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The Kings of Oak Springs - Episode 52 - July - August 1882 Activities

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.

They had a June wedding

A wedding cake
A wedding cake

One more June Wedding

On the afternoon of June 25, there was one more wedding that closed out the ‘marrying’ month at the Methodist Church in Oak Springs. Jacob Carver was married to Irene Cunningham with Reverend Arthur Boyd officiating. Jacob and Irene had become engaged back near the first of the year, but had waited to wed until after her contract year as a teacher at the Public School had come to a close. She had submitted her resignation in April to allow for the timely hiring of her replacement. That had in fact been accomplished. In the middle of June, Superintendant Chambers had announced that Dora Garrett, daughter of Willis and Isabel Garrett of the east valley, had completed her normal training. She would be returning to the Oak Creek valley to replace Irene Cunningham, who had resigned earlier, as the teacher for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades at the school. Joseph Carver, older brother of the groom, served as Best Man. Bonnie Cunningham, sister-in-law of the bride, served as Matron of Honor for the wedding ceremony. [Watch for Episode FO12, of the 'Meet the Folks' series, for more details from this wedding reception.]

Both bride and groom were from large farm families in the west valley, on the north side of the Houston Road. Jacob’s parents were Hiram and Millie Carver. Irene’s parents were Jedediah and Lethia Cunningham. Jacob and his family had built a new cottage for Jacob and Irene to make their home just on the west edge of the Carver farmstead along the Houston Road. Jacob would be continuing to work the family farm along with this father and younger brother, James. The Carver homestead consisted of the eastern half of Section 28 with Center Creek running through it. Irene would become a full-time homemaker on the farm.

As nearby neighbors, fellow church members, and good friends, the entire King family attended the wedding and reception following. This, of course, also provided another convenient opportunity for Kent King and Janice Carver to spend more time together during the summer of their approaching junior year in high school. They each watched the wedding activities with interest and talked about then in great detail when they had a chance.

It was a traditional 4th of July celebration

A home with patriotic July 4th decorations
A home with patriotic July 4th decorations

4th of July 1882 marked a new Oak Springs tradition - a parade

The previous fall, the local G.A.R. chapter had worked out an arrangement with the Truesdale family to take over the original in-town Truesdale/Patton double cabin in which Nellie Truesdale had been living near the Patton School as a chapter headquarters and future museum. Nellie had moved in with her mother, Victoria, and had by that time no intention of returning. The cabin held many memories for those returning immediately after the war, as well as for newcomers arriving at about that time as well. It already housed many of the Patton and Truesdale artifacts and this seemed a natural transition. Lewis Truesdale had been an enthusiastic supporter, along with Victoria and Nellie. Augustus Ward had been a facilitator along with a number of veteran volunteers. They used the cabin as a meeting place. At each monthly meeting, the veterans had a project as part of the meeting that related to making the museum a reality.

From these activities came the new tradition in Oak Springs. They were not quite ready for the Memorial Day celebration, but they were ready for the 4th of July celebration in 1882. The G.A.R. Chapter members would head a parade from the cabin along the five blocks along Patton Road and north up Central Avenue to Centennial Square where the annual celebration would continue to be held. The veterans had formed a five-member band that would provide martial music as the chapter members marched the five blocks. Other community members who cared to were invited to ride decorated horses, or drive decorated wagons, along behind to form the parade, so long as they adhered to the 4th of July patriotic theme.

The 1882 parade consisted of five mounted horsemen and three horse-drawn decorated wagons. As the parade passed by the tavern, the boardinghouse, the restaurant and the hotel, quite a number of local residents and visitors, who had been watching the parade pass by, stepped into the street and walked along behind the parade to Centennial Square. This, in turn, created another new tradition that was followed for many years into the future.

The West Valley team won for a second time

The 'tug-of-war' was very competitive
The 'tug-of-war' was very competitive

The Fourth Annual Oak Creek Valley Fair was held on the 5th of August in 1882

For the Fourth Annual Fair, a similar schedule was used as was in place for 1881. Some judging categories were expanded, as announced in the spring, but the schedule stayed the same. People arriving on Friday evening provided their own entertainment. Many of them turned in early to be ready for animal judging early Saturday morning, but a few folks at the far south end of the fairgrounds kept their party going fairly late into the night. The fair committee determined later that Friday evening activities on the fair grounds before the day of the fair needed better rules and policing for coming years.

On Saturday, the West Valley again bested the East Valley in the ‘tug-of-war’ traditional competition, confirming the shift that had first been noted in 1881. The expanded judging categories had generated increased participation and the fair committee was pleased with this development. The paid entertainment program for Saturday evening preceding the closing fireworks was deemed a big success and the committee hoped to be able to continue, and even possibly expand, it for the coming year.

In the Town Election on Tuesday, August 8, Sylvester Preston, running un-apposed, was re-elected to a three-year term on the Council. In the Public School Board election on the same day, Russell Nixon, running un-apposed, was re-elected to a three-year term. Franklin Gifford of the east valley was the only candidate who chose to run to fill the vacancy for which Jane McDonald had declined to seek re-election. He earned a three-year term as well. At the first meeting of the new school board, Karl King was elected President, and Russell Nixon was elected Vice-President.


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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Sha, for your cogent observations... The more things change, the more they stay the same, perhaps! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      It's interesting to learn how parades came to be in commemoration of key events. The traditions are still very much the same today.

      I got a little chuckle out of Kent and Janice's interest in Jacob and Irene's wedding. It seems they're taking mental notes in preparation of their own impending nuptials.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, very much, for this comment. Yes, these communities do seem to have a life of their own, even over and above the individuals and families living there! Love it! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elections are held, power seats are filled, communities come together to celebrate...small town life at its best. :) I loved this!


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