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|
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:
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.
Their oldest daughter, Irene married in 1940. In 1942 I found this newspaper article that Irene had pasted in her photo album.
|Ora Stegman with Grandson Ed in 1943|
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|
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.