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The Kings of Oak Springs, Episode 3, "Fourth Sunday" - April 23, 1876 - Part 1 of 2
Trees budding in late spring
"Fourth Sunday" was held at the Oak Springs Community Building
The Karl King family followed the advise of Owen Olson and made preparations to attend the "Fourth Sunday" community-wide event at the Community Building on April 23, 1876. The Oak Springs Community Building was located just south of the General Merchandise store about a block south of Patton Road. It was a block east of the Olson Blacksmith Shop, and the open full block in between was a community park that would be used for the community gathering, as well, if the weather were conducive to outdoor activities. This was a mile and a half east of the King farm, so they decided to hook up their Morgan Horses to the wagon and ride in it into town for the event.
More than a dozen folks were already there when the King family arrived. One of the first people they saw was Owen Olson. His wife, Anna, was with him. After introductions, Anna took Katherine and the children over to the Community Building, while Owen showed Karl where to park the wagon and take care of the horses near the spring-fed stream, known as Patton's Run, near his blacksmith shop, a block or so to the west. Other men and their horses were there, as well, of course.
Several children of different ages were playing just south of the Community Building, so the King children joined them. Inside the Community Building, Anna was anxious to introduce Katherine to her new grandson, Aden Inman, just a little over a month old, being held by his mother, Allison Olson Inman. The father, Jacobi Inman, was looking on with a pleased smile on his face, anxious to help out his wife and new son in any way he could. Katherine learned Jacobi was the clerk at the Oak Creek Savings Bank and also worked with his father, Gideon Inman, at the Land Office. She already knew about Gideon, of course, because she and Karl had bought their farm through him. During their conversation, Allison mentioned that as much as she would like to spend more time with the baby, she was also looking forward to getting back to her work of managing the store next door. They had made arrangements so she could have the baby with her, there, of course, and Anna was anxious to take some credit for helping with that arrangement. That way, she could spend more time around young Aden, as well.
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The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned here, regardless of platform. Watch of the release of the forthcoming collection of s
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Dinner Triangle announced noon meal
The Kings learned of the afternoon Open House for the next school term
Lewis and Caroline Truesdale, and his sister, Nellie, joined the group around the baby a few minutes later. Katherine soon learned that Lewis and Caroline were primarily responsible for the subscription school in Oak Springs, along with newspaper editor, Jerry Potts. She also learned that Nellie was actually, "Miss Truesdale," the school teacher. As they talked, she realized that they were having a brief Open House at the school for an hour, later in the afternoon. The spring school term had ended, a week previous, but they were looking to recruit students for the fall term. Both her Kent and Kate were the right ages to possibly attend the school, Katherine realized.
Karl and Levi Weston joined the conversation, having come in from the area where the horses were kept. Owen had stayed outside to greet other folks on their arrival. Levi was the woodworker and wagon builder, in town, as well as an avid breeder of Morgan Horses. Karl and Levi had been very pleased to meet each other. Levi was also a skilled farrier and had blacksmith skills, but only used them, generally, in his own business operations. Lewis pointed out that Levi had built the two special enclosed carriages for the school that they used regularly as "school coaches" to pick up students in the east valley and the west valley, to get them to school on time each day during the fall and spring terms.
Louisa Inman, Gideon's wife, and Jacobi's mother, rang the dinner triangle at about that time to get everyone's attention and let everyone know it was nearing time to gather for the meal. There were some tables and chairs in the Community Building, but it seemed that most families were planning to spread blankets on the grass in the park to the west of the Building to take their meals. This is what the King Family did. Trees in the park provided good shade, if wanted. Allison and the baby chose to stay inside, but most of the rest went out doors, since the weather was clear, mostly sunny, with just a gentle breeze this fine Sunday mid-day in the southern Missouri Ozarks. They had gotten lucky. Many late April days were not this way… but, they could use some rain, too.
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Children playing in the yard or park
Meal time was spent talking more about school time
As they ate their meal, the children talked about the other youngsters they had met. The parents mentioned to them what they had learned about the school Open House. Kate said that she had met three children that she thought were her age, Charlotte Crane, Vic Campbell and William McDonald. They had all said that they liked going to school, but were happy to be done for now. They were looking forward to going back in the fall, and each had a short "piece" to give at the Open House later in the day. Kent said the only boy he met that seemed to be his age was Jimmy Truesdale. Katherine knew that Lewis and Caroline were his parents. Keith said he had met Earl Rhodes, who mentioned he was glad that he didn't have to go to school this past year, but that he did a lot of reading and cyphering at home because his parents were sending him to a Secondary School near Springfield for three years, starting in the fall. Keith wasn't sure what he thought about that prospect.
Karla chimed in that she was just playing with her new friends, Edith and Flora, and they never mentioned school. None of them were old enough yet. They all agreed that at the appointed hour, however, they would all go to the Open House, to learn what they could about the school and learning here in Oak Springs. The school house was just two block west, along Patton Road. They had come past it on the way here, earlier in the day. They all planned to walk over together, when the time was announced.
After everyone had an opportunity to finish their meal, Gideon Inman, himself, rang the big triangle, announcing that the General Meeting of the day would start in a few minutes, if everyone would please gather in a semi-circle that faced a stump in the corner of the park he motioned to. When the people were gathered, he got up on the stump and welcomed everyone. He began introductions with is own grandson, Aden, held by Allison, with Jacobi nearby. He then introduced the King family, one by one, as the other new residents since the last meeting. He urged everyone to stop by and introduce themselves, after the meeting. "I know they'll be wanting to put a house of some sort on the old Hamby place, that is now the King farm, pretty soon. If you have ideas or suggestions you'd like to share with Karl and his family, I'm sure he'd be pleased to hear them," Gideon added. After a few other announcements, Gideon introduced Nellie Truesdale to talk about the Open House program at the school later in the day.
Continued in Episode 4...
Introductory note from the author
This is the third episode of a new short story series set in the Ozarks Mountain setting of “The Homeplace Saga” family saga of historical fiction. This story begins in 1876, following the time period (1833-1875) of the forthcoming “Founding of the Homeplace” collection of short stories. Some of these earlier stories are published on The Homeplace Saga blog, found at the links, above.
“The Homeplace Saga” is the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”