Saturday, May 11, 2019

Karen Suzette Hefley

Bellah Gallo

August 11, 1964 - February 26, 2019

This is a memorial to my sister Karen. She left us on February 26, 2019 and we are still all in shock. Karen was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, co-worker, boss and friend. Karen had a natural happy presences and was liked by all. 

Karen was born August 11, 1964 in Fort Worth, Texas. Her parents were Ed Hefley of Downs, Kansas and Linda Hardee of Fort Worth, Texas. Ed was in the Air Force and stationed at Carswell Air Force Base and met Linda at the drive in where she worked. They were married November 15, 1963. They lived in Fort Worth for a while and then Ed was sent to remote duty in Alaska and Linda and Karen stayed with family in Fort Worth and Downs. 
Karen with her Grandparents Joe and Dessie Hardee in Texas. Her first cowboy hat!

Karen's first Birthday, celebrated in Downs, Kansas.
Karen's first Christmas.
When Ed returned from Alaska the family moved to Laredo Air Force Base (AFB) and lived there for five years. During that time Karen welcomed her new sister Tina to the family. 
Karen and Tina Hefley in Laredo, Texas.
The family then spent four years at Lowry AFB in Denver, Colorado, two years at Lajes Field in the Azores, one year in Fort Worth, Texas while Ed was stationed in Korea, three years at Barksdale AFB in Bossier, Louisiana and two years in Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska. Karen attended multiple schools in multiple states. 
Tina and Karen in 1974 Colorado.

Karen in 1975 in the Azores wearing dress made by Grandmother Irene Hefley.

Tina and Karen in 1976 Azores.
Karen in red shirt with cousins Christmas Eve in Texas, 1977.
Karen in 1980 in Louisiana.
Karen's school and graduation photos.
After Karen graduated high school she moved to Texas and stayed with family. She met and married Tony Bellah in Texas. Her parents had been transferred to Florida and Karen and Tony moved there and their first child was born in 1985. 
Chris Bellah, 7 months old.
In 1987 they had a daughter, Lavona, named after Karen's Aunt Lavona. 
Karen and Lavona 1988.
Karen and Tony divorced and in 1993 she married Tom Gallo. They merged their families and Karen raised four children.
Chris, Lavona, Stephanie and Tom.
Karen raised four children, worked a full time job and put herself through school to earn her Masters Degree. This was not an east task and it shows what an amazing person she was. She supported the family and loved the jobs that she had. She started in Civil Service and had a security clearance to work on the projects she was assigned. She then worked for Siemens in Orlando and later transferred to the Georgia location as she moved up the ranks.

I didn't get to see Karen as often when she moved to Georgia but some of her kids still lived in the area and she would return for holidays and birthday celebrations. I loved Thanksgiving and Christmas because everyone would get together as a family. We had a lot of memorable times as a family.

Texas rings from Dad made from a Texas quarter.
Shadow box of our military lives made by Dad.

A few days before this last Thanksgiving Karen and I sat in the living room in our parents house and the four of us got to spend some time together. We talked, reminisced and laughed. I loved that special moment, it just felt so good. I'm so glad we were able to spend that time together.

I miss my sister every day. Her memory will remain alive in my heart.
My Sweet Angel Karen

Saturday, September 1, 2018

John Ziba Hardee

John Ziba Hardee - Earliest Hardee Ancestor

The man we all descend from. I’ve often wondered about his unusual name and where it came from. 

Looking up the meaning of Ziba tells me it is a Biblical name and the meaning is Army, fight and strength.

The name Ziba has been passed down through the Hardee family for many generations. Sometimes as a first name and sometimes as a middle name. I list 10 Hardee’s with either the first or middle name of Ziba in my genealogy program. 

The latest Ziba Hardee is five years old and is John Ziba Hardee’s 6th Great Grandson.

I think the original Ziba would be proud to know his name has been passed down through the generations. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

John Calvin Galttana My Great Grandfather #7

John Calvin Galttana
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

John was born Christmas day in 1870. He was a twin to M.B. according to the Galttana family bible. No information is known about the twin, only that her initials are listed on the family bible. If her death date was listed it is gone forever as that piece is missing from the bible page. Some family trees have M.B. listed as male so I am unsure which is correct.

John was the oldest of seven children, which only four survived to adulthood.

His parents were Curtis Alexander Galttana and Synthia Ann Alverson Galttana. In the 1870 census dated November 1870, Curtis and Synthia are living in Besleys Creek in Shackelford County, Texas. John was born late the next month so I would guess he was born here at home. 

Curtis and Synthia lived on the land owned by Synthia's sister and brother-in-law and Curtis worked at the salt works. Curtis is listed as a saltmaker in the 1870 census. Only a few months before John was born his nine year old cousin John Calvin Ledbetter, son of William and Margaret Alverson Ledbetter (Synthia's sister on which they were living on their land) disappeared. He had been living at a ranch for school with his older brother when he disappeared. There are many stories that he was taken by the Indians and search parties searched for 20 days and never found a trace of  him. (A great story for another time.) It is possible that John Calvin Galttana was named after his cousin. 

Sadly, at age 7 John became an orphan. I believe his mother died in May of 1878, only three months after giving birth to her seventh child who did not survive. I do not know when his father died, but by 1880 John and his youngest sister Louisa are living with their maternal Grandfather, Henderson B. Alverson in Tarrant County Texas and the middle two children Margaret and Louis are living with their cousin Harvey Ledbetter and his wife in Shackelford County Texas. In the 1880 census they are listed with the last name of Ledbetter and it states they are the adopted son and daughter. Later in life they used the Galttana name. 

An interesting story - The 1880 census is dated June 20, 1880 which shows H.B. Alverson and two of his daughters, Julia Alverson age 16 and M. Ballard (Mary Martha Alverson) age 38 and the two Galttana children, John age 9 and Louisa age 4 living in Tarrant County Texas.  Another record I have shows H.B. Alverson married Drucy Roberts in Fayette County, Alabama on December 25, 1880. (Another record lists it as Lamar County which is the next county over.)  Drucy was 20-30 years younger then H.B. I know that in 1840 H.B. and  his first wife lived in Fayette County Alabama and their first five children were born in Alabama. I have no idea how H.B. and Drucy met and married. He had ties to Fayette County since he live there and I can only guess he kept in touch with people from that area. I also don't know if H.B. Alverson went to Alabama by himself or if he took all or part of the family. Possible he took his grandson John Galttana to help him out as H.B was 64 years old in 1880.

Now the interesting part - Eight years later on March 11, 1888 John Calvin Galttana married Mary Jane Corbell in Fort Worth, Tarrant County Texas. The oral history is that Mary's family was killed by Indians and she was raised by the King family. I have not found any records for her family being killed by Indians but I did find M.J. Corbel age 11 in the 1870 census living with a King family in Fayette County Alabama. John and Fannie King also listed in their house Drucy Roberts. No relations are listed in the 1870 census, but in the 1880 census Drucy Roberts is listed as a widow and daughter and Mary Corberell (sic) is listed as no relation to the head of household Fama (Fannie) King.

It took me years to figure all this out. I was able to tie everything together when my cousin gave me a copy of H.B. and Drucy's marriage license. In that record it lists that they were married at the house of Fanny King. I didn't know who that was, but with that information I was able to find them on the 1870 and 1880 census.

So the question is how did John and Mary meet and marry? Did John meet Mary Corbel/King when he went to Alabama with his Grandfather H.B in 1880- if he did go on that trip, or did Mary travel to Texas to visit Drucy whom she grew up with and meet John that way? Did H.B. and Drucy play matchmaker. We may never know, but I find it very interesting.

John was only 17 when they married and Mary was 28. In the 1880's Mary was past the age most women got married. I would love to have a time machine to see how all this played out.
John and Mary Galttana - Date unknown
 From the stories I have been told, it seems John and Mary traveled to the areas that needed farm work. Like migrant workers. In 1900 they are living in Chickasaw County, Indian Territory - IT (Now Oklahoma.) He is listed as a farmer and age 29. Mary is 37 and she had six children and four are living. Maggie is eight and born in Texas, Elmer is five, Ella is 3 and Baby (yes that is how she is listed) is 3 months. Baby is Ora Faye. the last three were all born  in IT.

In a book titled "Newark, It's Heritage and Landmarks" it states:

"So, in 1905 he [H.B. Alverson] bought three-fourth acre of land that had been the home place of Dr. Stewart about one-half mile north of Newark, and built a cotton gin. It was operated by Charley Duke and the engine fired by John Gaultney. The gin was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt."

There are many errors in this book so I am not sure if this is true. I will note here that the name Galttana is pronounced Galtney. Almost every record I have has the name spelled differently.

But, I believe the Galttana family was back in Texas. The 1907 Fort Worth Star-Telegram Newspaper states:
John Galltna and family spent Sunday with Grandpa and Grandma Alverson.

In 1910 they are living in Precinct 5, North Decatur Road, Tarrant County, Texas. John is 39 years old and works as a farmer and cannot read or write.  Mary is 46 years old and a mother of seven but five are living. The children are listed as:
M.L. Golttana [Maggie Lee] age 17 born in IT
L.E. Golttana [Louis Elmer] age 15 born in IT
B.L. Golttana [Bertha Lou Ellen "Doll"] age 13 born in Texas
O.F. Golttana [Ora Fay] age 10 born in Texas
D.P. Golttana [Dessie Pearl] age 7 born in Texas - My Grandmother

Front: John, Bertha "Doll", Ora Faye, Dessie, Mary Galttana. Back: Louis Elmer, Maggie, ?Wm Columbus Davis?

 I have oral histories that says the whole Galttana family would travel by wagon into Fort Worth to purchase supplies and it was an all day trip. Once there they would purchase their supplies and then Mary and the children would sleep in the wagon while John would go out dancing and having fun. I have no proof of this but just the stories people have told me.

In 1920 John and Mary rent a house in Tarrant County, Texas. John is 49 years old and listed as a laborer as a general farmer and in this census it says he is able to read and write. Mary is 59. Also living in the household is daughter Bertha Galttana who is 22 and single. Daughter Dessie who is 16 and Willie B. age 5 and Bertie age 1 who are Bertha's two children.

I found a very interesting article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram dated January 22, 1922. It states:

Thirty Gallons of Liquor and Still Captured
Thirty gallons of corn whisky (sic) loaded on a wagon which S.E. Miller and J.C. Galttana admitted was enroute to Fort Worth, were it was to have been sold, were confiscated on the Fort Worth-Weatherford road Saturday afternoon by Constable A. B. Carter of Azle and Constable  J. C. Payne of Newark.
Charges of possessing intoxicating liquor for the purpose of sale were filed in the Justice Court against Galttana and Miller. In statements they made to Assistant District Attorney Will R. Parker they admitted that it was "two run" corn and that they had intended it for the Fort Worth market.
A fifty-gallon still was taken by the officers. It was in Parker County near the county line and is believed to have been used in making the thirty gallons of confiscated liquor. It was still warm indicating that the thirty gallons had just been made.

I love the "intoxicating liquor" part. I don't know why but I find this article intriguing. My cousin, Mary who was married to Willie "Bill" Galttana said he was about six years old when this happened and he remembered when all the police came to the house and tore the still apart. It was a scary time for a six year old. I don't know what the outcome of the case was. I need to follow up on this.
John and Mary Galttana ca 1928
 In 1930 they live on Newark Road in Tarrant County, Texas. John is 59 and still listed as a farm laborer and Mary is 68. Daughter Bertha Galttana and her two children "Bill" and Birdie Mae are also listed in the household.

In 1940 John and Mary are renting a place for $2 per month. One household away is his sister Lula (Louisa) Galttana Duke and her husband George Duke. They own a farm worth $2000. Both John and Mary list they are unable to work and have no income. John is 69 and Mary is 80. It is a guess that they rent a place owned by George and Lula Duke. John and Mary's Granddaughter Bertie is the next family listed on the census after John and Mary. Bertie and her much older husband, James Meyers also rent a house for $2 a month and have a son named Roy Wayne Meyers. All state they lived here in 1935 also.

John also lists in the 1940 census that he attended school through the fourth grade.

In 1942 John and Mary are living with their youngest daughter Dessie Galttana Hardee and her husband Joseph A. Hardee at 2801 Clinton Ave, Fort Worth, Texas. Dessie and Joe have seven children  and six would have been living at home, which with 10 people in a rented house would be very crowed.  I can only imagine the chaos.

 Mary died in October of 1942 and in 1943 John is still living with Joe and Dessie but at 2813 Loving Ave., Fort Worth Texas. Also living in the household is Joseph's widowed mother, Georgiana Hardee.

With a surprise ending, John Galttana and Georgiana Hardee are married on February 15, 1944. But, sadly, five days later John died from choking on a prune or fig. His death certificate says Peritonitis and intestinal obstruction. His obituary says he died in the hospital so this sounds like it was not instant and must have been very painful for him.

His obituary appeared in the Fort Wort Star Telegram, Evening Edition, February 24, 1944.

GALTTANA, JOHN CALUIN (sic), age 73, of Rt. 9 box 75, passed away in local hospital Sunday. Survivors: wife; three daughters, Mrs. Dessie Hardee, Mrs. Fay Davis, Mrs. Bertha Godley, all of Fort Worth, Services 2 p.m. Thursday, Dido School, Rev. Stewart officiating. Interment, Dido. Arrangements, Gause-Ware.

Buried at Dido Cemetery, Texas

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Georgia Anna Clarissa Ransom Hardee My Great Grandmother #6

Georgia Anna Clarissa Ransom Hardee
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Georgia Anna Clarissa Ransom Hardee

Georgia was born January 17, 1870 in Texas to Russell and Margaret Ransom. She had two older half siblings, Henry Alac (Alex) Ransom and Nancy Ellen Ransom and four younger siblings John Abraham, Alfred M., Thomas Warne and Mary Tennesse Ransom.

I first find Georgia  in the 1880 census in Wise County, Texas living with her parents and siblings.

1.) Ransom, Russell, White, Male, age 48, Farmer, born in Mo, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Mo
2.) Ransom, Margaret, White, Female, age 30, wife, born in Miss, Father born in ?S.C., Mother born in Miss
3.) Ransom, Ella, White, Female, age 14, daughter, born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Tx. 

4.) Ransom, Gergana C, White, Female, age 10, daughter, born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Miss
5.) Ransom, John A, White, Male, age 7, son, born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Miss
6.) Ransom, Alfred M, White, Male, age 5, son, born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Miss
7.) Ransom, Thomas W, White, Male, age 3, son born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Miss
8.) Ransom, Mary T, White, Female, age 1, daughter, born in Texas, Father born in Mo., Mother born in Miss

Since Georgia was born in January of 1870 she should have been listed in the 1870 census since the census date was June 1, 1870. Her parents were listed in the 1870 census in Coryell County Texas and it is dated October 1870. Her  two half siblings are also listed. I don't have any explanation of why Georgia is not listed. 

I next find her listed as Clersy Ransom in her marriage record. She married Samuel Burel Hardee and he is listed in the index as S.B. Harder. They married on August 22, 1886 in Parker County, Texas. He was 26 and she was 16.

Sam and Georgia had eight children and all lived to adulthood. (See Samuel's Bio)
In 1929 Georgia became a widow. I find her in 1930 living with her daughter Edna who is married to Pleze Reynolds in Newark, Wise County, Texas.

Georgia holding my Mother.

I have not been able to find Georgia in the 1940 census, but in 1943 I find her listed as Georgia A. Hardee, widow, in the Fort Worth City Directory living with her son and daughter-in-law Joseph and Dessie Hardee. (My Grandparents.) Also living in this same house in 1943 is her daughter-in-law Dessie's Father John Galttana, also a widow.
John and Georgia Galttana 1943
 On February 15, 1944 Georgia married John Galttana in Tarrant County, Texas. Five days later John Galttana died February 20, 1944. His death certificate states he died from an intestinal obstruction. My Uncle J says he remembered that he died choking on a prune.

 Georgia spent time living with some of her children. When she lived with Joe and Dessie, my Mother remembered that she was always in bed. She would hand crank her bed up or down for her "Granma." My Aunt remembers coming home from school and going to her room to listen to radio shows with her. My Aunt described her as having long gray hair and that she was only about 5'2". (Maybe that's where I get my height. :)

Georgia died December 8, 1956 in Fort Worth at home. She was 86 years old and her death certificate lists her cause of death as Septicemia due to Extensive Bed Sores due to Immobilization from Osteo Arthritis.

Two obituaries are listed below:
Ft. Worth Star Telegram, sometime after Dec 8, 1956

Mrs. Georgia Galttana
Mrs. Georgia Galttana, 86, of Rt. 9, Fort Worth, died early Sunday at her residence after a nine year illness.
She had lived in Tarrant County about 25 years and was a Baptist.
Survivors include two sons, Samuel Hardee of Greenwood and Joseph A Hardee of Fort Worth; five daughters, Mrs. Ida Heathcock of Fort Worth, Mrs. Ada Bally of Matador, Mrs. Lilly Briggs of Dallas, Mrs. Mary Knorff of San Francisco and Mrs. Edna Reynolds of Kalamazoo, Mich., one sister, Mrs. Mary Hendricks of Odessa, and a brother, John Ranson of Decatur.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday in Gause-Ware Memorial Chapel with burial in Dido Cemetery.

Ft. Worth Star Telegram, sometime after Dec. 8, 1956. On same page as above obituary, two columns over.

Galttana, Mrs. Georgia, Rt. 9, Box 114, Ft. Worth passed away 12 midnight Saturday at her residence. Survivors: two sons, Samuel Hardee, Greenwood, Texas, and Joseph A Hardee Fort Worth; five daughters, Mrs. Ida Heathcock, Fort Worth, Mrs. Ada Bally, Matador, Texas, Mrs. Lilly Briggs, Dallas, Mrs. Mary Knorff, San Francisco, California, Mrs. Edna Reynolds of Kalamazoo, Michigan, one sister, Mrs. Mary Hendricks, Odessa, Texas a brother, John Ranson of Decatur Texas. Services 3pm Monday, Gause-Ware Memorial Chapel, Pallbearers, Jimmy Hardee, Bruce Hardee, Clyde Hardee, Glenn Hardee, Johnnie Hardee, Merle Hyatt, Internment, Dido Cemetery, Arrangements Gause-Ware. Two parking areas.

When I first started researching Georgia I could not locate any death record for her. It wasn't until one of my Aunts mentioned that she had married John Galttana that I was able to find her death certificate and obituaries because they were listed under the name of Georgia Galttana.

I find Georgia's name listed many different ways in different sources. So, I am not really sure of the correct way to record her name.

In the1880 census she is listed as Gergana C. Ransom.
In the 1886 marriage index she is listed as Clersy Ransom.
In the original marriage certificate she is listed as Miss. G.A.C. Ransom.
In the 1900 census she is listed as Clarissa Hardee.
In the 1910 census she is listed as Georgia A. Hardee.
In the 1920 census she is listed as Georgia A. Hardee.
In the 1930 census she is listed as Georgiana Hardie.
In the 1943 Fort Worth City Directory she is listed as Georgia A. Hardee
In the 1944 marriage certificate she is listed as Mrs. G.A.C. Hardee.
In the 1945 Fort Worth City Directory she is listed as Anna C. Galttana.
In her 1956 death certificate she is listed a Georgie Annie Galtana.
Her tombstone is inscribed as Georgia Anna Hardee.
I tend to think her name was Georgia Anna Clarissa Ransom/Hardee/Galttana. Especially, because her two marriage certificates show the initials G. A. C.
I wonder if through the years if she used different names. When I asked my aunts and uncles they just remember her as "Granma."

Georgia on left standing next to her son Joseph Hardee and Dessie and 9 of their kids.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Samuel Burel Hardee My Great Grandfather #5

Samuel Burel Hardee
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Samuel was born January 26, 1860 in Alabama to William Thomas Hardee and Juda Frances Lee Hardee.

Sam had 15 siblings. Mary Elizabeth, Sarah Jane, Zibe Brooks, Lucinda "Cindy", William, Sabitha Ann, Malinda "Lynn" Caroline, Pinkney Edward, Robert Lee, Ida, John Perry, Arbilla, and his half siblings Emma, Bryant and  Earl.

I believe the family moved from Coosa County, Alabama to Van Zandt County, Texas in early 1870. Sam would have been around 9 years old. Today I20 runs from Coosa County to Van Zandt County and it is about 600 miles. This may have been the path they took through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. They would have had to cross the Mississippi  River and I would guess they crossed by ferry in Vicksburg. If they traveled by covered wagon it could have taken them up to 75 days to travel or longer. In 1870 they were a family of 11. The children were between the ages of 15 and one year old. I can't even imagine the hardship they went through traveling with young children, through unfamiliar territory to a new destination. But, they made it to the new land and in 1870 the family is listed as living in Van Zandt County, Texas.

In 1880 Sam's family is living in Johnson County, Texas but I have been unable to locate Sam in any 1880 census.

In 1886 he married Georgia Anna Clarissa Ransom on August 22 in Parker County, Texas. Sam was 26 and Georgia was 16.

I don't know where they lived after their marriage but I find a S. B. Hardee in the 1888 Tax rolls in Ellis County, Texas. In April of 1888 their first child William Russell Hardee is born in Wise Co., Texas.

In 1895 Sam and Georgia have four children and purchase land in Wise County, Texas for $1,000. It was 198 3/4 acres and was on the West Fork Trinity River 10 miles SW from Decatur. Looking at a map today, my guess would be it was between Paradise and Boyd.

In July of 1899 Sam Hardee sold 40 acres of land for $150. In September of 1899 Sam purchased unknown acreage for $250. Georgia is not listed on either of these.

In the 1900 census the family of eight is listed as living in Wise County, Texas. Sam cannot read or write and owns a farm with a mortgage. His occupation is a farmer.

In November 1903 Sam and Georgia sold 40 acres of land located about five miles South West from Decatur on Big Sandy Creek.

In 1910 Sam and Georgia are living in Decatur, Wise County, Texas. Sam is listed as 50 years old and married for 23 years. He is a farmer working on his own account and in this census it says he can read and write. It also says he rents his dwelling.
Seven of their eight children are living with them. One daughter married at 15 and was living with her husband and another daughter was also married but living with them with her new husband.

In 1920 Sam and Georgia are living in Rhome Town, Wise County, Texas. Sam is listed as 63 years old (he was 60) and a laborer on a farm that he rented. He again is listed as not being able to read or write. Being a farmer, education was not a top priority and I would lean more toward Sam not being able to read or write. Three of their children are still living with them and Sam's widowed Mother-in-law, Marguaretta Ransom is living with them also.

These are the only two photos I have of Samuel Burel Hardee. Both photos show Sam and his brothers taken on the same day. One with hats and one without. Don't know who the boy is in the back left. If anyone has other photos of Samuel I would love to see them. Date unknown. Courtesy of my cousin Shirley and Mike Hardee.

[In the second photo I think my Great Grandfather Samuel resembles Sam Elliot.]

On June 29, 1929 Samuel Hardee died at his home. His obituary is listed in the Decatur News.

 S.B. Hardee died at his home in Newark, Saturday, June 29, 1929. Funeral services were held  in Newark Sunday afternoon at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Brammer officiating. Internment in Dido cemetery. Mr. Hardee was a brother-in-law of John Ransome (sic) of near Decatur.

The information on Sam's death certificate was provided by an unnamed Hardee son. Much of the information is wrong. It lists him as 60 years old, he was 69. It lists his father as J.W. Hardee which is incorrect as his father was William T. Hardee. It lists his mother as Georgia Ransom which was actually his wife. I would say the son got confused when answering the questions. No cause of death is provided and just says "No Medical Attendant."
Headstone at Dido Cemetery

I only know the basics about Samuel Hardee from what I have been able to find in written sources. I really haven't heard any stories about Sam. The stories are what make the person come alive. If anyone know any stories about how life was growing up for Sam or his brothers I would love to hear them.

Children of Samuel and Georgia Hardee

1. William Russell Hardee born April 3, 1888 in Wise Co., Texas
2. Samuel Burel Hardee Jr. born Jan. 22, 1890 in Decatur, Wise Co., Texas
3. Ada Frances Hardee born March 5, 1892 in Decatur, Wise Co., Texas
4. Ida Lou Hardee born March 30, 1894 in Decatur, Wise Co., Texas
5. Buster Edward Thomas Hardee born Oct. 19, 1896 in Wise Co., Texas
6. Lillie Vester Hardee born Aug. 11, 1899 in Wise Co., Texas
7. Joseph Abraham Hardee born Jan. 6, 1902 in Decatur, Wise Co., Texas [My Grandfather]
8. Mary Caroline Hardee born Aug 12, 1906 in Decatur, Wise Co., Texas
9. Edna Mae Hardee born April 30, 1910 in Wise Co., Texas

All the children stayed in Texas except the last two daughters, Mary and Edna who moved with their families to California. We are just now connecting again with our California Hardee relatives.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Ora Parsons Stegman - My Great Grandmother #4

Ora Parsons Stegman - My Great Grandmother
52 Ancestors

Ora Parsons was born December 16, 1896 in Benedict, Wilson Co., Kansas. Her parents were William and Mary Scates Parsons. Ora had four siblings, Ruth Parsons born 1893, Cress Parsons born 1894, Opal Parsons born 1897 and Osie Parsons born 1898.

In the 1900 Census Ora is four years old and her Mother Mary is listed as the head of household and widowed. So the kids grew up without their father.
Ora Parsons in Benedict Kansas - Date unknown
In the 1910 Census Ora is 14 years old and listed as working as a servant in a private family. Her Mother works as a laundress for a private family and her brother Cress is a laborer of odd jobs. It does not sound like they had an easy life and were all doing what they could to survive. I would love to know what family Ora worked for and if she lived at home or lived with the family.

Sometime between 1910 and 1916 Ora moved to Kinsley,  Edwards County, Kansas and was working at a hotel that was run by Mary Denning. I was not able to find Ora in the 1915 Kansas State Census, she is not listed with her family who were still living in Benedict, Kansas. I do not know how she ended up 370 miles away from her family to work in a hotel. At that age you would have to have courage to travel that far away by yourself. But, for whatever reason she ended up at that hotel it turned out to be a good thing because Mary Denning was the older sister of her future husband Adam Stegman. He was out there for work and I would guess stayed at the hotel since it was run by his sister. I would love to hear the story of them meeting for the first time.

They married on March 29, 1916 in Fredonia, Wilson Co., Kansas.

They lived in Ellis County Kansas where Adam was from and their first daughter Irene was born in 1917. I had thought Ora converted to Catholicism when they got married but after I looked at the records at St. Mary's in Ellis County I discovered that when Irene was baptized, Ora is listed as "non-catholic." Ora was later baptized July 11, 1921 at St. Mary's.

In 1922 Adam went on strike with the railroad and ten months later he was hired by Missouri Pacific Railroad, which required them to move to the small town of Downs, Kansas. Adam went first and Ora and Irene traveled by train later. Irene remembered the train trip and her first view of Downs was the Gazebo. She thought it was beautiful.

A two story house on Ray Street was the first house they lived in. Then they moved to a little house north of town. Adam always said Ora would move them every time the moon rose.

 In 1925 they rented a house on Osborne Street and this is where their last daughter was born. As of 2018 my Great Aunt is still alive.

In 1926 Ora threw a surprise Birthday party for Adam and this is what is listed in The Downs News and Times:
          Mrs. A. Stegman entertained at a birthday party in honor of Mr. Stegman on Monday evening,   Nov. 1. The guest congregated at the home and all were out of sight when Mrs. Stegman summoned her husband from town on the pretext that relatives had arrived for a visit. The evening was spent with cards and dancing. A delicious lunch was served to the following guest at a late hour: Mr. and Mrs. Vern Rollins, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hoover, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Ewing, Mr. and Mrs. M. McNall, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Bryant and Mr. and Mrs. Irwin Addams.

According to the 1930 Census, they owned a house on Beal Street that is worth $800 and they own a radio. The 1930's brought the dust bowl years which brought black blizzards. These were severe dust storms that covered everything and could get into the smallest cracks of homes. They would blow in large dark clouds and reduce visibility to a few feet.  Irene said she remembered the "Dirty Thirties" well. When a black blizzard would come through the school would close and they would stay home and play music and dance. Ora liked a clean house so I'm sure she had lots to clean after a dust storm would blow through. I can't even imagine having to clean all that fine dust out of everything.

One day Adam came home and put one paycheck on the table and said you can buy anything you want. He give Ora one paycheck every month. Ora always wanted something new, carpet, curtains or something for the house or girls. She kept the girls clothed and the house clean and updated. She was always hitting Adam up for extra money according to Irene.

Ora was 5’1, green eyes and light brown hair. She was a short heavyset woman. She always did handiwork, crochet, sewed, embroidered. She was a good housekeeper. She would tell Irene, “don’t care what your husband does, what your doing, get cleaned up before your husband comes home.”

The depression was in full swing during the 1930's and the family knew they were lucky that Adam had a good job.

Irene graduated from Downs High School in 1936. She wanted to be a beautician; Ora took her by train to Kansas City but would not let her stay because the city was dirty. On the way back they stopped in Lansing to visit a friend named Minnie and Irene stayed to work for her.

They made it through the 1930's and in 1940 they owned a house at 821 Osborne Street in Downs and it was worth $1,000.

Around 1938 the family moved to Concordia Kansas for Adam to work with the railroad. They didn't stay long because in 1940 they are listed as living in Downs again.

There are two banks in Downs. Ora and Adam had separate bank accounts. When the State Bank accidentally took money out of her account that should have been taken out of Adam’s account she took all her money out of the bank and opened an account at The National Bank. Guess she wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again.

Their oldest daughter, Irene married in 1940. In 1942 I found this newspaper article that Irene had pasted in her photo album.

Mrs. Adam Stegman went to Concordia last Thursday evening to spend the weekend with her daughter Mrs. Lee Hefley and Mr. Hefley. The following morning however, found a new member in the Hefley family for Mrs. Stegman to visit with - a grandson, the little man arriving at the home in company with Daddy Stork during the early morning hours.
Ora Stegman with Grandson Ed in 1943
Ed remembers as a child "Momo" as he called her, would come and pick him up when the town sirens would go off for a fire. He would run outside and wait for her to pick him up and they would go to the fire. Sounds like a fun and adventurous Grandma to me.

In November of 1953 Adam's job again required them to move. Adam and Ora closed up the house and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. While there Ora worked for Jones Wholesale Company to be able to collect social security.  In 1958 he retired and they moved back to Downs Kansas.

I believe once they retired they were able to do more camping and traveling. They both loved being outdoors.

In 1966 they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary and in 1976 they celebrated their 60th Anniversary. I always felt they were a couple truly in love and they both loved life.
Adam and Ora Stegman

Ora's Obituary
Died August 27, 1984

Ora Stegman was born to William and Mary Parsons on December 16, 1896, at Benedict, Ks. Ora departed this life at the Downs Nursing Center on August 27, 1984. She was married to Adam Stegman March 29, 1916. To this union of 67 years was born 2 daughters, Irene Hefley and Jewell XXXX. She enjoyed the good home life she made for herself and family. Her most enjoyable moments were quilt making, needle work and enjoying God's great outdoors camping and fishing. Ora is survived by her husband, Adam, Downs Nursing Center; daughters and sons-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Hefley (Irene), Downs, Ks., and Mr. and Mrs. Frank XXXX (Jewell), Kansas City Mo.;2 sisters, 5 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. The Funeral services were held August 29 at the St. Mary's Catholic Church. Father James Hoover and Father Roger Mietl celebrated the Mass. Organist for the service was Mrs. Doris Mick. The following served as Pallbearers, Irvin Burmeister, Al Stroh, Tony Heinen, Alan Feist, Dean Bihlmaier and Amos Chapman. Interment was made at the Downs Cemetery. A memorial has been established for the Downs Nursing Center or St. Mary's Church. Domoney Funeral Home was in Charge of arrangements.