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Meet the Folks | Ep. FO10 | … of Oak Springs - Seaborn Carr at Duncan BH

Updated on September 17, 2015

They shared stories over the evening meal

The dining room at the Boarding House
The dining room at the Boarding House

Late 1881 at the Duncan Boarding House

As the holidays approached in 1881, the “long-term” residents at the Duncan Boarding House in Oak Springs were Town Marshall Andrew Fetter, Dentist Dr. Ollie Seaman, school teacher Ellis Prince, and Bank Clerk Seaborn Carr. Visitors just passing through or living there temporarily joined them from time to time, of course. The evening meal was the time to catch up on news of the day as well as gossip. Yes, men gossip as well as women.

This particular evening, the topic was women, one of their favorite topics.

Fetter: Ok, Seaborn, you are the youngest among the four of us, so we are anxious to hear the latest from those regular trips you have been making up to St. Louis. We know you’ve not just been visiting your parents.

Carr: Well, I suppose it is time to come clean. You fellows have been pretty patient with me.

Seaman: Now that is more like it. A full confession would work just fine.

Prince: Yes, tell us each little detail. What has really been going on!

Carr: First, I have visited my parents each time I’ve gone to St. Louis. Most times, I’ve also seen my older sister and her husband, their two children, as well as my younger brother.

Fetter: You are stalling. You know that is not the detail we are expecting.

Carr: Second, if I may continue, I’ve been visiting a friend I’ve known since high school.

Prince: A female friend, I hope and assume.

Carr: Yes, she is very feminine. She is a schoolteacher, Ellis, like you.

Prince: Wonderful, a teacher… but not like me, I’ll bet. {Chuckles all around}

Carr: She now teaches fifth and sixth grade students, and enjoys her work very much.

A wedding cake loomed in the future for Carr

A wedding cake
A wedding cake

More details emerged, as the conversation continued

Prince: A courageous lady, if she teaches fifth and sixth grades.

Carr: Yes, I would agree with that. Perhaps that is why on this recent visit, she finally said, that she was ready to start a family of her own, when ever I was ready to join her.

Fetter: Wow, now we are getting down to the nitty-gritty details. What did you say to her, when she said that?

Carr: Getting a bit personal there, aren’t you, Andrew?

Fetter: You said we were being patient… that has now ended. {More chuckles}

Carr: Let me just say that I have arranged to purchase the lot just to the west of the bank, Lot 1 of Block B, for our “family home” sometime in the next year.

Fetter: Congratulations!

Prince: That is what we were waiting to hear! Congratulations!

Seaman: The smile on your face seems to say you are happy about it! Congratulations!

Carr: Thank you, my friends. We have waited a long time, but we wanted to be well situated when we made the move. She will finish out her contract for this school year. She’ll want a big family wedding in June, I’m sure. She has a big family, and they will all want to be involved.

Fetter: We’ll try to support you through the upcoming ordeal, as best we can.

In mild weather they sat outside to gossip

The outer porch at the Boarding House
The outer porch at the Boarding House

Seaborn attempts to turn the tables on the others

Carr: And now that I’ve spilled my beans, in great detail, I am due an update from each one of you, and your lady friends.

Fetter: Well, as you all know, my story is pretty simple. No woman wants to marry a man that might be shot any day. We know this is a fairly quiet town, but we still live in violent times. I’m lucky to be able to spend a single evening with a decent woman, let along have possible matrimony discussed.

Seaman: Oh, I didn’t realize we were only talking about decent women! {Horse laughs, this time}

Fetter: Okay, then, Dr. Dentist, what are your prospects… with the feminine types, of any kind?

Seaman: Honestly, I’m fairly happy as a confirmed bachelor. I wouldn’t have come here, if I weren’t. Perhaps you’ve noticed, there aren’t any, hardly any anyway, unmarried thirty year olds here. And very few in their twenties, that aren’t already spoken for. There aren’t even any widows, fortunately.

Carr: That leaves the second youngest among us, Mr. Ellis Prince? What are your prospects that you want to share with us?

Prince: I’m pretty much like the good doctor. I’ve never felt a real need for female companionship. I have my students during the day; I have my books in the evening and on weekends. I like to go for solitary walks and rides in nature on weekends, as well. Perhaps I’m selfish, but I couldn’t ask for anything more than what I have right now.

Fetter: Actually, I really agree with that. My work takes up most of my waking hours, but I can also do about anything I want, when I want. Couldn’t do that with a wife and kids to care for.

Seaman: I’ll admit, if a widow lady with a couple of kids became available, I’d not mind making that commitment, but I really don’t see it happening, so I just don’t think about it much. Not until you gentlemen bring it up, anyway.

Carr: Well, I’m ready to give having that family responsibility a chance. We only are thinking of one to three children, at this time, but I look forward to coming home to them, from the bank, each evening. I do believe that is what I was meant to do.

Fetter: Then, you are certainly going about it the right way. I admire you, and wish each of you the very best. I’ll be happy to be an “Uncle Andrew” to your kids!

The year 1881 was coming to a close

A winter sunset
A winter sunset

Note from the author

This is the tenth episode of the short story (FOx) series, Meet the Folks | … of Oak Springs. Each episode will explore, at first hand, some folks who lived in Oak Springs c. 1880. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. These episodes are set in the early1880s time frame, following by a couple of years 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 FOx episodes provide depth and background stories for the entire "Saga" series. “The Kings of Oak Springs” Episode 41 has now resumed the stories as 1882 began.

The first 40 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into eBooks, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs" Vol. 1 and 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.”

Video Book Trailer

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    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 23 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Larry, I've even surprised myself at coming back to the Boarding House a third time... but most useful. And, there is another one in town, as well. Perhaps it will get a visit, as well! ;-)

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 23 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Sha, your insights are so meaningful and valuable to me. Thank you so much for each and every one. Single life versus commitment to another is such a rich field of relationship considerations. What fun! ;-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      The boarding house was a necessity and will probably become one again.

      Great read.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 23 months ago from Central Florida

      I love the school teacher's subtle approach at getting Carr to commit. It reminds me of Sadie Hawkins Day. I love a woman who knows what she wants and goes for it!

      As for the confirmed bachelors, I can relate. It's nice to be able to do what you want when you want. However, once they've sown their wild oats, so to speak, they'll set their sights on meaningful female companionship. Let's just hope they don't wait too long. It gets harder to concede and compromise the longer one lives a life of one.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 23 months ago from Hollister, MO

      It played a distinctive role, at the time... could still be useful, to day, for sure. Thanks for your consideration!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There's a piece of history...the boarding house. Me thinks it is making a comeback in this economy. People with large houses are renting bedrooms to make ends meet...seems to me to be a boarding house, don't you think? Anyway, fun read as always.