Friday, November 11, 2011

Katie Marie Coleman-Ashley... Day 6, A Week of Veteran Salutes

As today is Veteran's Day for 2011, I will end my week of salutes to family members with my beautiful niece Katie Marie Coleman. She proudly took the reins and followed in the footsteps of her 5th great Grandfather, John Shepherd Coleman, my featured ancestor here on this blog on Thursday the 10th, 2011. His story is here
Honor, bravery and love of country surely must be a few of the factors that lead our loved ones to serve as they left children and loved ones at home while they gave of their time for their country.

Katie Marie Coleman-Ashley held the rank of Specialist, her job was as an Automated Logistical Specialist. Maintaining and distributing the Army's large inventory of food, medicines, ammunition, spare parts and other supplies is an incredibly important job. The Automated Logistical Specialist is an integral member of the Army's supply and warehousing specialist team, responsible for supervising and performing management or warehouse functions in order to maintain equipment records and parts. Some of Katie's most important duties were making sure that the right supplies were delivered at the right time to help ensure the safety of Army troops in the field and on the front lines.

Katie Marie Coleman-Ashley served  in HHC 9th Battalion of the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She was a proud member of the famed "Screaming Eagles". The distinguished history of the 101st  goes back to WWII and has continued into today's world with service in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the division's second deployment began in 2005, Katie eventually was called to go abroad. She left her young son in the care of his Grandparents back in Nebraska as she deployed to Iraq for a year of service.

Homecoming for Katie Marie with her son,Tyler, at Ft. Campbell

Mom is home from Iraq!
 We love you Katie and honor you for your service. Our pride in you will shine forever! ♥

John Shepherd Coleman...Day 5, a Week of Veteran Salutes

John Shepherd Coleman served as a private in Company D, 23rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. According to records in the Indiana State Archives he enrolled on July 12 1861 at New Albany, Indiana and was mustered on 29 July 1861 at the same location. John Shepherd was mustered out on 23 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. He married Margaret Jane Sharp(e) on 7 Feb 1852 in Harrison County, Indiana when he was 22 years old and he was thirty one when he enrolled in the Union army.

John's trade was that of a blacksmith as was his father and his son after him. I have often wondered if he might have served as a unit farrier during the time of his service although that is not known at this time. The 23rd infantry was involved in many actions of the war which included the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee; the advance on and siege of Corinth, Mississippi; the assaults on and surrender of Vicksburg; the siege on Atlanta and they were also involved in the surrender of Gen. Joseph Johnston and his army just to name a few. Over all the 23rd Regiment was a busy unit and involved in many actions against their enemy during the war. They are known to have participated in the Grand Review of the victorious armies in Washington, D.C. on May 23-24 of 1865 shortly before they were mustered out in Kentucky.

John Shepherd Coleman   1830-1912

John returned to Indiana where he spent the remainder of his life after the Civil War. He died on 20 August 1912 in Jennings Twp., Crawford County, Indiana where Margaret and he are buried in the Dillman Ridge Cemetery of that county.

Gravestone of John Shepherd Coleman
His gravestone says "THE MORNING COMETH" and I hope that someday when it comes again, we can meet as great great Grandfather and Granddaughter so that I might pay true honor to him for his service.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Honoring Our Uncles...Day4, A Week of Veteran Salutes


Robert Wayne Harvey was born 29 June 1923 at Greyrocks, Platte County, Wyoming to Robert Earl Harvey and Hilda Marie Larson. At age 20 he enlisted in the army at Fort Francis E. Warren in Cheyenne, Wyoming as a private. He worked up through the ranks to become a Staff Sergeant in the Quartermaster Corps and part of his time of service during WWII was spent stationed on Okinawa.

Robert passed away in Kirkland, Yavapai County, Arizona on Jan 7, 1987. His memorial is located near other family members in the Pine Bluffs, Wyoming cemetery.

Robert Wayne Harvey -- Army, WWII

Gene L. Casey Jones was born 15 October 1925 in Wheatland, Platte County, Wyoming to Lester Leroy Jones and Esther Vosberg Watson.  In 1943 at the age of 18, Casey enlisted in the army at Fort Francis E. Warren in Cheyenne, Wyoming as a private and worked his way up to the rank of Sergeant. He was stationed in Austria during the latter part of the war.

Gene "Casey" Jones died while living at Yuma, Yuma County, Arizona on 27 November 1988 and is buried in the Wheatland Cemetery, Wheatland, Platte County, Wyoming.

Gene L. "Casey" Jones -- Army, WWII
Gone, but loved and not forgotten.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Charles Gray McComsey...Day3, A Week of Veteran Salutes

In honor of our third great Grandfather, Charles Gray McComsey, during this week leading up to Veterans Day 2011. If only we could go back in time...just to be able to see his face, give him a big hug and tell him how proud we are of his service to his country during the Civil War. Our honored Grandfather was a private in the Union army and served for three years of the war. A short but pertinent excerpt from the complete history of  the 112th Illinois Infantry at the Illinois State Department of Archives states that "The Regiment actively participated in all the campaigns in East Tennessee, in 1863, and, up to February 4, 1864, sharing in the glory of redeeming that truly loyal people, and in wresting what was regarded as the key to the rebellion from rebel rule. Being always at the front and often at great distance from the main body of the army, it was kept constantly on the alert, and compelled to perform the severest of duties and always on short rations."

In honor of our third great Grandfather...1838-1920

 He became a respected pioneer in western Nebraska after the war and made his home near and later moved to Gering, Nebraska. Several of his children and grandchildren are buried in the West Lawn Cemetery in that community along with Charles and his wife Mary.

Obituary of Charles McComsey

Family gravestone  

Thank you for your service and the life and legacy that you passed to us all!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Millard R. Coleman...Day 2, A Week of Veteran Salutes

Millard and Helen Coleman- Alliance, Ne. about 1943
Millard Coleman was my uncle, my Dad's younger brother. Even though we lived far apart for all of my life, he was always an important part of our extended family. He and his family came to Nebraska to visit at least every other year and Mom and Dad and I would drive to Boise, Idaho to visit them on occasion. We always had great fun...Dad and Uncle Millard were very close and both were fun loving and always laughing about an old story or reminiscing about old times when they were growing up. That is what I remember most about Uncle Millard is his wonderful little laugh, I do not think I ever saw him without a smile on his face or heard anything but kind words from him. His kindness and thoughtfulness which stemmed from his love of the Lord were what really set him apart.

When I was a little girl and would stay over with my Grandma, one of the most fun activities was pulling down an old hat box from the top of her wardrobe and going through it's contents. It was a Navy hatbox that her son, Millard had sent her while he was in the Coast Guard. In that box were some of her lifelong treasures...her hanky collection! That collection was so special to go through as a little girl but the box is what has stayed in my memory all these years. What I would not give to have a photo of that box on top of that old wardrobe now. Grandma was so proud of her son for his service and she was a lifelong member of the Navy Mother's Club in his honor.

Millard Coleman was born on May 21, 1919 in Broken Bow, Nebraska to Opal Edith Gardner Coleman and Frederick M. Coleman. He grew up in Alliance, Nebraska where he graduated in 1936. He met his wife, Helen Lyon in Alliance and they were married in Salt Lake City in 1941. During WWII, Millard joined the Coast Guard and during the war he and Helen lived in various places during his service years and they eventually settled in Boise, Idaho where they spent the rest of their life working and raising two children. Millard Coleman passed away in 2008 and is buried in Boise, Idaho.

♥Remembering our uncle, Millard R. Coleman, with love and honor.

Millard Coleman with his Dad, F.M. Coleman, about 1943

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brig. General Maurice M. Beach...A Week of Veteran Salutes

With the approach of another veterans day, I will be posting some of our family service members to honor our loved ones.

I have written before about Maurice M. Beach and his exemplary career, that full biography article can be found here

Maurice M. Beach...drawing made of him in England, 1945

 General Beach had an extraordinary military career during the active years of WWII and continued to serve as he commanded his troops and assisted in airlifting the wounded from Normandy.

During the years immediately following the war, there was a multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany. The Soviet Union blocked the Western Allie's railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin that were under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food and fuel, thereby giving the Soviets control over the entire city. In response, the Western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift to carry supplies to the people in West Berlin. The United States Air Force and the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force were aided by several other allies and  flew over 200,000 flights in one year, providing up to 4700 tons of daily necessities such as fuel and food to the Berliners. Both General Beach and his wife were actively involved in the actions of the Berlin Airlift while he was stationed in Europe.

It is with great love that I honor uncle Maurice M. Beach. Our family misses you so much!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Holy Smoke...Going Out With a Bang!

Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter of October 14, 2011: "Turn Your Loved One Into Live Ammunition" sure did present what may seem to be a strange new way of honoring your loved one who has now passed most of his faithful readers who commented it was an idea that was  indeed just down right weird so with this posting I am sure to offend some of my genealogy friends and maybe even family members. They may think for sure that this writer has officially lost her mind!

Early photo postcard from my shooting collection

Over the years I have seen many strange things show up in the way of honoring our ancestors and loved ones. Burials in vehicles or huge carved vehicles of stone above, a five foot sundial, a statue of Mickey Mouse to mark the final resting place and jewelry made just to hold a speck of ash in order to keep the loved one near to why not the product that the company HolySmoke LLC has to offer? Live ammunition filled with ashes to be kept or "fired" in the appropriate setting in honor of one's life.

I should explain that there are as many ways to be buried or remembered after cremation as there are flavors of jelly beans and just as many reasons why some people choose one way over another. Personal beliefs, cost of a funeral, dislike of conventional ways, are but a few to mention. I am one who has rather unconventional views on the matter. My husband and I have conventional lots in our local cemetery, next to my beloved grandparents and parents. That is where our gravestone will someday be as I do believe that a final little plot of land on this earth is all that we can physically leave behind in addition to our offspring, a little spot for family to come visit and for future genealogists to someday discover us and our history. I will not be "living" at the location of my gravestone as my requests to my children have already been to have my ashes placed, spread -if you will, in places that I have grown up and loved. Places where I  have felt the closest to the loved ones who have gone before me and where my family has experienced great joy together.

I guess this is "tooting my own horn"!

On to the point of this rambling on! I grew up learning to shoot, hunting with my Dad from age eight. I was the girl with two much older brothers and when they were grown and gone I had all of Daddy's attention and love. We were shooting and hunting buddies and I was spoiled rotten! Those were some of the best times of my life and yes, guns and shooting have always been a big part of my life. I met my husband on the shooting line of a trap club and we have traveled to hundreds of shooting ranges and  have shot millions of rounds together over our 40 years of marriage. In 1971 while in college I was the National Collegiate Women's Trapshooting Champion. I am a family genealogist, my other love interest in life but I have the  great outdoors in my blood and burnt gunpowder is my favorite smell so naturally being "shot" out of a cartridge or better yet out of a shotgun shell when my days on this earth come to an end is an awesome idea to me! I can't think of a better send off or a better resting place for my ashes through eternity than being spread over the land I love. I can just hear my sons saying "there goes Mom -dead bird!" (The call on the trap field for a scored broken/hit target.)

All strange, morbid and funny thoughts aside for now, I hope  I have not lost all my readers! If you are the unconventional or adventurous type, go ahead and check out the Holy Smoke website if you too want to GO OUT WITH A BANG!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Civil War Conference - Alliance, Nebraska - July 8-9, 2011

If you love genealogy and history, this is one conference you won't want to miss! The Heritage Seekers Society and the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska are hosting a two day Civil War Conference on July 8th and 9th. Coming up soon! One you won't want to miss.

Titled "Remembering the Civil War...150 Years Later", this will be a premium offer for anyone interested in this part of history. We have been planning this conference for many months and it will be a first for our brand new museum facility. We have one of the finest new museums in the midwest and invite all to join in our conference as we honor the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the memories of those who fought.

We are offering seventeen (17) educational, genealogical and historical presentations over the two days (lunch included both days) and you can attend all classes and presentations, no need to choose only a few. We will have many great prize drawings for attendees throughout the conference. Our 11 speakers are all professionals and well qualified  in their field of study and will offer classes on genealogy researching as well as historical presentations for your enjoyment. This is a top quality conference and we invite everyone to contact us for more information.

To our local residents, your new museum is hosting this awesome event and we encourage you to support the facility and come see what is new!

Here is a sample of what we are offering along with even more...

Civil War research classes

History of the Kansas/Missouri Border Wars

Historical programs on Civil War quilts, along with a quilt show and a local quilt shop will display their wares.

Civil War character portrayals

Classes on the GAR and Lincoln's war time rule

Program featuring firearms of the Civil War........

plus much more

We hope to see you all there on July 8th and 9th for a great learning experience.

For a 4 page copy of our brochure in PDF format, click on the word Brochure below. You can save and print it if you like. It takes a minute to load so be patient!


If the link fails, email me!

Email me:  I will email you a copy of the brochure in PDF

Contact for more info:
Knight Museum and Sandhills Center
Alliance, Nebraska

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Remembering My Dad..Father's Day 2011

On this Father's Day of 2011, I hold the memory of my Dad so very near to my heart and even now, twelve years after his passing I miss him every day. My Dad was one of the truly special people in the world and a great Dad to his three children. Even now as I will soon near 60, my oldest brother nears 75 and we have lost one sibling...I look back and we were blessed and given the greatest gift of all, our Dad.

Frederick Dale Coleman
born March 9, 1914 in Broken Bow, Nebraska
married Irene Dorothy Moore- March 20, 1936- Alliance, Nebraska and lived his life, worked and raised his children in Alliance, Nebraska
died Oct 5, 1998 in Denver, Colorado
buried in Alliance Cemetery- Alliance, Nebraska

Daddy was of course special to each one of us in our own way but to all three of us he taught the greatest things in life. We learned to love the outdoors and nature, our love of hunting and fishing and the respect for our natural world, those things all came from our Dad. He saw them all with eyes of wonder and  a heart full of love for what was around him. His lessons about history, loving our country, learning about it's past and protecting it's future were all precious to us and imparted to us that same ability to hopefully pass that love of history and country down to our own children and grandchildren. My brothers and I were so very fortunate that our Dad gave to us all those treasures as nothing could have been a better legacy. We were loved and we were taught to love and respect our family, our Mom and ourselves.

Dad was a man of so many talents and a love for life, yet his first priority was always his wife and children.

His talents, skills and loves were many:

-Dad worked in his youth a a motorcycle delivery man with his own business

-house and interior painter as a young man, learning from his father-in-law

-raced motorcycles for years, and rode the first motorcycle to the top of the highest point in the Black Hills in the 1930's

-toured with a motorcycle for nearly 70 years, often with Mom or me along for the ride

-he was an artist and painter all his life

-Dad made beautiful hand tooled leather goods which he enjoyed as a lifelong hobby

-he was a hunter and avid fisherman from the time of his youth and taught his children to follow in his footsteps

-The family went along on hundreds of fishing and camping trips and learned the history of the mountain man with Dad as we attended many a re-enacted rendezvous

-we all learned to make things with our hands and do repairs if necessary, Dad was always there to encourage the job

-he played the violin and the banjo with great joy

-collecting western art, coins, firearms, and banjos kept him busy in his spare time, his own private hobby room was filled with the things he loved to collect

-learning history was always foremost in his love of reading, he treasured any book that he was given and read them all

-he tinkered with photography, leaving behind several thousand slides and he and mom kept many albums of photos

-he even tried his hand at wine making...many years ago

-he was great to help Mom with the yard work and weed killing, even though the occasional flower bed also bit the dust

-Dad loved all his grandchildren and followed their lives with enthusiasm as to sports, band etc and even though he could not be there for all the events, he followed with enthusiasm

-pride and upkeep of his home, vehicles, motorcycles, and campers taught his children to appreciate what they had later on

-my dad was a hardworking conductor on the Railroad for nearly 50 years, and well respected by all his friends and fellow workers

-his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.... and my Mom, those were his greatest treasures 

-Mom was the love of his life..for almost 70 years, including 63 years of a loving marriage

These are but a few of the special attributes and loves of my Dad, it would take volumes and much better words than I can write to truly impart what a great Dad he was and how much he was loved and is missed on this Father's Day of 2011.

Freddie Coleman, my Dad, with his painting, 1957
At the early age of not quite five years old, my Dad painted a picture for me which I count as my most prized possession. It says: "to Cheri by Dad 1957" and it has hung in a place of honor in my home for 40 years now as it did in my own bedroom at home all the years of my youth. I love looking at the American Indian lady as much today as I did many years ago...because she carries within her eyes the love from my Dad. ♥

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Another Take On Local Museums - an Overlooked Genealogy Treasure Trove!

Knight Museum and Sandhills Center houses Heritage Research Room
The very recent article by Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy sure does hit home and prompted me to add my comments on using your local museum sources. Be sure to stop over at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog and read her entire article.

Our local museum just recently re-opened in its new location  and we have a wonderful  Heritage Room that was specifically designed for local history and genealogy research. We are so lucky to have a great facility here and ours could easily be used as prime example of how local museums can integrate their record holdings into the over all public use of their facilities. The Knight Museum and Sandhills Center in Alliance, Nebraska is a state of the art facility in a small city setting. We house many records that not only pertain to Box Butte County, Alliance and the surrounding communities but also many which center on western Nebraska.  Our museum is also the caretaker for many older records that were once housed at the court house here. You can read a full listing of the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center holdings on a post by Nebraska Roots and Ramblings blog which can be found below.

Our museum director has been instrumental in building up our fine researching facility and she and her hard working staff spend several hours each day working with organizing the holdings as well as helping with the many local patron and distant inquiries from all over the country for records.  Our museum will do simple research on past area residents, scan or copy nearly any document in their growing collections to help with genealogy requests or historical projects. We are so lucky as genealogists to have places locally that will help in our quest for information. Like Lorine stated in her blog, a donation to your local facility will help to insure the future of these repositories for us all. Libraries have traditionally been the keepers of records but many museums have holdings of documents that are often an overlooked source, especially the museums in small towns and communities.

Be sure to check out your local museum or those from your family ancestral areas for unexpected treasures, you may just find more than you ever thought possible. Museums now are often so much more than places to view beautiful displays of "times gone by". Your family stories or photos just may be lurking in a forgotten corner or drawer, just waiting to be discovered!

Knight Museum and Sandhills Center - Alliance, Nebraska

Nebraska Roots and Ramblings (describes holdings of the Museum Heritage Room)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poetess in the Family, Part Four.....Ruth Harvey Douglass

This is the last part of Ruth's story and poetry. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading of her family and walking with her as she wrote the poetry of her memories!
Leila Ruth Harvey Douglass

‘The Prize’

While walking in the hills one day along a hogback rise,
In glancing down, to my surprise,
lay a treasure to be prized.

With glinting side, serrated edge and needlepoint so fine,
I picked you up and held you tight.
For now you were mine!

Who made and fashioned you so fine?
And did you fall from beaded pouch
or shot from bow to kill a bird
With feathers prine?

Though many years have passed
since you were dropped that day
I’m still wondering who he was
that passed along that way.

Was he a chieftain of his tribe?
Or was he a renegade,
with buckskin clothes,
feathers in his hair and
painted for a paleface raid?

The wild wind blowing o’er the plains,
he rode his pinto where?
Fifty years have passed and gone
since I found you there.

With winter snows and summer rains
how long had you lay there?
To me, you are my treasure yet
and still no answer why or where.

And as I add you to my treasure store,
I guess your age…
Two hundred years or more.

Ruth Harvey Douglas


As I am dreaming and communing with my god
I think of friends I knew and those beneath the sod.
There are no tears, there are no regrets,
For I hold a bouquet of violets.

I dream of the hills of home and the house my father built,
I see my mother’s out stretched arms
Which beckon me tonight.
There are no tears, there are no regrets,
For I hold a bouquet of violets.

I dream of sisters with hair of brown and fair like driven snow.
They hold the hands of her who had the hair of gold.
There are no tears, there are no regrets,
For I hold a bouquet of violets.

I dream of brothers, straight and tall, who stand beside the throne
With radiance all around.
There are no tears, there are no regrets,
For I hold a bouquet of violets.

I hold the golden family chain; just two links are left,
For year by year each link has fallen away in death.
There are no tears, there are no regrets,
For I hold close to my heart the bouquet of violets.

Ruth Harvey Douglass, 1969

                                                 THE END 

Authors note: A niece of Ruth Douglass typed up “As I Remember” for her Aunt Ruth and later gave a copy to my mother-in-law, Kathleen Hopkins.  After reading the memoirs, Kathleen could see that there was genealogical value to the work, along with the sentimentality of it.  Kathleen contacted Ruth’s daughters Beth Dearinger and Polly DeGrazia to ask if she could make a few minor revisions and print the book using a computer. She then gave a copy of it to the Genealogy Department in the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, Wyoming with the consent of Ruth’s daughters.  Mom retyped this work in the year 2011 to help me with this presentation of Ruth’s story and poetry.

 The steam tractor and engine that was mentioned in Ruth’s story, and owned by the Harvey family, threshed grain for many local farmers in the area and we have many pictures of the threshing machine with  all the Harvey family members standing on and near it. My husband’s grandfather, Earl Harvey, bought the steam machine from his brother Elmer and took it to the Slater Flats area where Earl had homesteaded.  Earl drilled many water wells for neighbors on the Slater Flats, Wyoming with that old steam engine. The old boiler from that original engine ended life in Wheatland, Wyoming and was used by the laundry department of the old Wheatland General Hospital. The rest of the original engine was sold as scrap metal when WW II started.
Harvey steam engine, Wyoming

Drilling a well with the steam rig, Wyoming

 Obituary of Leila Ruth Harvey Douglass, The Poetess

Ruth Harvey Douglass was born in Albia, Monroe County, Iowa on 29 September, 1894, and came as a child to Wyoming with her parents who homesteaded near Albin, Laramie County, Wyoming.  It was there she met and married Mark Miles Douglass.  During their lifetime they lived in several communities of Wyoming; Wheatland, Slater, Horse Creek and Chugwater  before  they moved  to Washington state  in the early 1940’s.

As a Wheatland resident, Mrs. Douglass served for years as Assistant Platte County Superintendent of Schools under Mrs. Cora A. Douglass, and also assisted in the Platte County Treasurer’s Office when needed.

While in the Slater area, Mrs. Douglass, her husband and daughter, Polly, lived on the property now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jack McQuisten.  She was instrumental in the organization of the Slater Women’s Club in 1936 and served several years as President.

An avid collector or Indian artifacts she lost a valuable collection when the service station her husband was managing at Horse Creek burned to the ground.  It was then that they moved to Chugwater, Wyoming where they lived for several years before moving to Washington.

She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and belonged to the Wheatland and also to the Chugwater Chapters.

Ruth Harvey Douglass passed away on 26 Jun, 1973 in Seattle, Washington after an extended illness.

Our family feels so blessed to have these wonderful poems and writings of Ruth, which give us the insight into the lives of our ancestors which we would not have had without her prose and poetry. Her poetry brings so many beautiful memories to those who knew Ruth and for those of us in the family who never had the pleasure of knowing her-  she drew a beautiful picture for us to see in our minds and gave us a path to follow in the discovery of our beloved ancestors.

Thank you to Mom for the hours of work to help to bring this story to the page and again to her and Aunt Hazel for their genealogical work over many years which has helped us all to learn about our family gone before us.

A Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- Part One: here
A Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- Part Two: here
A Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- Part Three: here

All stories, poetry and photographs in this series are owned and copyrighted © by the Harvey and Hopkins families and may not be reprinted without the permission of the family. Contact clchopkins[at]gmail[dot]com

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trails of My Imagination

Welcome to Richard Ellis as a new Blogger!
"Trails of My Imagination" is the title of a new genealogy blog by my friend Richard Ellis. I invite you to check out his new blog and join in as a follower!

Dick has been doing genealogy for about ten years and since his retirement he has had more time over the last five years to devote to his passion. He is a Nebraska native who was a physical therapist for 51 years while he looked forward to more free time to follow the trails of his ancestors. At the present he is mostly working on his ELLIS and ADKINS  direct lineage. Dick is a regular attendee at our local Heritage Seekers Genealogy and History society and is always eager to learn more about genealogy and history and now he has joined the world of genealogy blogging to share his family history and hopefully to meet new family members who would like to welcome another "cousin" to their ranks.

Please stop by his new blog "Trails of My Imagination"  and welcome Richard Ellis to our world of genealogy and historical story telling! Here is the link to his blog.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Poetess in the Family, Part Three.....Ruth Harvey Douglass

In this third installment of the stories and memories of Ruth Harvey Douglass you will read some more of the heartfelt poetry that Ruth wrote. Her "Canyons of Wyoming"   is particularly meaningful to all of us as most of our family has visited the old homestead areas near Albin and LaGrange, Wyoming and marveled at some of the beautiful scenic lands which Ruth recalled in her poetry.

She did such a good job of putting her memories down on paper and added many of the little details about her parents: James William Harvey and Fannie Lee Harvey that made them come to life from the pages. Her siblings: Elmer, Myrtle, James, Earl, and Mary all played important roles in her life and are fondly recalled in her memories. I hope everyone has enjoyed reading about a  little bit of the history of Wyoming as told through the recollections of Ruth.

Part three of  Ruth's memories and poetry:


Could I but walk again the paths of yesterday
Would they be the same or would they have changed?
My childhood footsteps blown away or are they still there
Among the flowers as I ran along that day?
Would trail herds still come up the hill
From ranches near LaGrange or are these, too, dust?
Do saddles still hang on the old corral
And cowboys still sing in the bunkhouse there?
For these were the boys of the old frontier
Clayton and Henry and Sharkey, too.
A cowboy named Curley who was the best
At story telling…I see him yet.
Sixty years have passed since then, and things
Would not be the same for all are blown away
In the wind.

We had very few Christmases at our house but one year mother said we could get a tree, provided we got a pine tree as she didn’t like the smell of cedar.  So Earl and I went after a tree.  We then had nothing to trim it with, but Myrtle had sent a box and there were handkerchiefs for all, so we draped them over the bunches of needles.  For me she had made a sewing box out of cardboard covered with green flannel with needles and pins in the underside of the lid and a little pair of shears.  How pretty it was and very neatly made.  One other year she sent me a doll which I had until after I was married and the children broke it.  I don’t think our mother ever had time to make a gift with seven of us to look after.  One Christmas the folks gave me a sled.

I remember a time mother and I sat under a pine tree along the rim of the canyon and the wind sang in the tree tip.  My mother began to cry and I asked why and she told me she was sad…had to leave her home State of Iowa, her friends, her married daughter, and the grave in the cemetery in which our baby sister, Dora, had been placed.  She never did get to see that grave again.  She was so sad it’s no wonder I remember so well the sighing of the wind.
James William Harvey and Fannie Lee Harvey, the parents of Leila Ruth Harvey Douglass, our Poetess

Along about then, Elmer decided he wanted to buy a steam plow and do plowing for others to help pay for it.  He went to Denver and bought a large outfit which cost a lot of money.  He also had to hire extra help to run it.  Then the Andersons decided to buy their own as they had so much land under cultivation and they too, plowed for others so this cut the profit Elmer had counted on making.  He still owed quite a bit on it and soon came in danger of losing the whole thing so Ed came to the rescue and sold his place to finish paying for the steam plow.  That ended the time of the steam plow and last I knew, it was sitting in a field, a pile of rusted metal.

Once when the men were moving the big steam engine, John Adcock wouldn’t let them cross on any of his land, causing them to have to go along the edge of a deep canyon with danger to themselves as well as the machine.  When Mother found that out, she was mad and she said “you just wait.  He’ll want a favor some time”.  And sure enough, one day he came to get her to go help them with a new baby and sickness and my mother said “No”.  This was very unusual, for my mother went where ever she was needed and many babies were brought into this life by her and without any Doctor.

I don’t know if I have told of the wild flowers in the canyons.  There were harebells of blue, sego lilies, a sand cherry that was about the size of a man’s thumb.  They grew close to the ground and had blossoms like plums.  The cherries tasted like chokecherries, only sweeter.  Another flower grew about eighteen or twenty inches tall and had light green leaves which would stick onto your dress without a pin.  These flowers were white, a white poppy that you couldn’t pick due to the white milk that ran out of the stems and was very sticky.  One bank was covered with fern and we called it “Fern Bank”.  Mary and I used to sit there in the shade.  A turtledove had her nest close by. 
She never was there much only to lay an egg and hatch one bird, then that little bird hatched the rest of the eggs she had laid.  A modern day babysitter.  She never was afraid of us.  In draws where water would run after a rain, nearly always we could find yellow sweet peas.  There were ground cherries, too, but they always grew where you didn’t want them.  Once we had a very hard rain and hail, water ran deep in all the draws and into the canyons.  After several days I heard a loud noise and the edge of the canyon had caved off.  It was a good thing I wasn’t there looking over the edge.

‘The Canyons of Wyoming’

The incredible stillness in the canyon depths is only broken by
The soft songs of unseen birds or a few pebbles, falling from some
crevice to the floor below.

Beneath the protection of overhanging ledges the ancient ones who
lived here so long ago walk again through these canyons.  Near
the spring of soft, cooling water the smoke from cooking fires
rose upward to mingle with the white clouds that drifted
overhead, proof that this quiet and peaceful place was once
populated with dreamers such as me.

I Love you, canyons of Wyoming…….

Over yonder butte black clouds form with distant lightning and thunder.
Sheets of rain are falling and prairies are running deep with water.
The distant roar tells that it is dashing down through the canyons
in its race to the floor below, only to disappear into the sand. 
As suddenly as they came, the storm clouds vanish
and the sun emerges to guild every blade of grass,
every pine tree with fairy jewels.  Birds sing again,
white clouds float across the sky to fade away into the distance.

I Love you, canyons of Wyoming…….

In the coolness of the evening, soft winds blow and a million
stars blossom in the skies…seems we merely need reach up to
touch them.  The call of a night bird and sounds of coyotes in
the far distance breaks the stillness.  Where once I roamed there
is now lonely emptiness and the stillness is only broken by my

I Love You, Canyons of Wyoming

We had quite a few horses by now…some good ones and some not so good.  One big black that was Elmer’s never could be counted on for he might do anything.  Once he rose up in the air and almost hit me as he came down.  He did hit a little fluffy duck of mother’s and that big old hoof flattened the duck out as thin as paper.  Old Dan broke his leg going through a deep snow drift and had to be shot.  Ed had a beautiful brown mare he was keeping to raise colts and someone stole her and we never did find her.  Ed had a horse named Frank, too, that we could ride or drive.  He never could be trusted either!  Elmer bought a big black stallion named Rex and we liked to watch him run in circles around Elmer on a long chain.  Earl didn’t have much of these things and left home to take a homestead near Slater, Wyoming where he got his start.  Ed also left and located near Earl.  Ed had married Helen Douglass and Earl married Hilda Larson.  Elmer married Lou Edminston.

I have, no doubt, missed many of the things that should be written about.  We could still find buffalo skulls on the prairies, we could tell the difference by the shape and the short horns.  There were no antelope or deer around by 1904 and the men used to go over north of “Old 66” to hunt them.

Uncle Pete killed a deer with a single shot Winchester rifle, 44 caliber, and he was probably a hundred yards away.  He missed the first shot and the deer ran over to the canyons southwest of where we lived.  Pete, Ed Anderson and his brother, followed it and killed it about a mile west of John McMann’s house.  The second shot hit the horn and the deer turned around and came right back by Uncle Pete, which gave him time to reload that single shot rifle and the third shot he got him right through the heart.  That was the last deer that was ever seen in the country around Albin.

I remember my Grandpa Lee. (1)  He was well known to the early residents of the Pine Bluffs area as he was one of the very earliest settlers and endured all of the harsh privations and hardships that always come to new countries.  He saw this section develop from a land of buffalo grass and roaming herds of cattle to a modern farming community with rural mail routes, telephones, truck transportation and so forth.  He came to Wyoming in 1889 and settled on a homestead twenty miles north of Pine Bluffs.

Grandpa raised a lot of chickens and he wouldn’t let Granny kill one.  If she got to eat one she killed it when he went to town and she put the feathers in a pail back of the stove and buried the head in the manure pile.  If Pete and grandma wanted a hen to cook, Pete would take the gun and yell “an old hen crowed”, and would run out and shot one, as Grandad said it was bad luck for a hen to crow.  A pretty sneaky way to get a chicken, wasn’t it?

Granny had to use white pepper for if she used black pepper, Grandpa wouldn’t eat the food.  I many ways he was so unkind and so disagreeable but Granny was always so serene and happy…She never acted as though she heard what he said.  She had red hair and brown eyes.  She told me that in those early days the blizzards were so bad that they set posts on the way to the barn from the house and had a w ore on them so they could hold on to it to get from the house to the barn as they had to walk with their backs to the storm and couldn’t see where they were going.  The snow was so fine and the wind so fierce it would just take your breath.

The incident of the Grey wolf, as told to me by Granny Lee.  It was getting dark and there was a terrible blizzard outside.  Pete had gone to the barn t o feed the horses and on the way back to the house, a big grey wolf chased him clear to the door.*  As Pete dashed through the door, he slammed it shut on the wolf’s head.  In the excitement they never thought of the gun and Grandad was beating the wolf on the head with a stick of stove wood.  The wolf finally jerked loose and got away.  Considering this happened in the year 1889, it could have been possible and I have no reason to doubt Granny Lee’s word.  At that time they were living in a dugout on one of the Anderson places before they filed on the homestead.
*(Earl Harvey, Ruth’s brother, said the wolf chased the dog to the door, not Uncle Pete).

A trip to Aunt Mary Jackson’s house at Bayard, Nebraska.

As mother had not seen her sister for so long, the family decided to go visit them.  All of us were packed into Grandpa Lee’s covered wagon with Granny sitting right in the middle of the wagon bed.  Grandpa and Pete were on the seat, so mother, Mary and I were filling g in the rest of the spaces along with food and extra cots to sleep on.  It must haven been late in the fall…November or December, because it was cold.  Of course, Grandad had his usual nit so was feeling pretty spry.  We were warm in the wagon but cramped.

We drove all day and when we came to Pumpkin Creek it was frozen over and Grandad yelled, “Look Out, Old Maude is going to Jump”!  She did and when the wheels hit the ice they broke through and a cot fell over and hit Mary on the ear and she let out a blood curdling yell.  We stayed all night with some people and it was so cold that the telephone wires sang all night and I didn’t sleep much.  We all slept on the floor.

We went through a range of hills and a place called “Wright’s Gap.”  Only one wagon could go through at a time, so Pete walked through to see if the other side was clear before we started through.  Mary and I walked and the tracks through the sandstone were worn down until they were hub deep by so many wagons going through for so many years.

I can’t remember much more about the trip, although we did see frozen wild pumpkin vines along the creek and the prairie grass was the color of dead grass and clean as though it had been swept with a broom.  We spent Christmas with them and all of us went to the Church to hear the program and see the tree.   No gifts were on the tree but each got a mosquito-bar sock of treats, some were red and some were green.

Aunt Mary had quite a few children so we had a lot of fun.  Going at that time of the year was pretty risky but we got home without any trouble.  I can’t remember all of the Jackson children's names but there was J.D., Grace, Daphne, and Merle.  J.D. passed away many years ago and as far as I know, all live around Bayard except a baby, Helen, who was born after we were there and she lives in California.  Grace married a Robert Cleveland.  She also taught school for several years.  These children always loved us and all came that could, when Mother and Father passed away, showing a bond of relationship that can’t be equaled.  J.D. was only named J.D., so in later years he named himself John David.  He said he didn’t see why anyone would name a baby just two initials…J.D..

About 1906 Wad and Mary Robinson came from Iowa to homestead and they were friends of our Grandparents so they lived with them until they had a place.  Wad was a great hand to pretend he was sick so he could lie in bed.   He was always asking his wife to bake him a hot apple pie before he got up.  Wad and Mary had a parrot called “Teddy” and they left him with our Grandparents a lot.  He said a lot of things like ‘Teddy wants a strawberry” or a cracker.  Took a bath and washed his feed in his water cup.  Once when the men went to town and came home, Pete said, “Do you know what we forgot?  We forgot the tobacco.”  And Teddy started that silly laugh of his and repeated “They forgot the tobacco.”

Granny Lee used to tell me many things about their lives and the trip they made to the Jackson Hole Country from Iowa in a covered wagon in 1895. (1)  I was but one year old.  She spoke of Fort Laramie as ‘old’ then.  I have been to Fort Laramie several times and I even attended a dance there in “Old Bedlam.”  All of my poems seem to be around these things in the past and when I realize that Earl, who is 80, and I am now74, are all that are left in the the golden chain of our family, I am really sad and lonesome.  Many, many of my days are spent in quiet thinking and my love of letters to and from friends.  Also, I think of the many, many who should be living today, for they were not old when they went away.

Ruth Harvey Douglass

 There will be one last chapter to "Poetess In the Family.....Ruth Harvey Douglass" to follow next week.

Poetess In the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part one: here
Poetess In the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part two: here
Poetess In the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part four: here

(1) Hannah and Milton Lee's story is told in "Hannah Lee's Overland Journal"  , a three part article which may be found here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

All stories, poetry and photographs in this series are owned and copyrighted© by the Harvey and Hopkins families and may not be reprinted without the permission of the family. Contact clchopkins[at]gmail[dot]com

Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Those Old Memories is proud to have been once again recognized by another great blogger! Cheryl Palmer of  Heritage Happens blog has awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thanks to Cheryl for including me in her selection. I am always humbled when another blogger chooses to honor my blog.

There are rules for accepting the award, they are as follows:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and their blog link. 
2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
   3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

The blogs that I have chosen to pass this on to are some new ones I have found and really like, a few that have been around awhile, and a couple that are not well known in the genealogy world but are blogs that I enjoy reading and fit nicely in the world of genealogy and history.

They are in no particular order, but one on the list which I just found is Just Another History Blog. I think he might be a great regular addition to the genealogy world of blogs! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Poetess in The Family, Part Two.....Ruth Harvey Douglass

In honor of Women's History Month, I have chosen to write about Ruth Harvey Douglass. She wrote a wonderful memoir of her family and without it our family would not have the privilege of knowing as much as we do about our ancestors. Ruth left us all a great legacy in the form of her story and beautiful poetry. I hope everyone enjoys reading about her memories of family and Wyoming!
Harvey family picnic on Horse Creek near Albin, Wyoming -taken before 1915

Poetess In The Family, part 2:

My mother’s people always gave us advice as to where things should be, as to directions.  I remember they said the barn must be northwest of the house for fear of sparks from the house chimney would blow over and set it afire.   Our caves and chickens must be where they were less likely to be covered with drifts in times of blizzards or blowing snow.  The wood pile and any posts we may have extra must be stacked on end or stacked real high.

We had a big wood pile and it lasted a long time.  I remember in fixing the cave in the fall our father had it all done except the door and it began to snow.  He got a little panicky and said he guessed he ‘Got caught with his pants down’.  It was only a short storm and soon melted away.  In summer when we saw the rain over by the buttes, we all ran to fill the baskets and boxes with dry wood so we could keep the fires going.  We even enjoyed using the axe now and then.

As I remember, ants by the hundreds found their way into the house from the wood pile and once they got into mother’s fresh gingerbread and she had to throw the whole thing away.  We were never hungry for dessert for she always had a gallon crock of cookies or the big stone churn full of doughnuts.  If she tried to hide them our brother, Ed, would smell them out anywhere they were and his eyes were always bright with pleasure when he found them.  I remember his daughter Kathryn’s son, Roger, has those same bright eyes that express love and mischief.


I know of a beautiful hillside, sunny, green and still,
A canyon, deep, that lies below it…above it rises a hill.
A hill that is dark with cedars and bright with summer’s glow
And where a path is leading…to the cool spring below.

Along the edge of the canyon the cedars their shadows throw
The leaning tree branches quiver…above its deep repose.
And there where the sandstone whitens, the prairie winds blow free
The early days of my childhood remain these memories for me.

The splendors of the hills and valleys among the cedars dark and tall
The mourning doves nest on the hillside, the purple haze over it all.
I remember them all in my dreaming as I roam these hills so free,
The sego lilies were blooming with silken petals for me.

I feel the canyons breathing with each breeze that falls
And the mystery all around me and peace is over all.
So when comes the autumn and snow their glory crowns
In memory I seek that hillside, far from the noisy towns.

And where the spring is flowing, from every care beguiled,
I gaze at the endless distance with the eyes of a little child.
Blessed are the memories that none can take away,
Memories sweet and tender of childhood’s happy day.

And of these memories that in later years we read,
They lie along our pathway, in the flowers and the seed.
So I love these hills and canyons, the cedars on the hill,
These memories I shall take with me...wherever that I will.

When Ed was twenty-one he filed o 160 acres about a mile an a half south of us.  He only lived there long enough to prove up on it.  That was in 1912.  When he did batch there, his friends called him ‘Scuts’ Harvey due to the good biscuits he always made, but home seemed best and he always came back.

We children attended a log school about a mile and a half away.  Our teacher’s name was Maud Sinon and her home was over on Horse Creek.  There were several other children too, Paul and Ralph Smith, Sylvia and Otto Anderson, and later a family by the name of Shake moved into the neighborhood.  They had three children, Russell, Elmer and Sarah.  Russell was so smart in arithmetic he got better grades than any of the others.  There was a family by the name of Miller who lived in the canyons but they didn’t go to our school.  We liked to go visit them as they had several children and Mrs. Miller would always make us some things she called ‘Doughgodies’ which were either bread dough or biscuit dough fried in deep fat.  Both were rolled into thin cakes before frying.  The Anderson family was large…Albin, Charlie, Elliott, Arvid, Sylvia and Otto.  Alvin was an invalid and was the postmaster of Albin, Wyoming for many years.  Andersons had lots of horses and cattle and nearly every Sunday they had a rodeo and we all went to see the boys ride.

John McMann married a widow who had several children..Fred, Fern, Blanche and Neta.  Other families were Cunningham, Rabou, Chindler, Welch, Edwards, Irvine, George and Joe McCann, Hermina Green, Adcock, Draper and Lige Rundell.  Some new ones came by the name of Conley.  Mrs. Conley was Mrs. Smith’s sister.  The Gallio Post office was named after Mr. Conley.

As the years passed, Elmer had a well drilled on his place and built a grout house.  Our father built us a four room house and made a cistern that had water piped from Elmer’s windmill so we then had water close at hand.  A log barn was built too, which had a straw roof.  A coal house and new chicken house and two granaries were built.  We raised large gardens to can and fill the new pantry that mother had.  Father sent to the John A. Salzer  Seed Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin for our seed and some new oat seed to plant called ‘Salzer’s White National’.  The yield that year of this new seed brought people all over to buy their seed, but father wanted all he had raised for seed for himself so he told them all where they could order it.  We raised flint corn as father didn’t think eastern corn would ripen.  We children wanted to raise some popcorn but he didn’t think it would do anything either. 

I well remember the year mother went back to Iowa to be with our married sister, Myrtle, who was ill.  That summer my father and I raised 400 chickens and he was so proud of me as I learned  to make pies and bread nearly as good as mother’s.  I think I was about 12 or 13 years old.  He would buy canned pumpkin at Albin and I would make pies of it.

I think they were mostly custard as I made too many pies for that amount of pumpkin.  Both of us girls could kill and dress a chicken by the time we were 12.

Once my parents went to Pine Bluffs and were caught in a bad rain and hail storm on the way home.  It was getting dark and they were wet and cold.  I had supper ready of fried chicken and hot biscuits when they came in and my mother said she had never eaten such a good meal.  Of course, that made me very proud, too!  Fried chicken does not taste so good today after being fried in these synthetic fats.  Nothing will ever smell as flavorful as hot lard.

When my mother made hominy from the corn we raised, she didn’t use lye but used Arm & Hammer baking soda, three tablespoons of soda to a gallon of shelled corn.  This was washed many times to loosen the hulls and remove the soda.  When it was finished it was nice and white.

No one has ever been able to duplicate her sugar cookies.   We either had too much flour or not enough flour.  Would you like to try them?  Take two cups of white sugar and one cup of butter and cream well.  Now add two eggs, one cup of milk, two teaspoons of KC baking powder and one teaspoon of nutmeg.  Add flour to make soft dough.  Roll out a portion, sprinkle with sugar and press into dough lightly with the rolling pin.  Cut and bake.  I hope you are able to get the right amount of flour as I have never been able to.

My mother’s baked beans did not taste like these do today.  She took one quart of great northern or navy beans and soaked them over night.  These were put into a large granite pan with a lid.  Slices of salt pork were added with salt, pepper and molasses.  They were placed into the oven and cooked all day at a moderate temperature.  Sometimes she added a little dry mustard but never tomatoes in any form.


When as a child I followed my father
Behind the horses and a walking plow
Turning the good earth into long furrows.
The myriads of blackbirds eating each worm turned,
The smell of freshly cut hay in the fields
And the cry of a curlew high overhead.
The dozens of meadowlarks sitting on the barbed wire fence
Singing in the morning when the sun was red in the east.
Fresh Beef, covered, hanging at the top of the windmill
Curing in the pure mountain air.
Rest periods in the afternoons lying on
The floor listening to our elders talk.
My mother’s plans for the evening meal
Frying chicken and hot biscuits from the oven.
Our old cat with kittens hidden in the hollow log of the barn
Which she later carried to the house.
Ripe golden grain being harvested,
The whir of machinery threshing
And the smell of grains being hauled away
Twenty miles t o the nearest town.
Butchering day when father expected
All of us to help prepare those five
Big hogs for the winter.
All these, and more, are my memories
Of the sweetness of summer.

Our first plow was a walking plow and father drove the team of horses and one of the boys held the plow in the soil.  We had a mowing machine too.  When father bought our binder and cultivator in Pine Bluffs they said we must be rich for he paid cash for them.  Also, a story got around that mother had cut class and real silverware that she used every day, which wasn’t true for it was only pressed glass and 1847 Rogers Brothers silver.  We used what we called black-handled knives and forks for every day which we kept bright by polishing with brick dust.  We had a white tablecloth but used either red or blue checked ones for everyday and mostly ate on the oil cloth which covered the boards on that home made table at all times.  It was always exciting times when threshing time came with all the good things to eat and extra men there to help in return for our men helping them.  Once mother had chicken and noodles which the men called shoestring dumplings!  Mother did not cut her noodles like we do today.  She rolled them out and dried them and then rolled it up again into a long roll and cut it in thin strips, and when unrolled they were long and narrow and just as hard to eat as spaghetti.

I think Mr. Cunningham had one of the first threshers.  The first machine was run by horses which went round and round in a circle.  Later he bought a steam engine.  There were always about six men with hay racks who brought in the sheaves of grain from the fields and two men stood in the front of the separator to cut the binder twine on the sheaves as they were run through the machine.

Our only hay for a long time was the wild needle grass on the prairies but this was not so good for the stock, due to the needles, so my father started raising more oats for the horses and cows and then raised some millet for the chickens.  Barley along with the corn was raised for the hogs.  Mary and I loved to help father pick corn and worked along side with the men.  A Doctor in later asked me if I had worked in the fields and I said yes, not because we had to but because we wanted to.  I think we girls did everything in those years that was to be done.  We could ride horses, chop wood, make soap, and milk cows.  We picked the chokecherries for mother to make jelly of and she didn’t have much luck with it.  She did make tomato preserves though, out of canned tomatoes.  A number 2-1/2 can of tomatoes, three cups of sugar and stick cinnamon cooking would bring the wild bees from the canyons, but we never did find their tree.

Our little dog, Coaly, (because he was so black) was so cute.  If he decided to visit our grandparents he would go by himself, which was about two and a half miles and we could see him going up a path through the hills.  We only had to say, “Let’s go to the canyons, Coaly”, and he would taker off with his tail in the air.  We wouldn’t see him again until we were at the spring as he had his own special way of going.  When we got back home, there he was but his tail was not carried high over his back…it was dragging.  Coaly was really Ed’s dog.

The fall of 1905 we saw the first and only trail herd go through to Pine Bluffs from the ranches on Horse Creek.  They camped at night on section five, which joined ours.  We could hear them at night and one of the drovers told my father that was the half-way place.  They must have watered at the spring as they couldn’t get any water at our place.  There was a way to get a wagon through the canyons to the spring, so they must have come up that way.  

Nora Cunningham used to drive a two-wheeled sulky around the country and she often stopped to talk to Mary.  I remember once there was a cowboy who was talking to them and I asked who he was and she said “That’s Henry Greiser”.  He later won the championship in Cheyenne at the Frontier Days Rodeo.  To me, he looked handsome in his chaps and kerchief.  In later years I met him again and we became good friends.  He was then a foreman on a ranch north of Cheyenne.

I remember too, when Bill Carlisle robbed the train near Cheyenne.

Mary and I never did get to go to Cheyenne to see the Frontier Days Show until later on in life, but Neta and Fern Raymond always went every year.  Fern didn’t ride but Neta was always on a horse about every day.  Mary and I both rode horses but we didn’t have time to spend away from the work at home as they did.  I remember that Mary would rather clean than cook.

Mary and I didn’t go to High School.  A Dr. Marshall in Pine Bluffs offered to take us into their home as they had no children and our father could pay for our keep with meat and vegetables but mother wouldn’t let us go.  We went to barn dances all over the country, driving a team of horses to the wagon.  Ed and Earl always went with us.  Many times we were caught in snow storms and the snow got quite deep.
Sisters: Ruth, Mary and Myrtle Harvey, taken before 1915

To be continued.......

Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part one: here
Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part three: here
Poetess in the Family, Ruth Harvey Douglass- part four: here

All stories, poetry and photographs in this series are owned and copyrighted © by the Harvey and Hopkins families and may not be reprinted without the permission of the family. Contact clchopkins[at]gmail[dot]com