Monday, June 25, 2018

The Week of Babies And Angels

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This week the news has been filled with stories of babies taken from their mothers at the southern borders of America, the stories causing much angst to many mothers around the world. And, this week the research angels saw fit to find two babies and give them back to me.  One baby, was a new to me addition to my clan, a distant cousin. A 9 month old baby that was born and died over 100 years ago, in years that did not require reporting of such information to our counties and states.  This baby was located by first obtaining the burial cards from the cemetery.  There was not a lot of information on those cards, and, identification was made more difficult by the fact that there were two people by the very same name buried in the same cemetery, less than 14 months apart. The saving grace was there was an age stated for the baby.  Find the obituary of the baby in a new to me data set, and the child has been found.  By the way, that other person with the same name, yes, it was the daddy of this baby.

The other baby has been known to me from just about the first day I started researching back in the fall of 1991.  It's a first cousin of Man's, on his father's side of the clan.  This baby's father told me the year he was born and died, the state in which he died (which was actually the state in which he was born and buried, but not died in) and the name of the mother.  Well, we all know how that goes with research, the name of the mother was sorta right. It was her "nickname" and her step father's surname, which she never used.  Again thanks to a new data set, I found that baby's obituary, I have been looking for all these years.  And, here it is:

From the Lawton Constitution, Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma, published on February 14, 1958:
     "Funeral Rites
     William A. Stevens
     Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Cyril Baptist church for William Arthur Stevens, age 3, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Stevens of Wichita Falls, Tex., who died Wednesday in a Wichita Falls hospital.
      Rev. Frank Jennings, pastor of Cyril Baptist church, will officiate.  Burial will be in the Cement Cemetery under the direction of Dalton Funeral home of Fletcher.
     The child was born June 29, 1954 in Lawton.
     Survivors include the parents and maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Whitner, Cyril."

From this obituary I now know the exact date of birth, death and his final resting place (unverified).  

After a long evening of research I also know who Mr. W. B. Whitner is, noting that his surname is also spelled Whitener.  

I know that this baby's mother, known to me as "Bonnie", is Vina, actually Vina Emmoline Richardson, married first to George Stevens the father of this child, divorced (still looking for that tidbit) and married a second time to Frank Cudylas Hendon. Appears that Vina and Frank's marriage fell on hard times as well, they are not buried with each other and his death certificate states he was divorced.  

Vina's death notice does mention Frank and her parents, although her father's name is given as Elbert Jackson, when indeed he is one Elbert Jackson Richardson.  Vina's mother Lucy Belle McGee married that Mr. W. B. Whitener (as her second ? hubby), survived him and then disappears into the vapors of the universe. I have not discovered the death and burial place of momma Lucy Belle, but, I did discover where Vina's burial place is.

Vina's name appears as Vivian in one census, but, lucky for me, her name is inscribed as Vina Bonnie on her headstone.

Now, finding this information about William Arthur and his mother (and all her varied relatives, parents, step-parents and second hubby), did leave me with a bit of a mess.  George had two other children and it's fairly obvious by the dates of George and Bonnie's marriage, birth and death of William Arthur, that, well, those kids were not born in the years George had told me.  So, since 1991 I have had bad info and now, the search starts again.  Yipee!!

Welcome home little William Arthur, we are so happy to know more about your short story.

* Photo courtesy of and identified by Man's mother.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Run that Road Block, A Memory Trigger

Copyright 2018, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

A friend was relating how she had to take her hubs to the ER at 1:00AM and she might be testy today.

Reminded me of my doing the same, in Moab a few years back. Man was sick, I had no idea where the hospital was. I did the GPS thing and at 3:00 AM or there abouts, said GPS delivered me to a ROAD BLOCK!

I called the hospital ER, nice man there calmed me down and told me, just run by that ole road block, the road is fine, and you won't fall off a bridge or anything nearly as sinister.

SO, this prude, did just that, I ran the road block. Yes, I did. You should be proud of me! LOL

And, within 36 hours, Man graciously shared a horrific flu thingy with me. Loads of fun.

* Story first posted on my Facebook wall.

** GIF Clipart, courtesy of