Sunday, July 31, 2011

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Tonight we sat at home and watched the 2010 production of "True Grit" with Jeff Bridges. As it closed and the credits were rolling, someone was singing "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". I commented to my husband that the song was written by one of his cousins, Anthony Johnson Showalter. He was surprised--having forgotten that bit of news that I shared with him several years ago when my research brought that fact to light. So I drew up this chart to show him the connection (Larry and Anthony Johnson Showalter are 2nd cousins 4 times removed):  
From Wikipedia we read:
Reverend Anthony Johnson Showalter (1858 - 1924) was an American gospel music composer, teacher and publisher. He was born May 1, 1858 in Cherry Grove, Virginia. Showalter was trained in the Ruebush-Kieffer School of Music and was teaching in singing schools by age fourteen. In 1884, he formed the Showalter Music Company of Dalton, Georgia. He was also an elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Dalton.
Showalter's best known song is Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," which was published in 1887. He wrote the music and chorus, and Elisha A. Hoffman wrote the verses. The song features prominently in the score of Night of the Hunter and forms about a quarter of the score of the 2010 film True Grit.
Showalter authored several rudimentary books on music theory and a book on harmony and song composition. These were widely used in singing schools across the South.
Anthony Johnson Showalter died September 14, 1924 in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is buried in the West Hill Cemetery of Dalton, Georgia.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Found Malone Smith at 'Magnolias and Peaches'

I was surprised but happy to stumble upon this little web site last night as I was searching for information about Rev. Tisdel Spencer Logan (1814-1901), "Baptist Preacher" in Alabama. His daughter Amanda was the second wife of Malone Smith (1844-1909). Malone's first wife was Harriett Catherine Mullins, with whom he had son Marion "Malone" Smith (1865-1952), husband of Mary Francis Hawkins (1866-1951). 
L to R: Harriett Mullins Smith Thackerson, her son Marion "Malone" and Mary F. Hawkins Smith
 At 'Magnolias and Peaches' I discovered that Malone Smith, b. 1844 was buried in the Deerman Chapel Cemetery in St. Clair County, Alabama.
Malone Smith, March 12, 1842-Jan. 8, 1909
Marion Malone and Harriett Catherine Mullins Smith were the parents of James Robert Smith, who later changed his name to Henry James Jones. I wrote about that story here. Henry James Jones (1890-1976) and his wife Helen Wilma Marker (1904-1949) were the parents of my step-mother Phyllis Jean Jones (1924-1997).
Malone and Mary Smith

I'm particularly happy to have found this burial information with the dates indicated on the headstone because I knew nothing of these people when my step-mother was living. I'll never get to Alabama to see the grave, but I feel a bit closer to her ancestors just seeing her great-grandfather's headstone.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Larry W. Dyer: Essay Winner

"America was a great land when Columbus discovered it; Americans have made of it a great nation.

"The men who founded our government did their work well, and loyal American citizens have preserved and added to what the founders of our government so firmly established. 

"What shall we do about it? Shall we strive to prepare ourselves to meet the duties that will come to us? Will future citizens of America look back upon our deeds and feel that we did our part well?

"These are questions which the boys and girls of today must answer without hesitation or faltering. If the America of the future is to fulfill the dreams of the early patriots, everyone must do his part.

"Brave men and women gave their lives, their fortunes, their all, that we might enjoy the priceless gift of a governement established upon the principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity. If we remember their brave deeds and sacrifices, we will try harder to do our part to preserve all that has been placed in our care.

"A wonderful plan of self-government was not the only thing our forefathers handed down to us. They left us many fine national ideals which every loyal American should strive to uphold; ideals of honest endeavor, of ceaseless industry, of untiring perseverance, of unselfish services to the country they loved and longed to pass on to their descendants, enlarged and enriched.

As Lyman Abbott, a distinguished American author, journalist, and preacher has well said 'A nation is made great not by its fruitful acres, but by the men who cultivate them; not by its great forests, but by the men who use them, not by its mines, but by the men who work in them, not by its railroads, but by the men who build and run them'.

"We honor and love men like Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt because we believe their efforts for the public good were the result of their high ideals of honor and truth, their loyalty to the best interests of the country and their desire to serve their fellowmen." -- Larry W. Dyer

This essay was written by Larry Wayne Dyer, the nephew of my step-mother. It was published in a newspaper in Oklahoma in the early 1950s, as Larry was born in 1935. From the newspaper clipping that my mother saved, I'm able to see that it was published on page 7, but she didn't save the name of the newspaper from the header. 

The Editor's Note explains: "Larry Dyer wrote the second place essay on the subject, 'Our Great American Heritage--Liberty' in the American Legion Auxiliary contest. I'm posting this so members of his extended family can read it. Many of them didn't know Larry very well, as he passed away at the age of 28, in 1964.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Mother (1925-1990)

Ruby Nadine Flanders Margheim Craine January 17, 1925-July 14, 1990
Mother, you lived your first 22 years without me and my twin brother in your life. And now we've lived the last 21 years without you in our lives. But always in our hearts! We love you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Duckwalls Living in my Hometown

As I was reviewing a page from the 1930 Federal Census in my hometown of Great Bend, Barton, Kansas, I noticed this entry for Wilbur and Minnie Duckwall:
Wilbur's occupation was listed a "Proprietor of Variety Store". I should say so! 

Here's a brief history of the Duckwall Stores from their Facebook page: "Based in Abilene, Kansas since 1901, we have successfully grown the company from its first single retail store in Abilene, to the popular 214 store retail chain serving “Small Town America” in 23 states today. In 1737 the Duckwall family immigrated from England to America. Our founder, Alva Lease Duckwall, Sr. was born in 1877 and moved to Greenleaf, KS in the late 1890’s where at the age of 18, he opened a small shop that specialized iin sewing machine sales and bicycle repair. It was A.L.'s brother-in-law, Charles Fitzwater, who had the idea to sell small items needed in the home. Charles checked several towns, including Abilene, where he found the “Racket Store” for sale. While Charles decided not to buy the Racket Store, A.L. and his brother Wilbur liked the idea. A.L. sold his sewing machine/bicycle shop in Greenleaf for $413.00. He borrowed an equal amount from a local bank, threw in his life savings of $90.00 and bought the inventory and fixtures. A.L.’s brother Wilbur sold his restaurant in Greenleaf and joined him in Abilene. They called their new store “Duckwall Bros. RACKET STORE - A Little Bit Of Everything”. The history of Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. had begun. The year was 1901."


The Kansas Historical Society offers this photo and bit of information about Alva Duckwall:
We never can tell what we're going to learn about our hometowns while researching our family history!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Cousins, the Ingalls

While doing some research for another post, I came upon this information about John James Ingalls: 

John James Ingalls

John James Ingalls

Politician, attorney. Born: 29 December 1833, Middleton, Massachusetts.  Married: Anna Louisa Cheeseborough, 1865.  Died: 16 August 1900, New Mexico.

"Kansas," said John J. Ingalls, "is the core and kernel of the country, containing the germs of its growth and the quickening ideas essential to its perpetuity." An orator, scholar, lawyer, and statesman, known for his keen sarcasm and quick wit, Ingalls was, at age 26, a primary force behind the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention that brought about Kansas statehood. Ingalls, who represented Kansas as a U.S. Senator from 1873 - 1891, coined the phrase Ad astra per aspera (to the stars through difficulties) that became the Kansas state motto.
Kansas State Seal with Motto "Ad Astra Per Aspera" ("To the stars through difficulties").

Since I was born and lived the first 40 years of my life in Kansas, this is significant to me. I prepared this chart to show my relationship with John Ingalls and his/my cousin Laura (Ingalls) Wilder.



Monday, July 4, 2011

Our First Contributions to BillionGraves.com


My husband Larry & I just caught up to the 21st century with purchase of iPhones a couple of months ago. Because of our genealogy interests, we promptly installed the BillionGraves app. It isn't often that we each have the same day off, but since today was a holiday, we decided to use some of our free time to try out the app and contribute some headstone photos to the web site. In the half hour we worked on this project at Lakeside Cemetery, our local city cemetery, we were able to photograph 150 headstones and upload them to the BillionGraves web site. 

Now I need to transcribe those headstones. I know it'll take a lot longer to do that than it took to do the photography!