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Bevins Tales - BT11 - 1892 Howard and Myrtle Welcomed Newcomers

Updated on August 9, 2018
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

A boy was born to Vic and Kate

A baby boy
A baby boy

A Seventh Child Arrived to the Willing Workers Class Couples

Theodore Campbell arrived on March 24, 1892 at the home of Vic and Kate (King) Campbell in south Oak Springs. His arrival was celebrated by his proud grandparents, Ralph and Sally (Rhodes) Campbell and Karl and Katherine King, as well as many, many aunts, uncles, and cousins of the Campbell and Rhodes families across the valley. The other six couples of the Willing Workers Class at the Methodist Church also celebrated because this completed the ‘first round’ of ‘first child’ for the group. Four boys and three girls made up the set for the seven sets of first time parents.

Theodore joined first arrival, Joseph, son of William and Charlotte McDonald, now approaching four years of age. Then there was Sam Wingfield son of Peter and Stephanie. Ada Adams was the first girl, daughter of Israel and Lula Adams. Then came Dora Yokum, daughter of Junior and Lillie. The third girl was Kay King, daughter of Kent and Janice (Carver) King. The other boy was Ora B. Bevins, son of Howard and Myrtle Bevins, approaching his first birthday in April.

Howard and Myrtle celebrated the first birthday of Ora B. with a quiet gathering on a Sunday afternoon with just the grandparents. This contrasted with the celebration of the fourth birthday of Joseph, at the McDonald farm, with the Willing Workers class members and the other six ‘first borns’. What a houseful did that group make. They also invited Rev. Millard Long and his wife, Frances, who were happy to share that they had been appointed for another year in Oak Springs. Stephanie Wingfield also announced that she was pregnant with their second child, due in the fall.

They decided to move from the farm into town

A scene from the farming community
A scene from the farming community

Change was the One Constant Across the Oak Creek Valley

The Garrett family lived on the farm immediately west of Howard and Myrtle. This was a Truesdale farm that they had been renting since they had arrived in the Oak Creek valley after the late war. He had been a soldier in the cavalry with Lewis Truesdale. With the high school graduation of their son, Rufus, who was going off to college, the Garrett family decided it was time to move to town when their annual rental agreement came up at the end of February, 1893. Their son, Alfred, and his wife, the former Amenah Williams, also did not want to continue on the farm.

Lewis came and talked to Howard and Myrtle as soon as he got the word from Willis Garrett. Howard and Myrtle appreciated Lewis talking to them, first, but they were very happy just farming their 160 acres…they did not wish to expand by taking on the Garrett place, even though it was immediately adjacent to their farmland. With that information, Lewis next went to his sister, Jane, as he had promised her. After some discussion with Jane and Daniel, and with William and Charlotte, it was decided that William and Charlotte would buy the Garrett place, with the encouragement of Daniel and Jane. It set diagonal to the north west from their place, of course. It would be relatively easy to incorporate into their operation.

As part of the discussions, they confirmed what William had heard, that Jason and Penelope (Street) Garrett would be interested in moving from their cottage on the farm, with their two young daughters, to the main house and continue to work for William and Charlotte, and Daniel and Jane, on their farm operations. Jane was particularly happy to hear this, as their three ‘hired men’ were aging and slowing down. They needed more help. To have them right there, already, in the neighborhood, would work out well. Jason and Penelope had already proven themselves as hard workers and good neighbors.

The Carpet Weaver came by the farm to visit

A typical carpet of the time
A typical carpet of the time

Howard and Myrtle had Visitors at their Farm

One August day, Myrtle heard a knock on her door. This is most unusual, she thought as she peeked outside to see who it might be. In the yard she could see a one-horse box-like wagon that said “Pace Carpets” on the side. There was a well-dressed young man standing on the porch waiting. Myrtle stepped out onto the porch to greet the man. He said his name was John Pace, and he was opening a new Carpet Shop on Centennial Square in Oak Springs. He added that his brother, James, was a Shoemaker and would also have his Shoe Shop in the same building. While construction of the shop building and their residence was underway, they were visiting every family in the valley to let them know about the new shops. He had samples of this work, and offered to show them to her, saying he was not looking to sell anything, today, unless she especially saw something that interested her.

A week or so later, James Pace did come by in a horse and wagon similar to that of his brother, but with the sign, “James Pace, Shoemaker” on the side. This time, Howard and Myrtle were both available, knowing who the visitor was upon his arrival. This time, Howard said he would be interested in a new pair of boots, but was in no hurry to get them. James was very pleasant in talking with Howard about the boots he was interested in. They decided that Howard would be most satisfied with a pair of boots that James would hand make, after the shop was available in the fall. They agreed on a small deposit, and James was pleased to get the order. He said it was what made his time in the valley visiting folks this summer a real pleasure. As they talked, he said he would like to consider joining the Masons with Howard, if that could be worked out, later in the year. He and his brother expected to become an integral part of the Oak Springs business community.

In April, R.R. Callahan, who owned the Donegan Tavern at Patton Street and Central Avenue, had opened his new Callahan Billiard Parlor immediately to the east of the Tavern on Patton Street. Alfred Garrett had been working there part time while also helping on his father’s farm. Callahan had tried a couple of different managers for the business during the year, but none of them had worked out. With the end of the 1892 harvest, and the Garrett’s plan to move to town over the winter, Alfred made it known to Callahan that he loved working in the Billiard Parlor and would be available full-time in a short amount of time. Callahan was impressed with the passion and hard work Alfred Garrett had shown, so he decided to give him a shot at managing the business, starting with the first of the new year of 1893.

Read about the early years of Oak Springs and the valley

Note by the author

This set of stories picked up in Oak Springs in 1882 when the Bevins family arrived in Oak Springs including young Howard Bevins, the 14-year-old about to become a High School Freshman. He was in the same class as Myrtle Truesdale. This is their story.

The stories of the "American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1875)" collection of historical fiction family saga short stories lay the background for the stories of Oak Springs and the Oak Creek Valley. They

have also been published on "The Homeplace Saga" blog (thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com).

“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      11 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I have decided to move into the 1890s. More research required. It was a dynamic period. Thank you for your support!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      11 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That time period was really the hay day, no pun intended, of farming. A gradual decline began not long after the turn of the century, saying goodbye to a way of I cherish your stories.


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