Ruth Vining McGhee
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.
Postcard available from Zazzle: Oklahoma Land Rush Postcard by deesbasenjis
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.
- Julia Vining - Born 30 December 1874, died 31 October 1898.
- Sarah Vining - Born 17 November 1876
- Jacob Vining - Born 30 May 1878, died November 1914.
- Lucy Vining - Born 5 October 1881. She spent time in a nursing home in Winfield KS.
- William Vining - Born 22 March 1880, died November 1880.
- 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.
- Belle Vining - Born 16 September 1884.
- May Vining - Born 11 March 1886. She married a man named Butcher (first name unknown).
- 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.
- Luther Vining - Born 5 November 1889, married Josephine ___. They had five children: Donald, Ardale, Evelyn, Milford, Lucille.
- Scelia Vning - Born 1 September 1892, died 14 June 1914.
- 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.
- 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
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 1911Click thumbnail to view full-size
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.
Imagine My Grandmother on a Motorcycle!
- My Grandmother Rides a Flanders 4 Motorcycle!
I'm amazed to find a photo of my grandmother riding a motorcycle in the early 1900s. It's a Flanders 4 and I found some interesting information about this early bike.
Ruth Vining - Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
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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 NecklaceClick thumbnail to view full-size
More Stories about My Ancestors
- Meet the Author: C.J. Garriott
C.J. Garriott started life in the Kansas Flint Hills, eventually moving to Texas and finally to the Texas coastal bend area. There she developed a passion for the small town of Seadrift, started a community newsletter and published some books,...
- Tyro, Kansas
Few people know of Tyro, Kansas. It's small and well past its heyday. The only reason I know of this now sleepy town is my grandparents grew up there, fell in love and married. That was back before World War I. My mother recently showed me some...
- Wincanton, England and My Vining Ancestors
For many years, my mother followed leads, combed through public records and compiled the family genealogy. Now it's time for the next generation to take up the work. At 85, my mom is busy writing her memoirs, so she's glad to have someone else...
- Clarence McGhee - My Grandfather's WWI Years
My grandfather served in France in the 1st world war. Here's his experience and the family memorabilia from this momentous time in his life. I'm sure it parallels that of other young men of the time.
- Albert Vining in World War I
This page is a tribute to Albert Vining, a young man from Tryo, Kansas who served in the trenches in France in World War I. He was my great-uncle.
© 2013 Virginia Allain