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Episode OS16 - 1st Qtr 1881 - Life in Oak Springs and more

Updated on November 23, 2017
Homeplace Series profile image

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

Temperate weather gave way to snow...

It snowed... a lot...
It snowed... a lot... | Source

January items of interest

Clyde Orchard introduced Harvey Williams as a partner in their Meat and Ice business. He said that Harvey was a butcher, by trade. The partnership had purchased a strip of land along the south edge of the southwest corner of Oak Springs that included the convergence of North Spring Creek and Center Creek. They believe they can harvest ice off the creek on their land, during the coldest part of the winter. They have also arranged leases for ice on the creek on town property and including Patton Pond. They are near completion of an Ice House on the east side of the creek on their property. Williams will built a house on the property and farm the land, raising both beef and pork for butchering. Williams will also serve as a butcher at Orchard’s Grocery Store. His son, Guy, is assisting Harvey Williams in his tasks. Harvey added that his wife, Minnie, would join them in the spring.

Ward Confectionary and Bakery was running ads in the Enterprise with Valentine’s Day Specials starting the last week of January and including the first two weeks of February.

The First Annual “Celebrate Oak Springs” Banquet was held at the Community Building on Saturday night, January 22 (the fourth Saturday) by the Oak Springs Chamber of Commerce. Clyde Orchard, Ralph Cornelius and ‘friends’ were responsible for the fine meal and other arrangements for the evening. President Simeon Bishop presided over the program that focused on new and expanded businesses in the valley over the past year as well as other activities added to the community during the year 1880.

The somewhat typical mild weather of January gave way on Friday, January 28, when 13 inches of snow fell overnight and into Saturday afternoon. Temperatures dropped from averages in the upper thirty’s all month to the teens into the first weeks of February.

They celebrated their marriage with family...

The wedding cake was beautiful...
The wedding cake was beautiful... | Source

February items of interest

When it seemed the cold spell would break, with temperatures back to around freezing, and melting just beginning, another front moved in from the northwest overnight on Tuesday, February 8, dropping 8 more inches of snow, and holding temperatures in the low 20s for the following week. Fortunately, with the low temperatures, winds were minimal.

Wilhite Drug Store and Sundries announced that to celebrate their Second Anniversary in business in Oak Springs, on Thursday, February 10, all sales on that day would be at a ten percent discount from existing prices, including items already on sale. They urged everyone to stop by to get their favorite bargains. All new Valentine’s Day items would be included in the sale on February 10 only.

Judge Coffee married Trey Parks and Rebecca Cornelius at City Hall on Friday, February 4. On Sunday, February 6, their families gathered at the home of the new couple on east Second Street for a family celebration of the marriage. Guests included the parents of the bride, Ralph and Inez Cornelius, as well as her younger sister, Rowena. Rowena had re-joined the family over the holidays following completion of her studies at a girl’s school in St. Louis, where she had lived with her grandparents. Also part of the celebration were the groom’s father, Hiram, along with cousins Levi, Alfred, and Otis Weston.

Thomas Crane, President of the Oak Springs Public School District Board of Directors, announced that Quinton Chambers had been chosen as Superintendant of the Oak Springs Public School District effective July 1, when the new district becomes official. Other appointments and hires were expected to be announced in due time.

At the February meeting of the Oak Springs Chamber of Commerce it was agreed that the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) would take responsibility for a community-wide program both on Memorial Day, May 30, and on the 4th of July. It was noted that Memorial Day this year fell on a Monday; it was being celebrated nationwide on that date. The 4th of July fell on a Monday as well this year. Also at this meeting, Simeon Bishop announced that the Oak Springs Valley Fair Association was working toward the 1881 event to be held on the first Saturday of August, again, which was August 6. More details would be announced later in the spring.

Mild weather finally returned to the valley beginning mid-week, the week of February 14, and melting happened rapidly. Folks living near the creek beds and other run-off locations needed to be aware of flooding possibilities.

Just two new babies this winter

A baby
A baby | Source

March items of interest

No serious damage from flooding was reported, though most streams in the valley were full to over flowing the first couple of weeks of March. Farmers were again beginning to think of the new planting season, but with a wary eye on the weather.

Ralph and Sally Campbell announced the promotion of Joseph Carver to Manager of the Campbell Dry Goods Store, where he had served as Assistant Manager. In addition, his wife, Vicki (Wingfield) Carver was named Manager of the Campbell Boarding House.

The men of the Methodist Church announced that they would be hosting a Chili Supper at the Church on Saturday, March 26, with a free-will offering to support new programs they planned to offer for the young people of the church. All persons in the community were invited to come see the church and enjoy some fine food and good company on that evening.

Monroe Tripp, 16-year-old grandson of Hiram Parks, by his oldest daughter, had joined Hiram in his Harness Shop as an apprentice. He was also living with his grandfather. Hiram invited all his customers to stop by and meet young Monroe the next time they were near the shop, and make him feel welcome.

Russell Nixon reported the following new births in the valley during January and February. Frankie Gifford was welcomed into the Franklin and Josephine Gifford family joining two older sisters and one brother in January. In February, Fannie Cunningham was the first-born child of Aron and Bonnie (Die) Cunningham. Grandparents were Jed and Lethia Cunningham and Jasper and Leannah Die, each of the west valley.

School Superintendant Quinton Chambers announced that schoolteachers Nellie Truesdale, Andrew Gilmore, Ellis Prince, and Flo Fields had agreed to new contracts for the upcoming Public School year. Two additions to the staff were projected in the initial budget. With these current teachers now under contract, Superintendant Chambers said new recruitment could begin.

Note from the author

This is the sixteenth episode of a new short story (OSx) series, Life in Oak Springs. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. This episode is for the First Quarter of the calendar year 1881, following the 40 episodes of “The Kings of Oak Springs” stories. That series had followed the time period of the “American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)” collection of short stories. Some of these earlier stories are published on The Homeplace Saga blog, found at the link, below. These OSx episodes move the story forward for the entire "Saga" series.

The first 20 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into an eBook, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs: The Arrival Months in 1876 Vol 1." The second 20 episodes will become Vol 2. See the link, below, to get yours.

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

The latest book in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories

Video Book Trailer

Video Book Trailer


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, MsDora. Actually, I intend to do that one of these days, maybe in my new Meet the Folks series, we can take a stroll down Central Avenue! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Harvesting ice is a totally new concept to me. Your details about location, events and people always get my admiration. We can walk around this town.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for stopping by, Bill. You're doing fine where and when you are... but, thanks for the sentiments! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm living in the wrong era, Bill....or the wrong town. I should be living in a small town where news like this is important to all town members...a real community.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much. I love what I'm doing here... you seem to bring it out in me, even more. Neat! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I love responses to comments such as this. You bring real, relatable life to the series.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Late 1800s my maternal great-grandfather was the town iceman. Gathered ice from the river during the winter, stored in straw and sawdust in an ice house, and delivered to home during the summer. Again, my family history research informs my historical fiction. Thanks for great comments!! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      I find it interesting that the ice business depended on frozen creeks back in the day. Ice is something we take for granted with the built-in ice makers we have in our fridges today. That's what I love about this series. I learn so much. Taking a walk in history really helps me to appreciate what people went through then and the conveniences we have now.


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