November 22, 2014

The Old Yates Farm Painted From Memory

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I received a wonderful surprise in the mail a few days ago: a copy of a painting done by my cousin Freeda Prantl Mitts that was given to one of our Yates cousins who lives in Ten Mile, TN, Tooter Yates.

I’ve known about this painting for a few years and off and on had asked for Tooter to take a picture of it and just send it to me via email.  He and Sue are such kind people though that they went the extra mile and too it and had it copied.

I suppose some people would say this painting is rather primitive, but to me it’s priceless. Freeda put in things she remembered of the Yates farm near Brandsville in Howell county, Missouri.  She didn’t paint Jim Yates into the picture though, she made a copy of another picture, cut out his image and inserted it into the painting so it stands out and looks a bit 3D.

Sue related yesterday that the pond was still there on the farm. Jim Yates built that house and we have details about the interior of  it from his daughter Martha Yates Scott’s memoir.

This is the original photo of Jim Yates and his wife Cerilda Breelove Yates along with his sister Myra Yates standing behind them.

The lady who painted the picture is the small girl in the front, Freeda; next to her is her brother “Sport”, and behind left to right are her sisters Fran and Buddy. (Please leave a comment and correct me if I got the names wrong!)

If only Freeda was still alive to tell me what kind of trees she put in the picture, and what kind of tractor that was.  Freed lives on because she shared her memories and kindness with all of us.

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.

 

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