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McDonald Tales | MT25 | 1892 in the Oak Creek Valley and Oak Springs

Updated on April 18, 2016

Baby Theodore joined the Campbell household

Baby boy after his bath
Baby boy after his bath

Vic and Kate had a baby

On the 24th of March, 1892, the population of Oak Springs increased by one as a first child, a boy, was born to Vic and Kate (King) Campbell. They named him Theodore. The proud grandparents were Ralph and Sally Rhodes Campbell along with Karl and Katherine King. The west valley that was full of Campbell and Rhodes relatives providing many aunts, uncles and cousins to join the celebration of the occasion as well.

Also celebrating the new arrival were the six other couples still active in the “Willing Workers” Sunday School class at the Methodist Church. With the arrival of Theodore, each of the seven couples now had their first child. Joseph, son of William and Charlotte McDonald, now approaching four years of age had arrived first to this group, followed shortly, in August of 1889, by Sam Wingfield, son of Peter and Stefanie. Ada Adams had been born to Isreal and Lula Adams in April of 1890. Dora Yokum had been next, born in May of 1890, to Junior and Lillie. Just a month later, in June of 1890, Kent and Janice King had become parents to their first daughter, Kay King. Howard and Myrtle Bevins were next, in April of 1891, when their son, Ora B. Bevins was born. And now Theodore had joined the group in March of 1892.

They all gathered at the McDonald farm in June, for the first time all together, to celebrate Joseph’s fourth birthday, four boys and three girls with their parents. What a houseful that made. Afterward, they all agree it had been fun, but, perhaps meeting as a class for a social gathering, leaving the children with grandparents, was a better idea for regular monthly meetings. They were also pleased that they had invited the Methodist minister and his wife, Millard and Frances Long, to join them. Rev. Long was able to share with them the recently received news that he and his wife would continue to serve the Oak Springs church for another years.

William and Charlotte added farmland

The rural countryside
The rural countryside

Changes in the neighborhood happened slowly, but surely

With the upcoming graduation from high school of their youngest son, Rufus, Willis and Isabel Garrett decided this would be their last year renting their farm from the Truesdales. Rufus would be going off to college, although he had not yet chosen a school. Their older son, Alfred, had married Amenah Williams in June of 1891. They had decided that they did not want to farm now that they were in their second year on the farm. Daughter Edith, had gone off to college following high school graduation like her older sister, Dora. The Garrett family would complete the current rental agreement year, through February of 1893. They then all planned to move into Oak Springs. As also agreed, when Lewis Truesdale received this information, he immediately talked to his sister, Jane. Lewis indicated that if Jane and Daniel still were interested in purchasing the quarter section the Garrett’s had been farming, that he would be willing to sell it to them. He added that Howard and Myrtle were not interested in taking on the addition land, though it was adjacent to their place, on the west. Since it was also diagonal to William and Charlotte’s land, it was decided that William and Charlotte would actually be the purchasers of the ‘Garrett place’ and Lewis was agreeable to that arrangement.

To the southeast, Calvin Williams purchased the unoccupied 160 directly to the east of their home place from the Land Trust. He, along with his two sons, Edwin and Wesley, had been farming it for some time. Edwin and Rachel Stark had been ‘an item’ for a few years now, and would likely decide to marry soon. Across the road to the west, Theodore Stark was also renting the quarter section between his farm and the stone quarry land to the west from the Land Trust. This was likely to continue. Between the Williams family and the Stark family, then, they currently farmed four quarter sections side by side, east and west, east from the stone quarry land.

To the south of the M.L. McKinney farm, along the west side of the Salem-Eminence road, Earl and Martha Young arrived to rent that 160 acre quarter section from the Land Trust beginning on March 1st, of 1891. They had a four-year-old daughter, Mary Elizabeth. They called her Beth.

Key Clothiers came to Oak Springs

The dressmaker at her craft
The dressmaker at her craft

New Businesses in Oak Springs

R.R. Callahan, owner of Donegan Tavern at Patton Street and Central Avenue, hoped to have his Callahan Billiard Parlor open by April 1, 1892. After an extended series of meetings with the Town Council, many attended by a large number of local residents, conditions were agreed upon for Callahan to build and open his Billiard Parlor on Patton Street, immediately east of the Tavern. Archie Archer’s residence was to the east across 1st Ave, E. Archer was actually a supporter of the Billiard Parlor. A full-time manager for the Billiard Parlor was being sought.

Also under construction in the spring of 1892 was a new retail store on the south side of Centennial Square, just to the east of the Wilhite Drug Store, the Key Clothiers’ building. Aaron and Effie Key will provide custom made clothes. Aaron is a Tailor, Effie a Dressmaker. Their grown daughter, Hannah, is a Milliner, a hat maker and retailer. Not all hats will be handcrafted, the Keys added, but some will be. Hannah will work in the front of the shop assisting customers. Aaron and Effie will each be in their work areas, in the back of the shop, producing their custom wares as well as doing fittings, etc.

The Pace brothers, James and John, arrived in Oak Springs late in June of 1892. They purchased the north half of Block D. On the west half, facing Centennial Square, they planned to build their shop. On the east half, they planned to build their residence. They resided at the Duncan Boarding House while their shop and residence were being constructed. James was a Shoemaker and his half of the shop would be devoted to that trade. John was a Carpet Weaver, and his half of the shop was devoted to carpets, both the product of his own handiwork and purchased merchandise. Each of the brothers was ambitious and hard working. While there shop was under construction, separately, they visited every business and residence in the valley, pleasantly sharing with the community the work they did, taking orders, and making themselves known. They joined the civic organizations, and participated in all community activities.

Note from Author

These episodes continue life in Oak Springs and the Oak Creek valley seeing the activity through the eyes of Jane, Daniel, William and Charlotte McDonald, along with new material and insights. In this series of stories we learn new behind-the-scene information about this family. These Tales are a part of “The Homeplace Saga” series of stories and continue the early years of the saga.

The earlier episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into two eBooks, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs,” Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (20 episodes each). See the link, below, to get yours.

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

Video Book Trailer

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Small towns....everyone knows everyone's business...that's the bad news...the good news is everyone knows everyone's business...it's a community of people who care for each other, and I find that charming and something I miss.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 12 months ago from Hollister, MO

      The fascination never ends, for sure. You buy the one, you get the other. A high school classmate recently moved back. Been a couple of years now, they seem very happy. Would you? I wouldn't! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 11 months ago from Central Florida

      I think it's a good idea to leave the kids at home during meetings. Little ones need far too much attention to allow for anything of import getting done during meetings.

      The billiard house, clothing and carpet stores will add some character to the town (and maybe a few barroom brawls!). I can see the residents becoming interested in interior decor. Next Oak Springs needs an interior decorator to help those who can afford it spruce up their homes and bring more business to the ever-growing town. Then come the balls, galas, and fashion shows. The local culture will become much more than sowing the land.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 11 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Looks like you are ready for Oak Springs to move into the Gay 90s and then the 20th Century, Sha! Thanks for the suggestions!!

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