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Weston Wagons West - Ep. L40 - Levi Weston, the Final Chapter, for Now…

Updated on May 31, 2018
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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.

He was a farrier and blacksmith

The farrier and blacksmith at work
The farrier and blacksmith at work

Levi lived on in Oak Springs, but this specific series of stories ends

As 1885 closed out in Oak Springs, in the Oak Creek valley, Levi Weston was 62. We have followed him, his parents, and their family, from his birth in 1823 in this series of 40 episodes in the Weston Wagons West series of family saga, historical fiction stories, part of “The Homeplace Saga.” Levi, Alfred, and Otis Weston along with Hiram Parks, Trey Parks and Monroe Tripp continued to live and work in Oak Springs and will be characters in the ongoing saga, just not as the primary focus figures in this series.

For example, in McDonald Tales - MT20, we saw Levi sell William McDonald a saddle horse named Blaze, in 1887. The new series starting next week, Bevins Tales - BT1 (in the Homeplace Series set of stories), will see Levi and family involved in the lives of the Bevins family and friends in the coming years. Cutting off this series at the end of 1885 coincides with the cutoff year of The Kings of Oak Springs series as well. By closing with the 40th episode, we also follow the pattern of number of episodes as multiples of 20, as well, and will compile them into an e-book or PDF availability, based on technology available at the time. Please email me for a PDF file, if interested now. [billsmith2003 at gmail dot com]

Levi Weston was a farrier, blacksmith and wagon maker as well as a small wooden products craftsman. He took on Otis Weston, his nephew, as an apprentice and found that Otis had similar interests and skills. By 1885, Otis had been designated as successor to Levi in his business interests in Oak Springs. Levi had also taken on Alfred, the older brother of Otis, as an apprentice. However, Alfred quickly showed both more interest and more skills in the wagon business, and especially the business side. He became the Sales Manager of the Parks Wagon Works and Implement Sales Office. He married Rowena Cornelius and had a son, Brett, born in 1884.

Hiram ran a harness shop in Oak Springs

A bridle display at the harness shop
A bridle display at the harness shop

The Parks family had prospered in Oak Springs, as well

Hiram Parks, uncle to Levi (his mother’s brother), a widower, opened his harness shop in Oak Springs, just to the west of Levi’s shop, with some space in-between. Hiram’s son, Trey (Hiram III), built and opened the Parks Wagon Works between the shops of Hiram and Levi. It expanded rapidly and he opened a Sales Office across the street to the north, now managed by Alfred. Trey had married Rebecca Cornelius (older sister to Rowena) and had two children by the end of 1885, Inez, 3, and Buddy (Hiram IV), 1.

Four years earlier, Hiram had been joined in the Harness Shop by Monroe Tripp, then 16, to serve as an apprentice, and to see if he liked that work. He did. Monroe was the grandson of Hiram (son of Hiram’s daughter). By the end of 1885, he had decided to remain in Oak Springs with Hiram, with his grandfather’s blessing. They were both pleased with their relationship and planned to continue it.

Now 65, Hiram announced his plans to turn the Harness Shop over to Monroe when he retired (or passed away, as the case may be). Monroe also announced over the holidays that he was bringing to town, as his bride, Melanie, a young lady he had known all his life. They had continued to keep in touch, and now was the time to get back together, he said. Also being a part of an active Jewish family, this announcement was welcomed by Hiram and Levi. The wedding would take place in Jefferson City, at her parents’ home, on New Year’s Eve, with the blessings of both families. As the year closed, Hiram and Monroe had supervised the building of an addition onto and the remodeling of their house to accommodate the new married couple, along with grandfather, Hiram, for the new year.

They raised Morgan Horses along with other horses

A Morgan mare with colt
A Morgan mare with colt

The Weston family in Jefferson City

Levi had two brothers remaining in Jefferson City (as well as a sister and her family in the St. Louis area, of course) that we have mentioned from time to time. Hiram Weston had become active in the Freight Line business that Jacob had started, of course. That Freight Line and the one of Harry McDonald had merged back at the start of the war. Hiram had essentially taken over that combined business from their father. By the time Jacob retired, Hiram had built the business further. As we saw recently (L38), he had then merged it with two other Weston businesses to form the current, as of 1885, Weston Transportation Company, which Hiram continued to head.

The youngest Weston son, Ezra, father of Alfred and Otis, had continued the farrier and blacksmith business started by Jacob, many years earlier. That business had also continued to flourish along with his horse herd, as was the Weston family tradition. Levi and Ezra, along with Alfred and Otis, continued to exchange assets to manage their Morgan Horse breeds to their mutual advantage. This had become one of the bonds that had kept the family close over the years.

The Morgan Horses would continue to be a source of pride and wealth for these four men in the years ahead. They raised other horses as well, for work and for sale, but the Morgans would continue to be their personal favorites. Alfred’s son, Brett, would continue the family tradition as his mature days approached in the years to come.

Note by the author

This episode continues the Levi Weston family saga fictional stories. Levi Weston family stories were included, from time to time, in the ‘Life in Oak Springs’ and ‘The Kings of Oak Springs’ stories elsewhere here on HubPages. Those stories occurred during the 1876-1886 time frame. This present series is reliving that period but from the viewpoint of this Weston family, through this second set of 20 episodes.

As noted in Episode L1 of this series of historical fiction family saga stories, all of the characters in this episode are fictional. Activities and events are consistent with known historical facts, but are entirely fictitious. The Weston characters that appear here, as well as the McDonalds, were first created as a part of “The Homeplace Saga” stories. The first 20 episodes of this Lx series filled in the early years of the lives of Levi, Jacob and their family.

Some of the stories of the "American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1875)" collection of historical fiction family saga short stories have also been published on "The Homeplace Saga" blog, found at the link, below, including those introducing Levi and Jacob Weston.

The first 20 episodes of the Levi Weston story have been compiled into an ebook: “Weston Wagons West: Levi Weston, L1-20 (1823-1874).” Thank you for your support. This second 20 episodes will also become available shortly as a complied edition. Watch for the news on The Homeplace Saga blog (home blog found at thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com) and elsewhere.

“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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