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The Kings of Oak Springs, Episode 28 - The Kings Learned the Adams Family Would Become Neighbors
They admired the fine traditional Stone Fireplace
The Book Club group met at the Ralph Campbell house
As they had wrapped up their Book Club meeting at the King farmhouse on Saturday, January 6, the three couples decided they wanted to take two more meetings to finish discussing their book. They were reading Mark Twain's "The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress." They had enjoyed discussing Twain's observations at the 1867 Paris Exhibition and had taken longer than expected. They hoped that the next time they would get through his stop in Rome as well as his journey through the Black Sea to Odessa. They then expected to finish with discussion of his observations in the Holy Land at their final meeting. That final meeting would be at the Jerry and Polly Potts home on February 3.
They were having their January 20 meeting at the Ralph and Sally Campbell home just west of Oak Springs off Patton Road. Their home was about halfway into town for the Kings, but set back off the road far enough, along North Creek, that it could barely be seen from the road with the many trees still standing along the creek. As they had done two weeks prior, the King children would come along and spend time with Vic Campbell while the adults had their meeting. It had worked well twice, before, so all assumed it would again. As an only child, Vic had his own room that had plenty of space and activities for the children to pass the time usefully.
Karl and Katherine King were only mildly surprised at how nice the Campbell home really was. It was finished and furnished as nicely as any home in the community even though its location was in the country. It had been build upon their return from their war exile as well, of course, and had been upgraded regularly, it appeared. The centerpiece was a large stone fireplace with all the attendant accoutrements. They met around the large oak dining room table, similar to the one the Kings had but about ten years older. Sally had coffee and cookies available as they began their discussions.
They had tea and Danish cakes
Silas and Rhoda Adams visit the Oak Creek valley
Karl had received a message from Gideon Inman that Silas Adams, and his wife, Rhoda, were visiting in the community, again, and would like to come visit at the King farmhouse in the early afternoon of Wednesday, January 24th, weather permitting. To prepare for their arrival, the day before, Karl rode into Oak Springs and had a conversation with Gideon. From Gideon, he learned that Silas had two primary purposes for his visit. First, he was completing the purchase of the former Jefferson Lowden farm. That was important to Karl, because that land was located diagonally to the northwest of his original farm and, therefore, adjoined to his new western land, to the north. The Lowden place, soon to be the Adams place, sat between the property of Jourdan Sullivan, to the west, and that of Thurkill Dent. The buildings, however, would be on the northwest corner, near the Houston Road and Center Creek (at the far end of the property from the Dent and King buildings). So, while the back end of the lands were adjacent, it was a trip through town and back to get there by an established roadway.
In addition, Gideon explained that Silas and Rhoda were visiting each of the volunteer Sunday School Steering Committee members individually to get to know them better, and, most likely, to judge their true level of commitment to the proposed program. Gideon added that while their sons had not accompanied them on this trip either, he had learned that their children consisted of two sons only. The oldest, Israel, was about to become 17, and would apparently be a full partner with his father on their farm. The younger, Benjamin, nearly 15, was currently attending a High School in the St. Louis area, and seemed to be preparing for the Christian ministry. Karl thanked Gideon for the very useful information and said he would look forward to the meeting with Silas and Rhoda Adams on Wednesday. As a parting note, Gideon mentioned that the Adams couple preferred tea to coffee. Karl smiled, and added a special, "Thank you!"
By Wednesday afternoon, Katherine had the teapot ready along with some dainty pastry cakes her Danish mother had taught her to make on a serving tray. She had few occasions to use either, but felt this was the perfect time. The children were busy with assigned task in the loft when the Adams couple arrived.
With proper preparations, the conversation moved along nicely. Rhoda complimented Katherine on the cakes and Katherine, in turn, was pleased to share just a bit about her mother. Karl was pleased that Silas did share with them that they were purchasing the farm nearby and Karl was careful to let Silas tell him how happy they were to have such a fine farm nearby without letting on that he already knew. The talk of the Sunday School was all positive as Karl assured Silas that his family was looking forward to full participation, to the extent that they could. They mentioned that their son, Keith was in Jefferson City for high school, and that opened up the Adams couple to share information about their two sons and their ambitions. Before too long, Silas and Rhoda Adams took their leave to go on about their other visits in the community. Karl and Katherine had a good chat with each other about their new "neighbors" when they were gone.
Silas met with the five committee members
"4th Sunday" fell on January 28th in 1877
The last week of January was blessed with daytime temperatures in the upper forties and this held through the "4th Sunday" gathering on the 28th with a surprising number of families attending at the Community Building in Oak Springs. Karl told himself it was the "new year enthusiasm" coupled with the weather that caused people to get out of the house and come together. 1876 had been a better year, economically, for most folks in the valley, its seemed, as well, and 1877 looked promising for most. In the announcements, Gideon mentioned a meeting of the Sunday School committee set for 2:30 in a corner of the room along with some other positive news. He was pleased to announce the farm purchase of the Adams couple, who were present, and said there were as many as seven other possible new families considering coming into the valley in coming months. He couldn't give specifics, yet, he said, and reminded everyone that some plans would likely fall through. But, he added, he was very pleased to mention that the continuing efforts underway to recruit new people appeared to be bearing fruit.
When it came time for the Sunday School Steering Committee to meet, Karl realized there only five of them present along with Silas Adams. Jasper Die was the missing person. Silas lead the discussion and mentioned almost immediately that Jasper had decided not be participate, for personal reasons, at this time, but he still supported the concept and expected that his two younger children, at least, would participate regular. The other members present, besides Karl and Silas, were Ralph Campbell, Samuel Street, Willis Garrett, and Russell Nixon. Silas said he was pleased to see members ranging from their 20s to 50s in age on the Committee. It was a good omen. They proceeded to discuss what was ahead, with Silas making suggestions, asking questions, and answering questions. They agreed that waiting until the 4th Sunday of April, that would be the 22nd, would be a good time set as a goal for formal organization of the Sunday School.
The tentative plan was to hold Sunday School at the Community Building from 10:30 to 11:45 am weekly on each Sunday morning. Everyone would normally meet with their respective classes at 10:30 and then meet as a whole at 11:15. On the first Sunday, however, they would all meet together, for a brief orientation, before going to their assigned classes. The committee would be deciding how many classes would be needed, as planning continued. Silas agreed to serve as Superintendent for the first year. All members felt they had made good progress and knew what they needed to do next, as they concluded their meeting.
Direct link to the next episode in this series of stories
- The Kings of Oak Springs | Episode 29 | Final Book Club meeting and School Resumed
This episode wraps up the Book Club discussion of Twain's book while the couple met at the Potts home. Abner Wingfield got Karl King involved in building the Silas Adams house. Spring school begins.
Note from the author
This is the twenty-eighth episode of this short story series, and the eighth of what is now Volume Two. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. This Episode is the second in the calendar year 1877, following the time period (1833-1875) of the recently released “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.
The first 20 episodes of this series have now been compiled into an eBook, titled:
"The Kings of Oak Springs: The Arrival Months in 1876 Vol 1." 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.”