December 19, 2014

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.

 

Allene Moore Chapin 1915 – 2010 Newspaper Woman

Allene Moore Chapin pg 1

Her brother Dick Moore called her Mary Allene, but when she and I first began to share family information she instructed me to call her Allene.  Allene will always be thought of in my mind as one of those “grand gals” with spirit and the spunk to speak her mind.  Sadly, I never got to meet her in person, but we had many spirited phone calls, during one of which she told me my voice sounded like my Grandma Minnie.

Allene was one of the few cousins I could talk to about grandma who knew her as their aunt.  Allene was one of those people who would make you feel like family from the first moment you met.  No fussing around, just come on in and sit a spell.  I loved to listen to her speak with that fine Missouri sing-song twang I remember so well from my Grandpa Will Yates and his side of the family.

As one of the founding members of the Ozark Spring Chapter of the DAR, Allene was instrumental in having me join their ranks.  It was for sentimental reasons that I joined that chapter instead of one here in Washington state.  Allene wanted to be one of the ladies who signed my application for membership as a tribute to my grandmother.  As it turned out, I wasn’t able to join through her Patriot because there needed to be more documentation, but I was able to tell her of a few “new” ones, including my Captain Thomas Poindexter.

When I said “spirited” to describe Allene it was our conversation about the “Oglethorpes” that I remembered.  Many years ago Allene, Pauline Pond, and Ruth Dixon put together a family tree of sorts from what they knew and remembered hearing from their ancestors.  When I began looking for my ‘Oglethorpes’ in Clay, Overton and Jackson, Tennessee I soon found out that there were no Oglethorpes of any kind there.  What was there were the Osgatharps and they had been in that part of Tennessee for generations.  I had to send her tangible proof of the family name so she would believe me! Once she had that though, and found that our line connected to Richard Osgatharp/Osgathorpe who had served in the American Revolution, she was accepting of the name change.

A wonderful lady has passed from our midst, but she will never be forgotten. Even if you don’t know her I hope that you will take a few minutes to read her obituary by her son that was extremely well written . I’m adding the two pages as thumbnails. Please click on them till you get them to the size to make them more easily read.

Page 1

Page 2

Rest in Peace Allene

A Festival of Postcards: Wheels

will-yates-1909-front-back-card

will-yates-1909-front-back-card

Jim and I are going out of town for a few days on a car trip, so I want to leave you with a recent post. I’m participating in a genealogy carnival A Festival of Postcards, with the topic this time of “wheels”. You may not see many actual wheels in this picture, but it was taken in Springfield, Missouri in 1909 when my Grandfather Will Yates was just a young man. That’s him on the far right with the white neckerchief around his neck.

will-yates-1909-mo-back-of-card

I believe this picture was taken at a railroad repair yard (hence, the wheels connection).  Grandpa was writing to his father Jim Yates in West Plains, Missouri and the short note reads, “Hello how are you all down there? How is the corn. Write to me. W. Yates”.

This photo is special to our family because it is the earliest one we have of Grandpa Will. I have never seen any baby or childhood pictures of him, but times were tough and our family wasn’t anywhere near wealthy. Grandpa was born March 14, 1892, so he would have been around 17 years old when this picture was taken. That may seem young now to be out working, but I bet he had been working for a few years (or all of his life in some way) even before that.

will-k-yates-as-a-young-man

The above photo was taken around the same time. Looks pretty dapper, doesn’t he? For a little added “wheels” the photo below is my dad at age two in the car they rode in when the family came to Washington state. Take note: There was no windshield on the car in this picture, or for that road trip either. Grandma must have been a saint!

wg-yates-1922-with-truck

Dad’s WWII Love Letter To Mom

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

Eighty-nine years ago today my dad was born in West Plains, Missouri to parents Will and Minnie Smith Yates.  Although Dad passed away in 1996, his life lives on through letter and photos from his past. This letter was written on the eve of his 24th birthday and he was feeling “pretty old”.

He and Mom had married in Seattle at her parent’s home on Queen Anne Hill, and way back in the 1980’s Mom and I took a trip down memory lane by going back to that house. It just so happened that the owner let us come in and look around on that sunny summer day. Mom was thrilled as she showed me her old room upstairs, and even more so to have me see the marble front fireplace which she and Dad were married in front of on February 5, 1944.

Dad’s love letter of March 15, 1944 was written from Quillayute NAS where he was working after coming back from a tour with the Navy in New Calendonia. As you read in the letter, housing was at a premium, but they did eventually find a little one room place in Forks so they could be together instead of Mom living with her parents. Mom said that place was so small they could stay in bed and reach out and light the woodstove!

I have to say, I don’t remember my dad ever calling Mom “Darling” when we were around…

Thinking of you on your special day Dad, and missing you lots.

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

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