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Ruth Vining McGhee

Updated on April 23, 2015

Meet My Grandmother - Ruth Vining McGhee

I'm gathering my information about my grandmother, Ruth McGhee here. Perhaps it will prove useful to cousins or other Vining or McGhee relatives.

In sorting through my Mom's collection of old photos and memorabilia, I've found some bits of family history. I'll share those with you here. Please note the rectangular locket that my grandmother is wearing in this picture. The background story on it is included below.

(photo of Ruth Vining from our family album)

Ruth Vining - The Early Years

Ruth Vining was the youngest daughter of Nancy Jane (Babcock) and Henry Vining. The earliest photo the family has of her is in Woodward, Oklahoma. The family bought the land from someone who secured it in one of the Oklahoma land rushes.

The photo shows Ruth (youngest child on the left) and her family in front of a small frame house. Extending to the right is a dugout or sod house which was probably the original house. Her father, Henry Vining, died six weeks after his youngest daughter was born.

My aunt recently told me this tidbit of family lore: "Mother often slept with covers over head; she said it was from her childhood years living in a dugout home, and insects scuttled across the ceiling"

My mother wrote a story from Ruth's childhood that she heard many times. It's called The Day the Mad Dog Came. This event happened at this location.

Henry Vining was the son of James and Almira Vining. He was born 17 September 1837 and died 28 July 1897. He married Nancy Jane (Babcock) Ashlock on 30 March 1866. She had 3 children from her first marriage.

Mom's story about Henry's mother is told in My Pioneering Great Grandmother.

More about the Early Days of Woodward, Oklahoma

My mom had this 38 page booklet in her files. It was fascinating reading about the early ranchers, then the land rush and homesteaders.

There were 2,241 residents in 1894 (right after the land rush). For the next four years, the population kept dropping due to drought, harsh winters, and conflicts with the cattlemen.

The homesteader had to pay for the land in installments plus a filing fee of $15. Then he had to live on that quarter section of land for 5 years, grow crops and make certain improvements to gain title to the land.

The Vining family bought their land from one of the homesteaders who gave up and left.

Source

Postcard available from Zazzle: Oklahoma Land Rush Postcard by deesbasenjis

Guide to Alabaster Cavern and Woodward County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma Geological Survey  - Guide Book XV)
Guide to Alabaster Cavern and Woodward County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma Geological Survey - Guide Book XV)

In the oversized booklet, it describes a typical sod house as 12 feet by 16 feet with walls made from blocks of sod cut into brick-like shapes. The roof was slightly rounded and made of poles and tar paper and then covered with dirt to hold the tar paper in place.

The settlers would collect dried buffalo chips or cow patties to burn as fuel since wood was scarce.

 

Henry and Nancy Jane Vining's Children

This information is from the Vining Family book by Barnes.

  1. Julia Vining - Born 30 December 1874, died 31 October 1898.
  2. Sarah Vining - Born 17 November 1876
  3. Jacob Vining - Born 30 May 1878, died November 1914.
  4. Lucy Vining - Born 5 October 1881. She spent time in a nursing home in Winfield KS.
  5. William Vining - Born 22 March 1880, died November 1880.
  6. Francis Henry Vining - Born 24 March 1883, married (Alice) Lenora Hawkins. Both died 28 March 1934 in a train crash. They had ten children: Paul, Oscar, Alfred, Silvia, Ralph, Howard, Ray, Melvin, Lester, Flossie.
  7. Belle Vining - Born 16 September 1884.
  8. May Vining - Born 11 March 1886. She married a man named Butcher (first name unknown).
  9. Bessie Vining - Born 5 October 1887. Married twice, the second marriage was to Edward M. Bolte in 1906. They had seven children: Floyd, Hazel, Roy, Viola, Ruth, Lewis (called Bus), Wanda.
  10. Luther Vining - Born 5 November 1889, married Josephine ___. They had five children: Donald, Ardale, Evelyn, Milford, Lucille.
  11. Scelia Vning - Born 1 September 1892, died 14 June 1914.
  12. Albert Vining - Born 28 January 1894. He married Flossie Hawkins who died, then Melvina "Vina" Tower. His nephew (son of Luther) lived with Albert and Vina after age 13. His name was Donald C. Vining.
  13. Ruth Vining - Born 10 January 1897. Married Clarence McGhee on 14 July 1917 in Tyro KS. They had three daughters: Melba, Gail, Carol. Ruth died on 25 July 1960 of a heart attack.

Book of the Vining Family

The Vining family
The Vining family

This is out-of-print, but I'll keep it listed here in case a copy shows up used on Amazon. Try eBay too.

It is 841 pages of solid information about the Vining family, so invaluable if you are a descendant.

 

Ruth Vining in 1911

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ruth & her older sister Scelia. Maybe dressed for school commencement exercises or for church. The family lives in Tyro, KS, near Coffeyville.Ruth Vining's 7th grade report card from Tyro Public School.(photos and grade card from the Gail Lee Martin collection)Grades for orthography, reading, writing, math, geography, grammar, KS history & drawing. Signed by Howard Hitchcock. Promoted on April 26, 1912.
Ruth & her older sister Scelia. Maybe dressed for school commencement exercises or for church. The family lives in Tyro, KS, near Coffeyville.
Ruth & her older sister Scelia. Maybe dressed for school commencement exercises or for church. The family lives in Tyro, KS, near Coffeyville.
Ruth Vining's 7th grade report card from Tyro Public School.(photos and grade card from the Gail Lee Martin collection)
Ruth Vining's 7th grade report card from Tyro Public School. (photos and grade card from the Gail Lee Martin collection)
Grades for orthography, reading, writing, math, geography, grammar, KS history & drawing. Signed by Howard Hitchcock. Promoted on April 26, 1912.
Grades for orthography, reading, writing, math, geography, grammar, KS history & drawing. Signed by Howard Hitchcock. Promoted on April 26, 1912.

Ruth Vining - The Teen Years

The photo shows Ruth Vining (center) with sister, Lilian, on the right and a neighbor, Bertha McGhee on the left. The families took picnics to Hayrick Mound, in nearby in Oklahoma.

Ruth Vining - Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ruth Vining in the white dress and her sister, Belle Vining. Ruth Vining in plaid dressRuth Vining in light colored dressRuth Vining in the center 1918Ruth Vining and her mother, Nancy Vining.
Ruth Vining in the white dress and her sister, Belle Vining.
Ruth Vining in the white dress and her sister, Belle Vining. | Source
Ruth Vining in plaid dress
Ruth Vining in plaid dress | Source
Ruth Vining in light colored dress
Ruth Vining in light colored dress
Ruth Vining in the center 1918
Ruth Vining in the center 1918
Ruth Vining and her mother, Nancy Vining.
Ruth Vining and her mother, Nancy Vining.

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Ruth Vining Marries Clarence McGhee

Just a few months before Clarence McGhee was mobilized for World War I, he and Ruth Vining married. He and his brother had been attending the same church as the Vining family. The McGhee house was just down the street from the smaller Vining home in the small town of Tyro.

This is their wedding photo (from the collection of Gail Lee Martin)

Read more about Clarence McGhee's WWI experience.

Ruth McGhee's Locket

My grandmother, Ruth Vining McGhee, had this locket while her husband was in France during World War I. The photo inside is my grandfather, Clarence McGhee.

The family had not seen the locket and pictures for many years, but they were recently given to my sister by Edna McGhee. Photos taken by my sister and used with permission. (click on any photo to see it larger)

My Grandmother's Locket - The Story Behind This Vintage Necklace

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The photo in the locket came from this larger photowhich was saved even after a section was cut out for the locket.This shows Ruth (Vining) McGhee wearing the locket.
The photo in the locket came from this larger photowhich was saved even after a section was cut out for the locket.
The photo in the locket came from this larger photo which was saved even after a section was cut out for the locket.
This shows Ruth (Vining) McGhee wearing the locket.
This shows Ruth (Vining) McGhee wearing the locket.

© 2013 Virginia Allain

I Hope You Enjoyed Meeting My Grandmother

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    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Even though you have fewer photos, you've done well combining them with your family research. I so enjoy your pages.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 2 years ago

      Virginia, great story! Boy, you are so lucky to have all these photos of the past...I wish I had more, only a few survived the war, but I guess it's better then none.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great way to preserve family history. This lens is getting a Purple Star nomination from me.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Just beautiful work here, Virginia. In the past I've created many a scrapbook with family photos. They are certainly precious, but I am inclined to invest the time into online scrapbooks in the future, similar to this webpage. They are much more easily shared. 13 children!!! wow, even tops my clan of 10.

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 3 years ago

      I did - love old family photos and stories...

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 3 years ago

      I did enjoy meeting your grandmother and seeing all the family photos. Lovely lens!

    • Monika Weise profile image

      Monika Weise 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN USA

      I love all the old photos! Loved the lens :)

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      very interesting photos and history. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Absolutely enjoyed meeting your Grandmother. Just created a similar lens for my great-grandfather.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @Lady Lorelei: I'll be adding more photos over time.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I really did enjoy meeting your grandmother. I love vintage photos and seeing the stories of yesteryear.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Family histories are always so interesting - I managed to trace both sides of my family back to around 1750 ish but got stuck after that. A nice tribute to your Grandmother Virginia.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @heytoto: Yes, more to come. The old photos are fascinating.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      Nicely done! I hope you're planning to add more photos!

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