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The Kings of Oak Springs - Episode 37 - Keith King Visited His Home and Celebrated His Birthday

Updated on November 25, 2017
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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.

They drove into town for the meeting

A road between the farms
A road between the farms | Source

Karl and Katherine King participated in High School Planning Committee meeting

On Saturday afternoon, June 2, 1877, the first official meeting of the Oak Springs High School Planning Committee was held at the home of Lewis and Caroline Truesdale, at the corner of Patton Road and First Avenue West in Oak Springs. Eighteen people were able to attend and show their support for a new subscription-based high school for the community. It had been made clear at the meeting on the recent Fourth Sunday afternoon that this effort would need to be broad-based across the community and funded and led separately from the grade school program. Lewis, Caroline, and Jerry Potts made it clear, however, that they were strong supporters of the planned high school, and that hopefully what they had learned from their years, to date, in starting and operating the elementary program would be useful to the high school planning group.

It became evident, early in the meeting, that the strongest supporters of the high school program were the four sets of parents with the students (William, Charlotte, Vic and Kate) who would be the core of the first Freshmen class in the Fall 1878 session, if they could get organized that quickly. However, most of the parents of students in the following three classes were among those present, as well. Everyone was concerned about whether there would be enough students to be able to recruit a qualified Headmaster and teachers to teach them in the first year or two. Therefore, a sub-committee was organized to gather specific information on this issue to be presented at their next meeting in two weeks. A second subcommittee was organized to determine, with more certainty, who would be available to fill out the second, third and fourth years of the Fall 1878 session, as well as the incoming number of students the following two years. Karl King was including in the first sub-committee and Katherine King was included in the second sub-committee

By the time they all completed their long afternoon of discussions, the four sets of key parents (McDonald, Crane, Campbell and King) had agreed to initially serve as the Steering Committee for this planning effort, with Lewis, Caroline and Jerry as advisors to the Steering Committees. Others present agreed to serve on one or more of the five sub-committees initially identified to get this intense planning effort underway. They agreed to meet each first and third Saturday of the month to keep the program moving forward. Based on numbers suggested by the three advisors, the parents present reached an initial consensus that they felt they could meet the initial funding requirements that appeared to be required for likely success of their mission.

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Keith and Kent walked in the orchard

An orchard in the late spring
An orchard in the late spring | Source

Keith returned home on the stagecoach from Jefferson City for a short stay

Keith King arrived back in Oak Springs from Jefferson City on the stagecoach on Wednesday, June 6th, with plans to return to Jefferson City in two weeks time to work full-time with Mr. Walters for two months. Since making the decision to follow through with college preparatory studies and to accept Mr. Walter’s work offer, Keith and his parents had exchanged many letters and laid many plans (including Anne and Mr. Walters, as well, of course). They now had two weeks to begin to put those plans into actions.

Keith was pleased to be able to spend some time back on the farm. He wanted his father, Karl, to walk all over the farm with him and explain about all the new things they had done with the new, and old, land, now that he had hired his neighbors, part-time, to help with the work. Karl was more than happy to do that. He was proud of their accomplishments, and hoped that the markets, and crops, would be there in the fall to justify the risks, including the costs. He was also pleased that his oldest son showed a sincere interest in the work being done, on the farm.

Katherine and Kate were also pleased to show Keith their latest garden efforts, as well, when he asked. Kate was proud to show off the new knowledge she had acquired during the spring, and Keith responded in a very positive way. Each of the family members was impressed at how mature Keith acted, and the interest he seemed to show in what they were doing here on the farm, while he was away. Kent spent some time, as well, showing Keith around the orchard as well as around the farm lots they had created for the animals they now had on the farm.

Earl and Keith walked the farm to the ridge

The walked to the back of the farm
The walked to the back of the farm

Keith had his 15th birthday celebration on the farm

Friday, June 15th, also happened to be Keith’s 15th birthday. When the family realized that Keith’s friend, Earl Rhodes was also back in Oak Springs from his year away at school, they invited him to come visit Keith, for his birthday, on Saturday. They also invited his parents, Theo and Lillian for the noon meal with the family, and the young men, on Saturday. Theo, of course, was the brother of Sally (Rhodes) Campbell, and Lillian (Campbell) Rhodes was the sister of Sally’s husband, Ralph Campbell. They were the parents of Vic Campbell, Kate’s classmate. Karl and Katherine were actively involved with the Campbell couple of several occasions. They wanted to get to know Theo and Lillian better, and this seemed a good excuse to do that.

Over dinner, Theo and Lillian talked about the early days in the valley. The Campbells had arrived in 1836, the first family to settle in the west valley. Eli Rhodes, and his family, were the second, in 1838. Theo (Theodosius, more properly) was a 6-year-old when they arrived with a large family, and settled a couple of miles down river from the Victor Campbell family. Both families had left during the war, of course, but both also returned and were substantial members of the community now.

Earl and Keith were able to spend a couple of hours together, during the afternoon, and went for a walk to the top of the ridge along the southern edge of the King property. At one particular spot, they discovered they could see the Rhodes farm homestead a little over three miles to the southwest, through a gap in the rocky ridge about half-way in between the two farms. Earl said he was looking forward to returning to the farm in a couple of years. Keith said it appeared like he would not return to the farm, if things went the way he and his family now saw their futures.

Note from the author

This is the thirty-seventh episode of this short story series, and the seventeenth 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 May 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 move 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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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I really do appreciate your visit and comments each week, vkwok! ;-)

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Another great installment, Homeplace!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you. This keeps the stories coming. They certainly are real people to me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      When a reader feels like he knows the characters as real people, then the writer has done his job. You've done your job. :)


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