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The Kings of Oak Springs - Episode 51 - June 1882 Keith King Visited

Updated on November 18, 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.

Keith arrived on Friday on the stagecoach

The stagecoach
The stagecoach

Keith King extended his vacation visit

Karl and Katherine King only had a one day notice but were very pleased to learn that their oldest son, Keith, would be arriving on the Friday stagecoach, June 2, rather that Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. They were thrilled to be there to pick up the young man as he emerged from the stagecoach on Friday. Again, his maturity was nearly shocking to his parents, but they gave only signs of joy and happiness at his visit. It did feel a bit strange to them to be entertaining an adult son, a young man with two years of college experience to his credit. It was a reminder of how the world outside of the valley was changing, perhaps, more rapidly even than it seemed to be changing within.

Over that first weekend, then, for the first time in a long time, all four of the King children were in the family farm home together. They enjoyed the family time and used it to catch up with Keith, and for him to catch up with the rest of their activities, as well. He was especially interested to see how Kate had gotten along with her new job at the bank and with staying in town for a couple of nights. This had been her first week to do that, of course. She shared that it had been a bit strange, but she enjoyed it very much. She had enjoyed the company of the others at the Boarding House, and that they had been very kind to her. Only time would tell, of course, as the weeks went by, how she would continue to feel about the arrangement. She had taken time to tell some of the work they had her doing at the bank, as well. Everyone was interested in those details. She said that everything had to be done so systematically, and precisely, it almost hurt her head at first. But, she felt she was able to do everything they asked her to do.

Keith had let them all know that even though he had arrived home early, he was still staying until Wednesday, the 14th. He had been asked by Earl Rhodes to participate in Earl’s wedding to Naomi Chastain, on June 11th, the Sunday afternoon. Of course, he said, he was pleased to be asked and excited that he would be able to take part in this important event in his friend’s life. This wedding took place at the Methodist Church with Rev. Arthur Boyd officiating. All of the King members were invited to the wedding, and of course the extended Rhodes family members were all present. The Kings especially appreciated the opportunity to meet other members of the Chastain family, after the wedding, after having met Naomi’s brother earlier. Keith let his family know that participating in his friend’s wedding and the celebration afterwards was sufficient as his way of celebrating his 20th birthday, on the 15th. They had a cake for him the day before he departed, anyway.

Keith left on the Wednesday stage

The stagecoach about to leave the hotel
The stagecoach about to leave the hotel

Another June wedding and an unexpected announcement

Presbyterian Minister Rev. Walter Ware officiated at the marriage of Alfred Weston and Rowena Cornelius at the Community Building on Sunday afternoon, June 4. It was learned that he had agreed to marry them on June 11, as Rowena had planned, but that he had learned he was being recalled from Oak Springs. He had needed to ask for special permission to stay as long as June 4 to officiate at this wedding. It had been determined that there was not sufficient support to establish another church in this community, at this time, and he was assigned to another church that had issued a call for a minister.

It didn’t take long to hear the reaction of Gilbert Gower to the news that ‘his church’ had ‘turned it’s back on him.’ He was telling everyone he could how unhappy he was at the decision. Everyone noticed, of course, that he saw the decision only in light of the effect it had on him. It turned out, however, that he had more serious issues to deal with than the church. He learned that his father had died, leaving his mother all alone with a sizable farm to look after. Whereas Gilbert had earlier rejected the idea of working with his father on his farm, now his attitude seemed to change entirely. Gower gave notice to Lewis Truesdale that he and his family were moving out of the Oak Creek valley to move in with his mother on her farm. He was simply walking away from his responsibility to Truesdale to complete the share agreement year, leaving crops in the field. More than one person was heard to say, quietly, “good riddance.”

On a related matter, Rev. Arthur Boyd had received word from his Methodist Church Conference that he had been reappointed to the Oak Springs charge for another year. He was very happy to share this information with his congregation. The usually rather stoic congregation burst into applause upon hearing the good news that they would have their minister for another year.

Katherine records more births in the valley

Our favorite baby
Our favorite baby

Meanwhile, back at the King farm and around the valley

Katherine recorded two new births in the valley to her list. A son, Charles, was born to Judah and Victoria Kendrick, in April 1882. A daughter, Carolyn Rhodes, was born to Vance and Alice Rhodes, in May 1882. The west valley families were growing even more this year.

Another birth was welcomed at the King farm. Their mare, Molly, early in June, gave birth to a filly colt that they named Kitty. Kitty arrived while Keith was in town, so the entire family celebrated her safe arrival.

An engagement was announced in the June 14 edition of the Oak Springs Enterprise, but a wedding date during the summer had yet to be set. Leroy Ring, the teacher in the public school, became engaged to Cynthia Wilhite, daughter of Martin and Martha Wilhite. Friends of the couple were not surprised when Cynthia made it clear that she would continue working in her parents’ store, even after getting married. Some people may consider that ‘inappropriate’ she noted, but it was her business and that was what she and her husband-to-be had decided together.


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Yes, Sha, he was a big disappointment... Life has its ups and downs...

      I appreciate your insight and sharing with us. Will there be more surprises around the corner?

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      Good riddance to Gilbert Gower seems an appropriate response from the community. It appears his attitude can use a little adjusting to a more Christian one, especially if he expects to be affiliated with a church.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Dora. I hope my stories reflect authentic life in the community. Thank you for noticing, and commenting!! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      We are watching the King household grow up. How neat! And the community is thriving with weddings and births. You keep life here moving at a steady pace. Good!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much! Just the fact that you read each one, and comment, is great! This comment is super!! You keep my wings flying! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm about to pay you a compliment so pay attention.

      I don't read your posts first thing when they are posted because I want to take my time with them and savor them, like a fine wine.

      The compliment has ended. :)


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