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Bevins Tales - BT22 - 1901 Myrtle and Ora B. Worked on Their New Lives

Updated on November 8, 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.

Roosevelt Became President After McKinley Assassination

Theodore Roosevelt was a different kind of President of the United States
Theodore Roosevelt was a different kind of President of the United States

Ora B. and his Mother Saw Farming Differently as Time Passed By

Ora B. Bevins and Sarah Jane Waters continued to be close friends through the 4th grade year in school. Ora B. expanded his circle of friends now that he lived in town near the school, but Sarah Jane was still his best friend. She and her parents, along with her younger brother and sister, had been among those who had continued to visit regularly with Myrtle and Ora B. Myrtle had allowed it because she knew how important it was to Ora B. With Sarah Jane, he could continue to talk about farming and working in the garden. Myrtle enjoyed talking about the garden with him, but did not want to talk about anything to do with the farm. To her, that was past, ancient history. While she had fond memories of her time there with Howard, it was his dream, not hers. She was much happier being back in town. In fact, when she thought about it, it helped her move into her future, living with her mother. The common garden was one small part of that.


As spring approached, Ora B. was allowed to ride his pony out to the Waters farm on Saturdays. Bernie Waters found it interesting that Ora B. continued to have such an interest in the farm at such a young age. He was pleased to be able to let Ora B. help with chores, some field work, and maintenance around the farm. Ora B. was a hard worker, and asked reasonable questions to learn more about the farming process as they went through their various activities. Sarah Jane was with them part of the time, but not all the time. Ora B. was going to the farm, for the farm, not just to see Sarah Jane. The parents recognized this and allowed it to continue. Myrtle recognized it was the same ‘bug’ that Howard had been infected with. Apparently, he had passed it on to Ora B. Myrtle knew she dare not interfere, or Ora B. might become alienated at his tender age.


Meanwhile, in the world outside Oak Springs, in March, William McKinley was sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. This was noted even in the 4th grade class as a national event worthy of noting. So early in September, as 5th grade got underway, the assassination of President McKinley and his death after several days was followed closely by everyone. The Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, was then sworn in as the 26th President of the United States on September 14. The new century had now taken on a different feel and appearance. What would the coming years bring?

Young Folks Created New Families Across the Valley

Rings and nuptials go together
Rings and nuptials go together

Marriages in the Community Created New Families

Charlotte, Myrtle and Ora B. did attend one wedding in June. Randall Nixon, who was full-time with his father, Russell, at the Oak Springs Enterprise, married Sallie Riley at the Methodist Church on a Sunday afternoon. Charlotte and Russell were still very good friends from their years together on the School Board and their many other community activities together. It was a big wedding and a festive time was had by all.


There were two marriages in the east valley this year. Verle Hay married June Toll. This was another city girl making the commitment to become a farm girl for the marriage. He would be farming with his father, Alexander. Quincy Adams Derryberry married Rose Trombidge, another city girl. The young couple were in the same class in school and only 18 years old, which did cause some talk around town, but they lived in the country and didn’t care. They were married in the Presbyterian Church, of course. He would be farming with his father, David.


There were two other marriage between young folks in town. Dan Norton, now 20, who worked as the apprentice Butcher, married Tetisha Bishop, who worked with her father at the Lumber and Seed Store. They had also been classmates, and both said they planned to continue working on their careers. Lucas Tombridge, 20, older brother of Rose, he worked with his father on the Construction Crew, also married his classmate, Sallie Taylor. They both made it clear they intended to raise a family together. There was just one marriage in the west valley in 1901. Albert Johnson married his neighbor, Edith Cox. He would continue to farm with his father, Campbell Johnson.

They Opened a New Cafe in Oak Springs

A typical cafe scene
A typical cafe scene

A New Cafe Came to Town

During the summer of 1901, construction began on a building on Lot 3 of Block DD, diagonal northeast from Centennial Square. It soon became known that is was the new North Side Cafe. It was on the north side of Main Street. The builder and proprietor was Alvin Nelson along with his wife, Alice, and their two children, sixteen-year-old Ernie, and Alice, fourteen years old. Alvin was a cousin of the Pace brothers. He had heard good things about Oak Springs, and decided to make it their home. The building with the cafe on the first floor had their residence on the second floor.


Before the cafe got opened, construction had begun on Lot 4, immediately to the east of the cafe. This building would have a similar building plan with the North Side Dry Goods store on the first floor with a residence on the second floor. This proprietor was Eldred Jacobson with his wife, Carol, and their seventeen-year-old daughter, Josephine. Jacobson had sought a town in need of a Dry Goods store. Since Oak Springs only had Campbell’s on Central Avenue, he decided it was a good place to locate.


With the trend in motion, one more business was added along Main Street east of Centennial Square in the fall of 1901. Lot 3 of Block EE, immediately to the east of the North Side Dry Goods store, became the home of McKee Plumbing Service and Supply. This building followed the design of the two to the west, with retail and shop space on the first floor and residence above. The Master Plumber was Andrew McKee, with his wife, Amanda, and their three children, Alexander, 15, Aaron, 13, and Allison, 10.

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 was their story. After they married, they became a part of the larger community, of course. Now, in this new century, the focus will be on Ora B. and his environment.


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 

      7 months ago from Hollister, MO

      I did grow up on a farm, of course. But, early on, my Dad said I would be going to college, not stay on the farm. Which I did. I've always been drawn to think of farming a lot, but never had a desire to actually be a farmer. I suppose I'm getting some of that out of my mind by these writings. Thank you, Mary, for your continued support!! ;-)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      A farming bug. I somtimes think that we have such a close connection to the earth that the farm always attracts us. I did not go up in a farm but as children, we would always go for vacations and it was a big part of our childhood so I enjoy reading the expansion taking place in this new community.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      8 months ago from Hollister, MO

      We can never be sure what is just around the corner, that is for sure. Thanks, Bill, for your insights. Much appreciated!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Really this time in our history was the end of the heyday for farming, but there was no way for farmers to know that....fascinating history, my friend. I just love it!

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