Wordless Wednesday – Community Expressions of Art

My brother, sister-in-law and I have been doing photo op traveling around the state and have been caught by some of the community art visible on the drive through small towns. Here are a few examples:

Mangum Mural Across from Courthouse

Mangum Mural Across from Courthouse

Crescent, Oklahoma

Crescent, Oklahoma

Cushing Historical Mural

Cushing Historical Mural

Cushing - Just Turn Around from the Former Mural

Cushing - Just Turn Around from the Former Mural

Cushing - Down to the Corner & Look Left

Cushing - Down to the Corner & Look Left

This one’s a little fun because it looks as if the cars have either just turned onto the street or are getting ready to turn off it. Note the red brick streets on the mural – we saw a lot of red brick streets during that day tour.

Cushing - Around Another Corner

Cushing - Around Another Corner

What a neat way to view the artistic and creative spirit of people as well as mark history of a community’s past.

Tombstone Tuesday – Eva Fox

My grandmother, Eva Fox, and her son, Albert Edward, are buried in a single plot under a single tombstone in the Highland Cemetery at Oilton, Oklahoma.The entrance to the cemetery is surely a tribute to the importance of oil to the city of Oilton – it is two oil derricks with a connecting crosspiece. This cemetery is now owned by the City of Oilton. In spite of the fact the cemetery website states they have no records of people buried there before they took over ownership, the clerk at City Hall pulled out a record book and found Eva immediately. It is their record that confirms Eva and Albert are buried in the same plot. Eva is buried in section 9 of the old part of the cemetery.

Entrance to Highland Cemetery

Eva gave birth to her tenth chld, Albert, on December 21, 1921. Eva suffered a stroke during her labor; Albert developed pneumonia and died on January 1, 1922. Eva apparently did not regain consciousness and developed pneumonia. followed by a cerebral hemorrhage and death on January 12, 1922. Tombstone of Eva Fox and her son, Albert EdwardMy daughter has reposted some of the detail of Eva’s death in her post is now entitled “Eva and January.”

Because my mother was only 19 months old when her father died and not yet eight when her mother died I never had the opportunity to know my grandparents. In fact, I don’t even remember hearing about them other than the fact my mother was an orphan.

Probably due to her early traumatic losses, my mother avoided the experience of death throughout her life; consequently, we never visited cemeteries or burial sites of family members. My mother’s sister, Bernita, though obviously hurt by the loss of her parents, was ten years older than my mother and did not avoid death in the same way; in fact, Bernita was killed in an automobile accident on Memorial Day of 1967 as she returned from visiting her mother’s grave.

The first time I visited my grandmother’s grave site was after my daughter started doing genealogy when we made a research trip to Oilton.

Joe & Leonard at Eva's Grave My uncles, Joe and Leonard, visited their mother’s grave, by guess, around the mid-1930s. As you can see, the headstone was white and clean at that time. The photo above from two days ago shows the stone to be deteriorating and is now a rough texture with occasional orange or rust-colored bumpy places on the surface. Additionally, the cement square visible in the earlier photo for the plot behind Eva’s stone is not visible in yesterday’s photo, although a similar cement square is visible around the plot to the north of her.

Eva’s name, though not as clear as in the earlier photographs, can still be seen. The stone has no listing for Albert and there is no birth or death date listed  for Eva.

Custody of Eva’s children was given, not to their stepfather, but to a prominent citizen of Oilton, S.C. Harrah. While I was in City Hall, I asked about Mr. Harrah; the clerk looked him up and he, Sam, and his wife, Ruth, are buried in section 11 of the cemetery. Cemetery maps or directions around the cemetery are not available and, though I walked a good portion of the old part of the cemetery, I did not find their graves.

Week #28 Genealogy Prompt – Genealogy Software

I’ve been so busy with work projects that I haven’t been blogging very much, so I particularly appreciate Amy Coffin of We Tree offering blogging prompts. This week she suggests we write about our blogging software. I almost didn’t write about this because I’m not the primary researcher in my family’s genealogy work – my daughter, Kay,  is (you can see her research at her website or her blog)  Since Kay maintains the genealogy program it isn’t important that I have one; however, I frequently have questions about someone and Kay is not always immediately available to answer my questions until she’s home and has time to open her program.

One day when we were on a research trip, I asked if it were possible for me to have the information from her program in a format I could view. She told me about GEDCOMs and mentioned the possibility of free or inexpensive programs and we were off to search the Internet to find a good program for me.

We selected Legacy 7.0 to try out because, with Kay’s experience, she could tell it had most of the functions she enjoyed with her program and because it has a free version (and not just for a trial period). I’ve been using the free Legacy version for about nine months now and have been very happy with it. There are some searches that aren’t available in the free version, such as the Descendant and Chronology views and there have been times I’ve thought of upgrading, but so far have not chosen to do so.

My sister-in-law is just starting to do genealogy research and I suggested she download the free version to record her discoveries; so far, she doesn’t have enough information to justify much expenditure of money and this gives her a really excellent program to begin to record what she does know. Another good thing is that we can prepare a GEDCOM of her husband’s (my brother) side of the family so she won’t have to recreate the wheel in terms of all that data  (very thorough, complete, documented research done by my daughter) – all she will have to add is what information she uncovers regarding her own line.

Additionally, Legacy has an online tutorial that is quite informative in terms of reserarch guidelines and resource documentation. If people would view the tutorial at least once they would be able to avoid a lot of the pitfalls of beginning researchers (I’ve read horror stories of people downloading information on ‘family members’ that have no actual connection to them or that list the children as being older than the parents; or recording information without noting where they found it and then being unable to find it again, etc.)

Although it’s good to know from many seasoned genealogical researchers that Legacy is a program they use and highly recommend, I am happy to be able to tell the beginning researcher, those on low or fixed incomes, and those who don’t know if they’ll ever have enough information to justify the expense of a program, that Legacy 7.0 is free and if you decide you want to upgrade to the deluxe program, the cost is $29.95 (in other words, you don’t have to mortgage the family farm to purchase it).

Week #26 Genealogy Prompt – Visit a Cemetery

Amy Coffin at We Tree has a writing prompt for every week this year. This week’s suggestion is to write about a cemetery visit and particularly an unusual grave monument. On Memorial Day 2009 I went with my brother & sister-in-law and my daughter and son-in-law to visit the IOOF Cemetery in Noble, Oklahoma. We visited the graves of my grandson as well as those of my mother, father and paternal grandparents. After that, we went to the directory and searched for graves of other paternal family members. Three of my father’s brothers and two of their wives (the third wife is 102 and still quite perky in a rest home) are buried there as well.

As we walked the cemetery, I found two monuments that were either unusual or interesting.

2009 Mem Day Int Inset Dr. ParkerThe first monument marks the grave of Dr. F. L. Parker who lived from 1876 until 1914 (though his birth date is clear, the month of his death is not – it actually looks like the abbreviation for Monday). His rank (Sergeant) in the regular army is noted on the monument as well as his title of doctor. Because of the 1914 date and military rank, I assume he may have died in action during World War I, though there is no direct reference to that.

Monument Inset

This monument is both unusual and interesting; it is a pillar-type monument with an inset toward the top of the pillar. The inset appears to be an oval-shaped photograph transferred to ceramic tile (in excellent condition), inserted in a metal frame and inset into the monument.

The inset picture is of a covered two-horse-drawn carriage and a man, apparently on prairie land. I wonder if the man in the inset is Dr. Parker. Although is is not very clear, it is possible there is something – perhaps a medical bag – in the left hand of the man in the inset.

The second monument was probably not so unusual as interesting – at least in the sentiment expressed on it. Because I am a musician and always appreciate the impact music can make on and in a life, I loved the thought:

How Sweet the Music Was

How Sweet the Music Was

It’s interesting there are no full names or dates of the lives of the people represented – only the sentiment, “How Sweet the Music Was.” This thought is accompanied by the carved picture of a couple on a tree swing overlooking a home with shrubs and what, based on the clarity of the rays of the sun (as well as the fact that as you look at the monument you are facing east), I assume is a rising sun rather than a setting one. There are also music notes scattered across the monument. All in all, this is a monument of hope and joy – a shared life well lived with the hope, even expectation, of more to come.