Harvey Kelly, Arthur Eastman, Clair Flint, Vern Kelly, Winifred Calvin, Earl Flint

Arthur Eastman,  Harvey Kelly,  Clarence W.

Harvey Kelly

Walter Eastman

Walter Eastman at work in Wilmot Ks.

Jean Moore,  Walter Eastman

Leo Eastman,  Elizabeth Belle Eastman (Bowen)

Orville Jones

Cecil Eastman

Wanda  Louise, and  Rosalie Ellen Eastman

     Walter Francis,      Mabel Marie,           Thomas Arthur Eastman

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     This article was written by me Marie (Eastman) Kelly the daughter of Thomas R. and Maggie L. Eastman concerning some of the earlier happenings of my life much of which has already been mentioned in previous writings, so for that which I have repeated please bear with me.

     I was the youngest of the T. R. Eastman's children, two boys Thomas Arthur born Jan. 6, 1902 and Walter Francis born Oct. 28, 1904 and myself Mabel Marie all born on the same farm 4 miles east and 3/4 mile south of Wilmot, Kansas in Cowley County. I was born on Nov. 28, 1906 and we lived at the location of my birth place until I was 4 years old, when we moved to the new home which my parents had built on the adjoining land which they had recently purchased. Though I was quite young when we moved from my birth place I have a number of recollections of happenings while we lived there, but among my most impressionable recollections was that our beloved pet dog "Karlo" became rabid and attacked my father one night when he came from work but my father managed to fight him off without injury to himself. The dog wandered away during the night and hid himself under a bridge or culvert on the main road near my grandparent's home and he was hunted down that next morning by my father and other family members, and when found he had to be destroyed. This incident made such a strong impression upon my young mind that for years later when I would walk to my grandparents home and would cross over that culvert I would tip toe lightly across with a fear that there might be a mad dog under it, but as time went by fear of that culvert grew dim and we had moved from that locality and thoughts of the of the feared culvert had been erased from my mind until some 70 years later, on March 15, 1980, while riding in a car with a friend Mary Lewis on that main traveled highway as we were approaching that same little bridge, or culvert a Bronco Jeep came from behind traveling at a high rate of speed striking the car we were in, forcing it against the concrete abutment of that culvert of which I had always had such great fear. The concrete abutment was broken by the force of the impact and it was necessary to use the jaws of life to remove my friend and I from the wreckage and we were taken to the hospital at Winfield by ambulance where my friend Mary died the next morning as the result of her injuries and I was hospitalized for over three weeks with a broken, or shattered ankle and other serious injuries, which took me most of that summer to overcome.

     Once again never cross over that bridge without thoughts of the fear of that culvert that I carried through the years and the impact it has had on my life.

     Back to my childhood days. I was said to be quite frail when I first began my journey of life. At that time they didn't know anything about immunization for childhood diseases. So consequently I had most of the diseases common to children of that day including scarlet fever, chicken pox, measles, and whooping cough. At the age of 7 years old had what was then called infantile paralysis now know as polio which left me somewhat crippled in one foot and ankle and even though I had surgery on it some years later which helped a lot, there has always continued to be a weakness there.

     Those were the horse and buggy days when there were no automobiles and we walked to and from school about 3/4 of a mile and carried a lunch pail. Those were the good old days.

     Our school was a little one room school which taught 1st through 9th grades to begin with later teaching Primer through 8th grade. Ages ranged from 5 or 6 years old to sometimes 19 or 20. One teacher taught all grades as the saying goes of "reading, ritin, and rithmetic" taught to the tune of a hickory stick. Which to my way of thinking we need more of today. We played games on the school ground at noon and recess if the weather was nice and if the weather was bad we played indoor games and the teacher most always joined in on our games.

     We always enjoyed walking to and from school with the other children going our way and one of the special things that I remember about our school days was that most always when we got home from school my mother would have a pan of freshly baked hot rolls and home churned cow butter waiting for us to snack on. A number of children who attended the Queen Village School where I went were Eastman children, my brothers, myself and our cousins and we had many happy times together. We thought of each other almost as though we were all brothers and sisters. We were back and forth in each other's homes most every day and often spent the night together.

     On July 3, 1983 my older brother Thomas Arthur Eastman who had been in poor health for quite some time passed away at the Good Samaritan Care Home in Winfield where he had been a resident for some time. His widow Blanch Mae Eastman continued to live on in their home in Winfield for a number of years until in 1991 because of her health and her inability to care for her home and herself she moved to a care home. She returned to her own home for a time but was unable to stay alone so returned to the Care Home where she continued to reside until entering the Newton Memorial Hospital about three weeks before her death on Feb. 5th, 1993. Graveside services were held at Highland Cemetery of Winfield on Feb. 8, 1993 beside her husband who was also buried there.

     Back to the Thomas R. and Maggie L. Eastman family. On Nov. 29, 1922, I, the Eastman 's daughter Mabel Marie was married to Harvey Kelly, a son of Alice (Groom) Kelly and the late Alexander Kelly, who like myself was born and raised in the Wilmot community. He was a soldier in WWI and had only recently returned from overseas, when I first met him. After several months of courtship we were married and set up house keeping in the 2 front rooms of my parents home, which they often rented out as an apartment. We lived at that location for about 3 1/2 years and in 1924 I was stricken with typhoid fever after a return trip from Mountain Grove Mo. Where we had gone to see Harvey's mother who was living there at the time. I was hospitalized for a month as the result of this illness, requiring special nurse care, which soon used up what little savings that we had. Harvey at first after returning form overseas had taken a job of operating a produce station in Wilmot buying cream, eggs, and poultry for the A. S. Kinnamoth Co. of Winfield but had later taken a job as a section hand working for the Frisco Railroad for $1.00 to $1.25 per day. This was about the only employment in the area at that time except work as a farm hand at $1.00 or less per day working from daylight until dark.

     In 1926 we rented a 120 acre farm at the edge of Wilmot called the Nicely place where we had a few head of milk cows, some pigs, and chickens and farmed a few acres of ground. Of course the farming was all done with horses at that time, there were no tractors or power drawn machinery. We lived at that location for a couple of years, then we moved to a smaller place at the north east edge of Wilmot called the Fay Smith property where we kept a cow for our own milk and butter, a few hogs for our own meat, and chickens for our own consumption and to have eggs to use and some to sell and Harvey again took a job at day labor. One of the very special things that I remember while living at that location was that our milk cow had twin calves and how excited we were about it and how much we enjoyed working with our livestock.

     In the Fall or Winter of 1922 the Eastman's' oldest son Thomas Arthur was married to Marjorie Alice Gleyne of Coy, Okla. Who was a school teacher at Alva, Okla. At the time of their marriage and after completing her term of school she came to Wilmot to be with her husband and they first lived in the home of his parents the T. R. Eastman's until a home of their own could be provided. During their stay in the Eastman home where they lived for more that a year their first baby Rosalie Ellen was born on Oct. 2, 1923. Not long afterward they moved to their little 4 room house across the street which had been moved in and remodeled and made ready for occupancy where they lived at the time their second little girl Wanda Louise was born on June 5, 1925. This little family continued to make their home there until the death of the wife and mother on Nov. 6, 1936. After her death Arthur and the two girls Rosalie and Wanda then moved back across the street to the home of Arthur's parents. The girls finished grade school at the Wilmot School Dist. 149 and were soon ready for High School and college, which they attended in Winfield. Walter, the younger son of the T. R. Eastman's had continued to make his home with his parents and other family members through the years since he had not married earlier in life and was good to do things to help his brother's two motherless girls who were 13 and 11 years of age at the time of their mother's death. Walter had worked at various jobs in the area until this time then he and Arthur went into partnership farming for a time, renting various farms and hiring other farm help. In the late 1920's the T. R. Eastman's had sold their general merchandise and grocery stock to Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Sturm who rented the store building from the Eastman's. The partnership Lumberyard was sold to a new lumber business, which was being built just south of the Wilmot Christian Church on Main Street. The garage and service station was sold to Ernest Young who had moved to Wilmot from Augusta during the early days of the coming of the Eastman oil field. A man by the name of Bill Toms was the first operator of the new Lumberyard. It was not long before her left Wilmot and Thomas R. Eastman was hired to run the business which he continues to operate until its closing several years later.

     In the Spring of 1929 my parents' 160 acre farm 3 miles east of Wilmot was in need of a renter so Harvey and I moved there to begin farming operations on a larger scale. My father Thomas R. Eastman and my husband Harvey made a partnership arrangement for raising thoroughbred hogs along with our farming operations, and raising cattle, poultry and etc. Of course our farming operations were all done with horse drawn machinery at that time. Our crops consisted mostly of corn, kaffin, and hay used mostly for feeding the livestock and poultry. Farming was done in a much different way in those days than the way it is done today. As much of the work was done by hand. Kaffin was cut with a horse drawn binder, then shocked by hand and later cut off with a header knife, hand operated from the side of a horse drawn wagon and hauled to a granary and stored, or stacked to be run through a threshing machine. The stocks were piled and used for feeding livestock or sometimes the kaffin heads were cut off by hand with a corn knife while standing in the field and then the cattle turned into the stock field to graze and clean up the field before getting the ground ready for planting a new crop.

     Corn was harvested in much the same way except the ears of corn were shucked from the stock with a shucking peg and tossed into the horse drawn wagon and hauled to the granary or piled in a huge wire bin for storage. Portions of it were sometimes run through a hand-operated grinder for corn chop or corn meal. The hay was cut with a horse drawn mover, raked and stacked or put in the barn loft. We loved the farm work and the raising of our livestock and poultry. We had no electricity at that time with no means of heat for newborn baby pigs and we often carried them in the wash tub from the furrowing pen to the house and warmed them by our wood burning heating stove before taking them back to their mothers to nurse, and we often had to bring newborn calves into the house to revive them from the cold in extreme cold weather. Often we gathered up young chickens after a rain that had gotten wet and chilled and carried them into the house and warmed and dried them out in the oven, but those were all the good old days of farm life.

     As previously mentioned we had no electricity and no refrigeration and of course there were no radios or televisions. We used kerosene lamps for lighting and kerosene, wood or coal for cooking and heating. Our washing was mostly done by hand with a tub, washboard, wash boiler and homemade soap and the clothes were hung on the line to dry. Clothes all had to be ironed at that time and the irons were heated by setting them on the cook stove. Water had to be pumped by hand from an outside water well and carried into the house. A teakettle was a must for heating water. A washtub was the only means of taking a bath and an outdoor toilet served as the rest room and the toilet tissue was usually a Montgomery Ward or Sears catalogue. I could go on and on about the things that we did or didn't have but this was not a condition that existed for us alone, but was a condition that all experienced alike at that time throughout the country, as that was the only way there was and we were all happy with it. One of the many things that we had to be thankful for was that we had so many good relatives, neighbors and friends living close by. All working together as each neighbor or person had need of. There was a family living on at least every quarter section of land, and a rural school about every two or three miles a part, and the children walked to and from school, and the teacher boarded and roomed in the district.

     The school usually sponsored two or three programs a year for community entertainment and persons of the community were all much as one big family always eager to help each other. Many worked back and forth together at their farm and homework. We boarded the teacher in our home a few terms of school during the 1930's. As best I remember she paid us $20.00 per month for her room and board from her teaching salary of $65.00 per month.

     It was during the 1930's that we had a great depression and an extreme drought, when nothing was raised and there was nothing to feed poultry or livestock and nothing for our own food supply. It was so dry that the dust blew and piled great drifts much like the snow would drift. Drifts sometimes poled as high as the barbed wire fences in certain parts of the country and in referring to it, it was known as the days of the "Dust Bowl".

     Because of the drought and lack of anything raised, we were forced to sell much of our livestock for practically nothing. There was no market for livestock through much of the country because of lack of feed and the animals sold to the government as a support to the farmer.

     What feed there was, was shipped from another state. This was in 1936, we got 50 cents a piece for 50, 60, and 70 lb. Hogs and $12.50 a head for some two year old heifers, and we were glad to even get that for them because we had nothing to feed them. It was necessary for us to just close our eyes to this experience and start all over again. We both liked the farm life and were both very much lovers of animals. We raised lots of chickens and turkeys to sell and milked 10 or 12 cows by hand twice daily for a number of years and separated the milk with a hand turned cream separator. We sold eggs and cream each week for money to buy groceries and other necessities. As time went along some advancements were being made in this part of the country and we got rural electricity in 1951 and we bought an electric range and an electric refrigerator and had our house wired for electricity and had our first electric lights, a radio, electric iron and etc., and also bought a used tractor to replace the horses at farm work. We had begun to think that we just about had it made. But these new conveniences only lasted for us on the farm a few short years, as my husband Harvey dies on Oct. 27, 1954.

     In early 1940 the T. R. Eastman's youngest son Walter started keeping company with Mary Elizabeth Beeman of Winfield who was teaching school in nearby Richland School Dist. 105 north west of Wilmot and they were married at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Beeman in Winfield on Oct. 12, 1941. After a short honeymoon they set up housekeeping in a farm home 2 1/2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Wilmot known as the Harrod ranch which at that time Arthur and Walter were farming together. Soon after this Arthur moved to Winfield and got a job working at Boeing Aircraft Co. in Wichita commuting back and forth from his work to Winfield. On Feb. 21, 1943 he married Blanch M. Tucker of Winfield who was also working at Boeing in Wichita. They had bought and furnished a home in Winfield to have in readiness for their moving into after their marriage. In the spring of 1943 Walter and Mary moved from the Harrod place to the Henry A. Eastman farm nearby which had been vacated by Bill and Dorothy (Eastman) Hiatt and family who had moved to Winfield as Bill was also employed at Boeing Aircraft Co. and this made it handier for him to commute with other riders to work. On Dec. 11, 1943 Walter and Mary became the proud parents of a baby boy Thomas Beeman Eastman. Arthur's tow daughters Rosalie and Wanda now both grown up had been attending college at Southwestern in Winfield and Rosalie took a job of teaching school at Queen Village Dist. 19 east of Wilmot in 1943. Wanda who was still a student at Southwestern had met John C. Young of Protection, Kan., another student there at the college. They became engaged and were making plans for marriage and upon John's graduation from college there, he was called into service. So on Feb. 19, 1944 they were married in Winfield with Walter and Mary accompanying them at the altar.

     On Aug. 12, 1946 Arthur and Blanch had a baby boy whom they named Dale Arthur.

     Before the year of 1944 was over Rosalie decided to give up teaching and she too took a job at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita. Wanda also took a job there during John's absence overseas. Service men began coming home in 1945 and 1946 and while in Wichita, Rosalie met and fell in love with one of the retuned service men Bill G. Spencer of Valley Center. On Sept. 22, 1946 they were married at a small church wedding in Winfield and a reception was held at the home of her sister Wanda and her husband John, who had also recently returned from service and they were now making their home in Winfield. On Feb. 22, 1947 Walter and Mary's baby girl Susan Mary was born.

     Along with some of the special interests and activities of the T. R. Eastman's besides those previously mentioned was gardening in a big way and canning as well as raising chickens, geese and ducks. They also kept a milk cow, which supplied them with milk and butter and often had some to sell. Over the years Mrs. Eastman served meals to a number of persons who needed board and room and they often had persons who made their home with them. Mrs. Eastman also wrote Wilmot news for the Winfield Daily Courier as well as writing poetry and doing fancy pen drawings and writing which she was a pro at. She also collected rocks and arrow heads and was custodian of the Wilmot Christian Church and kept up the yard as well as the indoors. She also took part in numerous organizations and social activities. My father tripped and fell during an excursion at the home of my brother Walter one day during the early 1940's at which time he received a broken hip. In 1949 he had to have a leg amputation because of diabetes and was somewhat handicapped by having to use crutches his remaining years. But did quite well with an artificial limb and lived to be 86 years old. One of the later business activities performed by the Eastman's was the operation of the Wilmot Telephone Office. Thomas R. was president of the Telephone Co. and in the early 1940's the switchboard became in need of an operator so it was moved into the Eastman home where they together operated it as a switchboard and public telephone until 1957 when the Bell Telephone Company came in to operate both long distance and rural lines. The Wilmot Telephone Company was dissolved.

     The Thomas R. Eastman's celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on Feb. 20, 1948 at a big celebration held for them by their children and grandchildren at the Wilmot Community Center where special entertainment was furnished by members of the community and a banquet dinner was served. On the following day a family dinner was held at their home at noon before an open house held in the afternoon. The occasion also celebrated the 5th wedding anniversary of the Eastman's son Arthur and his wife Blanch whose wedding anniversary was Feb. 19th. It was also the 1st birthday of the Eastman's little granddaughter Susan Eastman whose birthday was Feb. 22. Over 200 guests attended the celebration.

     Rosalie E. and her husband Bill G. Spencer who had made their home in Wichita since the time of their marriage, became the proud parents of their first born son Stevan George on Dec. 28th 1949. Soon to add to the joy of the Spencer's was the birth of their second son William Arthur who was born on May 11, 1951. At this time all seemed to be joy and happiness in our immediate family, until the early Spring of 1954 when it was discovered that my husband Harvey Kelly was a victim of Hodgkin's Disease which was known to be an incurable disease, cancer of the lymph glands, and he lingered between life and death in and out of the hospital throughout the summer months, and succumbed to the disease on Oct. 27, 1954, which made a great vacancy in my life. I went back to live with my parents Thomas R. and Maggie Eastman in Wilmot but continued to keep my cattle on the far and I drove back and forth to and from the farm daily to feed and care for them each day for the next 25 years before selling my herd and retiring in 1979.

     Back to other happenings within the family, on Apr. 18, 1957 another baby boy Timothy Alan came to bless the home of his parents Rosalie and Bill Spencer.

     In the early 1950's Wanda and John Young moved to Renton, Washington after being transferred there from Boeing in Wichita. They had no family at the time of their move there but on Nov. 15th, 1957 their first little boy John Carl Young II was born. Then in 1960 the Young's 2nd son David Patrick was born, and then just two years later their twins Thomas Alan and Theresa Ann were born on Sept. 28, 1962 they were at that time living in Bellevue, Washington where they have continued to make their home.

     In 1956 my brother Walter and his wife Mary and their two children Tommy and Susan moved from the Henry Eastman's farm into Burden where Mary was employed as a teacher in the High School there. Walter was employed at various jobs in the area and then took a job of custodian of the school.

     In 1961 it was necessary that my father Thomas R. Eastman again have major surgery and as a result he passed away on June 29, 1961 and was laid to rest in the Wilmot Cemetery. My mother Maggie L. Eastman and I continued to reside together in the family home in Wilmot caring for each other, and I looking after my cow and calf herd on the farm.

     In the summer of 1964 my brother Walter and his wife Mary and daughter Susan moved to San Andreas, California. Mary was to teach in the High School there that fall and Walter to be custodian and their daughter Susan would graduate from High School the following spring. Their son Tom was in college at Emporia, Kansas and made plans to finish there and to continue with farming operations on the Eastman family farm the remainder of the summer before going back to college making his home with his grandmother Maggie Eastman and his aunt Marie during that time. Soon after his graduation from college he was inducted into military training and was sent overseas. Not long after the family had moved to California my brother Walter learned that he had incurable cancer but was able to continue with his work for a time and still clung to life until after his son Tom returned home to California from overseas. He, Walter, passed away on Sept. 12, 1970 and was brought back to Kansas for funeral services at Burden and burial in Wilmot Cemetery.

     My brother Arthur's son Dale was married to Barbara Cochran at that time and on Dec. 6, 1970 they became the proud parents of a baby girl Karin Ann. Not long after this new little member was added to the family an older one was taken away when on Jan. 27, 1971 my 93-year-old mother Maggie L. Eastman passed away. She was laid alone in the family home in Wilmot, still looking after my cattle on the farm for my livelihood which I continued to do until the Fall of 1979 when I more or less retired after selling my entire herd of both cows and calves.

My brother Walter's widow, Mary, their son Tom and daughter Susan continued to make their home in California and on June 19, 1974 Mary was married to Joseph Storti also a resident of California. The following year the son Tom and Maura Ann Grady were married on July 19, 1975, establishing their home in the Oakland area. Later moving to Fortuna, California to operate a nursery, green house, and floral shop which they had purchased there and where their baby daughter Amy Therese was born on Sept. 23, 1985. They later established a residence in Ferndale still operating their business in Fortuna.

Some of the happenings that have brought about great changes in the little town of Wilmot, Ks. Which had been my home these many years was the development in the late 1960's and early 1970's of the Winfield City Lake on Timber Creek just one mile from Wilmot as a reservoir for a water supply and public recreational facility.  for the City of Winfield and other surrounding areas as well as a rural water supply.

On August 25, 1975 the little town of Wilmot was struck by a tornado which practically destroyed the whole residential area along with other buildings and trees. I was in my home at the time and noticed a very black cloud gathering in the south west and just thinking we were going to have a hard shower of rain, I went about my duties in the home then suddenly it began to rain real hard and to hail and the wind was blowing and beating the rain under the door of the glassed in porch and immediately I began trying to mop it up but seeing that this could not be done and realizing that it was dangerous to be in a room with so much glass where the wind was blowing so hard. I went back in the main part of the house and suddenly the storm struck with all its fury and I realized that it was a tornado. I could feel the pressure of the wind actually shaking the house and I was expecting it to collapse momentarily and the windows began breaking all over the house, and trees snapping and crashing all around the house all over the yard and objects of all kind flying through the air. I managed to get down between the bed and the wall in the front bedroom where I laid flat until it was over. Nearly every house in Wilmot was badly damaged, others completely destroyed. Portions of furnishings from other homes were picked up in the yards of neighbors from several blocks away and load after load of debris picked up and hauled to the dump. But fortunately no one was hurt. Many of the residences were repaired and some replaced by new ones and some continued to remain as they were.

Among the repairable ones was the Eastman family home where I lived and after having it repaired and everything cleaned up, I was soon back to living a normal life again, and it was pretty much the same for others. And things were pretty much the same for members of our family elsewhere, all living a normal life.

In 1973 Dale Eastman and his wife Barbara had divorced and on October 11, 1975 he and Betty Ann Muret both of the Winfield area were married. On November 16, 1977 their first baby girl Sharon Diane was born and on September 28, 1981 their second little daughter Kelley Dawn was born.

On March 14, 1980 Stevan Spencer (oldest son of Rosalie and Bill Spencer) was married to Georgia Frentz Major who had two sons by a previous marriage whose names were Eric and Scott. On November 20, 1982 a new member was added to their family when Kimberly Danielle was born at Gretna, La. where they lived.

On June 20, 1981 Timothy Alan Spencer (the youngest son of Rosalie and Bill Spencer) was married to Barbara Marie Henderson of Garnett, Ks. They established a home in Oklahoma City were they were both employed. While living there their first son Timothy Alan Jr. was born on November 18, 1982 and their son Matthew Lee was born on August 3, 1985.

On March 15, 1980 I, Marie Kelly had accompanied a long time friend Mary Lewis also of the Wilmot community on a motor trip to Burden when in less than four miles from Wilmot when the car we were in was struck from behind by a Broncho Jeep traveling at a high rate of speed which fatally injured my friend Mary who was the driver of the car and I was hospitalized for more than three weeks as the result of a broken ankle and other serious injuries sustained, and I was most of the summer of 1980 recuperating. Fortunately I had many good neighbors and friends nearby to help me.

As previously mentioned I (Marie Eastman Kelly) had continued to live on in the property in Wilmot which had belonged to my parents and had been given to me by other members of the family after the death of my parents.

On July 9, 1988 while sitting at home alone late one afternoon or early evening during a thunderstorm I heard a great crash of thunder and was convinced that lightening must have struck something close by but upon investigation I found nothing. But soon I was believing I could smell smoke, then thought that perhaps it was just imagination, then almost instantaneous the smoke alarm went off and then I knew it was not imagination. And as I stepped to the dining room door near where the alarm was sounding I discovered that the smoke was pouring out of my bedroom and that the house was filling up fast with smoke and that I would have very little time to get out. I grabbed the telephone and dialed 911 and told them of my plight and how for the Fire Dept. to reach my home, then I grabbed my purse and my little Poodle dog (Sam) which were both nearby and the only things I had time to rescue. And I got out as fast as I could even though it seemed like a dream and that it couldnít be true. As I went out through the porch and the back door, I could see the flames leaping up the curtains on the window which opened on to the porch of which I was going out, realizing that I had little time and way to escape. The lightening had come in on an electric line attached to an electric clock beside my bed. Thanks to 911 and the prompt and ever so efficient quick actions of the Winfield, Atlanta, and Burden Fire Depts. much of the most serious actual fire damages were confined to the bedroom which was completely gutted, along with some actual fire damage in the dining room and extensive fire damage to the attic and heat and water damages throughout the house. But with endless hours of labor and help by my niece Rosalie and her husband Bill and their family and my good neighbors and friends who helped me through it all, much of the contents were salvageable and we moved it to a vacant house there in Wilmot where I batched and worked much of the remainder of the summer cleaning things up for a sale which was held in the yard of the once family home on Sept. 24, 1988. The house in Wilmot in which I was then staying had neither bathroom facilities, water or means of heat and only limited electricity, so it was necessary for me to find a place to live before cold weather, and after my sale I spent much time at the home of my niece Rosalie and her husband Bill and they transported me back and forth from Wichita to Winfield almost daily while looking for a property that I would be satisfied in buying for a home. And on Oct. 2, 1988 I decided on a property at 407 E. 12th St. in Winfield and we finalized the deal on Oct. 28 and moved in on Oct. 30 and 31 and started life in my new home on Nov. 1, 1988 using much of the furniture that had been salvaged from my home in Wilmot, along with a few new added pieces and appliances, and gifts by family members and friends.

On Feb. 20, 1986 Susan Mary Eastman the daughter of Walter and Mary was married to Robert McKendrick both living in the San Francisco area of California at the time of their marriage. Their wedding date was also the date of which would have been Susanís grandparents Thomas R. and Maggie L. Eastmanís 88th Wedding Anniversary.

Later in the year of 1986 on Nov. 8 Teresa Ann Young daughter of Wanda L. and John Young of Bellevue, Washington and the great grand daughter of Thomas R. and Maggie L. Eastman was married to Bradley Stephen Campbell also of Bellevue where they established their home. And on Dec. 17, 1989 David Patrick Young, 2nd son of Wanda L. and John C. Young was married to June Lillie Joseph. Their 1st son Dylan Paul was born on Sept. 8, 1987 and their 2nd son Derek Patrick was born on Jan. 9, 1991.

And on March 31, 1991 a baby girl Cecelia Marie came to bless the home of Timothy Alan and Barbara Marie Spencer who were living in Wichita, Kansas at the time of her birth. This made them 2 sons and a daughter. She is the grand daughter of Rosalie and Bill Spencer and the great grand daughter of the late Arthur Eastman and the great great grand daughter of the late Thomas R. and Maggie L. Eastman.

Karin Ann Eastman the daughter of Dale and the then Barbara Eastman was born Dec. 6, 1970 and was the grand daughter of Thomas Arthur and Blanch Eastman. She was married to Harry Edward Shiever on Mar. 4, 1989 and their baby daughter Sarah Dawn was born Dec. 14, 1989.

Susanís husband Robert McKendrick had been in ill health for quite some time and succumbed to his illness on Mar. 9, 1993. Their home was at Port Orford, Oregon and Susan has continued to make her home there and to operate a little gift or antique shop there.

My Motherís side of the family

My motheróMaggie L. (Bowen) Eastman

My grandparentsóJasper Newton Bowen and Mary Marlow Bowen

My great grandparentsóJames Marlow and Anna Parrott Marlow

This is a record of some of the happenings in the early life of my mother Maggie L. Bowen and her parents Jasper Newton Bowen and Mary (Marlow) Bowen and her grandparents James Marlow and Anna (Parrott) Marlow and other family members, copied by me Marie (Eastman) Kelly from my mothers own words in writing.

Written in the 1930ísó

(She writes)

I am Maggie (Bowen) Eastman, born Mar. 3, 1877ógoing back to the birth of my parents.

It was in the State of Ohio one cold winter night, Jan. 17, 1855, the proverbial stork arrived at the little cabin of James Marlow and Anna Parrott Marlow, leaving a baby girl; no doubt a disappointment for the parents who already had four daughters and had hoped their fifth child would be a boy. The names of the older sisters were Jane, Electa, Emma, and Margaret and the new baby was given the age old and beautiful name of Mary, and parents and older sisters received the tiny infant in joy and loving kindness. Little Mary grew, laughed and prattled, and parents disappointment was soon forgotten, and she also endeared herself to the hearts of older sisters expecting of them a sort of motherly guidance.

A great joy came to parents and daughters, especially to little Mary, when Oct. 14, 1857, John the long looked for son and brother arrived. An only brother of five sisters whom they loved with devotion, but he was to be even more to little Mary. He was to be a brotherly childhood companion oft they were building play houses, playing ball, playing with rag dolls, wading and catching frogs in the brook, stringing spools until ropes of them hung like beads about the walls of the room. John delighted in chasing rabbits with old Rover in the meadow while little Mary picked flowers. This was in Missouri, where the Marlows located after coming from Ohio, while their children were yet at home.

Older sisters married; Jane became Mrs. Perry Haney, Electa Mrs. Pommus Pulley, Emma Mrs. Matthew Carter, Margaret Mrs. John Silvers. John was 15 and Mary 17 when their father died Dec. 26, 1873, leaving John the care of his mother and sister Mary.

John married Miss Frances Tull and brought her to live with he and his mother, where they, John and Frances reared their children, after the death of his mother the family moved to Buffalo, Okla. where they remained the rest of their lives.

On Apr. 20 Mary was married to Jasper Newton Bowen and they went to housekeeping in a log house near the farm of his father and mother Mr. and Mrs. Uriah S. Bowen whose family numbered 14 children, 10 boys and 4 girls. Two boys died in infancy, Alexander and Milton; also, a daughter Charity died when a baby, and one daughter died when her baby was born. The names and dates of birth of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Uriah S. Bowen are as follows:

Nancy Jane Bowen 12/15/1851

Jasper Newton Bowen 12/10/1853

Milton Uriah Bowen 10/4/1855

John Wesley Bowen 7/15/1857

Samuel Alexander Bowen 11/5/1859

William W. Bowen 7/13/1861

James Harve Bowen 10/9/1863

Sarah E. Bowen 11/23/1865

Frances Lydia Bowen (twins) 3/4/1868

Franklin Bowen (twins) 3/4/1868

Charles Bowen (twins) 7/20/1870

Charity Bowen (twins) 7/20/1870

Henry Bowen 12/7/1871

Alexander Bowen 1872 or 1873

 

Here, Maggie Louisa Bowen born Mar. 3, 1877 the writer of these lines comes into the picture, and shall endeavor to transfer from her memory early days of her childhood in Missouri and Iowa to those including pioneering in Kansas. Born in log cabin in Harrison Co. Missouri,

In about 1878 or 1879 my parents, the J. N. Bowens, in a covered wagon made a start for Kansas. Somewhere after crossing over in to Kansas they met an Indian funeral procession coming down the slope on the gallop in single file, their deceased strapped behind the rider on the leading pony (the deceased) arms and legs dangling as onward they galloped. This scene perhaps seemed just a little too wild so the Bowens turned a backward course arriving again in Harrison County moving again into the log house they had so recently vacated and which was now occupied by his older sister Mrs. Jasper Halloway and Mr. Halloway and their 2 children Leonard and Martha.

Others of Mary Ellen and Jasper Newton Bowens children besides me (Maggie L.) born in the log house were Cora Elenor born Mar. 13, 1879; Lillie Alice born Jan. 3, 1881; LuElma Jane born July 4, 1882. Lillie died at about 7 months of age.

After residing in Missouri 2 or 3 years the spirit of pioneering remained in my parents young married lives, and in hopes of obtaining work in the year of 1882, they accompanied by the John Marlows, the two families started out in covered wagons for Iowa, somewhere enroute John led his horses to water and they hardly entered the creek until they mired in quicksand, this discouraged the Marlows and they turned back, however my parents were not daunted and they pushed on and arrived in Harlan, Iowa where my father obtained work at the Chapburn Mill on the Nishababtany River and we lived in a little one room unpainted house in an open field not far from the mill. I was as happy though as if we lived in a mansion, but one day to the home of the Chapburns I was sent and there I admired flowers and shrubbery to the full extent, so here are a few lines in remembrance, composed by me Maggie L. (Bowen) Eastman in my fifties:

Desire for the Beautiful

In Harlan Iowa in the year eighteen eighty three

The home town then of a little maid chanced to be

The home a little unpainted one room house by the roadside

The father employed at the mill for wife and 3 children provide.

One day the little girl the eldest of young daughters three

Was sent on a errand, to the home of the rich miller you see

To her that home seemed a mansion, trees and flowers grew there about

She tapped at the door softly but nobody came out.

The place so alluring she found beauties charms everywhere

It did so differ from the little home it was her lot to share,

She loved the flowers so many here and such beautiful hue,

Not a flower at her home but here in great beauty they grew.

That little child was I, I wondered why flowers for all children did not grow,

I would just take this large beauty, that lady would not know,

I took that flower home and told a lie as sure as you live,

I told mother, "The lady to me that flower did give."

Mother placed the flower in water to take care of for me

And set it on a shelf that all its great beauty might see

All went along nicely its beauty admiring some three or four days

There in that scant furnished home it shed its beautiful rays.

Perhaps that lady had heard to her home I had been sent,

So she came to visit mother and the whole afternoon spent,

Then said mother to that sweet lady, "See the flower in its beauty

You gave my little daughter when to your home she went on duty."

Oh how I did wish she had not shown that to her

I was so dumbfounded, seemed I hardly could stir;

Now picture a little blue eyed six year old child

Who would have hidden for shame as that sweet lady smiled.

It was serious to me, I there accused myself as a thief

I had taken that flower and on myself brought great grief,

That child had longed for beauty that home did not shed;

She plucked that flower in that year and home with it fled.

This lesson learned in childhood, this story so true

I told not to mother, Iím now telling you

And now in fancy I see that poor child and I almost shed tears

And still see I that mother the child and flower tho now passed more than 82 years.

Long, long, ago that dear mother, passed from my view

And I never can tell her what Iím telling you

But I can kneel to the Father in Confession and tears

And he will forgive this poor child for her guilt and her fears.

Composed by Ė

Mrs. T. R. (Maggie Bowen) Eastman

One of my childhood memories would not be complete if I didnít mention that at that date horse stealing was apparently an outstanding lawless profession and one of my childhoodís beautiful dreams of life was saddened one morning when my father returned from feeding his team of horses down near the mill reported that a young man by the name of Tobin had been taken by mob violence from the jail and dragged to the bridge and hanged to the railing and riddled with bullets and the noise that he and my mother had heard was not fishermen as they had supposed.

My father had a horse by the name of Tobe and my first conclusion was that something had happened to him. As my memory serves me the young man was thought by many to have been innocent of the major part of the horse stealing but associated with an older man who escaped.

My first school attendance was in Harlan, Iowa proper to which I walked about a mile, that was when we lived on the north side of the river just south of the Mill dam in a little two or three room house with a lean to kitchen, facing the road to the south from there I walked to school up the river about one mile.

My Playing on Pond With Sled

Composed by me in later years

One cold winterís morning yet the sky was so clear

A little miss wrapped up snugly of danger no fear

With her little sled played there in sunshine so bright

Her home near river bank, the humble yet filled with joy and delight.

The little girl then six with no dread of winters cold

We surmise of riverís dangers had often been told.

Now as this little girl played there in the yard

She spied just back of the barn the Mill pond so big and so hard.

Perhaps that little one was chided as often are we,

But to play on that great pond what fun it would be,

She would step out on the ice; Mother was busy at work and duty;

She was now out on that pond with its allurement and beauty.

It was such great fun pulling sled to and fro

She would run pondís full length, then back again go,

In a moment joy vanished, with fear her body was shaken,

One step too near Mill race had this little one taken.

Was it Godís holy spirit told the child to turn back

As she was now walking in slush and ice beginning to crack?

May I ask you, Is it this same spirit who will older ones lead

If we listen to his warnings and to his pleadings take heed?

Had to this she listened not, her soul God would have there claimed

Tho she knew not of God nor the dear Christ ever named,

The little life then so innocent, so young and so pure

Of living with God had promise of life eternal secure.

But her life was protected and Gods blessings now share

Now her own salvation must seek, her soul must prepare;

But to strive for that goal there is no loss and all gain

It gives joy beyond measure as we strive to attain.

To little girl and Mill pond I would life and wordly pleasures compare

Soul as you pursue, listen for the silent voice of danger, beware

There lieth danger before you, pray heed ere it is too late;

There lieth danger and death as on sons ponds you skate.

The deep open waters I would liken to the dangers of sin

Souls go on so unmindful until into depth they plunge in

That little soul would have been safe with God if into deep mill pond did fall

But if grownups would be saved they first on Jesus must call.

--Mrs. T. R. Eastman

In the Spring of 1884 my parents Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Bowen still looked forward to a home in Kansas a land new in every appointment, a land being pre-empted, as farms and settled up mostly by young married couples, in joyous anticipation of converting a barren new country into homes they could call their own.

Some had brought with them religious convictions and all a desire to educate their children as best as could be done under the circumstances.

There were no church or school buildings in the late 70ís or early 80ís as far west as Kingman County. Even realizing this my parents disposed of their team and wagon in Iowa. Perhaps with the Kansas parties of whom they had previously arranged transactions. (This is only presumption on my part). At least we came to Kansas by train. After a short visit at my fatherís uncle Alexís (Alexander Bowen) beautiful country home near Hastings, Iowa we boarded the train for Kansas Mar. 3, 1884 and here I might add my last recollections of Iowa were my great uncles beautiful 2 story house white with green shutters and lightening rods.

Well we are on our way to Kansas now. As the train made its curves along the Missouri river I was almost frightened that it would plunge in, however it did not at that time, but years later I read an account of an accident presumably at that curve as the train proceeded around that same bluff. Arriving at Cheney, Kansas the terminals of the Railroad at that time. Well we were in Kansas but only part way to our destination. My father hired a hack, or open two seated spring wagon to take to Kingman in which we were crowded to the limit, my mother and sisters in the back seat with our belongings stacked about them, and I crouched at the feet of my father who sat with the driver, with my watching of the continual revolution of the front wheel I became very ill with sea sickness or motion sickness. At Kingman we were met by the man from whom my parents had purchased or taken over the pre-emption of the farm. He met us in a lumber wagon in which he had provided for our comfort by covering the bottom of the wagon box with a thick layer of hay over which a canvas or tarpaulin was spread with a comfort to throw over our heads to protect us from the biting cold March wind.

The padding of hay proved very comfortable to sit on and the comfort or quilt thrown over us made a good shield from the cold on our 15 mile drive over the cut across prairie road to our new home a one room Ĺ dug out Ĺ sod in which we were happily located. It was from this new home that I attended my first school in Kansas. This school house was a one room light frame structure about 10 by 12 ft. with home made benches or wooden boxes for seats. My first teacher was Miss Maude Turner. I think I only went one term 2 or 3 months perhaps. A (subscription) school, when a school building was made from red rock out on a new laid out line and given the name of "Red Rock School" to which I went one term.

It was while living in our first dug out that my father took us children in the wagon on July 9, 1884 to the home of a close neighbor taking the woman back with him to our house, later he came for us and on our arrival home we found another little sister whom they named Elizabeth Belle. Elizabeth for our Grandma Bowen.

The country was settling up fast and every farm or claim as called then, had its farm family and new babies were coming to add to the population. Doctors were many miles away except for an occasional (called a) quack who with a neighbor woman met emergency in care of child birth. It was at this need my mother (her own baby about 3 months old) was called to her neighbors home about ľ mile away, the event over about midnight my mother left for home carrying her baby in her arms, becoming confused in her directions, instead of going north west she went south west, finding herself in a field of shocked corn or kaffin corn. As may be, she sat down by a shock and waited for any light. Although my father had kept the little coal oil, or kerosene lamp burning the dim light of which she could see in the distance, she hesitated to attempt to reach it because of danger of plunging into the small bankless creek, or other adverse conditions such as encountering snakes, skunks, and etc. As daylight dawned she found herself in a field which had been recently shocked and in sight of her little Ĺ dug out home a quarter or Ĺ mile distant. I am presuming she found my father preparing breakfast unmindful of the harrowing experience she had gone through and happy at her and babyís safe return. The country was going through many changes, especially land changing hands. My father taking advantage of this took up some legal business, which took him to the county seat. In most instances my motherís name had to be signed to documents. One instance I remember in particular. Being a hard trip in a lumber wagon even without the children, they made arrangements with a neighbor just over the hill from where we lived and only a Ĺ or ĺ mile distance for us to go and stay until they returned for us. Our ages were 7-5-2-1/2 and 3 months.

There were no fences at that time and only very few laid out roads. We were to follow one of these cross prairie roads which would lead us to the place we were to go and where we would be cared for, but children though ever so dependable can not always be relied on, so taking the task into consideration the going to the home and place of people whom we had never met, we just stayed the day through by ourselves.

I, (7) was a trusted child and my parents left perfectly satisfied their directions would be obeyed to the letter and of course we had no thought or quibblings as to the danger we were subjecting ourselves to, and parents were shocked almost beyond measure to find we had disobeyed; but of course happy to find us perfectly safe. And as I remember we were not punished but perhaps not left without locating us in a place of security the next time before leaving.

We only lived at this location about a year at which time my parents decided to move farther west over in Pratt County. Presuming the country there had not yet been taken my father staked his claim and set up our tent and went back to Kingman County for our belongings, however he had only been gone a short time when 2 cowboys, or roughnecks rode up and informed my mother we were on their claim and had better be moving on. Also informing her if those cattle decided to go on a stampede we would be crushed beneath their feet and not even a thread of the tent would be left.

One can hardly imagine the anxiety of that long night, she and 4 little girls in a tent on a barren prairie and not even a house within many miles. Upon my fatherís return he investigated and found a crude construction or dug out excavation covered with corn stalks or brush but sufficient to prove their rights. We immediately moved back but to another location a dug out 1 room about a mile south of our other early home of the year before. We lived only about 1 year in this while my father was building a 1 room frame house about 12 by 16 ft. Our first dug out Ĺ sod and Ĺ dug out faced the south and our 2nd on a bank on which it overlooked a small branch or creek. The roof set even with the ground and faced the east resembling a cave. While living here my mother plowed with a riding plow and we children followed and planted melons and other vegetables when fall came we children herded cattle in the stalk field and for our Summer and Falls herding we were happy for our Winter coats purchased from sale of melons and my fatherís carpenter work.

Adding to our happiness was the looking forward to moving into our new frame house little realizing the comfort of the dug out pioneer home, nor the suffering of those early settlers in the so near future.

(The blizzard of 1886)

The weather had been beautiful and unseasonable for days and weeks, the very atmosphere seemed to carry a breath of spring and Summer seemed just around the corner. Before midnight New Years evening the wind came howling from the North almost in likeness of a wild and angry beast seeking with vengeance its prey carrying with it a fine sifting frozen snow.

In many instances settlers were wholly unprepared their main fuel being a stack of cow, or buffalo chips or as might be in some cases big ears of yellow corn, as corn sold for 10 cents per bushel and made good heat, corn stalks or twisted hay sometimes entered into the picture for fuel. The settlers had in many instances arrived at the point of building one or two room frame structures the Summer of 1885 and moved into them from their dugout or sod houses. This was the case of my parents who had built a house about 12 by 16 in which a cook stove was placed in the middle and used for both cooking and heating purposes, and on this particular occasion my father seemed to sense an approaching blizzard, this he attributed to the maneuvering of the livestock, such as unusual playfulness of the horses and cattle, the carrying of bedding for the hogs, and most of all his rheumatics more plainly expressed the aching of his bones. He informed my mother of his pre-warning. I was then a child of 9 years of age and I remember my father getting up at midnight and hitching his mule team to the wagon and starting to Kingman for coal, upon reaching Kingman at about daylight he found coal bins and offices closed, so had to wait until they opened and by the time he had his coal the storm had struck in its fury. The road had been dim at best time; almost a mere path across the open prairie, it had not become completely obscured. He tried walking by the side of the wagon. Seeing that he could not be a guide and suffering from the cold and exhaustion he climbed into the wagon and fastened the lines to the dashboard and gave the mules the reins and they brought him safely home though almost frozen. The storm lasted for days and days with only our little cook stove for heat. My father kept feeding fuel into the stove managing to provide some heat while mother and 4 little girls occupied the bed much of the time and we all survived. Though many other settlers and livestock did not.

This is an article taken from the Wichita Eagle Magazine published on Feb. 22, 1959 concerning the Blizzard of 1886 (written over 70 years later telling of the many tragedies of that awful storm).

Blizzards were not all that confronted the early day settlers, although the cowboys and their cow herds had moved westward and the settlers had range for their small herds, pastures were enclosed for their range only. Small lots in which they were put in at night and in many instances small herds were grazed and minded by the children. One occasion comes to my mind very clearly, my fatherís quarter section laid to the east of as I remember it being called a school section, on the south of it was a quarter owned by a family by the name of Ford with a family of three girls our ages, and my two sisters and I would bring our herd and they would join us with their making about 20 cattle in all. I must not forget to mention their dog which accompanied the herd for his name was ""Uno" and it was told that on an occasion a party asked the name of the dog and Mr. Ford replied Uno. The inquirer asked a number of times and got the same reply of Uno, at which time the inquirer gave an emphatic, I do not know and some harsh words ensued before the matter of understanding was straightened out. Back to the herding story.

Day after day we followed those cows to and fro, though it was not considered a burden as we received much enjoyment from building playhouses, watching the shimmering sunbeams as the sun seemed boiling down on the barren prairie, but one day a very, very black cloud appeared across the western sky, it was May 27th of 1888 or 1889 our wheat was nearing maturity. My father had taken up building some of the new frame houses, thinking of the danger we would be in if caught out there on the barren prairie, should the storm over take us he mounted the mare with a small colt following by her side and rode swiftly to where we were herding but by the circuitous route he had to take to reach us, we had sensed the danger and already came in, however he came in neck to neck with one of the most disastrous hail storms. As he passed our stable (2 ends and a back laid up with sod and an open front and covered with hay which in this particular case was a boon, for as he rode past the then called stable, he grabbed some hay and stuffed it in his hat. As he arrived in front of our basement my mother ran out and threw a coat over he and the colt which gave some protection from the hail which killed a number of small animals, calves, hogs, and chickens and laid our wheat flat in the field. (That was in 1889).

Indian scare

Cowboys and Indians were reluctant to give over to inhabitants the vast prairies of which they had had possession so long. There was no means of communication except by individual contact. This happening as near as I can remember was about 1886. The Indians at that date had been under supervision of National Guard but said to be restless and located about 40 or 50 mile to the Southwest of us. In some way the news was spread that the Indians were having their war dance and were headed our way and murdering as they came.

My father was at a distance beyond our home where he was doing carpenter work heard of the threatening intrusion and started for home on horse back, nearing home he met a neighbor who lived closer than our place by perhaps a couple of miles to the place of the reported war dance in progress, with his family loaded in a lumber wagon the upto date mode of travel at that time to which a team of oxen were hitched. In his frenzy and anxiety was the lash of the whip (black snake) first to one oxen and then to the other, scarcely stopping long enough upon meeting my father to inform him of the threatened intrusion of the Indians but informing him of the threatening danger and death awaiting him if he did not flee for his life. Entreating and urging him to not take time to return to his family for in so doing would almost surely mean death not only to them but to him also, but he, my father, would not be persuaded or scared into abandoning his little family without at least trying to protect them.

Accordingly he hurried home and he and his nearest neighbor a Mr. Coon placed their families in the wagon with side boards on as a meager protection, and with loaded shot guns, the two men standing in the front of the wagon drove to the highest points headed for Kingman where a hastily prepared fortress to which almost the entire settlement had gathered for protection. Seeing no signs of Indians from their point of elevation they returned to their homes anxiously waiting developments but needless to say spent a very anxious wakeful night.

Center Pole School House

In about 1886 or 1887 the Center Pole school house was built on the S. W. corner of the farm joining my parents farm. Our house about 1/4 mile N. W. of school faced the east a one room frame structure and the school house a one room frame building facing the south. There was considerable bickering about the location of the School house. There was a branch or creek as we would speak of it now, ran to the south just east of our house. The disagreement arose as to which side of the branch to put the school house, as one woman objected to her children having to cross the branch. It was finally decided to put it on her side when one man known as "Windy John" said let her have it her way as his children were only common stock any way. And it was built on the east side of the creek and Cora, Elma, and I and many many other children crossed the portals before it was torn down in about 1932. The name of the building derived from its becoming and sway backed and a pole or pillar about 4 by 4 placed in the center of the building to hold the roof up. The early day residents by this time had fairly big families and the attendance comprised of children in ages from 5 or 6 years of age to some as old as 19 or 20. Four or five children from the same family was no exception, however as I remember attendance was not compulsory and if Kate or John could persuade parents of some fancied ache or pain when roll call was made they were marked absent if not present, or tardy if not on time as the case might be. They were missed from the playground and absent from the rush when the bell rang by the pupil who had won out in his or her effort to persuade the teacher that it was their turn in the spirit of victory clanged the bell at its full capacity, pupils marched in or poured in as might be to quench their thirst from an open water bucket, grabbing dipper as it was released. As soon as seated roll call was filed by teacher as present, absent, or tardy, and enrolled at opening of school in the morning. The school house seated about 25 or 30 pupils with the old style heating stove in the center, and black board in the back of the building with a space of about 4 or 5 ft. between wall and seats. This on occasion was used by the children to play London Bridge, Skip to my Lou, Drop the Handkerchief and etc. Outdoor games included baseball, black man, Skip the rope and etc.

I had a teaching certificate but never taught.

This I composed and wrote as a poem

Sisters grew older and a step mother you see

From duties to home I was now free.

I now worked in home store day by day

Ten dollars a month was very good pay.

One day in that store as I handed down cans

There came to mind other changed plans

To teach school no college education was required

To teach school now my whole soul aspired.

I saw the 3 school board and my plan laid down

They consented most kindly Iíd teach in our town

I no longer sold goods but my book Iíd pursue

In fancy I taught daily, In truth Iíd love to

I attended teachers Normal, met teachers one and all

To be a teacher of children seemed my heart to enthrall

Teachers training passed quickly, Exams drew near

With great lists of questions seemed I little to fear

School days over most plainly meant

Return again home wait with patience content

The papers would be graded and % attached to

As soon as finished thru P.O. come thru

One morning came to my home Mr. B. who greeted as the rule

Says he "Young Miss" are you still wanting that school

I answered him straight way yes Iím counting on it yet

I soon from the Superintendent will my certificate get.

Then spoke that members of the school board in kind words clear

Miss Markley wants the school and this morning came here

She says you said you the examination did not pass

She has her certificate and your in the same class.

I told him I thought for my papers I would wait

The result of my examination I could not yet state

Says he Miss Markley was our neighbor in the country you know

She wants to board with us and go to and fro

Says he young miss what have you decided to do

Shall I tell her that I have your consent from you

His persistence had won I said tell her to go ahead

Iíd not keep them waiting Iíd find other employment instead

Next day can you imagine my surprise and dismay

As I beheld my certificate as in the Post Office it lay

Was it gain from boarding teacher his plan arranged

Had papers come sooner would my pathway have changed?

This yellow with age paper I treasure with care

Dona Bolles Supt., P.E. Carr, and Ellis Hobson are the names I see there

Tho it failed of its mission to me holds value most rare

Also disappointment I longed to teach and did prepare.

Was this belated certificate a part of Gods plan

Or was it selfishness on the part of that man?

However disappointments are oft blessings in disguise

To be a wife, Mother, and grandmother a greater blessing there lies.

Mrs. T. R. Eastman

 

Here is a poem I composed in her (sister Lillieís) memory in my later life.

There are beauties in life

If we their beauties would know

The flower is the climax of beauty

In profusion they grow.

I am thinking now of a sweet little sister

Who in all like innocence and purity came

She was as pure as the lily

And was Lillie by name.

She was as fair as the lily

Her name the same meant

She only tarried as the lily

Until for an angel was sent.

She truly bloomed as the lily

Shed sweetness the same

As the lily fades at season

So did fair Lillie by name.

She passed on in her sweetness

No sin did she know

She went to live with Jesus

Her soul white as snow.

Will I know this fair Lillie?

Will I clasp her white hand?

Will she be a grown sister?

Will we together stand?

There will be joy to meet my dear Lillie,

To clasp her white hand,

Oh joy to see her in her sweetness,

And with her there stand.

But if I would meet that fair Lillie

In her likeness I must be

My soul must be pure as the lily

My sins taken from me.

I must live in Christís likeness

For with Him she doth dwell

There entereth not sinful beings

His words to us tell.

Composed by Maggie L. (Bowen) Eastman