November 27, 2014

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.

Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #1

cerilda-myra-jim-yates

cerilda-myra-jim-yates

L-R: Cerilda, Myra and Jim Yates

This is the only photo I have of my Great Grandmother Cerilda Yates and to me, it’s priceless. After having seven children Cerilda died an unneccesary death from “child bed fever”. What that amounts to is unclean conditions when she was giving birth. We do have a group picture of her surviving siblings taken some decades later, and most of the women look very much alike. Don’t you just love the dress Cerilda is wearing?

The photo is special to me too because it’s the only photo we have of Jim Yates’ younger sister Myra. Myra died from tuberculosis in 1888 when she was twenty-two years old.  Jim and Myra had both migrated from Roane County, Tennessee to Howell County, Missouri with their step-uncle Gideon Morrison.  Another sister, Lydia, was left behind in Tennessee because she was “too young”. I am not sure what that means, but, in any case she stayed in Roane County and married Clement Clark.

myra-yates

Another mystery is that if you look at the enlarged version of this photo and compare it to the tintype above it looks like both women are wearing the same pin at their neckline.  Since Myra Yates was born in 1866, and it is possible this tintype was taken sometime in that era, the woman in the tintype is certainly not Myra. It is possible that the picture is Mary M. Kelsey Yates, her mother.

As a side note, when I was looking through the Missouri digital archives for death records for our Yates family I found two for a Deborah E. Yates who died 22 September 1888.  That’s the same date Myra died, so I think that her real name was given. My family is ‘famous’ for going by nicknames and middle names, darn it all. The name Deborah is significant because that was also the name of Myra’s grandmother. Deborah Holmes b. sometime around 1825 was married (1) to Miles Yates, and (2) to William Deatherage Morrison. William D. Morrison was the father of Gideon P. Morrison with whom Jim and Myra had migrated with to Howell County, MO.

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I am participating in Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt at Genea-bloggers on Facebook. Won’t you join us?!

Week #1: Upload your favorite picture and talk about it on your blog. Answer the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter and explain why it is your favorite.

From “Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks” by Amy Coffin at We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com)

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