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The Kings of Oak Springs - Episode 55 - The 1882 Holidays and Year-End

Updated on November 18, 2017
Homeplace Series profile image

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

Transportation was by stagecoach

The stagecoach brought them to town
The stagecoach brought them to town

They arrived by stagecoach

A stagecoach at the stop
A stagecoach at the stop

Kate King was happy Vic Campbell had a full two-week holiday vacation

Vic Campbell had been attending his banker’s program at Washington University in St. Louis for nearly six months by the time he returned to Oak Springs for a two-week holiday vacation near the end of December 1882. He and Kate King had been exchanging letters, at least a couple of times a week, during the time he was gone. She had continued to work at the bank three days a week, as she had begun following their high school graduation in the previous May.

Kate remained in town Thursday through Sunday morning this week so she would be there to greet Vic on his return on the stage on Thursday, December 21. He had taken the train to Rolla then caught the stagecoach from Rolla into Oak Springs. Vic was happy to see Kate, as well as his parents, Ralph and Sally Campbell, on his arrival. Vic planned to return on the Wednesday stagecoach on January 3.

Kate spent Saturday evening with the Campbell family for a Christmas party. During the evening, Ralph asked Kate, with Vic present, if she would like to extend her working hours at the bank to full-time. They were pleased with her work, he said, and had recently taken on some new projects to which they felt she could contribute. He added that she could continue to live at the Boarding House on the same arrangement, but now full-time. Kate was pleased to accept the offer, and was anxious to tell her parents the next morning. She went to church on Sunday morning, Christmas Eve day, met them there, and went back to the farm with her parents, for Christmas, on Monday. Her parents were happy for her for her new opportunity, though expressed some sadness that they would be seeing less of her this way. They all agreed it was a net positive move, however. Kate returned to town for work on Tuesday morning, to her new job, and a new phase of her life.

They enjoyed the holidays together

They had holiday decorations
They had holiday decorations

The Cranes hosted the Oak Springs Class of 1882 graduates

On Saturday, December 30, Thomas and Grace Crane hosted a cooperative dinner for the five members of the Oak Springs 1882 high school graduating class, along with their available family members, at their home. The weather was cold, but clear, and everyone had a great time for the holidays. Cora was happy that Karla was able to come with her parents and Kate and Kent. Janice Carver was able to come with her parents and her brother John, visiting from college in St. Louis. William, Charlotte and Vic filled out the class, with their parents of course.

This whole group had worked so well, about a year prior, that Thomas and Grace were happy to get them together, again. Involvement on their farms, at school, at college, and other common interests kept up lively conversations going in whatever mix of folks you would come upon, moving around the several rooms of the Crane home, even on the porch, from time to time.

They learned that Vic and John had gotten together a couple of times at events at Washington University during the fall. They only lived a few blocks apart, it turned out, but they were each involved in their own programs, and with new friends and colleagues. They both agreed, however, that being able to share some time together, a couple of times, had been special occasions. Everyone was interested to hear the latest from William and Charlotte, of course. They announced the firm date when they would be getting married, on Sunday afternoon, February 25th, at the Methodist Church, less than 60 days into the future.

They rode around the valley together

Winter farmland in the valley
Winter farmland in the valley

Keith King was home for the holidays as well

Keith King visited for the week of Christmas, but returned to Jefferson City on the northbound stagecoach on Wednesday, December 27th. He had the opportunity to do some work, for a bridge company, during the rest of the holiday break in classes, and he did not want to miss the chance to do that. He felt that doing work with this company might lead to a permanent job following his graduation in about eighteen months. Keith said he was determined to make the four-year graduation date, which was now approaching with increased speed, it seemed.

During his visit, in addition to spending quality time with his parents and siblings, he did visit with his good friend, Earl Rhodes, now a married ‘farm family man’ nearby in the west valley. Keith thoroughly enjoyed his visit with Earl and Naomi, who was now pregnant with their first child. However, following his visit, he shared with his parents that he knew he had made the best decision, for him, of working toward his engineering degree at the University. He loved what he was doing, and looked forward to a career working on roads and bridges in this fast growing state.

One nice sunny and crispy day during his visit, Keith and Karl drove the buckboard around town and Karl enjoyed bringing Keith up to date on a number of the changes that had taken place, including each of the school buildings. Karl continued to serve as President of the School Board, of course, and was rightly proud of the improvements they had been able to make in recent months and years. They visited the Veteran’s Museum. Karl had been a contributor, though not in a major way, but was nonetheless pleased to share this as one more accomplishment in the community. Karl realized that Keith’s visits would only decrease, as the years went by, so he wanted to ‘keep him involved’ in his hometown, even in these small ways. Keith also realized this, and appreciated the time his father was taking to share these community highlights with him. On the way home, they went by several of the farms that had also added improvements and new cultivated farmlands, as well.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much, Larry! ;-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Such a well described trip back in time.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      It has been fun providing that, Sha. Thank you, very much!! ;-)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      It's fun watching this town - and its people - grow from this vantage point. I enjoy the social side of history this series provides, us Bill.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      These are, and continue to be, critical considerations in small, rural communities, across the nation... and especially here in the heartland!

      Thank you for your comment, Mary. Much appreciated!! ;-)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      2 years ago from New York

      Transportation in general was no picnic that's for sure. Your story shows how people began to leave their hometowns to find work and a life of their own.

      You wonder how many will continue to come back over time.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, so much. Family is at the heart of community. ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hail to the community in which everyone has some kind of work to do. Love the family connectedness also!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Actually, the train rides weren't all that great then, either, except they moved along relatively quickly to other these other modes of transportation... Love your comments!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Can you imagine travelling any distance in a stagecoach? Not exactly a comfortable mode of transportation, was it? Of course, horseback isn't a trip to the spa, either. :) Enjoyable read as always.

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