April 25, 2015

100 Years Ago In West Plains Missouri

In the last two days I have thoroughly enjoyed the book “West Plains Missouri…As I Knew It” by Robert Neathery and told to Marideth Sisco (1994).  It was the first time I had ever really gotten a “feel” for the town in which so many of my families lived and originated.

Robert mostly describes his own life growing up in West Plains and his own family, but he did mention a few of my family members, one of which was Pauline Smith Pond.  As it turns out, she also wrote a book entitled “Teacher, You’re Almost a Lady”.  Pauline, along with my other cousins were some of the earliest of my family to join the Ozark Springs DAR Society in West Plains.

Robert Neathery was in the telephone and radio business (and several other endeavors) and he tells some interesting stories of bringing electricity to the city, life before the air conditioner and refrigeration, and power outages.  As time went by and new conveniences were introduced, it didn’t matter if you needed help in Brandsville or West Plains, Robert knew how everything worked and even how to fix it!

If you are at all interested in West Plains, Missouri history you might find Robert Neathery’s book very interesting.  He describes the West Plains dance hall explosion and what caused it; local characters like his uncle who would rather do yard work for the government than put in an actual day’s work at the radio station even though he was a partner; or why the peach trees down by Brandsville eventually failed.

 

West Plains as I knew it / by Bob Neathery ; as told to Marideth Sisco

Surnames of my families that lived in Howell County: MORRISON, YATES, PENTECOST, SMITH, BREEDLOVE, WRIGHT, KELSEY, DAWSON, and HOLMES.

2011 Memorial Day – Veterans

Yates and Allied Families

 

Wilkerson and Allied Families

On every Memorial Day I remember all of my family members who have passed on. Not all of the people in this collage have passed, but many of them have.  I feel it’s important to thank our veterans whenever we can, and so I post this picture and thank our family members for their service.

If you are a member of either family and have served in the military, please come by and leave a comment with your branch of service and era in which you served.

 

Adding An Ethnicity Fact In Family Tree Maker

FTM fact window

Isn’t it amazing how our friends in the genealogy community can open our eyes to not only new tools, plugins, and other handy blog add-ons?  And, they do the same thing when it comes to making genealogy programs work for 21st century researchers.

As an example, George Geder at Geder Genealogy has done a whole series this week on genealogy software and how it needs to change to reflect the needs of blended families, etc..  I was left asking myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  One suggestion that he made really hit home with me:  the ability to add ‘ethnicity’ to a person’s individual profile.

I’m still using FTM 2006, so I can’t speak to more recent versions, but I was able to add a new fact quite easily, and it might be something you would like to add also. Here’s how I did it:

Add Fact

The Add Fact dialog box lets you add a new fact to an individual or marriage record.

To select from the existing fact list, click the down arrow attached to the Type field and select the Fact Type from the list that appears.

To add a new Fact Type, enter a brief description in the Type field. [ I added Ethnic Origin as my fact name] Note that there are separate Fact Type lists for individual and marriage records, and that a new Type added to one list will not be added to the other.

Enter the Date and Place or Description information in the appropriate fields; then click the OK button to save your new Fact.  Entering date for ethnic origin wasn’t relevant exactly, so I left it blank, but in Place or Description I added African American for this particular family member.

By adding this new fact category, I will now be able to add more detailed information about family members.  Since our families [mine and Jim’s] are predominantly Caucasian, denoting ethnic heritage will only be added when it’s a known fact.

The above photo was taken in May 2000 when my cousin Tracy Prantl Richardson turned 86 (near center in pink sweater) and my cousin Fran Prantl Harbeston’s widower Herb (front row, right of Tracy) Harbeston turned 90.  Everyone in this photo is related by blood or marriage. I too am in this photo just back from Herb in the second row.

When my first cousin Gordon Yates married his wife Christl Messerschmidt in 1976, our family was enhanced by Christl’s Indonesian ethnicity. (Photo above was taken in 1996; left to right: Dustin, Gordon, Brett, uncle Wally and Mike Yates.

And the ladies of the Wally Yates family – 1996: L-R Sandy (Boom), Stephanie, Twyla, Jennifer, Sarina and Christl Yates.

Celebrate Your Differences

One last note, I think we should celebrate our differences, not let them divide us.

Two Upcoming Centenarian Birthdays In Our Family

– Tracy Prantl Harbeston passed away in 2007, but Herb Harbeston turned 100 on May 20, 2010.  The other centenarian was one of my Breedlove cousins.

Two Upcoming Centenarian Birthdays In Our Family

Herb Harbeston

Two Hundred Years Of Living

We are delighted to say that we’ll have two people in our family turning 100 this year!  First, is my cousin Fran Prantl Harbeston’s widower Herb Harbeston who will turn 100 on May 20th.  Here’s what his son Jack wrote about his father:

“When Herb was born, in 1910, the average life expectancy was 47 years, so he has managed to beat the odds, to put it mildly.  To give you an idea of the changes Herb has seen in 100 years, consider that when he was born women couldn’t vote, there was no social security, no income taxes and no big government.”
“Homesteads of 160 acres were free, you just had to live on the land for five years and improve it.  Transportation was by horse and wagon, and trains.  Herb’s mother, Becky and her sister Millie both homesteaded in the Colombia [River] Basin about 1890.  Becky and her first husband homesteaded a wheat ranch in the Palouse, near Pullman.  Becky had to give up the homestead when her husband contracted TB, and went back home to Brandsville, Missouri, to die.  Millie settled south of Quincy, near what is now I-90, and eventually moved to Vantage where her husband operated the ferry across the Columbia River.”

“In 1932, with a wife and child, and another on the way, with no vocational skills and an unemployment rate pushing 50%, Herb migrated to Washington, staying first with Millie, and then a series of farms, which included herding sheep.  That was nearly 80 years ago. ”

May 2000 Birthday Gathering

Ten years ago (has it really been that long?) we all gathered together for a celebration of Herb’s 90th birthday, along with his sister-in-law Tracy Prantl Richardson‘s 86th.  Tracy passed away in 2007, and she is missed by all who knew her.

~~~~~

Opal Breedlove Hudson

Our other centenarian is my cousin Opal Breedlove Hudson who resides out on the Washington coast in an assisted living facility.  Opal is the daughter of  Sarah Ellenor (Forrest) and Thomas John BREEDLOVE.  She was born in July of 191o near Brandsville, Missouri.  I hope to attend the celebration for Opal this year too.  We’re waiting for more definite details on dates and location.