kentucky with the hope that the drier climate of Texas would slow the progression of the disease that had affected his lungs for years. Sadly, it was in vain as he died within two years of moving.

Below is the picture of Oliver's tomb just after he was buried. Pictured left to right: his brother Jesse Uriah, his widow Sarah Francis (Davis), twins James Hobart and Charles Homer, twins Sula Susan and Thomas Miller, and my grandfather William Jesse. This is the only existing picture of Jesse Uriah that I am aware of. Jesse Uriah also died of Tuberculosis ten years later.

Pictured below is the same stone taken within the past couple of years. This photo and the top photo were taken by my cousin Larry Martin and his wife Kathy of Somerset, Kentucky.

My great grandmother Sarah returned to Mt. Vernon in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky after Oliver's death but before she returned she went to Victoria, Texas to visit with other family members, probably Oliver's father, stepmother and half siblings. Dale R. Wallen, son of twin James Hobart, wrote to his uncle Charlie and told him this story that I have transcribed verbatim:

"Dear Charlie,
     This is the story, as best I can remember, that Uncle Bill told me, when I took him to see his Father's grave in 1961.
     He said after the funeral of his Father, Uncle Jessy, put Mother and the two sets of twins Tom and Sula and Hobert and Homer on a train to Victoria, Texas. Uncle Jessy, took him (Uncle Bill) and most of there belongings in a wagon and left for Victoria, befor the train. (I think they may have left a day befor their mother). The night the train passed the wagon Uncle Jessy lit a handful of matches so that mother could tell how far along in the trip they were. (He did not tell me how long the wagon trip took.) In Victoria other relatives were waiting for them. (He did not tell me about the return trip to Ky. other that it was 3 to 4 months, after the funeral.)
Dale R. Wallen"

Oliver died on January 19, 1907 and on August 16, 1907 this announcement was made in the Mt. Vernon Signal: "LEVEL GREEN NEWS: Mrs. O. M. Wallen and children who migrated to Texas two years ago have returned to old Kentucky."

A year and a half later we find this announcement in the Mount Vernon Signal on January 22,1909: "GRIFFIN'S MILL NEWS: Mrs. Sarah Wallen is preparing to send her children to the Masonic Home."

Sarah taught school in Louisville until she removed the children from the Masonic Home.  See my blog Wordless Wednesday: At The Louisville Widows And Orphans Masonic Home for more information and photos. She then went on to teach in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky.

I have copies of the original entry and dismissal papers from the Masonic Home in Louisville which they sent to me in September of 2000. All five children were received on Saturday, May 1, 1909, 11 a.m. on the recommendation of Ashland Lodge #640, "children of deceased Master Mason". They were discharged on October 6th, 1911 to their mother. According to Frances Caroline (Wallen) Towner, her father (twin Thomas Miller Wallen) told her that his mother Sarah had said that even if they had nothing to eat they would never be separated again and sometimes, he said, they went to school with only a piece of bread in their lunch pails.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: WWII 1942 - Letter to Florence from Cletus

About Amanuensis Monday: John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Miss Florence Moore
2724 Bank St.
Louisville, Ky.

"Dear Florence,

     How is everybody. I'm feeling fine myself. Did you have good Thanksgiving day. I had Turkey for dinner that day. It sure tasted good I went back for seconds. They feed us good over here anyway.
     I haven't got much to do when I'm off. I go to the show almost every night. They put up couple pool tables last week.
     I went to town last Sunday. It was just small place. I didn't stay very long. There wasn't much to do there. There really some nice looking places there. About all they raise over here is sugercane & pineapples.
     I haven't got no letter since I been over here. I got couple from Ernest that all.
     Did you get the picture yet from Mother. Well that about I can say right now I an't allow to tell what I'm doing. I wish you all Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. It won't seem no Christmas to me. I like to see the snow on the ground. It's pretty hot over here.

Love, Cletus--"
(Florence Edna - daughter of Florence Polly Melvin, mother of Rose, Buddy and Mike Logsdon, and Jimmy and Bobby Jackson. Cletus Hanks(sp?) was a friend or a beau and was stationed at the air base in San Francisco, CA)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

TODAY In 1904 - Excerpt from Oliver's Diary

From the Diary of Oliver Morton Wallen, my great grandfather:

1904: June 12 – Sunday: "At home, a very lonesome day. Sarah and Sula are asleep. Willie and Thomas are playing and I am writing this. It is now 2:30 P.M. Why dont people go to church and S.S. and live like God wants them too. May God bless my little children and help them live right." 

(S.S. = Sunday School. Sarah is wife, Sula and Thomas are their first set of twins and Willie was my grandfather, their oldest child.)


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Those Jacksons

Florence Edna Moore and Robert Sealey "Bud" Jackson were married December 1949 and divorced December 1955. Children: Jimmy Wayne b. 1951 and Robert Allen b. 1953.

In this picture below: Florence, Bud, the three Logsdon children: Mike, Buddy, and Rose and baby Jimmy Wayne Jackson.

Pictured below left to right: 
Frances James, Florence Jackson, Jimmy James, Robert "Bud" Jackson

These are the only two photos (I think) that I have of Bud Jackson and I don't have ANY information on his ancestry or his life other than a few stories from  the short time he and my mother-in-law were married. Got lots of work to do here!