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The Kings of Oak Springs | Episode 32 | Twelve months of Fourth Sundays for the King Family

Updated on December 23, 2014
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

It looked like a Winter Wonderland

Winter scene with newly fallen snow
Winter scene with newly fallen snow | Source

The King family left early for Fourth Sunday activities on March 25, 1877

On Tuesday, March 20, eight inches of snow fell in the Oak Creek valley, with no wind, this time. It was like a winter wonderland, but residents were thinking about spring. With temperatures in the forties, in the daytime, however, almost all of the snow had melted by Sunday, as the King family got around to go into Oak Springs for their twelfth consecutive Fourth Sunday monthly community-wide activities. They had planned to leave the farm by 10:30 in the morning this month so that Karl could be at the Community Building for an 11 a.m. meeting of the Sunday School Steering Committee in advance of the afternoon gathering. Everyone got their chores done early, and the family was on their way a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Silas Adams and his family had arrived at their new farmhouse just a couple of days before the unexpected snow fall, and he was prepared to lead the Steering Committee meeting, as Superintendent, at the Community Building. Each of the members of the committee was present when Silas called the meeting to order - Karl, Ralph, Samuel, Willis and Russell. Each member of the committee had their own copy of the list of persons signed up and offering to teach or help with a class. It took little discussion to arrive a "three-year" age groupings for the youngsters. Using the current school year ages, these would be "6-7-8," "9-10-11," and "12-13-14." A teacher and helper would be assigned to each class. There would also be a "young adult singles" and "young married couples" classes, along with an "adult class." The committee members then looked over some of the materials that Silas had brought with him for them to consider. After some discussion, the committee decided this material would be good to use for the first three months of the Sunday School, starting the next week, April 1, 1877.

Gideon Inman led the announcements for the assembled Fourth Sunday group, families and individuals from across the valley, before the meal began. He first introduced newcomers, starting with the newborn babies attending for the first time. Peter Reeves was the first to be introduced, by his parents, S. L. and Martha Reeves, from the east valley. He joined Mattie, Fanny, and Nelson in the family. Next was Billie Joe Die, son of Junior and Emeline Die, their first child, of course, in the west valley. Grandparents present were Jasper and Leannah Die. And, also from the west valley, and also a first child, Gertrude Bishop, daughter of Joey and Margaret Bishop. Nathan and Sharon Bishop, paternal grandparents, were also present. Gideon also re-introduced Silas and Rhoda Adams, and their son, Israel, as new residents, this time. He noted that their other son, Benjamin, was in school in the St. Louis area. Silas announced that Sunday School information would be shared following the meal.

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They discussed their spring garden plans

A first plant of spring
A first plant of spring | Source

Fourth Sunday for March had numerous afternoon activities

After the meal, Gideon announced several "meetings" during the afternoon for those interested in participating. One would be a gathering of those wanting to talk about spring crop plans. Another was a gathering of those interested in discussing spring gardening plans. There would be gathering of musicians in a designated corner of the room. He then introduced Silas, again, to make the Sunday School announcements. Silas announced the six classes that were being formed for the first three months, starting the following Sunday, April 1. He said there would also be a nursery for younger members of families totally involved in other classes. He announced the a teacher and helper assigned to each class. He further asked that these persons gather for a short meeting, following his announcement. He then took questions from the audience for a few minutes. Finally, he reminded everyone of the starting time the following Sunday, and that everyone was encouraged to participate, but that no one was required to participate, of course. He closed by extending a "thank you" to the steering committee, and each person that had volunteered their time to get this Sunday School going.

Karl attended the meeting with the Sunday School teachers where Silas passed out the materials to the teachers and helpers. They talked about organizing each class, including having the members of the class come up with a "name" for their class that fit their age group. After taking questions, and satisfied that everyone knew their role for the next week, Silas dismissed the group so they could attend other gatherings, if they cared to. Karl went to the group of men discussing spring crops.

Katherine had gone directly to the group discussing spring garden plans. She was confident in her own plans, but realized there was always something to learn when several interested persons got together to talk. This was only her second season in the valley, so she was especially interested in listening and learning from those who had been there several years. Katherine felt the discussion was very worthwhile, and she picked up a few tips she would certainly use in the coming weeks.

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Cold rain kept coming down

It seemed the rain would never end
It seemed the rain would never end | Source

Karl King learned of another death in the valley as well as a new family arriving

At the General Merchandise store, after dropping the children off at school on Tuesday, Karl realized that the top topic of conversation was that Michael Duncan had died, following an illness that had lasted most of the winter. He learned that, with his death, Michael had left his widow, Amanda, alone. They had no children and no close family anywhere nearby. His former neighbor, now Town Councilman, Joshua Cox, was there and said that his wife, Tetisha was staying with Amanda, for the time being. Joshua also shared that his sons, Coleman and Roy, now farming the Cox farm, next to the Duncan place, had agreed to farm the Duncan place for Amanda, Mrs. Duncan, while she decided what she wanted, and needed, to do. Amanda Duncan had been pleased, and relieved, to have had that responsibility taken care of.

On Thursday, Karl stopped by Gideon Inman's Real Estate office and learned that Peter Riley and his wife, Jane, along with their three year old son, Michael, had purchased the farm directly north of Silas Adams, across the Houston Road, and would arrive early the following week. The farm to the west, was in the finally stages of closing the sale, but Gideon was not yet at liberty to name the buyer, except to say that they were also coming from out of the county. If it closed, as expected, they would be arriving within 30 days.

Back on his own farm, Karl was in the final preparation steps for spring planting, but it had been raining steadily, for several days. The rain was not heavy, but it was still very cool, most days, and it never seemed to let up enough to do anything 'dry.' This was typical spring weather, in the Ozarks, of course. What would the next few days, and weeks, bring, he wondered, as he went about doing what he could.

Note from the author

This is the thirty-second episode of this short story series, and the twelveth 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 March 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.”

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There are four seasons for a farmer back there...summer, fall, winter, and mud season. :) Farmers know it well, a fact you nailed in this chapter.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you. Been there, done that, for sure! ;-)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Another wonderful episode, Homeplace!

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      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you. The community continued to grow, new babies and neighbors, as spring approached!! ;-)

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