Bevins Tales - BT16 - 1895 Howard and Myrtle Celebrate Birthdays Around Changes
The boys were getting old enough to have birthday expectations
Birthdays and More Changes Across the Valley
Young Ora B. Bevins celebrated his 4th Birthday in April. Howard and Myrtle were both well into planting season, but taking a Sunday off to celebrate this important birthday with the grandparents was very important to them. Ora B. was a helper to his mother, now, as she worked in the garden. She identified tasks where he could help out. He was pleased to be able to be a farmer like his father.
Similarly, at the nearby McDonald farm, in June, young Joe McDonald was the center of attention for the extended family for his 7th birthday. He was now clearly old enough, soon going into second grade at school, to have expectations for a birthday celebration. This year, Charlotte hosted a few of Joe’s classmates who lived in the east valley for a birthday party. This was in addition to the traditional Sunday afternoon extended family celebration. This gathering, of course, was as much about family, now, as for the birthday. It was important for families to gather regularly, whatever the excuse they used.
In the spring it was announced that the annual Fair would expand to a two day event the first weekend of August. As events and participants had increased each year recently, it was decided that stretching it over two days was now the way to accommodate everyone who wanted to participate. The committee was optimistic that the change would enhance fair participation and not diminish it. They were not disappointed in the result. Howard and Myrtle had enjoyed participating in the fair every year, and they each added an entry taking advantage of new category opportunities made available with the change. They arranged to stay overnight with Lewis and Caroline between the two days so that they could fully participate in all the activities. Even Ora B. seemed to enjoy the excitement of the affair.
Another young doctor moved to Oak Springs
New Young Men Arrived in Oak Springs
In June, as promised, word was received that the Rev. Wilson Maxwell would arrive in time to conduct his first Presbyterian Church Service at the Community Building on Sunday, June 21. The Rev. Wilson Maxwell took up residence at the Campbell Boarding House. David Derryberry later told Howard there were 47 people at the service. Summer was not really the best time to get started, it would seem, but David later shared that each Sunday continued to draw between thirty and forty over the summer. He was interested to note that a number of families still participated in the Sunday School at the Methodist Church but then attended the Worship Service of Rev. Maxwell on Sunday afternoon. He said that led him to believe there was now a pretty strong commitment to the Presbyterian Church. Looking forward to the fall, the organizing committee was discussing with Rev. Maxwell whether or not to consider forming a Sunday School of their own. The other important question was whether there was yet enough support to build a new church building. These discussions seemed to promote more interest in the new church. Would it be enough to work this time? Only time would tell.
In the spring, Dr. J. D. Potts had begun making contacts to bring in a second young doctor to Oak Springs for the Medical Clinic. He had decided it was time for him to slow down, as well. He wasn’t going anywhere, but, he also wasn’t getting any younger. The death of his older brother and his wife had gotten him to thinking about the future, and life in general. In July, he received word that Dr. Neal Massey would arrive on or before September 1, to join their practice. He was single and would be living in the Nixon Apartment that Dr. Potts had vacated.
In August, Emmett Burrell arrived at the Campbell Boarding House at the invitation of Attorney Sylvester Preston. After a couple of meetings, and visits around town, Attorney Emmett Burrell agreed to open his law practice in Preston’s building along with Arvin Edmond. They would each have their own practice, but work together to meet the needs of the community when appropriate. This was the same way that Preston and Judge Coffee had begun their law practices in Oak Springs a number of years earlier.
Change was one constant across the Oak Creek Valley
More Changes Across the Valley
In the east valley, having built a cottage for themselves on the Potter farm, Wesley Williams and Delilah Potter were married in June. Similarly, a few of miles to the southwest, on the Charles Jackson farm, they also added a cottage. This one was for the young married couple of Jessie Jackson and Mila Bandy. They got married a week after the Williams couple in June.
In Oak Springs, Spencer and Flo Fields decided to move to the State of Mississippi, to Biloxi, on the Gulf Coast, to conclude their retirement years close to her sister, Silvia. Spencer had retired from his work at the Quarry in 1889, but Flo had continued to do some part-time work at the school. Now, they decided, it was time to move permanently. They sold their house in Oak Springs to Silas and Rhoda Adams, of the west valley. Silas and Rhoda had been thinking of this move for a couple of years. The opportunity to buy the Fields home was just too good to pass up, so they made the move.
In August, Nathan Bishop along with his wife, Sharon, and their daughter, Martha, moved into Oak Springs and took up residence in the house built for them on Lot 2 of Block EE. Not unlike the Adams couple, they had been considering a move for several years, but just now made the decision to take the action. Once settled in, they were very pleased with their decision to move to town.
An early heavy snow during the first week of December 1895 was a nuisance to some, a thrill for others, depending on the plans they each had for the holidays, etc. during that time of the year. The children liked not having school for a couple of days, but the teachers found it a challenge. For the elderly, it was a struggle. For Gideon Inman, now into his sixth year of retirement, and 83rd year of life, it turned out to be too much. Without his wife to tell him to take it easy, he was out and about, caught a cold that he could not fight off. He died, with his family around him, on December 27th, 1895.
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. After they married, they became a part of the larger community, of course.
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.”