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The Kings of Oak Springs, Episode 30 - February 1877, Fourth Sunday, New Babies and More
It was near blizzard conditions in the valley
Two babies were introduced to the gathering
Fourth Sunday in February fell on the 25th
The near blizzard conditions the families in the valley had suffered through the prior week had including six inches of snow. Now, as the families gathered for Fourth Sunday activities, the only reminders were occasional remaining snow drifts that had not yet melted. Melting had been slow, with temperatures in the mid-thirties, most days, but melt it did. Karl King, and the rest of the Sunday School Steering Committee members, hoped that attendance would be good this month, because this was the day they planned to take registrations for the Sunday School and to recruit the first group of teachers.
Gideon Inman began the Fourth Sunday announcements by introducing two new members of the community, two babies that had been born in January and were making their first public appearances at Fourth Sunday with their parents and sibling. The first to be introduced was young Randall Nixon, a new young brother for his sister, Elmira, soon to be four years old, herself. Their parents were Russell and Norma Nixon, from north of town, of course. The second baby to be introduced was Earl Toll, son of T.J. and Shirley Sullivan Toll. Young Earl was a first grandson for Ivan and Hazel Toll, and an added grandson for Jourdan and Martha Sullivan, from the west valley. The Toll family, of course, owned and operated the ten-room Diamond Hotel on Central Avenue, a block south of the new Town Square. All received enthusiastic cheers and applause from the good-sized audience in attendance.
Joshua Cox, a member of the town council, asked to be recognized, and Gideon was pleased to so do. Joshua then expressed his pleasure in announcing that he, and his wife's youngest daughter, Hattie, had been married in a celebration at their home the prior evening, to Simeon Bishop, son of Nathan and Sharon Bishop, of the west valley. Simeon was best known to most as the Manager of the Baldridge Lumber and Feed Store on Central Avenue. This announcement generated another rousing round of cheers and applause from the audience.
They took down the registrations
Sunday School registration proceeded as planned with good results
Karl had been asked by the Committee to speak to the group about Sunday School registration. He took a few minutes to remind everyone that participation was entirely voluntary. This process was simply to learn as accurately as they could how many people they should plan for, and how many classes needed to be organized with teachers and materials. Repeating, he reminded everyone that no one was required to come if they signed up, and, likewise, even if they didn't sign up they were still welcome, and encouraged, to also change their minds and come on any Sunday morning they cared to, once the program got under way. He spend a few moments sharing the planned schedule.
All of the committee members were present, and would be at the designated table set up for registration. They would have three lines, if necessary, so it could be done quickly, by family. Karl said they needed full name and age of each person, and persons of any age were welcome, 6 years of age and up. They also wanted to gather the information on all members of a particular family together, to make it easier to keep track of everyone. Anyone interested in teaching, or helping to teach, were asked to make this known to the committee. Karl added, finally, that each of the committee members were available to answer any questions, around the table, as registration was taking place.
At the appointed time, Karl was pleased to see that nearly half the people gathered this day were lining up to register or ask questions. That was a necessary step for the organizing effort to move ahead.
As other afternoon activities got underway, the Sunday School Steering Committee members remained at the table, compiling the registration information they had received. They also shared with each other concerns that had been expressed by their neighbors during their discussions. None of the concerns appeared to be a detriment to proceeding with their plans. Likewise, the numbers of likely students and the available teacher volunteers were acceptable for moving forward.
Liam expressed his creativity in metal works
Karl made a visit to Owen Olson during the week
On Tuesday, after delivering the children to school and checking the mail (there was none), Karl decided to stop by the Blacksmith Shop and talk to Owen Olson. Walking into the shop, Karl was very pleased to see both Owen and Liam working at individual projects. Karl noticed that more of Liam's decorative metal work was displayed now than had been there during his last visit. He checked over the items on display until he caught Owen's eye, and nodded he wanted to go outside to talk. Owen took a coat off the hook near the door as they walked outside together. The temperature was near forty degrees, but a breeze made it feel colder. They talked over near Karl's carriage, shielded from the breeze.
Karl wanted to ask Owen if he had talked to Silas Adams about doing his scavenging for materials on the now Adams place. From his time spent there working on getting the flooring installed on the foundation, Karl was certain nothing had been done, to date. Owen said he had made the offer, but Silas had not been ready to think about it when they talked briefly about it, earlier on his last visit. Karl asked Owen if it would be alright with him, if he asked Silas about it in a letter he would be writing to Silas shortly. Owen said he wouldn't mind, at all. It was up to Silas, for sure. They chatted some more, and Karl mentioned the decorative metal work he had seen.
Karl decided to talk to Owen directly about how Liam was doing by now. He knew that Liam had been personally devastated by the premature death of his very close friend, David Baldridge. He didn't want to pry, but really wanted to understand the situation a little better. Karl wanted to be supportive without interfering. He'd even been reluctant to talk to Owen about any business until he knew the situation better. Karl was pleasantly surprised when Owen seemed ready to talk about it when the subject came up. Owen began, "You do know they were much more to each other than just real close friends?"
Responding carefully, Karl replied, "Yes, it seemed that might be the case."
Owen then proceeded to share with Karl the approach they had taken to help get Liam out of his deep depression. They had encouraged him to take his time, but, when he was ready, to get back to his creative metal work by dedicating what he did to David's memory. It was slow going, but it appeared that Liam was slowly finding his way back. In the past couple of weeks, Owen, added, Liam had even offered to help Owen on a couple of his projects. Karl thanked Owen for sharing this information with him, and wished the whole family well. Soon, he said he needed to let Owen get back to his work, and took his leave.
Direct link to next episode in this series of stories
- The Kings of Oak Springs | Episode 31 | Letters from Keith and Kate's birthday
The letter received from Keith early in February raised questions as to what he was thinking. Karl began preparation work for spring planting. Kate enjoyed a large birthday celebration for her 13th.
Note from the author
This is the thirtieth episode of this short story series, and the tenth 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 in February of 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. These episodes more the story forward for the entire "Saga" series.
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.”